Published: November 6, 2001
MOUNT CRAWFORD, VA. – Green Valley Auctions, Inc, held its annual Fall Auction of Early American Glass, Oil and Fluid Lamps September 27-29. More than 350 bid numbers were assigned. Reflecting the increased size of this year’s catalog, the number of absentee and phone bids were up as well, making for a competitive auction.
Along with other significant collections, the auction featured the collection of John and the late Elizabeth Welker, authors of the Pressed Glass in America: An Encyclopedia of the First Hundred Years, 1825-1925.
This year, lacy glass proved to be the category that elicited the highest bids. The top sale during Saturday’s cataloged session was a hairpin tray in the shape of a peacock, which reached $9,750 despite a rim chip with a 1/4-inch line. This rare piece sold on the phone to an advanced collector from the Mid-west after heated bidding with a member of the crowd.
A Princess Feather Medallion and Basket of Flowers covered dish also found two bidders who were willing to take the piece to $6,500. The piece did have minor roughness and chips, but the overall exceptional quality overcame these detractions.
Two rare Waffle and Thumbprint blown molded decanters in canary also enticed bidders. While this rare color was unrecorded until 1993, Green Valley offered two examples, with one reaching $6,250 before it was sold to the Corning Museum of Glass. The second example brought less, undoubtedly because of a few flakes, but still managed to bring $4,250.
Other rare pieces continue to hold their value as evidenced by the $6,000 price achieved by a Frosted Lion 7-inch milk pitcher, which sold to an advanced California collector who flew in for this piece.
Three Face hollow stem champagnes also appear to be maintaining their value at $5,000. The Corning Museum of Glass purchased this year’s example.
At the other end of the spectrum, Green Valley’ string of setting records with the Sandwich Vine goblet came to an end. The two examples in this year’s auction sold for $1,700 and $2,400 respectively, despite one being a previously unrecorded variation.
Other pieces that sold well in Saturday’s session included the Early Thumbprint ball form covered compote, which realized $3,700 despite chips and roughness, and a Heart in Sand-Ruby Stained five- piece water set that fetched $3,200.
Before the sale of this set auctioneer Jeffrey Evans announced that the consignor of the lot had expressed her wishes that the proceeds from this sale be donated to the United Way September 11th Fund.
Saturday’s sale of oil and fluid lamps included a Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. opaque blue Star and Punty three-light center girandole with matching single-light side sticks that reached $3,500 despite damage to two fonts and the absence of 12 prisms.
A pair of cased red to pink satin peg lamps with original shades ended at $1,800, while a fine example of a cornstarch blue Ripley Marriage lamp with clambroth fonts showing only minor chips and flakes realized $1,700.
Other lamp lots included a cut double overlay bellflower, rose to white to clear with only a small flake, $1,550, and an elongated loop finger lamp missing its handle curl in medium emerald green, $850.
Thursday witnessed the sale of more than 3,000 block lot goblets, the largest number ever sold by Green Valley Auctions, bringing prices ranging from $10 to $240. Friday’s offering included more than 2,500 pieces of glass that sold as table and tray lots and the voluminous library of reference books from the Welkers’ library.
The annual auction, which has become a yearly pilgrimage for many, topped $400,000 in sales. Evans reflected, “This sale produced numerous record highs for rdf_Descriptions in the upper three and lower four figure ranges. It’s good to see that scarce pieces in the middle market are finally gaining the respect that they deserve.”
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