Sales total over $2.3 million at James D. Julia’s Lamp and Glass auction, June 11-12, 2014

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.

James D. Julia, Inc. held their Lamp and Glass auction on June 11th & 12th, 2014. It was a huge two-day sale with 1418 lots crossing the block, and sales of $2.3 million. Some areas showed strength and others weakness, with two private collections performing very well.

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Dragon King vase, Julia's lot #1274

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Dragon King vase, Julia’s lot #1274

The first collection was the Betty and Leonard Issod collection of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre. Top lot of this group was #1254, a 24″ Lustre Dragon King vase — the largest known example. It sold near its high estimate of $60,000, realizing $74,062.50, including buyer’s premium.

Pair of Moser ewers, Julia's lot #1035

Pair of Moser ewers, Julia’s lot #1035

The top lot of the George Klabin collection of Moser glass was #1035, a pair of decorated ewers. Even with a crack to the handle of one of the ewers, the lot almost doubled its high estimate of $10,000, realizing $20,737.50.

Argy-Rousseau Poppy vase, Julia's lot #2000

Argy-Rousseau Poppy vase, Julia’s lot #2000

Three French glass lots tied for the top price of $15,405 (excluding R. Lalique) — #2000, an Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre Poppy vase; #2082, a Daum Nancy Winter scenic boudoir lamp; and #2083, another Daum Nancy Winter scenic boudoir lamp.

Tiffany Favrile Lava vase, Julia's lot #2462

Tiffany Favrile Lava vase, Julia’s lot #2462

Lots #2462 and #2560a shared the spotlight for the highest price realized by a Tiffany Favrile vase — $14,220. #2462 was a lovely Lava example, with a hairline crack that was probably original to the making. Lot #2560a was a Paperweight example with white jonquil flowers.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived

This fabulous Gallé plum blownout vase just arrived

It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business. Click here to view my new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Julia’s Important Lamp & Glass Auction grosses over $1.5 million, June 23-24, 2011

Lots of interesting things have been happening in the antiques world recently. Since I have a bit more time to write about them during the spring and summer, I will be posting new blog entries twice a week, instead of once — Mondays and Thursdays for the next few weeks. So make sure you come back often and tell your friends about my blog!

James D. Julia, Inc. held its Important Lamp & Glass Auction sale on June 23-24, 2011. Sale coordinator, Dudley Browne, was generally pleased with the results, especially for the Tiffany Studios and Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre items.

Tiffany Studios 18" Peony table lamp, Julia's lot #1248

Leading the Tiffany Studios items was an 18″ Peony table lamp, lot #1248. Estimated to sell for $85,000 – $100,000, it sold within the estimate for $94,875, including buyer’s premium.

Tiffany Studios 10" Arrowroot table lamp, Julia's lot #1224

A Tiffany Studios 20″ Arrowroot table lamp on an important cattail base, lot #1224, was the second highest grossing lamp. It realized $92,000, against a pre-sale estimate of $80,000 – $100,000, also within the estimate.

Wedgwood Bubbles II malfrey pot, Julia's lot #2173

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre items did well, with a malfrey pot in the Bubbles II pattern selling for $33,925, against a pre-sale estimate of $25,000 – $30,000 — near the high estimate. Sales of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre items at auction over the last few years have been on a roller coaster ride. A few years ago, they were riding high, only to fall in more recent auctions. They were hot again this auction, with bidding coming from many telephone bidders, as well as the audience in attendance.

French glass was softer than usual for a Julia’s auction. Results had been reliably strong for years. A Gallé floral table lamp with red roses led the group with a final price of $19,550, against an estimate of $16,000 – $20,000.

For the complete results, click on the following link. Julia’s Lamp & Glass results. You have to sign in first to see the results. Registration is free.

Impressive 11½ inch Daum Nancy floral vase

Check out my new acquisitions. I recently listed a gorgeous Daum Nancy pink floral vase; a rare Tiffany Studios desk lamp in the Spanish pattern; several fine Daum vases; a Daum lamp; several Galle vases; and several more Tiffany Favrile vases. Soon I’ll be listing a very rare Louis Icart etching, entitled “Miss America” and a wonderful Tiffany Studios 7-light lily lamp with beautiful shades and a fine patina. Also coming soon will be several wonderful European ceramic items by Clement Massier, Zsolnay and Amphora. Here’s the link.

Julia’s sells Teddy Roosevelt’s shotgun for world record price, October 5, 2010

Teddy Roosevelt's Fox shotgun, Julia's lot #1129

James D. Julia, Inc. held their semi-annual firearms auction on October 5-6, 2010. Included in the sale was a rare shotgun made by the Ansley H. Fox Gun Company exclusively for President Theodore Roosevelt.

According to records from the Fox Gun Company, work was started on the gun on September 18, 1908 and was completed sometime in February, 1909, according to a thank you note from President Roosevelt. The gift was made especially for Roosevelt’s African safari in 1909. Upon receipt of the gun, the President wrote to Mr. Fox on February 11, 1909 “the double-barreled shotgun has come, and I really think it is the most beautiful gun I have ever seen. I am exceedingly proud of it. I am almost ashamed to take it to Africa and expose it to the rough usage it will receive. But now that I have it, I could not possibly make up my mind to leave it behind. I am greatly obliged to you, and I am extremely proud that I am to have such a beautiful bit of American workmanship with me”. Then five days later on February 16, 1909, President Roosevelt again wrote to Mr. Fox “do let me thank you most warmly again for that beautiful gun. It is so beautiful that I take pleasure in just looking at it. I shall keep it as long as I live, and when I die it shall go to my son Kermit who accompanies me on my African trip.”

Roosevelt’s son Kermit inherited it after his death, and then his son, Kermit Roosevelt Jr. In 1974, Kermit Jr., and the Roosevelt family decided to sell all of the family firearms. The Fox shotgun was sold to Thomas C. Kidd, a Fox historian. Then on February 22, 2000, Kidd sold the gun to an undisclosed buyer, who consigned the gun to Julia’s.

Roosevelt Fox gun detail

The gun was sold as lot 1129 on October 5, 2010, for $862,500, the highest price ever paid at auction for a shotgun. The quality of the gun, together with its impressive history and provenance proved irresistible to collectors.

If you like my blog, please let your friends know by sending them a link. Then check out my new Daum, Gallé and R. Lalique acquisitions. I’ve listed them all on my website. I just listed another fifteen incredible Daum items, including swans, rain, and more in the last few days. Here’s the link. Then check out the huge sale I’m having on Icart etchings. For the complete listing, click this link. Available Icart etchings.

Tiffany Studios items do well at Julia’s Important Lamp and Glass auction, June 22-23, 2010

Tiffany Studios Favrile 20 inch Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase, Julia lot #2321, June 23, 2010, realized $21,275

Tiffany Studios Favrile 20 inch Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase, Julia lot #2321, June 23, 2010, realized $21,275

James D. Julia, Inc. held their annual June Important Lamps and Glass Auction on June 22-23, 2010. I asked Jim to write some comments about his sale. His response appears in its entirety at the end of this blog post.

The sale was divided into many categories, some of which were soft, including Lalique, Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre, KPM plaques and French cameo glass, while others fared better, including Tiffany Studios items. Individual items excelled, even within weak categories. Many of the items that failed to reach reserve, and therefore did not sell, were a result of estimates that were too aggressive. I’ve repeated this point time after time — low estimates create interest and encourage bidding. The problem occurs when consignors insist on aggressive estimates and high reserves. What should an auctioneer do? He’s caught between a rock and a hard place. Should he accept the consignment and risk that the items won’t sell? There’s a lot of time, effort and money invested in items that don’t sell. Or should he not accept the consignment and possibly lose out on commissions? Tough choice. The correct answer depends on market conditions that change regularly. It would be wonderful for all involved if an entire auction had low estimates and no reserves. That rarely happens today, as most consignors are not willing to gamble.

Julia’s auction is located in central Maine in the town of Fairfield. It’s a bit off the beaten path, about halfway between Portland and Bangor, just off exit 133 on I-95. Jim bends over backwards to encourage bidders to make the trip to Fairfield to attend the auction in person. He understands that live, in person, bidders are more valuable to the success of an auction than phone, Internet or left bidders. Julia’s offers incentives like free hotel rooms, free dinners, and free food at the auction. Even with those incentives, the crowd averaged only about 30-40 each day. The slack was taken up mainly by interest from the phones and the Internet.

Tiffany Studios 17 inch Geranium table lamp, Julia lot #2315, June 23, 2010

Tiffany Studios 17 inch Geranium table lamp, Julia lot #2315, June 23, 2010

Tiffany Studios items were well represented in the sale, with the top seven lots all being Tiffany lamps. A pretty Tiffany 17″ Geranium lamp, lot #2315, was estimated conservatively at $30-40,000. As a result, there was considerable interest from many telephone bidders and the audience. A dealer, bidding on the telephone, was the winner, paying $63,250, including buyer’s premium — a result that easily exceeded the high estimate.

Daum Nancy 6 inch Prairie scenic pitcher, Julia lot #2020, June 23, 2010

Daum Nancy 6 inch Prairie scenic pitcher, Julia lot #2020, June 23, 2010

Lot #2020 was the second highest French cameo glass lot of the auction. It was a rare and very desirable Daum 6¼” Prairie scenic pitcher. It sold near the high end of its pre-sale estimate of $10-15,000, reaching $16,675.

Use this link to view the results of the entire sale. Scroll down the page and click on what interest you. You’ll have to register online before you can see the results. Registration is free. Julia’s June Lamp & Glass auction results.

Following are Jim Julia’s comments about his sale.

For the past few weeks leading up to our auction we have been filled with pride, anticipation, and trepidation. Pride because we had been told on numerous occasions that our upcoming glass and lamp auction was probably the largest, finest and most diverse grouping of this type that has been offered at any one auction anywhere in the world for the last couple of years. Anticipation because we had a considerable amount of monetary value and thus had the potential for doing well. Trepidation because this is a different world today the economies of the world’s and the collecting fraternities of the world’s are no longer what they were three years ago. This is a buyer’s market not a seller’s market and its exceedingly difficult to predict what is going to happen. We of course knew that because this was such a high-profile auction a great number of collectors would be watching its performance. If we were successful it would bode well for our company and for the glass and lamp collecting fraternity as a whole. Healthy prices create a sense of assurance and confidence for collectors to buy. Very poor sales results would serve as a depressing factor for the collecting fraternity as a whole. It’s important to note that our auction was not a huge accumulation of modernism, art nouveau and art deco that happened to include a few highly select and rare lamps and/or glass objects (truly rare, highly important and very valuable collectibles still tend to bring very strong prices). Our auction was a true cross-section of the art glass and lamp marketplace. It consisted of objects that would normally be found in the booths or shops of leading art glass and lamp dealers throughout the world. As such, the value ranged from a few hundred dollars to a hundred thousand dollars plus and included art nouveau, 20th century American art glass, paperweights, KPM plaques, lamps of all types, miniature lamps, French and English cameo glass, Fairyland Lustre, etc.

We are proud and pleased to report that our auction was a success. Gross sales were just under $2 million and with the normal post-sale buying that takes place the week following an auction, the total gross should exceed $2 million. In addition there were some healthy prices; the most exciting of which were for desirable items that carried very realistic and/or conservative estimates. One of the most critical factors at auction in a down economy is not only the importance of quality offerings but more importantly realistic and conservative estimates. The more conservative the estimates the greater the interest in the object and the more likely it would do well when sold. Just as prices on the stock market readjust in new economies the same thing happens in collectible markets. One of the most difficult things in a down economy for an auctioneer is to try to figure out what the new market level is for various collectibles. Just because the consignor bought the object three years ago for a lot of money or because they were offered a lot of money for it four years ago or because someone sold a similar one five years ago for a lot of money, has nothing to do with the value of land in Florida, Handel lamps or G.E. stock today. The value of any object today is what the current market will bear, which in many cases is less. If G.E. stock (which used to trade at $38 but now is trading at $16) is offered at the former value of $38, it will not sell. It is no different for a Handel lamp or a KPM plaque; these things sell but only at current market value, not the old market value. Those consignors who insisted on aggressive reserves and/or high estimates in economies such as this will frequently be dismayed with the financial results. High reserves (and thus high estimates) simply disparage bidding participation and thus garner a low rate of return. Conservative estimates and reserves result in maximum participation, which in turn results in the greatest amount of the competition which therefore will result in the greatest rate of return.

English cameo included a fabulous Junior lamp in shades of red and white estimated at $15,000-$25,000, it sold for $23,000! A beautiful 8 inch English three-color cameo vase conservatively estimated at $2,000-$2,500, went out at $6325. An outstanding offering of paperweights from an old collection carried strong reserves and thus prices were spotty. A beautiful cliché honeycomb estimated at a conservative $6,500-$8,500 saw lots of activity and finally sold for $10,350. There was a terrific offering of French cameo which performed adequately; not on 2007 standards but on 2010 standards. A beautiful Daum Nancy Prairie pitcher 6-1/4 inches high estimated at $10-$15,000, sold for $16,675. A Galle étude marquetry vase 7 inches high was estimated at $8,000-$10,000 and realized $12,075.

There are always surprises at every auction which include bargain prices as well as some items which over perform. A beautiful American contemporary leaded table lamp estimated at $8,000-$10,000 sold for just under $20,000.

Tiffany perhaps was in general one of the better performers (as it usually is). A beautiful geranium table lamp with a realistic but conservative $30,000-$40,000 estimate saw lots of bidding activity and finally sold for $63,250. A nice Tiffany drop head dragonfly table lamp was estimated at $120,000 -$150,000. Based on recent sales of dragonfly lamps, this estimate was probably a little more aggressive than it should have been but the lamp still sold for just under $110,000. Another dragonfly without the drop heads was estimated at $55,000-$65,000 and sold for $61,000. A great Tiffany Studios decorated senior floor lamp base estimated at $40,000-$60,000, finally sold for $47,150.

The total low estimate of everything sold in this two-day sale was $1,596,150 but the total realized including buyers premium was $1,883,095 or a total of $286,945 more than low estimate.

One last point about the collectibles fraternity today is that it doesn’t matter if you collect Galle, Tiffany lamps, rare toys, fine art or furniture; an important point to remember is this is a buyers’ market. Consequently, there are consistently great buys available at auctions, shows, and shops. This is the best time in a collector’s life to be adding to their collection. During a sellers market as we’ve experienced for a number of years there is so much competition that there are rarely any good buys. But in a buyers’ market, prices tend to be lower and there are consistently bargains available. This is a fabulous time for collectors to be expanding their collection. Smart buyers in the stock market such as Warren Buffett take advantage of buyers markets to expand their holdings. Smart collectors take advantage of buyers markets to expand their collections!

Hope to see you at the next auction!

I just added over 10 Galle vases to my website, 7 Tiffany lamps, 1 Grueby vase, 1 Newcomb vase, Daum Nancy glass and a fabulous Burgun & Schverer internally decorated vase. This coming week, I’ll be adding many new items. Please take a look. Click on this link

Please send me your comments or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer you in a future blog.

Jim Julia sells a million dollar map at auction

Jim Julia with the Battle of Yorktown map

Jim Julia with the Battle of Yorktown map

Jim Julia sells millions of dollars of antiques yearly at his auction house in Fairfield, Maine, but never before has he sold a single object for over one million dollars — until February 5, 2010. On that day, Jim sold a very rare and historically important map — George Washington’s personal copy of the Battle of Yorktown.

John Trumbull painting of the surrender of General Lord Cornwallis to General George Washington

John Trumbull painting of the surrender of General Lord Cornwallis to General George Washington

In 1781, General Comte de Rochambeau and his French army combined with George Washington and his American army to defeat General Lord Cornwallis and his British army at the Battle of Yorktown in Virginia. This was the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. Cornwallis’s surrender led the British to ultimately negotiate an end to the war and sign the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

The map was prepared by Jean Baptiste Gouvion a few days after the battle. It descended in the family of Tobias Lear, the personal secretary to George Washington from 1784 until Washington’s death in 1799.

The action in the auction was furious with many bidders on the telephone and one determined bidder in the room. Ultimately the phone bidder won the battle against the bidder in the room, with a winning bid of $1 million, for a total of $1,150,000, including buyer’s premium. It set the record for the most expensive map ever sold at auction and also the highest price every paid for any object at auction in the state of Maine.

I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. I’ve already listed new items under Gallé glass (including a blownout vase), Daum Nancy glass and Tiffany Studios glass. Soon I’ll be adding many Tiffany Studios desk pieces. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.