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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

John Moran’s September 29th Estates Auction Results

John Moran Auctioneers’ September 29, 2009 Estates Auction, featuring European & American decorative & fine art, proved once again that however battered the economy, exceptional pieces still bring exceptional prices. With their national and international audience growing ever larger, thanks to extensive internet visibility and online bidding, Moran’s is achieving strong results in the categories buyers traditionally seek out at their sales, such as silver, art glass, French furniture, and Arts and Crafts, as well as for eclectic estate items.

Prior to the internationally marketed Evening Sale, John Moran Auctioneers conducted their afternoon Discovery Sale, an auction geared to a local audience that is open to floor and absentee bidding only, and is not catalogued. The element of surprise, along with the high quality of the treasures, has made this sale highly popular. Among the various finds on the 29th were a Wallace ‘Washington’ pattern sterling silver part flatware service that brought $940 (all prices include the 15% buyer’s premium) and a wonderful Louis XV provincial walnut armoire that realized $823. Bidding for a set of fifty Franklin Mint sterling silver commemorative ingots in a wooden case rose to a final price of $1,293.

The catalogued evening sale, which began at 6:30pm, offered an intriguing mix of extremely fine quality decorative arts and rarities, and attracted a very high proportion of bidders participating online or via telephone. As so often at John Moran Auctioneers, Louis XV and XVI furnishings were among the top performers. Lot 1138, a Louis XVI style ormolu, patinated bronze and cut-glass three-light chandelier, dating from the late 19th century, featured three large Cupid figures. It sold well over the $2500-3500 estimate, at $7,475, while Lot 1107, an ormolu figural mount, also a Cupid, realized $2,587.50 on an estimate of $600-900, no doubt on the strength of its bearing the signature of Fancois Linke.

A stunning cobalt blue porcelain gilt bronze-mounted three-piece clock garniture (lot 1139), also Louis XVI style, doubled its estimate, realizing $5,462.50. Several exquisitely crafted pieces of furniture also made strong appearances, including Lot 1100, a Louis XV provincial walnut commode with gilt-bronze mounts, dating from the second half of the 18th century, which brought $3737.50, and Lot 1101, a Louis XV ormolu-mounted kingwood, tulipwood and marquetry writing table, which performed well at $2,875.

As impressive as the French items were, the star lot of the evening was American. Lot 1070 was a Tiffany Studios patinated bronze adjustable root candlestick, model #1250. With three green blown-out glass lights and measuring 20.5 inches tall, it was apparently unmarked, but was illustrated in a collector’s guide. On an estimate of $3,000-5,000 it attracted several phone bidders who, in a very fast round of bidding, competed to a remarkable final price of $21,850.

Art glass is a traditionally strong area at John Moran, especially Tiffany, so it was no surprise that another Tiffany Studios item, a six piece “Pine Needles” bronze and glass desk set, brought $2150, doubling its presale estimate. Bringing $1725 was a Schneider Le Verre Francais cameo art glass vase, circa 1925 (Lot 1064), decorated in a boldly stylized, red-orange mushroom pattern.

Following up on their success in July with a set of Saint Louis “Thistle” stemware, John Moran offered another set of Saint Louis, this time in the “Apollo Gold” pattern (Lot 1009). Interest was again high, with the 42 pieces selling for $5,462.50.

As expected, silver items continue to thrive in this market. At this sale there were several pieces of .800 German silver. Two pieces were marked M.H. Wilkens & Sohne, Bremen, Lot 1020, a two-handled center bowl, estimated at $800-1200, and lot 1021, a silver mirrored surtout de table, estimated at $500-700, brought $3,450 and $1,150 respectively. Realizing $1092.50, a charming tipping kettle on stand marked Koch & Bergfeld, Bremen, had a pre-sale estimate of $500-700,

Among the many offerings of British and Continental art was a highly detailed scene of figures in an elaborate Baroque interior by Salvatore Frangiamore (Italian 1853-1915). The oil measuring 24”x19” brought $9,775. A 30”x40” oil by British artist Donald Grant (1930-2001), depicting lions in the Serengeti, sold nicely at $8,050.

Eclectic items from various estates in Southern California included a 1938 Steinway & Sons Model B mahogany grand piano (Lot 1060) signed by Theodore Steinway, that brought $20,700 and a fantastical Flemish Baroque painted verdure tapestry cartoon, Lot 1134. Depicting castles in a lush, tree and flower-filled landscape with swans on a river, it doubled the estimate, bringing $4025. Finally, two nautical instruments added yet another element of interest to this varied sale. Lot 1058, a Cary of London miniature cased brass sextant brought $920 on an estimate of $500-700), and Lot 1059, a Hamilton marine chronometer or deck watch, Model 22, sold very well at $1150 on its estimate of $300-500.

John Moran Auctioneers’ next Antiques and Fine Decorative Arts Sale will be held on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009, and will feature the largest selection of fine jewelry of any John Moran sale this year. The catalogued evening sale will begin at 6:30pm. Bidding is available in person, by absentee, phone and also online through The no-reserve afternoon Discovery Sale will begin at 3:00pm. Bidding is available from the floor only for the Discovery Sale.

On October 13th, 2009, John Moran will host the last in their tri-annual sales of California and American paintings for 2009, offering one of the finest selections of top California Impressionists in the company’s history. The catalogue for this auction is currently available online at All John Moran auctions are held at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena (CA). For more information sales or for information about consigning to John Moran, please call their offices at (626) 793-1833 or visit their website at