Wednesday, October 7, 2009


19th-century Persian Box

A dream came true for two people selling things at online auctions this week. A man who regularly travels to Europe often buys antiques and later sells his finds at Aspire Auctions of Cleveland. He recently brought in an ivory box etched with wavy patterns of gold and niello (a black alloy), set with turquoise and a cabochon ruby on the top and another ruby on the inside cover. It was listed as mid-19th-century Persian and estimated at $700 to $900. The bidding was all by computer or phone, so it was a huge surprise when the box sold for $410,025 (plus premium, for a total of $471,529). We talked to Cynthia Colling of Aspire who said the bidding ended as a war between two European bidders. It opened at $250 and moved quickly to over $5,000. Then there were a series of bids jumping by $100 or so each time. At $60,025 there were two bidders and the bid jumped to $160,000. Six bids later, with less than one minute to go, the bid was $410,000. But an automatic bid came in 44 seconds later to win at $410,025. The seller made the right choice, to sell online to an international audience.
Cynthia said they are translating the foreign writing on the box. It is thought that it belonged to royalty and was used to hold jewels. The new owner didn't say what made this box such a treasure.
The second winner was a woman who brought an 18th-century oil painting of the Venice Grand Canal to be auctioned at nearby Sloans & Kenyon in Chevy Chase, Md. It was unsigned but from the school of Canaletto and was priced a modest $6,000 to $8,000. The owner said her family owned it since her grandmother bought it on a European trip about 1881. The lucky seller must have been surprised when the painting sold to a European buyer for $687,125.


Anonymous said...

Don't know its dimensions, but the jeweled box looks like a book box - for a Koran or other sacred text?

Anonymous said...

Does Kovels have an idea what a Boy Scout Life Saving medal would be worth today? My uncle drowned at 13 yrs of age, and my grandparents received a medal for their son saving his best friends life from the Missouri river, and went down himself and drown. I have been offered $500 for it, all gold, engraved with red, white and blue inlay and his name and date he died is etched on the back of the medal.

Judith Seibel

Anonymous said...

Why is the Noritake "Azalea" pattern from the 30-40's still being sold as a new product? The ad implies that it just come out. Are they knock-offs? That makes the antique collection of the Azalea pattern nearly worthless. My grandmother collected for years and also sold Nippon china for a living back in the 40's. This was how she received all of the Azalea dishes, being a top sales person for years.
This seems almost like patent stealing, and needs to be scrutinized by an attorney who does this type of work. No sicker a country of people that the Americans have spawned!


pennyjo1947 said...

I have a game board, just the board, no pieces or cards to a game called "Fortune". It was made by Parker Brothers and is dated 1935. It's amazingly like "Monopoly" but with different names of the some of the spaces. Someone has written the price of some of the properties on the board in ink, but otherwise the board itself is in fairly good shape. Does anyone know anything about this game and is it worth anything?

Judy said...

(I tried to post this before, but don't think it went thru)
I have the board from a game called "Fortune". Was made by Parker Brotheres circa 1935. Looks like it was the forerunner for Monopoly. Has some of the same properties on it, but some of the details are different.The outside of the board shows quite a bit of wear, but the inside board it's self is pretty good. Some one wrote the values of the properties on the board in ink, but otherwise is in fairly good shape. Does anyone know anything about the board? How much it might be worth?

Anonymous said...

Is this really the place to post comments and questions about other items?