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Crotal Bell

Art and Antiques Shine at January Auction


A fine bronze sculpture of a female nude by Mexican-born realist Enrique Alferez, titled The Bather, done in 1983, climbed to $13,750 at Bruneau & Company Auctioneers’ Winter Antiques & Fine Arts Auction held Saturday, January 6, 2018.

The 379-lot auction, conducted at Bruneau & Company’s Cranston Gallery, attracted around 135 in-house bidders, despite frigid temperatures. The 60 phone bidders and 15 absentee bidders accounted for 277 bids, while over 10,000 people registered to bid online via the three platforms Invaluable.com, LiveAuctioneers.com and Bidsquare.com as well as Bidlive.

The sale’s top lot was the Alferez sculpture, dated 1983. Standing 8¼ inches tall, it depicted a nude woman kneeling and wringing her hair after bathing. Alferez signed it on the base, along the edge. Alferez drew influence from his Mexican heritage and in general the Art Deco period. He was an active artistic leader in the WPA and created numerous landmarks throughout Louisiana.

Kicking off the auction were 75 lots of fine art from several prominent estates, including pieces from a gentleman’s collection out of Dorchester, Mass. That was followed by 19th and 20th century decorative arts, to include fine bronzes, elegant and unusual chandeliers and Part 1 of a collection of over 60 lots of Chinese Export porcelain out of New York.

An Italian Baroque carved walnut figural table stand, from the late 18th or early 19th century, with beautifully carved wolves, blossoming bellflowers, putto and more, went for $5,000 while a late 19th or early 20th century pair of Italian floral decorated side console cabinets on tapered legs, with Florentine decorated mirrors carved with an openwork floral design topped out at $3,125.

A pair of Egyptian Revival bronze bookends by the American sculptor Ephraim Keyser, titled The Wireless, depicting a nude male whispering into the ear of a Sphinx, rose to $3,750, and a German 20th century Black Forest carved figural bookcase shelf, naturalistically carved with timber form supports adorned with bear cub figures, 72 inches tall, brought $6,875.

Two Chinese lots posted identical selling prices of $3,438. One was a Ming dynasty archaistic bronze vase of Hu form, decorated with a banded pattern in relief over a stylized Greek key pattern background, 8 ¼ inches tall. The other was a watercolor on paper painting of radishes, with the image flanked on the right by a calligraphic poem, 14 inches by 16 inches in the frame.

A bird’s-eye maple cylindrical stick barometer, crafted around 1865 by artisan Charles Wilder of Petersborough, N.H., 38 ½ inches long and known as “the baseball bat barometer,” made $2,074.

Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers is announcing a new schedule for 2018. There will be no pre-sale with the estate auctions, as before. They will always be on the first Saturday of each month and will start at 11 am Eastern. Monday night auctions will be held the third Monday of every month.

The next estate auction will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 11 A.M. in the Cranston Gallery. Already consigned, as stated, is the figural bronze sculpture of a mother and child by Jose Luis Cuevas, plus a beautiful pair of Murano art glass penguins by Italian glassmaker Gino Cenedese.

To learn more about Bruneau & Company Auctioneers and the Saturday, February 3 auction, visit their Web site.

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