Published: January 2, 2007
Period lighting enthusiasts and diners out for a steak dinner found plenty of choices not on the menu on October 28 at the historic Willett House restaurant, where the mostly-online auction house LampsandArtGlass.com held its third live sale since its founding in 2004.
The auction, which generated more than $1 million, served up more than 350 lots featuring nearly 200 period lighting specialties of the house. Besides the fully lit lamps were selections of art glass, art glass windows, period furniture, porcelains, framed art and accessories plus a huge collection of ivories from a New Hampshire estate.
Top lot honors went to a Tiffany/Horner carved oak grandfather clock that finished at $117,500. High flyers included a Tiffany Arrowroot table lamp that made $42,800; a Handel reverse/obverse painted Peacock table lamp, $27,613; a smallish Pairpoint puffy Rose Bonnet table lamp, $12,330; and a Duffner & Kimberly Adams table lamp $14,100.
“All in all we were quite satisfied with the sale,” said the firm’s co-founder Dean Lowry, “Particularly with the choice of Port Chester as the site. We hoped to greet and meet a number of serious metropolitan area collectors and dealers, and we did. It was fun, and we’ll almost certainly be back here for our next live event.”
Given the repeated success of what have been annual affairs, Lowry and co-founder Howard Booher announced their intent to hold more frequent live events.
“We’ll very likely be moving to an every-six-months auction schedule,” said Lowry. “The interest is clearly there and we’ve found these events work for us in many ways. After each sale, the number of hits on our site go up noticeably — a sure sign that we’re continuing to grow, and that live auctions are a good idea for us.”
While art glass and other categories performed well, lighting and Tiffany were clearly the main attraction. Melding works by more than two dozen major, minor and obscure makers, domestic and foreign alike, lighting offerings ranged from Sandwich glass oil lamps to leaded and stained Art Nouveau and Art Deco expressions. While mainstream examples by Tiffany, Handel, Pairpoint and Duffner & Kimberly often scored well, so did models from Suess, Unique, Riviere, A. Hart and others — even including a Japanese bronze and stained glass floor lamp that realized $8,813.
Tiffany examples included Brick Shade and Curtain Border floor lamps that finished identically at $37,600; a 12-light Lily lamp at $32,313, and a Daffodil chandelier at $32,900. Others doing well were Jewel Feather boudoir and Turtleback table models that also closed at $17,625, and Acorn and Greek Key lamps that reached $18,800 and $21,500 respectively.
A Handel Treasure Island table lamp made $17,625; an ever-popular Exotic Birds model finished at $12,338; a Peacock floor lamp base leaped to $10,575 and a scarce 12-inch Parrot hanging lamp peaked at $9,106. Pairpoint winners included a lamp showing roses and a hummingbird at $8,813 and a Puffy showing roses and a butterfly that did $7,050.
Lesser-known makers included a large Suess Peony table lamp at $11,456, a Unique table lamp at $15,275 and a Riviere model showing repetitive butterflies at $7,931. Tops among three examples by A. Hart was a wisteria/butterflies expression that made $5,288.
Tiffany’s presence was also felt among the fine art, art glass and accessories. While a fine Louis Comfort Tiffany oil painting failed to sell, a watercolor exceeded estimates at $25,850. Leading the way among several dozen Tiffany accessories was a bronze Scarab inkwell that tripled estimates at $21,150.
Among the ten art glass windows offered, a pair of Tiffany Jewels/Ripple models did best at $8,813. Ivory offerings were highlighted by a handful of large and superior carved examples, ranging from $3,173 to $4,113, and also by multipiece lots that sometimes went out for $100 or less
All prices reported include the 17.5 percent buyers premium. The next LampsandArtGlass.com live auction is slated for the spring and the service is already either buying items outright or accepting consignments for this event. For more information, www.LampsandArtGlass.com or call Dean Lowry at 603-759-6235 or Howard Booher at 330-714-6235.
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