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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Cowan’s July 23 Summer Fine and Decorative Art Auction Results

Cowan’s July 23, 2011 Summer Fine and Decorative Art Auction brought in some surprising sales over-estimate as bidders battled competitively for 362 lots. With 995 bidders from sixteen countries, the auction sales total reached just over $430,500.00. The sale, held at Cowan’s sales room, offered fine and decorative art items from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Highlights in the sale included a Book of Erotic Victorian Watercolors, and a Cincinnati Art-Carved Sideboard with Benjamin Pittman Carving. The number of floor bidders just surpassed the number of online bidders, with phone and absentee bidders making up the rest of the winning bids. 22% of items sold above their high estimate and overall the sale had a 91% sell-through rate. The top three bidding countries were the U.S. followed by Canada and China.

The highest selling lot was a George Jensen Sterling Coffee and Tea Service which realized $19,975 – exceeding its estimate of $10,000/15,000. This coffee and tea service is made in the blossom pattern and includes a coffee pot, tea pot, covered sugar, cream pitcher, milk jug, and oblong tray all of which have carved ivory side handles.
The second-highest seller was a Reticulated Basket possibly by Wiener Werkstatte artist Josef Hoffman which greatly surpassed its estimate of $1,000/2,000 selling for $18,800. This 20th century Austrian piece is marked on the base “Wiener Werkstatte”.

A Book of Erotic Victorian Watercolors far surpassed its estimate of $1,000/2,000 hammering down at $14,400. The watercolors are Victorian, 19th century and bound in a leather covered book, all unsigned.

A Cincinnati Art-Carved Sideboard with Benjamin Pittman Carving, possibly made for exhibition, realized $12,925, sidestepping its estimate of $8,000/10,000. This is a rare example of a Cincinnati Art-Carved School piece bearing the personal stamp of the school’s founder.

Another great item in the sale was a Maria Longworth Nichols Storer Copper Panel that sold for $6,463. The panel is American, circa 1913, and is embossed with fish and sea creatures with bejeweled eyes and was estimated at $5,000/7,000. It is mounted in a wood frame, under glass, and rests on a small custom made table top.

A Mallard Labeled New Orleans Renaissance Revival Sideboard realized $9,400 above its estimate of $4,000/6,000. This beautifully carved 19th century American sideboard was manufactured by P. Mallard of New Orleans.

Another impressive bid was for the Art Nouveau Stained Glass Screen that quadrupled its pre-auction estimate of $2,000/3,000 fetching $12,000.

A Continental Baroque-Style Sofa fetched an impressive $8,812.50 far above its estimate of $1,000/1,500. Probably Flemish, this walnut sofa has a tapestry upholstered seat and back cover. The seat is flanked by outscrolling arms; the c-scroll legs are turned with connected circular stretchers.

A Queen Anne Style Secretary Bookcase exceeded its estimate of $8,000/10,000 realizing $12,337.50. This bookcase is English 19th century in walnut with pine and oak secondary. Having dovetailed construction, the upper case opens to a fitted architecural interior, and the lower case opens to a fitted interior with a tooled leather writing surface.

A Picasso Earthenware Jug hammered down at $5,581.25. This ceramic jug depicts a man and horse in black, white, blue, and brown glaze and the base is marked “Edition Picasso 216/300”.

About Cowan’s Auctions, Inc.

As one of the nation’s leading auction houses with sales approaching $20 million, Cowan’s has been helping individuals and institutions build important collections for more than a decade. The company’s four divisions of American History, American Indian and Western Art, American and European Fine and Decorative Art, and Historic Firearms & Early Militaria hold semi-annual cataloged sales that routinely set records for rare offerings.

Through its extensive mailing list of more than 35,000 collectors, dealers and institutional clients, each Cowan’s auction typically attracts more than 1,000 bidders from across the globe. To learn more about Cowan’s visit our website at

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