BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – An unassuming Chinese green glazed oval footed porcelain bowl with an estimate of $1,000-$2,000 soared to $200,000 at Nye & Company Auctioneers’ Collectors’ Passion Auction held Jan. 31. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
“I would have to judge this sale a huge success, with strong bidding across all categories, led of course by the Chinese porcelain bowl, the true definition of a sleeper lot,” said John Nye of Nye & Company Auctioneers. “The enthusiastic bidding really reminded us of the good old days. The excitement in the air and online for the offerings in the sale was both palpable and exhilarating.”
Phone bidding and Internet bidding were especially high and active. By the time it was all over, the final tally fell just short of the $1 million mark.
Andrew Holter added, “On the heels of Americana Week in New York, Classical American furniture showed strong resilience and was buoyed by a recamier that sold for $25,000.”
He was referring to lot 202, a Neoclassical parcel gilt mahogany recamier (below), made in New York City between 1815 and 1825, partly ebonized and measuring 7 feet long.
The auction featured several important highlights, including a superb collection of American and English furniture from a prominent estate in Mount Kisco, New York; a fine collection of fresh-to-the-market American furniture from a collection in Princeton, New Jersey, a highly curated collection of Neoclassical American furniture and lovely American paintings out of a New York City estate.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
Original artwork dominated the auction’s list of top lots. A watercolor painting by John La Farge (American, 1835-1910), titled Figure with Wreath (below), framed and measuring 7 ¾ inches square, realized $15,000; while a pair of oil on canvas riverscapes by Thomas Doughty (American, 1793-1856), one depicting a waterfall with figures, the other of a sailboat and a lone figure, sold as one lot for $12,500.
Another painting that was attributed to Doughty, an oil on board titled Gilpin’s Mill on the Brandywine, 7 ¾ inches by 11 ¾ inches, brought $10,625. Also, an oil on board of two figures by William Aiken Walker (South Carolina, 1839-1921), the artist best known for his genre paintings of black sharecroppers in Reconstruction-era America, titled Field verso, hit $11,250.
After the Chinese porcelain bowl, the Asian category was highlighted by a Chinese ceramic pillow, 7 ½ inches long by 5 inches wide, in good condition, that realized $15,000; and a pair of Chinese blue and white porcelain covered jars, 20 inches in height, that brought $11,563.
American furniture was led by a figured Cherrywood bedstead, signed and dated 1994 by Mira Nakashima of New Hope, Pennsylvania, daughter of the legendary craftsman George Nakashima, made for a king-size mattress and signed by her ($11,250); and a Federal figured mahogany desk-and-bookcase, made in Massachusetts circa 1800-1820 ($10,000).
A near pair of Chippendale mahogany side chairs attributed to Thomas Tufft of Philadelphia made circa 1770, finished at $18,750. From France, an 18th-century Regence marble-top parquetry inlaid commode rose to $10,000.
Returning to original artwork, two oil on canvas paintings posted identical selling prices of $9,375. One was a work titled Birch Trees (below) by Robert Strong Woodward (American, 1885-1957), artist signed lower left and 26 ½ inches by 30 inches (sight). The other was titled Piccadilly Scene by Fernand Lungren (American, 1857-1932), signed lower left and pencil inscribed 1899 on the stretcher.
A French 20th-century Goudji sterling silver two-handled center bowl mounted with hardstone panels, stamped to the underside “Goudji sterling 925” and with a total weight of 137 troy ounces, fetched $17,500.
Also, a bronze sculpture deaccessioned by the Newark Museum of Art, after the antique titled Faun with Infant and marked “Chiurazzi-Napoli”, 6 feet tall, gifted to a museum in 1928, brought $10,000.