Very rare pair of singing bird pistols, attributed to Frères Rochat, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong for $5,866,499

The summer show season has started. Last week we exhibited at the Redondo Beach Antiques show and this coming weekend we will be exhibiting in Pasadena. Since I have less time to write about the interesting things happening in the antiques world, I am posting new blog entries once or twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. 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.

Pair of singing bird pistols, attributed to Frères Rochat, Christie's lot #2174

Christie’s held its Important Watches sale in Hong Kong on May 30, 2011, grossing $21,130,486. Included in the sale were a pair of extraordinary singing bird pistols, lot #2174, attributed to Frères Rochat, France, dating from 1820. They are the only pair known to exist.

It’s interesting, but not surprising, to note that the pistols were included in a sale of watches. Wealthy men like expensive jewelry and toys. Watches are men’s jewelry and singing bird pistols are men’s toys. Many Chinese buyers have become wealthy in recent years and have been flexing their economic muscles. They are mostly repatriating Chinese antiques at extraordinary prices, but they are also buying fine non-Chinese antiques.

Christie’s produced a very interesting and informative 4½-minute video about the pair. It’s enjoyable, so I suggest you click on the following link to view it. Christie’s video.

The pair was estimated to sell in the range of $2,580,950 – $5,161,900, and hammered at $5,866,499, including buyer’s premium — at the top end of the estimate. The consignors had to be pleased.

Splendid Tiffany Studios 20" diam. Arrowroot table lamp

Check out my new acquisitions. I just listed quite a few Tiffany, Handel and Pairpoint lamps. I also listed a very rare Louis Icart etching, entitled “Miss America”; a gorgeous Daum Nancy pink floral vase; 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.