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Strawser Auction holds Part 1 of the outstanding Ed and Marilyn Flower majolica collection August 23
The auction was held online and live in Kulpsville, Pa., It featured 190 premier lots, from many of the finest names in all of majolica. Internet bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.
By: Strawser Auction Group
It was the first of three auctions dedicated to the Flower collection. Two more will follow, with dates and times to be determined. The collection in its entirety comprises over 600 pieces in all, by many of the finest names in all of majolica: Minton, George Jones, Holdcroft, Wedgwood, Hugo Lonitz, Palissy, Massier, T.C. Brown Westhead Moore & Co., Copelands and others.
The surprise lot of the auction was most certainly the "Art of the Earth" Palissy rustic basin by Charles-Jean Avisseau, dated 1856. The piece blasted through its $2,000-$3,000 estimate to finish at $49,200. Avisseau created a microcosm teeming with life on the surface of the ceramic basin, with shells interspersed alongside a snake, a salamander, and a lizard, each colored with a different ceramic glaze. Avisseau exhibited at the Great Exhibition 1851.
The other piece by Avisseau was also an "Art of the Earth" example, this one a Palissy grotto, circa 1856, polychrome, modeled as a naturalistic forest floor scene depicting a snake, lizard and frog climbing on rocks around a watery hole with lilies, ferns and grasses, a gnarled branch and oak leaves to the rear and a tablet to the front inscribed "Avisseau a tours 1856". The grotto represented the finest quality of 19th century Palissyware. It gaveled for $22,140.
The rare George Jones majolica "Drum" cabaret set from around 1875, one of only two known complete sets, gaveled for $31,625 to take runner-up top lot honors. The set was all designed as cobalt blue drums, with yellow skin tightening string, the teapot with drumsticks forming the spout, and a military drummer boys' hat. The circular tray was bound by a leather strap.
Also from George Jones was the only known pair of Tulip & Butterfly candlesticks, circa 1875, each modeled as an upright tulip and large green leaves forming the body, with a blossom forming the candle holders, a butterfly below on a circular earthy ground. These formed part of a dressing table set, all designed around blossoms and butterflies ($25,830).
To learn more about the Strawser Auction Group, please visit www.strawserauctions.com.