Fine Antique Decorative Arts by Estate Liquidations and Consignments

Estate Liquidations and Consignments

Pair 18th C Watercolors Louis De La Rue 1720-1765
May 30, 2013 - 5:33 pm
Fine Art : Paintings

Pair 18th C Watercolors Louis De La Rue 1720-1765LOUIS DE LA RUE, 18TH CENTURY ARTIST

Pair 18th C Watercolors Louis De La Rue 1720-1765

(please click on underlined title for more photos)

In 1750 Louis-Felix de La Rue won the first prize in sculpture at the Royal Academy, having studied with Lambert-Sigisbert Adam, the uncle of Clodion.  He subsequently spent a brief period, from 1754 to 1755, in Rome as a pensionnaire and was admitted to the Academie de Saint-Luc in 1760.  Before his Roman sojourn, he had worked for the royal porcelain manufactory at Sevres, producing small groups of children after Boucher's designs.  Many of his etchings and many of the prodigious number of his drawings depend on Boucher, whereas his sculpture owes much to Clodion. 

La Rue's drawings nearly always depict classical themes. . .  Love is typical of La Rue's near-mania for the antique. . . . the theme--a sacrifice at a burning altar--was a particular favorite of the artist. . . . pudgy putti are also characteristic of the peculiar style of his draughtsmanship.

Many of his drawings are for ornamental objects.  In the Hedou Collection in the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, are two sheets with sketches for oval boxes, one showing winged figures leaning on altars with vases and the other with altars supporting coats of arms.  In the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lille, is a project for a clock, depicting the Three Fates around a smoking altar supporting a vase with the clock's movement and a putto to indicate the time.  In the Kunstbibliothek, Berlin, a series of twenty-five sheets of ornamental subjects including candelabra, funeral monuments, furniture, and vases wee models for some of the plates Parizeau etched between 1772 and 1775 at the Suite de vases, trepies, autels, tables, chandeliers, etc.  Dans le gout antique, which appeared as seven sets of seventy-four prints after La Rue's premature death at thirty-four. 

No box executed after these designs has been traced.  Clare Le Corbeiller points out a rectangular gold and enamel box made by Jean-Joseph Barriere of Paris in 1765 that displays La Rue's classical theme and motifs in the manner in which they would probably have been realized.  Its cover has at its center a grisaille miniature showing Venus receiving an arrow from cupid, and the sides of the box are decorated with such other classical motifs as putti hanging laurel festoons from antique vases."  [Drawings of the 18th Century, by Mary L. Myers]

Norman Black Surreal Gouache Painting Cello
May 30, 2013 - 4:35 pm
Fine Art : Paintings

Norman Black Surreal Gouache Painting CelloENGLISH ARTIST NORMAN BLACK (1920-1999)

Norman Black Surreal Gouache Painting Cello

(please click on underlined title for more photos)


Norman Black was born in England in 1920, lived in France between the ages of 9-13 and served in India from 1940 to 1947, with the responsibility of entertaining the British troops stationed there.

From 1948 to 1952, Norman attended art school in Bradford, England and established his style as an abstract and surreal artist, with some realism thrown in. He was represented by galleries in Chicago, Illinois, Newquay, in the United Kingdom, and in London. He also displayed his work at the Brighton Museum and the Royal Academy, and West County Exhibition.

He died on December 9th, 1999. [courtesy Stewart Galleries, Palm Springs, via the artist's daughter]

Antique Cloisonne Enamel Chinese Box
April 22, 2013 - 4:14 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Enamel : Cloisonne

Antique Cloisonne Enamel Chinese BoxSOME TYPES OF ENAMELING

Antique Cloisonne Enamel Chinese Box

[click on the underlined title to see more photos]

The several different styles of enameling in antique objects can sometimes be confusing.  I hope these brief definitions might be helpful in understanding the differences.

CLOISONNE:  Cloisonne enameling is the style most well known in Asian cultures.  Many beautiful cloisonne objects are available which have been created by both the Chinese and the Japanese.  Basically, cloisonne enameling is the filling in of a design with enamel which design has been created in metal wire and soldered edgewise, to a metal base by hand.  Looking closely at any piece of cloisonne will reveal the tiny wires as the outline of the design features.  Each tiny compartment within a design is referred to as a "cell," or a "cloison."   For example, each petal of a flower will be a single "cloison," or "cell;" and each tiny leaf is called a "cell" or "cloison," and so on.  Of course, the actual process is much more involved than it sounds here, as there are several steps and layers to create a fine piece of cloisonne.  We have tried to simplify it here to make it easier for one to compare types of enameling.

PLIQUE-A-JOUR:  A luscious and very delicate form of enameling where cells are filled and fired with a transparent vitreous enamel and the backing removed to allow light to pass through the enamel; sort of a stained-glass effect.  The French term, "plique-a-jour," means literally, "braid letting in daylight."   We often see plique-a-jour used in small pieces of jewelry.  It should be noted, also, that the Chinese have perfected the making of entire bowls and small plates in this method of enameling; imagine the delicacy and light-weight of such items!  

GUILLOCHE:  This technique was a favorite of Carl Faberge (1846-1920), the famous goldsmith to the Imperial Court of Russia in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.  Basically, a base metal is engraved in a design, sometimes intricate, but often fairly simple -- such as straight lines, criss-crosses or circles; and this engraved metal is then covered by a translucent, colored enamel, allowing the engraved design to show through.  Guilloche enameling is usually found on small items, or on small attachments to larger items -- picture frames, women's compacts, vanity accessories, and of course, jewelry.  

CHAMPLEVE:  Similar to Cloisonne, except that the design is not soldered, rather it is "carved" or cast into the metal; the carved recesses are then carefully filled with colored enamels, and then fired.  The final process in this technique is to polish the piece, so there is no unevenness to it.  The uncarved portions, often of gilt, remain visible with no enamel overlay.  Before 1800, men's fine pocket watches often had champleve dials.  19th century pieces might include, of course watches, often ink wells, miniature picture frames, and any number of other small objet d'art.

Miniature Marine Painting Maurice Menardeau 1897-1977
December 9, 2012 - 3:57 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : Europe : French

Miniature Marine Painting Maurice Menardeau 1897-1977Miniature Marine Painting Maurice Menardeau 1897-1977

(please click on title for more photos)

The acclaimed French artist, Maurice Menardeau, was born in 1897 in Limoges, France, and died in 1977.  In his youth, he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, in Paris, but at the age 19, was called to serve in WWI as a telegraph officer.  At the end of the War (about 1918), he decided to devote himself professionally to painting and studied under the tutelage of the noted maritime painter, Dominique Charles Fouqueray (1869-1956 France).

Maurice married the first time at about the age of 22, and at some point (we are not sure when), his wife died and he became a widower.  Later, about 1964, he married a second time, to Margaret, his wife for the rest of his life.  None of our research mentions children or grandchildren for the artist.

At the age of 28, Maurice was a skilled painter, and by 1925, his works had already been accepted and were being exhibited at the Paris Salon, an accomplishment not granted to all aspiring artists.

In 1936, at the age of 39, he was appointed an Official Painter of the French Navy, and of course, traveled many times around the World.  In addition to Navy vessels, he painted many world ports, marketplaces, and interesting landmarks during his travels.

The August 2012 Exhibition at the Museum Faouet was the largest and most comprehensive ever organized as a tribute to the work of Menardeau. A massive "... 1800 works, from 30 private collections ..." were made public at the museum until October 14, 2012.  The major studio collection included "... photos of fishing boats, maritime districts of Concarneau and Guilvinec, and drawings with indications of ethnographic values ​​on Indochina, Madagascar [and many other ports undoubtedly] ..."  The exhibition also included travel diaries, drawings, sketches, and of course, paintings by the artist.  A book grew from the Exhibit, and is likely available, in French, on the Internet.  Our photo display has a picture of the cover, as well as a photo of the artist, himself, taken from the book. 

[Available information about Menardeau is sketchy, and we have done our best to piece it together.  Much was taken from an article by the Faouet, France Museum; our thanks goes to them for providing same.]

Signed Higgins Mid-Century Art Glass Plate 50s 60s
December 6, 2012 - 4:07 am
Vintage Arts : Decorative Art : Glass : American : Art Glass

Signed Higgins Mid-Century Art Glass Plate 50s 60sSigned Higgins Mid-Century Art Glass Plate 50s 60s

(please click on title to see more photos)

The Higgins, Frances & Michael, were a glass-making husband and wife team who became famous for their products in the 1950s and 1960s. The glass they created then, remains popular and is highly sought-after today.  

Frances (1912-2004) U.S., and Michael (1908-1999) England, were married in 1948, and began making glass together out of their Chicago apartment.  

Frances held an assistant professorship in art from the University of Georgia where she had studied, and advanced to further studies at the Institute of Design, in Chicago, through a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship.

Michael studied at Cambridge University, England, and the London Central School of Arts and Crafts.  He emigrated to the U.S. in 1939, and after a time in governmental service in WWII, he was appointed head of the Visual Design Department at the Institute of Design in Chicago.  It was here, of course, that the couple met and began their private and professional lives together.

In 1957 they began an association with the Deerborn Glass Company, remaining in that association until 1964. In 1965, they returned to independent studio work in Riverside, Illinois.  We do not know how long Michael worked, but assume it was up until his death; and we know Frances continued making glass until at least 2000, and possibly later. [sources:  Wikipedia; Fifties Glass, by Leslie Pina, 2000]

No respectable Mid-Century Glass dealer is without a piece or two of Higgins glass; and you are not likely to find a book on this subject that does not pay homage to the couple and their beautiful and unique fused glass creations.

We're pleased to have these two pieces of Higgins gilt-signed glass on our website, and invite you to browse our site for more mid-century glass by other makers.

Hand Enameled Cobalt Venetian Glass Finger Bowl
November 30, 2012 - 7:05 pm
Antiques : Decorative Art : Glass : Italian : Venetian

Hand Enameled Cobalt Venetian Glass Finger BowlHand Enameled Cobalt Venetian Glass Finger Bowl

(please click on the title for more photos)

The bowl in this photo is being offered through inquiry, but the history of the original 15th Century Cup and its design and use is a Venetian Glass story.

Among our photos, No. 9, is the "Coppa Barovier," the piece currently being produced for sale by the Barovier Factory in Italy, and offered currently at a price of 4.200 Euros, or $5,452 US.  [photo courtesy Barovier & Toso]

Our photo No. 10, shows a 20th Century "Copy of the Barovier Wedding Goblet" sold at auction by Christies in May of 2007, at a price of $2,856 US.  This piece is inscribed, "COPPA NUZIALE 'BAROVIER' MURANO 1470-80," or "Wedding Cup 'Barovier' Murano 1470-80."  Christies further describes the Cup "... The flared blue glass bowl decorated in enamels and gilding after the original with two wedding portraits of a bride and groom, a wedding procession on horseback and ladies bathing in a fountain, on spreading conical foot gilt with foliage, 8¾ in. (22.3 cm.) diam."  [photo & description courtesy Christies]

Photo No. 11 is the "Triumph of Venus," Standing Cup, from the Collection of Felix Slade, Esq., who bequeathed his extensive Venetian Glass Collection (among other glass items) to the British Museum in 1868.   Following is a description of the Cup by the Museum (see source, below) ... "Sapphire blue glass, having a stem and expanding foot with raised ribs and enriched with granular gilding.  The bowl is cylindrical, with a pincered gilt trail at its base, and encircled by two 'jewelled' and gilt bands between which is represented a procession of figures, with a background of clipped trees, all executed in enamels of various colours, heightened with gold.  The principal subjects of the design represent, on one side, Venus seated in a fish shaped car, preceded by Hymen holding a torch, after which comes a Centaur bearing a youthful figure and grasping the hand of a cavalier, armed cap-a'-pie in the fashion of the early part of the 15th century; on the opposite side is another triumphal car, in which are seated three figures under a canopy.  This composition is separated from the scene on the reverse by groups of standing women.  H. 16.5 cm, D. 12.5 cm." (6.5", 4.92").  [source, The Golden Age of Venetian Glass, 1979, Trustees of the British Museum]

We will soon be adding photos of the original 15th Century Wedding Cup, also created by a Barovier -- Angelo Barovier, the ancestor of the current Baroviers, along with additional history.  The original cup is on display in the Museo del Vetro (Glass Museum) on the Island of Murano, in the Venetian lagoon, and reachable by waterbus.  

More to follow soon. 

Early 19th C Paris Gilt Porcelain Coffee Tea Service
November 30, 2012 - 1:56 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Ceramics : French : Porcelain

Early 19th C Paris Gilt Porcelain Coffee Tea ServiceEarly 19th C Paris Gilt Porcelain Coffee Tea Service

(please click on the title see more photos)

This fabulous old set now has a permanent home on display at the Bocage Plantation Bed and Breakfast, on the River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Find their delightful website on the internet.

Authenticity is the key word for the purchaser of this set, as early 1800s furnishings, French in origin, are strictly adhered to at Bocage. American History recalls for us the Louisiana Purchase, and the "Creole" heritage and language of Louisiana -- a term first used in colonial times to denote those born in Louisiana of French and Spanish descent, as opposed to those of Old World descent.

The set is Ornate Old Paris Rocaille, Rococo Revival, heavily gilded 28-piece Coffee and Tea Service created during the reign of Louis-Philippe, King of France. Set consists of coffee server with lid, teapot with lid, sugar with lid, open creamer, waste bowl, nine cups and saucers, two extra saucers. Lavish gilt ornamentation and form consisting of shells, scrolls, flowers, leaves, vines, and generous borders; finials are the acanthus leaf motif. The interiors of the cups and the waste bowl have also been decorated in gilt. The set is unmarked as to maker, although most pieces have the hand-incised mark of different decorators and gilders, several of which we have identified as the marks of some of the gilders known to have worked at the Sevres Factory. We find the quality and style consistent not only with Sevres, but with Jacob Petit, both of whom were active during the time period of the making of this set. However, in the absence of an identifying mark, we can only suggest that it may have been created by one of these makers. At the very least, the form and quality indicate only the finest of manufacturers.

Size of the Coffee Pot is about 9.25" tall, 12" handle to spout, 5" depth; cups are 3.75" diameter, 2.50" tall, and saucers are 5.75" diameter.

Condition is excellent with only minor issues -- a hairline in the base of one lid, as well as one lid missing the small securing foot (neither of which can be detected unless closely inspecting), and some loss of gilding, mostly on some of the cup interiors, and handles; small firing spots on the sugar bowl which are original to manufacture. c. 1820-1850.

1900 PreRaphaelite Gouache Painting F J Waugh 1861-1940
November 30, 2012 - 1:07 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Watercolor

1900 PreRaphaelite Gouache Painting F J Waugh 1861-19401900 PreRaphaelite Gouache Painting F J Waugh 1861-1940

(please click on title to see additional photos)

Paintings by this artist have sold as high as $82,000.

Pre-Raphaelite style gouache painting by Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940) American. Signed and dated lower left, "F.J. Waugh, 1900." Titled "Harmony." Original double gold leaf wood frame, under glass; back labels of "Frost & Reed," Bristol, from a 1904 exhibition, and "Christopher Wood," London. The artist was associated with the Bristol Academy when he created this painting. The verso contains a note stating that the painting was "...copied and placed in an album of works from the Academy, and given to Queen Victoria when she made a visit to Bristol...."** Correspondence from the Royal Collection, Royal Library, of Windsor Castle, England, confirms the existence of the portfolio and this painting (rather, the stated copy of this painting) within it.

Image is about 9" x 5" (22.86 x 12.7 cm); frame is about 13" x 9" x 1.5" (33.02 x 22.86 x 3.81 cm).

Slight oxidation to the frame, with slightly bumped corners; Image is in excellent condition. c. 1900. 

**Please inquire for photos of the painting's verso note which refers to Queen Victoria.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: A noted seascape painter especially of surf churning against white froth on seaside rocks, Frederick Judd Waugh strove to convey the powerful movement of the water and the smell of the brine. He was also an illustrator, a writer of children's books, a bookplate designer, a designer of silver and copper objects, and a camouflage artist during World War I.

He was born in Bordentown, New Jersey, and was the only child of painter Samuel Bell Waugh by his second wife, Mary Eliza Young, who was a miniature painter. He grew up in the atmosphere of the studio, and both he and his half sister, Ida, became painters.

He was trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1880 to 1883 and studied with Thomas Eakins. He continued his studies at the Academie Julian in Paris and exhibited at the Paris Salon. He returned to Philadelphia in 1885, the year his father died, and remained until 1892 painting portraits and landscapes and doing commercial work for the firm of Dakin and Petrie.

In 1892, he married Clara Eugenie Bunn, whom he had met at the Pennsylvania Academy, and in that same year, they began a fifteen-year sojourn in Europe. They lived primarily in London from where he did many paintings of the Channel Island of Sark and at St Ives, Cornwell. He also did illustrations of the Boer War for Lord Northcliffe, the publisher of the London Daily Mail.

In 1907, after two of his seascapes were rejected by the Royal Academy, the couple returned to the United States. Ironically, these paintings became an instant success in America. In 1929, he won the Palmer Memorial Marine Prize of the National Academy of Design.

When he returned to the United States, he lived primarily in New York City, Montclair, New Jersey, Kent, Connecticut, and Provincetown, Massachusetts. He was also a skilled architect and designed the Episcopal church of St. Mary's of the Harbor at Provincetown, Massachusetts.

He died in Provincetown, survived by a son Coulton, who drew the newspaper comic strip called "Dickie Dare".
Much of this information was provided by Peggy Frazier of Danville, California, who has done research on Samuel and Frederick Waugh.
[Courtesy: AskArt]

Rare Venetian Ice Glass Vase Barovier 19th C Art Glass
November 30, 2012 - 12:56 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Glass : Italian : Venetian

Rare Venetian Ice Glass Vase Barovier 19th C Art GlassRare Venetian Ice Glass Vase Barovier 19th C Art Glass

(please click on title to see more photos)

A rare surviving piece of genuine Venetian "Ice Glass," attributed to the Barovier Furnaces of the 1890s. This magnificent spherical ice glass vase was once a lamp; the abusive hole which accommodated the lamp rod has been superbly restored by a now deceased master craftsman. The repair is so well done that it is only detectable after one has been told of it. We also believe he did some smoothing to one of the handles, but the former owner was unaware of that.  Both the beauty and the attributed parallel history of the piece are worthy of inclusion in a museum collection.

It measures 6.5" (16.51 cm) high, and apx. 8.5" (21.59 cm) diameter, with rim at 2.25" (5.71 cm) to the outside of the collar.  Applied ruffled, crystal collar is combed and included with gold; the pair of applied crystal leaf handles are also included with gold, and there is a small amount of gold in the applied crystal foot, which is, itself, made of ten pinched and combed standing sections.

For a bit of history, we turn to Sheldon Barr's Book on Venetian 1895, five years after the death of Salviati and his assigning the Salviati furnaces to the Baroviers, several rejuvenating elements "...added new dimension to the production of the Barovier Family."  One of those new elements was the "...introduction of a new color to the glassmaker's repertoire, a bright blood red...."  It was the same blood red of this rare and striking ice glass vase.  The method of creating ice glass was first developed in Venice in the mid-16th Century.

The photographs do not fully capture the true beauty of this piece as it appears with light shining through it.  c. 1895-1900.  

19th C. Salviati Venetian Art Glass Dragon Candelabrum
November 30, 2012 - 12:47 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Glass : Italian : Venetian

19th C. Salviati Venetian Art Glass Dragon Candelabrum

19th C. Salviati Venetian Art Glass Dragon Candelabrum

(please click on title to see more photos)

This is a rare and stunning piece of Salviati Venetian Glass, from 1890 to 1900...winged dragons, opalescent column, luminous (though does not fluoresce) chartreuse (a color rarely seen in surviving pieces), rolled-edge foot, and generous included gold everywhere. The top has at some point been lost or broken--it was either a candelabrum (probably removable) or tazza, and we observe that the professional who repaired it did an excellent job of salvaging the beauty of this piece. The top-knot, or crowns of the dragons appear to have been broken off and smoothed down, and the forehead of one being slanted indicates that possibly a chipped spot was repaired. The Dragon tongues are deep translucent pink, and the eyes are yellow with black centers. 7" high, 4.75" dragon-to-dragon, and 4.75" diameter foot.

We offer this for documentation as an historic, quite lovely, one-of-a-kind, documented piece of Rare 19th Century Salviati Venetian glass. Provenance is simple as this piece remained within the family of the original owners from the time of manufacture in the late 19th Century, until purchased by our company, in 2004. This was part of a large collection owned and cared for by the family of one of Oklahoma's First Territorial Congressmen (that's before Oklahoma became a state and was still a young territory!). The home where these pieces resided, in Oklahoma City's historical residential district, "Heritage Hills," was built, owned, and lived in by the same family until its recent sale. A Tulsa family now owns the bulk of the collection (about 75 pieces, brokered by us, and they have plans to leave it to a museum. We hope you've enjoyed reading about this beautiful piece, and invite you to search our site for more Venetian glass.