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A fine Tiffany Studios Greek key lamp, a quintessential Guy Wiggins snow scene, and an inscribed 18K gold watch that Abraham Lincoln gave as a gift to his future wife, Mary Todd, are among the top lots in Morphy Auctions’ widely varied June 8-9 Fine & Decorative Arts sale.
Friday’s session will open with a grouping of 136 colorful and nicely illustrated antique occupational shaving mugs, including a very rare example that was made for a US mailman. The mug depicts an early railroad car emblazoned with signs that read “Letters” and “U.S. Mail.” It is expected to make $600-$900.
The mugs will be followed by a small selection of fishing lures, reels and outboard motors; plus several lots of World War II items. Contents include daggers, table decorations and a German flag.
Expect a busy signal in the gallery as Morphy’s moves into an offering of more than 160 lots of antique and vintage telephones, from candlestick and pay-station models through to 1950s desk phones in popular mid-century pastel colors.
Ephemera fans are sure to find something exciting in the postcard section of the sale. More than 70 large lots have been prepared, many of them including desirable Santa and Halloween cards.
The June 8 session will conclude with figural British biscuit tins and 70 lots of black Americana. Of special note is a framed automaton picture of an African-American boy. When wound up, the boy’s head moves side to side, and his mouth and eyes open and close. It is estimated at $2,500-$4,000.
Listen for the sound of engines revving when the Saturday, June 9 session begins. It will mean that it’s time to bid on eight choice collector cars. The lineup includes a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 2-door, est. $20,000-$25,000; and a classic 1962 Chevrolet Corvette convertible, est. $80,000-$100,000. An elegant 1960 Jaguar Mark II 3.8 4-door sedan to be auctioned by Morphy’s was featured in a 1998 issue of Auto Week. This British beauty was brought to the United States in 1961 and used by a New Hampshire physician to make house calls. It is entered in Morphy’s auction with a $60,000-$80,000 estimate.
Next to cross the block will be a wonderful pottery collection featuring designs by Roseville, Rookwood, Weller and others. Additionally, the category includes spatterware – highlighted by a 5-color Rainbow spatterware set – and some chintz pottery and a collection of early alphabet plates.
Decorative art is led by several lots of exquisitely carved Asian ivory. A circa-1870 bone and wood with mother of pearl 4-panel Chinese mahogany screen is expected to make $4,000-$6,000.
A fine selection of oil paintings and prints will be auctioned, including an atmospheric Guy Carleton Wiggins (American, 1883-1962) painting of a snowy New York street scene. Titled Broad St. Winter, the framed oil on board contains all of the elements collectors look for in a Wiggins artwork: American Flags, pedestrians, vehicles on a Manhattan street, etc. It is estimated at $3,000-$5,000. A Denny Dent (American, 1948-2004) impressionistic painting of Doors lead singer Jim Morrison represents a more contemporary style of art and is estimated at $10,000-$12,000.
Among the furniture highlights is a circa-1880 oak bar back with eight beveled mirrors. Solidly constructed and handsomely detailed, it should have no trouble making its $2,000-$4,000 estimate. Also to be offered is a circa-1890 oak roll-top desk that was used by a Pittsburgh surgeon for more than 30 years. It is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
The perfect addition to turn of the 20th century oak furniture is art glass lamps of the same period. In Morphy’s Saturday session, top lighting lots include a Handel lamp with exotic birds, berries, flowers and branches; a Pairpoint Puffy butterfly lamp, and a Tiffany Studios Greek key-patterned leaded-glass lamp in warm tones of gold and green. Signed on both the shade and base, the lamp is an impressive work of art and is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.
An outstanding entry in the sale is Lot 1103, an 18K gold pocket watch presented to Mary Todd by Abraham Lincoln sometime between 1839 and 1842, before their marriage. It is inscribed “To Miss Mary Todd – A Token of my Everlasting Devotion and Affection – Abe Lincoln” and comes with a letter of provenance from the North Missouri Historical Society. Unique and historically important, the watch could sell for $30,000-$60,000. Several other noteworthy lots in the fine jewelry section include a men’s Rolex 18K gold President watch with diamond face and diamond-enhanced link bracelet, estimate $15,000-$25,000; and a platinum engagement ring with a 1.77-carat central diamond plus baguettes and additional diamonds, est. $10,000-$15,000.
The sale is rounded out by decorative antique walking sticks; 30 lots of rare sterling silver, Bakelite jewelry, an album of 50 Civil War photos, many with hand signatures and identification of soldiers; and two rare antique iron furnaces.
If interested in consigning, please visit our consignment page.
2000 North Reading Road
Denver, PA 17517
Phone: 717-335-3435 | Fax: 717-336-7115
Morphy Auctions is one of the largest under-roof auction houses in the country, spanning over 45,000 sq. ft. The beautiful building is customized to meet the growing and changing needs of the antiques industry.
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