Tiffany lighting the way in January auction

Traditional and sumptuous antiques - including several examples of Tiffany lighting - will be at the forefront at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery on January 19.
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PITTSFIELD, MASS. — Traditional and sumptuous antiques will be at the forefront at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 11 a.m. Auction previews the week of the sale are Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 8-11 a.m.

Lighting up the sale is this 15-inch Tiffany Studios Spider table lamp ($15/20,000) having a shade in golden mottled glass in the form of a domical spider web with a stylized six-legged spider running down from the top the shade.

Lighting up the sale is this 15-inch Tiffany Studios Spider table lamp ($15/20,000) having a shade in golden mottled glass in the form of a domical spider web with a stylized six-legged spider running down from the top the shade.

From highly carved furniture to elaborately worked gilt bronze pieces, this auction will feature 450 lots of antiques and fine art, including American Victorian, Gothic, figural carved and Arts & Crafts furniture, 19th and 20th century lighting by Tiffany Studios, Duffner and Kimberly, Handel and John Morgan; fine clocks and music boxes, paintings, Royal Vienna and KPM porcelains, gold and diamond jewelry, fine silver, gold coins, art glass and cameo glass, Galle pottery, bronze and marble statuary, Black Forest items, Asian and Russian items, Oriental rugs and more.

“We are starting off 2019 with a compelling selection for our January sale,” said John Fontaine, owner of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery.

Statement pieces figure prominently in this auction and an expected auction leader is a pair of monumental six-light gilt bronze gas floor torchieres standing 6 1/2 feet tall ($35/45,000) having a pleasing medium-brown and two-tone gilt bronze patina. Set on urn form bases, the torchieres have mythical faun busts and gilt bronze filigree arms branching up from the top with single faux candle sockets at the ends.

Another example of highly carved furniture is this R.J. Horner oak winged griffin partners desk ($8/12,000).

Another example of highly carved furniture is this R.J. Horner oak winged griffin partners desk ($8/12,000).

When it comes to Rococo Revival furniture, one name stands out — John Henry Belter, who created masterful carved furniture pieces from his New York City shop in the mid-1800s so sought after that his works were often emulated and copied by competing cabinetmakers.

The more elaborate a Belter piece is, the higher its value.

This sale features a J.H. Belter “Fountain Elms” pattern laminated rosewood sofa ($20/30,000) bearing superior carved crests with flowers, fruit, filigree and cornucopias over a serpentine S-scroll framework along with pierced floral and filigree carving in the back with coiled cornucopias.

R.J. Horner furniture is also finely carved in exacting detail and crossing the block will be an R.J. Horner oak winged griffin partners desk ($8/12,000) in original finish.

Fine musical instruments

Leading a group of five fine cellos is this Carlo Tononi cello ($25/35,000).

Leading a group of five fine cellos is this Carlo Tononi cello ($25/35,000).

Well known for clocks and Tiffany lamps, Fontaine’s is also making a name for itself with fine musical instruments, having auctioned off several choice examples lately. In this sale, not one but a total of five cellos will cross the block, led by a Carlo Tononi (1695-1730, Italy) cello ($25/35,000) from the 1700s.

Other cello makers with pieces on offer include Carlo Giuseppe Testore, Amedee Dieudonne (attributed), Michael Ignatius Stadlmann and Antonius Bachmann.

Fine art

A standout among paintings is Ivan F. Choultse’s “Autumn River,” an oil on canvas ($20/30,000) depicting the brilliance of fall.

A standout among paintings is Ivan F. Choultse’s “Autumn River,” an oil on canvas ($20/30,000) depicting the brilliance of fall.

Fine art is also well represented, ranging from an Ivan Fedorovich Choultse (Russian, 1874-1939) oil on canvas, “Autumn River” ($20/30,000) depicting the fiery brilliance of autumn with orange leaves lining the edge of a river and blanketing the ground, to an Edward Percy Moran (American, 1862-1935) oil on canvas painting of General George Washington receiving a surrendered battle flag from a Native American Indian ($6/8,000). In sculptural art, a noteworthy lot is the Grand Tour alabaster sculpture on marble base ($10/15,000) of “The Rape of Polyxena,” after the Pio Fedi (1865) sculpture in Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence, 40 inches tall.

Tiffany lamps and other decorative items

A J.H. Belter “Fountain Elms” pattern pierced carved laminated rosewood Rococo sofa ($20/30,000) has elaborate carved crests with flowers, fruit, filigree and cornucopias over the serpentine S-scroll framework, 49½ by 88½ by 32 inches.

A J.H. Belter “Fountain Elms” pattern pierced carved laminated rosewood Rococo sofa ($20/30,000) has elaborate carved crests with flowers, fruit, filigree and cornucopias over the serpentine S-scroll framework, 49½ by 88½ by 32 inches.

Tiffany Studios makes a distinguished appearance here, led by a signed Tiffany Studios “Spider” table lamp ($15/20,000) with a 15-inch diameter shade of golden mottled glass in the form of a domical spider web and having a bronze cap with a stylized six-legged spider running down from the top the shade; a Tiffany & Co. carved oak nine-tube grandfather clock ($12/15,000) with a 12-inch silvered dial signed “Tiffany & Co., New York” and applied gilt brass Roman hour numerals, and a Tiffany Studios Acorn double student lamp ($8/12,000).

Russian art and antiques

Russian items are well represented in this auction with a signed Carl Faberge jeweled silver kovsh ($6/8,000), two boxed Order of St. Vladimir medals ($4/6,000), a 14-piece silver vodka set marked in Cyrillic “M.I. Drozhin” ($3/5,000) and a silver and niello 12-piece demitasse spoon set, in original fitted case ($1,5/2,000).

Jewelry

Jewelry and gold coins shine brightly with over 50 lots in the sale being devoted to the precious metal and brilliant jewels, ranging from a 3-piece, 18K gold, diamond and pearl necklace set with earrings and ring ($4/6,000), a pair of 14K gold and 2-carat diamond earrings ($4/6,000), one and two-carat diamond rings ($5/7,500), a 14K gold necklace weighing over 206 grams ($4/6,000) and several lots of jewelry ranging from $1,500 to $7,500. 

Rounding out the auction will be a scarce C.W. Parker bucking bronco carousel horse ($6/8,000), circa 1915, one of three known to exist, in restored condition and having glass eyes and cast iron horseshoes; and a five-piece French sterling silver and gold vermeil tea set with tray ($7,5/12,500) hallmarked with the French sterling silver Minerva first standard mark with crown over “RL” mark for Robert Linzeler & Cie.

Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is located at 1485 West Housatonic Street (Rte. 20), Pittsfield, Mass. For more information, www.FontainesAuction.com or call 413-448- 8922.