Clarke Auction brought a respectable range of results from their mixed offering sale on September 29th, their second in September, to close out the first month of an extremely promising fall auction season.
The fine art selections showed excellent results from both old masters and modern works. The mixture of fine technique and desirability brought in bidding for an exceptional Old Master oil on canvas of Piazza San Marco. The painting, in the manner of Guardi, created significant interest in presale viewings and exploded past its conservative $1,000 to $1,500 estimate, finally hammering at $16,000.
The juxtaposed midcentury oil on canvas by Roy D. De Forest, entitled “Swamp Fever,” also topped the fine art selections, falling within estimate at $13,000 before premiums. The colorful and expansive work confirmed that desirability of modern works rivals the tightened techniques of old masters paintings.
A 19th century portrait of “Lieutenant Richardson, Bombay Marine,” by William Derby also did well in the sale, bringing a hammer price of $3,600 on September 29th at Clarke.
The late September midcentury selection also had considerable results, including $3,800 for a Picasso Madura convex ceramic wall hanging.
The top midcentury lot in the sale came in the form of a fantastic early example of the Trianelle floor lamp by Arredoluce. The floor lamp, with chrome star base and black, gray, and white shades conjured a frenzy of bidding before selling at $5,000. The clear signature, and beautiful condition of the lamp, save some minor chrome losses on the base, certainly contributed to the design’s already potent auction records.
Classic midcentury items also showed well at Clarke, including a pair of Ray and Charles Eames for Herman Miller 670 lounge chairs with a 671 ottoman which brought a satisfactory $3,200. The chairs’ upgraded blue leather cushions made these chairs exceptional pieces, yet condition issues with the leather may have stunted their full potential.
Continuing to build strength at Clarke Auction was the highly successful jewelry and sterling selection. A magnificent 12 piece William B. Durgin Tea Set hammered for $6,500, making it the top lot in sterling offerings. Close behind the tea set was a large Reed & Barton flatware set in the Hepplewhite-Engraved pattern. The flatware set included approximately 295 pieces and brought a notable $5,500.
Jewelry selections also brought together a strong category and were primed by a round Brilliant cut diamond and platinum ring that brought $4,200 before the premium. The ring was accompanied by an old appraisal that noted its remarkable color and clarity.
In decorative arts, lighting was the strongest. A pair of significantly sized bronze lantern fixtures of high quality brought $5,000 after a wild jumping of bids in house and on the phone.
Antiques in general remain variable in today’s auction market, but a top quality French writing desk with leather top, bronze mounts and appliqués brought $3,400, showing that quality will usually override market trends. Also steadily trending upward is many Asian pieces, where at Clarke, a pair of Rose Mandarin garden seats brought $3,400 with many other items in the selection close to that high mark on September 29th.
Continuing its current success in the fall season, Clarke Auction will be holding another important sale on Sunday October 27th at 12pm.