Tiffany Lamps in Morphy Spring Antiques Auction May 29-31

. April 4, 2008

DENVER, Pa – A dazzling array of Tiffany Studios art-glass lamps, including an extremely rare Nasturtium Trellis chandelier, will headline the opening session of Morphy Auctions’ May 29-31 Spring Sale of general antiques. But as is the tradition at Morphy’s, the event will open with a different type of glass: 40+ lots of antique and vintage marbles.

While handmade examples have been the attention-getters in the past, this time it will be a major collection of machine-made marbles that takes the spotlight. “The leading lot within the marbles will be a 100-count box of Christiansen Agate Specials, including several rows of three- and four-color ‘flames,’” said the company’s chief operating officer, Dan Morphy. “At the moment, the market for machine-made marbles is just as hot as for the handmades. The box of Christensens is expected to make $20,000 to $25,000.”

The marbles will be followed by 75 pieces of Americana, ranging from furniture and historical documents to a collection of irons, a grouping of coverlets and three duck decoys by Mason. Then it will be time for the show-stopping Tiffanys to cross the auction block.

“The lamps were sourced from three brand new consignors,” said Morphy, “and there are some very rare and exceptional designs in the group, like the Nasturtium Trellis chandelier.” Morphy referred to the profusely decorated 26-inch conically shaped shade as “a killer … It’s not a standard Nasturtium pattern; there are blossoms and leaves all over striated Favrile sunset glass. Three different experts who inspected the lamp said it’s exquisite, that the glass is topnotch and very special. It has been in one family’s home, untouched, since the mid-20th century, so it’s completely fresh to the market. Collectors are going to love this one. We think it will bring $125,000-$150,000.”

Another stunner consigned to the sale is a Tiffany Studios leaded-glass and bronze floor lamp executed in a sophisticated, Impressionistic botanical pattern. When illuminated, the 24-inch early Favrile-glass shade of blue and emerald tones introduces a rainbow of color from selenium to orange. The lamp is illustrated in Alistair Duncan’s book Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany and is offered with provenance that includes prior sale through Christie’s New York. The Morphy Auctions estimate is $90,000-$140,000.

There are many other beautiful Tiffany lamps from which to choose, including a 16-inch-diameter Greek Key, 16-inch-diameter Whirling Leaf, and an appealing 18-inch-diameter Oak Leaf and Acorn lamp on a signed Wheatley pottery base. Still other highlights include lamps in the Arrowroot and Pomegranate patterns, and a double student lamp with Damascene shades.

Glass will be followed by 70 lots of art pottery, most notably a nicely varied selection of Rookwood and a fine offering of George Ohr designs. As the Thursday session continues, bidders will be able to choose from more than 40 figural cigar cutters, including an elephant head with ivory tusks, a boar’s head, and a very rare snake.

More than 200 silver napkin rings will be offered, including a Rip Van Winkle, a very rare, large fox; a boy in knickers and hat, and three coveted Kate Greenaway designs: a girl and boy, a boy with ball, and a boy and girl on bench (estimate $3,500-$5,000).

The day will conclude with an assortment of antique samplers, highlighted by an 1836 handiwork by Mary Ann Crown of Middleton, Dauphin County, Pa. The motif features a classic pastoral scene of a large red house, a sheep and dog on the lawn, and a grapevine and floral border. The sampler is estimated at $12,000-$18,000.

Friday’s session opens with a colorful array of antique advertising, including a grouping of Coca-Cola signs and other advertising pieces. Among the rarities is a 1908 Coca-Cola tin serving tray with the image of a semi-nude woman. Known to collectors as the “topless” tray, it is estimated at $7,000-$10,000. A collection of more than 10 syrup dispensers and a mixed offering of general advertising signs rounds out the category.

Several coveted entries are among the coin-operated machines in the sale. A Mills Owl strength tester with a figural owl at its top could soar as high as $10,000-$15,000; while an 1895 Matthewson Try Your Grip strength machine may fare even better, with a $10,000-$15,000 estimate. From the early 1900s, an extremely desirable Roover Bros. Puss ‘n’ Boots fortune teller is sure to attract the attention of many collectors, carrying a $20,000-$30,000 estimate. Another novelty with crossover appeal to collectors of tobacciana is the circa-1880 Eternal Flame floor model cigar lighter, estimate: $7,000-$10,000. Made of brass and wood, this luxury item of a bygone era would have been part of the décor in a grand hotel lobby, where gentlemen were encouraged to light up their expensive Cuban smokes.

As always, there will be toys in Morphy’s Spring sale, including more than 50 Japanese tin toys, 150 tin and cast-iron toys, and 50 robots and space toys from the Randy Maultasch collection. The Friday session will conclude with more than 70 Fisher-Price toy lots.

In all, more than 120 pieces of figural cast iron will be auctioned. Among the doorstops, top lots include a Honey Bear ($2,000-$3,000) and three desirable Hubley productions: a Tiger, Messenger Boy, and large Footman.

Another crowd-pleaser will be the 200 lots of cast-iron transportation toys, more than 50 mechanical and still banks; and 175 pieces of pressed steel, highlighted by a beautiful Buddy ‘L’ tanker, a Buddy ‘L’ ice truck, and a Sturditoy coal truck.

An electronic version of the catalog may be viewed in its entirety online at www.morphyauctions.com or www.liveauctioneers.com. For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail danmorphy@dejazzd.com.

Category: Auction News

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