A newly discovered Frank Bramley, ARA, (1857-1915) and an 18th century Chinese military helmet exceeded expectations at Witherell's auction March 2 to 16.
The Newlyn school painting—discovered by Brian Witherell, Witherell’s chief operating officer, with a collection of ornate frames at a Sacramento, Calif. home— sold for $27,501.25.
It was estimated at $8/12,000.
With the luminous sunset and color highlighting the faces of the family, the framed 50.25 by 37.75 inch “Daddy’s Welcome” is an excellent example of the type of paintings made famous by the Cornwall, England school.
The Chinese helmet, adorned with dragon motifs over raised pierced decoration, sold for $19,375.
Measuring 8 x 10 x 12 inches, the helmet was estimated at $1,200/1,800.
“The two most exciting sales were the Bramley and the Chinese helmet, not only for what they realized, but what they accomplished,” said Brian Witherell.
“We usually sell items on behalf of people with means. This time the items had been inherited by relatives for whom sales made a much greater difference to their lives.”
A Henry repeating rifle used in the Civil War sold for $20,625.
Captured in October 1864 by Private James G. Sandidge of the 6th Louisiana Cavalry, the rifle was later presented to Sandidge’s brother at his 1868 wedding.
The rifle came from the Arthur V. Crego collection, most of which was auctioned by Witherell’s in 2010.
The Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1875 – 1955) bronze “Enthroned” fetched $18,125.
The third example of this iconic artwork to surface, it was an after-thought during Witherell’s visit to a Carmel collector.
One model currently is displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the other sold at Christie’s in 1996.
A rare Rene Lalique “Bacchante” vase went for $16,875.25.
Originally introduced by Lalique in 1927—and are still available today— the golden color of the figures in the opalescent glass made it a very important early Lalique.
The vase had been in a china cabinet for nearly 100 years.
Propelled by 41 bidders, a carved mahogany partners desk bearing the Geo. C. Flint Co, New York label, realized $13,750.
Circa 1900, the 30 by 73 by 41.25 inch desk featured alternating caryatids and telamons at the corners with carved boughs of acorns, lion-head handled drawers and griffin panels over castered bun feet.
The unreserved auction of 44 lots sold in its entirety and reached nearly $190,000.
The sale price per lot averaged $4,300.
All prices include buyer’s premium.
300 20th Street
Founded in 1969, Witherell’s does appraisals and auctions of objects of value—from decorative arts and design to antiques and fine art—and places items globally through private sales and online auctions.. Witherell’s also produces the annual Witherell’s Old West Antiques Show in Grass Valley May 6th and 7th this year. For more information, visit www.witherells.com or call (916) 446-6490.