Fanciful Designs Draw Fantastic Prices at Treadway-Toomey Galleries’ 20th Century Art Auction A Teco vase in ingenious, flowing design by Fritz Albert was the event's pièce de résistance that commanded the top price of $78,000, surpassing pre-sale estimates of $45,000-65,000.
brought $7,200 (est. $6000-8000). The circa 1890s painting depicted a forest scene in which a girl seated on the ground is encircled and enthralled by a bevy of curious brown bunnies.
The Lalique warthog, an eye-catcher it was, even at only 2.5 inches high. With a penchant for the peculiar, René Lalique carved a chunk of smoky quartz into the maned pig, including tiny tusks on its snout. Despite two minor chips, the swine design fetched $450 (est. $250-350).
A Rozane Della Robbia teapot incised with a clever quote as part of its design reached $2,400 (est. $1500-2500). The witty words read: “If a woman says she will, depend on it. But if she says she won’t, she won’t and there’s an end on’t.”
A rare Senne flat weave, a late 19th century directional dowry rug, which had an ivory and navy field with colorful floral designs, sold for $9,000, triple its estimated $1500-2500. A South Persian rug with a large diamond pattern brought $3,000, five times estimates of $400-600.
One of the most captivating paintings in the auction was “Young Woman with Lantern,” a circa 1921 pastel on canvas by American artist Gene Pressler that sold for $7,800 ($6000-8000). Pressler, an illustrator who worked in New York in the early 20th century, had created this image for the Peters Shoe Company’s 1921 calendar. A superb example of the Art Deco-inspired illustration popular in that era, the artwork depicted a regal gal in an elegant evening gown outdoors in the dark of night. A glorious amber glow from the lantern she holds illumines her pretty face and upswept hair.
Reminiscent of the glow emanating from Pressler’s painting, many of the sale’s most interesting lamps were designed to cast light in that range of lovely tawny, orangey tones. One stunning example was Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Arabian lamp of amber Favrile glass with pulled iridescent designs, which fetched $5,100 (est. $3500-5500). A Handel floor lamp with a brown, etched glass shade attained $4,200 (est. $1200-1700), while a Handel lamp with an orangey-pink, etched glass shade supported by a pink, Hi-glazed Rookwood base brought $720 (est. $900-1200). A Gustav Stickley lamp of hammered copper with a six-sided, stitched mica shade reached $2,400 (est. $2500-3500). A Jefferson lamp with a glass shade, which was reverse-painted with vivid red and blue flowers and winding vines, sold for $1,140 (est. $1200-1500). A magnificent lamp of hammered iron, a powerful piece attributed to Oscar Bach, garnered $2,880 (est. $1500-2500). With a delicate white silk liner, its elaborate shade was a blacksmith’s dream overflowing with reticulated spiral designs. In a modern version of the lantern, a circa 1998 Marcel Wanders floor lamp known as “Big Shadow,” which featured an internally-lit orange cloth base and shade, sold for $1,440 (est. $1500-2000).
The paintings session featured an impressive collective of works by several prominent African-American artists, including Eldzier Cortor and Charles Sebree, who began their careers at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and became key players in