by Kate Nixon
Fine Art + Furniture & Decorative Arts
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Amidst a variety of furniture, ceramics, prints and other Arts and Crafts treasures, a number of lamps and light fixtures were among the highlights during the Fine Art + Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction by Toomey & Co earlier this month. Notably, a Charles Limbert table lamp with a shade attributed to Forest Emerson Mann was purchased for $16,250, nearly three times the high estimate! Originating from Grand Rapids, Michigan, this lamp was comprised of an oaken base from the furniture maker and an impressive mica copper and brass-lined shade.
Notable furniture works that sold were well-represented by Gustav Stickley, The Stickley Brothers and The Roycrofters, three mainstays of Arts & Crafts auctions. While notable examples of the father of Arts & Crafts furniture Gustav Stickley works included a Chalet Desk ($2,000-$3,000) marked with a red decal with its original dark finish that sold for $2,750, a plate rack with an early red box mark ($3,000 – $5,000) that featured in Stephen Gray’s The Early Work of Gustav Stickley sold for $6,875, and an even arm spindle from The Barbara Streisand Collection with its original cushiom and finish ($8,000 – $12,000) sold for $9,100, a rare inlaid shoefoot armchair ($10,000 – $20,000) – and possible prototype for the Harvey Ellis chair – sold for $27,500; one of the only known examples with inlay on the legs and back, this work appears to be identical to all measurements and details to Gustav Stickley inlaid chairs. Bookcases made by The Roycrofters are well-represented of course with one rare bookcase ($10,000 – $20,000) with a carved script signature, original finish, and two adjustable shelves; this excellent form resulted in a selling price of $11,875. A thirty-third degree bookcase, complete with carved orb and cross and original finish ($8,000 – $12,000), sold for a realized price of $9,375 and a three-door bookcase made of oak, glass and iron ($8,000-$12,000) sold in the middle for a final selling price of $9,750. Other great highlights from the Roycrofters include a mahogany chiffonier ($8,000 – $12,000), also with a carved orb and cross, sold for $11,250, while a combination oaken china cabinet and serving table ($4,000-$6,000) sold for $7,500. A Stickley Brothers early sideboard ($2,500 – $3,500) additionally sold for $7,500.
Another spotlighted item from the Toomey & Co sale came in the form of a light fixture from the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Unity Temple in Chicago ($10,000 – $20,000); the storied fixture sold for a realized price of $11,250. The light fixture was originally found in the temple in 2001 and given to Browne’s Bookstore to be displayed in their building. When the bookstore was demolished, this lighting fixture among others were returned to the Unity Temple. This light has its original sockets, patina and finish. In the category of affordable for other collectors, a Bradley and Hubbard table lamp with pine cone overlay ($800 – $1,200) is a patinated bronze and Frog Skin finish set against caramel colored slag glass on the shade and base. This affordable lamp has its original socket, acorn pull chain, and original patina – and sold for $3,120. Lastly, a “large and monumental” Tiffany Favrile glass vase from Louis Comfort Tiffany was expected to bring in a hefty $15,000 – $25,000 selling price — the rare glass vase sold for $46,875, nearly double the high estimate.
Keramics & Rookwood: American & European Art Pottery
Thursday, June 9, 2022
In this showcase of all things Rookwood, this selection of 216 works from the pottery pride of Cincinnati, Ohio provided a wide array of works from the rare to the uncommon to the early and affordable. Well known Rookwood artists Kataro Shirayamadani and Sara Sax were well represented in this auction with fourteen works each: the latter’s offerings include four of her infamous French Red glazed vases. Two of them, a rare porcelain vase painted her shade of read and Nubian Black glaze ($2,000 – $3,000) and another rare porcelain vase painted with repeating band of flowers ($4,000-$6,000) sold for $8,750 and $11,250 respectively. The auction even featured a few works from Rookwood owner Maria Longworth Nichols Storer – the most surprising being a rare copper repousse sheet ($3,000 – $5,000) featuring two owls perched in a chestnut tree with the crescent moon behind. This rare metallic signed work from the Rookwood owner sold for $6,250. Meanwhile, a colorful scenic vase by E.T. Hurley ($2,500 – $3,500) sold for $7,500; the dramatic spring and fall color palette made for an attractive example of a high gloss glazed vase.
A number of Rare Rookwood vases appeared in this auction: a John Dee Wareham rare carved seahorse vase ($7,000 – $9,000), a Mae Timberlake signed Eocean earthenware vase with a daffodil decoration ($300 -$ 500), a rare Yellow glaze vase with woodbine decoration by Lenore Asbury, an Arthur Conant designed rare Vellum glaze scenic vase, and an Albert Valentin rare Sea Green glaze vase with cranes flying among the clouds among other fine examples.
A special Mosaic Method earthenware tile from the Hartford Faience Co. ($5,000 – $7,000) turned heads as the first lot of the curated auction; this work titled “Eventide” featuring a Pre-Raphaelite maiden holding a bouquet of roses and set in a new Dard Hunter Studio oaken frame sold for $12,500. Also, the first of four earthenware vases from Overbeck pottery to be featured this month made its way into the spotlight; the exceptional carved and painted vase with elephants and birds ($4,000-$6,000) sold for $11,050. The second of the three, a two-color vase with carved and stylized flowers ($2,500 – $3,500) also from Elizabeth and Mary Frances Overbeck sold for $4,550.
To view the realized prices for both catalogs, please visit Toomey & Co online at toomeyco.com.
AcStickley Arts & Crafts Auction
Saturday, Jun 18, 2022
In an auction where Arts & Crafts Furniture by Gustav Stickley, L&JG Stickley, Stickley Brothers, Charles Stickley, Limbert, Roycroft, Lifetime, and more were represented, the AcStickley auction brought Arts & Crafts furniture, metalwork, ceramics and lighting to the auction spotlight June 18th to both online audiences and in-person in Alameda, California.
Fans of the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina took note of the pair of Roycroft Armchairs ($3,000 – $4,000) and a Hammered Copper Chandelier ($2,500 – $3,500) from the 1913 historic Grove Park Inn; the reminders of the iconic inn went for $3,500 and $2,200 respectively. Among the high-selling furniture lots included: an impressive L & J.G. Stickley bookcase ($5,000 – $6,000) which sold for $8,000, a Gustav Stickley one door bookcase ($3,500 – $4,500) that sold for $4,500, and an L&JG Stickley “Mouse-Hole” Trestle Dining Table ($5,500 – $6,500) that sold for $5,500. Rare furniture works that came to impress included: a set of six Charles Limbert Cutout dining chairs ($4,000 – $5,000) – all signed with branded marks and original finish – sold for $4,500. Meanwhile, a rare signed piano bench from Roycroft ($4,000 – $5,000) carved with its signature Roycroft font, sold for $4,000.
Ceramics-wise, a number of vases came to express, but the Grueby Faience, Marblehead and Overbeck names sold well this auction. An Overbeck hand-carved vase ($6,000 – $8,000) sold for $6,000, while an Overbeck hand-carved cylinder vase ($4,500-$5,500) sold for $7,000. The signed vases, with unique designs by the Overbeck sisters, were in perfect condition and excellent examples of what the five sisters contributed to art pottery. Meanwhile, the Grueby Faience matte green floor vase ($18,000 – $22,000) featured crisp leaves and blossoms on its verdigris form; at 23 inches high and 8.5 inches deep, this floor vase got a hammer price of $17,000. With Marblehead works, one stood above the rest: a signed vase with an iconic tree design decorated by Arthur Hennessee and Sarah Tutt ($4,500 – $5,500) sold for $4,750.
To see more of the catalog of sold items from California Historical Design, click here to visit the auction page at LiveAuctioneers.com