LITCHFIELD, Conn. — A figural bronze statue of a warrior on his steed by the German artist Franz Von Stuck (1863-1928) sold for $20,880 in an online auction held Feb. 3-17 by Litchfield County Auctions, Inc. The bronze, titled Amazon, was the top achiever in a sale that saw over 1,000 lots change hands and grossed nearly $1 million. Internet bidding was facilitated by iGavelAuctions.com.
“This was our annual Winter Antiques Auction and it was the single largest sale in our 16-year history,” said Nicholas Thorn of Litchfield County Auctions, Inc. “We enjoyed a sell-through rate of over 90 percent, and the total gross of more than $966,000 included the $50,000 tag sale. The presale estimate of items sold was $550,000 to $850,000, so the grand total was above even the high estimate.”
Thorn added, “In contrast to what some feared might be too big of an auction, the size and quality of the sale turned out to be its own finest selling points. The results were phenomenal.” The auction featured American and European art and antiques, including two single-owner collections, one of early Mediterranean furniture and another of over 300 outstanding Mettlach beer steins and plaques.
By the time it was all over, a total of 4,745 bids had been submitted, with 387 winning bidders representing 11 foreign countries (Canada, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, England, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and Bermuda) and 31 different U.S. states. Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the 20 percent buyer’s premium.
The Von Stuck bronze went to a determined bidder from Germany, and that set the tone for the auction overall, as bidders from around the world logged on. The second top lot went to an American, however, as a set of 12 early 20th century walnut high-back leather dining chairs in the 17th century style hit $20,400. Also, a mid-17th century North European Baroque walnut trestle table made $10,620.
Fine art was offered in abundance. Tops in the category (after the Von Stuck) was a bronze figural group by Evgeni Lanceray (Russian, 1848-1886), titled Troika and Driver. The work was signed in Cyrillic and dated 1881, on a marble base. It climbed to $15,660. Also, a series of six prints by Spanish artist Salvador Dali (1904-1989), from his Le Cirque Series (1965), gaveled for $14,400.
Another work by Lanceray also made the top ten: a bronze figural group titled Cossack on Horseback Charging With a Lance. The work, on a wood base, was signed in Cyrillic, with the name and date stamped 1877. With a nice dark patina, the bronze went for $8,724.
An archaic (pre-700 B.C.) Greek hollow head of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and wheat (circa 5th-6th century B.C.), large size, wearing a tall polos and standing on a green marble plinth with wooden stand, topped out at $10,500. Also, a Martin Brothers stoneware double-face jug (dated May 1899), with a two-sided body showing grinning faces and signed on the base, hit the mark at $9,300.
A 79-piece Buccellati sterling silver flatware set, made in Milan, Italy in the 20th century, in the Torchon pattern and boasting a combined total gross weight of 159.89 troy ounces, fetched $8,400. Also, a circa 1817 silk and chenille needlework sampler, attributed to the Butler School and wrought by Maria Curtis of Wethersfield, Conn., who died an early death in 1818 at age 12, rose to $6,060.
A great pair of Gothic Revival gray painted bookcases, English, made around 1860, with arch-form openings, coasted to $5,880; an impressive early 20th century Sultanabad carpet, blue ground with red border, climbed to $4,920; and a partial gilt bronze 20th century 12-light chandelier, electrified, acanthus decorated and surmounted by a putti on the top tier, was a relative bargain at just $4,680.
A German Villeroy & Boch Mettlach stein, made circa 1880-1920, etched type, 5.8-liter, signed Schlitt and depicting a knight on a white horse with a turret on top with inlay and a pewter rim, thumb lift and hinge, found anew owner for $4,638. Also, a George III English mahogany and satinwood marquetry inlaid demilune card table (circa 1780-1820), with nice brass mounts, coasted to $3,960.
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A pair of bronze obelisks (French, 19th century) – one a model of Napoleon’s Column; the other inscribed “En Presence du Roi Phillippe” and dated 1836, with spurious hieroglyphics, originally holding a thermometer – both on black marble bases, earned $3,840; and a redware bowl, American or English, made in the late 19th century and with a yellow squiggle pattern slip decoration, made $3,840.
A Chippendale carved mahogany fold-over card table (New York, circa 1760-1785), with a rounded-edged top, gadrooned rails, acanthus carved legs with ball and claw feet, and a single leaf-edge tenon, hammered for $3,780; and a fine Favrile stained glass window attributed to Tiffany (American, circa 1900), unsigned, of rectangular form, depicting lilies in a stylized border, hit $3,600.
A Continental 19th century ormolu mounted onyx and enamel planter, with chamfered corners, each with bronze female bust mounts and applied enamel panels, the sides with an applied scrolling enamel ornament, chalked up $3,300; and a pair of Russian pear-form teapots, marked and dated 1856, with bone handle fittings and leave decoration, with a gross weight of 41.65 troy ounces, made $3,246.
Litchfield County Auctions holds major auctions, featuring fresh-to-the-market property from prominent local estates, six times a year. The firm’s 10,000-square-foot gallery is located about a mile south of The Green in Litchfield.
Litchfield County Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. For consignment information, call them at 860-567-4661; or e-mail them at email@example.com. The street address is 425 Bantam Rd. (Route 202), Litchfield, CT 06759. For more information on the firm, visit www.litchfieldcountyauctions.com.
Photos courtesy Litchfield County Auctions.
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