At Sotheby’s in Geneva, Gina Lollobrigida’s pearl and diamond earrings sold for $2,391,321 (€1,843,449) on May 14. The white pearl drops, said to have once belonged to the House of Habsburg, set a new record for natural pearl pendant earrings.
At WestLicht in Vienna, a 1931 gilded Leica camera with reptile leather trim and two lenses sold for an impressive €528,000 ($688,974). It was the most expensive lot at their May 25 camera auction.
Dobiaschofsky, Bern, again reported strong prices at their spring Swiss art auction. A nude study by Félix Vallotton, Torse à l′étoffe bleue, was estimated at €90,000 ($117,424) and ended up fetching €190,000 ($247,895).
Van Ham had a surprise of a different kind, as an impostor Baroque table attributed to 17th century German furniture maker David Roentgen was discovered shortly before their May 18 auction. Department Director Christoph Bouillon expressed doubts over lot 1080, a gilded oval multipurpose table. Through consultation with an expert furniture restorer and use of the Datenbank kritischer Werke (an information source on forged artworks) founded by Van Ham Director Markus Eisenbeis, the table was exposed as a 21st century copy. The police were alerted and the furniture workshop where the modern day piece was made was quickly found. Its maker now faces charges.
Furniture by Abraham und David Roentgen is highly desirable, as the pair crafted exquisite pieces with marquetry patterns and secret drawers for noble families and kings. Museums consider themselves lucky to have Roentgen furniture in their collections. The forged table was estimated to sell for €60,000 to 80,000 ($77,690 to $103,585) if it had been an authentic Roentgen.
Bassenge, Berlin, has a selection of U.S. space photography in their June 5 photography auction, including Neil Armstrong’s famous photo of astronaut Buzz Aldrin standing next to the American flag. June 5. www.Bassenge.com
Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, hosts a two-day sale June 13 and 14 with art of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Old Master works, prints, and artist autographs offered in cooperation with Moirandat Company, AG, Basel. www.kornfeld.ch
David Feldman has a specialty stamp auction June 13 and 14 in Geneva, with focus on Olympic stamps the second day of the sale. www.DavidFeldman.com
Auktionshaus Gut Bernstorf, Kranzberg, invites car lovers to an Oldtimer and Automobile Auction on June 15 at the Klassikwelt Bodensee. www.GutBernstorf.de
Quittenbaum’s offers a selection of post-World War II and contemporary furniture, lighting and art at their design auction on June 18. www.Quittenbaum.de
Koller Auktionen, Zurich, holds their spring auctions June 19-22, featuring jewelry and watches, art and design including Swiss art on June 21. www.KollerAuktionen.ch
Dr. Fischer Kunstauktionen holds their annual glass auction in Zwiesel on June 29. www.Auktions-Fischer.de
Auktionshaus Bloss, Merzhausen, holds an art and antiques auction on July 1 and 2. www.Bloss-Auktionen.de
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