With a 1929 Steinway Model B grand piano as the first lot, Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers opened their Winter Gallery Auction on Saturday, January 23, 2016, with a resounding note – and applause. The Steinway, with restored ebony case, soundboard and bench, quickly sold at more than four times the opening bid in the first thirty seconds of the auction for $25,200.
Adrenalin and applause also accompanied the sale of a rare pair of Charleston Glass decanters. The decanters were marked with the monogram T.W.B. for Captain Thomas Wright Bacot (1765-1834), appointed in 1791 as United States Postmaster of Charleston by President George Washington. He was wounded at the Battle of Fort Moultrie, additionally fought in the Siege of Savannah and was among those captured by the British after the fall of Charleston. Once bidding completed, the historically significant decanters performed well above estimate, achieving a sales price of $7,200.
“The enthusiasm buyers brought to Selkirk’s gallery in St. Louis’ Central West End made this an especially fun and interesting auction,” said Jeff Jeffers. “In addition to the fine items being sold, our interaction with participants in the gallery, on the phone and via the internet created those peaks of excitement that contribute to the overall auction experience.”
Shane Hall, Director, added, “We opened 2016 with a diverse range of fine art and collectibles featuring great provenance and exquisite form. Our buyers are enthusiastic and our sellers are consigning with confidence.”
The elegance of diamonds and gold were represented by items for both ladies and gentlemen that inspired highly competitive bidding and excellent values. A stunning 5.95ct marquise cut diamond ring, set in a platinum mount and flanked by baguette diamonds, reached a sales price of $10,200.
Immediately after, a pair of 1901 ten dollar liberty eagle 22k gold coins, reverse mounted in 14k gold cuff links, quadrupled the high-end estimate and brought $6,250.
An 18k cigarette compact case, featuring basket-weave construction, clasp inset with 14 pave diamonds, and a hallmark of “750 and S + F,” brought $2,760.
Fine art was well represented with a mid-19th century painting by Englishman, Charles Hunt.
“Compassion and Authority” is a delightful depiction of highly expressive children playing make-believe. The signed and dated oil on canvas sold for $4,920.
Keen interest drove bidding for a pencil-signed and numbered, 20th century abstract lithograph by Joan Miro to nearly triple the estimate, at $3,240.
Asian collections, featuring coral, jade and other carved gemstones, brought values significantly above estimate. An elaborately pierced white jade plaque depicting two attendants surrounded by flowers, birds, and clouds was accompanied by carnelian snuff, jadeite foo lion, rock crystal statue, jade ram, quartz elephant, and agate bird and dog. The collect brought triple the estimate at $1,500.
Bidders were enamored with Guan Yin, goddess of mercy, with several pieces performing at multiples above estimates. The goddess figure, carved in coral on a wooden stand, approached five times the estimate at $1,920.
A jadeite Guan Yin figure, together with two Chinese hardstone female figures in rose quartz and jadeite, achieved $2,875, more than six times estimate.
A jade figure of Guan Yin on a carved wooden base, holding a flowering branch in her left hand and fan behind her back with her right, also fared well at $1,125.
Examples of fine antique furniture and firearms attracted buyers, bringing impressive values for sellers. Bidders competed for an American, late 18th century, cherry Chippendale bonnet top highboy, featuring claw and ball feet, stopping at $4,800.
A mid-19th century Derringer percussion pistol, with 4.25" round barrel transitioning to a maple stock barrel marked "Derringer," brought lively bidding in the gallery and sold for $2,520.
For upcoming auctions, Selkirk is inviting fine art, prints and multiples; silver and objets de vertu, jewelry and timepieces; firearms and militia; and vintage couture and accessories.
The Spring Eclectic Auction will be held March 12, 2016, and the Spring Gallery Auction on May 21, 2016. For further information regarding how to sell at Selkirk or for a complimentary evaluation, please contact email@example.com or call 314.696.9041.
For more information visit www.selkirkauctions.com, or find us on Facebook.
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