A single-trigger double barrel shotgun made around 1915 by English gun maker Westley Richards hit the mark for $12,500 – more than double its high estimate – to take top lot honors at a Fall Antiques, Fine Art, Firearms & Asian Auction held September 16, 2017, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, online and in the firm’s gallery at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston, RI.
The shotgun, with a 28-inch barrel and figured walnut stock, boasted a breech ornately engraved with stylized tendrils around panels of game birds and a trigger guard decorated with gold inlaid “A.” The top of the gun barrel was engraved, “Westley Richards, 178 New Bond Street, London, Gun Marker by Appointment to His Majesty George V.” All it needed was a thorough cleaning.
“After pulling the Westley Richards out of a collection comprised entirely of American firearms, it was the icing on the cake to see it achieve double its high estimate,” said Travis Landry, Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer. “It was an original survivor, a diamond in the rough.”
The auction attracted 85 registered in-house bidders and posted 55 alternate bids, including phone and absentee. Internet bidding was facilitated by Bidsquare.com, Invaluable.com, and LiveAuctioneers.com, in addition to the Bruneau & Co. website, at Bidlive.Bruneauandco.com.
“It was a fast-paced auction, with active bidding on all ends, whether it was the house, the phone or online,” said Kevin Bruneau, company president and auctioneer. “The diverse collection of Asian art was rare for our estate auctions, but the fine items in that and other categories provided a great opportunity for collectors to take home a prized piece. We had good results all around.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
The Asian category featured a 20th century Chinese apple green jadeite pendant necklace and earring set, with the pendants incised with florals, mounted in 14kt yellow gold ($3,750); and a lovely Chinese early 20th century porcelain avian tile, decorated with as pair of sparrows perched on a wisteria plant above a rocky path, measuring 16-3/4 inches by 11-1/2 inches, framed ($5,000).
An English Jacobean carved oak sideboard crafted in the second half of the 17th century, having three central large vertical drawers flanked by two drawers over a cabinet, the drawers carved with layered geometric fronts, the cabinet doors with cathedral panels, hammered for $3,750.
An early-to-mid 20th century Persian Oriental Bachtiari carpet, decorated with a tile-like floral pattern with a blue border, palace-size at 19 feet by 13 feet 5 inches, realized $3,125. Also, a German, post-World War II Walther model PP 9mm caliber semi-automatic factory gold-plated pistol (serial # 50502A), with smooth grips carved from the finest substrate, rang out at $2,500.
Two very different artworks posted identical selling prices of $1,375. The first was an oil on canvas study painting of a leopard by the German-American artist Hugo Bruel (1854-1910), signed lower left. The second was a large and original French Art Nouveau cognac advertising poster designed by Camille Bouchet, with male peacock graphic, 63-1/2 inches by 47-1/4 inches.
A fine American Empire flamed mahogany sideboard, made circa 1820 and featuring a tall backsplash with a central basket of fruit flanked by cornucopia and the original brass hardware, breezed to $1,625; and a large Japanese carved wood black over red lacquer bench made during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), ornately carved with dragon armrests and backrest, hit $1,125.
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers has a full slate of auctions through November. On Monday, October 16, the firm will conduct a DiscoverIt Estates Auction (live-only, no internet bidding), in the Cranston gallery, at 6 PM ET. That will be followed by a Video Game & Collectible Auction, also live-only, on Saturday, October 14, at 5 PM ET, at the Retroworld Expo.
Then, on Saturday, October 28, a Toy & Comic Art Auction will be held, with online bidding and live bidding in the Cranston gallery, starting at 12 PM; followed by a live-only DiscoverIt Estates Auction on Saturday, November 25, at 10 AM in the Cranston gallery. That same day, a huge Antiques & Fine Art Auction will be held, live and online, beginning at 12 PM.