LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Rago’s heralds the opening of the 2009-2010 season with a double-header auction of Roseville and Craftsman/early 20th century design. The Craftsman auction, with a great number of lots for design- and budget-conscious buyers, is set for Sept. 26 at noon following a 400-lot sale of Roseville and other Ohio potteries on Sept. 25 at Noon.
"This is a sale of original work by early 20th century designers at reasonable prices. The value is tremendous, with strong property priced to sell," says David Rago. "The Roseville sale brings back a Rago perennial for the fans."
American art pottery is, as ever, a strong suit at Rago’s. Headline lots include several exceptional vases. Lot 631 is a large Grueby vase with two rows of tooled and applied full-height leaves covered in matte green glaze, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Lot 904 is a John Bennett vase, painted with white daffodils. This rare and early vase was made in 1877, the first year Bennett set up shop on Lexington Avenue. It is signed J. Bennett 101 Lex Ave. NY. JB/77, and is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.
Lot 857 is a Teco rare ovoid vase with ridges in matte green glaze. Lot 601 is a 1903 Rookwood painted matt vase by Olga G. Reed, estimated at $2,000-$3,000. It has red maple leaves on a shaded indigo ground. Lot 773 consists of five Doulton (Lambeth) stoneware decorated pitchers, sprigged-on or cameo. Two of the pitchers read: “Bread at Pleasure, Drink by Measure” and “Those who have money are troubled about it, those who have none, are troubled without it”; the others have dining or hunting scenes. They are all marked and are estimated to fetch $500-$750 for the group. Lot 861 is a 1943 North Dakota School of Mines covered jar carved by Irene Nelson, with serpents and Prairie rose, estimated at $2,500-$3,500.
Also look for a good collection of southern face jugs and ugly jugs, notably lot 782, a Lanier Meaders face jug with granite teeth and matte and glossy dark green glaze. It is signed Lanier Meaders and is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.
Arts and Crafts furniture of import includes a Limbert vanity (lot 930) with three drawers and a three-paneled mirror and a branded mark, estimated at $1,000-$1,500, and a L. & J.G. Stickley even-arm settle (lot 817) with a wide back rail, tall post legs and side slats. It is signed “The Work of L. & J.G. Stickley,” and is estimated at $1,900-$2,700.
The sale features art glass in the leading styles of the time. Among the best is lot 1036, a Lalique Ambrefor D’Orsay perfume bottle. The glass is clear, frosted with a blue patina and it is estimated at $1,000-$1,500. Also of note, lot 1021, a Steuben gold Aurene footed vase with an applied enameled heart and vine decoration, estimated at $2,000-$3,000. Lot 950 is an Arts & Crafts large stained glass window with stylized trees in a landscape, mounted in its original window frame, estimated at $1,200-$1,700.
This sale showcases a variety of lighting fixtures. Lot 984 is a Handel table lamp with an etched glass shade obverse- and reverse-painted with a landscape against a vermillion sky over a three-socket lobed base, estimated at $4,500-$6,500. Lot 981 is a Bradley & Hubbard large leaded glass chandelier, featuring pink tulips and green foliage on an amber ground, estimated to fetch $1,750-$2,250.
Also of note: woodblock prints, paintings and drawings, metalwork and art tiles will be on offer, including several rare Saturday Evening Girls tiles such as lot 835, “The Badger House”; and lot 834, “Mather-Eliot House.” Both have a Paul Revere stamp and are estimated at $1,000-$1,500.
Friday’s sale of Ohio potteries includes makers Roseville, Weller, McCoy, and Peters and Reed, as well as a group of tiles from the region. Among the pottery highlights are several exceptional Roseville vases:
Pauleo is a popular Arts and Crafts pattern introduced by Roseville Pottery in 1914. The designers used numerous glazes with Pauleo, including lustrous, matte mottled colors, and semi-gloss blends. Most Pauleo pieces were without ornamentation and lot 327 is no exception. It is a rare, large floor vase with matte green and raspberry red mottled glaze, estimated at $5,000-$6,000.
Orian is a middle period Art Deco pattern introduced by Roseville Pottery in 1935. Lots 142 and 143 are tall Orian vases in yellow and red, estimated at $450-$650 each. Lot 314 is from Roseville’s Rozane line. It is finely painted with a dog portrait, estimated at $750-$1,000. Roseville’s Baneda line was introduced in 1933. Lot 113 is a green Baneda estimated at $1,000-$1,500. Lot 15 is from the short-lived Azurean line dating to 1920. It has a painting of a large sailboat by Anthony Dunleavy and is estimated to fetch $1,000-$1,500. Lot 22 is a rare and exceptional red Carnelian II “Beehive” vase (which is also known to some collectors as Carnelian III), estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
The sale also contains several Roseville wall pockets, including some from the highly sought-after lines of Tourist and Sunflower. Lot 8, a rare Tourist, is estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Lot 294, Sunflower, is estimated at $600-$900.
Other notable Roseville items include lot 329, a Dogwood I umbrella stand, which is a nice, large example of an Arts & Crafts line, estimated at $700-$900. Lot 359 is a brown Primrose sand jar, estimated at $500-$700; and lot 131 is a rare tan Artcraft 8-inch jardiniere and pedestal, estimated at $1,400-$1,800.
Roseville’s Della Robbia line was introduced in 1906; the hand-carved pieces are scarce and highly sought-after by collectors. Lot 1 is a unique and large experimental covered jar, carved and enamel-decorated by artist Helen Smith with clematis vines in lavenders, greens, and ivory. Despite several shallow firing lines and glaze scaling, the piece is estimated to fetch $5,000-$7,000. Lot 29 is a rare Della Robbia mug, enamel-decorated with a band of blossoms, leaves and a verse from the poet Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat: “Perplext no more with Human or Divine, To-morrow’s tangle to the winds resign, And lose your fingers in the tresses of The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine.” It is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.
Weller Pottery began production in 1872. The Weller Sicard line, made by Frenchman Jacques Sicard from 1902 to 1907, is one of Weller’s most sought-after patterns. Lot 39 is a Weller Sicard 6-inch bud vase, perfectly fired with stars on burgundy ground, estimated at $600-$900.
Weller Hudson was developed in the late teens to early ‘20s and to this day remains among the highest quality, hand-decorated pottery ever produced. Lot 36 is a fine and rare Weller Hudson scenic 6-inch bud vase, the only one we know of with rabbits, estimated at $1,000-$1,500.
The Weller Woodcraft and Muskota lines are extremely popular with Arts & Crafts pottery collectors. Lot 56 is a rare Weller Woodcraft 15 ½-inch vase with an owl in apple tree, estimated at $600-$800.
Other Weller pieces to note are: lot 200, from the Jap Birdmal or Rhead Faience line, an 18-inch vase painted in squeezebag with a geisha, estimated at $700-$1,000; and, lot 48, a rare, life-size Garden Ware running rabbit, estimated at $800-$1,200. Weller pottery ceased production in early 1948.
Several of the sale’s Zanesville tiles are from the American Encaustic Tiling Co., and were featured in the seminal 1972 book, Zanesville Art Tile in Color, by Evan and Louise Purviance, including: lot 370, an exceptional oversized advertising tile with an Elizabethan gentleman smoking a pipe at a table, covered in matte caramel and ivory glaze, estimated at $2,000-$3,000; and, lot 371, a rare and large pair of grate tiles with putti within ribbon and foliate design, covered in matte turquoise glaze, estimated at $1,500-$2,000.
For more information on this and other Rago auctions, visit www.ragoarts.com.
Photos courtesy Rago Arts.