Tiffany Studios, Gallé and R. Lalique take Heritage's Art Nouveau, Art Deco & Art Glass Event to $1.33 million

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tiffany Studios, Gallé and R. Lalique take Heritage's Art Nouveau, Art Deco & Art Glass Event to $1.33 million
Argy-Rousseau Pâte de Verre and Wrought Iron La Prairie Lamp, circa 1926.

DALLAS, TX.- Collectors can’t get enough of the endlessly innovative art movements that defined the turn of the last century. The fantastic creations from the studios of Tiffany, Gallé, R. Lalique, the Martin Brothers and more led a strong Pursuit of Beauty: Art Nouveau, Art Deco & Art Glass event at Heritage on April 18 and brought in $1,335,740. The auction totaled above its high estimate with a 98% sell-through rate.

“Our Pursuit of Beauty category presents works from the late 19th- and early-20th centuries across all media, in order to explore makers’ various responses to a moment of rapid transformation,” says Samantha Robinson, Heritage’s Director of Decorative Arts and Design. “Through the works of Martin Brothers, Tiffany Studios, Argy-Rousseau and their contemporaries, we see a simultaneous revival of traditional — even ancient — media, techniques, and motifs and embrace of new technologies to create visual languages befitting of the era. Our most diverse offering to date, our April 18 event celebrated the period’s panoply of styles, from Aesthetic Movement and Arts & Crafts to Art Nouveau and Art Deco.”

The leading lot in the auction, at $137,500, was a circa-1910 Tiffany Studios leaded glass and patinated bronze Trumpet Creeper chandelier from a Palm Beach Gardens collection, but the entire event was packed with higher-than-expected prices realized for the kind of unique and one-off pieces collectors set notifications for. Among them was a rare circa 1915 Steuben decorated Tiffany blue Aurene Glass vase with intarsia collar, from an important private collection of Steuben Aurene Glass, that sold for $27,500; a circa 1910 Zsolnay Eosin Glazed Floral Vase that sold for $12,500; and a rare monumental Gallé mold-blown cameo glass Calla Lily Vase, circa 1920, that went for $52,500. And a circa 1919 unique R. Lalique engraved glass vase with a sepia patina sold for $50,000.

This event was Heritage’s first to introduce selections from the sweeping and extraordinary Nelkin Collection (which will unfold at Heritage across nearly a dozen categories over the course of 2024). Amassed over decades by the late philanthropist Ruth Sylvia Nelkin, it includes virtuoso pieces of French art glass, much of which has not seen the market in more than 30 years. All proceeds go to charities that were close to the Nelkin family’s hearts. One highlight from the collection on April 18: An Argy-Rousseau Pâte de Verre and wrought iron La Prairie lamp, circa 1926, sold for $40,000. “Property from the Nelkin estate was 100% sold for a total above its high estimate,” says Nick Dawes, Heritage’s Senior Vice President of Special Collections. “And that success came from a remarkable number of bidders.”

Heritage also presented a rare and thoughtful selection of Martin Brothers pottery from a private collection of art pottery, and included the kind of wondrous creatures that made the Brothers, and their inventions, luminaries of the Arts & Crafts movement. Among those results, a large 1901 salt glazed stoneware Grotesque figural jar by Robert Wallace Martin for Martin Brothers Pottery sold for $30,000, and a large 1883 salt glazed stoneware Grotesque Fish spoon warmer, also by Robert Wallace Martin for the Martin Brothers, sold for $28,750.

“The Martin Brothers grotesques were among more than 100 lots of early-20th century art pottery drawn from a private collection that has been in storage for several decades,” says Robinson. “The fresh-to-market collection included masterworks from both sides of the Atlantic.”

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