Woodmere Museum Items Sold at Bonhams

Bonhams New York’s April 27th sale of European Furniture & Decorative Arts was marked by several strong results. Consisting of just over 250 lots, the sale was highlighted by a spectacular group of French and Continental porcelain urns from the Woodmere Art Museum (Philadelphia, PA) which brought some of the strongest performances of the sale.

Top lot was a pair of Monumental gilt bronze mounted Sevres style porcelain Napoleonic urns from the Woodmere collection. One depicts the marriage of Napoleon I to Archduchess Marie-Louise and the second depicts the coronation of the Empress Josephine by Napoleon, signed by J. Pascault, and with chateau landscapes painted on the reverse of each. They more than doubled their estimate of $40,000-60,000 – the lot brought the outstanding price of $128,000.

The pair of late 19th century Royal Vienna style porcelain vases from the Museum collection also performed strongly. Each finely painted with allegorical figure soon followed with more competitive bidding and the lot eventually brought $54,900 against an estimate of $20,000-25,000.

Another Woodmere lot greatly exceeding expectations was a Napoleon III gilt bronze mounted onyx and marble tall case clock, circa 1870. The impressive clock touched off a bidding war, selling for more than four times its estimate of $5,000-7,000 with a final price of $32,940.

A late 19th century, French enameled and engine-turned silver part dessert service from the Museum’s collection was also of great interest. Probably Limoges, each featured enameled reserves of figures in 18th century costume, on engine-turned and various jewel toned grounds. The lot drew spirited bidding which ultimately resulted in a price of $26,840 against an estimate of $4,500-6,500.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Charles Knox Smith Art Acquisition Fund and will allow Woodmere to further fulfill its mission of communicating the significance of the arts of Philadelphia.

However, the museum’s pieces were not the only lots of interest to collectors. A 19th century, monumental Renaissance style patinated metal figural clock (pictured, left) was the cause of excited bidding as well. Cast in the heroic form of Atlas supporting an orb on his shoulders, the striking piece well surpassed its estimate of $5,000-7,000, bringing $26,840.

Image: One of a pair of late 19th century Royal Vienna style porcelain vases from the Museum collection. Each finely painted with allegorical figure made $54,900 against an estimate of $20,000-25,000