Published: October 30, 2018
Review and Onsite Photos by Tania Kirkman
MOUNT CRAWFORD, VA. – Nestled in the idyllic countryside of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates recently conducted its annual fall antiques, fine & decorative arts auction on October 12-13.
With more than 1,450 lots, this two-session sale featuring several notable estates and collections was well attended by bidders, both in person and through online bidding platforms. “This was, across the board, one of our strongest sales,” said Will Kimbrough, vice president and department head of Americana, fine and decorative arts. “The overall excitement and strong sales results reflect the freshness and high quality of the merchandize offered.”
A superb grouping of American and European art glass, clocks, watches and decorations were sold as part one of the estate collection of Dr William A. Litle of Garden Grove, Calif. Litle’s discerning eye and meticulous attention to detail showed in his collection, from the rare and unusual items he accumulated to the condition and quality of every single piece he purchased.
Another distinctive collection in this sale was a group of more than 300 miniature and fairy glass lamps from the Barbara and Moe Tourison collection of Concord, Mass. Local collectors were in attendance, but buyers also traveled from the Midwest and points beyond for the sale. A pair of siblings who flew in from Texas are third-generation miniature lamp collectors and were happy to add to the collection their grandmother had started in the 1930s.
The top lot was a black and white abstract etching “Eau-Forte XIII” by Pierre Soulages, 1957, from the estate of Dr Eugene Poutasse of Wintergreen, Va. With an estimate of $3/5,000, competitive bidding took off, and the work eventually sold to an international online buyer at $15,210.
Headlining Friday’s sale was the Tourison lighting collection, with highlights such as a decorated cased satin glass lamp that tripled its estimate when it sold for $5,377; a blue panel optic lamp for $3,465; and an opaque art glass lamp for $2,987. An audience favorite was a jeweled bisque fairy/nursery lamp with an embossed cat. Estimated at $50/100, heated bidding raised the price until a buyer on the floor eventually succeeded at $1,434. Upon closing the lot, president and senior auctioneer Jeffrey Evans, who is particularly fond of cats, remarked “…and that just proves that cats rock!” Laughs, and nods of agreement, came from the crowd.
Several pieces of art glass also stood out. A Mount Washington Royal Flemish water pitcher decorated with fish and shells, circa 1885, was the top lot in Friday’s session. It had an active bank of four phone bidders, together with absentee, online and floor bids. Competition for this piece ended when it ultimately sold to a bidder in the room at $9,560. A plated Amberina cased glass water pitcher went for $6,572 to a buyer on the phone; a Tiffany millefiori vase, $3,346; and a Daum Nancy floral cameo pillow vase, $2,748.
Friday closed with nearly 200 lots of antique and contemporary glass paperweights. A rare antique Benjamin Franklin sulphide furniture knob, deaccessioned by the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., sold for $2,509; and an antique Sandwich glass Poinsettia lampwork and millefiori paperweight, circa 1870-87, from the Ellen O’Brien collection of Sarasota, Fla., realized $1,673.
The second session of the sale kicked off Saturday with an excited and attentive crowd, and led with the Litle collection of pocket watches, timepieces and match safes. An assemblage of decorative arts complemented the remainder of the sale, featuring rugs, lighting and furniture; paintings, prints and sculpture; art pottery and Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century ceramics; a grouping of Mettlach steins; more than 600 pieces of Staffordshire and Flow Blue; silver and jewelry.
A Waltham 18K tri-color gold 21-jewel pocket watch depicting horses set with ruby and diamond eyes, one of approximately 300 made, was the first lot of the day, selling for $7,605. A similar Waltham 14K tri-color gold 23-jewel pocket watch with horses, circa 1908, realized $5,265; an 18K gold Tiffany & Co. chronometer made $7,605; a gilt and enamel Swiss Edouard Juvet watch finished at $4,972; and a circa 1910 Tiffany & Co. sterling silver carriage clock went out at $4,972.
Jewelry had several prominent highlights. A vintage David Webb 18K yellow gold and diamond brooch from a Shenandoah Valley family sold for $4,680; a vintage 18K bracelet with semiprecious stones from a Tennessee estate collection brought $4,387; and an Art Deco filigree platinum and diamond ring from Isabel Stark Cole, whose Missouri family invented Golden Delicious apples, at $4,095. Leading the silver section was a Stieff Rose pattern repoussé five-piece coffee and tea service, circa 1917, that made $3,276.
Art pottery included some strong examples by prominent makers and desirable decorators. A Roberta Kennon Newcomb College vase with geometric design sold for $5,265, five times its high estimate; a Marblehead Pottery cylindrical vase with column and vine motif brought $4,680, the same price as a Hennessey & Tutt Marblehead Pottery vase with stippled grey ground.
Saturday’s sale had a few surprises. An assembled group of German porcelain demitasse cup and saucer sets deaccessioned from the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center of Pennsburg, Penn., sold for $5,850, while an American coin silver punch strainer and salt spoon, late Eighteenth to early Nineteenth Century, bearing marks for Andrew Ellicott Warner of Baltimore, Md., from Maxime and the late Grymes Heneberger of Harrisonburg, Va., sold for $2,925.
A Handel Egyptian revival-style leaded glass table lamp topped the decorative arts portion of the sale, selling for $4,095 against an $800-$1,200 estimate. A set of French Louis XV-style ormolu mounted mahogany furniture, from the estate of Lee S. Cochran of Staunton, Va., was especially eye-catching and sold in three lots, with the pair of beds, a chiffonier chest and pair of side chairs selling for a combined total of $3,615.
Property in the fine art category spanned from traditional to modern. A Nineteenth Century Old Master-style portrait of a lady, ex-collection of West Virginia Governor William MacCorkle (1857-1930) sold for more than ten times its high estimate to reach $3,510; a Nineteenth Century standing bronze of a man by Charles Octave Levy closed at $1,872; and a contemporary surrealist painting by Russian American artist Oleg Zhivetin made $1,404. The top seller from a group of Louis Icart etchings from the Litle estate sold for $1,111.
This specialized sale with quality property from lifelong collections yielded fantastic results. Bidding was strong right out of the gate and continued throughout the duration of the two-day auction. “This sale generated robust interest across the board, from bidders near and far. Levels of online participation in this auction continue to expand dramatically for us – a real indication that there is increased market demand for a diverse range of art and antiques,” said Kimbrough, speaking after the sale.
Auctions in November include an important single-owner sale of Nineteenth Century American glass and lighting from the collection of the late Alvina Breckel and the 35th semiannual Americana and fine antiques auction. Part II of the William Litle estate will be offered next year.
All prices given include buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
For additional information, www.jeffreysevans.com or 540-434-3939.
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