18th century giltwood chairs auction for $225K

BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – A pair of French 18th century Louis XV giltwood fauteuils à la reine sold for $225,000 through Nye & Company Auctioneers‘ decorative arts auction, held online and in the firm’s showroom at 20 Beach Street in Bloomfield, New Jersey. The chairs were the auction’s top lot.

Pair of Louis XV giltwood fauteuils à la reine, made in France circa 1755-1760 by Jean Gourdin, $225,000.

Pair of Louis XV giltwood fauteuils à la reine, made in France circa 1755-1760 by Jean Gourdin, $225,000.

“The unexpected discovery of the fauteuils in a New York City collection was a pleasant surprise, since much of what came from that group was primarily decorative,” said John Nye, president of Nye & Company Auctioneers. “They were, however, of the highest quality, and generated inquiries from all over the world as the word spread. The competition was intense.”

The chairs, originally part of a suite of at least six, were made in France circa 1755-1760 by Jean Gourdin, after designs attributed to Nicolas and Dominique Pineau. One was stamped “Pere Gourdin” and both had a handwritten label “89/4”. Two pairs from the original suite sold at Christie’s in 2001.

Overall the auction performed well and continued to show a strengthening market for traditional decorative arts. In addition to the lively crowd in the room, about 1,100 bids were placed via the online bidding platform LiveAuctioneers.com, and 2,300 more were placed through Invaluable.com. Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

Fine & decorative arts results

Ceramic head pitcher by Pablo Picasso (Sp., 1881-1973), for Madura, black and white with hints of blue, plus a Picasso dove and face plate, marked on verso, $4,400.

Ceramic head pitcher by Pablo Picasso (Sp., 1881-1973), for Madura, black and white with hints of blue, plus a Picasso dove and face plate, marked on verso, $4,400.

Two etchings by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst (British, 1890-1978), piqued bidder interest. Both were of the same subject – Dorette Woodward, a young woman Brockhurst met in 1929 when she was a 17-year-old model at the Royal Academy Schools in London. One etching, titled Adolescence, sold for $15,000, while the other, titled Dorette, brought $3,400. Both were signed.

A ceramic head pitcher by Pablo Picasso (Sp., 1881-1973), for Madura, black and white with hints of blue, plus a Picasso dove and face plate, marked on verso, went for $4,400. Also, a KPM painted tile, depicting a seated scholar with a feather, books and a globe, signed “Eckard,” rose to $2,000; and an 18th century gilded silver Russian icon, Christ the Pantocrator, made $5,300.

From Asia, a handsome 20th century Chinese hardwood horseshoe-back chair with a carved back splat knocked down for $6,800; a 19th/20th century Chinese paint-decorated panel, fitted as a low table, found a new owner for $4,375; and a 20th century Chinese Art Deco rug with butterfly and floral decoration on a purple field went to a determined bidder for $2,000.

18th century gilt silver Russian icon, titled Christ the Pantocrator, $5,300.

18th century gilt silver Russian icon, titled Christ the Pantocrator, $5,300.

In the furniture category, a pate de verre glass side table signed Daum (France), with a glass top attached by cast bronze frog hardware, wowed the crowd for $4,100; a pair of 19th/20th century Italian figural giltwood occasional tables commanded $4,000; and a French Louis XVI-style 19th century mahogany bureau plat with tooled leather inset top, hammered for $2,813.

Other highlights included a Reubens School oil on canvas portrait of a gentleman, unsigned, in a 19th century Italian frame, brought $3,125; a folk art painted desk stand inkwell from the early 20th century, possibly Pennsylvania, the top adorned with carved figures of a male and female lion on a rocky bluff and a band of leaf carvings around the waist made $2,250; and a pair of 20th century Neoclassical-style marble pedestals mounted with ormolu-vases with crystals hit $1,875.

For more information about Nye & Company Auctioneers, visit www.nyeandcompany.com. 

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