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