Green Valley Auctions Spring Glass & Lighting Sale

. July 6, 2008

On May 16 and 17, Jeff Evans and the staff at Green Valley Auctions, Inc. in Mt. Crawford, Virginia, held the firm’s Eighth Annual Spring Auction of Glass and Lighting. The two-session sale featured the 50-year collection of Alice Lenker, Long Grove, Iowa; part two of the collection of the late Anne and Leon Powell, Celebration, Florida; the lighting collection of Faith J. Meyer, Boothbay Harbor, Maine; the Blown Three Mold collection of Richard D. Sheaff, Scottsdale, Arizona; selections from the collection of Ken & Sylvia Lyon of Fisher’s Hill, Virginia; and included many other consignments from across North America. The auction was conducted at Green Valley’s facility in Mt. Crawford, Virginia, located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

Session Number One, held on Friday, May 16, began at 6 p.m., with an offering of more than 300 lots of kerosene lamps, including opalescent and cut overlays, as well as burners, chimneys, smoke bells and other lamp components. The jewel of Friday’s session was a 17 inches high Boston and Sandwich Glass Co. cut double-overlay Moorish Windows banquet lamp on a double-step marble base, with matching font and stem in cobalt blue cut to white cut to colorless. In exceptional undamaged condition, and with cast and stamped brass mounts that retained much of the original gilding, the handsome circa 1860-1880 banquet lamp appealed to a number of bidders. As a result of two previously recorded absentee bids, two persistent Internet bidders and two battling phone bidders, the lamp ultimately sold to one of the phone bidders for $6,780 (all prices include the buyer’s premium).

Immediately following this lot were two more cut overlay lamps, also circa 1860-1880 and with cast and stamped brass mounts and double-step marble bases, which also rose to become high achievers. Selling for $3,600 to an Internet bidder was a 16-inch high Boston and Sandwich cobalt blue cut to colorless Quatrefoil and Putney banquet lamp that was in outstanding undamaged condition; and bringing $3,390 was a 14-inch tall, rose cut to white cut to colorless Checkerboard and Punty banquet lamp in excellent condition. Probably made by the New England Glass Co., this interesting lamp had a ruby cut to opal cased colorless stem.

Another top selling lamp was a deep rose cut to white cut to colorless overlay stand lamp from the collection of the late Anne and Leon Powell that brought $3,599; the rich color of the font was beautifully paired with an opaque black base that had excellent gilt decoration. The winner of this lamp was also successful on the phone the following day on an extremely rare 1870-1887 Sandwich Dahlia paperweight ($3,672). The happy bidder who had admired these two items in person at the Westchester Glass Club show the month before the auction, explained that his decision to drive to the Connecticut show was made only after discovering that Green Valley Auctions would be there, displaying glass for the spring and other upcoming auctions.

Another Friday highlight occurred when a determined, and ultimately successful, in-house bidder helped a Sandwich Glass Onion (Eaton) stand lamp in translucent soft blue with a slight lavender tint, sell for $6,215. The appeal of this particular example was largely due to a related match tray, in an identical color, that was offered during Saturday’s Session #2 under the Colored Flint category. After the matchtray sold for $1,073 the following morning, the two matching pieces were carefully packed up for the journey home with their delighted new owner. Jeff Evans revealed that the lamp and match holder were from two separate consignors. The lamp was received in time to be included in the brochure that announced the May 16 to 17 auction, and the owner of the match tray, who had seen the brochure, brought the piece to the Westchester Glass show to see if it matched the color of the lamp. According to the catalog, the colors were an exact match, and the two pieces together “represented an extremely rare and possibly unique assemblage.”

Offered near the end of Friday’s kerosene lamp session, in the parts category, were a number of patented 19th century kerosene burners, including Adlams, Cahoon, E. F. Jones, Holmes, Booth and Hayden, and E. Miller. Most were sold with chimneys and nearly all were from the lighting collection of Faith J. Meyer of Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Prices ranged from $45 to $621 with the top sellers being the patented 1861 Cahoon (a.k.a. Tom Thumb) No. 1 burners. Among the top five selling burners were four Cahoons, ranging from $423 to $621; and an 1858 patented E.F. Jones No. 1 burner that despite a soldered repair to the chimney spring, also brought $621.

Jeff Evans took to the podium and welcomed the crowd to Saturday’s Session #2 promptly at 9:30 a.m. This session kicked off with several lots of reference books and auction catalogs, including a lot of 79 Arman and C.S. & S. auction catalogs spanning 1984 to 2004 that realized $480. Among the categories in this session were Whale Oil/Fluid Lamps, Flint EAPG Tableware, Colored Flint, Candlesticks, Free-Blown, Pattern and Blown-Molded, Drinking Vessels, Early Cut and Engraved, Early Pressed and Lacy, Decanters, Bottles and Flasks, Salts, Toys, and Cup Plates.

The underbidder must have been green with envy, when a similarly colored Sandwich Glass Tulip vase – brilliant medium emerald green to be precise – sold to a rival phone bidder for $14,690, far surpassing the $6,000 high estimate and earning the auction’s top honors. Evans was amazed and obviously pleased, at the bidding frenzy that ensued as a result of two highly competitive phone bidders, and the contest finally concluded in a new record price for this form and color. The vase was one of several lots consigned by Ken and Sylvia Lyon of Fishers Hill, Virginia, from their personal collection. Chief among the Lyon’s notable lots were a pattern-molded Checkered Diamond pattern footed salt in an unusual swirled purple blue, probably from the New Bremen Glass Manufactory of John Frederick Amelung, Frederick County, Maryland, and a free-blown chain-decorated cream jug from the first quarter of the 19th century that was attributed to Thomas Cains. An Internet bidder eased the salt up to $3,000 before three phone bidders pushed it to $10,170, and one of five competing phone bidders paid $4,237 for the 3-7/8-inch high Cains jug, a size that the catalog noted was “extremely rare,” with “no other examples located.” A similar Cains attributed 6-5/8-inch tall quart jug with double-chain decoration appeared to have been quite the bargain when it sold for $2,147.

The Lyon collection also included a pair of 7-3/8-inch tall Sandwich deep brilliant emerald green hexagonal candlesticks ($2,486), a free-blown Marbrie decorated vase/chalice with opaque white loops blown into a pale yellow-green cup ($1,073.50), and an 8-1/2-inch tall free-blown, pattern-molded and engraved celery glass from 1815-1830 ($1,243). All of these choice pieces were in excellent condition. After the sale, Ken and Sylvia Lyon expressed their complete elation at the auction results, complimenting Jeff Evans and his auction staff on their professional handling of this, as well as all of their previous consignments.

Late last fall, Jeff Evans and his Catalog Department team members received an unexpected, happy surprise when they unpacked boxes that had been shipped by a consignor from the Midwest. They had already seen photos of select items from the Minnesota estate collection, and the Green Valley team was prepared to receive the primarily Victorian glass consignment; so when one of the last boxes to be unpacked contained a circa 1830-1840 Midwestern Lacy glass covered rectangular casket/dish in outstanding condition, the team was completely caught off guard. Found while he was at lunch, Evans was understandably thrilled with the discovery of this extremely rare piece. No photograph pre-announced the arrival of this little gem, as the consignor did not realize that it held any significant value. The 5-5/8-inch tall Lacy covered casket, probably Pittsburgh area glass house, and one of only three or four recorded examples, opened at $6,500 due to previously submitted absentee bids before two interested phone bidders managed to take it up to $11,300 – a good deal if you ask Evans.

Also bringing $11,300, and directly following the Lacy covered casket, was an important marked “J.&C. Ritchie” Lacy glass windowpane in proof condition except for a minute flake and a hint of mold roughness. The pane, which was manufactured by the Wheeling Flint Glass Works between 1833-1836 (proprietors John and Craig Ritchie), was the single item consigned from a 30-year private collection near Wheeling, West Virginia. Once again the phone bidders took hold after besting the pre-recorded absentee bids.

An embedded signed “GOBRECHT” sulphide profile portrait of Benjamin Franklin was the focal point of a “very rare” 2-inch diameter colorless lead glass furniture knob that sold to a “live” Internet bidder for $4,800. The Pittsburgh, or possibly New England Glass Company knob, made between 1826-1845, had only a few very minute scratches to the surface.

Multiple absentee bids showed a slow but continuing increase in interest for 19th-century cup plates, with most lots garnering five or more bids before the sale commenced. The second half of the collection of the late Anne and Leon Powell contributed 90 percent of the cup plates offered, and with the exception of one European example, all were American made around 1825-1850. Although the majority brought between $100 and $621.50 each, two plates from the Powell collection emerged as the show-stoppers in this category, including a “very or extremely rare” Midwestern, possibly Pittsburgh, Lee/Rose number 135-1 in “well above average” condition ($1,469), and a Sandwich Glass Lee/Rose 619-A in near proof condition that was cataloged as “extremely rare,” citing only six recorded by Bilane ($3,955). The slightly cloudy blue number 135-1 plate was an ex-Elsholz piece that had sold for $400 in 1986 and the colorless number 619-A plate had a silver nitrate/amber stained cavetto embossed “Benjamin Franklin.” Both sold to the same repeat Green Valley customer who once again won multiple lots by absentee and telephone bids submitted directly with the auction house.

Although that $10,170 Checkered Diamond opening lot in the Salts category was a tough act to follow, several other salts also managed to bring impressive results. In near proof condition and each realizing $2,147, were an extremely rare Sandwich Glass CD-3 covered Lyre pressed salt from 1835-1845, and an OG-3 oblong open pressed salt in unlisted emerald green, probably manufactured in the Pittsburgh area between 1835-1850. The OG-3 salt had more phone bidders lined up (five total) than any other salt in the sale, including the Checkered Diamond example. Other top prices, all for pressed glass open salts, went to an olive green MV-1 Mount Vernon ($1,582), a BT-5 “Lafayet” Steamboat in soft plate blue ($1,320), and a deep cobalt blue OL-12B Cornucopia ($1,130).

Early glass lighting in the form of whale oil/fluid lamps and candlesticks, consistently provides Green Valley with some bright auction moments, and this sale did not disappoint. A circa 1850 sapphire blue Sandwich Loop (a.k.a. Leaf) lamp fitted with a double-tube fluid burner, tied up five phone lines until its $4,803 final sale price had been reached. The 8-3/4-inch tall lamp, also from the Powell collection, sparked a number of comments from auction-goers who said that they had not previously seen this combination of font and base offered for sale. Also of note was a second quarter 19th-century, 7-3/8-inch tall Cut Strawberry Vesicas and Diamonds font whale oil/fluid lamp with a pressed square “lemon squeezer” base from the Faith J. Meyer collection ($1,469). The lamp, which was probably from a Pittsburgh area glass house, went to one of six interested absentee bidders.

Selling for $5,650 was a pair of 10-1/2-inch high, probably Pittsburgh, pillar-molded candlesticks made around 1825-1850. The sticks, which were in exceptional undamaged condition, sold to Ohio dealer David L. Good, who is well known for handling high-end American glass. Other candlesticks that brought top dollar included an extremely rare small pair of Dolphin scallop base sticks (6-3/8-inch and 6-5/8-inch high), circa 1870, in an unrecorded deep purple blue petal socket and opaque white dolphin and base ($4,803).

Saturday highlights also included a mid-19th-century pair of 10-inch high amethyst Sandwich Tulip vases that had been deaccessioned by the Sandwich Glass Museum, one in excellent, and one in proof condition ($6,870), a 10-1/2-inch high overall engraved light-baluster wine glass with cover, possibly engraved by Jacob Sang (born 1720, died 1786) that was inscribed with a Dutch friendship poem ($6,780), and a mid-19th-century, 9-7/8-inch high opaque white pillar-molded celery case with flaring gauffered and tooled rim, possibly Pittsburgh ($2,486).

Upcoming auctions for Green Valley include the September 12 to 13 annual fall auction of Kerosene Lighting, the September 26 to 27 annual fall auction of Early American Glass, and an important one-owner sale of a 30-year collection from Falmouth, Massachusetts, the Duff and Molley Allen Collection: A Survey of American Glass, to be held on October 18.

The catalogs for each of these upcoming sales will be presented online only, with the exception of the Duff and Molly Allen Collection. In addition to an online version, a detailed, fully illustrated color catalog of the Allen Collection will be available for purchase by September 18 (ordering information will be posted on the firm’s Web site in July).

Though eBay Live Auctions, registered eBay users from around the world can also participate in the Mount Crawford, Virginia, auction. When asked about eBay’s recent announcement that the eBay Live Auctions will be discontinued at the end of 2008, Evans replied, “Green Valley Auctions will definitely maintain a presence on the Internet. We are currently pursuing our options, and are confident that we will select an appropriate provider for the transition from eBay.” Evans then smiled and casually added, “We actually view this as an excellent opportunity to improve upon the Internet live auction format.”

The detailed catalog of the sale is available to view and/or download free of charge from the charge from the firm’s Web site at www.greenvalleyauctions.com. The entire auction, with the exception of the block lot cup plates that were sold at the end of Session #2, was also available online through LiveAuctioneers and eBay Live.

For more information, call (540) 434-4260 (select option 1 for Cataloged Auctions), or visit www.greenvalleyauctions.com.

Category: Auction News

Comments are closed.