Maximilian Vanka (Yugoslavian, 1889-1963), oil-on-board still life with watermelon
SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Cindy Stephenson and her team of experts at Stephenson’s Auctioneers never have to venture very far to find fabulous estate antiques and jewelry. The gracious 18th and 19th-century homes on Philadelphia’s tree-lined suburban streets are a never-ending source of quality pieces that have been treasured and passed down through successive generations of Pennsylvania families. On Friday, April 29th, Stephenson’s will once again present a quality array of fine art, jewelry, furniture and decorative items from residences and collectors in the metro Philadelphia area, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com.
The 500-lot auction will continue to grow in the days leading up to the sale, with many last-minute additions to surprise and delight bidders. The order of sale begins with showcased items, including porcelain, silver and crystal, then moves into an 80-lot selection of fine jewelry, followed by primitives, artwork, furniture, and finally, clocks and timepieces.
An exceptional assortment of Lalique crystal tableware was sourced from an upscale Philadelphia Main Line estate. The grouping includes crystal dinnerware, serving plates, bowls and dishes in a variety of Lalique patterns. From the same estate comes a collection of bronze figurines by Werkstatte Hagenauer Wien (Vienna) depicting both animal and human forms (see below), as well as Scandinavian silver and figurines by Royal Copenhagen and Dahl-Jensen.
Excellent artworks were consigned from Center City Philadelphia estates, including three oil paintings by Hendrik Glintenkamp (American, 1887-1946), an impressionist who was active in the New Jersey/New York area. Glintenkamp’s works are held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery and other prestigious institutions. The paintings in Stephenson’s auction are a testament to the artist’s versatility and include: Lot 327, a still life with daisies, estimate $200-$400; Lot 350, an oil-on-board still life with cacti titled Tulips and Tangerines, est. $400-$800; and Lot 355, an oil-on-canvas mountain landscape signed and dated 1911 on verso, est. $600-$1,000.
Another estate artwork of note is Lot 354, an oil-on-board still life by Maximilian Vanka (1889-1963), who was known as Yugoslavia’s premier portraitist in the 1920s and ’30s. His 18- by 24-inch (sight) depiction of sliced watermelon and pears beside a stoneware jug (shown at top of page) is expected to make $1,000-$2,000 at auction.
Stephenson and her team found something of a mystery in the basement of a house near the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “There were four sculptural concrete slabs with pigment, each signed ‘Nocito.’ It appears to be a multi-part frieze with a motif that includes human, avian and floral impressions,” said Stephenson. When assembled, the component parts measure 96 by 49 inches. The 4-piece lot is estimated at $500-$1,000.
Also basement finds, each of the two lots immediately following the Nocito frieze is a vertical concrete fountain with the distinct look of Paul Evans’ midcentury bas-relief designs. Each 77-inch-tall cubist-style fountain is equipped with copper tubing, presumably to carry water. Lots 449 and 450 are each estimated at $600-$1,200.
Another sculptural artwork to be auctioned is this Klaus Ihlenfeld work of oxidized bronze.
A fascinating and perhaps unexpected inclusion is a collection of Oceanic artifacts, including carved clubs, a walking stick, axe, bas-relief head, and figure atop a sphere. “There has already been a lot of interest in this material. We think it will be a good discovery opportunity for collectors of South Pacific cultural relics, which have really increased in popularity,” said auctioneer and auction house owner Cindy Stephenson.
Fine jewelry is a staple at the family-operated company’s sales, and the April 29th event will be no exception in that regard. Within the 80 lots is a single-owner pocket watch collection, including a number of antique, gold and novelty types. Lot 196, an antique Stauffer et Fils key-wind calendar pocket watch with fuse verge movement (see below) dates to the early or mid-19th century and is estimated at $1,500-$2,500. Lot 220, an Elgin 14K gold pocket watch with a hunting scene and porcelain dial comes with a 36-inch-long chain and is estimated at $800-$1,200. Lot 201, a late-19th-century John Barrel Locle Swiss-made pocket watch, conceals a secret inside its case – an automated erotic scene of a male and two females. The risque timepiece is entered with a $1,000-$2,000 estimate.
Of particular interest to collectors of military and historical items, Lot 427 is a circa-1860 German bronze signal cannon measuring 47 inches long. Its German inscription indicates the cannon was manufactured by H.G. Cordes of Wesermunde. Estimate: $800-$1,600.
The owner of the cannon also consigned a circa-1900 double-stack ocean liner model of wood and metal. Nicely detailed and accessorized with lifeboats and other realistic appointments, the ship model is housed in a 65-inch-long wood and glass showcase with a hinged lid for easy access. It could sail off to a new owner for $600-$1,200.
Adding whimsy and nostalgia to the sale offerings, Lot 403 is a circa-1910 Herschell-Spillman carved carousel horse with glass eyes and jeweled “blanket.” Presented on a gilt pole with stand, and with stirrups intact, the leaping equine is accompanied by a receipt from Jim’s Antiques Ltd., Lambertville, N.J. Its auction estimate is $500-$1,000.
A Vendo 44 Coca-Cola dispensing machine is pure American nostalgia and ready to serve up a frosty Coke for just a dime.
Stephenson’s Friday, April 29, 2016 Auction will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com. For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail email@example.com.