WOLCOTTVILLE, Ind. – Strawser Auction Group will hold the first of three sales dedicated to the outstanding majolica collection of Ed Flower (1929-2022) and his wife Marilyn (1930-2017) on Wednesday, August 23, online and live in the Holiday Inn ballroom at 1750 Sumneytown Pike in Kulpsville, Penn. The auction will begin at 10 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The August 23 auction will feature 185 lots by many of the finest names in all of majolica: Minton, George Jones, Holdcroft, Wedgwood, Hugo Lonitz, Palissy, Massier, T. C. Brown – Westhead Moore & Company and Copelands.
Two of the pieces in the auction lineup could easily take top lot honors. The first is an iconic Minton Majolica cobalt teapot, modeled as a flat iron with a frieze of mice to the sides and a large white cat wrapped around the handle, looking down at a mouse holding a carrot to form the handle of the lid. It carries an estimate of $20,000-$25,000.
The second is a monumental Hugo Lonitz majolica model of a hawk, created around 1875, with glass eyes, perched on a rocky ground with ferns and branches on an entwined branch base and standing 24in tall. The only other known example was sold at Christie’s in New York in 2011; it realized $56,250. The one in the auction has an estimate of $20,000-$25,000.
Another standout is a circa-1860 pair of majolica Renaissance Revival vases, probably exhibited at the London International Exhibition of 1862 and exquisitely painted by Thomas Kirkby after Raphael’s ceiling frescos in the Stanza Della Signatura Apostolic Chapel at the Vatican, depicting Theology, Justice, Poetry and Philosophy. Together they are estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
Two lots carry estimates of $12,000-$15,000. One is a circa-1878 George Jones & Sons majolica cobalt-blue and turquoise-ground Sea and Sky cheese keeper and stand, cylindrical in shape with a conch shell and seaweed knob, and the side molded with a continuous sky and underwater view including seagulls, hermit crab, fish and other aquatic life. The other is circa-1875 George Jones majolica Drum cabaret set, designed as cobalt blue drums with a yellow skin tightening string. Sculpted drumsticks form the teapot’s spout, and the circular tray is bound by a simulated leather strap. Only two complete sets are known to exist, making this one very desirable to collectors.
Another lot expected to command five figures is a circa-1875 T.C. Brown – Westhead & Moore majolica Aesthetic Movement vase designed by Mark V. Marshall. Its cobalt blue body is decorated with swirling clouds and a large dragon wrapped around it; the flared neck sports an orange flame motif; and everything is situated on a circular turquoise blue pierced edge. It is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
A circa-1875 Minton majolica monkey garden seat modeled as a monkey holding a nut in one hand and a cobalt blue buttoned cushion with tassels in the other, the whole placed upon a basket weave base. It bears an estimate of $6,000-$9,000. Also, a circa-1858 Minton Renaissance Revival wine cooler and cover painted by Thomas Kirkby and designed by Simon Birks, one of only three known examples, has an estimate of $6,000-$9,000.
A circa-1875 pair of George Jones tulip and butterfly candlesticks, each one modeled as an upright tulip and large green leaves forming the body with a blossom forming the candle holders, is estimated at $6,000-$9,000. Also, a circa-1880 Delphin Massier majolica jardiniere, designed as a large duck with chicks beside a tree trunk forming the flower holder, on a grassy ground base, has an estimate of $5,000-$8,000.
A circa-1880 Hippolyte Hautin Boulanger & Cie, (France) floor vase, modeled as brightly glazed pheasants and signed by Louise Carrier Beleuse, Hippolyte Hautin Boulanger’s premier sculptor, carries an estimate of $5,000-$8,000. Also, a circa-1875 Wedgwood majolica butter dish and cover, inspired by an Aesop’s Fable, one of only two known and designed as a gray hare riding a mottled green tortoise, has an estimate of $5,000-$8,000.
A circa-1875 T.C. Brown – Westhead, Moore & Co. Egyptian Revival majolica garden seat, modeled as a seated Egyptian female figure supporting a quatrefoil cushion decorated with radiating palmettes, is estimated at $3,000-$5,000; while an impressive pair of circa-1880 R.M. Krause (Schweidnitz, Prussia) majolica vases, one with a tiger (#2031) and one with a lion (#2032), has an estimate of $3,000-$4,000.
Several pieces in the Flower collection were recently part of a large Majolica Mania Exhibition that was launched in New York City in the fall of 2021, traveled to the Walters Museum in Baltimore in early 2022 and finished at Stoke-on-Trent in the UK in fall 2022. Only the finest pieces of majolica made their way into the show.
The Strawser Auction Group is always in the market for quality items for future auctions, especially majolica, Fenton, Pickard, Mt. Washington, R.S. Prussia and related merchandise. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, call Michael Strawser at his office number, 260-854-2859; or at his cell phone number, 260-336-2204; or email him at email@example.com. To learn more about the Strawser Auction Group, please visit www.strawserauctions.com.
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