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Asian Textile Big Seller at Auction

A crowd at The Potomack Company’s June auction witnessed spirited bidding for paintings, classic toys and furniture as well as a vintage Chinese silk robe that sold for $14,100.

Elizabeth Haynie Wainstein, president of the Alexandria, auction company, said the large turnout of bidders in the gallery and on the Internet resulted in robust sales of American and European paintings.

"The paintings did well," said Wainstein, "and we are seeing the Asian textile market showing very strong results right now."

Two paintings by British artist John Frederick Herring (1795-1865) sold for $21,150 and $18,800, and an early 19th century Italian secretary bookcase brought $16,450. "The Plains" by artist Ralph Waldo Emerson Meyers (American 1885-1948), an oil painting originally purchased by the family that sold it, went for $10,575.

A highlight of the sale was a Chinese embroidered dignitary’s summer robe that far exceeded its estimate after vigorous bidding. The robe, purchased by the seller’s parents during a trip to the Orient in the early 20th century and carefully preserved by the family for years, sold for much more than the very pleased seller anticipated.

"The Asian textile market is super hot right now, particularly the Chinese market," said The Potomack Company’s Asian and decorative arts specialist Pamela Cole. "I really feel this is especially true in the Washington area because of the international influence here, and right now the Chinese are interested in buying back their patrimony.

"There are probably lots of Asian textiles that are undiscovered due to the diplomatic community who traveled abroad and collected souvenirs or bought items to give as gifts, and some people probably own gems in their closets without realizing what they have."

Cole said that in addition to robes, other Asian textiles of value are altar cloths, skirts, jackets, sleeve panels (framed or unframed) and anything that appears to have an imperial association.

Following the Asian arts theme, The Potomack Company’s September catalogue auction will feature important Japanese and Chinese works of art. The gallery is actively seeking Asian textiles for its September auction. In addition to selling by auction, The Potomack Company offers private sales, recently selling a diamond ring privately for $82,000.

The Potomack Company is a fine arts and antique auction gallery located at 526 North Fayette Street in Old Town Alexandria. For additional information on unsold lots from the previous auction or to consign for future auctions, visit www.potomackcompany.com or call 703-684-4550.