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Stephenson's gathers estate treasures for April 9 Spring Decorative Arts Auction
Paulette Van Roekens, ‘David and His World,’ a portrait of the artist’s son, SLL, 25½ x 21¾in (framed). Provenance: Estate of Davis Meltzer. Estimate $2,500-$5,000.

SOTHAMPTON, PA.- This year’s edition of Stephenson’s popular Spring Decorative Arts Auction will be held live at the company’s Southampton (suburban Philadelphia) gallery on Friday, April 9, with absentee and Internet live bidding available exclusively through LiveAuctioneers. The 451-lot sale features both fine and decorative art, Tiffany and other American silver, an outstanding selection of jewelry, more than 120 lots of furniture, including coveted Midcentury Modern productions; and many other treasures for collectors to discover. Most of the items set to cross the auction block were sourced from Philadelphia and other Mid-Atlantic estates and collections.

The Fine Art category is highlighted by paintings from the estate of sci-fi artist and scientific illustrator Davis Meltzer (1930-2017). Mr. Meltzer inherited an archive of family art from his father Arthur Meltzer (1893-1983), a noted landscape painter whose works are held in many prestigious museums; and his mother Paulette Van Roekens (1895-1988), a respected painter of still lifes and landscapes who had 14 significant solo exhibitions during her career.

Four Arthur Meltzer paintings are entered in the April 9 auction, including a signed 1943 oil-on-canvas portrait titled Davis [Meltzer] at 14 Years of Age. Measuring 35 by 32 inches (sight), it is estimated at $1,500-$3,000. An adolescent Davis was also the subject of Van Roekens’ oil-on-canvas portrait titled Davis and His World. Signed at lower left and with three labels attached on verso, one indicating that the artwork was a gift from the sitter’s mother, the 20- by 16-inch (sight) painting is presented in a frame hand-made by Arthur Meltzer. Estimate: $2,500-$5,000

A mixed-media construction that will undoubtedly appeal to collectors of Midcentury art, Mary Bauermeister’s (German, 1934) M-Oral Cube is composed of laquered wood, acrylic, ink and optical lenses, and is dated 1968 on verso. It comes to auction from an estate in the prestigious Philadelphia suburb of Villanova. Estimate: $16,000-$25,000

Midcentury designers feature prominently in the extensive array of furniture to be offered. Top lots include a sleek Dyrland Danish rosewood dining table with pull-out and folding leaves, estimate $600-$1,200; and a set of six Koefoeds Danish rosewood ladderback chairs, each stamped Made in Denmark by Koefoeds Furniture Makers Danish Control. They will be auctioned as one lot an $800-$1,500 estimate.

The industrial look, which has never been more popular with house-proud consumers as well as interior designers, is handsomely embodied in a metal map cabinet hand-crafted by Davis Meltzer. It has a teak top, poplar stand and five stacked horizontal metal drawers. From the estate of Davis Meltzer, it is entered with an $800-$1,500 estimate.

The enduring Tiffany name leads the sterling silver lots to be offered by Stephenson’s. A Tiffany sterling and gold martele ladle with a heart-shape bowl is impressed Tiffany & Co., and has a patent date of 1880. Weighing 9.885 ozt, it is estimated at $2,000-$3,500.

A set of Tiffany & Co., sterling silver flatware includes 12 dinner knives, eight dinner forks, five luncheon forks, seven salad forks, 10 teaspoons, eight bouillon spoons, five cream soup spoons, eight butter spreaders, and a serving spoon. All pieces except the dinner knives are engraved on verso with the name “Helen Dunbaugh.” In all, the set weighs 84.975ozt and is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

Stephenson’s has always been well known for its Fine Jewelry department and the exceptional and distinctive consignments it brings to auction. The April 9 sale includes a set of 18K gold cufflinks designed around Liberty Head $1 gold coins. Each cufflink has two of the coins, which appear to be from 1854 (date partially hidden by mountings). They are stamped “750,” with an additional stamp. The total weight for these eye-catching gentlemen’s accessories is 6.6dwt. Estimate: $1,200-$2,000

Jewelry collectors will also have their pick of substantial gold neck chains, bracelets, brooches and pendants, some of them set with diamonds and gemstones; baroque pearls, wristwatches, and a variety of beautiful rings. A Larry Graff 18K gold ring dazzles with its .50-carat pear-shape diamond surrounded by 3.3dwt of half-bezel round diamonds. The ring is stamped “Graff” and comes with both a 2001 receipt from Michael Haber, Ltd Jeweler (Wynnewood, Pa.), and an appraisal from Jeffrey L. Gansky, Phoenixville, Pa. Estimate: $1,500-$3,500

The collectibles category is led by seven original Marilyn Monroe pictorial calendars published in the 1940s and ‘50s. The earliest, a 1947 calendar imprinted with the Sunoco petroleum logo, depicts a suntanned, strawberry-blond Monroe in a black lace top, smiling as she holds a white telephone to her ear. Titled The Right Number, the shrink-wrapped calendar measures 10¼ by 5½ inches and is estimated at $800-$1,000.

Proving that you never know what you’ll find in a Philadelphia-area estate, the auction will transport bidders back to the earliest days of American motoring with an antique garage “find,” a 1914 Studebaker coupe. In all-original condition down to its spoked wheels, this classic is ready for a dedicated car buff to invest some TLC and restore it to its former motoring glory. Estimate $5,000-$10,000

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