PITTSBURGH – Dargate Auction Galleries made history March 17 as one of the first auction houses to broadcast a live sale over the Internet.
More than 700 lots were offered that day at the auction and live broadcast, a partnership with the British-based iCollector. The sale drew more than 650 registered gallery buyers and over 1,000 online users.
A bronze sculpture by Gutzon Borglum brought an online bid of $13,000, the highest winning Internet bid ever recorded by iCollector.
Borglum, a successful American artist, was one of the sculptors of Mount Rushmore. The bronze depicted a nude woman cradling a baby in her lap. The buyer was logged on to the live sale from Texas.
Prices listed do not include Dargate’s buyer’s premium of 17.5 percent.
Realizing the highest price of all the lots was an antique Persian heriz carpet, circa 1900. Comprised of rich shades of rust and black, and with muted ivories and greens, it measured a considerable 12-by-19 feet. The estate carpet, which had been in the same Pennsylvania home since it was new, brought $27,500 from a Pittsburgh buyer.
Among the items that attracted the most attention were the more than 100 pieces of sterling silver and silverplate from two prominent Pittsburgh estates.
A three-piece Georg Jensen tea service c. 1925 sold for $5,000. The sterling silver service, raised on toed feet, sold to a Pittsburgh buyer. Another Jensen piece, a circa 1945 compote, sold to a London buyer for $1,700.
A four-piece place setting of Jensen’s “Scroll” flatware sold to an eBay bidder for $1,300.
The first lot of the day, a Graff sterling silver flower bowl, sold to an Internet buyer for $1,900. A massive Durgin sterling silver tea service, weighing over 320 troy ounces total, sold to a Pittsburgh buyer for $8,000. The service, made circa 1925 by the New England company that would later become the Gorham Corporation, was made up of seven pieces.
The same buyer snapped up a Reed and Barton “Georgian” sterling silver tea service. The service also included seven pieces and also sold for $8,000.
The top lot of the paintings was an oil on canvas by the British artist Gainsborough Dupont, nephew of Thomas Gainsborough. The painting was a half-length portrait of William Pitt, the Younger. It sold to an English buyer for $18,000.
A pair of circa 1830-1880 China trade paintings went to a local Pittsburgh buyer for $11,000.
A pair of large Neoclassic bronze torchieres, circa 1900, sold to a local buyer for $16,000. The torchieres had come from a synagogue where they had resided since their donation over 50 years ago.
A pair of 19th century cranberry glass and gilt vases, attributed to Moser, sold to a New York City buyer for $4,750.