(October 24, 2005) Indianapolis, Indiana. The crowd came early and stayed
late at the Sunday, October 16 Art and Antiques Auction, featuring Mission
to Modern at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper. Featuring furniture, fine
and decorative arts, textiles and pottery from the Mission period through early
1970s Modern Design, this sale drew collectors from many genres. The house was
packed to standing room only, while telephone lines and absentee bids came in
strong as well. All winning bidders paid a 12.5% buyer’s premium for floor
bids and 17.5% for eBay, telephone and absentee bids, which are included in
the end prices of items listed.
Leading with a nice representation of Arts and Crafts style furniture, the
auction started on a strong note with the sale of a Gustav Stickley oak tabouret
round table with the original Craftsman paper label intact, selling within
estimate to an absentee bidder for $822.50, while a Gustav Stickley Arts
and Crafts rocker #323 brought $1,175 from a phone bidder. Picking up the
pace, a Mission oak, Arts and Crafts bookcase sold for $1,760 to a floor
bidder, and a Stickley Brothers Quaint Furniture arts and crafts Morris rocker
closed at $1,068.75, to a floor bidder. But, the most noteworthy piece in the
Arts and Crafts furniture category, an L an JG Stickley china cabinet
faired even better, bringing $9,400 from an eBay bidder.
Several pieces of sought-after American art pottery were offered, including
a Newcomb College art pottery high glaze arts and crafts vase, by potter
Joseph Meyer and decorated by Ada Wilt Lonnegan, which brought
$4,993.75 from an eBay bidder. Even more impressive, a telephone bidder was
the winner of an important arts and crafts pottery vase by the Overbeck
sisters Elizabeth and Hanna, which sold for $12,375. Meanwhile, an outstanding
Quezal art glass vase realized $4,993.45, also going to a telephone bidder,
and later, a very desirable Venini Fazzoletto Murano art glass vase,
designed by Fulvio Bianconi brought $940 from an eBay bidder.
Artwork from the period included two works by Indiana landscape painter J.
E. Bundy (1853-1933), bringing $1,237.50 and $972 from the floor, while
a Harbor scene by Canadian artist William De Garthe (1907-1983) closed
Modern sales were solid as well, with perhaps the most talked about lot in
the auction being a drawing and autograph by John Lennon from the log
book of the schooner the Megan Jaye, which Lennon commissioned in June of 1980
to sail from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda. Reportedly encountering a storm
during the voyage, Lennon was forced to work on the deck, later citing the experience
as one of the factors that returned him to songwriting. Reportedly writing two
songs during the trip, Lennon eventually returned to the studio to work on Double
Fantasy. Representing an important piece of Rock and Roll and Beatles history,
this exciting document sold to an ecstatic local collector for $9,350.
Nearly 70 lots of Muncie art pottery drew local collectors as well as
plenty of telephone, absentee and eBay bids. All faired well, but, most notably,
a Ruba Rombic lamp base designed by Reuben Haley, shape #221,
sold for $2,820, to a telephone bidder.
But the top selling lot of the auction was yet to come. A Portfolio Book
of Cats by Japanese/French artist Tsugouharu Foujita (1886-1968),
with text by Michael Joseph, including all 20 of the original loose leaf prints
on Japanese vellum paper, signed and numbered 110 out of 500, put up a good
fight, finally going to an eBay bidder for the impressive sum of $26,437.50.
Other modern fine art included an oil on board by Luigi Lucioni (Italian/American,
1900-1988), “5th Floor Window NYC,” abridging $3,818 from an eBay
bidder and a pastel drawing by George Segal (American, 1924-2000), also
going to an eBay bidder for $1,938.75. A modern oil, signed J. Chardi
brought $1,821.25, from an eBay bidder in India, and a signed color lithograph
by Joan Miro (1893-1983) closed at $1,468.75, to an eBay bidder.
Being a sale that emphasized Modern Design, furniture provided a huge draw
from both retailers and collectors. Names like Gilbert Rhode, Paul McCobb,
Mies Van Der Rohe and Charles and Ray Eames slipped from auctioneer
DeWayne Butler’s tongue as smoothly as the surface of the Barcelona
table. Prices remained solid, including the sale of a pair Gilbert Rohde
Paldao Group mahogany two door utility cabinets by Herman Miller,
ca. 1940. Sold as two separate lots, they brought $590.63 and $703.13, from
the same floor bidder. A New York absentee bidder won a set of three modernist
parchment covered nesting tables in the style of Karl Springer, which
closed at $1,821.25. Paul McCobb pieces came on strong, including a Paul
McCobb for Calvin coffee table from the Irwin Collection, bringing
in $705 from a telephone bidder, and a wall unit from the same collection, closing
at $1,410, and going to the same bidder.
A George Nelson for Herman Miller blonde credenza went to a floor bidder
for $1575, while George Nelson for Herman Miller drop-leaf, gate-leg table,
with Herman Miller foil tag intact, closed at $998.75, to an eBay bidder. Two
sets of four Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller plywood DCM chairs
were offered, the first, with no labels, closing at $998.75, to an eBay bidder,
while the next, with two circular labels intact realized $1,040.63, from a floor
bidder. And, in keeping with the Rock and Roll atmosphere, a very rare early
Fender electric guitar from April 1954 sold for $5287.50, to an eBay
The staff at Antique Helper is now gearing up for the next Art and Antiques
auction scheduled for November 20, followed by a Costume, Estate and Bakelite
Jewelry Auction on December 4. In addition, the Estate of Italian Sculptor Eduardo
Simone will be auctioned on December 11. For more information about these auctions,
visit our website at www.antiquehelper.com or call 317-251-5635.