John Moran’s Record-Breaking Estates Auction Earns $1.9 Million
The Pasadena, CA-based firm anticipated success with the two-session auction, featuring an important jewelry collection from an Arizona estate, but in the end it earned more than double the predictions. The sale’s 95% success rate, with over 60% of lots selling above their high estimates, defied prognostications of buyer uncertainty or a weakening economy. Vice President Jeff Moran noted that “the right mix of merchandise and marketing along with realistic estimates and reasonable rates” kept the momentum strong. Over 800 floor, phone, absentee and Internet bidders registered for the event (all prices stated in this release include the 15% buyer’s premium).
Moran’s third installment of offerings from the JD Trust of Paradise Valley, AZ, was 100% sold, and provided the cornerstone of the 130 jewelry lots offered. With over $1 million in sales, the auction house’s presence in the jewelry market has increased greatly in recent months, and was further strengthened by the sale of several notable items on the 25th. Setting the trend early was lot 25, a Patek Philippe platinum and diamond watch expected to sell around $5,000; it quickly escalated to a final selling price of $14,950. Shortly thereafter, a 5.49 ct emerald-cut diamond and platinum ring, estimated at $45,000 - 60,000, realized $97,750.
Heated bidding intensified over an 11.77 ct pear-shaped diamond and platinum ring, of H color and SI1 clarity, with an alternate pendant mount. This, the sale’s cover lot, was estimated to bring $150,000-200,000. John Moran opened the bidding at $100,000 and the ring quickly surpassed its high estimate to sell for $310,500.
Jewelry offerings continued to impress the crowd throughout the evening. An Art Deco diamond and emerald bracelet, expected to earn $5,000-7,000, quadrupled its mid estimate to achieve $24,000. A second Art Deco bracelet, set with diamonds and sapphires, sold well over the high estimate at $11,150. Also tripling its high estimate was a French diamond herringbone link ribbon necklace set with 22 full-cut diamonds totaling 2 cts. It sold to a floor bidder for $8,050.
Perhaps the most unexpected event of the Moran’s auction was the unprecedented price achieved by the sale of an exceptional oil painting by Anton Robert Leinweber (Czech, 1845-1921). Arab Bazaar was assigned a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$25,000, and strong pre-sale interest enabled Moran to open the bidding at the low estimate. Competing phone and internet bidders brought the final bid to a record-breaking price of $195,500. The previous auction record for this artist was only $7,123.
Rounding out the sale was a collection of Arts and Crafts pottery and furniture from a Los Angeles residence. A Gustav Stickley oak buffet, expected to bring $5,000, brought $11,500. Also doubling its high estimate was a beautiful Handel bronze and glass peacock lamp selling for $20,700. Other evening highlights included a Persian Pahlavian Dynasty boxed gold coin and stamp medallion set commemorating the 2,500th Anniversary of the Persian empire, which earned $63,250 against its high estimate of $30,000, and a pair of stunning Louis XIV style ormolu torcheres measuring 85” high, which sold for $43,000 (estimate $15,000-20,000). A large Tiffany Colonial sterling flatware service, circa 1895, realized $31,625 (estimate $12,000-18,000).
Moran’s broke another record when their no-reserve afternoon Discovery Sale auction grossed over $200,000—the highest total achieved to date for this sale format. Introduced in 2007, the Moran’s increasingly popular Discovery venue offers fresh estate property sold in random order to local buyers.
John Moran Auctioneers next Fine Antiques and Estate auction will be held Tuesday, March 13. Highlights include an oil landscape by Albert Marquet estimated at $30,000-40,000, a Steinway grand piano, and sterling by Georg Jensen and several other notable makers.