|By Carole Deutsch
STEWARTSVILLE, N.J. — The contents of a Park Avenue, New York estate comprised the Thanksgiving Day weekend auction that was on Nov. 24 at Dennis Auction Service. Exceptional American, English, and Continental furniture, silver, fine art, and bronze and primitive sculptures were offered in 567 lots.
Frank Dennis was especially pleased with the turnout. “We registered 3,468 online and in-house bidders, had $211,000 on-demand buyers before the sale even opened, and achieved a 100 percent sell rate,” he said.
The auction realized $351,770 and was performed to a standing-room-only, in-house audience and most of the successful bids were realized in-house.
It came as no surprise to seasoned auction attendees that exceptional clocks commanding high prices typified the sale. Dennis has a reputation for its success in selling fine clocks; and through the years, has sold some of the best examples that have come to market. This sale fit the criteria when a carved walnut Victorian tall case clock that had a beveled mirror back and an elaborately carved Egyptian head brought $19,550 surpassing its estimate of $6,000 to $12,000.
Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
An Isaac Grotz, Easton Pa., Cherry tall case clock with a painted face and moon dial, shell carving, and bracket feet, 98 inches tall, achieved its high estimate to realize $5,750. Another early Easton, Pa. tall case clock made by Bixler had a moon dial with shells painted on the face, shelling carvings, and turned feet, 97 inches tall, sold in range at $3,450.
An imposing 91 inch tall Gilbert hanging regulator clock with a carved walnut case and an Egyptian head on the crest commanded $4,888, and a fine and unusual small Austrian crystal case clock with an enameled sterling silver base, hallmarked, 6 5/8 inches tall, that was estimated from $300 to $600, sailed past its estimate to achieve $1,955.
The top lot of the day was a pair of Matthew Boulton, Birmingham, George III four-light silver candelabras, one dated 1809-1810 and the other 1810-1811. This pair, that took Boulton two years to make, stood an impressive 30 1/4 inches high. The bidding opened at $10,500 and realized a final price of $32,200; all competition for this desirable lot came from the floor.
Dominating a selection of French and English furniture was a bronze mounted, chinoisserie decorated, French vitrine bookcase with a beveled marble top that achieved $5,175.
A signed Linke bronze mounted burl table with a green marble top had an unusual looped stretcher and brought $5,750. An excellent George III mahogany arm chair with a pagoda crest surpassed its high estimate to achieve $6,325.
Other items of particular note included a Louis C. Tiffany Furnaces bronze table lamp with a damascene shade and an enamel accented base. The shade and the base were both signed Tiffany and this attractive piece sold for $10,925. A signed Mathurin Moreau bronze, “Fee Et La Source,” depicting a seated woodland fairy, stood 33 inches high on a rotating base and sold for $5,750.
Aggressive bidding on two lots of three New Guinea Yipwon Spirit Hook figures from the East Sepik Province of the Karawari River, the largest being 13 inches tall, resulted in a price of $8,500 for each of the two lots.
A strong price of $5,750 was achieved for a three-piece Moorcroft tea set with all-over fruit decoration. Each piece was signed W. Moorcroft, impressed no. 722 on all pieces, and the tea pot also had a Shreve & Co, San Francisco, 1912 signature as well. This appealing set that stood a mere 5 3/4 inches high outreached its estimate of $500 to $1,000 by a wide margin.