Published: February 22, 2011
After achieving steadily climbing sales throughout 2010, and concluding the year with a stellar jewelry and antiques sale, John Moran Auctioneers continued the momentum with its first sale of 2011. A two-session January 11 antiques and decorative arts auction attracted bidders from 18 countries who drove prices on a wide range of items well upwards of presale estimates and spurred on the sell-through rate for the 390-lot sale to 90 percent.
The key to the strong results continues, as before, to be the quality of the items and their newness to the market. The evening session featured several collections of property that had been long-held in private hands and most of these sold at a rate of 100 percent.
The collections included an assemblage of eclectic British and American items encompassing furniture and technological artifacts, such as guns, barometers, telescopes and machine models, consigned from an important Beverly Hills, Calif., estate, and a group of Arts and Crafts furniture gathered by a Southern California aficionado.
A broad range of silver by makers from Britain, America and Continental Europe spanning the Eighteenth through the Twentieth Centuries that came from a large San Marino, Calif., collection and other local collections and estates also sold at a rate of 100 percent, as did smaller single-owner collections of superior quality Russian and Asian works of art.
Items from the Beverly Hills collection attracted a great deal of competitive bidding from the East Coast. Some of the standouts were a George III brass, iron and mahogany flintlock tinder lighter pistol, signed G. Jones, that sold at $2,400; an antique brass, walnut and steel model of a sickle bar mower that went to a floor bidder for $4,800; and a Victorian eight-day marine chronometer signed James McCabe (London, second half Nineteenth Century) for $6,600.
The taste and craftsmanship displayed in the San Marino silver collection was appreciated by buyers and achieved prices well beyond estimates. Among these pieces were a whimsical group of nine musician figures by German maker Ludwig Neresheimer that sold for $5,700 ($1,5/2,500); a set of eight Tiffany & Co. footed salt cellars and spoons in the Daisy pattern that realized $1,320 ($300/500); and a Buccellati Grand Imperiale sterling silver flatware service for eight that sold at $8,400, nearly triple its high estimate.
Also offered from the same collection was a five-lot collection of St Louis Thistle Gold gilt glass stemware comprising 46 pieces that realized an aggregate total of $14,216, or $309 per piece.
Asian items were highlighted by a signed Meiji-period Japanese silver koro (incense burner) modeled as a quail with gold and copper eyes that realized $7,800 ($800․1,200) and a Chinese gold and silk thread-embroidered summer robe made circa 1900, decorated with dragons and fish amidst waves and clouds that sold for $3,437 ($700․1,000).
Also crossing the block was an oil painting by contemporary Chinese artist Gao Xiaohua titled “Early Spring in the Grove,” depicting a Chinese woman in traditional dress in a sycamore grove that attained a price of $15,600.
Rounding out the sale were a large Sevres-style gilt-bronze-mounted yellow-ground vase at $7,200, a George II feather-banded walnut and burr walnut slant front bureau for $5,400, a Spanish baroque walnut chest of drawers at $3,600 and a Russian silver and cloisonné enamel salt cellar, 6th Artel, that brought $3,000.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. John Moran Auctioneers’ next decorative and fine arts auction is Tuesday, March 8, followed by a jewelry sale April 5. For information, 626-793-1833 or www.johnmoran.com .
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