Sterling Associates announces highlights of Estates Auction

Art Daily
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‘Chips That Pass in the Night,’ oil-on-canvas, 16.5 x 19.5in, possibly American or English. Titled, dated (1898) and artist-signed (indistinctly) on back of frame. Estimate $3,000-$4,000.
‘Chips That Pass in the Night,’ oil-on-canvas, 16.5 x 19.5in, possibly American or English. Titled, dated (1898) and artist-signed (indistinctly) on back of frame. Estimate $3,000-$4,000.

NORWOOD, NJ.-Sterling Associates, Bergen County, New Jersey’s foremost estate specialists, will conduct this year’s edition of their popular Fall Collectors Estate Auction on Wednesday, October 7 through LiveAuctioneers. The sale’s featured collection consists of 100+ mantel clocks and 100+ American pocket watches from the estate of Phil Greco Jr., of New York.

The array of antique and vintage pocket watches spans a timeline of production from the 19th through 20th centuries and includes many sought-after pieces by Waltham, Illinois and Elgin. All are very reasonably estimated. A Hamilton Railway Special pocket watch has oversize numerals and a second hand, while Elgin’s Father Time model displays an especially attractive Greek key pattern around the bezel. Each is estimated at $100-$200.

Greco’s remarkable collection of Ansonia mantel clocks includes a handsome and highly ornamental spelter clock with Roman numerals, flanked by the figure of a man dressed in antique style, holding a book and scientific instrument. It is estimated at $100-$200. An ornate vertical Ansonia Rococo clock has a beautiful decorative panel with the painted image of two cherubs in a celestial setting, each holding garlands of flowers. It is also estimated at $100-$200.

An eclectic selection of art includes original works by Francisco Zuniga (Mexican, 1912-1997). His signed 1984 watercolor, charcoal and pencil on paper depiction of a pensive woman in traditional Central American attire, seated on stone steps, is among the category’s highlights. It comes to auction with a $2,000-$3,000 estimate. An oil-on-canvas titled “Chips That Pass in the Night” is possibly American or English and depicts five gentlemen in tuxedos playing cards in a library setting. The title, date (1898) and the artist’s name (indistinct) are written in pencil on the back of the frame. The artwork measures 16.5 by 19.5 inches and is estimated at $3,000-$4,000.

The Asian art category is led by an 8.5-inch Chinese gilt Guanyin Buddha. It dates to the 19th century or earlier and has old label affixed to it that states “Shensi province 14th century.” The auction estimate is $1,000-$1,500. A fine 19th-century Chinese hanging jade chime features three carved and graduating medallions suspended within the framework of a carved hardwood screen. Its measurements are 13 by 5.5 by 4.25 inches, and the pre-sale estimate is $800-$1,200. Also worthy of note, a rare and unusual 19th-century Chinese handled hardwood screen is set with a central carved figural jade plaque and is surrounded by a medley of colorful semiprecious stones. It measures 5.75 by 11.25 inches and is expected to reach $1,000-$1,500 on auction day.

The 265-lot sale also includes sculptures, sterling silver, many decorative accessories, a collection of American coins and currency, and estate furniture. An 18th/19th-century bombe-form Dutch marquetry cabinet with glass windows on three sides is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.

Another highlight is a 19-inch (with base) Emile Louis Picault (French, 1833-1915) bronze depicting Perseus and Pegasus with the head of Medusa. The base is singed “E PICAULT” and it is inscribed “Salon des Beaux Arts 1888.” Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. An Elkington gilt-bronze-mounted Baccarat crystal centerpiece stands 30.5 inches high, and according to Sterling Associates’ owner/appraiser Stephen D’Atri, the bronze section is most likely Cristofle. The pre-sale estimate is $5,000-$7,000.