HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – A gorgeous 19th-century Chinese pagoda-form wood and ivory display cabinet in overall good condition breezed to $34,500 at a two-session weekend cataloged auction held Dec. 3-4 by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. The cabinet was the highest price realized of the 650 items sold. All prices quoted are inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium.
The auction, which grossed $925,000 – the second-highest total ever posted by the firm – was held at Leland Little’s new, state of the art gallery in Hillsborough. Internet live bidding was provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.
“Our final cataloged sale of 2010 was such a success, a real statement to our dedicated team and quality consignments,” said company owner Leland Little.
Following are additional highlights from the Dec. 3-4 auction:
The entire first session, on Dec. 3, was dedicated to fine wine, a category the firm has nurtured along in recent sales. Top lots included a pair of cases (12 bottles each) of 1982 Chateau Haut-Brion, a fine French wine. Each case sold for $7,820. Also, two lots of three bottles each of Chateau Lafite Rothschild (French, 2000), with the original tissue, hammered for $6,440 per lot.
Asian arts seemed to dominate the Dec. 4 session. Top achievers included a monumental late 19th-century Chinese tester bed, 99 inches tall, made from mahogany with bone and lighter wood inlays throughout ($29,900); and a 19th-century Chinese porcelain jardinière (or goldfish bowl), with interior decoration simulating an underwater landscape of fish and plants ($26,450).
Other Asian objects included a beautiful Chinese Export orange Fitzhugh pattern platter, made for the American market and showing an eagle with spread wings ($10,350); a Southeast Asian standing Buddha, circa late 18th-century, bronze and gilt bronze on a circular lotus base ($4,600); and a large Japanese cloisonné floor vase with flaring mouth and decorations ($3,680).
Continental artwork did exceptionally well. An oil on canvas by Abraham Bisschop (1660-1731), titled Birds in a Landscape, signed and dated (1695) realized $27,600; a signed oil on canvas by Albert Dawant (Fr., 1852-1923), titled Eve of Austerlitz, rose to $16,675; and an oil on Masonite work by Rafael Durancamps (Sp., 1891-1978), titled Shoreline, garnered $4,600.
American art did well, too. A woodcut by Anna Heyward Taylor (S.C., 1879-1956), depicting vendors at the Old City Market in Charleston, signed and numbered (23) hit $4,600; an oil on board by Adele Williams (Va., 1868-1952), titled Market Scene, signed, rose to $3,450; and an oil on canvas by David B. Walkley (Ohio/Conn., 1849-1934), titled Boat House, made $3,220.
Southern American furniture was a big crowd-pleaser. A fine late 18th-century Eastern North Carolina center table, walnut with cedar secondary, topped out at $10,063; a circa 1800 Southern cellaret on frame, walnut with yellow pine secondary, rectangular form, made $8,625; and a North Carolina leather key basket with tooled line decoration changed hands for $4,600.
Tops in the Continental and English furniture category were an important 18th-century English Sheraton Pembroke table, satinwood veneer with oak secondary, coasted to $6,325; a finely crafted and visually stunning Louis XV-style bureau plat with a tooled black leather top went for $4,600; and an Italian gilded rococo-style console table with marble top brought $3,910.
Mid-century furniture featured a cabinet custom-designed by Tommi Parzinger in the early 1970s and consisting of a four-door front with central inset mirror ($3,910); a circa 1950 solid walnut sideboard attributed to Peter Hvidt and produced by John Stewart ($2,185); and an Eames-style modern reclining lounge chair with cream leather upholstery and chrome ($1,495).
Fine estate jewelry has been a strong and growing department for the firm. This sale featured a 2.10-carat diamond bypass solitaire ring nicknamed “Pure Perfection,” mounted by Claude Thibadeau in platinum and 18kt yellow gold ($10,925); a fine 1.68-carat emerald cut diamond ring flanked by tapered baguettes ($9,775); and a suite of Victorian coral jewelry, to include a necklace, brooch, bracelet and earrings ($7,188).
Additional jewelry pieces included necklace consisting of a long single strand of 89 near-round Akoya cultured pearls with great luster ($6,325); and a beautiful Victorian diamond and pearl bracelet with two finely detailed female period portraits on ivory ($4,600). Also sold was a circa 1920s Mariano Fortuny silk Delphos tea gown made of pleated silk, made in Italy ($6,038).
Continental silver wowed the crowd, beginning with a pair of George III entrée dishes and covers, each piece bearing the sponsor’s mark for Paul Storr (London, 1799). The set went for $10,925. Also, a George IV sterling silver tray with armorial crest (London, 1814) realized $6,038; and a Danish silver tea urn in the Regency style (Michelsen, 1980) brought $3,220.
American silver did nearly as well. A Tiffany & Company “Winthrop” sterling flatware service for 12, with the original price list dated Aug. 1921 and weighing 103.6 total troy oz., fetched $3,680; a set of 12 Mexican sterling stemmed wines, 81.28 total troy oz., commanded $2,185; and a Towle “Old Master” sterling flatware service for 8, 35 total troy oz., hit $1,725.
The undisputed king of the Southern pottery category was a monumental Dave the Slave jar (Edgefield, S.C., inscribed Oct. 1857). The jar, ovoid form with applied wide ear handles, knocked down at $25,300. Also, a late 1920s C. B. Masten earthenware glazed footed vase sold for $1,610; and a fine pair of circa 1940 North Carolina earthenware floor vases made $2,300/pr.
Tops among sculptures and bronzes was a large antique Italian blackamoor carving, circa 18th century or earlier, with polychrome decoration and attired in a plumed costume, on a custom black painted wood plinth ($10,925); and an Art Deco sculpture by Roland Paris (Ger., 1894-1915), depicting a dapper gentleman serenading a swooning woman with his guitar ($4,140).
Lighting examples illuminated the room, starting with a fine Georgian-style chandelier, made circa 19th century and featuring 10 lights, draped with crystal cut swags and five upper bell form crystal arms ($10,925). Also, a pair of Empire bronze and ormolu mounted candelabra, converted to table lamps and each raised on a stepped square base with four paw feet hit $2,185.
Militaria also prompted vigorous bidding. Among the offerings were a Confederate officer tintype with an 1864 letter pertaining to cavalryman Capt. William Jones White of Warrenton, N.C. ($4,370); antique bronze models of a cannon and caisson, elaborately engraved and based on weaponry from the Napoleonic wars ($1,955); and a Confederate-used Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-musket ($1,265).
Leland Little’s next big cataloged auction is slated for March 18-19, 2011. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, call 919-644-1243, or e-mail info@LLAuctions.com. For more information, log on to www.LLAuctions.com.
View the fully illustrated catalog for the Dec. 3-4 sale, complete with prices realized, at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE