CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Not even a relentless ice and snow storm thwarted would-be buyers at Jackson’s International Dec. 4 and 5 auction.
The auction featured American and European fine art, as well as antiques from a variety of estates and collections, and also included a good selection of Russian works. Despite the weather, which shut down airports and highways, the auction attracted more than 600 registered bidders (including more than 150 in-house) representing 34 states and 16 countries producing total sales of $3.2 million.
This 67-inch by 51-inch oil on canvas by French artist Hugues Merle (1823-1881) set a new world record auction price when it sold for $377,600 at Jackson’s International Dec. 4 auction in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Lot number 1 set the tone for the remainder of the sale. A 67-inch by 51-inch oil on canvas, titled Romeo and Juliet, by French artist Hugues Merle (1823-1881) opened at $30,000 and quickly made its way past the $150,000 mark, topping out at $377,600, with an 18 percent buyer’s premium. The price is an auction record for the artist.
According to Jessica Brogan of Jackson’s European Paintings department, “the painting had been stored by the consignors for over a decade in an unheated mini storage unit together with a variety of other items. Needless to say they were elated, in fact almost speechless, when they heard the results.”
The Russian works in the sale garnered considerable national and international interest, particularly those from the workshop of Faberge. Highlights include a small (4 inches in diameter) simple desk clock in white guilloche enamel by Faberge, which crossed the block at $118,000.
One of the most interesting items to sell in the second session came towards the end of the auction. A rare first edition of The Great Bible, 1539, by Richard Grafton and Edward Whitechurch, gaveled for $46,000, with buyer’s premium.
The 15-inch by 10-inch codex, in a later leather binding, is highly sought by collectors for it historical significance. Although it was printed eight decades after the famous Gutenberg Bible, it was nevertheless the first authorized edition of the Bible printed in English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England to be read aloud in the church services of the Church of England.
For more information on this or upcoming auctions, call 800-665-6743, or go online to www.jacksonsauction.com.