Fairfield, Maine, December 1-2, 2010 ~ Hot on the heels of their hugely successful firearms auction that grossed over $10 Million (including a record $862,500 for a Fox shotgun once owned by Theodore Roosevelt) James D. Julia, Inc. just held their two-day fine lamp and art glass auction that hit a very strong $1.9 Million. Julia’s department head Dudley Browne was understandably very pleased with the results, though not at all surprised. He noted a number of pre-auction cues that suggested the auction would perform above expectations such as inquiries from new blood collectors and dealers as well as from veterans who perhaps hadn’t been as active in recent years. Browne attributed the improvement over this time last year to an optimistic economic outlook and Julia’s “cut above” philosophy of a quality offering of goods. Consisting of over 100 lamps together with a plethora of rare art glass, English and French cameo, and other treasures, this highly diverse auction was by all counts stunning.
Topping the list was a spectacular Tiffany peony border floor lamp on a decorated senior base. Its massive shade featured a wide band of nicely detailed multihued mottled flowers below a geometric pattern of blue silver panels. Topped with a pigtail finial with curlicue tip, the shade rested on its original highly desirable bronze senior base. This rarity was a singular opportunity and earned every penny of its $172,500 selling price, nearing the upper end of its $125,000-175,000 estimate.
Other Tiffany leaded table lamps included a beautiful daffodil table lamp on its original twisted vine base. The conical shade shows a swath of bright yellow daffodils complemented by its mottled blue background that appeared to be interspersed with fair weather clouds. This delightful scene, further enhanced by its naturalistic (and very rare) twisted vine bronze base resulted in the surpassing of its $40,000-50,000 estimate to land at $57,500. A Tiffany Poinsettia table lamp with intense dichroic geometric background above a fiery band of poinsettias around the perimeter came just in time for the holidays for one bidder. This enchanting piece sold for $48,875 above a $25,000-35,000 estimate. Other Tiffany lamps included a dogwood on an inverted trumpet base and an oak leaf and acorn lamp on a gorgeous tendril decorated bronze base. They sold for $46,000 and $35,650, respectively, each meeting or exceeding its particular estimate. A Tiffany Studios table lamp featuring downward facing dragonflies above heavily rippled ethereal blue and green glass that shimmered like sunshine on the water sold for $42,550, just inside its $40,000-60,000 estimate. And a most unusual Tiffany Studios hexagonal table lantern with intricate linking design and cabochon centers on each panel brought $27,600 within expectations of $20,000-30,000.
The lamp portion of the sale continued with numerous examples from other renowned makers. Highlights included a stunning and rare Handel peacock floor lamp on its original peacock feather base. The textured reverse decorated shade brimming with colorful flowers also featured a finely detailed peacock with a long flowing tail. Topped with an unusual ball finial, the lamp also rested on its tall slender base completed by large peacock feathers forming the feet. It sold for $23,575 against an estimate of $20,000-30,000. An unusual Duffner & Kimberly Viking leaded table lamp featured an intricate abstract polychrome pattern segmented by bronze bands that terminated in Viking-esque griffin ship’s figureheads. This marvelous work saw active bidding to best the upper end of its $25,000-35,000 estimate, selling for $36,225. And a variety of desirable Pairpoint Puffy table lamps included several fine examples from the Edward & Sheila Malakoff collection, known authors and noted experts on Pairpoint. A marvelous Puffy Poppy with a brilliant cluster of flowers that come to life when the lamp is lit sold for $9,200 (est. $8,000-12,000). Also worthy of mention was a contemporary leaded table lamp from the studio of Joseph Porcelli whose allover floral pattern done in several different types of glass, created a marvelous three dimensional effect. Resting on a naturalistic Tiffany style bronze base this work sold within its $10,000-15,000 estimate for $10,925.
Aside from the tremendous offering of lamps was an impressive fresh-to-the-market selection of English and French cameo glass with Daum performing quite admirably. Included was an important last second consignment, a rare Daum pierced gourd vase with applied beetle scuttling by a long naturalistic stem. This unusual item sold for $19,550, surpassing its $10,000-15,000 estimate. An outstanding Daum Nancy Crocus vase with delicate wheel-carved flowers above a sturdy bulbous base sold within its $15,000-25,000 estimate for $16,100. Also hitting the $16,100 mark was a tall slender cameo and enameled vase with a wheat motif enhanced by gilt highlights at the base. A rare organic shaped Daum vase with formed lip and decorated with delicate flowers and flitting bumblebees brought a solid $10,925 against a $10,000-15,000 estimate. And a Daum Pate de Verre paperweight from the private collection of Dorothy-Lee Jones collection featuring a purple mouse nibbling on a green mound nearly quintupled its $800-1,200 estimate to bring $3,910. For over twenty five years, Dorothy-Lee owned and operated the Jones Museum of glass and ceramics in Sebago, Maine. From the beginning, Jones was destined to be a collector. As early as eleven years old, she would travel with her mother (who was also an adamant collector) to museums and antique shops across the United States and throughout Europe. Their love of beautiful glass and ceramics combined with a thirst for knowledge fueled a lifelong passion for collecting and teaching about the intricacies of fine glass and ceramics and their design. Throughout the years, the museum attracted thousands of visitors from around the globe.
Other French glass from her private collection included several early Galle cameo and enameled glass pieces. A monumental elongated neck vase with bulbous base featured an allover foliage pattern on an iridescent white background. Ignoring a $2,000-3,000 estimate, two determined bidders fought tooth and nail to get it with only one emerging as victor, the one willing to pay $9,775. And perhaps one of the largest Galle enameled vases ever created, a 17” translucent amber glass example enameled with autumnal thistles sold for $6,612 against a $3,000-5,000 estimate.
Other art glass from the Dorothy-Lee Jones private collection included a fantastic Tiffany Aquamarine paperweight vase, a robust translucent example with internal daffodils inching up the sides. The quality was extraordinary and its form sublime. It saw much active bidding from phone bidders and those in attendance, well exceeding expectations of $15,000-20,000 to change hands at $34,500. From the same collection was a Tiffany vase internally decorated with spots of color and externally carved with leaves and stems corresponding with these colored areas. Making for a striking effect, it sold for $18,290 against a $6,000-9,000 estimate. And a rich royal blue Tiffany Favrile vase with pulled fishnet decoration brought $8,337, exceeding its $2,000-4,000 estimate.
Others included a rare Steuben red Aurene decorated vase featuring gold iridescent pulled feather design around the rim leading to a creamy clambroth midsection. It was estimated for $6,000-8,000 and sold for $15,525. From another collection was an outstanding Steuben Tyrian vase with vertical ribbing and platinum leaf and vine design. It sold for $10,925 within expectations of $10,000-15,000. A Zsolnay Secessionist vase with an impressionistic and slightly iridescent design of a waterfall and mountain scene beneath a red sky was one of the sleepers. Expected to sell for $1,000-1,500, it finished up at $9,200. And a squat Quezal vase with flaring neck and decorated with an iridescent hooked feather design wouldn’t go quietly, selling for $6,900 against a $1,500-2,500 estimate.
The auction continued with a generous selection of Victorian glass including several Burmese glass items such as a Webb mother of pearl satin vase. Enameled with flowers in various states of bloom over a background shading from a salmon pink to yellow, it sold for $10,350 more than doubling its $4,000-6,000 estimate. An ornate set of Lobmeyr enameled stemware and bowls decorated with Provincial Period images of men and women exceeded its $1,000-1,500 estimate to bring $8,337. There were other strong performers in this category perhaps suggesting a resurgence in Victorian glass after a period of its falling out of favor. A Mt. Washington Colonial vase in white opal glass with enameled ducks flying among cattails saw much activity, landing at $6,900 against an estimate of $2,000-3,000. Of the numerous Royal Flemish pieces in the auction, standouts included a scarce Snow Goose vase. This tall sky blue vase showing three geese in flight against a gold enameled sun and sold for $5,750 within a $5,000-7,000 estimate.
From earlier that century, Jones’ collection of rare early glass included various fine examples such as one of the surprises of the day: a pair of whale oil lamps circa 1825. Consisting of free-blown fonts in white milk glass on clear pressed bases with their original pewter collars and burners, the bidding battle waged on for several minutes. When the smoke cleared, the pair went to a phone bidder for $11,500, nearly ten times its $1,200-1,400 estimate.
Also up for bid was a select grouping of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre. The line is considered quite rare because shortly after its introduction, the maker Daisy Makeig Jones was let go from her position at Wedgwood. In her fury she destroyed the remaining finished and unfinished pieces, relying on pieces that were already in the hands of buyers or retail outlets to survive into eternity. This auction featured the only known example of a Fairyland Lustre advertising plaque. Created for retailers to display to promote their Fairyland China Lustre line, it depicted various elfin creatures under a stylistic tree. It saw active bidding to $25,300, above an estimate of $10,000-15,000. A splendid covered box in the Nizami pattern showing a circle of Middle Eastern men talking in a garden setting went out at $10,925, exceeding its $5,000-6,000 estimate. And a diminutive vase in the Goblins pattern showed a parade of winged brown goblins walking through the vibrant green grass beneath a starry sky. It quickly surpassed its $2,500-3,500 estimate to ultimately sell for $8,050.
A much earlier form of glassware, ancient Roman to be exact, was well received at this recent sale. Sold to benefit the Maine State Museum’s acquisition fund, a two-handled glass vessel done in swirling colors of amber and brown ignored a $100-200 estimate to settle in at $3,450. From the same collection, a bulbous vase with flaring rim and four applied handles went out at $2,242 against a $300-500 estimate. From Jones’ private collection were several small lots of ancient Roman vessels of varying sizes and shapes, which also performed well.
Accessories included a generous offering of Tiffany bronze desk accessories. Highlights in this category included a double picture frame in the grapevine pattern with the traditional Tiffany green slag glass background. Estimated for $6,500-7,500, the frame brought $12,075.
Helping to round out the sale was a collection of antique and contemporary glass paperweights, highlighted by one example in which a stylized butterfly rests on a white spiral latticinio bed. From the Dorothy-Lee Jones private collection, it left its $200-400 estimate far behind to sell for $4,887. An antique Clichy sulphide paperweight in which a bust of Benjamin Franklin is suspended over a rich translucent green background was also sold to benefit the Maine State Museum’s acquisition fund. Surpassing its $300-500 estimate, the piece sold for $4,025.
Julia’s upcoming auctions include their winter antiques & fine art auction taking place February 3 & 4, which will include extraordinary silver and early ceramics from the Jones Museum. Julia’s phenomenal firearms and military memorabilia auction will be held in March. Julia’s toy & doll auction will take place in April and their next 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.