Rago to Auction Collection of Dealer / Auctioneer Tony Tenaglia

. June 16, 2013

Rago Auctions has been chosen to handle the Collection of Tony Tenaglia – the finest pieces acquired over decades of buying and selling by this dealer and auctioneer. The multi-day auction is scheduled for December 6-8, 2013.

Tony Tenaglia, who died last November at 55, was legendary in the Bucks County area for his acumen and his passion for antiques. Everyone who followed him at Bristol Auctions, Estate Treasures of Bucks County and the Golden Nugget flea market admired his eye and his ability to source fresh and valuable property. They also all knew that he had a hard time parting with the finest pieces he purchased, no matter what the category: silver, militaria, decorative arts, lamps, folk art, furnishings.

His family has decided to sell the finest of his treasures in a dedicated sale at Rago Arts and Auction Center. Rago has just begun the work of removing and cataloguing the property for auction. Because there is so much and because so much has been inaccessible for years, forgotten gems turn up weekly. With fewer than 600 lots in house as of May, the low estimate already approaches $1,000,000.

Among the highlights as of May 2013:

Viennese Silver “Triumph of Flora” Centerpiece. The Goddess of Spring upon gilded and jeweled chariot, drawn by angels and a team of four horses, led by Mercury and accompanied by frolicking putti, 1877-1890; Parcel gilt 800 standard, jeweled and enameled highlights; Maker marks throughout (ABA in triangle) and Victorian English silver mark BS in conforming oval; 38″ x 16 3/4″ x 19″. Estimate: $200,000-$300,000.

This extremely large and highly complicated Viennese silver figural group bears an English sponsor mark indicating that it may have been made for an international exhibition.

Tiffany & Co. Japanesque Mixed Metal Centerpiece. Designed by Edward C. Moore, 1880; Masterfully spot-hammered undulating silver bowl on four puddled bracket feet designed as a rippling stream of water with floating maple leaves and seed pod, contrast inlaid insects and a salamander; Fitted gilt liner with drop ring handles; Composed of silver, copper and brass alloys, shades of gold and sentoku, forged and inlaid with niello; Leafy monogram EMC on bottom; Marked Tiffany & Co., Makers, #5922, #4390, Sterling silver and other metals #1037, Old silver; 19” x 9 1/2” x 5”; 123 OT includes liner. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000.

This centerpiece was inspired by the collection of curios acquired in Japan in 1877 by Christopher Dresser for Tiffany and Co. The sensuous naturalism of this bowl is testimony to Edward C. Moore’s understanding of the Japanese aesthetic. Viewed in the context of prevailing Victorian ornamental and traditional silver of its day, it is revolutionary, and anticipates both Gorham’s Martele and Tiffany and Co.’s later work under the direction of Lewis Comfort Tiffany.

Eagle Lectern. A Victorian brass eagle lectern with book stand, on lion feet, ca. 1890. Approx. 78″. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000.

Eagle lecterns are not an unusual form. But this one is American, signed Gorham.

Sir William Hamo Thornycroft (English, 1850-1925), Bronze Sculpture, “Teucer.” 1881; Signed Hamo Thornycroft and dated; 30″. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000.

William Hamo Thornycroft was the leading figure in the movement known as the New Sculpture in the early 1880s and a central member of the sculptural establishment and the Royal Academy into the 20th century. Thornycroft was elected to the Royal Academy in 1882, one of the youngest artists accorded this honor. That same year the bronze cast of Teucer was purchased for the British nation under the auspices of the Chantrey Bequest.

Pair of Rose Medallion Palace Vases. Republic Period. 36” Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.

The “Rose” patterns were first made in China made between 1840 and 1880 exclusively for export. Alternating panels around a central gold circle (“medallion”) are figured with birds, flora, butterflies and other elements. (Also in the sale – Satsuma palace vases from Japan.)

Poseidon Bronze Table Lamp with Shell Shades. Bronze figure of Poseidon with sea creatures and waves at his feet on a base of sea blue glass tiles with two nautilus shell shades, electrified, early 20th c.; 34″. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500.

Myochin School Iron Articulated Snake. Meiji period/late 19th c.; Signed Muneyoshi; 39″. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000.

The celebrated Myochin family produced many of Japan’s finest metalworkers and its highest quality armors from the 11th century forward. The word “Myochin”, which describes rare and exceptional craftsmanship, was granted as a family name by the Emperor Konoe (1141-54). Myochin artisans, of whom Muneyoshi is one, have long received the patronage of the titled and wealthy. Myochin school articulated snakes similar to the one shown here sold most recently at Christie’s New York in 2007 and 2011.

Evgeny Alexandrovich Lanceray (Russian, 1848-1886), Bronze Sculpture of Two Cossacks on Horseback. Signed in Cyrillic, stamped foundry mark; 13″ x 11″ x 6 1/2″. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.

The leading Russian sculptor of the 1870?s and 1880?s, Evgeny Lanceray’s favored subject was the horse and its work with man. Much of his work was cast by the St. Petersburg foundry of Felix Chopin (Shopen). The Susse Freres Foundry in Paris offered a complete collection of his 123 works at the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris, and featured them in their catalogues from 1902 to 1912.

Kentucky Style Pennsylvania Long Rifle by Peter Moll, ca. 1830’s. Octagonal barrel, marked Peter Moll Hellertown Warranted no. 57; 60″. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000.

From 1764 through 1889, the Moll family made guns in the Lehigh Valley. Among the guns they manufactured was the Pennsylvania Rifle, or Kentucky Rifle. (The name Kentucky Rifle was adopted by the layman because of the popularization it had received in the hands of Daniel Boone, a native Pennsylvanian.) This rifle was made by Peter Moll, 4th generation, based in Hellertown Pa. It has a great, full length curly maple stock and a nice patch box.

Rago’s hope you will join us for this special sale, preceded by an exhibition and an evening for his family, friends, and clients.

Interested bidders can sign up for an e-mail notification at ragoarts.com or call us to order a catalogue in advance at 609.397.9374. The catalogue will be online and in the mail on or about November 18.

Category: Auction News

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