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Calder jewelry, Royere lighting in demand at Woodbury sale

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 25 June 2012 13:04

Alexander Calder brooch and ring, combined result $76,200. Woodbury Auctions image.

WOODBURY, Conn. – On Sunday, June 17, Woodbury Auction held a Father’s Day barbecue in conjunction with the company’s third anniversary Spring Fine Estates auction. The event featured over 500 lots of fine and decorative art and American and Continental furniture from seven estates and more than 70 individual consignors from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas and California. provided the Internet live bidding.

Top lots of the sale were two original pieces of sterling silver jewelry by renowned sculptor Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976), whose workshop was in Roxbury, Connecticut. The items, a spiral brooch and a ring, had never before been offered for sale, having been given by the artist to the consignor, a local Woodbury resident, in 1952. According to Thomas Schwenke, owner and auctioneer, the items were discovered as a result of the firm’s consignment event held in April. The combined price realized for the two pieces was $76,200.

Four related lots of red painted metal and brass serpentine lighting that Woodbury attributed to the renowned French designer Jean Royere brought a total of $57,000. The lots comprised four serpentine wall sconces, a corner serpentine sconce, and a circular serpentine 53-inch diameter chandelier. They had been in storage for several years after being removed from a Connecticut location where they were installed in the 1950s.

One of the rarest items in the sale was an original Art Nouveau-style bronze Porter garden telescope, serial number 21, which sold for $11,400. The garden telescope was designed in the 1920s by Russell W. Porter, father of amateur astronomy in America, founder of the Springfield Telescope Makers, and an instructor at MIT. Fewer than 20 extant examples are known, one of which is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

A large antique carved wood artist figure sold for $5,400 to a phone bidder from California, while a large antique Continental cage-form doll sold to an online bidder for $4,600.

The sale also featured many fine art lots including recently discovered oil on canvas of a harbor scene by Harry Chase (1853-1889), an American artist working in Europe, which sold for $3,000; and two works by Ernest Hennings, which were recently found in a Chicago attic. Hennings painted in Taos, N.M., and sold works through Marshall Field & Company in Chicago. One signed work depicting a desert scene sold to a phone bidder in New Mexico for $19,200. An unsigned painting of an adobe villa sold to a Western-states phone bidder for $4,200. The sale included more than 100 paintings, prints and drawings by various other listed artists including works by Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, Joseph Newman and many others.

Fresh to the market formal American furniture lots included a rare Sheraton carved mahogany game table attributed to the workshop of Duncan Phyfe. It sold to a collector in the room for $4,312. A Hepplewhite inlaid mahogany swell-front chest with drop panel, probably made in Portsmouth, N.H., was purchased by a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $2,460.

Silver lots sold well, including a unique sterling silver presentation cup from Yale University, which sold through LiveAuctioneers for $1,722; and a four-piece sterling silver tea set by Thomas Prime, London, which went bidder in the room for $2,185.

Several bronzes were included in the sale. A very fine Bergman cold-painted bronze lamp “Carrying the Princess,” sold to a New York phone bidder for $6,600. A rare gilt bronze figure “Nude Study” by noted American sculptor Paul Howard Manship, was bid to $10,455.

The sale also included many estate Oriental carpets including Persian and Caucasian room and scatter-size rugs, and other regional Asian rugs of varying sizes, which sold for prices ranging from $120 to $2,040.

To contact Woodbury Auction call 203-266-0323.

View the fully illustrated catalog, complete with prices realized, at

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Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


Alexander Calder brooch and ring, combined result $76,200. Woodbury Auctions image.

Jean Royere,  handelier and xconces, combined result $57,000. Woodbury Auctions image.

Porter garden telescope, $11,400. Woodbury Auctions image.

Antique jointed artist's figure, $5,400. Woodbury Auctions image.

Ernest Hennings, Western desert landscape, $19,200. Woodbury Auctions image.

NY classical table, attr. to Duncan Phyfe, $4,312. Woodbury Auctions image.

Paul Manship, nude study, gilt bronze, $10,455. Woodbury Auctions image.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 June 2012 13:23

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