On February 7, Freemans
held The Collectors Sale, an auction introduced by the house in August of 2017. Aimed primarily at emerging, young collectors, Wednesdays auction brought together more than 450 items curated with new art enthusiasts in mind. With the majority of the lots carrying pre-sale estimates below $1,000, the sale offered the millennial and modern consumer an interesting buying experience and a more cost-effective alternative to high-end retail. The Collectors Sale had an 82% sell-through rate, and totaled more than $355,000.
The sale saw an increase in online bidding, with many interested buyers opting to use Freemans own bidding platform, Freemans Live, to participate in the days events. There were more than 500 registered bidders, with new, first time bidders representing 12% of those. At the auctions conclusion, there were close to 25% new, first-time buyers.
The top results included a range of art, furniture, and decorative items. Highlights from the sale included a decorated, gilt-bronze vase by Austrian artist Gustav Gurschner (1873-1970), which far exceeded its pre-sale estimate of $2,000-3,000, eventually selling for $12,500. A pair of mahogany oversize armchairs by American designer Richard Koga with matching striped upholstery sold for nearly ten times their pre-sale estimate, for $10,400 against $1,000-1,500. Another piece by Koga from the same Pennsylvania collection, a mahogany bench, was estimated at $800-1,200. After a flurry of bidding activity, the lot sold for $6,875, more than tripling its pre-sale high estimate. Perhaps most surprising was a group of 19 American molded glass flasks, which soared past their pre-sale estimate of $500-800, and, after an intense, prolonged bidding war, sold for $9,375.
The Friday before the sale, Freemans hosted a preview reception, to coincide with First Friday in Center City. The event was held in collaboration with Philly Stewards, an educational organization dedicated to the collection, support and promotion of local art and artists. As the event was aimed at demystifying the auction process for first-time buyers, representatives from both organizations were on-hand to answer questions any of the nearly 150 guests had throughout the evening. A painting from the sale, "Night Shift/Delaware River" by artist Lee Lippman, was used as part of the promotion for the reception. The painting, which closed out the sale on Wednesday, sold for $6,875 against an estimate of $400-600.
Were pleased with the days results, said Andrew Taggart, Junior Specialists for Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts Departments. We captured a wide audience of new collectors, by offering a diverse collection of fun, playful, and, most importantly, affordable items. It was a privilege to help them navigate the auction process for what, in many cases, was the first time.
The next Collectors Sale is tentatively scheduled for July 11, 2018.
Top Results from The Collectors Sale:
Lot 170: Gustav Gurschner (Austrian, 1873-1970), Decorated Vase, Austria, Circa 1900. Sold For $12,500.
Lot 127: Richard Koga (American, 20th Century), Pair Of Oversize Armchairs, 1961. Sold For $10,400.
Lot 22: A group of nineteen American molded glass flasks, probably 20th century. Sold for $9,375.
Lot 87: Michael Coffey (American), Pair Of Viking Chairs, Circa 1975. Sold for $8,750.
Lot 129: Richard Koga (American, 20th Century), Bench, Circa 1961. Sold For $6,875.
Lot 459: Lee Lippman, (American B. 1926), Night Shift / Delaware River. Sold For $6,875.
Lot 436: Wolf Kahn, (American/German 1927), Vineyard Evening. Sold For $4,875.
Lot 452: Benny Andrews, (American 19302006), Woman. Sold For $4,875.
Lot 58: Gino Sarfatti (Italian, 1912-1985), Floor Lamp, Model 1006, Arteluce, Italy, 1966. Sold For $4,375.