Kamelot Garden Antiques Auction

. May 21, 2008

The Philadelphia antiques scene was buzzing with spring fever when Kamelot Auctions’ fourth annual signature Garden and Architectural Sale took center stage on Saturday, April 12. This remarkable sale is fast becoming a yearly event not to be missed, consistently presenting the largest and most diverse selection of quality garden furnishings and decorative arts to be found anywhere, along with an ever-surprising array of antique architectural elements in a wide range of dimensions and styles.

The soaring heights of Kamelot’s twenty-thousand square-foot showroom were artfully arranged floor to ceiling with over eight hundred lots of 19th- and 20th-century carved marble, wood and stone, bronze and wrought iron, stained and leaded glass – in abundant forms of interior and exterior decorative arts, furniture and fixtures. Bidders crowded the floor for much of the ten-hour event, among massive statuary, Gothic lanterns, windows, arches and fountains, soaring Victorian oak shelving, dramatic gates, doorways and mantelpieces. Smaller items and figural pieces garnered equally intensive interest for their rarity and quality of design.

Kamelot presented several evocative and original garden pieces of note, many of which were entrusted to the popular young auction house from the formal gardens of a 21-acre lakefront estate outside of Chicago. These items lent a dominant tone of classical lyricism to the early hours of the event, provoking widespread enthusiasm and competition among buyers online, on the phones and on the floor. A stunning 19th-century bronze armillary sphere on a 5-foot carved stone column coasted smoothly several thousand dollars over its high estimate to reach a selling price of $10,200. Likewise, a signed and dated antique carved marble bust of Diana, exquisitely aged, more than tripled its high estimate, going to a Princeton buyer at $9,844. Crowd-pleasers included a rare pair of blue-green glazed Galloway garden vessels with Moorish flair which garnered $3,400 and a pair of striking neoclassical style early twentieth-century bronze urns that brought $6,440. International phone bidders, two prominent English buyers among them, competed heavily for many classical garden pieces, including a good pair of large antique marble urns with relief carved dancing nymphs, which ultimately brought $9,660.

Garden furniture performed well also, pushing bidders over the one-thousand dollar mark for a well-styled pair of painted Regency style wrought iron armchairs, and landing $3,400 for a vintage eight-foot wrought-iron potting table. The allure of antique garden iron proved tenacious as competition for a classical female water-bearing figure circa 1870, fitted with an oil lamp and measuring sixty-four inches tall, summoned $6,325. And, on a less formal note, stylish antique and vintage faux? bois consistently exceeded expectations, demonstrating marked popularity among California and New York City buyers.

The requisite lots of fine antique stained and leaded glass, iron and zinc gates and panels, and carved wood built-in shelving and staircases offered something for everyone and did not disappoint. Bidding fervently pursued such coveted rarities as a very fine Victorian carved walnut mantel with griffins by Daniel Pabst, which finally sold to a Virginia buyer for $18,400.

Kamelot’s selection of decorative glass, doors and windows rarely fails to stir an audience, and the consensus appears to be now firmly established that this auction event is currently the premiere national source for dramatic architectural interior and exterior elements and sets. Two complete antique store front interiors, each including front facade elements and entry doors went on the block near the end of the sale, one selling to a Manhattan restaurant and hotel designer for $39,100, the other snapped up by a New Jersey architectural specialist.

With this April auction, Kamelot proves every year that the strength of demand for quality garden and architectural antiques is here to stay, and continues to answer that demand with singular and spectacular antique products. Kamelot Auction’s next sale, in September 2008, will feature fine estate furnishings, art and decorative items, as well as a mid-century modern category. Call them at (215) 438-6990 for more information. (All prices mentioned include buyer’s premium).

Category: Antiques News

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