$1.37 Million Four-Day Auction At Freeman's, Pushes Annual Total over $21 Million From December 11th through the 14th, Freeman’s staged sales of rugs, decorative arts, couture and jewelry, selling more than 1,400 lots for $1.37 million.
that, were it widely known, would have been ranked among the finest collections of ceramics made for the American market in existence. When it came to auction at Freeman’s, as part of the Bicentennial Pennsylvania Sale, it took the collecting world by storm, especially a painted and decorated pine candle box, not only set a world record at $744,825, but also set the mark as the most expensive lot ever sold at Freeman’s.
Other Americana highlights from the year included an oil painting on wood and board by the folk artist Horace Pippin, entitled “Fishing through Ice,” that sold for $162,425, and a paint-decorated Windsor settee (also from the Ludwig estate) sold for $95,225.
english & continental furniture & decorative arts
The English & Continental department had its best year ever, at more than $3.5 million, led by a French “Japonism” rosewood and gilt bronze mounted center table by Edouard Lievre, circa 1880, that sold to a buyer in France for $62,000. Other top lots from the departments four sales included a fine KPM porcelain plaque, entitled “Love’s Awakening” ($35,580), a 17th century Italian walnut serpentine side cabinet ($31,725), a fine 19th century marble sculpture of a recumbent female figure on a chaise lounge ($29,375), the same figure attained for a 17th century and later Italian walnut refectory table.
rare books, manuscripts, prints and ephemera
David Bloom, who has spent nearly 20 years at the head of Freeman’s book department, celebrated the bicentennial year with his department’s finest year. Nearly $1.75 million was generated by the department, with the top result sold in the book and manuscript section of the Bicentennial Pennsylvania Sale. A world-record price of $207,225 was paid for the first public printing of the United States Constitution, which appeared as the September 19, 1787 issue of the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser. Another Pennsylvania document in the sale – the only known remaining copy of the original survey and town plan of Pittsburgh – reached an impressive $65,725.
One of Freeman’s youngest departments, the prints department, now stages two sales per year under the direction of David Weiss and Michele Kishita, who covers Japanese prints. In two sales this year, the department generated more than $1.25 million, including $71,700 for “Les Enfants Jouant a la Balle” by Pierre Auguste Renoir. An Andy Warhol self-portrait was the top lot of the spring sale at $38,240.
Other departments contributing to the record-setting year were jewelry ($900,000), general estate ($600,000), 20th century design ($500,000), rugs ($400,000) and couture ($130,000).
Freeman’s is currently accepting consignments for all 2006 sales. Interested consignors may contact Freeman’s reception at 215.563.9275 to be directed to the appropriate specialist.