January 21, 2013


CEDAR FALLS, IA. Jackson’s International sale of “World Treasures” on November 13-14, 2012 was certainly worthy of its name, featuring treasures from around the globe and selling to buyers worldwide with sales totaling over 3 million dollars. Buyers from over 50 countries participated in this auction which featured Russian, Asian, European and American fine art including items from several private estates and collections such as the estate of the late John Baer (Omaha, Nebraska) and the Dr. Sidney Port collection of European works (Santa Monica, California).

The sale opened with a small selection of Old Master paintings, beginning with a pair of small Venetian scene oils measuring 15 x 12 inches each and attributed to Francesco and Giacomo Guardi; together they totaled $44,000. That was followed by an unframed oil on wood panel painting depicting the Holy Family and attributed to Giorgio Vasari (Italian 1511-1574) that sold to a Florida collector bidding by phone for $21,600, and a small oil on panel depicting the Wife of King Candaulus as Revealed to Gyges, attributed to the Dutch painter Arnold Houbraken (1660-1719) sold to a online bidder from Amsterdam for $5,500. European paintings that followed include, an oil on canvas of feeding lambs by British artist Arthur John Elsley (1860-1952) that sold to a British buyer for $57,600, and which was preceded by a Classical genre painting by Italian artist Egisto Sarri (1837-1901) that made $20,400.

Some other paintings worthy of note include a somewhat atypical painting by American artist John Steuart Curry (1897-1946). The work depicted a winter view from the artist’s Westport, CT home studio of houses along a shoreline entitled First Snow. The painting was fresh to the market having been consigned by the family of the original owner who had received it as a gift directly from the artist. The well documented painting out performed its $20,000-$25,000 estimate, by selling to a phone bidder for $40,800. A small watercolor sketch by the Russian artist Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957), apparently the study for his well known work Fata Morgana made $14,400, an oil on canvas of a young beauty by Romanian artist Viktor Schram (1865-1929) sold to a London phone bidder for $8,600, a genre painting of a boy with dogs by 19th century British artist Joseph O’Reilly also sold to a British bidder coming in at $7,200, and a yacht racing scene by contemporary British artist Stephen J. Renard (b. 1947) crossed the block at $8,400.

Next up to sell were Russian icons, something for which Jackson’s holds an excellent international reputation. This is, of course, due to the fact that Jackson’s president and CEO (James L. Jackson) is a confessed iconophile and a extremely well respected expert in the field. Without doubt, the most impressive icon to cross the block was a 23 x 16 inch Russian icon triptych with a carved wood frame, signed by court iconographer Nikolai Sergeevich Emelianov, dating to circa 1912. The catalog entry, which included an extensive write-up of the icon, also included an in situ photograph of the icon hanging in the office of Colonel Dmitrii Loman (1868-1918) at his desk located at Tsarskoe Selo. After much fanfare, the icon, which was estimated at $250,000-$350,000 ended up selling to a private Russian collector for $630,000. Other icons worth mentioning include a 20 x 15 inch panel depicting Prince Boris which was executed, as signed, by noted iconographer Vasily Peshekhonov and dated 1862. Like the aforementioned triptych, it too sold to a private Russian collector, coming in at $60,000. A 20 x 15 inch icon depicting the fiery ascension of the Prophet Elijah and cataloged as North Russian, probably 16th century and with later restorations, sold to the phone for $37,200, an icon of the Theodore Mother of God with related scenes, circa 1913 and with ornate overlaid riza sold for $27,600, and a pair of 10 x 12 inch wedding icons with machine engraved silver gilt riza brought $28,800. An interesting icon of the soldier Saint Andrew, circa 1900 with engraved riza and filigree overlay did $16,800, and a small 9 x 7 inch Smolensk Mother of God dating to around 1500 finished at $13,200.

A small offering of Russian decorative arts followed icons, including a petite 3 inch diameter Fabergé guilloche enameled photo frame by Andre Gorianov which sold for $36,000, and an interesting silver-gilt equestrian covered trophy cup by Ovchinnikov dated 1881 sold for $21,600. The trophy cup was consigned by the son of Mr. Douglas J. Schneider who had received it in 1954 as a first place trophy for winning the 1954 McLennan Handicap Horse Race at Hialeah Park Racetrack in Hialeah, Florida. Next up was a tiny 2 inch shaded enamel charka by Ruckert that sold for $10,800, as did a silver-gilt and enameled crucifix. An interesting Russian lacquer plaque with a regimental scene dated 1896 sold to a buyer in Kiev for $8,750, a silver champlevé and en plein enamel cigarette case dated Moscow 1879 sold for $7,380, and a group of various 19th and early 20th century Russian lacquerware items totaled $14,500.

The first session ended with a small offering of European works including a French silver-gilt three piece monstrance, chalice and ciborium set, circa 1920, that sold for $13,800. That was followed by three small religious themed bronzes by French sculptor Jean Lambert-Rucki (1886-1967) which totaled $9,120. A 19th century carved wood bust of St. Thomas Aquinas sold to a Texas buyer for $6,600, and a carved walnut figure of St. Catherine of Alexandra made $6,875.

The second session opened with American and European ceramics and glassware, as well as other decorative arts, starting out with a bulbous form Grueby American art pottery vase with dark green matte glaze measuring 21 inches; it sold for $20,400 against an estimate of $7,000-$10,000. A Viennese enameled cornucopia horn made $30,000, and a French Napoleon III Dieppe carved ivory mantle clock came in at $20,000. A 9 x 6 inch hand painted KPM porcelain plaque depicting a classical beauty holding an oil lamp sold for $10,800, a modern Lalique frosted glass figure “Eden” circa 2000 sold for $7,200, a pair of petite but finely carved ivory relief plaques each measuring 5.3 inches in height and depicting Saint Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier sold for $11,400, and a 19th century French carved ivory Madonna made $9,225.

Other decorative arts and furnishings worthy of note include a Cartier ladies platinum pearl and diamond ring which sold for $18,000, a French Louis XVI style gilt bronze and mahogany long case clock after Paul Sormani which sold to a California buyer for $14,760, a 19th century French gilt bronze figural tazza centerpiece in the manner of Clodion which also made $14,760, and a pair of French bronze candelabra, later electrified, made $5,520. A gilt-bronze figure by the French sculptor Emmanuel Fremiet titled Credo sold to a phone bidder from Paris for $5,000. A small group of modern items included a Ueli Berger for Desede sofa that sold to a buyer from Chicago for $7,380, a Wiener Werstatte ceramic figure by Valley Wieselthier measuring 23 inches sold for $5,166, and an Edward Wormley for Dunbar sofa did $4,674 and included two ballpoint pens, four Cheetos and 37 cents in change that was found underneath the cushions. And last in this category was an Alexander Calder Maquey jute fiber tapestry which sold for $3,600.

The second session concluded with Asian works including a Chinese Qianlong enameled and gilt bronze five piece garniture which sold to a buyer from China for $42,000. A 24 x 28 inch oil on canvas by Vietnamese artist Le Pho (1907-2001) drew wide interest selling to a phone bidder for $27,600. That was followed by a small watercolor on silk measuring 14 x 6 inches by Vietnamese artist Mai-Thu (1906-1980) that also saw strong interest and sold for $15,990 and a Chinese late Ming style bronze figure of a seated Zhenwu measuring 17 inches in height which sold to a Chinese bidder from Shanghai for $15,990. A Chinese cloisonné gilt bronze peach form sensor sold for $14,400, a Chinese carved jade boulder measuring 10 inches in height sold for $13,530, and a Chinese Canton enameled and gilt bronze heater dated to the 18th or 19th century sold for $9,600 against a pre-auction estimate of $300-$500. Other Asian works worth mentioning were a Chinese Nanjing Yunjin silk brocade wall hanging, probably Qing Dynasty which sold for $8,400, and an Asian carved ivory elephant tusk also sold for $8,400. A Chinese carved spinach jade round covered box sold for $7,500, and a Chinese enameled and gilt bronze table screen made $6,600.

James Jackson, President and CEO commented on the interesting shift in taste related to Russian icons. “Of course it was not very long ago when the action lay primarily in the old or ancient icons (circa 1600 and earlier) as well as the always popular later icons with elaborately enameled riza. Much of this was due to the available literature which focused at one time exclusively on early examples and considered later examples as not worthy of study. However in the last 5 years there have been a number of publications in Russia related to the exquisitely painted icons from the period of roughly 1850-1915. These of course include those famous court iconographers as well as the best examples from Palekh, Mstera and Kholui, especially desirable are signed examples. Even though many in this category show heavy western influence, their undeniable aesthetic beauty is what drives this market which at present is supercharged. As an example, only 10 years ago one would have expected lot #222 from this auction, a signed and dated (1862) icon of Prince Boris from the St. Petersburg workshop of Peshekhonov to fetch perhaps $2,000 maybe $3,000. Whereas today, there were numerous bidders pursuing this lot which eventually made $60,000. Ironically, one can at present buy a rather nice medieval period Russian icon of the same size for far less.”

Jackson’s next sale of Russian icons is scheduled for this May.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our consignment department at consignments@jacksonsauction.com. To be sure to stay current with what’s going on at Jackson’s, be sure to follow us on Twitter @jacksonauction.

Share |

Lot 130 sold for $27,600.00.

Lot 199 sold for $630,000.00.

Lot 274 sold for $40,800.00.

Lot 550 sold for $20,400.00.