Carved Ivory Vase Tops Garth’s Decorative Arts

. February 21, 2011 . 0 Comments

An impressive early 20th century Chinese carved ivory vase was the top lot of Garth’s Auctioneers and Appraisers’ auction of Asian, Continental, & American Furniture, Decorative Arts, & Fine Art on January 29, 2011. On display the week prior to the sale, the 14 ½” tall vase, adorned with intricate, continuous carving of a banquet scene around the circumference, drew quite a bit of attention from those visiting Garth’s gallery, as well as many phone calls from Europe and Asia.

The vase was the highlight of a fresh-to-the-market group of ivories and textiles deaccessioned from a major Ohio institution which no longer found the material germane to its mission. The Asian material, which had been collected many years before landing at the institution via a generous donation, was clearly several steps above the typical, mid-century trinkets brought back by GIs in WWII. The buzz surrounding the vase was understandable as the signature was discovered and many believed it to be the work of a master carver. Fourteen phone bidders were active with Garth’s representatives as the vase came on the block, but the initial bidding frenzy diminished to a battle between a lady in the room and a bidder utilizing the online bidding service, ArtFact. While there was enthusiastic interest from the internet with about a dozen absentee bids placed online prior to the auction, the interested ArtFact party ultimately underbid the vase at $45,000 before a bidder from Chicago took it for a hammer price of $47,500( a total of $55,813 with the premium). It was understood that the winning bidder had recently passed on a similar vase offered at a New York auction house since this example was signed and executed so well. Vice President Andrew Richmond commented, “These sales are always fun because new bidders are always in the saleroom. The strong buyers of some of these categories don’t mess around as exemplified by the bidder who bought the vase. She kept jumping bids, shouting out “$10,000” and then “$15,000” to move it along. Clearly these buyers know what they want.”

Garth’s Auctions has many more auctions in place this spring. The first is the Americana Auction scheduled for the weekend of March 11-12. Then, on April 1st, another Eclectic Auction will be held. The 5th Annual Ohio Valley Auction scheduled for May 20-21 features outstanding Americana as well, but with an emphasis on material from the greater Ohio Valley. Garth’s is still accepting quality consignments for these events. To consign a single item, an estate or an entire collection, contact 740.362.4771, e-mail info@garths.com, or visit the website www.garths.com

Category: Auction News

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