The vase – eight inches tall and signed by the maker (“LCT #X1175) – was the top lot of the March 20 auction that grossed $1.3 million and was described by auctioneer Jason Woody of Woody Auction (auction house for all five sales) as “by far the finest art glass auction ever held in Kansas,” adding, “Part 2 (scheduled for Thursday, May 29th) promises to be just as exciting.”
Exactly 400 lots came up for bid, at the Doubletree Airport Hilton in Wichita. More than 100 bidder numbers were issued to the in-person crowd, while another 955 people registered to bid online, via LiveAuctioneers.com. Also, 35 bidders participated via absentee bid. “It was a pleasure to be able to sell the first part of this collection for Mrs. Rieger. Now it’s on to Parts 2-5,” Mr. Woody said.
The Riegers were discerning, 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 used and displayed in their Wichita home. The furniture will be sold in the later auctions. The May 29 event will be followed by a two-day auction, Aug. 1-2.
Following are additional highlights from the recent auction. All prices quoted are hammer. There is no buyer’s premium at a Woody Auction.
The runner-up for top lot was a set of four Meissen pedestal handled ewers, all about 25 inches tall and representing earth, wind, fire and water. The set sold as one lot for $57,500. Each piece had the traditional Meissen blue crossed swords mark. Earth was Diana the huntress with Pan, wind was cherubs playing bagpipes, fire was a woman tending a flame and water was Neptune.
In third place, breezing to an impressive $44,000, was a 20-inch signed Tiffany art glass gladioli paperweight vase, boasting a green and lavender background with white blossom décor. It was signed “Louis C. Tiffany Favrile #3280P.” This very vase (or one identical to it) was pictured sitting on a mantel in the Tiffany home in Robert Koch’s book titled Louis C. Tiffany Art Glass.
While Tiffany dominated the day, other names did well, too. A signed Daum Nancy French cameo art glass boudoir lamp in the highly desirable Rain Scene décor, 13 ½ inches tall, fetched $38,000, while a beautiful signed “Thomas Webb & Sons Gem Cameo” three-color vase (soft blue, pink and white) with finely detailed depictions of trees, flowers and birds, made $35,000.
An 8 ½ inch French art glass vase, signed (“Cristallerie de Emile Galle Nancy”), having a dark cranberry, green, yellow and clear background with a carved seaweed décor and applied sand dollar cabochon, realized $21,000; and a signed 8 ½ inch Galle French cameo art glass vase with a frosted smoke lavender background, red mottled interior and crab and fish design, hit $17,000.
An 11-inch signed Daum Nancy French cameo art glass pedestal vase with a spring season lake décor went to a determined bidder for $14,000. Also, a beautiful Verrerie d’Art French cameo art glass vase (signed “Verrerie d’Art de Lorraine B&S Company,” with B&S standing for Burgun & Schverer), with a watermelon background and carved cameo orchid design, rose to $10,000.
Bidders seemed powerless to resist anything that carried the Tiffany name. A monumental and signed Tiffany decorated art glass vase having an iridescent aqua green background with pulled feather design, 15 ½ inches tall, brought $39,000; and a 4 inch by 4 inch signed Tiffany art glass vase with an iridescent bronze body with ten “windows” around the middle garnered $36,000.
A very rare 12 ½ inch signed Tiffany gold iridescent Cypriote pattern vase with green iridescent interior, boasting Cypriote patches overlaid with an iridescent layer, finished at $35,000. Also, an equally scarce and outstanding signed Tiffany Lava art glass vase, 8 ½ inches in height, having a Cypriote background with gold iridescent leaf-shaped decorated petals topped out at $30,000.
A 4 ¼ inch signed Tiffany Favrile decorated art glass Lava vase with bright red “dripping”
Woody Auction is based in Douglass, Kan. The firm will always accept 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Woody Auction and Parts 2 through 5 of the Rieger collection, log on to www.WoodyAuction.com.