Stahl art pottery collection sale produced strong results at Toomey

Roseville Pottery Futura flying saucer console set, which sold for $32,000 ($41,920 with buyer’s premium) at Toomey.

CHICAGO — The Lee and Susan Stahl collection of American and English art pottery came to auction January 17 at Toomey & Co. and produced some noteworthy results, showing that once again, quality is the ultimate price-determining factor when any item crosses the block. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

The Stahls focused on exceptional examples throughout their collection, and Toomey bidders responded appropriately. The sale’s leader was expected to do well, but not necessarily claim top-lot honors: A Roseville Pottery Futura flying saucer console set. It dated to 1928, had five total pieces, is rarely found complete, and almost never appears in this condition. Estimated at $2,000-$3,000, bidders took the set to an amazing $32,000 ($41,920 with buyer’s premium).

The sale’s highest-estimated lot was the 1928 Roseville Pottery Futura Tank vase (model no. 412-9), which was assigned a range of $8,000-$10,000. Bidders doubled the high estimate, pushing it to $20,000 ($26,200 with buyer’s premium).

An example of Newcomb College pottery made it to the sale’s top tier of results. This Mazie Teresa Ryan vase from 1906 with a stylized chrysanthemum design earned $9,000 ($11,790 with buyer’s premium), just above the $7,000 high estimate.

Always a crowd favorite, the Weller dancing frogs garden ornament from 1930 outperformed, bringing $9,000 ($11,790 with buyer’s premium), nearly doubling the high estimate.

And out of left field came yet another Roseville item — this time, a sunflower umbrella stand with a beautiful glaze. Estimated at $1,000-$1,500, bidders fought tooth and nail between the floor and a LiveAuctioneers bidder, with the former finally winning out at a stunning $8,500 ($11,135 with buyer’s premium) — nearly six times the high estimate.

Stahl Collection brings early 20th-century art pottery prizes to market at Toomey Jan. 17

Roseville Pottery Futura tank vase, estimated at $8,000-$10,000 at Toomey.

CHICAGO — Lee and Susan Stahl are collectors of early 20th-century American and English art pottery, and have amassed an amazing collection in impeccable condition. More than 220 examples from this collection will come to market on Wednesday, January 17 at Toomey & Co. featuring vases, bowls, tableware, landscapes, sculpture, and more. The complete catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

One of the Stahl collection’s stars is a Roseville Pottery tank vase, designed by Frank Ferrell (1878-1961), one of the Zanesville, Ohio company’s leading talents. Reflecting the Art Deco period in which the vase was released, its Egyptian-like geometry almost defies explanation, making it a top collector favorite today. Known as Model 412-9, the crystalline-glazed earthenware dates to 1928 and is estimated at $8,000-$10,000.

Now part of Tulane University in New Orleans, Newcomb College was founded through a grant from Josephine Louise Newcomb in memory of her beloved daughter, Harriott Sophie Newcomb, who died at 15 of diphtheria. The goal was to create an environment for women to learn and acquire practical skills, including industrial arts such as pottery. From that art program came what is now known as Newcomb College Pottery, and one of its stars was a young woman named Sabina Wells, a native of Charleston, South Carolina. This 1904 vase with anemones is an example of her work, and it is the sale’s top lot at $10,000-$15,000.

Mazie Teresa Ryan was another acclaimed Newcomb potter working in the same period as Wells. Dated to 1906, this vase with stylized chrysanthemums is made of glazed earthenware, stands 8.6in in height and has NC AY26 M T Ryan marked to its base. It carries a $5,000-$7,000 estimate.

Cincinnati’s acclaimed Rookwood Pottery Company was founded in 1880 and survived until 1967, though a revival of the brand began in 2004. Lenore Asbury (1886-1933) was a lifelong Rookwood employee, having originally attended Cincinnati Art Academy. She worked in a number of media, including vases, but she also excelled at glazed ceramic plaques. Twilight Landscape is a 9 by 12in vellum plaque, is signed LA, and has an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.

Weller Pottery began in 1872 with a log cabin and a beehive kiln, but grew to become the nation’s biggest pottery concern by 1905. With success came more mass production, such as this Dancing Frogs garden ornament dating to 1930. Standing 16.5in in height, the piece is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

Marblehead Pottery: American Arts and Crafts legend

 A circa-1910 Marblehead Pottery vase by Arthur Hennessey and Sarah Tutt sold at Rago Arts and Auction Center in June 2020 for $150,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Photo courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

A circa-1910 Marblehead Pottery vase by Arthur Hennessey and Sarah Tutt sold at Rago Arts and Auction Center in June 2020 for $150,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Photo courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — What began as a therapeutic pottery-making program for women diagnosed with nervous disorders grew into one of the great brands in American art pottery: Marblehead pottery.

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