PITTSFIELD, MASS. — Featuring a selection of 700 items, Fontaine’s Auction Gallery’s two-session auction, held on May 22 and also May 29, grossed $3 million. The auction boasted offerings from hot collecting categories ranging from paintings and silver to Tiffany Studios leaded glass lamps and windows.
“We were very excited to put together this auction that really resonated with bidders,” said John Fontaine, owner of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. “We saw one standout item after another perform well, usually above estimate, and we were very pleased with the results.”
The top lot of the auction was a leaded and stained glass window by Tiffany Studios, Sunset and Evening Star, circa 1910, which doubled its high estimate to achieve $139,150. A pair of leaded chunk jewel glass windows by John La Farge also did well, selling for $30,250. The circa 1880 windows had flowers, scrollwork and geometric panels.
Besides the Tiffany window, Tiffany Studios lamps — a staple at Fontaine’s auctions — caught buyers’ eyes. Standout lamps included a Moorish chandelier, circa 1905, with 16 shades, realized $48,400, and a 12-light Lily table lamp sold for $40,950.
Highlighting a fine selection of clocks was a monumental 1793 English carved oak tall case clock with a pair of 3-foot-tall putti at the base, which sold for $127,050. Another leader among clocks was a R.J. Horner & Co. grandfather clock, circa 1890, in carved mahogany, with a dial signed “Joseph Jennens, Skinner Street, Clerkenwell London.” It realized $63,525.
Even small items by Tiffany Studios routinely bring big prices, such as the circa-1918 Aquamarine paperweight that sold for $50,820.
Black Forest items are a crowd favorite at auctions, and a Black Forest carved dog umbrella stand earned $51,425, making it the top lot of the May 29 session. The piece is signed “Willi Staehli, Brienz” and stands 33in tall.
Several conservatively-estimated lots proved to be nice surprises, including a Louis Majorelle Art Nouveau walnut and fruitwood marquetry writing desk that more than tripled its high estimate to bring $12,705. Also handily outperforming their estimates were an early 20th century Louis Vuitton monogram steamer trunk, which sold for $28,435; a German porcelain plaque of three semi-nude women, signed Wagner, which realized $21,175; and a Carlo Mario Camusso sterling silver centerpiece, featuring a figure of a nude woman seated on a shell-form bowl, which sold for $10,500.
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