DENVER, Pa. – In carrying on the legacy of James D. Julia, the venerable New England auction house it acquired last year, Morphy Auctions will present a Dec. 5-6 sale featuring exquisite fine and decorative art from the highest echelons of 19th- and early 20th-century American and European production. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Featured: Magnificent Tiffany lamps, Faberge, top-tier French cameo glass, very rare John Player Special variation of Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona wristwatch
Among the 1,539 lots to be auctioned over two days are exceptional rarities by Tiffany Studios, Daum Nancy, Galle, Martin Brothers, Thomas Webb, and many of their revered contemporaries. Paintings and other artworks are led by such widely collected artists as Jasper Cropsey and Alexander Calder, while the extensive fine jewelry section is topped by an 18K gold Rolex Daytona Ref 6241 “Paul Newman” wristwatch in the rare John Player Special black-and-gold color variation.
“This is a very substantial auction containing extraordinary collections of art glass, silver, lamps, and pottery from private collections and estates, both here in the United States and in France. There’s an amazing variety of makers, with price points to suit every level of collector,” said Mike Fredericks, Head of Morphy’s Fine & Decorative Arts department.
Shining brightly over the array of art glass are several very special Tiffany Studios lamps. One of them (shown at top), having a signed leaded-glass shade in the Poppy pattern with lush purple and maroon flowers against a mottled blue background, stands atop a signed, decorated bronze base. It is estimated at $120,000-$160,000. Another standout features a leaded-glass shade with an intricate pattern of gentian blossoms and a single band of emerald-green chunk “jewels” encircling the skirt. Similar to a book example (Tiffany Lamps and Metalware by Alastair Duncan), its estimate is $70,000-$90,000. Also not to be missed in the Tiffany lineup are a Dragonfly lamp with a very rare mosaic-tile base, $60,000-$80,000; and a lovely red and pink floral-pattern Peony lamp, $45,000-$60,000.
Other fine lamps include examples by Duffner & Kimberly, Handel and Wilkinson, but perhaps the most unusual of all entries is a 27-inch Daum table lamp with images of spread-winged bats carved into the shade. “Daum lighting is much harder to find than Daum vases,” Fredericks noted. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000
A magnificent Galle mold-blown Rhododendron lamp with matching shade and bulbous base is double-signed and similar to an example appearing in Galle Lamps by Duncan & de Bartha. A peerless expression of French cameo-glass artistry and one of the top-estimated lots in the lamp section, this important design could reach $100,000-$150,000.
Morphy’s gallery will also showcase the elegant palettes of Tiffany, Loetz, Galle and Daum Nancy cameo glass. The list of highlights is a long one. A Tiffany paperweight vase in the orange Nasturtium pattern is expected to make $15,000-$20,000. Nasturtiums also adorn a 9-3/4 inch Tiffany cameo vase estimated at $10,000-$15,000. A signed Daum Nancy vase with applied dragonflies (shown above) could reach $22,500-$26,500. The same maker’s large, beautifully decorated Swan vase is on target to achieve $3,000-$4,000. Other premier pieces include productions by La Verre Francais, Camille Faure (a rare Art Deco vase is estimated at $2,500-$4,000) and Lalique. Also, there are 60 unreserved lots of Schneider glass, plus American glass by Steuben, Quezel, and Mount Washington.
Those who follow Morphy’s sales in hopes of spotting rare Martin Brothers stoneware bird tobacco jars can double their collecting pleasure on December 5. The session includes a very scarce form that combines two individually signed birds, both with removable heads. The quirky duo is estimated at $65,000-$75,000.
Within the Thomas Webb cameo glass selection are several exquisitely rare figural perfumes in animal forms, primarily avians. A marvelous fish-shape perfume retains its original velvet-lined case and is estimated at $6,000-$9,000.
The session is replete with 140 lots of fine jewelry and luxury timepieces, none more attention-grabbing than the most coveted of all men’s Rolexes: the 18K gold Ref 6241 “Paul Newman” Daytona Chronograph. However the example in Morphy’s sale has the added distinction of a black dial with gold subdials, denoting a very rare variation known as the “John Player Special.” The suite of features corresponds with the black and gold brand colors of the John Player (UK) tobacco company’s 1970s-era Le Mans racer.
“It’s a one-owner watch that was manufactured in 1969 and purchased in Zurich on the Bahnhofstrasse – one of the world’s most exclusive shopping avenues – in 1970,” said Ron Ciarmello, Head of Morphy Auctions’ Watch Division. “Every Daytona watch bound for the United States had a three-letter export code stamped on its movement. This one does not, because it was not made for export. It remained in Switzerland, making it even more desirable to today’s collectors.” Auction estimate: $400,000-$800,000
There are many pieces of estate jewelry and luxe accessories in the sale, including signed examples by Tiffany & Co., and Tiffany/Jean Schlumberger. A rare and important Faberge gold-mounted guilloche enamel cigarette case by workmaster Henrik Wigstrom, St. Petersburg, 1908-1917, is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.
Day two will showcase fine art, antiques, silver and furniture, as well as Asian art and a sizable collection of antique canes and walking sticks. There are artworks by Alexander Calder (1970 watercolor Black Spiral, $25,000-$35,000) and Jasper Francis Cropsey (1868 oil on canvas Autumn in the Adirondacks, $25,000-$30,000); and a few very nice bronzes. One of only two known examples of a Pennsylvania dower chest decorated in an “Adam and Eve” motif, late 18th/early 19th century, has a $25,000-$30,000 estimate.
More than 150 lots of silver from various makers will add five-star shine to the decorative art section. A special highlight is the silver trophy collection from the estate of New Jersey businessman Ray Bentley, which includes an 1898 Tiffany sterling silver repousse three-handled cup, inscribed and lavishly decorated, and weighing approximately 163 troy ounces. Estimate: $20,000-$40,000
Morphy’s Dec. 5-6 Fine & Decorative Arts Auction will start at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on both days, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any lot in the auction, call toll-free 877-968-8880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.