Don Presley to auction Beverly Hills private collection of exquisite antique clocks, porcelain, silver and art, Nov. 5-6

October 24th, 2011 by

Featured additional highlight: John Wayne’s silver-trimmed leather saddle

Bronze and Sevres porcelain clock and garniture set, one of many from a Beverly Hills private collection. Don Presley Auction image.

ORANGE, Calif. – The 90210 zip code has become a familiar destination for Southern California auctioneer Don Presley, and on Nov. 5-6, Presley will again present a premier private collection sourced directly from a Beverly Hills estate. This time the contents consist of superb clocks, silver, porcelains and other fine and decorative art from a collector whom Presley describes as having “an eye for the exquisite.” A fine jewelry wholesaler by profession, the consignor has always selected pieces of the highest quality for their collection, never settling for anything less.


The Beverly Hills collection comprises 400 of the 1,000 lots to be auctioned, and features 200 absolutely fresh to the market antique European and American clocks.


“This is such a great clock collection that visitors to our gallery have been asking if a high-end antique store went out of business – but that’s not the case. This is a collection built over many years by an individual who happens to love beautiful clocks and porcelains, and knows how to pick the very best,” Presley said.


“When I first went to visit the collection, my jaw dropped,” Presley continued. “I could not believe what I saw on the walls and shelves – gorgeous champleve clocks, Tiffany, Sevres, old silver. These are the kinds of things that make an auctioneer love his business.”


The spectacular array of fancy French clocks features 18th- and 19th-century designs, including gilt bronze figural,

Circa-1710 French boulle clock, signed “JB Baillon Paris,” one of the earliest of its type and one of three antique boulle clocks in the auction. From a Beverly Hills private collection. Don Presley Auction image.

tortoiseshell, dore bronze, inlaid marquetry, bronze and porcelain; and elegant champleve designs, as well as many 3-piece clock and garniture sets. There are no fewer than 10 jewel-face miniature French clocks and a fine collection of carriage clocks, including Tiffany & Co.


Among the innumerable highlights are six French boulle clocks – one of them dating to around 1710 and signed “JB Baillon Paris.” At least two of the clocks are among the earliest of their type to have been manufactured. A magnificent gilt bronze horse-drawn chariot clock, with figures of two riders and a lion, also dates to the 18th century.


Taking pride of place in the collection are no fewer than six clocks from Tiffany & Co., including a rare bronze bell-shape clock supported by two pillars and a crossbar. Japy Freres produced the mechanism for at least one of the Tiffany clocks to be auctioned.


A sumptuous 200-piece selection of fine porcelain features many designs by Sevres, including lavishly gilded pairs of lidded urns, clock sets and an ornately decorated tray. An Old Paris hand-painted vase exhibits the unmistakable aesthetic favored by many porcelain artists in the City of Paris during the mid to latter 18th century. Other manufactories represented in the collection include: Meissen, Limoges, Dresden, and Villeroy & Boch. These exalted names of golden-era porcelain are also seen in the vast array of cups and saucers to be sold.


Pair of marked 18th-century Jean Baptiste Francois candelabra having a total weight of 250 ozt. From a Beverly Hills private collection. Don Presley Auction image.

The Presley gallery is laden with heavy sterling silver, including a complete International Silver La Paglia-designed tea service with tray, an S. Kirk & Son double-handle repousse urn with lid, and a pair of 18th-century Jean Baptiste Francois candelabra having a total weight of 250 ozt. One of the candelabra has a Francois mark designated for Paris, while the other bears a 1784 stamp for Semur. Additional candelabra lots are Sevres style and of gilt bronze and marble.


A 31-piece Moser cranberry stemware set is among the top lots in the glassware and art glass section, which also includes designs by Galle, Lalique, Tiffany, Loetz and Steuben. Extravagantly gilded, a set of green glass goblets might be of Russian origin.


Antique Asian ivory continues to draw the bidders to Presley’s sales. The Nov. 5-6 event includes a pair of 3-ft.-tall elephant tusks, figures of Immortals and elephants, a “jeweled” Guan Yin figure on pedestal, and a lady’s fan with gilded frame, among many other ivory objects.


Paintings and bronzes – many by listed artists – will be auctioned. Russian icons and a pair of signed and framed Napoleon and Josephine portraits, hand-painted on ivory, are among the select offerings.


A featured lot that combines Hollywood legend with the lore of California’s Old West is a leather saddle made by the

John Wayne’s personal silver-trimmed saddle, initials ‘JW,’ with matching bridle and breast collar, extensive provenance. Don Presley Auction image.

Visalia Stock Saddle Co. of San Francisco for American screen icon John Wayne. Heavily tooled overall and trimmed with sterling silver conchos, stirrups and other adornments, the saddle also bears a silver diamond-shape cartouche engraved with the initials “JW.” The saddle comes with a matching bridle and breast collar, and is accompanied by extensive provenance and a letter of authenticity. “This saddle dates to the early days of John Wayne’s career, and with the interest currently so strong in items having a personal connection to John Wayne, this saddle should prove very appealing to collectors,” Presley said.


An additional 600 items from several California estates, collectors and other consignors add variety to the Nov. 5-6 auction inventory. The sale summary reveals many pieces of Chinese jade, hand-painted scrolls, musical instruments, a 40-piece majolica collection, a 1933 Rock-ola 5¢ Horse Race Sweepstakes trade stimulator, and novelty furniture designed as a 1956 Chevy sofa and Harley-Davidson chairs with saddlebags.


For the adventurous, Don Presley suggests the remote control twin-engine F-15 Navy jet. “It’s 7 feet long and can reach a top speed of 200 miles per hours. But before anyone decides to fire it up, they should be aware that it requires a special license. It’s a big plane,” Presley said.


Both the Saturday and Sunday sessions will commence at 12 noon Pacific Time. Preview daily 9-5. The gallery is located at 1319 W. Katella Ave., Orange, CA 92867. All forms of bidding will be available, including at the gallery, by phone, absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers and Proxibid. For additional information, call Don Presley at 714-633-2437 or e-mail Visit the company’s website at

Swann Galleries – Old Master Through Modern Prints

October 21st, 2011 by
In addition to stunning Old Master prints by Rembrandt van Rijn, there are important 19th and 20th century works by James A.M. Whistler, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso. The cover lot is Rembrandt’s The Windmill (detail), etching and drypoint, 1641.

Sotheby’s Paris – Art Impressionniste & Moderne

October 21st, 2011 by

The sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in Paris on December 8th will present a host of exceptional Surrealist works, beginning with three major paintings by Max Ernst (in particular La Carmagnole painted circa 1927), a masterpiece by Roberto Matta from 1942 (Le Pendu) and a remarkable composition by Wifredo Lam (L’arbre aux miroirs, 1945) as well as impressive works by André Masson, Victor Brauner and Salvador Dalí. Other highlights include important works of modern art by artists such as Picasso, Metzinger, Picabia and Miró, who is represented by a rare sculpture from the 1960s.

Sotheby’s New York – Contemporary Art Auctions

October 21st, 2011 by

The November 9th auction of Contemporary Art in New York is highlighted by a rare and significant offering of four paintings by Clyfford Still, sold by the city of Denver to benefit the Clyfford Still Museum. The museum, which opens November 18, 2011, will permanently house the estate of the artist and his widow which encompass nearly 94% of the oeuvre of this founder of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Only 77 paintings by Clyfford Still are known to remain in private hands, so the four paintings to be offered through Sotheby’s (expected to realize over $50 million) are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire an icon of 20th century art. Spanning the years 1940-1976, the selection of paintings traces the arc of the artist’s career from his early Surrealist period to the majestic abstractions of 1947-1949 that presage the expansive canvases of the 1970s.

Sotheby’s Paris – Collection Fabius Frères

October 21st, 2011 by

Exhibition in Paris:

Fri, 21 Oct 11 | 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Sat, 22 Oct 11 | 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Sun, 23 Oct 11 | 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Mon, 24 Oct 11 | 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Tue, 25 Oct 11 | 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Arbor Antiques – The Hitt Estate Sale

October 21st, 2011 by


Premier Bill Powell antique advertising and toy collection leads ‘endless variety’ in Noel Barrett’s Nov. 18-19 auction

October 19th, 2011 by

Scarce circa-1885 full-color stone-lithographed paper advertising sign for Grand Chief Cigars, 28in. by 22in., est. $2,500-$3,500. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

NEW HOPE, Pa. – “In this business there are only about a half dozen people who can honestly be described as having a golden eye. Bill Powell is one of them,” said Noel Barrett, whose Nov. 18-19 auction features Powell’s peerless personal collection of antique advertising and toys.


Those who have come to know Bill Powell over the years from his beautiful displays at major antique and Americana shows know him as the “go-to guy” for great trade signs, fabulous store fixtures and rare lithographed paper-on-wood toys, Barrett said.


“Bill is one of the great pickers. He would hop into his car and drive all night if something special awaited him at the other end. Whenever you would come upon his booth at a show, you’d know immediately whose it was. He has always favored antiques that are figural, unusual, and have marvelous colors and patina,” Barrett said.


Powell’s collection will be offered in approximately 400 lots during the auction’s

Painted tin on wood ice cream shop sign that advertises confections and beverages, 5ft. tall, est. $8,000-$12,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

second (Saturday) session. It includes many highly desirable late-19th- and early 20th-century painted-wood signs, each a unique creation. Some are monumental in size, like the 5-ft.-wide “Harness and Horse Collars” trade sign decorated with two stylized horses’ heads and made to fit over a barn door. Two Ingersoll Watch signs are of equally grand size, while several optician signs – one with an oversized pair of spectacles, complete with peering eyes, and the message “Glasses Fitted” – measure 4ft. from end to end.


Another exceptional trade sign is crafted as an actual sled, nearly 8ft. long and painted in red, white and blue with the name “Sonny-Boy.” Other dimensional trade signs include a stylish high-button shoe, a butcher shop bull’s head, and a milliner’s figure of a gentleman wearing a stovepipe hat.


Late-19th-century stone lithography created some of the most colorful signs and posters ever made. Favorites in Powell’s collection include “Laugh At Cigar,” which depicts a circa-1895 saloon interior; and “DeWitt’s Remedies,” with an elaborately detailed image of an early dry goods store.


1940s-vintage painted tin sign advertising Bud’s Service Center, artist signed, classic depiction of mid-century Americana, 61in. tall by 56in. wide, est. $8,000-$12,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

America’s early shipping and display containers bore colorfully illustrated labels. Powell’s collection includes many such tobacco barrels, cardboard boxes and tins; as well as wood shipping crates with applied paper labels.


In the same vein, Powell built an exquisite sub-collection of lithographed paper-on-wood toys. Many of his superb 19th-century American boats came from the collection of the late William F. Holland, a pioneer American toy collector. Vehicular toys include a wonderful S.A. Smith wheeled eagle with flapping wings, a Paris Mfg. Co. child’s hook & ladder wagon, and an all-original circa-1880 velocipede.


The “endless variety,” as Barrett describes it, also includes metal and porcelain signs; salesmen’s samples, early cigar boxes and figures; lithographed heavy cardboard signs, antique barber poles and primitive fire escape systems; advertising thermometers, and 10 early air rifles and BB guns.


The 400-lot Friday session offers a panoramic history of American patriotism with the Greg and Molly Caron collection.

Half-round leaded-glass window featuring Liberty figure, from a Hartford Insurance Co. building, 82in. wide by 44in. tall, est. $7,000-$10,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

One of the most highly prized pieces in this connoisseurs’ collection is a painted-wood shield from a War of 1812 warship. The shield was among the contents of the Barbour family’s White Birches Lodge at Follensby Pond in New York’s Adirondack region. It is thought to have come from a ship that operated on Lake Champlain; its counterpart bowsprit is held in the Shelburne Museum collection. The shield is estimated at $18,000-$22,000.


The Caron collection also includes an Adirondack twig table with flag, a painted camp chair with shield, early Uncle Sam parade costumes, a huge array of political and patriotic memorabilia; and a spectacular half-round leaded-glass window featuring a Liberty figure from a Hartford Insurance Co. building.


Selection of boxed antique clockwork character toys by the French maker Fernand Martin. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Adding the finishing touch to the Friday session is the Frank Mohr collection of classic 19th- and early 20th-century American and European trains and toys; extraordinary automata, and Continental toys by Fernand Martin, Lehmann and Gunthermann.


The Mohr collection features one of the largest selections of Ives clockwork toys to come to market in recent years. There are many dancers, including the seldom-seen revolving cakewalk couple; acrobats, boxers, a scarce circus horseback rider, General Grant Smoker, and numerous desirable forms with an African-American theme, such as Suffragette, Stump Speaker, Washerwoman and Nursemaid.


An impressive mid-18th-century Scottish dolls’ house is known by the name of its one-time owner, a Mrs. Farie. The Farie House was a 6-room cottage-style structure when it came into Mrs. Farie’s possession in the 19th century. She added a basement, third floor and finely crafted staircases and paneled doors. During the 20th century, the house was thoroughly cleaned, redecorated and electrified. It has been featured in several books by renowned doll authority the late Flora Gill Jacobs, and appeared in House & Garden magazine. Its auction estimate is $40,000-$50,000.


Noel Barrett’s Friday, Nov. 18 session will commence at 4 p.m., with a same-day preview from 9-4. The Saturday, Nov. 19 session starts at noon with a three-hour preview starting at 9 a.m. The auction will take place at the Eagle Fire Hall, 42 N. Sugan Rd., New Hope, PA 18938. Internet live bidding and online absentee bidding will be available through


For additional information call 215-297-5109 or e-mail Visit Barrett’s website at

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers – Seeking Consignments

October 17th, 2011 by

Leslie Hindman is now seeking consignments for their December 11th-12th Fine Art Auction. Modern and Contemporary Art | American and European Art, Old Master, Modern, Contemporary Prints and Photographs

Another Miracle at the Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, Texas

October 10th, 2011 by

10.10.11 Round Top, TX— Marburger Farm has done it again. The twice yearly mega-show in Round Top, Texas has overcome hurricanes, wars, recessions and more. This Sept. 27–Oct. 1, the prospects included all of those, plus the tail end of the driest, hottest Texas summer in decades. But the not-so-little show that could pulled off a winner again.


After two hot days, about noon on Thursday, a clap of thunder sounded. “In our tent,” said Patrick Kenny of upstate NY’s South Porch Antiques, “with each clap of thunder, people clapped back. When the rain started to pour, they cheered and yehawed, as only Texans can yehaw. At Brimfield, we cried over rain. At Marburger Farm, they were cheering in the aisles.”


As the rain continued, someone turned up the volume on “Amazing Grace” and shoppers found that the 10 football field size tents and 12 historic buildings on Marburger’s 43 acre site provided perfect cover for shopping over 350 exhibitors from 38 states and several nations. Kenny sold gilded frames, a pair of nine-foot tall glass doors from an 1890 Pennsylvania building and a three foot wide mirrored ballroom ceiling disc from a 1920s Catskill resort. Like many antiques sold at Marburger Farm, that piece will travel further west to a Seattle shop.


West coast wholesale buyers dominated the opening days. ”In spite of the heat early on, the designers and store buyers were here,” said Julie Harris of Kansas City, MO. “The first two days were strong selling days for me.” Harris sold, antique trunks and silver sporting trophies, many of them going west.


Most exhibitors reported good to utterly outstanding sales, with many setting career records. “Our closing day on Saturday, was the highest we’ve ever had,” said Rhonda Holden of 2 Girl’s Stuff from Dallas. Holden sold six rugs, Spanish Colonial iron and antique bottles topped with industrial gauges for use as bookends and sculpture.


Another Texas dealer, Ray Veazey of San Antonio, had shoppers fighting over a French canopy bed and huge metal leaves from a 1980s Neiman Marcus display by Emilia Castillo. “Of the 29 Marburger shows that we have done,” said Veazey, “this was our top 3rd in gross sales. The shoppers who come to Marburger Farm are real troopers. I’m really thankful that they came.”


Studio F’s Kara Fogertey of St. Louis MO and Mike Whittemore of Punta Gorda, FL had their best show ever. They sold eight mirrors, eight pieces of upholstered furniture, an 18th c. carved English bookcase and every zinc-topped table they brought. “We save stuff for six months just for Marburger,” said Whittemore. “and then we price things right for the market. Instead of getting that extra 10-20%, we do it in volume at Marburger Farm.”


Danny Martin of L’Antiquario Antique Tiles from Miami Beach, FL reflected, “In spite of everything, it was one of the best shows we’ve ever had anywhere—really up there.” Martin sold a large trumeau fireplace surround with faux marbling, a French leather tri-fold door to be used as a headboard and thousands of reclaimed antique floor tiles from European buildings. Colleen Martin reported that “Some people were into architecturals because they are renovating and others because the building market is coming back. We have about 30 homes to follow up with antique tiles because of this show. Marburger Farm did not disappoint.”


First-time Marburger exhibitor John Tuttle of Atlanta’s ReWorks summed it up: “Everything I had ever heard about Marburger Farm was true. There is more great merchandise and more talent at Marburger Farm than at any show I have ever seen.” Tuttle brought talent in tow by creating 150 lamps from re-purposed antiques such as old boot forms, hubcaps, musical instruments and architectural fragments. “Just one store buyer bought 18, another bought 14, all going to NM, AZ, CA and other western states.”


“Marburger Farm has evolved into a national and international crossroads for antiques and for talent,” says show co-owner Rick McConn. “We had our highest international and national attendance. One shopper kept texting photos of merchandise at the show to a niece in Hope, AR. A text returned: ‘Where is the nearest airport?’ With a private plane and a local airport, she was here shopping that very afternoon. And she fit it all into the plane, except for two carved eagles that had to be shipped. Hope springs eternal.”


Co-owner Ashley Ferguson believes that one reason this show was so compelling for shoppers was the introduction of a special contract requiring all merchandise to be antique, vintage pre-1989 or re-purposed from antique pieces. “You don’t have to paw through piles of reproductions at Marburger Farm,” says Ferguson. “We had the show vetted by an appraiser from the “Antiques Roadshow” and he pronounced us ‘a clean show.’ Marburger dealers search all over the world for the antique, vintage and re-purposed pieces that bring authenticity into a home—and that makes a difference.”


The show also made a difference by hosting a benefit booth for the Houston affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, as well as for the Brookwood Community, a Texas non-profit group that empowers adults with special needs. Additionally, a portion of the show’s ticket proceeds benefited Susan G. Komen-Houston to help in the fight against breast cancer.


A similar survivor spirit is one reason that Marburger Farm thrives: Texas shoppers are resilient. Exhibitor Beverly Williams of Warren, TX sold a French cupboard to a woman from Bastrop, TX, scene of recent fires that destroyed over 400 homes. “With her,” reports Williams, “were two other women from Bastrop, all next-door neighbors and all had lost their homes in the fire. Here they were at Marburger Farm, shopping to rebuild and to replace antiques that had been handed down in their families. They bought all over the show and I sent them all home with gifts from my booth. It touched my heart to see their spirit.”


In that spirit, the Marburger Farm Antique Show invites you, wherever you live, to the April 3-7, 2012 show, deep in the heart of Texas— where the bluebonnets are pretty darn resilient too.


The Spring Marburger Farm Antique Show opens Tuesday April 3 for Early Buying Admission from 10 am until 2 pm. Regular admission begins at 2 pm until 5 pm that day. Admission is good all week and parking is free. Shopping continues on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 am until 5 pm and on Saturday, April 7, from 9 am until 4 pm. For maps, photos, the show blog and information on tickets, groups, the Marburger Café, on-site shipping and special events, see

Swann Galleries – Old Master Through Modern Prints and Antelier 17: Abstract Expressionism & The New York School

October 10th, 2011 by

Catalogues now online for both auctions