Excellent results at Sotheby’s New York Tiffany: Dreaming in Glass auction, December 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.


Sotheby’s New York held its Tiffany: Dreaming in Glass auction yesterday, December 17, 2014 with total sales of $6,585,875. 36 of the 41 lots offered sold, for an average of $182,941. Most of the Tiffany lamps sold near or above their high estimates.

Tiffany Wisteria table lamp, Sotheby's lot #216

Tiffany Wisteria table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #216

Leading the sale were two nearly identical Tiffany Wisteria table lamps, selling for $1,145,000 and $1,205,000, respectively. Both were outstanding examples.

Tiffany  table lamp, Sotheby's lot #218

Tiffany table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #218

The third best-selling lot of the sale was a Tiffany 22″ diameter Drop-Head Dragonfly table lamp with a vividly colored shade and an important mosaic and turtleback glass base. The lamp sold for $965,000, against a pre-sale estimate of $600,000 — $900,000.

Tiffany Poppy paperweight vase, Sotheby's lot #207

Tiffany Poppy paperweight vase, Sotheby’s lot #207

The top lot of the glass section of the sale was #207, a paperweight vase with Poppy decoration. It sold for $87,500, easily exceeding its high estimate of $50,000.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

I won’t cover Christie’s Tiffany Studios auction of December 9, 2014. It was too depressing. I can’t begin to explain why Sotheby’s did so much better than Christie’s, but they did. You’re on your own for Christie’s results.


miami-national-show-1-2015I’ll be spending the next five weeks looking for treasures to bring to Florida for our southern circuit. So far the buying has been great, so look for lots of new goodies to be listed on my website soon. The Florida shows begin with the Miami National Antiques Show on January 24, 2015.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Sotheby’s 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.

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 the Sotheby’s Paris Arts Décoratifs du XXe Siècle & Design (20th Century Decorative Arts & Design) sale of May 22, 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. There was no post this past week as it was time for a week’s vacation.

Sotheby’s Paris conducted its Arts Décoratifs du XXe Siècle & Design (20th Century Decorative Arts & Design) sale on May 22, 2014, with total sales of $3,969,663. Included in the sale was an Italian, one-owner, collection of Gallé glass and other objects, collected from 1960-1980. Unfortunately, the collection was estimated too aggressively, so 18 of the 42 Gallé items did not sell. Several lots by Diego Giacometti topped the sale, with another by Jean Royère also doing very well.

A fine Gallé Dragonfly table, Sotheby's lot #41

A fine Gallé Dragonfly table, Sotheby’s lot #41

Top lot of the Gallé collection was a rare and desirable piece of furniture — a hand-carved and marquetry Dragonfly table. Estimated to sell for €25,000 — €35,000, it exceeded its high estimate, realizing €49,500 ($67,489), including buyer’s premium.

1933-34 Giacometti floor lamp base Grande Feuille, Sotheby's lot #69

1933-34 Giacometti floor lamp base Grande Feuille, Sotheby’s lot #69

The top lot of the sale was a floor lamp base by Diego Giacometti, entitled Grande Feuille, from 1933-34.  Selling without a shade, it still doubled its estimate of €100,000 — €150,000, to realize 361,500 ($497,037).

A pair of Giacometti wall sconces from 1968, Sotheby's lot #123

A pair of Giacometti wall sconces from 1968, Sotheby’s lot #123

The second highest selling lot of the sale was also by Diego Giacometti, a 1968 pair of wall sconces.  They sold within the estimate of €140,000 — €180,000, realizing €205,500 ($280,180), including buyer’s premium — a nice chunk of change for a pair of sconces. Giacometti items are very much in demand and consistently realize strong prices at auction.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

This wonderful Zsolnay centerpiece is just in

This wonderful Zsolnay centerpiece is just in

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.

Sotheby’s amazing $1 billion November

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Sotheby’s worldwide auctions of art and jewelry totaled $1.02 billion in 10 days in November, 2013. Records were broken repeatedly, including for individual items and total sales. Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale realized $200 million, the highest total for any jewelry auction ever.

Giacometti bronze Grande Tête Mince (Grand Tête de Diego), Sotheby's lot #15

Giacometti bronze Grande Tête Mince (Grand Tête de Diego), Sotheby’s lot #15

Top lot of the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sales on November 6th was #15, a bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti entitled Grande Tête Mince (Grand Tête de Diego). Estimated to sell for $30,000,000 – $50,000,000, it realized $50,005,000 — near the high estimate.

Andy Warhol Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), Sotheby's lot #16

Andy Warhol Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), Sotheby’s lot #16

Andy Warhol won the bidding wars at the Contemporary Art Evening Auction on November 13th. His Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), lot #16, sold for $105,445,000, a world record for a Warhol. The estimate was secret, listed as “Estimate Upon Request”. Not sure why they do that, but basically it means “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

Robert Mapplethorpe portrait of Andy Warhol

Robert Mapplethorpe portrait of Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was a regular at the Triple Pier Show in NYC before his death in 1987 at age 58. I saw him many times, but never talking to anyone. He never came into my booth. I wish I had taken a photograph of him, but it didn’t even cross my mind at the time. I didn’t know he would become such a big deal.

We’ve been buying for the last several weeks, with great success. You won’t believe all the wonderful Tiffany Studios glass, lamps and candlesticks we’ve purchased from fantastic private collections. We’ll have it all on display at our four shows down south, starting with the Miami National Antiques Show on January 24, 2014, less than two weeks away. We’ll end with the wonderful Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference, February 21 – 23, 2014. We last exhibited there a few years ago and couldn’t exhibit again because of scheduling conflicts. This year there were no conflicts, so we’re happy to return. It will immediately follow the important Palm Beach Antiques Show.

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile vase with wheel-carved leaves, just in

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile vase with wheel-carved leaves, just in

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

Sotheby’s New York sells a Tiffany Studios Wisteria table lamp for $1,565,000, December 18, 2013

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.

December is 20th Century month, with every major and many minor auction houses holding a sale. Sotheby’s held two sales yesterday, December 18, 2013, with some truly impressive individual results. The Important Tiffany auction realized total sales of $3,675,625, while the Important 20th Century Design sale realized $5,145,500.

Tiffany Studios Wisteria table lamp, Sotheby's lot #330

Tiffany Studios Wisteria table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #330

First among the results was a world-record price for a Tiffany Studios Wisteria table lamp at auction. Sold as lot #330, with a pre-sale estimate of $600,000 — 800,000, it soared to $1,565,000, with two phone bidders who wouldn’t give up. The color was strong and the provenance royal, from Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza of Spain.

Tiffany Studios Double Poinsettia table lamp. Sotheby's lot #317

Tiffany Studios Double Poinsettia table lamp. Sotheby’s lot #317

Another Tiffany lamp with a super result was lot #317, a 22″ Double Poinsettia. It was a particularly nice example, with strong red and blue colors — just what collectors like. It sold for $221,000, against an estimate of $120,000 — $180,000.

Wonderful, rare Tiffany Favrile red carved vase, Sotheby's lot #304

Wonderful, rare Tiffany Favrile red carved vase, Sotheby’s lot #304

The selection of Tiffany Favrile vases in the sale was limited, but choice. I lusted for lot #304, a fantastic cherry red Tiffany Favrile vase, completely wheel-carved with flowers and leaves. It sold for $21,250, against an estimate of $8,000 — $12,000. Unfortunately, I was the underbidder. There’s only so much a dealer can pay. Retail buyers will win every time.

There were some disappointments too. The cover lot, a rare Tiffany Bat lamp failed to reach its reserve of $500,000, against an estimate of $550,000 – $750,000. Another important lot, a piano from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s studio in the Charles Tiffany mansion in NYC, also failed to sell, against a reserve of $200,000 – $300,000.

For the complete results of the sale, click here. Tune in Monday for the results of Christie’s 20th Century sales being held today, Thursday, December 19, 2013.

We’ll be busy buying for the next several weeks in anticipation of the important Florida shows, starting with the Miami National Antiques Show on January 24, 2014. We’ll end our winter schedule with the wonderful Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference, February 21 – 23, 2014. We last exhibited there a few years ago and couldn’t exhibit again because of scheduling conflicts. This year there were no conflicts, so we’re happy to return. It will immediately follow the important Palm Beach Antiques Show.

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile vase with wheel-carved leaves, just in

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile vase with wheel-carved leaves, just in

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

Three Norman Rockwell masterpieces coming to auction at Sotheby’s New York on December 4, 2013

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.

Norman Rockwell painting, Saying Grace

Norman Rockwell painting, Saying Grace

Sotheby’s New York will hold their American Art auction on December 4, 2013, including seven works by famed American illustrator, Norman Rockwell. Saying Grace, his cover for the November 24, 1951 issue of Saturday Evening Post, is expected to be the star of the group, with a pre-sale estimate of $15 million – $20 million. It depicts a Mennonite family saying prayers in a restaurant. It was voted a fan favorite in a poll of Saturday Evening Post readers.

Norman Rockwell painting, Breaking Home Ties

Norman Rockwell painting, Breaking Home Ties

All of the works were the property of Kenneth J. Stuart Sr., who was the longtime art director of the Saturday Evening Post. Mr. Rockwell gifted him many paintings. For the last 20 years, they’ve been on loan to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Unfortunately for the museum, the new owner’s gains will be the museum’s losses. Some famous and fabulously wealthy clients collect Norman Rockwell’s works, including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ross Perot and Alice Walton (of Walmart fame). They (and others) could easily break the Rockwell world record of $15.4 million, set at Sotheby’s in 2006, with the sale of Breaking Home Ties.

Norman Rockwell painting, The Gossips

Norman Rockwell painting, The Gossips

The Gossips is expected to realize the second best price of the group. It depicts 15 pairs of people animatedly talking to each other. The inspiration for the painting came from a rumor that was circulating in his hometown of Arlington, Vermont, about the artist himself. Notice the first lady (upper left) is the same as the last lady (lower right). That’s Rockwell himself (bottom row, in the grey hat) chewing her out. Each person appears twice — first hearing the rumor and then turning around and spreading it. The moral of the story is “Don’t piss off a famous artist”.

Norman Rockwell painting, Walking to Church

Norman Rockwell painting, Walking to Church

The third Rockwell masterpiece is Walking to Church. It will carry a pre-sale estimate of $3 million – $5 million.

If you follow my blog, you know that Lia and I will be leaving shortly for Italy to attend the antiques fair in Parma, courtesy of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast and the Fiere di Parma. As a result, there won’t be a Thursday post this week. I’ll do my best to post from Italy next Monday, with a few local photos.

My new, totally redesigned website is almost ready for prime time. Click here to view it. Then look around, try the links and use the site as you normally would. I need your reactions, so don’t be bashful. Please write to me and let me know what you think! philchasen@gmail.com or use the CONTACT form on the site. I expect there are bugs, which I hope you’ll let me know about. We’ll fix all the problems and then roll out the new site. Thanks!!!

Wonderful 12" Daum rain scenic vase, just in

Wonderful 12″ Daum rain scenic vase, just in

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

Sotheby’s may sell its Manhattan headquarters

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Sotheby's York Ave. headquarters in NYC

Sotheby’s York Ave. headquarters in NYC

Sotheby’s has hired two real estate firms to explore the possibility of a sale of their Manhattan headquarters. The first firm, Eastdil Secured, will look for potential buyers. The second firm, Jones Lang LaSalle, will search for a site to relocate.

Sothebys

Selling their Manhattan headquarters will not be new. After first purchasing the building in 1979, they were forced to sell it in 2002, after the collusion debacle with Christie’s. Sotheby’s continued to occupy the York Ave. building by leasing it back from the purchaser, RFR Holding LLC. Then in 2009 they bought the building back from RFR, after a substantial improvement in business. The pressure to sell now may be coming from Marcato Capital Management LLC, Third Point LLC, and Trian Fund Management LP, who collectively purchased 15% of Sotheby’s shares. They expect a sale would allow Sotheby’s to increase dividends and buy back shares.

Chelsea, New York City

Chelsea, New York City

So where would Sotheby’s move? Chelsea is one possibility because of the concentration of art dealers. Personally I’ll be sad wherever they move. York Ave. is far from midtown and very convenient. Christie’s move to Rockefeller Center made every move by car very difficult.

My new, totally redesigned website is almost ready for prime time. Click here to view it. Then look around, try the links and use the site as you normally would. I need your reactions, so don’t be bashful. Please write to me and let me know what you think! philchasen@gmail.com or use the CONTACT form on the site. I expect there are more than a few bugs, which I hope you’ll let me know about. We’ll fix all the problems and then roll out the new site. Thanks!!!

Wonderful Daum Nancy scenic blownout vase, in rare purple variation, just in

Wonderful Daum Nancy scenic blownout vase, in rare purple variation, just in

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