A beautiful Parisian street scene with figures, rendered by the French artist Henri Victor Lesur (1863-1900), housed in an ornate frame and measuring 2 feet 8 inches by 2 feet 4 inches, crossed the block for $14,575 at a multi-estate sale held June 29 by Hal Hunt Auctions. Artwork dominated the event, although the top lot was a stunning 5.44-carat Marquise diamond ring that soared to $67,100.
About 500 lots changed hands at the one-day sale, all of them consigned from prominent local estates. “Overall it was a good day, with some highs and some lows,” remarked Hal Hunt of Hal Hunt Auctions, “but that’s what makes for a good auction. The auction business is holding strong right now, despite what you hear about the economy on the radio and TV. We were very pleased with this sale.”
About 200 people attended the event; there was no online bidding component and no phone bidding. Following are highlights from the sale. All prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.
A collection of 12 original works of folk art by the late Alabama painter W. (Willie) Walker went for prices ranging from $1,000-$2,750 each. Walker was a black artist from Bullock County, Ala., in the Blues Old Stand area of Alabama. He died about ten years ago, at age 93. Over the course of his life Walker painted more than 60 works of folk art, all in oil.
In the fine art category, a landscape painting signed by the British artist Thomas Creswick (1811-1869), housed in an ornate frame, achieved $4,400 and a porcelain plaque depicting a figure in period dress and housed in a period bronze frame (circa 1890s), went for $440.
A 178-piece Wallace sterling silver set in the Grand Baroque pattern garnered $6,600; an alabaster Art Deco statue lamp with pedestal, beautifully made in the 1920s and standing 5 feet 7 inches tall, changed hands for $1,155; and a set of six sterling mint julep cups , all matching and made in the 1880s, went to a local collector from Tuscaloosa for $302.50 each ($1,815 for the set of six).
A large cylinder music box with the original stand, made in the early 1900s, realized $5,500; a pair of early French Dore bronze and maple lamps, signed F. Barbedienne and crafted in the 1880s, climbed to $6,050 for the pair; another Barbedienne creation, an antique solid bronze of a reclining lady made in the early 1900s, brought $4,125; and a Nippon Indian plate hammered for $385.
A 10-foot-long double pedestal dining room table with eight Chippendale chairs went to a determined bidder for $5,500; a nearly new English-style mahogany breakfront with desk, meant to resemble a Baker piece and at 7 1/2 feet tall by 7 feet wide, went to a local home for $4,950; and a pair of distressed leather wingback chairs with an English crest in back hit $1,650 each.
A pair of marble-top inlaid lingerie chests, true left and right and made in the 1920s, 4 1/2 feet tall, commanded $1,320 each; a pair of monumental Paris porcelain vases made around the 1880s were claimed by a local buyer for $2,750 for the two; a late 19th-century marquetry inlaid marble-top demi lune chest made $1,760; and a pair of 5-drawer inlaid lingerie chests, circa 1900, brought $1,210 each.
A 19th century trumeau mirror with console, 9 feet 4 inches tall by 3 feet 4 inches wide, made in the 1880s, crossed the finish line at $6,050; an all-original antique Chicago mosaic leaded glass lamp with a colorful, Tiffany-like shade was snapped up by a local collector for $1,925; a panel glass lamp with lighted base topped out at $715; and a beautiful panel glass lamp with peach-tone shade also hit $715.