Roycrofters Works and Weed Holder Highlights at Toomey & Co’s
by Kate Nixon
Art & Design
Thursday, December 2nd, 10:00 AM CST
Hosted by Toomey & Co Auctioneers
In an auction whose big selling highlight was a painting created by famed artist Alphonse Mucha ($100,000 – $200,000) that sold for $965,000, the Arts and Crafts offerings got plenty of attention. The Arts & Crafts works offered included a number of prints by Gustave Baumann (both in the early and mid-1900’s) and Frances Gearhart, tables, sideboards, chairs and a large number of furniture by Gustav Stickley, metalwork by Robert Riddle Jarvie and Dirk Van Erp, Grueby pottery, Teco Pottery, and the Roycrofters.
The works of the Roycrofters sold particularly well; one example of a high selling Roycroft works is a rare Davenport sofa ($5,000-$7,000) that sold for just over $11,000. Featured in a number of publications including The Grand Tour of the Forbes Roycroft Collection and in an issue of Architectural Digest, the rare antique three-seat Davenport is made of oak with a clear orb and cross seen at the bottom with quality leather cushions. A number of writing desks, including a partner’s desk believed to be from the Roycroft Inn with a hinged lid on the side ($3,000-$5,000), sold for $8,450 and a mahogany writing desk with a carved script signature ($2,000-$3,000) sold for $6,175. In works from Gustav Stickley, a set of dining chairs, each with the red decal and paper label ($4,000 – $6,000), purchased as a suite in 1907 and remained in the customer’s family, sold for $10,000. Additionally, a definite highlight of the auction was an early twelve-tile table ($8,000 – $12,000), a collaboration between Gustav Stickley and Grueby Faience, sold for $15,000. The collaboration between the two started when Stickley met the Grueby company at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
Speaking of Grueby, the two large Grueby vases – each in the iconic Grueby green color and with light floral decorative elements – sold for $8,000 (original estimate : $8,000 – $12,000) and $4,375 (original estimate: $2,000 – $3,000). Another verdant offerings came from a large Teco vase ($8,000 – $12,000), a similar example found in the Crab Tree Farm collection, sold just over the high estimate at $12,500. A number of Rookwood, Weller, and Roseville vases also sold.
In Arts and Crafts lighting, a lovely Tiffany Studios Oak Leaf and Acorn lamp offered (15,000-25,000) sold for $46,875 and a pair of Tiffany Studios hanging lighting fixtures sold for $15,625 each, landing in between each of their estimates of $10,000 – $20,000. Both the hanging prism lamp (10,000 – 20,000) and the Turtleback Chandelier (10,000 – 20,000). In addition to the glass lighting, Favrile glass offerings of varying sizes surprisingly sold for less than $1,500 in most cases.
Clearly, the Frank Lloyd Wright weed holder ($100,000 – $150,000) was an Arts and Crafts high seller at $161,000; this weed holder was one of a pair owned by the Burdick family of Oak Park, Illinois. The other example was donated to the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust by Dr. and Mrs. A.L. Burdick Jr. on December 29, 1995; it is currently on display in the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois. With the weed holders featured in a number of Wright family photos, Frank’s son, John Lloyd Wright even said of his father and of the weed holder, “Not satisfied with the bric-a-brac of the day, Father designed his own. Father liked weeds!” Other Arts and Crafts metalwork offering included a Dirk Van Erp boudoir lamp ($4,000 – $6,000) sold for $6,875 and a Dirk Van Erp shell vase ($800 – $1,200) sold for $1,625; a similar example was found in Dirk Van Erp’s Oakland, Calif showroom.
How did our picks fare? See below to find out. If you’d like to see the realized lots for yourself, click here to see the realized prices during the Art & Design Auction.
Photos and descriptions courtesy of Toomey & Co Auctioneers
Road to Town, 1917
color woodcut on cream Zanders Bergisch Gladbach laid paper
signed, titled and numbered in lower margin
signed with artist’s chop mark
edition of 100 (First Edition)
9 5/8″ x 11 1/4″
Sold for: $6,175
Gustav Stickley (1858-1942)
Eastwood, New York, circa 1907
marked with red decal and paper label
through tenon construction
66″w x 24″d x 48 1/2″h
Sold for $4,225
Gustav Stickley (1858-1942) / Grueby
early Twelve-Tile table
Eastwood, New York / Boston, Massachusetts
oak, matte green glazed ceramic
early box mark
24″w x 20 1/2″d x 26″h
Sold for $15,000
The Roycrofters / Roycroft
rare davenport, #054
East Aurora, New York, circa 1905
carved orb and cross
74″w x 31″d x 34″h
Sold for $11,050
To see all lots listed in the Toomey & Co catalog, please visit Toomey & Co’s website by clicking here.