Briggs Auction kicked off the Fall 2008 antiques season with a bang Friday, September 19 in Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania. While prices were strong overall for the more than 700 lots offered that evening, two of the night’s pieces stole the show.
“There was a definite buzz in the air when we got to these two items,” comments John Turner, President and Owner of Briggs Auction, Inc. “I was certain they were both going to be big.”
First was a lovely Chippendale side chair with fancy Gothic-carved splat back. Its graceful lines and fine condition ensured that bidding was brisk, eventually propelling it to $34,500 (all prices include buyer’s premium).
That excitement carried over to the next lot, an exceptional Philadelphia Queen Anne mixing or “slab” table. Featuring a trifid foot and the original marble, this rare and important piece spent the majority of the exhibition upside down with the marble off, while every crevice was inspected with flashlight and magnifying glass. “Even before the bidding started, I knew this piece was right,” says Janice Briggs Turner. That observation proved true. With five telephones and at least four active bidders on the floor, the table opened at $20,000 and quickly soared to its impressive $111,550 selling price.
Briggs Auction is known for bringing fresh and interesting merchandise to the market from local estates. “Slab tables of this period are rare,” says John Turner. “This is the first we’ve had the pleasure to sell, and it certainly exceeded expectations. We’re thrilled with it.”
Both these pieces came from a Society Hill, Philadelphia estate, as did many of the other furnishings and decorative and fine art in the auction. Additional lots from another Main Line Philadelphia estate helped to round out the evening’s offerings. Other highlights of the night include: a decorative heavily-carved oak crystal cabinet with griffin details and mirrored back ($5,520); a lovely oak rolltop desk with fitted interior ($3,335); an excellent walnut tall chest-on-chest on Ogee-bracket feet ($3,450); a graceful two-piece Queen Anne highboy on cabriole legs ($2,300); and a Queen Anne side chair on ball & claw feet with fancy scallop carving from the Society Hill estate ($2,185).
An eclectic collection of mid-century Modem furnishings and decorative items also saw strong prices, including a beautiful rosewood drop leaf banquet-sized dining table on stainless steel tubular legs. Designed by Hans Wegner, the table was hotly vied for by bidders on the floor and on four telephone lines before selling for $5,635. Additional highlights, include a collection of Dansk copper cookware, including an unusual teapot with dual spouts, on stand ($1,001 for 14 pieces); a gorgeous 4-piece Creazione Italy pottery cocktail/bar set ($472); a set of 6 made in Finland colored-glass tumblers in the original box ($196); and a stack of 14 rosewood plates made in Sweden ($403).
More than 40 lots of fine art were included in the auction. Top prices include a large framed genre-scene watercolor by F.F. English ($2,645); a signed Boehm oil on canvas mill scene ($1,840); a colorful Juan Miro silkscreen titled Constellations ($1,610); an oil on canvas genre scene Signed Ruggerio featuring a group of women at the village well ($1,610); a signed Louis Icart print featuring a pretty woman with a black stallion ($1,725); two lovely paintings on KPM porcelain ($1,495 each); a large oil on canvas sized B. Zalinska, 1881 depicting a group of joyous barbarians leaving the ruins of Rome ($1,955); and a pastoral watercolor of sheep by Carl Weber ($1,495).
Other highlights of the evening included a large ornately-carved and gilded Chippendale wall mirror ($4,370); a miniature Empire chest of drawers with mirror ($3,105); a fine wall-hanging barometer in a carved-oak case ($3,565); a superb Victorian long-drop regulator wall clock in a walnut case ($1,725); a room-size Tabriz carpet ($3,565); a stunning Tiffany & Company platinum-set ring featuring a deep-blue sapphire with diamond accents ($3,163); an interesting pottery vase with two applied gilded-bronze fish accents attributed to Sevres ($2,760); and a lovely six piece sterling tea/coffee service ($1,840).
“We were very pleased with the auction, overall,” says Turner. “With people wary of traditional investing, antiques are looking more and more like a sure thing.”
Briggs Auction’s June antique and decorative arts auction also featured several sure things, including a rare copper and zinc “flying horse” weathervane made by A.L. Jewell & Company of Waltham, Massachusetts, which sold for $49,450 after strong bidding. A rare and exciting decorated Philadelphia Civil War-era drum realized $8,050, and a beautiful Cymric Art Nouveau silver cask with pretty enameled comers made by Liberty & Company, England, which sold for $7,763.
Additional prices realized and photographs for the September and June auctions are available on the Briggs Auction, Inc. Web site, www.briggsauction.com.
Briggs Auction, Inc. is a three-generation, family-owned auction house with a proud 76-year history of offering comprehensive auction, appraisal, and estate management services. Quarterly and specialty estate antique auctions are held throughout the year and feature the finest 18th- and 19th-century furniture, artwork, jewelry, silver, and more. Weekly estate auctions are held every Friday evening at 5 p.m., and offer a full range of estate antiques and primitives, fine furnishings, and accessories. See the Briggs Auction Web site for weekly auction listings and photographs.
Briggs Auction is proud to provide the finest auction experience for both buyers and consignors. For more information, visit www.briggsauction.com.or contact [email protected]. Briggs Auction, Inc., is located at 1347 Naamans Creek Road, Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania 19061. Telephone at (610) 566-3138.