|EDISON, N.J. — A Paul Evans free-floating, sculptured-front cabinet wowed bidders and set a personal best record for the Bodnar Auction house when the piece sold on March 28.
More than 400 bidders were in-house while another 1,000 bidders were online when the Evans piece crossed the block. Bidding opened at $40,000 and quickly ran to $70,000 at which point two bidders continued to battle it out. The piece reached a final hammer price of $78,000 plus a 15 percent buyer’s premium. This price was a personal record for the auction house for a selling price of a single item.
Joe Bodnar remembers when he first saw the piece which was part of an estate. It was hanging on the wall of the 17th floor condo overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. “When I walked around the corner and saw the sculpture, I immediately knew it was a Paul Evans piece. My gut reaction was it was about $20,000.00-$40,000. However, after I went home and did some research, I discovered how important this piece was. Similar pieces at auction have reached six figures. This piece was a one of a kind, purchased from Paul Evans directly in 1974.”
“Despite its flaws of paint-loss, minor rust and some holes done to the back of the cabinet, it sold for a fair price” Bodnar said. “I have been conducting auctions for over 20 years and this is the most expensive single item we have ever sold.”
The previous record for a single sale was $36,000 for a pair of urns Bodnar saved from being melted for scrap. He sold those in 1998. “I have been chasing that record for 20 years! Now I’ve got a new goal to hit, $100,000.00!”
This one-of-a-kind piece was made by Paul Evans in 1974 in his studio in New Hope, Pa. Evans was an American born furniture designer, sculptor and artist. In the 1950s he began making copper chests and followed with sculpted steel-front cabinets. The piece sold at the Bodnar auction featured an enameled steel front that was welded and sculpted into various shapes. It had four doors on the front which opened to wooden shelves. There was patchwork copper in the top, sides and bottom and a slate top. The piece featured a welded signature on the base and was dated 1974. It measured 89 inches wide, 21¼ inches high and 18 inches deep.
Bodnar’s next auction is May 18 and features an estate collection of a GI Joe collector and know creator of GI Joe custom figures that were sold at many comic cons. This Manhattan estate has an extensive 300+ collection of 1980s GI Joe’s and accessories many in packaging as well as another rare 500+ lots of other action figures.
For more information visit www.bodnarsauction.com