Collectors will want to give the succession of nearly 700 auction lots their full attention, as this is a sale whose level of quality is consistent throughout. The Wednesday session of decorative art and “smalls” contains an exceptional collection of 18th, 19th and 20th-century Wedgwood from the estate of Edgar “Ned” Simmons Jr. of Philadelphia. Most of the 50 pieces to be auctioned are Jasper dip, meaning they were created using a technique in which solid white forms are dipped into colored clay to impart particular colors or combinations of colors.
“We sold a portion of the Simmons estate a few years ago. The Jasperware was retained and stored at the Churchville, Pennsylvania home of Mr. Simmons’ parents, who are now deceased,” explained Stephenson’s owner, Cindy Stephenson. “It’s a very nice collection that includes some Jasper tri-color, some beautiful mini medallions and other Wedgwood.” Also from the Simmons estate comes some drabware, creamware and Lalique.
More than 70 lots of choice Indo-Persian silver – all from a single-owner collection – are entered in the opening session. Leading the gleaming array is an elegant 5-piece, .900-silver tea and coffee service decorated in heavy repousse style. Another top lot is a .900-silver centerpiece with liner signed “M. Tariliyan.” The Wednesday session also includes English and Chinese export silver.
If Santa wasn’t as generous as he should have been this Christmas, there will be many opportunities for gift-givers to make amends, starting with a superb 1920s platinum jabot pin resplendent with cabochon emeralds, pink sapphires, oval blue sapphires and 17 mine-cut diamonds. The brooch is expected to realize $4,000-$6,000. A gold pocket watch and many other pieces of fine jewelry, some of them late entries, will cross the auction block, as well.
A Manhattan estate was the source for some of the jewelry, furniture and art in the sale. It also produced a special luxury highlight for the ladies: several coveted Judith Leiber purses (rhinestone, faux-reptile, velvet, etc.), plus an 18in pearl necklace with jeweled clasp and pair of cased reading glasses, also by the revered New York designer.
The Thursday, January 2nd session will present a strong selection of art crossing many genres. There are two Edmund Coates (American, 1816-1871) Hudson River School pastorals that came from a Princeton, New Jersey estate. One of the paintings depicts ice skaters; the other is a landscape of the Lower Hudson River Valley showing farmers cutting wheat in a field.
A Philadelphia man who decided to deaccession some of the paintings in his vast collection selected several prized works for inclusion in Stephenson’s New Year’s Auction, knowing that the sale is a perennial drawcard for art buyers in the tri-state area. Within the grouping of 10 paintings he consigned is an appealing E.I. (Eanger Irving) Couse oil on canvas depicting a Native American with a patterned blanket in earth tones.
“Couse is a significant Taos school artist,” said Stephenson. “He was a founding member and first president of the Taos Society of Artists, and his work is highly sought after.”
A 1992 serigraph by noted pop artist Alex Katz (American, b. 1927-) is titled “Gray Day” is listed in the artist’s online catalogue raisonne. From an edition of 75, the work is appropriately presented in a modern floating frame.
The art section also includes five John Lear paintings, a Paul Gorka oil-on-canvas surrealist landscape, a David True mixed-media abstract, and a Jack Barnett oil on canvas of reclining nudes.
Also awaiting bidders are furniture – including fine inlaid designs from a Manhattan estate – clocks, lamps and a few hand-tied rugs. Of all the furnishings, the pieces that have drawn the most attention during the run-up to the sale have been the paint-decorated chests-of-drawers by Julia Gray Ltd. New York. “Every decorator who has walked into the gallery has gravitated to the pair immediately,” said Stephenson. “They’re from the 1960s or ’70s and have that stylish Hamptons look, with faux-marble tops and fancy paintwork.”
Another highlight from the aforementioned Princeton estate is a Handel floor lamp with reverse-painted shade. Of dome form, the shade is a mustard color with a black band and floral motif.
The auction is rounded out with primitives, stoneware crocks, Canton china, and a collection of World War II daggers and knives in sheaths.
Stephenson’s Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 1-2, 2014 New Year’s Auction will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern Time at the company’s gallery located at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton (Greater Philadelphia), PA 18966. Inspection is on Monday, Dec. 30 from 3-6 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 1-6 p.m.; and from 9-10 a.m. prior to the auction sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 1 and 2.
For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the fully illustrated online catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.liveauctioneers.com.
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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE