Venetian watercolor may earn top lot at “What’s in your attic?” auction

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Family-owned Quinn’s Auction Galleries has once again asked DC-area residents, “What’s in your attic?™” in preparing for their April 27 Catalog Auction, and the results have been gratifying. The upcoming 625-lot sale embodies the same impressive level of quality Quinn’s has encountered consistently over the years in its handling of diplomats’ and socially prominent Washingtonians’ estates.

The art selection is led by a Jean Dufy (French, 1884-1964) watercolor and gouache on paper of a Venetian water scene. Sailboats and a gondola with standing gondolier float peacefully in blue and green waters against a background of buildings similar to those

Venetian scene, watercolor and gouache on paper, signed and dated, 18 x 23¼ inches, carries a presale estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. (Photo courtesy Quinn's Auction Gallery)

Venetian scene, watercolor and gouache on paper by Jean Dufy, signed and dated, 18 x 23¼ inches, carries a presale estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. (Photo courtesy Quinn’s Auction Gallery)

flanking Venice’s Grand Canal. Signed and dated “Jean Dufy 26 Venezia,” the 18 x 12¼-in artwork retains an original label on verso and is expected to make $6,000-$8,000 on auction day.

Elegantly representing the Art Nouveau period, a Duffner & Kimberly table lamp features a domed, leaded-glass shade with four repeating shell-form panels spaced by green glass scrolls against a warm orange background. It is supported by an ornate, gilt-bronze base and stands 27 inches tall in total. The lamp is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.

Another decorative-art highlight is the pair of gilt-bronze and ivory figures of dancing women by Peter or Paul Tereszczuk (Austrian, late 19th/early 20th century). The graceful dancers in flowing gowns stand on round, white marble bases, each figure having a total height of 11¾ inches. Offered as a pair, the sculptures are estimated at $3,000-$4,000.

The highest-estimated art object in the sale is a Chinese antique – a monumental, vertically presented ivory tusk carved in the form of the deity Shou-Lao holding a carved staff and a peach. Dating to the late 19th/early 20th-century, it measures 45½ inches tall by 6 inches wide on a 5¾-inch-tall base, and carries a presale estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.

Duffner & Kimberly early 19th century leaded glass lamp with domed shade, is expected to fetch upwards of $8,000.  (Photo courtesy Quinn's Auction Gallery)

Duffner & Kimberly early 19th century leaded glass lamp with domed shade, is expected to fetch upwards of $8,000. (Photo courtesy Quinn’s Auction Gallery)

A shapely 9-piece upholstered rosewood parlor suite attributed to John Henry Belter consists of a sofa, two meridiennes, two armchairs and four side chairs. Each of the mid-19th-century furniture designs incorporates scrolling lines, cabriole legs with carved knees and rounded backs with book-matched rosewood veneer. The group lot will be auctioned with a presale estimate of $3,000-$5,000.

The insatiable appetite collectors have shown in recent years for Tiffany silver will be well served by a Tiffany & Co. sterling luncheon flatware service for twelve in the Hamilton pattern. This particular pattern began production around 1938 and has remained a favorite because of its purity of design. “The Hamilton pattern adapts itself to any china service, from Sevres to contemporary,” said Quinn.

In all, the Tiffany service contains 88 pieces: luncheon knives and forks, teaspoons, dessert spoons, salad forks, cream soup spoons and eight butter spreaders. Additionally, several silver accessory utensils are included: a cold meat fork, ladle, butter knife, two pie servers and two serving spoons. The set’s total silver weight is 131.249 ozt, and it is expected to realize $4,000-$6,000 at auction.

Perhaps once an adornment in an executive’s study, a large amethyst geode boasts a deep, rich purple color that is hard to ignore. The hefty specimen originated at Minas Gerais, located in Rio Grande do Sul, southeastern Brazil. It measures 32in x 45in x 14in and has a flat bottom that makes it ideally suited for aesthetic display. Estimate: $1,800-$2,500.

For information on any item in the sale, call 703-532-5632 or e-mail View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at or Visit Quinn’s online at

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