Timing It Right: Clock Collection Chimes In At Akiba Antiques

Published February 16th, 2021 by Akiba Galleries

This “American Indian” French Empire gilt-bronze mantel clock won top-lot honors, selling to a collector in France for $35,960. It was one of several clocks from a West Palm Beach, Fla., collection in the sale; Akiba Antiques co-owner Alexander Anapolsky described the craftsmanship of this clock as “exceptional.” ($30/50,000)

Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Catalog Photos Courtesy Akiba Antiques

DANIA BEACH, FLA. – In its second sale of the year, Akiba Antiques offered approximately 500 lots in a sale titled “Eclectic Collection Of Estates Worldwide” on February 2. Phone and absentee bidding supplemented online bidding on three platforms for a sell-through rate of nearly 93 percent; while a specific sale total was not disclosed, co-owner Alexander Anapolsky said the total was on par with previous sales of that size.

“The sale was an excellent way to open the year and it was one of our best Winter sales. Since Covid-19, we have had a huge online presence, which just seems to be getting stronger and stronger every month. We’re definitely happy with how the sale did,” he said when we reached him after the auction.

A group of 19 clocks, all from a West Palm Beach collection, brought strong results. According to Anapolsky, it was a small selection from a larger collection of clocks that will come to sale in the future. Leading the group and the sale with a top price of $36,960 was a Nineteenth Century French Empire gilt-bronze mantel clock in the “American Indian” model. The clock’s case was attributed to Jean-Simon Deverberie (1764-1824), who the catalog identified as being one of the most important Parisian bronziers of the late Eighteenth Century and the first two decades of the Nineteenth Century. The round enamel dial was signed “Inv. Fec. de Verberie & Cie/rue des fosses du Temple n 47/AParis.” The gentleman from West Palm Beach who had acquired it and whose collection was on offer had purchased it from La Pendulerie in Paris. Anapolsky said a buyer in France had been the winning bidder.

“The artist generally sells well but we did not expect to get that much for it,” Alexander Anapolsky said of this work by Amelia Pelaez (Cuban, 1896-1968), which was dated 1950 and achieved $27,280, the second highest price in the sale. It had been discovered at a local estate sale and will be staying in Florida, going to a local buyer ($100-$1,000).

Another clock acquired in France was a French Empire marble and bronze mantel clock garniture with figures of Cupid and Psyche modeled after the original by Pierre Philippe Thomire and torchieres with nymph supports. It sold to a buyer in California who paid $11,160, while a bidder in Texas took a Nineteenth Century French Empire biscuit Sevres clock with a movement stamped “Medaille D’argent” for $7,440. A limited-edition Jaeger LeCoultre Atmos 150th anniversary clock was one of 3,000 examples made and sold for $4,340.

Surprisingly strong results were achieved across the board. Most notably was a painting, done by Cuban artist Amelia Pelaez (1896-1968) in 1950 and offered towards the end of the sale, that brought $27,280. The 24-by-28-inch oil on canvas had been consigned by a local seller who had found it at an estate sale. A local buyer was the successful bidder; it was the second highest price in the sale.

Anapolsky said he was surprised by the high prices they achieved for garden statuary. A pair of Nineteenth Century Qing dynasty blue stone foo dogs that stood 54 inches tall, weighed 5,700 pounds and were cataloged as “monumental,” ran past their high estimate and sold for $12,400. According to the catalog, the pair had been acquired in the Henan Province of China and imported to the United States. Of similar large scale was a cast metal koi fish-form garden fountain that had been made in Italy in the late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Centuries. A local buyer who is building a mansion acquired it for $7,440, more than three times its high estimate. Of similar origin and vintage was a cast metal dolphin-form table base that leaped to $3,720, nearly doubling its high estimate.

“Those are awesome,” Anapolsky said of this pair of Nineteenth Century Qing dynasty blue stone foo dogs that were made in China’s Henan Province and described as monumental. The pair fetched $12,400 ($1/10,000).

Two works by Oleg Stavrowsky (American, b 1927) that had both come from a large ranch in Wyoming had previously crossed the block at Akiba in April 2020 when they were acquired by a collector who was building a house in Florida. When construction on the house stopped, she gave them back to Akiba to sell. “Colorado Teamster,” an oil on canvas work that measured 68 by 79 inches in the frame, brought $6,200, an improvement over the price it brought nine months earlier, when it sold for $5,952. “Horse power,” an unframed work, also improved on its earlier result, achieving $4,960 in this sale.

Akiba has, for some time, been working with a woman who inherited a large collection of works by Ernest Trova (American, 1927-2009) from her father. Selling a small number of Trova’s works in each sale, the collection will likely continue to be dispersed for possibly another year. When asked if Trova has an international audience, Anapolsky said that he does, but qualified that, saying most of the buyers of the works Akiba has offered have been based in the United States. Leading a group of nine works by the artist was “Figure with Shadow” in polished bronze that made $4,030. That was followed closely by $3,720 for “Profile Canto” in painted steel and bronze and $2,790 for his “Gox Arch” sculpture in steel, epoxy and bronze.

Traditional antique decorative arts saw strong interest, not least in two framed KPM porcelain plaques, one doubling its high estimate to bring $4,340, the other – a smaller example – fetching $1,984, just short of twice its high estimate. Both were Twentieth Century, with erotic scenes. A 97-piece sterling flatware set by Wallace, in the Grand Baroque pattern, closed at $4,030, while a smaller set of 57 pieces finished at $1,736 and a 29-piece miscellaneous group of Wallace Grand Baroque flatware and serving pieces rounded out to $1,488.

This French Empire marble and bronze mantel clock with a pair of four-light torchieres was based on an earlier model by Pierre-Philippe Thomire. A buyer in California paid $11,160 ($5/15,000).

When asked which works were particularly worthy of mention, Anapolsky pointed out the four mixed media lots by American artist Purvis Young (1943-2010), all of which were from a private collection that has “thousands” of pieces of his work. Offered consecutively, three of the four were done on the backs of voting poster board and all of the lots sold, bringing, in order, $1,054 for an untitled work painted on the back of an 18-by-24-inch poster for “Re-elect Manny Diaz for Mayor of Miami.” A similarly untitled example, measuring 16 by 24 inches and done on the reverse of a “Michelle Spence-Jones” voting board poster, made $1,240. The back of a large – 24½ by 48 inches – “Linda Haskins Miami Commissioner” voting poster achieved $1,054; the last of the group – the only example done on paper instead of reused poster board – measured 28 by 40 inches and realized $1,240.

Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.

Akiba Antiques’ next sale will take place March 2 and is titled “Marching Into Spring.”

Akiba Antiques is at 3 North Federal Highway. For additional information, 305-333-4134 or www.akibaantiques.com.

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