|By Carole Deutsch
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Fontaine’s second auction of the famed Randy Gottesfeld Collection was held in 350 lots on Feb. 22 and included contents from his home, private collections and landmark antique store, Gaslight Time in Brooklyn, NY.
The sale was composed of a diverse mix of period and Arts & Crafts furniture, lighting fixtures and accessories, paintings, marble and bronze statuaries, porcelains and pottery, a wide selection of art glass, Asian artifacts, sterling silver and military items.
The comprehensive auction also featured the Dakota Collection from the well-known Dakota Restaurant in Pittsfield, Mass., which included the Andy Warhol Collection, original paintings from Loren Willis, Adirondack furniture and a large selection of Native American artifacts.
Among the highlights was a large selection of gas and electric shades. Several hundred shades of every description from Gaslight Time afforded collectors the opportunity to match missing shades, which are often rare and can take years to find.
“We were pleasantly surprised at the strength of the glass shades. There was a great deal of interest and they sold well above estimate,” John Fontaine said. “Overall, the sale did well. They were serious collectors who came to buy.”
The auction got off to a good start with the first lot when an excellent example of a Royal Worcester reticulated urn-shaped potpourri by George Owen more than doubled the high estimate to achieve $15,340. It was intricately pierced with honeycomb and geometric patterns, decorated with gilt enamel accents and beaded bands, and had a spherical form finial. The 7 1/4-inch-high piece stood on three open scrollwork feet that were mounted on a tri-form base. It was signed with a gilt Royal Worcester mark and shape number 1429 and had an incised G. Owen signature.
A rare Grueby vase, designed by George Kendrick, was made in the classic heavy matte green finish and had a nine leaf carved design around the body, pointing up to the shoulder where it met a pinched neck and a wide leaf decorated rim. It was signed on the bottom with the round Grueby mark and also a paper label, which read “Approved by the Society of Arts & Crafts.” Kendrick, a member of Boston’s Arts & Crafts Society, was not a potter but a skilled metal smith and architectural draftsman with an affinity for flowers and leaf forms. The 12-inch-high piece brought $14,750.
Other notable Arts & Crafts pieces included a circa 1902 Gustav Stickley tea table with a Grueby tile top. The oak table had pegged through exposed tenon construction over arched aprons and a lower stretcher with keyed through tenon construction. The top was inset with 12 green Grueby tiles measuring 4 inches square. The 26-inch-high by 24 1/2-inch-wide by 20 1/2-inch-deep piece was not signed, but brought $11,210 against an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. A 6-inch-square Grueby tulip tile with a deep green matte glaze was incised with a yellow tulip flower growing out of four green leafs. It was in good condition and brought $2,065.
Tiffany was represented by a Tiffany Studios turtleback desk lamp with a fine bronze base that was accented by art glass jewels around the edge. Two arms were extended on either side, holding two large panels of gold iridescent turtleback glass and white reflector panels on the reverse. The base was signed Tiffany Studios New York 29743, and also signed with the Tiffany Glass Decorating Co. logo. It stood 14 inches high and achieved $10,620.
A Galle Nancy cameo glass and French silver opera flask, which was 5 3/4 inches long, was made in the teardrop form with a silver flower finial top, and sold for the impressive sum of $2,950, against the modest estimate of $500 to $750. The absinthe green glass flask was decorated with cut and enamel flowers, leaves, stems, and buds. The silver collar had a threaded domical cap and a silver cup, which slid snugly onto the base. It was signed with French silver hallmarks and maker’s mark, with initials M.V., while the glass was signed Galle Nancy.
Another runaway price was realized by a group of five Chinese porcelain snuff bottles. Four were cylindrical form bottles and one was an ovoid shape. Each was paint and enamel decorated with figural and scenic designs, had jeweled stoppers, and stood approximately 3 1/4 inches high. This appealing lot opened at $150, sailed past the estimate of $300 to $500, and finished at $7,670.
Early Colonial and Native American Indian artifacts also sold well. A Sioux beaded hide bag, circa 1890, was decorated with a colorful beaded design and horse hair tassels. This was one of the Dakota Collection items, and it had been purchased at Sotheby’s as part of the Andy Warhol Collection. The piece opened at $200 and realized $2,006, far outreaching the estimate of $400 to $600.
A large circa 1860s American flag, with 13 red and white stripes and 18 stars sewn in the blue field, had the name “Mr. John Cloudman” written on the header of the flag. The 18th star likely represented Louisiana as the 18th state in the Union. The 9-foot, 6-inch by 6-foot flag showed appropriate wear and achieved a price of $5,900.
Highlights among the glass shades included four acid etched round Lady Cameo globes that brought $2,006, and the same price was received for four frosted bellflower decorated gaslight globes. A set of five matching shades, The Charioteers, depicted three classical scenes of soldiers on horseback and in chariots and sold for $3,835. Another set of four The Charioteers shades brought $2,360. All of these lots were estimated between $200 and $600.
The next and final Randy Gottesfeld Collection is scheduled for June 21.
Prices include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.