Antique clocks still bring auction collectors running

Nineteenth century clocks still attract a large following and an impressive German table Black Forest “Trumpeter” version (lot 870) was no exception when knocked down for $7000 on a $1500-$2500 catalogue estimate at Melbourne-based Leski Auctions two-day September Decorative Arts & Collectables sale.

The clock was the auction’s top-selling item followed by a 19th/20th century blanc de chine Chinese porcelain Buddha statue (lot 296) for $5500, which had been modestly estimated at $300-$500.  

The same price was paid for a circa 1960 Cenedese “Aquarium” Murano glass fish block (lot 590) by master craftsman Alfredo Barbini, while another of his glass fish block creations (lot 595) sold for $4000.

Imperial Russian silver also was popular – particularly a beautiful pair of circa 1908 gilded silver and cloisonné enamel goblets (lot 25) by Maria Wasiliewna Semenova who worked in Moscow from about 1890 selling for $4800.

One of her large cloisonné enamel parcel-gilt silver kovsha from the same period sold in November 2021 at Christies in London for £40,000 plus buyer’s premium.

A mid-19th century bleu de hue blue and white dragon vase (lot 306) brought the same return, while English artist David Hockney’s 1980 lithograph portrait of John Hockney sold for $4600.

Other lots finishing in the top 10 included a Schneider art deco cameo glass table lamp (lot 1211) which brought $4300 on an $800-$1200 catalogue estimate, a 17th century Charles II English oak four drawer dresser (lot 1059) and a 19th century French art nouveau with floral marquetry inlay (lot 1159) – each of which sold for $3800. 

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