Sotheby’s New York Important 20th Century Design sale on June 15, 2011 was its strongest since 2008

Lots of interesting things have been happening in the antiques world recently. Since I have a bit more time to write about them during the spring and summer, I will be posting new blog entries twice a week, instead of once — Mondays and Thursdays for the next few weeks. So make sure you come back often and tell your friends about my blog!

Tiffany Studios Oriental Poppy floor lamp, Sotheby's lot #19

Sotheby’s New York held their Important 20th Century Design sale on June 15, 2011. The results were generally strong, with total sales of $7,139,250. That’s the highest gross for a Sotheby’s 20th Century sale since 2008, before the “great recession”. Tiffany Studios items did well, with a few exceptions, including one that I don’t understand. Lot #19 was an outstanding Tiffany Studios Oriental Poppy floor lamp. Estimated to sell for $400,000 – $600,000, it did not reach reserve and was bought in. Apparently the lot was sold privately, after the auction, for $434,500, including buyer’s premium. The buyer was smart, because in my opinion, it should have sold at or above the high estimate. But inconsistency and odd results are normal at auction. Sometimes fair quality items sell for much more than they’re worth and other times excellent quality items don’t sell at all.

Rare pair of Tiffany Studios Arts & Crafts turtleback wall sconces, Sotheby's lot #8

A rare pair of Tiffany Studios wall sconces in the Arts & Crafts style, lot #8, sold well above the high estimate of $35,000, to reach $92,500. Both sconces had cracked turtleback tiles, but that didn’t slow the bidding down at all. Recent buyers at major auctions seem willing to overlook damage. That’s more frequently the case when the market is strong.

Importand and rare Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann dining table, Sotheby's lot #65

I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to the furniture in the sale, but this time I had to. Ruhlmann ruled (pun intended). Ten lots of Ruhlmann furniture sold for a combined $2,877,500, accounting for approximately 40% of the total sale. Lot #65 was catalogued as “An Important and Rare Dining Table, Model 1314 NR”. It carried a hefty pre-sale estimate of $700,000 – $900,000, but did not disappoint, selling for $1,482,500, including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click on the following link. Sotheby’s Important 20th Century Design results.

Impressive 11½ inch Daum Nancy floral vase

Check out my new acquisitions. This week I listed a gorgeous Daum Nancy pink floral vase; a very fine Tiffany Studios Favrile flowerform vase — better than the one that sold at Christie’s for $27,500; a rare Tiffany Studios desk lamp in the Spanish pattern; several fine Daum vases; a Daum lamp; several Galle vases; and several more Tiffany Favrile vases. Soon I’ll be listing a wonderful Tiffany Studios 7-light lily lamp with beautiful shades and a fine patina. Also coming soon will be several wonderful European ceramic items by Clement Massier, Zsolnay and Amphora. Here’s the link.

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