NORTHPORT, Ala. – A dazzling 2.20-carat marquise diamond ring set in white gold, with a total weight of 4.69 carats and carrying an appraised value of around $40,000, slipped onto a new finger for $18,700 at a multi-estate sale held May 4 by Hal Hunt Auctions. The auction was held at Hal Hunt Auctions’ spacious gallery, located at 5925 Hwy. 43 in Northport, Ala. In all, more than 400 lots changed hands.
“This was a pretty good sale, and a much different sale than our previous auction in February,” remarked Hal Hunt. “Then, about 90 percent of the merchandise went to collectors. This time, I’d say 75 percent of the lots were bought up by dealers. And you can only say that for a sale that features all fresh-to-the-market, estate merchandise. And that’s just what we had – great items and great bargains.”
Most of what was sold comprised the impressive third-generation collection of a lady from Tuscaloosa, Ala. Her items included porcelains, Dresden, Miessen, sterling silver, antique paintings, clock sets, mirrors, bronze statues, marble pedestals, chandeliers and fine furniture. The auction also featured a wonderful estate from Europe, plus other smaller consignments. About 125 people attended.
The diamond ring was the top lot of the auction. It was an old-fashioned country sale, in that there was no Internet bidding and not even phone bids. “We did have some absentee bids, but most of those got outbid by people in the room,” Hunt said. “The big news was the dealer turnout. We had dealers in from California, New York, Tennessee and Alabama, mostly.”
Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.
From the fine furniture group, an Italian walnut five-piece bedroom set with king-size bed (circa 1880), heavily carved, soared to $11,000; a monumental French cabinet with Sevres porcelain plaques and slide-out writing desk (6 feet tall by 4 feet wide, circa 1880s) gaveled for $5,500 (“a bargain at that price,” said Hunt); and a nice rosewood inlaid ladies’ desk (circa 1900) crossed the block at $3,300.
A beautiful inlaid marble-top French sideboard (circa 1910) achieved $3,850; several gorgeous antique Vassiliers commanded prices ranging from $1,725 to $1,980; a nice selection of Louis Phillip chests, all made around 1840, brought winning bids in the $1,540-$1,980 range; a French country china buffet (circa 1860s) fetched $1,650; and a rare French three-drawer chest (circa 1840s) realized $2,420.
“With regard to furniture, large pieces were going for very reasonable prices,” Hunt said, “and buyers were gobbling up some great values. Items that should have been bringing $2,500 and up were selling for as little as $1,500. Like I said, dealers were having a field day, but the buying public – at least those savvy enough to realize what this sale truly had to offer – took home some treasures, too.”
Several clocks were offered, but two stood out: a stylish French country grandfather clock made in the 1870s chimed on time for $1,650, while an early English grandfather clock from the 1850s brought $2,750. Also, an antique polychrome wood Venetian blackamoor (7 feet, 10 inches tall, circa 1860s) topped out at $6,325; and a fine needlepoint throne chair with cherubs (circa 1920s) hit $1,210.
Decorative accessories – almost all of them from the Tuscaloosa lady’s collection – had paddles wagging, as everything from wonderful examples of Miessen and Dresden to smalls and urns went to determined bidders from prices that spanned a $300-$5,000 range. The star of the category had to be the jaw-dropping three-piece porcelain and bronze clock set from the 1880s that hammered for $9,900.
Another three-piece porcelain and bronze clock set (circa 1890s) coasted to $3,058. Also, a 13-piece set of Sevres porcelain plates rose to $2,200; a fine silver-plated centerpiece, with cut glass bowls (2 feet tall), realized $1,650; a handsome sterling silver pitcher from the late 19th century (1 foot, 3 inches tall) made $1,980; and a French bronze and porcelain wall sconce (circa 1880s) reached $1,540.
Hal Hunt Auctions’ next big sale will be held on Sunday, June 29, beginning at 12:30 p.m. A preview will be held the day before, on Saturday, June 28, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Hal Hunt Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them directly at (205) 333-2517. Or, you can e-mail them at email@example.com.
For more information on the company or the calendar of upcoming auctions, you may visit Hal Hunt Auctions online at www.halhunt.com.