Anticipation leading up to the Sunday November 14 Arts and Antiques Auction at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper in Indianapolis was widespread and diverse. With offerings ranging from an impressive array of art glass and pottery to furniture and fine art to antiques lamps and collectibles like Mauchline Ware and vintage post cards, collectors of virtually every style and taste were anxious to get in on the action this chilly November day. In fact, almost as soon as the online catalog was posted, calls and emails began flowing in, with dealers and collectors anxious to learn more about the offerings for this sale.
With auctioneers from Christy’s of Indiana calling the sale, the auction started on a high note when a leaded stained glass panel, vintage unknown, swept past its estimated $300-$600 to close at three times its high estimate at $1,800. Following this item were more than 95 lots of art glass including works from Charles Lotton, Orient Flume, Vandemark, Lunberg, Fenton, Galle and Rosenthal. Sales were across the board in this area, with most prices ending within estimate. A few items managed more than their high estimates, including a Charles Lotton green leaf and aurene vine on mandarin ground vase, ca. 1974 (est. $600-$800), which closed at $875. Another Lotton art glass vase, green with yellow flowers, closed just above low estimate of $800, for the same price of $875.
Observers were pleasantly surprised to see a collection of 12 perfume and cologne bottles, including Baccarat and Lalique bottles double their high estimate of $250, bringing $500. Meanwhile, an R. Lalique art glass perfume atomizer, "Figurines et Guirlandes," for Molinard, Ca. 1920s, closed within estimate ($200-$400), at $375, and a G. Argy Rousseau French Pate de Verre French art glass pendant just squeaked past high estimate of $1,500, closing at $1,550.
Loetz Czech art glass sold with mixed results. While a few pieces brought prices below low estimate, there were some shining moments. A Loetz threaded and applied ball foot vase, probably designed by Michael Powolny, ca. 1915 closed at its high estimate of $500, but a Loetz prewar art glass vase estimated to bring $250-$350 brought a mere $60.
Results for Gaudy Dutch/Welsh 19th Century Ironstone were mixed as well, with some lots ending at or below low estimate. One exception was a lot that included a Mason’s pitcher in Asian motif, which ended precisely at it high estimate of $400.
A Primavera French art pottery deco lamp, featuring the same shade found on an Oscar Bach lamp which sold for $9,000 earlier this year, ended well within its estimated $600-$900, closing at $750. Picking up the pace was a Matt Morgan Victorian art pottery trophy urn with molded and gilt Persian Aesthetic Movement decoration. A contemporary to early Rookwood and Cincinnati pottery, this piece was estimated to sell between $150 and $350, but finally closed at $550. Meanwhile, a lovely pair of Weller Pottery Art and Crafts covered urn vases with a light matte green glaze sold well within their estimated $150-$250, ending at $190.
There were several pieces of Arts and Crafts furniture including works by Stickley, Limbert and Roycroft. Prices were solid in this area, including a Limbert Arts and Crafts single drawer library table. Sold as-is, with some staining, this piece, estimated between $900 and $1,200, closed just shy of high estimate at $1,150. A Stickley Brothers oak trestle table realized low estimate, ending at $1,200, as did a Limbert arts and crafts single door china cabinet, which closed at $1,500, and a Stickley spindled high back chair sold within its estimated $400-$600, closing at $500.
Danish Modern furniture fared even better. A Set of eight Domus Danica O.D. Mobler Denmark rosewood chairs, Ca. 1970s, estimated to bring $400-$600 brought a whopping $1,250, and an H. P. Hansen Danish Modern Rosewood Sideboard buffet also exceeded its expected high of $600, selling for $950. A Faarup Mobelfabrik Denmark Danish modern rosewood dining table with two leaves shared similar fortune. Estimated between $500 and $700, this fine piece of design finally closed at $1,050.
Not to be deterred, 19th century furnishings reinforced their popularity as well. An antique Hepplewhite banquet table comprised of one gate-leg and two console tables sold within its estimated $600-$900, closing at $700. A fine selection of 18th and 19th century chests all managed estimates as well. Expected to sell between $150 and 300, prices ranged between $150 and $275. Additionally, a German Arts and Crafts trunk of tooled, gilt copper panels realized its low estimate of $300.
There were plenty of Arts and Crafts hammered copper to go around at this sale, with many pieces carrying generously low estimates. An N.C. Wood hammered copper platter with hammered silvered border, estimated between $20 and $40 sold just below high estimate at $35. On the other hand, an Arts and Crafts Hammered Copper stag horn handle and copper chafing set brought larger figures, still selling within its estimated $250-$450, closing at $350, while a Heintz Art Metal Shop bronze Arts and Crafts candlestick, stamped HAMS surpassed high estimate of $250, to close at $375.
More than a Dozen lots of Maucline Ware, including souvenirs from Scotland, England and American Destinations, including the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition brought a range of prices. Estimated to bring $100-$200 per lot, prices ranged from $30-$160 per lot.
An impressive selection of antique lamps, including Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Arts and Crafts styles fared extremely well across the board. A French Art Nouveau patinated white metal double lamp, featuring a semi-nude female figural came in just above its low estimate of $400, at $425. Meanwhile and Art Nouveau painted bronze morphing female nude figural candlestick exceeded its estimated high of $400, closing at $500. An alabaster marble figural nude sculptural lamp, ca. 1920, expected to bring $500-$700 closed just shy of high estimate at $675. A gilt bronze lamp by Emile Laporte (French, 1858-1907) also sold within estimate ($600-$800), closing at $625. A small Austrian bronze lamp featuring a smoking carpet seller with a slag glass shade, offered in very good condition and expected to bring a high of $500 nearly doubled expectations, closing at $900.
Three-dimensional works included a Latin American bronze eagle sculpture, signed with artist’s monogram and dated 1961, which closed above low estimate of $1,000, at $1,100. An art nouveau white metal female figural fountain realized its expected high estimate of $350, and a Mexican carved wood sculpture, signed Cervantes exceeded its expected high estimate of $120, closing at $350.
Fine art offerings included works by Hoosier artists, modernist paintings, and a much talked about Icart Etching. An oil painting by African American artist Mae Engron realized its low estimate of $200, while paintings by Hoosier artists William Forsyth and George La Chance both sold within their estimated $600-$900, closing at $$650 and $825, respectively.
Following the excited fervor created by the Wednesday, November 10 Auction of the works of Hoosier Salon Modernist painter Lorena Phemister, a large oil on canvas by her contemporary and fellow Herron School of Art graduate, Joseph Van Sickle was offered. This 6′ x 9′ painting, "Cubist Hoe Down," sold just below expected low estimate of $6,000, closing at $4,750.
"Overlook at Bean Blossom," a watercolor by Richmond, Indiana artist G.H. baker realized more than its high estimate of $500, bringing in $675, and a Caribbean water color by Indiana artist Floyd Hopper sold within its estimated $300-$600, closing at $525.
There were plenty of surprises in store on Sunday, too. A painting of a street scene, possibly in Cairo, by Russian/American painter Leonid Getchtoff, estimated to bring $200-$300 more than doubled high estimate, closing at $675, and an industrial landscape by Beatrix Sherman also exceeded its high estimate of $250, finishing at $600. "Old Fashioned Dress," a painting by Baltimore artist Donald Coale more than doubled its high estimate of $300, closing at a cozy $725.
Oil on canvas by George Alexander Picken (American, 1898-1971) sold within its estimated $3,500-$4,500, with the bidding closing at $3,750, while a Floral Still Life by Louise Upton Brumback (American, 1867-1929) realized low estimate of $800, and important oil on canvas by George Biddle (American, 1885-1973) sold within its estimated $600-$900, at $750. A friend of Franklin Roosevelt, Biddle helped initiate the Federal Art Project that later became known as the W.P.A.
All other wonderful artwork aside, the piece that brought perhaps the most attention leading up to this auction was a color etching by Louis Icart (French, 1888-1950). Signed in the lower right, this 1932 print, popularly known as "Martini," was estimated to sell between $1,500 and $2,500, but soared past high estimate to close at $4,250, plus buyer’s premium, to a California dealer and Icart expert.
Marilyn Monroe made an appearance at this auction; in the form of a Bert Stern photo as well as two Richard Avedon signed photo prints. The first Avedon photo, a 1958 image of the actress dressed as silent film star Theda Bara more than tripled its high estimate of $300, closing at $975. Another Avedon image of Monroe, this time disguised as Clara Bow, also exceeded high estimate, closing at $500.
As always, there was a healthy offering of Asian arts, including cloisonné, scrolls and figures. A pair of Elglomise Chinese export reverse painted portraits realized more than their estimated high of $200, closing at $325, and a beautiful antique Samurai Sword, estimated between $500 and $1,500 closed at $775.
Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper will host two more auctions in 2004, including a special Holiday Gifts and Collectibles auction scheduled for Sunday, November 28 at 12 noon, and a Costume, Bakelite and Estate Jewelry Auction on Sunday, December 5, at 12 noon. Consignments are now being accepted for the 2005 auction year.
For more information about past or future auctions, visit our website at www.antiquehelpe.com or call 317-251-5635.