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Stephenson's Antiques & Decorative Arts sale brings the best of Mid-Atlantic estates to the auction block
F. (Frederick) Schafer oil-on-canvas seascape ‘North Heads on the Pacific Coast, California,’ Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

SOUTHAMPTON, PA.- Many regard the tri-state area surrounding Philadelphia as the tenderloin for antiques and fine art in the Mid-Atlantic region. The pedigreed furniture, paintings, jewelry and silver so frequently found in homes from Philadelphia’s Main Line to suburban New Jersey and Maryland are sought after from coast to coast. For this reason, Stephenson’s Auctioneers’ annual September Antiques & Decorative Arts Auction is an event that unfailingly attracts a large and loyal following.

Scheduled this year for Friday, Sept. 7, Stephenson’s fall sale will feature approximately 600 lots of quality antiques, artworks and vintage collectibles from private residences and collections sourced in and around Greater Philadelphia. The selling will begin with 100 smalls and decorative objects, including crystal and glass; china, pottery and porcelains. A striking highlight of the opening section is a Northwood carnival glass punchbowl set comprised of more than a dozen pieces in the Grapes and Cable pattern. Additionally, the sale includes a Northwood Wishbone water set, Waterford crystal and a large set of Fostoria “Navarre” stemware that has been kept in the original wrappers since 1950. With the holiday season just around the corner, the timing will be right to purchase Wedgwood dinnerware, which also will be offered.

The decorative arts category is rounded out by Oggetti (Italy) art glass signed by L. (Luigi) Onesto, a glass paperweight collection, and several exceptionally large Lladro porcelains (Valencia, Spain) from a Delaware County estate. “These Lladros are not the type you normally see. They are very impressively sized,” said Cindy Stephenson, owner of Stephenson’s Auctioneers. “The piece titled ‘In the Gondola’ is 17¾ inches high by 31 inches wide, and the one titled ‘A Rickshaw Ride’ is 11 inches tall by 15 inches wide, exclusive of its base, which is included.”

The unmistakable soft glow of old silver is evident in the nine sets of American sterling flatware, led by a Wallace “Grand Baroque” 105-piece service for twelve. The suite is stored in its proper chest and includes many desirable serving pieces. Estimate: $2,600-$3,200. Among the other notable silver lots are five sterling tea and coffee services, including a heavy and ornate Durgin set; a pair of silver hollowware table pheasants, and various English and Russian silver pieces.

“In particular, there has been a lot of interest in the Russian silver spoons in this sale,” said Stephenson. “There are five spoons, each with niello and gilding, made by the 19th-century silversmith and assay master Viktor Savinsky.”

Fine jewelry and watches will be offered next, starting with more than 30 pocket watches, most of which came from a single Bucks County collection. One of the watches is 18K gold with enameling, while many others are coveted railroad watches by Ball, Waltham, Hamilton and Burlington. The best of the railroad timepieces is a Ball official standard Cleveland model estimated at $800-$1,200.

An exceptional circa-1960 Mikimoto collar-style pearl necklace is the personal choice of Stephenson’s jewelry specialist Theresa Zaengle. “It’s not just a strand of pearls; the structure of the necklace is finely woven, like filament,” Zaengle said. Accompanied by its original box with “K. Mikimoto, Ginza, Tokyo” card, the lot is expected to make $1,000-$1,500.

A sparkling selection of rings will follow, including an 18K white gold design with a 10-carat aquamarine surrounded by round diamonds, est. $600-$800; and several Art Deco white gold filigree diamond rings that Zaengle says are of a type that “always sell well in our auctions.” Other significant jewelry lots include ladies’ gold chains of various weights and an 18K gold men’s fraternal ring enameled with the Masonic square-and-compass emblem.

A collection of approximately two dozen vintage cast-iron doorstops incorporates many desirable forms. Among them are a Taylor Cook penguin, dogs of various breeds, flower baskets, ladies in long dresses, a horse-drawn coach, Conestoga wagon, two windmills and a clipper ship. Bronze figures and a handsome double inkwell with signed bronze bust of Louis Pasteur complete the metals group.

Around 50 artworks will be offered, some having prestigious gallery provenance. One of the better paintings is a late-19th-century Frederick Schafer (German/American, 1839-1927) oil-on-canvas seascape titled “North Heads on the Pacific Coast, California.” Originally purchased at Schwarz’s, a well-known Chestnut Street gallery in Philadelphia, it comes to auction from a Main Line Philadelphia consignor. The painting is a fine representation of Schafer’s work. It is signed on verso, measures 40 x 59 inches (framed) and is expected to make $15,000-$22,000 at auction.

From the same Main Line consignor comes a lovely winter landscape and canal scene by Georges Robin (French, 1873-1943). Titled “Hiver a Bougival,” the 32 x 37-inch (framed) artwork has a Newman Galleries, Philadelphia, label on verso and is estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Additional artworks include two Michel Robin oil-on-canvas landscapes with water, each with a Newman Galleries label; and around a dozen well-executed modern serigraphs.

Furniture in the sale is highlighted by a stately Joseph Wills Philadelphia tall-case clock with the maker’s name – “Jos. Wills” – shown on the brass face. A Queen Anne-style 30-hour clock produced by Welch Mfg. Co., it carries a presale estimate of $2,000-$4,000.”

Other key furniture lots include a Hepplewhite mahogany chair-back settee, a Louis XV-style sideboard with mirrored back and bent glass; and a Louis XVI-style banquette that came from a stylish home in New Hope, Pa. A Heywood-Wakefield champagne bedroom suite of quintessential mid-century design and furniture by Baker and Kittinger are also entered in the sale.

Stephenson’s Friday, Sept. 7 Antiques & Decorative Arts Auction will be held at the company’s gallery located at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton, PA 18966. Start time: 2 p.m. Eastern. Preview Thursday, Sept. 6 from 2-6 p.m. and on auction day from 12 noon till 2 p.m.

For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail All forms of bidding will be available. View the fully illustrated online catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at

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