CRANSTON, R.I. – A fine bronze sculpture of a female nude by Mexican-born realist Enrique Alferez (La./Tex., 1901-1999), titled The Bather (1983), climbed to $13,750, and a beautiful Tiffany & Company pearl necklace with diamond-encrusted platinum clasp brought $10,625 at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ Winter Antiques & Fine Arts Auction held Saturday, January 6th.
The 379-lot auction was conducted at Bruneau & Co.’s Cranston gallery, which attracted around 135 in-house bidders, despite frigid temperatures. The 60 phone bidders and 15 absentee bidders accounted for 277 bids, while over 10,000 people registered to bid online via the three platforms Invaluable.com, LiveAuctioneers.com and Bidsquare.com as well as Bidlive.Bruneauandco.com.
The Alferez sculpture, dated 1983, was the sale’s top lot. Standing 8 ¼ inches tall, it depicted a nude woman kneeling and wringing her hair after bathing. It was signed on the base, along the edge. Alferez drew influence from his Mexican heritage and in general the Art Deco period. He was an active artistic leader in the WPA and created numerous landmarks throughout Louisiana.
“It was satisfying to achieve yet another strong result for modern Mexican art in Rhode Island,” said Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer, adding, “In the February 3rd sale, we will be offering a figurative bronze sculpture of a mother and child by another fine Mexican artist, Jose Luis Cuevas (1934-2017). The piece is coming out of the same estate as the Alferez.”
The circa-1900 strand of pearls by Tiffany & Company, with diamond-encrusted platinum clasp, was the sale’s runner-up top lot, with good reason. The 17-inch strand showed off dazzling white pearls that graduated from 7mm to 3.5mm. It was housed in its original Tiffany gilt decorated red Morocco covered satin and velvet lined case. It was the only other lot to crack the $10,000 mark.
Kicking off the auction were 75 lots of fine art from several prominent estates, including pieces from a gentleman’s collection out of Dorchester, Mass. That was followed by 19th and 20th century decorative arts, to include fine bronzes, elegant and unusual chandeliers and Part 1 of a collection of over 60 lots of Chinese Export porcelain out of New York.
“It was great to see the number of collectors who came in person to observe and handle the selection of Chinese Export,” said Kevin Bruneau, company president and auctioneer of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. “I know many bidders left already in a state of high anticipation of Part II of the collection. That will happen sometime this spring. Our website will offer details.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. Al prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
An Italian Baroque carved walnut figural table stand, circa late 18th or early 19th century, with beautifully carved wolves, blossoming bellflowers, putto and more, went for $5,000; while a late 19th or early 20th century pair of Italian floral decorated side console cabinets on tapered legs, with Florentine decorated mirrors carved with an openwork floral design, topped out at $3,125.
A pair of Egyptian Revival bronze bookends by the American sculptor Ephraim Keyser (Md., 1850-1937), titled The Wireless, depicting a nude male whispering into the ear of a Sphinx, rose to $3,750; and a German 20th century Black Forest carved figural bookcase shelf, naturalistically carved with timber form supports adorned with bear cub figures, 72 inches tall, brought $6,875.
Two Chinese lots posted identical selling prices of $3,438. One was a Ming dynasty archaistic bronze vase of Hu form, decorated with a banded pattern in relief over a stylized Greek key pattern background, 8 ¼ inches tall. The other was a watercolor on paper painting of radishes, with the image flanked on the right by a calligraphic poem, 14 inches by 16 inches in the frame.
An oil on canvas still life table-top painting of fruit by Robert Spear Dunning (Mass., 1829-1905), a founder of the Fall River School and a revered still life painter, realized $3,438. Also, a bird’s-eye maple cylindrical stick barometer, crafted around 1865 by artisan Charles Wilder of Petersborough, N.H., 38 ½ inches long and known as “the baseball bat barometer”, made $2,074.
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers is announcing a new schedule for 2018. There will be no pre-sale with the estate auctions, as before. They will always be on the first Saturday of each month and will start at 11 am Eastern. Monday night auctions will be held the third Monday of every month.
The next estate auction will be held on Saturday, February 3rd, at 11 am in the Cranston gallery. Already consigned, as stated, is the figural bronze sculpture of a mother and child by Jose Luis Cuevas, plus a beautiful pair of Murano art glass penguins by Gino Cenedese (It., 1907-1973).
To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and the Saturday, February 3rd auction, visit www.bruneauandco.com. To contact Bruneau & Co. via e-mail, use email@example.com.
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Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
63 Fourth Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island
About Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers is a full-service auction company based in Cranston, R.I. The firm specializes in fine art, antiques and collectibles in the liquidation of estates and collections.
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
P: (401) 533-9980