Keno Auctions' Art and Furniture Sale brings $2.6m and a World Record price

Keno Auctions' sale, which took place on January 18thin Wallace Hall at the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola on Park Avenue, achieved $2.6m in sales, towards the top end of its pre-sale estimate ($1.8m-3.2m) with just over 85% of the lots finding buyers, one setting a world sales record for a Veneered William and Mary High Chest of Drawers.

A packed salesroom watched as Five Boys at the Shore, Gloucester, 1888, an important midcareer watercolour by Winslow Homer achieved $414,800, the highest price of the day, against its pre-sale estimate of $350,000/450,000.

Five boys at the Shore Winslow Homer
Five boys at the Shore Winslow Homer
(Click to enlarge)

Winslow Homer paintings represent good investments, especially as they are collected by Bill Gates.

"We were honored to offer the Homer in its first publicviewing since its purchase from the Winslow Homer watercolor exhibition at Doll and RichardsGallery in Boston in 1880," said Leigh Keno.

The star lot was the rare and previously undocumented William and Mary Veneered High Chest of Drawers, Boston, circa 1705-1725. This chest and two others, one at Bayou Bend and one atWinterthur, are the most fully developedveneered examples known.

Discovered in Honolulu, Hawaii and representing the pinnacle of cabinetmaking in the baroque style in early 18th century Boston, bidding opened at $60,000 then took off with floor and telephone bidders vying for the piece.

A bidding war between a bidder in the room and a determined telephone bidder ended with Eileen of David A. Schorsch - Eileen M. Smiles winning the final bid of $317,200 to set the world record for a veneered William and Mary High Chest of Drawers.

William and Mary veneered chest of drawers
William and Mary veneered chest of drawers

An exceptional price was achieved for the William Turner Queen Anne Mahogany Slipper-Front Tea Table of the Goddard-Townsend School, Newport Rhode Island, circa 1750.

Remarkable for its direct decent in the William Turner family of Newport, Rhode Island, as well as its superb state of preservation, bidders placed a high premium on the impeccable provenance, dense mahogany and unusually graceful cabriole legs. Bidding rapidly climbed above its high estimate of $120,000 to finally sell for $170,800.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, the Turner Tea Table rates a strong ten," said Mr. Keno.

Other major highlights included the Chippendale Carved Walnut Brass Dial Tall-Case Clock that sold for more than 10 times thehigh estimate of $6,000 to bring $61,000.

"The sleeper of the salewas the Carved Red Pine Valuables Box," said Keno. Called a"Ferdaskrin," or travelers box and dated 1741, it was executed bya master carver of the time and attributed to the Numedal Valleyof Norway.

Intense bidding drove the final bid to $51,240 farexceeding its pre-sale estimate of $1,500/2,500.

Private collectors, dealers and institutions battled for The Post Family Carved and Painted Tulip Poplar Spoon Rack that sold to a bidder on the floor for $42,000, and a wonderful Folk Art fireboard that was found in the attic of a house in Franklin, Massachusetts brought $41,480.

"We were thrilled at the results of the sale, with seasoned collectors and dealers, as well as young collectors participating," states Keno.

"The results of the sale bode well for the state of the art and antiques market right now. Buyers were very enthusiastic across the board and that energy continued to the American Antiques Show and the Winter Antiques Show with strong attendance at both."


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