Selman Auction 59
The Equestrian Auction
Well, two very distinguished Baccarat horses were neck to neck all the way to the finish line. Lot 1, an exceptionally rare Baccarat closepack with stunning lineage and a large, beautiful Gridel horse cane finally took a respectable second to another horse, one of a handful of Baccarat horse plaque weights. A surprise upset, Lot 1 was expected to exceed the bids for Lot 6, the plaque horse, by tens of thousands of dollars. It did, indeed, make a strong showing and reached a hammer price of $46,000, bringing the sale to the grand total of $55,200 with buyer’s premium. Lot 6, expected to top out at no higher than $30,000, instead finally came to rest at $49,000, $58,800 with buyer’s premium. What fun to watch these two champions hitting their strides and showing us, once again, that a truly rare and exceptional piece of artistry simply cannot and will not be reined in!
Okay, enough horse metaphors, I promise. Elsewhere in the auction many great values were to be found as consignors dropped the occasional reserve to accommodate sales. It is always wise to keep a close eye on the bidding and to make no assumptions about what may or may not fall within the realm of possibilities; things can change. An L. H. Selman oversight (mine) helped a lovely Orient & Flume engraved weight slip through the bidding process relatively unobserved so that it was finally won for a very good price. It was the work of Czech master engraver, Lubomir Richter, whose signature eluded me at the time of description. It was our Lot 260 and sold at a hammer price of $400, perhaps half of what it actually deserved.
There were wonderful antique scrambles and miniatures in this auction and they were lovingly admired, considered and finally won by extremely savvy bidders with discriminating eyes. Lot 37, actually a fairly simple little Baccarat mini with a high estimate of $2,000, sold for an unexpected $3,250, because it was just pretty. Among the moderns, a Buzzini made particular impact with a winning hammer bid of $2,750 and yet another piece of his, Lot 116, sold for $3000. Stankards, Ayottes and Graebers were predictably strong. A Peter Raos sold for twice the low estimate, the Lundberg Studio weights did well and a large selection of Deacons weights seems to have been admired for color and variety as well as value. I was very happy to see a Joe Zimmerman hollow skunk weight go to the home of a favorite client and, once again, I was much amused by a Murano fish. Some collectors refer to these as “critter” weights and, while certainly not very sophisticated, I find them to be full of charm. As always, there was something for everyone and a wild card or two to keep everyone alert.