Art pottery dealers and collectors from around the world put off New Year’s celebrations long enough to take part in the two day sale hosted by J.K. Galleries of Boca Raton on December 30 and January 1. Auction owner Jay Kielstock said he had 300 bidders registered in house and 900 registered to bid by phone, absentee and live online through LiveAuctioneers.com for the 850 lot inventory forty percent of which sold online. Since relocating to Boca Raton in late 2006 J. K. Galleries has established itself as the premier art pottery venue in the South and this sale helped cement that reputation.

Nearly half the lots, 48 percent, sold online including the opening lot of the sale, a Moorcroft silver overlay tea set which also turned out to be the top lot of the sale. Each piece of the three piece set was signed “W. Moorcroft” and had incised script reading “W. Moorcroft ship to San Francisco” followed by the black registration number 452777. The set had a sage green ground with pewter colored highlights featuring a cartouche of swirling leaf circled by heavy sterling overlay with handles, spouts and finals all encased in sterling. The set was competed heavily on the phone, in the room and online beginning with an opening bid of $1,200. It closed after the top bid of $14,400 including buyer’s premium from an online bidder in England, well above the presale estimate of $3,000/5,000.

The next three lots fell right into line and pretty well set the tone for the remainder of the sale. A superb Roseville Tourist jardiniere in mint condition featuring a scene of a man in an open touring car passing a sign reading “Garage 10 miles” sold for $3,450. It was followed by a Newcomb College vase, 5 by 6in, impressed with the initials of the artist, Sadie Irvin. The vase showed a swamp scene in various shades of blue with soft green at the sky and an ivory moon behind Spanish moss. It closed over estimate at $4,025 followed by another Sadie Irvin Newcomb College vase at $3,795, also over estimate.

Two of the non-pottery lots achieved impressive results from an overseas audience ready to buy. A Louis XV small table/commode, 16 by 12in by 27½in tall, was signed “Galet” on the drawer apron. The mid 18th century green painted finish with winged cherubs on all surfaces accented by brass gallery and dore bronze corner mountings was essentially 100 percent intact. It sold on the phone to member of the Chanel family for $11,500 and will make the trip back to Europe. A sterling tea set will also cross the Atlantic headed to England. The seven piece tea and coffee set was made in 1935 in the Champlain pattern by Ellmore Silver Co of Meridian, CT and contained approximately 360 ounces. It closed at $10,925. Another non-pottery lot that did well but will stay in the United States was a pastel figure study by painter and sculptor Francisco Zuniga (Mexican 1912-1998) dated 1974 from the estate of Leon Klinger, a noted Chicago area auto dealer. It sold online to a Las Vegas bidder for $8,400.

But this was, after all, a pottery sale and pottery was strong. Roseville Futura maintained its charm with lots like a green balloon vase, shape number 408, making $1,093, an ostrich egg vase, shape number 400 in mottled pale green and tan, selling for $863 and a seldom seen 8in tall beehive vase, shape number 406 with blue and green raised leaves closing at $2,070. Other good Roseville included a tan Artcraft 12in jardiniere and pedestal base with green accents, $2,160, nearly double the estimate and a 10in sunflower vase online for $1,440.

Hand painted Rookwood was no slouch. A 9in Rookwood scenic vellum vase by Ed Diers, 1921, sold online for $2,400 and a 7 ½ in landscape vase by Diers, 1912, brought $1,840. A 7in vellum daffodil vase by Shiraymadani, 1944, brought $1,380.

And Weller was also in the fray. A large Weller Louwelsa dog vase signed L. Blake featuring a St Bernard brought $1,380 and a seldom seen Coppertone piece by Weller with black ink mark, 7in tall with a full bodied fish handle grip, sold for the same price.

For more information about this sale or upcoming sales call Jay Kielstock, J. K. Galleries, at (954) 421-2800, email at [email protected] or visit the website at http://www.jkgalleries.com/. J.K. Galleries is located at 8221 W. Glades Road, Suite # 13, Boca Raton, FL 33434.