Published: January 23, 2007
On November 4 and 5, Cincinnati Art Galleries LLC (CAG) held its largest holiday auction ever of American and European art pottery and art glass at its downtown gallery with nearly 1,500 lots offered in two days.
Perhaps the most dramatic part of the auction was the offering of nearly 100 pieces of Boch Freres Keramis, exotic Art Deco pottery designed by Charles Catteau and manufactured in Belgium, mostly pre World War II. Many of the rare pieces featured Art Deco treatment of animals and these proved to be popular with bidders.
Several of the Boch Freres pieces exceeded estimates by multiples of four or five. The opening lot, a large vase with doves, sold for $6,900. A smaller vase with bats went for $8,912, followed with a $16,100 bid on a polar bear vase. A stoneware vase with elephants then brought $17,250 while a large vase with deer made $10,350 even with minor damage.
About 30 minutes before the cataloged sale reached the Boch Freres pieces, eBay crashed. It was apparent many in Europe were waiting to bid and to make sure all consignors were given their due, the auction was paused until eBay came back online.
Gallery director Riley Humler admits that CAG was about 30 minutes away from canceling the sale until the following weekend but at the 11th hour, eBay was back up and running.
Sale highlights included a Rozane Royal vase with an owl in a pine tree that sold for $5,405, a large Pewabic vase with minor damage for $4,600 and a fine Overbeck vase with stylized, carved flowers at $14,950.
English highlights included a 14½-inch sang-de-boeuf glaze Ruskin vase from 1914 that had all the right attributes. It sold for $8,337 in spirited bidding.
Art glass followed with an array of colorful Steuben pieces and American and European glass such as a Steuben “Sherwood” ACB vase that sold for $3,335 followed immediately by a pair of blue Aurene candlesticks, which made $4,715. A fine reverse painted Handel lamp with woodland scene sold for $9,200 after the sale.
A grouping of Quezal shades sold well with prices ranging from $460 to $2,645, followed by a Mount Washington Royal Flemish ewer for $4,370, the same price achieved by a Mount Washington “Fig” muffineer.
An unusual bronze figurine with ivory hands and face sold for $4,025. Tiffany proved strong when a graceful flower form vase made $7,475. A Loetz Titania vase with silver overlay sold for $3,680. A large Daum vase with ferns brought $4,370.
Several fine examples of contemporary art glass were sold with the high lot being a Charles Lotton lamp with peacock feather decoration that fetched $8,050 in strong bidding.
A CAG staple is Rookwood pottery and Sunday dawned with more than 500 lots to auction, including a carved standard glaze vase with peacock feather done in 1900 by Matt Daly that sold for a brisk $4,830. The vase appeared in an original Rookwood photo that CAG had copied for bidder interest. An Iris glaze vase with orchids done by Albert Valentien in 1903 brought $14,375 in spirited bidding.
The cover lot, a Black Iris vase done in 1900 by Kataro Shirayamadani, was the next big lot to sell. This vase, exhibited in “Rookwood Pottery The Glorious Gamble,” sold for $60,375, making it one of the top 25 pieces of Rookwood ever sold at auction.
A floral Vellum by Lenore Asbury done in 1927 with crisply painted dogwood brought $20,125, which is thought to be a record for a floral Vellum vase. A rare and collectable glaze, that being painted mat, was the theme for an Olga Reed work from 1910 that brought $14,950 in strong bidding. Painted mats are difficult to find and when they are as crisp as this one, they tend to do very well.
All prices include the buyer’s premium. Cincinnati Art Galleries, LLC is now accepting consignments for its June and holiday sale auctions of Rookwood and other American and European art pottery and art glass. Cincinnati Art Galleries is at 225 East Sixth Street. For more information, www.cincinnatiartgalleries.com or 513-381-2128.
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