AN AMERICAN AESTHETIC MOVEMENT PITCHER BRINGS $26,550, AND A FRENCH “SAD IRON” SHAPED GLASS BOX HITS $18,880 AT AHLERS & OGLETREE AUCTION

. November 4, 2015

The two-session auction was held in the firm’s gallery at 715 Miami Circle (Ste. 210) in Atlanta.

ATLANTA, Ga. – An important American Aesthetic Movement sterling and copper pitcher made by Bigelow, Kennard & Company of Boston, circa 1870s, sold for $26,550 and an unusual French glass, gilt metal and enamel candy dish (or box) shaped like a “sad iron” from around 1880, went for $18,880 at an auction held October 17th and 18th by Ahlers & Ogletree in Atlanta.

Set of four painted wooden panels, likely done in France in the 19th century, depicting figural scenes of life in French Indochina ($6,490).

Set of four painted wooden panels, likely done in France in the 19th century, depicting figural scenes of life in French Indochina ($6,490).

The pieces were top achievers in a 1,136-lot, two-session sale of exceptional items pulled from prominent local estates and collections. Session I, on Saturday, Oct. 17, was titled Objets d’Art: Period Art Glass & Decorative Art and featured over 500 lots. Session II, the following day, was an Autumn Fine Estates Auction, with merchandise from some of Atlanta’s finest estate homes.

The American Aesthetic Movement mixed metal water pitcher was of rectangular form, with chasing and repousse decoration. The front two body planes each featured an applied dragonfly and the underside was inscribed, “George and Lucy from Clarence, Oct. 16, 1879.” It also had the Bigelow, Kennard & Company mark. The pitcher, 8 ¾ inches tall, weighed 26.6 troy ounces.

The French “sad iron” shaped glass box was even more diminutive, at just 5 ¼ inches, and was apparently unmarked. That didn’t deter bidders, however, who were drawn to the dish’s unusual appeal and visual beauty, with decorations of allegorical scenes depicting love, a heart struck with an arrow and a romantic courtyard scene with male and female figures and cupid sculpture.

By the time the last gavel fell at the end of the second day, just over $1 million in sales had been tallied (including the buyer’s premium). For those unable to attend in person, internet bidding was provided by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Bidsquare.com. The three platforms combined for about 11,000 registered online bidders. Phone and absentee bidding was also brisk.

“We had more new buyers than ever before, and that was hugely encouraging,” said Robert Ahlers of Ahlers & Ogletree. “The auction had one estate that was top-heavy with fine glass pieces, and we were worried bidders might lose focus with such a vertical category. But just the opposite happened. Focus stayed strong, online and in the room, sparking fierce bidding wars.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.

Asian lots performed particularly well, per usual. An unmarked Chinese palatial low porcelain center bowl with parrot decorations, 24 ¾ inches in diameter and likely made in the first half of the 20th century, went for $20,060; while a Chinese blue and white floral bowl with the Xuande period mark of the Ming Dynasty (1426-1435), likely 20th century, just 3 inches tall, hit $6,490.

An 18th century Chinese Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) watercolor painting book, with eight finely painted and traditionally rendered scenes on silk and with each panel having lines of calligraphy and a red seal mark, brought $9,440; and a late 19th or early 20th century Chinese blue and white porcelain planter (or fish bowl), highly decorated and unmarked, 14 ½ inches tall, made $7,080.

A Ming Dynasty-style porcelain wall vase (or wine pot) of round form, with a round cylindrical neck and handles to each shoulder, likely 20th century, 11 ¼ inches tall and carrying the Xuande imperial reign mark, rose to $4,425. Also, a small Continental silver and guilloche enamel bud vase of beaker form, 4.9 inches tall and marked with “900” (for silver quality), fetched $1,298.

Fans of Fabergé, the Russian decorative arts firm founded in 1842, were not disappointed. An early 20th century gilt silver, diamond, ruby and guilloche enamel crucifix necklace pendant with diamond accented crown at the top, went for $9,440; while a Henrik Wigstrom (Fin., 1862-1923) for Fabergé silver and jeweled pill box of circular form, marked “HW”, hammered for $2,124.

From the fine art category, a 19th century unsigned French School oil on canvas rendering of a wheelbarrow in grass next to a hat, jacket and satchel, 17 ½ inches by 20 ½ inches (framed) garnered $7,080; and a pair of late 18th or early 19th century French provincial hand-carved and stained walnut wood sculptural wall hangings, each one 22 ¾ inches by 5 ½ inches, hit $1,416.

A fine and monumental (64 ½ inches by 46 ½ inches, framed) 19th century oil on canvas British portrait of a lady, unsigned and titled Portrait of Beauty with Flower Garland, changed hands for $7,080. Also, a pair of Italian-made giltwood carved figures of winged putti (cherubs or angels), circa late 19th or early 20th century, both 20 inches tall by 21 inches wide, finished at $1,888.

A set of four painted wooden panels, likely done in France in the 19th century, each scene having been cut from one whole landscape and depicting figural scenes of life in French Indochina, 84 inches by 24 inches, brought $6,490; and a pair of Louis XVI French giltwood mirrored sconces, circa 1790, with shelves, heavily decorated and impressive at 47 ¼ inches tall, fetched $5,015.

American artwork was led by a signed oil on canvas by Harvey Young (1840-1901), titled The Hay Wagon and dated 1876, with figures and a horse-drawn hay wagon, 26 ½ inches by 29 ½ inches, framed ($5,015); and an American School oil on canvas painting, likely rendered by Ludmilla Pilat Welch (1867-1925), titled Resting Dog with Kittens and dated 1900 ($2,832).

A pair of distressed, Gustavian-style armchairs, made in Sweden in the 19th century, of rococo form, with arched backs decorated with two central carved flowers and having curved padded arms with knuckled hand supports, sold for $4,130; while a Tiffany Studios (N.Y.) early 20th century iridescent gold favrile art glass candlestick lamp, 14 ¼ inches tall, coasted to $2,006.

A Loetz jack-in-the-pulpit iridescent yellow Papillon art glass vase with Art Nouveau-style silver overlay and rim on a shaped mouth, 8 ½ inches tall, unmarked, commanded $2,360; and a large, signed Moser (Bohemian, founded 1857) emerald glass cabinet chalice of typical form, with crenulated rim, signed to the floral cartouche at the base, 14 ¼ inches tall, made $1,770.

Ahlers & Ogletree will conduct a one-day fall sale on Sunday, November 22nd, but then will prepare for what could be the firm’s best auction ever: a two-day New Year’s event the weekend of January 2nd and 3rd, 2016. The Saturday session will feature Modern merchandise, while the Sunday session will be traditional, with fine merchandise from prominent estates and collections.

Ahlers & Ogletree is a multi-faceted, family-owned business that spans the antiques, estate sale, wholesale, liquidation, auction and related industries. Ahlers & Ogletree is always seeking quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at 404-869-2478; or, you can send them an e-mail, at consign@AandOauctions.com.

To learn more about Ahlers & Ogletree and the auctions planned for Nov. 22 and Jan. 2-3, please visit www.AandOauctions.com. Updates are posted often.

Category: Auction News

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