by Kelly Keating on 08/07/15
At the end of the last Auction Finds of the Week post
which reviewed lots from Skinner's European Furniture and Decorative Arts
sale held on 18 July 2015, I mentioned that the next post would discuss the demise of the silver tea and coffee set as a common item in the American home. I changed my mind, however, after previewing the upcoming August Americana
sale at Skinner to be held on August 8th and 9th. This sale has really wonderful and unusual items from furniture to decorative arts not only for the serious collector, but also for one seeking to add a degree of distinctiveness to their space. Several lots caught my attention as truly whimsical and dynamic accessories that could strongly change a room's decor and atmosphere. As I have mentioned before, mixing different items from different periods and styles can give a space a unique warmth and presentation. Stay tuned next week for the demise of the silver tea and coffee set!
This week's first find, lot 8, is a pair of light green pressed glass tulip vases with octagonal bases that stand 10" high and were made by the the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company of Sandwich, Massachusetts circa 1845-1865. Lot 8 has a pre-sale estimate of $1,000-1,500. The Boston & Sandwich Glass Company was incorporated in 1826 and was in business until 1888. The development of pressed glass was a significant contribution by America to glass making. Around 1825 a more economical and mechanized method of glass manufacture was developed involving the pressing of molten glass into a mold with a metal plunger. By the mid-19th century glassmakers were turning out pressed glass vessels in many different shapes and sizes and in different patterns such as the tulip pattern in lot 8. And what a striking green! Why not design an entire room with these tulip vases as your starting point? On a mantel or sideboard they would be wonderful receptacles for fresh flowers in white, purple or pink. Such a pair of vases could become the focal point of your space giving it a distinction, a history and a past, that a new item cannot achieve.
The second discovery this week, lot 367, with a pre-sale estimate of $300-500, is a carved and painted horse pull toy from the late 19th/early 20th century. The cream and black spotted horse is mounted on a black base with red edging and wheels. This lovely equine retains his original paint surface and stands 22.25" high x 22.5" wide x 7.5" deep. I would love to see this piece as the centerpiece for a sideboard or next to a fireplace. It exudes a degree of whimsy and nostalgia when toys did not need batteries. Like the tulip vases, it will bring a unique character to a room, a sense of a past and a permanence. It has a patina of history that one cannot find in something new.
This week's third treasure is another children's toy also full of whimsy, nostalgia and history. Lot 1136 is a late 19th century paint decorated child's pail with "Good Girl" and "Love" written in red paint on the yellow ground of the piece and further decorated with red stars and a red bird. The pail measures only 4.25" high x 5.5" in diameter. A sweet, quirky piece. Why not find several for a mantel or a kitchen? Like the other 2 lots this week, I love sense of history that this object expresses. The pail has a pre-sale estimate of $400-600.
The next find, lot 1153, is a European papier-mache hat stand or milliner's head from the early to mid-19th century of female form hand decorated with black hair, blue eyes and a blue dress. The pre-sale estimate for lot 1153 is $300-500. Besides the tulip vase, the hat stand is my favorite object this week. It's quirky and decorative, but had a useful life as a functional object which appeals to me greatly. The woman's face is serene, dreamy and beautiful and the black swag decoration on her blue dress is so simple yet superb. She stands 15" tall and would make a great decorative accessory.
Another great decorative group is lot 1197: 10 mid-19th century glazed carpet balls in blues, greens and reds. The lot has a pre-sale estimate of $800-1,200. The largest ball measures 3" in diameter Fill a simply shaped glass bowl with these articles of a bygone game for a dining room table. Or fill a large wooden dough bowl with the carpet balls for a kitchen great room. Or fill 2 large clear glass hurricanes with the carpet balls and place on a sideboard or mantel.
This week's final discovery, lot 1329, is an unusual and quite rare pair of paint decorated fire buckets from Charlestown, Massachusetts circa 1807 with a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-7,000. The leather buckets are painted black with a red rimmed opening. They are decorated on the front with eagles with outstretched wings clutching olive branches and arrows in their talons. Above the eagles are banners reading "Jefferson Fire Society", "Issac Kendall" and the date "1807". The back is inscribed "Charlestown". Amazing objects with great decoration, that also used to have a function in their own lifetime. The buckets measure 19.25" tall. They would make a great pair for a mantel or a sideboard or on either side of a fireplace. Totally fab!
Bringing in one vintage or antique object into a space can change the whole character of room giving it a sense of history, giving it a past. In today's digital world where the world is flat once again, life is often transitory and ahistorical. An object with its own past life can ground one's room as well as oneself in our amorphous age.
I hope you enjoyed this Auction Finds of the Week
and found inspiration for the creation of your own space or even motivation for a new collection. If I can help you find an antique or vintage piece of furniture or decorative art for your room, please contact me at [email protected]
and visit my website www.theantiqueflaneur.com
to see the services that I offer. I have multiple sources across the country and even Europe to find you that unique piece.
I am now able to offer insurance and informational appraisals for decorative arts particularly for fine silver and English ceramics. Please contact me at [email protected]
if you need an insurance appraisal or an informational appraisal for purposes of selling your antique or vintage items. I also accept consignments of antique and vintage items where I can help you sell your pieces for a commission. If you need an estate or donation appraisal for tax purposes, I can bring in another appraiser who will work with me to complete that for you. Details are on the Services page
of my website.
In the next Auction Finds of the Week, I will get back to the demise of the silver tea and coffee set.
Until next time,
Kelly T Keating