Sur­prise as many items ex­ceed their es­ti­mates at Ash­bey’s sale

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

DE­SPITE South Africa’s lan­guish­ing econ­omy, col­lec­tors of an­tiques, fine art and col­lecta­bles con­tinue to in­vest in good pieces.

The sales results at Ash­bey’s Gal­leries’ re­cent auc­tion in­di­cate bid­ders will pay well above the pre-sale es­ti­mates for beau­ti­ful items that are out of the or­di­nary.

Sev­eral items on the sale drew bids that far ex­ceeded their es­ti­mates, tak­ing even Ash­bey’s auc­tion­eer Inge Beck-Roberts by sur­prise.

Among the high­lights in the col­lecta­bles and clocks cat­e­gory was an early 20th-cen­tury French vi­o­lin, bear­ing a la­bel in­scribed “Gus­tave Ber­nadel, Paris 1902”, in its orig­i­nal leather case. The vi­o­lin, which was miss­ing the chin piece, bow and one string, had a re­serve of R10 000 and sold for R48 000.

A Vic­to­rian oak long­case clock, with a re­serve of R17 000, at­tracted a win­ning bid of R34 000.

Beck-Roberts says 89.29% of the lots pre­sented in the sil­ver and sil­ver plate cat­e­gory were sold and all went at prices above their re­serves.

“For ex­am­ple, a pair of ster­ling sil­ver hur­ri­cane lamp can­dle­sticks had a re­serve of R800 and sold for R5 000,” she says.

In ad­di­tion, 82% of all the jew­ellery on of­fer was snapped up, and in this cat­e­gory too, al­most ev­ery lot sold above the re­serve price.

“In the art sec­tion, bid­ders bought al­most all the art­work avail­able by Old Masters and all the 18th/19th cen­tury por­traits in the in­ter­na­tional cat­e­gory sold very well.

“Lot 291, a pair of 19th-cen­tury por­traits of an el­derly cou­ple, sold for R15 000 on an es­ti­mate of R8 000,” Beck-Roberts says.

“The works of fa­mous lo­cal artists such as Skotnes, Carl Buch­ner, Dom­saitis, Otto Klar, Pi­eter van der Westhuizen and Bat­tiss did well, as ex­pected.

“How­ever, the sales results for some works by lesser-known artists, which car­ried lower pre-sale es­ti­mates, were dis­ap­point­ing.”

Beck-Roberts adds that fur­ni­ture sales went ex­cep­tion­ally well.

Of the 118 lots that went un­der the ham­mer at the sale, only 21 were left un­sold.

“The star in this cat­e­gory was a William and Mary wal­nut and burr wal­nut chest of draw­ers with a re­serve of R5 000, which sold for R15 000,” the auc­tion­eer said.

“Most of the fur­ni­ture sold above the cat­a­logued re­serves. An Ed­war­dian wal­nut ebonised oval ta­ble, with a re­serve of R2 800, sold for R9 000 and a Pierre Cronje yel­low­wood ta­ble, with a re­serve of R12 000, reached a ham­mer price of R30 000.”

A va­ri­ety of leather fur­ni­ture will be on the auc­tion floor at Bid­way’s new premises.

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