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Art by the 'Philadelphia Ten' collective headlining Jan. 1 auction

An oil painting by Arrah Lee Gaul, a member of the Philadelphia Ten art collective, could realize $1,000 to $2,000 during a Jan. 1 auction at Stepheson's.

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – A Philadelphia-area tradition for more than 20 years, Stephenson’s New Year’s Day Auction is a perennial favorite with collectors, many of whom plan far in advance to attend from out of state, or who bid by phone or online.

“People wait all year long for our January 1st sale because they know we set aside our very best estate consignments especially for the event,” said Stephenson’s owner, Cindy Stephenson. The

Gaul painting

Arrah Lee Gaul (1883-1980, member of the Philadelphia Ten) oil-under-glass landscape, 24 x 30 inches, est. $1,000-$2,000. (All photos courtesy Stephenson's)

company’s Jan. 1, 2016 auction will follow a tried-and-true format that blends quality, beauty and choice in 500 lots of fine and decorative art, furniture and jewelry.

A diverse selection of fine art will be offered in 50+ lots. Some of the works are by noted Pennsylvania artists, including Arrah Lee Gaul (1883-1980). Gaul was one of the “Philadelphia Ten,” a collective of women artists who exhibited together from 1917 till 1945. Their name referred to the fact that all 10 women had attended art school in Philadelphia.

The Arrah Lee Gaul artwork to be auctioned by Stephenson’s – an oil-under-glass landscape – measures 24 by 30 inches and is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.

A collection of John Lear graphite-on-paper works includes a male nude that is expected to sell for around $1,000. Other art highlights in the auction include a pastel landscape by Arthur Meltzer (1893-1989), whose paintings have been exhibited many times at the Michener Art Museum, est. $300-$600; a Shozo Nagano (American/Japanese, 1928-2007) acrylic on canvas; and Yaacov Agam (b. 1928-) op-art “Agamographs.” Agam’s imaginative abstract and kinetic artworks have made him the best-selling Israeli artist, with six-figure prices achieved at Sotheby’s.

A larger-than-lifesize duo of colorful cold-painted bronze parrots came from an upscale Montgomery County, Pa., estate that was “filled with many exceptional antiques,” Stephenson said. Each of the monumental, differently designed birds measures over 2ft in height, and together they are estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

The array of decorative art from Philadelphia/New Jersey-area estates continues with a collection of Lalique crystal, a pair of Cenedese Vetri di Murano art-glass vases, each over 2ft tall, $600-$1,000;

bronze parrots

Pair of larger-than-lifesize (over 2ft tall) cold-painted bronze parrots, est. $2,000-$4,000

and a collection of Boehm birds.

With eye appeal to spare, a vintage verdigris-bronze planter is designed with three well-formed figural satyrs as its supports. Standing 3ft tall, the planter came from a residence in an affluent Philadelphia suburb and is estimated at $800-$1,000.

The 150-lot fine jewelry section includes many luxury consignments. An impressive and stylishly designed 14K white gold tennis bracelet contains 39 diamonds (H, I color; VS-SI clarity) having a total weight of approximately 10 carats. This high-end statement piece is conservatively estimated at $5,000-$6,500.

A distinctive Native-American squash blossom necklace is composed of sterling silver with green turquoise and coral stones, and accented by six bear claws. Of substantial weight and crafted to a very high standard, the necklace is estimated at $400-$800.

Exquisite timepieces by some of the world’s most prestigious brands will be available to both ladies and gentlemen. Leading the ladies’ watches is an elegant 18K gold Ebel (Swiss) “Beluga” model with mother-of-pearl face. With its original Ebel box and certificate, it carries a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$3,000. A period Golay-Leresche & Fils (Swiss) 18K gold suspended-pendant watch with diamonds and emerald-green guilloche enamelwork reminiscent of Faberge could reach $3,000-$6,000.

Men’s timepieces include a 1950s Rolex Precision model and two Hy Moser & Cie wristwatches converted from pocket watches. A gilt enameled mandolin with a concealed watch, $800-$1,500; gold pocket watches with hunting cases, and other antique gold pocket watches, including an Alph Se Montandon 18K model and Russian example with chain and fob, also highlight the group. A Tiffany & Co men’s 18K gold tiger’s-eye ring, $400-$600; and women’s 14K bangle bracelets add extra shine to the gold selection.

Several sets of sterling silver flatware and two sterling tea and coffee services with swing kettles will be available for those who entertain in traditional style. Also included in the hospitality selection are porcelain tableware and crystal pieces.

A 125-lot offering of both period furniture and 20th-century productions by respected manufacturers stands ready to furnish any discriminating bidder’s home. A period Chippendale tiger-maple tall chest, $1,000-$2,000; stands proudly alongside Federal furnishings, period chairs, and an English mahogany bookcase/secretary hand-crafted by Trosby Furniture of Sussex, England, estimated at $1,000-$2,000. Other quality additions include a pair of period Louis XV upholstered armchairs and several hand-tied carpets. Among the latter-20th-century furniture designs are productions from Baker, Theodore Alexander, Henkel-Harris and Maitland Smith.

Tennis bracelet

14K white gold tennis bracelet with 39 diamonds of total weight approx. 10 carats est. $5,000-$6,500.

Stephenson’s Friday, Jan. 1, 2016 New Year’s Day Auction will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The pre-auction inspection will be held at Stephenson’s gallery on Thursday, Dec. 31 from noon-4 p.m., and on auction day from 10-11 a.m. The gallery is located in suburban Philadelphia at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton, PA 18966. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, AuctionZip or eBay. The online catalog appears on all four sites.

For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail Visit Stephenson’s Auctioneers online at

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