Forbes’ Roycroft Collection Nets Solid Gains
Last Saturday’s sale of the Christopher Forbes collection of Roycroft furniture at the Rago Arts Center in Lambertville, NJ found an equally as impressive collection of bidders for what was the largest assemblage of Roycroft furniture to ever be sold in less than two hours.
The sale opened with one of the featured pieces, a one-of-a-kind Roycroft hall chair designed, built and carved by Dard Hunter around 1904. The chair started with a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-$30,000, but was hammered down at an impressive $37,500 (prices do not include the buyer’s premium).
It was quickly followed by a massive two-door bookcase (est. $10,000-$15,000) that sold for $20,000; a double Morris chair (est. $5000-$7000) that finished at $18,000; a chest of drawers (est. $6000-$9000) at $12,000; and a three-door bookcase (est. $10,000-$15,000) that left at $14,000.
Given the abundance of Roycroft furniture being sold in short order, a few collectors did walk away feeling that they had gotten a bargain, at least compared to some of the other prices. Two recently hot items stayed at the low end of their estimates: an Ali Baba bench (est. $6000-$9000) at $5000; and a tall magazine stand (est. $9000-$12,000) at $9500. A rare “Special Armchair,” one of three known to exist, had many expecting it to break away from its presale estimate of $15,000-$20,000, but the bidding stopped short at $14,000, perhaps because it was in mahogany rather than the more popular oak.
No one expected the six-inch Karl Kipp hammered copper and nickel Roycroft fernery to match the $92,000 record price paid for a similar model last year, but it was expected to blow past the presale estimate of $15,000-$20,000. It ran to $27,000 ($33,750 with the buyer’s premium), which is still impressive for a modest plant stand.
Among other items in the Forbes collection of Roycroft furniture which sold on Saturday were:
Mirrored vanity ($2000-$3000) – $1500.
Single door bookcase ($5000-$8000) – $13,000.
Nine dining chairs ($5000-$8000) – $5000.
Dining table (54″) ($4000-$6000) – $7000.
Server with single drawer ($3500-$4500) – $4750.
Sideboard with mirror ($5000-$7000) – $7000.
For complete sales results, please go to http://www.Ragoarts.com.