PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Provenance and designer names carry weight when it comes to auctions and both always seem to be in generous supply at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. Its Jan. 18 was no exception with fine lamps by Tiffany taking the lead. Rare Pairpoint models came in a close second, taking six out of the top 10 places in the sale. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
“We had a very nice selection of Tiffany lamps that buyers really responded to, and the Pairpoint lamp collection from noted collectors Ed and Sheila Malakoff, also sparked buyers’ interest,” said John Fontaine, owner of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. “Many lots did better than expected, most selling over their estimates, which is more indicative of the overall strength and quality of the sale.”
From the Malakoff’s collection was a scarce Pairpoint Puffy “Owl” table lamp. The 21½-inch-tall lamp handily bested its $25,000-$40,000 estimate to realize $78,650. “This fine lamp is not only highly sought after for its detailed shade featuring a gray and white snow owl crouching on a branch, but its base, which Pairpoint custom-made only for its Owl shades, was one of the most unique Pairpoint created,” Fontaine said.
Leading the parade of Tiffany lamps across the block was the sale’s top lot, a Tiffany Studios “Peony Border” floor lamp that retained its large leaded glass shade in a vibrant band of pink and red peonies. The 77-inch-tall lamp sold for $151,250. A Tiffany Studios dichroic geometric table lamp with green mottled glass panels that change to fiery amber when lit earned $26,620. The latter had a 20-inch leaded glass shade signed on the inside rim, and topping a bronze twisted vine base, overall standing 27 inches tall.
The Owl lamp was but one of several fine Pairpoint lamps in the sale, like a rare Puffy “Orange Tree” table lamp that sold over its high estimate to make $33,880. The lamp was decorated with a 15-inch, reverse-painted blown-out shade featuring butterflies, leaves, oranges and orange blossoms against a background of green leaves and branches.
Another high point in the lighting category was a pair of six-arm bronze gasoliers attributed to Cornelius and Baker that went for $27,225, selling comfortably within estimate. The gasoliers have floral, filigree and draping designs and the bottom has six busts of women reaching out and holding up doves, 48 by 40½ inches. A Duffner & Kimberly No. 519 quatrefoil leaded lamp with an intricate leaded glass shade having deep amber hues and green scrolling foliate designs around the border, 23½ inches tall, sold over high estimate at $18,150.
While lamps and clocks are perennial favorites at Fontaine’s, buyers can always count on finding scarce and unusual items here too. A lavishly decorated Armenian bible with a silver repousse cover went well over its $3,000-$5,000 estimate to bring $48,400. Featuring hand-painted pages and bound in silver-beaded mesh, the bible portrayed Jesus on the cover with a cross above a skull and crossbones, with Mary and Joseph standing on either side of him.
Several fine paintings crossed the block, led by a signed Elliott Daingerfield (American, 1859-1932) oil on canvas, “Across the Pond,” that achieved $13,310 and a Leopold Carl Muller (German, 1834-1892) oil on canvas depicting a colorful and vibrant city square that took $12,100. Also highlighting fine art offerings was a bronze sculpture by Auguste Moreau (French, 1834-1917) that earned $8,167. The sculpture depicted a seminude woman wearing draping garments on her lower half and seated on a rock formation platform having birds and flowers, 33½ inches tall.
This auction offered several surprises including a set of 12 intaglio-cut amber glass goblets attracting 35 bids before finally selling for $6,655, well above the $600-$800 estimate; a pair of ornate leaded glass windows selling more than double its high estimate for $4,537; a Tiffany Studios Favrile glass decorated decanter, also going for more than twice its high estimate at $6,050, and a French Empire silk thread mantel clock that easily outperformed its $700-$900 estimate to bring $3,388.
Rounding out the auction were an animated porcelain and bronze clock showing a detailed fenced-in farm scene for $16,335 and a Van Cleef & Arpels 18K gold and diamond women’s watch, having a mother-of-pearl dial and Swiss movement, which made $9,075.
For details contact Fontaine’s Auction Gallery at 413-448-8922 or email@example.com.