Wright, Rohlfs, and Roycroft Works Sold for Thousands at Auction

by Kate Nixon


This past weekend was indeed a busy one for Arts and Crafts collectors with two auctions to choose from. Both California Historical Design and Toomey & Co. Auctioneers held their auctions – and plenty of collectors took advantage of the deals.


AcStickley Arts & Crafts Auction by California Historical Design

The June 8th auction hosted by California Historical Design — the AcStickley Arts & Crafts Auction — offered several works by Gustav Stickley, Mathews Furniture Shop, Bernard Maybeck, Charles P. Limbert, Michigan Chair Co., and others. As always, California Historical Design offered the added benefit of free shipping for orders of $5,000 or more for those in the lower 48 states.

Among the auction’s high sellers were an early Van Briggle poppy lamp with hammered copper and pierced matching poppy copper shade that sold for $15,000, a rare Harry St. John Dixon hammered copper & mica chandelier that sold for $13,000, and a Dirk Van Erp Darcy Gaw hammered copper lamp selling for $10,000. Additionally, a Newcomb College high glaze vase (see Lot #89 below) and a Teco Double-Gourd Matte Green Buttress Vase also sold for $10,000 each.

Check out the following items and more over on the preview webpage for the AcStickley Arts & Crafts Auction results:



Lot #3:

walnut 4-drawer dresser c1910.
Signed. Very nicely refinished.
Measures 36h x 44w x 25.5d

Estimate: $4,000 – $6,000

Sold for $3,500


Lot #89:

Newcomb College
high glaze vase with hand carved iris’ c1898
This piece pre-dates the alpha-numeric dating system started in 1901. Perfect condition.
Measures 8 5/8″h x 4.5″d

Estimate: $9,000 – $12,000

Sold for $10,000



Lot #159:

Michael Adams – Aurora Studios
tall hammered copper experimental warty vase dated 1995.
Provenance: From the Collection of Ray & Helen Groll, Flushing, NY. Signed and in excellent condition.
Measures 12.5″h x 7″d

Estimate: $2,500 – $3,500

Sold for $2,000



Art & Design Auction by Toomey & Co Auctioneers

Toomey & Co Auctioneers held their quarterly Art & Design auction, Sunday June 9th. Featuring property from the Stahr Collection of Barrington, Illinois and the Collection of Wilbert and Marilyn Hasbrouck of Chicago as well as other important Chicago collectors, the works of Gustav Stickley, Dirk Van Erp, Teco, Charles Rohlfs, Van Briggle Pottery & Tile, Charles P. Limbert and more were offered to the highest bidder.

How did the historic pieces do?

  • an intriguing mahogany, copper, and earthenware chafing dish from Charles Rohlfs with an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000 featured in the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Dallas Art Museum and Carnegie Museum of Art among others – sold for $1,625. Meanwhile, the barrel chair (seen below) sold for $18,750.
  • A Frank Lloyd Wright chair designed in 1909 for the W. Scott Thurber Art Gallery – sold for $8,125.
  • a Louis Sullivan door plate from the Chicago Stock Exchange – sold for $11,700!!

One of the highlights of the auction was an oil on canvas by American Impressionist Charles Courtney Curran, Three Women on Hilltop, 1919 (image attached below), which had a $10,000-15,000 estimate. With active competition among telephone and online bidders, the lot achieved $35,000 including buyer’s premium. This Curran painting was originally donated to the Economy Shop, a charity reseller in Oak Park, Illinois celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.


How did our picks do?


Lot #177:

Ruth Erickson (b. 1883) for Grueby Faience Company
Boston, Massachusetts
carved yellow glazed ceramic
impressed and incised signatures
9 1/2″dia x 19″h

Estimate: $9,000-12,000

Sold for $11,250



Lot #190:

Charles Rohlfs (1853-1936)
barrel chair
Buffalo, New York, 1902
red enameled carved signature and date
29 1/4″w x 24″d x 37″h

Estimate: $15,000-25,000

Sold for $18,750



Lot #243:

E.T. Hurley (1869-1950) for Rookwood Pottery
Lake Landscape vase, #2785
Cincinnati, Ohio, 1939
Vellum glazed ceramic
impressed and incised marks
5 1/2″dia x 13″h

Estimate: $800-1,200

Sold for $1,625



Lot #346:

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) for the W. Scott Thurber Art Galleries
Chicago, Illinois, circa 1909
oak, leather
15 1/2″w x 17 1/2″d x 35 3/4″h

Catalog Note:
In 1909, Winfield Scott Thurber commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a gallery for his new space in the Fine Arts Building in Chicago. In 1910, the International Studio reviewed Wright’s work: “In Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural treatment one recognizes a close study of Japanese refinement and elimination, with a slight touch of the modern German and Viennese Secessionist influence in decorative construction.”

Estimate: $10,000-15,000

Sold for $8,120


The next Art & Design auction for Toomey & Co is scheduled for September 15. This sale will be open to the public and held at Toomey & Co. Auctioneers, 818 North Boulevard, Oak Park, Illinois. Preview will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT starting September 9 through September 14, with extended hours on September 12 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

Later in 2019, Toomey & Co. will hold an Interiors auction on October 6 showcasing a wide range of fine art and 20th century design items. On December 8, two auctions will take place: Tradition & Innovation and Art & Design. Last year’s inaugural Tradition & Innovation sale featuring important works from the 19th century through the present had a 94% sell-through rate and fewer than 70 lots brought a combined $1.3 million.


Featured Photo by Bill OXFORD on Unsplash