Published: February 26, 2008
On January 25′7, Green Valley Auctions grossed more than more than $368,000 during its sixth annual winter cataloged and uncataloged sale of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century glass and lighting with more than 3,500 pieces sold in four sessions.
The sale’s top lot surfaced on the second day among a selection of art glass. A Galle wheel-carved marquetry vase with autumn crocuses decoration poked up to a final price of $20,340. With an engraved Galle signature, a Rue de la Paix, Paris, retailer’s label under its base, the early Twentieth Century vase, standing 8¼ inches high, went to an American dealer bidding by phone, who vied with 12 other phone bidders for the piece.
He asked that it be shipped immediately to Miami Beach, where he was setting up for a show, according to Green Valley Auctions president and senior auctioneer Jeffrey S. Evans. “We knew the vase would do well,” he said, “but both we and the Fenton [Art Glass Museum, the consigner] were pleasantly surprised at how well it did.”
Evans said he was pleased with the results of the sale, which came in slightly higher than last year’s winter auction. A big factor has been the growth of bidder participation via eBay Live over the past year in which Green Valley has offered it as an option. “In this auction, about 31 percent of the sales over the three days went through eBay Live,” he said. “We think that’s interesting and significant.”
Evans said that not only has eBay exposed his firm to new buyers, but that a good number of them are overseas. “We shipped items to Egypt, Malta, South America and the Netherlands for this sale, in addition to the usual participation from England, France and Germany,” he said. “And we have found that a lot of buyers are sending in absentee bids, and then ‘watching’ the auction on the Internet. That’s a new dimension.”
Items in the most recent sale included deaccessioned material from the Fenton Art Glass Co. Museum, most of it purchased by Frank Fenton between 1950 and the early 1970s, as well as from the Currier Museum of Art, the collection of Gerry and Molly Berghold of Winchester, Va., the collection of the late John W. Greenburg of Crawfordsville, Ind., a 40-year collection from Minnesota, a New York City collection, plus other collections from across North America.
The first cataloged session on Friday yielded an early highlight when a steer’s head covered dish of opaque white milk glass more than doubled its presale high estimate to sell for $3,955 to a private collector bidding in the gallery. On a swirled rib base, the piece made by Challinor, Taylor & Co. in the fourth quarter of the Nineteenth Century stood 5 inches high and featured striking nonoriginal applied eyes.
In the early American pressed glass category and stemming from the Fenton material, an early thumbprint cake stand also exceed its high estimate, realizing $1,074. The stand was an unusual form, indeed; the firm noted that it was the first time Green Valley had sold a cake stand in the pattern featuring the same base found on the spherical compote. The stand was made by Bakewell, Pears & Co. in the third quarter of the Nineteenth Century.
Other highlights included a heart with thumbprint ruby stained goblet, colorless, made in the fourth quarter of the Nineteenth Century, which finished at $1,582.
Colorful carnival glass brought the curtain down on the first day’s session, with a Poppy show plate in amethyst with a scalloped rim by Northwood Glass Co., first quarter of the Twentieth Century, making $1,017. “Most of the carnival glass went out at below estimate,” said Evans, “and pastel colors seemed especially soft. Still, this is a steady market and there is remains tremendous interest in carnival glass because people like to collect things they can find.”
Saturday morning’s glass offerings began with 80 lots of Greentown glass, highlighted by the $791 paid for a whimsical Greentown cat on a hamper in chocolate and on a base with scallop tab handle. It was an Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Co. piece made in the early Twentieth Century.
Exceptional pink color helped propel an inverted fan and feather water pitcher made by the Northwood Glass Co./ Dugan Glass Co. to $1,582.
One of Saturday’s additional highlights was a herringbone opalescent cruet in cranberry, a late Nineteenth/early Twentieth Century piece with colorless applied handle and facetted stopper that went out at $1,356. Also in the session of condiment containers, a Mount Washington fig sugar shaker ascended to $1,469. “Sugar shakers are still hot,” said Evans, who remembers the days when one could buy one for $11 and then sell it at auction for $20. “Of all the Victorian forms, these are still among the most highly collected,” he said.
A rare form chrysanthemum swirl bar bottle in cranberry opalescent from the late Nineteenth/early Twentieth Century stood 12 inches high and commanded $2,260.
Evans related a great story involving the hobnail library lamp petticoat shade that soared to $9,040, more than ten times its high presale estimate, in the kerosene lamp session. “The item came to us by photos, and the consigner hadn’t included the size, plus it had been photographed upside down,” said Evans. Initially not realizing that this particular shade †with a 16¼-inch diameter †was a specific form that requires a frame, he had assigned it a $500/800 estimate. Evans noted that both bidders vying for the shade possessed the necessary frame †and were willing to pay a premium price for the pink-to-dark rose shade.
Additional highlights from the Saturday session were an English cameo footed vase from the fourth quarter of the Nineteenth Century that came in at $3,673; a Mount Washington decorated peach blow no. 145 vase in the Lace Embroidery, Queen’s pattern that realized $6,215, largely due to its pristine condition; and a Mount Washington lava/Sicilian glass vase of virtually opaque black amethyst, circa 1878‱880, that finished at $4,803.
A standout among Sunday’s session of salt shakers was a pair of bulbous salt and pepper shakers in rainbow colors, probably European and from the Twentieth Century. They had come from the Fenton collection and sold for $3,390, more than five times the high presale estimate.
All prices reported include the 13 percent buyer’s premium. For information, www.greenvalleyauctions.com or 540-434-4260.
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