My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.
The nature of live auctions has changed with the advent of the Internet. It used to be that most auctions were attended by many people. For some it was the Saturday night entertainment. Today, most auctions are lightly attended, but not neglected. The action comes from the Internet and the telephones. It’s now possible to bid live from anywhere on the planet, at almost any auction, with an Internet connection. And that’s exactly what happened at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery on Saturday, February 28, 2015. There weren’t many people in attendance, but items sold well even with light in-house bidding. The phones and the Internet took up all the slack. What was different for us is that we were in attendance. We rarely attend live auctions anymore. I forgot what torture it is to sit through a six-hour auction in a fairly uncomfortable chair. We decided to attend this auction because Fontaine put together a great sale, with lots of fresh, important merchandise. It’s always best to inspect items in person, as many appear better (or worse) than the photos. It seemed that almost everything went above high estimate — some way above high estimate. Take lot #163, a Tiffany Moorish chandelier, estimated to sell for $20,000 – $30,000. It realized $133,100, including buyer’s premium — over four times the high estimate. It was a rare, beautiful chandelier with turtleback tiles and Favrile glass balls, matching the design of original Tiffany Studios’ chandeliers from the Belasco Theater in New York City. I tried to buy a stunning Tiffany red decorated mini vase, Fontaine lot #178, but was unsuccessful. It realized $9,982.50, against a pre-sale estimate of $6,000 – $8,000 — too much for a dealer, but fair for a collector. Top lot of the art glass shades was #205, a rare Steuben set (Roberts #202). Estimated to sell for $1,000 – $2,000, it realized $5,989.50.
For the complete results of the sale, click here.
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