French silver comport brings crowd gasps at Melbourne auction result

Conservatively estimated at $10,000-$15,000, a 19th century French Japanese-style silver, niello and enamel comport (lot 20) brought gasps from auction goers as it went under the hammer for $46,000 at Leski Auctions first decorative arts and collectables sale for the year in its Melbourne rooms on Saturday, February 22.

The two-day auction, featuring more than 1000 wide-ranging lots of which 790 sold, brought item prices ranging from several hundred to many thousands of dollars.

The comport was tipped to be one of the auction highlights along with a rare Faberge tie clip (lot 17), which sold for $1000.

An unusual Ozias Humphry (1742-1810) King George III triptych (lot 272), with the central panel showing the king and Prince of Wales reviewing troops, was another auction success – bringing $10,000 on a $5000 upper catalogue estimate.

Extremely rare, an exceptional circa 1866 Anglo-Indian carved ebony box made in Nagina (lot 255) – a town in Utter Pradesh – sold for $6250, more than twice its lower estimate.

A 1930s Austrian art deco desk (lot 651) was another good result, changing hands for $4600, a pair of 19th century Japanese style Royal Worcester vases with an accompanying letter from Henry Sandon remarking on their rarity and value (lot 241) sold for $4200.

Other items to bring good results included lot 471, a late 19th century Chinese Beijing School boxwood carving of a peasant girl, which went under the hammer for $3400 on a catalogue estimate of $250-$350, and lot 732, an oil landscape by Czech artist Vlastimil Benes (1919-1981) that sold for the same price.


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