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East Meets West

Converse’s East Meets West Auction set for March 13

East Meets West
The oil on canvas portrait by Alexei Harlamoff (Russian, 1840-1925) depicts a girl wearing traditional ethnic dress. The large painting has a $6,000-$9,000 estimate. Converse Auctions image

PAOLI, Pa. – An oil portrait painting of a girl by Russian artist Alexei Harlamoff, a William Gilbert Jewelers wall regulator clock, a pair of elaborate zitan folding chairs with dragon arms and a gorgeous bronze enamel censer in a presentation box are all highlights of Converse Auctions’ East Meets West Auction on Friday, March 13. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

The auction will be online-only, but previews will be held in Converse Auctions’ new gallery located at 1 Spring St. in Paoli, not far off Interstate 76 and just northwest of Philadelphia. Previews will be held Tuesday through Thursday, March 10-12, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern time.

The auction is packed with 579 lots of fine American, European, African, Chinese and other Asian items – a tantalizing blend of objects from the East alongside items from the Western culture (hence the title “East Meets West”). All lots have a starting bid of $10, a tactic designed to encourage newcomers to the collecting world, and old pros as well, to bid early and bid often.

Items from the East include Chinese fine furniture, bronzes, carvings, glass, paintings, jewelry, wooden boxes and brush pots, textiles, vintage Japanese textile kimonos, robes, obis and accessories, scrolls, prints, porcelain, books and cryptomeria.

Items from the West will feature fine art paintings and prints by Vlaminck, Cope, Sobossek, Burliuk, Dauchot and others, plus Mexican child portraits and Haitian paintings, a torso attributed to Brancusi, furniture and sterling silver (including a Reed & Barton service for eight).

Also offered will be clocks, European and American pottery and porcelain, Mid-Century Modern lots, art glass, decoys, insulators, African tribal artifacts, books, jewelry, vintage accessories (to include a lovely Hermés scarf), large Persian Tabriz and other rugs, and many other great items.

The oil on canvas portrait by Alexei Harlamoff (Russian, 1840-1925), depicts a girl wearing ethnic dress, her soulful eyes staring directly at the viewer as she delicately touches the flower garland that crowns her head. The 28-by-34½-inch painting (above) is signed lower right “Harlamoff” (est. $6,000-$9,000).

The William Gilbert Jewelers wall regulator (below), 80 inches tall, has a pinwheel time-only escapement with gridiron pendulum (est. $5,000-$8,000).

East Meets West
William Gilbert Jewelers wall regulator, 80in tall, having a pinwheel time-only escapement with gridiron pendulum. Estimate: $5,000-$8,000. Converse Auctions image

The elaborately decorated gilt bronze lidded censer with beast handles, 16½ inches tall, has an estimate of $8,000-$12,000. It has colorful accent characters, bats, flowers and tendrils on the body and lid, plus a presentation box.

East Meets West
Elaborately decorated gilt bronze lidded censer with beast handles, 16½in tall, with colorful accent characters, bats, flowers and tendrils on the body and lid. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Converse Auctions image

The two zitan folding chairs boast heavily carved legs, armrests and back, all in a dragon and cloud motif. The backsplat has a dragon carved into it and the back of the chair is carved in a ruyi with a flaming pearl. The pair should finish at $3,000-$5,000.

A pair of oil on canvas portraits of young girls, each one rendered by a Mexican artist and with an estimate of $1,000-$1,500, is sure to attract bidders. One is a rare painting by Horacio Renteria Rocha (Mexican, 1912-1972). It shows a girl elaborately dressed, holding chicks in her uplifted apron, as hens, chicks and puppies play at her feet. The other, by an unknown artist, is of a girl in fancy clothes with a toy dog. Her name is in a banner: “Nina Delores Vakao, A.D. 1890.”

East Meets West
Extraordinary oil portrait painting by an unknown artist of a Mexican girl in fancy clothes with a toy dog. Her name is in a banner: ‘Nina Delores Vakao, AD 1890.’ Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Converse Auctions image

An elaborately carved huanghuali lotus cabinet, carved all over in three-dimensional designs, is expected to change hands for $2,000-$4,000. The three top doors lift up and slide in, and there are two drawers underneath. The drawers are carved in lotus blossoms and leaves.

East Meets West
Chinese huanghuali lotus cabinet, elaborately carved all over in three-dimensional designs. Estimate: $2,000-$4,000. Converse Auctions image

A bronze Buddha with a well-worn patina, accented in gilt bronze and bezel set turquoise stones, has an estimate of $800-$1,200. The figure is on a lotus petal and is in a custom wood presentation box.

Two very different lots share identical estimates of $2,000-$4,000. One is a large Persian Tabriz Oriental rug, 108½ inches by 150 inches, executed in dark reds with central flower and tendril motifs surrounded by various flower and tendril borders on blue backgrounds. The other is a lovely carved marble torso of a female, done in a style consistent with Constantin Brancusi’s stylized, simplified art. The unauthenticated piece is signed on the plinth, “C. Brancusi 1943.”

An oil on board painting of a village scene overlooking the sea by Maurice de Vlaminck (French, 1876-1958), signed lower left but unauthenticated, unframed and measuring 17 inches by 13½ inches, carries an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

The auction will begin Friday, March 13, at 10 a.m. Eastern time. For details contact Converse Auctions at 610-722-9004 or

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East Meets West