PITTSFIELD, Mass. – The entire contents of Somerset – an extraordinary English country estate manor located in West Stockbridge, Mass. – will headline a cataloged antique auction scheduled for Saturday, June 21st, by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, in the firm’s spacious gallery located at 1485 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield. The sale will begin promptly at 11 a.m., Eastern time.
Somerset holds an exceptional selection of the finest 19th century antiques and accessories, to include quality antique furniture, lighting (by makers such as Tiffany, Duffner & Kimberly, Handel and others), 19th and 20th century chandeliers, marble and bronze statuary, original oil paintings, porcelains, art glass, sterling silver, jewelry and hundreds of decorative accessories.
In all, around 400 items will come up for bid from Somerset, as well as other prominent local estates and collections. Previews will be held on Friday, June 20th, from 10-5, and on Saturday, June 21st, from 8 a.m. until the first gavel falls at 11 a.m. Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the expected top lot of the auction is an antique clock – a category for which Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is renowned in the industry. Being sold is a 9-tube grandfather clock, housed in a beautiful figural carved oak “rat tail” case by R. J. Horner. The clock, 10 feet tall and with Westminster & Whittington movement, is estimated to gavel for $50,000-$75,000.
Lamps and lighting will feature a Tiffany Studios Arrowroot table lamp with 20-inch diameter conical form shade having 18 large arrowroot designs around the center of the shade in green glass, 26 inches tall and signed at the base (est. $25,000-$35,000); and a Quezal 12-light lily table lamp with original gold iridescent lily shades, 20 inches tall, signed (est. $8,000-$12,000).
R. J. Horner was one of America’s finest furniture makers of the 19th century, and his name will be chanted frequently on June 21st. A prime lot promises to be a figural carved “rat tail”oak hall bench, 105 inches in height, having a large pierced carved crest with center medallion flanked by winged maidens and griffins. The piece, in excellent condition, should bring $25,000-$35,000.
An R.J. Horner mahogany three-door “rat tail” maiden bookcase displaying large figural carved maidens with crossed arms and spiral carved serpent-like “rat tails” on the sides, 68 inches tall, with enhanced original finish, is expected to fetch $12,000-$15,000; and an R.J. Horner figural carved winged griffin mahogany partners desk with carved border top should command $8,000-$12,000.
A pair of Horner dining room sets is expected to attract keen bidding interest. One is a 10-piece figural winged griffin carved oak set with a large sideboard, serpentine china cabinet, server, split pedestal dining table, armchairs and side chairs (est. $15,000-$20,000); and a 16-piece oak dining set with sideboard, matching server, china cabinet, table and chairs (est. $8,000-$12,000).
In the bronze and marble category, a large carved marble sculpture of a fisherman, signed on the back “A. Cipriani” and showing a standing man wearing loose clothing, with a fishing net slung over his shoulder, 50 ½ inches tall, should garner $10,000-$15,000; and a bronze winter scene of a troika drawn by a team of three horses driven by a standing man, by Russian artist Vasily Yakovlevich Grachev (1831-1905), on a marble base, signed in Cyrillic lettering, should hit $8,000-$10,000.
Two lots will appeal to bidding sportsmen. One is a beautiful slate pool table by Brunswick, Balke & Collender (with a metal tag for Monarch Cushions), having rosewood inlaid rails with mother of pearl markers (est. $8,000-$12,000). The other is a rare 1871-1872 Colt .44 Rimfire open top revolver with eagle and serpent carved ivory grips and engraved with a naval scene on its six-shot cylinder (est. $7,000-$9,000).
Back to furniture, a massive, heavily carved walnut marble-top huntboard with mirrored back, pierced carved serpentine sides, two shelves on either side of the mirror with fancy carved figural supports and a white marble-top base, 116 inches tall, should hit $15,000-$20,000; and a pair of J. H. Belter laminated rosewood side chairs in the Arabasket & Cornucopia pattern, with pierced carved backs, with elaborate framework and leaf and floral detail, should make $8,000-$12,000.
Two furniture lots have identical pre-sale estimates of $10,000-$15,000. The first is a J. & J. W. Meeks turtle-top rosewood parlor table with inset white marble top having serpentine pierced carved swirling filigree apron with hanging flowers. The second is an elaborately carved Bembe & Kimbal rosewood rococo carved cabinet base étagère, circa 1850, standing tall at 86 inches.
Hunting for an impressive bedroom set? Look no further, this sale’s got two. One is a Thomas Brooks Renaissance Revival queen-size carved walnut marble-top bedroom set, made circa 1875, with the excellent original finish (est. $15,000-$25,000). The other is a monumental four-piece Eastlake carved marble-top walnut bedroom set, the finest that Fontaine’s Auction Gallery has sold from this period of American furniture, in great shape (est. $20,000-$30,000).
One lot that deserves mention for its sheer beauty and magnificence is a large leaded glass, eight-panel ceiling dome, eight feet in diameter (est. $10,000-$15,000). The eight panels have a green glass background with a pink outer edge and blue jeweled highlights. There is gold bordering along the inner edge and a fancy flowering central design on the sides. It's a truly beautiful dome.
With over 40 years in the auction business, Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is a name that has earned the trust of collectors, investors and gallery owners around the world. Cataloged lots get coveted nationwide exposure to the firm’s sizable database of more than 18,000 qualified buyers. Seven times Fontaine’s Auction Gallery has been voted “Best Antique Auction Gallery” by the public.
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is actively seeking quality consignments for future sales. The firm also buys antiques and entire estates outright. To consign an item, estate or collection, call (413) 448-8922 and ask for John Fontaine. Or, e-mail him at email@example.com. For more information about the upcoming June 21st auction, please log on to www.FontainesAuction.com.
1485 West Housatonic Street