Fairfield, ME ~ November 12-13, 2014. Coming up on five decades in the business, James D. Julia, Inc. finished another banner year as one of the top ten auctioneers in North America. The team brought their 2014 season to a close with a $1.5 Million glass & lamp auction that contributed to the firm’s highest grossing year to date at approximately $54 Million. This tidy sum of course represents considerable trust of the hundreds of consignors they served this year who provided the thousands of quality objects that made their way across Julia’s auction block.
This sale was a stellar array that ranged from marvelous Tiffany leaded glass lamps to exceptional art glass, and Victorian extravagance to finely detailed contemporary paperweights and more. One such rarity, and the top seller among the over 80 leaded and non-leaded lamps in the sale was a wonderful Tiffany Studios dragonfly table lamp. With a conical shade of mottled blue panels completed by a chain of seven leaded mottled glass dragonflies, it rested on a bronze trumpet base with onion decoration on the foot. One of the finest examples available, it overshot its $120,000-140,000 estimate to land at $142,200. Other Tiffany leaded table lamps included an example with an amber geometric background highlighted by a Greek Key band in nicely contrasting purple, lavender, and aqua. It sold midway through its $20,000-25,000 estimate for $22,575. A scarce Tiffany green Linenfold table lamp in which the glass panels are formed to look like fabric neared estimate to sell for $16,590. And a Tiffany slag panel lamp with bronze acid etched pine needle overlay sold post-auction for $22,515 within an estimate of $20,000-25,000.
Tiffany lighting came in a variety of forms and styles. A Tiffany Studios chandelier with an openwork bronze top, a curtain of prisms descending from the cap and a hooked feather bulbous stalactite shade was extravagance and artistry at its finest. It sold just inside its $45,000-55,000 estimate for $45,622. A Tiffany Studios art nouveau chandelier with three intertwining bronze arms that terminated in favrile glass bullet shades exhibited more simplistic elegance. It found a buyer at $10,497 against a $10,000-15,000 estimate.
If floor lamps are more to your liking, then a lovely Tiffany example in a gold dore finish consisting of three lion paw feet supporting a ribbed stem, topped with a cast Aladdin lamp and finished with a gold iridescent King Tut shade should be noted. This lamp sold for $10,665, exceeding a $7,500-9,500 estimate. An exceptional Tiffany Studios senior floor lamp base with onion decorated platform leading up the stem to a six socket cluster was a hot ticket, selling for $31,402, surpassing presale expectations of $15,000-25,000.
The diversity of lighting was not limited to Tiffany. Of particular note was a rare Quezal gas and electric chandelier with six bronze arms terminating in stylized women’s faces surrounding a central inverted shade. Each of these supported matching Quezal shades with the same fishnet design. It went out at $16,945 within a $15,000-25,000 estimate. Even some contemporary artists got into the mix with such creations as a marvelous Somers monumental leaded table lamp. With a highly detailed shade with an allover design of yellow irises against a light blue background, it shows us that classical craftsmanship is most certainly alive. It went out at $10,368, exceeding a presale estimate of $8,000-10,000.
This was joined by a selection of Pairpoint Puffy lamps including a rose bouquet table lamp with pink and red blossoms covering the shade. Most realistic, this rarity resting on a silver urn base sold for $9,480 against a $6,000-9,000 estimate. A gorgeous Pairpoint Puffy tulip boudoir lamp with rich flowers highlighted by gilt stripe outlines likewise sold for $9,480, surpassing its estimate of $5,000-7,000.
Bidders were also treated to several exquisite reverse painted lamps such as a duo of Handel Bird of Paradise table lamps with brightly colored exotic birds. Each sold for $9,480, bringing at or above their respective estimates. A stellar Handel reverse painted nautical themed table lamp with sailing ships navigating the nighttime waters beneath the full moon sold within an estimate of $6,000-8,000 for $7,702.
The auction continued with a generous selection of French Cameo glass by such makers as Galle, Daum, and other desirables. Many of the special offerings in this category came fresh from a private New England collector with an eye for quality. For instance, a Daum cameo glass and enameled rain scene lamp with a pointed dome shade decorated with windswept trees and pelting rain, and resting on its matching base sold for $36,735 against an estimate of $20,000-30,000. From the same collection, an exceptional and rare cylindrical Daum prairie vase with delicate cameo and enameled flowers on the exterior and an interior painted background, was also very appealing. It went out at $18,367, more than doubling the low end of its $8,000-12,000 estimate. Further still, a robust Daum crocus vase with gray cameo glass leading to a padded and wheel carved floral decorated body against a lavender background sold within an $8,000-12,000 estimate for $8,295. A brilliant Daum Fire & Ice vase decorated with a cameo winter scene of barren snow covered trees beneath a fiery red mottled sky sold for $7,410 within expectations of $7,000-10,000.
The cavalcade of cameo glass continued with selections from other collections including a rare Burgun & Schverer classical style urn vase. Decorated with an image of a Roman soldier embracing a female figure as he heads off to battle, it sold at the upper end of its $9,000-12,000 estimate for $11,850. An unusual and rather uncommon Tiffany favrile cameo vase with smoky amber glass decorated with maroon and yellow flowers and leaves saw much action, selling for $13,035 versus an $8,000-12,000 estimate. Galle included a lovely mold blown vase with brightly colored apple blossoms against a frosted cream colored background. It sold for $10,902 against an estimate of $8,000-12,000. And a Galle mold blown vase depicting berries and leaves against a brown and frosted background went out above a $6,000-8,000 estimate for $10,665.
Art glass was another area to make a strong showing. The auction featured a fabulous collection of over 25 pieces of R. Lalique art glass with intricately decorated patterns, many of which come from a prominent Georgia collection. Pieces marked “R. Lalique” (as opposed to pieces lacking the “R”) signify the earlier and more sought after the company created. Highlights included a sensual R. Lalique vase with its sides impressed with nude sirens and topped with a nude female figural stopper. It sold for $17,775, beating out a $10,000-15,000 estimate. A bulbous Lalique Courges pattern vase done in rich blue glass with deeply impressed pears encircling the piece surpassed its $8,000-12,000 estimate to sell for $15,405. And an R. Lalique luminaire depicting a nude woman draped with a shawl with her arms outstretched is a tribute to the beauty of the female form. This lovely piece went out at $10,665 against an estimate of $5,000-8,000. The selection of art glass also included a generous selection of Loetz. Of the many highlights, a Loetz Phanomen overlay vase stood out among the rest. Its bright blue iridescent decoration with violet highlights against a green iridescent background was been further decorated with sterling silver overlay in a motif of swirling vines and leaves. It sold for $13,035, exceeding an estimate of $8,000-12,000. A Loetz Titania overlay vase with silvery blue dragged loop design against a yellow background with sterling silver garlands circling the body sold just above its $6,000-8,000 estimate for $8,295. A Loetz tricolor vase with a bulbous body, pinched neck, and rolled and ruffled rim was a splendid example, selling for $7,998 against expectations of $5,500-6,500.
Steuben included a wonderful millefiori vase. The unusual gold aurene flower form with iridescent heart and vine decoration finished up at $5,925 versus a $3,000-5,000 estimate. Coming in with the same estimate and leaving with the same sale price was a Steuben green aurene vase with pulled feather design extending from the foot. Steuben art glass shades were highlighted by a lot of five brown aurene decorated shades with heart and vine decoration and a lot of two rare red aurene examples with gold iridescent decoration. Each lot sold for $7,110 against estimates of $2,000-3,000 per lot. And a single Quezal decorated shade with a dazzling green and gold iridescent pulled design went out at more than nine times its $600-900 estimate at $5,628.
Steuben crystal included an unusual jagged rock sculpture with a gilt metal thistle bush emerging from it. The contrast of smooth and rough textures made for a winning aesthetic and sold for $4,740 against expectations of $900-1,200. The captivating creativity continued with a Steuben crystal sculpture of a pear, upon which was mounted a gilt metal partridge in a pear tree. With an unmistakable nod to the celebrated Christmas carol, it finished up at more than the cost of five golden rings to sell for $5,332, surpassing its $1,500-2,500 estimate.
From a somewhat earlier era came an assortment of Victorian glass such as a rare Mt. Washington lava glass pink toothpick with multicolored glass shards embedded in the body. This vibrant vessel sold above its estimate of $4,000-6,000 for $11,850. A whimsical intaglio carved cranberry to clear vase decorated with a scene of cats dressed as humans doing human activities sold for $3,555, midway through its $3,000-4,000 estimate.
Other items of note included a select grouping of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre, a line of English ceramics from the early 20th century that served as a window into the moonstruck mind of its creator Daisy Makeig-Jones. The auction contained such pieces as a covered vase in the Candlemas pattern in which the vase’s three panels feature a tall lavender candle with an ethereal woman’s head serving as the flame. It sold for $6,517 against expectations of $4,000-5,000. A rare Fairyland Lustre bowl with the “Flight of Birds” pattern encircling the bottom and an interior decorated with a band of multicolored bubbles went out at $4,740 within an estimate of $4,000-5,000. And a rare Fairyland Lustre commemorative plaque in the Enchanted Palace pattern depicted playful imps guarding a long white stairway leading to a distant onion dome castle. Estimated for $2,000-3,000, it finished up at $5,332.
The diversity of the sale continued with a substantial offering of paperweights, including a variety of antique and contemporary examples. Standouts included an antique St. Louis example with rows of concentric mushroom canes amid a latticino and star cut base. It went out at $3,851 against a $2,000-3,000 estimate. An antique St. Louis French diamond pattern millefiori paperweight with micro flower blooms in a deep blue background sold at the upper end of its $1,500-2,500 estimate for $2,370. And a contemporary St. Louis Fiornelli paperweight perfume bottle consisting of a millefiori base supporting a clear florally etched glass body that is inset with scattered millefiori canes and topped with a matching stopper exceeded a $1,200-1,400 estimate to sell for $2,725.
The sale was rounded out by a selection of Moser glass, sterling silver accessories, leaded glass windows, and other miscellaneous items including jewelry. One such highlight was a wonderful 18k gold aquamarine and diamond pendant. The mammoth 29.69ct. emerald cut stone was topped with three single cut diamonds and suspended from a lovely 18k gold open link chain. It sold for $3,555 against a $3,000-4,000 estimate while a matching lady’s aquamarine ring with a 15.97ct emerald cut stone in a 14k gold setting sold within its $4,000-6,000 estimate for $4,147.
Julia’s upcoming auctions include their winter antiques, fine art, and Chinese artifacts auction in February while a phenomenal firearms and military memorabilia auction will be held in March. Also scheduled for March will be a special, single owner auction of fine Asian antiquities from the personal collection of Dr. Helga Wall-Apelt (formerly the Museum of Asia, Sarasota, Florida). Julia’s next rare lamp & glass auction as well as their toy & doll auction will follow in June. Julia’s is currently accepting consignments for these and other upcoming auctions. Call immediately for inclusion in these exciting sales. For more information or to place offers on unsold items, contact their offices at 207-453-7125. James D. Julia, Inc., P.O. Box 830, Dept. PR, Fairfield, ME 04937. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.