Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


The sale will be held at the Ramada Boca Raton hotel in Boca Raton, Florida, at 1 pm (EST)

BOCA RATON, Fla. – A 17th century oil on board painting by the Dutch landscape artist Jan Van Goyen (1596-1656), with an historical provenance, is the expected headliner at a “Twice is Nice” auction of fine art, jewelry, bronzes, porcelain, jade, sterling, gold, antiques and other objets de vertu, slated for Sunday, October 16th, by Auction Life, starting promptly at 1 pm Eastern time.

This 17th century oil on board painting by the Dutch artist Jan Van Goyen (1596-1696), with an historical provenance, is expected to bring $40,000-$60,000.
This 17th century oil on board painting by the Dutch artist Jan Van Goyen (1596-1696), with an historical provenance, is expected to bring $40,000-$60,000.
The event will be held at the Ramada Boca Raton hotel, located at 701 Northwest 53rd Street in Boca Raton. Just over 300 lots will come up for bid in what will be just the second auction for Auction Life. The firm is based in Palm Beach County, but opts to conduct its sales at an upscale hotel in Boca Raton as a venue. The firm’s debut auction, held there July 24, was a huge success.

The Van Goyen painting, signed lower left and measuring 10 ¾ inches by 18 ½ inches (minus the 20 inch by 29 inch frame), is estimated to bring $40,000-$60,000. It is from the estate of the late Dr. Ladislav Alexander, a legendary hero in pre-World War II Hungary (today Czechoslovakia). About ten works of art from Dr. and Mrs. Alexander are in the auction, to include the Van Goyen.

In the aftermath of World War II, Dr. Alexander took great personal risk when he made available a building on his property, 22 apartments and seven stores, as a refuge for displaced Jews. His wife cared and cooked for them, until they could get on their feet. But when the town (Kosice, Czechoslovakia) was invaded by Communists, Dr. Alexander was arrested and put into prison.

In 1949, his brother was able to bribe an official to gain his unofficial release, and shortly after that he invested in three paintings – one of which was the Van Goyen – to be used later, to sell or trade for provisions. That never happened. Still pursued by authorities, Dr. Alexander sneaked the paintings into Italy, then fled the country with his family by train, making it safely to Venice.

He waited in Italy for two years, while his paperwork allowing entrance into the U.S. was being processed. Finally, he was granted special permission to come to America by then-Senator Jacob Javits of New York, in 1951. Then he was reunited with his belongings in New Jersey, where his sponsor lived. Today, the building in Czechoslovakia is officially called The Alexander Building.

Even without this compelling back-story, the Van Goyen painting would still be the auction’s star lot. Van Goyen was famously influential on the landscape painters of his century and his tonal quality was a feature that many imitated. He was also extremely prolific. About 1,200 paintings and more than 1,000 drawings by him are known. Sadly, Van Goyen was penniless when he died.

Another one of Dr. Alexander’s paintings up for bid is an oil on board by the Hungarian artist Bela Ivanyi-Grunwald (1867-1940), signed and dated and measuring 24 ½ inches by 32 ½ inches (sight, est. $3,000-$6,000). It is most likely a study for a larger work. Bela Ivanyi-Grunwald was a leading member of the Nagyabanya colony and was a founder of the Kecskemet artists’ colony.

Other artworks in the auction will include a rare portrait of the singer Whitney Houston, done by Romero Britto, 36 inches by 30 inches, signed and dated 1991, and rare (est. $3,500-$7,000); and an equally scarce rendering by the artist Erte, titled Miss Coca-Cola (est. $1,500-$3,000), painted at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, where Erte also designed costumes for Wonderful World.

Intriguing and exotic lots will feature a huge and exquisitely carved wood wall plaque, depicting the ancient Hindu epic of Ramayana, 90 inches by 34 inches (est. $1,000-$3,000); a life-size African walnut wood carving of a tribal warrior with a spear and shield, titled Sambia, 68 inches tall (est. $2,000-$6,000); and a beautifully crafted mask, rock crystal face and sterling silver headdress of the revered Hindu deity Bhairava, with garnets and emeralds (est. $2,500-$5,000).

French furniture will also be offered, to include a 19th century Louis XV-style four-door buffet with ormolus mounts and exotic wood floral marquetry panels within ormolu bands bordered by rosewood, 94 ½ inches tall (est. $1,000-$10,000); and a lovely 19th century chest of drawers with breche d’Alep marble top by distinguished furniture maker Mercier Freres (est. $1,000-$3,000).

The auction will feature three Chinese jade lots. One is a 14kt gold carved white jade figural dragon carving pendant with Chinese calligraphy, bought in China 50 years ago. Another is a detailed carving in white jade of a dragon with its pearl, mounted with diamonds and rubies in an 18kt gold pendant plaque, with two Chinese calligraphy letters. Both are estimated at $200-$500.

Jewelry lots will feature a 14kt white gold tennis bracelet, holding 45 round-cut diamonds (est. $500-$1,500); a 14kt yellow gold bracelet with 13 oval-cut garnets, interrupted by 13 round-cut diamonds, with matching earrings, each with one garnet and one diamond (est. $1,000-$3,000); and a 14kt yellow gold bracelet holding 14 oval-cut emeralds, surrounded by 13 round-cut diamonds, with matching earrings, each with one emerald and 13 diamonds (est. $1,000-$3,000).

Also sold will be a 14kt yellow gold bracelet holding 26 oval-cut rubies bordered by eight round-cut diamonds and with matching earrings having one diamond and eight rubies each (est. $1,500-$4,500); and a 14kt white gold necklace holding 45 graduated oval-cut sapphires, surrounded by nine round-cut diamonds, with matching earrings having one sapphire each (est. $2,000-$6,000).

Internet bidding will be facilitated by and Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. A buyer’s premium will be applied to all winning bids.

Auction Life’s team of consulting specialists has over 50 years’ of combined experience in the fields of estate jewelry, fine art, sterling silver, diamonds and antiques. Auctioneer and owner Tarek Jabaly has been heavily involved in the South Florida auction industry for years, as an auctioneer, estate buyer, manager, auction coordinator, consignor liaison and other functions.

AuctionLife is currently seeking quality consignments for future auctions. To inquire about selling an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (561) 757-1551; or, you can e-mail them at [email protected]. To learn more about Auction Life and the “Twice is Nice” auction planned for Sunday, October 16th in Boca Raton, please visit