. December 12, 2008

(Hillsborough, N.C.) – A beautiful 72-piece sterling silver service (circa 1948-1955) by the renowned Mexican silversmith Hector Aguilar, in the “Aztec” motif, sold for $41,400 at a two-day, four-session multi-estate sale, dubbed the “Historic Hillsborough Auction,” by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. The sale was held at the firm’s spacious showroom, located at 246 South Nash Street.

aguilar-service.jpg Aguilar’s shop, Taller Borda, was known for its high-quality and well-designed sterling silver flatware, hollowware, jewelry and other objects. The service sold was large and rare, with the incised bands, scrolls and applied beads that exemplified Aguilar’s bold eye for design. It was also a superlative example of mid-20th century Mexican silver. It was the top seller of the nearly 1,000 lots put up for bid.

“This was the biggest grossing sale to date for our company, and a wonderful way to conclude the year,” said Leland Little of Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. “We continue to attract national and international interest in our collections, and will continue what has been a successful partnership with LiveAuctioneers.com for online bidding. We anticipate more great sales in 2009.”

Speaking of online bidding, more than 1,000 bidders registered through LiveAuctioneers.com, while around 900 pre-absentee and phone bids were recorded prior to the sale. The in-house crowd was respectable — about 200 people on Saturday, Dec. 6, and between 75 and 100 people on Sunday, Dec. 7. It was the fourth and final quarterly cataloged auction of the year. The next one will be in March.

Following are additional highlights. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Spectacular period furniture pieces were offered in abundance. The stars of the category were a rare North Carolina paint decorated Rowan County blanket chest (circa 1800), from the Yadkin River area and having a six board poplar case with dove-tailed construction ($36,800); and a pair of classical card tables (Philadelphia, circa 1820-1830), having mahogany veneers with gilt decoration ($13,800).


A late 18th-century Southern walnut corner cupboard made in Piedmont, N.C., with one-piece form and Southern yellow pine secondary, brought $5,463; a 19th-century French country trestle table with three-board burled hardwood rectangular top supported by two shaped legs realized $4,830; and a 19th-century birch and walnut Southern sugar chest with hinged lid and bread board ends made $3,795.

Fine art, a staple at many Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd., quarterly cataloged sales, commanded prices that were within the estimates and, in some cases, beyond. Highlights included:

elizabeth-verner.jpgA signed pastel on silk work by Elizabeth O’Neill Verner (S.C., 1883-1979), titled Jamie ($28,750).

A signed oil on canvas by Emile Gruppe (Mass./Fla., 1896-1978), titled Winter Brook ($18,400).

A signed oil on canvas by Harry Berman (Penn., 1900-1932), titled Pennsylvania Hills ($5,520).

An untitled canine rendering by Roy Dean de Forest (American, 1930-2007), signed ($2,645).

Sculptures were also offered. Two works deserve mention here. They are:

A bronze figure of a nude male youth by William Hirsch (S.C., 1905-82), dated 1940 ($7,475).

A bronze figural work by Charles Paillet (French, 1871-1937), signed, on marble base ($3,450).

The auction featured the single-owner photographia collection of Arnold Doren and Caroline Cornish. Top earners included a gelatin silver print by Andre Kertesz (Hungarian, 1894-1985), titled Chez Mondrian, signed and dated 1926 in pencil en verso and in a Kulicke frame ($6,325); and an untitled gelatin silver print by Minor White (Minn./N.Y., 1908-76), of hands holding a bowl ($4,600).

A pair of Tiffany Studios bronze bookends (circa 1920), with Orientalist design of mythical griffin forms on either side of a medallion profile (and bearing a resemblance to L.C. Tiffany in his later years) achieved $6,900; an antique Louis Vuitton monogram steam trunk (circa 1926), with classic flat top, reached $3,680; and a pair of late 19th-century Venetian glass wall sconces rose to $3,105.

A Sioux quilled, carved and polychrome pipe stem (circa 1900), carved in high relief and boasting wonderful mellow patina and surface, hammered for $5,060; an impressive North Carolina pottery vase attributed to J.B. Cole (circa 1930s), salt glaze stoneware with overall cobalt glaze, made $920; and a North Carolina pottery figure of a lion by Billy Ray Hussey (circa early 1980s) hit $863.

The auction also featured the outstanding coin collection of Dr. Hank Landon. Highlights included a roll of 20 brilliant uncirculated 1878 7TF Morgan silver dollars with nice cameo surfaces ($4,255); a lot of 42 brilliant uncirculated Walking Liberty half dollars, dated 1934, 1935 and 1946-D (3,680); and a 1907 Liberty $20 Gold Double Eagle coin, graded in NGC MS 61 condition ($1,035).

A Peer Smed sterling Art Deco three-piece coffee service, all hand-wrought, totaling 42.5 troy ounces, comprising a coffee pot with ivory handle, a creamer and covered sugar bowl, changed hands for $3,335. Also, a set of four Chinese porcelain panels with the Chien Lung mark to the left corner, and with each panel polychrome enamel decorated with figures enjoying leisure activities made $2,530.

Rounding out the top lots, a signed Handel reverse painted table lamp, with a landscape scene of a windmill with tall trees and a lake, lit up the room for $2,760; a Chinese dragon rug (circa 1910), 6 feet 9 inches by 4 feet 2 inches, with a large white and beige dragon figure, gaveled for $2,645; and an Anatalia silk prayer rug, 67 inches by 50 inches, red with lamps and Arabesque border, brought $1,725.

Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd., holds quarterly cataloged auctions in its spacious showroom in Hillsborough, N.C. The first cataloged sale of 2009 is slated for March 21. The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them, at (919) 644-1243, or e-mail them, at HYPERLINK “mailto:info@LLauctions.com”info@LLauctions.com. To learn more about the company and its calendar of upcoming auctions, you may visit them online at www.LLauctions.com.

Category: Auction News

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