Published: February 5, 2002
Rare Linke Bedroom Set, Sormani Consoles Lead $328,000 Litchfield Auction
BANTAM, CONN. – Litchfield County Auctions (LCA) combined traditional auction viewing with the long reach of the Internet with the estate of the late Lt Colonel Arthur Sherrer of Albany, N.Y.
LCA first exhibited the collection – four floors of furniture, fine arts and decorations from a historic turn-of-the-century town house – on the website. Then they opened the house itself for a three-day preview with everything in place just as it had been for decades. This approach, combined with the the merchandise, produced a final gross of $328,000 with a sell rate of 95 percent.
The sale also held some surprises. One of the four huge upstairs bedrooms contained a six-piece bedroom set, which, to the layman, seemed a nicely matched suite of early Twentieth Century furniture. But to the connoisseur, of which there were obviously a few among the buyers, it was a rare example of a Louis XV-style bedroom suite by the turn of the century Parisian ebonist Francois Linke. Linke and Paul Sormani were the two most famous French cabinetmakers of the Nineteenth/Twentieth Century working in Eighteenth Century style, and their work is extremely sought after by collectors.
Coincidentally, downstairs in a parlor, two marble top consoles were found to be by Paul Sormani. The Linke brought $28,000 and Sormani realized $16,000.
Other Nineteenth Century but nondesigner pieces of the Louis XV/XVI style were a rosewood and fruitwood dress-ing table with ormolu sconces flanking the looking glass and ribbon-banded legs that sold above estimate for $7,500; a marquetry inlay and ormolu mounted fruitwood table, $3,600; and a pair of carved and gilded footstools, $3,000.
Pieces representing other periods included a Federal inlaid mahogany bow front chest of drawers with a soft, glowing patina, which brought $4,100.
Paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures included a pair of small oil on canvas barnyard scenes by Edgar Hunt, British, Nineteenth/Twentieth Century, bringing $14,000; a still life of a vase of flowers on a red tablecloth by the Dutch painter R. Hynckes, $11,000; Albany artist Augustus Turner’s large Nineteenth Century portrait of a standing boy in a black suit, $1,700; and two bright-colored more contemporary still lifes by Marc Sterling made identical price of $1,600.
From corner cupboards and many old-fashioned kitchen cabinets came porcelain dinner services, serving pieces, crystal glassware, dozens of silver and silverplate smalls, platters, pitchers, candlesticks, and flatware. A set of 12 Minton porcelain service plates with raised gold, silver and copper leaves on a blue-gray border sold for $2,200; a Viennese enamel and ormolu ebonized small jewelry casket, $2,400; and a period Chinese red overlay glass bottle vase with Qianlong mark topped the category at $5,250.
A six-piece Kirk silver coffee and tea set in an overall repousse floral and leaf pattern won for $5,500, less than half its high estimate of $12,000. Similarly, in the arts category, a bronze head of a woman by French sculptor Emil Antoine Bourdelle, 1861-1929, sold for $6,250, well below its top estimate of $10,000. Other buys were a Regency circular mahogany rent table, estimated at $6/8,000, sold for $5,500. And a pair of ship paintings by American artist T. Willis, 1850-1912, were taken for $2,300.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm