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Handle with White Gloves: The Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue Brings Over $4 Million
A Victorian silver pair of wine coolers with liners Reily & Storer, London, 1839 With engraved full armorial on back and front and matching crest on interior parts. Campana form in the rustic taste, applied entwined grape vine handles, wavy rocaille rims, the interior fitted with liner and collar, all on a plain square form base, height 12 3/4in (32.5cm); (250 oz. 18 dwts.). Est. $35,000-50,000, sold for $46,360. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams & Butterfields.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Bonhams & Butterfields announced an extraordinary result for its auction of the Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue on April 4-5, 2011 in Los Angeles. The remarkable two-day single owner sale brought more than $4-million and featured nearly 1,000 lots. Works of note from the 100% sold auction, also known as a ‘white glove sale,’ ranged from antiquities to 20th century decorative arts. Fierce bidding was observed throughout all sections of the multi-category sale for European furniture, objets de vertu, silver, decorative and fine arts. Many of the items on offer far surpassed their pre-sale estimates.

Andrew Jones, Los Angeles Director of European Furniture and Decorative Arts at Bonhams & Butterfields, said: “The firm was honored to offer works from the Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue. The single-owner auction attracted a crowd of more than 200 people in the Los Angeles saleroom, many of whom traveled from abroad to participate. In addition to the standing room only gallery, numerous phone and absentee bids from the Middle East, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Israel, Russia, Canada, Brazil, England and across Europe, were seen. Many clients also made use of Bonhams online bidding tool. In total, approximately 1,000 registered bidders participated in the two-day auction. We look forward to continued success during the Donohue section of the May Sunset Estate Auction.”

Highlights from the Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue featured in the single owner sale on April 4-5th included a highly sought after Roman carved stone panel of Mithras Tauroctonus from the 2nd/3rd century A.D. (est. $12,000-18,000, sold for $109,800). Panels such as these would be the centerpiece of a Mithraeum, one of the underground temples of this mystery cult. Popular among the Roman Legions, Mithraea have been discovered in all corners of the Empire, from Syria to Britain. It is commonly thought that the iconography represents various celestial objects and events.

Additional works of note included a group of three Spanish Colonial polychrome decorated carved wood crèche figures, 19th century (est. $4,000-6,000, sold for $69,540); an Italian micromosaic panel depicting the Roman Forum, possibly by Domenico Moglia, circa 1850 (est. $12,000-18,000, sold for $67,100); a pair of Venetian Rococo parcel gilt and blue painted consoles, third quarter 18th century (est. $25,000-35,000, sold for $51,240); an Italian carved marble strigillated sarcophagus, after the antique, early 16th century (est. $10,000-15,000, sold for $48,800); a magnificent pair of early Victorian silver wine coolers, Reily & Storer, London, 1839 (est. $35,000-50,000, sold for $46,360) and a Austrian silver gilt enamel and gem set carved rock crystal covered cup modeled in the form of a fabulous bird (est. $20,000-30,000, sold for $46,360), among others.

Auctions featuring property from the Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue will continue on May 22-23, 2011, during Bonhams & Butterfields Sunset Estate Auction in Los Angeles. Works from the Collection will be offered with no reserve and feature a strong selection of furniture and decorative arts marked by a handsome green and white Continental porcelain armorial dinner service in the English taste (est. $700-900); a group of German blanc de chine porcelain table decorations (est. $500-700); antique playing cards (estimates vary) and a collection of 20th Century smoking related articles comprised of cigarette holders, ashtrays and decorative matchbooks (est. $100-150) as well as a strong selection of ecclesial decorations.

Property from the Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue will also be included within the following auctions at Bonhams in London: Antiquities on April 13, 2011, The Russian Sale on June 8, 2011 and Old Master Paintings on July 6, 2011.

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