Part 1 of the massive Rieger collection of porcelain and glass will be sold Mar. 20 in Wichita, Kan. The first of five planned auctions to sell the lifetime collection of mostly porcelain and glass pieces accumulated over 50 years by the late Dr. Ernest Rieger and his wife Karin will be held Mar. 20
News-Antique.com - Feb 05,2014 - (WICHITA, Kan.) – The first of five planned auctions to sell the huge lifetime collection of mostly porcelain and glass pieces accumulated over 50 years by the late Dr. Ernest Rieger and his wife Karin will be held Thursday, Mar. 20, at the Doubletree Airport Hilton in Wichita, Kan. The auction, beginning at 1 p.m. (CST) will be held by Woody Auction, based in Douglass, Kan.
The Riegers were discerning and serious collectors, seeking out only the finest names in porcelain and glass, such as Tiffany, Galle, Meissen, Webb, Daum Nancy, KPM and others. The couple also collected period antique furniture, which they kept in their spacious Wichita home. The furniture will be sold in the later auctions. Parts 2 and 3 will be held May 29 and Aug. 1-2.
“This is by far the finest antique collection we’ve ever offered, and it might be the finest ever offered in the state of Kansas,” said Jason Woody of Woody Auction. “Prior to Dr. Rieger’s passing, Karin and Ernest made the decision to sell the collection at public auction, the way they enjoyed buying. All items in all the auctions will be sold to the highest bidders without reserves.”
Mrs. Rieger, who still lives in Wichita, said the collection began quite by accident, more than 50 years ago, when her parents were visiting from Sweden. “My mother went to a car wash and while she was waiting she saw some Galle pieces displayed on a shelf inside the waiting area,” she said. “She asked the lady if they were for sale and she said yes so she bought one.”
That Galle vase was the first item in a collection that would grow to around 3,500 pieces (to include the rest of the Galle at the car wash as mom, already a fan of Galle, went back and bought them all up, for $5-$10 apiece). “After that we hunted for more Galle pieces, in several states,” Mrs. Rieger recalled, “but later on our tastes and interests branched out to other things.”
One Galle piece certain to attract attention is a museum-quality, 20-inch-tall French cameo art glass vase from 1914, with a scene depicting a burning French cathedral with the ruins shown on the reverse side. The lot comes with an original copy of Le Pays de France magazine, dated Sept. 19, 1914, with an artist’s rendition of the cathedral under bombardment on the cover.
French cameo glass and English cameo glass would become important elements in the Riegers’ collection over time. “French cameo glass, especially, wasn’t respected by the antique dealers of the 1950s and ‘60s and we could never figure out why,” Mrs. Rieger said. “We were intrigued by it – me for how it looked and my husband, ever the scientist, for how it was made.”
By the mid-1960s Tiffany and Daum Nancy had crept into the Riegers’ collection, and numerous examples from both makers will be offered Mar. 20. Daum Nancy will be represented with a rare 13 ½