Published: February 4, 2003
PITTSBURGH, PENN. – Contemporary furniture is back in style with full force, reports Dargate, which offered designs by Nakashima, Jacobsen, Mies van der Rohe, Saarinen, and Knoll at a recent four-day auction.
The phone lines were jammed with bidders from Philadelphia and New York competing for six pieces of contemporary furniture made by George Nakashima. A linen cabinet he designed realized $11,750, a dresser with bookshelves reached $9,950, and a bench brought $6,450.
A pair of Barcelona chairs are on their way to West Palm Beach, Fla., to their new owner for $4,100. And a Florence Knoll buffet sold for $2,100 to an Internet bidder.
A nail-biting struggle between determined bidders for a 2.89 total carat weight diamond ring ended with it selling for a strong $21,150 to a young couple in the audience.
A clash in the fine arts realm occurred between two bidders from Holland for an early Eighteenth Century double portrait by Arnold Boonen. The painting was held in the family for more than 200 years. The lucky bidder won it for $11,100.
A Victorian oil on canvas showing Niagara Falls with a family accompanied by an African American servant in a carriage sold to Nebraska for $3,800, while a New Jersey customer bought a Robinson landscape for $3,150.
Daguerreotypes are a perennial favorite, with one of John J. Audubon selling to a Pennsylvanian buyer for $5,250.
Internet bidders from Rome and Tokyo forced up the pricing and took a Meerschaum pipe and four pieces of Meissen, respectively. The pipe fetched $2,100. A woman from Kent, England, won a Satsuma vase for $440.
Continental and American furniture fared well despite its size and weight. A profusely inlaid center table from the London firm Edwards and Roberts brought $3,500 and a Parisian marble-top table sold for $2,900. A carved griffin base library table sold for $5,250 and an ornate five-piece Victorian bedroom set sold for $4,450.
Thirteen Tiffany chrysanthemum pattern sterling teaspoons, always a favorite, brought $525.
Rapid-fire bidding took a Royal Worcester lidded urn to $2,600, selling to a Boston buyer. And a bronze mounted porcelain centerbowl made by Edme Samson brought $1,750.
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