An 18th century French commode and a 17th century German ivory cup from the collection of billionaire banker Edmond J. Safra and his wife Lily helped raise $45.9 million at Sotheby’s New York this week.The auction was expected to bring more than $40 million.The top lot of the four-day marathon, “Property from the Collections of Lily and Edmond J. Safra,” was a Louis XVI-era ormolu-mounted Japanese lacquer commode with secretaire that fetched $6.9 million, barely missing the top estimate of $7 million.Another ebonized ormolu-mounted Japanese commode from the reign of Louis XV sold for $3.4 million, within the presale estimate range of $3 million to $5 million.This was the second round of sales from the Safras’ homes in the U.S., Switzerland and France. The first took place in 2005 and totaled $48.9 million.Born in Beirut, Edmond J. Safra founded Republic New York Corp. and Safra Republic Holdings SA. In 1999, he sold his holdings in both companies to London-based HSBC for $10 billion. He supported educational, cultural, religious and medical causes around the world. He died in a fire in Monaco in 1999.Items that combined exquisite craftsmanship with appealing provenance and conservative estimates did well.A delicate, elongated ivory cup made in South Germany in the first half of the 17th century surged past its top estimate of $150,000 to fetch $614,500. The prices include buyer’s commission; the estimates do not.A pair of Victorian gilt-bronze tables by Holland & Sons, which belonged to Prince of Wales Albert Edward, the future King Edward VI, sold for $1.1 million, seven times above the low estimate of $150,000.A group of 12 neoclassical bronze busts, including Roman emperors Caligula, Julius Caesar and Augustus, brought $398,500, almost five times its top estimate of $80,000.Buyers also competed for colorful 18th century bird figures made of porcelain. Magpies and cockatoos flew past their estimates. A pair of golden orioles fetched $314,500, more than three times its top estimate of $100,000. A duo of green parakeets went for $386,500 against the presale estimate of $120,000 to $180,000.Big-ticket paintings were less successful. A canvas by James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot, “Sur la Tamise (Return from Henley),” depicting an attractive woman stepping off a boat, failed to sell. It was estimated to bring $1.5 million to $2.5 million.Another large painting by the 19th-century Frenchman, “The Princesse de Broglie,” with a $500,000 to $700,000 estimate, also went unsold.