Review by Jessica Kosinski; Catalog Photos Courtesy Heritage Auctions
DALLAS — Heritage Auctions’ Fine Silver & Objects of Vertu auction took place November 16 and was presided over by vice president of fine silver and decorative arts, Karen Rigdon. The 205-lot auction, which included works by perennial favorites Tiffany and Fabergé, had a sell-through rate of 95 percent and achieved a total of $886,673.
Regarding bidding activity, Rigdon said, “Even those who live in the area chose to bid remotely. Some prefer to bid through phone reps, but those numbers are declining as more bidders become comfortable with our online platform.” She added there was a notable decline in overseas sales and that all top lots and most others sold domestically to private collectors.
The auction included more than 40 Tiffany & Co lots. A 135-piece Lap-Over-Edge pattern partial flatware service for 12 placed first at $237,500. “Lap-Over-Edge flatware is dynamic in its variety of motifs and technical application. It was labor-intensive to make, and now, as in 1880, it is a rarity in the marketplace,” said Rigdon. It was purchased by a Tiffany collector who called it “the crowing addition to the collection.” Other top prices of a total of 43 pieces by Tiffany included a 220-piece Chrysanthemum pattern flatware set and a 400-piece Olympian pattern flatware set that made the top prices, selling for $20,000 and $17,500, respectively.
Second place honors went to The Horseman Cup, a Gorham Mfg Co silver horse racing trophy, which crossed the block for $37,500. It was one of approximately 20 Gorham lots. Rigdon pointed out Gorham was best known for commissioned pieces and for production of popular Twentieth Century flatware patterns. The cup was joined in the top sales by another horse-related lot, the John Samuel Hunt Silver Equestrian sculpture for Hunt & Roskell titled “The Falconer,” which sold for $18,750. “Hunt & Roskell were successors to Paul Storr and held the Royal Warrant of Queen Victoria. Hunt’s figural works are finely conceived and finished, and they appear in many important collections,” noted Rigdon.
Two Fabergé lots were also highly placed: a cigarette case and a guilloché enameled silver double frame. Each sold for $18,750. The sale also included a few other notable Fabergé items, such as a belt buckle and a parasol handle. Founded in Russia in 1842, Fabergé is known for producing elaborate and uniquely artistic pieces, and these lots reflected its reputation for excellence.
Rounding out the highlights was a late Nineteenth Century Würbel & Czokally silver model of the Donner Fountain, which is located in Vienna, Austria. Renowned sculptor Georg Raphael Donner (Austria, 1693-1741) designed the fountain, which was brilliantly captured in silver by Würbel & Czokally more than a century later. Rigdon noted the model, which fetched $17,500, was battled over by seven bidders.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
For more information, 877-437-4824 or www.ha.com.