Rare and Unusual Furniture, Pottery and More at Toomey & Co

by Kate Nixon


Fine Art + Furniture & Decorative Arts

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 10:00 AM CDT

Keramics & Rookwood: American & European Art Pottery Curated by Riley Humler

Thursday, June 9th, 2022 at 10:00 AM CDT

Toomey & Co Auctioneers

Previews start Wednesday, June 1st


From the rare and unusual to the lustered, colorful, and surprisingly affordable, two back to back auctions at Toomey & Co auctioneers are kicking off the summer auction season offering furniture, lighting, metalwork and a curated selection of American art pottery. On June 8th, the offerings start at 10:00 AM CDT with the Fine Art + Furniture & Decorative Arts auction with a large showcase of Arts and Crafts furniture from Gustav Stickley and the Roycrofters among other craftsfirms, silver and metalwork from The Kalo Shop, Carence Crafters, and more and impressive glass and lighting works including a particularly impressive and large Favrile glass vase from Louis Comfort Tiffany. In addition to select works originating from historic homes and sites like the Unity Temple, works from important collections i.e. The Paul and Terry Somerson Collection of 20th and 21st Century Metalwork and Jewelry and the Barbara Streisand Collection will also be auctioned off starting June 8th.

An inlaid shoefoot armchair – attributed to Gustav Stickley – is a possible prototype for the iconic Harvey Ellis designed chair. This example is the only known example with inlay in the back and the legs. The armchair is estimated to sell in between $10,000 – $20,000.

Fine Art + Furniture & Decorative Arts

Toomey & Co Auctioneers brings a well rounded furniture selection, especially for those seeking more Gustav Stickley works in their collections. Featuring works from important collections like the Barbara Streisand collection, this showcase of Morris Chairs, bookcases, sideboards, chairs, etc. is enough to make any collector take note. Notable examples include a drop-arm Morris chair marked with a red decal and original spring cushions and finish ($4,000 – $6,000), a Stickley Chalet desk with a red decal and an “exceptional” original dark finish ($2,000 – $3,000), an early plate rack from Gustav Stickley with an early red box mark and featured in Stephen Gray’s book The Early Work of Gustav Stickley ($3,000 – $5,000), a Stickley Spindle settee ($2,500 – $3,500) and even-arm Spindle settle ($4,000 – $6,000) from the Barbara Streisand collection, and a shoefoot armchair attributed to Gustav Stickley which may have been a prototype for the Harvey Ellis designed chair ($10,000 – $20,000) with inlay on the legs and back. The Roycrofters are additionally well-represented by an excellent example of a bookcase with carved script signature, original finish and beveled glass, and two adjustable shelves ($10,000 – $20,000), a Roycrofters writing desk ($3,000 – $5,000) with a carved orb and cross and original finish, a combination china cabinet and serving table ($4,000 – $6,000) with the orb and cross, and a beautiful refinished three door bookcase with nine shelves ($8,000 – $12,000). Additionally, the Frank Lloyd Wright pair of single beds from the Francis W. Little house “Northome” still in excellent condition is estimated to bring in $4,000 to $6,000. 

A large and important Louis Comfort Tiffany Favrile glass vase is getting attention because of its rare Black Matte finish and colorful designs. Photos courtesy of Toomey & Co. Auctioneers.

Speaking of Frank Lloyd Wright, another particular standout is a light fixture ($10,000 – $20,000) attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright found in the Unity Temple. 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. Lastly, a “large and monumental” Tiffany Favrile glass vase from Louis Comfort Tiffany is expected to bring in a hefty $15,000 – $25,000 selling price. The unusual black matte finish paired with bright and impressive color on this signed vase make this an important vase for a collector prepared to pay top dollar.


Keramics & Rookwood: American & European Art Pottery

An early porcelain French Red glaze vase with stylized floral decoration in blue and mauve with red on the interior by popular Rookwood artist Sara Sax.

In this showcase of all things Rookwood, this selection of 216 works from the pottery pride of Cincinnati, Ohio provides 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 are well represented in this auction with fourteen works each: the latter’s offerings include four of her French Red glaze works. From Vellum to Iris to Nubian Black glazes, Sax’s colorful vases vary in color and in price; while the low estimate for one vase is $400.00, the high estimate for another is $6,000.00. The auction even features a few works from Rookwood owner Maria Longworth Nichols Storer – and to attributed to her – both featuring a design with owls and a crescent moon: one a classic vase ($2,000 – $3,000) with a Halloween-like scene of bats, owls, and a crescent moon, the other a rare copper repousse sheet ($3,000 – $5,000) featuring two owls perched in a chestnut tree with the crescent moon behind. Similar to the classic vase, a Limoges style lidded teapot ($1,000 – $2,000) with bats on one side flying towards a full moon and rabbits on the other side will also be offered as will Maria’s tall Limoges style vase ($5,000 – $7,000) featuring a pelican and two “blue eyed” dragons in her interpretation of the Japanese aesthetic.

A tall Sicard earthenware vase with exotic floral decoration, circa 1905.

The auction also brings out prime examples of Newcomb College, Roseville Pottery, Weller Pottery, Marblehead, the University of North Dakota School of Mines, two blue lustered Pewabic vases, and a rare painted earthenware Overbeck vase ($4,000 – $6,000) from Elizabeth and Mary Frances Overbeck.  Any of Mae Timberlake’s vases from Weller pottery make a fine and affordable floral addition to anyone’s collection: the rare and unusual works have been given very affordable estimates with one rare signed Daffodil vase only estimated at $300 – $500. Meanwhile, popular Weller Pottery artist Jacques Sicard is well represented with intricately decorated vases: one tall vase with an exotic floral decoration ranges from $800 – $1,200 and a smaller vase with a “bold poppy decoration” is estimated to bring in $600 to $800. Several of the Roseville pottery wisteria line will appear in the auction along side the pink and green glazed selections. There are a number of blue glazed works in this auction and in time for the summer: Pewabic Pottery is represented by two blue lusters vases and Newcomb College has a number of blue and white vases available.

Both auctions will be open to the public for in-person bidding. In-person preview prior to the sale is available by appointment as well as virtual preview with additional condition details and/or photos by request. Please contact us directly at [email protected] if you would like to attend the auction, to place absentee or telephone bids, or to preview in person or virtually.

View both online catalogs below:

Fine Art + Furniture & Decorative Arts catalog

Keramics and Rookwood catalog