Published: November 8, 2011
New Orleans Auction Galleries celebrated another successful sale with its estates auction bringing in high numbers on 1,971 lots, including Asian pieces, furniture, fine arts, clothing and jewelry. The weekend-long event, hosted September 30⁏ctober 2, had several notable pieces, including more than 300 gold pesos and an Hermes Kelly bag once owned by the late Ella Fitzgerald. The three-day sale had an entire day featuring Asian lots, continuing the growing interest in Oriental pieces.
Despite recent volatility in the price of gold, 311 gold pesos weighing more than 4,700 grams brought in a total of $238,790. The gold pieces indicate a new trend in trusting auctioneers, rather than pawnshops and jewelers, with the sale of gold. “Every gold buyer claims to give the best prices,” said Jean Vidos, president of New Orleans Auction Galleries, Inc. “We are finding that more people are looking to us to sell gold because of our knowledge and access to the luxury community.”
One of the weekend’s biggest draws was Sunday’s couture clothing, accessories and jewelry auction. Phone, online and in-person bidders had intense bidding rounds over pieces from a variety of collections, including Elizabeth Turnbull, New Orleans Turnbull Bakeries heiress; a Denver collector and an unnamed New York City fashion editor. Pieces included Chanel handbags, vintage Louis Vuitton luggage, several furs and pieces from Jean Paul Gautier, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta and Balenciaga. One of the collection’s most coveted lots was the vintage Hermes Kelly bag owned by Fitzgerald. The bag, which included business cards and personal notes, was sold for $2,091.
The first day of the sale included 389 Asian lots, such as ivory, jade, cloisonné and artwork. The significant sales numbers provide further proof that the Asian collectors market is continuing to grow and prosper. A rare pair of Chinese “Golden Bricks” mounted on rosewood stands dating to 1404 and 1408 was sold for $31,980. Another unusual piece sold was a Chinese cast-bronze bell, dated to the ninth year of Qianlong reign (1749), which brought $49,200.
The auction attracted many fine art enthusiasts. Some coveted pieces included a Raoul Dufy “Still Life” gouache on paper, which sold for $23,370, well above the estimated $6/9,000. Albert Bierstadt’s “The Polar Bear Hunt” oil on canvas was purchased for $36,900. One of the most anticipated art sales was a Bernard Buffet oil on canvas, “Les Soucis,” which sold for $56,580 after a spirited bidding war.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
New Orleans Auction Galleries’ December 6‸ auction will be all Asian pieces, featuring more than 2,000 lots. For information, 504-566-1849 or www.neworleansauction.com .
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