Moran’s Announces Major November 13, 2012 Antiques & Decorative Arts Auction --Spectacular Continental furniture and decorative objects from the 19th and early 20th centuries brighten the fall season at John Moran Auctioneers
-- Important silver makes a grand showing with i
à cercle tournant set with seed pearls and colored stones (estimate: $10,000 – 15,000).
Bronze items are strong, among them a rouge griotte marble mantle clock inset with relief-cast patinated bronze friezes and topped by a bust of a woman by sculptor Eugene Aizelin, from the Barbedienne foundry (estimate: $5000 – 7000); a pair of patinated bronze urns, also by Barbedienne (estimate: $2000 – 3000); and a massive French patinated bronze tazza centering a relief of Dionysos (estimate: $2000 – 3000).
The sale’s very large silver selection is breathtaking. Showing great depth and quality, it ranges from 18th century to modern, from a delicate Georgian tea caddy to grand Tiffany centerpieces fit for a Gilded Age banquet, and a rare example of Art Nouveau-inspired American design, to cite just a few examples.
Of the several items by Tiffany & Co., one of the most impressive is a massive .950-standard silver centerpiece bowl, made by the firm’s Paris branch circa 1900. Weighing in at 409 oz troy, it is Renaissance Revival in style with an architectural structure, the oval bowl resting on an upswept base, each with bold acanthus and strapwork ornamentation. It lightly carries its pre-sale estimate of $50,000 – 60,000. Another large Tiffany centerpiece bowl to make a grand statement, dating from circa 1895 - 1902, presents a downswept rim decorated with foliate sprays and cherubs over a spiral-fluted interior band, on a foliate scroll-decorated circular foot. This lovely example of the firm’s superb work at the turn of the century is estimated to realize $25,000 – 35,000. Dating slightly earlier, to 1881 - 1891, is a coffee/tea service decorated in repoussé with flowers and ferns (estimate: $8000 – 10,000), while a 180-piece flatware service in the desirable 'St. James' pattern is offered for $10,000 – 15,000.
Rivaling Tiffany & Co. in the early 19th century was Gorham, based in Providence Rhode Island and renowned for their Art Nouveau Martele line. Less well known than Martele, but much sought-after by collectors, is their similar and complementary line made contemporaneously from about 1901 – 1920, christened ‘Athenic’ for its ancient Greek inspiration. Moran’s is delighted to offer a rare Athenic punch bowl decorated with applied trefoils and scrolls entwined by sinuous engraved and repoussé flowers and foliage. It is conservatively estimated at $5000 – 7000.
British and Continental silver is led by a delicate pair of candelabra made around 1900 by Wolfers Freres of Belgium, offered for $4000 – 6000, and a pair of English sterling wine coolers meticulously modeled as woven baskets with detachable collars fully modeled grape clusters and leaves. Each was made in London: one in 1830 by Benjamin Smith, the other in 1834 by Joseph and John Angell. The two are a perfect match, and together weigh more than 360 ounces troy (estimate: $20,000 – 30,000).
Moran’s sale is also featuring select Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and modern design, along with estate items from the 16th – 18th centuries. Notable twentieth century designs