In a successful auction week, from 18 to 23 June, Koller
was able to set the tone with a top quality range of works. The paintings department came up with prices in the millions for Paul Signac (CHF 1.83 million), a very rare early work by Salvador Dali (CHF 2.03 million) and Albert Anker. After the world record for Anker of CHF 7.4 million in December 2011, Koller can now confirm this years record with CHF 3.35 million for this artist. Fine antique furniture continues to offer the opportunity for the expression of individual taste, where private collectors in particular sometimes bid high. The Jewellery department also recorded a fine success with a turnover of CHF 2.2 million with its comprehensive range of works in diamonds and signed jewellery. Finally, Koller is delighted with the result of the auction of the collection of «Antiquités Ségal», where Meissen porcelain provided the greatest number of highlights.
Swiss, Modern and contemporary Art
Results in the millions for Dali, Signac and Anker
Again, at the auctions of Modern, Contemporary and Swiss Art at Koller, sale prices for the paintings were in the millions of Swiss Francs. In total the turnover for paintings reached CHF 15 million. This good result can be attributed to the broadly based range of top quality works at an international level, says Cyril Koller.
Albert Ankers «Strickendes Mädchen»(Girl knitting) at CHF 3.35 million made the record price for a Swiss painting this year (Lot 3010). Alongside Albert Ankers classic portrait of a girl, both works offered by Felix Vallotton «Le phare, soir» (Lot 3045) from 1915 and «La Seine à Mantes» from 1917 (Lot 3050) made prices of CHF 526 000 and CHF 336 000 respectively. In addition, Cuno Amiets depiction of his garden in Oschwand from 1947 with an estimate of around CHF 100 000 and a sale price of CHF 288 000 (Lot 3053) and Giovanni Giacomettis depiction of a field worker (Lot 3069), which was auctioned for CHF 240 000, proved very successful lots.
The paintings auction on 22 June also attracted great interest on an international level. Thus, an early work by Salvador Dali measuring 23x23cm went abroad for CHF 2 million (Lot 3235). A German private collector bought the summery painting by Paul Siganc «Bateaux au mouillage à Locmalo» from 1922 for CHF 1.83 million. (Lot 3206). Furthermore, Maurice Utrillos «Rue Norvins et place du Tertre, Montmartre» circa 1838-40 sold for CHF 86 000 (Lot 3210), and a painting by Christian Schad entitled «Napoli» was worth CHF 162 000 to a collector. Archipenkos fine bronze sculpture «seated black Concave» from 1915 (Lot 3219) changed owners for CHF 198 000. Contemporary works also achieved high prices. So, for example, the work «Ms Rubens» by Fernando Botero, went to the United States for 825 000 Swiss Francs (Lot 3329), and the 4-part painting by Juan Genovés, rose from an upper estimate of CHF 15 000 to the price of CHF 52 800 (Lot 3319).
The Ségal collection
Old Masters and Meissen in demand
The auction on 23 June of this enticingly valued inventory of the longstanding Basel gallery «Antiquités Ségal» saw some high points in the specialist areas of furniture, paintings and porcelain. Often the final bids were far above the estimates. The most successfull lot was a group of 40 terracotta «dance of death» couples, sold for CHF 69 900 (lot 564). Among the paintings was a scene of the «Sermon on the Mount of Olives», painted circa 1490 by a Master of the Alsace area, which, estimated at around CHF 7 000, reached a price of CHF 12 000 (Lot 136). A depiction of a forest with squirrel by a late follower of the Flemish master Otto M. van Schrieck from the 18th century, rose even higher, with an estimate of CHF 12 000 and a result of CHF 48 000 (Lot 296).
Among the furniture, a set of seven mahogany chairs from a Dutch master workshop circa 1790/1800 exceeded by four times its upper estimate of CHF 5 000 with a sale price of CHF 20 400 (Lot 434).
Several spectacular bidding wars took place over the Meissen. With Lot 184, a rare large platter from the «Gelber Löwe» (yellow lion) service from a Japanese palace, the bidding concluded within the estimate range, with a final price of CHF 36 000. On the other hand, for a Meissen tureen and cover with trading scenes and présentoir circa 1740, the upper estimate of CHF 15 000 was more than doubled with a hammer price of CHF 38 400 (Lot 277). An important travelling service with Boucher paintings, made at Meissen between 1765 and 1775, reached, as expected, a price of CHF 20 400 (Lot 303).
Furniture and decorative Arts
Individual preferences hold sway
The Furniture and Decorative Arts auction on 21 June showed again that, in this highly fragmented market, the individual style of the private collector is to be reckoned with. Thus, a Renaissance style casket made in 1880 in Birmingham, with an estimate of CHF 7 000, was sold to a buyer in Greece for CHF 38 400 (Lot 1215), while a Napoleon-III lacquer casket in the form of a Japanese pavilion by A. Giroux was sold to a buyer in Qatar for CHF 72 000 (Lot 1244).
Furthermore, among the furniture of the 19th century French ateliers, a pair of Royal stools bearing the stamp of the Tuileries and made circa 1822 sold for CHF 72 000 (Lot 1186) and a Louis XVI-style suite comprising sideboard and pair of consoles by Henry Dasson circa 1886 was sold for CHF 63 600 to a Swiss or English private collection (Lot 1239). Among the furniture of the 18th and 17th centuries, of note were a Louis XV guéridon circa 1750 with rose decoration by the Paris master P. Roussel, which went to a Swiss collector for CHF 72 000 (Lot 1085), and an early Baroque Tyrolean cabinet with a sale price of CHF 57 600 which went to an Austrian collector (Lot 1008).
Along with the furniture, works of note were an important French tapestry from the late Renaissance period with motifs from the miracle of Saint Bernard, with a sale price of CHF 54 000 (Lot 1006) and a skilfully crafted Viennese Louis XVI celadon ensemble with a sale price of CHF 66 000 (Lot 1131). The tapestry will go to Russia and the celadon garniture with bronze mounts will go to Qatar.
Jewellery and Wristwatches
Good results with diamonds and signed jewellery
The auction of jewellery and wristwatches on 19 June had in particular a fine range of diamonds on offer, and set the tone with attractive estimates for signed works by Van Cleef & Arpels, Gübelin, where all the lots were sold, and with works by Cartier. The top lot was a ring set with an octagonal 5.04 carat diamond and 32 smaller brilliant-cut diamonds, which went to a new owner with a sale price of CHF 168 000 at the upper end of the estimate (Lot 2045). Also selling within the estimate was an elegant pendant with an oval old-cut diamond of ca 9.00 carats and two smaller brilliant-cut diamonds at CHF 45 600 (Lot 2147).
Among the antique jewellery the highlight was a diamond and pearl brooch circa 1910. This Belle-Epoque piece with approximately 350 diamonds up to 1.70 ct. and laurel wreath motif, went to a new owner for CHF 69 600 (Lot 2109). Rather more colourful was the ruby, sapphire and diamond bracelet circa 1925 with fine Japanese floral motifs, which was sold for CHF 43 200 (Lot 2145). A successful piece of more recent date was the coral, diamond and gold necklace with matching bracelet by Van Cleef & Arples circa 1960 with a hammer price of CHF 31 200 (Lot 2208). Among the watches the top works were the Excalibur by Roger Dubuis, No. 58 of a limited edition of 88, with a sale price of CHF 90 000 (Lot 2389) and a yellow gold gentlemans wristwatch by Patek Philippe from the 1990s with eternal calendar and moon phase with a value of CHF 38 400 (Lot 2370).
A lively market with opportunities for enthusiasts and connoisseurs
At the Koller auction of African Art on 18 June, alongside numerous attractive objects in the lower price segment, a wellpublicised wooden figure from a Swiss private collection found a new owner at a price of CHF 45 600. The pole-style figure was venerated by the Oron people of Nigeria as part of their ancestor worship (Lot 1761). Although this Oron figure was sold at above the upper estimate, the real highlight of the auction was a 12.5 cm Lega figure made of ivory. Starting with an upper estimate of CHF 2 000 the final bid came to ten times that figure, which, after the commission, meant a sale price of CHF 24 000 (Lot 1802).
Falling within the estimate, on the other hand, and auctioned at CHF 31 200, was a highly stylised reliquary figure of the Kota people in the Congo, this figure having served to protect the relics of their dignitaries (Lot 1771). A very well conserved carved Songye mask with strikingly regular grooves from the Congolese ba kifwebe-secret society, worn at various ceremonial dances in order to ensure the social order, went to a new owner for CHF 22 800, which was in the region of the upper estimate of CHF 20 000 (Lot 1790).