Freeman’s English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts auction on October 7 brought an impressive $1.3 million. The 470 lot sale featured several private collections including the property from the Collection of Dr. Morris Shelanski and the Collection of Henry C. Gibson and His Descendants, which drew competitive bidding from around the globe.

“In a market that is still not at full strength, our recent auction demonstrated that high-end French and Russian decorative arts are still very much in vogue,” said English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts Department Head David Walker.

The highlight of the auction was an exceptional pair of Louis XVI style gilt bronze mounted agate and bloodstone covered urns, which realized $87,500—twice quadrupling their estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. Consigned from a private Massachusetts collection, these urns exhibit all the finest aspects of 19th century European craftsmanship.

A pair of Russian Imperial malachite urns from the Gibson Collection brought $81,250—soaring past the initial estimate of $20,000-$30,000. Discovered in 1635, malachite quickly became a favored material of Russian stone-workers as artists in the imperial lapidary workshops developed cutting techniques that created decorative and seamless effects. Unusually, this pair of urns were signed by the maker and dated on the undersides, indicating they were possibly made for the 1862 International Exposition in London.

Notable Lots from the English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts auction

  • Lot 371 $87,500 Pair of Louis XVI style gilt bronze mounted agate and bloodstone covered urns, second half 19th century.
  • Lot 53 $81,250 Pair of Russian malachite urns, imperial lapidary factory, Ekaterinburg, signed and dated 1862.
  • Lot 56 $42,500 Pair of Minton pâte-sur-pâte olive green ground Pompeiian vases and covers, decorated by Marc-Louis Solon (French, 1835-1913), retailed by A.B. Daniell & sons.
  • Lot 86 $37,500 Exceptional and rare Minton majolica tea service including the “Cat and Mouse” flat iron teapot, attributed to Christopher Dresser.
  • Lot 318 $32,500 Louis XV style gilt bronze mounted kingwood and fruitwood marquetry inlaid secrétaire à abattant, late 19th century, attributed to Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener.
  • Lot 350 $30,000 Pair of French Empire gilt and patinated bronze candelabra, circa 1800, attributed to Claude Galle.
  • Lot 87 $25,000 Rare Minton majolica “Tortoise” teapot, circa 1880.
  • Lot 353 $23,040 Pair of KPM gilt porcelain covered ice pails, early 19th century.
  • Lot 468 $22,500 Clichy millefiori piedouche paperweight, mid-19th century.

**All prices are reported with buyer’s premium.

View the archived catalogue here.