Some strong results at Bonham’s Los Angeles 20th Century Decorative Arts sale, April 29, 2015

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.


Bonham’s Los Angeles held a 20th Century Decorative Arts sale yesterday, April 29, 2015. The offerings were more or less mediocre, but there were a few goodies mixed in — and they did well.

Bronze & ivory figure Thaïs by Demetre Chiparus, Bonham's lot #288

Bronze & ivory figure Thaïs by Demetre Chiparus, Bonham’s lot #288

Top lot of the sale was #288, an Art Deco bronze & ivory figure entitled Thaïs by Demetre Chiparus. It sold for $185,000, including buyer’s premium — near the pre-sale low estimate of $150,000. Apparently the recent problems created by new ivory regulations did not deter the bidders.

Martin Brothers bird, Bonham's lot #224

Martin Brothers bird, Bonham’s lot #224

The Martin Brothers market continued strong, as evidenced by lot #224, a large (12¾”), wildly grotesque bird tobacco jar. Collectors were willing to overlook its condition problems — several chips to the head and the rim and a missing wooden base. The bird flew well beyond the pre-sale estimate of $20,000 – $30,000 to realize $50,000, including buyer’s premium.

Marblehead Panther bowl, Bonham's lot #214

Marblehead Panther bowl, Bonham’s lot #214

The sale began with a nice collection of Marblehead pottery from the collection of the actor, Bruce Willis. Top lot of this group was a rare Panther bowl. It growled its way almost to the high estimate of $30,000, realizing $35,000, including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


No shows until July, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, at the Denver Mart, EXPO Building, 451 East 58th Avenue, July 24-26, 2015. In the meantime, we’ll be traveling in Europe. We’re sure to come up with some goodies, so keep an eye on my site for the latest additions. I’ll always be in touch, so please don’t hesitate to email or call.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. 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.

Results of the Arlington Park Antiques Show, October 15-17, 2010

Arlington Park Racetrack

Some days you can do no wrong and others you can do no right. Unfortunately the latter was closer to the truth for this show. According to the promoter, Shawn Hastings, attendance was better at this show than the previous two. The problem for me was that the wrong people came. Many of my clients showed up at the show, but just to say hello and admire my items. It was frustrating getting the same response from so many of them.

R. Lalique frosted vase 'Monnaie du Pape'

The show was not a total disaster. Friday was a bust with absolutely no sales. For half of Saturday, there were no sales. I started to write my Monday blog in my head, beginning with the fact that this was the only show in the last ten years where I’d sold absolutely nothing. Luckily business picked up a little on Saturday and late Sunday, so I didn’t actually write it. I probably made my expenses and a ham sandwich. Not exactly a good show’s pay, but not terrible. There was interest in Rookwood and Marblehead pottery and Lalique glass.

This is the third show I’ve done in the greater Chicago area in the last seven weeks and that may be part of the problem. Possibly compounding the problem, I’m exhibiting at a fourth show in the greater Chicago area this coming week, in Winnetka, IL. Winnetka is a wealthy northern suburb of Chicago. I’ve got my fingers crossed that different people will attend the show, but whether they’re interested in what I’m selling is a question I can’t yet answer. I’ll let you know in a week if my experiment was a success or a failure.

Fantastic Japanese cloisonné vase with dragon decoration

I’ll be bringing at least 25-30 new items that I’ve just purchased, including a few you wouldn’t think of finding in my booth. How about a Satsuma bowl with underwater seashells and flora on the underside, or a really great cloisonné vase with a dragon?

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. Here’s the link chasenantiques.com.

Excellent results at Rago’s early 20th Century/Arts & Crafts auction, October 1, 2010, including a few lottery winners

The results at Rago Auctions on October 1, 2010, showed just how much the public appreciated the assembled variety of pottery, glass, lamps and furniture. Many of the items were high quality and fresh to the market — a combination that’s hard to beat. Talk of recession is finished. Now buyers have to compete strongly for the best merchandise.

Rare Marblehead decorated vase by Arthur Hennessey, Rago lot #131, October 1, 2010

The top lot of the sale was a rare 7″ Marblehead vase, decorated by Arthur Hennessey. Even with a 1½” hairline crack (usually the kiss of death), the vase soared to $134,200, against a pre-sale estimate of $25,000-35,000. Bidding was fierce as this was only one of four known to exist.

Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar, Rago lot #209, October 1, 2010

The Martin Brothers of London and Southall were nicely represented with nine lots, six of which were the very desirable bird tobacco jars. Four of these birds were among the top ten lots of the sale. Lot 209 was estimated to sell for $17,500-22,500. It doubled its estimate to sell for $39,040. Again damage didn’t seem to be much of an issue. The public was looking for excellent examples and they weren’t going to be deterred by a few chips or hairline cracks. Ceramics buyers are much more tolerant of condition issues than glass buyers.

Tiffany Studios pottery bowl, Rago lot #463, October 1, 2010

There were more than a couple of lottery winners at this auction. Lot #463 was a rare Tiffany Studios pottery bowl with fern decoration, the only example known. It was recently purchased at an estate auction in Pennsylvania for $115. It sold for $25,620, against a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-20,000. Not a bad day’s pay.

I emailed David for his impressions of the sale. Here is his reply.

“We were surprised by how strong the Tiffany and Lalique performed in the sale. I knew the material well enough to understand it was unusual, but not nearly enough to think it could take off. The first Tiffany glass lot, the early blue vase (lot #473, $23,180), both the consignor and I thought wasn’t even Tiffany. That collection of glass (and including the large jeweled desk set) did more than double what we told the consignor to expect. The Tiffany pottery fern bowl was recently purchased by the consignor at a local auction for $115 and I knew it would do well, but the $25k was above our expectations. And the Tiffany sketch book, from his trip up the Nile in 1908, passed but sold after the sale. That was a surprise because there were like 28 sketches in the book which, individually, had to be worth $1500 – 2k each on the average and the reserve was $35k. And I’m thinking that the book, as a whole, is worth more than the sum of its parts.

I’m still not sure about the Lalique and why the prices, especially for the jewelry, were so high. There must be a new buyer or three out there focusing on that niche and driving the prices. In any case, we had most of them in for $1000 – 1500 and many brought from about $4k to 11k including premium. The only sour note was again the non sales of tired dealer merchandise (lamps mostly) that were taken in at fair prices but didn’t sell for the same reasons the dealers who consigned them couldn’t sell them. Estate lamps, like our daffodil? It’s like buyers have a sixth sense for what’s new to the market and there to be sold (that brought 40k…) on top of that, we ended up having to pull the Tiffany parasol lamp because the base was doctored. We had a buyer in Europe who left a covering bid and a serious buyer on the phone from the east coast, so it was more than sold. But we have no interest in getting behind a piece with problems. The auction as a whole was over 80% sold for the weekend and hammered in estimate range, totaling (with bp) over 5.5 mil.”

Cowan Jazz bowl, Rago lot #869, October 2, 2010

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another wonderful story from the next day’s auction. A picker had found a Cowan Jazz bowl and brought it to a Rago Monday appraisal day. It had been used as a planter, so it was very dirty, with mineral deposits to the interior glaze at the bottom and two hairline cracks to the rim. The picker wanted a $5,000 reserve. He was advised to permit Rago Auctions to clean and professionally restore the bowl. The bowl was presented at auction with all the details of the restoration. It carried a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-30,000 and sold for $158,600 — a fantastic price, but below the more than $200,000 for another example that previously sold in perfect condition. According to David, the result will make an important impact on the quality of the consignor’s life.

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. Here’s the link chasenantiques.com.

Results of the Denver Antiques Show, July 16-18, 2010

My booth at the Denver Antiques Show, 2:20 PM, Sunday afternoon

My booth at the Denver Antiques Show, 2:20 PM, Sunday afternoon

2:20 PM Sunday. Although attendance has been decent throughout the show, sales have been poor (read non-existent) since Friday afternoon. So based on the results to this minute, we will not be returning to exhibit in Denver. Should something dramatic happen in the last few hours of the show, I will be pleased to change my mind. It’s too bad that the locals don’t buy enough to support the show. Denver is a nice city and Colorado is a beautiful state, but business is business.

5:00 PM, Sunday. The show just closed and sales for the day were $30. Two out of the three shows in Denver were not good, so we have decided not to return to Denver.

I spoke to several dealers and each and every one told me the show didn’t go well. That’s how shows fail. A vicious cycle begins when the dealers can’t sell enough to warrant returning. The show gets smaller, the public is disappointed, and round and round it goes until the show fails. Cleveland used to be a wonderful city to exhibit many years ago, especially at the Cleveland Coliseum, halfway between Cleveland and Akron. Now all of the shows there have failed and there is no decent antique show in the area.

Now we’re on to the Redondo Beach Antiques Show, just south of Los Angeles, this coming weekend, July 23-25, 2010. That show has been shrinking every year, but business is usually decent. I’ve met some of my best clients there, so I hope it doesn’t fail. Apparently that isn’t the case for the other dealers, as many have dropped out. The antiques show business has become tough, with only the best shows surviving in major cities like Miami, New York, Chicago and Baltimore.

Tiffany Studios 12-light lily floor lamp

Tiffany Studios 12-light lily floor lamp

I’m bringing some amazing items to the Redondo Beach show, including a Tiffany 12-light lily floor lamp. Tiffany lily lamps are not rare, but lily floor lamps are. It’s only the second one that I’ve had for sale in the last 35 years. I’ve got another six Tiffany floor lamps, as well as a superb collection of table lamps that I’ve recently acquired. In addition, I’m bringing a wonderful selection of Tiffany, Galle and Daum Nancy glass, and American art pottery, including some great examples of Grueby, Newcomb College, Marblehead, and George Ohr.

Please come and visit me at the Redondo Beach Antiques Show and introduce yourself.

I recently 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 chasenantiques.com.

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.

Solid results at Rago’s 20th Century auction, April 24, 2010

David Rago

David Rago

Rago Arts held their 20th Century auction this past Saturday, April 24, 2010, with good results for pottery, furniture and glass, as well as a few exceptional results.

In an email reply to my inquiry, David made the following remarks about his sale.

“As for the ac sale, the low estimate was 690k and the sale hammered at 718k. it was 88% sold at the hammer (with things selling after the sale, as always). Better things did better, which I’m sure comes as no surprise. The market is really expressing a discerning eye and the bottom end of most things has really fallen away. The tiffany that either didn’t sell or attracted little interest were the obviously weak lots. If I never see another acorn table lamp again I’ll be thrilled. Unless the background glass is red. And the base is decorated with mosaic tiles. And the reserve is $5k.

Our approach has been to curate smaller, tighter sales with conservative estimates, and reserves under the low estimates, to attract competitive bidding. While I do miss those two day, 1000 lot Arts and Crafts/Art Nouveau auctions, our sell through rate and our total sales ($850k including bp) have been gratifying.”

Marblehead bowl with panthers, Rago auction, lot 1

Marblehead bowl with panthers, Rago auction, lot 1

The first lot of the sale was a Marblehead bowl, with rare panther decoration. It carried a pre-sale estimate of $25-35,000. The result doubled the low estimate, with the bowl selling for $61,000, including buyer’s premium.

Tiffany pottery vase, Rago auction, lot 262

Tiffany pottery vase, Rago auction, lot 262

There weren’t many Tiffany lots in the sale, but for the most part, they did very well. A rare 6″ tall pottery vase, in the form of an artichoke, sold for $19,520, approximately double the high estimate.

Tiffany Favrile decorated vase, Rago auction, lot 272

Tiffany Favrile decorated vase, Rago auction, lot 272

Lot 272 was a Tiffany Favrile 9″ vase with elaborate gold hearts & vines decoration on a deep carmel background. The vase sold for $26,840, approximately four times the pre-sale estimate — a surprising result. Perhaps the hint of red was the reason for the enthusiasm.

For the complete auction results, click on the following link Rago Early 20th Century auction results.

I’ve taken a lot of time to add new items to my website. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.

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.

Doyle New York’s 2/24/10 Belle Epoque auction was a success

Doyle New York holds a Belle Epoque auction twice yearly. It’s a diverse sale of objects from 19th Century Victorian to Art Nouveau, Art Deco and some modern. The winter sale was held on February 24, 2010 with generally excellent results. I asked the expert in charge, Malcolm MacNeil for his impressions of the the sale. Here is his reply.

Tiffany Studios Venetian table lamp, Doyle lot #335

Tiffany Studios Venetian table lamp, Doyle lot #335

“I was extremely pleased with the results of yesterday’s Belle Époque auction. It is a popular sale and always widely anticipated with lots of local, national and international interest. With respect to the art glass, there were approximately 59 lots. As one would expect, items having the greatest dealer and collector interest because of rarity, quality, good condition and desirability had the greatest interest and competitive bidding and generated good results. Of the 20 art glass lots that had an auction pre-sale estimate of $2,000 or higher only one lot failed to sell. It was a green geometric leaded glass shade attributed to Tiffany Studios and estimated at $3,000-5000. It had a high reserve and although it was felt that the glass was indeed by Kokomo (one of Tiffany’s suppliers), alas, it was not by the firm of Tiffany Studios. Returning to the 20 lots having an auction pre-sale low estimate of $2,000 or higher, 9 lots sold below the low estimate and 9 lots sold above the low estimate. Two of the highlights were a Tiffany Studios bronze and leaded favrile glass desk lamp in the Venetian pattern, estimated at $40,000-50,000, which sold for $65,000, plus buyer’s premium, and a Tiffany Studios leaded glass and bronze hanging shade estimated at $70,000-90,000, which sold for $110,000, plus buyer’s premium. Other items in the sale had spectacular results, including furniture, silver and porcelain. Good quality is selling well and great quality is selling very well.”

Handel Connecticut River scenic table lamp, Doyle lot #304

Handel Connecticut River scenic table lamp, Doyle lot #304

Other items which performed well were a Handel obverse and reverse-painted scenic table lamp, estimated for $3-5,000 that sold for $10,625, including buyer’s premium, several good Quezal shades that descended in the family of Edward Conlan, the secretary of the Quezal Art Glass and Decorating Co., and a green Tiffany Studios millifiori decorated vase, estimated at $2,500-3,500, that sold for $9,375, including buyer’s premium. Here is the link for the results for the entire sale. Doyle Belle Epoque results.

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 pottery by Newcomb College, Marblehead and Rookwood. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.

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.

Results from the Morristown Armory Antiques Show

My booth at the Morristown Armory Antiques Show

My booth at the Morristown Armory Antiques Show

The Northeast has been hammered with several major snowstorms this winter, with the latest one starting last Thursday. The rain/snow line was I-95 in New Jersey, with snow to the west. Unfortunately Morristown, NJ is west of the line, so the show started out with one strike against it. Many people called the show management to see if the show was canceled, but conditions improved rapidly, so there was no problem. The show opened on time, but attendance on Saturday was a little slower than normal. Sunday attendance returned to normal.

Tiffany Studios Pine Needle paper rack (a smaller version than the one sold at the show)

Tiffany Studios Pine Needle paper rack (a smaller version than the one sold at the show)

Sales on Saturday were lackluster with interest in Tiffany desk pieces and Fulper pottery. Sales on Sunday were dismal, but interest was strong in a couple of important items that may sell after the show.

I still haven’t made up my mind as to whether I’ll return to exhibit in Morristown. I’ll wait to see if any sales develop after the show. Right now, it’s probable that I won’t be back. It’s not enough for people to admire my display. The local people have to support the show by purchasing from the exhibitors or the exhibitors won’t be back.

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 pottery by Newcomb College, Marblehead and Rookwood. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.

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.

Setting up at the Grove Park Inn Antiques Show

For several years, I’ve heard lots of good things about the Grove Park Inn Antiques Show, though I’ve never had the opportunity to visit nor exhibit there. I decided this was the year to try, and so far it’s looking like a very good decision. The show hasn’t even opened yet, but it’s very pleasant so far, with a good vibe.

That's me in front of one of the giant fireplaces

That's me in front of one of the giant fireplaces

First is the Grove Park Inn itself. It’s a wonderful 1913 masterpiece of a hotel. Just being in the lobby with the gigantic boulder fireplaces surrounded by people warming themselves in rocking chairs is great fun. Add to that a glass of delicious Ravenswood Zinfandel Lodi 2007 and you’ve got a wonderful relaxing time. And of course, enjoying it with my honey makes it perfect.

The show promoter, Bruce Johnson, is very friendly. He made us feel welcome, as well as most of the other dealers, many of whom I already know. Setup went very well, except that North Carolina is having a cold wave. It was colder here than in New York. For most of the day, the roll up door was open and we had to set up in freezing conditions. What a relief when they finally closed the door and the room warmed up.

Some of the wonderful Arts & Crafts furniture at the show

Some of the wonderful Arts & Crafts furniture at the show

It’s a beautiful show with very high quality Arts & Crafts furniture, ceramics, and linens. The show is mixed, with the antiques dealers in the main ballroom and the quality reproduction dealers in the hallways. There are many lectures for attendees, so the whole weekend is a complete Arts & Crafts experience. From everything I can see, it’s Arts & Crafts heaven.

My booth, almost set up at Grove Park Inn

My booth, almost set up at Grove Park Inn

I’m not a perfect fit for this show, as many of my items are Art Nouveau, but I have enough Arts & Crafts items to satisfy many collectors. I’ve brought many Tiffany lamps and they’re perfect for Arts & Crafts homes. I also have a nice collection of Arts & Crafts ceramics, including Rookwood, Newcomb College, Grueby, Arequipa, Marblehead, and others.

Right now, I’ve got a good feeling that the show will go well. Read my post on Monday and I’ll let you know.

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 chasenantiques.com.

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.