More than 100 extraordinary objects formerly displayed in the Forbes Galleries
in New York City drew frenzied bidding from around the globe to help Heritage Auctions
reach a total of more than $1 million in its June 1 Signature(r) Decorative Arts & Design and Gentleman Collector Auctions at the company's Design District Annex in Dallas. All prices mentioned below include 19.5% Buyer's Premium.
"The Forbes property was 100% sold," said Nicholas Dawes, Vice President of Special Collections at Heritage, "and most lots went well within or above estimate."
The collection was split between two auctions, held back-to-back during the day, with most offered in the "Gentleman Collector" afternoon event, which featured diverse property from several other American and European private collections, including a fine group of vintage walking canes, an important collection of motoring mascots, exquisite French boxes, ocean liner memorabilia and a fascinating group of period decorative objects related to the sport of golf.
Malcolm Forbes titled this main collection "Mortality through Immortality," a variety of objects commemorating and celebrating long-gone - and long-forgotten - heroes from distant historic, military and civic endeavors and events.
"It was his personal time machine," said Dawes, "able to transport you to a precise moment in history through tangible contact."
Further highlights from the Forbes Collection include:
Lot 66301: This George III silver trophy cup and cover, one of several in the Forbes Collection and the opening lot, set the tone by taking $4,481 against an estimate of $1500-$2000.
Lot 66308: Strong interest from chess, political and historical memorabilia collectors took this 1897 chess piece, made from a section of transatlantic telegraph cable to commemorate a match played between the US House of Representatives and the British Parliament, to a final bid of $7,170 (estimate: $3,000-$5,000).
Lot 66332: Among the compelling Forbes WWI artifacts, this British silver commemorative statuette stood out at $1,374 (estimate: $400/600).
Lot 66361: The top lot of the Forbes Collection was this extraordinary aluminum relic of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster, made into a bar stool, which took $14,340 after a powerful bidding battle (estimate: $3,000-5,000).
Lot 66418: Among the lots from other consignors, this "Bulldog" cane opened the bidding on a large collection, which ended 99% sold, mostly at or above estimate. The performance of this lot was typical, taking $1,315 against an estimate of $1,000-$1,500 and receiving more than a dozen bids.
Lot 66471: Vintage motoring mascots proved extremely popular, beginning with this rare 1925 model by Georges Poitvin, which found a new owner at $7,170 (estimate: $6,000$8,000).