Bonhams Announces Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts Sale

Bonhams presents its Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts sale, October 31-November 1, featuring several historical San Francisco highlights, and timed to coincide with the oldest continuously operating international antiques show on the West Coast, The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show.

Royal Italian Neoclassical giltwood stool, Naples, early 19th century, height 29in (73cm); width 32 3/4in (83cm); depth 18 1/4in (46cm). Est. $8,000-12,000.

The first day of the Bonhams sale will have on offer a magnificent and monumental pair of Louis XVI style gilt and patinated bronze figural nineteen light candelabra, circa 1865, made by famous 19th century furniture maker and designer Louis-Auguste-Alfred Beurdeley, 1808-1882 (est. $25,000-35,000). The candelabra, emblematic of “War” and “Peace,” will be sold to benefit the California Historical Society – and once stood in the lobby of the famous Fox Theatre in San Francisco. Built at a cost of $5 million, the theatre opened in 1929 and served as a famous showcase for films until 1963, when it was closed, and later demolished.

Also on offer the first day of the sale will be three, late 19th century, life-size Italian marble statues of Ancient Greeks, including The Discus Thrower, the Belvedere Apollo and Diana the Huntress, acquired in a sale of property from Adolph Sutro’s famous Cliff House and indoor public swimming establishment, the Sutro Baths (each est. $8,000-12,000). The story of these statues is a fascinating one: Adolph Sutro, entrepreneur and former mayor of San Francisco in the 1890s, built two famous San Francisco institutions, the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths, the latter deemed among the largest of swimming establishments of its time. Following a fire that saw the Sutro Baths into ruin in 1966, the statues were relocated and sold in a sale of Cliff House and Sutro Baths’ artifacts in San Francisco in January of 1971. It was a mystery where the statues went from there – until now. The statues were acquired by their consignor, a San Francisco native, who has come forward to auction off his grand finds with Bonhams. Since he purchased the statues in 1971, they adorned his poolside in Southern California – just as he recalls they were displayed at Sutro Baths when he was a boy. It has always been his wish to return them to San Francisco, where he first saw them.

The second day of the sale also will feature prominent property, such as that from the Estate of Katherine Elkins Boyd, who was a well-known San Francisco Bay Area figure, Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee Eagles, delegate to the Republican National Convention, and daughter of legendary 20th century designer Frances Adler Elkins. Boyd, Frances Elkins and David Adler were instrumental in designing the interior of the Boyd residence in Hillsborough, Calif., in the 1940s. Following her mother’s death in 1953, Boyd became an interior designer in her own right. The pieces offered in the Bonhams sale carry forth the noted family’s legacy. Highlights will include Gene McComas signed mural panels (est. $15,000-20,000); a Chinese six panel Coromandel screen, 18th/19th century (est. $6,000-8,000); a group of four Frances Elkins shell form plaster sconces (est. $5,000-7,000); a black painted plaster console and mirror (est. $4,000-6,000); a pair of American Victorian molded cast iron white painted reclining whippet dogs (est. $3,000-5,000); and a pair of late 18th century American carved wooden eagle partial gilt wall brackets (est. $3,000-5,000), among many others.

Of the sale, Jeffrey Smith, Vice President and Director of the Furniture and Decorative Arts Department at Bonhams, said: “These treasures have resurfaced after many years and are not only of historical significance to San Francisco, but are superb and rare works of art. And, he added, “The Frances Elkins objects from the Katherine Elkins Boyd residence have never been on the market before.”

Additional highlights of the sale will include property once owned by crown heads of Europe, as well as other notable pieces. Pre-19th century property includes a rare 11th-13th century Italian Medieval Cosmatesque mosaic panel (est. $15,000-25,000); a mid-18th century, Louis XV gilt-bronze mounted lacquer commode by Jacques Dubois (est. $30,000-50,000); a fine pair of early 18th century, George I giltwood pier mirrors (est. $15,000-20,000); an 18th century, English School, oil on canvas of ‘Flying Childers’ with groom and jockey at Newmarket (est. $4,000-6,000); a late 18th/early 19th century Dutch Neoclassical marquetry inlaid games table – of which the triple top table marquetry is inlaid with the Burning of the Old Town Hall, Amsterdam, July 7, 1652 (est. $10,000-15,000); a late 18th century, Catherine II painted armchair, from Peterhof Palace, an official imperial residence from 1723 through the 18th century (est. $1,800-2,500); and a fine California 14k gold and gold quartz headed cane, circa 1868, presented to California lawyer, county clerk, bank president and district attorney William Frank Goad (est. $10,000-15,000).

Property highlights of the 19th century and afterward include a mid-19th century, fine Italian Baroque style hardstone and semi-precious stone mounted cabinet (est. $30,000-40,000); an early 19th century Royal Italian Neoclassical giltwood stool, Naples, that most likely originates from the Palazzo Reale – and could have once been commissioned by Napoleon’s sister Caroline, Queen Consort of Naples in 1808, who refurbished the Palazzo Reale during her reign (est. $8,000-12,000); a first quarter 19th century Charles X mahogany lit d’alcove that was once property of Princess Amelie of Orléans (1865–1951), the last Queen consort of Portugal and the eldest daughter of Prince Philippe, Count of Paris and his wife Princess Marie Isabelle d’Orléans (est. $5,000-8,000); a third quarter 19th century, Louis XV style gilt bronze and porcelain mounted coffre à bijoux on stand (est. $8,000-12,000); a third quarter 19th century, Napoleon III ebonized and tulipwood commode a porte by Paul Sormani, made for Princess Mathilde, daughter of Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia and niece of Napoleon Bonaparte. Bearing the royal cypher, it was used by Princess Mathilde in the Chateau St. Gratien (est. $1,500-2,000). Also on offer will be a sterling hand wrought set of six place plates, The Kalo Shop, Chicago, (est. $5,000-7,500); and “The Awakening,” 1949, by Dora Gordine, bronze with green patina, signed (est. $3,000-5,000).

The illustrated auction catalog will be posted online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the auction. For more information on Bonhams Furniture and Decorative Arts Department and its sales, please visit:

Preview: October 28-31, San Francisco

Auction: October 31-November 1, San Francisco

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