For many who collect or sell antiques, the first tradition of each year is browsing the upscale goods and bidding in Stephensons
New Years Day Auction. Family-owned since 1962, Stephensons specializes in fresh-to-the-market estate goods and collections from the Mid-Atlantic states and beyond.
Throughout the year, owner Cindy Stephenson and her team of specialists set aside rare, beautiful and interesting estate objects specifically to offer in their next January 1st sale. This years selection is characterized not only by premium-quality fine and decorative art, furniture, antiques and jewelry, but also many unique items that will immediately be recognized as something very special, Stephenson said.
More than 400 lots will cross the auction block at Stephensons Bucks County (suburban Philadelphia) gallery on New Years Day, with absentee and Internet live bidding through four different platforms. Major consignments came to Stephensons from a residence in Philadelphias historic Society Hill (exceptional furniture, art and old needlework), both the residence and Ardmore (Main Line) antique shop of Marjorie Schneider, and collections, estates and upscale homes from as far away as Florida.
An array of especially fine sterling silver will be offered. Two substantial Victorian sauce boats made in 1894 by Carrington & Co., London, are lavishly adorned with female caryatids, high-relief cherubs, and floral, foliate and shell decorations. Weighing 75.77 ozt (the pair), they carry an $8,000-$12,000 estimate.
A luxe 7-piece Mexican sterling silver tea and coffee service that includes all of the staples plus elegant extras like a hot water swing kettle on stand has a total weight of 284.257 ozt, inclusive of tray. Superbly crafted, the set is estimated at $4,000-$8,000.
An important, original John Reber (1857-1938, Lehigh County, Pa.) carved and polychrome painted folk art rooster is the actual book example from the quintessential reference book Just For Nice by Richard S. Machmer (fig. 266). Made around 1900, the 6¾-inch cockerel was actually part of the legendary Machmer private collection. Its further line of provenance includes its Oct. 24, 2008 sale at Pook & Pook, and a private Pennsylvania collection. The artwork is accompanied by a copy of the Machmer book in which it is illustrated, and is estimated at $2,500-$5,000.
Bidding is expected to be brisk for a handsome copper fire screen with jade cabochons and hand-wrought cast-iron finials, feet and other ornamentation. The screen was made around 1900 by Newlyn, one of the most desirable names of the English Arts & Crafts movement. The manufacturers desirable circle-of-fish logo is integrated into the design in repousse fashion. Purchased in Scotland in the 1980s, the screen has remained in the same private collection ever since. It is modestly estimated at $300-$500.
The many fans of Mid-Century Modern would recognize the distinctive look of Warren Platner for Knoll Furniture designs. Stephensons will offer a pair of 1960s Platner lounge chairs with linen boucle upholstery. The seating classics will be auctioned together with an estimate of $2,000-$4,000.
Forming a perfect partnership with the chairs is an acrylic-on-canvas trompe loeil painting by Paul Kane. Titled Baja, the 60 by 52-inch artwork is artist-signed on verso and estimated at $1,000-$2,000.
There will be 15 newly consigned lots from the New York City paperweight collector whose prized pieces debuted in earlier Stephensons sales. Among the choices are designs by John Deacons, Chris Buzzini and Mike Hunter of Twists Glass Studio.
Stephensons is known for its expertise with estate and other fine jewelry. One of the shining highlights of the New Years sale is an 18K gold alexandrite jewelry suite with an Egyptian lotus motif. The suite was actually made in Egypt as a special commission for a former top model who enjoyed buying beautiful things as she traveled the world. Made in the late 20th century, the set is expected to reach $800-$1,200.
Additionally, the auction features a large private collection of American brilliant cut glass much of it signed and fine porcelain, all from one knowledgeable, longtime collector.
Stephensons Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 New Years Day Auction will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The pre-auction inspection will be held at Stephensons gallery on Friday, Dec. 30 from 2-6 p.m., and on auction day from 10-11 a.m. The gallery is located in suburban Philadelphia at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton, PA 18966. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, AuctionZip or eBay. The online catalog appears on all four sites.