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Skinner to Host European Auction of European Furniture and Decorative Arts
Boston, Ma – March 23, 2011 – Skinner Inc., the leading source for art and antique appraisals in Massachusetts, will host an auction of European Furniture and Decorative Arts on Saturday, April 9th, 2011 at 10:00 am in their Boston auction gallery, located at 63 Park Plaza. There are over 480 lots of silver featured in the sale, including tea sets, table wares, flatware services, and serving pieces ranging from the mid-18th to the mid-20th century. Offerings include British, Continental, Russian, Asian, and American silver articles.
One of the cover lots is 847, a large Tiffany & Co. sterling silver ewer of great quality. The piece stands 20 3/8th inches on a trumpet foot, and weighs approximately 68 troy ounces. The original Tiffany fitted oak case is included. Valued at $8,000-12,000, this ewer, with its highly detailed, sculptural bacchic mask decoration, bears a striking resemblance to punch bowls from the three garnitures commissioned by the U.S. government c. 1873 for presentation to the three arbitrators of the Alabama reparations claim case. The design of these suites has been attributed to one of Tiffany’s most celebrated designers and chasers, Eugene J. Soligny (1832-1901). Soligny was also involved in the design of some of Tiffany & Co.’s most renowned showpieces, including the Comanche Trophy of 1873, and the Bryant Vase of 1875/76. A bowl unmistakably similar to this Tiffany Silver ewer was featured in Skinner’s Fine Silver sale of April 10, 2010.
The range of styles extends from lot 634, a Paul Storr silver set suitable for traditionalists, to lot 1065, a Reed & Barton "The Diamond" set, for lovers of modern design. While extremely different, both represent great design of their day and show the versatility of silver as a medium. The three-piece George III Silver Tea Set by Paul Storr is dated to 1810 and valued at $4,000-6,000. The set is comprised teapot with flat lid, urn-form hot water pot, and a creamer. The Reed & Barton Sterling “The Diamond” pattern four-piece tea and coffee set and tray, c. 1958, is comprised of coffeepot, teapot, covered sugar, creamer and circular tray. The tallest piece, the coffeepot, stands 11 3/4 inches tall and the total weighable silver is approximately 68 troy ounces. It is estimated at $2,500 -$ 3,500. “The Diamond” pattern was launched by Reed & Barton in 1958 and was a collaborative effort between the designers Gio Ponti and John Prip. Prip was given the task of designing the hollowware while Ponti was the inspiration behind the flatware. Although designer John Prip was born in New York City, he was raised in Denmark. He returned to the United States and was hired by Reed and Barton in 1957.
Other impressive and contrasting silver table wares include lot 701, a pair of French candelabra fit for a regal chateau, and lot 742, a Georg Jensen six piece "Cosmos" pattern tea/coffee set. The Louis XV-style French silver seven-light candelabra is mid to late 19th century and is estimated to be worth $6,000 - $8,000. The Georg Jensen sterling silver six-piece “Cosmos” pattern tea and coffee service (1915-32) was designed by Johan Rohde and is engraved with the owner’s name, “Gordon Mendelssohn,” the name of his yacht, “Quartermore,” and dated 1935. This service was part of a suite of Jensen tableware used on the vessel. Mendelssohn was a wealthy notable in Detroit, Michigan, and a patron of the arts. The set includes a teapot, coffeepot, and kettle on stand with burner, creamer, covered sugar, and open sugar. The set is estimated at $8,000- $12,000.