Newly discovered treasures from East Coast estates up for bid at Stephenson's July 28 Decorative Arts Auction

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Newly discovered treasures from East Coast estates up for bid at Stephenson's July 28 Decorative Arts Auction
Edouard Leon Cortes (Spanish/French, 1882-1969), Parisian street scene featuring one of the city’s most famous landmarks, the Arc de Triomphe. Oil on board, 23½in x 35¼in (sight). Courtesy of Stephenson’s Auctions.

SOUTHAMPTON, NY.- Stephenson’s Auctioneers, the Philadelphia region’s premier source for estate-fresh antiques and art since 1962, will host a July 28 Decorative Arts Auction of 325 select lots ranging from fine French paintings to stylish mid-century furniture and high-quality diamond jewelry. All forms of bidding will available, including in person at the gallery, by phone, absentee, or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.

Stephenson’s has a loyal following that has grown exponentially over the past six decades, due in large part to the company’s reputation for hosting sales that are wonderfully unpredictable. “While you will always find certain standard categories in our auctions – artworks, decoratives, furniture and fine jewelry – it’s always a treasure hunt,” said company owner Cindy Stephenson. “When we are invited visit a residence or appraise estate goods, we never know what we will find, especially in the Mid-Atlantic, where it is not uncommon for many generations of families to have lived in the same house. Because our appraisal team is well versed in so many categories, we can spot important items of all types that might otherwise slip through the cracks.”

The fine-art lineup for July 28 is graced by a number of European works, including an oil painting by the acclaimed French post-Impressionist Edouard Leon Cortes (b. Spain, 1882-1969). A quintessential Cortes, it depicts a rainy Parisian street scene with one of the city’s most famous landmarks, the Arc de Triomphe, in the background. In his day, no one could match Cortes – who was known as “the Parisian Poet of Painting” – for his ability to capture the mood of Paris through cityscapes in a variety of weather settings. Measuring 23½ inches by 35¼ inches (sight), the painting in Stephenson’s sale is artist-signed and estimated at $18,000-$25,000.

Another immediately identifiable French structure is seen in Ludolfs Liberts’ (New York, 1895-1959) La Madeleine Paris. Located on the luxe Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, the Corinthian-columned La Madeleine is home to stately Palais de l’Elysee, the French President’s official residence. Artist-signed, Liberts’ 10½-inch by 13½-inch (sight) oil-on-board comes to auction with a $1,000-$1,500 estimate.

A beautiful bronze sculpture attributed to Charles Henri Joseph Cordier (French, 1827-1905) dates from the mid- to late-19th century and is titled African Venus. It stands 32 inches high and was originally the support figure for an onyx urn. The foundry that produced the sculpture was Marnyhac et Cie, the commercial name used by Societe des Marbres et Bronzes Artistiques de Paris. The artwork is fastidiously detailed to simulate a double-strand of beads, an egret in the woman’s hair, and foliage held overhead. It passed by descent through a Philadelphia family to the consignor, who believes the sculpture, which belonged to his uncle, may have been purchased around the 1970s at Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000

Bidders come from far and wide to bid on fine jewelry offered in Stephenson’s sales. Among the highlights in the July 28 selection is a circa-2010 Rolex Cellini Prince 18K rose gold wristwatch with a black crocodile strap. Its rose-gold deployment buckle is stamped 750 (hallmarks) Rolex Geneve, and the case is stamped and hallmarked on verso. Retaining both its interior and exterior boxes, it is estimated at $6,000-$10,000.

A diamond platinum engagement ring is centered with a glittering 1.95-carat round diamond. The stone is graded I1 clarity and K (provisional) color. It is impressively presented in a four-prong setting, flanked by three 2.7mm round accent diamonds set to each side on the shoulder. This high-quality ring, which is stamped .900OPLAT100RID, is expected to make $3,500-$5,500 at auction.

Elegant home decoratives include a set of four Tiffany and Co., sterling silver trumpet vases, each standing 9 inches high and, together, weighing 31.255ozt. The ultimate in American style, the quartet is cataloged with a $1,000-$1,500 estimate. A 14K gold tea strainer is embellished with open pierce work to its center and has a celluloid handle. An anchor mark on verso confirms its place of manufacture as Birmingham, England. The piece weighs 36.7021 grams, and like the quartet of Tiffany vases, it will cross the auction block with a $1,000-$1,500 estimate.

Those who admire the sleek, no-frills aesthetic of mid-20th-century design will surely not be overlooking a sofa designed by Danish Modern trailblazer Poul Cadovius (1911-2011), who is best known for his Royal System of modular furniture. Made by France and Son for John Stuart, the sofa has a woven back and sides, and displays an attractive rosewood veneer, including to its legs. Its cushions are of later manufacture. Metal tags from “JOHN STUART INC NEW YORK GRAND RAPIDS” and France and Son (double-F logo) are retained to the sofa’s underside. Estimate: $2,000-$4,000

Stephenson’s Friday, July 28, 2023 Midsummer Decorative Arts Auction will be held live at the company’s Southampton (suburban Philadelphia), Pennsylvania gallery, with phone, absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers. Start time: 2pm ET. In-gallery inspection of goods will be available on Thursday, July 27 from 3-6 p.m., and on auction day, Friday, July 28 from 12 noon until the auction commences at 2pm.

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