The third anniversary sale of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches on South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach on June 26 was a night of fun, strong prices and several surprises according to auction co-owner Brian Kogan. "It was a nice evening and lots of people had lots of fun."
The event featured lots from the estate of Palm Beach antiquarian and third generation English porcelain dealer Alfred Peter Rochelle-Thomas, a French Art Deco perfume bottle collection from the estate of New York artist Arthur Holland, French and Italian furniture from a Miami home and American furniture from a Plantation area home.
The biggest surprise of the sale was a pair of porcelain bowls from the reign of the fifth emperor of the Chinese Ch’ing dynasty, known as Chia Ch’ing, 1796-1820. Bearing the seal of the reign, the two red ground finely painted bowls, 4in high X 8 1/8in wide, with scenes of Chinese children at play, were estimated at $500/$1,000 the pair. Fierce online competition quickly exceeded the high estimate, closing at $26,400, including buyer’s premium, from a regular auction house bidder. The bowls will eventually be sent to Hong Kong.
Another very pleasant surprise appeared in the form of a French display cabinet, circa 1900, with a drop front desk in the center section and curved glass display areas. The kingwood cabinet, 65in high and 63in wide, was decorated with ormolu ribbon and floral swags and caryatids that had been added after the original manufacture. Estimated at $6,000/$8,000, a local bidder and New York buyer went head to head until the New Yorker won it with an offer of $20,700.
And American artifacts were also in demand. A pair of 18th century gilt wood convex mirrors with eagle finials and finely gilt carved scrolling additions was warmly received in the house. The 40in tall fixtures had some paint faults and loosened finials and parts but were estimated at $5,000/$7,000 in spite of the deterioration of the probable original mirrors and the addition of electrified candelabra. That was no deterrent to determined bidders who competed the pair to a close of $17,250.
Art was well represented at the sale. An oil on canvas, 36in X 54in, with no visible signature but with a strong attribution to English artist Edward Mathew Ward, 1816 – 1879, depicted a scene in Exchange Alley from the South Sea Bubble in 1790 when the financial bubble of South Seas financial speculation burst. It went to a local floor bidder for $14,950 and an 18th century Spanish or Dutch School Old Master oil on copper brought $3335.
Even a bird got into the act. A 17in tall Majolica pottery hanging wall bracket with a parrot figure and an illegible maker’s mark, in fair condition with some loss to the feathers, estimated at $100/$150, sailed off to a winner of $2,530 with premium.
The off-peak season auction was well attended with over 100 bidders on the floor, 300 registered online with LiveAuctioneers and over 100 phone bids. Kogan reported the online version of the sale came off without a hitch. For more information call (561) 805-7115 or visit the website at http://www.agopb.com/. The next Art and Antique Auction is scheduled for Monday, August 21, 2006 at 5:00 PM.
Fred & Gail Taylor
PHOTO CAPTION FOR AUCTION GALLERY OF THE PALM BEACHES June 26, 2006
This pair of bowls from the Chia Ch’ing era of China, 1796-1820, estimated at $500/$1,000 sold online for $26,400.
A French display cabinet with curved glass ends and ormolu mounts and a fall front desk, circa 1900, brought a winner of $20,700.
A pair of convex mirrors from the turn of the 19th century with eagle finials sold for more than twice the high estimate at $17,250.