A rare Alexander Calder silver and steel wire pin gifted in the 1940s directly from the artist to Jean Hatton Duffy, editor of Progressive Architecture, and one of the few examples of Calder jewelry to appear at auction is expected to bring $30,000 to lead Heritage Auctions
' Silver Signature® Auction. The June 14 auction kicks off a two-day treasure trove of fine silver, European paintings and decorative arts including a broad range of highly sought makers and finely crafted objects.
"The Calder brooch with its impeccable provenance well represents this auction's emphasis on beautifully executed designs from a wide spectrum of silversmiths working in American, England, the Continent and Asia." said Ed Beardsley, Vice President and Managing Director of Fine & Decorative Arts. "We are looking forward to a two day auction, with this fine collection of silver setting the tone for European paintings and decorative arts taking place the next day".
A beautifully executed Neoclassical George III silver hot water urn crafted by master silversmith Paul Storr, circa 1810-1811, is expected to bring $15,000+ after it was discovered during an appraisal fair held at Heritage's Dallas headquarters. Accented by a beast-mouthed spout and bone finial, the 172 oz. urn is engraved with a coat of arms and a high-spirited motto "I AM READY." It is one of two Storr discoveries made during the appraisal fair. A large, Paul Storr George III silver serving tray, measuring 22-5/8" long and weighing 137.4 oz., is expected to bring $5,000+.
The tray is one in a selection of 25 offered by makers ranging from Gorham and Tiffany and highlighted by a rare and notable George Washington Birth Centennial silvered-copper commemorative tray. Produced by an unknown maker, circa 1832, the 33-inch-long tray is decorated with a bold portrait bust of George Washington and accented with images of the Declaration of Independence and a ribbon inscribed with the names of 14 states. The tray carries a conservative estimate of $500+.
The auction holds a trove of unusual discoveries such as a circa 1821 Kirkby, Waterhouse & Co. George III covered soup tureen, accented by an imposing final of an arm clutching an arrow, is expected to bring $8,000+. A Gorham repoussé water pitcher, fashioned into the highly-detailed form of a primordial monster draped in seaweed, complete with a C-scroll handle as a beaded octopus tentacle, is anticipated to reach $7,000+ and an uncommon, Zaun German secessionist silver, amethyst and jade bowl on a wood base, made circa 1910, is expected to bring $4,000+.
A number of collections within the auction emphasize the rich variety of technique found in the silversmiths art from pieces elaborately chased, to mixed metal work and acid-etching. Nowhere is this more easily seen than in American flatware of the late 19th and early 20th century. More than 250 lots are devoted to rare and unusual silver flatware, ranging from a cased, 16-piece Tiffany & Co. ice cream serving set in the Japanese pattern, which may bring $15,000+, to a cased, 119-piece set of Heinrich Fries Continental service, weighing 302 oz., which may fetch $6,000+, a rare Tiffany lap-over-edge salad serving set with applied fireflies and turtles which will bring $3,000+, and a Gustav Klingert Russian cloisonné enamel and gilt scoop, which may bring $1,000+.
An extensive collection of important match safes includes a rare Gorham steel and 14K gold match safe, decorated with etched wood grain decoration in the manner of mokume gane, which is expected to bring $12,000+. Records from the Gorham archives show this exact match safe required 8-1/2 hours to make including 3-1/2 hours to produce the multi-colored wood grain effect.
Another selection, discovered in the Midwest as part of an extensive collection of silver, includes 40+ silver soup ladles from makers ranging from Tiffany, Reed & Barton, Gorham and George Sharp, highlighted by a Tiffany & Co. Persian pattern ladle from 1872, which may realize $700+.
Heritage's Decorative Art and European Paintings Signature Auction takes place June 15, highlighted by Maurice De Vlaminck's Normandie, pommiers dans la neige, Giovanni Battista Torriglia's The Soap Bubble, both expected to surpass $70,000+, and a strong assortment of fine porcelain from private collections and furniture, such as a Louis XV-style vitrine by Joseph Emmanuel Zwiener, which may realize $20,000+ and an important commode and pedestal clock after the designs of Jean-Henri Riesener.