Fairfield, ME ~ June 19-20, 2013. Those who have had the experience know that summer in Maine is special: sights and sounds you can’t get just anywhere. And for over 40 years, the firm of James D. Julia has embodied that philosophy by presenting a panoply of quality antiques and objects d’art you can’t get just anywhere. Their drive to bring only the best to market is well appreciated by their eager buying public. This is evidenced by their recent 3-day auction extravaganza that kicked off their summer auction season that will culminate with their Fine Art, Antique & Asian auction in late August. The event began with two full days of fine glass and lamps and was followed by a lively array of antique toys, dolls, and antique advertising items. Look for the post auction report on the toy & doll auction soon!
This most recent Glass & Lamp auction also marked the retirement of longtime department head, Dudley Browne, who will be returning to the west coast to put his feet up, but will stay on as a consultant for the company. The division will now be run by veteran Julia operations manager, Mike Fredericks, whose background in sales and osmosis familiarity with the auction company’s offerings made him a perfect fit to fill the vacancy.
Delighted with a fresh selection of merchandise, bidders in attendance (as well as those participating via telephone, absentee, and live over the internet) were treated to an exciting and almost unpredictable ride. The auction saw bidding battles that resulted in strong prices while also gratifying the bargain attentive with an occasional good deal that makes you feel like you just won the lottery. A category that saw both sides of the spectrum was lamps. These exquisite examples in both the leaded and non-leaded varieties featured one lamp that is one of only precious few to exist on the entire planet. In this modern world, it becomes increasingly difficult to come across new discoveries in the antiques and collectibles market. However, Julia’s discovered an exceedingly rare Pairpoint Puffy lamp, depicting a three dimensional figural owl. This is only the eighth example known, and perhaps one of the finest. The lamp consists of a blown glass shade in the form of an owl’s head with piercing yellow eyes with large pupils. The shade rests upon an equally detailed bronze full bodied owl figural base. It went out at $77,025, exceeding its $40,000-60,000 presale estimate. A lovely Pairpoint Puffy apple tree on its tree trunk base sold within its $20,000-30,000 estimate for $23,700 while a rare Pairpoint Puffy grape lamp done with tremendous realism and resting on its original matching grape cluster base went out at $13,035 against an estimate of $10,000-15,000.
Fine Tiffany leaded glass lamps included an exceptional Tiffany Studios curtain border hanging lamp. Done in a palette of fiery orange, yellow and amber geometric panels, it was one of Tiffany’s most popular designs. It far exceeded its expectations, surpassing its $20,000-30,000 estimate to land at $77,025. Other hanging lamps included a stunning Tiffany geometric leaded chandelier with an inverted dome bordered in bands of green Tiffany chunk jewels. Finished with bronze rope twists and chain accents, this gorgeous piece hit midway through its $35,000-45,000 estimate to change hands at $41,475. Hitting the same $41,475 midpoint of its same estimate was a rare Tiffany poppy leaded table lamp. Another fine example of high art, clearly created by a master in their craft, it featured delicate polychrome flowers and a library base. Surprisingly a rare and massive Tiffany curtain border floor lamp with an intricate geometric pattern, topped with a bronze pigtail cap, and complete with its decorated Senior floor lamp base failed to find a buyer.
Tiffany lamps with the slightly smaller 14” shade tend to be somewhat more desirable and are a bit harder to come by. A rare and desirable 14” Tiffany daffodil lamp with an allover design of brilliant yellow flowers on a simple yet elegant urn base was estimated for $40,000-60,000 and sold for $47,400. And a 14” Tiffany tulip lamp with fantastic orange and yellow tulips and broad leaves set against a rich confetti glass background went out at $37,920, exceeding its $25,000-35,000 estimate.
In the non-leaded variety, another great and rare find was an important Tiffany 12-light lily floor lamp. Though not common, lily lamps are traditionally found in the table lamp variety. This is the first floor lamp example the company has ever seen. Starting with a gold dore lily pad base, twelve long and slender stems reach up to terminate in a bouquet of iridescent lily shades. Quite captivating, it sold within expectations of $40,000-60,000 for $44,437. An example in the traditional table lamp size went out above the upper end of its $15,000-25,000 to sell for $29,625.
The selection of lamps continued with a generous offering of Handel, Suess, and other fine makers including Morgan, whose leaded pansy table lamp with a lovely tucked-under rim and covered with a multitude of hand painted flowers was a stunner. Bidders agreed, taking it just above its $15,000-20,000 estimate to $20,737. A vibrant Duffner & Kimberly leaded orchid shade with four segmented panels showing the flowers in varying stages of bloom saw action to the point of $11,850, within expectations of $10,000-15,000. And a Porcelli table lamp with a band of warm color flowers against a background of saturated colors from the cool end of the spectrum found a buyer at $11,185 (est. $10,000-12,000).
Still maintaining a strong following despite some ebbs and flows over the years, Victorian glass in this sale included some special pieces such as a magnificent Mt. Washington Royal Flemish kerosene lamp. With a Middle Eastern motif of camels and figures with the Great Pyramids in the distance across both the base and matching shade, it surpassed its $8,000-12,000 estimate to bring $12,442. A Mt. Washington Royal Flemish pillow shaped ewer decorated with a winged griffin went out at $7,110 against expectations of $3,000-5,000. This was joined by several exceptional decorated Mt. Washington Burmese and peach blow pieces such as a rare verse pitcher with hand painted lyrical odes that multiplied its $500-1,000 estimate to sell for $3,910. A dragon ewer with beautiful enamel decoration across its unusual form sold for $3,673 against a $1,000-1,500 estimate. And a Loetz double gourd vase decorated with allover octopus decoration trimmed with an ornate gold pattern went out above its $2,000-3,000 for $5,332.
Julia’s has produced some exciting results with rare quality Moser in the past couple years and this sale continued to generate strong results. The highly ornate glass included a large decorated center bowl with applied amber ruffled rim and decorated with acorns, leaves and branches as well as a variety of insects. Expected to bring $8,000-12,000, it did not disappoint, selling for $10,072. A Moser glass pokal with heavy enameled decoration of stylized flowers and leaves has the added feature of a mercury lined interior that gives the glass a mirrored effect. Just short of gaudy, it got inside its $7,000-10,000 estimate to bring $8,295.
English Cameo glass fared exceptionally well. An exceedingly rare Webb vase with carved cameo flowers against an acid carved background was further enhanced by applied cabochons and padded flowers. Hotly competed for, it went out at $18,367, ignoring a $7,000-10,000 estimate. Not to be outdone, it was followed by a Webb cameo vase, carved in an Oriental pattern on light celadon green glass that saw bidding beyond its $8,000-12,000 estimate to the tune of $18,960.
The auction likewise featured a multitude of French cameo glass, which had its share of strong performers and good buys. Included were several examples by Galle such as a marquetry vase with subtle purple irises against a mottled white and yellow colored background. Created by one of the first names in French cameo glass, it sold for $21,330 against an estimate of $14,000-16,000. Another great highlight was a Galle scent bottle with wheel carved butterflies and moths on a martele background. It hit the midpoint of its $15,000-25,000 estimate to bring $20,737.
Daum included a tall, slender wheel carved vase decorated with red poppies against a brick red martele background that transitions to a light blue upper half and lip. This gorgeous piece went out at $14,220 within an estimate of $12,000-15,000. A lovely monumental Daum vase decorated with bumblebees and flowers against a warm mottled yellow background was a smart purchase at $11,850, nearing its $12,000-15,000 estimate. And a slender Daum vase with a deep blue and purple base with allover decoration of bleeding heart flowers, stems and leaves with enameled gilt highlights sold above its $7,000-9,000 estimate for $10,072.
Complementing the parade of cameo glass was a fine collection of Pate de Verre from a private Midwest collection including both A. Walter and G. Argy-Rousseau. Of the latter, a wonderful Argy-Rousseau vase encircled with maidens picking fruit from overhead trees was a stunning example. With minute detailing, it sold for $18,960, more than doubling the low end of its $8,000-12,000 estimate. A large tray by A. Walter with colorful flowers and a flying grasshopper at each end jumped past its $5,000-7,000 estimate to land at $9,183 while a Walter bowl decorated with a three-dimensional hermit crab sidestepped its $2,500-3,500 estimate to sell for $4,740.
Art glass included some rather exquisite vases such as a rare monumental Tiffany gold favrile vase with white padded flowers, green heart and vine decoration, and wheel carved floral pattern encircling the bulbous shoulder. This showstopper went out at $10,665 within its $9,000-12,000 estimate. An outstanding English dichroic glass vase that has two distinct colors when shown in normal light and when it is illuminated is another unique piece. Further enhanced by gorgeous silver overlay engraved for John Northwood as a gift from Frederic Carder, it combined two of the most renowned names in the art glass world. This phenomenal piece sold just above its $8,000-12,000 estimate for $13,055.
Other highlights included a Lalique three-panel amethyst glass buckle centered on a relief image of a stag surrounded by swirling ferns. Most unusual, it found favor with bidders who took it beyond its $3,000-5,000 presale estimate to $8,295. An intaglio carved Steuben crystal bowl decorated with mariner imagery was a surprise when it well surpassed expectations of $300-500 to bring $6,813.
Art pottery included the ever popular, yet exceedingly rare, short-lived line by Wedgwood known as Fairyland Lustre. Seemingly ahead of its time with fantastic imagery of elves, fairies, and imaginative dreamlike backgrounds, it was actually popular in its day, but production was cut short with the dawn of the Great Depression. Those that survived are highly sought after. This auction contained such examples as a vase in the Imps on a Bridge pattern that sold for $9,480. And a covered vase in the Jewel Tree pattern against a midnight luster background sold for $7,110. Each brought within their respective estimates.
Another area for which Julia’s has become well known for handling quite prolifically and successfully is paperweights. Both the fine antique and contemporary varieties were represented and included a feast of examples by such creators as Baccarat, New England Glass Company and contemporary artists such as Charles Kaziun, Debbie Tarsitano, Paul Stankard, Rick Ayotte, and others. None seemed to fare as well as those by Clichy. Highlights included a concentric mushroom estimated at $6,000-8,000 that brought $6,517. A Clichy example with concentric rows of millefiori canes against a sodden snow background surpassed expectations of $1,500-2,000 to sell for $4,147 while a similar style example against a blue background sold at the upper end of its estimate for $3,081.
The sale was rounded out by a fine selection of quality jewelry and some great lots of silver. Of the latter category, approximately 30 lots of silver from a fine Augusta, Maine estate included Tiffany and Georg Jensen and consisted of bowls, compotes, flatware, and more. A Jensen sterling bowl designed by Henning Koppel in 1950 with a wide flaring body with modernistic applied foot went out at $18,367 against a $12,000-15,000 estimate. A large 316-piece cased sterling engraved flatware set by Gorham brought within its estimate to sell for $7,702.
The selection of jewelry was highlighted by a fine Tiffany & Co. heart shaped pendant with a center blue sapphire surrounded by 17 old European cut diamonds. It came estimated for $8,000-12,000 and sold for $14,812. Also included were various necklaces, rings, bracelets, watches, etc. that seemed to hit everywhere above, below, and in between their respective presale estimates.
Julia’s upcoming auctions include their annual End of Summer Antiques & Fine Art auction in August while a phenomenal Firearms and Military memorabilia auction will be held in October. Julia’s next rare Lamp & Glass auction as well as their Toy & Doll auction will follow in November. 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.