HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – An important and complete 132-piece modern hammered sterling flatware service for 12 by the renowned California silversmith Allan Adler sold for $15,525 at Leland Little’s June 13-14 Historic Hillsborough auction. It was the grand opening event for the firm in its new gallery location, at 620 Cornerstone Court in Hillsborough.
Allan Adler honed his craft in California in the 1930s, and developed a strong following among many Hollywood celebrities (he once hosted Katharine Hepburn at his workbench as an apprentice), as well as presidents, museum curators and silver collectors. He once described his work as “clean lines with a bent toward the unconventional,” and that was evident in the large service that changed hands.
The silver service was the top earner of the more than 800 lots that crossed the block during the two days. About 250 people packed the showroom for the Saturday session, while around 150 bidders were counted on Sunday. Just under 1,000 absentee and phone bids were recorded going into Saturday, and Internet bidding was brisk via LiveAuctioneers.com, with around 500 registered bidders participating online.