PITTSFIELD, Mass. – As temperatures warm up and spring blooms pop out, the action is also heating up at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. With spring being a perfect time for undertaking projects in and around the home, buyers can find plenty of decorating inspiration at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery at its sale on Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m. Eastern time. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
This auction will feature 350 lots of antiques and fine art, including American Victorian and figural carved furniture, 19th & 20th century lighting by Tiffany Studios, Duffner & Kimberly, Handel, Gorham, Unique, and J.A. Whaley; fine clocks and music boxes, paintings, Royal Vienna and KPM porcelains, gold and diamond jewelry, fine silver, art glass and cameo glass, bronze and marble statuary, and Black Forest items.
“Beautiful objects never go out of style and this auction is bursting at the seams with statement pieces from intricately carved furniture and finely detailed marble sculpture to luminous lamps and dazzling jewelry,” said John Fontaine, owner of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. “Buyers will find things here that will not only be a fine addition to their homes and have a strong design aesthetic but also bring them joy.”
Crossing the block early on will be a near life-size white Carrara marble sculpture ($50,000-$75,000), one of several artistic standouts in the sale. The sculpture depicts a nude sea nymph rising from the waves, raised on a large carved marble pedestal and it is signed “Galli” (Professor Fortunato Galli, late 19th century, Florence) on the back. The statue stands 64 inches tall.
About an hour later, another choice example of marble statuary will come in the form of a pair of C. Lapini (Italian, 1848-1893) hand carved marble sculptures ($12,000-$15,000) on tripartite green marble bases, both dated 1886. The left sculpture shows a man playing guitar and leaning on a tree stump, titled La Serenata); the right sculpture is a woman, with her left hand on her hip and holding a tambourine in the other, titled Ciociara. Each sculpture is marked “C. Lapini, Firenze 1886” on the base, the male figure stands 42 inches tall and the woman is 40 inches tall.
An unusual item represented in the sale will be of key interest to numismatists: a lot of 36 Mexican 50-peso gold coins ($30,000-$50,000). The front of each coin features a portrait of Winged Victory, a symbol for the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, and each coin weighs just over 1 troy ounce.
Ornate and elegant objects are distributed liberally throughout the auction, including a Lenzkirch gilt bronze mounted mahogany bracket clock on a matching pedestal ($30,000-$50,000). The clock has a 10-inch porcelain paneled dial with black Roman hour numerals, 5-minute numbers, gilt brass pierced decorated hands and a fancy hinged door bezel with convex crystal. The clock measures 33½ by 19½ by 11 inches and with the pedestal stands at a total height of 105 inches.
The parade of clocks across the block continues with a massive three-piece figural gilt bronze clock set ($10,000-$15,000) displaying an allegory of astronomy on its case with two putti figures seated on either side of the urn-form clock tower, one in a thinking pose and writing in a scroll, the other calculating measurements; and a Walter Durfee nine-tube grandfather clock ($12,000-$15,000) having a large brass dial with a silvered 12-inch chapter ring having applied gilt brass Arabic hour numbers, fancy scrolling gilt engraved center and spandrels, subdials for chime-silent and Westminster-Whittington and a nautical moon phase dial, 103 inches tall.
Fontaine’s is also known for period lighting and this auction will have the category well represented. Lighting highlights include a Duffner & Kimberly 26-inch Wisteria hanging lamp ($15,000-$25,000) with wisteria flowers in striated blue and white panels, having a 26-inch diameter shade; Pairpoint Puffy Appletree table lamp ($15,000-$25,000) with a 12-inch blown out closed top shade, 21 inches tall overall; and a signed Tiffany Studios doré bronze 10-light Lily lamp ($8,000-$12,000), 20¾ inches tall.
Fine art, of course, also will be abundant, led by an Edouard Leon Cortes (French, 1882-1969) oil on canvas titled Café De La Paix” ($12,000-$15,000), 18 by 13 inches (sight).
The jewelry and watch category will feature statement pieces, such as a Roberto Coin 18K gold bangle Nemo bracelet ($12,000-$15,000) in rose and white gold with diamonds, rubies with black enameling, from the Animalier Collection and a man’s Rolex 18K Yacht-Master watch ($8,000-$12,000) with a brushed blue dial and an 18K yellow gold “Oyster” case.
Furniture offerings in this sale lean toward the ornate and a Continental aesthetic such as an 18th century Portuguese carved rosewood bureau ($8,000-$12,000) having a paneled lid with four carved rocaille motifs in each corner above three drawers with rocaille motifs carved on each side, 44½ by 44 by 27 inches; and a French Empire-style marble top center table ($8,000-$12,000), late 19th century, having a 35-inch diameter green marble top with white striations atop a triangular base with three doré bronze standing robed women having their arms crossed, 32 inches tall.
Rounding out the auction will be an unusual Regina style 38 “Flat” upright, 12-disc, 5-cent coin- op music box ($8,000-$12,000) in an oak case with carved crest and retaining the original Regina decal at the top of the door frame, 69 by 25 by 21 inches; and with summer entertaining coming soon, a striking addition to the porch or sunroom would be a 19-piece Bar Harbor wicker set ($5,000-$7,500) in a two-tone green and red painted finish.
For details contact Fontaine’s Auction Gallery at 413-448-8922 and ask to speak with John Fontaine or email firstname.lastname@example.org.