Top-quality estate property yields high returns at auction

PASADENA, Calif. — In a sale heavily laden with silver and Continental furnishings, John Moran Auctioneers achieved several excellent results for top quality property from a number of private collections and estates. While those categories are perennially good performers for the Southern California firm, the July 20 auction was also punctuated by many instances of intense competition among the more than 300 bidders for an eclectic range of other types of items, and 79 percent of the 341 lots sold.

The phone lines were fully booked for bidding on a parcel-gilt decorated maple concert harp, manufactured by Lyon & Healy circa 1915. A highly decorative piece in excellent working condition, it doubled its high estimate after a quick succession of bids brought to a final price of $11,500 (all prices include 15 percent buyer’s premium).

A group of four exquisite Art Deco travel clocks also caught the eye of several collectors, driving prices well beyond the high estimates of $900 each. One, of silver and 14 karat gold with an agate floriform surround, made in France and marked J.E. Caldwell, realized $1,265. A Swiss sterling silver and lavender enamel minute repeater, made circa 1925, was the highest earner of the four, bringing $2,875, and a Cartier leather-covered minute repeater with a circular pink enamel dial brought $2,070.

The appeal of Art Deco in this market was demonstrated again when a 6 1/2-inch Demetre Chiparus gilt bronze, ivory and onyx figure of a woman, “The Squall,” circa 1925, realized $6,325. Moran’s recently had great success with another Chiparus figure, selling the largest-sized version of “Les Amies Toujours” for $31,625 in March 2010.

Modern art also continues to gather momentum as Moran’s expands its fine art offerings beyond the firm’s traditional emphasis on American Impressionism and pre-20th century European. A sculpture by Man Ray (1890-1976 New York, NY) of an iron with a nail-studded plate, Cadeau, earned $1,840, well over the high estimate of $1,200.
Other sale highlights include:

A St. Petersburg porcelain jardiniere and underplate, decorated with landscapes in the reserves and bearing the mark of Alexander II, 1871: $9,775, three times its presale estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.

A carved Carrara marble figure of a fisher boy, signed Bacherini, 1897, Firenze, depicting a boy with hat holding a pole and fish, on a mottled green marble pedestal: $9,200, well above its estimate of $3,000 to $5,000.

A massive Italian Baroque style walnut sideboard, late 19th century, elaborately carved with a figure of Neptune, mermen, griffins and grotesque masks: $6,325, exceeding a presale estimate of $2,000 to $4,000.

Moran’s next antiques auction is scheduled for Sept. 28, 2010, and their next California and American Art Auction, the final of three occurring in 2010, is Oct. 19, 2010.

Moran’s is currently taking consignments for both sales. All sales are held at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif., and catalogs are posted at two to three weeks prior to each sale.

For more information call 626-793-1833 or e-mail ?


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