Garth's Bidders Distinguish the Best from the Rest ( & Bid Accordingly )! A duo of summer sales at Garth's of Delaware, Ohio on July 23-24 & September 3-4 prompted bidders to distinguish the "best from the rest" & bid accordingly from Ohio to as far away as Hong Kong
scene of two doves with a basket of fruit, set in a slate rondel, which sold for $4,406. A lovely portrait of a woman was identified on a typed label verso as "Mary Magdelena (sic) of Austria, widow of Cosmo II de Medici" while another label noted the sitter to be “Vittoria della Rovere, wife of Ferdinando II de Medici”. Attributed to Justus Susterman, a Flemish artist dating to 1597-1681, the unsigned work depicted the rosy-cheeked woman wearing a crown and a blue wrap reached a final bid of $2,468 despite some restoration. A German 6” high portrait on porcelain of a woman was signed "Wagner" and marked for CM Hutschenreuther. Titled "Gitana", after Angelo Asti (Italian-French, 1847-1903), the lady with the flowing chestnut hair and red cap realized $1,293.
Other random items of interest included a pair of late 19th-early 20th century gilt silver zarfs from Iran. Zarfs were coffee holders to protect cup and the drinker’s fingers from the hot liquid. Heavily ornamented with graduated rows of sleeping beauty Persian turquoise beads, this pair sold for $1,410. A ceremonial Chinese, 20th century white jade scepter with pierce carved lingzhi fruit and monkeys measured a stately 16" long and sold for double its high estimate at $10,845.
While furniture results were relatively sedate during the July auction, furniture made somewhat of a comeback in September. Jeff Jeffers, Garth’s CEO and principal auctioneer, observed “It was great to see enthusiasm for furniture again. As we have known for a while, paint is where it’s at, but (pardon the pejorative) “brown” furniture was a bit stronger, and that was refreshing!” Just seven lots into the first session on September 3rd, the standing room only, festive holiday audience responded to sexy legs on the podium. While they did not belong to Mr. Jeffers( whose leg value is as of yet unknown to the buying community), they did belong to a mid 18th century Queen Anne maple tavern table, attributed to Connecticut. With a provenance attached to one of the most revered names in American antiques, George Samaha, the table with the oval top, deep rectangular straight apron, and block and turned tapered legs ending in dainty pad feet sold just over estimate for $23,500.
While the tavern table proved to be the top lot of the day, multiple other furniture lots soared into the 5-figure range. A surprise result for all since slant front desks have been largely over looked in the last several years was lot 19, a late 18th-early 19th century, curly maple, pine and poplar desk attributed to Pennsylvania. The exceptional, stepped interior features whale tail silhouettes on the cubbyholes, stop fluted document boxes with heart cutouts on sides, and arched inlaid prospect door all remained in what appeared to be an untouched surface. The highly figured wood was warm with aged color which enchanted bidders to pursue the desk past the conservative estimate of $2,500-4,500 to a final price of $19,975. An 18th century Pennsylvania walnut tall case