There was much enthusiasm leading up to the Thursday, September 2 auction at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper. The second in a series of sales featuring items from the collection of prominent New York Collector and Arts and Antiques Dealer Ken Dukoff, live and online bidders registered early and approached auction day with great anticipation. By and large, the most anticipated items brought prices well above estimate as collectors and dealers vied for the opportunity to own some of the finest examples of mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century decorative arts. With sales often meeting or exceeding estimate, this was a lively and fast-paced sale that included at least one record breaking price. All sales included a 10% Buyer’s Premium for floor bidders and a 15% Buyer’s Premium for eBay, phone and absentee bidders.
Starting at 3 P.M, auctioneer Jack Christy kicked off the afternoon began with the sale of nearly 40 lots of antique and collectible dolls, the proceeds of which are slated to benefit the Cheer Guild, servicing Riley Children’s and Indiana University Hospitals.
Following this segment, the auction gained momentum quickly, most notably with the sale of an Important Art Deco mermaid fountain by Waylande de Santis Gregory (American, 1905-1971), for Cowan Pottery, c.1930. Believed to be only the second example of this design to appear on the market, this piece was estimated to bring between $12,000 and $18,000, and set the pace for an exciting day of sales when it closed at a solid and impressive $22,500 to a floor bidder representing the Cleveland Museum of Art.
A very early piece of Rookwood pottery, by Maria Longworth Nichols, C. 1882 (est. $4,000-$8,000) kept up the pace, selling well within estimate at $5,000. A pair of
Gustavsberg ceramic horses by Stig Linberg also fared well. Expected to bring between $300 and $600, this lot more than met expectations when it closed at $900. An art glass box with dragonflies by Orient and Flume also exceeded expectations, exceeding high estimate of $250 to close at $400.
A strong representation of glass, including more than 10 pieces of R. Lalique Art Glass hit the spotlight early on. A lovely clear and frosted Leaf Handle "Honfleur" double-handled vase, ca. 1927 (est. $600-$800) closed above high estimate at $875; Meanwhile, an important R. Lalique Aigrettes French art glass vase, circa 1926, sold precisely on high estimate at $5,000, plus 15% buyer’s premium, to a New York phone bidder. Going to the same bidder was another piece by R. Lalique, an R. Lalique Dowremy or Chardons Red Amber French art glass vase, c. 1926 also sold within estimate ($1,500-$2,500), closing at $1,650.
Other important Art Glass in this sale included a Loetz Austrian Art Glass Titania vase. Offered in excellent condition, this piece sold at low estimate for $800. Meanwhile, a Loetz Tango Orange Austrian art glass vase with black cane, designed by Michael Powolny also fell within estimate ($150-$300), closing at $250.
Two dimensional arts faired very well at this auction as well. A Louis Icart signed and hand colored print by French artist Louis Icart (1888-1950) closed just above low estimate at $575. Meanwhile, a signed lithograph by American artist Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), c.1940, (est. $1,200-$1,800) closed just below high estimate at $1,600.
Among the more anticipated works of art offered in this sale was a California Mountain Landscape by American artist Franz Bischoff (1864-1929), Estimated to bring between $6,000 and $9,000, this work of art exceeded expectations to close at $11,000, plus 15% buyer’s premium, to a phone bidder.
Another painting greeted with great anticipation was a Russian seascape attributed to Russian artist Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (1817-1900). This oil on canvas, depiction Marine oil ships on a stormy sea was estimated to bring between $8,000 and $12,000 and closed at low estimate for $8,000, plus 15% buyer’s premium, also going to a phone bidder.
As always, there was a fair representation of works by artists with Indiana connections. An autumn watercolor landscape by Hoosier Artist W. A. Eyden (b.1893), sold just below high estimate of $250, closing at $225. Among other artists with Indiana roots, two paintings by African American artist Mae Engron sold below low estimate of $400, closing at $275 and $225, while a third fell just above low estimate to close at $425. And, a framed etching by William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916), signed and dated, 1875, in print., estimated between $100 and $200, closed just above high estimate at $225.
A lovely 6" x 9" enamel in the style of Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Coley Burne Jones (British, 1833-1898), estimated between $3,000 and $5,000 and presented in a fine period frame, closed above high estimate at $6,000 to a phone bidder.
The record breaking moment of the day came in the form of a fine bronze winged nude male statue, "Rising Day," by Adolph Alexander Weinman (American 1870-1952.) Rising Day and its companion work, Descending Night, were originally designed as fountain Figures for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Examples of Rising Day can be found in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution. Pitting phone bidder against floor bidder, this rare and wonderful piece, expected to bring between $6,000 and $8,000 finally set a new record, closing at an impressive $10,000, going to the happy phone bidder.
A marvelous selection of early 20th century lamps was offered, including a vintage summer foliage leaded glass lamp with a bronze tree from base. Estimated to bring between $600 and $900, this show stopper closed at an impressive $1,700. Meanwhile, a bargain was had by the person who scooped up a Venetian glass floral wall sconce double lamp fixture. Estimated between $200 and $400, this beautiful piece closed well below estimate at $140.
An amazing Art Nouveau gilt bronze lamp by Abel Landry (French, early 20th Century) featuring sinuous organic framework and signed "A. Landry" on base closed just above low estimate at $2,100, while a pair of English Arts and Crafts newel post lamps, in the style of C.F.A. Vosysey (est. $1,000-$2,000) closed just below low estimate at $975. Another Arts and Crafts era lamp, in the style of Haeinze Art Metal or Buffalo Arts and Crafts Shop fell far below the estimated $250-500, closing at $120. And an antique Austrian bejeweled bronze dragon lamp also fell just below low estimate of $4,000, bringing a still impressive price of $3,500 to an absentee bidder. But, an Austrian bronze and leaded, cute chunk glass table lamp (est. $2,000-$3,000) fell just above low estimate, closing at $2,500.
In keeping with the Arts and Crafts theme, other impressive offerings included a fine example of Chicago Arts and Crafts in the offering of a two-piece set of mail slot covers from the Guaranty Trust Building in Buffalo, New York (1894-95). Expected to bring between $800 and $1,200, this wonderful artifact sold just under low estimate at $775. Meanwhile, a Richard Perry & Son enamel metal water can, designed by Dr. Christopher Dresser was a steal, closing at half its low estimate at $100.
Collectors of Americana from an early period had the chance to take home a piece of history as well. An American 18th Century Bucks County Pennsylvania Chippendale Longcase clock, Ca. 1760s (est. $6,000-$8,000) closed at $5,000, going to an eBay bidder, while an American verse sampler dated 1849 closed well above its estimated $400-$600, ending at $975.
An offering of one dozen lots of magnificent antique Caucasian, Kazak and Sarouk rugs was offered at this sale. Most notable in this selection was a handmade Caucasian Karachov, ca. 1890. Expected to bring $8,000-$10,000, this lot closed close to high estimate at $9,500 to a phone bidder. Prices for other rugs were across the board, for the most part falling near or just above low estimate. A handsome antique Eagle Kazak rug, ca. 1880s closed just above low estimate of $2,000 at $2,100, while an outstanding handmade imported Sarouk, estimated between $2,500 and $3,500 closed just shy of low estimate at $2,100.
Furniture offerings were strong in this sale, including an Aesthetic Victorian Fire screen in the style of, and possibly by, William Morris. Estimated between $1,500 and $2,500, this fine example from the English Aesthetic Movement closed just above low estimate at $1,550. Meanwhile, a double panel Victorian mahogany and embroidered fire screen by William Morris & Co., expected to bring $600-$900 closed low at $575. A nicely formed Limbert Arts and Crafts Gate Leg Drop Leaf table, showing obvious influence from the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh sold precisely at low estimate, closing at $300. And an outstanding Aesthetic movement Cottage bedroom suite complete with a mirrored chest, nightstand with drawer and a bed (est. $400-$600) closed well above high estimate at a solid $1,000 to a New York eBay bidder.
Equally impressive was the sale of a J. Barton Benson, PA, iron table stand floor lamp in the manner of Samuel Yellin. Singed on the side of one leg, this piece fell just short of its high estimate of $2,500, to close at $2,100. A pivoting shaving mirror with inverted V top by American Arts and Crafts icon Gustav Stickley did not fare quite as well. Estimated to bring between $1,200 and $1,800, this piece brought $875, while a Shaker Society Sabbathday Lake Maine Sewing Table (est. $250-500) also ended low, closing at $130.
Other furniture offerings included a nice antique dark wicker oval Arts and Crafts plant stand (est. $200-$300), which closed at $250; while an antique Heppelwhite tiger maple banquet table (est. $800-$1,200) sold just above high estimate at $1,400. But, among the most impressive of all was an Art Deco Skyscraper bookcase, attributed to Paul Frankl. Estimated between $500 and $1,000, this fine example of Art Deco design more that met expectations, closing at a comfortable $2,700, going to an eBay bidder.
On the more ornate end of the decorative arts spectrum, a pair of Italian Grotto Fantasy Sea them chairs and pedestal table, dating from the late 19th or early 20th Centuries was offered as a set. Estimated to bring between $3,000 and $5,000, this visually stunning ensemble exceeded expectations to close at an impressive $8,500 to a phone bidder.
This auction featured a fine selection of antique silver and sliver plate, including a Hagenauer hammered silver metal compote in the form of a stylized bird. Offered in very good condition, this piece was expected to bring between $600 and $900, but more that met expectations to close at $1,150.
An enticing collection of Jewelry was offered at this sale, including two Mexican Sterling lots by Margo Taxco. The first, a sterling enamel necklace and earring set exceeded high estimate of $200 to close at $300, while a mottled green enamel linked snake bracelet (est. $300-$600) met high estimate, closing at $600.
Danish pieces by Georg Jensen fared very well, including a Lily of the Valley brooch with drop. Featuring an early GI mark, #178, this pin sold well within the estimated $200-$400, closing at $325 to a happy floor bidder. A second Jensen pin fared even better; featuring a prong mount and GJ mark #19, this pin, estimated between $200 and $400 nearly doubled its high estimate to close at $725 to an eBay bidder.. A third Jensen pin, featuring an unusual allegorical figural screen with Jensen USA marks (est. $50-$100) closed just above estimate at $120. A Jensen necklace and bracelet set was also offered, estimated to bring $200-$400, and closing at a happy $625.
Fans of vintage Tiffany & Co. jewels were not left out in the cold for this sale, with the offering of a pair of Gold and Jade or Green onyx hat pins in original box. All in very good condition with no damage, this set was expected to bring $500-$800, and closed well within estimate at $725 to an absentee bidder..
Collectors of ethnographic artifacts had the opportunity to scoop up some fine specimens when a selection of African arts, including Wood Door figures and masks saw lower than expected prices, with most items closing below low estimate.
In order to provide ample bidding time for EBay and phone bidders, Asian art and artifacts were reserved for the very end of this auction. Among the most interesting pieces was a Japanese carved ivory handled looking glass, probably dating from the early 20th century, which closed precisely at low estimate of $200. More notable was an intricately carved teak figural Asian scenic grouping. Estimated to bring $200-$400, this sleeper wowed the crowd when it more than tripled high estimate to close at $1,400. Meanwhile, a Chinese export covered urn with a colorful mum floral motif sold at high estimate of $350.
As always, Asian scrolls faired very well, all selling to eBay bidders. Most notably, a Chinese scroll painting on paper depicting a mountain waterfall landscape, estimated to sell between $200 and $400, impressed everyone by closing at an impressive $2,900. Meanwhile, another scroll, depicting wrens perched on a leafy branch, also estimated between $200-$400 also closed well above estimate at $1,150, and another Chinese scroll on paper depicting birds on a limb and signed with calligraphy also closed at more than double high estimate at $1,050. Three additional scrolls, all estimated between $200 and $400 each closed just above high estimate at $425.
The evening drew to a close, with items slated to ship across the United States, and as far away as Japan, Austria, Canada, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The next Arts and Antiques auction, slated for Thursday September 30, will include the final offering of the Duckoff Consignment. An online catalog will be available soon. The next Modern Design Auction is scheduled of October 10.