Auction of English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts on May 22, 2019
Featuring Property from a Park Avenue Apartment Decorated by Bunny Williams
Strong Prices Witness Continuing Growth in the Market for Classic Furniture and Decorations
NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle's auction on May 22, 2019 witnessed the continuing trend that we have been seeing all season -- the return of the classics. The sale attracted strong international competition for fine English and Continental Furniture and Decorative Arts from prominent estates and collections across the country. These quality pieces have been treasured by generations of collectors, and the current trend of renewed interest in such classic furnishings shows no sign of abating.
With competitive international bidding in the saleroom, on the telephones, and via the Internet, the auction totaled a successful $1,477,656, surpassing its estimate of $872,850-1,370,700 with an exceptional 92% sold by lot and 98% sold by value.
Spanning the Renaissance through the English Regency, the sale presented a broad selection of elegant furniture, decorations, Georgian silver, porcelain, sculpture, mirrors, clocks, chandeliers, sconces, tapestries and rugs. A featured section of the sale was devoted to Old Master Paintings & Drawings.
English & Continental Furniture
Highlighting the sale was a Biedermeier mahogany globe-form work table that achieved $37,500, surpassing its estimate of $15,000-25,000. This circa 1820 work table, or Globustisch, showcased the expertise of a skilled master craftsman, its finely engineered elements still working seamlessly. The form of a Globustisch was widely used in the Biedermeier period and epitomizes the simplicity and elegance of design found in Biedermeier furniture. Adding to the excitement generated by the table was its provenance: it had once been in the collection of H.R.H. The Duchess of Kent, née Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, a member of the British Royal Family.
A beautiful collection from a Park Avenue apartment was formed with interior designer Bunny Williams in 1988 when she established her eponymous firm, having just left Parish-Hadley. She traveled with the clients to England, where they purchased from London’s leading English furniture dealers. The collection featured an Irish George II mahogany table, circa 1750, decorated with a lion’s mask, one of the most characteristic features of 18th century Irish furniture design. The Irish architect Edward Lovett Pearce introduced English architect and designer William Kent’s plaster ‘tabernacle frame’ with lion mask to Irish architecture, which was then taken up in furniture design, especially to friezes of side tables. Here we see the interplay between architecture and the decorative arts, so skillfully employed by Irish makers. The handsome table realized $21,250 against an estimate of $20,000-30,000. From the same collection was a handsome Irish George IV mahogany hall settee in the manner of Mack, Williams & Gibton, circa 1825, that fetched $13,750, surpassing its estimate of $6,000-8,000.
Dining chairs sold particularly strongly at the sale, as evidenced by an assembled set of nine Italian Neoclassical painted and parcel-gilt side chairs estimated at $3,000-5,000 that sold for $15,000. Another set comprising ten George III beechwood and parcel-gilt dining chairs from the Estate of a Gentleman, Park Avenue and Southampton, New York, sold for $11,250, doubling their $4,000-6,000 estimate.
Silver from a New Jersey Estate offered a group of English silver with rare examples among the earliest of their form. A Provincial chocolate pot made in Chester in 1703 and a William III silver monteith from 1701 were inspired by Chinese porcelain. Estimated each at $15,000-25,000, they sold for $28,125 and $16,250, respectively.
From the same New Jersey Estate was an elegant English sterling silver supper set made by Naylor Bros. for James Robinson, London, that sold for $40,625, many times its estimate of $6,000-8,000. Dated 1958, the service echoed the lavish service pieces seen in great Edwardian country houses, as dramatized by the popular BBC series, Downton Abbey.
All prices include the Buyer's Premium.
We Invite You to Auction!
Consignments are currently being accepted for future auctions. 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:
Furniture & Decorations, Peter Lang, 212-427-4141, ext 274, Furniture@Doyle.com
Silver: Todd Sell, 212-427-4141, ext 269, Silver@Doyle.com
Rugs, Carpets & Tapestries: Mark Topalian, 212-427-4141, ext 243, Rugs@Doyle.com