Pair of Tiffany Studios leaded glass and faceted Favrile glass windows, 1899-1918, in the original iron frames with latch, 44 3/8" x 36", $21,250 (est. $4000/6000).
Dale Chihuly, "Persian" series seven-piece set in emerald green with lemon lip wrap, 2000, blown glass, largest piece 10" high x 22" wide x 21" deep, $23,750 (est. $7000/10,000).
Fruit stand by Dagobert Peche for Wiener Werkstätte, .900 standard silver, Vienna, 1920's, marked "P" over a star, 3 3/8" high x 12½" long, $40,000 (est. $3000/5000). An identical one sold at the Andy Warhol sale at Sotheby's in April 1988 for $12,100.
Bonhams, New York City
by Lita Solis-Cohen
Photos courtesy Bonhams
Bonhams had the first of four auctions of 20th-century design in New York City during a week in June. Frank Maraschiello, the department director, and Beth Vilinsky, senior specialist, presented a carefully edited sale on June 12 that included works in every category, from Tiffany lamps to Catalin radios and from Wiener Werkstätte items to glass by Dale Chihuly. It is hard to explain why more than half of the first 100 lots failed to sell.
The selection of Tiffany Studios lamps was first rate, but there was a lot of competition from Sotheby's and Christie's. Even though the Tiffany market is strong, the major Tiffany lots at Bonhams, all with good provenance, failed to find buyers.
There were no buyers for a Tiffany Studios Pony Wisteria lamp estimated at $150,000/200,000, yet Christie's sold a Pony Wisteria with a more conservative $80,000/120,000 estimate for $158,500, and another Pony Wisteria, more pink than blue, sold at Sotheby's for $254,500. ("Pony" is a term used by Tiffany Studios when these lamps were made and refers to their small size.) There were no buyers at Bonhams for a much-admired Pony Begonia lamp estimated at $120,000/ 180,000.
A full-size Tiffany Wisteria lamp at Bonhams (est. $300,000/500,000) failed to sell, but $602,500 (est. $500,000/700,000) was paid for a full-size Wisteria lamp from Henry Africa's collection at Christie's two days later. The full-size Oriental Poppy lamp illustrated on the Bonhams catalog cover and estimated at $120,000/160,000 did not find a buyer. Neither did a Trumpet Creeper lamp with a $400,000/600,000 estimate.
Not every lot of Tiffany was ignored. Buyers at Bonhams preferred geometric designs. A circa 1910 Lotus table lamp (est. $80,000/120,000) sold for $92,500 (includes buyer's premium). A Geometric floor lamp with a yellow and green shade, circa 1910, sold for $47,500 (est. $30,000/40,000). A pair of Tiffany faceted jeweled Favrile glass windows in deep blues and greens sold for $21,250 (est. $4000/6000), and a bronze Peacock table mirror sold for $31,250 (est. $18,000/25,000).
Art Deco sculpture, Wiener Werkstätte silver, and contemporary studio glass performed well at Bonhams. A silver fruit bowl designed by Dagobert Peche for Wiener Werkstätte in Vienna in the 1920's, marked with a "P" over a star, sold for $40,000 (est. $3000/ 5000). At the sale of the Andy Warhol collection at Sotheby's in April 1988, it sold for $12,100.
A pair of Josef Hoffmann candelabra, stamped "Wiener/Werkstätte 935" and with a "JH" monogram, sold for $80,500 (est. $25,000/35,000). A Josef Hoffmann bent and stained beech wood three-piece Fledermaus salon suite, model No. 728, produced by J. & J. Kohn about 1904, comprising a settee and a pair of armchairs, estimated to sell for $3500 at most, sold for $5000. At the Andy Warhol sale in 1988, the suite sold for $8250. Maraschiello said that after the recent slump he thought the market for Viennese Secessionist furniture and objects showed renewed interest.
Art Deco figural sculptures attracted enthusiastic bidding. A Demetre Chiparus bronze figure, Dourga, sold for $88,900 (est. $25,000/35,000). In gilt bronze, Butterfly Dancers by Professor Otto Poertzel sold for $40,000 (est. $20,000/30,000).
Several collectors of contemporary glass braved a downpour and came to bid in the salesroom, but most of the buying was by bidders on the phones and the Internet. Eleven works by Dale Chihuly were offered, and all of them sold. A lime green vase with putti, Venetian Ikebana from the "Ikebana" series, sold for $27,500 (est. $10,000/ 15,000). From Chihuly's "Persian" series, a seven-piece emerald green with lemon lip wrap sculpture, estimated to sell for $10,000 at most, sold for $23,750.
When furniture by George Nakashima is estimated conservatively, it sells. A pair of Nakashima free-edge open bookshelves (est. $6000/9000) sold for $16,250, and a pair of Conoid lounge chairs of walnut and hickory with blue cushions (est. $15,000/20,000) sold for $18,750.
Of the 344 lots offered, 227 sold for a total of $2,031,42566% sold by lot, 54% by value. The presale estimate was $3/4.5 million.
Maraschiello and Vilinsky will put together another 20th-century design sale for December. For more information, contact Bonhams at (212) 644-9001; Web site (www.bonhams.com).
|Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and bronze Geometric floor lamp, circa 1910, brown-green patina, sage tags impressed "Tiffany Studios New York 1498-7," base impressed "Tiffany Studios New York 379," 63½" tall x 20¼" diameter, $47,500 (est. $30,000/ 40,000).|
George Nakashima (1905-1990) pair of free-edge open bookcases, walnut and plywood, each inscribed "Wepman," 28¾" high x 55½" long x 12" deep, $16,250 (est. $6000/9000).
Demetre H. Chiparus (Rumanian, 1886-1947), Dourga, carved ivory, patinated bronze, and onyx, inscribed "D.H. Chiparus," 24 5/8" high, $88,900 (est. $25,000/ 35,000).
Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and bronze Peacock mirror, 1899-1918, with a green-brown patina, monogrammed "HJB" and impressed "Tiffany Studios New York 4119," "D128," and "596," with the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company hallmark, 12¾" tall x 11½" wide x 7¼" deep, $31,250 (est. $18,000/25,000).
Pair of .935 standard silver five-light candelabra by Josef Hoffmann for Wiener Werkstätte, Vienna, 1920's, stamped "Wiener Werkstätte 935" and with a JH monogram and Viennese hallmark, 21¾" high x 12½" wide, $80,500 (est. $25,000/35,000).