Fairfield, ME ~ November 28-29, 2012. With the final days of 2012 upon us, the auction firm James D. Julia, Inc. is recording another banner year of top shelf auctions, grossing over $46 Million in sales. The icing to finish out the year came with a three-day auction extravaganza that combined two days of fine glass and lamps with rare toys, dolls, and advertising items to bring the final tally to over $2.5 million. Julia’s focus on high quality antiques, combined with a stellar marketing program and a dedicated staff company president Jim Julia frequently refers to as the best auction team in North America has been a recipe for success over their 40 years in the business.
This Glass & Lamp auction generated some of the strongest participation and sales results sold in the last few years. Boasting fresh-to-the-market items from collections and estates from across the country, the auction was chock full of such wonderful antiques that set themselves apart from the ordinary. And seeing the bevy of beautiful treasures enhanced by the fine lamps, aglow all at once is nothing short of breathtaking. Among the numerous examples lighting the way was a marvelous Tiffany Venetian leaded table lamp with intricate micro-design done with exceptional glass. The shade rested on its original and equally intricate bronze base patterned to match the Tiffany bronze desk sets of the same design. This unusual lamp knocked its $60,000-80,000 estimate flat, climbing to a staggering $103,500. A Tiffany Nasturtium floor lamp preceded this one and was a gorgeous mix of highly mottled and fiery glass forming an allover pattern of flowers, resting on a vertically ribbed bronze base. It went out at $69,000, just nearing its $70,000-100,000 estimate. Yet another stunner was a Tiffany Daffodil leaded table lamp with clusters of flowers in varying stages of bloom in a variety of colors against a mottled gray sky background. It sold for $40,250 against expectations of $20,000-25,000. An unusual lamp with one of the most desirable shades Tiffany Studios ever created was the pansy full floral. The shade consisted of four bunches of flowers so accurately represented with the perfect combination of mottled, striated, and textured glass. It gave a solid performance, hitting $38,525 against a $25,000-35,000 estimate. A lovely example done with bellflowers along the perimeter below a deep emerald green background, and resting on a beautifully patinated bronze library base nudged above the top end of its $15,000-25,000 estimate to sell for $25,300. On a slightly smaller scale was a lovely Tiffany leaded acorn lamp with a 10” shade done in a geometric pattern and set with a band of alternating acorns. A special feature of this lamp was that it was made with dichroic glass, which displays a greenish hue when unlit and turns to a fiery yellow, orange and green when lit. Bidders appreciated the rare opportunity, taking it beyond its $6,000-8,000 estimate nearly threefold to $20,700.
Other Tiffany lamps included a rare hanging prism chandelier. The outstanding piece featured an open fretwork bronze top with five gooseneck arms supporting iridescent lily shades, leading to a gold favrile stalactite shade, separated by a row of gold favrile prisms. Elegance beyond words, this treasure saw bids above its $40,000-60,000 estimate to finish up at $57,500. A scarce variety of their Linenfold lamp was another treat. Normally found in green or amber, this example was in white and displayed a lovely brilliance and charm. The formed glass crafted to look like fabric is delightfully deceiving. It sold for $15,525 within an estimate of $15,000-20,000.
Non-Tiffany leaded lamps included a nice Duffner & Kimberly example with allover ivy leave design over a fiery amber background and finished with an irregular border. Originally a wedding gift to Mildred Shannon, it sold for $10,350 versus more conservative expectations of $6,000-8,000. Other lamps included a variety of Pairpoint examples such as an outstanding Puffy Poppy. Including both the two and the rarer three color examples with realistically rendered blossoms, they sold for $9,775 and $14,950, respectively, each meeting or beating their pre-auction estimates. The auction also featured a Pairpoint Puffy Rose lamp with similar styling and desirability. It brought $8,625 against a $6,000-8,000 estimate.
Lamp highlights likewise included a most unusual cast bronze Raoul Larche lamp with terrific art nouveau styling. It depicted a beautiful woman wearing a flowing sheer gown that appears to hug her form as it blows in the wind around her. With Larche’s expert crafting and execution of the dress folds, one would swear it was actual fabric. It caught the eye of many a bidder, but went to the one willing to go to $31,050 with no deference to its $10,000-15,000 estimate.
This auction was also highlighted by a quality selection of fine Tiffany glass. A rare Tiffany red miniature bulbous vase with wavy bands of gold iridescence garnered the attention of advanced collectors. It sold within expectations of $8,000-12,000 to land at $10,925. And a monumental Tiffany vase measuring over 19 inches featuring delicate peacock feathers surrounding the perimeter went out at $8,625, in line with its $6,000-9,000 estimate.
French cameo glass made a strong showing including a rare Daum vase with a long slender stem and squat body with a desirable Martele background. Looking like a hand hammered finish it also featured wheel carved flowers and sold within a $20,000-30,000 estimate for $23,000. This was joined by several other rare Daum pieces such as a monumental Daum mushroom vase with an acid textured stem that looked like flowing water leading to the bulbous base decorated with a field of colorful wild mushrooms. It sold within its $15,000-20,000 estimate for $17,250. A 6” Daum rain scene vase with a realistic rendering of windswept trees on a vibrant pink, green and frosty sky soaked its $7,500-8,500 estimate to bring $10,350. A smaller version more than tripled the low end of its $1,500-2,500 estimate to sell for $4,600.
The cavalcade of cameo glass continued with two outstanding Galle marquetry and padded vases. Once the vase itself was blown, the artist then would inlay molten glass and wheel-carve delicate translucent flowers for a striking effect. These examples including one with a carved Oriental style signature each sold above pre-auction expectations for $25,875 and $21,850, respectively. Galle mold blown vases included a lovely blue and purple clematis flower decorated example, followed by a red fuchsia on cream example. Each met or bested their estimates to finish up at $9,487 and $10,350.
Other exciting offerings included over 50 pieces of Moser glass from a West Texas collector. After Julia’s glass and lamp auction in June of this year that showed strong results in Moser, the consignor felt it the proper time to sell his collection and Julia’s the firm to handle it. The offering did not disappoint. Included was such significant pieces as a monumental two-handled cranberry colored vase beautifully enameled with a wooded brook scene with a large heron scoping for his next meal as two herons fly above for a different vantage point. With its exceptional artistry and realism, the piece neared the top end of its $10,000-15,000 estimate to bring $14,375. This was followed by a marvelous Moser decorated wine set. Consisting of an elaborate handled decanter and eight matching glasses, the set was decorated with a highly enameled and delicate applied grapevine motif. It saw action beyond its $2,500-3,500 estimate to sell for $12,650. A Moser decorated compote with a highly decorated irregular border bowl supported by a three branch base decorated with applied acorns and enameled insects was another unusual piece. It also found favor with collectors and sold for $13,800. And a monumental 31” Moser trumpet vase decorated with towering sunflowers went out at $2,990, just above expectations of $2,000-2,500.
Another area in which Julia’s has excelled in recent years is Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre. This highly elaborate decorated ceramic ware created by Daisy Makeig Jones in the early 20th century has consistently found favor among serious collectors for its otherworldly depictions of whimsy and fantasy. Included in this sale were such pieces as a lovely footed pear shaped vase decorated in the Pillars design showing castles in the distance as seen beyond a fantastic overgrown jungle landscape. It sold within its $12,000-15,000 estimate for $12,650 where another example sharing the Pillars design, but in a shoulder vase form instead sold for $10,925. A rare footed chalice bowl with the Twyford Gardens pattern on the exterior and a variation of the Fairy Gondola pattern on the interior likewise sold within estimate for $10,350. And a Fairyland Lustre plate decorated with an image of fairytale character Thumbelina floating downstream on a leaf outperformed its $2,000-3,000 estimate to sell for $7,187.
From a somewhat earlier era came a variety of Victorian glass including some rather spectacular examples of Mt. Washington Burmese pieces. A lovely vase with a ruffled lip and enameled with monkeys was a rare find, having a most unusual subject matter not normally portrayed. Expected to bring $15,000-20,000, it found a buyer at $28,750 while a similar form only decorated with owls instead brought in $27,600. A Mt. Washington Burmese two-handled vase with delicate curlicue handles and decorated with herons flying over pyramids cleared its $8,000-12,000 estimate to sell for $12,650. The selection of Victorian glass continued with some wonderful Royal Flemish works including an elaborate vase with a V-shaped freeform top reminiscent of a bird’s beak. This theme was echoed in the enameled decoration of a flock of seagulls across its body. Originally expected to sell for $3,000-4,000, bidders took it all the way to $11,500.
Also included was a large collection of contemporary paperweights including artists such as Paul Stankard, Debbie & Delmo Tarsitano, Rick Ayotte, and many more. Highlights of the grouping included large Paul Stankard “Root Spirit” elongated cubical weights depicting stylized figures entwined in the roots of flowers. One such example with lady slipper flowers went out at $6,900 within its $6,000-9,000 estimate while another with lilies sold for $6,612. A spectacular example in the more traditional globular form was Stankard’s dragonfly perched on the branch of a blueberry bush. A true artist having great appeal to collectors, the piece went out at $2,702, exceeding an estimate of $1,500-2,000.
Art glass included a variety of quality offerings from renowned makers such as Loetz whose blue iridescent vase with a melon ribbed body was overlaid with stunning silver design and trim. A spectacular example, it went out at $4,600 over expectations of only $2,000-3,000. A Steuben decorated vase in gold aurene with brown aurene pulled feather design across the lip and shoulder was quite captivating. It sold for $8,050 against an estimate of $4,500-6,500. A Steuben pedestal centerpiece featuring a trio of three clear glass eagles atop a formed dark amber plinth supporting a light amber glass Bristol bowl changed hands at $3,680 within a $3,000-5,000 estimate. A bulbous Durand vase with a central band of white cameo flowers over green background sold for $6,900 within an estimate of $6,000-8,000.
The sale was rounded out by a large selection of jewelry and sterling silver including Tiffany, George Jensen, J.E. Caldwell, and other top makers and included coffee & tea service pieces, bowls, and other utilitarian pieces. A sterling silver set of 12 dinner plates and 12 service plates went out within a $6,000-8,000 estimate at $6,325. A set of J.E. Caldwell flatware in the King’s Pattern exceeded its $2,000-3,000 estimate to bring $4,140. And a Caldwell tea & coffee service with matching vertical rib decoration sold for $2,415 against a $1,000-1,500 estimate.
In the jewelry category were a few choice pieces, most of which brought neither high or low, but just right such as a marvelous 18KT black opal and diamond ring that stayed within estimate to hit $6,325. A platinum, sapphire, and diamond ring was also quite stunning, and went for $4,600. However, an 18K gold Cartier necklace was a sleeper, hitting well above pre-auction predictions. Consigned from the collection of actress Polly Bergen, whose career has spanned over six decades including the original Cape Fear, television roles throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and work as recent and notable as ABC’s Desperate Housewives, the necklace brought in $3,967 against an estimate of only $300-500.
Julia’s upcoming auctions include their winter antiques, fine art, and Chinese artifacts auction in January while a phenomenal firearms and military memorabilia auction will be held in March. Julia’s next toy & doll auction as well as their rare lamp & glass 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.