Hosting their third Costume, Bakelite and Estate Jewelry auction on Sunday April 24th, Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper yet again demonstrated that a professional and knowledgeable staff and aggressive marketing, combined with an impressive assortment of fine jewels will result in a successful sale. In addition to the local audience packing the house to bid on the 200 plus lots in person, there was strong bidding from eBay and telephone and absentee bidders as well.

A collection of 18 beaded handbags, including examples from the Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco Periods, was offered, with mixed results. Items bringing the most attention included a vintage beaded clutch purse by Josef Bernice Garbisch, embellished with faceted clear glass jewels and applied enameled forget-me-not flowers, more than doubling high estimate of $400 and selling for $850 to a Canadian collector. While sales of floral beaded bags were mixed, scenic beaded bags consistently sold well above high estimate, with prices ranging between $475 and $850.

More Miriam Haskell costume jewelry and nine watercolor illustrations, probably by Larry Austin for Miriam Haskell surfaced at this auction. Sales for Haskell jewels were solid, continuing to close within or above estimate, but the real fireworks were reserved for the rare early illustrations. Drawing national attention, this sale represented the third time Dan Ripley has had the opportunity to sell such illustrations, and only the second time such illustrations have been offered through Antique Helper. Dividing sales almost evenly between two East and West Coast collectors, these illustrations exceeded high estimate of $500, with pricing ending between $525 and $825.

Other well known designers brought similar results. A Schiaparelli demi-parure consisting of a brooch and bracelet in iridescent red and violet glass with a tulip motif exceeded high estimate of $200, selling for $600, and an important Hobe’ baroque style jewelry suite with hand painted portrait cameos on mother of pearl or ivory and carnelian glass beads sold for $950. Drawing even more attention was a lot of three pieces of vintage floral Coro costume jewelry, including a Coro duette trembler brooch and bracelet. Despite some paint and enamel loss, this stunning set doubled high estimate, closing at $1,200.

Among the antique jewels offered were a dozen lots of fine cameos, including a Victorian hardstone banded agate cameo set in a fine gold tendrilled setting with four pearls and 36 diamonds, selling for $2,100. Signed on the back of the cameo, “G. Bissinger,” this piece is attributed to Georges Bissinger, who was an eminent 19th Century gem-engraver working and exhibiting in Paris, where he was awarded a silver medal in 1867. A lot of six pieces of Victorian and later jewelry, including a cranberry glass Victorian glass necklace and an amethyst filigree necklace exceeded high estimate of $100, closing at $350, and the charm of the charm bracelet proved irresistible, when a lot of two 14K gold bracelets, including a charm bracelet with 12 charms, some mechanical, tripled high estimate of $200, to close at $600.

Among the estate gems offered was a platinum 1 ¼ ct antique Edwardian pendant necklace with a floral design composed of platinum filigree with a beautiful center diamond of 1.25ct, selling for $2,700, plus buyer’s premium, and an estate diamond and 14k engagement ring with a large 1.75ct diamond selling for $3,400.

In addition to the sparkling array of cataloged items, hundreds of non-eBay lots that included embankments of jewelry, antiques, books and collectibles, kept bidders glued in the showroom, not wanting to miss a single lot. One happy bidder, who came early, bid well and stayed late left wearing a new ring on every finger, while many others in attendance enjoyed similar success.

Consignors who missed the action this time can take part in the next Bakelite, Costume and Estate Jewelry sale, slated for September 2005. Meanwhile, Antique Helper’s next Art, Antiques and Discovery auction will take place on Sunday, May 8 at 12 Noon Central Time. Following that auction, Antique Helper will switch gears, offering weekly Thursday Auctions, starting May (?) at 10:00 AM Central Time. For more information about upcoming auctions or consignments, please call 317-251-5635 or visit our website at