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Rainbow selection of fancy colored diamonds, long-held fine art collection headline Morphy's Nov. 1-2 auction
John Martin Tracy (American, 1843-1893), ‘Dog Talk,’ signed oil on canvas, 24in by 36in. Est. $125,000-$150,000. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, PA.- A spectacular array of colored diamonds and a fresh collection of fine artworks assembled in the 1950s and ’60s top the long list of highlights in Morphy Auctions’ Nov. 1-2 Fine & Decorative Art sale. In all, 1,200 lots will be offered.

Day one will glitter with a first-class selection of jewelry, precious coins and silver, starting with 100 coin lots from the Pa. Treasury’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property.

“This is our third consignment of valuables from the Commonwealth’s vaults, and the quality continues to amaze me,” said Morphy Auctions CEO Dan Morphy. “In addition to silver dollars, we’ll be auctioning 5, 10 and 20-dollar gold pieces, plus a variety of fine jewelry. This arrangement has worked out so well for both sides that the Pennsylvania Treasury has chosen to continue its arrangement with Morphy’s next year.”

More than 100 lots of silver wares will follow the Treasury goods. The grouping includes teapots, candlesticks, a 48-piece Tiffany sterling flatware service, $2,000-$3,000; and a 6-piece Mexican silver tea and coffee set, $3,000-$4,000. An S. Kirk & Son sterling pedestal centerpiece is estimated at $3,500-$5,500.

Next up will be a 300-lot selection of fine jewelry and timepieces. Men’s watches are led by an 18K gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual, $6,000-$8,000; and a Brietling two-tone model with diamond bezel, $6,000-$8,000.

Of the jewelry lots featuring GIA-certified natural-colored diamonds, several are expected to bring six-figure prices, including a 20K gold ring with a 5.16ct pear-shape fancy gray, yellow and green diamond surrounded by 26 round pink diamonds weighing 1.5 carats and 18 round blue diamonds weighing .75 carats.

The highest-estimated jewelry lot is a platinum ring set with a 2.16ct fancy gray-blue oval-shape diamond and surrounded by 25 pink diamonds weighing 1.2 carats. The center diamond is graded Si1 for clarity, and the ring is estimated at $175,000-$200,000. A 5.06ct cushion-shape loose diamond, VS2, color G, is entered with a $90,000-$110,000 estimate. Other exciting diamond lots include an 18K gold ring with 1.06ct vivid yellow-orange oval diamond, Si1, color G, estimated at $22,000-$25,000; and a ring featuring a 1.02ct fancy puplish-pink cushion-shape diamond, Si1, estimated at $60,000-$70,000.

Many highly regarded mid-century American artists are represented in the fine art collection to be auctioned in the Saturday session. The collection descended through a New Jersey family and has remained intact ever since, making it a particularly fresh and desirable offering.

One of the top prizes is a Grandma Moses (American, 1860-1961) oil on board titled “First Snow,” which the consignor’s parents purchased in 1961 from Galerie St. Etienne, in New York. It retains its original artist’s label and inventory number on verso. The 8in by 13in work is a classic Grandma Moses winter landscape and is illustrated in Otto Kallir’s 1974 reference titled “Grandma Moses.” Estimate: $18,000-$22,000.

Also from the New Jersey collection is a 24in by 30in oil on Masonite by Theodoros Stamos (American, 1922-1997). “Stamos was a member of the art collective known as ‘the irascibles,’” said Patrick Orbe, head of Morphy’s Fine Art division. “They were really the founders of the New York abstract expressionist movement.” Titled “The Lamplighter,” the painting is signed and dated 1945. Estimate: $15,000-$18,000.

A Moses Soyer (American, 1899-1974) oil painting in the November auction measures 25in by 18¼in and is titled “Four Dancers.” It was purchased directly from the artist’s studio in 1961 and is expected to realize $6,000-$8,000. Joseph Stella’s (American, 1877-1946) 18in by 24in pastel titled “Tropical Plants” is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.

A formidable lineup of paintings by British artists includes a 1960 John Bratby, RA (1928-1971) oil on canvas that measures 74¾in by 26¾in and is titled “Gloria on Back and Revolving Studio.” Orbe commented: “The Bratby is a great one, really large and fresh, and from the mid century, which was his period.” Estimate: $3,000-$5,000.

Another British highlight is oil-on-canvas Scottish landscape by Alfred De Breanski Sr. (1852-1928) titled “Loch Awe, N.B.” The work measures 24in by 36in. and is estimated at $5,000-$7,000.

James Jebusa “J.J.” Shannon, RA (American/British, 1862-1923) is best known for his portraits of British and American society. A quintessential Shannon portrait in the sale depicts a handsome young man in tennis whites, clutching tennis balls in one hand. The signed 36in by 28in oil on canvas has an impressionist feel, typical of Shannon’s work. Estimate: $15,000-$18,000.

A great example of mid-century American illustration, Earl Moran’s (1893-1923) pastel on paper is the original artwork for a pinup calendar published by Brown & Bigelow. The 26in by 20in pastel is absolutely fresh to the market and has been in the same collection since it was first painted. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000.

Bermuda scenes have their own small but dedicated following. A marvelous example of a Bermuda cottage with picket fence and tropical greenery, painted by Edith Sarah Watson (American, 1861-1943), is expected to capture the attention of those particular collectors. It measures 12in by 16in and is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.

The auction also includes a varied selection of regional art, including a Florida scene by Rachel V. Hartley (1884-1995, granddaughter of George Inness and daughter of sculptor Jonathan Hartley), a James Milton Sessions (American, 1882-1962) watercolor of the Mississippi River, and a group of oil paintings by Native-American artist Louis ShipShee (1896-1975).

The decorative art section includes some unusual and very beautiful pieces, such as a circa-1905 metamorphic brass and marble butterfly by Carl Kauba (Austrian, 1865-1922). Quintessentially Art Nouveau, the butterfly slowly opens its filigreed, translucent enamel wings to reveal a nude woman. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000.

A grouping of 20+ stained glass windows includes a double-hung, stained- and leaded-glass window commissioned around 1897 by a man named George Crane. It came from an old house on West Main Street in Mountville, Pa., Morphy said.

More than 100 art glass lots will be sold, including a 15in Quezal Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase with stunning gold luster. The circa-1915 vase is estimated at $12,500-$15,000. The peerless quality of Tiffany is seen in an 8in, circa-1900 Blue Nash vase with pulled-feather decoration and strong purple and yellow colors. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000.

Amphora collectors will be pleased to know that Morphy’s is offering a 50-piece grouping that includes a monumental 20in Fates vase with 100 Art Nouveau faces modeled into the design. In mint condition, it is estimated at $15,000-$25,000. A 25in Amphora Stellmacher Frog and Fly vase could achieve $5,000-$7,000.

More than 100 music boxes will be on hand to fill the gallery with their richly melodious sounds. Highlights include a large, interchangeable 7-cylinder organ box, $25,000-$30,000; an oversize Paillard revolver music box that plays an 18½in cylinder, $30,000-$35,000; and a Regina 20¾in bow-front automatic changer, $15,000-$25,000.

Rounding out the second session are a group of 20+ clocks, including a Jacob Guthart (1779-1867) tall-case model made in Lebanon, Pa., $6,000-$10,000; and a classy ride for transporting auction goods back home – a 1955 Cadillac Series 62 coupe. Remarkably, it is a one-owner car with only 60,000 original miles on it. The price to glide out of Morphy’s in mid-century style is expected to be in the range of $12,000-$18,000.

The Nov. 1-2 auction will commence at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on both days. All forms of bidding will be available. Preview the online catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live online during the auction through MorphyLive, or

For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail

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