most-loved sale from its always-busy calendar of events, the annual pre-Christmas Fine & Decorative Arts Auction consistently delivers luxury, rarity and peerless quality to discerning collectors and holiday gift-givers. This years edition, which will be held on December 19 and 20, is brimming with superior jewels and watches, paintings, art pottery, silver, and dazzling Tiffany Studios lamps.
Morphys Pennsylvania gallery is decked out in finery and glowing with soft light from more than two dozen antique art-glass lamps. Several especially rare Tiffanys lead the selection.
In our Fine & Decorative sales, we always make an extra effort to include lamps that are genuinely rare and exceptional, said Dan Morphy, founder and president of Morphy Auctions. Three Tiffanys, in particular stand out in our December event, starting with the Nasturtium lamp.
Most aficionados would agree that no one has ever understood how to fuse color and light quite like Louis Comfort Tiffany, and today, more than 125 years after the introduction of the first Tiffany Studios lamp, collectors remain mesmerized by the companys designs. A gorgeous example of Tiffany artistry, the signed and numbered Tiffany Nasturtium lamp has a 19-inch (diameter) leaded-glass shade which is profusely decorated with multicolored confetti glass tiles and a bevy of flowers in various shades of red, orange, purple and yellow against a green ground. The shade has no loose or missing pieces of glass, and it rests on a Tiffany-stamped telescoping cats-paw base. In excellent condition, the lamp is estimated at $120,000-$160,000.
A signed Tiffany Studios leaded-glass hanging lamp belted with a lush rose motif includes three chains, a ceiling canopy and other hardware, and is ready to grace a new home immediately. It is estimated at $50,000-$70,000. Collectors are not likely to overlook an extremely rare and unusual Tiffany candlestick lamp, either. Its pedestal is adorned with 16 iridescent Favrile glass balls and its rising central column is designed with two twisted bronze sections that encase two larger Favrile glass balls. It is crowned by a ribbed, gold glass Tiffany Studios shade, and its Tiffany-stamped base also bears an S stamp, suggesting it was a showroom piece. In excellent condition, it is expected to attract a winning bid of $50,000-$70,000.
Other forms of art glass include a rare 12-inch Daum frosted cream-colored glass vase decorated with a pattern of bees with iridescent wings flying amongst green leaves. Applied pink teardrop handles run the length of the vase on opposite sides, and the vessels base is signed Daum Nancy with the Cross of Lorraine. In excellent condition, it is estimated at $20,000-$25,000. A very rare and appealing Loetz 10-inch triple-lobe glass vase with purple-blue iridescent accents against a gold background is further enhanced with delicately detailed lotus leaves. This distinctive vase is prominently featured in a Loetz reference book and will cross the auction block with a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.
The bounteous 329-lot Jewelry, Watches & Coins section is a virtual trove of coveted wristwatches, pocket watches, coins and currency; and luxe jewels. A classic that would pair just as easily with a little black dress as a formal gown, an 18K white gold and diamond Riviera necklace consists of 117 graduated, round, brilliant-cut diamonds with a total weight of 23.00cts. The stones are graded (on average) as being of H color and SI2 clarity. Its gross weight is 38.0 grams, and its pre-sale estimate is $20,000-$30,000. A similar Riviera 18K white gold necklace with a total diamond weight of 10 carats is offered with a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.
Gentlemen will be spoiled for choice with 96 pocket watches and 20 wristwatches vying for their attention, but it would be hard to resist Lot 1239, a steel and 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Daytona Cosmograph Chronometer, Ref. No. 116503. Within its 40mm case is a handsome black dial with luminous markers. This sought-after timepiece is in excellent condition with all original links present. It also has its original outer box, inner box with watch holder, warranty card, booklets and both original hang tags. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000
Good things come in small packages, as the old saying goes, and there are 76 coin and currency lots in the auction that suit that description very nicely. Who wouldnt love a stocking stuffer like, for example, Lot 2176 a 1795 Liberty Bust dollar with two leaves. PCGS-graded VF20, this desirable antique coin from Americas earliest days is estimated at $6,000-$7,000.
If only one word could be used to describe Amphoras Art Nouveau Bohemian pottery and earthenwares, it would be exotic. The Austrian company founded in 1892 was blessed with skilled, imaginative designers who produced pieces steeped in fantasy and adorned with unexpected details. Amphora pottery is a staple in Morphy Fine & Decorative Arts sales, and the December event is no exception. One of the highlights is a 21½-inch porcelain Berry Bat vase with applied bats and water lilies. It is marked RSTK and impressed 669 and 41, and is similar to examples shown in two respected reference books: Vreelands Monsters and Maidens: Collectors Edition (Pg 361) and Scotts The House of Amphora (Pg 127). In mint condition, the vase is entered with a $15,000-$26,000 estimate.
Eighty-five American and European paintings and other visual artworks will be auctioned. A 1974 Western-themed oil-on-board painting by Frank C. McCarthy (American, 1924-2002), titled Posse, is artist-signed and in excellent condition. With an Altermann Galleries label on verso, it is offered with a $20,000-$30,000 estimate.