Exceptional results for two Emile Gallé lamps at Rago’s Mid-Mod sale, October 15, 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.


I meant to write about this sale earlier, but life got in the way. So here goes. Rago Auctions held their Mid-Mod sale on October 15, 2016. Included in the sale was a small collection of Gallé lamps and vases. The two lamps sold very well, while the rest of the Gallé basically flopped.

Gallé floor lamp, Rago lot #532

Gallé floor lamp, Rago lot #532

Lot #532 was a Gallé floor lamp with allium floral decoration. Other than the rarity, I thought the glass was unexceptional, with only one technique (acid-etching) and uninspiring brown and green colors. On the other hand, the metalwork was fine and floor lamps are really rare. The bidders did not consult me and pushed the final price to $310,000, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $150,000 – $200,000. The air gets kinda thin at that altitude.

Gallé Allium table lamp, Rago lot #533

Gallé Allium table lamp, Rago lot #533

The next lot, #533, appeared to be a companion table lamp, which in my opinion was finer and more graceful than the floor lamp. It didn’t do as well, realizing $43,750, including buyer’s premium, against an estimate of $40,000 – $60,000.

Most of the other Gallé offered for sale did not sell, with a few exceptions. It was a mixed day for French glass at Rago’s.


I just bought this killer Martin Brother 11½-inch bird.

I just bought this killer Martin Brother 11½-inch bird.

I’ve been listing on my website many of the new items I’ve recently purchased and I’ll be listing more in the near future, including a couple of fabulous Martin Brothers birds and a great face jug. Please check my site as often as you can.

No more shows in 2016. Our next show will be the NYC Big Flea, the weekend of January 21, at the Lexington Avenue Armory. After that we’ll be in Miami for the Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show, February 3 – 5, 2017. This is the airport show, which will be new and improved, with many additional exhibitors. The changes are happening because the Original Miami Beach Antiques Show will no longer be in Miami Beach, instead changing its name to The Original Miami Antique Show and moving to a new location in southwest Miami. It will all make for an interesting winter season.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Astonishing price paid for a Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar at A.H. Wilkins Auction, Toronto, Canada, November 30, 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.


A.H. Wilkins Auctions, Toronto, Canada, held a Fine & Decorative Art auction on November 30, 2016. Included in the sale was a very large Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar. As many of you know already, the Martinware market has been strong for decades and the sale of this bird is proof that it’s still going gangbusters.

Monumental Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar, Wilkins lot #2109

Monumental Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar, Wilkins lot #2109

Lot #2109 was a huge, 20½” tall, Martin Brother bird tobacco jar. It had been part of the famous Harriman Judd collection before being sold at Sotheby’s on January 22, 2001 for $19,200, including buyer’s premium. What a difference a decade and a half makes.

Interestingly it wasn’t a very special bird, as it didn’t have a lot of character and it also had some restoration. That made no difference to the enthusiastic bidders. They pushed it to over double its high estimate of $60,000 CDN, to realize $163,800 CDN (US $123,229), including buyer’s premium. That’s a nice chunk of change and a heck of a return on investment. Personally I had interest in the bird, but for less than the low estimate of $40,000 CDN. Congratulations to both the buyer and the consignor.


I just bought this killer Martin Brother 11½-inch bird.

I just bought this killer Martin Brother 11½-inch bird.

I’ve been listing on my website many of the new items I’ve recently purchased and I’ll be listing more in the near future, including a couple of fabulous Martin Brothers birds and a great face jug. Please check my site as often as you can.

No more shows in 2016. Our next show will probably be the NYC Big Flea, the weekend of January 21, at the Lexington Avenue Armory. If not, we’ll be in Miami for the Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show, February 3 – 5, 2017. This is the airport show, which will be new and improved, with many additional exhibitors. The changes are happening because the Miami Beach Antiques Show will no longer be in Miami Beach, instead moving to a new location in southwest Miami. It will all make for an interesting winter season.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. 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 won’t bid at Jackson’s International Auctioneers in Cedar Falls, Iowa

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.


I won’t bid at Jackson’s International Auctioneers in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Here’s a little bit of the story.

Many years ago I tried to do business with Jackson’s and had one little incident after another. It was so long ago, I can’t even recall any specifics. What I said to myself was that I won’t do business with them any longer. And I kept to that promise until this week.

I wanted to buy this killer Tiffany Favrile vase at Jackson's

I wanted to buy this killer Tiffany Favrile vase at Jackson’s

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I received a catalog for their World Treasures sale on November 29-30, 2016. I was impressed with many of the Tiffany Studios offerings, so I decided to give them another shot. On Monday of this week, I sent for condition reports on a number of lots to be sold on Wednesday, November 30th. Once I send an email, I assume the auction house is interested in my bids, so I forgot about it until I received an email this morning at 9:33 AM — 27 minutes before the sale was to begin. By the time I looked at the email, all of the items I was interested in were finished. There was no urgency whatsoever in the email. Just a “here are the condition reports you requested” attitude. How foolish or inept. Every extra bidder at an auction raises the prices and I’m a strong bidder. Even if I don’t buy an item, there is a good chance I will underbid it, raising the price for both the seller and the auction house.

So no more Jackson’s for me. Don’t waste your catalogs. I’ve had it with them.

UPDATE: Now I’m really ill. I just looked up the results and the items I was going to bid on sold so cheaply, I probably lost out on profit of $50,000+. For instance the vase pictured above sold for $15,000. I could have sold it for at least $35,000. Another vase sold for $2,000 that I could have sold for $7,500. A lamp sold for $22,000 that I could have sold for $45,000. Argh! I’m so angry and they’re so foolish. If I were the consignor, I would be pretty upset.


I’ve been listing on my website many of the new items I’ve recently purchased and I’ll be listing more in the near future. Please check my site as often as you can.

No more shows in 2016. Our next show will probably be the NYC Big Flea, the weekend of January 21, at the Lexington Avenue Armory. If not, we’ll be in Miami for the Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show, February 3 – 5, 2017. This is the airport show, which will be new and improved, with many additional exhibitors. The changes are happening because the Miami Beach Antiques Show will no longer be in Miami Beach, instead moving to a new location in southwest Miami. It will all make for an interesting winter season.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Sotheby’s Paris sold two French glass lamps in their Design sale, November 22, 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 their Design sale on November 22, 2016, with gross sales of $5,072,625. Included in the sale were two French glass lamps.

Daum Rain lamp, Sotheby's lot #249

Daum Rain lamp, Sotheby’s lot #249

Lot #249 was a Daum Rain lamp estimated to sell for €20,000 – €30,000. It sold for the low estimate of €25,000 ($26,483), including buyer’s premium. I didn’t bid on the lamp because in my opinion the top rim of the shade had been ground down. Too bad, because the lamp had lovely color.

Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre Tragi-comique lamp, Sotheby's lot #247

Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre Tragi-comique lamp, Sotheby’s lot #247

The second French glass lamp was pâte-de-verre by Argy-Rousseau, entitled Tragi-comique, circa 1922. It too sold for its low estimate of €50,000 ($52,966), including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


I’ve been listing on my website many of the new items I’ve recently purchased and I’ll be listing more in the near future. Please check my site as often as you can.

No more shows in 2016. Our next show will probably be the NYC Big Flea, the weekend of January 21, at the Lexington Avenue Armory. If not, we’ll be in Miami for the Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show, February 3 – 5, 2017. This is the airport show, which will be new and improved, with many additional exhibitors. The changes are happening because the Miami Beach Antiques Show will no longer be in Miami Beach, instead moving to a new location in southwest Miami. It will all make for an interesting winter season.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Tiffany Studios lamps lead the way in James D. Julia’s record $3.1 million Important Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry auction, November 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.


James D. Julia, Inc. held its Important Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry auction on November 18, 2016, with gross sales of $3.1 million, a record for the lamp & glass division. Much of the merchandise offered was fresh to the market from important collections in the Midwest, Florida and elsewhere.

Tiffany Studios 22" diam. Drop Head Dragonfly table lamp, Julia lot #1259

Tiffany Studios 22″ diam. Drop Head Dragonfly table lamp, Julia lot #1259

Top lot of the sale and a record for any item ever sold by Julia’s lamp & glass division was #1259, a Tiffany Studios 22″ Drop Head Dragonfly table lamp. It more than tripled its low estimate of $120,000, realizing $515,475, including buyer’s premium.

Lot 1216, a Tiffany Studios 22-inch Peony table lamp on a rare mosaic base sold for $394,605

Lot 1216, a Tiffany Studios 22-inch Peony table lamp on a rare mosaic base sold for $394,605

All of the top three Tiffany lamps were consigned from the same Florida collection and all of them were offered with very low estimates and reserves. This was the guidance given to the consignor by the division head, Mike Fredericks, and it certainly was good advice. Each of the three lamps vastly exceeded their estimates and each broke the previous record for any lot sold by the division. As I’ve stated many times before, there is nothing like high quality, fresh merchandise at low estimates. It’s raw meat for the hungry lions.

Gallé marquetry vase, Julia lot #1058

Gallé marquetry vase, Julia lot #1058

The French glass section of the sale included many fresh, high quality items, which overall did very well. Top lot of this section of the sale was #1058, a fine 17″ Gallé marquetry vase. It sold a little below its low estimate of $50,000, realizing $52,732.50, including buyer’s premium. In my opinion, it would have done better had it been consigned at a less aggressive estimate of $30,000 – $50,000.

Tiffany & Co. mixed metal chocolate pot, Julia lot #1409

Tiffany & Co. mixed metal chocolate pot, Julia lot #1409

The sale included some nice silver, including Tiffany & Co. mixed metal objects. They were met with enthusiasm, with lot #1409, a mixed metal chocolate pot more than tripling its low estimate of $10,000, realizing $40,290, including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click here, but not immediately. The results are expected to be posted sometime on Monday or Tuesday. You will have to sign in (free) in order to see the prices.


I’ve been listing on my website many of the new items I’ve recently purchased and I’ll be listing more in the near future. Please check my site as often as you can.

No more shows in 2016. Our next show will probably be the NYC Big Flea, the weekend of January 21, at the Lexington Avenue Armory. If not, we’ll be in Miami for the Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show, February 3 – 5, 2017. This is the airport show, which will be new and improved, with many additional exhibitors. It’s all happening because the Miami Beach Antiques Show will not be at the beach, instead moving to a new location in southwest Miami. It will all make for an interesting winter season.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Doyle New York sold some interesting Tiffany Studios objects at its 20th Century Art and Design sale, November 9, 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 20th Century Art and Design sale yesterday, November 9, 2016. Their sales used to be called Belle Epoque, but the times they are a changing. Most auction houses have switched to newer titles that include the word Design. Included in the sale were several interesting lots by Tiffany Studios.

Tiffany Furnaces mosaic inkwell, Doyle lot #227

Tiffany Furnaces mosaic inkwell, Doyle lot #227

The top lot of the Tiffany Studios section of the sale was #227, a very rare gilded bronze and mosaic inkstand and letter opener. The design was not Tiffany Studios, but rather Marshall Fields. That made sense because the original owner of the set was Potter Palmer II, the son of Potter Palmer, the Chicago business magnate and business partner of Marshall Field. It certainly was a unique special order item. I wanted to buy it, but it zoomed past my top bid, selling for $34,375, including buyer’s premium — an impressive multiple of the pre-sale estimate of $6,000 – $8,000.

Tiffany Studios pottery vase, Doyle lot #224

Tiffany Studios pottery vase, Doyle lot #224

A fine Tiffany Studios pottery vase with bird nest decoration, lot #224, sold for $7,500, including buyer’s premium, well above its pre-sale estimate of $2,500 – $3,500. This was another lot I tried to buy, but couldn’t justify paying the price, which was good for a collector, but not a dealer.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


I’ve been negligent in listing new items, but that’s already changed. I listed half a dozen new items this past weekend and I’ll be listing more this week. Please check my site as often as you can.

No more shows in 2016. Our next show will probably be the NYC Big Flea, the weekend of January 21, at the Lexington Avenue Armory. If not, we’ll be in Miami for the Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show, February 3 – 5, 2017. This is the airport show, which will be new and improved, with many additional exhibitors. It’s all happening because the Miami Beach Antiques Show will not be at the beach, instead moving to a new location in southwest Miami. It will all make for an interesting winter season.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. 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 the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show, November 4-6, 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.


Thursday, 8:40 PM. The preview party is almost over and I can’t wait to leave. There has been almost no interest in anything in our booth, except for one half-serious question. As usual, the food and drink has been excellent, but that’s about it. Of course there were no sales, not even close. Attendance was noticeably lighter than previous years, mostly with young women in their 30s. I’m guessing the men were at parties celebrating the Cub’s World Series victory. How about dem Cubs? Here’s hoping the weekend has nothing to do with the preview party.

Friday, 1:45 PM. Attendance has been light thus far. Two of our good clients came, but unfortunately didn’t purchase anything.

We sold this beautiful Gallé Fuchsia vase at the show

We sold this beautiful Gallé Fuchsia vase at the show

Friday, 5:30 PM. Attendance has been fairly dreadful all day. One of my best clients arrived late in the day and bought a very beautiful Gallé Fuchsia blownout vase.

We sold this important French bronze by Alfred Boucher, entitled Le But (The Goal)

We sold this important French bronze by Alfred Boucher, entitled Le But (The Goal)

Saturday, 11:30 AM. Attendance was very light during the first hour, but it’s picking up nicely. There is no reason the show should open at 10 AM. 11 AM – 5 PM is six hours of selling time and is more than sufficient for everyone to see everything and for the dealers to do business. Two of my good clients were in my booth and will hopefully be back later to make purchases.

We sold this killer Tiffany Favrile red Tel el Amarna vase

We sold this killer Tiffany Favrile red Tel el Amarna vase

Saturday, 4:30 PM. Everything improved on Saturday afternoon — attendance, interest and sales. One of our best clients came in late in the day and is considering purchasing several items. We’ll know tomorrow.

Sunday, 4:00 PM. The show is essentially over, even though it ends technically in an hour. Nobody is walking around.

We had a wonderful show, selling bronzes, French glass and American glass. Yesterday’s clients came back today and bought several important items. The only downside was almost every sale was to an existing client. Thank you, we love you, but we also need new blood.


I’ve been negligent in listing new items, but that’s already changed. I listed half a dozen new items this past weekend and I’ll be listing more this week. Please check my site as often as you can.

No more shows in 2016. Our next show will probably be the NYC Big Flea, the weekend of January 21, at the Lexington Avenue Armory. If not, we’ll be in Miami for the Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show, February 3 – 5, 2017. This is the airport show, which will be new and improved, with many additional exhibitors. It’s all happening because the Miami Beach Antiques Show will not be at the beach, instead moving to a new location in southwest Miami. It will all make for an interesting winter season.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, NH, sold a beautiful Burgun & Schverer French cameo glass bottle at auction, October 25, 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.


Burgun & Schverer (B&S) internally decorated bottle, Northeast lot #200

Burgun & Schverer (B&S) internally decorated bottle, Northeast lot #200

Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, NH, held an auction, October 17-18, 2016. Included in the sale was a beautiful Burgun & Schverer French cameo glass bottle with silver mounts and internally decorated bleeding hearts decoration, lot #200. It sold for $4,320, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $1,500 – $2,500. I was the underbidder. I would have bid higher, but the bottle had some minor condition problems, including a chip to the inner rim of the bottle and a chip to the stopper.

Following is a link to a prior blog post on B&S glass, so you can appreciate its importance and desirability. Click here.

For the complete results of the Northeast Auctions sale, click here.


winnetka-2016Our next show in Winnetka, Illinois, is next week, November 4-6, 2016. This is our only fall show in the greater Chicago area (and probably our last show of the year). We always look forward to exhibiting there, especially to see all our friends and clients. Put it in your calendar. It’s a lovely show!

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Horta Auctioneers sold French cameo glass in Brussels, Belgium, October 17-18, 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.


Horta Auctioneers, Brussels, Belgium, held an important sale, October 17-18, 2016. Included were quite a few lots of French cameo glass, including some very large examples, possibly from the same collection.

Monumental Gallé scenic vase, Horta lot #209

Monumental Gallé scenic vase, Horta lot #209

Top lot of the French cameo glass was #209, a huge 20″ tall scenic vase by Emile Gallé. Besides its enormous size, the decoration was very colorful and highly detailed. It sold below its aggressive pre-auction estimate of €25,000 – €30,000, realizing €24,000 ($26,125), including buyer’s premium. Sounds fair for such a huge vase. The problem for me personally would have been shipping, transporting and displaying such a gigantic vase at a show.

Monumental Daum Columbine vase, Horta lot #139

Monumental Daum Columbine vase, Horta lot #139

Lot #139 was another of the very large vases, this time by Daum, 21″ tall, with columbine decoration. It too sold below its estimate of €4,500 – €6,000, realizing €5,040 ($5,486), including buyer’s premium. (Remember the estimate does not include the buyer’s premium.) Personally I don’t have much luck selling very tall, narrow vases, so I tend to avoid them.

Monumental Le Verre Francais vase, Horta lot #145

Monumental Le Verre Francais vase, Horta lot #145

Le Verre Francais made some very large vases, but 27½” is ridiculously large. The decoration on this example was nothing special, but the vase still sold within its pre-auction estimate of €4,500 – €6,000, realizing €6,000 ($6,531), including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


winnetka-2016Our next show in Winnetka, Illinois, is just around the corner, November 4-6, 2016. This is our only fall show in the greater Chicago area (and probably our last show of the year). We always look forward to exhibiting there, especially to see all our friends and clients. Put it in your calendar. It’s a lovely show!

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

This is why you buy from me

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.


Daum Mushroom vase, Christie's lot #327

Daum Mushroom vase, Christie’s lot #327

Christie’s held its Living with Art sale on Thursday and Friday, October 13-14, 2016. Included in the sale was lot #327, a Daum Mushroom vase, a very desirable decoration. It’s a rare example where the decoration has been both wheel-carved and enameled. The problem with this particular vase is that it’s been cut down, probably to remove a big chip.

Daum Winter vase

Daum Winter vase

The example above is a Daum Winter vase with the original top.

I emailed Christie’s for a condition report on this lot to see if they knew the vase had been cut down. Apparently they didn’t. Here is their report. “In very good condition overall. With some light surface wear, as to be expected with age and handling. The underside with a large shallow chip, but which does not interfere with the inscription.” In their defense, they did make an announcement in the saleroom because I told them of the problem.

daum-mushroom-vase-4I guess that scared off all the buyers. The vase sold without reserve, so I bought it for $400 ($500 with the buyer’s premium). Wow! It’s a $10,000 vase in perfect condition. It’s for sale and you can buy it for 25% of the appraised value. $2,500 (or best offer) and it’s yours. The chip on the underside is unimportant and probably took place in the making when the pontil was removed. The top rim is altered, but the vase is still an outstanding and rare Mushroom vase. 25% – 33% is typically the selling price of high quality, but imperfect items. This is your opportunity.

And that’s why you buy from me. I vet all of the items I sell. You know what you’re buying, so you can buy with confidence.


winnetka-2016Our next show in Winnetka, Illinois, is just around the corner, November 4-6, 2016. This is our only fall show in the greater Chicago area (and probably our last show of the year). We always look forward to exhibiting there, especially to see all our friends and clients. Put it in your calendar. It’s a lovely show!

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.