Ivory, rhino-horn trove discovered on A&E's Storage Wars to be auctioned Mar. 5-6 by Don Presley Along with a 22lb. emerald, fine art, antique clocks and a Bentley GT Coupe, Don Presley's Mar. 5-6 auction features Chinese ivory and rhino horn antiques discovered on the hit TV show Storage Wars.
News-Antique.com - Feb 25,2011 - ORANGE, Calif. – The biggest hit to emerge from this season’s roster of antiques-related TV shows is an unpretentious dark horse that quickly overshadowed a field of glossier contenders. Each week the rough-hewn but addictive reality show Storage Wars pits four veteran buyers against each other as they bid “blindly” on the contents of storage units whose rent has gone unpaid. Sometimes the winning bidder ends up with worthless junk that goes straight to the dumpster; but other times the contents are of considerable value and end up in high-profile auctions – like the trove of Chinese antiques to be auctioned March 5-6 at Don Presley’s gallery in Orange, California.
Presley, who has conducted on-air appraisals for Storage Wars, received the Asian consignment from David Hester, whom he jokingly describes as the “villain” among the regulars appearing on A & E’s popular Wednesday night show. Hester’s storage-locker find includes an extensive selection of Chinese ivory necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pendants; rhino- and buffalo-horn pendants, and a pair of foo dogs. Collectively, their value is estimated to be as much as $10,000.
“David was not even sure that what he had was ivory, but when he brought it in for an appraisal, I told him he had hit a home run,” Presley said. “Whoever bought the pieces in that storage locker obviously bought a lot of ivory as well as horn of various types, but they may not have known that what they had was rhino horn, which is rare and very valuable. It can sometimes be mistaken for a much more common type of horn.”
Upon receiving the Hester consignment, Presley set about gathering other Chinese antiques from private estates in Beverly Hills – a turf he knows very well. From one upscale estate, he received a 5½-inch rhino-horn libation cup with carvings of rabbits, estimated at $15,000-$25,000; plus a pair of stamps (seals) and a rhino-horn snuff bottle, encased in silver and decorated with carved lions, complete with a curved ivory dipper.
A Chinese family with whom Presley has had prior dealings contributed to the sizable Asian section of the sale a superb 19th-century carved-ivory bust of a female deity wearing a crown with five bas-relief carvings of goddesses. The finely detailed bust is mounted on a rosewood base inscribed with Chinese writing, and is estimated at $7,000-$10,000. The family also consigned a nicely carved ivory bridge and ivory figures of an emperor, 1000-Hands Bodhisattva and several Immortals.
Presley’s March 5-6 auction also includes European fine art, antiques and quality collectibles, almost all of which are fresh to the market. A Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983) lithograph and two particularly desirable hand-signed and “H.C.”-annotated Miro artist’s proofs came from a Las Vegas estate.
The sale also includes an array of authenticated French advertising posters from the Art Nouveau period. The posters promote a variety of products, including wine and vermouth, and an especially nice example features a dance hall girl climbing up a ladder. The art section also includes oil