The two-day Great Estates auction ended 2008 for Rago’s with the gift of a solid sale. When the bidding was through, 88 percent of the 950+ lots were sold for a total hammer of just under $1.5 million. On Dec. 6-7, in-room bidders were joined by 130 absentee bidders, just over 200 phone bidders and more than 1,000 online bidders.
“The property in this auction appealed to both serious collectors of world-class work and those seeking beautiful holiday gifts, priced right,” said Tom Martin, director of the Dec. 6 sale.
“The sell-through of 96 percent on our jewelry alone was lovely,” said Sarah Churgin, who directed Sunday’s sale of jewelry and silver.
Saturday’s star was a complementary pair of street scenes attributed to the 18th century Flemish artist Jans Frans Beschey, which sold to a bidder in New York City for $66,000 and $72,000 after competition from bidders in the U.K., Belgium, Scandinavia and the U.S.
Other art lots of note include a bronze plaque by August St. Gaudens, selling for $7,800; Ankara Dancer by an artist after Claire Jeanne Robert Colinet, selling for $11,400; and a number of other fine bronzes, including a sculpture of a horse by 19th century French artist Pierre Lenordez.
A collection of Royal Worcester highlighted the sale’s selection of glass and porcelain. It included a highly coveted pair of covered urns decorated with Highland cattle, hand-painted by John Stinton, circa 1914, selling for $10,800 against its presale estimate of $2,000-$3,000.
Among the furniture standouts: a set of dining chairs attributed to Herter Brothers for $7,200 and a number of other lots selling well over high estimates, including a Louis XVI chaise and a pair of Continental and Aesthetic Movement brass side tables.
Also selling well: portrait miniatures, Chinese robes, crystal and Sevres caskets, a group of Devilbiss perfume bottles, and Persian rugs, rounding out a finely varied sale.
Attractive estimates on privately-owned property proved a winning formula in the Dec. 7 sale of jewelry and silver. A terrific Raymond Yard gem-set brooch of a bird sold for $12,000 and a heavy 18k David Webb cuff for $8,400. Not only modern jewelry by name makers proved popular. A pair of Japanesque earrings from Tiffany and Co., dated to the turn-of-the-last-century, rightfully fetched a strong $10,200. An impeccable silk brocade and gem-set 1920s clutch by Cartier for more than twice its high estimate at $6,000.
Highlights of the sale’s many diamonds and gemstones: a diamond and dementoid starburst brooch at $7,200 and a classic Art Deco diamond ring selling for $16,800. Gentleman’s accessories included Patek Philippe watches, designer jewelry and objets de vertu, with a Tiffany Co. gent’s dress set in onyx, platinum and diamonds selling for $7,800 and a gem-set gold cigarette case that belonged to silent film star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle for $3,900.
An Emic Romer George III silver epergne sold for $24,000; a Tiffany and Co. Grecian Revival garniture set sold for $10,200 and a Gustav Klingert enameled tea and coffee service fetched $34,800. Other highlights: a group of 62 U.S. silver certificates selling for $4,500 and an Art Deco frame in jade by Cartier for $8,400.
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