Lambertville, NJ: Rago Auctions April 13-14 auction series brought in a total of $1,643,875 across three segments. The two-day auction series saw strong prices achieved for a wide range of property, with the most impressive results coming from the Sunday sessions: Selections from the Estate of Hellen + Joe and Darion and Remix: American, English and Continental Silver.
The auction series kicked-off on Saturday at 10 a.m. with Remix: Classic + Contemporary, featuring 655 lots of design, furniture, lighting and decorative objects spanning centuries and styles. The star of the segment, and the top lot of the weekend, was lot 441, an impressive KPM porcelain mantle clock from Austria, which sold for $46,875. The ca. 1900 clock, surmounted by the Greek Titan Chronos and flanked by Sphinx and Cupid, was appraised at $25,000 - $35,000 last year on the hit PBS series, Antiques Roadshow, appearing in an episode filmed in Harrisburg, PA.
Other noteworthy results from Saturday’s session include: lot 65, a rare Gustav Stickley corner cabinet from the Collection of Anton Otto Fischer, the celebrated illustrator of classic books such as Moby Dick and Treasure Island, which sold for $18,750; lot 459, an oil on canvas entitled Mending the Nets by Houghton Cranford Smith, which shattered the high estimate of $2,500 to achieve a sale price of $18,750; and lot 482, a Chinese seated figure of Buddha Shakyamuni, which sold for $17,500, nearly three times the high estimate. Saturday also saw the sale of 40 works by Oscar Bach, including furniture, decorative objects, etchings and silver from the collection of Pamela K. and William A. Royall who were among the founding members of the “Friends of Oscar Bach.” More works by Bach from the Royall collection will be coming to sale at Rago in the May 18-19 Design Auctions, as well as in the next Remix Auction on October 19.
Sunday’s sale opened with a single-owner session, Selections from the Estate of Hellen + Joe Darion, which enjoyed an impressive 97% sell-through rate. Best known as the Tony Award-winning lyricist of Man of La Mancha, Joe Darion and his wife Hellen spent much of their lives collecting Asian and Persian works. The highest achieving lot of the session, pictured on the auction catalog cover, was lot 1082, a Khmer head of Brahma from the 12th century, which sold for $20,000 against a high estimate of $15,000.
Several other lots from the Darion collection defied expectations and shattered presale estimates including: lot 1063, a group of four Indian or Persian illustrations, which achieved $16,250 against a presale estimate of $800 - $1,200; lot 1085, a carved wood Japanese figure of a Guardian, which sold for more than ten times the high estimate to realize $11,250; and lot 1024, a double-sided Indian manuscript page, which shattered the high estimate of $600 to sell for $7,500.
Additional highlights include: lot 1081, a northern Thai bronze Buddha, which sold for $13,750; lot 1110 a 19th century Old Master painting which sold for $11,875; and lot 1109, Apocalisse, one of the largest paintings by Nino Caffé ever offered at auction, which achieved a sale price of $11,250, nearly twice its $6,000 high estimate.
Not to be outshined was Sunday’s session of Remix: American, English and Continental Silver, which saw the sale of $412,125 in property across 199 lots. Highlights from the session include: lot 1220, an important Tiffany & Co. sterling silver centerpiece bowl with intricately adorned elephant head handles which sold for $31,250, double the high estimate; a Gorham sterling silver tea tray, designed in the Japanese taste circa 1881, which realized $23,750; lot 1210, a Gorham parcel gilt sterling silver punch ladle in the Narragansett pattern with exceptional detailing, which sold for $16,250; and lot 1347, a set of eight sterling silver goblets by Georg Jensen, which sold for $15,000.
"We’re pleased with the performance of our April auctions. The three sessions totaled over $1.6 million in sales, demonstrating the strength of fresh-to-market Asian art and important antique silver. As we so often see at Rago, works by important designers such as Tiffany & Co., Gustav Stickley, and Louis Vuitton, received plenty of interest and competitive bidding."
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