Published: October 17, 2000
Sculpture Headed for Scrap Heap Instead Brings $16,100 in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Weschler’s recent auction of Twentieth Century Decorative Works of Art was highlighted by the turnaround of a sculpture originally slated to be sold for scrap metal. The consignor wisely rescued the Edward McCartan bronze from an inglorious fate, transporting “Fountain Figure of a Nymph Drinking From a Shell” to the auction house and an ensuing bidding war that drove the piece to $16,100.
Specialists kept the estimate to a conservative $2/3,000 because of serious verdigris problems, but bidders on six phone lines and others in the gallery appeared unfazed by the condition, concentrating instead on the delicate Art Nouveau lines of the nymph. The piece sold to a local collector after keen competition from both the trade and other collectors.
Also strong was a Thomas Webb & Sons gem “ivory” cameo glass vase from a Virginia collection. The vase featured a Chinese-inspired design of jointed puppet figures within a lush landscape of exotic flowers. A local collector picked up the vase for $16,100, more than twice the pre-sale estimate. From the same collection a group of Burmese vases attributed to Webb realized $1,380, and a Wheeling Peach Blow Morgan vase brought $748.
Furniture form Gustav Stickley and George Nelson sold consistently well. A Gustav Stickley oak rocker, model 323, brought $2,500; an Arts and Crafts oak magazine stand, attributed to Gustav Stickley, brought $1,610. From the George Nelson “Thin Edge” series, a cabinet, circa 1955, brought $1,150; a pair of Thin Edge nightstands made $920; and a second larger cabinet brought $1,840.
Steuben glass, both clear and colored, proved popular with bidders. A Steuben clear glass “Day & Night” sculpture realized $1,495; a Carder Steuben intaglio-cut clear glass charger, which had been reputedly purchased by the consignor from the wife of the engraver, sold for $1,035, doubling the pre-sale estimate; and an apple green Cluthra vase brought $1,150, selling within estimate.
Tiffany lighting performed to expectations: a Tiffany Studios bronze and glass table lamp brought $2,300, and a Tiffany Studios floor lamp base also sold within estimate at $2,070.
In ceramics, a Rookwood vellum glaze landscape vase depicting a wooded landscape in shades of blue, green and pink realized a within-estimate $1,150. A Rozenburg glazed earthenware vase decorated with stylized frogs sold above estimate to bring $978.
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