Lark Mason Associates’ recent sale, You’re Invited: The Art of Dining, closed on September 12, 2018 with scores of bidders and nearly 100% results. The innovative exhibition displayed antiques in modern settings, attracting large numbers of first-time bidders. The sale of 382 lots had a 96% sale rate for a total of $112,920.
Lark Mason commented that the results, “showed the importance of presentation when offering works that are often thought as no longer desirable to today’s audiences of bidders.” Mason continued, “ Our goal was to attract new bidders with a fresh and innovative approach. New bidders responded with vibrant bidding and strong results for objects that ordinarily would have found few buyers.”
Highlights of the sale included a Pair of European Gilt-Japanned Metal Cachepots, which realized $4,750; a large selection of American and other silver serving articles, the largest set, which incorporated classically inspired portrait busts reaching $2,881. The sale included hundreds of sets of dinner and luncheon porcelain, glass stemware, and numerous silver and other serving articles realizing prices far beyond their estimates.
The exhibition featured a fully recreated early 18th century dining hall with 18th, 19th century and modern table settings incorporating old and new objects, with a fanciful Gilt Porcelain Italian Mirrored Centerpiece set among Silver Rooster Individual Salts and Gilt Silver Tiffany Place Card Holders flanked by a pair of Rococo Revival Gilt-bronze Candelabra. The result was spirited bidding for hundreds of lots of fine-quality dining related wares that in a traditional auction setting would not have commanded much interest. Tying the sale together was a selection of paintings by Robert Hunter Douglas, each featuring dining themes and which cumulatively realized over $12,000, the highest achieving $2625.
The exhibition, in Lark Mason Associates newly restored 1850s German fachwerk house wrapped in a contemporary glass and steel addition, emphasized the successful fusion of old and new displayed by the exhibition. Mason believes that they were able to draw new interest to old items though social media and digital outreach, a core feature of Lark Mason Associates and iGavel Auctions success in consistently leading the market in online sales.
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About Lark Mason:
With locations in New Braunfels, Texas and New York City, Lark Mason Associates, the eponymous, auction house specializing in Asian, ethnographic, and ancient works of art, was founded by Lark Mason after many years as an expert at Sotheby’s New York.
Mason served as a General Appraiser from 1979 until 1985, and as a Senior Vice President and specialist in Chinese art with Sotheby’s Chinese Works of Art Department from 1985-2003. From 2000-2003 he concurrently was a Director of Online Auctions for Sothebys.com. He also served as a consulting curator at the Trammel and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas from 2003-2009. He is an expert in the field of Chinese furniture, having responsibility for this area during his tenure at Sotheby’s. As an Asian works of art specialist he has valued and advised many private collectors and institutions.
Lark Mason Associates regularly hosts auctions on the iGavel Auctions platform and has an established history of record sales of Chinese and other works of art. Mason, the owner and CEO of iGavel Auctions, is noted for his regular appearances on PBS series, “The Antiques Roadshow.”