BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – An unassuming Chinese green glazed oval footed porcelain bowl with a presale estimate of just $1,000 to $2,000 soared to $200,000 at Nye & Company Auctioneers’ Collectors’ Passion Auction held Jan. 31, online and in the firm’s showroom at 20 Beach Street, Bloomfield, N.J.
“I would have to judge this sale a huge success, with strong bidding across all categories, led of course by the Chinese porcelain bowl, the true definition of a sleeper lot,” said John Nye of Nye & Company Auctioneers. “The enthusiastic bidding really reminded us of the good old days.”
Chinese Porcelain Bowl Stuns
Phone bidding and internet bidding were especially high and active. Both LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com, the internet bidding platforms, saw heavy participation. There were over 5,000 approved online bidders and a little more than 700 registered bidders from around the world. By the time it was all over, the final tally fell just short of the $1 million mark.
Andrew Holter added, “On the heels of Americana Week in New York, Classical American furniture showed strong resilience and was buoyed by a recamier (fainting couch) that sold for $25,000.” He was referring to lot #202, a Neoclassical parcel gilt mahogany recamier, made in New York City between 1815 and 1825, partly ebonized and measuring 7 feet long.
The auction featured several important highlights. The events include a collection of American and English furniture from a prominent estate in Mount Kisco, N.Y.; a fine collection of fresh-to-the-market American furniture from a collection in Princeton, N.J.; a highly curated collection of Neoclassical American furniture; and American paintings out of a New York City estate.
Following are additional auction highlights; all prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
Original artwork dominated the auction’s list of top lots. A watercolor painting by John La Farge (Am., 1835-1910), titled “Figure with Wreath," realized $15,000. Meanwhile, a pair of oil on canvas riverscapes by Thomas Doughty (Am., 1793-1856), sold as a single lot for $12,500.
Another painting that was attributed to Doughty, an oil on board titled “Gilpin’s Mill on the Brandywine,” 7 3/4 inches by 11 3/4 inches, changed hands for $10,625. Also, an oil on board of two figures by William Aiken Walker (S.C., 1839-1921), the artist best known for his genre paintings of black sharecroppers in Reconstruction-era America, titled “Field verso,” hit $11,250.
Another highlight from the Asian category is a ceramic pillow. It measures 7 1/2 inches long by 5 inches wide, and is in good condition. It realized $15,000. A pair of Chinese blue and white porcelain covered jars, brought $11,563.
Nakashima Furniture Legacy Reigns
American furniture was led by a figured cherrywood bedstead, signed and dated 1994 by Mira
Nakashima (New Hope, Pa.), daughter of the legendary craftsman George Nakashima, made for a king-size mattress and signed by her ($11,250); and a Federal figured mahogany desk-and-bookcase, made in Massachusetts circa 1800-1820 ($10,000).
A near-pair of Chippendale mahogany side chairs attributed to Thomas Tufft (Philadelphia), circa 1770, finished at $18,750. From France, an 18th century Regence marble-top parquetry inlaid commode rose to $10,000.
Returning to original artwork, two oil on canvas paintings posted identical selling prices of $9,375. One was a work titled “Birch Trees” by Robert Strong Woodward (Am., 1885-1957), artist signed lower left and 26 1/2 inches by 30 inches (sight). The other was titled “Piccadilly Scene” by Fernand Lungren (Am., 1857-1932), signed lower left and pencil inscribed 1899 on the stretcher.
For more information about Nye & Company Auctioneers, visit www.nyeandcompany.com.