Estate treasures lead Stephenson’s Aug. 20 Summer Decorative Arts & Jewelry Auction

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Featured: 18K gold men’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual Chronometer, superb Edwardian platinum ring with large European-cut diamonds, sterling silver flatware sets, Rockwell Kent art

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – On Friday, August 20, Stephenson’s Auctioneers of Southampton (suburban Philadelphia), Pa., will conduct the 2021 edition of its always-lively Summer Decorative Arts Auction, featuring antique and vintage items from collections and estates through the Mid-Atlantic region. The 426-lot sale will take place at the company’s spacious Bucks County gallery, with remote bidding available via phone or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

Stieff Co., 42-piece sterling silver flatware partial set in ‘Rose’ pattern. Presented in wood silver chest. Estimate $1,000-$1,500
Stieff Co., 42-piece sterling silver flatware partial set in ‘Rose’ pattern. Presented in wood silver chest. Estimate $1,000-$1,500

With its decades-long reputation for presenting fine estate jewelry at auction, family-owned Stephenson’s will once again be offering a variety of rings, watches, necklaces, bracelets and brooches of outstanding quality. This time the auction jewelry box will open to reveal exceptional pieces for both men and women, topped by a classic gentlemen’s Rolex.

Every man wants a wristwatch that is both handsome and reliable. The sale’s headliner, a Rolex 14K gold Oyster Perpetual Chronometer Date model fits the bill perfectly. It has a hefty link bracelet and total weight of 107.5 grams, and is in working order. This statement piece from one of the world’s most revered watch brands is estimated at $5,000-$7,000. Another top entry is a Chopard (Swiss) Automatic Chronometer Sport wristwatch with a 39mm stainless case, silver dial and skeletal window on reverse. Estimate: $3,000-$4,000. 

The women’s jewelry section deserves careful exploration, as there are treasures to be discovered throughout. A featured attraction is a beautiful Edwardian platinum ring set with three large, round, European-cut diamonds at its artfully domed center. The largest of the stones is sized 6.0mm, while the other two main stones are sized 5.5mm each. The stellar trio is surrounded by 26 smaller accent diamonds. Expert specifications indicate a diamond clarity of I1 and color assessment of KLM, with a total weight of 3.45ct. This elegant antique ring comes to auction with a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.

A stunning, fully marked David Yurman 16in Tahitian pearl ‘chainmail’ necklace is composed of sterling silver with 18K yellow gold accents on its 11 pearl pendants. Measuring 16 inches long and weighing 97.4dwt, it could charm its way to a winning bid in the $1,000-$2,000 range. Other standout designs include an Art Deco platinum, diamond and sapphire strap bracelet, $2,500-$4,500; a trio of 18K-gold, diamond-cut bangles, $1,500-$2,500; and a sophisticated Cornelis Hollander custom platinum and diamond pendant on a rubber cord, $1,500-$2,000.

Several sterling silver flatware sets will be offered, including a Stieff Co., 42-piece partial set in the “Rose” pattern. Presented in a partitioned wood chest, it is estimated at $1,000-$1,500. In addition, there are several lots of loose sterling silver flatware and utensils, as well as sterling serving plates, a Georgian-period fish set, $200-$300; and a number of decorative pieces, including a Cartier sterling basket, $100-$200; and a three-dimensional sterling elephant figure marked ‘925’ and weighing 12.55ozt., $250-$300.

The diverse fine art selection includes a group lot of 11 Rockwell Kent (American, 1882-1971) lithographs on paper, each matted, pencil-signed at lower right and sized 9½ by 7 inches (sight). Stephenson’s owner/auctioneer Cindy Stephenson remarked that Kent, who has an avid following amongst collectors, “wore many hats during his long career – painter, illustrator, lithographer, cartoonist, and even an architect and dairy farmer. When he died, the New York Times observed that he had made an ‘imperishable’ contribution to the art of bookmaking in the United States.” The lot of 11 Rockwell Kent lithos is expected to sell for $1,500-$2,500.

An exceptionally beautiful late-19th-century French enamel-on-copper portrait plaque depicting a free-spirited young woman in a landscape setting is presented in an ornate gilt-metal frame accented by faux gemstones. A fine work of art, it is modestly estimated at $300-$500. French artistry is also reflected in the group lot of three hand-painted Limoges porcelain trinket boxes. They depict, respectively, the Man in the Moon with stars, a champagne bucket and an upright piano. Group estimate: $200-$300

The Italian classical aesthetic is showcased on a pair of hand-painted, marble-topped gilt-metal pedestals. Each column stands 39½ inches tall and boasts lush scenes of classical figures amongst foliage. The pair is estimated at $600-$800. 

The unprecedented interest in outdoor living and garden statuary promises auction success for a bronze, Neoclassical-style garden fountain in the form of standing girl looking down sweetly at a bird that has rested on her arm. Unsigned and made in the 20th century, it stands 58 inches tall and is entered with a $600-$900 estimate.

Stephenson’s is a favorite source for collectors of contemporary and genuine Midcentury Modern furniture and decorative objects. A substantial Williams Sonoma king-size bedframe and headboard carries a $600-$800 estimate, while a contemporary Lucite and glass cocktail table with a freeform spiral base is estimated at $300-$500. A quintessential Midcentury Modern pottery table lamp of mushroom form with a pierced shade is an eye-catching shade of sunset orange and stands 14¼ inches high. Its pre-sale estimate is $200-$300.

Stephenson’s Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 Summer Decorative Arts Auction will be held live at the company’s gallery, starting at 1 p.m. ET. Remote bidders may participate by phone, live online through LiveAuctioneers or by leaving an absentee bid. Goods may be inspected at the gallery on auction day from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Stephenson’s Auctioneers’ gallery is located at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton (Bucks County, metro Philadelphia), PA 18966. 

For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail [email protected]. Visit Stephenson’s Auctioneers online at www.stephensonsauction.com. View the auction catalog online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

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James Ardis
James Ardis
Senior Writer and Editor

James Ardis is a writer, editor, and content strategist focused on the auction industry. His company, James Ardis Writing, has partnered with auction houses, galleries, and many clients outside the art world.

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