FAIRFIELD, Maine — The auction firm of James D. Julia ended their 2009 auction season with a bang. As part of a three-day auction event, Julia’s combined the efforts of Julia’s advertising, toy and doll division head Andrew Truman and glass and lamp department head Dudley Browne in an outstanding array of quality antiques. Rare heirlooms and treasures were offered from some of the finest collections and private homes in the country.
This recent event featured over 70 fine lamps including Tiffany, Handel, Pairpoint and others. It also spotlighted numerous specialty groupings such as an outstanding selection of French and English cameo glass, Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre pieces, fine art glass, and Victorian glass.
Highlighting the leaded lamps was a 20-inch Tiffany Daffodil lamp with multihued flowers on a striated background with a base completed with numerous gold dore and bronze finish mock turtleback panels. This example sold for $63,250, exceeding expectations of $40,000-$60,000. A Tiffany Dragonfly leaded lamp featured dichroic background glass, which emits two distinct colors when lit and unlit. Consisting of a string of large dragonflies with cabochon eyes around the bottom perimeter, the background transforms from a deep lavender to amber with a pull of the chain. This outstanding lamp hit its mid-estimate of $30,000-$50,000 to sell for $40,250. A simple yet elegant Tiffany Studios arts and crafts style geometric table lamp with caramel colored panels brought $10,350, surpassing its $5,000-$7,000 estimate.
Tiffany lamps with iridescent favrile shades included a double student lamp with two nicely matched green and platinum Damascene shades. It was a hot ticket, bringing $8,625 against expectations of $3,000-$5,000. A Tiffany Studios desk lamp with matching watermelon green favrile shade and base more than quadrupled the low end of its $2,000-$3,000 estimate to land at $9,200. Other fine Tiffany examples included a counterbalance desk lamp with an outstanding vertically ribbed green favrile shade on an elegant bronze base that sold for $10,350 (estimate $7,500-$10,000). And a Tiffany floor lamp that featured a scarce tripod base topped with a bronze Aladdin’s lamp finial leading to the green favrile glass shade brought $14,950 (estimate $13,000-$16,000).
The parade of leaded lamps included other renowned makers who also made a strong showing. A large Duffner & Kimberly double dome chandelier consisted of a large outer dome of geometric panels and was decorated with band of windblown leaves. Beneath it had a matching second smaller inverted dome to diffuse the light. This piece brought within its $20,000-$30,000 estimate, selling for $21,850. Other Duffner & Kimberly examples included a fully leaded table lamp in an ivy pattern consisting of the most vibrant of reds, purples and burgundies set against a geometric background of deeply textured rich amber panels. Bids made their way into the $20,000-$30,000 estimate to finish up at $21,850.
Seldom seeing the marketplace was a table lamp by John Morgan & Sons. A pansy table lamp with a field of multihued flowers on a climbing vine base changed hands at $26,450, surpassing its presale estimate of $16,000-$20,000. A massive Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. leaded wisteria lamp in vibrant purples and greens resting on a bronze tree trunk base saw strong competition, ultimately selling above its $15,000-$20,000 estimate for $25,875. Lamps by Pairpoint included a Ravenna puffy table lamp consisting of large reverse painted floral garland wreaths against a background reminiscent of Art Nouveau wallpaper of the period. This piece brought $12,650 against a $7,500-$10,000 estimate.
Joining the lamps was a selection of French and English cameo and other fine art glass. A truly phenomenal find was an E. Michel padded and high relief carved pedestal vase. The brilliant purple background decorated with windblown flowers, green stem and leaf highlights, and finished with a scalloped collar it was a showstopper by the former Galle artist. His solo work is considered very advanced and is highly sought after as evidenced by its $25,300 selling price, surpassing a presale estimate of $15,000-$20,000. Another piece by Michel was a more slender vase with high relief orchids in varying stages of bloom with translucent green flowing stems. It fared better than its predecessor in relation to its estimate when it doubled its $10,000-$15,000 estimate to sell for $20,125.
Works by Galle proper included a marquetry vase where colored glass pieces were impressed into the base glass while still in a semi-molten state, and then wheel-carved into flowers and leaves. Further highlighted by foil inclusions in the glass, this bulbous vase neared mid-estimate, selling for $24,150. Other Galle included a fire polished scent bottle with rich amber cameo flowers, also highlighted by foil inclusions in the glass. Finished with the original swirling stopper, it exceeded its $7,000-$10,000 to sell for $14,375.
The inventiveness of G. Argy Rousseau’s work took art glass to a new level and Julia’s auction contained some of the finest examples produced. An ethereal teal and blue vase in the Greek Frieze pattern decorated with rope swags and fish scale keys around the perimeter draws its viewer in. Sure to be a pride of someone’s collection, it sold near the midpoint of its $7,000-$10,000 estimate for $8,050. Another find was a Rousseau covered box with a flower and foliage pattern in mottled purple, green and blue. It found a buyer at $6,037 versus a $2,500-$4,500 estimate. In the same vein a Pate de Verre luminaire by A. Walter in the form of a wide mouth fish surfacing over stylized waves. Creating soft accent light and a little humor, this unusual piece far exceeded its expectations of $3,500-$5,000 to reel in $10,350.
Daum Nancy was represented by an impressive selection of pieces. Highlights included a beautifully executed cameo and enameled centerpiece bowl. This elongated diamond shaped bowl began with a heavily mottled sky blue background on which three swans swim among the reeds. From a private New England collection, it exceeded expectations of $5,500-$7,500 to sell for $10,925. A four-sided Daum winter scene vase accented by a flock of blackbirds assembling on a barren tree and foraging below finished up at $12,650 within an estimate of $10,000-$15,000. Displaying perhaps a more desirable scene for some, a Daum Nancy spring scene cylindrical vase with flared lip brought $8,912, above expectations of $6,000-$8,000. A large Daum Nancy stem vase with a bulbous top and all-over floral decoration sold for $9,200 (estimate $8,000-$12,000) while a monumental Daum Nancy mushroom vase with pinched rim and wide bowl form decorated with an assortment of colorful fungi against a mottled yellow background brought $9,775 (estimate $7,000-$9,000).
A collection of English cameo glass, much of which came from Midwest collectors Jim and Laurie Wroda, boasted extremely high quality and surely got the attention of serious collectors. Included was a Webb footed bulbous vase with an elongated neck. In robin’s egg blue, this vase, reminiscent of an Egyptian form, was decorated with all-over carved floral design. It sold above its $6,500-$8,500 estimate to bring $12,075.
A Webb cylindrical vase with bamboo shoots and birds in brilliant red and white with textured decorative elements at the foot and rim sold within its $15,000-$20,000 estimate for $15,525.
Tiffany glass included a vase that began with a gold iridescent bulbous onion base that led to a tall slender stem, giving way to a lightly ribbed white opalescent bulbous top. Difficult to improve upon, this piece nearly tripled the low end of its $7,000-$9,000 estimate to sell for $20,700.
Next up was a monumental peacock blue vase with a silver patinated foot accented by six blue favrile scarabs in the foot. Of exceptional quality, it sold above its $4,500-$6,500 estimate for $10,925. Two Tiffany Studios flower form vases saw much activity. Each featured a pulled feather decorated bulbous floral bowl supported by a long slender stem, resting on an inverted saucer foot. The first with a tapered lip sold for $11,500 while an example with a ruffled stretched lip sold for $9,200. Both beat out their respective estimates of $4,000-$6,000 and $3,000-$4,000.
Collectors were delighted by a large offering of Steuben. Highlights from this segment included a blue-black shouldered vase with bright blue iridescent heart and vine decoration. This piece sold for $8,050, just above its $6,000-$8,000 estimate. A pair of Steuben Moss Agate torcheres with amber glass shades was made more striking by the waves and stipples of color within. Completed with a shiny finish, the pair topped its $4,000-$6,000 estimate to bring $6,900.
A fine grouping of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre pieces included an outstanding Pillars vase. The teardrop-shaped body was decorated with a detailed mystical scene of wooden bridges, fairies, and birds between vertical floral pillars. It landed within its $12,000-$15,000 estimate, bringing $12,650. A Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre wide-mouthed center bowl was likewise an otherworldly onslaught of fantastical creatures. Coming with an estimate of $7,500-$10,000, it went out at $9,200. And a six-sided Moorish bowl showing an interior palatial scene of fountains, columns, and arches of an Arab influence sold for $8,050 against a $7,500-$10,000 estimate.
Victorian era art glass included several Royal Flemish pieces including a large covered ewer. This tall vessel with domed stopper, twisted rope handle, and shield and gilt decoration was an outstanding overall example. It exceeded its $4,000-$6,000 estimate to sell for $10,350.
Numerous quality art glass shades from the Rockwell Family collection were also offered to an eager buying public. Steuben shades included a red and gold Aurene example with leaf and vine decoration brought a rousing $2,415 against expectations of $400-$600. A deep green and platinum Steuben damascene wave pattern shade surpassed its $1,200-$1,500 estimate to bring $2,300.
Helping to round out the sale was a fine selection of sundry treasures such as highly desirable KPM plaques. The exquisite enameling and exceptional detail of these works of art never fail to impress. One such example depicted a flock of sheep on a rocky mountain ledge with an eagle soaring above. With unparalleled realism, this piece reached $9,775 surpassing its estimate of $6,000-$8,000. Other examples included an oval portrait of a lovely woman in a white dress with her head draped in laurels. Housed in a gilt openwork frame, it was a package that sold for $3,162 toward the upper end of its $2,500-$3,500 estimate.
Standalone pieces included a leaded glass window depicting two parrots and an aquarium. Enhanced by enameled fish and floral branches, this piece was accompanied by its original invoice when the window was first purchased in 1928 for $75. Call it appreciation, it sold that day for $16,100 with no deference to its $3,000-$5,000 estimate.
Julia’s upcoming auctions include their winter antiques and fine art auction in February while a firearms and military memorabilia auction will be held in March. Julia’s next rare lamp and glass auction, as well as their toy and doll auction, will follow in June. Julia’s is currently accepting consignments for these and other upcoming auctions. Call immediately for inclusion in these sales.
For more information or to place offers on unsold items, contact their offices at 207-453-7125. James D. Julia, Inc., P.O. Box 830, Dept. PR, Fairfield, ME 04937; e-mail: email@example.com.
Photos courtesy James D. Julia, Inc.
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