Two inches of snow and arctic temperatures didn’t deter art and antiques collectors and enthusiasts from attending Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper’s premier auction for 2005. With offerings that included a selection of glass, silver, Japanese ivories and scrolls as well as a wide variety of fine art and outsider art, there was much to be had on this wintry day. In addition to more than 230 eBay lots, an equal number of non-eBay catalogued items were offered as a new take on the typical Antique Helper auction format. These offerings included everything from fine antique and Victorian furniture and decorative items to dishes and collectibles, providing bidders the opportunity to bid both live and absentee of every lot sold. As with every auction at Dan Ripley’s Antique helper, floor bidders paid a buyer’s premium of 10%, while absentee and online bidders paid a 15% buyer’s premium. These charges are not reflected in closing prices listed below.
With auctioneers from Christy’s of Indiana calling the sale, the fun started with a high note early on with the sale of several lots of estate jewelry. Most notable in this group was a big emerald and diamond cocktail ring set in 14 carat gold (est. $200-$300) which nearly doubled its high estimate to close at $575. A beautiful, diamond encrusted Croton Nivada Grenchen men’s white gold watch (est. $200-$400) also surpassed high estimate, going to an eBay bidder for $550.
Among the non-eBay lots was a Willet dining suite, sold as three separate lots. A Willet rope twist drop leaf cherry wood dining table and a Willet 2 piece cherry wood china cabinet sold for $250 and $225 respectively. Six corresponding chairs, including two captain’s chairs were a steal at $80. Other Willet pieces fared similarly, including a rope twist chest on chest of cherry wood, closing at $350. A corresponding vanity with matching stool and mirror closed at $140, while a pair of Willet cherry wood twin beds closed at $140. Another non-eBay lot of 18 Royal Copenhagen collector plates from the 1980s closed at $240.
A stylish and handsome Victor Victrola, patented 1906 sold to a happy eBay bidder at low estimate of $400, plus buyer’s premium, but other furniture pieces did not fare as well. A beautiful early Victorian twin chair back upholstered sofa, estimated between $700 and $900 walked away to the tune of $100, while a cozy pair of upholstered Victorian armchairs, cataloged as non-eBay items closed at $130.
There was a fine selection of Semi-Antique Persian and Oriental rugs offered, including an extremely large, 9′ x 20′ room size Sarouk (est. $1,500-$2,500), closing at $1,900. A semi-antique Persian Kazak area rug, 5.5′ x 9.5′ closed just shy of its high estimate of $200, at $190. A Persian Kazak runner, measuring 4′ x 13′ also closed just shy of its $200 high estimate, at $180. However, there were also some bargains to be had in this area. A 4′ x’8′ Persian Heriz runner, estimated between $100 and $200 closed below low estimate at $60, and a Persian Kazak runner, measuring 3′ x 7.5′ closed at $90.
Other decorative items sold with mixed results. A pair of ornate English brass mirror candle sconces (est. $200-$400) closed at $190, and a pair of cranberry glass lusters lamps with cut white overlay and hand painted and gilt floral decoration, each hung with ten six-sided prisms (est. $600-$800) closed at $300.
Other items closed with mixed results, despite the brimming crowd. A three piece American Victorian Majolica lotus tea set sold well below low estimate of $300, at $80, while a four piece lot of Wedgwood dark blue jasperware (est. $200-$400) closed at $140. But, there were also plenty of hot items to buoy the sale. A pair of VA Portugal hand painted porcelain lidded urns (est. $200-$300) exceeded expectations, closing at $425, and a lot of three Royal Doulton figurines, including "Jean," "Day Dreams," and "Blithe Morning, copyright 1948 38/48 (est. $200-$300) closed just above high estimate at $325. A set of four Haviland Drop Rose plates, marked "Haviland France Haviland & CO. Limoges" on bottom ($100-$200) also exceeded expectations, closing at $350, while a pair of large silver plate candelabra (est. $50-$100) closed at $225.
Among the plentiful offerings of sterling flatware and candlesticks was an S. Kirk and Son sterling flatware serving set in the Mayflower pattern, introduced in 1846. Estimated between $1,000 and $1,500, this set sold within estimate at $1,100.
There were several bronze offerings in this sale, including an antique winged nude bronze of Victory, signed "Manuela" and marked "Au Vainqueur" (est. $300-$500), closing just below low estimate at $275. More spectacular bronzes included a baying stag by Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1795-1875), closing just above low estimate of $2,500 at $2,600. Another impressive bronze, "Le Grand Paysan," by Aime-Jules Dalou (French, 1838-1902) also closed just above low estimate at $2,600. "Le Debardeur" by Constantin Emile Meunier (Belgian, 1831-1905) (est. $1,500-$2,500) also sold within estimate, closing at $1,800, while "Lurking Scout," by Carl Kuaba (Austrian/American, 1865-1922) met its low estimate of $2,000.
Two lots of two Mount Washington egg shaped hand painted floral sugar shakers (Est. $200-$400) each closed at $425, to the same happy floor bidder, while a collection of three Lalique frosted crystal birds (est. $200-$300) closed just shy of low estimate at $160.
Glass dominated the sale with prices for premier pieces typically closing above estimate.
Perhaps the most stellar piece in the sale, a large Durand King Tut swirled feather art glass vase. Offered in excellent condition with a high estimate of $1,500, this stunning piece exceeded expectations when the ending price soared to $2,100. A nice lot of two Czech Loetz type art glass lamp shades (est. $200-$300) closed within estimate at $225, while a Leerdam art glass vase by Floris Meydam ($250-$350) squeaked past high estimate to close at $375. Another Leerdam Dutch art glass vase by Floris Meydam (est. $300-$500) also exceeded expectations, closing at $575, while a Leerdam glass vase by Serica Copier (est. $300-$500) fared even better, closing at a cozy $750. A fourth Leerdam Dutch art glass vase by Floris Meydam (est. $400-$600) also managed more than high estimate, closing at $625.
Paper offerings, including several lots of books, scrapbooks and one 17th century document sold with mixed results. A wonderful Victorian scrapbook housing a collection of over 100 pages of 19th Century ephemera, trading cards, post cards, advertising, cartoons and Victorian die-cut and scrap (est. $500-$1000) closed within estimate at $675, while a five volume set of books, "Indiana and Indianans," dated 1919 (est. $100-$200) also sold within estimate, closing at $180. Meanwhile, an Indiana Historical atlas, published in 1876 by Baskin Forster, including 462 pages with hand painted maps ($600-$800) failed to meet expectations, closing at $325, while a non-eBay lot comprised of a large collection of antique post cards and a postcard scrapbook made someone’s day when it closed at $50.
A lot of three symbolic nude oil paintings on canvas, taken from an antique mural or fresco painting (est. $300-$600) exceeded expectations, closing at $1,100, while another antique oil, also taken from a larger fresco mural (est. $100-$200) also exceeded expectations when it tripled its high estimate to close at $600. Meanwhile, an oil on canvas, attributed to Max Ernst (German, 1891-1976) sold below its estimated low of $2,000, closing at $1,050. The watercolor by Emil Nolde (German, 1867-1956) also failed to meet expectations (est. $5,000-$10,000), closing at nearly half its expected low estimate at $2,200.
A large collection of Folk Art/Outsider art was offered at this sale, including a Folk art Church Deacon figure carving with applied hands by barber, railroad man and carver, Harold E. Koenigstein (Anna, Illinois). Reportedly one of Koenigstein’s masterpieces, this fine example of American Folk art sold within its estimated $400-$800, closing at $525. Another Outsider Artist represented at this sale was Hasan Kaptan (Turkish, b. 1942). Already exhibiting in Paris and the Galerie St. Etienne, New York by 1952, it is believed that Kaptan created the work offered at this sale at the age of 12. Signed, dated and offered in very good condition, this painting (est. $1,000-$3,000) closed within estimate at $1,150.
A large abstract oil painting, singed "Miller" or "Winter" (est. $100-$200) exceeded expectations, closing at $375, while a Robertson abstract modern assemblage (est. $250-$450) closed within estimate at $325. A much-talked-about large painting by Doug Whitfield (American, b. 1945) (est. $1,000-$2,000) closed below estimate at $675. Meanwhile, a abstract oil painting by Arizona artist Mark Voris (American, 1907-1974) nearly doubled its high estimate of $500, closing at a solid $900.
Among the Asian arts offered at the end of this sale was a large selection of carved ivory figurines. Estimated between $400 and $600 or $300-$500, these figurines sold consistently low, with ending prices typically ranging between $130 and $300. Chinese scrolls fared better, meeting or exceeding high estimate. A Chinese or Tibetan ancestors scroll with many family seals (est. $100-$200) fared extremely well, closing at $750, while a Chinese watercolor scroll on paper, depicting three figures and signed (est. $100-$200), also exceeded expectations, closing at $450. Another scroll, depiction a village landscape with bamboo, signed and offered in very good condition (est. $100-$200) fared even better, closing at $600.
Switching to an every-other week auction format, the next auction held at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper will be held on Sunday, January 30, and will feature a delightful selection of collectibles including a large collection of whimsical salt and pepper shakers. Hours are 10 AM-5 PM, Monday-Friday and 10 AM-3 PM on Saturdays of Auction weekends. For more information about this or future auctions, please visit our website at www.antiquehelper.com or call (317) 251-5635.