In recent years, Midcentury Modern has been attracting a big buzz at auctions but traditional antiques made a big splash at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery’s antiques and fine art auction on September 22. The auction achieved robust prices across the board with a wealth of choice antiques from fine art to lighting, including several statement pieces that will transform their new homes.
“The auction grossing over $1,000,000 was extremely diverse and we were pleased to see buyers embrace traditional antiques, such as Tiffany table lamps, gilt chandeliers and marble statuary,” said John Fontaine, owner of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery.
Lighting is always a strong performer here and this auction was no exception. The top lot of the auction was a pair of gilt bronze 15-light chandeliers that went above its high estimate to bring $51,425 from a floor bidder present in the gallery. The chandeliers have a tapered and fluted center post with arrow feathers pointing from the top with three figural maidens supporting large cornucopias, 51 inches tall, they were removed from a local mansion.
Not surprisingly, Tiffany Studios table lamps also did well in the sale. A trio of standout examples featured a 16-inch Apple Blossom lamp that went mid-estimate at $26,015, an 18-inch green linen fold lamp going just above high estimate at $21,780 and a 12-light Lily lamp with 12 tubular stems over a bronze pond lily pad base, also going out at $21,780.
Fontaine’s usually has exceptional sculptures and this time out, it boasted two carved marble sculptures, one of which kicked off the auction. A “Sogno D’Amore” (Cupid Dreaming) in Carrara marble, attained $36,300. The 56-1/2 inch tall sculpture depicts a sleeping figure of Cupid with his quiver laying at the base, above him a partially nude figure of a winged Psyche floats in the clouds.
About a half-hour later, a Fratelli Romanelli (Italian, Nineteenth-Twentieth Century) sculpture, 34 inches tall, of a young girl soared over its $6-8,000 estimate to hit $18,755. The girl is shown sitting on a tree stump holding a garment across her body in her left hand, with roses, grapevines and filigree on the garment and along the base. With an extremely diverse lineup, this auction ran the gamut from A (architectural elements) to W for Wurlitzer jukeboxes. The latter category saw three Wurlitzers from 1940-41 bring $11,795, $8,470 and $7,260.
Among the massive architectural pieces on offer was a monumental figural carved walnut fireplace mantle, circa 1880, which brought $18,150. Flanking the piece were two large Atlas figures standing with garments tied at the waist and having one hand at their hip and the other on the top of their head. A large frieze panel is elaborately carved with swirling filigree, birds, winged griffins and maiden’s head with overhanging top. The mantle measures 108 1/2 by 81-1/2 inches.
Another standout piece that made the auction’s top 5 list was a Regina style 35-disc changer music box in a mahogany bow front case that outperformed its $12-15,000 estimate to realize $30,250. A number of fine jewelry pieces crossed the block, led by a pair of Tiffany & Co. platinum and diamond floral pendant stud earrings going above high estimate to earn $20,575 and a three-carat diamond and 18K gold ring centered with a six-prong set stone surrounded by 20 pave diamonds in a horseshoe-shaped bezel for $14,520.
Rounding out the auction were a 460-piece Reed & Barton sterling silver flatware set in the Francis I pattern, heavily filigree decorated, that made $18,150, a W. & T. Avery English jockey chair in oak with a black leather upholstery and brass tacks for $13,310 and a J. Krejci & Son cylinder organ in a walnut case, also going out at $13,310.
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is actively seeking quality items, to include furniture, lighting, clocks and watches, paintings, porcelains, bronze and marble statuary, Asian items, art glass and cameo glass, Russian objects, silver, musical, coin-op, advertising, toys, banks, gaming and carousel items for future sales.
Consignments are currently being accepted for all the upcoming auctions. The firm will buy outright or accept on consignment fine antiques, collections or entire estates. Those interested in consigning can call John Fontaine at (413) 448-8922 or email email@example.com.
The fall auction schedule includes a fine antiques and estate auction scheduled for Saturday, October 20, followed by an antique clock and watch auction on Saturday, November 17. Consignments are now being accepted for both auctions
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is the oldest operating auction gallery in Western Massachusetts and has been voted “Best Antique Auction Gallery” eight times by the public. For more information about the company and the upcoming auction schedule, fontainesauction.com. Updates are posted frequently.