Each auction brings something new and unexpected. The Benefit Shop Foundation’s Red Carpet sale Feb. 21 was no exception.
“Every auction is a surprise. Just when we think we have our fingers on the pulse of what Internet buyers want, there are always surprises. That’s one of the things I love about this business — every auction is a new adventure,” said founder/president Pam Stone. “There was a great mix of nice items that did better than expected.”
Items sold well across the board from Asian arts and Midcentury Modern to fine art and Continental. While the occasional item is consigned here, the majority of the auction is made up donations from area estates and the sale profits benefit local charities. Consignors get a tax deduction, the buyer gets a great deal and local non-profits get much needed funds.
The auction got going off to a good start early on, with the very first lot across the block, a life-sized gold toned painted Oriental female statue, possibly vintage or antique, 65 inches tall, that more than doubled its high estimate to bring $285, and a few lots later, the top lot of the sale — a bronze Art Deco statuette of a nude woman reclining inside a crescent moon, 23 by 20 by 9 inches, that went to a phone bidder for $1,905, well over its $200-400 estimate.
The Asian arts category performed well overall. Leading the way were a pair of imperial yellow temple lions, circa 1860-1880, from the Nanking Province, 17 ½ inches tall, that fetched $1,079 and and a black lacquer calligraphy table, 79 inches long, that made $1,016.
Oriental rugs also did well, led by a Tibetan runner in black with beige Chinese writing symbols and beige colored border, 171 by 33 inches, going for $1,079. And what would a Red Carpet sale be without a red carpet? An antique multi-toned Oriental carpet runner, with a red geometric design and hues of red, brown, blue, tan, and pink, 170 by 38 inches, earning $952. “All of them did better than estimate, we were quite pleased,” Stone said, noting that there will likely be some more choice rugs in the March Red Carpet auction, which will be Wednesday, March 21.
Several pieces of art also were among the sale’s high fliers, including a David Burt “Skyscapade” art sculpture mobile that depicts dancers floating in suspension, made up of hammered, braised and oxidized metal. The artist deftly crafts sheet metal into lyrical “welded traceries.” This piece measures about 64 by 30 inches when full extended. It brought $1,206.
Also giving a surprising performance were a set of six Bohemia cut crystal colored wine glasses, ornately decorated, in striking hues of green and cranberry crystal with clear geometric cut crystal stems, that fetched $825 —more than $100 per glass; as well as a Victorian vintage ornamental wicker side or end table in white paint, having two tiers, 30 by 26 inches square. The table left its $80-100 estimate in the dust to sell for $635.
Other highlights among fine art offerings were a circa Nineteenth Century oil painting of dancing figures in a wooded landscape on an ornately carved frame having floral details, 27 by 24 inches, going for $952, and a surprisingly strong price of $762 for a framed and matted print of an antique needlework sampler. “That was just a complete surprise for a framed print,” Stone said.
Rounding out the top lots were a Yamaha ebony case upright piano at $1,079, a Louis XV style console table, circa 1880-1890, richly hand carved with a white marble top, 32 ½ by 47 by 16 ½ inches, at $1,016; a set of Christofle flatware and serving utensils, comprising eight boxes of 5-piece place settings (one additional box opened for photography purposes), also selling for $1,016, well above its $100-200 estimate.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For more information, https://www.thebenefitshop.org or 914-864-0707.
185 Kisco Ave Suite 201
Mount Kisco, New York
About Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc.
The Benefit Shop receives donations from the finest estates in Bedford and beyond and showcases them in one convenient and beautifully-staged location. The estates get a tax deduction, the buyer gets a great deal and non-profits in the community get the money. This elegantly-conceived, eco-friendly concept is the brainchild of Pam Stone and she is thrilled at the response from the community. It’s no secret that non-profits, from hospitals to homeless shelters, are having a tough time in this economy. Responding to the call for funding to fill the gaps , local resident Stone imagined a new possibility, an auction gallery with donated merchandise from the grand estates that surround the area. For 10 years, Stone has been busy visiting estate sales in the area, encouraging people to make high quality, tax-deductible donations for the satisfaction of helping a host of community organizations, including Neighbors’ Link and the Boys and Girls Club, as well as the continued support of Northern Westchester Hospital. According to Pam, “Often these kinds of shops benefit a big national charity, but I really wanted the beneficiary to be my community, for the people who live and work here.” Mission statement: To donate, to discover, to do good.