A 17th century oil on canvas figural rendering, attributed to the Italian painter Francisco Albani (1578-1660) with provenance, from the estate of Holocaust survivor Edith Alexander (1922-2016), is estimated to sell for $4,000-$12,000 at an auction planned for Sunday, January 22, 2017, by Auction Life, online and at the Ramada Suites Boca hotel, 701 NW 53rd Street, Boca Raton, FL.
The 34 inch by 26 inch painting shows Lucretia, a legendary figure from ancient Rome. She is depicted as a semi-recumbent person in armor, flanked by bathing women, another woman behind her, a group of five angels plus three other angels in the heavens. There’s also an obelisk and two less visible figures. The background is a landscape with a dropped dagger in the center.
Mrs. Alexander was born Edith Reich in Czechoslovakia, the daughter of a Jewish crystal and glass merchant. She was living the carefree life of a beautiful young 21-year-old dental assistant when the Hungarians invaded during World War II. She was separated from her mother, who she never saw again, and spent the rest of the war in forced labor at three Nazi concentration camps.
“As an auctioneer and estate buyer, it isn’t often I get the chance to get to know the collector of the items I’m auctioning, but it was a true pleasure getting to know Mrs. Alexander before she left us, to hear her life stories and her survival of such a horrific event,” said Tarek Jabaly, the owner of Auction Life, based in Palm Beach County. “I’m honored to feature her collection from around the world, and now offer it to the world.” Mrs. Alexander had been living in Boca Raton.
The auction has been dubbed “Third Time’s a Charm” because this will be Auction Life’s third auction and will feature a wide assortment of jewelry items, many from Mrs. Alexander’s estate. The auction will start right at 1 PM ET. For those unable to attend live and in person, internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, and Auctionzip.com.
One of Mrs. Alexander’s estate items with an interesting backstory is the beautiful matching pair of bronze candelabras, each one 34 inches in height and exhibiting remarkable detail and quality. Mrs. Alexander purchased them from none other than Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – the deposed Shah of Iran – at his Manhattan apartment. The pair are estimated to command $1,000-$10,000.
A gorgeous white jade beaded necklace and pendant and an equally stunning 14kt gold jade beaded necklace and carved pendant were purchased by Mrs. Alexander in China about 50 years ago and will be sold to the highest bidder. The former boasts 40 white jade beads and four pierced gold beads, connected by gold linkage (est. $500-$1,500). The latter depicts two beasts in a friendly fight with a 14kt gold bail and mount and a green beaded necklace (est. $250-$750).
Also acquired 50 years ago by Mrs. Alexander, but in Egypt, are a large 18kt gold Egyptian King Tutankhamun ring and pendant, to be sold as separate lots (the ring estimated at $350-$1,050 and the pendant $900-$2,700). The pendant is a heavy vintage piece, 2-1/2 inches in height, depicting a remarkably detailed pharaoh. The ring shows a pharaoh’s face. Another matching 14kt ring and pendant will also come under the gavel.
Mrs. Alexander was born at around the time King Tut’s tomb was discovered. Because of that, she always fancied that she might be the reincarnation of Queen Nefertiti and had a lifelong love affair with all things Egyptian. A truly remarkable piece being sold is her 18kt gold Egyptian pharaoh temple scene pendant with amazingly detailed hieroglyphics, patterns, and subjects. The piece has wire work design to the reverse and depicts a pharaoh. It should fetch $1,500-$4,500.
A 19th century Austrian Royal Vienna gold gilt urn, 15 inches tall, with hand-painted scenes of classical philosophers and warriors on a cobalt and embossed gilt ground is expected to finish at $1,000-$2,000. The urn suggests Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt (1798-1801) and is artist signed “C. Heeli.” The urn is believed to be from the “Golden Age” series and weighs almost four lbs.
A rare, limited edition pair of Marc Chagall spinning bronze vitraux columns, signed and numbered (160/300), each one standing 10-1/4 inches tall, will be sold as one lot, with an estimate of $1,000-$3,000. What makes this offering so tantalizing is the fact that research didn’t turn up a single instance of another pair being sold at auction. This is likely to drive up the final price.
A signed artist’s proof serigraph of the artist Erte’s famous image Symphony in Black (from his “At the Theatre” suite), 39 inches by 32 inches (framed), should realize $400-$1,200. The piece represents a costume designed for Black Velvet, a show at the London Palladium in 1938. Every showgirl is shown with a dog. The iconic image has been copied and reproduced countless times.
Another iconic image, this one a lithograph of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn (Marilyn Monroe), is signed and numbered in pencil by Warhol (“33/126”) and comes with a certificate of authenticity (est. $400-$1,200). Also up for bid will be a beautiful bronze figural white marble antique mantel clock depicting a mother (or goddess) with a cherub (or cupid). It should make $750-$2,250.
Returning to jewelry, two lots carry identical pre-sale estimates of $500-$1,500. One is a lovely antique solid 18kt gold and jeweled crown pendant and pin boasting 22 emeralds and 20 rubies. The other is a visually arresting pair of 22kt gold baroque earrings with heavy duty threaded post and screw-on clip.
In all, 300 lots will come up for bid. An auction preview will be held on auction day, Sunday, January 22, from 11 AM until the first gavel falls at 1 PM ET. Phone and absentee bids will be accepted. A buyer’s premium will be applied to all winning bids. This is just the third auction for Auction Life. The firm’s first two sales, held on July 24 and October 16, were huge successes.
Auction Life’s team of consulting specialists has over 50 years’ of combined experience in the fields of estate jewelry, fine art, sterling silver, diamonds and antiques. Tarek, the owner, has been heavily involved in the South Florida auction industry for years, as an auctioneer, estate buyer, manager, auction coordinator, consignor liaison, and other functions.
AuctionLife is currently seeking quality consignments for future auctions. To inquire about selling an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (561) 757-1551 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Auction Life and the “Third Time’s a Charm” auction on Sunday, January 22 in Boca Raton, visit www.AuctionLifeFlorida.com.