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Sotheby's Sale of The Collection of Patricia Kluge Held On-Site in Charlottesville, Virginia Totals $15.2 Million
Mrs. Kluge will remain in her beloved Charlottesville, where she has lived for almost 30 years, and will continue her duties as chairwoman and owner of Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard. Photo: TTR-Sotheby’s International Realty.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- Sotheby’s two-day auction of The Collection of Patricia Kluge concluded this evening bringing $15,158,227, exceeding pre-sale expectations (est. $9/14 million). The historic sale was the first on-site house sale conducted by Sotheby’s in North America in over 20 years, and more than 2,000 people attended the week-long public exhibition at Albemarle House, Mrs. Kluge’s 45-room English country manor. Collectors, interior designers, and dealers from all over the globe participated in the two-day auction, which comprised the contents of the house, including English furniture and decorations, Chinese paintings and works of art, Books, Sporting Guns, Jewels, Lighting and Decorative Objects, and Mrs. Kluge’s collection of designer gowns. The sale was 88.5% sold by lot with 61.5% of the sold lots achieving prices above their high estimates. The $15.2 million achieved over the past two days brings Sotheby’s overall total for sales of property from Patricia Kluge’s collection – including sixteen magnificent jewels sold on 20 April 2010 – to $20.2 million (est. $12/18 million).

Elaine Whitmire, Vice Chairman and Director of Sotheby’s Single Owner Sales Department commented, “What we witnessed over the past two weeks was the magic of a house sale, drawing buyers from the local community to as far afield as Asia and the Middle East. From the spectacular $3.8 million clock to a pair of English bamboo armchairs for $5,000, items were sought-after by collectors who wanted to own a piece of the vision and taste of Patricia Kluge.”

The top selling lot of the on-site auction was a Magnificent Imperial Chinese Table Clock, Guangzhou Workshops, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period, which sold for a remarkable $3,778,500, more than three times the high estimate of $1 million and the third highest price achieved for a clock of its type (lot 345). Competition was fierce for the Imperial treasure, with five different clients battling over the telephones. Sotheby’s auctioneer Lisa Hubbard opened the bidding at $350,000 and four clients quickly entered the fray. A new bidder jumped into the competition with a bid of $1.2 million, and it was that client who, more than 6 minutes later, cast the winning bid. Extended applause erupted from the packed salesroom when the hammer was finally brought down. The purchaser was a Chinese Private Collector.

8 June 2010 – Sessions I & II
In addition to the clock, a number of spectacular prices were achieved during the first day of the auction, including a Pair of Classical Landscapes by Hubert Robert, which brought $434,500 (lot 99, est. $200/300,000); a Set of Six Holland & Holland Wildfowl and Wader Guns, which achieved $350,500 (lot 62, est. $330/500,000); a Fabergé Silver Centerpiece, which totaled $206,500 (lot 196, est. $40/60,000); and an Important George III Mahogany Commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale, which sold for $338,500 (lot 67, est. $400/600,000).

Works across a number of different categories also achieved prices well in excess of their estimates: An Ivory Silvered and Gilt-Bronze-Mounted Mother-of-Pearl, Inlaid Alabaster and Onyx Chess Set, probably Italian, circa 1900, sold for $98,500, soaring past the high estimate of $10,000 (lot 280, est. $7/10,000); a set of The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy) Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, J.R. Tolkien, London, 1954, brought $17,500 (lot 337, est. $4/6,000); a Group of Ten English Silver Birds, Asprey, London, 1987 sold for $74,500, (lot 201, est. $5/8,000); a Pair of Ormolu-Mounted Meissen Porcelain Figures of Seated Pug Dogs sold for $86,500 (lot 121, est. $25/35,000) and a Fragmentary Bronze Portrait Head of the Emperor Augustus, or a member of the Julio-Claudian Family, Roman Imperial, circa early 1st Century AD, sold for $188,500 (lot 344, est. $100/1500,000).

9 June 2010 – Sessions III & IV
Leading off the third session of the auction was a Fine and Rare George III Polychrome-Japanned and Mahogany Domed Tester Bedstead, circa 1783, which was pursued by four different bidders, finally selling to a client over the phone for $86,500 (lot 468, est. $30/50,000). A striking Louis XVI Giltwood Sunburst Clock, circa 1780 was another highlight of the day - more than doubling the high estimate of $10,000 to sell for $27,500 (lot 508). Items from the “Bamboo Bedroom” inspired competition from multiple bidders – A Pair of Faux Bamboo Beds and a Bedside Table sold for $20,000 after a battle between six different potential buyers, soaring above expectations (lot 587, est. $800/1,200) and a Faux Bamboo Chest of Drawers brought $10,000 (lot 584, est. $500/700). Rounding out the end of the third session was a Bison Head, which sold for $3,438 (lot 607, est. $2/3,000), and a Group of Ten Antlers which brought $5,938, more than double the high estimate of $2,000 (lot 609).

The fourth and final section was led by a selection of jewels and designer gowns including an 18 Karat Gold, Coral and Mabé Pearl Necklace, Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co., 1981 which exceeded a high estimate of $9,000 to sell for $43,750 (lot 908), a Pair of 18 Karat Gold, Cultured Pearl and Diamond Pendant-Earclips which brought $30,000 (lot 902, est. $7,500/10,000), and an 18 Karat Gold, Cultured Pearl and Diamond Necklace which sold for $27,500 (lot 903, est. $12/15,000). Of the designer gowns offered, the most sought-after was a Givenchy Black Pleated Gown which was the subject of a battle between two phone bidders, finally selling for $4,375 (lot 883, est. $400/600).

20 April 2010 – Magnificent Jewels from The Collection of Patricia Kluge
In Sotheby’s April sale of Magnificent Jewels, competition was heated for Jewels from The Collection of Patricia Kluge, with the collection bringing a total of $5,079,750, above the total pre-sale estimate of $2.4/3.4 million. At least thirty bidders vied for a rare Sapphire and Diamond Panthère Wristwatch, Cartier, circa 1985, which sold for $686,500 (est. $100/150,000). Also from Mrs. Kluge’s collection, a Platinum and Diamond Ring set with a 20.15 carat pear-shaped Diamond, F color, I1 clarity, type II brought $962,500 or $47,766 per carat (est. $150/200,000), and a spectacular Pair of Platinum and Diamond Pendant-Earclips climbed to $1,058,500 (est. $600/800,000), after both were hotly contested by multiple international bidders.

Sotheby's | The Collection of Patricia Kluge | Elaine Whitmire |


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