Lots of interesting things have been happening in the antiques world recently. Since I have a bit more time to write about them during the spring and summer, I will be posting new blog entries twice a week, instead of once — Mondays and Thursdays for the next few weeks. So make sure you come back often and tell your friends about my blog!
There’s nothing like fresh meat. Collectors can smell it from miles and miles away. In the antiques world, fresh meat can be a lifetime collection of Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and lamps, never before offered for sale. Christie’s New York sold just such a collection on June 16, 2011 in their Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design sale. The consignors were an unidentified couple from the Midwest who had collected since the 1940s. They had a good eye, as most of the items were choice. The enthusiasm started with lot 1 and continued to lot 57, the end of their items. Some items set new auction records for specific types of glass.
Gold Tiffany Favrile Jack-in-the-Pulpit vases generally sell in the $10,000 – $25,000 range, depending on their size, color and workmanship. Lot #24 was a 19″ example, that under ordinary circumstances would have sold for $15,000 – $25,000. The pre-sale estimate was $7,000 – $10,000, so there was no doubt it was going to sell. The final result was an incredible $68,500, including buyer’s premium — a new world record for a gold Tiffany Favrile Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase at auction. Then to prove it wasn’t a fluke, a shorter, 17¾” tall, gold Tiffany Favrile Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase (lot #76), sold later in the sale for $50,000. If Tiffany Jack-in-the-Pulpit vases continue to sell in other auctions at similar prices, it will establish a new price level.
Demand was so strong for quality Tiffany Favrile vases, that even cracks did not deter very substantial bidding. Several of the vases were cracked — usually the kiss of death, but not that day. Prices were just as strong for the cracked vases. I can’t figure out if the bidders didn’t know they were cracked or just decided that those items were so significant, that cracks didn’t make a difference. For instance, lot #45 was a beautiful blue Tiffany Favrile decorated vase, estimated to sell for $4,000 – $6,000. It sold for $35,000, including the buyer’s premium. I wouldn’t have paid more than $2,000, on the hope that I could sell it for $3,000 or better. That shows you what I know.
The top Tiffany Studios lot of the sale was #67, a Wisteria lamp. It carried a very conservative pre-sale estimate of $180,000 – $240,000. Bidding slowed at $170,000 and the auctioneer almost knocked the lot down. (That’s auction lingo for “he almost sold it”.) But bidding continued until it finally sold for $578,500 — a nice price, but well below the fabulous result of $792,400 for the Wisteria that sold at Bonham’s New York the previous week. (I’ll write about the Bonham’s sale soon.)
The sale grossed $5,845,500 — less than Sotheby’s 20th Century Design sale of $7,139,250, but still strong. The cover lot was a Jean Dunand table that was estimated to sell for $250,000 – $300,000. It doubled it’s high estimate to become the top lot of the sale, selling for $638,500. A pair of Ruhlmann chairs sold for $218,500 and a simple Giacometti vase with Batman ears sold for $158,500. For the complete results, click on the following link. Christie’s 20th Century results.Check out my new acquisitions. This week I listed a very fine Tiffany Studios Favrile flowerform vase — better than the one that sold at Christie’s for $27,500; a rare Tiffany Studios desk lamp in the Spanish pattern; several fine Daum vases; a Daum lamp; several Galle vases; and several more Tiffany Favrile vases. Soon I’ll be listing a wonderful Tiffany Studios 7-light lily lamp with beautiful shades and a fine patina. Also coming soon will be several wonderful European ceramic items by Clement Massier, Zsolnay and Amphora. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com