Nadeau's auction results indicate the economy is improving The economy may have turned the corner and is headed in a positive direction, if recent sale results posted by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, Inc., based in Windsor, Conn., are an accurate barometer.
News-Antique.com - Feb 10,2011 - (WINDSOR, Conn.) – The economy may have turned the corner and is headed in a positive direction, if recent sale results posted by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, Inc., are an accurate barometer. Prices realized from December forward, in four separate auctions, consistently sailed past the high estimates. That was not always the case in the months following the 2008 crash.
“I’m not an economist, but I can tell when things are getting better, and things are definitely getting better,” said Ed Nadeau, owner of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery. “It's still not anywhere near the highs of several years ago, but that only means now is a great time to buy. If someone wanted to decorate their home with antiques today, they could do so for a lot less than before. Also, pieces that are 200-250 years old not only have historical significance, and can be great investments, they are cheaper to buy than new items in a store, with better workmanship.”
Solid categories include anything made from silver and gold -- from tea services to coins – as investors flock to precious metals in the face of a sagging dollar; decorative accessories, which buyers have been pursuing and don’t mind paying top prices for; and quality furniture pieces, which are cheaper to buy than brand-new, but are still easily convertible to quick cash.
The news isn’t all rosy, however. “Some categories are off and have been for awhile,” Mr. Nadeau remarked. Chief among these, he said, are Victorian-era furniture, which has simply fallen out of favor (and fashion) among dealers and interior decorators; paintings and other fine art (except pieces at the very high end, which historically hold their value); and other genres.
For the most part, though, the news has been all positive. At Nadeau’s Dec. 4 auction, a burlwood table fetched over $1,000, while a bedroom set realized a little less than that. Both sold early and set the tone for the rest of the sale. “The auction was heavily attended, with more left bids, phone bids and Internet activity than usual,” Mr. Nadeau said, “and it only got better.”
Once the portion of the sale dedicated to furniture pieces from the 1950s and ‘60s attributed to Tommi Parzinger hit the block, things really took off. A pair of club chairs from the era went for $1,955; a bleached oak credenza estimated to bring $100-$200 soared to $5,460; and a nice set of six upholstered chairs thought to reach no more than $200 commanded $6,210.
The New Year’s Day auction was no less impressive. A record number of lots offered (690) resulted in new records posted for left bids, phone bids and Internet bids. A Monte Blanc 18kt gold pen (est. $300-$500) breezed to $2,070; a Chanel black quilted leather purse (est. $400-$600) brought $2,185; and a painting by Winslow Homer sold after the sale for $25,875.
In other results: an oil painting of Napoli by Attilio Pratella (It., 1856-1949), estimated to hit $8,000-$10,000, went for $18,400; a bronze by