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Bonhams Period Art & Design Sale in San Francisco achieves strong results across categories
A diamond, velvet and silver-topped 14k gold brooch estimated total diamond weight: 1.00ct.; length: 1in. Sold for $2,000; Est. $800-1,200. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams in San Francisco is closing out the year with strong sales results of $714,450 from its Period Art & Design auction, December 16-17. The Jewelry and European paintings sections of the sale held the highest-selling lots of the auction, with all categories featuring highlights that exceeded their presale estimates.

Jewelry highlights comprised many of the auction’s top spots, with such examples as a high-karat gold cable link necklace, which sold for $4,375; two Omega 18k and 14k gold integral bracelet wristwatches, which took in $4,000, ahead of a $2,000-3,000 estimate; a pear-shaped tanzanite that sold for $3,750; two enamel, diamond and gold firefighter badges, which brought $3,125, exceeding a $1,500-2,000 estimate; a diamond and 18k gold open-face pendant watch, suspended from a gem-set and 14k gold wyvern brooch, which brought $2,000, topping an estimate of $400-600; a diamond, velvet and silver-topped 14k gold brooch, which claimed $2,000, past an estimate of $800-1,200; and a diamond, enamel and platinum partial gentleman's dress set, comprising a cufflink and three shirt studs, which sold for $1,250, ahead of a $500-700 estimate.

European Paintings tied with jewelry for a very top lot spot with an Italian School of Madonna and child with adoring angels that sold for $4,375. Additional paintings of note included an oil on canvas of The Looking Glass by French painter Auguste Leroux, which was Property from the collection of Joseph Klein (1899-1987), New York, New York, sold for $3,750; ahead of a $2,000-3,000 estimate; an oil on panel, After Francesco di Gentile da Fabriano, 19th century, of The Adoration of the Magi, which brought $2,500, exceeding an estimate of $3,000-5,000; and an oil on board of The Brunswick caught anchors with her enemy by British painter Sir Frank Brangwyn, RA., which took in $2,375, surpassing a $1,500-2,500 estimate.

Notable American works of art in the sale included Marion Parsons’ oil on masonite of House with cactus, which brought $2,750; Aaron Shikler’s gouache on paper of The kimono, 1972, which claimed $2,750; and Si Chen Yuan’s oil on canvas of Autumn trees, which took in $2,125.

Furniture and Decorative Arts held various top lots in the auction, including a Queen Anne walnut tall case clock from the first quarter of the 18th century, which sold for $3,750, topping an estimate of $2,000-3,000; an early 20th century, Empire style gilt bronze and cut glass eight-light chandelier, possibly Bagues, which took in $3,750, exceeding a $2,500-3,500 estimate; an early 19th century, Empire gilt bronze mounted burl elm table de milieu, which netted $3,125, ahead of an $1,800-2,500 estimate; a pair of Charles X mahogany fauteuils à la reine of the first quarter of the 19th century, which achieved $2,375, past a $1,200-1,500 estimate; and a late 19th century, French gilt bronze equestrian figure, Velázquez on Horseback, after a model by Emmanuel Frémiet, F. Barbedienne foundry, which claimed $2,250, above an estimate of $1,800-2,500. A Tabriz rug of Northwest Persia, sold for $2,500, and a Sarouk carpet, sold for $1,250, also performed well alongside their room-outfitting counterparts.

Of particular note in the sale, the category of Photographs drew many bidders and performed very successfully, with such highlights as Edward S. Curtis’ Selected Images, from The North American Indian, 1903, 1907, comprising four large-format photogravures printed on vellum, which sold for $3,750, ahead of an estimate of $1,500-2,500; American photographer Aaron Siskind’s gelatin silver print of Chicago 22, 1949, which sold for $2,000; and two separate lots of Sepia-toned gelatin silver prints by Chinese photographer Don Hong-Oai: Buddha, Vietnam, 1970, which brought $3,125, and Winter Fog, Vietnam, 1974, which took in $2,000.

Prints performed well, with such notables as a group of 22 lithographs of Selected Plates, From The History of the Indian Tribes of North America, 1836-1844, by McKenney & Hall, sold for $3,125; two lithographs on wove paper, Mona; To Edgar Allan Poe VII, 1952; 1971, by Nathan Oliveira, which achieved $1,375, beyond a $700-900 estimate; and an etching of The Baptism of the Eunuch, 1641, by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, which took in $1,750, exceeding an estimate of $1,000-1,500.

Latin American, Native American & Tribal Art served as a special category to the auction with pleasing sales of a grouping of Middle Eastern, Indian subcontinent and Himalayan adornments, which sold for $2,500, ahead of a $500-700 estimate; a pair of rare Bolivian Spanish colonial pile-woven saddle bags, which brought $2,500; three Indonesian gold adornments, which took in $2,250, surpassing an estimate of $1,000-1,500; three San Ildefonso blackware items, which claimed $1,375, above an estimate of $600-800; and a grouping of Native American items, including a Winnebago ribbonwork woman's outfit, a Cree beaded tobacco bag and a Blackfoot tacked belt and drop, which achieved $1,063, exceeding an estimate of $700-1,000.

Modern & Contemporary Art also sold well in the sale, with lots by American artist Robert Watson standing out, such as his oil on canvas works Seascape, 1963, and House of the Fisherman, which together sold for $2,000, ahead of a $1,000-1,500 estimate; and his works Expectation, an oil on canvas; Early Light, an oil on paperboard; and Man in front of a building, an oil on canvas, which together sold for $2,250, beyond a $1,000-1,500 estimate. A mixed media collage on fiber board by Paul Horiuchi, Untitled, 1964, also sold well, bringing $2,000.

Rounding out the sale were selections of Books and Manuscripts, including an illuminated manuscript of two large leaves on vellum from an Antiphonal, which brought $688; two volumes of Poems by William Wordsworth, 1815, which claimed $475; and a first edition of Harlem as Seen by Hirschfeld, by Al Hirschfeld and William Saroyan, which realized $438.

The next Period Art and Design sale at Bonhams in San Francisco will take place January 20, 2013.

Bonhams | Period Art & Design Sale | San Francisco |

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