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Tiffany Studios floor lamp with Magnolia shade should bring $300,000-$600,000 at auction
Tiffany Studios floor lamp with a Magnolia shade, 78 inches tall, purchased new from Tiffany between 1905 and 1910 and kept in the same home ever since (est. $300,000-$600,000).

AMESBURY, MASS.- A Tiffany Studios floor lamp with a Magnolia shade is conservatively estimated at $300,000-$600,000, while an oil on canvas painting by Raffaello Sorbi (It., 1844-1931) and an exceptionally large brilliant period cut glass punch bowl made in 1905 for Tiffany & Company are also expected to excel at a huge two-day auction planned for October 27th-28th.

They’re just a few of the star lots in John McInnis Auctioneers’ two-session estates auction, to be held online and in the firm’s gallery at 76 Main Street in Amesbury. The Friday, Oct. 27 session, at 1 pm Eastern, will feature silver, jewelry and Asian antiques. The Saturday session, at 11 am, will have fine antiques, paintings, bronzes, Tiffany, continental furnishings and decorative arts.

In all, more than 800 lots will cross the auction block. The sale will feature the contents of an oceanfront estate on Boston’s North Shore that was once used as the summer White House of President William Howard Taft; items from a prominent Harvard University professor out of Cambridge, Mass.; the property of an influential and well-known 19th century mill owner; and items from the estate of Baron Von Pantz.

The Tiffany Magnolia lamp is the auction’s undisputed main attraction. The lamp, 78 inches tall, is in untouched condition (except for a replaced light socket), and was purchased new from Tiffany between 1905 and 1910 by the mill owner (in the Andover/Lawrence area). It has remained in the home ever since. The 28-inch shade has a beautiful blue background and the bronze base is of the senior variety.

The oil painting by Raffaello Sorbi, titled On the Balcony, measures 47 inches by 61 ½ inches (framed) and is signed and dated 1875. It should hammer for $20,000-$40,000. Sorbi lived his entire life in Florence, Italy, where he studied design in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He was an art prodigy; at age 18, his painting took first prize at the Florentine Trienniale contest of 1861.

The cut glass punch bowl (with dozens of cups) is considered the largest ever made, and there’s a reason why: Tiffany & Company ordered the bowl be made for its new Fifth Avenue, New York showroom in 1905, and they wanted something spectacular. They succeeded. The bowl is huge: 28 inches tall, 26 inches in diameter and one inch thick, and must weigh 120 pounds. It took a team of 15 men 110 days to complete this feat. The cost at Tiffany’s in 1905 was $3,000, which would be close to $80,000 in today’s money. The bowl is estimated at $4,000-$8,000.

Session 1 will feature a pair of late 19th century Japanese sterling silver teapots, signed Konoike, to be sold as separate lots. Both are bulbous form with overall chrysanthemum repousse motif, applied dragon handle and foliated spout. Both are monogrammed and show Japanese characters at the base. One is 8 inches tall (est. $4,000-$6,000), the other 6 inches tall (est. $3,000-$5,000).

From China, an intricately pierced and carved 18th century cabinet, with a household interior, geometric motifs and flowers, and two vertical doors that open to a cabinet and two drawers, should realize $2,000-$4,000; while a pair of 19th century jade carvings, disc pierce and carved on both sides with figures and flowers, mounted into bronze finials, should breeze to $400-$600.

Also from Session 1, a Gorham sterling silver sphinx centerpiece compote in two interlocking parts, including an aesthetic engraved bowl with three horned lions applied to a ribbed rim, has an estimate of $1,000-$1,500; and a gorgeous Hermes 18kt gold and lizard skin bracelet, made in France and hallmarked, with a 10.3 diamond weight total, is expected to gavel for $400-$600.

While the Tiffany punch bowl is a Session 2 star, some other lots actually carry higher estimates. These include a 17th century oil on canvas painting by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1618-1682), unsigned and overall 74 inches by 52 inches (est; $10,000-$20,000); and a gilt bronze sculpture by Dimitri Chiparus (1886-1947), titled Les Amis de Toujours, signed (est. $20,000-$30,000).

A 17th century Franco-Flemish tapestry, woven with children playing tag with a lushly foliated landscape and distant castles, sizable at 94 inches by 129 inches, with a few small separations, should make $8,000-$16,000; and a Persian area carpet with Kerman design, showing some wear and measuring 5 feet 10 inches by 8 feet 10 inches, is expected to change hands for $500-$1,000.

An 8-volume set of books, comprising Cook’s Voyages and Portfolio 17 (London, 1773), in fine condition, chronicling the exploits of Capt. James Cook, the British Naval explorer, is expected to rise to $10,000-$15,000. Also, a 3 ½ inch diameter Great Seal of the Confederate States of America, covered by a circular disk of glass, in mint condition, should sell for $3,000-$5,000.

A Gibson Les Paul Junior Sunburst electric guitar with original case, signed on the head stock and in completely original untouched condition, with some scattered chipping, has an estimate of $2,500-$5,000; while a pre-Columbian ceramic Mochica jaguar (possibly a fragment of a large vessel), with a later-added necklace with a pair of hand-carved stone fish, should hit $200-$400.

A rare salesman’s sample Arts & Crafts settee, oak, with front legs that slide open to form a bed, complete with brass tacks, antique bed ticking and velvet, is expected to finish at $1,000-$1,500; and a circa-1910 fine Fuselli lace cloth depicting four Italian artists (Titian, Botticelli, Veronese and Reni), with 12 matching napkins, 72 inches by 126 inches, has an estimate of $500-$1,000.

For those unable to attend the auction in person, internet bidding will be facilitated by and Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

Exhibitions will be held on Thursday, October 26th, from 2-6 pm, and both auction days, when the gallery opens at 9 am and continuing throughout the day. All times quoted are Eastern time.

John McInnis Auctioneers is the largest full-service auction house on Boston’s North Shore. The firm’s 12,000-square-foot gallery is a 1930s brick Art Deco building that once housed a grocery store. A full staff of experts is proficient in 18th, 19th and 20th century fine and decorative arts.

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