European art leads August Period Art & Design sale in San Francisco

Period Art & design
19 Aug 2012
San Francisco

San Francisco — The Period Art & Design auction, August 19 at Bonhams in San Francisco, brought a successful $272,448, with selections of European art heading the multi-category sale.

The European paintings that brought the auction much success included The Adoration of the Magi, an After Sir Peter Paul Rubens oil on canvas, which sold for $6,875 (est. $4,000-6,000); A still life of flowers in a decorated vase, resting on a balustrade, and two putti, an attributed to Franz Werner von Tamm oil on canvas, which brought $6,875 (est. $4,000-6,000); and The royal audience, an attributed to Cesare Auguste Detti oil on panel, which took in $6,250 (est. $3,000-5,000). Two additional top-lot works included The young Christ wounded by a thorn, a Follower of Francisco de Zurbarán oil on canvas, which realised $6,000 (est. $1,000-2,000); and The Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist, a Follower of Guido Reni oil on canvas, which claimed $3,750 (est. $4,000-6,000).

Other paintings of note that soared in the sale included the modern and contemporary oil on canvas, 10-10-1960, by Horst Trave, which brought $3,750 (est. $3,000-5,000) and an American oil on canvas board, Picacho Preieto, by Edith Anne Hamlin, which took in $3,125 (est. $2,500-3,500).

Contemporary furniture designed by Thomas and Margaret Saydah and featured in Serendipity Books in Berkeley, Calif., prior to its closing, was also of success in the sale. Serendipity Books opened more than 40 years ago in Berkeley and its founder, Peter Howard (1939-2011), has been eulogised as "one of the most imaginative booksellers of his generation." From the collection, contemporary mixed hardwood pieces brought impressive results: a partner's desk brought $3,750 (est. $4,000-6,000); a display case sold for $1,188; and a coffee table took in $1,625.

Additional highlights of contemporary furniture included four custom blown glass wall lights, which sold for $1,188 (est. $700-900) and a late 20th century, Phyllis White Venetian theme etched glass dining table and eight painted chairs, with en suite painting, which took in $1,063 (est. $1,500-2,000).

Rounding out the sale were examples of furniture, including an A C. Bechstein black lacquered grand piano model B with bench and later player, which sold for $3,125 (est. $3,500-5,000); a late Victorian walnut parlour suite, which claimed $2,125; and a near pair of Neoclassical style brass and mahogany two tier tables from the first quarter of the 20th century, which achieved $1,875 (est. $800-1,200).

Last, but not least, of note in the sale was a Danish sterling flatware set by Georg Jensen, Copenhagen, post-1945, which claimed $2,750 (est. $1,200-1,500).


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

Related auctions