Stephenson’s welcomes New Year with Jan. 1 auction of high-quality antiques, art & jewelry from Philadelphia-area estates
Featured: Mary Cassatt watercolor on paper, Paul Evans for Directional mid-century table, extensive selection of fine jewelry and watches, including Rolex
SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Lovers of fine art, antiques and collectibles always look forward to January 1st because it brings with it a time-honored Philadelphia tradition: Stephenson’s New Year’s Day Auction. Family-owned and operated for 60+ years, Stephenson’s is known far and wide for its first-of-the-year event, which never disappoints with its selection of art, antiques and other treasures from Mid-Atlantic estates and collections. Throughout the year, many items are set aside specifically to delight bidders who join the fun on New Year’s Day either at the gallery, over the phone or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
In the Jan. 1, 2024 lineup, the fine art category is led by a striking watercolor on paper by Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926). Originally a native of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, now part of Pittsburgh, Cassatt later rose to become a highly respected Impressionist at a time when the field was dominated by men. She remains one of the finest portrait artists America has ever produced. The watercolor in Stephenson’s New Year’s sale depicts a seated woman in a relaxed pose, wearing a wide-brimmed flowered hat. Her head is turned modestly to one side, away from the artist. The pre-sale estimate has been set at $15,000-$25,000.
A range of genres is represented in the art selection, including landscapes, portraits and religious subjects. A painting by Frank Weston Benson (Massachusetts, 1862-1951), who began his career painting portraits of distinguished individuals as well as murals for the Library of Congress, shows a deserted street with the prominent shadow of a building in the foreground, set against a blue sky decked with clouds. The loose brushwork and strong, contrasting colors of his work are characteristic of American Impressionist art. The work is signed at the lower right-hand corner and carries an estimate of $5,000-$9,000.
Jewelry has always been one of Stephenson’s strong suits. Among the glittering pieces to be offered on New Year’s Day are brooches, rings, stylish earrings, and bracelets, including a Pandora 14K yellow gold charm bracelet densely packed with beautiful charms. Some are enameled, while others are adorned with semiprecious stones. The auction example displays a distinctive “cabled” as opposed to linked style and is expected to reach $3,000-$5,000 on auction day.
Several fine watches will cross the auction block, including an elegant and highly desirable ladies’ two-tone Oyster Perpetual Datejust wristwatch with a white dial. It is guided by a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.
Mid-century modern furniture remains very strong in the marketplace, and one the most sought-after names in that category is Paul Evans (1931-1987). A solid sale highlight is a circa-1973 Paul Evans for Directional glass-topped coffee table with a Brutalist sculpted-bronze base. It is from a desirable series that was inspired by the Manhattan skyline. The base consists of wood blocks that were cold-sprayed with bronze resin, then further sculpted by hand. The eye-catching table will cross the auction block with a $4,000-$6,000 estimate.
Classic guitars aren’t just collector’s items to be displayed and admired; they’re also meant to be played. As any guitarist will testify, vintage guitars only grow better with age. No shortage of interest is expected in a Rickenbacker 360/12 FG cherry sunburst 12-string electric guitar with a 3-piece maple neck with skunk stripe. This model, with its iconic jangly sound, was made famous in the 1960s by Beatle George Harrison. Every rocker wants a “Rick” in their collection, and the one offered by Stephenson’s, together with its fitted case, will be up for grabs with a pre-sale estimate of $1,800-$2,500.
Stephenson’s owner/auctioneer Cindy Stephenson commented: “We’re always excited to welcome both regular bidders and new friends to our New Year’s Day auction and feel privileged that they choose to spend their first day of the year with us. We always make an effort to present a broad variety so everyone can find something wonderful for their home or collection.
”Stephenson’s Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 New Year’s Day Auction will be held live at the company’s Southampton (suburban Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, gallery with phone, absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers. Start time: 12 noon. In-gallery inspection of goods will be available on Friday, December 29 from 3-6 p.m. and on auction day from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Stephenson’s is located at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton, PA 18966. For additional information on any item in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail [email protected]. Visit Stephenson’s online at www.stephensonsauction.com. View the fully illustrated catalog online and sign up to bid at LiveAuctioneers.