Mixed results at Morphy Auctions first Lamps, Glass & Jewelry auction, June 20-21, 2018

For the foreseeable future, I will publish once a week on Monday.


James D. Julia, Inc., now a division of Morphy Auctions, held a Lamps, Glass & Jewelry auction on June 20-21, 2018 with approximate total sales of $2.8 million. The first day focused on silver and jewelry, with some strong results. The second day was dedicated to glass and lamps, with mixed strong and soft results. Today’s post will only focus on the lamps and glass.

Monumental Gallé Clematis table lamp, Morphy lot #752

The top lot of the entire sale was #752, a magnificent, enormous Emile Gallé Clematis table lamp. It was an example of the largest Gallé lamp known to exist, 31″ tall x 20½” diameter. To make sure the lot sold, the consignor lowered the reserve to half the low estimate of $120,000, or $60,000. I bid $60,000 to open the lot, but then dropped out. The bidding continued long after I was out. The lamp sold for $184,500, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $120,000 – $150,000. It wasn’t too surprising considering another Gallé lamp of the same size and shape, but with Wisteria decoration, sold at Christie’s New York in June of 2017 for $331,500. The consignor at Morphy’s sale was very nervous prior to the sale and ebullient after the sale.

Tiffany Turtleback lantern

The top lot of the Tiffany lamps was a Turtleback lantern, not a table lamp. It sold as lot #802 for $67,650, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $25,000 – $35,000.

Thomas Webb & Sons Alligator perfume bottle, Morphy lot #909

The most unexpected result of the sale was for lot #909, a rare glass alligator perfume bottle in its original box. Bidding started online at $400 and continued for 77 bids until it was finally sold in the auction room for the astonishing price of $67,200, against a pre-sale estimate of $800 – $1,500. Apparently it was a very rare bottle by Thomas Webb & Sons, pictured in some obscure literature, but never seen in person. The sale was winding down after selling over 900 lots when the excitement started. It sold just a few lots short of the end of the sale at lot #926. Nobody in the room was expecting that kind of action so late in the sale. Morphy’s didn’t know what they had, so they just catalogued it as a rare alligator bottle, with no known attribution. At least two bidders knew what it was and that’s all it took for a fantastic result.

For the complete results of both days of the sale, click here.


No shows until the Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show at the end of the summer, August 30 – September 2, 2018, as we were forced to give up shows like Denver. Unfortunately the Baltimore show promoter has moved the show one week later than usual, to the Labor Day weekend. The show used to be held over the Labor Day weekend, but that was many years ago. The show is wonderful, so we’ll continue to exhibit there regardless of the change of dates.

We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. 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.

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