The 90210 zip code has become a familiar destination for Southern California auctioneer Don Presley, and on Nov. 5-6, Presley will again present a premier private collection sourced directly from a Beverly Hills estate. This time the contents consist of superb clocks, silver, porcelains and other fine and decorative art from a collector whom Presley describes as having “an eye for the exquisite.” A fine jewelry wholesaler by profession, the consignor has always selected pieces of the highest quality for their collection, never settling for anything less.
The Beverly Hills collection comprises 400 of the 1,000 lots to be auctioned, and features 200 absolutely fresh to the market antique European and American clocks.
“This is such a great clock collection that visitors to our gallery have been asking if a high-end antique store went out of business – but that’s not the case. This is a collection built over many years by an individual who happens to love beautiful clocks and porcelains, and knows how to pick the very best,” Presley said.
“When I first went to visit the collection, my jaw dropped,” Presley continued. “I could not believe what I saw on the walls and shelves – gorgeous champleve clocks, Tiffany, Sevres, old silver. These are the kinds of things that make an auctioneer love his business.”
The spectacular array of fancy French clocks features 18th- and 19th-century designs, including gilt bronze figural, tortoiseshell, dore bronze, inlaid marquetry, bronze and porcelain; and elegant champleve designs, as well as many 3-piece clock and garniture sets. There are no fewer than 10 jewel-face miniature French clocks and a fine collection of carriage clocks, including Tiffany & Co.
Among the innumerable highlights are six French boulle clocks – one of them dating to around 1710 and signed “JB Baillon Paris.” At least two of the clocks are among the earliest of their type to have been manufactured. A magnificent gilt bronze horse-drawn chariot clock, with figures of two riders and a lion, also dates to the 18th century.
Taking pride of place in the collection are no fewer than six clocks from Tiffany & Co., including a rare bronze bell-shape clock supported by two pillars and a crossbar. Japy Freres produced the mechanism for at least one of the Tiffany clocks to be auctioned.
A sumptuous 200-piece selection of fine porcelain features many designs by Sevres, including lavishly gilded pairs of lidded urns, clock sets and an ornately decorated tray. An Old Paris hand-painted vase exhibits the unmistakable aesthetic favored by many porcelain artists in the City of Paris during the mid to latter 18th century. Other manufactories represented in the collection include: Meissen, Limoges, Dresden, and Villeroy & Boch. These exalted names of golden-era porcelain are also seen in the vast array of cups and saucers to be sold.
The Presley gallery is laden with heavy sterling silver, including a complete International Silver La Paglia-designed tea service with tray, an S. Kirk & Son double-handle repousse urn with lid, and a pair of 18th-century Jean Baptiste Francois candelabra having a total weight of 250 ozt. One of the candelabra has a Francois mark designated for Paris, while the other bears a 1784 stamp for Semur. Additional candelabra lots are Sevres style and of gilt bronze and marble.
A 31-piece Moser cranberry stemware set is among the top lots in the glassware and art glass section, which also includes designs by Galle, Lalique, Tiffany, Loetz and Steuben. Extravagantly gilded, a set of green glass goblets might be of Russian origin.
Antique Asian ivory continues to draw the bidders to Presley’s sales. The Nov. 5-6 event includes a pair of 3-ft.-tall elephant tusks, figures of Immortals and elephants, a “jeweled” Guan Yin figure on pedestal, and a lady’s fan with gilded frame, among many other ivory objects.
Paintings and bronzes – many by listed artists – will be auctioned. Russian icons and a pair of signed and framed Napoleon and Josephine portraits, hand-painted on ivory, are among the select offerings.
A featured lot that combines Hollywood legend with the lore of California’s Old West is a leather saddle made by the Visalia Stock Saddle Co. of San Francisco for American screen icon John Wayne. Heavily tooled overall and trimmed with sterling silver conchos, stirrups and other adornments, the saddle also bears a silver diamond-shape cartouche engraved with the initials “JW.” The saddle comes with a matching bridle and breast collar, and is accompanied by extensive provenance and a letter of authenticity. “This saddle dates to the early days of John Wayne’s career, and with the interest currently so strong in items having a personal connection to John Wayne, this saddle should prove very appealing to collectors,” Presley said.
An additional 600 items from several California estates, collectors and other consignors add variety to the Nov. 5-6 auction inventory. The sale summary reveals many pieces of Chinese jade, hand-painted scrolls, musical instruments, a 40-piece majolica collection, a 1933 Rock-ola 5¢ Horse Race Sweepstakes trade stimulator, and novelty furniture designed as a 1956 Chevy sofa and Harley-Davidson chairs with saddlebags.
For the adventurous, Don Presley suggests the remote control twin-engine F-15 Navy jet. “It’s 7 feet long and can reach a top speed of 200 miles per hours. But before anyone decides to fire it up, they should be aware that it requires a special license. It’s a big plane,” Presley said.
Both the Saturday and Sunday sessions will commence at 12 noon Pacific Time. Preview daily 9-5. The gallery is located at 1319 W. Katella Ave., Orange, CA 92867. All forms of bidding will be available, including at the gallery, by phone, absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers and Proxibid. For additional information, call Don Presley at 714-633-2437 or e-mail info[.]donpresleyauction.com. Visit the company’s website.