PALM BEACH, Fla. — Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches Inc. held its Major Fine Art and Antique auction Sept. 23 in West Palm Beach, offering several local estates. Russian bronzes, Ivory pieces, Chinese items and the fine art, proved popular among the 600 bidders from all around the world. All prices reported include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Two desirable Russian bronzes commanded interest from the floor, phones and the online bidders. A work by Evgeni Alexandrovich Lanceray (1848-1886) of Prince Vyazemskii on Horseback sold for $37,000 to a persistent floor bidder who beat out the phones, Internet and absentee bids. Brian Kogan, the Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches president, remarked “These pieces from the estate of Robert H. Murphy were expected to draw significant interest and sell well because the pieces were of excellent quality and the estimates were relatively low.” A smaller bronze by Lanceray of an officer on horseback, stormed up to $14,400 to a New York telephone bidder.
Quality Chinese items were aggressively pursued. An unusual bronze ring handle vase with more than 500 jeweled diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire paste stones, that was cataloged as a copy of an imperial Chien Lung vase made in the late 1930s-40s with Shou symbols, stormed to $52,400 by a bidder on Liveauctioneers.com.
A three-piece gilt bronze and cloisonne clock set attributed to Lievre, and mounted with an ivory lohan went for $24,000. Additionally, a Chinese bronze of a Liao Guanyin (10th century) sold to a phone bidder from England for $14,400, and a detailed cloisonne enamel snuff bottle with a Chien Lung mark blew past the estimate of $3,000-$4,000 to sell for $8,400.
Despite the concerns over possible future regulations on the sale of ivory in auction rooms, estate ivory pieces sold well. A half tusk carved with the immortals battling dragons, 13 inches long, sold for $15,990, and a heavily carved lidded dragon urn and a pair of 29 1/2-inch tall Quan-yin goddesses sold for $5,500 and $7,995, respectively.
The most surprising lot of the evening was a painting by Italian artist Angelo Dall’Oca Bianca (1858-1942) of a mother and children waiting on a shore with fishing boats that sold for $42,000 to a collector from Verona, where the artist established a home for the destitute in 1939. Bianca had a celebrated career as an artist exhibiting at the major expositions and as the painter for Queen Margherita (1851-1926). Bianca won the gold medal at the Universale Exposition in Paris in 1900. The painting was consigned by a local man who was trying to sell the work in a consignment shop for considerably less for about a year. After going unsold he decided to restore the painting and was referred to the gallery to sell it at auction. After the auction, the consignor was stunned by the results and shocked by the price.
European paintings in the auction all brought competitive bidding; the phones were all booked for a port scene painting by Spanish artist Jose Amat Pages (1901-1991) that climbed to $6,600. A small Jean Dufy (1888-1964) oil on paper from his Circus series earned $9,600. A Georges Croegaert (1848-1923) intimate Cardinal painting went for $5,250. A David Burliuk (1882-1967) interior peasant table scene sold for $7,300 and a Chaim Gross (1904-1991) lyrical bronze of three ballet dancers sold for $3,900.
A few furniture and decor lots brought solid results. A pair of Louis XVI style Marquis chairs upholstered in royal blue velvet sold at $4,500; a pair of 18th/19th century French trumeaus missing their tops sold for $3,600; a LaVerne bronze table in the “Ming” pattern ended at $3,300; and a French 19th century gilded bronze mantle clock earned $2,700.
Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches Inc. celebrated its 10th year in June 2013. The gallery holds roughly 10 auctions per year. For additional information or consignments, contact Brian Kogan or Leslie Baker at 561-805-7115 or at www.AGOPB.com.