Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper’s third all-modern auction took place on Sunday April 03, listing more than 100 items on eBay and matched by an equally enticing selection of discovery items. Mid-Century sales are always guaranteed to bring a fun crowd, and this one was no exception. Drawing attention from local Modern collectors, antiques dealers and the curious, as well as from an international audience via eBay live, telephone and absentee bids, this sale placed a strong emphasis on Mid Century design, including the likes of Charles Eames for Herman Miller, Robsjohn-Gibbings, Eero Saarinen, Arne Voddler, plus plenty of Lucite, art glass, paintings and pottery.
Spirits were high and furniture sales were strong, seeing plenty of competition between eBay and floor bidders. A set of six Robsjohn-Gibbings slat back chairs with leather upholstered seats exceeded high estimate of $700, selling for $975 to an eBay bidder. Also going to an eBay bidder, a white tulip table with wood top by Eero Saarinen for Knoll closed with a high bid of $600. But, it was a floor bidder who took home a quartet of Saarinen tulip chairs with cushions (est. $400-$600) for $725, while four black vinyl padded swivel shell dining chairs by Charles Eames for Herman Miller also reached past high estimate of $600, selling for $750. An American of Martinsville “Urban Suburban” line buffet with top designed by Merton L. Gershun nearly doubled high estimate of $250 when it sold for $450 to a floor bidder.
Also receiving enthusiastic attention was an wool tapestry rug after a design By Jean Lurcat (1892-1966). Bringing the most action to this portion of the sale, this rug was offered with a high estimate of $600, but more than doubled expectations, closing at $1,700.
Art glass had some shining moments as well, including a Cenedese Murano art glass bird figurine with red murrina, selling for $625, and an Orrefors Ariel Ingeborg Lundin Art Glass Vase, selling for $700. An all glass 1970 Murano table lamp with metal leaf and murrina by Galiano Ferro closed at $550, and an Orrefors graall vase by Edward Hald, decorated with green swimming fish, ca. 1951 exceeded high estimate of $600, selling for $775.
A solid representation of art pottery, most notably from Indianapolis’ own American Art Clay Co. (Amaco) sold with favorable results. Alligator glazed pottery vases proved to be the most popular offerings in this portion, with two vases, #82 and #31, exceeding high estimate of $150, selling for $190 and $250, respectively. Another AMACO offering, a rare white hi-glaze Deco Flamenco Dancer #207, also exceeded high estimate of $150, closing at $225, and a handled nappy #118 blue high-glaze bowl doubled high estimate, selling for $200.
Even Barbie had a chance to show her modern moxy, with six lots of vintage 1961 Ponytale Barbie Dolls and vintage Barbie-related items, all selling within or above estimate. The high sell in this group was a lot of vintage 1961 Ponytail Barbie doll clothes and outfits, including the “Picnic Set” fishing outfit, doubling high estimate and selling for $200.
The staff at Antique Helper is now gearing up for two more auctions in the month of April: an Art and Antiques auction taking place on Sunday, April 10, and a Costume, Bakelite and Estate Jewelry sale on Sunday, April 24, both starting at 12 noon Central Time. As always, there will be plenty of non-eBay discovery items for buyers to bid on, as well as a treasure-trove of newly catalogued lots offered at each of these sales. In addition, consignments are still being accepted for the May 8 and 22 auctions.