SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Stephenson’s Auction, the Philadelphia region’s top source for estate-fresh antiques and art since 1962, will host an April 21 Decorative Arts Auction of 455 eclectic lots ranging from a stately Pennsylvania tall-case clock to European porcelain and diamond jewelry. All forms of bidding will available, including live at the gallery, by phone, absentee, or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.
Highlights from an eclectic selection: 18th C. Jacob Cope Pennsylvania tall-case clock, fine diamond jewelry, Art Deco silver, Sevres-style Paris porcelain urns, 18th C. Chinese export garden seat
“When we are invited to appraise the contents of a residence or estate, we never know what we’ll discover,” said Cindy Stephenson, owner of Stephenson’s Auction. “Sometimes we’ll enter a home and an important antique will be the first thing we see, but we always ask if there are coins, jewelry or collections of any type. You would be surprised how often genuine treasures are overlooked simply because the family or estate administrator is not aware of their value. We find amazing things in boxes stored away in basements and attics.”
Upon first encountering it, there was no mistaking the historical importance of an 18th-century Jacob Cope Pennsylvania tall-case clock. Standing 8ft tall, its attractive fruitwood case is adorned by three flame finials and a double-scroll at the top, and its moon-phase tin dial is painted with a nautical scene. The handsome timekeeper has a time-and-strike movement and retains its original weights and original brass pendulum. It is engraved No. 293 Jacob Cope. The auction estimate is $1,000-$2,000.
An abundance of European and American decorative art will be offered, including a pair of mid to late 19th century Sevres-style Paris porcelain urns (shown at top of page). Measuring 19 inches in height, the turquoise glazed urns are hand-painted with gilt overlay. Each displays a scene of putti and goats, and the elaborate serpent-form handles add elegance and high style. The pair is estimated at $600-$1,000.
A fine 19th-century Chinese export porcelain garden seat stands 18 inches high and is of barrel form with pierced panels and raised bosses. Overall, it is densely decorated in a blue and white floral motif and presents beautifully. It is expected to sell in the range of $800-$1,200.
Sterling silver is a staple in Stephenson’s Decorative Arts sales. The April 21 selection includes an S Kirk & Son 97-piece flatware set in the Stieff Rose pattern, $1,800-$2,000; serving pieces, salt and pepper shakers, and a wonderful circa-1920s William B. Durgin Co/Gorham Mfg. Co sterling silver muffineer (sugar shaker). Both of its sides are decorated with the relief image of a proud peacock with fully fanned feathers. The pierced top depicts a trellis with leaves and flowers, and the finial is in the form of a miniature peacock. The underside of the base is signed Gorham Sterling 165 with the Durgin script “D” mark just beneath it. The piece weighs 11.27ozt and comes to auction with a $600-$1,000 estimate.
Another category for which Stephenson’s is well known is diamonds and fine jewelry. Approximately four dozen lots of diamond rings, earrings, watches, bracelets and pendants in a variety of styles will be available to bidders. Among them is a 14K white gold diamond ring with a .70ct older-cut center diamond (KL, VS2, SI1), approximately .70 carats (total weight) of baguette diamonds, and approximately .60 carats (total weight) of round diamonds. In total, this impressive sparkler weighs 5.0 grams. Its auction estimate is $1,100-$1,500.
Also worthy of note is a hefty turquoise and coral claw sterling silver cuff with painstakingly created and applied decorative motifs. Signed J TOADLENA, it weighs 153.0 grams and is one of 45 silver and turquoise/coral cuffs that have come to Stephenson’s April 21 sale, along with rings and pendants of Native-American style, from a Southern New Jersey estate. The featured cuff is estimated at $300-$600.
An artwork that merits special attention is the original World War II aerial dogfight illustration created by postwar and contemporary painter Davis Meltzer (Pennsylvania, 1920-2017). Meltzer is especially well known for his space-themed art, which appeared in numerous publications. The work offered by Stephenson’s is a gouache on illustration board that depicts a pilot ejecting from his airplane. It measures 26¼ inches by 20 inches (sight) and comes directly from the Estate of Davis Meltzer. Estimate: $300-$500
Stephenson’s Friday, April 21, 2023 Spring Decorative Arts Auction will start at 2pm ET, with absentee and Internet live bidding facilitated by LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any item in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail email@example.com. Visit Stephenson’s online at www.stephensonsauction.com.
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