Rare Pair of Kappa Candlesticks by Chicago's Robert Jarvie Brings Record $60,000 at Treadway-Toomey But man, the twofold creature, apprehends the twofold manner, in and outwardly, and nothing in the world comes single to him, a mere itself, —cup, column, or candlestick. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - OAK PARK, Ill. –- A rare and perfectly matched pair of Kappa model bronze candlesticks handwrought by Chicago metalsmith Robert R. Jarvie fetched a record $60,000 at Treadway-Toomey Galleries’ 20th Century Art & Design Auction on May 7. The presale estimate was $10,000 to $15,000 for the pair. The graceful, 14-inches tall candlesticks had their fine original patinas and removable bobęches.
“These candlesticks were a great version of that particular Jarvie form,” said Don Treadway, gallery owner. “Two bidders — one from the east and the other on the west coast — were well aware of how difficult they are to find. That model is quite rare and the condition was superb. With Jarvie, the model is what dictates the value, and then the condition creates an additional level of interest and desire. These were exceptional.”
In the late 19th Century, Robert Riddle Jarvie (1865-1941) began crafting elegant candlesticks and lovely lanterns as a hobby. In 1904 he quit his job at the Chicago Department of Transportation and launched the Jarvie Shop in downtown Chicago to pursue his metalworking passion full-time.
“Between 1890 and the outbreak of World War I, metalsmithing in Chicago was infused with a new vitality that flowed from the Arts and Crafts movement, which had its origins in England,” wrote Sharon Darling in “Chicago Metalsmiths,” her 1977 exhibition catalog. As Curator of Decorative Arts at the Chicago Historical Society, Darling had also organized the exhibition.
“A number of metalsmiths studied the simple, forthright forms of silverwork produced during the Colonial period and some, like Robert Jarvie and employees of Marshall Field & Company, reproduced them in addition to more innovative pieces,” Darling wrote. “The idealized figure of the Colonial silversmith, proud of his work and imbued with revolutionary spirit, served as an inspiration for the American metalworker in much the same way that the medieval guild craftsman did for the 19th Century British craft worker.”
Metalwork by California-based coppersmith Dirk Van Erp of The Netherlands was also in demand at the sale. An 18-inches tall Van Erp table lamp with original patina and four-panel mica shade achieved $25,200 (est. $10,000-$15,000). In a style much like Van Erp’s, a 7.5-inches high lamp, which featured a hammered copper base in a stocky, bean-pot shape and a mica shade, sold for $2,400 (est. $900-$1,200).
An unconventional Tiffany Studios lamp that showcased the natural beauty of a genuine nautilus shell with an opalescent finish as its shade brought $12,000 (est. $6,000-$8,000). Supported by a bronze base with its fine original patina, the 13-inches tall lamp was signed ‘Tiffany Studios New York #25893.’
A 51-inches tall Gustav Stickley chest, style no. 913, with six small drawers over three large drawers and an arched front, sold for $11,400 (est. $7,000-$9,000).
Architectonically inspired designs from The Gates Potteries fared extremely well. A handsome Teco vase by Harold Hals sculpted in a four-sided form with looping handles at the bottom brought $26,400 (est. $20,000-$25,000). Hals’ stately creation stood 13 inches tall and was covered