Fairfield, ME ~ June 11-12, 2014. With a seemingly nonstop string of powerhouse auctions, the firm of James D. Julia, Inc. has done it again. While a tremendous feat to assemble a quality auction of fresh merchandise well into seven figures, Julia’s dedicated staff has worked diligently over their last 45 years in the business to pull it off time and time again. Even though the antiques market is seeing a shift, there is still a strong call for high end, quality glass as proven by this most recent sale. Sellers understand the possibility of their item hitting a homerun and buyers understand that with every auction in every corner of the globe, there will always be the occasional bargain amongst the mix of over-performers. No matter what side of the fence you’re on, it can’t be denied that auctions remain a dynamic means of selling one’s collection or buying to expand your collection.
The recent two-day auction featured a vast array of exquisite Tiffany lamps, French and English cameo glass, fine art glass or Victorian glass, jewelry, accessories, and more for collectors at just about every level. Julia’s kicked things off with Session II of the renowned George Klabin collection of Moser glass having sold the first section of his collection in November of last year. Known as one of the premier collectors of this highly ornate style, this auction contained such exceptional pieces such as a monumental Moser decorated vase. The massive cranberry body with allover enameled floral decoration and finished with elaborate gilded brass handles, foot and collar went out at $14,812 against an estimate of $9,000-12,000. This was joined by a pair of Moser decorated ewers, each with overall applied and enameled decoration that centered on a parrot resting on a branch. The lively pair exceeded expectations of $7,000-10,000 to land at $20,737. Other highlights included a rare Moser decorated lamp consisting of cranberry glass with gilded panels, applied flowers and leaves, outlined with gold enameled scrolling. Topped with a dome shade and resting on a cast metal foot with matching floral design, it sold for $10,665, beating out a $5,000-7,000 estimate. An exceptional decorated punch set in green glass, gilded with delicate scrollwork and dimensional bouquets of enameled flowers on the bowl accompanied by its ladle and twelve matching cups found a buyer at $10,072, nearly tripling its $3,500-4,500 estimate. And a Moser Amberina decorated decanter with heavy applied grapes and leaves, finished with a lovely enameled bird resting on a grape cluster as bees buzz about sold for $7,110 against a $4,000-6,000 estimate.
Other notable offerings included an exceptional offering of over two dozen pieces of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre from the Betty & Leonard Issod collection. Considered one of the finest collections of its type, it lived up to the hype. Julia’s has handled much Fairyland Lustre over the years, but never such a mammoth piece as the Dragon King vase. The largest piece of Fairyland Lustre Wedgwood ever produced, it stands nearly two feet tall. Featuring a large amber colored dragon rising up from the ocean as a smaller dragon is perched on a grassy outcropping, this phenomenal piece flew beyond its $40,000-60,000 estimate to land at $74,062. It was joined by a vase in the “Ghostly Woods” pattern. Depicting a central gnarled tree with creatures’ heads growing from the ends of the branches as a parade of pale poltergeists passes, it sold for $44,437, surpassing its $20,000-30,000 estimate. Likewise selling for $44,437 and exceeding expectations was an equally vibrant vase in the “Imps on a Bridge” pattern. Fantasy and dreams come together in a scene of crimson and violet goblins parading through a wooded scene beneath a distant tree house. Another rarity in the offering was a marvelous Fairyland Lustre charger, also in the “Imps on a Bridge” pattern. It sold within its $25,000-35,000 estimate for $26,662.
The auction continued with a wide variety of art glass with no shortage of rarity. Some of the rather exquisite examples included a rare Tiffany paperweight vase. This gorgeous shoulder vase with jonquil blossoms with pink millefiori centers and subtle green stems sold at the upper end of its $12,000-15,000 estimate for $14,220. An unusual Tiffany lava glass vase with a dark blue body with gold iridescent dripping tendrils from the upper lip heated things up, selling for $14,220 against an $8,000-12,000 estimate. A Tiffany flower form vase with a pulled feather bowl and multihued translucence atop an applied inverted saucer foot sold for $11,257 against an estimate of $4,000-6,000. Other Tiffany included a great pair of jeweled bronze candelabras, each with four arms set with a band of cabochon glass jewels on each candle cup. Naturalistic Tiffany excellence at its finest, the pair sold for $17,775, more than doubling the low end of its $7,500-9,500 estimate.
The auction continued with a generous selection of art glass. Difficult to find even one Steuben Intarsia vase, the company’s highest level of quality and signed by Frederick Carder, this auction featured an unprecedented four examples! Included was a lovely crystal vase with amethyst floral decoration resting on an applied stem and hexagonal foot. Exceptional craftsmanship through and through, it sold at the upper end of its $10,000-15,000 estimate for $14,580. Another example with blue leaf and vine decoration on a crystal body was equally impressive and sold for $11,850 against its $10,000-15,000 estimate. These were followed by such items as a scarce Steuben pink aurene hanging shade with leaf and vine decoration suspended from a silver fixture with square link chains and cast acanthus leaf accents. It sold for $8,887 within an $8,000-10,000 estimate. And a Steuben blue aurene and calcite vase with cool color iridescence surpassed expectations of $1,650-2,250 to sell for $5,036.
The cavalcade of glass included some spectacular Lalique such as an early squat flacon signed R. Lalique and decorated with six dancing nude women holding a common garland. Estimated for $15,000-25,000, it went out at $21,330. 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 $18,960 against an estimate of $5,000-8,000. A wonderful R. Lalique cariatides lamp consisting of a single piece blown dome shade supported by female figures reminiscent of the figures in the Acropolis and other Greek architecture sold for $17,775 against a $7,000-10,000 estimate. Likewise selling for $17,775 was an R. Lalique acanthus vase with rich blue color and deep relief modeling.
Other art glass included a rare Loetz “Black Bottom” Phanomen vase with a black iridescent free form band around the base with cream colored waves throughout. This band gave way to waves of platinum iridescence against a gold background across the top half, making for a most attractive piece. It closed in on the upper end of its $9,000-12,000 estimate to sell for $11,850.
From a slightly earlier era was a selection of Victorian glass including a Mt. Washington Royal Flemish Arabian handled vase picturing a Middle Eastern man atop a camel with the Pyramids in the background. It surpassed its $12,000-15,000 to finish up at $18,637. A large Mt. Washington Peach Blow vase in the Queen’s pattern with a bulbous body and decorated with enameled vines and daisies on applied reeded feet neared the midpoint of its $7,000-10,000 estimate to sell for $8,295.
These were joined by over 50 lots of paperweights, both antique and contemporary, such as a lovely botanical example by Paul Stankard with polychrome flowers. Upon close examination, one sees several small people climbing among the flowers’ roots. This exceptional piece sold for $7,110 against a $5,000-8,000 estimate. Another Paul Stankard piece with yellow and red flowers with swirling stems and leaves above an intricate roots system of seed pods sold just above its $3,000-4,000 estimate for $4,147. A rare St. Louis faceted paperweight with an amber flashed base containing red and white clematis flowers sold within its $8,000-10,000 estimate for $8,887.
Another area for which Julia’s has long been well known for handling quite prolifically and successfully is cameo glass and Pate de Verre. From the latter category was a G. Argy Rousseau poppy vase with orange flowers surrounding the shoulder with brown stems terminating at the foot. All set against a mottled yellow background, it sold above its estimate of $9,500-11,500 for $15,405. A G. Argy Rousseau foliage nightlight in dark purple with triangular panels of green went out at $4,740 versus a $3,000-4,000 estimate.
Cameo glass was highlighted in part by a magnificent Daum seagull vase. Decorated with enameled seagulls flying above the ocean waves against the setting sun, and further detailed by a sea turtle taking it all in, this squat vase sold within its $10,000-15,000 estimate for $11,850. Selling for the same $11,850 was an oval Daum cameo swan vase with a calming scene of a graceful bird swimming beneath white spring blossoms. A squat Daum winter scene vase with blackbirds among the barren trees exceeded a $6,000-8,000 estimate for $10,665 while a Daum winter scene table lamp with a mottled yellow and orange sunset background sold well above its $4,000-6,000 estimate for $15,405. A Burgun & Schverer cameo vase with white flowers and leaves against an amethyst background and further enhanced by martele wheel carving and a cameo icicle design sold for $4,740.
Day II of the auction focused on an exceptional array of fine lighting including Tiffany leaded lamps. Of particular note was a marvelous Tiffany table lamp with richly colored poppies with striated orange petals with applied bronze centers against a bed of leaves on a mottled green and yellow background. Complemented by its gold dore base, it sold at the upper end of its $35,000-45,000 estimate for a solid $41,475. A Tiffany Studios geometric table lamp with a conical shade of dichroic glass would display as cream and green when unlit but would come alive to a mottled green and fiery orange when lit. It was a terrific example, selling for $14,220 within an estimate of $12,000-18,000. Another exceptional and rare lot utilizing dichroic glass was a pair of Tiffany Studios hanging lamps. These matching geometric shades each suspended from a bronze chain and ceiling cap finished in a rich brown patina neared the top end of its $20,000-30,000 to finish up at $29,625.
These were joined by a generous selection of lamps by other renowned makers such as Handel, Pairpoint, Duffner & Kimberly, and more. A duo of reverse painted Handel lamps included a floral lamp known simply as 6688 depicting two butterflies alighting near a bed of brightly colored flowers extending upward from the rim and all over the body of the shade. This lovely piece brought $11,850 against an estimate of $10,000-12,000 while a Handel Jungle Bird lamp with two vibrant parrots perched among tropical foliage found a buyer within its $12,500-15,000 estimate at $14,812. A leaded glass Gorham daffodil table lamp exceeded its $5,000-7,000 estimate to sell for $8,295.
The sale was rounded out in part by a variety of spectacular jewelry and accessories such as a lady’s pear shaped sapphire and diamond ring within a platinum setting. Its delicate elegance helped bring its final price to $6,517, surpassing pre-auction expectations of $3,500-4,500. A lady’s 2.1ct diamond solitaire ring went out at $7,290 versus a $6,000-8,000 estimate. And a Men’s Rolex President wristwatch with diamond accents and gold band sold within its $9,000-11,000 estimate for $10,072.
Other miscellaneous highlights included a lovely KPM plaque in its original elaborate gold frame with blue velvet liner. The image depicts a mystical scene of a nude maiden hovering above a lily pond. Beautifully executed, it sold for $11,850 against a $6,000-8,000 estimate. Also worthy of mention were some outstanding Art Nouveau Zsolnay pottery items. A mammoth tankard pitcher with allover decoration of molded oak leaves and acorns with red beetles encircling the sides sold for $10,665 within an estimate of $9,000-12,000. And a vase depicting a lovely maiden with flowing hair and skirt encircling the body of the vase exceeded a $6,000-8,000 estimate to sell for $9,480.
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, 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.