Classic Cars & Cloisonné Impress at Bunch Auctions Winter Catalog Sale
December 14, 2016
The weather outside was frightful, but the auction was so delightful. The frosty temperatures couldn’t keep the crowds away, as bidders came from near and far to paddle-battle for our cornucopia of consignments. Bunch Auctions’ Winter Catalog featured a diverse 700+ lot offering of estate fresh antiques, decorative, and fine arts, totaling over $330,000 at the hammer.
Classic vehicle sales were the stars of the show, with two of the top three lots being deals on wheels.
• An extraordinary 1931 Ford Model A Roadster (Lot 10352A) was the top-seller in the sale. The classic was in pristine condition; the noble winner of a multitude of show trophies. It boasted an engine reconstructed by Schwalm’s, who take Henry Ford’s dreams in to the new millennium by specializing in Model A rebuilds. The new engine had been converted to run on unleaded gasoline, and sported a mere 534 miles. This automobile demonstrated remarkable quality and craftsmanship, and brought $25,000 at the hammer.
•A second winner-on-wheels was a 1979 Dodge Lil Red Express pickup truck (Lot 10352). Acquired from the same proud consignor, this truck was another beauty in phenomenal shape. Dodge released the Lil' Red Express Truck in 1978 and it was one of the most unparalleled Dodge trucks that has ever been produced. Only 2,188 Express Trucks were yielded in the introductory year, with another 5,188 in 1979. This one contained $13,000 in upgrades & tune-up work via the previous owner – new paint, new decals, woodwork, interior; the whole kit and caboodle. The truck rallied a collection of in-house bidders, with the hammer eventually dropping at $14,000.
Three lots of Chinese cloisonné from the Qing Dynasty lead the Asian decorative arts category. All three lots bared gilt markings identifying them as Qianlong Period pieces (1736-1795).
•A five piece Chinese cloisonné garniture set (Lot 10535) was held in high regard, receiving massive competition from all bidding outlets. Cloisonné is the technique of creating designs on metal vessels with colored-glass paste placed within enclosures made with bronze wires, which have been hammered into the desired pattern. Cloisonné items were traditionally intended for furnishing palaces and temples, because of their brilliance and grandeur. This set included a pair of candlesticks, a pair of beaker vases and an incense burner with gilt bronze trim. It doubled its high estimate, bringing in $24,000.
•A Chinese cloisonné basin (Lot 10306) also exceeded its high estimate, stirring up a wealth of interest on the floor as well as online, closing at $6,000. The 21” basin depicted a Chinese village scene within the bowl interior, had floral decor along the outer lip, lotus accents on the outside, and a six character gilt mark to the base. The basin went to an in-house bidder who was ecstatic to add it to her personal collection.
•A pair of 8” Chinese cloisonné and gilt bronze vases (Lot 10538) from the same private consignor tripled its high estimate, selling for $3,750.
Rounding off the Asian Arts
• In the Asian fine arts department, two handcolored engravings of Emperor Qianlong's Conquest (Lot 10442) brought an impressive $9,000 at the hammer. The engravings were dated 1769 and in beautiful condition. The first was inscribed "Joseph Castilhoni Soc Jesu Delin 1765, C N Cochin Direx, J Ph LeBas Scul 1769,” the second signed, “P Jonatius Sichelbarth Soc Jesu Delin 1765, C N Cochin Direx, B L Prevost Sculpsit 1769."
• A Pair of Chinese export Mandarin covered mantle vases (Lot 10535A) were an additional highlight of the sale. Each had four panels of garden scenes, and stylized foo dog handles with rings. The vases exceeded their high estimate, selling for $5,500 at the hammer.
Landscapes Lead the Fine Arts
• Pennsylvania artist, Barclay Rubincam (1920-1978) led the department with his piece “Early Spring at Deborah’s Rock” (Lot 10549). Rubincam is nationally known local artist whose portraits of old West Chester are on display in the lobby of the First National Bank of Chester County, the Brandywine River Museum, and many Pennsylvanian public spaces. This 1967 modern landscape of a forest scene brought in $8,000 on Tuesday evening.
•American landscape artist, Curt Walters (b 1950) delivered impressive results with his piece titled “Copper Crest” (Lot 10320). Walters is recognized worldwide for his oil interpretations of the Grand Canyon. In 1997, Art of the West Magazine declared him “The Greatest Living Grand Canyon Artist.” In 2008 he was honored with the Autry Museum’s Trustees Purchase Award for his canyon painting “Splendid Turmoil.” This rendering of the world’s natural wonder dropped the hammer at $2,700.
• The Grand Canyon wasn’t the only National Park achieving solid results. “Winter in Yosemite Valley” by Tonalist landscape painter, Julian Rix (1850-1903) (Lot 10310) brought $2,000.
An array of gold jewelry and diamonds were offered, each of which brought excellent results. The top jewelry lot was a ladies platinum diamond engagement ring (Lot 10100) set with a 2.33 carat pear shaped diamond, which earned $3,500. A 14K yellow gold 2.65 carat diamond and pearl ring (Lot 10099F) brought $3,250. Also closing at $3,250 was a 18k yellow gold serpentine link bracelet (Lot 10099C), each link set with eight round brilliant cut diamonds about 4-6 points each.
The lead furniture lot was a 2-piece cherry Dutch cupboard (Lot 10163) circa 1820-1840, which realized $4,000. A Pennsylvania walnut Chippendale tall case clock (Lot 10408A) containing a brass dial English 8 day movement brought $3,000.
Bunch Auctions invites you to a complete, fully illustrated catalog with sales results on the web at bunchauctions.com. Furthermore, we wish you & yours a very happy holiday season. We can’t wait to bring you another year of auction excitement and fantastic finds.