Published: October 25, 2011
There were many new faces in the crowd on September 21 as a host of people flew in to attend Kodner Galleries’ auction. The staff was cautiously optimistic, mainly because there were a total of 600 bidders registered from 27 countries, 350 online and another 250 in house. With 600 absentee (online) bids and roughly 1,000 watched lots, also online, the sale also drew large local interest for the first auction of the season.
There were nine people manning the phones and up to 15 people at the high spots when the office and backroom people came out on the floor to participate. The auction had lots of attention due to the advertising campaign and because there were items from the estate of the daughter of Victor Posner, a local business figure, as well as items being deaccessioned from the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
The house was full with every seat occupied as the auction began. A pair of early Twentieth Century Chinese gilt bronze mounted famille verte porcelain figural lamps brought $5,000, selling to a New York phone bidder. This was directly followed by a matched pair of Nineteenth/Twentieth Century Chinese enameled famille rose millefiori eggshell porcelain vases, which doubled its high estimate to bring in excess of $10,000 to an Internet bidder in spirited bidding.
Even a better sign of an auction that was about to explode was a Chinese Qing dynasty (1644‱911) white jade belt hook with chilong carving. Estimated at $1/1,500, it hammered down at $5,500, followed by a hotly contested Nineteenth/Twentieth Century Chinese translucent celadon to pale celadon carved jadeite figure of Guanyin. It blew way past its $4/6,000 presale estimate to finish at $65,000, going to the Internet after spirited bidding.
After the jade figure sold, it was off to the races with two hardstone boxes †a Nineteenth/Twentieth Century Chinese covered coral box carving of a naturalistic fruit selling for $35,000 to a London dealer, followed by a Nineteenth Century or earlier Chinese green to pale celadon well carved jade two-part covered box in the form of a naturalistic fruit, which hammered down for $20,000 by an out-of-town bidder who had flown in for the auction.
Other highlights of the evening were several lots of Eighteenth/Nineteenth Century embellished Chinese Qing dynasty white jade bianfangs, or rectangular hair ornaments, in which four lots brought a total of $60,000, purchased by four different bidders. Chinese jade was not finished yet, as a small Nineteenth/Twentieth Century Chinese Qing dynasty translucent white jade signed rectangular dish was purchased by a London phone bidder for $9,000. An imperial Ch’ien Lung period (1736‱795) Chinese yellow miniature porcelain bowl also sold for $9,000 to the Internet.
Not all of the items were of Chinese origin. For example, General Paul (French, 1898‱975) oil on canvas, “Riders,” went to a Beverly Hills, Calif., in-house bidder for $9,000. A Claude Venard (French, 1913‱999) oil on canvas, “River Seine Industrial Scene,” hammered down just over the estimate at $5,300, going to a Miami, Fla., gentleman.
The jewelry was a big hit during the evening, as a Cartier 18K white gold lady’s tank watch with inlaid diamond bezel brought $9,000 from an Internet bidder. A 6.70-carat marquise cut diamond and platinum engagement ring with center stone weighing approximately 2.70 carats sold near the low estimate of $20,000 to an in-house bidder. Likewise, a GIA certified 4.40-carat princess cut diamond engagement ring was knocked down for almost $28,000 to an out-of-town buyer.
The brush washer section of the auction was no slouch. An unusual Nineteenth/Twentieth Century three-color jade brush washer on tray with extremely fine carving of grasshopper, snail, double gourd on lotus leaf realized $15,000 from a Beijing phone buyer. An Eighteenth Century Chinese Qing dynasty white jade brush washer was hammered down for $13,000 to an Internet bidder. The other brush washers did just as well.
Things started to heat up yet again as a surprise lot, a Nineteenth/Twentieth Century Chinese Qing dynasty white to very pale celadon jade pendant, signed and with three lines of calligraphy brought a little less than $7,500 from a gentleman from Las Vegas, Nev., who flew in for the auction. A 3½-inch-tall Nineteenth Century pale green translucent jadeite censer brought almost $18,000, while a rare Nineteenth Century Chinese blue jade figure of a girl with lotus flowers (the cover lot) brought almost $20,000 from a London phone bidder.
The two biggest surprises of the evening without a doubt were saved for late in the auction as what was originally cataloged as a Nineteenth Century Chinese Qing dynasty white jade carved covered urn with green and russet inclusions with several repairs and restorations brought $18,000 from the Internet. Also, what was cataloged as a massive unsigned Nineteenth Century Chinese Qing dynasty Wucai dragon vase with applied chilong handles, probably Tongzhi period (1862‱874) to the Guangxu period (1875‱908), sold for $40,000 to a Shanghai phone bidder.
Three lots of cloisonné achieved a combined $17,500. A Herend Victoria pattern dinnerware set brought $4,500, and one of the highlights of the evening, a collection of Louis Vuitton monogram hard side luggage, which included three of the Alzer series pieces, garnered $14,000.
When it was finished, it was an evening not soon forgotten. “The best auction this year, for sure,” said Russ Kodner. “The few passed lots were picked off early Thursday morning, and a line started forming about mid-morning to straighten out invoices from the prior evening. When the smoke cleared, there were 1,000 online bids †a gallery record †almost $950,000 †another gallery record †and 104 lots were sold online. Without a doubt, a blockbuster if there ever was one. What a way to start off a season.”
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 954-925-2550 or www.kodner.com .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm