Rare Tiffany & Co. Silver Bicycle Rolls onto Center Stage at Bonhams in June

. April 2, 2008

Aficionados of 20th Century Decorative Arts, particularly admirers of rare and unusual Tiffany creations, are eagerly awaiting international fine art auctioneer Bonhams’ June 4, 2008 sale taking place at their recently appointed showrooms in Manhattan.

“This sale is particularly exciting in light of a strong collection of French Art Deco, a nice selection of Art Nouveau furniture, including a fine Eugene Gaillard nest of tables (est. $20/30,000), and a very good group of Martin Brothers figures, that will be offered,” states department Director Frank Maraschiello. “Additionally, we will be offering a strong selection of works by Contemporary Studio Artists, with works by John Lewis, George Nakashima, Dale Chihuly, Robert Turner, Kuniaki Kurioki, Carol Cohen, and Paul Seide, to coincide with the SOFA exhibition being held here in New York.”

Expected to be one of the more highly sought after pieces is a Tiffany & Co. silver-mounted lady’s bicycle with carved ivory handle grips. Only a handful of these luxury two-wheelers were produced in the late 1890s, including an example made for the actress Lillian Russell, confidente of the famed collector “Diamond” Jim Brady, one of Tiffany’s favorite clients. This item in particular is expected to attract connoisseurs of the unusual (est. $50/70,000).

Also expected to garner bidder attention are two unusual Tiffany Studios Favrile glass lamps: a large Dogwood lamp and a Fleur-de-Lis lamp. Estimated at $20/30,000, the 26-inch Dogwood lamp is a prime example of the type, with strong color modulation in the blossoms and leafage, and the use of confetti glass throughout the background. Mounted on a bronze base with green glass blown through the reticulated bronze, the Fleur-de-Lis lamp is unusual, in that it is composed of ripple glass tesserae (est. $60/90,000). Also being offered is a fine nearly five-foot tall leaded glass figural window depicting an angelic maiden with irises (est. $100/150,000)

Additionally, Maraschiello expects the French Art Deco furnishings to appeal to bidders’ sense of style and elegance. These include: a very fine mahogany center table by Sue et Mare for the Compagnie des Arts Francais, estimated at $20/30,000; a good Lalique molded and frosted Deus Figurines clock (est. $12/18,000); and a rare Eugene Printz palm wood table (est. $30/40,000).

Amongst the Martin Brothers collection – numbering more than 15 pieces, perhaps the most coveted items are a large and impressive 15-inch Bird tobacco jar dated 1898 (est. $30/50,000), another imposing large Bird jar standing more than 12-inches high and dating from 1894 (est. $25/35,000), as well as a double-faced Barrister jug dated 1900 (est. $8/12,000).

Previews will begin at Bonhams New York on May 30, 2008, continuing daily until the auction on June 4th at 3:00pm EST. The sale’s illustrated catalog will be online for review and purchase at www.bonhams.com/us in the weeks preceding the previews.

Category: Auction News

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