The Schulmans purchased Les étangs bleus loupeigne (Blue Ponds), a 1984 oil on canvas by Andre Brasilier (French, b. 1929), from a Paris gallery. The signed 44-inch by 64-inch painting opened at its $10,000 reserve and brought intense interest from bidders who had been absent from the auction scene for years. It was the sale’s top lot at $43,700 (est. $15,000-$25,000). All prices include a 15% buyer’s premium.
Also from the Schulman collection was Garden Party, an oil on canvas by Le Pho (Vietnamese/French, 1907-2001). It too opened at its $10,000 reserve and sold within estimate for $21,850. Le Pho was a professor of art in Hanoi from 1933-1936. He studied in Paris and returned there in 1937. He remained in Paris for the rest of his life. Another Le Pho painting from the Schulman collection, Still Life with Poppies, Peonies, Delphiniums (51-1/8 inches by 35 inches), brought $10,350 (est. $5,000-$8,000).
Among the highest-priced lots from the Schulman collection were a pair of Italian reverse-decorated mirror-framed wall mirrors ($16,100; est. $4,000-$6,000) and a late-19th or early 20th-century Chinese Chippendale style chinoiserie-decorated satinwood vitrine ($14,950; est. $4,000-$6,000).
One lot from the Schulman collection was included later in the sale’s other long and strong category – Chinese porcelain. The Schulman’s monumental Chinese lidded jar in famille rose, probably from the 20th century, with three cartouches of court figures, opened at $4,000 and sold for $25,300. That price – the sale’s fourth highest – was surpassed by the sale’s sleeper: a Chinese doucai vase with marks for Qianlong period (1735-1795). The 8-inch vase with its Japanese paulownia wood box left the $600-$1,200 estimate far behind. It sold to the phones for $41,400 making it the sale’s second-highest and most improbable lot.
Also demolishing its $500-$1000 estimate was a pair of Chinese blue and white round tiles with grooved edges. The 9-inch tiles from the 19th century in fabric cases sold for $20,700.
Outside the Schulman and Chinese porcelain categories were two noteworthy stand-alone lots. A double-suite edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland with two sets of 12 Salvador Dali illustrations included one signed color etching that opened rather like a dormouse at $3,000. It left with a Cheshire grin at $17,250 (est. $3,000-$5,000). An 1873 Steinway piano in rosewood with scroll legs and pierced music stand sold for $33,350 (est. $5,000-$10,000). It was in excellent condition for a 137-year-old instrument and still issues a fine mellow tone.
The next sale at Brunk Auctions will be held Sept. 11-12, 2010 with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com. “It should prove to be one of our most exciting sales,” said auction company owner Bob Brunk. Included in the 1500-lot sale will be many fine paintings and collections of Southern furniture, decoys and wine. For more information, call 828-254-6846.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE