Beauty and craftsmanship are the watchwords in Morphy’s June 25 General Antiques & Pottery auction
Just as there are comfort foods, there are also comfort objects – decorative antiques whose beauty and superior craftsmanship render them icons of stability in an era of plastic and impersonal mass production. Early American clocks, artist-decorated pottery and hand-filigreed antique jewelry are comfort objects, and all may be found in abundance at Morphy’s June 25 General Antiques auction.
The 500-lot auction includes more than 40 tall case and mantel clocks, with the star lot being a circa-1795 Eli Terry production. “Eli Terry (Connecticut, 1772-1852) was the father of American clock making,” said Morphy Auctions’ owner, Dan Morphy. “The tall-case clock in our sale is extraordinary because it is the third of only three such clocks for which Eli Terry made both the movement and the case. The other two clocks are in museums.” In 2010, one of the other two Eli Terry clocks was appraised for a museum on PBS Television’s Antiques Roadshow and was valued at $25,000, minimum..
The 93-inch-tall Eli Terry clock (lot 407) in Morphy’s upcoming sale features a handsome mahogany case with excellent original finial and possibly original finish. It has a wooden movement with calendar, sweep-second hands and original tin can weights, and is in overall excellent condition. Accompanied by extensive written and photographic documentation, this recently discovered clock is expected to make $25,000-$60,000 at auction.
The clock section also includes a rare, primitive-style Flemish tall case clock, est. $4,000-$6,000 (lot 406); and an American Chippendale cherrywood tall case clock, est. $4,000-$8,000 (lot 409). A collection of desirable skeleton clocks joins the larger timekeepers, with highlights being a 2-train example with cable-driven fusee, est. $1,250-$1,800 (lot 390); a miniature “great wheel,” est. $600-$1,200 (lot 384); and a French miniature “post” clock, est. $900-$1,500 (lot 385).
The overwhelming success of Morphy’s Feb. 26 Fine Jewelry sale led to the consignment of 100 luxe pieces from two separate collections. A chic 14K white gold ring with a 3-carat center diamond is estimated at $12,000-$18,000 (lot 63); while a filigreed 18K gold, diamond and sapphire ring weighs in with a $7,000-$12,000 estimate (lot 38). Also featuring very fine filigree work, a ladies’ hand-made 18K cast-gold coin holder could realize $3,000-$5,000 ( lot 61).
More than 100 lots of pottery will be auctioned, including several Rookwood rarities. An exceptional 15-inch iris-glaze Rookwood vase with a depiction of geese in flight is a masterwork that was hand painted in 1902 by Rookwood’s renowned art director A.R. Valentien. The vase bears Valentien’s full signature and could finish in the $17,000-$23,000 range (lot 244). Other notable Rookwood lots include a 13½-inch Sara Sax avian and floral design executed in 1916, est. $6,000-$7,000 (lot 242); and an 11-inch scenic vellum vase by Ed Diers, $2,000-$2,500 (lot 240).
Several other premier potteries are represented in the sale. A Teco Arts & Crafts green matte glaze vase stands 12 inches tall and is estimated at $2,200-$2,500 (lot 184). An 11-inch Grueby bulbous vase could reach $1,500-$2,000 (lot 162); as could a 28-inch Roseville Bonita jardinière and pedestal (lot 225). A coveted Newcomb College Pottery 11-inch bud vase in blue tones is stamped “AFS” for student artist Anna Frances Simpson, and is assigned a presale estimate of $6,000-$8,000 (lot 247).
A stunning 10½-inch art glass vase with silver overlay, possibly of Austrian origin, is entered in the sale with a $5,000-$8,000 estimate (lot 109). Another glass highlight is the set of six signed Tiffany Studios gold-colored tumblers, $1,000-$1,500 (lot 107).
The primitive charm of stoneware is on display with a collection of more than 30 chicken feeders. Each of the blue or yellow stone feeders is attractively decorated, many adorned with cheerful images of hens or chicks.
Other decorative-art standouts include a 37-inch-tall Ming Dynasty polychrome-painted Buddha, $2,000-$4,000 (lot 281); and a magnificently carved ivory Asian urn, 24 inches tall with teak base. The urn is from a long-held single-owner collection that also includes two 11-inch ivory tusks carved with images of men and women at work. The tusks – likely Chinese artworks – are offered as a single lot with a presale estimate of $4,000-$8,000 (lot 275).
From a British collector comes an array of more than 30 biscuit and sweets tins, including several sought-after forms. A 1915 Robertson Bros. (Canada) bas-relief golf bag tin that once held chocolates is decorated with images of a man and woman golfer in vintage attire. It is estimated at $1,200-$1,500 (lot 291). Biscuit tin highlights include a 1913 Huntley & Palmers “King Wenceslas,” $1,000-$1,500 (lot 298); a Crawford’s “Fairy Tree” with Mabel Lucie Attwell design, $600-$900 (lot 308); and Huntley & Palmer’s “Plates” and “Shell” tins, each estimated at $600-$800 (lot 290).
All items in the June 25, 2011 auction are currently on display and available to preview at Morphy’s gallery. All forms of bidding will be available, including live at the gallery, phone, absentee, and live via the Internet through Morphy Live or LiveAuctioneers.com. For further information on any lot in the sale, call 717-335-3435 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. View the fully illustrated catalog and all other auction information online www.morphyauctions.com.
If interested in consigning, please visit our consignment page.
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Denver, PA 17517
Phone: 717-335-3435 | Fax: 717-336-7115
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