It could only end with a massive boost to the auction coffers of Leski Auctions October sale of Decorative Arts, Watches & Collectables.
A bidder standing in the pouring rain outside a New York restaurant competing on the phone against two like-minded souls in London and a determined buyer in Leski Auctions Melbourne rooms.
The catalogue estimate for the 1880s Edward William Godwin art cabinet was $40,000-$60,000.
However, rapid competition soon took the price past the $100,000 mark – by which time there were only three bidders left, one still braving the downpour.
It was obvious the cabinet was destined for an overseas home and in the end the successful candidate was happy to hand over $224, 682.50 (including buyer’s premium) for the privilege of owning this rare furniture piece.
Godwin’s pieces are prized possessions. A progressive English architect-designer, he was renowned initially for his “Ruskinian Gothic-style” creations of mid-Victorian Britain including The Guild Hall in Northampton.
Among the first European designers to include the arts of Japan, which in 1853 had opened its doors to the Western world, in his works, Godwin’s Anglo-Japanese furniture style was designed for his own use and for Dromore Castle.
Later, similar Godwin designs were produced by the firms of William Watt and Collinson & Lock.
There were several other strong performing auction pieces including a Patek Philippe & Co annual calendar moonphase gent’s wristwatch (which sold for $38,864) and an 18-carat gold ring set ($8501.50).
Additional auction results included a Patek Philippe circa 1855 gold hunter pocket watch ($7287), an Omega Seamaster ($5343.80) and a Jaeger-LeCoultre gent’s stainless steel wristwatch for the same price.
In the furniture line, a circa 1900s English arts and crafts occasional table changed hands for $3886.40 while an 18th century (circa 1770s) English bracket clock sold for $4250.75.