Art, furniture and exotic chess sets lead the way in fast-paced spring auction in West Palm Beach

Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches hosted three major sales this spring with impressive results including the biennial Chess Collectors International sale. Brian Kogan, owner of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches, certainly met his goal of the skillful merger of art and commerce in the three sales in his Gallery in March and May.

For the March 31 sale Kogan presented 376 lots to an in-house audience of 80 registered bidders; 759 bidders participating through LiveAuctioneers.com. The inventory ranged from Erte bronzes to French paintings to American and English antique furniture.

The tallest lot in the sale was also the top lot in the sale. A Federal tall case clock, circa 1800, by William Cummens received 23 bids, closing at $30,420 including buyer’s premium, well surpassing the estimate of $10,000-$15,000. The 91-inch-tall mahogany case was topped by an arched hood with latticework crown and brass finials, a glazed door flanked by reeded columns and a painted metal face bearing the signature of Cummens. It was followed in the catalog by a pair of English Regency rosewood card tables with harp bases and rotating D-shaped tops, opening to reveal an unlined playing surface. This pair of gamesters attracted 27 bids to close at $16,380 against the $5,000-$7,000 estimate.

A fine silver gilt enamel Russian Kovsh made by Khlebnikov, 1908-1917, in bombe form with scroll handle, raised on paw feet and decorated in blue, white and red flowers closed on the ninth bid at $4,446 while a 33 1/4-inch-tall marble standing nude by Prof. Bagnelli (Italian 20th century) made $4,388. An oil on canvas by Louis Henri Deschamps (French 1846-1902), Interior of a Girl Sewing went for $3,042.

The gallery executed a complete change of direction and went from a broad based art form to a narrowly focused event for the auction of Chess Collectors International on May 1. This sale featured exotic chess sets, memorabilia and related ephemera from around the world. It was the first CCI sale to be held in the United States since 2002 and was conducted in conjunction with U.S. Seniors Open Chess Tournament held in Boca Raton. The 137 lots attracted 50 bidders to the room and had 82 online through LiveAuctioneers.

The top lot was a unique Japanese 20th-century carved ivory set. The two 3 1/4-inch-tall kings were each signed with a red seal. One set of competitors was lightly stained and the other left natural ivory. Each figure represented an activity in traditional Japanese life. The king was a warlord, the queen held a box, the bishops were ninjas and the knights were samurai. With fitted box and carrying case, the set sold for $15,210. It was followed closely by a rare French/German Dieppe-style carved bone figural set, 18th-19th century. Each figure was fitted with a leather hat and all figures were in period costume. Estimated at $6,000-$8,000, this popular set brought 20 bids and was a nice surprise closing online at $13,420. Most of the remainder of the lots sold in the $1,500-$2,500 range.

The sale on May 19 offered 340 lots of art, porcelain, glass and sculpture mixed with a few pieces of select European antique furniture.

The feature presentation was Paris Scene by Jean Dufy (French 1888-1964). The 18 1/4-inch by 25 3/4-inch gouache work was signed lower right and came with a certificate of authenticity from Leandre Guesnel, Paris, April 16, 1985. Estimated at $20,000-$30,000, it sold on the phone for $32,760. Also warmly received was the oil on canvas Place de la Madeleine by Constantine Kluge (French 1912-2003). With a Palm Beach provenance, it was estimated at $5,000-$8,000, but after 28 bids it closed at $17,550.

American art made an appearance in the form of Phenomena Prism Mirror by Paul Jenkins (American born 1923). The acrylic on canvas was signed and dated 1984 New York on the reverse. It sold on the phone above estimate at $16,380. English artist Henry Scott (1911-1966) made a surprise appearance with his oil on canvas Crossing the Line. With the same Palm Beach provenance as the Jenkins work and estimated at $3,000-$4,000, it sold for a delightful $10,530. A 142-piece set of Georg Jensen sterling silver flatware, post 1945, in “Acorn” pattern hammered at $12,870.

Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches celebrated its fifth birthday on June 30 with a major Sporting and Fine Arts auction. For information about this sale and upcoming sales call (561) 805-7115, email info@agopb.com or visit www.agopb.com. The Gallery is located at 1609 South Dixie Hwy, Suite 5, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.

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