Some great results at Leslie Hindman Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts auction, October 2-3, 2011

I have less time to write about the interesting things happening in the antiques world since the fall shows started, so I am posting new blog entries once or twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. 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.

Important Frank Lloyd Wright copper urn, Hindman lot #944

Leslie Hindman held a Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts auction on Sunday and Monday, October 2-3, 2011. The sale went very well, bringing a total of $3.19 million against a pre-sale estimate of $2.07 million. That lot 944 was the top lot of the sale was no surprise. It was an important Frank Lloyd Wright copper urn (one of only six known to exist) from the Edward C. Waller House in River Forest, Illinois, circa 1899. Estimated to sell for $400,000-$600,000, it sold just over the high estimate, realizing $784,000, including buyer’s premium.

Many of the finest items came from two important estates — Ralph Esmerian and Ruth Regenstein. The Esmerian items were heavy in bronzes and Arts & Crafts, while the Regenstein items were skewed toward 17th and 18th century needlework and enameled etui cases. Both sections of the sale did very well.

Rare Quezal lamp, Hindman lot #1000

Lot 1000 was an extremely rare Quezal lamp with dark green and gold zipper decoration. I first saw this lamp a few months ago, when it was still in Mike Intihar’s office (Senior Specialist for Leslie Hindman’s Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts department). I was immediately wowed! I had seen this decoration on standard Quezal shades, but never on an all original, full-sized lamp. I told Mike it was really rare and special. I looked forward to the day it would be sold at auction, but knew certain collectors would need to have it more than I did. I was going to bid, but the odds of my being successful were slim.

It was sold with a conservative pre-sale estimate of $7,000-9,000, considering its condition and rarity. Bidding was strong, ending at $36,600, approximately triple the high estimate. This shouldn’t have surprised anyone in the know. There are a core group of Quezal collectors with great collections. This is one rarity they needed to have.

For the complete results of the sale, click on the following link. Hindman results. Make sure the correct sale is in the “View a catalogue” box and click “View” underneath. If not, first click on the “Archives” link on the left.

The best Daum scenic blownout vase

In the meantime, check the listings on my website, which I will update as often as I can. I’ll be photographing all my new Gallé and Daum purchases and listing them on my website. Recently I listed quite a few Tiffany, Handel and Pairpoint lamps and some very rare Louis Icart etchings including Melody Hour and Mardi Gras. There are also several fine Daum vases; a Daum lamp; several Galle vases; and several more Tiffany Favrile vases. Coming soon will be several wonderful European ceramic items by Clement Massier, Zsolnay and Amphora. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com

The Denver Antiques Show, July 16-18, 2010

A view of some of the lamps in my booth at the Denver Antiques Show

A view of some of the lamps in my booth at the Denver Antiques Show

I’m writing from the floor of the antique show in Denver. It’s the third time I’m exhibiting here and this will be the acid test of whether I’ll return to Denver. After the first few hours of the show, the early results are inconclusive.

In the meantime, let me first apologize for not updating my blog recently. Preparing to exhibit at my summer shows has been a time-consuming task and I just didn’t have the time. Now that the shows have started, I’ll try hard to update my blog regularly, twice weekly, usually on Monday and Thursday.

I’ve heard from several people that they’re received pop-up notices from Microsoft that my blog is not safe to view. I’ve had this thoroughly checked by my son (who is an expert on website design and safety), as well as Norton Antivirus. If you suspect that a site is not safe, enter the URL in the search box on the Norton site. Here’s the link. Norton Safeweb. You can check the safety of any website. I’ve entered my own blog URL and received the following notice.

Norton Safeweb evaluation of chasenantiques.com

Norton Safeweb evaluation of chasenantiques.com

I suggest that you ignore the unsafe notice from Microsoft or add my site address to your list of “trusted sites” and the issue will go away. Please write to me if you’ve experienced any similar problems.

Back to the Denver show. Setup went smoothly, but was a bigger deal than usual because so much of the merchandise was new. I spent a good part of the spring and early summer buying like a madman, so I could display many new and fine items. In that respect, I was highly successful. During setup, I sold a couple of large fantastic bronzes to another dealer. Pre-show sales are always nice and got the show off to a good start.

Rare Quezal vase with flower decoration

Rare Quezal vase with flower decoration

The show has now been open for a few hours. Attendance was pretty decent for the first few hours, but sales were slow. A great Quezal vase was one of the first items out the door. I’ll keep you posted with the final results on Monday or Tuesday, and a decision as to whether we’ll return to Denver the following July.

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.

Some treasures I’ve owned, part VI, art glass shades

This is installment VI of my “Some treasures I’ve owned” series. The topic was suggested to me by several collectors, but first by Matt Long.

I have a long history dealing in art glass shades, which includes one interesting story. I was exhibiting at a show on Long Island about 25 years ago, when I met a lovely older lady who saw I was interested in art glass shades. She told me she had some for sale and invited me to her home. When I walked in, she had about 125 mostly Quezal and Steuben shades displayed on several tables. At the time, she wanted $50 each for the gold ones and $75 each for the decorated ones — good prices even then.

Quezal blue pulled feather shade

Quezal blue pulled feather shade

I bought them all and then she invited me back for more. By the time she was finished with the shades, I had purchased about 500. I asked her how she had accumulated so many. She told me that when she was much younger, she would go to wealthy neighborhoods on trash day and find them for the taking. That was the beginning of a wonderful relationship that lasted about 10 years. I probably bought 10,000 objects from her, from $1 up, at great prices that she set. She was very knowledgeable but always priced her items so I could make money. She’s gone now, but she left me and my wife with fond memories of her.

One great shade I owned was a blue decorated Quezal, an extreme rarity and a real beauty (pictured above). This may be my favorite shade of all time.

Quezal dark green wave decorated and floral decorated shades

Quezal dark green wave decorated and floral decorated shades

Dark green shades are also rare and floral shades even rarer. Pictured at right are examples of both of them.

The ones that got away are also interesting. About 20 years ago, a dealer told me about a set of Quezal red shades with zipper decoration that was in a house. This is one shade I have never owned and never seen. I tried hard to get them, but the dealer was so low key, he let them get away. I heard they had made their way into some great collections.

I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. In the last few days I’ve added to the Gallé glass and Icart etchings listings. 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.

The road to knowledge is filled with potholes, part I

Marc Bell asked “How did you avoid the pitfalls in the antique lighting business?”  Well, Marc,  I didn’t. I hit my share of potholes along the learning road.

(Do you have an antiques questions?  I’ll try to answer them in future posts.  philchasen@gmail.com)

A Tiffany 3-light lily lamp with Quezal shades, similar to my first purchase

A Tiffany 3-light lily lamp with Quezal shades, similar to my first purchase

I remember the first time I bought a signed lamp.  The year was probably 1973.  We were at an auction and the auctioneer was explaining that the next item for sale was a Tiffany 3-light lily lamp with Quezal shades.  We were the successful bidders and paid $600 for it.  My wife and I were really nervous about this huge purchase.  I told my mother and she told me I was nuts.  Thanks, Mom.  She just couldn’t conceive of a lamp costing that much money.

Now I had my first antique lamp and I was eager to try and sell it.  I took good photos and advertised the lamp in Hobbies magazine.  Hobbies was an important monthly publication for both collectors and dealers.  (All of you old-timers should remember the good old days when it was possible to sell items by advertising in magazines.  For you younger collectors, there really was an antiques world prior to the Internet.)

I waited for over a month until the magazine was published.  I got a few calls and one was long-distance from a collector in Iowa.  (How many of you remember when everyone would stop whatever they were doing because someone was calling LONG DISTANCE?  It was exciting!)  He told me the lamp was a marriage – the lamp base was from one company and the shades from another.  Apparently a marriage in a lamp was a bad thing.  I didn’t know that!  I had assumed that the word Quezal was a Tiffany word, like Favrile.  Pssssssssss.  The air just zoomed out of my bubble!  But it didn’t end badly.  This caller was willing to buy the lamp as is.  I learned a big lesson that didn’t cost me a penny, in fact I earned a small profit.  I was lucky because most lessons in the antiques business are much more costly.

And that, folks, was the ignominious beginning to my education as a lamp dealer.

Tomorrow you can read lesson #2, which took place a few years later.  It’s much juicier than this one, guaranteed!

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.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com