PITTSBURGH – At 9 a.m. Sept. 11, Dargate commenced its planned bimonthly six-day auction.
At 9:15 a.m. the sale was interrupted by the horrible news of the attack on the World Trade Center.
Telephones were immediately made available to those present, but the auction then resumed, with the first day completed by 1 p.m.
Larry and Carol Farley, majority owners of Dargate, made the decision to continue through the six-day auction despite the tragedy. They said the President and the Secretary of State had requested that the United States people carry on.
“As we have seen,” Farley said, “cancellation of business negatively affects the economy, only making a bad situation worse. Our thanks to all our consignors and buyers for their confidence and participation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
Gallery & eBay. Consignments of 2,600 lots by 165 sellers were presented over six days to 812 registered gallery bidders and to more than 2,700 registrations on Icollector/eBay Live Auctions.
The first three days items were offered to gallery bidders only. The 1,426 lots presented during the last three days were offered simultaneously to gallery bidders and bidders participating through Live Auctions.
Internet sales went to 212 eBay buyers, who purchased 37 percent of the lots. That was 23 percent of the total sales on those three days.
Art sale. Highlights from the sale included a framed Highland Sheep scene painting by British artist William Watson, which brought $14,100 against a presale low estimate of $9,000. It was purchased by a telephone bidder from Ohio.
Also bringing $14,100 was a tavern scene by Hungarian artist Herman Armin Kern, sold to a Pittsburgh collector who outbid an art dealer from Germany on the telephone.
Five Louise Nevelson paintings brought a total of $13,000, with New York buyers snapping up three works, while a California buyer and a Maryland buyer purchased one each.
A Los Angeles bidder on Icollector/eBay won out at $6,500 over a Chicago Internet bidder on Pablo Picasso’s “Le Repos du Sculpteur II” from the Vollard Suite,1933.”
Furniture. In the furniture sale, a Limbert oak dining table was the high seller, bringing $7,000. Also sold were 10 Stickley oak ladderback side chairs bought by a Pittsburgh retail buyer for $2,900; a pair of Barcelona chairs and ottoman sold to another Pittsburgh retail buyer for $5,000; and an American Federal-Empire sideboard, sold to an Icollector/eBay bidder from Pennsylvania who outbid a Pittsburgh dealer at $3,200.
A restored Aaron Willard American tall case clock was a surprise, selling for $11,000 to a local antiques dealer who battled two out-of-town dealers. Because of its restored condition it had a presale low estimate of $5,900.
Another American tall case clock by William Durfee sold by telephone for $7,000.
Two carpets from the Shields property lead the rug sales, with an 11 by 17-foot antique Kurd Bidjar bringing $10,600, and a 4 by 16-food antique Turkish Yuruk $5,300
High jewelry. The high jewelry lot was a 14k gold and diamond bracelet with 11 carats of diamonds that sold for $4,700 to a Pittsburgh retail buyer.
A seven-lot collection of Civil War paper records of the 6th West Virginia Volunteers brought $3,600. A collection of mostly 19th century American books from the Shields property comprised 87 lots sold for a total of $13,100.
A disappointment was the sale of a one-owner collection of authenticated Costa Rican pre-Columbian artifacts, with only 22 lots of 46 that were put up for sale actually selling. They brought $4,750.
A Tiffany lamp with a #550 base and a Moorish turtleback shade sold to a local collector for $12,300. It was estimated at $17,600, but had lost some of the original patina on the base. A Louis Vuitton steamer trunk went for $2,000 to an Arizona bidder.
Delivery problem. And in one of the most interesting sales, an Icollector/eBay bidder from Massachusetts bought a full-size 19th century Prairie Wagon for $1,300.
“I expect he is going to need horses, driver, and trail boss to make the delivery from Pittsburgh,” Farley said.