CLOSTER, N.J. – Sterling Associates’ Winter Estate Auction is an annual tradition anticipated by bidders from coast to coast and beyond. The emphasis is always on fresh-to-the-market goods, with quality as the watchword. This year’s event, which takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 31, includes 460 lots of fine art, glass, bronzes and sculptures; Chinese art, porcelain, furniture, lighting, crystal and many types of decorative accessories. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Leading the lineup is a superlative Frederic S. Remington (American, 1861-1909) bronze titled The Sergeant (above). Standing 10 3/8 inches high, the work masterfully depicts a 19th-century U.S. Army sergeant wearing a kerchief and realistically molded hat with an impressed motif of crossed cavalry swords. Several maker’s marks and signatures appear on the sculpture, including the artist’s name and copyright, a Roman Bronze NY foundry mark – representing the foundry with which Remington worked exclusively beginning in 1898 – and, under the base, “N29.” The artwork has remained in the same family by descent since the original owner acquired it. Its auction estimate is $8,000-$12,000.
Another fine bronze also comes from the Estate of Marty Prail. A French Art Deco creation signed by Raphael Peyre (1872-1949), the patinated bronze depicts a woman holding a fan and leaning back in a dramatic dance pose (below). Including the rectangular onyx base, the piece stands 21¾ inches high by 22 inches wide. A quintessential example of Art Deco artistry at its finest, it is expected to make $1,500-$2,000.
A large French cameo glass vase from the same estate features a geometric scarab or insect motif and is signed “Charder/Le Verre Francais.” The name “Charder” was an amalgam of “Char” from “Charles” and “Der” from “Schneider,” referring to Charles Schneider, co-owner of Schneider Glassworks, producer of Le Verre Francais art glass. The example in Sterling’s auction measures 12 inches high and is estimated at $100-$1,000.
The late Marty Phail’s refined taste and appreciation for Art Deco’s enduring influence on glass design is also seen in the opalescent nude figurine titled Isadora – presumably in honor of Isadora Duncan. The 8¼-inch artwork is signed “Etling France 50” and is cataloged with a $100-$1,000 estimate.
Chinese and other Asian artworks feature prominently in the auction. An elegant Chinese watercolor painting depicting three birds under a grapevine bears a signature and red seal marks/stamps. Its framed size is 45 1/8 x 23 3/8 inches, and its presale estimate is $300-$500.
Originally considered either an extravagance or a necessity, depending on the observer’s point of view, the French cameo glass perfume bottle with tasseled atomizer offered as Lot 484 is an object of delicate beauty, over and above its utilitarian purpose. Standing 11½ inches high, the bottle is decorated with purple flowers in silhouette against a sky blue ground. It is one of 14 perfume lots entered in the auction and has a presale estimate of $50-$200.
Sterling Associates’ auction events, known as “hybrid auctions,” are conducted online and follow the same industry protocols as live auctions, but without a live audience being present. Bids may be placed absentee, by phone or live via the Internet. Auction day start time: 11 a.m. Eastern.
For additional information about any item in the Wednesday, Jan. 31, auction, call 201-768-1140.