The vase was the top lot in a sale that saw more than 100 fine wine lots change hands in the Sept. 17 session and around 550 lots cross the block the following day. Overall, the auction grossed $750,000.
Leland Little of Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales Ltd. remarked that Asian objects, estate jewelry, fine art and ceramics were all strong performers in the sale, while English and American furniture prices – which aren’t being as rewarded financially due to tepid demand – did not do quite as well. “But even there,” he added, “we saw exceptions at the top level of merchandise. In the end, quality will override a soft market.”
He cited as an example an American Classical stencil-decorated center table, made in the 1820s, mahogany with mahogany veneers, attributed to Deming & Bulkley, New York cabinetmakers. It went for $9,200, about triple the high estimate. Also, a Renaissance-style American marble-top buffet, made around the 1870s, walnut with poplar and pine, also did well at $4,140.
The Tiffany vase was the undisputed star lot of the auction, wowing bidders with its organic baluster form and rich gold overlay on a bluish-purple body. Another Tiffany decorated Favrile glass vase, baluster form with a green ground and pulled gold decoration, made $7,475, while a signed Daum Nancy French art glass low vase with nice forest scene garnered $3,680.
All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium. Online bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.
Americana did very well. A watercolor on ivory portrait miniature of Dr. Alexander Ladson Baron (1810-1842) by Charles Fraser (South Carolina, 1782-1860) fetched $14,950; an oil on panel portrait of Alexander Hamilton by William J. Weaver (1759-1817) brought $9,200; a 1773 letter signed by Patrick Henry hit $3,450; and ship’s papers signed by James Madison realized $1,035.
From the European art category, an unsigned oil on canvas portrait of James Lockhart by Sir Henry Raeburn (British, 1756-1823), in a gilt wood frame, achieved $12,650; an original oil on canvas by German painter Carl Triebel (1823-1885), depicting Lake Brienz in Switzerland, rose to $5,290; and a 19th-century Italian School oil on canvas of Aphrodite and Adionis made $2,185.
Bronzes also hit the mark, with lots such as a work titled L’Eclipse by Emmanuel Villanis (French, 1858-1914), with a deep brown patina ($9,200); a nude titled Vingt Ans (Twenty Years Old), by Raoul Larche (French, 1860-1912), signed on the base and originally retailed by Tiffany ($2,645); and an equestrian work by Peggy Kauffman (American, 20th century), signed and numbered ($2,070).
Fine estate jewelry was a strong feature category in the Sept. 18 session. An Art Deco diamond and sapphire bracelet made in the 1930s brought $12,075; a diamond solitaire ring with a stone weighing 5.56 carats set in platinum peaked at $41,400; a magnificent mid-to-late 20th-century diamond brooch went for $7,188; and a platinum and diamond cut bracelet (Jewelsmith, 1998) also made $7,188.
Export porcelain and Asian objects featured a woodblock in colors by Hasui Kawase (Japanese, 1883-1957), titled Zojoji Temple ($6,325); a pair of 19th-century Chinese Export porcelain hexagonal form tall vases ($3,680); a pair of Famille Rose bowls with Fencai glaze, Republican period ($3,450); and a 19th-century Chinese Export porcelain Famille Rose floor vase ($3,220).
Asian porcelains also included a rare set of 10 fully intact Canton porcelain nesting bowls, each decorated with a different figural scene ($5,060); a pair of Chinese Qing Dynasty ivory plaques, both etched and colored with figural and landscape depictions ($1,725); and a Chinese tin-wrapped teapot from the Qing Dynasty, angular form with ceramic body ($1,265).
European porcelain performed well, too. A bisque figure of the Barberini Faun by 19th-century artist Volpato (after the antique by Barberini), impressed with an artist’s mark to the base, breezed to $5,520, while a gorgeous Meissen figural group with seven figures on a rocky outcropping with a musical theme and a bottom with under glaze blue crossed swords hit $2,530.
Sterling silver offerings were led by creations by Georg Jensen. These included a pair of Jensen sterling compotes with applied grape design and circular footed base ($6,037), and a Jensen silver pitcher with ebony handle, ovoid body and beaded base ($4,830). Also, a fine set of four sterling candlesticks by Gorham of classic form with Corinthian capitals coasted to $2,645.
Prices realized for European furniture from France weren’t flat at all. A pair of early 20th-century ormolu mounted arm chairs in the Second Empire style, beautifully crafted from mahogany and beech, climbed to $4,600, and a pair of carved eagle console tables made in the 19th century, with a mottled black marble top over an egg and dart molding, commanded $3,680.
Twentieth Century and Modern pieces also held their own. A vintage Louis Vuitton trunk with the classic brown monogram canvas exterior brought $3,335; a bulbous form bottle vase with tapered neck by Peter Voulkos (American, 1924-2002) hit $2,875; a teak rectangular form sideboard by Finn Juhl for Baker made $1,955; and a pair of vintage Barcelona chairs (1929) hit $1,322.
Many wild and wonderful items that defied category crossed the block that weekend. A few examples include a Richardson’s New Map of the State of Texas (1860), colored lithograph, went for $4,140; a set of five illuminated Korans and Islamic prayer books from the 18th or 19th century brought $2,185; and an English wax portrait of Prince Leopold, circa 1816, hit $1,955.
As stated, the entire Sept. 17 session was dedicated to Fine Wine, a burgeoning genre of collecting that has been getting prominent attention at recent Leland Little auctions. “On a per-bottle basis, many lots sold for above the international average,” Little said. “We see that our wine department is strong and our prices are very competitive.”
Top achievers included one lot of seven bottles of 1996 Chateau Mouton Rothschild from Pauillac, France ($2,185); one lot of three bottles of 1982 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion from Graves, France ($2,185); one lot of five bottles of 1980 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild from Pauillac, France ($1,725); and two bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, from 1981 and 1988 ($1,495).
Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales Ltd. will conclude 2010 with another two-day sale that will feature Fine Wine (Fri., Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. Eastern) and Fine & Decorative Arts (Sat., Dec. 4, at 9 a.m. Eastern). To contact the company call (919) 644-1243 or send an e-mail to info@LLAuctions.com. For more information log on to www.LLAuctions.com.
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