Fontaine’s Auctions, Pittsfield, MA, held a Fine & Decorative Arts auction on September 12, 2020. Included in the sale was a nice collection of Tiffany lamps. Following are the results of the top three lots.
John Fontaine likes to sell the star lot of each sale as #100. The amazing Tiffany Studios Oriental Poppy chandelier with six lily shades did not disappoint. It sold for $665,500, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $400,000 – $600,000. Interestingly the lamp had been sitting in the consignor’s closet for years before John was called in to sell it. Very few people have both the space to hang and the means to buy such an impressive chandelier. Most of the seriously interested bidders were dealers who were going to convert the shade back into a floor lamp. That would have left them with 6 lily shades and lamp parts — a very good position for a dealer. The buyer, however, was not a dealer and would have none of it. He will hang it in his house as Tiffany created it. (My wife absolutely approves!)
She and I drove to Pittsfield to view the sale in person. We hoped to buy a few items but wound up buying nothing. Auctions in general have been quite strong since the pandemic began and John’s sale was no exception. Prices were too high for a dealer to earn a decent profit.
I loved the second highest lot of the sale, #150, a rare Tiffany Studios Elizabethan table lamp on a twisted vine base. The colors were vivid and the condition superb. It sold within its estimated range of $60,000 – $80,000, realizing $90,750, including buyer’s premium.
The third best performing lot of the sale was lot #173, a blah example of a Tiffany Studios Curtain Border floor lamp. I would rate the color a 5-6 on a scale of 1-10. Regardless, it sold above its estimated range of $30,000 – $50,000, realizing $63,525, including buyer’s premium.
Fontaine’s next important sale will be held in January, 2021. However, he will be holding monthly sales in the meantime with less important items.