Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Auction Results for the Treasures of France

While there may have been no gasp-inducing surprises, the results of the dispersal of Dr. Bruce Wilson's collection of Fine French Furnishings at Christie's on October 24, 2012, may have exceeded the expectations by a bit.  The final proceeds were $5,456,025.
As is often the case, bidding for some of the lots did not meet the reserve price and the items were not sold.  Such is the case for Lot 133, a room of late 18th century Louis XVI panelling.  Painted pine with a celadon ground and white detailing, there were plaster lunette overdoor panels emblematic of Music, Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture.  A white marble chimneypiece was also included.  The estimate was $50,000 to $100,000.  Apparently Dr. Wilson had kept the boiserie in storage and never installed it.
The item that brought the highest price was Lot 76, a circa 1755 marquetry table a la Bourgogne that opened with a mechanism that revealed a desk.  It realized $278,500.

To revisit The Devoted Classicist's earlier post on highlights of this collection, the estimates, and the prices realized, click here.

7 comments:

  1. So unbelievable that the TRIANON chairs of MA, didn't sell to Versailles or the Louvre Savonnerie. I see many of today's youth with overflowing cash accounts, still are in the dark regarding TRUE art as in Sevres - therefore mirrored colored steel balloon dogs reign supreme as auction collectibles and the past is relegated to the fussy corridors of Proust and Saint Simon...at least a Rothko and those chairs paired in an entrance hall within a floating modern palace devoid of all moldings etc. overlooking Central Park sound GREAT to me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh and sorry for your experience forever imprinted in your memory regarding the Lotos...but magnificent surroundings are to be cherished no matter what happened within those walls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem, The Swan. It's a great house/clubhouse regardless.

      There are still problems with delays in comment submittals; I don't know what's up.

      Delete
  3. Odd that I didn't see your earlier post. My favorite piece there was the Boulle cabinet. We are used to seeing great French furniture breaking price records; perhaps these pieces, while beautiful, were not all top quality or condition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Parnassus, it is my understanding that all the items were in impeccable condition, restored by leaders in their field, as necessary. And many if not most had a royal provenance. I am not an expert in marketing, by any means, but it begs the question if the auction was adequately promoted or if the demand for Fine French Furnishings is finally flattening out. I would be interested in the opinions of others.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for this postscript. I realized only yesterday that I had forgotten to visit the preview at Christie's to examine the collection, much to my regret. I suspect that much of the truly excellent FFF sold at auction here in the states is bought to repatriate "home" to the mother country, or at least back to the other side of the pond (as is the case with exceptional English and Russian furniture I believe). I find the bidding for good decorative Louis XVI furniture, particularly seating, is spirited in the country auction house I frequent, where it is bought by decorators and those of us who have houses and want somewhere stylish to park it. Reggie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your comments, Reggie. I agree that French furniture, especially from the Louis XVI period, will continue to be sought after for sophisticated and stylish interiors. But new Russian and Chinese billionaires generally have their decorating sights set elsewhere, it would seem, and that's just as well.

      Delete

Your interest in this blog is appreciated. Other commitments might prevent an immediate response to your comments or questions. That does not lessen the value of the blog reader's input, however. Only comments relating to the current post are eligible for publication; non-relevant comments and promotional references will be deleted. Contact me at johnjtackett@gmail.com regarding other questions. Anonymous comments cannot be accepted.