Color Me Beautiful: Heritage Auctions’ Pursuit of Beauty: Art Nouveau, Deco & Glass Event
The Art Nouveau (circa 1890 – 1914) and Art Deco (circa 1919 – 1939) movements are responsible for many of the most coveted, iconic, and signature vintage to antique decorative art designs today. World-class manufacturers from those periods include Tiffany Studios, Lalique, Loetz, Wedgwood, Pairpoint, Daum, and others. The finest examples of these magnificently produced lamps, vases, statues, and other treasures are still in demand a hundred or more years onward and catch the world’s attention when they appear at auction. Heritage Auctions of Dallas, TX is presenting its 462-lot Pursuit of Beauty: Art Nouveau, Deco & Glass sale on May 25, 2023. Here are some important highlights from this extraordinary event.
This curated auction offers nearly 40 century- and category-spanning lots of fine Tiffany Studios lamps, vases, and other household items. Tied for top lot in this sale is #79004, a leaded glass and gilt bronze Drophead Dragonfly table lamp, estimated at USD 100,000 to $150,000. This circa 1910 example is marked both on its shade and base. This stunning, fully provenanced example features a shade with nine descending dragonflies, each with an outstanding combination of body and eye color.
Dragonfly light shades are a classic pattern for Tiffany. This general design was “invented” by Tiffany designer Clara Driscoll in 1898 and was first shown at the Grafton Galleries in London in 1899. Driscoll’s vision would go on to win a bronze medal at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, and the rest is history. In April 2022, Toomey & Co. Auctioneers of Chicago sold a jeweled Drophead Dragonfly table lamp for $562,500.
This auction offers more than 40 gorgeous vases, plates, figurines, bottles, and other rarities made by the French company Lalique. Of special note is lot #79312, a marked, clear and frosted glass cactus center table, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. Its circular, straight-edge top is supported by eight authentically surfaced arms in the form of cactus plants mounted to a round base.
This classic Lalique design was created by Marc Lalique (French, 1900 – 1977) in 1950. Marc was the son of René Lalique (French, 1860 – 1945), who founded the glass art company in 1888. Marc took over the management of his family’s business in the 1950s. He was both a businessman and a skilled craftsman; his legacy includes updating Lalique’s specialty from glass to crystal, testing and implementing new production innovations, and contributing his sweeping knowledge of all things crystal and glass.
Glass lamps, bottles, and vases by Daum are well represented in this auction, with 27 examples available. Notable among them is lot #79253, a Daum enameled and acid-etched glass Rain table lamp, estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. This circa 1900 fixture is marked on both its shade and base. It is decorated with a tree in a rainstorm in primarily white, gray, pink, and green enamel. It features a wrought iron mount.
Lawyer Jean Daum (French, 1825 – 1885) took over a glassworks factory in Nancy, France in 1878 as partial repayment of a debt owed to him. His sons assumed leadership roles in the company, quickly elevating its products and production to among the most prestigious and desirable in Europe. Daum is known for its remarkable quality and craftsmanship, sometimes using carving, enameling, and engraving on its most elite products. The company is still in business today, with dedicated galleries located in Nancy, France and New York City.
Bronze statues are another key category in this sale, with many examples in the form of beautiful women, mythical characters, or animals. Lot #79186, Demétre Chiparus’ (Romanian, 1886 – 1947) Egyptian Dancer, is estimated at $10,000 to $15,000. This circa 1927 partial gilt and cold painted bronze is signed by the artist on its marble base. The plaque on its base reads “1 de CATÉGORIE / COUPE GEORGES BOILLOT / BOULOGNE-SUR-MER / 1927,” indicating that this exact piece was exhibited at the event in 1927. According to Heritage Auctions’ experts, this is “an exceptional example of one of Chiparus’s most well-known works.”
Demétre Chiparus is considered by many art historians as one of the most important sculptors of the Art Deco period. His works are known for their amazing attention to detail, idealized forms, and subjects including dancers, actors, and performers. He also became very interested in Egyptian themes after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb made headlines in the early 1920s.
And last but not least, pottery by some of the 19th and 20th century’s most important studios round out this sale. Lot #79086, a Fulper Pottery Vasekraft ceramic and dragonfly table lamp, is estimated at $8,000 to $12,000. This circa 1910 fixture is marked both on its shade and base. This extremely rare, mushroom-shaped design is decorated with three orange glass dragonflies, glass lily pads, and glass leaves on its shade. Its sturdy base is glazed in blues and black. According to Heritage, this is one of two known examples of this lamp; the other one is part of the permanent collection of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
For more information on Heritage Auctions’ Pursuit of Beauty: Art Nouveau, Deco, & Glass event, visit LiveAuctioneers.
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