Russian snuffbox sells for $18,750 at Moran’s via LiveAuctioneers

Russian snuffbox

A LiveAuctioneers bidder won this Russian enameled 18K yellow gold snuffbox at $18,750. John Moran Auctioneers image

MONROVIA, Calif. – The Traditional Collector, one of Moran’s most popular auctions, on Feb. 20 brought fresh to market fine objects and works of art from across the globe sourced from private Southern California estates. Chinese furniture, European and American silver, and traditional scene painting inspired strong interest in those bidding on the floor as well as online. Absentee bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

A large collection of Russian gold and silver snuff boxes, along with other goldwork consigned from an important local collection, were some of the most popular items on view. A rare and beautifully made Russian 18K yellow gold and enamel snuffbox (above) from master goldsmith Peter Theremin was fiercely sought-after by collectors of fine Russian objets d’art. After a protracted bidding war, the 18th-century masterwork sold online to a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $18,750 (estimate: $12,000-$18,000).

Among the unique items in the sale was an Italian enamel and 18K yellow gold floral sculpture (below). With a basket and flowers rendered from approximately 987.2 grams of 18K yellow gold, the sculpture sold for $28,125 at the (estimate: $25,000 to $30,000).

Russian snuffbox

Buccellati .800 silver bird-form centerpiece basket, est.: $8,000-$12,000; price realized: $18,750. John Moran Auctioneers image

Silver continues to prove a popular auction category at Moran’s, with a number of examples of American, Continental and Chinese silver stirring up attendees. A Chinese silver tea service featuring scenes of country life was one of the most anticipated silver lots on auction, selling to an online bidder for $11,875 (estimate: $2,000 to $3,000).

Fine art and objects from French artists and artisans continued to inspire at auction with strong prices realized. A colorful Parisian oil painting from Antoine Blanchard (1910-1988 French) titled Et le Café de la Paix and depicting a restaurant along a bustling street sold for an impressive $6,600 (estimate: $1,500-$2,000).

Russian snuffbox

Antoine Blanchard (1910-1988 French), ‘Et le Cafe de la Paix,’ oil on canvas, est.: $1,500-$2,000; price realized: $6,600. John Moran Auctioneers image

An impeccable Louis XV-style gilt bronze-mounted armoire from famed cabinetmaker Francois Linke showed the enduring popularity of finely crafted French furniture, selling to an LiveAuctioneers bidder for $10,000, within the $8,000-$12,000 estimate.

Russian snuffbox

Louis XV-style gilt bronze-mounted armoire, Linke, est.: $8,000-$12,000; price realized: $10,000. John Moran Auctioneers image

Fine art from across the globe showed strong prices throughout Moran’s Traditional Collector Auction. Moran’s featured several works by noted Armenian artist Yervand Nahapetian (1916-2000) in this auction including an incredibly intricate watercolor of a church interior which surpassed its $2,000 to $3,000 estimate to sell for $6,600.

One of the sleeper hits of the February auction was a Heinrich Hofer (1825-1878 German) painting of figures on a frozen pond, which sold for $17,500.

Russian snuffbox

Heinrich Hofer (1825-1878 German) figures, horses and dog on a frozen pond, oil on panel, est.: $1,000-$2,000; price realized: $17,500. John Moran Auctioneers image

Similar to last month’s offerings, quality jade lots proved popular with collectors. Lot 1125, a group of eight Chinese carved jade items, inspired strong interest before the sale which led to protracted online and in-person bidding. A determined floor bidder won the prize with a price of $19,200, above the $800 to $1,200 estimate (PHOTO 1). A pair of striking Chinese carved cinnabar horseshoe chairs with intricate detailing sailed past their $5000-7000 estimate to sell for $11,000.

Russian snuffbox

Eight Chinese carved jade items, est.: $800-$1,200; price realized: $19,200. John Moran Auctioneers image

Chinese furniture and objets d’art proved irresistible to collectors during Tuesday’s auction. A remarkable set of six carved hardwood armchairs with circular marble slab back splats were one of the most popular lots on offer leading up the auction. Estimated to sell within the $2,000 to $3,000 estimate, two floor bidders battled to win the lot with one ultimately proving successful in taking the chairs home for $15,600.

For inquiries, contact John Moran Auctioneers via email: or phone: 626-793-1833.