Published: April 15, 2008
With strong bidding in all categories, Neal Auction Company’s February 23′4 estates auction’s tally of $3.4 million underscored the market strength and collector’s enthusiasm.
The top lot of the auction was a newly discovered Jan Lievens the Elder (Dutch, 1607‱674) unsigned oil portrait of “A Military Commander, perhaps Friedrich Wilhelm, the Great Elector of Brandenburg.” With 16 phone bidders and several salesroom bidders, the previously unknown portrait attained $152,000 from a collector in the room.
The auction saw a sizable offering of Vietnamese modern and contemporary art, led by Nguyên Gia Tri’s lacquer triptych “Spring Garden.” With two active telephones from Asia and two collectors on the salesroom floor, the painting reached $51,000, selling against a New Orleanian underbidder to a European collector within the room.
Part II of the Wyndham Canal Place collection included many important offerings. A Georges-Jules Victor Clairin oil on canvas, “A Fashionable Company in Renaissance Dress,” sold above estimate at $23,500, and an antique monumental Régence carved and giltwood salon table realized $39,500.
Leading American furniture offerings was a 1903 Steinway & Sons Model A carved tiger oak grand piano with a conforming bench that brought $37,600. The standout, however, was a pair of mid-Nineteenth Century American rococo carved and laminated rosewood armchairs, attributed to J&JW Meeks, New York, that made six times over its low estimate, fetching a record $32,900.
Two world record prices were set with a late Nineteenth Century American Innovative carved walnut and gilt armchair, branded “George Hunzinger,” that realized $12,337; a lot later, another Hunzinger carved walnut armchair took $18,212.
A Newcomb Pottery standout was a circa 1895‱898 high glaze vase decorated by Mary Givens with the base marked with the rare “Newcomb College” stamp. The piece saw intense bidding in house, selling for $29,375 and returning to Newcomb College, thanks to loyal alumnae such as Mignon Faget and Evelyn Chumo.
Sculpture offerings included a mid-Nineteenth Century Napoleon III marble urn and bronze-mounted pedestal, signed Eugene Cornu, from the Wyndham Canal Place collection that set a world record for the artist at $35,250.
Cast iron and bronze garden furniture and fountains were led by a circa 1875 American/New York cast iron fountain at $22,325.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, www.nealauction.com or 504-899-5329.
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