Fontaine’s Auction Gallery will present its first auction of the new year on Saturday, January 29 at 11 a.m. This major 19th and 20th century fine and decorative arts auction features 19th and 20th century light fixtures, art glass, stained glass, silver, marble and bronze statuary, furniture American and European. Buyers can bid online or over the phone and away.
More than a dozen fine and rare examples of Tiffany Studios fixtures, unsurprisingly, are on offer here, led by a “Byzantine” Studios floor lamp ($150/250,000), early 20th century. The leaded glass lamp is 78 inches tall and its 26 inch weathered domed shade is decorated with over 2,000 small copper glass tiles. The tiles are laid out in an elaborate design consisting of four wide vertical stripes that form a cross when viewed from above. The elaborate circular and diamond-shaped patterns are consistent with Tiffany’s “Byzantine” desk sets.
The Tiffany Lighting Parade will continue to parade through the block with a Tiffany Studios “Clematis” chandelier ($80/$120,000), early 20th century, leaded glass and patinated bronze, impressed “Tiffany Studios, New York , 604-11”, 38 inches tall; a “Capucine” table lamp ($80/$120,000), circa 1905, whose 20-inch-diameter shade was signed twice, one being an early impressed label “Tiffany Studios New York »; and a 20th Century Tiffany Studios ‘Nautilus’ desk lamp ($10/$15,000) in patinated bronze with a nautilus shell with a cast ‘Mermaid’ base after a model by Louis Gudebrod, signed ‘Gudebrod’ , 17 x 4½ x 8 inches and many other fine examples.
Tiffany is not the only lighting manufacturer represented in this auction, which will feature beautiful lamps from a variety of talented and well-known designers, including an “Underwater” and “Mermaid” table lamp by Handel (15 $/$25,000), early 20th century, 21 1 /2 inches tall, and a bronze and jeweled Continental floor lamp with a figural parrot on a branch ($10/$15,000) accented with colorful jeweled wings , 84 by 40 inches.
Artwork offerings, especially those with provenance, will entice buyers to sit up and take notice, such as a portrait of Ralph Wolfe Cowan (American, b.1931) by Jacqueline Kennedy, commissioned by John F. Kennedy ($25/35,000). The oil on board is unsigned but includes a signed letter with dedication to the previous owner, measuring 98 by 52½ inches with frame. Also on offer is an 18th-century oil on canvas, “The Immaculate Conception of the Venerables,” after Bartolomé Esteban Murillo ($8/12,000), marked “Schoenfels, Murillo,” 62¾ by 50 inches (frame) and a Patinated bronze sculpture by famous Italian Mannerist sculptor Giambologna (Italian/Flemish, 1529-1608), representing Amphitrite, Goddess of the Sea ($15/$25,000), signed “Jean de Bologna” and measures 71 inches high.
Regular buyers here know that Fontaine’s auctions usually feature a standout design piece or two. This sale features an Indian cigar shop sculpture with polychrome decoration, attributed to John L. Cromwell ($12/$15,000), 87 by 27 by 21½ inches. The figurine has been repainted over what appears to be signs of the original paint but the base appears to be original.
From large to small, the detailed figurines come in all shapes and sizes as evidenced by a doll by André Jean Thuillier ($12/$15,000), circa 1880, having a composition body with wooden joints and a wooden head. biscuit marked “A 15 T”, 36 inches high. In the 19th century, hand-pressed AT dolls were highly sought after and usually only wealthy families could afford them.
The furniture category is still well represented here and it is expected that there will be a monumental front and back bar in American cherry ($20/30,000), late 19th century, which will be sold and shipped from its current home in Riverwoods, Ill. Hertz Brothers case pieces are perennially popular here and crossing the block this month will be a Carved Oak Figural Banquet Table ($12/15,000), late 19th century. The table, with six leaves, is decorated with four winged maidens and signed with the company label, 30½ by 59½ by 59½ inches (table).
Rounding out the auction are a late 19th century Continental 800 embossed silver samovar ($10/$15,000), 25¾ x 15½ x 15½ inches, and a Thomas Webb & Sons cut crystal punch bowl from the late 19th century ($8/$12,000), signed “W . Fritsche”, 10½ by 7¼ inches. William Fristche was one of the company’s two principal engravers in the late 1870s and is considered the l one of the finest engravers/cutters of that era and made some of the finest “carved rock crystal” created by the company.
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is the oldest continuously operating auction gallery in Western Massachusetts. He has earned the trust of collectors, investors and gallery owners around the world. All cataloged lots gain national exposure to the company’s database of over 24,000 selected buyers. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery has been voted “Best Antique Auction Gallery” by the public eight times.
Submissions are currently being accepted for the Spring and Summer auctions. Fontaine’s is actively seeking quality items for all upcoming auctions, including furniture, lighting, art glass, clocks and watches, paintings, china, bronze and marble statuary , Asian objects, art glass and cameo glass, Russian objects, money, music, currency -op, advertising, toys, banks, games and carousel items.
The company will buy directly or accept on consignment. Call (413) 448-8922 and ask to speak to John Fontaine, or you can email Mr. Fontaine at [email protected] For more information about the company and the schedule of upcoming auctions, visit www.fontainesauction.com. Updates are released frequently.
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is located at 1485 West Housatonic Street (Route 20), Pittsfield, Mass. For more information, visit www.FontainesAuction.com or call 413-448-8922.