Published: August 15, 2023
Review by Z.G. Burnett; Images Courtesy Link Auction Gallery
ST LOUIS, MO. — Link Auction Galleries conducted its 9th Anniversary Auction on July 29, offering a broad selection of European and American fine art, decorative arts, folk art, carpets and fine jewelry. Many bidders participated in the auction online, including international buyers from Italy. “One of our employees, who resided in Italy for more than 20 years and a Renaissance art scholar, was able to converse in Italian while bidding,” shared Marlene Marcella, director of community relations. With about 500 lots, the auction gathered $334,776 and had an 88 percent sell-through rate, and each of the top lots sold either above or within their presale estimates.
An early oil on board copy of “Adoration of the Shepherds” after Sebastiano Filippi, called Bastianino (circa 1530-1605), more than doubled its high estimate to lead the auction at $22,800. This may have been made by one of Bastianino’s followers in Ferrara during the late Sixteenth or early Seventeenth Century; the original remains in that city’s Gallerie Estensti/Pinoteca Nazionale di Ferrara, which is housed in the Palazzo dei Diamanti. Branded on the reverse is the sigillo “VG,” indicating that the painting may have part of the important and grandiose Roman art collection of Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani (1564-1637). An aristocratic banker, Giustiniani amassed works of art with his brother, a cardinal, who lived at their family palazzo in Rome that now serves as the official residence of the president of the Italian senate.
Landscapes and portraits occupied much of this auction’s fine art category. “Hill, Vale, and Stream” by Benjamin Williams Leader (British, 1831-1923) was bid to $9,000. Leader primarily painted in England, with some trips to Scotland and the continent. Many of his landscapes are titled with their pictured locations, however, the subject of this example is yet unidentified. Following this in price was the colorful midcentury oil on canvas “Sunset in Formia,” by Nicola Simbari (Italian, 1927-2012), who was born in Calabria and often featured scenes from his early childhood on the Mediterranean Sea. Originally bought at the Wally Findlay Galleries, Chicago, it achieved $6,600.
The highest-selling portrait was that of Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745), who is considered by some to have served as Britain’s first de facto prime minister (1621-42), among many other appointments he assumed during the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Until recently the portrait was thought to be of Charles I (1600-1649), perhaps because of the golden, crowned orb in the foreground, which is the ceremonial mace held by the Speaker of the House of Commons. Set in a large carved and gilded frame, the portrait sold for $7,800.
Decorative arts were represented by an Italian carved marble fountain, showing Cupid frolicking with a dolphin, from the early Twentieth Century. The fountain appeared unused and showed no identifying marks, and it placed second in the auction to a phone bidder from Rome for $10,800. Also in this category was a rare pair of pâte-sur-pâte vases from Minton, showing a teal ground with peacock-blue banding that was enameled with urns, overflowing cornucopia and putti with garlands. Both were signed the artist’s initials and stamped “Mintons”; the pair achieved $7,200.
Two white diamond rings found new fingers. Third in the auctions was an 18K white gold and diamond ring showing pave and baguette stones surrounding one central solitaire diamond. This weighed approximately 2.1 carats and the ring sold for $10,200. Following in price was a platinum ring with a central 2.25-carat marquis diamond, supported by two baguettes on the side, which was bid to $6,000.
Prices were quoted with buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, www.linkauctiongalleries.com or 314-454-6525.
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
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