Clars Auction Tiffany Aztec Presentation Dagger for $105,000

. February 28, 2012 . 0 Comments

Clars Auction Gallery auctioned a very rare, one-of-a-kind Tiffany “Aztec” Presentation Dagger on Sunday, February 19, 2012, as part of their February Antiques and Fine Art Auction.

International presale interest by both investment level collectors and museums confirmed both the importance and rarity of this piece. Conservatively estimated to sell for $10,000 to $20,000 and without reserve, President of Clars, Redge Martin, opened the bidding at $5,000. High level collectors present both on the floor, phones and Internet, quickly drove the price well past the high estimate soaring to $90,000 where Martin dropped the hammer ($105,000 with buyers premium) on this exquisite representation of the finest in American design. Clars specialist, Deric Torres, who handled this piece for the sale, is pleased to announce “this rare Tiffany dagger was purchased by an institution for their permanent collection.” “The beauty of this work is testament to his [Farnham’s] creative genius. We were so happy that, even in this economy, the art market reacted with the strength they did,” Torres went on to say.

Designed by G. Paulding Farnham in the early 1900s, this powerful piece was executed in sterling, ivory and faceted obsidian. Farnham’s use of obsidian was in direct homage to the Aztec culture where they used obsidian to create the sharpest daggers possible, even sharper than diamonds.

Farnham was Tiffany’s chief jewelry designer from 1891 to 1908 and is regarded as the most eminent jewelry designer Tiffany ever employed. His works are scarce and highly sought after worldwide. Inspired and trained by his predecessor Edward C. Moore, Farnham became an unequaled colorist in design and his creations reflected international sources including Asian, Egyptian, Russian, Celtic and Native American. Charged with creating significant presentation pieces for Tiffany to be judged at world expositions, Farnham’s work received a gold medal for jewelry at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1889, the grand prize for his Native American-style silverware at the Paris Exposition of 1900, and a gold medal for silverware at the Pan-American Exposition for his jeweled and enameled “Viking” and “Saracenic” silver.

Clars is no stranger to selling important Tiffany works. In November 2010, they offered a rare carved jade, diamond and color gemstone scent bottle that was executed by Tiffany & Co. in 1893 that sold for $236,950.

For more information on this rare Tiffany “Aztec” presentation dagger and Clars February 18th and 19th, 2012 Antiques and Fine Art sale, please call (510) 428-0100, email: info@clars.com or visit their website at www.clars.com Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.

Category: Antiques

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