The Saturday, March 6 Arts and Antiques auction at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper
in Indianapolis, Indiana proved to be one of the most diverse and exciting auctions
to date. With lots ranging from vintage costume jewelry to antique bronzes and
scrolls to an important collection of works by Indiana artist Harry E. Wood, with
hundreds of bidders participating live, online or by proxy to bid.
Near the beginning of the sale was a selection of fine examples of American
Arts and Crafts pottery, including a pink J.D. Wareham Rookwood vase, ca. 1930,
the shape designed by Kataro Shirayamadani. Estimated to bring $500-$600, this
wonderful example of pottery closed just above estimate at $625. Also offered
were 18 lots of Niloak Mission Swirl pottery. With most sales falling within
estimate, there were a few exceptions, including a pair of bud and fan bases.
Estimated to bring between $100 and $150 for the pair, this lot finally closed
at $325. These prices do not include a buyer’s premium of 10% for floor and
15% for internet and absentee bidders.
Collectors of Art Deco were pleased to find two Royal Dux Czechoslovakia Art
Deco porcelain female figures, decorated with gilt and enamel. The first offering,
estimated to bring between $300-$500 fell within the mark, closing at $425,
while its counterpart, with a lower estimate of $200-$400 closed at $425. Meanwhile,
a beautiful Rene Lalique coquille pattern clear, frosted and opalescent glass
plafonnier shade, ca. 1920s, closed well above its high estimate at $1,750 to
an online bidder. At the other end of the design spectrum, a fine artist signed,
hand painted and gilt porcelain chocolate set marked "France" with
Sevres type markings, expected to bring $1,000-$2,000 closed within estimate
But, one of the biggest surprises of the day came with the sale of three 19th
and early 20th Century Chinese scrolls. Two 19th Century scrolls realized well
above their low estimates of $100 and $300, closing at $675 and $525. Meanwhile,
the bidding on an early 20th Century scroll, a signed pen and ink wintry landscape,
estimated low at $50-$100, continued to climb, finally closing at a surprising
Costume Jewelry aficionados found themselves treated to a broad selection of
exciting findings, including a large collection of signed and unsigned Miriam
Haskell pieces and illustrations as well as Schaperelli, Coro Craft, Weiss,
and a nice selection of Bakelite. Fans of Miriam Haskell were especially excited
to find, besides several lots of necklaces, earrings and brooches, mainly designed
by Frank Hess, four rare original watercolor illustrations by Larry Austin,
accompanied by corresponding jewels, as well as two additional Austin illustrations,
sold individually. Estimated to bring $500-$1,000, all of these offerings closed
above estimate, with one example rocking the scales at $2,100 to and online
bidder, another at $2,000, and a third at $1,700. A Miriam Haskell brooch and
brochure, expected to close between $100 and $150 closed at $625, while a Schiaperelli
glass rose brooch caused a similar fervor. Expected to bring $80-$100, this
beautiful marked piece closed at $525.
A fine selection of bronze statues, including a 19th Century reproduction of
the Laocoon group, cast by F, Barbedienne, Paris, pleased collectors by selling
below estimate. The Laocoon bronze, expected to bring $3,000-$5,000, closed
at $2,600. Similarly, A Victor Heinrich A. Seifert nude female bronze, estimated
at $1,000-$2,000 closed below estimate at $900, and a female classical gilt
bronze statue by French sculptor Jean-Jules Salmson, expected to bring between
$800 and $1,200, closed surprisingly low at $425.
Offered in conjunction with Christy’s of Indiana and reserved till the end
of the auction were 37 much-anticipated lots from the estate of Albert Wood,
son of Harry E. Wood and brother of Harry Wood Jr. With bids closing within
or above high estimate, competition was strong among collectors seeking to own
a very important piece of Indiana history. All items from this were accompanied
by a document of provenance, signed by daughter of Albert Wood, Francie Oburn.
A well known Indianapolis author, artist, carpenter and educator, Harry E.
Wood (1879-1951) studied under Hoosier Group artist Otto Stark. Many of Wood’s
paintings capture 1920s and 30s Indiana life: fishing on Lake Tippecanoe, fields
of hay, rivers and forests as well as downtown Indianapolis street scenes were
all well within his vocabulary. As an active proponent of the Arts and Crafts
movement, Mr. Wood made wonderful Arts and Crafts furniture and hammered copper
pieces. With this rare offering, fine examples of nearly every aspect of this
diverse artist’s work realized prices far exceeding estimates.
One oil on canvas landscape, depicting children and canoes on an Indiana lake,
expected to bring between $800 and $1,200 closed above estimate at $1,350. So
it went with nearly every offering from this estate, with paintings typically
bringing approximately $500-$1,000. But, most surprisingly, works on paper,
estimated to bring $20-$80 consistently closed high as well. Most notably, a
collection or 18 unsigned watercolor and pencil sketchbook illustrations of
the Fountain Square neighborhood in Indianapolis, estimated to bring between
$40 and $80 finally closed at $400. Similarly, a set of handmade Arts and Crafts
artist tools, woodworking set and handmade period printing blocks that once
belonged to the artist, estimated to bring $50-$100, closed at $300. A lot of
seven pieces designed by Harry E. Wood consisting of Arts and Crafts blocks
and designs for making blocks, polychrome block prints and two books written
by Harry E. Wood on Mechanical Drawing and Industrial Arts, estimated to close
between $40-$60 ended at $450.
Examples of Wood’s Arts and Crafts metalwork fell well within or above estimate
as well. A signed, hand wrought Arts and Crafts copper desk set from the Frost
Workshop of Dayton, Ohio, estimated to bring $300-$500 closed at $425, while
a hammered copper candleholder and sconce, estimated at $100-$200 closed at
Also offered from this estate was a selection of works by Harry Wood Jr. (1910-1995).
Son of Harry E. Wood, Harry Jr. was a well-known Indianapolis artist and educator.
He headed the art department at Illinois Wesleyan University from 1942-44 and
the Arizona State University 1954-71; the university later named its art gallery
With this exciting auction scarcely over, the crew at Dan Ripley’s Antique
Helper are gearing up for our first fishing auction on Saturday March 13th 3pm
EST (*new time), offering a large consignment from a private collection of over
500 outstanding vintage lures, catalogs, reels and other items.
March 27th will be our Modern Design Auction. Included in this sale will be
a collection of Scandinavian, Italian, American, Germany and English pottery,
glass and furniture, primarily from an important New York collection.
Continuing with our first Saturday of the month arts and antiques auctions,
we are now accepting consignments and putting together our April 3rd, sale.