Two outstanding collections of American Brilliant Cut Glass to be offered at auction

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Two outstanding collections of American Brilliant Cut Glass to be offered at auction
American Brilliant Cut Glass vase signed Clark in the Othello pattern, 17 inches tall, with hobstar base and step cut neck.

DOUGLASS, KAN.- A two-day American Brilliant Cut Glass (“ABCG”) auction featuring a pair of outstanding single-owner collections will be held Friday and Saturday, March 4th and 5th, by Woody Auction, online and live in the Woody Auction auction hall at 130 East 3rd Street in Douglass. The start times are 5 pm Central for March 4th (lots 1-150) and 9:30 am Central for March 5th (lots 151-508).

The collections are those of Ila and the late Joe Lemon, who gathered fine examples of colored stems and great patterns; and Rich and Sandy Encelewski, who insisted that all the pieces in their collection be in outstanding condition. Some smaller collections have also been added, pushing the lot total to more than 500. All the lots will be sold to the highest bidder, without reserves. Mark your calendars.

“Cut glass auctions are always a thing of beauty, and when long time collections come together and are combined, the splendor can be overwhelming,” said Jason Woody of Woody Auction, which has been hosting cut glass auctions featuring fine lifetime collections for years. “The Lemon and Encelewski collections rank among the best. The fact that both are being offered in one sale is just remarkable.”

Lots to watch include a bowl in the Wedding Ring pattern by J. Hoare, 9 ¾ inches in diameter, having an exquisite blank; a round tray in the Expanding Star pattern by Elite, 14 inches in diameter, also with a superb blank; a vase signed Clark in the Othello pattern, 17 inches tall, with hobstar base and step cut neck; an ice cream set (tray and six matching plates) in the Star pattern by Meriden; and an oil lamp in the Persian pattern, 13 ½ inches tall, with no chimney, removable oil font and a mounted metal base.

Brilliant Period Cut Glass decanters and sets will feature a red cut to clear set in the Cane pattern fluorescing under a black light to indicate it’s American, with a pattern cut stopper and selling with ten matching wine stems; and a handled apricot cut to clear decanter, 11 inches tall, with a beautiful embossed floral sterling silver lidded spout marked Theodore B. Starr and a scalloped pattern cut foot.

Also offered will be a BPCG Moser pedestal decanter, 15 ¾ inches tall, with flawless engraved cutting featuring a courting man and woman near a fountain and lake with swan and tree highlights, artist marked “RS”; and a set of six BPCG cranberry cut to clear wine stems, 5 ¼ inches tall, each having interlocking rings with hobstar and cane highlights, a diamond cut border and colored six-petal foot.

Woody Auction stresses that if a piece is labeled as "ABCG", it means Woody Auction is confident the piece is 100 percent American Brilliant Cut Glass. If a piece is labeled as "BPCG”, Woody Auction is certain the piece is Brilliant Period Cut Glass but it may (or may not) be American. And if a piece is labeled simply as "Cut Glass", Woody Auction makes no guarantee as to the age or maker of the item.

Glass has been around for 3,500 years, and cut glass about half that long (dating to ancient Egypt). But for one glorious moment in time – the “Brilliant Period”, spanning less than a half-century, from 1876 to the start of World War I – fewer than ten cut glass manufacturers in the United States produced the majority of the marvelous ABCG examples that had no equal anywhere in the world and are coveted today.

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