On the heals of Clars
February 2014 sale, their March 15th and 16th Fine Art, Jewelry and Decoratives sale once again saw the Asian category soar to over $1.5 million, fueling the $2.3 million realized, the third largest grossing auction in the firms history.
Bidders, once again, converged in force to bid by phone, Internet and from the saleroom floor. Due to the increasingly large quantity of property being consigned, Clars has extended their sales from 2 days to 3 days with Monday being an offline (not open to Internet bidding) sale. Just three months into the 2014 calendar year, Clars has achieved both its highest sale and third highest sale in their history. For the calendar year, and the first half of their fiscal year, sales are up 62% from the prior strong year.
Perhaps the most important factor has been the huge collection coming from the Gerber Estate in Reno (NV), which has performed beyond expecation, particularly in the Asian offerings which are going out the door for over-the-top prices.
On Sunday, March 16th, the top seller of the three-day event was a pair of Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets that realized an astonishing $299,500 against their high estimate of $50,000. Taking second place selling for $189,500, was a huanghuali round table and stools, executed in the drum form. Another pair of Chinese hardwood huanghuali rounded corner cabinets, also from the Gerber estate, soared past its $40,000 high estimate selling for $167,000. And, both selling for $96,000, was a single Chinese hardwood and huanghuali rounded corner cabinet and a hardwood and huanghuali side table. Overall, in the Asian category, the just over 150 lots offered earned well over $1.5 million with the huanghuali furniture accounting for over $1.3 million.
On Sunday, May 18th, as part of their important May 2014 Fine Art, Jewelry and Decoratives Sale, Clars will feature another large grouping of huanghuali furniture from this estate.
The top seller in the Fine Art category was a signed etching and aquatint by Marcel Duchamp (French 1887-1968) titled Nine Malic Moulds. Expected to achieve a high of $6,000, this work sold for over 3 times high estimate going out at $19,000.
Several offerings of the photography from the renowned Ruttenberg Collection once again brought worldwide bidder interest to the sale. By Helen Levitt (American, 1913-2009) the gelatin silver print titled Harlem Boy with a Black Cat, sold very well for $9,000 followed by the gelatin silver printOdalisque I, by Horst P. Horst (American/German, 1906-1999) which earned nicely over estimate going for $8,000. Two more works by Horst, Lobster Salvador and Birthday Gloves, also sold strongly achieving $7,000 and $5,000 respectively.
DECORATIVE ARTS & FURNISHING
Decorative Arts had their share of over-high-estimate prices as well. Of particuarly note were two key pieces, the first, a 19th century Gold Rush era Bowie knife by Will and Finck, San Francisco, sold for nicely over estimate as serious collectors drove the final sale price to $6,500. The second offering of note achieved twice its high estimate. Selling for $13,000, this 19th century Continental Renaissance style figural clock was executed in patinated metal with the figure of Atlas supporting the clock.
FINE AND ESTATE JEWELRY
It was a stunning jadeite, diamond and 18K white gold ring ring that took the top spot in this category. Centered by one oval jadeite cabachon surrounded full cut diamonds, this ring sold for $19,000.
Taking second place was a platinum and princess cut diamond ring (2.51 cts) that sold for $10,000.
Clars next Fine Art, Jewelry and Decoratives Auction will be held Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, April 12-14, 2014. The sales will begin promptly at 9:30am. Previews for this sale will be held Friday, April 11th from 1pm to 6pm and 9am each auction day and by appointment. A complete catalog will be available online one week prior to the sale.