Published: May 19, 2020
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Catalog Photos Courtesy Dana J. Tharp Auctions
WILLOUGHBY, OHIO – Dana J. Tharp Auctions’ May 9 sale titled “Fine Art, Art Deco, Lego 12” featured 477 lots, of which more than 83 percent sold for a total of approximately $63,000. Because the auction house was prevented from holding a live preview, auction house staff worked to accommodate client inquiries with additional photographs and more detailed condition reports. Conducted online by a skeleton crew working from the sale room, absentee and phone bids were accepted, with online bidding through LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable and AuctionZip.
Like so many auction houses have reported since the coronavirus caused closures to be imposed, online registrations spiked. “We had a lot more internet bidders; more than 2,000 for the sale. And we had more international bidders than we usually do,” Dana Tharp said, speaking with Antiques and The Arts Weekly after the sale.
The lighting category got a strong start from the beginning of the sale when the second lot – a pair of Arts and Crafts-era reverse hand painted lamps with lighted bases – sold within estimate, for $1,250. Halfway through the sale, a bronze six-arm chandelier cataloged as style of Tiffany sold for $3,867, the sale’s top price and a considerably loftier value than its $75-150 estimate. After the sale, Tharp confirmed that the private collector who prevailed against other competitors thought it was “100 percent” right and has shades for the 11Ã½ inch diameter shade with acorn-drop sockets. Another lot of lighting that did well was a pair of Gothic Revival bronze and brass two-light wall sconces with brass bighorn sheep and lion accents that the catalog described as “stunning.” Bidding on the sconces more than doubled the high estimate and the pair brought $1,309 from a private collector.
A local collection of militaria was the source for the second and fourth highest prices in the sale. A circa 1942 World War II British Airborne smock in an unusually large and rare size brought $2,142, more than ten times its low estimate. Bringing $1,309 from a private collector was an 1859 Civil War-era Sharp’s Rifle that despite pitting throughout was in very good condition.
Fine art saw a good result with a pair of small marine landscapes by Netherlandish painter Jan M. Beek that sold to a private collector for $1,190, a landscape by Harry Spence that finished at $684 and a floral still life painting that exceeded expectations to bloom to $416.
A sizeable component of the sale, with 64 lots, all of which sold, featured unopened Lego boxes and packets. Tharp explained that they were from one consignor who had amassed a collection that filled an entire house, which she has been selling off over several sales…and there are still enough for another sale. The collector never opened the boxes and never assembled the kits, which are sought after by several Lego buying groups. Prices for Lego lots ranged from $35 for an Advent Calendar to $863 for a lot of Lego Mini Figs from Series 1,2,3,4, most of which were unopened.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house and may not include any applicable internet surcharge.
Dana J. Tharp Auctions is at 4740 Beidler Road. For information, 440-463-7158 or www.danajtharpauctions.com.
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