Published: January 17, 2023
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Amero Auctions
SARASOTA, FLA. — Alan Amero was enthusiastic about the results of his 533-lot New Year January Spectacular Auction on January 8, which netted more than $1.2 million and a sell-through rate of more than 96 percent. “We are absolutely thrilled to have held one of our best auctions ever with strong interest from around the world. The wonderful lots in our Winter 2023 Spectacular Auction ran the gamut and further positioned Amero Auctions as the house of choice for auctioning cherished and high-end objects of desire for consignors from around the country.”
Going into the sale, the lot with the highest expectations was a Tiffany Studios Nasturtium leaded glass table lamp with a shade marked “Tiffany Studios New York” on a rare Tiffany Studios bronze and Favrile glass ball base. Both the shade and base were in excellent condition excepting for a small hole in the bottom plate to accommodate wiring. The lamp had provenance to a private collection in St Augustine, Fla., and sold to a buyer in New York City for $188,800, the top price realized of the day.
The lamp was one of four pieces by Tiffany Studios in the sale. Flying well above expectations to realize $12,980 was a leaded and stained glass Dragonfly-form lamp screen that measured 6½ by 10 inches and featured green field glass, vibrant red-orange wings and jeweled eyes. It will be staying in Florida. A Tiffany Studios green leaded glass shade Pomegranate shade that was marked “Tiffany Studios” topped off at $7,080 from a buyer in New York, while a Tiffany Studios Venetian gilt-bronze frame that measured 11¾ by 9 inches and would house a 9¾ by 7¾ photo finished above the high estimate, for $1,599, to an online buyer in Illinois.
Two original gouache compositions by Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976) were contenders for the leaderboard and both met or exceeded expectations. First across the block was an untitled 1975 abstract composition, executed in gouache and ink in vibrant primary colors on Canson paper, that measured 14¾ by 43¼ inches. Registered with the archives of The Calder Foundation, the picture had provenance to the Pace Gallery of New York City, the private Los Angeles collection of collector Craig Baumgarten and, most recently, a private collection in Sarasota, Fla. It sold to a buyer in New York City for $73,750.
It was followed across the podium by Calder’s “Moon Composition,” gouache and ink in red and blue on a striking yellow ground, on paper watermarked “Vidalon Les Annonay Manufactures Canson & Montgolfier.” Also registered with the archives of the Calder Foundation, the 17¾-by-43¼-inch piece had provenance to the Peris Gallery, Howard Russeck Fine Arts (Ambler, Penn.), a Philadelphia private collection, an auction at Neely Auction in Lantana, Fla., in 2020 and, lastly another private collection in Florida. A buyer in the United States, bidding on the phone, took it to $88,500.
Fine art continued to bring strong results throughout the sale, most notably at $24,600, an interior genre scene depicting Act II from the Nicholas Rowe (British, 1674-1718) play Jane Shore that was painted in 1876 by John Atkinson Grimshaw (English, 1836-1893). The Midwest online buyer who acquired it will add their provenance to an extensive history that includes Leeds City Art Galleries, Southampton Art Gallery, the Mercer Art Gallery, the Guildhall Art Gallery, the Wilson Barret collection and finally, an auction at Bonhams London in 2018.
James Fairman (American, 1826-1904) “Beach at Jaffa” had provenance to an auction at Christie’s, which may have spurred interest in the 18-by-33-inch oil on canvas work. It found a new home with a New York City buyer, for $17,220.
Martha Walter’s (American, 1875-1976) “Morning at Shinnecock,” which depicted a woman in a field with trees, had provenance to the David David Gallery and an auction at Heritage Auctions. It sold to an online bidder from Virginia for $9,840.
Also leaving Florida is a set of four mid-Eighteenth Century French Aubusson cartoons that were framed as two vertical panels and depicted an idyllic outdoor pastoral courtyard scene and measured 127 by 114 inches overall. According to the catalog entry, the lot was one of more than 140 lots in the sale from a $12 million bay-front property in Florida and had been acquired by the seller for $35,000. It found a new home in Georgia with an online buyer who beat out competitors to win it for $11,070, surpassing the lot’s high estimate.
Other items from that same property included a pair of similar carved wood maidens, Eighteenth or Nineteenth Century, each holding a parcel-gilt cornucopia and standing on a matched pair of large wood plinths with carved crossed-torch decorated panels. The figures will be staying in Florida, acquired by a local buyer who bid them past the high estimate to take them for $10,620. A large ornate French commode à vantaux, situated in the bay-front property between the two carved figures, featured a mixed wood case with variegated white marble top and a profusion of ormolu mounts and decoration. A local buyer, bidding in the room, paid $9,200 for the commode, which measured 39¼ by 83 by 29 inches.
A bidder in the room also bought a pair of Nineteenth Century French ormolu and Sevres mounted meuble d’appui with white marble tops, attributed to Henry Dasson, which realized $34,500.
The decorative art category was led at $6,765 by a 94-piece sterling silver set of flatware by Georg Jensen in the perennially favorite Cactus pattern. The group will be going to Colorado, to a buyer bidding online. A set of 11 Satsuma bowls made by the Kinkozan Sobie workshop, was decorated with the 11 acts of the “Chushingura” from the 47 Ronin and retained original paper labels in addition to painted and impressed marks. A buyer in China, bidding online, took them to $6,150. Timing out at $4,313 and going to a local buyer was a circa 1840s Tiffany Young & Ellis porcelain mantel clock with porcelain panels and ormolu mounts, with a time and strike mechanism marked “A. Brocot & Delettrez Paris.”
An exceptional result in the sale was in the jewelry category, led at $16,100 for a Cartier 18K yellow gold link necklace with diamond accents and a large cabochon-set faceted oval yellow sapphire. Though it was missing one diamond and had other signs of wear, it sold to a buyer in the room for $16,100, a result that quadrupled its high estimate. Other noteworthy jewelry results include $4,886 for a 7.10 carat weight European gold, diamond and ruby brooch with a total of 3.10 carats of diamonds; it will be staying in-state. The small selection of wristwatches in the sale was topped at $3,738 from a local buyer for a lady’s oyster Rolex stainless steel and gold band watch.
Amero Auctions’ next auction will take place in late March.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, www.ameroauctions.com or 941-330-1577.
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