Published: November 8, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Woody Auction
DOUGLASS, KAN. – Woody Auction has focused on selling Victorian antiques for more than 75 years. So when the collection of Victorian antiques, French cameo art glass and period American furniture that had been assembled by Ron Blessing over his lifetime came into its sale lineup, the company said it was honored to present one of the finest collections of Victorian antiques to be found. Every piece in the 312-lot auction was offered to the highest bidder without reserve in Part I of the Blessing estate collection on October 29, conducted online and live in the auction hall. The sale totaled $700,000 and because it was a no-reserve sale, it posted a “White Glove” sell-through. There were 958 bidders registered with online platforms, 24 phone bidders, 13 absentee bids and 50 bidder numbers given out in the gallery.
The top lot was a Galle lamp, which sold for $93,500. The circa 1920 French cameo art glass lamp, 30 by 20½ inches, featured a yellow ground with blue/amethyst cameo carved Japanese chrysanthemum overlay with butterfly highlights.
Blessing was a long-time resident of Kearney, Neb., and began collecting Victorian antiques many years ago. French cameo art glass became a passion and he consequently managed to acquire some of the most sought-after pieces in the United States.
Another Galle French cameo art glass vase from the turn of the century exhibited a beautiful ice blue ground with white cameo carved overlay featuring 16 seagulls in flight over ocean waves. The fine detail and pristine condition of the 14-by-11½-inch piece led to it selling within estimate for $38,500.
Daum Nancy French cameo art glass also found favor with a 5-by-5½-inch pillow vase, pink and green mottled ground with cameo carved relief of a wild floral scene featuring dandelions, clover and daisies vaulting past its $2/3,000 estimate to finish at $21,850. It still retained the original Paris jeweler’s label on its base.
Also by Daum Nancy and fetching $19,200 against its $3/6,000 estimate was a French cameo art glass boudoir lamp. Standing 7½ inches high, the lamp featured a white mottled ground with acid cut cameo relief with a Dutch winter scene.
A museum-quality two-piece urn signed Moser did well, selling for $17,000. Standing 38 inches tall, it was of rare yellow opaque art glass with extensive colorful enamel leaf décor and applied acorn highlights. The upper section featured a scene of two children.
Realizing that his Victorian antiques needed to be properly displayed in a suitable environment, Blessing started collecting furniture by makers such as R.J. Horner, A.J. Johnson, Meeks, Belter, Pottier & Stymus, Karpen, Phillip Kopp and Oriel. The sale offered a 12-piece dining set by R.J. Horner in the Oak Busted Lady pattern, a highly detailed set that included a china cabinet with four glass shelves, a buffet with beveled mirror, a sideboard, a dining table with three leaves capable of extending to 95½ inches in length and eight dining chairs. The most complete R.J. Horner dining set Woody Auction has had privilege of selling, it was bid to $18,700. And being a massive suite of furniture, the winning bidder had to pick it up in Kearney where it was located.
Equally plus-sized was the two-piece American walnut bedroom set in the Renaissance Tassel pattern. It had some condition issues. The crown piece on the dresser had fallen and had damage and the bed had various pieces that had come unglued and needed to be reattached. That did not deter bidders, who pushed it from a $3/4,000 estimate to a final price of $14,000.
A parlor table in American mahogany with marble top attracted attention. With carved cherub and female busts, and a wonderful center carved figure of cherub playing the mandolin, its fine detail caused it to shoot past its $2/4,000 expectation to land at $15,600. The 29½-by-47-by-34¼-inch piece was hefty, however, requiring the successful bidder to pick it up in person in Douglass.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. Part II and final sale of the Blessing collection promises to be no less compelling. It is set for March 18. Woody Auction’s next sale, its final cut glass of the year, will take place on November 12. For information, www.woodyauction.com or 316-747-2694.
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
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