After 150 Years Abroad, Italian Collectors Snap Up Neapolitan Christmas Crèche Figures at the Lark Mason Associates Auction Sale

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  • January 20, 2021

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Three 19th century Neapolitan Polychrome Wood and Terracotta Noble Ladies
Lark Mason Associates

$33,749 may not seem like a huge hammer price for an auction, but the recent sale of the Collection of Neapolitan Christmas Crèche Figures that closed on January 14th on was, according to Lark Mason, a rousing success. With a 96% sell-through, the 25 lots included intricately carved and adorned winged angels, the three magi, musicians, and many other figures and animals. Naples is recognized as the center of production for carved wood, pottery and fabric créche figures created for elaborate biblical nativity scenes.

Says Lark Mason: “What’s most gratifying is after more than 150 years abroad the majority of the pieces will be returning home to their new owners in Italy.”

According to Mason, the installation filled two rooms of their New Braunfels salesroom which is housed in a magnificent 19th century German farmhouse which they restored. “It was a perfect Christmas backdrop for the beautiful night scene of the procession of visitors and spectators going to see the birth of Christ.”

The sale, had an exciting last day, with the top lot climbing to more than 5 times its high estimate to close at $5,000 with BP.

About Lark Mason Associates

With locations in New Braunfels, Texas and New York City, Lark Mason Associates, the eponymous, auction house specializing in Asian, ethnographic, and ancient works of art, was founded by Lark Mason after many years as an expert at Sotheby's New York.

Six 19th century Italian Neapolitan Wood and Terracotta Shepherds

Mason served as a General Appraiser from 1979 until 1985, and as a Senior Vice President and specialist in Chinese art with Sotheby's Chinese Works of Art Department from 1985-2003.  From 2000-2003 he concurrently was a Director of Online Auctions for He also served as a consulting curator at the Trammel and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas from 2003-2009. He is a generalist in American and European works of art and paintings, as well as an expert in the field of Chinese art and has valued and advised many private collectors and institutions.

Lark Mason Associates regularly hosts auctions on the iGavel Auctions platform and has an established history of record sales of Chinese and other works of art and holds the record for the highest price achieved for any work of art in an online sale, for a painting sold in May 2014 that realized close to $4.2m. Mason, the owner and CEO of iGavel Auctions, is noted for his regular appearances on "The Antiques Road Show."






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