Rago Arts and Auction, Lambertville, NJ, held an Early 20th Century Design sale on January 21, 2021, including art pottery, furniture, lamps, glass and ceramics. Following are a few of the results.
George Ohr was well represented in the sale with 38 lots. The top lot of these vases was #105, a beautiful, blue, highly ruffled, 6½” tall example. It approximately doubled its high estimate of $35,000, realizing $81,250, including buyer’s premium. 19 of the 38 lots sold for $10,000 or more.
I really liked lot #204, a floral decorated Grueby vase. Unfortunately, it had been overfired at the factory, causing the glaze to slip down about 1/2″. What a shame. I would have bid strongly for this vase if it hadn’t had problems. Regardless, it sold for $11,875, including buyer’s premium, against a $6,000 – $9,000 estimate.
Lot #243, a 17″ Dragonfly on a rare Favrile glass base, sold best among the dozen or so Tiffany lamps in the sale. It realized $96,000, including buyer’s premium — near its high estimate of $80,000.
Business has been pretty good the last few months, contrary to what I had originally thought when the Covid pandemic began. All of the in-person action from antique shows has moved online. Hopefully in-person business will start to resume as the vaccinations get rolling.
Most of my best recent sales have been French glass. Following are a few of the best.
Penguins are one of Daum Nancy’s rarest decorations. The example above is a beauty. The shape is not perfectly round, but a slightly oblong variation.
The two best makers of French pâte-de-verre glass were Argy-Rousseau and A. Walter. Argy-Rousseau produced mostly vases, while Walter produced more 3-dimensional objects, including many variations with lizards. The inkwell above is a rare, gorgeous example.
Daum Nancy made many vases with wild orchids and spider webs, as it’s beautiful subject matter. Sometimes the form is what make one example more special than another. The example above is killer. It also has a bee in the decoration that adds to its rarity and desirability. The Art Nouveau metalwork around the foot is a nice touch that you don’t often see.
Cranes are great subject matter for Daum Nancy. The example above is special for a few reasons. First, the subject matter is rare. Second, it’s on a shaded orange background, whereas the typical example is on a green or frosted background. Third, it’s exceptionally crisp. Fourth, it’s got beautiful gilded accents on the flowers, the rim and the handle. Last, it’s not a vase, but a pitcher with an applied handle. Just wonderful!
Business has been really good except for the usual slowdown in December. I suppose what I sell is a bit too expensive for Christmas gifts. But it’s January of a new and hopefully better year, so let’s get the party started.
Here are a few of the new items I have for sale.
Gallé produced many models of blownout vases after WWI, some more interesting than others. The Water Lily model is one of the best – the flower is so showy and beautiful. It comes in a variety of colors. This example has exquisite white flowers with green and brown leaves on a sky blue background. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Tiffany lamps have been flying off the shelves. I just got this gorgeous 16″ diameter Crocus lamp with very special mottled glass. It’s dash-numbered 9, indicating it was part of a limited run of lamps, usually 10 or fewer, where the glass was carefully chosen. It’s a superb lamp with a ribbed library base and a fabulous original patina.
I just got this amazing Austrian coupe of Diana the Huntress holding her dogs on a leash. It’s agate with a chiseled vermeil frame and circular guilloche base with enameled patterns of oak leaves and acorns. The two handles are paved with peridots, each surmounted by a dog whose body is covered with small rubies. The rim of the cup is decorated with water pearls and a leaf, circa 1900. Amazingly it has its original fitted box. It’s petite, but special.
Samuel Provost is an Associate Professor in Archeology and Art History of Late Antiquity at the University of Lorraine in Nancy, France. He has done exhaustive research on the dating of Gallé glassware based on the various signatures, as per the chart below. This research updates some of the assumptions from the previous work of others.
Click here for Mr. Provost’s complete article entitled The Gallé signatures on glass after 1904 : a tentative chronology (part I, 1904-1920).