Published: January 31, 2012
Bonhams conducted two sales during Americana Week, starting off with a January 19 auction of fine American and European furniture and decorative arts and following that up the next day with a sale of maritime paintings and decorative arts.
The furniture and decorative arts auction witnessed strong participation and success across all collecting categories †silver, American, English and Continental furniture †selling the top lots and having strong interest in all fine pieces.
Karl Green, Bonhams’ director of fine and decorative arts in New York, said of the sale, “We at Bonhams are pleased to witness some of the field’s most serious collectors fill our galleries during the week and ultimately the auction room. There was competitive bidding across all collecting fields, making our sale one of the highlights of Americana Week.”
Leading the sale in the English furniture category was a William IV mahogany circular extension dining table, circa 1830. This massive table that can expand by inserting eight pie-shaped leaves exceeded its $30/50,000 estimate, selling for $80,500. Other top English furniture highlights include an Eighteenth Century George III carved mahogany breakfront bookcase bringing $62,500; a pair of Nineteenth Century Irish George II-style carved mahogany consoles for $41,250; and a fine pair of George III-style inlaid mahogany serpentine chests selling for $35,000.
Silver also performed admirably, taking two of the top ten lots of the sale. A Danish Georg Jensen sterling silver soup tureen with a lid decorated with a grape cluster and curled leaf finial and a body raised on double pinecone and leaf feet sold for $74,500, well above its $25/40,000 estimate, while a pair of Jensen sterling silver five-light candelabras also went above estimate, fetching $56,250.
Another highlight to the sale from the Americana category was a newly discovered and uncommon Moravian owl bottle from the Salem area of North Carolina. This rare example sold for $50,000. Also in the Americana section of the auction was a selection of works by John James Audubon, which all found places among the top ten lots. “Snowy Owl” from the Havell edition of The Birds of America sold for $60,000, followed by “Iceland or Jer Falcon” at $50,000.
Bonhams’ January 20 auction of important maritime paintings and decorative arts experienced great success, setting a new world auction record for American artist Sarah Goodrich. Her portrait miniature of Captain John Paul Jones, father of the American Sailing Navy, quadrupled the high estimate of $5,000, finishing at $20,000.
Gregg Dietrich, a maritime sales consultant at Bonhams, said, “Masterworks by notable American, British and Dutch maritime painters were the true highlights in this sale, continuing to perform very well here at Bonhams. Through the high caliber of work presented, accompanied with our scholarly research, we experienced another well-rounded, successful sale.”
James Edward Buttersworth’s “Yacht Race” was one that went under a great scholarly effort, which proved a factor into the attraction to the lot. Pushing its sale well over the high estimate, it realized $170,500, making it the top lot of the sale.
The second highest selling lot was John Ward of Hull’s “Warships on a Calm Sea,” bringing $72,100, which is the second highest price achieved at auction for the artist since 2006.
Jacob Adriaensz Bellevois’ “Shipping Outside Flushing Harbor” was the first offering of a Dutch Old Master painting in the maritime auction at Bonhams. This masterwork proved a success, achieving $47,500.
The work of American maritime master Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen continues to perform well, taking three of the top ten lots of the sale †”The British Clipper Ship Laomene Under Full Sail at Sea” brought $21,250; “The Sail/Steamer Crane at Sea” took $20,000; and “The Yacht Sultana at Sea” realized $17,500.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For more information, www.Bonhams.com or 212-644-9001.
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