Perfume Bottles Auction
May 3, 2019
May 3rd, in Itasca, Illinois, in the smallest Perfume Bottles Auction in 11 years, the firm offered 180 lots, realizing just above a half million dollars, making it the best per-item result in its history. Perfume bottles and vanity items from several notable estates, attracted more than 300 bidders to the sale room, competing against absentee and phone activity, as well as aggressive internet bidders.
Highlighting the sale was a 1912 Rene Lalique “Fougeres” perfume bottle sold for $33,600 leaving its $6,000 high estimate far behind. Lalique’s first complete perfume presentation, the 1909 “Cyclamen” for Coty, doubled its high estimate at $20,400. Rounding out the top three lots was a rare c1918 D’Orsay “Bonjour” yellow glass fish-form bottle in silk box, sold to an excited phone bidder at $30,000.
Further strong sales reflected the breadth of bottle interest and tastes. The Asian theme did well with a 1920s miniature Japanese lacquer cabinet holding Vantine’s vanity wares selling for $7,200, and a 1920s Russian presentation “Sada-Yacco” inspired by the renowned Japanese actress, selling far above it’s $500-600 estimate at $7,800. 5 phone lines were in use for the 1927 Egyptian sarcophagus-form bottle “Nuit Divine” for Edouardo which had been estimated at $5,000-8,000. After heated competition a bidder in the room prevailed, taking it for $13,200.
Featured on the catalog cover, the 1940s Legrain “Old Paris” figural bottle in its dramatic printed silk diorama box illustrating the 1860s Paris Opera exceeded expectations with a result of $13,200. Famed artist Fernand Leger designed the sinuous 1954 “Cantilene” bottle for ”Revillon” inspired by observing ripples of stones dropped in a pond, which brought $11,400. The jarring 1920s “Dada” bottle design, motivated by the short lived anti-art movement, captured someones artistic eye at $14,400. The 1954 “LaCloche” bell-shaped bottle from the French Jewelry firm of the same name broke its high estimate of $600 ringing in at $6,000.
Low reserves and sensible estimates encouraged competition, while rarity and excellent condition drove higher results. A large 1920 “Terre de Retz” lacquered paper mache powder box depicting a pajama-clad flapper on a polar bear rug realized $4,500. Topping a small group of Czechoslovakian bottles was a 1926 Heinrich Hoffmann “Nude-Dauber” bottle with elaborate jeweling going to a happy bidder in the room for $12,000.
The Perfume Bottles Auction attracts a devoted following of collectors from around the world. It is the official auction of the annual IPBA convention and continues to be the longest running auction devoted to perfume bottles and vanity items worldwide.
Consignments are being considered for the 2020 auction. Contact Ken Leach if you wish to include your items in this exclusive event: phone 917-881-8747 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org