With gallery in limbo, Don Presley Auctions moves online

ORANGE, Calif. – Among the obscurities up for bids at Don Presley Auctions’ Aug. 11, 2012 sale is what’s described as an “old Sultan photo album” filled with collodion images of inhabitants and buildings in the Middle East. The auction is exclusively online after recent wranglings with city officials.

Don Presley Auction

From the Scottish Rite Museum of Los Angeles, a photo album featuring images made via the “wet plate” process in which the photographer would wet a sheet of glass with collodian.

Both fire and zoning officials are forcing Presley to relocate his business or pay roughly $60,000 on improvements because they claim his building does not meet fire and and occupancy regulations. Presley moved his auction company to the West Katella Boulevard complex in earlier this year. Current restrictions limit the number of people in the 7,200 square-foot building to just 50 persons making it impossible to host catalog auctions, according to a report by Auction Central News.

While he investigates a new headquarters, Presley is brining more than 650 lots of fresh to the market goods to auction exclusively through LiveAuctioneers.com. The sale features quality furniture, clocks, fine artwork, bronzes, sterling, Tiffany, KPM, Sevres, Galle, Limoges, Dresden, Quezal, Amphora, Wave Crest, porcelain, pottery, crystal, china, Asian items, jade, coins, jewelry and watches will cross the auction block.

Perhaps the most unusual item in the sale is the album of Middle Eastern images, dating to the second half of the 19th century. It was reportedly given to an American sailor on duty in Constantinople from 1919 to 1921. Presley writes in the catalog: “the album was probably in the archives of the Sultans as the gold insignia on the cover is the official seal of the Sultan.” The rare album, lot 110, is from the Scottish Rite Museum in Los Angeles and has a $5,000-$10,000 estimate.

The anticipated top lots in the sale include:

  • Tiffany & Co. France enamel box

    This Tiffany Sterling silver and enamel box features a miniature portrait. It has a $900 opening bid.

    A matching suite of Salvador Dali prints, all with matching number six. A) Dali to include “Persistence de la Memoire,” Velasquez “Le reddition de Breda,” Raphael “Le mariage de la Vierge,” Velasquez “Les menines,” Rembrandt “Portrat du peintre par lui-meme” and Vermeer “La lettre.”

  • A Wallace Grand Baroque sterling silver service for 12 with serving pieces, 138 pieces in all weighing 181 ounces. It carries an $8,000-$12,000 estimate.
  • Lot 69, a large Chinese cloisonné incense burner with lid and on a stand, 20 inches high by 19 inches wide, has a $4,000-$9,000 estimate.
  • An 8 1/2-inch-high signed Tiffany Favrile bulbous vase is expected to sell for $1,200-$1,500.
  • A signed “Tiffany & Co. France” is a sterling silver and enamel box decorated with a beautiful miniature portrait of a young woman. The box is 1 1/2 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter. The estimate is $1,200-$2,000.
  • Two lots of Sevres come with high expectations. Lot 46 is a Sevres turquoise platter measuring 12 by 17 inches. From the early 18th century, this beautiful platter is estimated at $800-$1,200. The second piece is lot 48, a pair of Sevres porcelain perfume bottles from the 19th century. The 5 1/2-inch-high bottles have hand-painted floral decorations and have a $500-$900 estimate.
  • A pair of 12-inch-high Meissen covered urns, lot 55, is impressive and has an estimate of $1,000-$1,500.
  • An 18th century English samovar with royal lineage, lot 11, is 17 inches high by 16 inches wide. Made by Parkinson of London, the samovar was probably in the possession of the Duke of Kent, Queen Victoria’s father, when he was governor of Nova Scotia. The copper hot water kettle has a $2,000-$2,500 estimate.

The full online auction catalog may be found here. The auction will begin at noon PDT. For details about the auction call 714-633-2437.

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