Jules Gustave Leroy Holiday Painting Brings $16,000 & a Tiffany Tall Case Clock Realizes $17,000 at Cordier’s Fall Catalog Auction

. December 14, 2013

A Jules Gustave Leroy painting entitled “The Christmas Present” sold for $16,000 while a Tiffany tall case clock realized $17,000 at Cordier Auctions’ Fall Two Day Antique & Fine Art Auction on November 9 and 10. Other highlights included a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania high boy at $8,500, a Story & Clark Storytone Deco electric piano at $2,700 and a machinist built 1:16 scale locomotive and tender at $2,600. The 987 lot auction was held in the company’s auction house located at 1500 Paxton Street in Harrisburg.

The multi-consignor sale featured items from over two hundred consignors including estates and collectors. Over 400 people were in attendance during the two days in addition to phone and absentee bidders while more than 2,000 bidders were pre-registered to bid via the internet. Prices quoted are hammer prices.

Saturday’s sale offered collectibles, toys, jewelry, silver, porcelain and glass but opened with 80 lots of Charles Lindbergh memorabilia. Consigned from a single owner, the collection featured autographed books and photographs, ephemera, Lindbergh flown airmail, toys, sculptures, and unique collectibles. Of note was an Author’s Autograph limited edition of Lindbergh’s book “WE”. Housed in the original slipcase and signed by Lindbergh and the publisher on the title page, the book was number 35 of an edition of 1,000 and sold within estimate at $1,000.

Collectibles offered a wide variety of items from steins and canes to music boxes and model ships. An antique medical skeleton was one unique item to cross the block. Carrying an estimate of $2,000 to $4,000, the skeleton sold to the internet just under lower estimate at $1,900. Another unique item was 1:16 scale 4-8-4 steam locomotive and tender hand built by a local Harrisburg, Pennsylvania machinist between 1947 and 1960. The loco generated much interest, easily passing its $200 to $400 estimate to sell at $2,600. From the same consignor was a collection of eighteen vintage Pennsylvania Railroad gate signs that hammered down just above high estimate at $2,100 to a local collector.

Over fifty lots of silver were offered including tea sets, pitchers, and a communion set by International Sterling that realized $2,400. Nineteen sterling silver flatware sets crossed the block including a 144 piece set of Dominick & Haff Pointed Antique ($3,300), a 77 piece set of S. Kirk & Son Repousse ($1,900) and a 65 piece set of Reed & Barton Francis I ($2,000). Also of note was a five piece International Sterling Royal Danish tea set that realized $1,800.

Silver was followed by over 100 lots of fine jewelry and watches including diamond and gemstone rings, gold bracelets, antique pieces and more. The top lot was a 2.67 ctw diamond engagement having a GIA certified 2.52 carat round brilliant cut center diamond that sold within estimate to the room at $6,200. A 1.20 ctw diamond and platinum ring also sold within estimate $3,300 as did a 4.10 ctw Jabel diamond fashion bracelet, also at $3,300. A 14K gold, diamond and sapphire lorgnette sold just under estimate at $1,300 Watch highlights included an Illinois Bunn Special 60 hour pocket watch at $450, an 18K James Perret pocket watch at $650 and a 1950’s Gallet 3 reg chronograph wristwatch at $475.

Saturday’s session concluded with decorative arts, porcelain and glass. Highlights included a Karl Ens Deco Penthesilea sculpture by Josef Kopp at $1,400, a 17th century French silver thread purse at $350 and an ivory scrimshaw lighthouse at $500.

Sunday’s session began with musical instruments followed by furniture and rugs, Asian and fine art, clocks, and lighting. The highlight among instruments was an RCA Story & Clark Storytone Deco electric piano. Estimated at $3,000 to $6,000, the piano was built in 1939 as a joint venture between Story & Clark and RCA. One of only 150 made, it was the first electric piano and debuted at the1939 World’s Fair. The internet came through with the winning bid of $2,700.

Over 70 lots of furniture were offered including a rare three shell carved Lancaster County Chippendale highboy circa 1780 to 1790. Estimated at $10,000 to $15,000, the piece sold to a local collector in the room for just under low estimate at $8,500. Two pieces of Chinese Qing Dynasty furniture were pleasant surprises in Sunday’s session and included at tea table at $3,900 (estimate $200 to $400) and a stand at $850 (estimate $150 to $300). Nineteen lots of rugs were offered and saw prices consistently within or above estimate including an antique Caucasian Kazar rug at $2,000 (estimate $600 to $800).

Over 100 lots of ethnographic and Asian arts were included in Sunday’s session, among them a Chinese famille verte table screen. Estimated $1,500 to $3,000, the piece sold to the room at $2,000. The room was also successful on two Japanese Meiji period Satsuma vases with frogs which both sold for $500. Ethnographic arts featured over twenty lots of Inuit sculpture and prints with most selling within estimate. An early 20th century Northwest Coast Tlingit raven dagger did far better than expected, selling to the internet at $1,700 on a $200 to $400 estimate.

Sunday’s session offered over 100 lots of fine art including paintings, bronzes, and prints as well as the biggest surprise of the auction – a painting by the artist Jules Gustave Leroy (French, 1856-1921). Known for his works of kittens and other animals, the painting portrayed a poodle holding a holly decorated basket of kittens and was aptly entitled “Holiday Gift”. Bidding opened online within estimate at $1,600 and quickly escalated between multiple phone bidders before coming down to a single phone bidder and a bidder in the room, both determined to take this particular present home for the holidays. The room was silent as bidding climbed to $10,000 then $15,000 before the floor bidder came away the winner at $16,000 to a well-deserved round of applause.

Cordier Auctions also offered artwork from the Estate of Boris Blai (American, 1893-1985), noted sculpture and founder of the Stella Elkins Tyler School of Art (a campus of Temple University) in 1935. The artwork included wood sculptures by Blai including a female nude torso ($2,300) and a portrait of Mrs. Lessing Rosenwald ($1,200). Also offered were paintings by Franklin C. Watkins (American, 1894-1972) including a portrait of opera singer Miriam Gurewitz, first wife of Blai, submitted to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 121st Annual Exhibition that realized $1,600.

Also of note in art was a portrait painting by the artist John Henry Byrd (1805-1884). Emigrating from Ireland to Arkansas, he became the state’s most prolific antebellum artist, painting many of the prominent families and people of the day. Estimated at $200 to $400, the painting sold to a great-granddaughter of the artist for $1,500.

Sunday’s auction concluded with clocks and lighting. Seven tall case clocks were offered with all selling at or above estimate. The top lot of the sale was a profusely carved 19th century Tiffany & Co. nine tube tall case that sold just under low estimate at $17,000. Highlights among lighting included a large Middle Eastern table lamp ($700), a Victorian brass piano lamp ($600) and a Sevres ormolu and porcelain clock garniture ($700).

Consignments for Cordier’s Spring catalog auction are currently being accepted. Information on Cordier Auctions & Appraisals can be found at www.CordierAuction.com. Questions can be directed to auctions@cordierantiques.com or by calling 717-731-8662.

Category: Auction News

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