SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Family-owned Stephenson’s Auctioneers has returned once again from some of Philadelphia’s most exclusive “old-money” neighborhoods with a bounty of high-quality antiques, decorative art and fine jewelry. The blue-chip selection will be offered in a 600-lot auction on Friday, Sept. 19 at Stephenson’s gallery in the Bucks County suburb of Southampton. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable or AuctionZip.
The centerpiece of the sale is the trove of fine jewelry, said Stephenson’s owner, Cindy Stephenson. “Probably 30 14-karat-gold bracelets – very significant pieces – came from a residence in Elkins Park, a suburb in Montgomery County known for its Gilded Age mansions.”
Many other exceptional pieces of jewelry also came to Stephenson’s from an estate whose heir lives in State College, Pa. “There are some fabulous items in that particular collection, both antique and contemporary,” Stephenson noted.
Among the highlights are a 1994 Tiffany & Co. 18K gold heart necklace and earrings suite with a total weight of 80.6 grams, est. $3,500-$6,000; and a 14K gold charm bracelet adorned with four hefty antique US gold coins on gold bezels. The coins include: a 1902 $10 Liberty head, 1909 $5 Indian Head, 1911 $2.50 Indian Head, and an 1887 $5 coin. The bracelet is expected to appeal to coin buyers as well as jewelry collectors, and its estimate is set at $1,800-$3,000.
Also ready to take their place in the spotlight are several very beautiful, heavy gold necklaces, plus a consignment of superb diamond and gold jewelry from Chester County, Pennsylvania.
The soft luster of old silver will fill the gallery on auction day. Stephenson’s will present flatware sets, tea services and a number of other appealing sterling objects. An 1878 Russian tripodal silver inkwell decorated with three-dimensional dog and boar heads, acorns and oak leaves carries the mark of silversmith Josef Sosnkowski and is entered with a $400-$800 estimate; while an 87ozt Ubaldo Vitali sterling book cover with Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Christian figures is estimated at $2,500-$3,000. Additionally, the sale includes large sterling silver rickshaw condiments sets.
Notable in the art section is an Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) silver gelatin print titled El Capitan, Morning – a depiction of a famous vertical granite formation in Yosemite National Park, California. One of 18 such prints created by Adams, it is marked “S.E.Y. 3” (Special Edition Yosemite) on verso and is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
A number of oils and watercolors will be offered, as well as a cast-glass sculpture of an abstract figure, est. $1,500-$3,000, by James Coignard (French, 1925-2008). Four other artworks by Coignard – each a mixed-media composition – are entered in the sale. All were purchased previously from Berengo Studio in Venice, Italy.
Two Steinway baby grand pianos will be auctioned and available for aspiring Van Cliburns to try out at the preview. One of the pianos is a popular Model M; the other is a conversion from a player piano.
A furniture discovery that came to Stephenson’s through their commercial division is a pair of midcentury modern benches designed by architect Finn Juhl (Danish, 1912-1989) for Baker. The benches are in excellent condition and retain their original cushions.
“I think bidders are going to be very pleased with the items we’ve chosen for our September 19th auction,” said Stephenson. “We’ve assembled a very nice mix of quality pieces from estates we’ve visited over the past few months.”
Stephenson’s Friday, Sept. 19 auction of antiques, decorative arts and fine jewelry will start at 1 p.m., with all forms of bidding available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable or AuctionZip. The inspection hours are 3-6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, or on auction day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The gallery is located at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton, PA 18966.