Published: April 25, 2023
Review by Z.G. Burnett, Images Courtesy Lewis & Maese Auctions
HOUSTON, TEXAS – The Lewis & Maese Auction Company conducted its Traditional Fine Art & Antiques Auction, offering 600 lots of decorative arts, fine art and jewelry. The top lots brought famous makers and names, with a few anonymous examples of luxurious, high-quality craftsmanship. Bidders participated from as far as New York City and California, as well as close to home. The sale total was $308,000.
Lighting showed the way in this sale, shining from the ceiling to the floor. From the top was a monumental brass-mounted glass chandelier in the Empire style which led the sale at $11,685. Although the chandelier was not marked, it pulled ahead of the second highest and more prestigious lot, a Damascene floor lamp from Tiffany Studios. Made circa 1900, both the Favrile glass Damascene shade and the bronze Harp base were both signed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Looking as though it was going to walk away on its leaf-shaped feet, the floor lamp sold for $9,840.
Third in the sale was the highest selling work of fine art, a bronze sculpture by Ferdinand Parpan (French, 1902-2004). Beginning his career as an engraver, Parpan was influenced by the Art Deco sculptor Dardé and transitioned to carving in wood and stone. He showed at many of Paris’ prestigious salons following his service in World War II and the city’s liberation in 1944, as well as in international exhibitions, later becoming chairman of the Salon des Indépendants in 1950. This example of his work, titled “Mother and Child,” was bid to $8,610.
The only painting to reach the upper lots was an oil on canvas listed as after John Constable (1776-1837). The Eighteenth Century Italian landscape was characteristic of Constable’s Romantic scenes, showing a rustic home with two children in the foreground who seem to be starting a small fire, surrounded by brush and goats. The painting’s frame showed a plaque attributing the painting to Constable; as the frame and plaque are later than the painting, Lewis & Maese erred on the side of caution for attribution. Nonetheless, the painting realized $5,535.
One of the largest furniture pieces to sell was a Nineteenth Century Georgian mahogany table, including a double pedestal and one removeable leaf that achieved $8,160. It was 10 feet long with the leaf, 8 feet long without, and was made to seat 10 people. Following this in price was a 225-piece sterling silver flatware set from S. Kirk & Son, Baltimore, Md., that was bid to $7,380. Founded by Samuel Kirk (1793-1872), the firm is best known for introducing repoussé silver to the United States. Kirk designed and produced the flatware service for President James Monroe’s daughter’s wedding and a 48-piece set for the USS Maryland, showing scenes from the state’s history. An Eighteenth Century sideboard with a painted faux marble top also did well for $5,228.
Two Meissen porcelain parrots far exceeded their $300/600 estimate, selling for $3,998. According to the maker’s mark, the parrots appear to have been made between 1814 and 1924, which most likely contributed to the final result.
Prices quoted with buyer’s premium as reported by the auction. Lewis & Maese’s Online ManCave Auction will be conducted on May 7; previews will be given from May 4 to May 6. For more information, www.lmauctionco.com or 713-597-8726.
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