A large ivory collection from a Miami doctor, the result of a thirty year collecting effort, provided the backbone of the June 1 and July 13 sales at Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, FL. Auction owner Brian Kogan reported brisk sales to numerous Asian collectors with significant online results through Artfact.com.
The June 1 Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches Sixth Anniversary sale (agopb.com) saw a 5 ⅝ in tall Chinese ivory pot brush carved in high relief with elders and attendants climbing rockery with plants and a giant tree, estimated at $800-$1000, close at $1,400. That was followed by a well carved large ivory Rat Zodiac, Chinese, 20th century, signed. The central seated large rat was surrounded by the rest of the figures of the zodiac in high relief. The 4⅛in tall figure, estimated at $600-$700 brought a pleasant closing bid of $1,600 and a group of four carved ivory figures, Chinese, depicting three boys and an elder, all wearing tunics and pants, mounted on wood bases, estimated at $400-$500, sold for $1,500.
From the same collection in the July 13 sale, a fine pair of carved ivory birds, Chinese, late 19th century, with well detailed birds perched on a pine tree branch, 7⅝in H, with carved wood stands brought $2,880, a well carved ivory figure of Shan Lao, Chinese, 19th Century, the immortal with elongated head and flowing beard, wearing a long robe, holding a gnarled staff and a peach, flanked by a crane, made $2,150 and a fine ivory concentric ball and stand, Chinese circa 1850, containing approximately twelve inner loose balls with pierced trellis design, supported by the stand with a standing boy holding a peach below also sold for $2,150.
In the art category the big lot of the April sale was a pair of works by Joseph Groupy (French. 1689-1769), the "Sacrifice of Lystra" and "The Charge to Saint Peter", after Raphael's Tapestry Cartoons, gouache on vellum laid down, each measuring 8¼ by 12¾in, framed. Estimated at $1,000-$1,500 the pair sold for $4,750. In the June sale the top art lot was a Royal Berlin (KPM) porcelain plaque, German, late 19th Century, impressed KPM, scepter mark and "H," of a young beauty in an interior wearing a red dress feeding birds perched on a rod. The 19 by 11½in plaque in a gilt frame sold for $12,000 to a dealer from Dade County, FL. It was followed by a pair of oil on board works called “Venetian Views” by Edward Pritchett (English. 1828-1864), each measuring 7 by 8½in. The pair brought $8,500. The July 13 event boasted an abstarct work by Earl Reiback (American 1948-2006) called “Looking Glass,” a 33¾in circular infinity mirror originally acquired directly from the artist. Estimated at $600-$800, it sold for a surprising bid of $3,600.
But the big hitter of all three sales resulted from a cold call to the Gallery prior to the April sale. A lady wanted to be sure she had the right opinion on her diamond ring. Auction owner Kogan invited the caller to visit the gallery and meet with a gemologist who identified it as a pear shaped diamond in a platinum ring weighing approximately 12.40 carats, J-K color, SI 1 clarity, flanked by two baquettes weighing approximately 1.30 carats of G-H color and VS clarity. Satisfied the lady consigned the ring for sale in the April auction. On sale day a local phone bidder outlasted three other phone bidders and two gallery bidders with the winning bid of $75,000, within the original estimate. Kogan said “Big stone with a big price in hard times. Go figure.”