A stunning pair of Sèvres Style Porcelain Urns and Covers, part of a large and impressive consignment of French Belle Epoque furniture and decorative arts from an East Coast mansion, painted with Art Nouveau lustrous cherubic scenes by Charles Fuchs, brought $65,725 to lead Heritage Auctions
' inaugural $1.56+ million Sept. 27 Signature® Estate Auction.
The event was part of a pair of auctions presented by Heritage's Department of Fine Arts on Sept. 26-27 - along with a Signature® Silver & Vertu Auction - which tallied an impressive $2.91+ million combined.
"This was the first of our regularly planned Estate Auctions," said Ed Beardsley, Managing Director of Heritage's Department of Fine Arts, "and a phenomenal success. Prices were strong, collectors participated in encouraging numbers and Heritage provided an entertaining and engaging Estate auction for its base, which is something that every collector - no matter the discipline - loves."
The $1.56+ million total of the auction came from 790 lots, vied for by 890 bidders, translating into a 91% sell-through rate by value.
Occupying the second slot in the auction's top offerings was a pair of 20th Century Napoleon III style Ebonized Mahogany and Ivory inlaid Gilt Bronze Mounted and Glazed Door Cabinets with Marble Top, which realized an impressive $50,788, more than quadrupling its pre-auction estimate of $10,000+.
"We saw time and time again in this auction, as with the Napoleon III cabinets, that collectors were bidding well beyond our estimates," said Beardsley, "which speaks to the quality of the material and the venue."
A Napoleon III Style Porcelain and Gilt Bronze Mounted Marble Table de Milieu on a figural base, ended after spirited bidding at $50,788, while two Sèvres Gilt Cobalt Blue Pedestals with Gilt Bronze Mounts, Marble Plinth and Cap, Signed Harant and Rochette, circa 1900, performed at eight times its pre-sale estimate to bring $32,265.
One of the most interesting lots in the auction was a Viennese Enameled Gilt Bronze and Engraved Rock Crystal Horn, made in Austria in the late 19th Century and recently found in a local home, which was the subject of much collector interest before the auction and performed exceedingly well when it crossed the block, finishing the auction with a price realized of $31,070.
Much of the pre-auction buzz came from the 70+ lots from The Collection of Whoopi Goldberg. The Oscar-winning actress's ever-evolving tastes led her to offer choice pieces via the Heritage Estate Auction, and collectors were ready and waiting to obtain one of her pieces. An especially anticipated Walnut Veneered Art Deco American Radiobar Cocktail Cabinet, with Glass Bar Sidebar, exceeded estimate to finish at $4,481.
"The pieces from Whoopi's collection performed well with traditional collector's and her fans," said Dawes. "All were eager to benefit from both her great sense of quality and the enduring provenance her name will always provide."
Results from the auction also demonstrated the collecting public's appreciation of the variety of forms the sale offered, including the $8,066 price realized by the for Village Canal Scene, 1838, painted by the Dutchman Henirch Jacob Levelt, also from the East Coast Mansion, and an original custom designed 1964 Georges Nakashima English Walnut Slab Coffee Table, part of a group of Nakashima from the Estate of Eva Schure, which realized an impressive $11,353, almost doubling its pre-auction estimate of $6,000+.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
Continental Gilt Bronze and Champleve Enamel Mantle Clock: Realized: $28,680.
Napoleon III Style Gilt Bronze, Ebonized and Porcelain Mounted Center Table: Realized: $26,290.
Louis XV Style Gilt Bronze Mounted Mahogany Commode with Marble Top, After the Model by Antoine Gaudraux: With shaped rectangular marble top above two cupboard doors veneered with marquetry design, overall fitted with medallions and scrolled trim, the doors centered by a mask, raised on scrolled legs topped with ram's head, after model made for Le Cabinet du Roi, Versailles. Realized: $23,900.
Sèvres Style Porcelain and Gilt Bronze Mounted Three-Piece Garniture; Clock and Six-light Candelabrum: France, circa 1900. Realized: $23,900.