DENVER, Pa. – Imagine a selection of fine and decorative art whose quality is so superior, it all might easily have come from mythical Downton Abbey or the grandest of Newport estates. That’s the impression collectors might get while browsing through Morphy’s June 18-19 auction catalog. The expertly curated, fresh-to-market selection of 2,500+ lots would please even the most discerning art connoisseur.
There are so many highlights within the immense array of Tiffany Studios and European cameo glass lamps featured in the Tuesday opening session, collectors will find themselves spoiled for choice. A stunning Tiffany Studios Daffodil table lamp with its vibrant spring palette is a wonder to behold when illuminated. The floral shade rests on an outstanding Tiffany Studios Pineapple lamp base. Its repousse glass sections within a reticulated openwork frame render the appearance of jade cabochons, making the base a virtual artwork in itself. The ultimate embodiment of Tiffany artistry, this show-stopping lamp is expected to make $120,000-$160,000 at auction.
“The Tiffany name represents the crème de la crème of the American art glass tradition,” said Morphy Auctions’ president, Dan Morphy. “More than a century has passed since Tiffany Studios first produced its spectacular lamps, and they’re still in a class of their own. There are far more buyers pursuing them than there are sellers willing to part with their treasured lamps, so there’s always a demand for choice examples.”
Among the many other Tiffany table, floor and ceiling (chandelier) lamps on offer in the June sale is a superb Tiffany Dragonfly lamp laden with heavily rippled glass and gorgeous cabochon jewels. It has a small Tiffany tag inside the shade and is stamped “TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 368” on its base. It comes to auction with a $75,000-$90,000 estimate. A profusely decorated Tiffany Poppy lamp could reach $60,000-$80,000, while a charming Black-Eyed Susan lamp carries a $42,000-$50,000 estimate.
An exceptional lineup of cameo glass includes many coveted Daum Nancy and Galle designs, led by a monumental 31-inch-tall Galle scenic table lamp. The dome shade depicts a breathtaking scene of trees and mountainside houses overlooking a lake. The matching cameo-glass base displays large trees and purple mountains connected by a bridge. One of the finest European decorative entries in the sale, it is estimated at $45,000-$60,000.
Another masterpiece is the 17½-inch Daum Nancy enameled cameo vase with a top-to-bottom autumn scene of tall trees and golden foliage in a waterside setting. Signed and bearing the company’s Cross of Lorraine mark, it is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
Morphy’s has made its mark in the Amphora market time and again with long-held collections of utmost quality. Within the grouping of Amphora pieces chosen for the June 18 session are two monumental circa-1900 vessels with a fantasy theme: a rare 18¼-inch Sea Dragon vase, $9,000-$12,000; and a 17½-inch Dragon vase with several identifications, including the Imperial Amphora mark. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.
The Wednesday, June 19 session opens with a gleaming selection of old American and European silver. A 197-piece assembled set of Tiffany “Olympian” pattern sterling flatware weighs approximately 313.5ozt and includes many serving pieces. The set will cross the auction block with a $30,000-$50,000 estimate. A large American silver punch bowl decorated with a fantasy scene of sea monsters surrounding a ship measures 22¼ inches in diameter and weighs 312.7ozt. The lot is accompanied by a 1944 issue of Life magazine that contains an article on the high-profile sale of the contents of Lynnewood Hall, the Philadelphia Gilded Age mansion of business tycoon Peter A.B. Widener. The punch bowl is illustrated in that article. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000.
The fine jewelry and watches category opens with two exceptional rings. An 18K white gold and diamond ring features a richly hued oval cabochon natural Burmese ruby that weighs 13.20 carats. Accompanied by an AGL Prestige Gemstone Report, it is estimated at $28,000-$32,000. The other ring is a Tiffany & Co. design, platinum with a 13-carat oval, cushion-cut Mandarin garnet; four oval-cut diamonds and six straight baguette-cut diamonds. With a total weight of 12.1 grams, it could command a high bid of $25,000-$30,000. An elegant 14K white gold, emerald and diamond necklace, gross weight: 36.3dwt, is estimated at $20,000-$40,000.
Mantel and long-case clocks will follow. A stellar 18th-century Dutch carved walnut long-case musical striking clock is adorned at its crest with three gilded three-dimensional figures, including Father Time and Mercury. The ornate timekeeper is marked F.G. Lubert Amsterdam on its die-cut silvered chapter ring and stands 125½ inches tall. It is estimated at $40,000-$80,000.
An extensive offering of American, European, Canadian and Asian fine art spans many genres. Jean Beraud’s (Russo-French, 1849-1935) oil-on-canvas painting The Deposition of Christ is signed and dated 1892. Measuring 44 by 57 inches (sight), it is presented in a substantial carved and gessoed giltwood period frame. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. A more contemporary but no less fascinating work is an untitled, signed abstract in blue by Kazuo Nakamura (Canadian, 1926-2002). Nakamura was a member of the Canadian abstract expressionist collective known as the “Painters Eleven,” who were influenced by Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. Auction estimate: $15,000-$20,000.
In addition to the wealth of sumptuous art, the auction roster includes many lots of period furniture (Chippendale, Sheraton, Queen Anne styles, etc.), fine carpets, Asian porcelains and other decorative art; plus coins and currency. The event will conclude with a major collection of Bakelite jewelry and Lucite handbags.
By Morphy Auctions
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