CRAWFORD, Va. – A fine pair of Chinese enamel wine pots with Yongzheng marks sold for $198,900 at the Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates’ April 27-28 Spring Antiques, Fine & Decorative Arts Auction. The colorfully decorated pots were probably made in the 20th century. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
The top lot in the auction, the wine pots had descended in the family of Sen. Marcus Allen Coolidge (1865-1947) of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Despite minor imperfections, the vessels sparked tremendous interest and were purchased by a Chinese collector after heated bidding. The backup bidder competed through LiveAuctioneers.
The weekend auction was a highly successful event and produced robust prices—along with a few surprises—in multiple categories. The two-day format consisted of 1,403 lots of high-quality material and generated record levels of participation for the firm, a strong indication of vigor in this segment of the marketplace. Bidding was intense throughout each day with over 5,000 registered bidders from 36 countries participating in house and online.
Session I on Friday started the weekend off smoothly with most offerings meeting or exceeding expectations. The 492-lot offering featured an excellent selection of American and European art glass, including examples by Tiffany, Quezal, Durand, Steuben and Honesdale, as well as a private collection of Imperial Free-Hand and studio glass, and a large assortment of 19th-century lighting. The select grouping offered in the Friday session sparked significant presale interest and produced strong results overall. Top lot from Friday was a Steuben Cathedral Etched and Engraved art glass crystal sculpture of obelisk form, which garnered $4,387 (all prices include 17 percent buyer’s premium). Designed by George Thompson and produced in 1955, the rare form was discovered in a London collection.
Session II on Saturday consisted of the firm’s usual diverse selection of fine and decorative arts and produced strong results with numerous categories demonstrating signs of renewed energy.
Several surprises were in order for Saturday as well. In addition to the wine pots, another surprise from the Coolidge family collection was a Chinese enamel mirror that soared past its estimate with heavy Internet bidding and finally landed at $23,400.
Other noteworthy results from the Saturday session included an impressive 5.45 carat diamond solitaire ring at $52,650 and an exquisite Japanese Jizai Okimono articulated figure of a rhinoceros beetle at $9,945.
“This sale generated robust interest across the board, from bidders near and far. Levels of online participation in the auction shattered all previous records for us – a real indication that there is increased market demand for a diverse range of art and antiques. The overall excitement and strong sales results reflect the freshness and high quality of the merchandise offered,” said company president and auctioneer Jeffrey S. Evans. “In addition, the auction was 99.8 percent unreserved, so the results are a true and honest gauge of the current market.”
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