“What made this bowl so exceptional was the fact that one-third of it was green cut to clear, one-third was cranberry cut to clear and one-third was amethyst cut to clear. You rarely if ever see that,” said Jason Woody of Woody Auction, based in Douglass, Kan. “I expected it to bring $10,000-$20,000, but when bidding topped the $50,000 my heart began to pound a little.”
The winning bidder was a dedicated cut glass collector from Texas who requested anonymity. He had been in a fierce bidding war with two other contenders, one of whom was acting on behalf of the Dorflinger Museum. That person stayed in the fight to the bitter end. The third party was active in the early going, but threw in the towel when bidding reached $25,000.
“I do believe the bowl was one of the ten rarest items I've ever sold,” Mr. Woody said. It was by far the top lot of the March 10 sale and another event held March 24 by the firm. That auction was held in Wichita, Kan., and featured four fine collections comprising over 500 quality lots of art glass, Royal Bayreuth, furniture pieces and more. Everything was sold without reserve.
“Like with most auctions, certain items surprised us in how well they did, while other lots we fully expected to bring high dollars ended up being soft,” Mr. Woody remarked. “But overall, both auctions were well attended and bidding was great. About 85-90 people came to the March 10 event, while 110 made it for the March 24 sale.” Online bidding was active on Proxibid.com.
Following are additional highlights from the March 10 auction. All prices are hammer, exclusive of a sliding commission structure. There is no buyer's premium at a Woody Auction.
An exceptionally fine Libbey American Brilliant Cut Glass (ABCG) bowl in the Morello pattern, 4 inches by 9 inches and signed, changed hands for $5,500; an ABCG aqua green cut to clear wine glass in the Russian pattern with star cut buttons and scalloped base made $4,500; and a gorgeous signed Sinclaire ABCG oval bowl in the Snowflake and Holly pattern rose to $2,600.
A 4 inch by 9 inch ABCG cranberry cut to clear bowl featuring a hobstar center with nailed diamond, prism and long thumbprint highlights (circa 1898) brought $3,300; a rare 4 ½ inch tall ABCG cranberry cut to clear wine glass in the Eleanor pattern by J. Hoare hit $2,500; and a 4 ¾ inch ABCG gold cut to clear wine glass in a unique Strauss pattern realized $2,300.
Rounding out the day's top lots, a scarce 13-inch-tall ABCG bell-shaped quart decanter in the Somerset pattern by Libbey, with a pattern cut stopper and exactly as shown in a Libbey catalog reprint, breezed to $2,100; and a pair of 4 ½ inch signed Sinclaire ABCG cut glass perfume bottles – rock crystal with engraved rococo, shell and floral motif – garnered $1,500.
Following are highlights from the March 24 auction.
A 9 inch by 15 inch bride's basket, a star crimped melon ribbed apricot satin diamond quilted bowl with pink interior and gold and enamel floral décor, set on a Meriden silverplate rampant lion frame, made $8,000; and an 11-inch pickle castor, a tortoise shell swirl coinspot art glass insert with enamel décor set on a figural “Lily Pad” silverplate Meriden frame hit $1,400.
A six-piece ivory portrait set, with each hand-painted portrait signed “David 1810” and each 17-inch frame containing three portraits (of figures such as Napoleon, Josephine, Madame Tallien and Duchess D'abrantes) reached $6,900; and a Pairpoint four-piece condiment set (two melon ribbed Burmese cruets and two shakers on a marked silver plate frame) fetched $1,200.
A 42 inch by 12 inch marble and brass Sevres-style pedestal featuring a cobalt blue column with extensive gold leaf highlights with crown and “N” monogram, plus a beautiful full portrait of Queen Josephine (artist signed “Rochette”)
Two lots reached identical prices of $3,000. One was a wonderful 20 inch by 11 ½ inch bride's basket – a cream satin ruffled bowl (trefoil shaped), with enamel floral décor interior and exterior and Pairpoint #2693 silverplate stand. The other was also a bride's basket – a pink satin melon ribbed bowl with enamel floral décor and green interior, set on a Wilcox silverplate base.
Still another bride's basket – a beautiful cranberry opalescent nailsea star crimped bowl with blossom and branch enamel décor, set on a perfectly fitting Toronto silverplate base -- sold for $1,900. Also, a gorgeous 106-piece set of “Medici” pattern Gorham sterling silver flatware, all contained in a handsome, three-drawer, 35 inch by 25 inch wooden silver chest, made $4,500.
Woody Auction has three auctions planned for the near future. The Dr. Harold and Audrey Eklund collection of art glass, brides' baskets, pickle castors, Nippon, lamps, sterling and more will be sold Saturday, April 21, in Wichita, Kan. And the Pat Bartlett antique estate collection of fine furniture, prints and art glass will be sold Saturday, May 12, also in Wichita.
Then, on Saturday, May 19, beginning at 9:30 a.m. (CST), Woody Auction will conduct one of its best American Brilliant Cut Glass auctions ever – the “Billie” Harrington and David Rose collection, which will appeal to serious collectors of ABCG. The event will be held at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Mo. (in the upper level of Grand Ballroom A).
Woody Auction is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (316) 747-2694. Or, you can e-mail them at email@example.com. To learn more about Woody Auction and the upcoming calendar of events, to include the April 21, May 12 and May 19 sales, log on to www.WoodyAuction.com.
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Ken Hall writes pre-sale and post-sale press releases for auction houses, for a fee. He writes, submits and tracks stories for clients. Submissions are published in trade magazines, posted on industry websites and appear in local newspapers.