Three RS Prussia marked bowls each one boasting a gorgeous portrait and scenic décor of one of the four seasons sold as single lots for a combined $33,000 at the Part 1 sale of the lifetime collection of RS Prussia antique porcelain of the late John and Lavaun Headlee, nearly all the pieces in the rare cobalt blue color, held May 26th by Woody Auction
in the firms Douglass gallery.
The top earner was the fall season bowl, 9 ¾ inches in diameter with poppy highlights ($15,000). The summer season bowl, 9 inches in diameter with pink poppy highlights, changed hands for $11,000. And the winter season bowl, 9 ¾ inches in diameter with leaf and berry highlights, fetched $7,000. All three of the bowls were stippled mold, with cobalt blue borders and strong gold trim and gold stenciling.
The Headlees were beloved members of the RS Prussia Collectors Club, and word quickly spread that their 40-year collection focused almost exclusively on cobalt blue examples. Bidders responded with eager enthusiasm. "This was the finest RS Prussia auction ever held in Kansas, said Jason Woody of Woody Auction. "No other auction has ever featured the quantity of cobalt blue offered in this sale.
Internet bidding was provided by LiveAuctioneers.com but, perhaps surprisingly in this digital age, in-house participation was strong and most of the items were purchased on the floor. Its possible bidders wanted to get an up-close and personal look at the magnificent cobalt blue RS Prussia pieces on view before and during the auction. The success of the sale was proof they indeed liked what was displayed.
It was an absolute auction that attracted about 50 RS Prussia collectors, while 31 bidder numbers were registered. There were also six absentee bidders. Prices quoted are hammer. Woody Auction does not charge a buyers premium to bidders who are present live, but a 5 percent convenience fee is charged when bidders pay at auction using a credit card. Following are additional highlights from the auction.
Two lots posted an identical selling price of $10,000. One was an unmarked chocolate set, cobalt blue with a stylized carnation décor and gold stencil highlights. The set featured an 11 ¾ inch tall chocolate pot, plus six rare demitasse size cups and six matching saucers.
The other was a hard-to-find RS Prussia marked center bowl, 15 inches in diameter with a carnation mold, yellow and cobalt blue with a pink and yellow rose décor and gold stencil highlights. This was possibly the finest 15-inch bowl weve ever had the privilege of auctioning, Mr. Woody remarked.
An unmarked bowl, 10 ¾ inches in diameter, mold 14A (the medallion variation), featuring a cobalt blue border, strong gold trim and wonderful gold stencil highlights, topped out at $7,000. The five medallion portraits featured Lebrun with a hat and Recamier (aka Juliette) and Lebrun with a ribbon.
A magnificent marked RS Prussia stippled mold plate, 11 ¾ inches in diameter, having a fall season portrait décor with colorful poppy highlights and a wonderful cobalt blue and gold border with extensive gold stenciling, hit $6,000. Also, a marked Royal Vienna mold 5 ewer, 6 ¾ inches tall, with a figural tulip handle, cobalt blue with a Countess Litta portrait and gold stencil highlights, made $4,250.
Rounding out just a handful of the days many top achievers was an unmarked stipple mold cracker jar sporting a yellow and green background with Potacka and Recamier portraits. The jar featured a cobalt blue border and extensive gold trim and resulted in spirited bidding before finally selling for $4,500.