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Sterling Associates' announces 707-lot December 12 Holiday Auction
Ladislaus Bakalowicz (Polish, 1833-1904), ‘Archery Practice,’ 32 by 43¼in, signed. Provenance: Estate of John McDonald. Est. $6,000-$8,000. Sterling Associates image.

CLOSTER, NJ.- The understated but unmistakable quality of long-held Asian ceramics and the wow factor of a spectacular ruby, diamond and platinum cocktail ring combine to lend an upscale tone to Sterling Associates’ 707-lot December 12 Holiday Auction.

A stocking stuffer fit for royalty, the top jewelry lot features a 9.91-carat, GIA-certified oval ruby surrounded by 18 round diamonds (approx. 2.21 cts) and 18 marquise-cut diamonds (4.16 cts) set in platinum. The diamonds are approximately H/1 in color and vs2/si1 in clarity, but the show-stopping ruby is obviously something extra special, with a deep, rich color highly desired by those who know fine gems. The ring is conservatively estimated at $12,000-$18,000 and has a starting bid of $8,000.

“Without question, this is an exceptional ruby. It will be a very lucky lady who ends up with this elegant ring on her finger,” said Sterling Associates’ owner, Stephen D’Atri.

More than 100 lots of Chinese porcelain and other decorative objects are contained in the single-owner collection showcased in the December 12th sale.

“There are some very valuable pieces in this collection,” said D’Atri. “A Chinese Jun-type bowl is estimated at $200,000-$400,000. There’s also a pair of Chinese white glazed and incised double-gourd-form vases that could bring $100,000-$200,000.” Other notable entries include a pair of Chinese Doucai wine cups with floral design, est. $8,000-$12,000, and an 8-inch gilt bronze sculpture of Buddha, est. $6,000-$8,000.

The soft sheen of old sterling silver will be evident in the gallery, with the top lot of the section being a pair of ornate Christophe Fratin (French, 1801-1864) silver-over-bronze candelabra. Stamped “Fratin,” the candelabra stand 23in tall and are decorated with sculpted silver monkeys and bears. The pair is expected to make $10,000-$12,000.

Most unusual is a signed Edgar Morgan (Paris/Nice) sterling silver figural table set comprising a realistically sculpted rooster vessel with four chick salt and pepper shakers. A 19th-century production, this finely “feathered” family is offered with a $6,000-$8,000 estimate.

Among the Tiffany pieces to be sold is a marked sterling pedestal bowl/centerpiece that holds 4½ pints. Ornately decorative in a manner that Tiffany mastered to perfection, it is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

A nicely varied selection of paintings will be auctioned, including an oil-on-canvas work titled “Archery Practice” by Ladislaus Bakalowicz (Polish, 1833-1904). The 32 by 43¼in artwork is artist-signed “Bakalowicz Paris” and comes with provenance from the Estate of John McDonald. It is entered in the sale with a $6,000-$8,000 estimate. Another beautiful European painting is a Michael Zeno Diemer (German, 1867-1939) seascape with castle. An oil on board, it is artist-signed, measures 38 5/8 by 38 1/8in and estimated at $5,000-$7,000.

A large, single-owner collection of taxidermied animals runs the gamut from raccoons and birds, such as quail, grouse and ducks; to larger species including an African jackal, est. $400-$600, and a black bear with brown coloring, possibly from Canada, est. $700-$900. A compatible item from a different consignor, an African zebra-skin rug sized 98 by 72 inches carries a $500-$700 estimate.

Additional categories in the sale include dolls and soft toys; pocket watches, ladies’ jewelry, and furniture, most notably a Nakashima triangle side table with bowed peg legs, est. $2,000-$3,000. The table was consigned to Sterling’s sale by the original owners.

“They’re a couple in their nineties from Ft. Lee, New Jersey, and they’ve been married for 75 years. They actually purchased the table personally from George Nakashima,” D’Atri said.

A second Nakashima lot consists of two paddle-form tables. The lot is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

There are many ways to participate in Sterling Associates’ December 12 Holiday Auction, but the company conducts its auctions a bit differently than most.

“The way our auctions work, all bidding is conducted remotely, but we’re very much a permanent brick-and-mortar company where anyone can come in to inspect the goods,” said D’Atri. “It will be run exactly like a live auction, but without a live audience.”

Sterling Associates’ Thursday, Dec. 12 auction will commence at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. The live gallery preview is from 10-5 on Friday, Dec. 6; 10:30-4:30 on Saturday, Dec. 7; 10-7 on Tuesday, Dec. 10; 10-5 on Wednesday, Dec. 11; and 10-3 on auction day. The gallery is located at 70 Herbert Ave., Closter, NJ 07624. Phone and absentee bids are most welcome, and online bidding will be available through

For additional information on any item in the auction, call 201-768-1140 or e-mail Visit Sterling Associates online at

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