Published: June 28, 2016
Review by Rick Russack, Photos Courtesy James D. Julia, Inc
FAIRFIELD, MAINE — There were about 60 Tiffany lamps, more than 40 Handel lamps, nearly 50 Pairpoint lamps and a wide variety of art glass that combined with silver and jewelry to produce a $2.5 million sale at James D. Julia’s on June 16–17.
Unreserved collections of Wedgwood’s Fairyland Lustre, Mount Washington Royal Flemish glass and many of the lamps and other groupings of art glass were also sold without reserves, as was some of the silver. Glass by Tiffany, Steuben, Quezal, Loetz, Daum Nancy and Galle did well. Although some was passed, furniture by Galle and other Art Nouveau makers sold, as did paperweights.
The two-day sale started with about 160 lots of fine jewelry, followed by some exceptional silver. Numerous phone lines were in use throughout, internet bidding was available and there were dozens of absentee bids. Julia’s sales are fast paced, interspersed with some Down East humor, and more than 600 lots were sold each day.
The first day started off with 200-plus lots of jewelry, watches and silver. Leading the watch category, selling for $10,665, was a man’s 18K Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control Grande Memovox. It had a perpetual calendar, date, month, and moonphase dials, two-digit year indicator, centered sweep seconds hand and came with its original box, papers and screwdriver. Two ladies watches each sold for $4,148. One was a precision Rolex with an 18K gold woven strap and the other was a Jaeger LeCoultre Gran Sport Reverso Duo stainless steel example.
Diamonds, apparently, are still a girl’s best friend. A platinum Cape diamond ring with a yellow diamond weighing approximately 5.15 carats, set in a pierced mount with additional diamonds, brought $20,145. A 2½-carat emerald-cut diamond solitaire, set in a 14K white gold ring, finished at $8,295, while a Bulgari 18K sapphire and diamond necklace, stamped “Bulgari” sold for $7,110. Other pieces also drew strong bidding with a phone bidder taking a Cartier jade and enamel 18K yellow gold compact for $11,850.
About 60 lots of silver followed the jewelry and the most sought-after lot was a Reed & Barton Francis I pattern sterling service set. Weighing 363 troy ounces (minus the weighted candlesticks), the set included a tray, tea set, coffee pot, candlesticks, a footed compote and more. It realized $11,258. A Georg Jensen flatware service for 12 but missing a few pieces, in the Acadia/Block pattern, weighing 102 troy ounces, reached $3,259. A Kirk & Son five-piece sterling coffee service in the Baltimore Rose pattern had ivory insulators. Julia has a clearly stated policy on ivory, and items containing ivory, which is printed in the front of their catalogs. The catalog entry for this coffee service called attention to that fact and instructed interested bidders to read the “ivory position statement.” The set sold for $2,311.
Following the silver, came about 25 pieces of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre; all but four lots sold. The first ten lots were unreserved and these pieces did well, with a miniature malfrey pot earning $10,665. It was decorated with the Elves and Bell Branch pattern and was only 3¾ inches tall. Signed with Wedgwood’s Portland vase mark, four phone bidders competed for it.
The highest price of the Fairyland Lustre offerings was $14,220 for a 10-inch malfrey pot decorated with the Sycamore Tree pattern. Decorated on the interior, it had the Portland vase mark and had been illustrated in the book Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre by Una des Fontaines. Although some copies of this book are priced as high as $500, there are three listed now on Amazon for less than $95.
Getting the glass and lamps started was an outstanding, deep red, 12-inch-tall Webb cameo vase, intricately carved with white flowers, stems and leaves and with a mosquito flying between the floral designs. It sold, well over estimate, at $33,180. Also selling well was a pair of Webb ivory cameo vases. Each was 8¾ inches tall with overall floral designs and the pair fetched $7,110.
Mr and Mrs Dean Ballard collected Mount Washington Royal Flemish glass for more than 25 years and Jackie Ballard decided to sell part of their collection, without reserve. She told Antiques and The Arts Weekly, “My husband died about two years ago and the glass I’m selling today was in our Maine home. It’s my first time selling at auction and I decided to give it a try. My husband and I bought some of our pieces here at Julia’s and I felt comfortable dealing with them.” After the sale, she said that while she had hoped the glass would bring more money, she was “quite satisfied” with the way Julia’s handled the consignment.
There were close to 100 Pairpoint and Handel lamps in the sale. While some were passed, a Handel lamp with a reverse painted scene of a mountain woodland and stream, signed on the shade and base, achieved $35,550. Another reverse painted lamp, this one in the Treasure Island design with a sailing ship under a full moon, signed by the artist, Runge, finished at $10,369. A Handel metal overlay cattail table lamp with eight panels, each overlaid with metal, sold for $8,888.
Some prices for Pairpoint lamps were softer than in the past, but premier examples did well A puffy Rose Banquet table lamp with red and pink roses, signed on the shade and base, achieved $9,480. A Puffy double boudoir lamp, with matching shades decorated with flowers and butterflies, reached $4,740. A Pairpoint painted floral lamp, with heavily enameled pink, yellow and green dogwood flowers, realized $5,036.
The second day of the sale began with Tiffany lamps and glass. Again, some were passed while some did quite well. A leaded glass table lamp, with a Geranium pattern shade, led the category and was the highest grossing item in the two-day sale. Signed on the shade and the base, with a pierced slip cap, the lamp earned $94,800. A pair of 64-inch-tall Tiffany Studios torchieres, with 12½-inch-tall shades, achieved $29,625. Each was signed on the base and shade. Numerous pieces of Tiffany glass sold, led by a large paperweight vase. At 10½ inches tall and 10 inches wide, it sold for $9,480 even though it had a crack and some scratches. A blue Favrile classically shaped vase, 9 inches tall with a flaring body, reached $5,925.
Interest in Loetz and French glass was strong, with many pieces exceeding the high estimates. An outstanding signed Loetz Secessionist decorated vase, 135/8 inches tall, realized $9,480. A Loetz silver-overlay Medici pattern vase, with blue, purple and green designs against a light green background, finished at $4,444, and a signed Loetz Cytisus decorated vase, 6 inches tall, fetched $4,148.
Signed French glass by Galle, Daum Nancy, Lalique and G. Argy Rousseau found numerous willing bidders. A Daum Nancy cameo and enameled lamp, with a desirable rain scene, realized $23,700. The cameo rain drops extended around the shade and base, as though blown by the wind. A 19¼-inch tall Birch Tree vase by Daum, decorated with cameo and enameled birch trees from base to rim, achieved $11,850. A Daum wheel-carved cameo Poppy vase had rich, green leaves with purple and orange poppy flowers. At 12¾ inches tall, it brought $11,850.
Several pieces of Galle also exceeded estimates. A four-color lamp, with detailed floral designs on the shade and base, earned $47,400, and a Penguin vase with flattened front and back panels depicting penguins and icebergs on both sides reached $46,689. Two mold blown pieces each finished at $11,850. One had blue and purple plums surrounded by brown and purple leaves, while the other was decorated with cherries along with leaves and stems. A pate de verre poppies vase by G. Argy Rousseau, with three orange poppies, realized $11,257. An ivy footed bowl by the same maker earned $9,480.
After the sale, Jim Julia discussed with Antiques and The Arts Weekly two customer service features, one for buyers and one for sellers, that, he believes, sets his company apart. “We’re one of the very few auction houses that guarantees our catalog descriptions. Our descriptions carry a limited guarantee that protects a buyer against major discrepancies that would have a major impact on the value of an item. That guarantee covers authenticity and restorations or repairs not described. We also guarantee against fakes and reproductions. Buyers have 45 days to contact us if there’s a problem. And for sellers of high-value items, we offer a seller’s commission of zero. All our ads emphasize that and our catalogs include that offer. That makes us a great place for sellers thinking about consigning things to auction and it really helped us attract high quality merchandise when the economy turned soft in 2008.”
After the sale, Mike Fredericks, the division head for lamps, glass and jewelry, told Antiques and The Arts Weekly that the $2.5 million gross was the second or third highest that the division ever had. “There were very strong prices in almost every category. We try to have material to interest a wide range of buyers. Sometimes one category, say Tiffany, may be weak, while another category, say French cameo glass, is strong. The market is unpredictable these days. I was glad to see a piece of Webb cameo do as well as it did. That category has been soft lately, but this was an outstanding piece and the buyers responded to it. We’re getting calls on some of the lots that were passed at the sale. Some have already sold and I’m pretty sure that more will sell, so that gross number will be higher when all is said and done.”
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, www.jamesdjulia.com or 207-453-7125.
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