Some might say it was a buyer’s market at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper during the monthly Arts and Antiques Auction on Thursday, September 30. There were certainly plenty of great buys to be had, with many items selling at or below low estimate. But, the evening had its fair share of surprises, too, so buyers and consigners alike were able to go home with contented smiles. Included in this sale was another selection of objects consigned to Antique Helper from the collection of important East Coast collector Ken Dukoff. Offering fine examples of decorative arts from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries, Antique Helper is proud to have represented this great collection during the past few months.
As with every sale at Dan Ripley’s Antique helper, there was a 10% buyer’s premium for floor bidders, and a 15% buyer’s premium for Internet, phone and absentee bidders.
POTTERY AND SUCH
"Mystical Creatures," a pair of high Art Deco white clay figures with a cobalt glaze by Jose Mariano de Creeft closed below low estimate of $3,500 at $2,500, while a trio of art pottery from Amaco, Van Briggle and Will George met its low estimate of $150. A nice Weller Pottery coppertone frog figure sold well within its estimated $200-300, closing at $250.
Most notable in this category was a lot of 17 American art pottery ship tiles. Featuring as many as 6 different glaze colors, and all incised with #1143, this lot more than exceeded the high expectation of $2,500, closing at $3250. A pair of American Art Pottery garden urns, possibly by Fulper faired even better, more than doubling high estimate to close at an impressive $3,000.
The auction continued solidly, with a Rozenberg den Haag hand painted Art Pottery bulbous vase with trumpet neck, ca. late 19th-early 20th century exceeding high estimate of $400, to close at $425.
Offerings in glass included examples of Murano, American Cut Glass, Webb and Fenton as well as 5 lots of R. Lalique glass. A beautiful R. Lalique Coguelicots Applique light sconce, ca. 1930 sold within its estimated $300-$500, closing at $450, despite having condition issues.
If a bargain was to be had that Thursday evening, one lucky collector may have struck gold when he scooped up a nice Weiner Werkstatte enameled art glass vases, signed with a monogram TP. Expected to bring between $200 and $400, this little 5 ¼" vase waltzed home at a mere $25.
But the tables were turned with the offering of a trip of Johansfors Orup Scandinavian art glass vases. Expected to bring between $50 and $100, this lovely lot, all with engraved signatures and in excellent condition, exceeded expectations to close at $450.
When it comes to collecting George Jensen, word is getting out that enthusiasts can count on Antique Helper to fuel their passion. Included in this sale were three lots of Jensen Denmark sterling pins, estimated between $150-250 and $200-$300, and each closing just below low estimate at $160, $170 and $180.
TEXT AND TEXTILES
A rare 1908 first edition copy of Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery was offered at an estimated $6,000-$9,000, but sold at half low estimate at $3,000.
This sale included several lots of beautiful window coverings. A Gorgeous antique 19th Century Gothic handmade fabric panel in the shape of a gothic arched window with hand tatted and applied embellishment on mesh ground, estimated between $150 and $300 ended just above high estimate at $350. Meanwhile, a pair Jugendstil Nouveau Crewel Wool Wall Panels, crewel stitched died wool, in the European arts and crafts style, estimated between $700 and $900 sold low at $525.
Offered in three lots consisting of two panels each were six Gustav Stickley style Arts and Crafts Linen curtains embellished with hollyhocks and lilies. In nice condition and expected to bring $600-$800 per lot, all sold below estimate, bringing between $375 and $400.
DECORATIVE ARTS AND ACCESSORIES
A pair of Arts Crafts Carved Wood Bookends by Tryon Toys, carved with pine cones and Branded mark; "Tryon Toy Makers & Wood Carvers, estimated between $80-$120 exceeded high estimate to close at $250. Another set of bookends, this time by Forest Craft Guild, crafted of hammered copper with reticulated organic floral design also exceeded high estimate of $220, to close at $250, while a pair of Hagenaur Austrian Art Deco Brass bookends impressed with WHW circle mark with "Made in Austria" sold just below low estimate of $600, at $575. Meanwhile, a lot of 5 Victorian walking sticks sold just above high estimate of $300, closing at $325.
A beautiful Linden German Brass Double Bird Cage Music Box marked Linden garnered much attention. Offered in very good to excellent condition, this lovely piece doubled its high estimate to close at $800.
LOTS OF LAMPS
With 19 lots of lamps that included styles ranging from Art Nouveau and Art Deco to Italian Moderne, results were mixed but fairly strong. An. Art Nouveau Female lamp, "Odalisque", possibly by Paul Celestin Nanteuil-Lebouf (French, 1837-1901). In excellent condition with no damage (est. $1,500-$2,000) sold below estimate at $900; a wood with brass or bronze overlay of moth motif German Secessionist lamp by Gehardie & Cie also sold just below low estimate of $800, to close at $700. A French Art Deco Luneville Lamp with Muller Fres art glass shade, ca. 1920, featuring a wrought iron base of heavy curled design faired similarly. Estimated between $1,800-$2,200, this piece also closed low at $1,250. Likewise, a patinated and silvered bronze on marble base Art Deco dancing lady lamp by Claire-Jeanne-Roberte Colinet, estimated between $4,500-$5,000 also closed low at $3,500.
Despite it’s impressive design, a wonderful Art Deco Lamp base depicting the Chrysler Building in New York City, probably by Walter Kantek (sp?), also closed low. Estimated between $3,000 and $5,000, this rare and unusual piece sold below estimate at $2,100, probably due to the loss of original patina.
Lamps from the Art Nouveau Period faired better. An Austrian Art Nouveau jeweled table lamp, in need of rewiring sold well within its estimated $300-$500, to close at $425. Another gem from Austria, a Dogbert Peche Weiner Keramos Ceramic lamp, stamped "Made in Austria" and estimated between $200-$300 sold just above high estimate at $350. But, the lamp that brought possibly the most attention was a large cast plaster Lucien Alliot (French, 1877-1967) Nouveau Lady Lamp signed at back of base. Estimated between $500 and $700, this wonderful piece sold well above high estimate, closing at $825. Despite the excitement, an Austrian bronze tree form lamp with colorful leaded cut chunk glass couldn’t quite make its estimate of $2,000, closing at $1,750. The lamp offerings ended on a high note, though, with a beautiful Art Nouveau figural newel post lamp by A.J. Scotte, 1906, closing just above high estimate at $475.
There was a strong emphasis on Arts and Crafts period design in the furniture offerings at Thursday evening’s sale. Sales were moderate, with most prices falling at or near estimate. A Biedermier Style Tri Leg side table with trefoil top and bentwood legs sold solidly at high estimate of $200; meanwhile, a rare Charles Rohlfs carved Arts and Crafts oak secretary desk top, ca. 1901, closed just below low estimate of $5,000, ending at $4,250.
There were plenty if great prices for collectors on a budget at this sale, too. A Wiener Werkstatte style plant stand in the style of Josef Hoffmann, featuring intricate Prairie Style construction, estimated between $300 and $400 walked away with an ending bid of $50; an Austrian sunburst screen, possibly Thonet faired similarly, selling far below its estimated $300-$500, to close at a surprising $60. Meanwhile, the price of a Roycroft carved oak trunk hit a little closer to home; this extremely rare trunk by Roycrofter Charles Hall, master carver, ca. 1930, estimated between $4,500 and $6,500, closed just below low estimate at $4,000.
There were other exciting furniture findings to be had that evening as well. An incredible 1920s American decorator occasional table, hand painted with a figural Symbolist theme, estimated between $800-$1,200 sold below estimate at $600; a Mission Style Secessionist oak high back arm chair, hand crafted with sturdy oak peg construction, sold at half its low estimate, closing at $100. Meanwhile, a C.F.A. Voysey Arts and Crafts/Art Nouveau Liberty style desk-top shelf faired somewhat better, closing just below low estimate of $1,500 at $1,250, and an Arts and Crafts European Art Nouveau oak wood bench closed precisely at its low estimate of $100.
FINE ART AND SCULPTURE
When the first piece of sculpture hit the auction block, the sale’s pace picked up instantly. With prices often falling well above high estimate, fine art brought a new face to this sale. A Cubist bronze modernist figural sculpture in the style of Picasso, expected to bring between $300-$500 nearly doubled high estimate to close at $900. The momentum continued with the addition of a Futurist, Modernist carved hardwood bull sculpture with signed monogram HK (?) in circle. Offered in very good condition with almost no wear, this piece exceeded its high estimate of $300, to close at $375. A bronze female nude sculpture, c. 1925, by George Manuel Aarons (American, 1896-1980), bearing the Gorham Co. Founders mark closed just above low estimate at $525.
Modern offerings continued to do well, including a Noguchi style marble sculpture, which closed well within its estimated $200-$400, at $300, and a Modernist cast female nude sculpture in the style of Aristide Maillol (French 1861-1944) sold just below low estimate of $600 at $525. An enameled wrought iron elongated burro floor standing ashtray, attributed to Thomas Molesworth, ca. 1930, estimated between $600-$800 sold just above high estimate, closing at $825, while a wonderful modernist white marble sculpture of a cat, signed "H.J.A. Paris 1913" and possibly exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show in New York City sold just below its low estimate of $2,500, closing at $2,000.
Depression-era WPA-style sculpture included an Art Deco bronze Eagle in the style of John Storrs, estimated at $500-$1,000 and just above low estimate at $525. Another WPA-style offering included a Depression era bronze bull sculpture. Unsigned, but in very good condition, this piece sold just above low estimate as well, at $225.
A very nice bust of a Native American Indian, ca. 1905 by Max Bachmann (American, 1862-1921) sold just below low estimate of $3,000 at $2,900; Meanwhile, a delightful fountain group, "Duck Mother, featuring a nude girl and goose by Edward Henry Berge (American, 1876-1924), signed "Berge" on base with "Roman Bronze Works" foundry mark, came within its estimated $3,000-$5,000, closing at $4,250.
Paintings drew mixed results at this auction as well. A Cubist Realism/Precisionist style gouache or Tempera on paper by W.T. Steele more than doubled high estimate of $200, closing at $450. An unsigned modern cityscape design in the style of Joseph Stella met its high estimate of $700. American painting faired better, including a Brown County landscape by Hoosier artist Clifton A. Wheeler (1883-1953), which closed just above high estimate at $425; an anonymous American Impressionist Plein Air painting closed precisely at high estimate of $400. Meanwhile, "Guarding the Flank," oil on canvas by Benton Henderson Clark (American, 1895-1964) brought an impressive $3,000 from a phone bidder.
A lovely Impressionist portrait depiction of a woman wearing a large-brimmed hat closed at high estimate of $300. An historic painting by Conrad Arthur Thomas (American, 1858-1932), depicting trading or treaty between Indians and Settlers sold just below low estimate of $3,000, closing at $2,600, and an industrial landscape by Jacob Gains (Polish/American b. 1907) faired similarly, closing just below low estimate of $2,500 at $2,000.
A watercolor depicting a mother feeding her baby by Roberto Gigli (Italian, 19th century) sold just above low estimate of $800, closing at $875, while on the other end of the spectrum, a silver print nude photograph in the style of Horst P. Horst sold just above low estimate of $300 at $325.
ASIAN ART EXTRAVAGANZA
As always, the Asian arts portion of the sale was full of surprises, with many items more than meeting expectations. Typical of the twist and turns of this segment of the auction was a very large cobalt cloisonné jardinière. Measuring 18" H and 20" in diameter, this exceptional piece was expected to bring $200-$400, but closed strong at an impressive $600.
The furor for Asian art and antiques was contagious, as was reflected in the sale of a Tibetan copper and brass prayer wheel with scroll inside and an Asian wooden bucked with applied figures of carved ivory, jade and Mother of Pearl. With several pieces broken off of the bucket, but saved, this lot was expected to bring between $50 and $150, but surprised everyone when it soared to end at an unheard of $525.
The momentum continued, with an Asian bronze Foo Dog on reticulated wood stand, estimated at $100-$200, closing at $325. Two temple bells also sold well above high estimate; the first, a Chinese bronze temple bell with a dragon head handle, featuring "Freedom" symbols sold above high estimate of $300, closing at $350. The second temple bell, a nice Japanese bronze bell featuring a dragon and cherry blossoms nearly doubled its high estimate of $100, closing at $190.
Figurative pieces faired equally well. A lifelike pair of monumental Japanese bronze cranes, measuring a whopping 63" ended just below low estimate of $1,000, at $850, to a floor bidder. Buddha figures sold strong as well. A Burmese bronze Buddha from the late 19th/early 20th century fell well within its estimated $300-$500, closing at $425, a Tibetan lacquer bronze Dumu Buddha, offered in excellent condition, faired similarly, closing just below high estimate of $500 at a solid $400.
But the best was yet to come, with the offering of 10 lots of signed Chinese scrolls, most of which exceeded, often more than doubling high estimates of $200-$400. A signed scroll featuring women spying on a crane more than doubled high estimate to close at $825, while another scroll depicting wrens perched on a blue flowering branch faired even better, closing at $875. A beautiful painting of flowers closed at $850, going to a bidder on the auction floor, while a scroll painting of ducklings brought $800, and a scroll painting depicting a woman at a window brought $625 and a scroll painting of a man and woman with a goat brought $700 from an internet bidder. Lower prices were still within or above estimate, closing between $375 and $500.
The staff at Dan Ripley’s antique helper is now making final preparations for the second Modern Design sale, scheduled for Sunday, October 10 at 12 noon, followed by a fishing sale on Saturday, October 23 at 10 A.M., in addition to the regularly scheduled discovery and Arts and Antiques Auctions scheduled October 28th and November 11, respectively, and a Costume, Estate and Bakelite Jewelry Sale December 9.