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 20th Century month, with every major and some minor auction houses holding a sale. David Rago was first with a 20th Century Design Auction on June 8, 2013.
Martin Bros. bird tobacco jar, Rago lot #156
Lot #156 was not one of the surprises. It was one of several lots of Martinware, that included two tobacco jars. It sold slightly below its pre-sale estimate of $40,000 – $50,000, realizing $43,750, including buyer’s premium. Personally I didn’t find the bird attractive, so the result didn’t surprise me. A rarer dog tobacco jar, lot #155, that was estimated to sell for $15,000 – $20,000, sold for $18,750, right at the low estimate.
Frederick Rhead decorated bowl, Rago lot #105
Lot #105, a Frederick Rhead 7¾” diam. bowl, was a pleasant surprise, in keeping with the recent stellar prices for Rhead’s works. It was the top lot of the sale, selling for $55,000, approximately triple its low estimate of $15,000.
Handel 15″ diam. Arts & Crafts table lamp, Rago lot #69
One of the biggest surprises for me was lot #69, a 15″ diameter Handel lamp, with a very simple repeating geometric pattern. Earlier in my career, when I was selling many Handel lamps, I would not have even purchased this lamp, at any price, because it would have been impossible to sell. How things have changed! Now it’s a very desirable Arts & Crafts model that sold for $12,500, against a pre-sale estimate of $7,500 – $9,500. Go figure!
I asked David for some comments about his sale. Here is his reply.
The Saturday session was 89% sold through the day. the first part consisted of 300 lots with an aggregate low of $800,000 and the hammer was $900,000 (plus the bp). The second part had an aggregate low estimate of $150k and it hammered at $245k. total for the day was a hammer of $1,145,000, about $200k over the combined low estimates. The sale felt more than 89% sold because most of the buy ins were insignificant lots, many with reserves under $1k. there was considerable action across the board with 100 phone bidders, 200 internet bidders, a substantial amount of absentee bids, and a full room.
What I found interesting about the sale was that there were few things that really took off (more about that in a minute). Mostly, it was good to very good material performing at or above where we expected it to be, consistently across the board. Furniture, which was the soft spot in our last sale, saw competitive bidding and was almost all sold.
A few pottery lots did exceptionally well. a Redlands cabinet vase with frogs hammered at 12k. a Rhead bowl for University City with a landscape hammered at $44k against a low estimate of 15k. an Ohr vase from a southern estate with a $20 – $30k estimate hammered at $38,000. And the Tiffany lantern attracted wide interest before settling at $22,000.
But again, while the sale lacked some of the six-figure drama of sales past it was something of an auctioneer’s dream in how a great deal of competitive bidding created a fast pace and strong results. The sale sold at nearly 100 lots per hour, above the 80-85 lots we normally see. When this has happened in the past it was usually the result of numerous passed lots (which take very little time). this was the first auction in recent memory to move briskly AND have so much bidding.
For the complete results of the sale, click here.
No shows until July 19-21, when we’ll be in Denver. A fellow dealer convinced me to try the show again. She said the show has new promoters, who filled the hall with buyers the last time. So we’ll give it one more shot. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to call or write if you would like to buy, sell or trade.
Just got this incredible 8½” Daum swan vase
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.
Wonderful A. Walter pate-de-verre vase with lizard, just in
Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.