The Good and Plenty: Midcentury and Jewelry Among Top Lots on April 6th.

  • LARCHMONT, New York
  • /
  • April 09, 2014

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The Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair was one of the top performers in the midcentury selection.
Keane Ryan

Antique decorative items may have brought the top individual prices, but both midcentury and jewelry selections held the majority of top sellers overall on April 6th at Clarke Auction.

As anticipated, the highly desirable and expertly crafted Empire malachite and bronze mounted annular clock was the most successful antique lot. The conservatively estimated $10,000/$15,000 clock raised a quick succession of bids from the 10 plus phone lines that were dedicated to the particular item, but a determined internet bidder locked the item down at a realized price of $29,280.

In the same proximity, a marvelous antique French gilt bronze surtout de table, with later coffee table base, brought a reasonable final price of $15,860. The top was in complete condition adorned with dual sided bronze decoration of superior antique quality.

The antique selection rounded out with a stunning surprise.  A responsibly estimated $250/$350 Chinese porcelain plaque brought an astounding $7,930.

The selections of midcentury and jewelry, while not containing as individually high prices, had more than half of the top selling items combined.  Even with the high producers in decorative arts, the average sale price for midcentury and jewelry outperformed all other categories in the sale.

The big winner in midcentury was the signed Hans Wegner for A.P. Stolen “Papa Bear Chair.” The chair was won at $7,320 which exceeded expectations due to the chairs less than perfect upholstery.  Mirroring the success of the past selection of Wegner at Clarke, the “Papa Bear” chair’s results are exemplary of the philosophy that the midcentury market’s highest quality items can and should hold a considerable market value as design tastes change and mature in the genre.   

This gold suite brought the top price in the jewelry selection.
Clarke Auction

Also in midcentury, a beautiful pair of De Sede leather cushion daybed benches realized $6,710. The pair came from a Manhattan, NY apartment complete with like-new leather cushions and broadside back rests. From the same estate came another rare bench by Estelle and Erwin Laverne.  The bench was in original condition with light brown woven leather strapping and beautifully angled chrome legs. The final price of the bench was $6,100.

Another beautiful design in the midcentury selection that proved successful was a super clean Dunbar chaise lounge. The lack of wear and beautifully neutral upholstery may have contributed to the appropriate result of $5,124 against a conservative $800-$1,200 estimate.

Additional notable lots in the midcentury selection were the $3,416 pair of Arne Vodder for Sibast slide top and external leg side tables, as well as a pair of brushed metal and brass etageres by Karl Springer which rallied late in the bidding with last minute online competition to finally bring $3,538.

The midcentury and jewelry were back to back in the April 6th sale and there were many parallels in the aggressiveness and competitiveness from all bidding avenues.

The volume of gold in the jewelry selection, and the immediate interest in many of the pieces, was an early indication that the entire selection would perform admirably. The top lot in the selection was a 14kt gold suite that included several pieces of gold chain linked jewelry. The lot brought $6,710 after several absentee bids made for a quick increment jump as the lot opened.

One of the crowd favorites in the sale, and the second best performer on April 6th, was a gorgeous 18kt yellow gold chain necklace by Cartier that brought $6,100 against a $4,000/$5,000 estimate.  Following the necklace, a pair of 14kt gold retro bracelets realized $4,636, and a handsome Patek Phillipe gentleman’s watch brought $3,660.

The surprises in the sale included a pair of Gio Ponti style occasional tables that brought $2,900 against a $300/$400 estimate, a Marc Chagall lithograph which went home at $4,148 against a $400/$600 estimate, and a beautiful pair of antique floral painted porcelain plaques that realized $5,612 against an estimate of $1,000/$1,500.

This Antique bronze mounted table was one of the leaders of the sale.
Clarke Auction

Clarke Auction is now encouraging consignors and sellers of all items to contact the gallery in order to continue the success of each category in their May sale. They warn that space is limited, and to please have items evaluated as soon as possible.  

For more information on selling or consigning, please contact Clarke Auction at (914) 833-8336 or email at


Keane Ryan
Clarke Auction

Clarke Auction
2372 Boston Post Road
Larchmont, New York

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