Mastro Connoisseur Auction Shines Despite Economy

In a busy month for Mastro Auctions, kicking off with a spectacular and highly successful live sports auction in New York City on December 8th and ending with a 1,500 lot internet auction December 17th and 18th, the company held a ‘Connoisseur’ event at its Illinois headquarters in suburban Chicago. A combination of internet, telephone and live bidding proved there is still demand for interesting and high quality fine and decorative arts. The fourth Mastro Auctions’ ‘Connoisseur’ sale was heavily packed with Rene Lalique glass, collectable perfume bottles and the variety of Americana, fine arts and oddities for which Mastro Auctions is well known.Â

Bidding was steady on a selection of over 100 perfume bottles, assembled by New York expert Ken Leach. Among the highlights was a rare Art Deco bottle by Baccarat Hennessy for “A Night in Havana” fragrance (lot 220), that ended at $8,400 ($3/4,000).

As the Lalique session began, bidding intensified. Highlights from the over 200 lots, all consigned from American private collections, include: lot 326, a 1929 ‘Parfum A’ for Lucien Lelong that sold for $5,400 ($4/6,000); a dramatic ‘Thais’ statuette in deep opalescence on bronze base (lot 355) that was the top lot at $33,000 ($25/35,000); Lot 456, an exquisite opalescent ‘Tourterelles’ covered vase at $12,000 ($12/16,000), and a jade green ‘Gui’ vase, (lot 459), which sold to a phone bidder at $7,800 ($5/7,000).

A heated battle battle between the internet and an American private collector by phone saw the former win lot 483, a ‘butterscotch’ colored ‘Chardons’ vase from 1922 for a whopping $16,800 ($4/6,000), A few minutes later another American collector secured three lots of unique Lalique architectural panels from circa 1913 for a total of $25,800 ($24/30,000).

Fine art was represented by a small oil by French impressionist Henri le Sidaner (lot 508) selling at $7,800 ($5/7,000), and a limited edition Salvador Dali bronze, “Venus la Giraffe” (lot 588), which took $24,000 ($20/30,000). Mastro continued to prove its ability to successfully market diverse decorative arts when a set of six Russian Imperial porcelain plates from the Peterhof ‘Farm’ service (lot 555), sold at $16,800 after spirited bidding from Europe ($4/6,000), and a Daum cameo vase (lot 555) left the room at $3,300 ($18/2,400).

A diverse group of historic Americana ranged from documents signed by founding fathers to pop culture. Lot 562, one of several 1857 U.S. House of Representitives desks to appear on the market recently, sold for $7,200 ($8/12,000). To the delight of the crowd, lot 587, a black brassiere and pair of nylons from the estate of Marilyn Monroe sold on the phone for $3,000 ($15/2,000).

For complete auction results and more information, contact Mastro Auctions at 630-472-1200 or go to Mastro Auctions is currently accepting consignments for its upcoming 2009 auctions.