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 It was originally made for the Chinese market.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.

Martin Brothers birds still flying high at Woolley & Wallis Arts & Crafts sale, June 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.

Woolley & Wallis, of Salisbury, UK, held their Arts & Crafts sale on June 18, 2014 with total sales of £651,200 ($1,117,231). 44 of the 593 lots were Martinware ceramics, which sold collectively for £385,000 ($660,525) — more than half the value of the entire sale. In particular, two birds each flew out the door for over $145,000.

Lovely Martin Brothers bird, Woolley & Wallis lot #148

Lovely Martin Brothers bird, Woolley & Wallis lot #148

Lot #148 was a tall (13¾”) Martin Brothers bird from 1898, with a lot of personality — just what the collectors were looking for. It soared to £91,500 ($156,982), against a pre-sale estimate of £20,000 – £30,000 ($34,313 – $51,469).

Superb Martin Brothers bird, Woolley & Wallis lot #149

Superb Martin Brothers bird, Woolley & Wallis lot #149

The next lot in the sale, #149, was another Martinware bird, a year younger, from 1899, the same height, 13¾”, and equal personality. It rocketed to £85,400 ($146,516), against the same pre-sale estimate of £20,000 – £30,000 ($34,313 – $51,469).

There’s no doubt Martinware collectors put their money where their mouths are. There are some great collections forming around the world.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

This lovely Tiffany Favrile decorated vase just arrived

This lovely Tiffany Favrile decorated vase just arrived


It’s summer, and we’re getting ready to start our summer circuit of shows in Denver on July 25th. We’re still very much in business. 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.

French Cameo and Tiffany Favrile Glass shine at Grogan’s The June Auction, June 8, 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.

Grogan and Company held their sale entitled The June Auction on June 8, 2014. Included in the sale were several art glass lots by Daum Nancy, Emile Gallé, and Tiffany Studios. The exceptional results are detailed below.

Tiffany red decorated vase, Grogan lot #496

Tiffany red decorated vase, Grogan lot #496

The better art glass started with lot #496, a red decorated Tiffany Favrile vase. Red is the cat’s meow when it comes to Tiffany and the result did not disappoint. The vase sold for $18,000, against a pre-sale estimate of $2,000 – $3,000.

Daum Nancy Violets bowl, Grogan lot #557

Daum Nancy Violets bowl, Grogan lot #557

The Tiffany vase was followed by lot #557, a huge, 16″ long, Daum Nancy Violets bowl. It more than doubled its high estimate of $4,000, realizing $10,200, including buyer’s premium.

Gallé padded and wheel-carved vase, Grogan lot #615

Gallé padded and wheel-carved vase, Grogan lot #615

Lot #615 was a sophisticated Gallé vase with an applied cabochon, wheel-carved, with internal foil, and a second, tear-like, application. The decoration was undersea with wheel-carved scallop shells. To my eye, the workmanship was outstanding, but the artistry a failure. Luckily for the consignor, the buyer did not ask my opinion. It sold for $15,600, against a pre-sale estimate of $5,000 – $10,000.

Gallé wheel-carved flacon, Grogan lot #620

Gallé wheel-carved flacon, Grogan lot #620

Lot #620 was a gem — an important Gallé perfume bottle, in the original leather case, with a mixed-metal top, made for the Paris Exposition of 1889. This was really a museum-quality object. Estimated to sell for $5,000 – $10,000, it went out the door at $19,200.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived


It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business. Click here to view my 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.

Sales total over $2.3 million at James D. Julia’s Lamp and Glass auction, June 11-12, 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.

James D. Julia, Inc. held their Lamp and Glass auction on June 11th & 12th, 2014. It was a huge two-day sale with 1418 lots crossing the block, and sales of $2.3 million. Some areas showed strength and others weakness, with two private collections performing very well.

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Dragon King vase, Julia's lot #1274

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Dragon King vase, Julia’s lot #1274

The first collection was the Betty and Leonard Issod collection of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre. Top lot of this group was #1254, a 24″ Lustre Dragon King vase — the largest known example. It sold near its high estimate of $60,000, realizing $74,062.50, including buyer’s premium.

Pair of Moser ewers, Julia's lot #1035

Pair of Moser ewers, Julia’s lot #1035

The top lot of the George Klabin collection of Moser glass was #1035, a pair of decorated ewers. Even with a crack to the handle of one of the ewers, the lot almost doubled its high estimate of $10,000, realizing $20,737.50.

Argy-Rousseau Poppy vase, Julia's lot #2000

Argy-Rousseau Poppy vase, Julia’s lot #2000

Three French glass lots tied for the top price of $15,405 (excluding R. Lalique) — #2000, an Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre Poppy vase; #2082, a Daum Nancy Winter scenic boudoir lamp; and #2083, another Daum Nancy Winter scenic boudoir lamp.

Tiffany Favrile Lava vase, Julia's lot #2462

Tiffany Favrile Lava vase, Julia’s lot #2462

Lots #2462 and #2560a shared the spotlight for the highest price realized by a Tiffany Favrile vase — $14,220. #2462 was a lovely Lava example, with a hairline crack that was probably original to the making. Lot #2560a was a Paperweight example with white jonquil flowers.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived


It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business. Click here to view my 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 Tiffany Studios Laburnum table lamp led the way at Bonham’s New York 20th Century Decorative Arts sale, June 10, 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.

Bonham’s New York held their 20th Century Decorative Arts auction on June 10th, 2014, a day ahead of Sotheby’s and two days ahead of Christie’s. 227 lots crossed the block with 100 failing to sell, for a sell-through rate of 44% — less than Sotheby’s sell-through rate of 66% and Christie’s sell-through rate of 67%. Bonham’s did not post total sales.

Tiffany Studios Laburnum table lamp, Bonham's lot #70

Tiffany Studios Laburnum table lamp, Bonham’s lot #70

Top dog of the sale was a beautiful 24″ diameter Tiffany Studios Laburnum table lamp. It sold for $425,000, including buyer’s premium.

2001 William Morris sculpture Laibon Man, Bonham's lot #227

2001 William Morris sculpture Laibon Man, Bonham’s lot #227

The last lot of the sale sold for the second highest price of the sale — a 31½” contemporary cast glass and steel mount by William Morris, entitled Laibon Man from the Man Adorned Series of 2001. It sold for $100,000, including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived


It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business. Click here to view my 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 New York sells over $5 million at its Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design sale, June 12, 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.

Christie’s New York held their Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design sale on June 12, 2014, a day after Sotheby’s. Christie’s sale was much larger, with 309 lots offered. Of those, 103 did not sell, for a sell-through rate of 67%. The sale totaled $5,954,500, for an average of $28,905 for each lot sold. Sotheby’s sell-through rate was 66%, with an average of $53,290 for each lot sold.

Tiffany Studios Wisteria lamp, Christie's lot #15

Tiffany Studios Wisteria lamp, Christie’s lot #15

Christie’s sale was much less reliant on Tiffany Studios than Sotheby’s. However, the top lot of the Christie’s sale was a Tiffany Studios Wisteria table lamp, lot #15. It sold near the high estimate of $350,000, realizing $437,000, including buyer’s premium. The previous day, Sotheby’s sold a Wisteria lamp of similar quality for $575,000.

Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann cabinet A 'Meuble à Fards, Christie's lot #107

Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann cabinet A ‘Meuble à Fards, Christie’s lot #107

The second highest price of the sale went to Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann. Lot #107 was a 1926-27 cabinet entitled A ‘Meuble à Fards. It sold within its estimate of $200,000 – $300,000 realizing $281,000, including buyer’s premium.

Rare Daum Nancy Penguin vase, Christie's lot #31

Rare Daum Nancy Penguin vase, Christie’s lot #31

The top-selling French cameo glass lot was #31, a rare Daum Nancy Penguin vase. It more than doubled its high estimate of $7,000, to realize $18,750, including buyer’s premium. I would have loved to have bought this vase, but the price realized was the full retail price for a 6¾” example.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

This A. Walter pâte-de-verre sculpture is coming shortly.

This A. Walter pâte-de-verre sculpture is coming shortly.


It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business. Click here to view my 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.

The British Guiana 1856 One-Cent Black on Magenta stamp set a world record at Sotheby’s New York, June 17, 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 British Guiana 1856 One-Cent, Black on Magenta stamp

The British Guiana 1856 One-Cent, Black on Magenta stamp

Sotheby’s New York held a single-item sale of the the British Guiana 1856 One-Cent, Black on Magenta stamp. Estimated to sell for $10,000,000 – $20,000,000, it went out the door at $9,013,000, including buyer’s premium, to an anonymous phone bidder. It set a new world record for any stamp, but had to be disappointing to Sotheby’s, selling below the low estimate.

The stamp was sold by the estate of the late John du Pont, a convicted murderer and heir to the du Pont chemical fortune. Mr. du Pont died in prison in 2010 at the age of 72 while serving a sentence for the shooting of David Schultz, a champion U.S. wrestler, in 1996. An avid philatelist, du Pont purchased the British Guiana 1856 One-Cent stamp at auction for $935,000 — a world record in 1980. Prior to that, the stamp sold for $280,000 at auction in 1970 (a world record) and prior to that, $40,000 in a private sale in 1940 (also a world record).

To access Sotheby’s directly for the results of the sale, click here.

This A. Walter pâte-de-verre sculpture is coming shortly.

This A. Walter pâte-de-verre sculpture is coming shortly.


It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business. Click here to view my 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.

Strong results for Tiffany Studios at Sotheby’s New York Important 20th Century Design sale, June 11, 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.

June is Decorative Arts Month, so the next several blog posts will cover the action at all the major and some of the lesser auction houses. Sotheby’s will be first. Thursday’s post will cover the result of the single-item sale of the world’s rarest stamp, the 1856 British Guiana 1-cent. Christie’s 20th Century results will be posted next Monday, with Bonham’s, Julia’s, Rago’s and others following.

Sotheby’s New York held their Important 20th Century Design sale on June 11, 2014. Included in the sale was an important collection of American art glass, including Tiffany Favrile, from the Estate of Dr. Edward and Helen McConnell. Of the 127 lots offered, 29 were from the McConnell Estate. 100% of the collection sold, with most of the vases easily exceeding their high estimates. Of the remaining 98 lots, only 55 sold, for a sell-through rate of 56% for the non-McConnell items. The sale totaled $4,476,376, for an average of $53,290 for each lot sold.

Important Tiffany Favrile Lava vase, Sotheby's lot #12

Important Tiffany Favrile Lava vase, Sotheby’s lot #12

The top selling lot of the McConnell Estate was no surprise. Lot #12 was a superb example of Tiffany Favrile Lava glass. It soared past its estimate of $75,000 — $100,000, to sell for $197,000, including buyer’s premium.

Tiffany Studios Wisteria table lamp, Sotheby's lot #44

Tiffany Studios Wisteria table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #44

Neither was the top selling Tiffany lamp of the sale a surprise. Lot #44 was a nice example of the Wisteria pattern. It sold within the estimate of $300,000 — $500,000, realizing $575,000.

Paul Lobel silver-plated coffee service, Sotheby's lot #77

Paul Lobel silver-plated coffee service, Sotheby’s lot #77

The second highest price of the sale went to an important Paul Lobel silver-plated coffee service. It realized $377,000, against a pre-sale estimate of $200,000 — $300,000. Considering the set wasn’t even sterling silver, the price was impressive, but again not a surprise.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived


It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business. Click here to view my 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.

The rarest stamp in the world will be sold at Sotheby’s New York on June 17, 2014

The British Guiana 1856 One-Cent, Black on Magenta stamp

The British Guiana 1856 One-Cent, Black on Magenta stamp

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 stamp on display

The stamp is on display in the middle of the illuminated plastic rectangle

Have a spare $10,000,000 – $20,000,000? On June 17, 2014, Sotheby’s New York will give you the opportunity to buy the rarest and most famous of all stamps — the British Guiana 1856 One-Cent, Black on Magenta. I won’t bore you here with the details of its history, but you can click here if you’d like to read more. What I will tell you about is what you won’t read elsewhere — the exhibition itself.

The stamp in its plastic display

The stamp in its plastic display

The stamp is small, as most stamps are, approximately 1¼” x 1″, and will be sold all by itself, in a single-lot sale. So how do you sell one tiny piece of paper, that doesn’t look like anything to a novice, all by itself? You have to surround it with a big and impressive display. So the first thing you encounter at the exhibit is a huge sign, as tall as a person — THE BRITISH GUIANA, THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS STAMP . Behind that, in a darkened room, sits the tiny stamp, illuminated in a giant display. It’s all very amusing, trying to make the stamp look important.  But how else could it have been done? I give them an A for effort, but a B- for execution. I’m not sure what I would have done differently, but it wouldn’t have been the same. Unfortunately, they didn’t consult me. What’s wrong with them?

I’ll post the results in a blog after the sale. It will surely set a world record, as it has the very few times it’s been sold previously at auction.  Each time was a world record.

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived


It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business. Click here to view my 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.

The results of Doyle New York’s Belle Epoque 19th & 20th Century Decorative Arts sale, June 4, 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 19th & 20th Century Decorative Arts sale on June 4, 2014 with unremarkable results.  Every auction house is dependent on what it gets offered to sell.  This time around, Doyle was unable to obtain any exceptional merchandise, which showed in the results.

Allan Clark The Temptress of the King, Doyle lot #85

Allan Clark The Temptress of the King, Doyle lot #85

Only one item exceeded $15,000 — lot #85, a polychromed and gilded wood sculpture entitled The Temptress of the King, which sold for $21,250, against a pre-sale estimate of $3,000 – $5,000. Personally I wouldn’t have bought it for any price, but luckily for the consignor, my opinion does not count.

Gorgeous Handel Bird lamp, Doyle lot #350

Gorgeous Handel Bird lamp, Doyle lot #350

Only a handful of items exceeded $10,000, with many selling for under $2,000.  I was able to scoop up one of the bargains of the sale, a gorgeous Handel reverse-painted Bird lamp on a black background.  It sold for $8,125, against a pre-sale estimate of $5,000 – $7,000.

Fine Amphora portrait vase, Doyle lot #430

Fine Amphora portrait vase, Doyle lot #430

The inside cover lot, #430, was a beautiful 14½” Amphora portrait vase, decorated by Reissner, Stellmacher & Kessel.  It sold for the low estimate of $6,000 ($7,500 with buyer’s premium).  I suspect the big chip on the foot rim was responsible for the relatively low price. For the complete results of the sale, click here.

This fantastic Gallé plum blownout vase is due to arrive in the next day or two

This fantastic Gallé plum blownout vase is due to arrive in the next day or two

It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business. Click here to view my 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.