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Rare Francois Linke piano leads Fall Furniture and Decorative Arts Auctions at Bonhams
Leading "The Connoisseur's Eye" was a Louis XV style art case piano by celebrated Parisian cabinetmaker Francois Linke, circa 1907, that sold for $293,000.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams announced its San Francisco-based auctions of "The Connoisseur's Eye: A Private Collection of European Furniture, Paintings and Decorative Arts" on October 28 and "Fine European Furniture and Decorative Arts," the day prior, achieved a cumulative $2.6 million.

Leading "The Connoisseur's Eye" was a Louis XV style art case piano by celebrated Parisian cabinetmaker Francois Linke, circa 1907, that sold for $293,000. The piano nearly doubled its low estimate of $150,000. According to the Linke archives and "Francois Linke (1855-1946): The Belle Epoque of French Furniture" by Christopher Payne, it is one of only two examples made.

Also standing out in the single-owner sale was an Italian 19th century marble figure of “Esmeralda and the Goat Djali” by Antonio Rossetti that sold for $87,500 - nearly three times its $30,000 high estimate. An equally fine pair of Louis XV style bronze figural torcheres by Graux-Marly, 19th century, brought $68,750.

A key furniture highlight was a pair of Louis XV style 'Vernis Martin' decorated vitrine cabinets by leading 19th century cabinetmaker Henry Dasson. The pair took in $81,250 ahead of a $60,000 high estimate.

An exquisite oil on canvas of "An Arcadian Beauty" by John William Godward, which graced the back cover of the sale's catalogue, brought $81,250. Other fine art highlights included "Femme assise," a chalk drawing by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, circa 1900, that sold for $60,000 and "Cheval se cabrant (La courbette)," a counterproof on wove paper transferred from the original charcoal drawing, by Edgar Degas, 1881-1885, which took in $35,000.

The October 27 auction was led by a marble bust of Madame Eliot (Frances Eliot Austin) by American sculptor Hiram Powers, 1848, that achieved $31,250 ahead of a $10,000 high estimate. Frances Eliot was married to Charles Lee Austin (1814-1866), the American minister to Florence. Mr. & Mrs. Austin were friends with Hiram Powers and his wife. The bust was offered by descendants of Frances Austin.

Fine Continental furniture and decorative arts also sold well, including a pair of Continental giltwood mirrors and a fine Portuguese Baroque style brass mounted walnut cabinet on a stand, each from the first half of the 19th century, which achieved $21,250 and $20,000, respectively. An ivory covered pedestal cup from the fourth quarter of the 19th century also stood out, bringing $20,000. A rare Louis XVI paint decorated four panel floor screen, circa 1790, brought $18,750.

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