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Asian Antiques, Vintage Clocks to take Center Stage at Gordon S. Converse Sale

by WorthPoint Staff (09/01/11).

This 19th-century carved ivory figure depicting Quan Yin holding a container is expected to be one of two top-selling lots in the Sept. 9-10 auction to be hosted by Gordon S. Converse & Company. It is estimated to bring between $7,000 and $12,000.

MALVERN, Pa. – A large, two-session auction featuring Asian antiques—including an exceptionally fine 19th-century carved ivory figure and a well-preserved blue and white glazed ovoid vase—as well as vintage clocks and watches, fine arts and furniture items, will be held Sept. 9-10 by Gordon S. Converse & Company.

The auction will be held at the Peoples Light & Theater Company in Malvern, a city situated in eastern Pennsylvania, not far off Interstate 76, just north and west of Philadelphia. The start times both days will be 10:30 a.m. (EDT). Previews for the first session (the Asian sale), will be held Thursday, Sept. 8, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. to the start of sale on Friday, Sept. 9. Previews for the second session (antiques and clocks) will be held Thursday, same times as the session one preview, and Saturday, Sept. 10, from 8:30 a.m. to the start of sale.

Online bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.

The first of two superstar lots of the Sept. 9 session promise to be the 19th-century carved ivory figure depicting Quan Ying holding an oval container. It stands 10 inches in height and is signed with two characters and “China” on a wooden base (est. $7,000-$12,000). The second lot expected to shine brightly is a fine and well-preserved blue and white glazed ovoid (or pear form) vase, 6 ½ inches tall and featuring a single dragon coiling between borders with a flared, trumpet-shaped top (est. $5,000-$8,000).

The Sept. 9 sale will also feature a large variety of porcelains, such as a stunning and fine 15-inch green celadon glazed vase with two-color crackle glaze finish and reindeer handles (est. $800-$2,000), plus many other examples from Japanese and Chinese porcelain makers dating back to the 1600s and leading up to the present day. Many will exhibit colorful glazes and techniques.

Other Asian objects set to cross the block that day include a massive green jade seal (4 ¾-inches square by 5-inches tall) with calligraphy on all sides and contained in a dark wood fitted box (est. $450-$650); and an antique Chinese bowl (3 ¼ inches by 8 inches) with blue and white interior showing impressive dragons and the same dragon motif outside (est. $120-$200).

By far the most viewed item to date has been lot #197 from the Sept. 9 session, an oil-on-canvas rendering of a stunning young nude Chinese lady. The work, in an image area of 30 inches by 24 inches and without stretchers, is expected to sell for $150-$250.

Rare and vintage clocks will dominate the Saturday session (Sept. 10). Two of the anticipated top earners include a very rare 19th-century, mahogany-cased regulator clock with a five-legged gravity escapement, made by Wainmann of Howden of England (est. $8,500-$12,500) and a 34-inch early banjo timepiece in the original “crossbanded” style, with a mahogany case attributed to Simon Willard (est. $6,000-$12,000).

Two Philadelphia mahogany tall case clocks are also expected to do well. One is an early 19th-century clock with a heroic painted dial with Federal eagle, signed Abraham Cassel of Germantown (Philadelphia), and another by David Weatherby (est. $4,000-$6,000). There is also an English or Scottish example by John Kennedy, whose engraved brass dial has an upper signature boss signed by the maker with an 8-day bell strike clockworks (est. $1,500-$2,500).

The second item expected to highlight the sale is this very fine blue and white ovoid (or pear form) vase from the Yuan Dynasty, which has a pre-auction estimate of $5,000-$8,000.

Other clocks to be sold include an impressive late 19th-century wall regulator by the E.N. Welch Company (est. 1,500-$3,000); a brass anchor escapement lantern clock signed on the dial “Thos. Mudge,” a weight-driven 17th-century clock with a later wood bracket (est. $1,500-$2,500); and several mahogany veneer and reverse painted ‘pillar and scroll’ clocks by the Terrys of Plymouth, Conn.

Rounding out the clocks category will be a fine and unusual chime clock by G.W. Russell (Philadelphia, circa late 1800s), housed in a glass covered dome and set on an old wooden base (est. $1,500-$2,000); and the “Perpetum,” a most unusual clock powered by steel balls that are stored above the clock and fall to the bottom, one by one (est. $700-$1,200).

The Sept. 10 session will feature much more than just vintage clocks. Furniture items will include a pair of cream-colored upholstered 1930s vintage easy chairs with laminated legs attributed to Alvar Aalto (Finnish, 1898-1976), circa 1931-1936 (est. $1,250-$3,500); and a fine, diminutive American mahogany Federal inlay server with two large cabinets and a central drawer (est. $1,000-$2,000).

Two violins are expected to get paddles wagging. One is a late 19th- or early 20th-century instrument by Leonardo Genaro with a fitted leather case, 23 inches in length, and designed to be a copy of Antonius Stradivarius (est. $500-$2,500); and a 19th-century example with labels from Wilhelm Fredel of Dresden, Germany (1875 and 1892), with fitted case and bow (est. $80-$100).

Also featured will be one of three impressionist oil paintings by Maurice Courant, depicting beach scenes; a large, professional-size astronomer’s refracting telescope attributed to W. & D. Mogey, with mounting stand and lenses (est. $600-$900); and a set of early 20th-century Patrician stemware by Josef Hoffman (Austrian, 1870-1956, est. $600-$800).

For more information about this auction, call 610.722.9004, e-mail to Gordon@ConverseClocks.com or visit the Gordon S. Converse & Co. website.

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