Setting up at the Kansas City Antiques Expo, November 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.


We're just getting started

We’re just getting started

Yesterday was the first day of setup for the Kansas City Antiques Expo. We’ve got an enormous 40′ booth, so setup was easy. We didn’t have to step over each other or the merchandise.

The show is small, but with good dealers. The problem is that attendees won’t be pleased by the size of the show, which could precipitate a vicious cycle. I hope not, but tune in Monday for the results.

We'll have this fantastic Daum vase at the show

We’ll have this fantastic Daum vase at the show

We’ve got some fine new items, just since last week’s show in Winnetka, including a wonderful early Moorcroft MacIntyre pitcher, a great Daum Nancy vase with applied flowers, a 1904 Van Briggle vase, an Amphora portrait vase and a rare pair of Quezal dark green decorated shades. (By the way, did you hear about the art glass shades that sold at Julia’s yesterday? Wow! Some amazing prices were realized. It looks like the art glass shade market may be experiencing a revival after a few years in the doldrums. I’ll be reviewing Julia’s auction at a later date.) So if you’re in the greater Kansas City area, please come and see us at the show. Remember it’s open this Friday and Saturday only. NO SUNDAY!

pier-show-11-2014Next week we’ll be in New York City for our final show of 2014, at Pier 94, for the usual November show. Remember to check my website for the latest items and keep reading my blog.

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.

The results of the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show, November 7-9, 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.


The Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show finished yesterday, after a 3-day run from November 7-9. It was a strange show, that ultimately worked out. We’re very satisfied with our sales, most of which came from our three best clients. If we had to rely on sales to new clients, the show would have been a catastrophe. Each of you knows who you are. Thank you for your business and your loyalty.

The show started with a preview party on Thursday night. Of course we didn’t sell a thing. The good part was the plentiful, delicious food and the unlimited drinks. If we weren’t going to sell anything, at least we were well treated.

We sold this lovely Tiffany/Grueby lamp at the show

We sold this lovely Tiffany/Grueby lamp at the show

Friday was fairly tortuous, sitting for 8 hours, with very few people attending and very little interest. Nothing good happened until one of our best clients showed up at the end of the day.

Attendance improved a little on Saturday, but still not much doing until the other two best clients showed up. By the end of the day, we were having a good show.

Sunday afternoon in front of our booth

Sunday afternoon in front of our booth

Sunday was the busiest day, with good attendance, lots of questions and a few small sales to new people. It wasn’t our most remunerative day, but it was satisfying, nonetheless.

Overall, our results were light-years ahead of last year. Sales of French glass and Tiffany glass were best. We’ll be back next year, hopefully in a larger booth, as we were really cramped in this one.


kansas-city-11-2014This week we’ll be in Kansas City, MO, for the Kansas City Antiques Expo, at the Holiday Inn Exhibition Center, right near the airport. It’s a really quick show that opens this Friday at 10 AM and ends on Saturday at 6 PM. It’s our only show that isn’t open on Sunday (which I don’t understand and think is a mistake). The following week we’ll be in New York City for our final show of 2014, at Pier 94, for the usual November show. Remember to check my website for the latest items and keep reading my blog.

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.

Setting up at the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show, November 5, 2014

winnetka-11-2014My 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.


We're about halfway finished setting up

We’re about halfway finished setting up

Yesterday was the first day of setup for the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show. We’ll finish today and open to the public this evening with a preview party. Whoop dee doo! Can you hear the excitement in my voice? I just love preview parties. I might even have sold something, at some time, at some preview party. I just can’t recall exactly when. :>(

One of the fine displays at the show

One of the fine displays at the show

We have a lovely end-cap booth that unfortunately is a little too small for us, so we’ve had to jam everything in and not display a number of items. I hope the show goes well so we can move to a larger booth next year. Not sure what to expect, as some years have been good and others not. Tune in Monday for the results.

Another of the fine displays at the show The show is very diverse, with high quality dealers from all walks. There are no junk dealers at all in the show, so it’s really worth a trip from anywhere in the greater Chicago area. Personally, I’ve brought an outstanding selection, which I hope you’ll come to see. You will not be disappointed!


Next week we’ll be in Kansas City, MO, for the Kansas City Antiques Expo, and then the following week in New York City for our final show of 2014, at Pier 94, for the usual November show. Remember to check my website for the latest items and keep reading my blog.

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.

The results of the Morristown Armory Antiques Show, November 1-2, 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.


Sunday afternoon in front of my booth

Sunday afternoon in front of my booth

The Morristown Armory Antiques Show finished yesterday, November 2nd, after a brief two-day run. I had vowed after the last Morristown show not to return, but Allison Kohler, the show promoter, convinced me otherwise. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to convince me the next time.

This Quezal shade was sold at the show

This Quezal shade was sold at the show

Attendance was moderate for a small show, but there weren’t enough strong buyers. My inventory was light-years beyond the other dealers, so we needed the well-heeled attendees to step up to the plate to make it worthwhile. I made a few small sales, so it’s possible we broke even, but I have better things to do than break even after all the time, energy and money invested. It’s a shame. Allison Kohler is a good promoter and I like to do her shows, but business is business. If I can’t do enough business to earn a buck, I can’t come back. So as of now, I’ve sworn off the whole state of New Jersey and would only return for some extraordinary circumstance.


winnetka-11-2014We’ll be in Winnetka this week, a suburb of Chicago, for the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show. That will be followed by the Kansas City Antiques Expo, and then our final show of 2014, 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.

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.

The Morristown Armory Antiques Show will open this Saturday, November 1, 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.


Morristown-10-2014The Morristown Armory Antiques Show will open this Saturday, November 1st, at 10 AM and close on Sunday, November 2nd, at 5 PM. The Morristown Armory is a nice facility, just outside of town, with plenty of parking. Setup is easy with vehicles allowed to drive right up to their booths. It’s a quick show, with immediate results — either you did well or not. The quality of the show is usually quite good, so it’s worth a trip from anywhere in the greater NY, NJ, CT, or PA area.

We'll have this fabulous Martin Brothers bird at the show

We’ll have this fabulous Martin Brothers bird at the show

We’ll be bringing some outstanding new objects that we’ve just recently acquired, including a fabulous Martin Brothers bird — the first one in a long time. Additionally, we’ll have new Tiffany Studios lamps, including two fine Linenfold examples, a wonderful 18″ Handel scenic lamp, a Daum Nancy scenic blownout vase, an Amphora portrait vase, English cameo vases, and numerous other items. It will be one of the best displays we’ve ever done.
We'll also have this gorgeous Handel 18" scenic lamp at the show

We’ll also have this gorgeous Handel 18″ scenic lamp at the show


Our next show, of four in a row, will be the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show, in a suburb of Chicago. That will be followed by the Kansas City Antiques Expo, and then our final show of 2014, 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. Tune in Monday for the results of the Morristown Armory Antiques Show.

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.

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.

Why Do Vases Sell for More Than Bowls?

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.

Today’s guest post is by David Rago, republished with permission from Bidsquare. David Rago is Partner and Co-Director of the 20th/21st C. Design Department of the Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, New Jersey.


Unless you’re selling gold ingots or diamonds, most fine objects don’t have intrinsic monetary value. So why would anyone pay tens of thousands of dollars for a Tiffany vase? To truly understand value, you have to understand the mindset of a collector.

Tiffany Studios, Fine Favrile pottery bowl with tomatoes, green and ivory glaze, New York, ca. 1900. Sale Price: $13,750, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Tiffany Studios, Fine Favrile pottery bowl with tomatoes, green and ivory glaze, New York, ca. 1900. Sale Price: $13,750, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Tiffany Studios, Rare glazed earthenware milkweed vase, New York, 1900s. Sale Price: $42,500, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Tiffany Studios, Rare glazed earthenware milkweed vase, New York, 1900s. Sale Price: $42,500, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Let’s start by comparing vases and bowls. To simplify this exercise, assume you have a bowl and a vase made of the same material (pottery or glass, for example) by the same company, the same year, decorated by the same artist or one of similar value, in the same condition, and even the same size, though one is measured in height and the other in width. We’re pretty much talking about the same piece with that one notable exception. Would the value really be different?

Grueby, Large low bowl carved with leaves, Boston, MA, ca. 1905. Sale Price: $1,625, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Grueby, Large low bowl carved with leaves, Boston, MA, ca. 1905. Sale Price: $1,625, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Grueby, Vase with buds and leaves, Boston, MA, ca. 1905. Sale Price: $2,125, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Grueby, Vase with buds and leaves, Boston, MA, ca. 1905. Sale Price: $2,125, Rago Arts & Auction Center

For starters, a bowl takes up nearly twice as much space on a collector’s shelf than a vase. Few people have unlimited yardage in their china cabinets or fireplace mantels, and many collectors eventually trade bowls for thinner works.

Second, and this is no small factor, a bowl doesn’t show off an artist’s work as well as a vase. If you don’t have a vase and a bowl sitting in front of you, envision how the vertical flow of the artistry is easier to read on a vase. Even if an artist “works with the form” when decorating a bowl, choosing a trailing vine or a lyrical floral design, the decoration has to wind around the bottom of the piece, at best rising just a few inches above the shelf.

Additionally, because most bowls flare as they rise, and since most light sources shine from above, the decoration on a bowl is usually not lit nearly as well as it would be on a vase form. A collector has to be very sensitive to lighting and placement to show off a bowl properly if for no other reason than this.

Unusual Rookwood Wax Matte bowl painted by Louise Abel with red blossoms on a mustard ground, the interior covered in a mottled burnt sienna glaze, 1924. Sale Price: $764, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Unusual Rookwood Wax Matte bowl painted by Louise Abel with red blossoms on a mustard ground, the interior covered in a mottled burnt sienna glaze, 1924. Sale Price: $764, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Rookwood Wax Matte vase painted by Mary Helen McDonald and/or Louise Abel with purple nicotina plants on a raspberry ground, 1922. Sale Price: $1,920, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Rookwood Wax Matte vase painted by Mary Helen McDonald and/or Louise Abel with purple nicotina plants on a raspberry ground, 1922. Sale Price: $1,920, Rago Arts & Auction Center

Finally, bowls are more easily damaged than vases. A blow from above will often glance off of a straight sided vase. But the shape of a bowl, broad and flat, will often absorb the same level of impact, resulting in a chip or a crack. And bowls are more often employed in a way that can increase the likelihood of benign neglect. How many people have you seen force narcissus bulbs in a vase? Bowls are often available with flower frogs for this express purpose. The safest place for a valuable pot is in a cabinet or a high shelf, not the dining room table.


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.