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Auction Report: Heritage Auction Galleries Fine Silver and Object d’Vertu

by Christopher Kent (03/03/09).

Heritage Auction Galleries presents auction number 5016 on March 19, a luminous collection of fine and important silver and object d’vertu.

The collection of 676 items opens the auction with the striking, singular designs of Mexican silver jewelry coupled with the luminous names that defined the unique pieces in the ’30s through the ’50s. Designers William Spratling, Antonio Pineda and Hector Aguilar highlight this important auction. Not to be outdone, the sale includes fine and important silver pieces by Tiffany, Gorham, Morgens Ballin, George Jensen, continental silver from Russia, Austria, France along with some interesting and highly desirable Georgian silver serving pieces.

Taxco, Mexico, was the leading center for exquisite silver jewelry design. And the unique interpretation by highly skilled designers lent an individual and singular interpretation to art nouveau and Art Deco second to none. Lot 71119, an obsidian and sterling-silver bracelet by Antonio Pineda, is a fine example. The estimate is $1,500 to $2,500.

Antonio Pineda obsidian and silver bracelet

Antonio Pineda obsidian and silver bracelet

Lot 71101, a bracelet by Hector Aguilar circa 1940 is Deco of the finest. The bracelet is fully hallmarked and designed with three balls alternating with squared planes and secured with a signature spring clasp. The estimate is $1,000 to $1,500.

Hector Aguilar Art Deco bracelet

Hector Aguilar Art Deco bracelet

One the highlights of the fine silver pieces is Lot 71523, a Martelé silver and silver-gilt loving cup. The loving cup has an undulating rim and silver gilt interior. The chased repoussé design consists of flowers caught up in sweeping lines between the handles with floral decoration rising from engraved leaf feet. According to Gorham where the piece was conceived in 1905, it took Peter Monsen 47 hours to make the cup followed by an additional 61 hours to chase the design, which was done by Paul Hansen. The estimated cost of the piece in 1905 was $150, but today the estimate is $25,000 to $35,000 with a minimum bid of $12,500.

Martelé silver and silver-gilt loving cup

Martelé silver and silver-gilt loving cup

Lot 71471 is an Indian warrior silver-gilt and enamel serving fork from Tiffany & Co., New York, N.Y., circa 1884. The serving fork is designed in the Indian pattern with enamel accents to the medicine dance figural terminal as well as inset within the geometric patterning on the bowl and stem. The minimum bid for the piece is $4,500 with an estimate of $9,000 to $12,000.

Indian warrior serving fork

Indian warrior serving fork

Lot 71326 is an exquisite American oval two-handled centerpiece on floral feet. Made by Gorham in 1875, this 18-inch centerpiece has a pierced-work border of masks amid scrolling foliage with four applied floral basses, finished with scroll handles terminating in an acanthus furl with a shaped rim flaring over the handles. Estimate: $8,000 to $12,000 with an opening bid of $4,000.

Two-handled centerpiece

Two-handled centerpiece

Christopher Kent is a member of the WorthPoint board of advisers and director of evaluations for WorthPoint. He is also an antiques and collectibles generalist, fine-arts broker and president of CTK Design.

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