Regular bidders at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper found plenty of new faces in their midst at the Sunday November 28th Auction. Presented as a Christmas Gifts and Collectibles sale, the main draw for many in this festive crowd was the inventory liquidation of Theabold’s Limited, a long-standing favorite Indianapolis shopping destination for collectors and connoisseurs of fine china, crystal, gifts and collectibles. Telephone and Internet bidders came on strong for this sale, as many people jumped at the chance to bid on fine gift items for the approaching Holiday Season.

In addition to 430 catalogued lots, a large quantity of uncataloged merchandise, including even more offerings from Theobald’s, gifts, Christmas collectibles and ephemera, filled several showroom tables. With the first hour of the sale devoted to requests from these items, sales started strong, and remained strong throughout the sale. So great were the offerings in this area, that attention continued to be paid to them intermittently through the long yet exciting afternoon.

With auctioneers from Christy’s of Indiana calling the sale, the first portion of catalogued merchandise was devoted to vintage Christmas ornaments. Among the baubles, bells and shining glass balls were many desirable pieces, including a lot of six German glass Christmas bird clip ornaments. Delicately hand painted, this lot sold just above low estimate of $100 at $120. Bringing much pre-sale attention was a set of Depression-era Walt Disney Productions paper Mache Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, including a Snow White glitter ornament with a paper tag marked, "Copyright W.D.P. container made in Germany" and Seven Dwarves paper mache candy containers, hand painted with glitter and rabbit fur facial hair. Expected to bring $100-$200, this lot closed at $180, to a local bidder anxious to add to his collection. Seven lots of French Glass Kugels, all marked "V.G. 1721" and ranging in size from 5 ½" -7 ½" sold with mixed results, from $40-$200, with the red ornament bringing the highest price.

As part of the Theobald’s liquidation, there were plenty of new Christmas ornaments to be had as well, including lots by Slavic Treasures, Larry Fraga and Christopher Radko. Prices were varied in this area, with many bidders taking home an armload of Holiday bargains selling far below retail, with many lots of 4-6 ornaments selling for $20-$45. There were exceptions to this rule, however, including a lot of 6 Slavic Treasures glass dog ornaments with tags. Expected to bring $100-$200, this dog loving lot closed just above low estimate at $120. Proving that age doesn’t always come before beauty, a lot of 13 Rochard glass Christmas ornaments with tags, including assorted soldiers, Santas and an angel, in like new condition and expected to bring $100-$200 closed at $190.

Following the Holiday fun, sales were strong as bidders had a ball snatching up gifts and treasures from their favorite store. With Theobald’s shopping bags and tissue provided at a special wrapping station, buyers walked away with arms loaded with bags full of purchases that included creations by Jay Strongwater, Rincodada De Rosa Uruguay, Crystal Impressions, Californian Glass Studio, Herend, Katherine Houston and Faberge. Bargains included a Herend Morning Glory tea cup on saucer (est. $90-$110), closing at $30. Other Herend figurines fared much better, typically selling within estimate. A Herend Labrador Retriever, estimated between $200 and $300 sold nicely within estimate, bringing $250, while a Herend Pink lop eared bunny figurine sold just at high estimate of $100. Pieces by Jay Strongwater on the other hand, while bringing nice prices, often sold just below estimate. A nice Labrador retriever, estimated at $300-$400, sold just below low estimate at $250, but a bejeweled Strongwater "Stella" perfume bottle, fell within expectations. Estimated between $150 and $250, this item, presented mint in box, closed at a coy $190.

A dozen lots of new Frogman glass figures were offered with varying results. A Tim Cotterill Frogman "Little Wally" hanging frog, #777 sold within its estimated $200-$300, at $250, while a Celia Reiche Bugalicious Frogman green lizard, #25, sold at half its low estimate of $500, closing at $250. Another Tim Cotterill Frogman Frog "Toady," signed #982 of 2000 sold just above high estimate of $300, at $325. Another Cotterill Frogman Frog "Eavesdropper," #130, closed just shy of its $900 low estimate, at $850, and a Cotterill Frogman Frog "Speed" #147, estimated between $800 and $1,000 closed just shy of low estimate at a still-impressive $700.

A total of 13 Faberge eggs and one dinner set were offered as separate lots, with prices consistently falling within or near estimate, including a Faberge Imperial Rosebud Red Porcelain Jeweled Egg. Presented new in box with stand and estimated to bring $230-$350, this piece closed well within estimate at $300.

On the other hand, sales for crystal were low, giving shoppers the chance to scoop up some unexpected bargains. With most prices falling shy of low estimate, a few pieces managed expectations, including a Baccarat Nude Reverie Clear Crystal figure, signed and offered new in box. Expected to bring $100-$170, this piece closed just above low estimate at $110. Two additional pieces nearly matched low estimate: a Baccarat Vega Coupe large clear crystal bowl with a low estimate of $150 managed $140, while a new, flawless Swarovski crystal Cross of Light with a low estimate of $200 brought $190. In fact, most lots of Swarovski fared better, hitting low estimate or falling somewhere above. Swarovski Crystal figurine shell with pearl, offered new in box met high estimate of $100, and a glass toucan figurine, offered new in box nearly made the same high estimate, closing at $90, and a Swarovski crystal baby giraffe figurine, new in box, realized $110.

Every dog has its day, and in the case of this sale, the dog of choice appeared to be the Labrador. Proving yet again the popularity of this canine in this auction, a Daum Glass Labrador Figurine, offered new in box, exceeded its high estimate of $100, closing at $120. Another Daum piece, a butterfly perfume bottle sold within estimated $120-200, closing at $150.

Sales for much of the remaining glass and crystal, including Waterford, Kosta Boda and Orrefors were low, giving bidders even more opportunities to stock up on gifts. But, when offerings by Lalique hit the block, the action changed gears. A Lalique Angelots Crystal Vase, signed and offered new in box and estimated between $700 and $1,000, brought a solid $525. Other Lalique sales remained solid, with most pieces selling within estimate, while one Hoya piece, a large etched crystal peacock vase, offered new in box, estimated between $600 and $1,000, closed at a coy $725.

Fans of Llardo figures had a heyday with more than a dozen offerings at hand, typically selling nicely within estimate. One outstanding exception to this rule was a handmade, flowered "How Skillful Parrot" figure. Offered new in box, this piece soared past its estimated $200-$300 to close at $425. Porcelain fruit and vegetables Katherine Houston brought mixed results, with many pieces coming in below estimate. The exception in this case was a singed pink melon wedge, offered in mint condition. This piece, expected to bring between $400 and $500 closed with a resounding $775.

Ending the cataloged portion of the sale was a large collection of Hummel figurines, including several lots of early Hummels, brought fairly even results, with most items selling within estimate, and a few coming in just below low estimate. One exception to this weak trend was a lot including two early Hummels, "Farm Boy" with pigs and "Going to Grandma’s, carrying a high estimate of $200 and closing at $225. Another lot of three older Hummel figurines, "Sensitive Hunter," "She Loves Me," and "Be Patient" fared even better: with a high estimate of $250, this lot exceeded expectations, closing at $325. A lot of five various Hummel musicians realized low estimate of $200, and a complete set of Hummel porcelain annual plates from 1971-1985, stamped Western Germany, streaked past high estimate of $200, closing at $300.

While the sale continued throughout the afternoon and well into the evening, enthusiastic bidders held strong to the end. Even more uncataloged merchandise was offered during the remainder of the sale, including Bulova clocks, Kosta Boda Art Glass, Hoya vases, jewelry, crystal impressions paperweights, candlesticks and Christmas items, all selling at bargain prices.

Consignments are still being accepted for the next cataloged Arts and Antiques auction at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper, scheduled for Sunday, January 16th. For more information about this sale, past or future Antique Helper events, please visit our website at or call 317-251-5635.