A GIA-certified 6.77-carat modern Champagne diamond ring slipped onto a new finger for $31,000 and a monumental figural hall bench (or settle), attributed to R. J. Horner (N.Y., 1853-1922), gaveled for $28,320 at Ahlers & Ogletree
s New Years Signature Estates Auction, held January 14th-16th in the firms gallery at 715 Miami Circle (Suite 210) in Atlanta.
About 200 of the 1,491 lots in the sale were from the estate of Diane Smith McIver, a prominent businesswoman and former president of Corey Airport Services in Atlanta who recently passed away. These included fine purses and bags by high-end designers, high-end estate jewelry and luxurious furs and designer outfits. The diamond ring just mentioned was not from her estate.
The ring, however, was the top lot in an auction that netted about $1.1 million. The fine diamond boasted Y-Z color and VS1 clarity with strong blue fluorescence. It was flanked to each side with six prong-set tapered baguette cut natural diamonds with a total weight of 1.5 carats, all mounted on three bands. The middle band was platinum and the two outer bands were 14kt white gold.
The late 19th century figural hall bench with Horner attribution was a massive, heavily carved and highly detailed piece, 104 ¼ inches tall by 63 ¼ inches wide, with a pierced carved crest centered with cartouche and cabochon. Carvings included winged mermen, flowers and foliage, griffin, cupids, dolphins and more, the whole raised on front scrolled feet centered with a mask.
The in-house crowd totaled 723 bidders, while 12,637 others registered to bid online 9,327 on LiveAuctioneers.com, 3,078 on Invaluable.com and 232 on Bidsquare.com. In all, just under 1,500 lots came up for bid. Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include the buyers premium, which differed depending on how the winning bid was placed.
Items from the McIver estate included a ladies Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust two-tone watch, having a gold face with white diamond markers, a fluted bezel and sapphire crystal. The watch brought $8,260. From the Asian category, a fine and diminutive (not quite 5 inches tall) Chinese bronze covered tripod censer from the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), unmarked, made $6,200.
A hand-carved wood and polychrome articulating figural masthead (or ships figurehead) in the form of a young man or boy of near-human scale holding a white dove bird, possibly a reference to the biblical story of Noah and the ark, when the Old Testament prophet released a dove while safe aboard ship to find land, apparently unmarked and 35 inches in height, commanded $8,850.
A first-edition first-printing copy of the novel Gone With the Wind (Macmillan Company, 1936), signed on the first free endpaper by author Margaret Mitchell (Am., 1900-1949), sold for $7,080; and a Mid-Century Modern sofa made circa the 1970s by Milo Baughman (Am., 1923-2003), for Thayer Coggin (American, founded 1953), with original amethyst velvet upholstery, hit $3,245.
A Fauvist-style oil on canvas painting signed by Jean de Botton (Fr., 1898-1978), titled Fleurs Joyeuse, done circa 1966-1971 and depicting a low porcelain vase and a bright floral bouquet, realized $5,890. Also from France, an early 20th century French carved oak barley twist tray table on stand with a carved and foliated pierced gallery and parquetry inlaid top finished at $2,596.
An International Silver Company (American, founded 1898) silver plated lighthouse form cocktail shaker, made circa 1920s and with the impressed Meriden mark at the base, breezed to $3,630; and a 126-piece set of fine and heavily silverplate flatware set in the Perles pattern, made circa the 1920s by Christolfe (French, founded 1830), with Christolfe chest, gaveled for $9,920.
Ahlers & Ogletrees next auction is planned for March 25th and 26th, also in the firms Atlanta gallery. As with all Ahlers & Ogletree auctions, it will feature quality merchandise in a broad range of categories hand-selected items, pulled from prominent local estates and collections.