DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s 45,000-square-foot gallery never looks more beautiful than just before the company’s December Fine & Decorative Arts Auction. That’s the time of year when visitors are greeted by a breathtaking array of Tiffany Studios lamps, fine jewelry, paintings, both European and American pottery and glass, and many other superior-quality art objects carefully curated by Morphy’s specialists.
This year’s event, which will take place at the gallery on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 7-8, features 1,149 lots, each a prime candidate for gift-giving during the holiday season. All forms of remote bidding will also be available, including live online through Morphy Live.
The incomparable artistry of Tiffany Studios is on display in dozens of auction lots, most notably the leaded and stained-glass lamp selection that includes a red Damascene desk lamp, estimate $20,000-$30,000; a verdant Oak Leaf and Acorn lamp on an “Indian” bronze base, $25,000-$35,000; and a rare and exotic leaded, stained-glass and cast-bronze “Pomegranate” prism table lamp. The highest-estimated lamp in the sale, the Pomegranate lamp’s signed shade is adorned with 43 Favrile iridescent prisms and 22 Favrile iridescent gold Favrile ball-and-bronze-chain decorations, and sits on a signed urn base with four cat’s-paw feet. This connoisseur’s piece is expected to reach $50,000-$70,000 on auction day.
Crowning the Tiffany section is a magnificent Tiffany Studios leaded-glass window depicting three architectural columns with ascendant grapevines. An unquestionable masterpiece, it combines Tiffany’s finest varieties of Favrile glass in one compelling visual repertoire, with confetti glass, streamers, ripple glass, mottles, and streaks all playing a role. The window measures 55 by 32½ by 6½ inches and will be offered with a $70,000-$100,000 estimate.
American, French, English and Austrian/Bohemian art glass will be in plentiful supply. A standout in this section is a signed Galle 10½-inch mold-blown cameo glass “Rhododendron” vase with cameo-cut magenta flowers and leaves against a frosted yellow and white background. In mint condition, its pre-sale estimate is set at $7,000-$12,000.
Over the years, Morphy’s has become known as a premier source for Amphora Art Nouveau pottery. The upcoming auction will not disappoint. There are more than two dozen examples of the avant-garde artworks from which to choose, including several designed by Paul Dachsel, who worked at Amphora’s Teplitz, Austria pottery works from 1892 until around 1904-05, when he left to launch his own company. A rare Dachsel-designed teardrop ewer – a book example in mint condition – is expected to sell in the $1,500-$2,500 range.
The Amphora category is led by a rare, monumental (18-inch-tall) vase known as “Daughter of the Rhine.” Designed circa 1900 by Riessner and Kessel for Amphora, this exceptional book example was chosen to appear in both Monsters and Maidens: Collector’s Edition (Vreeland) and The House of Amphora (Scott). Executed in unusual blue-green glazes with applied “jewels,” it bears Amphora and other marks and comes to auction with an $18,000-$24,000 estimate.
An unusual buying opportunity presents itself in the form of a Faberge enamel-over-silver plate with a mosaic design. Measuring 12½ inches in diameter and in excellent-plus condition, the plate is decorated with a dense profusion of enameled dots, millefiori-style flowers and beading which, together, render the impression of a classic European micromosaic artwork. Multiple sets of hallmarks appear on verso. Estimate: $5,000-$15,000
Oil paintings of special note include a signed E.W. Redfield (American, New Hope School, 1869-1965) winterscape, $20,000-$30,000; and two quintessential works by a revered painter of scenes and people of the American West, Maynard Dixon (American, 1875-1946). The entries in Morphy’s sale are titled Arroyo and Mesa (1931) and Gathering Storm (1938). Both are signed, notated, and retain an original paper label on verso with Maynard Dixon’s name and San Francisco address. Each of the paintings is estimated at $60,000-$80,000.
Another fine Western depiction is a circa-1900 Carl Kauba (Austrian, 1865-1922) cast-bronze Art Nouveau sculpture of Native American leader “Chief Wolf Robe” The figure holds a peace pipe and enameled bag and wears a Benjamin Harrison Peace Medal around his neck. Measuring 26¾ inches and in excellent condition, it is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
More than 250 lots of fine jewelry, wristwatches, pocket watches and coins add sparkle and shine to the much-anticipated holiday event. Both antique and contemporary rings will be auctioned, some of platinum and others of gold, displaying precious emeralds, sapphires and diamonds in a variety of colors.
A single very fine stone can be captivating when it weighs 2.40 carats and is set in gleaming white gold. Just such a ring, with a faceted solitaire graded (approximately) J/K color, S11/S12 clarity, just might make the ultimate stocking stuffer this Christmas. It is offered with a $10,000-$20,000 estimate. For the gentleman, Morphy’s suggests a classic timepiece: a steel and 18K gold Rolex Submariner with a blue dial and ceramic bezel. With its original Rolex inner box and papers indicating a purchase date of 5/25/2012, it has an auction estimate of $10,000-$15,000.
Morphy’s December 7-8, 2021 Fine & Decorative Arts Auction will be conducted live at the company’s gallery, 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517, starting at 9 a.m. ET on both days. All remote forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, phone and live via the Internet through Morphy Live. To make an appointment to preview or for any other questions, please call 877-968-8880. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Online: www.morphyauctions.com.
2000 No. Reading Road
About Morphy Auctions
Morphy Auctions is a full-service auction company based in Denver, Pa.