DENVER, Penn. – The spotlight may have been shining on a stellar array of art glass, jewelry and watches at Morphy’s Fine & Decorative Arts Auction in mid-July, but it was a circa-1840 Shaker sewing table that stitched up the top price at the $3.2 million sale in central Pennsylvania.
An unapologetically simple form, the seven-drawer drop-leaf table of mixed woods likely came from the Shaker community at Hancock, Massachusetts. It was attributed to Elder David Terry, who is known to have crafted similar tables. However, there was some speculation amongst experts that it might have come from the boys’ workshop at Hancock. A published example (Shaker Furniture: The Craftsmanship of an American Communal Sect by Andrews & Andrews, 1937, Yale Press), the table was entered in the sale with a $5,000-$10,000 estimate, but aggressive bidding sent it soaring to $98,400.
Fifty-four Tiffany Studios leaded and stained-glass lamps illuminated the gallery during the preview. Among the rare, finely pedigreed beauties on display was a table lamp in the lush Clematis pattern. Decorated with a dense mix of all-over blue, purple and pastel clematis blooms against a blue/gray/purple trellis and warm sunset background, it was signed both on the shade and the patinated bronze base. Opening at $40,000, it dominated the Tiffany lineup at $73,800.
An original plaster model for Frederic Remington’s The Mountain Man was completed in 1903 and cast by 1907 at New York’s Roman Bronze Works foundry using the lost-wax technique. Standing 29 inches high and signed “Copyright by Frederick Remington,” it previously crossed the auction block in 1988 at Guernsey’s as part of “The Roman Bronze Works Collection.” At Morphy’s it sold within estimate for $61,500.
From a stunning collection of Amphora ceramics, a very rare “Spider Lady” vase embodying Art Nouveau high style with its applied-jeweled portrait of a serene lady wearing an elaborate butterfly headdress, set the auction abuzz. The vase is illustrated in the books Monsters and Maidens: Collectors Edition (Vreeland) and The House of Amphora (Scott). Against an estimate of $9,000-$12,000, it clinched a winning bid of $28,290, an auction record for the form.