Perfume Bottles Auction
Princeton, New Jersey
May 5, 2017
The IPBA Perfume Bottles Auction on May 5 realized $444,950 and earned a 96% sell-through rate. The Princeton, NJ venue drew bottle enthusiasts from around the world who participated in the auction by phone, internet and live in the sale room - offering clues to the direction of the resurgent market. The evening sale composed of 250 lots featuring perfume and vanity items spanning 200 years, opened with brisk bidding on a c1850 rock crystal and gold Froment Meurice scent bottle sold at $5,400, an 1820s Charles X gilt bronze and Baccarat crystal scent carousel bringing $6,000, and an 1890s KPM porcelain bottle earning $7,800.
DeVilbiss collectors scored bargains on lots ranging from $200-$900, with the star attractions being a 1926 Imperial dauber-bottle and atomizer sold for $3,120, and a tall jeweled Imperial dauber-bottle sold in post-sale for $4,200. Decorative compacts sold near their presale estimates until a 1950s Volupte “Golden Gesture” figural compact nearly tripled its estimate at $1,140.
Next on the block was a curated collection of 1920s-30s Czechoslovakian cut crystal bottles in a variety of colors and shapes we’ve seldom seen, but bidder interests seemed concentrated on two Hoffmann opaque bottles – a malachite martele sold for $5,100 and a man’s black cologne earning $3,600. Attracting much presale interest was a Hoffmann “nude-dauber” bottle with jeweled mounts that sold for a final price of $9,600, in excess of it’s high estimate of $7,000.
It was a rare and unusual 1920s Hoffmann bottle that also led the commercial category with a finely detailed miniature “nude-dauber “ bottle for De Fleury’s “Lady Gay” achieving a winning bid of $8,400. Other top-earning commercial bottle lots included a rare 1923 Julien Viard bottle for Richard Hudnut’s “Deauville” sold for $15,000, a pristine 1930s Marcel Guerlain “Rolls Royce” bottle in box that earned $9,600, and an exceptional 1920s enameled cobalt glass bottle formed as a clock for De Marcy’s “Le Heure est Venue” that realized $6,600.
The entire Lalique category brought in a diverse group of bidders competing on the 1929 Lucien Lelong “skyscraper” bottle with rare red box sold for $14,400, the 1924 Fioret “Chose Promise” that attained $8,400, and the 1919 Maison Lalique “Gros Fruits” that fetched $14,400. Exceeding all expectations, the top earner of the auction was the 1920 Rene Lalique tiara-bottle “Bouchon Mures” in a rare pale blue color sold at $39,600, more than double the presale estimate.
Prices reported include the buyers premium.