On July 31st, in the historic CWE (Central West End) neighborhood of St. Louis, Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers will hold its Inaugural Auction comprised of a wide variety of quality Fine Art, Asian Works of Art, Continental and American Furniture, Decorative Arts, and Fine & Vintage Jewelry. Company CEO, Richard “Jeff” Jeffers, noted, “Our first auction, in our newly renovated space on McPherson, is incredibly exciting and long-awaited. I am beyond proud of the efforts of our team.”
Jeffers has led a team of seasoned auction and appraisal veterans at a renowned international gallery in Ohio for over twenty years. Known for cutting edge marketing, high quality auctions and outstanding customer service, Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers will be the driving force behind (and sister company to) the newly formed St. Louis gallery. “All of the strategic partnerships, thousands of client relationships, media connections - all of these assets will translate from Garth’s to Selkirk,” explains Jeffers. “We believe the consolidation of resources will combine with a very personal experience to benefit buyers and sellers at both auction houses.”
Interested bidders will have the opportunity to visit the Selkirk Gallery at 4739 McPherson (previously occupied by acclaimed interior designer, Arlene Lilie) to browse and bid on nearly 600 lots during the daily preview hours from 10am to 5pm from July 26th-29th (and until 8pm on the 30th), culminating with the auction beginning at 11am on July, 31st.
Many items in the auction hail from private estates including property from the collections of Matthew Brim of Kenton, Ohio and Jeani Anne Barrett of Sunset Beach, California. “It has been important to us to not only keep St. Louis collections here,” explains Jeffers, “but to bring in consignments from other markets - fresh material for the avid St. Louis collecting community.” Consignments rounding out the auction have been sourced from local areas including Clayton and the Central West End, but also as far away as New York and Florida.
An 1978 MGB Midget Convertible will jump start the auction. The orange classic is equipped with a 4 cylinder engine, manual transmission, radio, Pioneer speakers and a new black vinyl top and is expected to drive off with a new owner for $5,000-$7,000. Fine art is well represented in the auction with a strong grouping of paintings, works on paper and sculpture. Many of the highlights are fresh to the market, including The Rabbit Seller by William Shayer (1811-1982). This oil on canvas depicts a wooded landscape setting and carries a presale estimate of $10,000-12,000. A highlight of the session, also from a private collection, is an untitled landscape by George Inness (American, 1825-1894). This particular painting was discovered in a small retirement home in Clayton, Mo. Tucked into a hidden corner, unnoticeable to even visitors, the painting by one of the titans of American art is expected to sell for $10,000-12,000. A Portrait of a Woman by Adrian Henri Tanoux (French, 1865-1923) is signed and dated and features a nude female figure tying her hair with a flower (estimate, $10,000-15,000). Sure to delight buyers is an untitled abstract attributed to Fernand Joseph Henri Leger. The modern geometric forms on paper are entitled “F L”and dated “17.” Born in Normandy in 1881, Fernand Joseph Henri Leger would go on to become one of the foremost Cubist painters of the 20th century. The modern abstract offered in this auction should bring $10,000-15,000. Rounding out the fine art session is an interesting sculpture titled, A Hunter’s Fight with a Bear by Nikolai Lieberich, (Russian, 1828-1883). The bronze is inscribed on stone with a foundry mark “Fabr. C. F. Woerffel St. Petersburg,” on the octagonal marble base (estimate, $15,000-18,000).
The Asian Works of Art session will feature a wide range of decorative items including ceramics, bronze and jade. A late 19th-early 20th century large Chinese Hu form celadon vase with a globular body incised with lotus flowers, leaves and ruyi. The shoulders have applied dragon form handles and the base is Impressed with the Qianlong seal mark; the vase is expected to sell for $4,000-6,000. A pair of Chinese famille rose vases, each depicting a mirror image of scholars in a narrative scene, will also cross the block with an estimate of $4,000-6,000. A celadon and russet jade gourd-shaped vase featuring well-carved maples leaves with branches on a custom lotus and fish form stand should bring $3,500-5,000. Bidders are sure to take note of an impressive late 19th century monumental seated gilt buddha on a double lotus throne with an estimate of $8,000-10,000. A painted Chinese archaic bronze from the Han Dynasty, raised on animal shaped legs, should sell for $5,000-7,000. Rounding out the Asian arts session is a Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze figure of a Buddha from the 19th century. The Buddha is seated wearing a five-petaled crown and and is expected to fetch $4,000-6,000.
Of particular note in the auction is An Embassy from the East India Trade Company of the United Provinces, by Johan Nieuhof, translated by John Ogilby and printed in London by the author in his house at White-Friers in the year of 1673. The definitive account of 17th century Chinese culture, the important volume was used by The Dutch East Company to persuade the emperor to open the Chinese ports to the Dutch. Author Johan Nieuhoff compiled the work while accompanying Peter Van Goyer and Jacob de Keyser on a mission to visit emperor Chun-Chi. Including many incidental remarks on the manners and customs of the Chinese, the historically compelling book includes finely detailed images of the geography, seaports, natural history, architecture and costume of the period throughout China, Tibet, and Tartary. The text is considered to be a major influence in western culture and customs including the rise of chinoiserie style. The book features an engraved frontispiece title and a letterpress title in red and black, together with an epistle of Father John Adams, concerning the whole negotiation. With an appendix of several remarks taken out of Father Athanasius Kircher, the rarity is expected to sell for $10,000-15,000.
The next run of works will feature a robust sampling of Continental and European furniture and decorative arts including a pair of Sormani Louis XV-Style two-drawer stands with a presale estimate of $1,000-2,000. A Louis XVI style bracket clock by Guelin A. Lucerne with a typical form and painted floral and foliate decoration is also expected to sell for $1,000-2,000. A French, first quarter-20th century flip top games table by Thonet should fetch $800-1,200 while an orientalism salon chair by Carlo Bugatti featuring ebonized wood, pewter, copper, bone and vellum carries a presale estimate of $2,000-4,000. The upholstered back of the chair is flanked by inlaid decoration over the cantilevered upholstered seat and supported by slanted front legs and back turned legs with inlaid inscriptions and geometric decorations. Buyers may choose to add some true style to office space with a George Washington desk and credenza by Kittinger (estimate, $2,000-4,000). An array of treasures will also be offered in this session including a sterling silver and enamel decorated chalice by I.J. Keith (London 1867-1868), which carries a presale estimate of $800-1,200, and a near pair of pattern 253 sterling silver nut dishes by Georg Jensen with an estimate of $2,000-4,000. A pair of sterling silver Biedermeier candlesticks with scrolling floral handles flanking trophy form bodies which are decorated with incision work. Mounted on rectangular pillar bases with applied lion heads, the striking pair should bring $1,000-2,000.
Taxidermy enthusiasts as well as anyone with an eclectic approach to decor, will be happy to find a full-bodied anteater, possibly from South America, and purportedly from the St. Louis Zoo collection. It is expected to sell for $400-700. A taxidermy shoulder-mount elk and a full-bodied bobcat both carry presale estimates of $200-400.
A varied selection of fine and vintage jewelry will round out the day with an array of unique diamonds and colored stones. A 2ct emerald cut diamond ring set in 14k gold has presale estimate of $6,000-8,000. A 14K gold ring set with a center European cut diamond and surrounded by 18 round brilliant cut channel set diamonds should fetch $2,000-3,000. Of local historic interest is the 14K gold finger purse once owned by Lillian Handlan Lemp (1877-1960), the belle of St. Louis society and daughter of railroad tycoon, Alexander Handlan. Marrying William Lemp Jr. (the heir to the Lemp brewery) in 1899, Lillian Handlan Lemp became known as the Lavender Lady due to her eccentric personality and affinity for the hue. The monogrammed bag has three purple cabochon stones, one serving as a clasp. The body of the purse opens up to segregated compartments, including powder compact with mirror, calling card case, and bone writing plaque bearing practice signatures which reads "Master William Lemp III,” together with associated pencil, gold ringed powder puff and a brass hair clip, the purse is expected to sell for $3,000-5,000. Another accessory of interest is sure to be the Judith Leiber handbag of a Buddha set with multicolored rhinestones (estimate, $500-700).
Buyers interested in 20th Century design will find a number of popular names from Stickley to Limbert, but of serious interest should be the magnificent elevator gate-screen from the Chicago Stock Exchange Building. Designed by Louis Henri Sullivan - considered by many architectural scholars and historians to be the father of modern American architecture, the Chicago Stock Exchange building embraces Sullivan's personal design philosophy, reflected in the exuberant geometric architecture of the gate (estimate, $30,000 - $40,000).
Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers has produced an illustrated soft-cover catalog, available for purchase by contacting Client Services at 314.696.9041, or by viewing online at selkirkauctions.com. Prices realized will be available online, both during and after the auction. The Selkirk gallery is located at 4739 McPherson Ave., St. Louis MO 63108. Preview hours will be held July 26th thru July 31st, or by appointment. Selkirk is accepting quality items for the 2015 fall and winter auction season. For further information about selling at Selkirk or for a valuation of your item(s), contact firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 314.696.9041. For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit the website at selkirkauctions.com. Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers is not affiliated with Ivey-Selkirk or the Selkirk Family.
4739 McPherson Ave.
St. Louis, Missouri
About Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers is a full-service fine art, antique and bespoke collectibles auction firm led by a seasoned and respected team of industry professionals. Together with our sister company, Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers, Selkirk endeavors to represent the finest collections in America with outstanding photography, expert descriptions and cutting edge marketing, public relations and communications with one goal: to achieve the very best prices for our sellers. Born from the purchase of certain assets (from a secured third party) of the Ben J. Selkirk & Sons, Inc. company in 2014, Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers seeks to continue the tradition of presenting exciting, high quality auctions steeped in personal service and integrity begun in St. Louis almost 200 years ago.