Murano and Nakashima: Dan Ripley’s Spring Italian Glass and Mission to Modern Design Auctions Create a Stir Double-decker auction weekend draws hefty absentee and online bids

Indianapolis, Indiana (April 15, 2008) Joni Back-Bubenzer On March 29, and 30, 2008, Antique Helper hosted two important auction events. In addition to the Spring Mission Twentieth Century Design auction, Antique Helper introduced a new Mission to Modern weekend attraction: Dan Ripley’s Important Italian Glass Auction.

The perfect compliment to Antique Helper’s Mission to Modern sale, Dan Ripley’s Important Italian Glass auction drew live, absentee and online bidders from across the globe. Highlights of this high-powered auction day included a sparkling array of desirable objects; from Salvati e C. Venetian art glass to Venini, Murano and Martinuzzi, this auction was abundant with some of the finest examples available.

Top sellers included a Barovier and Toso Segmentati vase, designed by Ercole Barovier circa 1950. This monumental vase with segmented surface of blue and gold easily surpassed its high estimate of $6,000, bringing a final price of $13,475* from an English E-Bay bidder. Going to the same bidder was a Fratelli Toso Stellato glass vase designed by Pollio Perelda, circa 1953, consigned from the Southern California collection of Richard and Sylvia Birt. It sold neatly within estimate, at $12,250*, to an E-Bay bidder.

An East Coast telephone bidder is now the proud owner of a stunning Murano studio glass vase, designed by Anzolo Fuga and executed by Anzolo and Giuseppe Fuga, circa 1953. It sold within the estimated $15,000 to $25,000, with a price of $21,150*.

Prices continued to soar. A tall, lightweight sculpted bag form vase, composed of bianco nero speckled murrina realized $14,062.50*, from a European bidder. An American telephone bidder claimed a Venini e C. Mosaico Zanfirico vase, designed by Fulvio Bianconi, circa 1954. This fine example with mosaic decoration of lattimo zanfirico cane segments and murrina sold for $14,100.*

An American collector placed the winning bid on a Venini e C. Murrina glass vase. Created circa 1954, this stunning piece demonstrates a beautiful execution of a rare technique composed of small square yellow and lattimo murrina on an iconic form. The best-selling lot of the day, it sold above high estimate, for an ending price of $37,600*.

One of the first signs that spring has sprung in Indiana is Antique Helper’s Spring Mission to Modern Design Auction. As anxiously anticipated as the first daffodils, this auction event never fails to present bidders with the very best selection of twentieth century furniture, art and decorative pieces. With many of the most important consignments collected locally, the quality of the offerings acknowledged the abundance of untapped resources in Antique Helper’s own backyard.

Two local consignments, offered early in the sale, made it clear that the bar was set high for this auction. After receiving much pre-auction attention, “Rio Pecos,” a color woodcut by Gustave Baumann (German/American, 1881-1971) closed neatly within estimate, bringing $10,412.50*, from an eBay bidder. Other Indiana art offerings included an oil painting by George A. Mock (American, 1886-1958). This oil on board, signed and dated 1946, closed at high estimate, $9,000*, from a floor bidder.

Among the furniture offered in this substantial sale were two extremely rare, circa 1910, mission oak chairs, with expertly carved backs depicting an early baseball scene, unearthed from an Indianapolis home. The first chair (est. $2,000-$4,000) brought $3,525* from a telephone bidder. The companion rocking chair (est. $1,500-$2,500) sold to the same bidder, with a hammer price of $2,056.25*. Among other Mission offerings was an angular book stand bearing the Limbert brand, which saw $3,300 from the floor.

Overbeck pottery continues to be a favorite among collectors. A Deco pottery vase with gazelle designs, bearing the OBK monogram and the initials of sisters Elizabeth and Mary Francis on the base brought $2,750 from a New York Bidder. An Overbeck candlestick sold to the same bidder for $1,100. Blowing all expectations to the wind, a Muncie art pottery Ruba Rombic vase with a high estimate of $500 brought a rousing $2,700* from an Indianapolis floor bidder.

Glass brought sturdy prices, with offerings that included Quezal, Tiffany, Steuben, Daum Nancy and Galle. A Steuben Rouge Flambe art glass console set brought $2,200 from a floor bidder. But a section of Daum Nancy art glass received even more attention. In addition to floor bidders and countless internet bidders, more than half a dozen telephone bidders insured that the competition for two Daum Nancy art glass vases would be fierce. The first, a Starry Night cameo vase, easily surpassed its high estimate of $6,000, bringing $11,750* from a telephone bidder in Japan. A Daum Nancy 1900 Paris Exposition vase, bearing an engraved signature and Paris Expo paper label on base, brought $14,100* from the same bidder.

Fine art, including paintings and sculpture, played a strong role in this Twentieth Century sale. “Circus Riders,” a patinated bronze sculpture by Chaim Gross (Austrian/American, 1904-1991), with a BEDI-RASSY/NYC foundry mark, brought $25,850 from a telephone bidder. Indiana artist Robert Lohman’s popularity increases with every new offering. A nude male bronze by Lohman more than doubled high estimate of $2,000, bringing $4,781.25 from a floor bidder.

The surprise of the day came in the package of a Moscow winter cityscape by Russian painters Leonid and Rimma Brailowsky. Expected to bring between $8,000 and $12,000, this painting received considerable pre-sale attention, resulting in a large number of telephone and absentee bids. Hot bidding drove the price of this 27” x 38” oil on canvas to nearly triple high estimate, closing at $41,125, in favor of a New York telephone bidder.

The high point of the auction was, without a doubt, the offering of an English walnut dining table by George Nakashima. In the same Indianapolis family since it was originally commissioned at Nakashima’s studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania in the 1950s, this one of a kind piece attracted plenty of attention. Knowledge of this consignment compelled at least three floor bidders to travel great distances in order to view the table and participate in person. The bidding started modestly, but most bidders were swiftly left in the dust, until there were just two left standing. The winning bidder, who traveled from the East Coast, and spent the better part of the previous day examining the table from every angle, prevailed with a final bid of $38,250*. The accompanying four side chairs and two arm chairs, sold as two separate lots, brought $2,585* and $2,115, respectively, from a telephone bidder in France.

Complete auction results for these sales can be found at the Antique Helper website, For images, or for more information, please call 317-251-5635.