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Press Release - December 20, 2018

McMillian Collection, ‘The Holiday Table,’ Georgian Portrait Lift Heritage Auctions’ Fine & Decorative Arts Including Estates Auction Beyond $1.2 Million

Competitive bidding drives numerous top lots well beyond pre-auction estimates

Edwward Wortley Montagu
DALLAS, Texas (Dec. 20, 2018) — More than a dozen competitive bidders pursued a British Portrait of a gentleman in Turkish dress, traditionally thought to be Edward Wortley Montagu (1713-1776) to $27,500 to claim top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions' Fine & Decorative Arts Including Estates Auction Dec. 7-9 in Dallas. The strong return helped lift the total for the sale to $1,262,273.

The final price for the top lot was more than four times its high pre-auction estimate, a total driven by bids from 13 collectors. Coming to auction from a titled family, the portrait likely depicts Montagu, a fine linguist and eccentric figure who also was painted by George Romney. Montagu settled in Venice in 1773 after years of adventuring in the Middle East, where he lived in the Oriental style, and pretended he was the illegitimate son of the Turkish Sultan, which entitled him to wear the saffron turban of a prince of the Ottoman Empire.

"The breadth of this auction was its strength," Heritage Auctions' Silver & Decorative Art Director Karen Rigdon said. "From artwork like the English School portrait to the offerings from The Holiday Table and The Holiday Gift, as well as the Estate of Colletta Ray McMillian, this auction featured a range that drew in collectors with a wide variety of interests."

Estate of Colletta Ray McMillian
A native of Houston, Texas, Colletta Ray McMillian was known for her devotion to assorted charities, working on numerous boards, including the Baylor College of Medicine. Her lavish but conservative homes, created together with decorators Michael Baker and Herbert Wells, served as the centerpiece for her entertaining.

Leading the lots from her estate was a Large French Thirteen-Panel Chinoiserie Grisaille Wallpaper Room Screen, 19th century later mounted canvas, which tripled its low pre-auction estate when it climbed to $15,000. The panels stand 95-1/2 inches high and measure 243 inches wide.

A Seven-Piece Reed & Barton Francis I Pattern Silver Tea and Coffee Service, Taunton, Massachusetts drew $13,750, nearly doubling its high pre-auction estimate. The set includes a hot water kettle and stand, coffee pot, teapot, covered sugar, partial gilt open creamer, a partial gilt wastebowl and a tray; assorted pieces are marked "REED & BARTON, STERLING, FRANCIS I," and the tray and each cartouche to vessels are engraved with the initial "S."

The Holiday Table
With meticulously hand-painted florae drawn from an 18th-century botanical encyclopedia and sumptuous gilt details, the 20 lots of Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica pattern porcelain featured in the auction's curated The Holiday Table section attracted the attention of multiple bidders. A Thirty-Two-Piece Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica Pattern Porcelain Table Service for Eight, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1979-1983 and the Fourteen Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica Pattern Porcelain Table Articles, Copenhagen, Denmark, 20th century each closed at $16,250, more than double their low pre-auction estimates.

Another highlight of the section was A One Hundred Twenty-One-Piece Christofle Cardeilhac Brienne Pattern Silver Flatware Service, Paris, designed 1991, featured on the cover of the auction catalogue. The service closed at $5,000, within the pre-auction estimate.

The Holiday Gift
Nine collectors made bids on Guilloché Enamel, 14K Vari-Color Gold, and Diamond Snuff Box in the Manner of Fabergé, late 20th century until it climbed to $12,500, more than double its high pre-auction estimate. Measuring 3-7/8 by 3 by 1-5/8 inches, and weighing 14.3 ounces, the snuff box is housed in a fitted box.

A Spinach Jade, 14K Vari-Color Gold, Diamond, Guilloché Enamel, and Cabochon-Mounted Egg on Stand with Bouquet Surprise in the Manner of Fabergé, late 20th century sparked bids from more than a dozen collectors before finishing at $10,625, exceeding its high pre-auction estimate by more than 77 percent. Standing 9-1/8 inches tall and weighing 30.4 ounces, with a hinged opening that reveals an integral bouquet surprise, the egg and stand are housed in a fitted box.

A dozen collectors drove the final price for Stanley Wanlass Spirit of the Automobile, 1986 to $8,125. The 27-inch bronze, with green patina, is editioned 14 of 30, and inscribed "Wanlass / 86 14/30" on the base.

Other lots included, but were not limited to:

· Leon Berkowitz Crescent I, 1976: $11,875

· John P. Cowan Duck Hunting: $9,375

· A Large Pair of Bailey, Banks & Biddle Silver Five-Light Candelabra, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, early 20th century: $9,375

· A One Hundred Thirty-Nine-Piece Royal Crown Derby Olde Avesbury Pattern Porcelain Dinner Service for Twelve, Derby, England, circa 1975: $9,375

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet's most popular auction-house website,, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist

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