SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – If you’ve ever admired the interiors of stately Philadelphia homes as they are portrayed in movies or TV series, you may be surprised to know that your home can look that way, too, without paying a king’s ransom. The best-kept secret among those who like first-class quality and luxury is family-owned Stephenson’s Auctioneers in Bucks County, Pa., where the goods quite literally arrive from the great mansions of the Main Line and other exclusive Philadelphia suburbs. Stephenson’s next big auction of antiques and decorative arts will take place on Friday, September 16, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com.
The sale is divided into several categories, including silver, glassware and porcelain; fine art, furniture, clocks, fine jewelry, and an eclectic discovery section that runs the curiosity gamut from a copper wringer washing machine to a collection of safety razors (mostly boxed), and even a red 1979 MG Midget convertible.
The large and comprehensive art selection is led by a signed Elaine de Kooning oil-on-canvas of a female nude. Executed in de Kooning’s trademark abstract expressionistic style, it measures 20 by 16 inches (sight) and is expected to sell for $2,500-$5,000.
Another art highlight is a surreal oil-on-canvas seascape by Lance Lauffer (active in Philadelphia, d. 1988). “Although he died at the young age of 31, Lance Lauffer had already won numerous awards and was considered a very promising artist,” said Stephenson’s owner, Cindy Stephenson. The painting to be auctioned came from a Miami Beach estate, and as was Lauffer’s custom, was signed with the artist’s name and motto: “There is more to life than the physical eye can see.” Estimate: $1,000-$3,000
A wealth of French furniture includes a refectory wrought-iron and marble dining table; and many Louis XV-style pieces, such as an armchair with needlepoint seat and back, display table, inlaid curio, leather and upholstered side chairs; marble-top stands, and chinoiserie decorated bombe chest. Mid-century, Empire, Victorian and Federal pieces also will be auctioned.
The soft glow of .930 silver enhances an Antonio Pineda modernistic vase standing 6 1/8 inches tall. A turned form, it weighs 19.075 ozt and is hallmarked and marked Antonio Taxco, Hecho en Mexico, 930. The pre-sale estimate is $1,400-$2,000.
The Pineda vase is the centerpiece of an extensive selection of sterling silver that includes Tiffany sterling vermeil flowers, an Alvin 5-piece coffee/tea service and two Reed & Barton productions – a 4-piece coffee/tea service in the Hampton Court pattern, and a flatware service for nine in the Dancing Flowers pattern.
Pennsylvania seems to be America’s stronghold for clocks of all types. In the September 16 auction, Stephenson’s will offer two French dore bronze portico clock, a new/boxed Jaeger Le Coultre Atmos clock, a French Japy Freres slate and marble clock, H. Luppens French bronze clock and Chelsea porcelain cased mantel clock. American highlights include a Howard Miller cherry cased grandfather clock, Waterbury calendar clock, E. Howard No. 5 banjo clock, Seth Thomas octagonal wall Regulator clock, and many more.
Part II of a Manhattan private collection of art-glass paperweights includes five distinctive creations by Chris Buzzini (botanical designs) and seven by John Deacons (millefiori and latticino florals). Each of these highly desirable paperweights will be sold individually, with the highest estimate being $1,000-$2,000.
Stephenson’s never disappoints collectors of fine jewelry who prefer unusual estate pieces. A hefty 14K gold double-link charm bracelet is a statement piece with its two round charms pertaining to the Philadelphia Eagles football team. One of the charms has an applied white-gold eagle perched atop a football-shape emerald. The other charm depicts a running back in bas-relief and is inscribed PHILA EAGLES 1967 on verso. With a weight of 76.8 grams/49.3 dwt (complete), it carries a $3,000-$4,000 estimate.
Also featured is an array of beautiful Native American necklaces, rings and bracelets; plus approximately 40 pocket watches, and traditional rings set with precious gems.
Perhaps the most irresistible item at the preview has been a red 1979 MG Midget convertible. The snappy two-seater represents one of the most iconic British automotive brands of the 1960s and ’70s and is still a head-turner on the road. Entered in the sale with no reserve, it could cruise off for a winning bid of $1,500-$3,000.
Stephenson’s Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 Autumn Antiques & Decorative Arts Auction will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, with absentee and live online bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com. For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.