French Clocks, Porcelain and Select Furniture Lead Results of Moran’s September Traditional Collector Auction
Following the uncertainty caused by extreme weather seen throughout the southern United States, Moran’s was cautiously optimistic heading into their September 12th Traditional Collector auction; thankfully, the excellent selection of property featured in the catalogue brought out the buyers from all over the country, who cast bids online, by telephone and in person throughout the three-and-a-half hour event. The sale achieved a respectable sell-through rate of 75% overall.
French clocks in particular saw intense bidder competition; the two highest-grossing lots of the evening were monumentally scaled mantel clock and garniture sets consigned from private Southern California collections. A three-piece Louis XVI-style gilt-bronze mantel clock and garniture by 19th century Parisian maker Charpentier & Compagnie comprising a clock and pair of candelabra was brought to the block with a $30,000 to $40,000 estimate. Consigned from a private Beverly Hills, CA collection, each piece in the set features well-modeled winged putti-form bases and inspired multiple telephone and absentee bidders to vie for the lot; a telephone bidder proved successful, paying $36,000 in all (including Moran’s 20% house buyer’s premium). Assigned a $20,000 to $30,000 pre-sale estimate, a Japy Freres et Cie Louis XVI-style mantel clock and garniture, this example also featuring putti figures modeled in the round, found a buyer for a very respectable $24,000. Select pieces of well-made French furniture earned exceptional prices at Moran’s September auction; a Louis XV-style kingwood and satinwood gilt bronze-mounted commode by Parisian cabinetmaker François Linke consigned from a private Los Angeles collection inspired competition between a host of bidders participating from the floor, online and via left bid; after some back and forth, the commode earned a price realized of $22,800 (estimate: $20,000 to $30,000). A hard-to-find gilt-bronze mahogany bed frame in the Louis XVI style was offered with a conservative $3000 to $4000 estimate; thanks to the rarity of its size and the quality of its craftsmanship, the bed achieved an exceptional $11,250 price realized thanks to multiple participants casting their bids via the Liveauctioneers platform.
Large-scale decorative object of many kinds were decidedly in favor throughout the evening; a remarkable figurative gilt bronze torchière base, modeled in the form of a courting couple and raised on a faux marble base was presented with a $3000 to $5000 estimate. After a number of fruitless searches for a signature on the well-modeled piece, Moran’s was unable to attribute the piece to a maker; despite this, the single torchière achieved a stunning $9600 selling price. Shortly after, a large-scale Dutch silver epergne dating to 1873 captured the attention of the crowd; telephone lines were full for bidding on the lot, which featured three tiers of cut-crystal bowls and finely rendered silver flowers and foliage (price realized: $6875; estimate: $4000 to $6000). Measuring nearly three feet tall, a pair of silvered bronze putti-motif candelabra was expected to bring between $4000 and $6000; enthusiastic floor bidders pushed the final selling price up to $6600. One dark horse highlight for the evening came in the form of two very large crystal chandeliers consigned from a Beverly Hills collection; featuring a widening frame adorned with fruit and leaf-form drops of clear and variously colored crystal, the handsome pair was sold for $11,400, just within the $10,000 to $15,000 pre-sale estimate.
Select Chinese objects did well at the block, including an intriguing and sumptuously carved hardwood figure of Guanyin riding on the back of a spotted deer. Despite some condition issues, the antique carving was popular with floor bidders, selling for $1200 (estimate: $400 to $600). A richly carved Chinese hardwood cabinet featuring deeply carved dragon-motif doors in addition to a highly detailed crest, apron and legs also proved attractive to floor bidders who had previewed in person. Originally assigned a conservative $1500 to $2000 estimate, the cabinet brought $6000 at the block. An intriguing set of seven enameled silver Chinese boxes decorated with flowers, birds and butterflies threw online bidders into a frenzy; due to multiple absentee bids cast online, the lot opened at $6500, well over the $2500 to $3500 estimate, and closed shortly thereafter (price realized: $8125).
Continental works of art saw solid results throughout the evening; a charming, richly illustrative oil painting of a family in an interior with pet pigeons by Italian artist Jules Zermati (1880-1920) earned $4200, well within the $3000 to $5000 estimate.
The subject of a hearty bidding war between multiple telephone bidders and a determine floor bidder, “Virgin Crowned by One Angel”, an original engraving by German artist Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) carrying provenance from the Vincent Price Collection, brought $4800, over the $2000 to $3000 estimate. One surprising highlight came in the form of a 19th century Continental school painting of a well-dressed nobleman praying as putti bring him eternal blessings; the unsigned work achieved a $2280 selling price (estimate: $1000 to $1500).
Additional highlights across all categories include:
A sweet bronze sculpture by Joseph Gustave Cheret (1838-1897 French) depicting a young girl slumbering while her pet cat playfully bats at a lock of her hair was popular with floor buyers, earning $8400 (estimate: $3000 to $5000).
An elaborately decorated gilt-bronze German gothic-style cartel clock achieved a $3600 price realized after competition between online and floor bidders (estimate: 2000 to $3000). A highly detailed marble sculpture by Italian master sculptor Guglielmo Pugi (c. 1870-1915 Italian), depicting a beautiful maiden wearing a laurel crown, was a hot-ticket item online, bringing $1875, well over the conservative $600/900 estimate.
Always a collector favorite, two KPM plaques were put on offer at Moran’s September 12th sale, including a rectangular plaque after Baron Cuno von bodenhausen (1852-1931 German) titled “The Blind Nydia”; the plaque hammered for $2760, thanks to a collector bidding via telephone (estimate: $1500 to $2500).
All John Moran auction events take place at their headquarters in Old Town Monrovia: 145 E. Walnut Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016; previews are always free and open to the public.
For more information regarding consignment to upcoming auctions, contact John Moran Auctioneers directly via telephone: (626) 793-1833 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For comments on this auction, please contact:
Roland Rynkiewicz, Jeff Moran, or Nathan Martinez
John Moran Auctioneers