Auction Blog

Fine Art, Jewelry and Ephemera Lead Schwenke Annual Spring Fine Estates Auction

Posted June 22, 2015

Edward S. Curtis, "Maid of Dreams"

E. Verboekhoven, Oil on Board, Chickens

Pierre Auguste Renoir, "Figure Study"

Jean Jannel, "Nude"

Two Small Chinese Porcelain Items

Roger French Jewelry

George III Mahogany Chest

French Directoire Burled Elm Desk

Eagle Weathervane

Caucasian Rug

Woodbury, CT – On Sunday June 14th, Schwenke Auctioneers held its anniversary spring fine estates auction with an offering of over 450 lots of freshly consigned estate property from estates in Greenwich, New Haven, Bloomfield, West Hartford, Bethel, Litchfield, Woodbury and Southbury CT; Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, Hastings-on-Hudson, Bedford and New York City NY, featuring property from the estate of Gisbert H. Flanz, noted international constitutional law scholar and author. The auction included Mid-Century Modern decorative arts, American, English and Continental decorative arts, folk art and American country furniture, English & other sterling silver, jewelry, fine art, miscellaneous decorative arts, and estate oriental rugs.

The top lot of the sale was a rare work by Edward S. Curtis (American, 1868-1952), entitled "Maid of Dreams", an orotone, signed lower right "Curtis LA c", lower left numbered "R8-09?", and framed in original Curtis frame, measuring 12 1/2" high, 10 3/4" wide. Curtis was an American ethnologist and photographer of the American West and the Native American people. “The North American Indian” by Edward S. Curtis is one of the most significant and controversial representations of traditional American Indian culture ever produced. Issued in a limited edition from 1907-1930, the publication continues to exert a major influence on the image of Indians in popular culture. Curtis said he wanted to document "the old time Indian, his dress, his ceremonies, his life and manners." In over 2000 photogravure plates and narrative, Curtis portrayed the traditional customs and lifeways of eighty Indian tribes. The twenty volumes, each with an accompanying portfolio, are organized by tribes and culture areas encompassing the Great Plains, Great Basin, Plateau Region, Southwest, California, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. The lot was knocked down to an absentee bidder from Switzerland for $6,400.

Other fine art performed well, with a bidder in the room winning out at $3,295 over a phone bidder from Belgium, claiming an estate find oil on panel by Eugene Verboeckhoven (Belgium, 1798-1881) "Hens and Chicks in Farmyard", signed, dated lower right "Eugene Verboeckhoven 1871". On verso was a signed statement in French by artist dated 1871 Brussels declaring work is an original by his hand, with partial red wax collector's seal including the word "Roy", possibly previously in a Royal Collection. The work was in as found condition, in the apparently original frame, and sight size dimensions are 5 1/4" high, 6 7/8" wide.

An internet bidder won a framed work attributed to Pierre Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919), "Figure Study", pencil on paper, signed lower left "Renoir". Sheet size 7 3/4" high, 6 1/4" wide, frame size: 14" high, 12" wide. The Renoir crossed the block at $3,750.

A phone bidder won a framed painting by Jean Jannel (French, B. 1894), "Nude" oil on canvas, signed lower right "Jannel", with an exhibition label on verso "Salon des Independants, 9 Rue Alfred Stevens Paris, Classique et Neo-Classiques". Sight size was 17 1/2" high, 23 1/2" wide, frame size 27 1/2" high, 33 1/2" wide. The selling price for the Jannel nude was $1,950.

The surprise of the sale was two small Chinese porcelain items comprising a teapot, Tao Kuang Period (1821-1850), together with an enameled covered bowl, signed on base. The small items, measuring only 2 1/2" high, 4 1/4" wide and 4 3/4" high, 5 3/4" wide, and estimated $100 to $200, fetched $3,375 from an internet bidder in Beijing.

Several lots of estate jewelry were offered, and the high selling jewelry lot was a very fine Roger French gold, turquoise and pearl jewelry suite, comprising an elaborate necklace and matching earrings in original box marked "Roger 155 Palais-Royal Joallier Bijoutier", and measuring 2 3/8" long, 7/8" wide to 10 1/4" long, 1 1/4" wide. The suite in box fetched $3,200 from an internet bidder.

Many lots of fine English and American furniture were offered in the sale. Among the top selling lots was a George III mahogany chest on chest, top with molded cornice above three short drawers over three graduated drawers, case with drop front desk surface with open cubbies flanked by three drawers and drawers above and below on bracket base, 77 1/2" high, 47 1/2" wide, 23 1/4" deep, which sold to an internet bidder for $1,585. Another top furniture item was a French Directoire burled elm desk with gilt tooled leather writing surface and slides on each side with gilt tooled leather surfaces, central long drawer flanked by single deep drawer on right, two on left, all drawers with banded inlay on tapered legs ending in bronze capped feet, 30" high, 58" wide, 31 1/2" deep, which performed well at $2,075 to a bidder present in the room.

A fine silver mounted violin bow by W. E. Hill and Sons sold to an internet bidder for $1,250. The round unmarked bow stick had a silver mounted ebony frog with pearl inlay, and a silver and ebony end screw. The weight was 51 grams, with baleen wrapping, and was presented in the apparently original case stamped “W. E. Hill and Sons, London, England.”

Over thirty estate oriental carpets crossed the block, including Persian, Caucasian, Chinese, Indian and Turkoman room and scatter sized rugs, together with other regional Asian rugs of varying sizes. The top selling carpet lot was a Caucasian room size carpet measuring 12' 2" long and 9' 7" wide, which went to an internet bidder for $2,415.

The next auction is an on-site sale in Ulster county, New York, featuring the lifetime Lifetime Collection of David L. Bronson. Please watch the firm’s website at for information on this exciting sale.

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