Discovering Art Nouveau in Norway

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.


Hello from Norway. We’re here in the middle of winter chasing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Hopefully we’ll get lucky and see it. I’ll let you know.

Two typical Ålesund Art Nouveau buildings, one dated 1906

In the meantime, we visited the city of Ålesund (pronounced Oh leh sund), which I had never even heard of before visiting. A fire consumed much of the city in 1904, so many buildings were rebuilt in Norway’s version of the Art Nouveau style.

Two Norwegian Art Nouveau cabinets on display at the Ålesund Art Nouveau Center (the left one is asymmetric)

Quintessential Art Nouveau draws it’s influence from nature and is usually asymmetric. Norwegian Art Nouveau is more like the transitional period in the 1910s between the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. The themes from nature are more stylized than realistic and the decoration is mostly symmetric (two characteristics of Art Deco).

The entrance to the Ålesund Art Nouveau Center

We visited the original Art Nouveau pharmacy, which is now the Art Nouveau Center of Ålesund. It’s a small museum now with a limited selection of items, including four low quality Gallé vases and one nice blue decorated Tiffany Favrile vase, but it was still interesting.

The interior of the pharmacy with an Art Nouveau cash register

Be careful how you park!

It’s a charming, clean city with friendly people. I’m glad we visited, even for a brief while. Art Nouveau buildings were a nice surprise.


When we return, we’ll prepare for our next show, the Charleston Antique Show in Charleston, SC, March 17-19, 2017. I have no idea what to expect since I’ve never exhibited there, but I figure it’s worth a shot. I have low expectations and am hoping for a nice surprise.

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.

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.

Setting up at the Grove Park Inn Antiques Show

For several years, I’ve heard lots of good things about the Grove Park Inn Antiques Show, though I’ve never had the opportunity to visit nor exhibit there. I decided this was the year to try, and so far it’s looking like a very good decision. The show hasn’t even opened yet, but it’s very pleasant so far, with a good vibe.

That's me in front of one of the giant fireplaces

That's me in front of one of the giant fireplaces

First is the Grove Park Inn itself. It’s a wonderful 1913 masterpiece of a hotel. Just being in the lobby with the gigantic boulder fireplaces surrounded by people warming themselves in rocking chairs is great fun. Add to that a glass of delicious Ravenswood Zinfandel Lodi 2007 and you’ve got a wonderful relaxing time. And of course, enjoying it with my honey makes it perfect.

The show promoter, Bruce Johnson, is very friendly. He made us feel welcome, as well as most of the other dealers, many of whom I already know. Setup went very well, except that North Carolina is having a cold wave. It was colder here than in New York. For most of the day, the roll up door was open and we had to set up in freezing conditions. What a relief when they finally closed the door and the room warmed up.

Some of the wonderful Arts & Crafts furniture at the show

Some of the wonderful Arts & Crafts furniture at the show

It’s a beautiful show with very high quality Arts & Crafts furniture, ceramics, and linens. The show is mixed, with the antiques dealers in the main ballroom and the quality reproduction dealers in the hallways. There are many lectures for attendees, so the whole weekend is a complete Arts & Crafts experience. From everything I can see, it’s Arts & Crafts heaven.

My booth, almost set up at Grove Park Inn

My booth, almost set up at Grove Park Inn

I’m not a perfect fit for this show, as many of my items are Art Nouveau, but I have enough Arts & Crafts items to satisfy many collectors. I’ve brought many Tiffany lamps and they’re perfect for Arts & Crafts homes. I also have a nice collection of Arts & Crafts ceramics, including Rookwood, Newcomb College, Grueby, Arequipa, Marblehead, and others.

Right now, I’ve got a good feeling that the show will go well. Read my post on Monday and I’ll let you know.

I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. I’ve already listed new items under Gallé glass (including a blownout vase), Daum Nancy glass and Tiffany Studios glass. Soon I’ll be adding many Tiffany Studios desk pieces. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

French cameo and Tiffany Studios Favrile glass do well at Julia’s Lamp & Glass auction, November 20, 2009

Tiffany Studios flower form vase, Julia's lot #2091

Tiffany Studios flower form vase, Julia's lot #2091

Session 2 of James D. Julia’s Lamp & Glass auction was held on Friday, November 20.  The session began with art glass shades, with rare and unusual examples holding up well, while common shades did not.

The Tiffany Studios section of the sale followed with glass and desk accessories performing well.  Lot 2091 was a Tiffany Studios flowerform vase that carried a pre-sale estimate of $4-6,000 and sold for $11,500, including buyer’s premium.  A mini red Tiffany Studios decorated vase, 3″ tall, estimated for $3-5,000, sold for $6,612.50, including buyer’s premium.

Tiffany Studios red mini vase, Julia's lot #2093

Tiffany Studios red mini vase, Julia's lot #2093

French cameo glass was next up on the auction block.  First was an outstanding vase by Eugène Michel with padded and heavily wheel-carved poppy flowers.  It was estimated at $15-20,000 and sold for $25,300, including buyer’s premium.  The three other Michel vases in the sale also did well.  An outstanding Gallé marquetry vase, lot #2235, was estimated at $20-30,000 and sold within the estimate for $24,150.

Eugène Michel padded & wheel-carved cameo glass vase, Julia's lot #2217

Eugène Michel padded & wheel-carved cameo glass vase, Julia's lot #2217

Bidding was spirited for several fine examples of Daum Nancy glass. A 5″ vase with blackbirds sold for $12,650, within the estimate of $10-15,000, while a bowl with handles and rare swan decoration sold to a New York dealer on the telephone for $10,925, including buyer’s premium, against a conservative estimate of $5,500-7,000.

Daum Nancy handled bowl with swan decoration, Julia's lot #2283

Daum Nancy handled bowl with swan decoration, Julia's lot #2283

More than a dozen examples of pate-de-verre vases, boxes and pendants by Argy-Rousseau and A. Walter sold well, most within the estimates and a couple exceeding the estimates. A Walter luminaire of a fish was estimated to sell for $3,500-5,000. It sold for $10,350, including buyer’s premium.

A. Walter pate-de-verre luminaire, Julia's lot #2347

A. Walter pate-de-verre luminaire, Julia's lot #2347

I will be adding many new and exciting items to my website in the next few days and weeks, many of them at very attractive prices. Please check my website often for the latest. chasenantiques.com.

I’d love to hear from you with suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail.com or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com

Lamp sales were good at Julia’s lamp & glass auction, November 20, 2009

James D. Julia, Inc. held their semi-annual lamp & glass auction this past week, November 19 & 20. Both Jim Julia and their lamp & glass expert, Dudley Browne, were pleased with the results. The sale exceeded their expectations of $1.3 million, grossing $1.5 million. Leadership in the sale changed from previous categories of the last sale in Spring, 2009. This time the English cameo glass, Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre, Quezal and Steuben glass were weaker, while Tiffany Studios, French cameo glass and non-Tiffany leaded lamps were stronger.

Today, I’ll review the lamp results and tomorrow the glass results.

Tiffany Studios 17 in. diam. Dragonfly table lamp, Julia's lot #2079, November 20, 2009

Tiffany Studios 17 in. diam. Dragonfly table lamp, Julia's lot #2079, November 20, 2009

A beautiful 17″ diameter Dragonfly lamp with considerable damage sold to a dealer on the telephone for $40,250. If the lamp had less damage and a better base, it would have sold for a much higher price. Another 17″ Dragonfly in the sale, lot 2144, attracted little interest and failed to sell because of the aggressive estimate of $80-100,000. In general, lamps that were too aggressively estimated did not sell, including a 20″ diam. Tiffany Studios Arrowroot table lamp, lot 2125, estimated at $50-60,000.

Unique wisteria table lamp, Julia's lot #2353, November 20, 2009

Unique wisteria table lamp, Julia's lot #2353, November 20, 2009

The sale included a large grouping of high-quality, non-Tiffany Studios, leaded lamps by makers such as Duffner & Kimberly, Handel, Unique, and Morgan. A unique Unique :>) wisteria lamp had an aggressive pre-sale estimate of $15-20,000, and still exceeded the high estimate, realizing a price of $25,875, including buyer’s premium — a surprisingly strong result.

Morgan pansy lamp, Julia's lot #2373, November 20, 2009

Morgan pansy lamp, Julia's lot #2373, November 20, 2009

A pansy leaded lamp with hand-painted and fired flowers by the New York company of J. Morgan & Sons was estimated at $16-20,000. It easily exceeded the high estimate, selling for $26,450, including buyer’s premium.

I will be adding many new and exciting items to my website in the next few days and weeks, many of them at very attractive prices. Please check my website often for the latest. chasenantiques.com.

I’d love to hear from you with suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail.com or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com

Tiffany Studios lamps soar at Skinner’s sale of the Richard Wright Collection

On October 24, 2009, Skinner, Inc. sold part II of the Richard Wright Collection. Overall, the sale was a barnburner, but today I’ll only discuss the Tiffany Studios lamps and glass. Yesterday, I reviewed a few of the results and tomorrow, I’ll discuss the Martin Brother ceramics and Zsolnay pottery results.

Tiffany Elaborate Peony table lamp, Skinner lot #305

Tiffany Elaborate Peony table lamp, Skinner lot #305

Richard didn’t collect too many Tiffany lamps, but the ones he did were special. The most important lamp of his collection was a 22″ elaborate Peony. It was estimated at $300,000 – $500,000, one of the more aggressive estimates in the sale. The lamp sold within the estimate, for $435,000, including the buyer’s premium. The photos in the catalog and on their website do not do the lamp justice, as it was more colorful and beautiful in person.

A Tiffany 20 inch diameter Dragonfly table lamp, Skinner lot #471

A Tiffany 20 inch diameter Dragonfly table lamp, Skinner lot #471

A 20″ Dragonfly lamp on a mock Turtleback base was estimated for $25-35,000 and quadrupled the high estimate for a final price of $148,125, including the buyer’s premium. Lot #291 was a rare Daffodil Jonquil table lamp. It sold to a dealer for $112,575, against a pre-sale estimate of $30-50,000. A Tiffany 10-light lily did not fare quite as well, as it was sold with one reproduction shade and one cracked shade. It was estimated for $7-9,000 and sold for $22,515.

A rare Tiffany Favrile orange vase, Skinner lot #583

A rare Tiffany Favrile orange vase, Skinner lot #583

A small, but rare and interesting Tiffany Favrile vase, deep orange with a zipper decoration, was estimated for a silly low price of $4-600. It sold for $10,665, in the range one would expect for a vase of this quality.

It was a good day for Tiffany Studios items at auction, but that was to be expected. The items were high quality, fresh-to-the-market, estimated low, and sold into a market where superior Tiffany items have been strong for quite some time.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail.com or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com

Skinner’s auction of the Richard Wright Collection is a barnburner

Richard Wright

Richard Wright

Richard Wright died on March 1, 2009 at age 62. He was best known as the expert doll appraiser for the Antiques Roadshow. He was also the owner of Wright Antiques & Dolls, in Birchrunville, Pennsylvania. I used to see him regularly when we both exhibited at the Atlantique City show. Skinner Inc. was the lucky auction house to sell his collection. They divided it into two parts, with the dolls being sold first on October 10, 2009 and the rest of his eclectic collection on October 24, 2009, with spectacular results. I’ll only cover the second session, which was so diverse and so exciting that I’ll divide my coverage into three parts.

Skinner’s knows how to market a sale. They let the public know that everything was there to sell by putting estimates that were so low, that everyone thought they were in the game. There is nothing better for a stellar auction than high quality, fresh-to-the-market items at low or no reserves. Stuart Whitehurst was the supervisor in charge. He and his staff did a great job and the results show it.

Bruno Zach, 'The Riding Crop', Skinner's lot #85

Bruno Zach, 'The Riding Crop', Skinner's lot #85

A large Bruno Zach bronze entitled “The Riding Crop”, 33½” tall, was estimated for $12-15,000. It sold for $94,800, including buyer’s premium.

Gallé side table, Skinner lot #306

Gallé side table, Skinner lot #306

Richard had a few pieces of Art Nouveau furniture in his collection and the auction results for them were fantastic. A Gallé two-drawer side table with mother-of-pearl butterfly inlays was estimated at $6-8,000. It brought an astounding $136,275, including buyer’s premium. A Gallé marquetry hall tree for coats and umbrellas, was estimated for $3-4,000 and sold for $31,995, including the buyer’s premium.

The results for Tiffany glass and lamps, Martin Brothers ceramics and Zsolnay pottery were equally tremendous. Tomorrow I’ll cover the Tiffany and the next day the Martin Brothers and Zsolnay.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail.com or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com

Thank you, Chicago, once again

Royal Vienna vase

Royal Vienna vase

I just finished my third show in the greater Chicago area in six weeks, with sincere reservations beforehand. After all, how many times can you exhibit in the same city within a reasonably short period of time? Well, the answer is THREE! The show went very well and I’m both surprised and pleased. What happened is that my clients who couldn’t attend the previous two shows found the time to attend this one. Sales were made to existing clients (thank you very much!) and also several new ones. That’s as good as it gets. I always value sales to my loyal clients, but it’s important to make sales to new ones too. When I have a show where I make very few, but good sales, I feel lucky. I don’t want to feel lucky. I want business to be good and when it’s spread across a larger base of clients, it means that business is good. Guess what? Business is good!

Tiffany Favrile candle lamp in rare kerosene version

Tiffany Favrile candle lamp in rare kerosene version

There was interest across the board. Sales were made in Tiffany, Daum, Galle, Rookwood, Newcomb College, Marblehead, Royal Vienna, and bronze and ivory, to name a few. That’s the way it’s supposed to be! If the stock market is a leading indicator of the end of recession, let me add that the antiques business also seems to be a leading indicator. The economy is getting better and it’s starting to show. After a wonderful show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart a couple of weeks ago, it was very gratifying to see that it wasn’t a fluke.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail.com or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com

What a find at auction! A fantastic Tiffany Favrile vase.

This is something that doesn’t happen every day. An auction gallery thinks so little of a vase that it’s not advertised, combined with a Baccarat vase to raise the value of the lot, sold near the end of the auction, estimated at $1/150, and sold for $28,200. Now for the whole story.

Clarke auction lot #358, photo from their website

Clarke auction lot #358, photo from their website

Clarke Auction of Larchmont, NY, held an auction on September 15, 2009. Buried at the end of the auction was lot #358 of a total of 435 lots. The lot was listed as ‘Baccarat Vase along with an Arts & Crafts Vase. From a Purchase home. Dimensions: 12″ and 9 1/2″‘

The “Arts & Crafts Vase” was not Arts & Crafts, but rather Art Nouveau, and more importantly a fantastic, stupendous, incredible Tiffany Studios Favrile, wheel-carved cameo vase. The vase was not signed, only numbered, so the auctioneer had a slight excuse for not knowing the true origin. However, the QUALITY was so fantastic that the auctioneer was negligent in not advertising the vase. Had he included a photo of the vase in his advertising, the cognoscenti would have recognized it, with a better result for both the consignor and the auction house.

We have a situation where the auctioneer is proud of his achievement, as evidenced in an article entitled “Kitchen Discovery – Tiffany Bowl Brings $28,200 at Clarke’s”, printed in the October 16, 2009 edition of Antiques and The Arts Weekly (known as The Newtown Bee), on page 14. The auctioneer should be embarrassed. He did a disservice to his consignor, selling a $100,000 Tiffany vase for $28,200. Congratulations to the bidders at the auction who recognized the vase and bid accordingly. Big sigh! I wish I had known and been one of them!

Tiffany Studios cameo vase

Tiffany Studios cameo vase

Just look at the quality of this vase. The flowers have been padded with molten glass in the making. After the vase cooled, it was extensively wheel-carved over the entirety of the vase to achieve the fantastic details. Folks, it doesn’t get any better than this. It’s a Tiffany masterpiece.

Knowledge is power. Sir Francis Bacon, Religious Meditations, Of Heresies, 1597.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail.com or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com

The changing antiques market

I’ve been pondering the changing nature of the antiques business. After 35 years, I have the luxury of being able to stand back and look dispassionately at the changes.

One of the major changes I’ve noticed is that there are fewer collectors today. That hasn’t necessarily hurt the value of antiques, as many people are still decorating with antiques. I meet people at shows who have a spot for a lamp or a vase or a painting and then they’re finished. Previously I encountered many more people who were looking to accumulate collections.

Daum winter scenic bowl

Daum winter scenic bowl

A lady from Florida wanted only to collect Daum winter scenes. She would see me at a show and ask me if I had any new shapes. She would only buy from me if I had a vase in a shape she didn’t have. By the time she finished, she had collected 72 different Daum winter scenic vases and lamps. It was quite an impressive collection.

Sam Maloof furniture from a 2006 exhibit at the Oceanside Museum of Art

Sam Maloof furniture from a 2006 exhibit at the Oceanside Museum of Art

Another big change has to do with what is collectible today — and that’s constantly changing as time goes by. For example, most Victorian glass has gone down in value, as there are fewer collectors today. Just on the face of it, it seems that when certain antiques get “too old”, interest in them lessens. Maybe people want to collect items from their childhoods or their parent’s or grandparent’s childhoods. Older than that and the items are unfamiliar. Modernism has become more and more popular as the years go by. The collectors are mostly younger and the items they like are no older than from the ’50s, and much of it is much newer. For example, Sam Maloof furniture is highly collectible. Sam was making furniture until his death in May, 2009.

So what will happen as time passes? I wish I had the answer. I do know that whatever happens is not inevitable. Publicity can work wonders. After a traveling exhibition in the 1980s in Japan of the works of Louis Icart, interest in Japan soared. So how about a few important exhibitions for Tiffany or French cameo glass? I’d love to see some.

What’s your opinion? Please post comments.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail.com or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com

Thank you, Chicago

My booth at the Chicago Merchandise Mart Show

My booth at the Chicago Merchandise Mart Show

We last exhibited at the Chicago Merchandise Mart in May. The spring show is considered the better of the two shows because it’s more established and gets better attendance. But for us the results were the reverse. We were disappointed in the spring and thankful for a very fine show this time around.

Tiffany 14 inch diameter Acorn floor lamp with drink tray, ashtray and magazine rack

Tiffany 14 inch diameter Acorn floor lamp with drink tray, ashtray and magazine rack

I asked a handful of dealers about their results and as always, there was a diversity of opinion. One dealer who is not a specialist and sells fine items from many different categories had one of the best shows ever in Chicago. Another dealer specializing in majolica didn’t do well. Two mid-west dealers said their shows were ok, but not better. Then there’s me. I’d like to thank all of my clients who made purchases. My clients are very loyal and as a result, I’m sincerely appreciative.

Tiffany glass and lamps garnered the most interest this time, with Art Nouveau French cameo glass by Gallé and Daum Nancy a close second. This time there was less interest in Art Deco glass by Le Verre Francais, etchings by Louis Icart and pottery by Rookwood.

Now it’s time for a short break and then back to the greater Chicago area for the Arlington Park Racetrack Show, October 16-18, and then on to Denver the following week.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com