(FLAT ROCK, N.C.) – A gorgeous pair of rare Tiffany sterling silver and mixed metals salt and pepper shakers, each piece standing 3 ¾ inches tall and in the flying crane décor, hammered for $4,000 at a multi-estate sale held Sept. 25-26 by Richard D. Hatch & Associates. The set went to a determined bidder from New York City. The sale held at the Richard D. Hatch gallery, located at 913 Upward Road.
“This sale really had something for everybody,” said Richard D. Hatch of the auction, which featured over 1,400 lots and grossed more than $250,000. A little over 200 people packed the showroom facility, while 340 bidders registered online, via LiveAuctioneers.com. Absentee and phone bidding participation was also strong, but Mr. Hatch expressed some disappointment over generally flat prices.
“Attendance was strong,” he pointed out, “but prices for mid-level antiques, furniture and collectible items remains low. The way I see it, if you loved the piece when it was selling at $500, then you should still be loving it when it drops to $250. A lot of items are selling for half what they brought a couple of years ago. Now is the time to start a collection or add to a collection, or decorate your home.”
Mr. Hatch also noticed a trend with regard to online bidding. “With eBay no longer participating with eBay Live, online bidding sign-up numbers have dropped by about 70 percent. But those that sign up through LiveAuctioneers.com, which we use and like, seem to be more serious buyers. Of the 340 online bidders in this recent sale, 121 were successful. Twenty-one percent of all lots were sold online.”
Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted are hammer, exclusive of either the 10 percent in-house or 15 percent Internet and live telephone bidding buyer’s premium.
Fine art was served up in abundance. An original oil painting by noted British artist William E. Harris (1856-1929) crossed the block at $1,300, while a pencil-signed lithograph by American pop art icon Leroy Nieman was a virtual steal at just $200. Also, a bronze statue of a dog by 19th century French artist Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892) topped out at $600 – another good buy, considering the artist.
Furniture generally brought bargain prices. A period Chippendale slant-front desk coasted to $800; a period Chippendale mirror fetched $350; a set of eight original Hitchcock chairs garnered $700; a North Carolina pine cupboard went for $800; a back bar from a local barber shop (circa 1915) rose to $600; and a mid-century dining room set by Heywood Wakefield sold for the bargain price of just $450.
The gallery was loaded with fine china and glassware. A 67-piece set of Bavarian china sold for just $100; a 54-piece set of Lenox china in the Autumn pattern breezed to $750; a large collection of Victorian art glass syrup pitchers delighted the crowd and went for $50-$450 each; and an unusual 19th century Meissen covered biscuit box made $800. Also, one lot of two nice old violins brought $3,100.
The showroom gleamed with sterling silver flatware sets. A 94-piece set of Chantilly by Gorham demanded $1,750; a 60-piece set of King Edward by Gorham changed hands for $850; a 79-piece set of Rose by Stieff reached $1,500; an 81-piece set of Burgundy by Reed & Barton made $2,750; a 63-piece set of Buttercup by Gorham hit $1,000; and a 63-piece set of Strasbourg by Gorham garnered $1,600.
Jewelry cases were also loaded to the brim. A Cartier men’s Santos wristwatch, appraised at $6,750, went for just $1,100; a Cartier diamond dress clip was snapped up for $500; a stunning star ruby and diamond pendant commanded $2,000; and a dazzling Deco diamond bar pin hit $2,750. Also, an original silver gelatin print photo of a nude Marilyn Monroe, taken by Lawrence Schiller, made $600.
Richard D. Hatch & Associates is celebrating 30 years in the auction business. Mr. Hatch sees a steady flow of diverse and quality items come through his gallery. “The real challenge in today’s market,” he said, “is to find buyers to absorb all the merchandise at prices that are fair to the buyers and sellers alike. Much of it comes from past customers, reminding us that we are all temporary caretakers.”
Mr. Hatch is constantly marketing his auctions in new and fresh ways, to help attract new bidders (through appraisal fairs, lectures, courses, etc.). In this way he strives to help boost interest in the field. “We must do all we can to educate people and promote an industry that has slowed down drastically,” he said. “The joy of collecting is still there. With prices down, we must attract a new group of buyers.”
Richard D. Hatch & Associates’ next big sale will be the 21st annual Asian & Oriental Auction, slated for the weekend of Nov. 20-21, at the gallery in Flat Rock, N.C. The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or an entire collection, you may call them directly, at (828) 696-3440, or you can e-mail them, at [email protected].
To learn more about Richard D. Hatch & Associates and the upcoming Nov. 20-21 Asian & Oriental Auction, please log on to www.richardhatchauctions.com