Myers to auction superb 16th-20th C. fine art, Chinese rarities, Jan. 21

Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot (Dutch, 1586-1666), Golden Age oil-on-panel genre painting of peasants feasting in a village, 37 x 50.5in (framed). Est. $20,000-$40,000

ST PETERSBURG, Fla. – Few would argue that the Florida Gulf Coast is an agreeable place to be in January. Aside from the sunshine and beaches that are free to all comers, the Tampa Bay area boasts a thriving art community and one of the nation’s most highly regarded auction houses: Myers Fine Art (MFA). To mark the company’s 30th year at the same landmark Art Deco gallery in St. Petersburg, Myers’ co-owners Mike Myers and Mary Dowd have announced a January 21 auction that reflects a full year of scrupulous assessment and curation of European and Asian fine art and antiques. All of the goods set aside for the 30th anniversary auction were sourced from upscale estates in Florida, the Hamptons, and various New England regions known for their gracious, historic homes.

Carefully curated, fresh-to-market estate goods include 16th-20th C. Continental art, 19th C. Yale Club (NY) chandeliers, Chinese porcelains, large 19th C. bronzes, old silver

Pair of French 19th-century Louis XV gilt bronze, figural semi-nude chenets. Est. $1,000-$2,000 the pair

“We have always taken the same curated approach as Sotheby’s and Christie’s. We don’t conduct general auctions, only specialty auctions,” Dowd explained. “If we hold an Americana sale, for example, customers who deal exclusively in Americana will still fly in to bid in person. They know that our 600-lot sale will contain 600 lots of exactly the type and quality of goods they are seeking. We make sure that is the case.”

For their initial sale of 2018, Myers will present a superb selection of 16th to early 20th-century European paintings, heavy antique silver, exquisite European and Chinese porcelain, jade and hardstone carvings, antique scrolls, woodblock prints, carved furniture, fine jewelry, and many items with interesting provenance. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Chinese Qing Dynasty enameled porcelain plaque, 19th century or earlier, hand-painted traditional black and iron-red characters. Frame not shown. Est. $800-$1,200

The connoisseurship for which Myers and Dowd are so well known is amply validated in the selection of artworks chosen for the auction. A star lot is an oil-on-panel scene of Village Kermesse (shown at top of page) by Dutch genre painter Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot (1586-1666). The artwork depicts in quintessential Droochsloot style a festive gathering in a village street, with townsfolk of all ages represented. The lively 37 by 50.5-inch (framed) painting retains an old paper label on verso, possibly from an auction or gallery, bearing both French and German writing that describes the subject matter. Estimate; $20,000-$40,000.

Many other desirable European paintings will cross the auction block. An intriguing 19th-century oil-on-canvas allegorical painting of Lucrezia Borgia, 40.8 inches square, is estimated at $1,000-$2,000, while a very fine 17th- or early 18th-century Continental oil-on-canvas portrait of a knight is expected to make $3,000-$5,000. Several well-executed Italian and French religious carvings and santos will be offered. A highly detailed Italian polychrome carving of the Madonna and Child measures 51 inches high and is inscribed on the base Aves Maria Laureto. It appears to be well over 150 years old, possibly much older. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000.

L: One of a pair of 19th-century (or earlier) German Black Forest 16-light elk-antler chandeliers with mermaid motif, formerly installed at the prestigious Yale Club’s Grill Room, New York City. R: Photo from a 1915 issue of Yale Alumni Weekly showing one of the mermaid chandeliers in situ at the club. Est. $5,000-$10,000 the pair

An eyewitness to America’s glamorous Gilded Age, a pair of 19th-century (or earlier) German Black Forest elk-antler chandeliers (shown above) formerly illuminated the Grill Room at the prestigious Yale Club in New York City. Each of the chain-suspended 16-light chandeliers has at its center a large, hand-carved wood figure of a mermaid holding a crown, coat of arms and goblet. A photo appearing in Volume 25 of the 1915 Yale Alumni Weekly shows one of the chandeliers in situ at the club, with text noting that all Grill Room furnishings and decorations had been the gift of William P. Eno, Yale class of 1882. Offered as a pair, the chandeliers are estimated at $5,000-$10,000.

Palatial Neoclassical crystal chandelier formerly in the Plaza Hotel’s Lady Mendl Suite (named for internationally renowned hostess and interior designer Elsie de Wolfe Mendl), New York City. Provenance: Christie’s. Est. $1,500-$2,500

Also of special note are two palatial Louis XV French crystal chandeliers that previously graced the Presidential Suite and Lady Mendl Suite, respectively, of New York’s Plaza Hotel. Deaccessioned prior to the hotel’s 2005 closure for renovation, the elegant fixtures will now be auctioned consecutively, each with an estimate of $1,500-$2,500.

French 19th-century Sevres enamel/porcelain gilt bronze scenic urn, hand-painted, 32in high. Est. $2,000-$3,000

An abundance of particularly fine sterling silver will be available, including a massive William Bateman II 1828 English tray weighing 209ozt, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Additionally, there will be an extensive array of Continental porcelain including Sevres urns (see above) and KPM productions; and English earthenware, led by several large, significant pieces of George Jones majolica and a Moorcroft silver-overlaid tea set.

Pair of Japanese dragon-motif cloisonné enamel vases, Meiji period, 24.2in high, goldstone highlights on dragon. Est. $1,000-$2,000 the pair

Approximately 40% of the sale is devoted to Asian treasures. The selection includes carved Chinese furniture, Chinese porcelain, including plaques; jade and hardstone carvings, lacquerware, bronzes, cloisonné, woodblock prints, vibrant antique rugs (all from estates), and 25 scrolls, possibly 18th century. A pair of striking Japanese Meiji period dragon-motif cloisonné enamel vases (shown above) is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.

Selection of fine Asian porcelain that includes (back row, 2nd from right) a Chinese Qing Dynasty famille verte square porcelain vase, signed with characters, est. $800-$1,200; and (foreground) two 19th-century Chinese Qing Dynasty porcelain footed censers to be offered consecutively, each with an $800-$1,200 estimate

A Chinese 18th/19th-century hand-embroidered double silk panel depicts foo lions amongst exotic blue clouds and foliage, with workmanship that reveals tiny embroidered stitches including the “forbidden” stitch. Measuring 22.25 by 11 inches, it has a gold-thread border and is signed in Chinese characters on verso. With direct descent from the Shanghai estate of Dr. J. Ward Hall (1849-1908), personal dentist to the Chinese Imperial Family, the important textile is expected to reach $1,000-$1,500 at auction.

One of two Albrecht Durer 16th-century engravings included within a rare, one-of-a-kind portfolio-book collection of 16th/17th-century original prints collected by German scholar Leonhart Wurfbain (1581-1654). Portfolio est. $2,000-$3,000. Shown here with Abraham Ortelius’ 1624 map folio Paregon Atlas of the Ancient World, est. $2,000-$3,000; and Jacques Majorelle’s Les Kasbahs De l’Atlas artist book, Paris, 1930, est. $20,000-$30,000

Antiquarian books and maps are expected to attract strong interest from both the trade and private collectors. Two 16th-century Albrecht Durer engravings are included within a rare, one-of-a-kind portfolio-book collection of 16th/17th-century original prints (see above) collected by German scholar Leonhart Wurfbain (1581-1654). Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Other prized lots include Abraham Ortelius’ comprehensive1624 map folio Paregon Atlas of the Ancient World, est. $2,000-$3,000; and Jacques Majorelle’s Les Kasbahs De l’Atlas artist book, Paris, 1930, which includes 30 beautiful boards of paintings and drawings Majorelle created between 1920 and 1929. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000

A sumptuous array of fine jewelry, both European and Asian, includes carved jade, diamonds and other precious gemstones in antique platinum and gold settings.

The sale also features fine jewelry, 19th/20th-century furniture, enameled art glass, and coveted Jumeau dolls, plus many unique or unusual objects that are in a class of their own. The letter category includes the architectural grille from Josephine Baker’s estate in France, $600-$800; a 19th-century Faberge gold and diamond parasol handle originally presented by Czar Nicholas II and with continuous ownership by the original recipient’s family, $3,000-$5,000; and Villeroy & Boch Blue Onion serving pieces from Sotheby’s 1996 auction of Property from the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Myers Fine Art’s Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 auction will commence at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information contact Mary Dowd or Mike Myers. Tel. 727-823-3249, e-mail auctions@myersfineart.com.