Published: November 5, 2019
LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – At Rago’s October 18-19 Remix auctions, which were broken up into two sections, high prices reigned. In the American, English and Continental silver category, the final price of all lots sold, with premium, was $425,844; in the Classic and Contemporary sale, the total prices realized were $883,813.
Highlights in the silver auction were led by a Tiffany & Co., sterling silver water pitcher in the Indian taste chased with six rosettes and an elephant head handle. The circa 1874 9½-inch pitcher came to the block with a $6/9,000 estimate, but bids poured in and the pitcher from a private Canadian collection sold at $25,000.
This elephant-handled water pitcher relates to a group of Indian-inspired pieces that were produced in the United States by Tiffany & Co. around 1874, which included a centerpiece bowl that sold at Rago earlier this year (April 14). The design is thought to be of James H. Whitehouse and Eugene Soligny.
Leading both days was a pair of Christofle candelabra that sold for $87,500. With the assistance of Christofle in cataloging this lot, Rago determined the 30-by-15-inch gilt, silvered and patinated bronze ten-light candelabra in the Japonism taste, decorated with flowers of cognassier and pinecones, was attributed to designer Emile Reiber (1826-1893), France, 1876-77. The pair was marked “Christofle & Cie” on shoulder and “953696” and “953697” on underside.
Coming up with a modest $2/4,000 estimate, an unmarked Paavo Tynell-style chandelier attracted serious bidding. The 41-by-32-inch brass, enameled brass, four-light chandelier, Finland, 1950s, was clearly thought by bidders to be by Paavo Tynell (1890-1973) when it sold at $32,500. Tynell, an industrial designer, was known as the great pioneer of Finnish lighting design and fondly dubbed as “the man who illuminated Finland.” Tyne was one of the founders and chief designers of Taito Oy – the first industrial producer of lighting fixtures in Finland. Today Paavo Tynell lamps and lighting are highly sought-after by an international clientele of collectors.
Other silver lots of interest included a Tiffany & Co. sterling silver ewer in the Roman pattern with putto handle, circa 1891-1902, from a private Canadian collection, that sold at $12,500.
The magic number for several lots was $8,125. The lots were: a pair of Tiffany & Co., sterling silver candelabra, each of the detachable five-light branches with chased floral decoration; a Tiffany & Co., silver tea and coffee service in the Indian motif included a kettle-on-stand, teapot, cream jug, covered sugar bowl and waste bowl. The circa 1879 set, from the same Canadian collection, was marked “3650/1635”; the third silver lot to bring $8,125 was a Gorham sterling silver tea and coffee service with seven pieces: coffee pot, teapot, kettle-on-stand, cream jug, covered sugar bowl, and waste bowl with matching serving tray – the set 1918 and the tray 1932; and a Tiffany & Co., sterling silver flask in the Japanese taste with grasshopper and bee on the hammered surface, came to the block with a $3/5,000 estimate but strong bidding sent it to $8,125, also.
Rounding out the mix of two auctions, a rare Chinese gilt-bronze figure of Maitreya, a seated bodhisattva with remnants of polychrome paint decoration, mid-Fifteenth Century, 15½ inches high, sold at $16,250.
Coming as a surprise, a Chinese Hu-form porcelain vase, olive green crackle glaze with two squared handles on a carved wood stand, Eighteenth Century, was offered with an estimate of $600/800. Many bidders drove the price ten-fold when the vase with provenance to the estate of Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, sold for $15,000.
An Art Deco-style chandelier, Twentieth Century, of cast glass and polished nickel over brass, with an eight-light armature, sold at $11,250 – well beyond its $1,2/1,600 estimate.
Prices, with buyer’s premium, as reported by the auction house. For further information, www.ragoarts.com or 609-397-9374.
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