The Thursday, August 5 Auction at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper in Indianapolis, Indiana saw strong bidding from both the floor and EBay bidders. As with every auction, there were plenty of highs and lows, providing opportunity for collectors to scoop up treasures, whatever the price range. Focusing primarily on the collection of East Coast collector Ken Dukoff, this auction also included items from local and national consigners together with several lots consigned from The Indianapolis Museum of Art. Among this group was a lot of 3 hard cover books pertaining to Chinese arts, as well as a number of large lots of back issues of magazines pertaining to Asian Arts and Culture. Sales of these items were broad, ranging from $30-$400, plus 15% buyer’s premium, to eBay and phone bidders, while, as always, floor bidders were charged only a 10% buyer’s premium.
Prices held strong at this sale, with the pace being set early on, when a Royal Copenhagen porcelain group, marked with monogram and artist cipher and dated 1918, sold near high estimate of $900, closing at $825, plus 15% buyer’s premium, to an eBay bidder. Soon to follow was a lot of three Perthshire floral art glass paperweights. Estimated between $150 and $300, this lot closed above estimate at $400 to an eBay bidder. A Kosta cameo art glass bowl, by Bertil Vallien, depicting a figural motif, possibly the Birdman of Alcatraz, closed comfortably within estimate. Expected to bring $500-$1,000, bidding on this piece ended at $750, going to a happy phone bidder. Meanwhile, a La Verre Francais French Cameo vase, etched with an Art Deco floral motif and internal mottled decoration, closed within estimate of $2,500-$4,000, at $2,900, plus 15% buyer’s premium, to an eBay bidder.
Another show-stopping scene also occurred early on, with the sale of an old porcelain 2-sided Marathon Oil advertising sign. Measuring 57" H x 48" W, this sign was expected to bring between $400 and $600, but the price swiftly soared to an impressive $2,300, going to an eBay bidder.
Keeping up the pace, an early antique grandfather or longcase clock, sold as-is and expected to bring $300-$600, also flew past high estimate, closing at $1,800, plus 15% buyer’s premium, to a phone bidder.
Thanks to the Dukoff collection, there was a wonderful selection of pieces from the Arts and Crafts Movement, including oak furniture, metalwork and light fixtures. The "steal of the day" for this auction was a fantastic pair of Limbert arts and crafts oak plant stands with splined, pegged, flared legs. Though refinished, this pair was estimated to bring between $1,500 and $3,000, but closed low at $575, going to a very pleased eBay bidder. On the other hand, a rare Gustav Stickley V-back oak billiards chair, estimated between $1,500 and $2,500, closed above estimate at $3,200, also going to an eBay bidder.
Among this group were several lots of Roycroft and Roycroft-like metalwork including hammered copper and Wrought Iron pieces. One Roycroft hammered copper match holder/ash receiver, estimated between $250-$350, closed near high estimate at $325, to an eBay bidder, while an almost identical piece with blackened match holder (est. $200-$300) also closed within estimate at $275, to a phone bidder.
Sales of Art Deco items were strong, including a Chase Art Deco Chrome tea set with tray and hot plate. Estimated to bring $250-$500, this set closed above high estimate at $675, to an eBay bidder.
Other great buys in this area included a Studio Furniture Birdseye maple and rosewood type veneer table lamp in the style of George Nakashima. Estimated at $500-$1,000, this lamp sold well under low estimate, closing at $225, plus 10% buyer’s premium to a floor bidder. Likewise, an antique bronze lamp with leaded slap glass lampshade in butterscotch with white geometric floral design, estimated at $700-$900, also closed low at $475, to a local phone bidder.
Among several sculptural works was a miniature bronze bust of Napoleon, signed "Tilze" and embossed with monogram insignia. In excellent condition with no damage, this piece was expected to bring $250-$350, but closed above estimate at $450, to an eBay bidder. Meanwhile, a Gustav Gurschner (Austrian 1873-1971) gilt bronze Secessionist or Art Deco maiden figure holding bowl, #155/502, marked Austria and stamped Gurschner on back near base sold just below low estimate of $2,500 at $2,000, to a phone bidder.
As always, there was a fine selection of Asian arts available at this auction. Ending prices for scrolls ranged from $140-$575, all going to eBay bidders, while a bronze statuette, probably Japanese, portraying a man holding a basket with a monkey, surprised everyone, more than doubling high estimate of $600 to close at $1,500, to a phone bidder. A lovely Ming Dynasty enamel basket finely detailed with mother of pearl inlay, estimated between $250 and $500 also closed high at $950, to an ebay bidder.
On the very antique end of the antique spectrum, a large lot of 66 ancient Greek and Roman coins, offered in clear plastic holders and estimated between $50 and $150, brought an impressive $925, plus 10% buyer’s premium, from a floor bidder.
Every auction has its stories and this sale was no exception. When two separate paintings by American artist Mason W. Zimmerman (1860-?) came up for auction, it was his own granddaughter who won both bids, via telephone over an eBay bidder. The first painting, "The Wharf Light," (est. $400-$800) closed at $1,000, while the second, a watercolor titled "Old Temple at Kawa Kura" and dated 1918, closed at $1,900.
An abstract figural oil on canvas by Cuban artist Eladio Gonzalez (1937- ) sold just below high estimate of $1,000 at $950 to an absentee bidder, but the art-steal of the day went to a landscape painting by Indiana artist William McKendree Snyder (American, 1849-1930). A 18" x 30" panoramic view of the Ohio River, executed in the style of the Hudson River School, this painting was expected to bring $5,000-$7,000, but closed well below low estimate at $2,800, plus 10% buyer’s premium, to a floor bidder. Meanwhile, a print by American/British artist Marguerite Kirmse depicting a duck and retriever, estimated between $250 and $350 closed high at $500.
Sales of costume jewelry were strong. Of special note was an Eisenberg Original sterling stag reindeer pin. Measuring 2 ¾" wide, with stamped mark on back and estimated between $300 and $600, this piece closed above high estimate at $775, going to an eBay bidder. Bakelite sales were also strong, including a red carved Bakelite hinged pelican lipstick holder brooch. In very good condition with some minor surface wear, this piece easily sailed past high estimate of $600 to close at $825 to an eBay bidder.
Local antique dealers and collectors are now gearing up for the next auction of uncatalogued items at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper on Thursday, August 26, while the next Art and Antiques Auction, featuring more items from the Dukoff collection, is scheduled for Thursday, September 2.