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.
|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
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.
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Tiaras have always inspired a great fascination and the most beautiful and influential women have been painted, photographed and admired whilst wearing them. Even in the twenty-first century they are still worn and continue to inspire special poise and elegance. This lavishly illustrated book includes new photographs of a variety of Royal tiaras together with those of French and Russian Imperial provenances. Geoffrey Munn has been granted special access to the photographic archives of many famous jewellers, including Cartier, Boucheron and Faberg,, for his research. Other makers include Castellani, Fouquet, Garrards, Giuliano, Lalique, and Tiffany. Among the contemporary pieces illustrated are tiaras belonging to Jamie Lee Curtis, Vivienne Westwood, Elton John and Madonna, made by Slim Barratt, Galliano and Versace.
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