Published: July 13, 2021
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Bill Hood & Sons
DELRAY, FLA. – On June 29-30 Bill Hood & Sons sold the entire contents of a $27 million Jupiter Island ocean front home with no reserves. It was a diverse sale with many discoveries, full of listed fine art oil paintings, a large collection of Kirk repoussé sterling silver flatware and hollowware, Chinese porcelains, jade bronzes, Italian gilt-bronze clocks and French gilt-bronze clocks, to name a few items. Chris Hood said that because it was a no-reserves sale, there were only a few dozen of the 600 or so lots that were passed. Bidders participated on two online platforms as well as absentee and phone bids.
The sales were led by a Henri Guillaume Schlesinger oil Orientalist harem scene that finished at $57,600. At 31 by 38 inches and signed bottom right H. Schlesinger and dated 1846, it had sold earlier at a Sotheby’s sale.
The sale’s first day was full of fine art, sculpture and choice furniture and lighting. A painting attributed to Italian artist Giuseppe Zocchi (1711-1767), “The Arno River at the Santa Trinita Bridge,” oil on canvas, was done circa 1742. At 30¼ by 37-1/8 inches, it was unframed. Expected to bring $500-$2,500, it left the gallery at $22,500. The Ponte Santa Trinita in Florence, Italy, is a neighbor of the more well-known (among tourists anyway) Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge”), a medieval stone arch bridge over the Arno River noted for the shops built along it. In Zocchi’s vedute, the river’s boat commerce, the historic span and neighboring buildings are depicted. The scene went to a New York trade dealer.
European art was also highlighted by a tranquil oil on canvas painting by Ivan Fedorovich Choultse (Russian, 1874-1939) titled “Moonlit Seascape.” Signed in the bottom right corner, the 22-by-26-inch painting in a gilt frame was bid to $36,250, more than twice its high estimate.
The first lot across the block on the first day was an antique French Empire gilt-bronze figural sculpture that realized $4,250, nearly four times its high expectation. The neoclassical sculpture of a figural angel atop a flower-adorned sphere and a pedestal base that was adorned with peacock, swan, harp and floral motif appliques, stood 37 inches high.
Notable American art was led by a William Aiken Walker (American, 1838-1921) oil on board of a Southern cabin and its inhabitants. With an old Christie’s label on reverse, the 6-by-12-inch scene was typical for the American artist best known for genre paintings of black sharecroppers and it earned $9,375.
There were also two drawings by Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975). One titled “The Apple of Discord,” a 1947 pen and black ink drawing of a female nude, 19 by 14 inches, brought $5,750, and another one offered immediately after, titled “Sunday Paper” with a seated female reading a newspaper, was $3,500.
Fetching $1,875 was a nude female depicted in front of a mirror by Malcolm T. Liepke (American, b 1953). The oil on canvas, titled “Drying Off,” 2006, was 30 by 25½ inches, framed.
Notable furniture on the first day included a large Italian burlwood secretary with two mirrored doors over three drawers, 8 feet 4 inches by 44 by 21 inches, which commanded $3,500, and a Nineteenth Century walnut Wooten desk with its “Wooten Desk & Co. Indianapolis, America,” label, going out at $3,375.
It’s not easy keeping Venetian glass chandeliers intact, but a large 16-light example in clear glass with pink accents and multicolored flowers had survived with only minor small chips and one crack in a bobeche. At a height of 60 inches and diameter of 44 inches, it swung to $5,625.
On Hood’s second day, a large Nineteenth Century French gilt-bronze clock struck $4,250. Featuring an enamel dial with Roman numerals, French time and strike movement, it was 30 inches high by 22½ inches wide by 11 inches deep. It went to a trade buyer in New York.
In addition to the French gilt clock, the sale’s second day featured another notable timepiece, a Nineteenth Century figural bronze Chariot clock that outpaced its $300/500 estimate to finish at $3,375. The clock’s face had individual enamel Roman numerals and it measured 20 inches high, 19½ inches wide.
Among the second day’s top highlights, too, there were some exceptional pieces of S. Kirk & Son sterling repoussé silver. A charger, 37 troy ounces and 14-inch diameter, eclipsed its $300/500 estimate to finish at $2,000. Even better was an S. Kirk & Son sterling silver repoussé flatware set, 137 pieces total, that brought $3,875.
There were several pieces of Madeline and Robert Longstreet (American, Twentieth/Twenty-First Century) cyanotype lithographs on offer. One depicting palms and recently featured in House Beautiful magazine found a buyer at $2,500, more than four times high estimate. The lithos were signed lower right “Madeline and Robert Longstreet,” edition 2/10, paper size 24 by 24 inches, in a white modern frame.
Decorative arts punched in with approximately 65 pieces Royal Crown Derby Imari dinnerware setting the table at $2,750. The largest charger diameter was 12 inches, with eight plates and four platters. Also in this category was a Chinese porcelain One Hundred Deer vase, the vase with the “One Hundred Deer” motif on a white ground, Qianlong seal mark in blue underglaze and a height of 14 inches. It sold for more than five times its high estimate at $2,625.
A furniture highlight came in the form of a Nineteenth Century French parquetry and bronze occasional table, 29½ by 34 inches, that realized $1,250.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. The firm’s next sale is set for August 10. For information, 561-278-8996 or www.hoodauction.com.
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