WINDSOR, Conn. – An exceptionally rare and monumental pair of Tiffany & Company silver vases, each one 23 inches tall and weighing in at a combined 247 troy silver ounces, sold for $33,600 at a New Year’s Day auction held Jan. 1 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, in the firm’s gallery located at 25 Meadow Road in Windsor. About 630 lots changed hands for the new year.
The Tiffany vases were Art Nouveau repousse, referring to a method of silver decoration in which the item is hammered from the back to create an embossed design, with added definition created by chasing the item from the front. The vases boasted an all-over floral theme, with a leaf design at the top that continued to the bottom. Both vases were marked “Tiffany & Co., Makers.”
The auction was a huge success by any yardstick. Attendance-wise, a standing room only crowd of 350 people packed the gallery, while 2,988 others registered to bid online via Invaluable.com. The total number of in-house registered bidders was 690 (that included phone and left bids). The auction grossed $1.2 million, just shy of Nadeau’s record $1.33 million, set last New Year’s Day.
“We had a lively and enthusiastic crowd from start to finish, with lots of excitement generated by the fabulous selection of merchandise,” said Ed Nadeau of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery. “Many items brought more than expected, which was a nice surprise. A few things fell a little flat, but that’s to be expected in any auction. All things considered, it was a great start to the new year.”
The auction featured more than 125 paintings by American and European artists from the 17th to the 20th century (plus several Old Masters), sterling silver, 25 pieces of Tiffany Favrile art glass, lamps and lighting, a huge selection of estate jewelry, bronze sculptures, porcelain, cut glass, leather-bound books, 35 Oriental carpets, Royal Worcester and English and Continental antiques.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium, which ranged from 20-25 percent, depending on how the winning bid was placed.
The top lot in jewelry was an 18kt yellow gold Van Cleef & Arpels convertible duet pin, set with two large diamonds and 13 pearls averaging 5-to-5.5mm each. The pin sold for $36,000. Van Cleef & Arpels is a French jewelry, watch and perfume company founded in 1896 by Alfred Van Cleef and his uncle, Salomon Arpels. Their fine pieces have been worn by style icons worldwide.
A gorgeous Patek Philippe men’s wristwatch, rectangular form 18kt with a gold band and black dial set with diamonds, hit $9,600. Also, an Ostertag Art Deco 18kt yellow gold compact having compartments for lipstick, lighter, mirror, powder, watch and comb, and set with 66 rubies and 66 diamonds, with each piece having an eagle head touch mark, found a new owner for $19,200.
The fine art category included a signed oil on canvas by Frederick H. Kaemmerer (1839-1902), who split his time between Holland and France. The work, titled Avery, fetched $20,400. Close behind was a signed oil on canvas by the Vietnamese-born painter Le Pho (1907-2001), titled Poppies. It changed hands for $19,200. Pho lived and worked in Vietnam, the U.S. and France.
A signed oil on canvas by William Holbrook Beard (1824-1900), the American artist known for his animal-themed renderings, titled Animal Street Performance, topped out at $16,800. Also, a signed oil on canvas by Viennese artist Anton Romako (1832-1889), titled Young Girl Spinning Cotton Onto Spindle, brought $10,200. Romako worked in Vienna, Venice, London and Rome.
A bronze sculpture with gilt highlights by the French sculptor Alfred Dubucand (1828-1894), titled Cavalier Mexican Au Lasso, resting on a bronze base that is marked by the artist, 23 inches tall overall, went to a determined bidder for $15,600. Fans of cut glass were wowed by the set of ten rare cut glass stems on shaped cut glass bases, each glass 6 ¼ inches tall. The set hit $13,200.
Rounding out just a few of the day’s top lots, a Louis XV-style Steinway M Model baby grand piano with bench, ebonized and having cabriole legs ending in scrolled feet, garnered $15,600; while a Sevres-style gilt bronze mounted porcelain urn in baluster form, with painted cartouche depicting a woman figure with cherubs on one side and a landscape on the other, reached $9,375.
Nadeau’s Auction Gallery’s next big event will be a Contemporary, Custom, Fine Arts and Decorative Accessories Estates Auction planned for Saturday, Jan. 24, at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time, in the Windsor gallery. In March, an Antiques & Fine Art Auction is also scheduled (date and time to be announced, consignments accepted). A monthly sale will also be held in February.
Nadeau’s is always accepting quality consignments for its bigger sales, held throughout the year, and its general auctions, held every four weeks. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (860) 246-2444, or you can e-mail them at email@example.com. For more information about Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, please log on to www.NadeausAuction.com.
Nadeau's Auction Gallery
25 Meadow Road
About Nadeau's Auction Gallery
Nadeau's Auction Gallery is a full-service auction gallery based in Windsor, Conn. The firm's website is www.nadeausauction.com.