Sale Totals $1,775,439, Surpassing the Pre-Sale Estimate of $964,100-1,456,900
A Showcase of Opulent Furniture, Decorations and Paintings of the Fin de Siecle
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Doyle New York's Belle Epoque auction on February 8, 2012 showcased fine and decorative arts reflecting the opulence of the Belle Epoque. Elegant furniture and decorations of the Louis XV and XVI Revivals, Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras were offered, as well as art glass, porcelain, silver, marble statues, bronzes, ivories, clocks, sconces, chandeliers, rugs, and a selection of Tiffany Studios articles. Complementing the furniture and decorations were an assortment of fin de siecle paintings.
With competitive bidding from the salesroom, the telephones and the Internet, the sale totaled $1,775,439, far surpassing the pre-sale estimate of $964,100-1,456,900, with 86% sold by lot and 95% sold by value.
Important Tiffany Settee
The top lot of the day was an important Aesthetic Movement settee by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Samuel Colman commissioned for the Fifth Avenue mansion of famed collectors Louisine and Henry O. Havemeyer and descended in the family. Estimated at $125,000-175,000, the circa 1890-91 carved and parcel gilt ash settee sold for a staggering $422,500.
Louisine and Henry O. Havemeyer were influential and enthusiastic art collectors and patrons during America's Gilded Age. Henry Osborne Havemeyer (1847-1907) made his vast fortune in sugar refining, and his second wide, the former Louisine Waldron Elder (1855-1929) was a suffragette, philanthropist and art collector, whose taste was influenced in part by her close friend Mary Cassatt. The imposing Havemeyer mansion on Fifth Avenue at 66th Street, completed in 1892, featured interiors by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Samuel Colman. Their designs would herald a uniquely American Aesthetic style, incorporating exotic elements from Japanese, Indian, Islamic and natural motifs in unusual and fresh applications.
The selection of art glass in the auction featured a circa 1912 Tiffany Studios favrile glass calla lily paperweight vase measuring 16 1/2 inches in height that sold for $40,625, far exceeding its $10,000-15,000 estimate. An early 20th century Galle acid etched cameo glass lamp decorated with clematis blossoms sold well over its $12,000-18,000 estimate, achieving $37,500. A circa 1900 silver gilt mounted acid etched and wheel carved cameo glass bud vase by Daum sold for $22,500, many times its estimate of $3,500-4,500. Also fetching for $22,500 was a Tiffany Studios bronze and favrile glass ten-light lily lamp that sold within estimate.
Highlighting the decorative arts was a pair of unusual early 20th century Asian style gilt-bronze mounted bamboo lamps by F. Barbedienne, that, despite condition issues, achieved a staggering $28,125, far surpassing the estimate of $2,000-3,000. A pair of Louis XVI style gilt-bronze figural lamps estimated at $1,200-2,000 sold for an exceptional $10,625.
Bronzes sold very strongly at the auction. An Art Deco gilt-bronze and ivory figure titled Dance of Carthage cast and carved from a model by Claire-Jeanne Roberte Colinet estimated at $3,500-4,500 sold for a surprising $23,750. Selling for $16,250 was a bronze figural group titled Crossing the Balkans after a model by Eugene Lanceray that had been estimated at $1,500-2,500. A bronze figure of Fanny Elssler cast from a model by Jean-Auguste Barre, dated 1837 and cast by L Richard Eck et Durand, achieved $11,250 against an estimate of $6,000-9,000.
The extensive silver section of the auction saw strong prices. This section was highlighted by a circa 1886 Russian silver tankard with maker's mark J.F.A., Moscow, height 9 1/2 inches, from the Estate of Charlotte London, that sold for $20,000, well over its estimate of $3,000-5,000. A circa 1896-1908 Russian silver tea service by Varvara Baladanova, Moscow, retailed by I.E. Morozov, St. Petersburg, from the same estate, fetched $12,500, doubling its estimate of $5,000-7,000.
A Georg Jensen sterling silver tea service designed by Johan Rohde in the Cosmos pattern achieved $16,250 against an estimate of $8,000-12,000. A 19th century assembled Tiffany & Co. sterling silver partial flatware service descended in the family of former New York City mayor Thomas F. Gilroy sold for $11,250, well over its estimate of $5,000-7,000. Also by Tiffany & Co. was a sterling silver coffee and tea service, pattern no. 18389, estimated at $6,000-9,000 that fetched $10,000.
Highlighting the selection of fin de siecle paintings was a 19th school French School work titled Marchande du Fleurs au Caire from the Estate of Michael Melnitzky that was the object of much speculation and interest among bidders on both sides of the Atlantic. Estimated at $2,000-4,000, it achieved a stunning $31,250. By Giuseppe Castiglione (Italian, 1829-1908) was The Cardinal's Court, a view of a Cardinal and his guests being entertained by minstrels, that sold within its estimate at $16,250. British artist George Spencer Watson (1869-1934) was represented by a Female Nude with Blue Chair, dated 1928, that fetched $12,500, many times its estimate of $2,000-4,000. Monkeys as Judges of Art, a droll statement depicting a group of simians attributed to Gabriel Von Max, soared past its estimate of $1,000-2,000 to achieve $10,000.
All prices include the Buyers' Premium.
NEXT BELLE EPOQUE AUCTION: June 6, 2012
Consignments are currently being accepted for the June 6 Belle Epoque auction. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection. For information, please contact Malcolm MacNeil at 212-427-4141, ext 218, or email [email protected]