As predicted, I’ve already received several auction catalogues this week. Here is an item from Bonham’s London “Period Design” sale that happened earlier this week.
Lot No: 336 A 19th century Anglo-Indian teak, bone inlaid and brass travelling writing / dressing box, the hinged lid enclosing a fitted interior including a mirror and hidden secret drawers, distressed(18.5″ wide, 9.5″ deep, 6.5″ high).
This is listed at $750-1200, with fees. Remember what we talked about in the last post? “The hammer price is not the price you pay”. There are always those pesky fees added. And don’t forget customs and shipping. Guessing that the New Year auction prices will be as soft generally soft as last years, my estimate for it would have been at the low end of the scale. Anglo-Indian items are still very hot, but it just sold for $550,including fees. Still, in a lovely retail environment, the cost would be around $3500. See what I mean about great values?
Domestically, Bonhams has an item in the New York “American Furniture” sale coming up in late January that I am dreaming about using to create an amazing guestroom.
Lot # 1213: An American Aesthetic inlaid and ebonized cherrywood bedroom suite
Herter Brothers, New York circa 1880
OMG! This is exceptional. Herter Brothers pieces rarely come on the market. Their work is in major collections in Europe and the US, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Imagine it in a bright white bedroom, painted white floors, with bedding and curtains of the finest, pure white, 100% Italian linen. A pure white, Barcelona leather chair and ottoman would be by the fireplace and white lacquered nightstands would complete the set. The final touch would be overscaled heavily carved giltwood 18th c. mirror over the fireplace, and, while we are dreaming, a set of Franz Kline paintings. A serene and stunning heaven would be the outcome.
Given the estimated hammer price of $20-30,000, this suite would be at least $95,000 in a gallery setting. If this goes at the low end and you complete the design, you’d have a very chic, million dollar look for a small fraction of that. At least you could make a down payment on the Franz Kline with the money you saved at auction!
If you need a single room done, I’d suggest you keep an open mind and start watching the auctions. You’ll come up with something you never would have dreamed of and feel very proud of yourself for your smart thriftiness and your contribution to sustainable design!