The winning bidder traveled all the way from mainland China to claim his 6 ¾ inch tall prize.
ATLANTA, Ga. – It’s a long way from mainland China to Miami Circle in Atlanta, but that’s exactly how far one determined bidder traveled to vie for a Chinese porcelain hand-painted wall pocket from the late 19th or early 20th century. The urn form piece was the top lot at Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery’s Spring Estates Auction, held March 21-22, hammering for $50,000.
The auction was packed with more than 1,000 lots, ranging from Asian objects to original works of art to fine estate jewelry to antique clocks. It was held in Ahlers & Ogletree’s gallery, located at 715 Miami Circle in Atlanta. Also offered were Japanese ceramics and fine scroll paintings by Soichi Furuta, period furniture, lamps and lighting, hand-made Persian rugs, mirrors and canes.
The porcelain wall pocket, 6 ¾ inches tall, was marked to the underside with the four-character cobalt underglaze Qianlong Nian Zhi mark. It stood on a gilt red stand and was presented in a purple, velvet-hinged box. It was decorated lower right with a yellow sculpted flower, and had a hand-painted decoration to the front of six lines of calligraphic marks, plus two red reign marks.
Following are additional highlights of the auction. In addition to a robust in-room crowd, internet bidding was provided by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Bidsquare.com. Many phone and left bids were also recorded. All prices quoted are hammer, exclusive of a buyer’s premium.
An oil on canvas painting by Albert E. (Beanie) Backus (Am., 1906-1991), one of the legendary Highwaymen artists of the 1950s and ‘60s, went to a phone bidder for $20,000. The work, done circa 1960s and signed by Backus, was titled View of Florida Coastline and depicted a scene that might be of St. Lucie, on Florida’s northern coast, with the ocean, palm trees and a sandy beach.
A second pattern Confederate national flag, made during the time of the Civil War and possibly issued to the Confederate States Navy, knocked down at $15,000. The flag, measuring 52 inches by 106 inches, had 13 hand-sewn, cotton stars configured in the shape of a diagonal cross, atop a blue wool bunting (or tammy) on a red ground. The stars were stitched around the outer edges.
A continental, 20th century Empire-style malachite, patinated and gilt bronze center table, with the top 39 ¼ inches in diameter, changed hands for $14,000. The veneered center table had a circular top over an ormolu mounted apron, on three bronze Egyptian-style figural supports. These were united by a concave tripartite platform mounted with ormolu. The table had ball feet.
Two cast-iron Chinese figural sculptures from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and dated 1524 (the third year of the reign of Chia-Ching) rose to $8,500. The figures, each about 31 ¾ inches tall, were created at T’ien-ning-ssu monastery in Peking, likely to adorn the building. They were of seated, bald-headed men wearing long robes, elongated earlobes and calm facial expressions.
A Chinese cloisonné enamel, silver and cabochon decorated lidded box, of cylindrical form, sold for $2,000. The box, with coral and turquoise cabochon, silver filigree and scalloped floriform edges, was just over 7 inches tall and stamped “SILVER” on the 3 ½ inch diameter bottom. The lid was topped with cabochon above lobed petals and had a floral and bird motif in cloisonné.
An oil on canvas portrait painting of a nude Marilyn Monroe by Howard Connelly (Am., 1903-1990), measuring 36 inches by 30 inches (unframed), changed hands for $4,750. The painting, titled Nude Marilyn Monroe on Red Velvet Drape, showed the late screen siren kneeling nude on a red drape, similar to her modeling pose for the inaugural issue of the men’s magazine Playboy.
An artist’s proof linocut of a girl by the renowned Puerto Rican and Haitian artist Angel Botello (1913-1986), titled Seated Girl, coasted to $3,250. The color linocut, pencil signed by the artist lower right, depicted a girl in a white sleeveless dress in a shaped chair on a reddish-orange to light green and cream color block background. Framed, the work was 21 ½ inches by 15 inches.
A figural painting by the Dutch and American artist Bernard Johannes Blommers (1845-1914), titled Mother and Child, topped out at $4,000. The work, signed by Blommers, was an interior scene with a young mother seated at a sewing table, while watching her young baby child in a wooden rocking cradle near a window. The work measured 30 ½ inches by 36 ¾ inches, framed.
A Chinese Tongzhi porcelain rectangular vase with landscapes, likely from the third quarter of the 19th century, 10 ½ inches tall, hit $5,500. The vase, with cylindrical neck and foot, featured hand-painted scenes showing two deer below a flowering tree and a bird’s eye view of buildings beside the sea. It was marked with the red seal mark of Da Qing Tongzhi Nian Zhi (1862-1874).
Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery’s next big sale will be a Spring Salon Auction, planned for May 2-3, also in the Atlanta gallery, beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time. Already consigned are a pastel on paper work by Willem de Kooning that could fetch $100,000 or more, a portrait from the studio of Anthony Van Dyck, a portrait attributed to Sir Godfrey Kneller, plus much more.
Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery is a multi-faceted business that spans the antiques, estate sale, wholesale, liquidation, auction and related industries. Ahlers & Ogletree is always seeking quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (404) 869-2478; or, you can send an e-mail to [email protected]
To learn more about Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery and the upcoming May 2-3 Spring Salon Auction, please visit www.AandOAuctions.com. Updates are posted frequently.