Published: April 3, 2001
Teco Is Still Tops At Treadway/Toomey Decorative Arts Sale
By Don Johnson
OAK PARK, ILL. – When a Teco vase estimated to bring $10/20,000 sold for $69,000 at the February 11 Treadway/Toomey auction, the price was like a mirror reflecting a marketplace on the rebound.
“Teco ten years ago was really hot,” explained Don Treadway. Fueled primarily by West Coast clients, including Hollywood buyers, the market for Teco grew to a level that stymied all but the rich and famous. “Those prices were pretty staggering,” Treadway recalled.
At a Treadway/Toomey auction in December, a 12½ -inch Teco vase with four large open buttresses sold for $74,750, two and a half times its upper presale estimate. Later, a 14¾ -inch vase brought $33,350, and a jardiniere made $18,400. A vase in a low broad form with molded leaves sold for $9,200, more than three times the upper estimate, while one with an unusual organic design also realized $9,200, a record for the form.
Selling for $69,000, the 13½- inch Teco vase at the February auction continued the trend of strong prices. A rare and large form, it had a cutback design and four pierced handles. A couple of repaired chips weren’t enough to deter bidders.
Treadway was enthused by the boost in the market. “It’s starting to rev up again, I believe fueled by the more seasoned collection.” Unlike ten years ago, when West Coast buyers sat at the wheel, today’s prices are primarily being driven by a handful of buyers in Chicago.
Outside of Teco, a good mixture of other pottery did well throughout the day. “There was nothing that didn’t perform as it should,” Treadway noted. Grueby was led by a ten-inch sculpted vase in a mattee green glaze with applied daffodils and leaves, which sold for $13,800, well above its estimate. Prices dropped considerably from there and included a Fulper lamp with a ceramic base and shade with cutout geometric designs filled with leaded and stained glass, selling for $7,475. Covered in a metallic crystalline flambe glaze, the lamp was 16½- inches high with a 14-inch diameter shade. There was restoration to the base and shade.
A 12½- inch Pewabic vase in a broad, hand-thrown form with carved geometric designs and a green matte glaze made $4,025; 6¾- inch Newcomb College vase with a typical moss-and-moon landscape, $3,450; 16-inch Fulper vase in a cucumber crystalline glaze, nearly twice its upper estimate at $3,220; and an 11-inch Clifton vase in a banded form, green and khaki crystalline glaze, dated 1906 and artist signed, also rose above its upper estimate, selling for $1,380.
Arts & Crafts included an interesting mixture of American, English and Japanese furniture and accessories. The inclusion of Asian Arts & Crafts was a gamble, according to Treadway. Traditional Arts & Crafts buyers didn’t get too excited about the Asian goods, but some of Treadway/Toomey’s modern clients took a liking to the look.
Among the pieces garnering the most attention was a Japanese Dansu cabinet made of kiri cedar and having three doors and four drawers, original iron and copper hardware, 27½- inches high, 24½ -inches wide, that sold for $1,495.
A pair of Japanese Arts & Crafts wooden candlesticks, pegged construction, 24-inches high, brought $1,092.50, as did a three-drawer cabinet with vertical slabs on the ends, resembling a small bench, 12½- inches high, 33-inches long. The variety ranged from a hammered-copper bowl with spoon at $126.50 to a sake container made out of a gourd, 15½ -inches high, at $373.75.
English Arts & Crafts furniture was led by a table with a long, rectangular top over splayed legs and an arched apron, shoe-foot base, signed Heal and Son Lmt. W. London, that bought nearly three times its upper estimate, selling for $8,625. The refinished piece measured 31-inches high, 76-inches wide and 30-inches deep.
Among the American Arts & Crafts, a Limbert bookcase, #327, sold for $19,550. It featured a wide overhanging top, single door with three small panes over one large pane, inlaid copper and pewter design, original finish but with some restoration, and was 50-inches high by 37-inches wide.
A Gustav Stickley chest of drawers, $913, Harvey Ellis influenced, having three rows of two short drawers over three long drawers, arched toe board, original finish with restoration to the back, realized $12,650. A Gustav Stickley bookcase, $544, two doors with 16 panes each, original finish, some restoration to the back, one pane cracked, 56-inches high, 62-inches wide, made $11,500.
An L&JG Stickley settle, #281, even-arm form with 16 slats across the back and five under each arm, recovered original spring cushion, original finish, had strong competition to $12,650. A set of six L&JG Stickley dining room chairs, #304, each with eight vertical spindles over a recovered seat, refinished, some with a Handcraft decal, were well above estimate, selling for $9,200.
Also bringing $9,200 was an L&JG Stickley cellarette, #23, with two doors having copper strap hinges and a pullout copper tray. An L&JG Stickley office desk, similar to #612, having three drawers in each pedestal, a drawer over the kneehole compartment, and a gallery of eight drawers, refinished, was $7,475.
A Frank Lloyd Wright cabinet, made by Heritage Henredon, an unusual configuration with two stacking cabinets, each with two doors having an applied concentric square design, set on a cradle base, original finish, 44-inches high, 34-inches wide, made $8,625. A Limbert sideboard, #451½ , having a mirrored back and shelf, six drawers and two doors refinished, was $5,462.50.
Arts & Crafts lighting included a Dirk Van Erp table lamp, hammered copper with replaced mica, at $9,200, while a second Dirk Van Erp lamp, also hammered copper with replaced mica, was $8,050. A pair of E.T. Hurley candelabras, bronze with three candleholders each, brown and green patina, 15-inches high, sold for $1,725.
Other lighting included a Tiffany Studios lamp base, the glass body having bronze mountings, 14½ -inches high, 10½- inches diameter at the shoulders, that sold for $20,700. An L.C. Tiffany vase, agate technique in yellow, gray and green against a light green ground, facetted sides, 7½- inches high, realized $8,050, while a three-handled Loetz vase with oil spot and pulled decorations in blue, rose, gold and purple against a yellow ground, nine inches high, was $9,200.
The Art Nouveau line continued with a Harriet Frishmuth sculpture of a female nude with her left hand stretched overhead, that brought $11,500. On a marble base, the 20-inch sculpture had a 1918 copyright date.
The session of American and European paintings and prints was led at $24,150 by a Marie Laurencin (French, 1885-1956) watercolor on paper of two young women. Circa 1920, the work was 10 by 13-inches. Bringing $21,850 was “Duck Hunting” by John Martin Tracy (American, 1844-1892). Circa 1885 and in its original ornate frame, the 34-by 45-inch oil on canvas showed two spaniels watching ducks in flight.
Three paintings brought $18,400 apiece – “Woman in Fancy Dress” by Guglielmo Zocchi (Italian, born 1874), circa, 1900, 26 by 16-inches, in its original ornate frame; “Haitian Market” by William Eduoard Scott (American, 1884-1964), circa 1920, oil on board, 16 by 20-inches; and “White Peacocks” by Jessie Arms Botke (American, born 1883), circa 1920, oil on canvas, 24 by 20-inches.
Leading into the session of 1950s, Modern and Art Deco, “Abstract Composition” By Seymour Fogel (American, born 1911), circa 1950, a 30 by 36-inch oil on canvas, brought $5,750, well above its upper estimate.
The top lot among the modern furniture was a Charles and Ray Eames ESU 400 cabinet that realized $12,650. Made by Herman Miller, first series, its original lacquered Masonite panels were in black, white, gray and tan, with replaced dimpled wood sliding doors at top. Other Eames furniture included an ESU desk, second series, walnut top over red, white, yellow and blue panels with canvas webbing, some restoration, 46-inches high, 116-inches wide, $4,312.50; and a DTW dining table, rectangular birch top over four molded plywood legs, 54 by 34-inches, was $2,875.
A 1950s tiered coffee table in the style of T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings’ Mesa table, three separate pieces in mahogany veneer, 57-inches wide, 46-inches deep, brought $4,887.50, more than three times its estimate. An Edward Wormley desk by Dunbar, rosewood top over two chrome-plated plinth bases, three drawers, 96-inches wide, one chip, was strong to $4,025. A pair of Norman Cherner armchairs by Plycraft, walnut with bentwood arms, frame and seat, topped at $2,875.
All prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium. Treadway/Toomey Galleries auctions are held by Treadway Gallery of Cincinnati in association with the John Toomey Gallery of Oak Park, Ill. The next auction is May 6. For information, 513-321-6742.
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