Tuesday night provided a bourbon-tasting event as a final preview to the June Dallas Signature Decorative Arts & Gentleman’s Auction. The items were placed in two galleries at the Slocum Street Galleries. The Gentleman’s auction contained mostly items from the Malcolm Forbes collection, including a fragment of the Hindenberg, automobile hood ornaments, ocean liner memoriabilia and other things one might find in a Ralph Lauren store.
It was the second room where most of the items that caught our eye were located. All of these items seemed to perform well, in some cases far exceeding estimates.
One item you couldn’t miss was a Chickering baby grand reproducing piano from 1929. One of the included scrolls was apparently cut by George Gershwin. Originally purchased by Clare Stern for the lobby of the Claremont Hotel in Dallas and estimated between $5,000 and $8,000, the piano hammered at $10,755.00.
We recognized the American Union Porcelain Works Centennial Vase from a larger version on display in the Brooklyn Museum. It seemed to be getting some attention during the preview. That played out at the auction. Estimated at $6,000 to $9,000, the vase brought a whopping $47,800.00.
To me the prize of the day was probably the Louis Sullivan-designed pendant lamp from the National Farmer’s Bank in Owatonna, Minnesota. There’s really nothing like it, which makes items like this hard to estimate. The guesstimate of $4,000 to $6,000 seemed close, however but in the end fell short. The lamp almost tripled that, hammering at $13,145.00.
I though perhaps some of the glassware and pottery might come in under the radar. It didn’t seem that was the case either. A Daum Etched and Enameled Art Glass Vase with Mushrooms estimated at just $1,500 to $2,000 brought estimated between 1500-2500 was sold for $10,157.50. All the lots of Rookwood I shecked also exceeded estimates.
A cherry credenza by George Nakashima bettered the $5,000 to $8,000 estimate arriving at $11,352.50.