FAIRFIELD, Maine — Dudley Browne, head of James D. Julia’s glass and lamp department, had a sneaking suspicion the firm’s Dec. 1-2 sale would break new ground. He noted a number of pre-auction cues, such as inquiries from new blood collectors and dealers as well as from veterans who perhaps hadn’t been as active in recent years.
His suspicions were confirmed when the auction closed at a very strong $1.9 million in gross sales. The top lot is a spectacular Tiffany peony border floor lamp on a decorated senior base, which sold for $172,500. Its massive shade featured a wide band of detailed multihued mottled flowers below a geometric pattern of blue silver panels. Topped with a pigtail finial with curlicue tip, the shade rested on its original bronze senior base.
Other Tiffany leaded table lamps included a daffodil table lamp on its original twisted vine base. The conical shade shows a swath of bright yellow daffodils complemented by its mottled blue background that appeared to be interspersed with fair weather clouds. This lamp, with twisted vine bronze base, surpassed its $40,000 to $50,000 estimate, landing at $57,500.
A Tiffany Poinsettia table lamp with intense dichroic geometric background above a fiery band of poinsettias around the perimeter sold for $48,875, above a $25,000 to $35,000 estimate.
The lamp portion of the sale continued with numerous examples from other renowned makers. Highlights included a Handel peacock floor lamp on its original peacock feather base. The textured reverse decorated shade brimming with colorful flowers also featured a finely detailed peacock with a long flowing tail. Topped with an unusual ball finial, the lamp also rested on its tall slender base completed by large peacock feathers forming the feet. It sold for $23,575 against an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. An unusual Duffner & Kimberly Viking leaded table lamp featured an intricate abstract polychrome pattern segmented by bronze bands that terminated in Viking-esque griffin ship’s figureheads; it saw active bidding and bested the upper end of its $25,000 to $35,000 estimate, selling for $36,225.
Aside from the tremendous offering of lamps was an impressive fresh-to-the-market selection of English and French cameo glass with Daum performing quite admirably. Included was an important 11th-hour consignment: a rare Daum pierced gourd vase with applied beetle scuttling by a long naturalistic stem. This unusual item sold for $19,550, surpassing its $10,000 to $15,000 estimate.
A Daum Pate de Verre paperweight from the private collection of Dorothy-Lee Jones collection featuring a purple mouse nibbling on a green mound nearly quintupled its $800 to $1,200 estimate to bring $3,910. (For more than 25 years, Dorothy-Lee owned and operated the Jones Museum of glass and ceramics in Sebago, Maine.) Other French glass from her private collection included several early Galle cameo and enameled glass pieces. A monumental elongated neck vase with bulbous base featured an allover foliage pattern on an iridescent white background. Ignoring a $2,000 to $3,000 estimate, two determined bidders drove the gavel price to $9,775.
From the same collection was a Tiffany vase internally decorated with spots of color and externally carved with leaves and stems corresponding with these colored areas that sold for $18,290 against a $6,000 to $9,000 estimate.
A rare Steuben red Aurene decorated vase featuring a gold iridescent pulled feather design around the rim leading to a creamy clambroth midsection, estimated at $6,000 to $8,000, sold for $15,525.
A Zsolnay Secessionist vase with an impressionistic and slightly iridescent design of a waterfall and mountain scene beneath a red sky was one of the sleepers in the sale. Expected to sell for $1,000 to $1,500, it finished up at $9,200. And a squat Quezal vase with flaring neck and decorated with an iridescent hooked feather design wouldn’t go quietly, selling for $6,900 against a $1,500 to $2,500 estimate.
The auction continued with a generous selection of Victorian glass including several Burmese glass items such as a Webb mother of pearl satin vase. Enameled with flowers in various states of bloom over a background shading from a salmon pink to yellow, it sold for $10,350 – more than doubling its $4,000 to $6,000 estimate.
Helping to round out the sale was a collection of antique and contemporary glass paperweights, highlighted by one example in which a stylized butterfly rests on a white spiral latticinio bed; it left its $200 to $400 estimate far behind to sell for $4,887. An antique Clichy sulphide paperweight in which a bust of Benjamin Franklin is suspended over a rich translucent green background was also sold to benefit the Maine State Museum’s acquisition fund; surpassing its $300 to $500 estimate, the piece sold for $4,025.
Julia’s upcoming auctions include their winter antiques and fine art auction taking place Feb. 3-4, which will include silver and early ceramics from the Jones Museum. Julia’s next rare lamp and glass auction will be in June.
For more information on their upcoming auctions and consignment details, contact their offices at 207-453-7125, email@example.com or James D. Julia, Inc., P.O. Box 830, Dept. PR, Fairfield, ME 04937. ?
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