December auction saw Dargate’s largest ever bidding audience

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PITTSBURGH – With over 550 registered gallery bidders and a total of 3,458 registered Internet buyers, Dargate Auction Galleries saw its largest bidding audience ever with over 4,000 contenders.

The sale totaled $790,000.

Buyers vied to win more than 3,100 lots over the five-day sale. The main attraction was the Americana collection of Ann Ryan of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Gallery, Internet and telephone bidders competed to own a late 18th century Chippendale block-front secretary from New England. The upper section was topped with a flame finial, and two blind doors with cyma carved panels opened to reveal a number of various-sized open compartments. The lower section had four front drawers beneath a plain slant front, which concealed a fabulously fitted interior. The secretary was hammered down to a Pittsburgh buyer for $38,180.

An American Chippendale piecrust tilt-top tea table originally from Philadelphia sold to a Maryland buyer for $10,575. The figured mahogany one-piece circular top had a piecrust rim with various ogee and crescent forms, and tilted and revolved above a birdcage support, which in turn was supported by a fluted column resting on a compressed ball knop. The whole rested on three legs with plain knees, which terminated in ball-and-claw feet.

An American Federal over mantle mirror exceeded its estimate, selling for $4,990.

An American Hepplewhite inlaid tall case clock with a swan-neck pediment with carved rosettes and a vase finial sold to a Pennsylvania buyer for $15,275.

English pieces. In addition to her collection of Americana, Ryan also owned some English pieces. A George III Hepplewhite sideboard sold to a New York City buyer for $11,160. The sideboard was constructed of mahogany, flame grain mahogany, satinwood and oak and had a paterae and shell inlay.

A pair of George III knife boxes with inlay sold to a Mississippi buyer for $3,800.

A marble and agate grandmother’s clock from a local estate drew in several bidders. The late 19th century French clock was in the Egyptian revival style, and had ormolu anthemion corner pendants, female busts, swans, laurel wreaths and paw feet. It sold to a New York buyer for $3,800.

Fine art. Fine art from the Ryan collection included two works on canvas by American artist Alvan Fisher. “Rest on the Trail” depicted figures and a covered wagon in a landscape with a mountain range in the background. The unsigned painting sold to a Pittsburgh buyer for $9,980. “Watching the Cattle” sold to the same Pittsburgh buyer for $10,575.

Also unsigned, it pictured a seated farmer and his dog tending the herd. From the same collection, a fine 19th century ship painting by the artist Carolus Ludovicus Weyts sold to an Internet bidder for $5,875.

Five large folio works by Currier and Ives were among the highlights of the art offered. “The Grand Drive Central Park, New York,” circa 1869 sold to a New York telephone bidder for $8,225. The print sold above its estimate and depicted an afternoon in the park.

A pair of Parisian street scenes by Antoine Blanchard sold to a Washington state buyer for $5,875. and $7,050. The paintings depicted the artist’s typical subject matter, gray and busy Paris streets lined with people.

Regional artists were represented, with an early oil on board by George Hetzel that sold to a Pennsylvania buyer for $7,600.

A fine 19th century stained glass window depicting a seated cupid playing the horn for an audience of birds in a landscape came late in the last day of the auction. Several bidders battled over the window, until it was hammered down to a Pittsburgh telephone bidder for $11,160.

Other items. The early portion of Thursday’s sale included hundreds of pieces of vintage Fiesta pottery. Plates, bowls, pitchers, salt and pepper shakers and other pieces of the kitchen ware brought a combined total of $14,335.

Notable silver items included a George III Paul Storr sterling silver flower bowl. The bowl was hallmarked London, 1808, and featured a classical design based on the Warwick vase which was found in Hadrian’s Villa around 1770. A buyer from Maryland secured the vase with a bid of $4,700.

A 90-piece set of Tiffany English King vermeil flatware sold for $7,600 to a Chicago buyer.

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