Estates auction offers up art glass, netsuke, signed jewelry

PALM BEACH, Fla. – Three fantastic collections – of 1920s Rene Lalique glass, netsuke carving and signed estate jewelry – will headline a 500-lot estates auction planned for Sunday, Oct. 27, by A. B. Levy’s, in the firm’s main gallery located at 211 Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. The action will get underway at 1 p.m. (EST), with previews lasting one week.

19th century Italian micromosaic table top of circular form, with rectangular panel attributed to Aguatti ($500,000-$800,000).

19th century Italian micromosaic table top of circular form, with rectangular panel attributed to Aguatti ($500,000-$800,000). Image courtesy A.B. Levy

Officially dubbed “Magnificent Jewels, Art, Antiques and Asian Works of Art,” the auction is packed with quality merchandise from prominent area estates and collections. In addition to the above-mentioned collections, it also features highly collectible timepieces by Patek Philippe, 19th and 20th century furniture, sterling silver and impressive works of fine art.

“I’ve never seen a collection of netsuke quite as exciting as the one we have in this sale,” said Albert Levy of A.B. Levy’s. “Every carving is just outstanding.” An example lot is a Meiji period (1868-1912) Japanese carved wood and lacquer netsuke of a suit of armor atop a storage trunk. Measuring just two inches in height, the piece carries a presale estimate of $500-$800.

Nearly 75 lots of Rene Lalique glass, all from circa 1920s, will be offered in consecutive lots, one right after the other. “It’s a great collection,” Levy remarked, pointing to a molded opalescent glass statuette titled Suzanne, signed Rene Lalique and standing nine inches tall. The model, first introduced in 1925, is expected to command between $20,000 and $30,000.


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Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph, 18kt white gold with original box and paperwork ($70,000-$100,000).

Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph, 18-karat white gold with original box and paperwork ($70,000-$100,000).

“Many pieces in the jewelry collection are signed, and each one is better than the next,” Levy observed. One is an important sapphire and diamond ring, centered by an octagonal-shaped brilliant cut sapphire certified to be from Sri Lanka (where some of the world’s best sapphires originate) weighing 15.02 carats, flanked by triangle-shaped diamonds (est. $12,000-$18,000).

Many jewelry lots signed by David Webb will be offered. One is an 18kt platinum and diamond rock crystal ring, centered by an emerald cut diamond weighing approximately 3.25 carats (est. $20,000-$30,000). There are additional diamonds on each side weighing about one carat. The other is a fine 18kt yellow gold rope bracelet with a hidden clasp ($4,000-$6,000).

Certain to attract keen bidder interest is a fine collection of Patek Philippe timepieces. An example is an 18kt white gold perpetual calendar chronograph, with a mechanical movement with moon phases, AM/PM indicator and leap year indicator ($70,000-$100,000). The watch comes with a sapphire case back, the original box and all the original paperwork dating to 2006.


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From the same group is a Patek Philippe 18-karat yellow gold keyless pocket watch designed in the style of Louis XV and made circa 1890 ($15,000-$30,000). The domed back cover is decorated with a scene of St. George and the Dragon and the interior of the case has a scene of Christ on a ship in a rough sea. It has radial blue Roman numerals on oval white enamel reserves.

Chinese carved jade figure of a beauty shown standing wearing flowing robes, 12 inches tall ($10,000-$20,000).

Chinese carved jade figure of a beauty shown standing wearing flowing robes, 12 inches tall ($10,000-$20,000).

In addition to netsuke, the Asian category will feature jade, coral, snuff bottles, ivory, lapis, tiger’s eye and a few porcelain pieces. Highlight lots will include a Qing Dynasty Chinese carved red coral group depicting two beauties, each holding an attribute, mounted on a carved ivory base, 17 1/2 inches long by 17 inches tall ($40,000-$60,000); and a Chinese carved jade figure of a beauty, shown standing wearing flowing robes, 12 inches tall ($10,000-$20,000).

Art collectors in search of a stamped, marked and numbered limited-edition pottery by Pablo Picasso are in luck. Sold will be a glazed ceramic charger, 16 1/2 inches in diameter, numbered 51 of 100 (a low number edition for Picasso), titled Faune Cavalier. The work was conceived in 1956, when Picasso was at the height of his genius. It should hit $12,000-$18,000.

Ironically, what might end up being the auction’s top earner isn’t from any of the major collections or categories. It is a 19th century very fine Italian micromosaic table top of circular form, centered by a rectangular panel attributed to Arguatti ($500,000-$800,000). The table top, 31 inches in diameter and 28 1/2 inches tall, comes with a Neoclassical-style gilt-bronze base.

In addition to a date-of-sale morning preview, daily previews will be held Oct. 21-26, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For those unable to attend in person, Internet bidding will be available via LiveAuctioneers.com, Artfact.com and Saleroom.com. Phone and left bids will also be taken. A buyer’s premium of 20 percent will be applied to all purchases up to $100,000 (and 15 percent after that).

A.B. Levy’s is actively accepting quality consignments for the Oct. 27 auction and all future sales. To consign a single piece, an estate or an entire collection, you may call them at 561-835-9139, or you can e-mail them at info@ablevys.com. To learn more about A.B. Levy’s and the Oct. 27 auction, visit www.ablevys.com.

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