HOLIDAY SPIRIT IN THE AIR
enthusiastic crowd at Stair Galleries' second auction on December 8,
2001 at the Hudson, NY Elks Lodge was obviously undeterred by snowstorm
warnings and over 200 attendees registered to bid. There was a festive
mood in the air. A kaleidoscopic array of "smalls," that could
have spilled from Santa's sack (including porcelain, miniatures, glass,
jewelry, pocket articles and even antique Christmas ornaments) was carted
off by many happy shoppers.
There were many highlights in this well-received sale. The outstanding
furniture lot was a walnut carved corner armchair estimated at $2000
- $3000. It came from the Betsy Babcock Estate and had been receipted
to Stair Galleries as a George III Provincial mahogany chair, but Colin
Stair was convinced that it was an 18th c. American chair and Nigel
Thomas, the company's Director of Restoration, concurred. Evidently,
American furniture buyers agreed, and it was hammered down to one of
three phone bidders for $21,000.
Nineteenth century silver did well with a four-piece tea service by
Monell and Williams fetching $6000 and a rare pair of entrée
dishes with covers by W. Adams selling for $4250 to a dealer who looked
as if he knew there was great profit left in them.
Another very popular lot, the pair of Boston wall lights in tole peinte
brought many absentee bids and sold to a phone bid for $9500.
Leading the art offerings was a small, rather primitive 19th c. oval
painting catalogued as "possibly upstate New York" which turned
out to be the Catskill Mountain House and bidding hurdled over the pre-sale
estimate of $400 - 600 to sell for $3000. An amusing painting of a green
elf shoe by contemporary artist, Thomas Woodruff was greatly admired.
It was part of a seasonal display auction-goers encountered upon entering
the sales room, surrounded by an enormous pine wreath. Bidding quickly
jumped over the estimate of $300 - 500 and it sold for $1200 to an absentee
bidder. The early 20th c. Paul Colin folio, "Le Tumulte Noir"
depicting Paris nightlife in the 1920's was enthusiastically received
and fetched $5000.
Sale prices do not include the 15% buyers premium. Of the 452 lots offered
only 9% failed to sell.
Stair Galleries will be conducting an internet sale on Sothebys.com
beginning in mid-January featuring furniture from the Elizabeth Arden
corporate offices, the Arnold Levy Collection of Chinese Textiles and
contemporary art from the Estate of Fred Hughes. Their next live auction
will be held in early April. Call the Gallery for consignment information