Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


(Northport, Ala.) – A beautiful, heavily carved oak hall seat attributed to R.J. Horner, one of only five or six known to exist and in pristine condition, sold for $46,000 at the sale of a single-owner collection held February 16 by Hal Hunt Auctions. The piece, made around 1890 and measuring 8′ 10” tall x 5′ 2” wide, was the top lot of the sale, held in Hal Hunt Auctions’ spacious Northport showroom.

horner-hall-seat.jpg “This was one of the finest Horner hall seats ever made,” remarked Hal Hunt, “and it was typical of the merchandise overall. The items were previously owned by a dedicated collector from Bloomington, Ill. He had one of the greatest collections of Victorian to Art Deco items (1890-1920) it had ever been my honor to sell. Almost every piece was museum quality. And they were all true antiques – no reproductions.”

About 400 people packed into a 10,000-square-foot portion of Hal Hunt Auctions’ total space of 30,000 square feet. And they had the undivided attention of the staff, since there was no Internet bidding and no phone bids. “People poured in from all over the country, dealers and collectors alike, from 25 states,” Mr. Hunt said. “It was a real lively crowd. We sold 700 lots in eight hours.”

He added, “It was a collector’s dream. This was fresh-to-the-market merchandise that hadn’t been offered anywhere for 40 years. And most of it ended up in the collections of other people, so it won’t be seen again for another 40 years. We also had dealers, who understood the quality and value of what they were bidding on. No matter what price was paid, people were proud of what they’d bought.”

Additional highlights from the auction follow. All prices include a 15% buyer’s premium.

At first glance, a monumental pair of mahogany winged griffin parlor chairs looked to be the work of R.J. Horner. But the trained eye correctly identified them as pieces made by the Karpen Furniture Company, specialists in Art Nouveau sets in Chicago in the 19th century. The chairs had been reupholstered, but some time ago. After spirited bidding, they sold for $19,550 each.

oak-china-cabinet.jpg An extremely rare and gorgeous oak china cabinet with cherubs, measuring 6′ 2” tall x 4′ 2” wide, one of only two known to exist, changed hands for $31,000; one of the finest carved oak dressing screens by R.J. Horner to be offered at auction in some time (7′ 6” tall x 5′ 5” wide) soared to $13,800; and a rare, original finish oak gramophone playing both records and Regina discs gaveled for $23,000.

A fine, carved mahogany winged lion table stretching 14 feet in length crossed the block at $29,900. “This was one of the finest tables of its kind I’d ever seen anywhere,” Mr. Hunt said. “Not only was it beautiful and rare, it even came with the original skirted carved leaves, with cherubs, and that’s highly unusual.” Also, a lady’s double curio oak desk in like-new condition hammered for $8,050.

alabaster-lamp.jpgA beautiful alabaster and marble nude lady statue lamp, multi-colored and electric from day one, lit up the room for $31,050; a fabulous bronze chunk jewel dragon chandelier with three imposing arms achieved $17,250; an exotic griffin floor lamp with original cloth shade by an unknown maker brought $7,187; and a nice group of mosaic shade lamps by various makers made $8,050-$10,350 each.

A rare oak lady figural carved partner’s desk with knee hole, 5′ wide x 2′ 7” tall, realized $17,250; a lovely selection of vintage clocks, about 35 in all, went for $2,300 to $9,200 each; and strong bidder interest was shown for the large selection of stick-and-ball entryways, furniture and door hangings, with prices ranging from $345 for a nice fire screen to $3,450 for an over-the-mantel mirror.

Artwork was also in evidence. A wonderful group of around 25-30 original prints by the American artist and illustrator Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) sold for prices ranging from $175 to $1,725. Collectors eagerly gobbled up the works, as Parrish is one of the most highly prized artists ever. His illustrations, romanticized scenes and mural paintings are widely sought after by collectors.

Another name instantly recognizable to the assembled throngs was Louis Icart, the French-born artist who lived from 1888-1950. Four original figural works, depicting reclining ladies and animals, sold for $1,380, $1,725, $2,300 and $4,025. Icart was born and died in France, but he lived in New York City in the 1920s, where he became known for his Art Deco etchings of glamorous women.

Hal Hunt Auctions’ next big sale will be held at the Northport gallery on Sunday, May 4th. The estate sale will feature a single-owner collection filled with great porcelains, including Sevres and Meissen. For more information, click on their website, at Hal Hunt Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you can call them directly at (205) 333-2517. Or, you can contact them by e-mail, at [email protected].

Hal Hunt Auctions is committed to bringing to the Northport-Tuscaloosa and the state of Alabama a large supply of merchandise for dealers; rare items for the collector; and fine furnishings and accessories for decorators and individual buyers. The firm specializes in quality European and American antiques; large bronze sculptures; garden statuary; hand-woven Persian rugs; and more.

Auctions may consist of one entire estate or a combination of estates, or a direct import container from Europe. Sales are typically held every 4-6 weeks. The firm is open daily for wholesale, and retail by appointment. Hal Hunt represents the third generation of Hunts in the auction and import business. His father, Harry Hunt, Sr., is still active in the auction business, as are two of his brothers.