DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions set the stage for a beautiful Christmas season with its $1.9 million Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held December 19-20 at the company’s spacious Pennsylvania gallery. Collectors, tastemakers and holiday shoppers vied for superior jewels and watches, paintings, art pottery, silver, and more than two dozen dazzling Tiffany Studios lamps – a festive way to wrap a year of memorable, high-profile sales.
“The lamp selection was especially fine, with three particular Tiffany designs attracting the lion’s share of attention at the preview,” said Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions. At the center of the Tiffany winners circle was a signed and numbered Nasturtium lamp with a leaded-glass shade profusely decorated with multicolored confetti glass tiles and a bevy of richly-hued flowers. Resting on a telescoping Tiffany-stamped cat’s-paw base and in excellent condition, the scene-stealing lamp sold within estimate for $123,000.
A Tiffany Studios Peony leaded-glass table lamp displaying a lively medley of red and pink blooms against a verdant ground sold well above estimate for $79,950, while a rarely seen Tiffany Studios double candlestick with blown-out Favrile glass and a decorative patinated bronze lily pad base met its pre-sale expectations, selling for $20,910.
The sale featured a first-rate selection of European decorative art, including a very rare and appealing Loetz 10-inch triple-lobe glass vase. With purple-blue iridescent accents against a gold background and further enhanced by delicately detailed lotus leaves, this distinctive vase is prominently featured in a Loetz reference book. It sold for $33,210 against a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.
An absolutely amazing Amphora Gres-Bijou vase, 17 inches tall with a motif of applied leaves, blackberries, and three-dimensional feline heads, presented in mint condition with an 8179 Amphora Crown mark. The epitome of unapologetic Continental grandeur, this extravagant ceramic confection surpassed its estimate to settle at $11,685.
Another piece that called upon the animal world for inspiration was a luminous pate-de-verre crab-motif bowl by A Walter, Nancy. Measuring 9½ inches in diameter, its frosted blue and cream-colored glass suggested a marine setting for the three-dimensional orange, yellow and mauve crustacean at its center. Signed and in excellent condition, it sold for an above-estimate price of $10,455.
A Paul Dachsel monumental Pinecone vase was reminiscent of decorative styles seen in both Vreeland’s book Monsters and Maidens: Collector’s Edition and Scott’s The House of Amphora. Standing 17 inches high with a ribbed composition, applied enameled pinecones, and stunning green, red and beige glazing, the marked (PD 12/2086) vessel reached the upper end of its estimate range, selling for $8,610.
The auction’s 329-lot Jewelry, Watches & Coins section included 20 sought-after wristwatches, 96 pocket watches, rare coins and currency; and luxe jewels. Not surprisingly, the Rolex brand commanded the spotlight.
A steel and 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Daytona Cosmograph Chronometer, Ref. No. 116503, featuring a 40mm case and handsome black dial with luminous markers, could not have been more complete. It came with all of its links, the original outer box, inner box with watch holder, warranty card, booklets and both original hang tags. It was bid beyond its high estimate to $34,440.
Nicknamed the “Batman” model because of its black dial with ceramic black and blue bezel, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT Master II stainless steel wristwatch was also well documented, retaining its factory international guarantee card with an original purchase date of 04/15/2019. Unpolished and near mint, it sold for $14,760.
Weighing in at 229.0 grams (gross), a 14K white gold Cuban link necklace glittered with 1,543 round, brilliant-cut diamonds having a total carat weight of 26.00 carats. The 22-inch-long statement piece changed hands for a within-estimate price of $20,910.
Unquestionably, the most unusual lot in the auction was the very rare 18th-century set of hair “painted” buttons housed in a glass-topped wood box. Many of the 15 buttons depicted nautical or fishing scenes, and all exhibited a remarkable degree of expertise and creative artistry. Offered with paperwork documenting and describing the contents, the buttons sold at the midpoint of their estimate range, for $34,400.
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About Morphy Auctions
Morphy Auctions is a full-service auction company based in Denver, Pa.