Sotheby’s stock is down significantly, partly because of two “Mystery” paintings

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


Buste de femme de profil by Pablo Picasso. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s stock (very clever symbol BID on the New York Stock Exchange) is down significantly to $46.99 (as of August 10, 2018) from a recent high of $59.67 on June 8, 2018. Analysts attribute part of the drop to a decline in margin resulting from the sale of two “Mystery” paintings. Art experts have identified the two paintings as a Modigliani sold in New York and a Picasso sold in London. Even though their selling prices were very high, their results hurt the bottom line.

Following is the link to an article from cnbc.com that explains the seeming contradiction. The two mystery paintings that sunk Sotheby’s stock.


The Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show is now only two weeks away, at the end of this month, August 30 – September 2, 2018. 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.

A funny thing happened at Sloans & Kenyon’s July Estate Catalogue auction, July 21, 2018

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


Sloans & Kenyon, Chevy Chase, Maryland, held a July Estate Catalogue auction this past weekend, July 20-21, 2018. Included in the sale were several very nice Tiffany Favrile vases that for some strange reason were catalogued as follows “This vase is not being sold as authentic Tiffany.” I called to find out why and was told by the house expert that she had shown the vases to several dealers and they had their doubts about their authenticity. But guess what? They didn’t ask me. The vases were 100% authentic, so I was able to buy them for relatively bargain prices.

Tiffany Favrile vase, Sloans & Kenyon lot #1199

Lot #1199 was sold with an estimate of $100 – $200, a ridiculously low estimate for a 10″ authentic Tiffany Favrile vase, but not a reproduction, as Sloans & Kenyon assumed. I was the winning bidder with a bid of $478, including buyer’s premium.

Tiffany Favrile decorated vase, Sloans & Kenyon lot #1200

The next lot, #1200, was an even better deal. At 14¾”, it had an elegant shape with beautiful decoration. It too had a very low estimate of $200 – $250. I bought it for $836.50, including buyer’s premium. Bargain #2.

The third lot was a lovely 19½” Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase. I already had a beautiful example for sale, but at the right price I needed a second one. $5,975 was the right price, so I bought it too.

Tiffany Favrile Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase, Sloans & Kenyon lot #1201

All of the vases are for sale. You can buy them all at very fair prices.

And a note to Sloans & Kenyon. My services are available to authenticate and appraise glass and lamps. I already am the paid consultant to several major auction houses.


The Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show is now only five weeks away, at the end of the summer, August 30 – September 2, 2018. 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.

A Tiffany Studios lantern was sold on eBay for $12,323 on May 9, 2018

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


Tiffany Studios Turtleback Tile lantern, eBay #302721920597

On May 9, 2018, a Tiffany Turtleback Tile lantern that started at 99¢ sold for $12,323 on eBay? What’s up with that? Let’s start from the beginning.

The title for the sale of item #302721920597, Rare Tiffany Studios Favrile Glass Turtleback Tile Arts & Crafts Lantern Lamp, was accurate. If you were knowledgeable, you would know that. But there are so many reproductions and bogus items for sale on eBay that if you weren’t an expert, you were taking your life into your own hands. I knew it was correct, so I bid up to $8,650 — not enough to win the item.

It had a few problems. 1. It wasn’t signed (but lanterns like this are never signed). 2. The glass in the lower door panel was cracked. 3. The original socket was missing. 4. The chain and ceiling cap were missing. 5. The turtlebacks were gold (green are more desirable). These are all problems that a Tiffany dealer could solve, but not most individuals.

This Tiffany Turtleback Tile lantern sold at Sotheby’s in December, 2016

A similar lantern was sold at auction in NYC at Sotheby’s on December 14, 2016, for $20,000, including buyer’s premium. That green example had no problems.

All you need for a successful auction is two bidders. This item had 24 bids from several bidders. After my bid of $8,650, the bidding jumped in the final minute to $12,223 and then the final bid of $12,323. That’s a technique that smart eBay bidders use to avoid a reply bid. Time runs out and the auction is over. That’s contrary to the ethos of standard auctions which continue the bidding until the last man standing is the highest bidder. Some electronic auctions extend the bidding by a few minutes if there is bidding at the end, but not eBay. They are set in their ways. I suggested to them years ago to change their format, but they weren’t interested. I think there should be an option for sellers to allow extending the auction if there is bidding in the last five minutes. There is no downside for either eBay or the seller, only upside. Auctions should go to the highest bidder, not the one with the fastest trigger finger.

So did the buyer on eBay get the lantern at a good price? I think so, especially if the buyer can take care of its problems. And now you know the rest of the story. (Read that last sentence slowly and with emphasis, as Paul Harvey did in his national radio broadcast.)


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.

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.

Good results for some Tiffany Studios lamps at Sotheby’s New York Important Design sale, May 24, 2018

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


Sotheby’s New York held an Important Design auction on May 24, 2018 with total sales of $13,663,250. Included in the sale were 45 lots of glass, candlesticks and lamps by Tiffany Studios — the topic of today’s post. Results were mixed with unexpectedly high prices for some items and low prices for others.

Tifffany Elaborate Peony table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #311

Lot #311, a magnificent Elaborate Peony, was the top lot of the Tiffany selection. It sold for $735,000, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $400,000 — $600,000. Seemingly this was a good result, but I suspect it would have done much better if the lamp had been sold in the previous December sale where prices were smoking for lamps of this quality.

Tiffany 12-light lily floor lamp, Sotheby’s lot #323

Lot #323 was not a fine example of a Tiffany 12-light lily floor lamp. The finish was bronze doré, in fair condition — not as nice or as desirable as the patina finish. Additionally the lily shades were assembled and not a very good match. It brought the astonishing price of $137,500, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $30,000 – $50,000. Apparently lily lamps have become hot items of late, including lot #306, a 7-light lily table lamp, which sold for the equally astonishing price of $37,500.

For the complete results 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.

Sotheby’s Paris offered two interesting Emile Gallé items at their Design auction, May 3, 2018

Sorry, but just got back from vacation. Monday’s post will be delayed to later today or possibly tomorrow.

 


Sotheby’s Paris held a Design auction on May 3, 2018 with total sales of $11,587,000. Included in the sale were two interesting lots by Emile Gallé — the topic of today’s post.

Gallé clock, Sotheby’s lot #38

Lot #38 was a wonderful, early Emile Gallé clock from 1880. Besides lovely, colorful, geometric enameling on the glass and clock face, it had an engraved nude on the front and what appeared to be Stars of David on the sides. It had problems, as evidenced in the condition report. “One of the legs has been replaced, the enamel and gilt are completely worn and have almost disappeared, visible on the catalogue illustration. A few cracks within the face of the clock. Some restoration to the upper elements that seem to have been re-glued…”. Even with its problems, it sold above its estimate of €6,000 — €8,000, realizing €11,250 ($13,366), including buyer’s premium.

Gallé Tadpole vase, Sotheby’s lot #39

Lot #39, an important Gallé Tadpole vase with a quotation from Th. Gauthier, did not fare as well. It did not sell with an estimate of €50,000 — €70,000, as it was unable to overcome its condition problems, as evidenced in Sotheby’s condition report. “Good overall condition. Some air bubbles within the glass and a few burst bubbles to the surface, inherent to the manufacturing process. A previous V-shaped restoration on the upper part of the vase (approximately 5-7 cm x 4-5 cm). This restoration is barely visible to the bare eye, except for a crack still visible at the bottom of the V. Out of every known versions, this vase has the most sophisticated applied décor on the base.” On another note, I find it amusing that Sotheby’s stated the vase was in “good overall condition” with a restoration and a crack. Huh?

For the complete results 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.

Works by Patrick Nagel led Heritage Auctions’ Illustration Art sale, April 24, 2018

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


Heritage Auctions, Dallas, Texas, held an Illustration Art sale on April 24, 2018, with total sales of $1,357,487 for the 451 lots offered. Works by Patrick Nagel led the sale, taking the first and fourth places.

Patrick Nagel acrylic on canvas painting Nude on Back with Black Stockings, Heritage lot #71150

The top lot of the sale was #71150, a 1983 acrylic on canvas painting by Patrick Nagel entitled Nude on Back with Black Stockings. It sold for $106,250, including buyer’s premium — approximately double its low estimate of $50,000. I don’t understand Nagel’s work or why it’s so desirable, but someone does.

Alberto Vargas, Martini Time, Heritage lot #71202

I do understand the appeal of Alberto Vargas. His paintings scored the second, seventh and eleventh highest prices of the sale, $87,500, $27,500, and $18,750, respectively. Lot #71202, Martini Time, a watercolor and pencil on paper from 1935, sold for $87,500, including buyer’s premium, well above its high estimate of $50,000.

Gil Elvgren Perfection, Heritage lot #71058

Gil Elvgren has scored the top slots in other illustration art sales, but had to settle for the fifth and eighth ones in this sale. His 1948 painting Perfection sold for $57,500, below its pre-sale estimate of $60,000 – $80,000. Recent results for Elvgren’s works have weakened.

For the complete results of the sale, click here. You will have to sign in for the prices (free).


The Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart will open next week, May 18-20, 2018. We’re pretty excited about it and you should be too. Please make your plans to attend!

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.

Freeman’s sold The Collection of Dorrance “Dodo” H. Hamilton at auction, April 29, 2018

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


Paul Cézanne La Vie des Champs, Freeman’s lot #7

Freeman’s, Philadelphia, PA, sold The Collection of Dorrance “Dodo” H. Hamilton at auction, yesterday, April 29, 2018. The sale included some fabulous art, including a Paul Cézanne painting La Vie Des Champs, which sold for $1,450,000, including buyer’s premium. Other artists selling very well included Henri Fantin-Latour, Childe Hassam and Maurice Prendergast. Also included in the sale was Dodo Hamilton’s small, but nice collection of Newcomb College scenic pottery (Newcomb also produced floral designs). That will be today’s topic.

Newcomb College scenic vase, Freeman’s lot #89


Newcomb College transitional scenic vase, Freeman’s lot #90

Of the group of 10 lots of Newcomb pottery offered for sale, #s 89 and 90 tied for the best price of $7,500, including buyer’s premium. Lot #89 was shorter and more bulbous (6″ tall x 6½” diameter), while #90 was taller and slimmer (8¾” tall x 3¾” diameter). #89 was in perfect condition, while #90 had a short hairline crack to the interior rim. #89 was later (1930), while #90 was transitional (1917). Each had a moon.

Newcomb College transitional scenic vase, Freeman’s lot #88

Lot #88 was one of two lots selling for the second highest price of $5,000. It too was transitional from 1917, meaning that it was produced during the time period when the pottery was switching from the earlier high glaze to the later matte glaze. Transitional vases tend to have paler color than later vases and a bit more sheen. Lot #88 measured 5½” tall x 3¼” diameter. It did not have a moon.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Our next show is now only two weeks away, May 18-20, 2018, when we’ll exhibit at the 2nd edition of the resurrected Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It’s a wonderful venue for a show that deserved to be restored from purgatory.

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.

Tiffany lamps sold well at Sotheby’s, New York Luxe: Art of Design sale, April 22, 2018

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


Sotheby’s New York, held a Luxe: Art of Design sale this past weekend with total sales of $4,991,877. The 584 lots were sold over two days, April 20 and 22, 2018 (which was unusual because most multi-part sales are held on consecutive days). Included in the sale was a small selection of Tiffany lamps and glass — today’s topic.

It’s a good thing I went to preview the auction in person. The two best lamps, that looked wonderful in the photos, didn’t look quite as wonderful in person. Both lot #1367, an Allamanda, and lot #1368, a Tulip, had extensive cracking and restoration.

Tiffany 16″ diameter Tulip table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #1368

Regardless, lot #1368, the 16″ diameter Tulip lamp, sold well above its high estimate of $30,000, realizing $47,500, including buyer’s premium, for the highest price of the Tiffany selection.

Tiffany Allamanda lamp, Sotheby’s lot #1367

Lot #1367, an 18″ diameter Allamanda, sold near its high estimate of $35,000, realizing $42,500, including buyer’s premium — the second highest price of the Tiffany selection. That’s a pretty good price considering the lamp had damage, restoration and a simple base. If the buyer wants to upgrade to a library base, it will cost about $7,500 additional, if someone is willing to take the existing base in a trade.

Tiffany gold doré 10-light lily table lamp, lot #1372

A decent 10-light lily lamp, lot #1372, sold above its high estimate of $20,000, realizing $27,500, including buyer’s premium. The shades were fairly well matched, but the gold doré base had some wear and corrosion.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Our next show is now only three weeks away, May 18-20, 2018, when we’ll exhibit at the 2nd edition of the resurrected Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It’s a wonderful venue for a show that deserved to be restored from purgatory.

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.

The results of Heritage Auctions’ The Estate of Zsa Zsa Gabor auction, April 13, 2018

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


Heritage Auctions, Dallas, TX, sold The Estate of Zsa Zsa Gabor at auction on April 13, 2018. Sales totaled $909,209 for the 480 lots offered. Interestingly, there were no estimates because the sale was totally unreserved. That meant that every item sold with no minimum price. Conceivably an item could have sold for $1 + buyer’s premium, but in actuality the lowest price paid was for lot #65328, three letters written to Zsa Zsa, which sold for $175, including buyer’s premium.

The estate was consigned to Heritage Auctions by her ninth husband, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt. He became her sole remaining heir after the deaths of her sisters and daughter. Zsa Zsa Gabor died on December 18, 2016, at the age of 99. Click on Zsa Zsa Gabor’s name for a link to her very interesting Wikipedia page. Click on von Anhalt’s name for a link to his Wikipedia page. His is quite the story, starting with the purchase of his title.

Margaret Keane Portrait of Zsa Zsa Gabor, Heritage lot #65140

The top lot of the sale was #65140, an oil on canvas painting by Margaret Keane, Portrait of Zsa Zsa Gabor, which sold for $45,000, including buyer’s premium.

Pal Fried portrait of Zsa Zsa and her daughter, Francesca, Heritage lot #65047

Zsa Zsa possessed many paintings by her fellow Hungarian compatriot, Pal Fried, all of which were included in the sale. Lot #65047 was a beautiful, oversize portrait of Zsa Zsa and her daughter, Francesca. It was sold for $7,500, including buyer’s premium, purchased by yours truly.

Heritage lot #65191

In a creepy, ghoulish section of the sale, someone paid $1,187.50 for each of two lots of Zsa Zsa’s pill containers, #s 65212 and 65192. I’m sorry, but that’s nuts. Can’t we leave the woman with a little dignity?

Much of the sale is devoted to her clothing, jewelry, furniture and personal possessions. For the complete results, click here. You will have to sign in to see the prices (free).


Our next show is now only a month away, May 18-20, 2018, when we’ll exhibit at the 2nd edition of the resurrected Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It’s a wonderful venue for a show that deserved to be restored from purgatory.

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.