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Asian furniture achieves more than $1.5M

Asian antiquities, lead by a pair of Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets, attracted $1.5 million of a $2.3 million auction offered by Clars Auction Gallery in early spring.

OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery’s March 15-16 Fine Art, Jewelry and Decoratives sale saw the Asian category soar higher than $1.5 million, fueling the total of $2.3 million realized.

The top seller of the event was a pair of Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets that realized $299,500 against the pair’s high estimate of $50,000. Taking second place, selling for $189,500, was a huanghuali round table and stools, executed in

Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets

Coming from the Gerber estate, this pair of Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets realized an astonishing $299,500 against it’s high estimate of $50,000. (Photo courtesy Clars Auction Gallery)

the drum form. Another pair of Chinese hardwood huanghuali rounded corner cabinets soared past their $40,000 high estimate, ultimately selling for $167,000. Additionally, a single Chinese hardwood and huanghuali rounded corner cabinet and a hardwood and huanghuali side table each sold for $96,000. Overall, in the Asian category, more than 150 lots offered earned more than $1.5 million, with the huanghuali furniture accounting for more than $1.3 million.

The top seller in the Fine Art category was a signed etching and aquatint by Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887-1968) titled “Nine Malic Moulds.” Expected to achieve a high of $6,000, this work sold in excess of three times the high estimate, going out at $19,000.

Several offerings of the photography brought worldwide bidder interest to the sale. A gelatin silver print by Helen Levitt (American, 1913-2009) titled “Harlem Boy with a Black Cat” sold well, finishing at $9,000, followed by the gelatin silver print “Odalisque I,” by Horst P. Horst (American/German, 1906-1999), which earned higher than its estimate, ultimately going for $8,000. Two more works by Horst, “Lobster Salvador” and “Birthday Gloves,” also sold strong, achieving $7,000 and $5,000, respectively.

Many offerings in the decorative arts category outperformed their high estimates as well.

Of particular note were two key pieces. The first, a 19th century Gold Rush era Bowie knife by Will and Finck, San Francisco, wrapped at $6,500. The second is a 19th century Continental Renaissance style figural clock executed in patinated metal with the figure of Atlas supporting the clock sold for $13,000, more than twice its high estimate.

Bowie knife

This 19th century Gold Rush era Bowie knife by Will and Finck, San Francisco, sold for nicely over estimate as serious collectors drove the final sale price to $6,500. (Photo courtesy Clars Auction Gallery)

Clars’ next Fine Art, Jewelry and Decoratives Auction is June 14-16, 2014, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Bidding is available in person, by phone, absentee and live online at, and through and


Weekly Showcase



The Irving Isicoff Collection / International Museum of Safes will be sold at AUCTION on May 25th & 26th. Visit to register and prebid. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that includes safes over 200 years old along with over 300 lots of antique scales, décor and more. Don’t miss it. See y’all there.