After English Cameo glass sold well at Julia’s Glass & Lamp auction last Friday, I expected the same fireworks for the French Cameo glass, but it wasn’t to be. I suspect that the estimates were too aggressive and the reserves too high to get the best results. Daum performed better than Gallé. A fairly large percentage of the items sold for less than the low estimate and some sold within the estimate but almost nothing exceeded the high estimate. While sitting at the auction, it’s difficult to tell which items aren’t selling but checking the results on Julia’s website shows that there was a decent percentage that were bought in.
One of the most beautiful vases in the French Cameo glass section was a vase with a free-form shape like a pitcher and decorated with wild orchids and a bee. It doesn’t get much better than this. It was estimated at $15/20,000 and sold for $13,000 + premium, for a total of $14,950. A strong price, but not what they were hoping for. My speculation is that if the vase had been estimated more conservatively at $10/15,000, it would have generated more interest and possibly sold for even more. Low estimates generate excitement and excitement generates strong competition and strong prices. I’ve been at the auction game for many years and I know it inside and out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen items that had obscenely low estimates sell for fantastic prices. Everyone thinks they’re in the game and participates.
There was good interest in the Le Verre Francais section of the sale, but again, no fireworks. Many items sold, but usually within the estimate or just below. A pair of rare Palmiers Bleus vases sold for $5,462.50 and $6,325.00, respectively, at the low end of expectations.
Tomorrow a review of the non-Tiffany lamps at the auction.