PITTSFIELD, MASS.- Fontaines Auction Gallery
will present an important fine and decorative arts auction on Saturday, May 21, at 11 am, featuring 19th and 20th century lighting, art glass, leaded glass windows, fine silver, marble and bronze statuary, American and European furniture, jewelry and porcelains. Buyers may bid online or via the phone and absentee.
Among gilded highlights are a Tiffany Studios Spider lamp ($30/50,000), circa 1905, in leaded glass and gilt bronze, standing 19 inches tall; a Christofle & Cie Napoleon III gilt bronze centerpiece ($12/15,000), late 19th century, embellished with foliate, flowers and ribbons, and a French Napoleon III gilt bronze mantel clock ($8/12,000), mid-19th century, with cherubs, scrollwork and foliate.
With just over 400 lots in this auction, buyers have so much to see, it might take a few days to preview this sale, said John Fontaine, owner of Fontaines Auction Gallery. Of course, we have several fine examples of rare Tiffany lamps but the silver category is very strong as is decorative arts from cameo glass to French clocks, leaded glass windows and much more.
Of the 70 lots in the auction made by Tiffany, about two dozen are Tiffany Studios lamps in a range of desirable patterns, including Pomegranate, Linenfold, Daffodil and Apple Blossom. Expected to lead the day is a Turtle-Back floor lamp ($40/60,000), circa 1910, leaded glass and patinated bronze, having the base and shade impressed Tiffany Studios, New York, 70 inches tall and a 22-inch diameter shade. Another fine example in this desirable pattern is an early 20th century Turtle-Back torchiere ($25,000-$35,000), standing 67 inches tall.
Besides the above mentioned Spider lamp, Tiffanys table lamps are well represented in the auction with a 21-inch tall Tulip table lamp ($30/50,000), circa 1910, having a 16-inch diameter shade impressed Tiffany Studios, New York, 1906.
Cars dont come up at auction at Fontaines often so when they do, buyers will likely get revved up as is the case with a 1993 Bentley Brooklands sedan having only 32,920 miles that is driving up to the auction block with a $20/30,000 estimate and a 6.75-liter Rolls-Royce V8 engine.
Jewelry and silver offerings are shining extra bright with a sparkling platinum and diamond ring centered by a 2.44-carat, Old European cut diamond ($15/25,000) accented by baguette diamonds weighing 0.39 carats. Buyers will also likely take a shine to an early 20th century Reed & Barton Love Disarmed sterling silver flatware set of 114 pieces ($12/15,000).
While the Tiffany Studios name is iconic for its lamps, its desk accessories are highly collectible and dropping into this auction is a Tiffany Studios Crab inkwell ($12/15,000), measuring 4 by 7 ¾ by 8 inches. The circa 1905 inkwell was made of patinated bronze and shell, having a glass insert and impressed Tiffany Studios with the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company monogram and 22/29233. Also bearing the Tiffany name is a Tiffany & Co. sterling silver pitcher ($10/15,000), circa 1870-1891, 18 inches tall and weighing 78.56 troy ounces. Looking very similar to one in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, this pitcher features a grotesque head set among leaves and berries, above a chased neck and gadrooned body.
Rounding out the auction will be an American jeweled and leaded glass floral window with a dove in flight above trumpeted flowers ($10/15,000), measuring 58 ½ by 34 ½ inches framed, and a late 19th century Berlin (KPM) porcelain plaque, Kiss of the Wave ($8/12,000), painted after Gustav Wertheimer (Austrian, 1847-1902) and measuring 18 by 20 inches (framed).