Published: May 10, 2022
Review by Z.G. Burnett, Photos Courtesy Heritage Auctions
DALLAS – On April 28, Heritage Auctions conducted an auction almost exclusively focused on Twentieth Century art glass, with a few earlier exceptions, with more than 50 lots from the collection of Jeep and Carla Harned. The catalog of more than 300 listings included many pieces from Lalique and quite a few from Tiffany, as well as American and European makers. The Harned collection is joined by the property from an important private Chicago collection of American and European art, which boasts an exceptional assortment of Tiffany Studios Favrile glass. Many other lots were fresh-to-market and in great condition, always a draw with glass collectors of any denomination. The top lots represented not only the household names, but also individual fine artists. The sale totaled $1,655,206. The sell-through rate was 97 percent – both by value and by quantity.
Grover Cleveland “Jeep” Harned founded Music Centers Incorporated in 1955, eventually designing and manufacturing the highest-quality audio equipment available. Jeep and his wife Carla, who eventually settled in Durango, Colo., amassed one of the finest collections of art glass. Examples from this collection previously sold at auction have commanded high prices and cemented the Harned name as one to seek out in provenance.
The star of the sale was a Tiffany Studios leaded glass and gilt-bronze Drophead Dragonfly table lamp, made circa 1910. Originally in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum until it was deaccessioned and bought by the Harneds at Christie’s in 1986. The marigold stained glass lamp shade is dotted with red cabochons and terminated by diving green dragonflies. The shade is supported by a Queen Anne’s Lace gilt bronze base with delicate pierced casting. Estimated at $100/150,000, the lamp realized nearly double its high estimate at $275,000.
The second highest selling lot was claimed by an English maker, Thomas Webb and Sons’ Nesting Birds bottle attributed to George Woodall (1850-1925). Considered one of the best cameo glass cutters to work for the company, Woodall and his brother Thomas also designed many of the glass objects that he created. The flask is covered with intricately knotted branches and displays two finely rendered birds and their nest on the front face. The cameo flask exceeded its $30/50,000 estimate selling at $87,500.
Maurice Marinot (1882-1960) sniffed out the third highest price with an acid-etched and internally decorated glass perfume, circa 1922. Beginning his art career as a painter, Marinot became a major glass artist later in life. The perfume’s turquoise blue interior is streaked with brick red, the clear acid-etched exterior both distorting and highlighting the colors within. Marinot’s work rarely comes to auction, and this museum-quality piece performed at $57,500.
Other rare examples of the art form included three vases of Loetz glass, an Austrian maker known for Art Nouveau glass. The most prominent lot was a rare Phaenomen vase, noted for its size and the fact that its design is undocumented in the Loetz catalog, sold for $20,000. The other vases performed more modestly, a Titania form at $3,625 and an Orbulin at $1,375.
Provenance abounded in this sale, including the fourth highest lot, a monumental Art Deco vase by Jean Dunand (1877-1942) that was once owned by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) and sold at his Sotheby’s estate auction in 1988. Known as “dindanerie,” the vase is hand-hammered patinaed brass, decorated in inlaid silver with a leaf and vine motif. Another Dunand from the Warhol collection, a large gong, also sold for $20,000 in the auction. The vase collected $47,500 against an estimate of $15/25,000.
The fifth most expensive lot was “Polymnia” by Boris Lovet-Lorski (1894-1973), was also one of the few non-glass lots in the sale; a black marble sculpture of a stylized woman’s head and torso, which achieved $42,500. Samantha Robinson, consignment director for decorative arts and design, said that even though the focus is on glass in these auctions, Heritage always includes other media in these sales. “There’s always a demand for non-glass lots and we plan to expand more fully into other media soon,” Robinson said. “We’re excited to reposition our focus.”
The prices listed include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For more information, 214-528-3500 or www.ha.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm