Rago offers Fine Art Glass on Feb. 10
Lambertville, N.J. - In their extensive experience as auctioneers and dealers, Nicholas M. Dawes and David Rago have handled thousands of pieces of fine decorative arts, the majority from the 19 th and 20 th centuries. The property to be sold in their first Fine Art Glass auction, to be held on February 10 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, with live Internet bidding available through LiveAuctioneers.com, is no exception. The inspiration for most of the glass is deeply routed in the ancient world with 200 lots from private collections with many pieces offered for the first time in over 30 years.
Highlights include a collection of pâte-de-verre by two well-known artisans Almeric Walter (1859-1942) and Gabriel Argy-Rousseau (1885-1953). Pâte-de-verre was first made successfully in France in the 1870s as a revival of an ancient technique practiced in Egypt for the making of medallions and introduced to the French through exhibitions at the Louvre. Several pieces are offered including a beautiful pâte-de-verre covered box with a chestnut knop estimated $7,000-$9,000 and a 9” pate-de-verre covered cigarette box with two compartments. Also featured are several pieces by Gabriel Argy-Rousseau with an 8¼” pâte-de-cristal “Têtes de Lion” vase, the lip molded with six bosses carved with lion heads in shallow relief, c. 1925, estimated $15,000-$20,000, a pâte-de-verre veilleuse lamp patterned with three masks in bright coral colors with the original wrought-iron illuminating base, c. 1925; and a pâte-de-verre vase patterned with four naturalistic thistles on purplish ground, c. 1920.
Several other techniques of the art glass movement are a legacy of the ancient world, including the popular overlay or cameo technique practiced by English and French makers, most notably Emile Gallé. Gallé, together with Daum Freres and other makers from the French town of Nancy form the majority of another collection being offered. The wheel-carved pieces of Gallé are among the best examples of his work, finished to detail when the glass is cold, and made mostly from 1895 to 1904, the year Gallé died. Several pieces are offered including an artistic verre parlant floriform cameo 7½” vase decorated with orchids in blood red on orange-yellow ground becoming opalescent at the lip. This rare Gallé piece is engraved at the neck with the opening lines from Baudelaire’s Hymne a la Beaute from Les Fleurs du Mal. Also featured are French lamps by Daum including an Art Nouveau slender table lamp decorated with trumpet lilies in deep red shades on mottled pale yellow ground and an amazing cameo scenic table lamp by Muller Freres with a bullet-shade and slender form base, as well as works by Webb, Loetz and other British makers.
American Art Glass is well represented with works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Steuben, Kew Blas, Libbey and others. Extraordinary pieces by Tiffany Studios include an important aquamarine paperweight glass ornament depicting a single fish swimming against a background of a net and aquatic foliage in an aquamarine sea, estimated at $45,000-55,000; a carved overlay and internally decorated glass vase patterned with purple headed tulips with green leafage below a neck of scrolled lappets, estimated $20,000-39,000 as well as desirable desk lamps including a double turtleback lamp and a large table lamp with geometric shade of rectangular green glass on a fluted floral three-socket base with a bronze patina; favrile floriform vases, an unusual desk clock and some rare candlesticks.