Prestigious collections anchor Stephenson’s New Year’s Day auction

Left: Gentleman’s 14K gold nugget ring containing 1.0-carat old European-cut round diamond. Estimate $1,000-$2,000. Right: Gentleman’s 14K gold nugget ring containing 1.8-carat old European-cut round diamond. Estimate $2,000-$4,000. Stephenson’s Auction image

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Stephenson’s popular and often standing-room-only New Year’s Day Antique and Decorative Arts Auctions are events typically attended by savvy collectors and dealers from a five-state region, with many more participating by phone and online. The family-owned metro-Philadelphia auction house is known for setting aside outstanding and unusual estate consignments throughout the year to showcase specifically at its first sale of the year. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

The Jan. 1 auction features 500+ lots of fine and decorative art, silver, estate rugs and furniture, midcentury design, folk art and an extensive array of jewelry and watches. The latter grouping includes several pieces set with large, high-quality diamonds, starting with a platinum wedding set whose sparkling engagement ring boasts a 1-carat brilliant-cut diamond solitaire of H color, S12 clarity. Flanking both sides of the central stone are an additional 24 princess-cut diamonds with a total weight of 0.72 carats (below). The matching platinum wedding band contains eight channel-set princess-cut diamonds that add another 1.25 carats to the overall weight. The double-ring set’s combined weight is 16.9 grams/10.9dwt. Auction estimate: $6,000-$10,000

Platinum wedding set with 1-carat brilliant-cut diamond solitaire, H color, S12 clarity; with additional 24 princess-cut diamonds weighing 0.72 carats. Matching wedding band contains eight channel-set princess-cut diamonds, 1.25tcw. Estimate $6,000-$10,000. Stephenson’s Auction image

The eclectic jewelry selection offers many design options for the discerning collector, with Colombian emeralds, rubies, sapphires and many other coveted gemstones featured. An exceptional example of time-honored technique and modern aesthetics, an elegant 14K gold 4.0-carat diamond necklace is crafted with hinged sections connecting 29 diamond stations, each set with five round, 0.03-carat (each) diamonds. Stamped 585 and with a total weight of 72.5 grams or 44.6dwt, it comes to auction with a $1,200-$2,500 estimate.

14K gold 4.0-carat diamond necklace, hinged sections with 29 diamond stations, each set with five 0.03 round diamonds. Estimate $1,200-$2,500. Stephenson’s Auction image

Topping the gentlemen’s jewelry category are two hefty and very handsome 14K gold nugget rings (top image) that will be offered as consecutive lots. One of the rings, weighing 7.2 grams/4.6dwt, contains a 1.0-carat old European-cut round diamond and is estimated at $1,000-$2,000, while the other, which has a total weight of 19.3 grams/12.4dwt, features a 1.8-carat old European-cut diamond. Estimate $2,000-$4,000


Pair of Harry Bertoia for Knoll ‘Diamond’ upholstered wire-frame lounge chairs. Estimate $400-$800. Stephenson’s Auction image

Stephenson’s is a consistent source of excellent midcentury and contemporary furniture and art from local residences, and sells to an international clientele of modern design aficionados. Those in the know will be quick to spot two lots, in particular, in the New Year’s sale: a pair of Harry Bertoia for Knoll upholstered, wire-frame “Diamond” lounge chairs in sunset orange, estimate $400-$800; and a fantastic Torino chrome robot lamp with illuminating round white globes at the top of its head and ends of its arms. Made in Italy and bearing a metal tag on its base, the futuristic figure stands 38 inches high on a round base. Showing very little wear, it is expected to make $600-$1,000.

Torino chrome robot lamp, Italy, 38in high, metal tag to base. Estimate $600-$1,000. Stephenson’s Auction image

A 1983 exhibition poster signed by its creator, the trailblazing Pennsylvania-born artist Keith Haring (1958-1990), is titled Into ’84 and depicts nude male dancer amid a profusion of Haring-style graphics and symbols. Its motif is ethnic and visually striking. Measuring 85 by 23 inches (sight) and framed in a glass panel, the lithographed poster is signed at lower left “K. Haring ’83.” The estimate is $500-$1,000.

Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990) lithographic poster on paper titled ‘Into ’84,’ signed ‘K. Haring ‘83’ at lower left, 85 x 23in (sight), framed. Estimate $500-$1,000. Stephenson’s Auction image

Another category for which Stephenson’s has developed a loyal following is folk art. A top highlight in the Jan. 1 lineup is believed to have started its life in the Philadelphia workshop of mid-19th-century immigrant Gustav Denzel. Originally a cabinetmaker, Dentzel began hand-carving carousel animals at his Germantown location in the 1860s and became renowned for his artful productions. A circa-1910 carousel jumper horse attributed to Dentzel measures 42 by 48 by 16 inches and stands on rockers. Presumably, the rockers were added at some later point in the horse’s existence so the figure could be repurposed as a children’s plaything. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500

Circa-1910 carousel jumper horse attributed to Dentzel; rockers added later. 42 x 48 x 16in. Estimate $1,000-$1,500. Stephenson’s Auction image

Early, original folk art weathervanes are always in demand. A primitive, early-1900s rooster vane made of sheet iron appears to have all-original paint, which has survived in desirable dry and stable condition. The large barnyard fowl measures 42 inches high by 29 inches across and is accompanied by a wood base for display. Originally a New England piece, it comes from a private collection of long-standing and has provenance that includes a New Hampshire Antique Dealers Association (NHADA) auction. Exhibiting great eye appeal, the vane is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.

Early 1900s folk art rooster sheet-iron weathervane, original paint, 42in high by 29in across. Comes with wood base for display. Estimate $1,000-$2,000. Stephenson’s Auction image

Stephenson’s Jan. 1, 2020 New Year’s Auction will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail