Workers restoring former Russian mansion find a hidden treasure trove wrapped in newspaper from 1917

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Some of the 1000 pieces of discovered jewelry (photo courtesy of AP)

Some of the 1000 pieces of discovered jewelry (photo courtesy of AP)

You remember my story of May 12, 2016, about the Caravaggio painting found in the attic of a private house near the French city of Toulouse? Well something similar happened in Russia in 2012. During the restoration of a mansion in St. Petersburg, workers discovered more than 1,000 pieces of jewelry, silver and other treasures in the space between two floors. Click here for the story at the dailymail.com. It’s dated June 15, 2016 (which is why it just caught my attention), but the discovery actually took place in 2012. Here’s the link to the cbsnews.com article, with more information.


Denver, July 15-17, 2016

Denver, July 15-17, 2016

No shows until next month, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, July 15-17, 2016. In the meantime, we’re very much in business, so call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

James D. Julia, Inc. sold approximately $2.5 million at its Important Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry auction, June 16-17, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


James D. Julia, Inc. held its Important Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry auction, June 16-17, 2016, with total sales of approximately $2.5 million. Jewelry, silver, Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre, KPM, Webb, Mt. Washington, non-Tiffany lamps, Steuben and paperweights were sold on the first day. The second day was devoted mostly to Tiffany Studios, Loetz and French cameo glass. The sale was so large (1,162 lots), that it’s difficult to cover everything in one short blog, so I’ll limit myself to the Tiffany and French glass. You can view the results of the entire sale in a day or two when Julia’s will post everything.

Tiffany Studios Geranium table lamp, Julia's lot #2005

Tiffany Studios Geranium table lamp, Julia’s lot #2005

Sales of the Tiffany objects were soft, but there were some bright spots. A rare and beautiful Tiffany Studios 17″ diameter Geranium table lamp sold for $94,800, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $80,000 – $95,000.

Interest picked up considerably when the sale shifted to the French cameo glass section, which included two collections of high quality glass with no reserves. That combination always kicks the excitement level up a few notches. Bids came in from Japan and Russia, as well as all across the US. The strong interest continued throughout the rest of the French cameo glass section. Two lamps did very well, as did most of the Daum glass and some of the Gallé glass, especially blownout vases.

Daum Rain lamp, Julia's lot #2340

Daum Rain lamp, Julia’s lot #2340

A rare Daum Rain lamp sold for twice its low estimate of $10,000, realizing $23,700, including buyer’s premium. It sold to a dealer who is certain he has a client for it. Unfortunately, I was the underbidder.

Gallé 4-color table lamp, Julia lot #2553

Gallé 4-color table lamp, Julia lot #2553

A rare Gallé 4-color lamp with outstanding color and workmanship, lot #2553, sold for a strong $47,400. The consignor was convinced to lower the reserve to $40,000, low enough to entice a buyer in the audience. Personally I had no interest as I felt the pre-sale estimate was too strong at $50,000 – $70,000.

For the complete results of the sale, click here. The results should be posted within a couple of days. You will have to sign in (free) to see the prices.


Denver, July 15-17, 2016

Denver, July 15-17, 2016

No shows until next month, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, July 15-17, 2016. In the meantime, we’re very much in business, so call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Christie’s South Kensington sold a Loetz glass collection at its Interiors sale, June 8, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Christie’s South Kensington held its Interiors sale on June 8, 2016. Included in the sale was a nice grouping of Loetz vases, some of which did well.

Loetz decorated vase, Christie's lot #320

Loetz decorated vase, Christie’s lot #320

Top lot of the group was #320, a signed, 6½” vase, decorated with iridescent hearts and swirled decoration, in beautiful shades of pink and red. It doubled it’s high estimate of £2,500, realizing £5,625 ($8,173), including buyer’s premium.

Loetz drip-decorated vase, Christie's lot #318

Loetz drip-decorated vase, Christie’s lot #318

I thought highly of lot #318. It was signed, but small at 4½” tall. It featured gold iridescent drip decoration over a deep salmon, wave-decorated background. It sold for 50% above its high estimate of £1,800, realizing £2,500 ($3,633), including buyer’s premium.

For all of the Loetz results, click here.


Denver, July 15-17, 2016

Denver, July 15-17, 2016

No shows until next month, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, July 15-17, 2016. In the meantime, we’re very much in business, so call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Some nice Tiffany Studios objects sold at Doyle New York’s Belle Epoque sale, June 8, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Doyle New York held its Belle Epoque sale on June 8, 2016, with total sales of $970,913, of which 80% sold by lot and 95% sold by value. Most of the Tiffany Studios objects came from the collection of Julien Cuny, a decorator at Tiffany Studios beginning at age 12 in 1903.

Tiffany Studios Peony shade, Doyle lot #478

Tiffany Studios Peony shade, Doyle lot #478

The top lot of the sale was #478, a Tiffany Studios 18″ diameter Peony shade only. It was in excellent, but filthy condition, with an improvised cap. Eventually this shade will be cleaned and reunited with a proper Tiffany Studios base, returning it to the beautiful table lamp it once was. It sold in the middle of its pre-sale estimate of $25,000 – $35,000, realizing $37,500, including buyer’s premium.

Tiffany Favrile Agate vase, Doyle lot #470

Tiffany Favrile Agate vase, Doyle lot #470

A beautiful and rare Tiffany Favrile Agate vase sold above its high estimate of $15,000, realizing $23,750, including buyer’s premium.

Pair of Tiffany Studios windows from the First Presbyterian Church of Hoboken, NJ, Doyle lot #482

Pair of Tiffany Studios windows from the First Presbyterian Church of Hoboken, NJ, Doyle lot #482

An authentic pair of Tiffany Studios windows from the First Presbyterian Church of Hoboken, NJ, failed to garner any interest whatsoever and, of course, did not sell. This was even with a relatively low estimate of $20,000 – $30,000 for the pair. The present owner had paid $101,575 for them at a Christie’s auction in 2004. It wasn’t much of a surprise that they didn’t sell, as they were quite boring. What was more amazing was that the buyer paid $101,575 for them in the first place. There also had to be an underbidder on that day in 2004, proving they both had more cents than sense. (One of my favorite lines.)

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Denver, July 15-17, 2016

Denver, July 15-17, 2016

No shows until next month, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, July 15-17, 2016. In the meantime, we’re very much in business, so call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

The results of Sotheby’s New York Important Design sale, June 7, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Sotheby’s New York held its Important Design sale on June 7, 2016, with total sales of $6,717,625. The first 41 lots of the sale were all assorted Tiffany Studios items, followed by a couple of Martin Brothers lots and a couple of Zsolnay lots. I looked at the sale with blinders, so the next 150 or so lots were of little interest to me (but they may be to you. See the link below.)

Tiffany Studios Laburnum table lamp, Sotheby's lot #35

Tiffany Studios Laburnum table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #35

Top lot of the Tiffany Studios group was #35, a Laburnum lamp. It sold at the low estimate of $250,000, including buyer’s premium. The results were soft compared to the December sales, which is usually the case. Cold weather keeps people indoors so they have more time to peruse the Internet and research sales.

Martin Brothers aquatic vase, Sotheby's lot #44

Martin Brothers aquatic vase, Sotheby’s lot #44

Martin Brothers stoneware continues to be a bright spot. A very nice aquatic vase, lot #44, 11½” tall, dated 1898, sold for $12,500, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $7,000 – $9,000. I was quite fond of it, but only managed to be the underbidder, not the successful buyer. There are limits to what a dealer can pay.

Zsolnay vases, Sotheby's lot #s 47 and 48

Zsolnay vases, Sotheby’s lot #s 47 and 48

Two large Zsolnay lots, #s 47 and 48, did very well, partly because they had very desirable red decoration. Each sold for well above their high estimates of $12,000 and $15,000, realizing $22,500 and $35,000, respectively, including buyer’s premiums.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Denver, July 15-17, 2016

Denver, July 15-17, 2016

No shows until July, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, July 15-17, 2016. In the meantime, we’re very much in business, so call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Rago Auctions Early 20th C. Design|Mid-Mod sale included French glass, June 4, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Rago Auctions held an Early 20th C. Design|Mid-Mod sale on June 4, 2016. The sale included ceramics, furniture and glass, but I will focus only on the French glass.

Daum Winter lamp, Rago lot #328

Daum Winter lamp, Rago lot #328

Top lot of the group was #328, a Daum Winter lamp. It sold for $13,750, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $7,000 – $10,000 — surprising to me because the lamp was a marriage. You can see the different color schemes in the shade and base, with bright yellow in the shade and much darker colors in the base. An original lamp would have a matching shade and base.

Gallé banjo vase with cicada, Rago lot #338

Gallé banjo vase with cicada, Rago lot #338

Lot #338 was a rare Gallé banjo vase with a cicada. It sold reasonably for $2,125, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $1,000 – $1,500. I was the underbidder and should have bid higher, but everything is 20/20 in hindsight.

R. Lalique perfume bottle Ambre de Siam, Rago lot #321

R. Lalique perfume bottle Ambre de Siam, Rago lot #321

A rare R. Lalique perfume bottle Ambre de Siam, Rago lot #321, sold for $10,000, including buyer’s premium, — below its pre-sale estimate of $10,000 – $15,000.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Denver, July 15-17, 2016

Denver, July 15-17, 2016

No shows until July, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, July 15-17, 2016. In the meantime, we’re very much in business, so call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

I just bought a collection of Louis Wain cats and animals

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


wain-cats-2I recently received an email from a collector who proposed selling me a small collection of Louis Wain ceramics. After a bit of negotiating, I bought the group. Cool, right?

The back of Wain Master Cat showing the Louis Wain signature

The back of Wain Master Cat showing the Louis Wain signature

For those of you who don’t know, Louis Wain was a prolific early 20th century British artist, who started drawing cats as a way to please his dying wife, Emily. Both their cat, Peter, and Louis’ drawings comforted her. She passed away in 1886, but Wain continued to draw cats. Eventually he designed a series of Futurist ceramic cats and other animals that were produced for brief periods, both before and after WWI. His works are moderately rare and highly collectible.

I can’t say I’m an expert in the ceramic creations of Louis Wain, but I do know what I like. These Futurist cats tickle me. I buy and sell them whenever the opportunity presents itself, which isn’t very often.


Denver, July 15-17, 2016

Denver, July 15-17, 2016

No shows until July, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, July 15-17, 2016. In the meantime, we’re very much in business, so call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

French glass sells well at Sotheby’s Paris Design sale, May 24, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Sotheby’s Paris held a Design sale on May 24, 2016 with total sales of €7,831,725 ($8,765,100). Included in the sale were just a few French glass vases, some of which did very well.

Daum Dragonfly table lamp, Sotheby's lot #8

Daum Dragonfly table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #8

Lot #8 was the only Daum item in the sale, a Dragonfly table lamp. It almost doubled its pre-sale high estimate of €20,000, realizing €40,000 ($44,769), including buyer’s premium. Ordinarily this is the kind of item that I would bid on, but it just didn’t appeal to me from the photos. I didn’t like the color, nor the lack of a dragonfly on the base, nor the height of the base (which looked short to me.) But guess what? The buyer didn’t consult me first. What is wrong with them?

R. Lalique Nadica vase, Sotheby's lot #16

R. Lalique Nadica vase, Sotheby’s lot #16

A rare R. Lalique vase, lot #16, Nadica, almost tripled its high estimate of €20,000, realizing €58,750 ($65,750), including buyer’s premium.

In other results from the sale, a Gallé padded and carved vase with a bronze foot failed to sell with a €25,000 — €35,000 estimate and an R. Lalique frosted Serpent vase sold for €10,625, against a pre-sale estimate of €6,000 — €8,000.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Denver, July 15-17, 2016

Denver, July 15-17, 2016

No shows until July, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, July 15-17, 2016. In the meantime, we’re very much in business, so call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Making sense of Tiffany Studios’ desk set numbering

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Jamie S. Reynolds

Jamie S. Reynolds

The following is a guest post by Jamie S. Reynolds, daughter of Gwen Stebbins of lilabycreekantiques.com, a Michigan dealer with over thirty years’ experience. Please feel free to contact her with your questions about Tiffany desk sets. Jamie@lilabycreekantiques.com or Gwen@lilabycreekantiques.com

Having known Phil Chasen my entire life, I jumped at the chance to contribute when asked to be a guest on his blog. Hopefully you will check back in the future for additional Tiffany Studios articles. –Jamie

Tiffany Grapevine stamp box, marked

Tiffany Grapevine stamp box, marked “41”

stamp 10stamp 6Much is made of signatures (typically for good reason!) in the world of Tiffany Studios desk set pieces, but with light research and deduction, it can be fairly easy to make sense of what seems to be anomalous. Most Tiffany desk set pieces bear a three or four-digit registration number along with the “TIFFANY STUDIOS” or “TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK” stamp, while others are simply marked with the studio name. Three and four-digit numbers correspond to individual items. For instance “801” refers to Etched Metal & Glass (Grapevine or Pine Needle) stamp boxes. What confuses some people are the pieces with two-digit numbers. Apparently the two-digit numbers were used for assembly, as many of Tiffany’s desk items were complicated and constructed of multiple pieces. The separate pieces typically bear an assembly number somewhere, usually hidden once constructed.

Tiffany Grapevine box marked "801"

Tiffany Grapevine box marked “801”

Above is a Tiffany Studios stamp box in the classic Grapevine pattern, with registration number 801. While signatures (or lack thereof) are not the sole defining characteristic of Tiffany desk set pieces, a basic understanding of them can easily help a collector choose pieces that are correct but seem anomalous or, on the other hand, avoid pieces that do not coincide with any published information.


Denver, July 15-17, 2016

Denver, July 15-17, 2016

No shows until July, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, July 15-17, 2016. In the meantime, we’re very much in business, so call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Good results for French cameo glass at Christie’s London Interiors sale, May 18, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Christie’s London held an Interiors sale on May 18, 2016 with total sales of £1,377,062 ($2,010,226). Included in the sale was a moderate collection of French cameo glass, some of which did very well. Many of the vases were what I call “stuff”, meaning they’re authentic, but not particularly appealing because of the design, or color, or shape. I woke up at 6 AM to bid on the few items that I thought were interesting and in good condition. Unfortunately for me, it was a waste of time, as I was outbid on all of my items. (On the other hand I’m quite pleased, as it means the market is healthy.)

Gallé Foo Dog vase, Christie's lot #79

Gallé Foo Dog vase, Christie’s lot #79

Lot #79 was top lot of the French glass section of the sale. It was a rare, early, wheel-carved, enameled, clear glass, 5¼” Gallé Foo Dog vase, in the Japanese style and taste. It soared well beyond its pre-sale estimate of £5,000 – £8,000, realizing £37,500 ($54,225), including buyer’s premium. Surely this vase will be going to Japan. I had no interest in it, as Americans wouldn’t pay a plugged nickel for it.

Daum Snail lamp, Christie's lot #52

Daum Snail lamp, Christie’s lot #52

A rare and very desirable Daum lamp with applied snails was in the sale. It easily surpassed its pre-sale estimate of £12,000 – £15,000, realizing £23,750 ($34,343), even with important condition problems. Here’s an excerpt from the condition report. One snail has been off and re-glued back on and it has a chip/loss to one antennae and a small chip on the end of the shell. The other snail has a tiny chip on the end of its shell. I had no interest in the lamp at any price.

Burgun & Schverer Clematis vase, Christie's lot #118

Burgun & Schverer Clematis vase, Christie’s lot #118

The sale included two excellent, internally decorated Burgun & Schverer (B&S) vases, both of which I wanted to buy. Unfortunately they exceeded my budget. Lot #118 was especially nice, 8¼” tall, with beautiful clematis flowers, on a striking chartreuse green background. It sold well beyond its pre-sale estimate of £2,500 – £3,500, realizing £12,500 ($18,075) — pretty close to what I feel is the retail price.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

Now for a little shameless self-promotion. A good part of the reason people buy from me is that I do the very important vetting. I search for merchandise at auction, privately and through extensive traveling. Then I weed out all the items that are inferior because of design, color, condition, price, or any combination thereof. If I’m selling it, it’s passed my smell test and that means a lot to many people.


Denver, July 15-17, 2016

Denver, July 15-17, 2016

No shows until July, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, July 15-17, 2016. In the meantime, we’re very much in business, so call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.