DENVER, Pa. — The formula for any auction that sees fantastic results seems so basic. As Sarah Stoltzfus, director of marketing for Morphy Auctions, states when asked what contributed to the strong sales at the company’s March 4-5 Fine and Decorative Art Auction, “Great stuff brings great prices. We had a killer selection of great furniture, a lot of Stickley, and a fantastic selection of pottery and art glass.”
With a sale total of $534,250 and a solid 82.3 percent sell-through rate, this March event for Morphy did indeed see strong sales with a plethora of wonderful items finding new homes.
Furniture offered was greeted with much enthusiasm from the bidders who participated in-house, online and via absentee and phone bidding. An early, eight-leg Limbert trapezoidal sideboard was the top furniture lot of the day, and rightly so. This quarter sawn oak piece still retained its original dark fumed finish and made $10,200 against an estimate of $4,000 to $8,000. Morphy labeled this sideboard as being rare as it was an uncatalogued variant with wooden pulls. The circa 1902 Grand Rapids, Mich., piece was also signed and sold with its early paper label.
Twenty six bidders vied for the Stickley Brothers single-door china cabinet that eventually was won with a bid of $4,500 (est. $1,200-$1,800). Made of quarter sawn oak, this cabinet had a plate rack over three adjustable shelves, its original hardware and finish, and came with its original key. A metal tag stating “Grand Rapids, Mich.” and the cabinet being numbered with a stenciled number “8745” added to its appeal.
A pair of Limbert Arts & Crafts two door bookcases, with both wearing a branded mark, one being stenciled with “340,” sold together for $4,305 (est. $2,000-$4,000). Also of quarter sawn oak, each bookcase had three adjustable shelves, its original finish and hardware.
A Lifetime single door bookcase, “No. 7613,” having pinned mortise and tenon construction with arched aprons did well, making $3,300 (est. $1,000-$1,500). Of quarter sawn oak and wearing its original hardware, this bookcase stood 49 inches high.
A rare Shop of the Crafters inlaid Morris chair sold strong at $2,280 (est. $1,500-$2,000). Having great form, the wonderful stylized inlay of elongated, stylized tulips on the front of each arm was an attention-grabber. Four slats were under each arm, and the chair also boasted a cloud life stretcher, again all in quarter sawn oak.
The remainder of this auction was chock full of some very desirable decorative items. The top seller where lamps are concerned was a Tiffany Studios 25-inch curtain border shade signed “TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK” that sold on a later Tiffany-style Senior floor base. This lamp went to $40,260 (est. $25,000-$45,000), making it also the top lot of the auction.
Bronzes got their fair share of attention at this two-day March event. A Romeo & Juliet bronze by sculptor Jean-Louis Gregoire (French, 1840-1890) went to $15,000 (est. $5,000-$10,000). Depicting Romeo with one arm around Juliet, the other in front of her as they look longingly into each other’s eyes, the pair was dressed in Renaissance clothing. The bronze stands 42 inches tall.
The Esmeralda & Goat bronze inscribed “Beaux Art” showing Esmeralda dancing with her tambourine and her goat sold for $10,200 (est. $2,000-$4,000). This bronze was 48 inches tall. And a French plated bronze and slate figural clock featuring a bronze violin, music stand and books sold for $2,857.50 (est. $500-$1,500). This clock had an open escape French movement and gong strike.
A variety of decorative vases, both pottery and glass, also made a showing and sold very well. A large (16 inches tall) circa 1940 Santo Domingo pottery vase having a nice etched surface realized an impressive $6,600 (est. $500-$750). Equally as impressive: This lot racked up 50 bids before it sold.
The name Loetz always garners attention. When it is a circa 1907, 8 1/2-inch-tall vase in the Zickzack Optish décor, big things happen. Decorated in an orange opal glass with a zigzag pattern in silvery blue and subtle crackle pattern complete with an overall iridescent finish, this vase made $6,600 (est. $3,000-$5,000).
Also bringing $6,600 (est. $6,000-$8,000) was the 12 1/4-inch-tall Tiffany vase executed in a gold Favrile décor. Having wheel carved leaves and vines all around the vase, this piece was also signed “3335 L.L.C. Tiffany Favrile.”
Other interesting items that sold this day included the very desirable Regina bowfront automatic changer music box that played 15 3/4-inch discs. Having a mahogany case and in original working condition, this musical item made $12,000 (est. $10,000-$15,000).
And a Cartier Native American Indian in full headdress brooch, signed “Cartier Paris” and featuring lovely enamel work, sold with its original box for $10,795 (est. $500-$800).
Prices include 23 percent buyer’s premium.