Russian silver casket soars to $256,750

> With a full house of bidders in the Washington, D.C. gallery, and on the phones and on the Internet, the auction totaled over $950,000, with 89 percent selling by lot.


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Tiffany & Co. sterling six-piece coffee and tea service with tray, New York, 1907-1938, $9,000, excluding buyer's premium. Photo courtesy Weschler's.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Excitement was in the air at Weschler’s Feb. 12 auction of European & American Furniture and Decorations including Asian Works of Art when a Russian silver gilt cloisonne and en-plein enamel casket went on the auction block. The casket, made by Antip Ivanovich Kuzmichev, Moscow, 1896-1908, garnered a lot of attention prior to the auction and once bidding began the casket soared past its estimate of $30,000 to $50,000 and sold to an overseas phone bidder for $256,750.

Other Russian standouts of the day included a 19th century porcelain Easter egg, probably made by the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory in St. Petersburg ($4,700); a bronze figural group of two mounted Cossacks after a model by Russian artist Eugene-Alexandre Lanceray (1848-1887) ($4,230); and a silver-gilt icon of St. John the Baptist, which realized $4,935 against a $1,000 to $1,500 presale estimate.

The auction also featured a noteworthy selection of furnishings, decorations and fine art from a historic landmark in our nation’s capital – St. John’s Episcopal Church. Among the offerings were a pair of 19th century Venetian architectural works in the manner of Francesco Guardi ($16,450) and two oils of “The Grand Canal, Venice,” in the circle of Francesco Guardi (Italian 1712-1793), which realized $35,250 and $9,400, respectively. In addition, an impressive American gilt and patinated metal eight-light chandelier, attributed to Cornelius and Baker, Philadelphia, circa 1860, fetched $22,325 and a pair of Italian Rococo style walnut trestle-base side tables enticed a bidding war and eventually sold for $7,050 against a $1,000 to $1,500 presale estimate.

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Manner of Francesco Guardi (Italian, 19th century), Venetian architectural caprice: a pair of works, oil on canvas mounted panel, 52 1/2 inches by 34 1/4 inches, $14,000, excluding buyer’s premium.

Highlighting the selection of European and American furniture offerings was a Japanese salmon-red ground lacquer cabinet on later George II style giltwood stand ($5,405); a set of 11 Italian Renaissance Revival oak dining chairs ($5,405); a pair of Federal crossbanded mahogany fold-top card tables, attributed to the workshop of Duncan Phyfe, New York, circa 1810 ($7,050); a Queen Anne mahogany stained maple highboy, Massachusetts or Connecticut, circa 1770 ($2,820); and an American cast iron figure of a stag, probably J. W. Fiske Iron Works, New York, circa 1870, which sold for $4,465.

Tiffany Desk Treasures: A Collector's Guide Including a Catalogue Raisonne of Tiffany Studios and Tiffany Furnaces Desk Accessories
Tiffany Desk Treasures: A Collector’s Guide Including a Catalogue Raisonne of Tiffany Studios and
Tiffany Furnaces Desk Accessories

The decorative arts section featured two lots of late 19th-early 20th century Presidential porcelain plates, which brought $1,997 and $3,055; an American Stars and Stripes’ pieced and appliqued cotton crib bedcover by Amelia C. Johnson, Wilmington, Del., circa 1860 ($5,875); a Mason’s ironstone chinoiserie part dinner service, circa 1820, sailed to $8,812; and a pair of life-size Venetian polychrome decorated and giltwood blackamoor torcheres, 20th century, realized $6,462.

Silver continued its strong run with a Tiffany & Co. sterling six-piece coffee and tea service with tray, New York, 1907-1938, selling within estimate for $10,575; a George III Irish silver epergne by Michael Homer, Dublin, 1787, bringing $8,812; and a set of 12 Japanese sterling Chrysanthemum service plates by Asahi Shoten, Tokyo, 1946-1950, realizing $7,050.

Among the selection of Asian works of art was a Chinese silver inlaid bronze censer, which caused a stir among the phone bidders, selling to an overseas bidder for $11,750; a Chinese Export ivory box and a sectional bamboo ‘mountain pavilion’ carving sold to an Internet bidder for $6,627; and a Chinese Longquan celadon shallow bowl from the Ming Dynasty fetched $2,585.

Weschler’s next auction of European & American Furniture and Decorations will be May 14. For more information, contact Weschler’s at 202-628-1281 or info@weschlers.com.

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More Images:

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Russian silver gilt cloisonné and en-plein enamel casket Antip Ivanovich Kuzmichev, Moscow, 1896-1908, $230,000, excluding buyer's premium.
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American gilt and patinated metal eight-light chandelier attributed to Cornelius and Baker, Philadelphia, circa 1860, $19,000, excluding buyer's premium.
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Pair of Federal crossbanded mahogany fold-top card tables attributed to the workshop of Duncan Phyfe, New York, circa 1810, $6,000, excluding buyer's premium.
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Mathurin Moreau (French 1822-1912), Le Retour de la Moisson: two bronzes, $9,000, excluding buyer's premium.

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