Van Cleef & Arpels Shines at Weschler’s; Fanny Elssler as ‘La Sylphide’ Dances to $49,350

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  • October 05, 2011

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A 18-karat yellow-gold, emerald and diamond floral-form three piece ensemble by Van Cleef & Arpels realized $41,125.
Fanny Elssler as ‘La Sylphide’ by German artist Karl Joseph Begas (1794-1854) danced to $49,350.
An oil attributed to Jane Stuart (1816-1888), the youngest daughter of the famous portraitist Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828) of George Washington at Dorchester Heights brought $18,800.

On Saturday, September 17th, Weschler's Jewelry, American & European Fine Art and 20th Century Decorative Arts auctions commenced the 2011-2012 season on a high note. With competitive bidding in the gallery, on the phones and on the Internet, the auction totaled over $820,500, with 84% selling by lot.

The morning session began with a fine selection of fine jewelry, coins & watches, featuring a stunning 18-karat yellow-gold, emerald and diamond floral-form three-piece ensemble by Van Cleef & Arpels. The ensemble sold to a phone bidder for $41,125, more than doubling its pre-sale estimate.

Other remarkable highlights among the jewelry included a 29 carat princess length platinum and diamond necklace, which fetched $38,775; a platinum, diamond and South Sea pearl floral spray brooch ($8,225); a 14-karat yellow-gold solitaire diamond ring, weighing approximately 3.45 carats ($27,025); a platinum, alexandrite and diamond dinner ring ($14,100); an Etruscan Revival tested 18-karat yellow-gold and angelskin coral two-piece ensemble, last quarter 19th century, doubled its pre-sale estimate selling for $9,987.50; and a Patek Philippe 'Calatrava' gentleman's 18-karat yellow-gold 18-jewel manual-wind wristwatch sold just above estimate at $4,935.

Standouts among the American & European Fine Art session included a magnificent oil on canvas of the renowned Viennese ballerina, Fanny Elssler (1810-1884) as 'La Sylphide'. The work by German artist Karl Joseph Begas (1794-1854) performed against a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$20,000, realizing $49,350 to a telephone bidder.

Other European highlights included an oil on canvas of Théâtre du Gymnase ($30,550) by French artist Edouard Léon Cortès (1882-1969); a pair of classical landscapes by a follower of Anton Faistenberger (Austrian 1663-1708) ($22,325); and an oil on canvas of a nude with tambourine by Hungarian artist Maria Szantho (1898-1984) sold well above estimate for $4,700.

Leading American works of art was a painting attributed to Jane Stuart (American 1816-1888), the youngest daughter of the famous portraitist Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828). The painting, after the 1806 original of George Washington at Dorchester Heights, was expected to bring $5,000-$10,000; however fierce telephone bidding drove the painting to sell for $18,800. Additional American highlights were an impressive oil by Francis Daniel Devlan (1835-1870) of horses and cows in a spirited landscape, titled After the Storm ($9,775) and a group of three untitled works on paper by local D.C. artist Gene Davis (1920-1985) that realized $5,170.

A selection of Carder Steuben iridescent blue Aurene glass table articles lead the 20th Century Decorative Arts portion of the sale with all lots selling realizing $345 to $3,995 respectively. An International Silver Co. sterling four-piece coffee and tea service with tray designed by Alphonse La Paglia, circa 1950, brought $7,832.50 and a Charles and Ray Eames '670' lounge chair and '671' ottoman by Herman Miller, sold for $2,530.

The next auction of Jewelry, American & European Fine Art & 20th Century Decorative Arts will be December 3rd, with a consignment deadline of October 14th. For more information, please contact Weschler's at 202.628.1281 or visit

Karen Weschler

Weschler's Auctioneers & Appraisers
40 West Gude Drive
Suite 100
Rockville, Maryland
About Weschler's Auctioneers & Appraisers

Since 1890, Weschler’s is one of the leading auctioneers & appraisers of fine art, jewelry, furniture, decorations and Asian works of art.

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