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Late 19 th-century amberina tankard made by Libbey Cut Glass, estimated at $20,000-$25,000 at Woody Auction May 18.

1883 Amberina Tankard by Libbey Cut Glass leads our five lots to watch

1883 Amberina Tankard by Libbey Cut Glass

DOUGLASS, KS – The Saturday, May 18 sale of American and Brilliant Cut Glass at Woody Auction includes this remarkable amberina tankard made by Libbey Cut Glass in 1883.

Rated by the auction house as the finest piece of amberina glass it has ever offered for sale, it is pictured in Carl Fauster’s 1979 book Libbey Glass Since 1818, A Pictorial History and Collector’s Guide, and is thought to be the tankard of this type featured in the 1968 exhibition Libbey Glass: A Tradition of 150 Years 1818-1968, held at the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio. It is consigned from the estate of David Fuchshuber, a native of Fort Worth, Texas who was a fellow of the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. It carries an estimate of $20,000-$25,000.

Rankin-Bass ‘Punch and Judy’ Stage Set

Rankin-Bass set piece for ‘Punch and Judy,’ estimated at $1,000-$1,500 at Millea Bros. May 16.
Rankin-Bass set piece for ‘Punch and Judy,’ estimated at $1,000-$1,500 at Millea Bros. May 16.

BOONTON, NJ – Rankin-Bass created some of America’s most beloved holiday stop-motion animated specials of the 20th century, including the 1960s classics Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Little Drummer Boy, and Frosty the Snowman. In the early 1990s, Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass were searching for another winner in an adaptation of the centuries-old English puppet show, Punch and Judy.

Alas, the show never got beyond the planning stage, but this set piece for what would be the ‘booth’ survived in the collection of Olga and Arthur Rankin, who have consigned it with Millea Bros. as part of its three-day Select sale spanning Wednesday, May 15 to Friday, May 17. The unique and historic piece of Rankin-Bass memorabilia is modestly estimated at $1,000-$1,500.

Circa-1960 Bulgari Serpenti Bracelet Watch

Circa-1960 Serpenti bracelet watch by the Italian jeweler Bulgari, estimated at €40,000-€60,000 ($42,730-$64,100) at Adam’s Auctioneers on May 14.
Circa-1960 Serpenti bracelet watch by the Italian jeweler Bulgari, estimated at €40,000-€60,000 ($42,730-$64,100) at Adam’s Auctioneers on May 14.

DUBLIN – A classic enameled Bulgari Serpenti bracelet watch dating to circa 1960 will appear at Adam’s Auctioneers. The 18K gold, diamond, and purple, brown, black, and white enamel bracelet watch is estimated at €40,000-€60,000 ($42,730-$64,100) as part of a Tuesday, May 14 Fine Jewellery and Watches auction. 

Serpenti jewelry, which followed the launch of Bulgari’s signature gold Tubogas bracelets in the 1940s, was featured in Vogue and other fashion magazines on countless occasions in the Sixties. However, such was its expense that fewer than 100 pieces were actually produced across the decade. Most were made for Bulgari by the Valenza-based jewelry manufacturing company Carlo Illario e Filli. The key to their form and flexible memory was an internal white gold double spring kept in place by ingenious threaded gold pins.

The Serpenti bracelet watch offered by Adam’s is distinguished by the Vacheron & Constantin watch dial and movement concealed in the head of the snake. Other more common watch suppliers to Bulgari at the time were Movado and Jaeger-LeCoultre. The bracelet watch is accompanied by a certificate from Amanda Triossi, a Bulgari specialist and author, stating the bracelet was manufactured for and retailed by Bulgari in the 1960s and that the Vacheron Constantin watch is original to the bracelet. 

Lionel No. 773 Hudson Steam Locomotive and No. 2426W Whistle Tender

1950 Lionel no. 773 with no. 2426W whistle tender in original boxes, estimated at $500-$700 at Lloyd Ralston Gallery May 18.
1950 Lionel no. 773 with no. 2426W whistle tender in original boxes, estimated at $500-$700 at Lloyd Ralston Gallery May 18.

SHELTON, CT – Joshua Lionel Cowen (1877-1965) always chafed at the term ‘toy trains,’ and after 30 years of hearing it used to describe his Lionel electric train product line, he asked his chief engineer, Joe Bonnano, to do something about it. Bonnano developed a highly realistic, near-scale line of O gauge (1:48 proportion) trains that would become the most popular items Lionel sold in the pre-World War II period.

The jewel in the crown was 1937’s Lionel no. 700E New York Central J-1e Hudson steam locomotive, a workhorse that pulled some of the NYC’s top passenger trains. Lionel’s model was incredibly accurate, with hundreds of hand-applied detail parts that took days to assemble, compared to most toy products that could be built in a few hours. Highly prized, the top-dollar 700E would vanish from the line – as did its defeatured and far more affordable cousin, the no. 763 Hudson – as the war approached and Lionel retooled for military contracts.

After the war, fans clamored for the return of the Hudson, and so the no. 773 Hudson was born. Using the same boiler tooling but without all the hand-applied details, it was more of a revived 763 than a 700E. Buyers responded, and Lionel kept the 773 in the line for a number of years.

Lloyd Ralston Gallery brings a boxed 773 and 2426W whistle tender to market as part of its May Toy Train Sale on Saturday, May 18. In good condition, though the tender box is a bit tattered, the set is estimated at $500-$700 – a far cry from late-1990s prices, when 773s were commanding upwards of $3,000 – making this a very good opportunity to own a postwar classic for relative pocket change.

Qing Dynasty Kingfisher Feather and Gem-set Headdress

Qing dynasty kingfisher feather and gem-set headdress, estimated at $1,000-$1,500 at Oakridge Auction Gallery on May 19.
Qing dynasty kingfisher feather and gem-set headdress, estimated at $1,000-$1,500 at Oakridge Auction Gallery on May 19.

ASHBURN, VA – The art form known as tian-tsui, made using the electric blue feathers of the Eurasian kingfisher, reached its apotheosis in the Ming and Qing periods. Originally, tian-tsui crowns or feng guan were reserved for empresses and members of the royal household. However, by the late Qing period in the 19th century, it was common for feng guan to be worn either by a wealthy bride on her wedding day or by a woman with honorable rank on formal occasions. Most Qing examples are adorned with traditional motifs emblematic of good fortune.

This example is accentuated by carved floral and hanging details in tourmaline, citrine, jade, jadeite, pearl, and coral. It will be offered on Sunday, May 19, in the final session of the three-day auction devoted to Chinese works of art at Oakridge Auction Gallery from May 17-19. The late owner, who was from Rancho Mirage, California, had an antiques business in San Francisco with Asian art his primary focus.