Published: March 8, 2022
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Andrew Jones Auctions
LOS ANGELES – Andrew Jones just can’t get enough of a good thing. Within 24 hours of stepping down from the rostrum after selling a third installment of nearly 300 lots from the collection of Los Angeles dealer John Nelson, he was back on the phone with Nelson’s firm to schedule a fourth session. Like both of the two previous sessions Andrew Jones Auctions conducted on October 24 and December 12, it was a white glove sale, with all 278 lots trading successfully. The sale saw nearly 1,000 registered bidders and action on multiple platforms, including the firm’s dedicated one; a cumulative sale total of just more than $800,000 was achieved.
“John’s reputation was renowned around the world; the sale has been an opportunity to buy top-notch pieces at relatively low prices.” Jones said. “It’s tremendously gratifying that all of these traditional things are being so well received.”
The apex of the sale was achieved more than halfway through the day when a Louis XVI-style gilt bronze and cut glass 28-light chandelier, dating to the second half of the Nineteenth Century, rose to $23,750 from an estimate of $5/7,000. Aileen Ward, the firm’s senior vice president, said impressive scale and beautiful chased details to the frame helped drive interest in the piece, which measured 54 inches tall and 36 inches in diameter. It sold to a buyer in the United States.
Large-scale furniture saw surprisingly strong results considering it can be a tricky category to find a ready buyer. The second highest price of the sale – $18,750 – was paid by a California decorator for a monumental early Eighteenth Century Italian baroque walnut armadio. For those unfamiliar, the term translates to “closet,” and this piece had a configuration of cubby holes, shelves and drawers in a case that measured 115 inches tall by 136 inches wide.
The heavy aesthetic of the armadio was also found, if on slightly more diminutive proportions and in straighter lines, in a Louis XV/XVI transitional provincial walnut buffet a deux corps from the late Eighteenth Century. In retrospect, the $1,5/2,500 estimate seems conservative; it made an even $10,000 from a decorator in Oregon.
A high price was achieved in a Flemish baroque-style ebonized mirror that measured 77 by 66 inches and combined both antique and later elements. It finished at $13,750, the third highest result in the sale. About a dozen other mirrors were in the sale, with giltwood, painted wood or glass frame that ealized prices that ranged from $500 for a 20½-by-23½-inch Régence-style giltwood mirror to a more elaborate period Régence giltwood pier mirror, first quarter Eighteenth Century, that went out at $4,500.
The cover to the catalog featured a pair of Empire gilt and patinated bronze figural four-light candelabra by Claude- François Rabiat, Paris, circa 1800. The catalog footnote for the lot asserted that Rabiat (d 1815) had apprenticed to Etienne Vignerelle in 1769 and was established as maître in 1778. He regularly provided a variety of clocks and candelabra to other bronziers, horologers and retailers, including Thomire, Feuchère and Claude Galle. Of additional interest, the pair on offer were illustrated in Denise Ledoux-Lebard, Le Grand Trianon, p. 35, and Hans Ottomeyer, Peter Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, Band II, p. 705, fig. 21. Estimated at $3/5,000, the pair were snuffed out at $10,000.
The same price of $8,750 was realized by both the dainty and fragile and the heavy and massive. A pair of Maison Baguès, Paris, Louis XVI-style gilt metal and clear pressed glass three-branch wall lights dated to the Twentieth Century and measured about 2 feet tall. They were estimated at $1,5/2,000, the same estimate assigned to a pair of Italian Neoclassical-style variegated white marble garden seats of similar vintage that stood 33½ inches tall and showed weathering and wear commensurate with age and exposure to the elements.
The fourth session of works from John Nelson’s collection is tentatively scheduled for late April; Jones thinks he has another five or six sessions before the collection will have all been sold.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
For additional information, www.andrewjonesauctions.com or 213-748-8008.
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