Published: October 4, 2011
The healthy results from John Moran Auctioneers’ September 20 auction at the Pasadena Convention Center featuring 600 lots of jewelry, decorative and fine arts were highlighted by a silver centerpiece designed by Philippe Wolfers and Isidore de Rudder, two of the leading lights in the Art Nouveau movement.
The asymmetrical, two-tiered surtout de table aux Maraudeurs, styled in a hybrid of Louis XV revival and naturalistic Japonisme motifs, is a masterwork from an innovative line of Wolfers’ designs dating from the 1890s depicting putti engaged in playful pursuits. An identical example was included in the catalog of the Ghent (Belgium) Design Museum’s 2006′007 show “Wolfers Dynasty: from Art Nouveau to Art Deco.” The piece at Moran’s, which arrived from a private southern California collection, attracted heavy floor, absentee and telephone bidding from around the globe and realized $96,000, almost five times the presale estimate.
Other standout results from the group of silver offerings included a pair of ornate Hanau Silberwaren Manufaktur .835-standard figural candelabra, circa 1890, which realized $12,000; a late Nineteenth Century French neoclassic-style jardiniere by Robert Linzeler, which achieved $9,000; and a delicately chased pair of early Nineteenth Century Viennese trumpet-form candlesticks sold for $3,000, ten times over the low estimate.
A William IV cigar case of historical interest due to its inscription dedicated to a captain of an Australian slave transport ship, the Lady Feversham , realized $2,160.
Highlights in other decorative arts categories included Italian pieces, such as a Renaissance-style gilt and polychrome painted terracotta plaque depicting the Madonna and Child, within an architectural frame, which sold for $11,025; a late Eighteenth Century C-scroll-decorated slant front desk that achieved $8,400; and an early Nineteenth Century marquetry commode that also found a willing buyer at $8,400.
The group of offerings in Twentieth Century art and design was small but highly select, with strong results. A group of four Dale Chihuly “Persians” art glass sculptures in purple with applied green lips excelled, realizing $7,200; a 48-inch-high hammered brass female figure by Franz Hagenauer went to a determined collector for $14,400; and a companion figure, a 41-inch-high male signed “Franz,” sold for $9,600.
Continental paintings were led by an Edouard Cortes Parisian scene of Place de la Madeleine at twilight that rocketed to a final price of $19,200 and by a warm late summer landscape by Marcel Dyf (1899‱995), “Chemin des Saules en Provence,” which realized $16,800. Russian painter Alexandre Altmann (1885‱934) was represented by a melodic autumn river landscape with houses that sold for $8,400. A humorous courtroom scene of a girl drawing aside her cloak to present “evidence” in the form of her nude figure before a crowd of shocked yet fascinated judges by French artist Gaston Hoffmann (1883‱926) sold well, attaining $2,250.
Jewelry from estates and private collections included pieces from all eras, signed and unsigned, and comprised half of the total lots. Diamond solitaires in a variety of shapes performed solidly, with a pear shape selling for $22,800, an emerald cut for $15,600, an old European-cut also selling for $15,600 and a round brilliant for $14,400. A cobalt blue-enameled antique diamond-encrusted lady’s Patek Philippe pocket watch inspired some of the most intense competition, realizing $9,000.
All prices reported include the 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Moran’s next sale will be devoted entirely to California and American art and is scheduled for October 18. For information, 626-93-1833 or www.johnmoran.com .
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