Opium War Album, Single Owner Print Collection, and Chinese Porcelain Stand Out at Cordier’s Spring Auction

May 20, 2014

A photo album of images of The Opium War hammered down at $410,000 while a pair of famille verte 100 deer vases realized $60,000 at Cordier Auction & Appraisals’ Spring Two Day Antique and Fine Art Auction on May 17 and 18. Other highlights included an Albrecht Durer engraving ($17,000), a large Venetian blackamoor ($5,000) and a 2.61 ctw diamond and platinum ring ($7,500). The 861 lot auction was held at the company’s auction house located at 1500 Paxton Street in Harrisburg. The Multi-Consigner sale featured items from more than 150 consigners. Over three hundred people were in attendance over the two days in addition to phone and absentee bidders, while more than 3,200 bidders were pre-registered to bid over the internet. Prices quoted are hammer prices. Saturday’s sale offered Coins, Paper & Photography, Collectibles, Silver, Jewelry & Watches, and Decorative Arts. An early lot was a photograph album of images from the Second Opium War by Felice Beato. The photo album consisted of 56 albumen prints including 10 multiple part panoramas, each titled and dated in English and German. Beato accompanied the British Army into China in 1860. His photographs captured not only strategic military positions and the aftermath of battle but also buildings such as the Summer Palace before its destruction by the British. With twelve bidders on the phone, the lot opened with an internet bid of $41,000. After heavy competition between bidders online, on the phone, and in the room, the hammer fell at $410,000. Collectibles offered a wide variety of items including an Antique Apparatus replica jukebox in Deco style that brought $1,700 on a $1,000-$2,000 estimate. Among more than fifty lots of silver was a tureen in Danish silver by Carl M. Cohr that brought $3,400, slightly over the estimate of $1,500 to $2,000. Silver was followed by fine jewelry and watches including a 2.61 ctw diamond ring in platinum that was awarded to a lucky lady in the room for the price of $7,500. In decorative arts, a sixty-eight inch Venetian lacquered and polychrome painted Blackamoor figure sold to an internet bidder for $5,000, at the high end of the estimate. Sunday's session opened with Furniture, a highlight of which was a Danish Modern rosewood sideboard that sold for $4,800. In Ethnographic Arts, a late 19th century Hopi kachina doll was awarded to a phone bidder for the sum of $3,900, over the $300-600 estimate. Asian Arts remained strong; a 19th century trade painting of Hong Kong harbor sailed to $9,500 on an estimate of $5,000-$7,000. A pair of Chinese famille verte 100 deer vases sold to a phone bidder for $60,000 following heavy bidding online and on the phones. Among the highlights in Art was a 1930’s single owner print collection of more than 35 pieces amassed by a Massachusetts collector mainly through Boston firms during the 1930’s and early 1940’s. Prints sold from the collection included Albrecht Durer’s “St. Anthony Reading” ($17,000) and “Bay Windows” by Martin Lewis ($16,000). Sunday’s auction concluded with clocks and lighting. Ten tall case clocks were offered including a heavily inlaid 18th C Dutch baroque marquetry tall case clock by Jacob Hasius that sold for $4,250. Among strong results in lighting was an Aesthetic movement bronze and glass hall light that hammered down at $4,200 on a pre-sale estimate of $500-1,000.

Felice Beato Second Opium War Photograph Album ($410,000)
Felice Beato Photograph Album
Pair Chinese Famille Verte 100 Deer Vases ($60,000)
Chinese 100 Deer Vases
Albrecht Durer (German 1471-1528) ($17,000)
A Durer (German 1471-1528)
19th Century Trade Painting of Hong Kong Harbor ($9,500)
19th C Trade Painting
Antique Apparatus Replica Jukebox ($1,700)
Antique Apparatus Replica Jukebox
Aesthetic Movement Brass & Glass Hanging Light ($4,200)
Aesthetic Movement Hanging Light
19th C Venetian Blackamoor ($5,000)
19th C Venetian Blackamoor
18th C Dutch Baroque Marquetry Tall Case Clock ($4,250)
18th C Dutch Tall Case Clock