Good results at Rago Auction’s Early 20th Century Decorative Arts Auction, October 18, 2014

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 their Early 20th Century Decorative Arts Auction on October 18, 2014, with some good results, led by items from Newcomb College and Emile Gallé.

Newcomb College five-tile frieze, Rago lot #99

Newcomb College five-tile frieze, Rago lot #99

Top lot of the sale was a tie between lot 99, a five-tile Newcomb College frieze and lot 286, a Gallé lamp. Each went out the door at $81,250. That price was below the low estimate of $75,000 for the Newcomb tiles, but above the high estimate of $60,000 for the Gallé lamp.
Rare Gallé lamp, Rago lot #286

Rare Gallé lamp, Rago lot #286

Tiffany Studios  22" Drop-Head Dragonfly floor lamp, Rago lot #312

Tiffany Studios 22″ Drop-Head Dragonfly floor lamp, Rago lot #312

Several Tiffany Studios lamps were sold, mostly low-end. The exception was a Tiffany Studios 22″ Drop-Head Dragonfly floor lamp, consigned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The color was only fair and there were a few minor condition issues, but the lamp still sold near the low estimate of $60,000, realizing $68,750, including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Morristown-10-2014
Our first show of four in a row will be held next weekend in New Jersey at the Morristown Armory, November 1-2. Then we travel to Chicago for the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show, followed by the Kansas City Antiques Expo, ending up back at the Pier in NYC for the usual November show. Remember to check my website for the latest items and keep reading my blog. We’ll spend a lot of time finding some great new items for our November circuit.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Science fiction led the way at Heritage’s Illustration Art Signature Auction, October 17-18, 2014

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.


Heritage Auctions held its Illustration Art Signature Auction on October 17-18, 2014. Included in the sale was original art from the Norman Jacobs Starlog collection — a monthly science fiction magazine — which met with an enthusiastic response. Usually the works of Gil Elvgren top the auction, but this time it was science fiction.

Robert Theodore McCall painting, Earth Orbit 98, Heritage lot #72019

Robert Theodore McCall painting, Earth Orbit 98, Heritage lot #72019

Lot #72019 was a huge (6′), 1977, acrylic on canvas painting by Robert Theodore McCall, entitled Earth Orbit 98. It led the sale with a final price of $245,000, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $200,000 – $250,000 — just below the low estimate. (Remember the estimate does not include the buyer’s premium.)

Chesley Bonestell Beginning of the World (The Earth is Born), Heritage lot #72004

Chesley Bonestell Beginning of the World (The Earth is Born), Heritage lot #72004

The result for the second best lot, #72004, was a big surprise. Chesley Bonestell’s Beginning of the World (The Earth is Born), a mixed media on board painting, flew past its pre-sale estimate of $15,000 – $25,000, to realize a stunning $197,000. The painting had been used for the December 8, 1952 cover of LIFE Magazine, which no doubt added to the enthusiasm.

Gil Elvgren  What a View!, Heritage lot #72113

Gil Elvgren What a View!, Heritage lot #72113

12 examples of Gil Elvgren’s art were sold in the sale, with lot #72113 leading the way. The 1957 painting, entitled What a View!, was used as a calendar illustration for Brown & Bigelow. It sold for $68,750, against a pre-sale estimate of $40,000 – $60,000.

For the complete results of the sale, click here. You will be required to sign in (free) to see the results.


Morristown-10-2014
Our first show of four in a row will be held next weekend in New Jersey at the Morristown Armory, November 1-2. Then we travel to Chicago for the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show, followed by the Kansas City Antiques Expo, ending up back at the Pier in NYC for the usual November show. Remember to check my website for the latest items and keep reading my blog. We’ll spend a lot of time finding some great new items for our November circuit.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Some good results at Freeman’s English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts sale, October 7, 2014

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.


Freeman’s of Philadelphia, PA held its English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts sale on October 7, 2014. Included in the sale was a section entitled 20th Century Design including Fine Daum, Gallé & Loetz Glass, fresh from estates, with very conservative estimates and reserves. That’s always a combination that bodes well.

Daum Bird & Frog vase, Freeman's lot #430

Daum Blackbird & Frog vase, Freeman’s lot #430

Top lot of this group was a Daum Blackbird & Frog vase. It flew past its pre-sale estimate of $2,000 – $4,000 to realize $16,250 (buyer’s premium included). While that may seem like a good result, the identical vase sold at Bonham’s New York in December, 2012 for $43,750 (against a pre-sale estimate of $15,000 – $20,000). What explains the difference? In my opinion, two people got carried away at Bonham’s in 2012. $43,750 for this vase just sounds over the top.

Rare Loetz Black Bottom vase, Freeman's lot #460

Rare Loetz Black Bottom vase, Freeman’s lot #460

Lot # 460 was a small (4″ tall), but rare, Loetz Black Bottom vase, estimated to sell for $1,500 – $2,500. I tried to buy it, but couldn’t when the price went into retail territory. The final result was $8,960 (buyer’s premium included).

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Morristown-10-2014
No shows until November, when we have four in a row. We’ll start in New Jersey at the Morristown Armory, then travel to Chicago for the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show, followed by the Kansas City Antiques Expo, ending up back at the Pier in NYC for the usual November show. Remember to check my website for the latest items and keep reading my blog. We’ll spend a lot of time finding some great new items for our November circuit.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Tiffany Studios lamps sell well at Doyle’s Belle Epoque sale, September 23, 2014

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 September 23, 2014. Included in the sale were several Tiffany Studios lamps, which performed well as a group.

Tiffany Studios Dragonfly table lamp, Doyle lot #533

Tiffany Studios Dragonfly table lamp, Doyle lot #533

Top lot of the sale was a Tiffany Studios 20″ diameter Dragonfly table lamp, deaccessioned by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. With impeccable provenance, and a beautiful shade, the lamp did not disappoint. Selling as lot #533, it realized $87,500 (including buyer’s premium), against a pre-sale estimate of $50,000-$70,000.

Rare Tiffany Studios Fern table lamp, Doyle lot #525

Rare Tiffany Studios Fern table lamp, Doyle lot #525

While the result for lot #533 could have easily been predicted, the result for lot #525 was completely unexpected. It was a small Tiffany Studios table lamp with a rare Fern base and a 10″ diameter Pine Needle shade, totally damaged. It was expected to sell in the $1,200-$1,800 range, but sold for $31,250 — about 14 times the high estimate. So what was the deal? I spoke to the successful bidder, a collector/dealer, who answered, “When was the last time you saw this base for sale?” It was very rare and he was determined to buy it, no matter what. I imagine he’ll replace the shade with a top-notch Favrile glass shade.

For the rest of the Tiffany lamps and the complete results of the sale, first click here and then choose the September 23, 2014 Belle Epoque sale from the drop-down menu.


No shows until November, when we have four in a row. We’ll start in New Jersey at the Morristown Armory, then travel to Chicago for the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show, followed by the Kansas City Antiques Expo, ending up back at the Pier in NYC for the usual November show. Remember to check my website for the latest items and keep reading my blog. We’ll spend a lot of time finding some great new items for our November circuit.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Some good results at Cottone’s Fine Art & Antique auction, September 26-27, 2014

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.

Tiffany Studios Angel of Resurrection window, Cottone lot #504

Tiffany Studios Angel of Resurrection window, Cottone lot #504

Cottone’s held their Fine Art & Antique auction this past weekend, September 26-27, 2014, with some good results. Top lot of the sale was a Tiffany Studios memorial window, Angel of Resurrection from the Church of the Redeemer in upstate Newark, NY. It exceeded its high estimate of $60,000 to realize $71,300, including buyer’s premium.

Tiffany Studios Poppy table lamp, Cottone lot #502

Tiffany Studios Poppy table lamp, Cottone lot #502

The second highest lot of the sale was another Tiffany Studios item – a 17″ diameter Poppy table lamp. Fresh to the market, the estimate seemed fair, $60,000-$80,000, especially with an important blownout base. To my surprise, it sold for the low estimate of $60,000, plus buyer’s premium ($69,000). Sounded like a deal to me.

Martin Brothers bird, Cottone lot #539

Martin Brothers bird, Cottone lot #539

Martin Brothers birds continued on a decade’s-long flight up. A 10″ bird with lots of character (and some damage) soared past its pre-sale estimate of $7,000-$10,000 to realize $60,950.

There were bargains to be had, but unfortunately I was asleep at the switch. I was so preoccupied with the antique show this past weekend that the auction totally slipped my mind. Too bad, because I could have bought some fine items at reasonable prices. For the complete results of the sale, click here.

No shows until November, when we have four in a row. We’ll start in New Jersey at the Morristown Armory, then travel to Chicago for the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show, followed by the Kansas City Antiques Expo, ending up back at the Pier in NYC for the usual November show. Remember to check my website for the latest items and keep reading my blog. We’ll spend a lot of time finding some great new items for our November circuit.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Christie’s South Kensington London held a most unusual Out of the Ordinary sale, September 3, 2014

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.

The door to Paul McCartney's childhood home, Christie's lot #1

The door to Paul McCartney’s childhood home, Christie’s lot #1

Bernard Buffet's monumental stage curtain from the Paris cabaret club L'Alcazar, Christie's lot #119

Bernard Buffet’s monumental stage curtain from the Paris cabaret club L’Alcazar, Christie’s lot #119

Christie’s South Kensington, London, held a very eclectic sale on September 3, 2014, entitled Out of the Ordinary. The sale couldn’t have been more diverse, with items ranging from the door to Paul McCartney’s childhood home (£6,875 = $11,316) to Bernard Buffet’s monumental stage curtain from the Paris cabaret club L’Alcazar, opened by Jean-Marie Rivière in 1968 (£194,500 = $320,147).

Royal Navy machine gun, 1880-5, Christie's lot #147

Royal Navy machine gun, 1880-5, Christie’s lot #147

The Bernard Buffet curtain was the top lot of the sale, but a Royal Navy deck-mounted machine gun from 1880-5 was the second best lot. It exceeded its high estimate of £70,000 ($115,990) to sell for £86,500 ($142,379).

German WWII Enigma encrypting machine, Christie's lot #25

German WWII Enigma encrypting machine, Christie’s lot #25

Other fascinating lots included a WWII German Enigma encrypting machine (£50,000 = $82,300), a circa 1900 Elizabethan Capture chair (£27,500 = $45,265) and a large Ammonite mineral (£32,500 = $53,495). To view the complete results of the sale, click here.

The show will be held in the white building on the left, September 27-28, 2014

The show will be held in the white building on the left, September 27-28, 2014

Our next show is new to our schedule and almost upon us. The NYC Big Flea Market will run two weekends from now, from September 27-28. The new promoters, D’Amore Promotions, will be using the same Pier 94 that is used by USA Antique Shows for their November and March shows. This one will be substantially different, with an entirely new cast of dealers. Click here for more information. It should be good, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Duffner & Kimberly lamp sells at McInnis Auctions, September 6, 2014

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.

Duffner & Kimberly table lamp, McInnis lot #599

Duffner & Kimberly table lamp, McInnis lot #599

John McInnis Auctioneers, of Amesbury, MA, held a two-day estates auction on September 5-6, 2014. Included in the sale was an attractive, unsigned Duffner & Kimberly table lamp with a floral border. Although it was unsigned, it was clearly a Duffner lamp, including the very distinctive cap, finial, base and shade design. But that was only to the trained eye. With a very attractive estimate of $2/4,000, I had hoped to sneak up on it, as it was definitely underestimated. But all it takes to spoil the party is one other knowledgeable bidder. The lamp sold for $5,750, which although still fair, was a little too much for a dealer to pay. Oh well! Maybe I’ll have better luck next time.

For a look at the sale (without results), click here.

The show will be held in the white building on the left, September 27-28, 2014

The show will be held in the white building on the left, September 27-28, 2014

Our next show is new to our schedule. The NYC Big Flea Market will run from September 27-28. The new promoters, D’Amore Promotions, will be using the same Pier 94 that is used by USA Antique Shows for their November and March shows. This one will be substantially different, with an entirely new cast of dealers. Click here for more information. It should be good, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Would you pay $3.2 million for a comic book? Someone did.

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.

Action Comics #1, sealed in plastic

Action Comics #1, sealed in plastic

A copy of Action Comics #1, which introduced Superman to the world, was put up for auction on eBay. By the time the sale ended on August 24, 2014, a new world record of $3,207,852 was established — not bad for a comic that originally sold for 10¢ in 1938. This example was sealed in plastic by Comic Guaranty LLC (CGC), a comic book grading service, and graded 9.0 (out of 10). That made it the highest-rated example of the estimated 50-100 examples thought to still exist, of the original 200,000 printed. It had been stored in a cedar locker for decades, so it had perfect white pages and no damage — just what collectors desire.

 Darren Adams, with his Action Comics #1  (photo courtesy of eBay)

Darren Adams, with his Action Comics #1 (photo courtesy of eBay)

Many times the name of the purchaser or seller is not known, but in this instance, we know the identities of both. Darren Adams, the owner of Pristine Comics, was the seller, who purportedly paid over $1,000,000 (but how much over only he and the seller know). Vincent Zurzolo and Stephen Fishler were the buyers. They are the partners of Metropolis Collectibles of NYC, the bigshots of the vintage comic book world. Their belief is that their purchase is a good investment that will realize a profit.

Vincent Zurzolo (right) and Stephen Fishler with a different copy of Action Comics #1

Vincent Zurzolo (right) and Stephen Fishler with a different copy of Action Comics #1

In my eyes, it’s a game of musical chairs. I wouldn’t want to be the last one standing, with a $3.2 million comic book, when the music stops. In the meantime, the prices keep marching on. The last eBay auction of Action Comics #1 was in 2011, when it set the then current record of $2,161,000. Prior to that, in 2010, Comic Connect was the first auction house to break the $1 million barrier with another copy.

Christopher Reeve as Superman

Christopher Reeve as Superman

Christopher Reeve was probably the best-known of all the actors who portrayed Superman. In 1995, he became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during a competition. Darren Adams intends to donate 1% of the sales price to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for spinal-cord injury and paralysis research.

The show will be held in the white building on the left, September 27-28, 2014

The show will be held in the white building on the left, September 27-28, 2014

Our next show is new to our schedule. The NYC Big Flea Market will run from September 27-28. The new promoters, D’Amore Promotions, will be using the same Pier 94 that is used by USA Antique Shows for their November and March shows. This one will be substantially different, with an entirely new cast of dealers. Click here for more information. It should be good, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

A Chinese bowl, used by the family cat as a bed, sold for £108,000 at auction, August 6, 2014

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.

15th century Imperial Ming dynasty bowl

15th century Imperial Ming dynasty bowl

A Chinese bowl, used by the family cat for sleeping, was sold at auction in the UK on August 6, 2014 for £108,000 ($177,763). Reeman Dansie Auctioneers of Colchester, UK, estimated the bowl to sell for £200-300, considering it was in poor condition.

The underside of the 12" diameter bowl

The underside of the 12″ diameter bowl

The good news was that the bowl was probably authentic and from the 15th century Imperial Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644). Chinese fakes are a big problem, so the provenance and condition convinced the bidders that this was the real deal. The bowl had been passed down for generations in the family of Major General John Tulloch, who brought it back to England from China in 1900. At some point in its history, it was broken in two and repaired with staples. This was one of the rare times that poor condition added to an object’s value.

A staple used for the repair can be clearly seen

A staple used for the repair can be clearly seen

The bowl was one of nine Chinese lots consigned by the family to the auction. All of the items did very well, mainly because of the rock-solid family provenance. For example, an 11″ vase from the 19th century sold for almost £40,000 ($65,847) even with a damaged lid. Most of the bidders were Chinese, looking to repatriate their heritage. Chinese antiques have been on a decade-long tear since the rise of a wealthy upper-class in China. The winning bidder for the bowl bid by telephone from mainland China.

The show will be held in the white building on the left, September 27-28, 2014

The show will be held in the white building on the left, September 27-28, 2014

We decided to add a new show to our schedule, the NYC Big Flea Market. The new promoters, D’Amore Promotions, will be using the same Pier 94 that is used by USA Antique Shows for their November and March shows. This one will be substantially different, with an entirely new cast of dealers. Click here for more information. It should be good, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Sotheby’s London sold the Treasures of the Dukes of Northumberland, July 9, 2014

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.

On July 9, 2014, Sotheby’s London held their Treasures Including Selected Works from the Collections of the Dukes of Northumberland sale, with stellar results. The sale grossed the highest-ever total for a decorative arts sale in London, £23,593,850 ($40,394,981) — very strong for a sale with only 57 lots. Many of the lots sold above their high estimates. 12 did not sell, making the average selling price for the 45 sold lots an impressive £524,308 ($897,666).

Marble sculpture of Aphrodite, Sotheby's lot #17

Marble sculpture of Aphrodite, Sotheby’s lot #17

Lot #17 was a Roman marble statue of Aphrodite from the 1st century A.D. It handily exceeded its high estimate of £6,000,000, to sell for £9,378,500 ($16,056,479), establishing a record for the highest auction price ever paid for a classical antiquity in Europe.

1790 English automaton, Sotheby's lot #48

1790 English automaton, Sotheby’s lot #48

A wonderful, amusing George III musical automaton from 1790, almost 4′ tall, sold for the second highest price of the sale, £2,266,500 ($3,880,361), against a pre-sale estimate of £1,000,000 — £1,500,000. It was originally made for the Chinese market.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

July 25-27, 2014

July 25-27, 2014

Our first show of the summer will be the Denver Antique Show, which will open to the public in less than two weeks, on July 25th. We’ll put together a great display with all of our new purchases. Make sure to come and visit us if you’re in the area.

This rare R. Lalique Douze Figurines bottle just arrived

This rare R. Lalique Douze Figurines bottle just arrived

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.