$20 yard sale buy sets new record for Goyard trunk at antiques auction

OAKLAND, Calif. — It can still happen. The $20 garage sale buy can still become the unknown treasure that turns into $5,600. And this is what happened at an Aug. 8 estate sale held by Clars Auction Gallery.

The consignors bought at a local garage sale what they thought was a charming old trunk, paying just $20. Downsizing, so popular today, found them consigning the item to Clars for the August sale. When Deric Torres, Clars’ decorative arts specialist, evaluated the piece he determined it was a circa 1900 E. Goyard trunk still laden with original decals from an era long past. Travel decals included Cunard White Star and Pullman Golden Arrow while country labels included France, Italy and England including Victoria Station.

The steamer trunk itself, produced by the French luxury luggage maker, Francois Goyard, measured 22 inches high by 32 inches wide and 19 inches deep. The latches were signed “Goyard Aine, Monte Carlo, Biarritz, Paris” and the initial “G.N.F., S.F. No 4” were painted on the exterior.

The consignors believed that the trunk may have been owned by a San Francisco opera star who traveled the world. Unable to confirm this provenance, Torres and the staff at Clars assigned the conservative presale estimate of $1,500 to $2,500 on the piece.

Possible provenance aside, bidding exploded when the trunk came up. Quickly surpassing its high estimate, the trunk sold for an astounding $5,629. A new auction record for a single Goyard trunk of this style.

Clars’ next estates auction is Sept. 11-12, 2010. For a list of lots visit www.clars.com or 5644 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.

To register call 888-339-7600 or e-mail info@clars.com. ?


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