Here's another look at Clars Auction Gallery's September 10 and 11 sale, the grand finale of their fiscal year. It earned $1.5 million and gained worldwide media attention surrounding the Amelia Earhart collection that was offered.
The September event was the fifth highest earning sale in the firm's history and their 2011-2012 fiscal year was their most successful coming in just under $12.5 million, an impressive 41 percent increase over last year.
President Redge Martin attributes this increase to "the best staff we've ever had, our expanding reputation in the industry, high-end buyers still willing to pay good prices for quality items plus the strength of the Asian market."
The top seller of the sale overall was a Japanese small cloisonné
The September sale featured over 2,500 lots from 285 consignors. There were 750 successful buyers with 40 percent being sold online.
The collection of Amelia Earhart photographs and memorabilia earned $31,000 overall with the key lot being the No. 6 Luxor flying goggles worn by Earhart in her first crash in July 1921 while learning to fly with Neta Snook.
The goggles which sported a cracked lens, evidence of the accident, sold for $17,775.
Over $13,000 was earned on the rich selection of photographs and memorabilia with the high seller in this category being an autographed silver gelatin print inscribed "To my friends of the media audience," which sold for $3,245.
The prices achieved and the worldwide media attention given to this collection continue to confirm the world's fascination with this pioneer in aviation.
While Amelia Earhart may have stolen the show at Clars' September event, the fine art, decoratives, jewellery and Asian categories also performed solidly across the board.
The fine art category featured impressive offerings from both important American and European artists, from the Dutch Renaissance to Contemporary. The high seller in this category came from French Modernist Bernard Cathelin (French, 1919-2004).
His 1967 oil on canvas, Premiere Neige dans la Valee du Morin sold within estimate at $22,515. Taking second place was Rites of Passage I, 1963, by American Modernist Leon Golub (1922-2004), which earned $20,145, followed by Edouard Cabane's (French, b. 1857) 14 oils on canvas titled Stations of the Cross. This collection of works sold for $17,775.
The decoratives and antique furnishings category of this sale featured a particularly rich selection of sterling. Topping this category was a David Andersen for Shreve & Co. .830 silver and sterling silver 27-piece hollowware suite in the Viking pattern, circa 1888-1925, which sold for $27,775.
Also offered in this category was the always highly sought Swiss Black Forest carved bear, circa 1880. This example, which measured 35 inches high, sold for over its high estimate at $6,100. Selling for twice its high estimate was an Austrian cold painted bronze scenic lamp by Franz Bergman (1838-1894). Executed in the Moorish taste, this lamp sold for $12,980.
Another high seller by French Modernist Bernard Cathelin
Fine estate jewellery brought remarkable prices at the Sunday session. An emerald bead, pearl, rose cut and antique diamond accented necklace with complementary double strand bracelet, both of silver and 18K yellow gold sold for $17,775 followed closely by a diamond eternity band ring set with 17 asscher cut diamonds, weighing approximately 6.30 carats. This lot earned $16,500.
Rounding out the sale was the impressive Asian category. The prices realised on many of these lots reflect the investment quality of the items that were offered.
The highlight of this category and the top seller of the sale overall was a Japanese small cloisonné enamel box of circular shape by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927). This box was estimated to sell for $1,000 to $1,500 but achieved an astounding $38,513.
Selling for almost four times its high estimate was a pair of Chinese ivory wrist rests, late Qing-early Republic period, which sold for $20,145. Selling for 22 times its high estimate was a pair of 19th century Japanese boxwood netsuke.
Estimated to bring $800 on the high side, this pair went for $18,960. Clars will kick off what is destined to be another very exciting year with their first sale of the 2011-2012 season on Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16.