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Updated August 2014

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Julia’s Announces Huge Summer Blowout With Over $4 Million in Antiques and Fine Art

James D. Julia, Inc. has long marked the end of summer with the biggest and best antique and fine art auction in the state of Maine, and this year is no different. Actually, there is a slight difference. For nearly 20 years, the division was headed by Bill Gage, who through unyielding dedication and seemingly bottomless energy helped grow the division to one of the biggest and best in North America. He has recently handed the reins to the equally proficient and experienced co-captain Tony Greist to tend to family concerns, making for a seamless transition. The upcoming auction, numbering over 3,000 lots with an expected gross of approximately $4.5 million, will be one of their largest and most diverse summer antiques auction to date. Over a four-day period, bidders will be treated to a massive selection of American and European paintings, folk art, Asian antiques and art, silver, and fine antiques of every kind.

Day I starts things off with approximately 400 paintings, highlighted in part by an outstanding and large oil-on-canvas scene by Edmund William Greacen entitled, “In a Giverny Garden, 1909,” picturing a woman holding a small parasol sitting in her lush country garden. The work’s provenance indicates Greacen gave this painting to his good friend and fellow artist Theodore Earl Butler who was Monet’s son-in-law. According to Greacen’s great-grandson who contacted Julia’s after the catalog went to press, the woman in the painting is Ethol Greacen, Edmund’s wife, and was painted in front of their Giverny house which was named “Maison en face de la gare,” the “house that faced the train station.” This exceptional work comes estimated for $30,000-$50,000.

This is joined by a wide variety of other art, including more than two dozen North Shore, Rockport-Gloucester works including perennial favorite Emile Gruppe whose harbor scenes and rustic landscapes are legendary. This auction features such works as a lovely scene of Smith Cove with fishermen tending to their nets with numerous moored boats comprising the background. It carries a presale estimate of $10,000-$15,000. Another highlight is a recent discovery found in a fishing camp that depicts the Annisquam River looking toward Ipswich Bay. Adding to the intrigue is that it was originally thought to be by Fitz Henry Lane. However, it was examined by Lane experts and determined to be an exact expert period copy by Mary Blood Mellen, a student of Lane in the 1850s. A brilliant artist in her own right, the piece is expected to bring $5,000-$10,000. Other Northeasterners include two works by William Trost Richards. This renowned New Yorker with a deft hand will be represented by his landscape of a lake in the Adirondacks. From a private Long Island collection, it comes estimated for $10,000-$20,000. His depiction of Rockaway Beach with gentle waves lapping the shore carries an estimate of $10,000-15,000.

Also worthy of note will be three works by Ralph Cahoon. This 20th century artist known for his whimsical works that combine fantasy and folk art sensibilities is represented by such examples as “Susannah & The Elders.” It is an octagonal form oil on board depicting a group of pilgrim elders being ferried along the shore when they happen upon a smiling mermaid grooming herself. Or is it just a shared delusion borne from the numerous wine bottles seen on board? Regardless, this charming work comes estimated for $10,000-$15,000. Another example he entitled “Seaside Sparring” will bring a smile to your face, no matter who you are. It portrays two sailors standing behind their respective mermaid trainees who are engaged in a portside gloves-on boxing match. The notion is preposterous, which makes it all the more enjoyable to view. It carries an estimate of $8,000-$12,000.

The selection of art continues with some international examples such as two works from a Long Island collector of Philippine artist Fernando Amorsolo. The first is a market scene of townspeople buying and selling produce in the village square. It is followed by a marvelous oil of laborers working the rice fields in the shadow of a distant volcano. Each carries a presale estimate of $50,000-$80,000.

Other visual art includes a variety of bronzes such as a contemporary modern polychrome sculpture by Dave McGary entitled, “A Matter of Honor,” that depicts Crow King, a Sioux Chief during the Battle of Little Big Horn, who was instrumental in preventing Custer’s troops from reaching the river. One of 30 ever made, it comes estimated for $5,000-$10,000. Also included will be a late addition to the auction, a highly desirable Ansel Adams-signed gelatin silver print of a southwest village entitled, “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1942.” No one does black and white like Adams. One look and you know you’re looking at a master. It comes estimated for $25,000-$35,000. This is followed by a special large photo collection by Harold Haliday Costain consigned by his daughter Allison. Given to her to represent a cross section of his long life and brilliant career that spanned nearly 80 years, it consists of numerous interior and exterior scenes, portraits, fashion and advertising shots, and slices of life from one of America’s most prolific professional photographers. These hundreds of photographs will be sold individually and in small and larger lots, ranging in estimates from the mid-hundreds to the low thousands. This is truly a rare opportunity.

The focus of Day II and the first part of Day III is on a vast array of folk art in a variety of genres but also includes a fine selection of marine and nautical art, American furniture and accessories of every kind. Highlights include the largest collection of weathervanes Julia’s has handled in recent memory. An important copper example from the late 19th century showing a quill pen breaking a sword blade once belonged to American publishing magnate Cyrus H.K. Curtis whose credits include the Saturday Evening Post and Ladies Home Journal. Curtis, who was born in Portland, Maine, in 1850, had it created as a logical extension of his profession as a publisher and to represent the old adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” The vane was acquired in the 1930s by the present consignor’s father who received it as partial payment for some demolition work he was doing on the building on which it stood for many years. It carries a presale estimate of $20,000-$40,000.

Other examples include an exceptional and large grasshopper with original verdigris surfaces. Attributed to L.W. Cushing & Sons of Waltham, Massachusetts, it is well detailed and documented. Acquired from a barn in Indiana in 1995, it comes fresh to the market with an estimate of $75,000-$100,000. The list goes on to include various leaping stags, horses, wild and farm fowl, and much more. Other folk art includes a generous selection of primitive portraits, most of which depict children with their toys or pets, making them even more desirable. Also up for bid will be an extensive collection of cast iron mill weights and doorstops.

An unusual carved calling card figure of a uniformed organ grinder monkey depicts the intricately carved simian seated atop a carved stump plinth. Most realistic, it’s almost unsettling. It carries a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.

Folk art of a more nautical flavor includes ship models, portraits, accessories, and even a ship’s figurehead. This carved, full-body painted white pine figure represents Lord Nelson in full regalia atop a carve scroll and rope bundle. When retired as a figurehead, it was then used as a trade sign figure in a ship store in Norfolk, Virginia, in the 1920s and 1930s. It now carries an estimate of $4,000-$6,000.

Marine art includes three works by the commodore of ship portraits, Antonio Jacobsen. His depiction of the black hulled steamship, “The Commonwealth,” carries an estimate of $5,000-$7,000. Montague Dawson’s vertical portrait of an oncoming three-mast tall ship in full sail cutting through the sun reflected in the white-tipped green waves can best be described as majestic as it crests the horizon. It comes estimated for $20,000-$40,000. Three turn of the century works by Antonio De Simone that portray various steam yachts traversing the choppy seas are estimated for $2,000-$3,000 apiece.

Other items of interest include a nice assortment of American furniture from a private Long Island collector. Highlights include a fine Chippendale carved-mahogany, block-front slant-lid desk. From the third quarter of the 18th century Boston, this exceptional piece ex-Louis Appell collection is fitted with an arrangement of valanced pigeon holes and blocked drawers accentuated by bold period brasses and ball and talon feet. It comes estimated for $10,000-$15,000. From the same collection is a two-part Chippendale block-front mahogany secretary bookcase from the late 1700s. This Boston-made piece is chock full of doors, drawers and pigeonholes within an elegantly formed case with molded swan’s neck pediment and spiral twist finials. It carries a $20,000-$30,000 estimate. Also, a lovely tiger maple corner chair with delightful pierced and scrolled splats reminiscent of owls alternating with ring turned pilasters carries an $8,000-12,000 estimate. The selection continues with a fine grouping of early American furniture, many with original painted surfaces.

Other fine furnishings include a selection of clocks such as an important tiger maple Pennsylvania tall case clock with a gorgeous mellow honey brown cabinet. It features a figured maple bonnet with swan’s neck crest and a tombstone door that opens to reveal an enameled dial with moon phase above. It is expected to sell for $7,000-$9,000. Others include several Howard, Chelsea, and Seth Thomas wall clocks as well as a Massachusetts Federal banjo timepiece. With Aaron Willard dial and mahogany case, it carries an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

From the renowned Norm Flayderman collection comes a selection of exceedingly rare Civil War recruiting posters. Flayderman was an astute businessman, scholar and military collector who helped revolutionize the price guide. While there were firearm and other price guides, his became the bible used most often and were respected above all others for their information, honest assessments, and accuracy. Julia’s sold Flayderman’s firearm collection earlier this year and will now offer his personal collection of Civil War recruiting posters and broadsides that by sheer miracle survived these 150+ years.

Miscellaneous items include a small collection of first edition leather bound illustrated books by Victor Hugo in French including a five volume set featuring Les Miserables. This exceptional set carries a $12,000-15,000 estimate. Also, a limited edition two-volume Gutenberg Bible facsimile set with finely crafted red tooled and gilded leather using period techniques is expected to sell for $12,000-$15,000.

If somewhat larger collectibles are your thing, why not consider a small fleet of antique automobiles? Included will be such attractive 1926 Franklin Series 11A Passenger Sport Runabout boat tail. Complete with rumble seat and finely reupholstered, it is expected to fetch $35,000-$55,000. Also up for bid will be a 1948 Chrysler New Yorker ($12,000-$18,000), a 1955 Dodge Royal Lancer 2-door hardtop ($6,500-$13,000), and a 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass F-85 convertible ($10,000-$15,000).

This session is rounded out by a selection of early American, English and Mexican sterling silver as well as American and continental coins and Russian enamel pieces, such as a superb and large silver kovsh with matching spoon by Maria Semyenova. From the early part of the 20th century, it features delicate shading and robust colors with allover foliate and flower decoration. Residing in the same family since it was brought over from Poland in the 1930s, it now carries a pre-auction estimate of $6,000-$9,000.

Much of Days III and IV will be devoted to approximately 1,200 lots of Asian art and artifacts, some of which come from an estate collection of a renowned Taiwanese diplomatic family with ties to Robert Frost and T.S. Eliot. The collection consists of a variety of carved figures, scrolls, seals, censers, jade, porcelain, and more. From other collections will be a fine grouping of early and archaic architectural fragments. One of the most significant items in this segment is a phenomenal carved limestone group from the Eastern Wei Period. The central Buddha figure is flanked by two attendant deities with extensive inscription on the reverse. Once part of the Jean Michel Beardeley collection, it now comes estimated for $60,000-$80,000.

The auction is also highlighted by a large offering of fine jade in a variety of forms. Of particular note is an important jade scepter. From the 18th or 19th centuries, this sea green celadon stone carved as Ling Chih with lotus flowers and allover foliage and accompanied by a pierced and carved rosewood stand, its beauty is unmatched. Expected to see much attention, it comes estimated for $30,000-$50,000. A highly translucent pale celadon carved jade bowl from the 19th century with a floral interior and an exterior carved with the eight precious emblems carries an estimate of $22,000-$28,000. With the same high translucence, a nicely carved gray jade covered box with chih lung and san tigrams is fit for royalty and comes with a $15,000-$18,000 estimate. A fine forest green jade censer with various animal figural accents and a dragon finial carries an estimate of $15,000-$18,000. The selection of jade will also include a variety of jewelry, figural carvings, boxes, pendants, and more.

Also included will be a large offering of Chinese and Japanese cloisonné as well as various figural bronzes. One of the many highlights is a fine bronze of a windblown figure from the Meiji Period Japan. Brilliantly cast with realistic billowing folds, the robed gentleman with gilt highlights seems to be taking it all in stride. From the Norm Flayderman collection, it comes estimated for $10,000-$20,000.

The auction continues with a grouping of Asian porcelain including Ming as well as a select grouping of Chinese Export including a rare Carlos Maria de Bustamante armorial crest pitcher. The porcelain helmet pitcher decorated in gold with a crest and flowers honors the ascension of Ferdinand VII in 1808 who later became a noted figure in Mexico’s War of Independence. It carries a conservative estimate of $300-$500.

The sale is rounded out by over 200+ hand painted scrolls, paintings, and Tibetan thangkas. These exceptional paintings on silk or linen are highly desirable and are not easy to come by. Two such examples showing Tibetan deities Amida and Amytous, each surrounded by lineage figures with lots of color and detail, come estimated for $22,000-$25,000 and $9,000-$12,000, respectively.

More information on the Julia auction can be obtained by going to their website at www.jamesdjulia.com or calling 207-453-7125. Free full-color brochures are available, or their lavish, full-color, detailed and illustrated catalogs are available for $40 apiece for Sessions I and II and Sessions III & IV, or both volumes for $75. Previews for the auctions will be Monday, August 18 from 9am-5pm, Tuesday through Friday from 8-10 am before the auction and 12-5pm during the auction sessions. The auction commences at 10am on the days of the sale at Julia’s auction facilities on Rt. 201 in Fairfield, Maine. 

Summer Estates Auction Aug- 8-9 by Ahlers & Ogletree in Atlanta

Around 1,000 lots of quality, fresh merchandise in a wide array of categories – fine art by noted listed artists, period and modern furniture pieces, antique tortoiseshell items, decorative accessories and more – will be sold the weekend of Aug. 9-10 by Ahlers & Ogletree, in the firm’s gallery at 715 Miami Circle (Suite 210) in Atlanta. Start times both days will be 11 a.m.

Fine artwork will be a headliner category. Two works by the noted Swiss-born (but well-traveled) painter Theo Meier (1908-1982) will be offered. One is an oil on canvas titled, Balinese Female Nude (1945), 25.5 inches by 23.25 inches (unframed). The other is a 1950 pencil-on-paper rendering titled, Sketch of a Young Balinese Woman. Both are artist-signed and dated.

A pair of oil-on-canvas paintings will be offered by the British artist Christopher Le Brun (b. 1951), including this 2007 work titled, Day Painting.

Two oil-on-canvas paintings by the British painter Christopher Le Brun (b. 1951) will also come up for bid. The first is a contemporary abstract painting with imagery of a gray horse in a muted architectural landscape titled, Day Painting (2007). The second is a contemporary painting with abstract imagery of overgrown plant life titled, Trance (2005). Both are artist-signed and dated.

The period furniture category will feature an early 20th century French mahogany and gilt metal mounted Empire-style sofa with custom silk upholstery, 78.25 inches wide; an American marble-top Empire-style pier table; a marble-top bombe chest with wine cork motif, an Empire-style ormolu mounted mahogany armchair; and a mahogany and satinwood inlaid flip-top game table.

The auction gallery will be open for preview Wednesday through Friday (Aug. 6-8), from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A wine and cheese reception and evening preview will be held on Thursday, Aug. 7th, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. All items for sale in the auction may be viewed in a virtual catalog beginning July 26th, at the Ahlers & Ogletree website: AandOAuctions. To learn more about Ahlers & Ogletree and the Aug. 9-10 Summer Estates Auction, visit www.AandOauctions.com. 

41st Fall St. Louis Antique Festival slated for Aug. 30-31 in Belleville, Ill.

Fine antiques and collectibles abound at the St. Louis Antique Festival, held twice yearly at the Belle Clair Fairgrounds in Belleville, Ill. The fairgrounds have been home to the festival for over 25 years with a spring and a fall show most years. This show features many investment-quality antiques from some of the top dealers in the country. This fall’s 41st show will be held Saturday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug. 31. Hours are Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-4.

The festival will feature 90 top quality antique dealers from 32 states, displaying and selling Dresden, Meissen, porcelain, jewelry, Nippon, knives, Orientalia, art glass, art pottery, bronzes, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, paintings, furniture, silver, china, country store, quilts, clocks, French Cameo glass, lamps, photographs, Civil War, coins, dolls, toys, signs, sports, advertising, paper, glassware, prints, statuary, majolica, old west memorabilia, tools, musical instruments, linens and collectibles.

The Belle Clair Fairgrounds is located six miles off of I-64, exit 12, south on Hwy. 159 at Hwy 13. The show is held inside a climate-controlled building with plenty of free parking. Admission is $6. Refreshments are available at the in-house restaurant. Dealer inquiries about available exhibit space are invited. Mary Lou’s Crystal Repair is scheduled to be on hand so bring your flawed items accordingly. For more info, call Wade or Dorrie Hallett at 608-346-0975. 

Julia's "Bears All" in Their June Toy & Doll Auction

It was a regular Teddy Bear picnic in Fairfield, Maine, recently when the largest and finest collection of antique Steiff animals to ever come to auction in North America was sold at James D. Julia’s spring toy, doll and advertising auction, yielding just under a half million dollars of the auction’s nearly $1.3 million take, which performed in line with the presale expectations for the collection of just over $400,000.

If you ask anyone in the know about Steiff animals, the names of Chuck and Cathy Steffes will likely come up. Enthusiasts like no other, Chuck along with his now dearly departed wife Cathy traveled the globe for approximately three decades forging friendships and hunting Steiff treasures to add to their remarkable collection. The beloved pair assembled a singular collection that could be considered the envy of collectors the world over. Julia’s pulled out all the stops, doing a number of marketing efforts the company had not done previously in order to maximize the exposure of the spectacular collection. Two weeks prior to the auction, Julia’s held a special invitational reception/preview at the Cambridge, Massachusetts home of their Steiff consultant, Rebekah Kaufman in which attendees got an advance opportunity to see many of the offerings up close while sharing stories with other passionate collectors.

Leading up to the auction there was a fair amount of anticipation by the consignor, the auctioneer, and the collectors themselves. This was unquestionably one of the finest collections of Steiff toys to come to auction in North America and believed to be the second finest offered in the world to date. After the downturn in the market in 2009, the market value on almost everything antique and collectable was affected. Since that time, some collectable niches have improved while others have not. So it was unknown what would happen with the Steiff animals.

Of the approximately 120 examples from the Steffes collection, which consisted predominantly of bears, rabbits and cats in a variety of patterns and styles, it is difficult to choose only a few highlights to mention. Certainly one of the standouts of the grouping was an exceedingly rare and historically important black Steiff Titanic “Mourning Bear”. Made to honor those lives lost in the infamous tragedy, it is of the most sought after vintage bears known. Only 665 were ever produced and only 78 were ever made in this size and configuration, it features highly distinctive red felt backed shoebutton eyes to represent tears and sadness. One of the centerpieces of the Steffes’ collection, it sold for $35,550 within a pre-auction estimate of $25,000-40,000. Also of historical significance was one of the earliest bears Steiff ever produced, the rare “Rod” bear. Designed by Richard Steiff after viewing bears at the Stuttgart Zoo, its appearance was more true to life than their subsequent creations that eventually established the traditional “teddy bear” look. It changed hands at $14,220. Over the years, Steiff’s product line evolved. Finding earlier incarnations to be rigid and somewhat uninviting, Richard Steiff insisted that the firm create a line of bears that was warmer, cuddlier, and more colorful. The result was a bear known as “Happy” with almost feminine features including long, soft curly mohair and deep brown and black glass pupil eyes. This example, complete with its trailing “F” button sold within its $12,000-18,000 estimate for $13,035.

Very often a little back story along with strong condition will add to the value of an item. It almost breathes life into an otherwise inanimate object. A wonderful 24” gold mohair 5-ways jointed Steiff bear from around 1910 in outstanding condition with his working growler and early button is great find in and of itself. But when accompanied by a photo of the original owners, and a letter explaining his history, that really speaks to people. This stately fellow with his thoughtful gaze found a new home for $21,330 against an $8,000-12,000 estimate.

A marvelous circa 1930 brown tipped, rare blue eyed Steiff “Petsy” bear with distinctive facial features and soft fluffy mohair, likewise complete with its original button realized $17,775. Also included were such examples as an exceptionally rare and equally desirable brown tipped Steiff teddy clown bear. This large 12” jointed version in outstanding condition and retaining its original fabric ruff, metal rimmed chest tag, button, and ear tag sold for $26,662, just inside an estimate of $25,000-45,000.

These bears were complemented by scores of other fine examples including a variety of mohair, felt, and velvet cats and rabbits. Highlights included a fantastic 6-ways jointed gray Steiff cat. Cute as can be with yellow slit pupil glass eyes and pink embroidered facial features, it sold for $10,665, more than doubling the low end of its $4,000-6,000 estimate. An extremely rare Steiff velvet rattle cat with its original bell and early elephant button was another hot ticket, selling for $7,702 against an estimate of $3,500-4,500. And a delightful lavender “Fluffy” cat on a mohair pincushion retaining its original chest tag, ear button and tag exceeded its $2,500-5,000 estimate to bring $7,110.

Rabbits included a rare Steiff Jack rabbit with jointed arms, velvet clothes, and black leather shoes. Inspired by the children’s book by Uncle Dave Cory in the late 1920s, this charming fellow hopped past his $2,500-3,500 presale estimate to land at $7,702. A nine piece felt rabbit skittles set affixed to wooden plinths make for some lively parlor bowling. The set in wonderful condition and complete with ear buttons and original ball sold for $7,110 against a $5,000-10,000 estimate.

The collection was supplemented by a number of Steiff animals from other collections that also performed admirably. These were then followed by a large selection of dolls and automatons. Of the latter category, automatons included an exceptional early banjo player by Vichy. This realistically modeled fellow in his original outfit sits on a velvet covered stool strumming his instrument while tapping his foot and gently nodding his head in time with the music while occasionally blinking his eyes. This wonderful example with lifelike action finished up at the upper end of its $6,000-9,000 estimate to sell for $8,295. A musical clockwork automaton featuring a magician that upon each lift of the box on the table would reveal a different object underneath. This clever piece sold for $7,406, surpassing a $2,000-3,000 estimate. And a classic Jumeau automaton of a standing figure that powders her nose and looks in her hand mirror while soft music plays sold for $5,332 against an estimate of $3,500-4,500.

Dolls included a rare and desirable 17-1/2” Steiner with pale bisque moon shaped face and delicate blush serving as a backdrop to her pert smile and piercing blue paperweight eyes. She went out within her $5,500-7,500 estimate for $6,221. French fashion dolls included a stunning 22” Jumeau fashion with pale bisque with cornflower blue paperweight eyes, closed mouth on a gusseted kid body. Her sublime expression completed the package that brought $4,860 against a $2,000-3,000 estimate. A last minute addition of a 16” Jumeau fashion with pale bisque, piercing blue paperweight eyes and wood lower arms neared the midpoint of her $2,000-4,000 estimate to bring $2,844.

This segment continued with various German bisque characters, Victorian-era china heads, early wax dolls, cloth dolls, as well as a rare carved wood Chinese doll reminiscent of the popular Door of Hope dolls and perhaps by one of their carvers. The rice farmer with his distinctive facial features and original straw cape sold for $3,645 against a $900-1,100 estimate. Other highlights included a lot including a table and chair by Huret. Best known for their highly desirable bisque dolls, it is most unusual to see accessories by them surface. The lot was highly competed for (well beyond its $300-500 estimate) ultimately selling to a phone bidder for $4,740.

The auction continued with a vast array of toys in a wide variety of genres. Early American tin included an unusual circus cage wagon attributed to Fallows or George Brown being pulled by an elephant led by its trainer. Typical of the time period, workers sometimes created toys with what was laying around the shop with no deference to reality, such as putting a lion and a leopard in the same cage, or using an elephant to pull cages. But it made for a most amusing toy, and this example went out at $5,925 against a pre-auction estimate of $5,500-6,500. Another great piece was an early American tin merry go round toy being pulled by gentleman in which the platform containing goats, a dog, and a child rotates when pulled along the floor. Colorful and creative, it sold above its $1,500-2,500 estimate for $3,258. A scarce seesaw toy by Ives that has two articulated figures enjoying the ups and downs by means of a clockwork motor housed in the stenciled central fulcrum sold within expectations of $2,500-4,500 for $3,555.

The cavalcade of toys continued with a selection of European tin toys such as a Marklin “Priscilla” live steam ship. Professionally restored from bow to stern, this rare vessel was joined by a scarce Schonner “Aviso Greif” steamer with great detail to the decking and accoutrements. Each sold within its respective estimate for the same $14,220 price tag. A great 18” Carette ocean liner in strong original condition went out at $3,258, surpassing its $1,000-2,000 estimate.

For aviation aficionados was an array of airplanes from one astute east coast collector. These cast iron planes, modeled after the real thing of the 1930s, boasted great detail and condition not normally found in these toys. One can picture boys of the period staging spirited dogfights and these surprisingly fragile vessels didn’t often survive bouts with gravity. Included was a rare large Hubley “Lindy” glider with its original removable pilot. In very fine condition, it sold for $4,147 against an estimate of $2,500-3,000. This was followed by one of the finest examples of a Hubley “America” one could hope to find. In light gray and emblazoned in red across the wing, its propellers would rotate when the plane was rolled across the floor. It landed within its $2,500-3,500 estimate to sell for $2,962. A rare Vindex “Lockheed” monocoupe plane in steely silver presented a wonderful buying opportunity. Better known for farm and construction toys, an airplane by this firm is very hard to come by. It found a buyer at $5,332 within an estimate of $4,500-6,500. Back on land, other cast iron included a scarce Kenton horse drawn ambulance with a nickel plated wagon with bell ringing mechanism being pulled by two robust black horses. Far exceeding expectations of $1,500-2,500, it sold for $6,517.

A selection of pressed steel vehicles included a scarce Buddy L sand & gravel truck with a large segmented rear bed with opening doors to dispense gravel. This construction toy sold within its $2,000-4,000 estimate for $2,370. Also bringing $2,370 was a rare Kingsbury Huckster delivery truck. This 1930s apple green windup truck with great lines and retaining its original decals saw much action beyond its $900-1,200 estimate. And a Keystone Filenes delivery van with battery-operated headlights likewise exceeded expectations, bringing $1,659.

While not toys per se, cast iron mechanical banks are often grouped under this heading. Some unusual examples included a classic Organ Grinder & Performing Bear. Full of amusing action and retaining much of its original paint, it sold for $3,851 against a $3,500-5,500 estimate. A rare Kyser & Rex Roller Skating bank that features an oval rink with various figures struggling with the then-new pastime failed to find a buyer. One of only a handful known to exist, this treasure carried an estimate of $20,000-25,000.

It was Christmas in June at Julia’s. A much anticipated collection of several dozen holiday items that has remained in one gentleman’s possession for several decades finally made it to market, much to the delight of collectors everywhere. Central to the offering was an exceedingly rare German wax headed Santa figure on a wooden plinth. When the lever is pressed, he would open his fur coat to reveal a Christmas feather tree in his chest. This very unusual item that was once part of the renowned Gladyse Hilsdorf collection ignored its $2,500-3,500 estimate to sell for $17,775. A large German Santa candy container with the not so jolly old elf sporting a fur robe went out at $4,977 against a $1,200-1,500 estimate. Another European find was a marvelous composition nodder with a larger than life head of a stoic Father Christmas bobbing atop a speckle painted body. This charming piece likewise exceeded expectations to sell for $2,725, beating out a $600-1,200 estimate. And a large clockwork nodding reindeer pulling Santa in his wicker sleigh separated the naughty from the nice, selling for $5,925 against a presale estimate of $600-1,200. 

A phenomenal, highly ornate, one-of-a-kind leaded glass figural boot trade sign from a Wisconsin shoe store (which is nothing short of miraculous to have lasted this long) climbed well beyond its $20,000-$40,000 estimate to land at a jaw-dropping $109,350.

The auction continued with a varied grouping of quality antique advertising items. Included were numerous pieces that seldom (if ever) hit the marketplace. Topping the list was a phenomenal, highly ornate, one-of-a-kind leaded glass figural boot trade sign from a Wisconsin shoe store. Dating to the turn of the 20th century, it consisted of several hundred geometric panels forming a Victorian era heeled boot with the monogram “S & S” incorporated into the side. Once gracing the doorway to the Schauder & Son shoe store in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, it was eventually relegated to the family basement, save for making an annual appearance in the local Fourth of July parade strapped to the roof of the family car. Nothing short of miraculous to have lasted this long, it was the highlight of the auction, climbing well beyond its $20,000-40,000 estimate to land at a jaw dropping $109,350!

Other unique pieces included the original artwork for a Kellogg’s corn flakes ad by James Alexander Bayne, a U.S. fighter pilot whose life was cut short in service to his country. As a result, his career as a painter didn’t get the chance to get off the ground, but this smile inducing piece that pictured a young child in his highchair enjoying a bowl of cereal makes one wonder what could have been. Accompanied by photos of the artist as well as a copy of the Ladies Home Journal from March 1913 in which the ad appears, this oil on canvas snuck past the upper end of its $2,500-5,000 estimate to sell for $5,771.

These marvelous pieces were joined by such period store fixtures as an advertising lantern for None Such mincemeat. The pierced tin framework retained all four of its original reverse painted advertising panels that were lit from within. The lantern was further enhanced by its original tin insert that would rotate from the heat of the candle, casting eye-catching shadows that would almost appear to animate the panels. A rare and highly desirable piece, it sold within estimate for $6,075.

Somewhat later was a choice selection of automotive related advertising. A rare and large die-cut porcelain Hood tire service station sign with a life size uniformed worker beckoning to passersby performed well and sold at the upper end of its $3,000-5,000 estimate for $4,740. Another rare tire sign, a double sided sheet metal flange sign for Delion tires, despite come condition issues saw strong action. Far surpassing its $200-300 estimate, it roared to $3,081. A large 42” diameter Chevrolet Super Service porcelain sign from the 1930s sold for $3,555 while a self-framed tin sign in stellar condition for Francisco auto heaters sold for $2,844, each exceeding their respective estimates. And a great tin sign that also boasted strong condition was one by Ithaca Sign Works that depicted an early open air vehicle advertising a Vermont real estate agent. It sped past its $1,500-2,500 estimate to bring $4,860.

Salesman samples, always a popular advertising collectible that Julia’s specializes in included an unusual miniature Mosler cannonball safe. Designed as a cutaway, this desirable model with yellow pinstriping and opening door was mounted within in its original carrying case. Coming in with an estimate of $6,500-8,500, it broke the bank at $11,553. This piece was followed by a somewhat later and more detailed model of a polished aluminum, double door salesman sample bank vault. It likewise performed well, selling for $7,702 against a $2,500-3,500 estimate.

Julia's upcoming auctions include their annual End of Summer antiques & fine art auction in August while a phenomenal firearms and military memorabilia auction will be held in October. Julia’s next rare lamp & glass auction as well as their toy & doll auction will follow in November. Julia’s is currently accepting consignments for these and other upcoming auctions. Call immediately for inclusion in these exciting sales. For more information or to place offers on unsold items, contact their offices at 207-453-7125. James D. Julia, Inc., P.O. Box 830, Dept. PR, Fairfield, ME 04937. E-mail: info@jamesdjulia.com.  

Lakewood 400 Named to Huffington Post and USA Today’s List of Top U.S. Antiques Markets

The Lakewood 400 Antiques Market in Cumming, Ga., was recently named by the Huffington Post as one of the country’s top markets in an article titled “The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need,” a posting that’s rapidly gone viral as antique shoppers everywhere look for the best. It was also included in USA Today’s “10 Best Flea Markets for Finding Vintage Treasures” in the May 16, 2014 edition.

Featured in the Huffington Post article as an “…upscale market with vintage, and, yes, antique furnishings and accessories,” Lakewood was included in a highly-selective short list of top markets across the U.S. including the Chicago Antique Market, Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show in Brimfield, Mass., the Texas Antique Weekend in Round Top, Texas, the Rose Bowl Flea Market (with 2,500 vendors) in Pasadena, Calif., the Alameda Point Antiques Faire in Alameda, Calif., and the Brooklyn Flea in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“We are thrilled to be included in such great company,” said Ed and Barbara Spivia, co-owners and managers of Lakewood 400, “and we know without a doubt that this recognition comes directly from the quality of our dealers and their merchandise. We put on a lively, fun show in a terrific and welcoming facility, but it’s the dealers who keep the customers streaming through those doors.”

Lakewood has seen consistent growth for the past five years, including increased dealer participation, steady rebookings, attendance and – most importantly – sales. Last year, the Spivias expanded and remodeled a new permanent hall – giving Lakewood a total of eight halls and 185 indoor permanent spaces along with an additional 315 indoor spaces. Lakewood also built out a new, fun Courtyard full of a whole new array of unusual items, to go along with the outside Veranda spaces.

Lakewood 400 Antiques Market will always strive to be an upscale market known for quality and diversity of merchandise and a dealer- and customer-friendly environment. The Spivias appreciate the recognition of the Huffington Post and look forward to a bright future.

The Lakewood 400 Antiques Market is open the third weekend of the month (Fri. 9-5, Sat. 9-6, Sun. 10-4) at 1321 Atlanta Hwy., Cumming, Ga. Info: 770-889-3400 or LakewoodAntiques.com . 

Julia's Summer Glass & Lamp Auction Tops $2.4 Million

With a seemingly nonstop string of powerhouse auctions, the firm of James D. Julia, Inc. has done it again. While a tremendous feat to assemble a quality auction of fresh merchandise well into seven figures, Julia’s dedicated staff has worked diligently over their last 45 years in the business to pull it off time and time again. Even though the antiques market is seeing a shift, there is still a strong call for high end, quality glass as proven by this most recent sale. Sellers understand the possibility of their item hitting a homerun and buyers understand that with every auction in every corner of the globe, there will always be the occasional bargain amongst the mix of over-performers. No matter what side of the fence you’re on, it can’t be denied that auctions remain a dynamic means of selling one’s collection or buying to expand your collection.

The recent two-day auction featured a vast array of exquisite Tiffany lamps, French and English cameo glass, fine art glass or Victorian glass, jewelry, accessories, and more for collectors at just about every level. Julia’s kicked things off with Session II of the renowned George Klabin collection of Moser glass having sold the first section of his collection in November of last year. Known as one of the premier collectors of this highly ornate style, this auction contained such exceptional pieces such as a monumental Moser decorated vase. The massive cranberry body with allover enameled floral decoration and finished with elaborate gilded brass handles, foot and collar went out at $14,812 against an estimate of $9,000-12,000. This was joined by a pair of Moser decorated ewers, each with overall applied and enameled decoration that centered on a parrot resting on a branch. The lively pair exceeded expectations of $7,000-10,000 to land at $20,737. Other highlights included a rare Moser decorated lamp consisting of cranberry glass with gilded panels, applied flowers and leaves, outlined with gold enameled scrolling. Topped with a dome shade and resting on a cast metal foot with matching floral design, it sold for $10,665, beating out a $5,000-7,000 estimate. An exceptional decorated punch set in green glass, gilded with delicate scrollwork and dimensional bouquets of enameled flowers on the bowl accompanied by its ladle and twelve matching cups found a buyer at $10,072, nearly tripling its $3,500-4,500 estimate. Also, a Moser Amberina decorated decanter with heavy applied grapes and leaves, finished with a lovely enameled bird resting on a grape cluster as bees buzz about sold for $7,110 against a $4,000-6,000 estimate. 

The largest piece of Fairyland Lustre Wedgwood ever produced flew beyond its $40,000-$60,000 estimate to land at $74,062.

Other notable offerings included an exceptional offering of over two dozen pieces of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre from the Betty & Leonard Issod collection. Considered one of the finest collections of its type, it lived up to the hype. Julia’s has handled much Fairyland Lustre over the years, but never such a mammoth piece as the Dragon King vase. The largest piece of Fairyland Lustre Wedgwood ever produced, it stands nearly two feet tall. Featuring a large amber colored dragon rising up from the ocean as a smaller dragon is perched on a grassy outcropping, this phenomenal piece flew beyond its $40,000-60,000 estimate to land at $74,062. It was joined by a vase in the “Ghostly Woods” pattern. Depicting a central gnarled tree with creatures’ heads growing from the ends of the branches as a parade of pale poltergeists passes, it sold for $44,437, surpassing its $20,000-30,000 estimate. Likewise selling for $44,437 and exceeding expectations was an equally vibrant vase in the “Imps on a Bridge” pattern. Fantasy and dreams come together in a scene of crimson and violet goblins parading through a wooded scene beneath a distant tree house. Another rarity in the offering was a marvelous Fairyland Lustre charger, also in the “Imps on a Bridge” pattern. It sold within its $25,000-35,000 estimate for $26,662.

The auction continued with a wide variety of art glass with no shortage of rarity. Some of the rather exquisite examples included a rare Tiffany paperweight vase. This gorgeous shoulder vase with jonquil blossoms with pink millefiori centers and subtle green stems sold at the upper end of its $12,000-15,000 estimate for $14,220. An unusual Tiffany lava glass vase with a dark blue body with gold iridescent dripping tendrils from the upper lip heated things up, selling for $14,220 against an $8,000-12,000 estimate. A Tiffany flower form vase with a pulled feather bowl and multihued translucence atop an applied inverted saucer foot sold for $11,257 against an estimate of $4,000-6,000. Other Tiffany included a great pair of jeweled bronze candelabras, each with four arms set with a band of cabochon glass jewels on each candle cup. Naturalistic Tiffany excellence at its finest, the pair sold for $17,775, more than doubling the low end of its $7,500-9,500 estimate.

The auction continued with a generous selection of art glass. Difficult to find even one Steuben Intarsia vase, the company’s highest level of quality and signed by Frederick Carder, this auction featured an unprecedented four examples! Included was a lovely crystal vase with amethyst floral decoration resting on an applied stem and hexagonal foot. Exceptional craftsmanship through and through, it sold at the upper end of its $10,000-15,000 estimate for $14,580. Another example with blue leaf and vine decoration on a crystal body was equally impressive and sold for $11,850 against its $10,000-15,000 estimate. These were followed by such items as a scarce Steuben pink aurene hanging shade with leaf and vine decoration suspended from a silver fixture with square link chains and cast acanthus leaf accents. It sold for $8,887 within an $8,000-10,000 estimate. And a Steuben blue aurene and calcite vase with cool color iridescence surpassed expectations of $1,650-2,250 to sell for $5,036.

The cavalcade of glass included some spectacular Lalique such as an early squat flacon signed R. Lalique and decorated with six dancing nude women holding a common garland. Estimated for $15,000-25,000, it went out at $21,330. An R. Lalique luminaire depicting a nude woman draped with a shawl with her arms outstretched is a tribute to the beauty of the female form. This lovely piece went out at $18,960 against an estimate of $5,000-8,000. A wonderful R. Lalique cariatides lamp consisting of a single piece blown dome shade supported by female figures reminiscent of the figures in the Acropolis and other Greek architecture sold for $17,775 against a $7,000-10,000 estimate. Likewise selling for $17,775 was an R. Lalique acanthus vase with rich blue color and deep relief modeling.

Other art glass included a rare Loetz “Black Bottom” Phanomen vase with a black iridescent free form band around the base with cream colored waves throughout. This band gave way to waves of platinum iridescence against a gold background across the top half, making for a most attractive piece. It closed in on the upper end of its $9,000-12,000 estimate to sell for $11,850.

From a slightly earlier era was a selection of Victorian glass including a Mt. Washington Royal Flemish Arabian handled vase picturing a Middle Eastern man atop a camel with the Pyramids in the background. It surpassed its $12,000-15,000 to finish up at $18,637. A large Mt. Washington Peach Blow vase in the Queen’s pattern with a bulbous body and decorated with enameled vines and daisies on applied reeded feet neared the midpoint of its $7,000-10,000 estimate to sell for $8,295.

These were joined by over 50 lots of paperweights, both antique and contemporary, such as a lovely botanical example by Paul Stankard with polychrome flowers. Upon close examination, one sees several small people climbing among the flowers’ roots. This exceptional piece sold for $7,110 against a $5,000-8,000 estimate. Another Paul Stankard piece with yellow and red flowers with swirling stems and leaves above an intricate roots system of seed pods sold just above its $3,000-4,000 estimate for $4,147. A rare St. Louis faceted paperweight with an amber flashed base containing red and white clematis flowers sold within its $8,000-10,000 estimate for $8,887.

Another area for which Julia’s has long been well known for handling quite prolifically and successfully is cameo glass and Pate de Verre. From the latter category was a G. Argy Rousseau poppy vase with orange flowers surrounding the shoulder with brown stems terminating at the foot. All set against a mottled yellow background, it sold above its estimate of $9,500-11,500 for $15,405. A G. Argy Rousseau foliage nightlight in dark purple with triangular panels of green went out at $4,740 versus a $3,000-4,000 estimate.

Cameo glass was highlighted in part by a magnificent Daum seagull vase. Decorated with enameled seagulls flying above the ocean waves against the setting sun, and further detailed by a sea turtle taking it all in, this squat vase sold within its $10,000-15,000 estimate for $11,850. Selling for the same $11,850 was an oval Daum cameo swan vase with a calming scene of a graceful bird swimming beneath white spring blossoms. A squat Daum winter scene vase with blackbirds among the barren trees exceeded a $6,000-8,000 estimate for $10,665 while a Daum winter scene table lamp with a mottled yellow and orange sunset background sold well above its $4,000-6,000 estimate for $15,405. A Burgun & Schverer cameo vase with white flowers and leaves against an amethyst background and further enhanced by martele wheel carving and a cameo icicle design sold for $4,740.

Day II of the auction focused on an exceptional array of fine lighting including Tiffany leaded lamps. Of particular note was a marvelous Tiffany table lamp with richly colored poppies with striated orange petals with applied bronze centers against a bed of leaves on a mottled green and yellow background. Complemented by its gold dore base, it sold at the upper end of its $35,000-45,000 estimate for a solid $41,475. A Tiffany Studios geometric table lamp with a conical shade of dichroic glass would display as cream and green when unlit but would come alive to a mottled green and fiery orange when lit. It was a terrific example, selling for $14,220 within an estimate of $12,000-18,000. Another exceptional and rare lot utilizing dichroic glass was a pair of Tiffany Studios hanging lamps. These matching geometric shades each suspended from a bronze chain and ceiling cap finished in a rich brown patina neared the top end of its $20,000-30,000 to finish up at $29,625.

These were joined by a generous selection of lamps by other renowned makers such as Handel, Pairpoint, Duffner & Kimberly, and more. A duo of reverse painted Handel lamps included a floral lamp known simply as 6688 depicting two butterflies alighting near a bed of brightly colored flowers extending upward from the rim and all over the body of the shade. This lovely piece brought $11,850 against an estimate of $10,000-12,000 while a Handel Jungle Bird lamp with two vibrant parrots perched among tropical foliage found a buyer within its $12,500-15,000 estimate at $14,812. A leaded glass Gorham daffodil table lamp exceeded its $5,000-7,000 estimate to sell for $8,295.

The sale was rounded out in part by a variety of spectacular jewelry and accessories such as a lady’s pear shaped sapphire and diamond ring within a platinum setting. Its delicate elegance helped bring its final price to $6,517, surpassing pre-auction expectations of $3,500-4,500. A lady’s 2.1ct diamond solitaire ring went out at $7,290 versus a $6,000-8,000 estimate, and a Men’s Rolex President wristwatch with diamond accents and gold band sold within its $9,000-11,000 estimate for $10,072.

Other miscellaneous highlights included a lovely KPM plaque in its original elaborate gold frame with blue velvet liner. The image depicts a mystical scene of a nude maiden hovering above a lily pond. Beautifully executed, it sold for $11,850 against a $6,000-8,000 estimate. Also worthy of mention were some outstanding Art Nouveau Zsolnay pottery items. A mammoth tankard pitcher with allover decoration of molded oak leaves and acorns with red beetles encircling the sides sold for $10,665 within an estimate of $9,000-12,000. And a vase depicting a lovely maiden with flowing hair and skirt encircling the body of the vase exceeded a $6,000-8,000 estimate to sell for $9,480.

Julia's upcoming auctions include their annual End of Summer antiques & fine art auction in August while a phenomenal firearms and military memorabilia auction will be held in October. Julia’s next rare lamp & glass auction as well as their toy & doll auction will follow in November. Julia’s is currently accepting consignments for these and other upcoming auctions. Call immediately for inclusion in these exciting sales. For more information, contact their offices at 207-453-7125. James D. Julia, Inc., P.O. Box 830, Dept. PR, Fairfield, ME 04937. E-mail: info@jamesdjulia.com. 

 

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