Stephenson’s May 20 Decorative Arts Auction features property from elegant Park Avenue and suburban Philadelphia estates
Featured: 18K gold & diamond Cartier watch, Louis Vuitton antique trunk, designer furniture, silver serving wares, stained-glass windows, French clocks
Estate goods originating from elegant Park Avenue (NYC) to picturesque Bucks County, Pennsylvania, are represented in the 500+ lots to be offered at Stephenson’s May 20, 2022 Decorative Arts Auction. Louis XVI and Mid-century designer furniture, traditional and contemporary art, fine clocks, rugs, and silver and gold jewelry are just a few of the categories included in the sale, which will be held live at Stephenson’s gallery with all forms of remote bidding also available.
“Most of the gold jewelry came from the Park Avenue estate, including the Cartier 18-karat gold and diamond ladies’ wristwatch,” said Cindy Stephenson, owner of Stephenson’s Auction. The stunning vintage timepiece is a tank-style watch with approximately 0.25 carats of inset diamonds and a diamond crown on the stem. It is signed “Cartier 750,” numbered, and marked “Swiss” and “750 JC.” In very good condition with no visible defects, it is entered with a $6,000-$8,000 estimate.
Coming from the same estate, a classic early 20th-century Louis Vuitton leather steamer trunk retains its original brass hardware and a plate with handles stamped “Louis Vuitton 1 Rue Scribe Paris London 149 New Bond Street Made in France.” Its metal hardware feet, brass tacks and lockplates are all correctly stamped, and the underside of the top lid displays a numbered Louis Vuitton label. In addition, there are old railway agency and steamship labels attached to both its right and left sides. This stylish traveling companion will cross the auction block with a $4,000-$6,000 estimate.
Silver serving wares are the mark of a gracious home. The May 19 auction includes an array of American and English silver, including bowls, pitchers, tea and coffee sets; napkin rings, candlesticks, flatware and trays. A stunning Mexican .925 silver covered serving tureen is richly embossed with relief floral designs, both on its finialed lid and melon-form body. A mid-20th-century production weighing 93.99 ozt, it is expected to sell in the range of $1,700-$2,000.
Often, the finishing touch to a living room or library’s décor is a mantel clock. Most serve a dual purpose and therefore are designed with both aesthetics and timekeeping accuracy in mind. Stephenson’s sale features a variety of attractive mantel clocks, from Jaeger LeCoultre Atmos clocks, $300-$500; to an English Regency period cased clock, $1,000-$2,000; and a Lemerle Charpentier bronze design that incorporates a figure of a woman in a classical draped gown, $1,200-$2,000. The show pony of the group is a 19-inch-tall French porcelain and bronze table clock with time and strike movement and a porcelain dial displaying both Roman and Arabic numerals. The front of the dial is marked ‘V54 A Paris Medallador Japy Freres, and on verso, it is signed with the initials “RS.” Estimate: $3,000-$5,000.
The Estate of Richard Gruber of Bucks County, Pa., is filled with modern designer furniture, outdoor sculptures, leaded-glass windows, and accessory pieces to appeal to a refined, minimalist taste. A deeply comfortable 20th-century Fendi brown leather lounge chair with white piping is signed multiple times. It shows very slight wear, easily warranting its $600-$900 estimate. A Ralph Lauren lounge chair with leather-strap arms and legs is finished in a smart vanilla and black color combination and has a “Ralph Lauren Home” label on its underside. The estimate is $400-$600. Other Ralph Lauren pieces include a Westbury floor lamp, $800-$1,000; a black leather table lamp, $150-$250; several candle “hurricanes,” suede and silver-plate picture frames, and more.
Additional furniture highlights include five dining room options. Among them are a Modernistic bronze and glass dining set in the style of Koket, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; and a Baker mid-century cherry dining set with a round inlaid table, two leaves, six cane-seat/cane-back chairs, and a three-door sideboard, $4,000-$6,000. A Heywood Wakefield dining suite consisting of a table with one leaf, two armchairs and four side chairs, graded very good, is entered with an $800-$1,200 estimate.
The Gruber collection includes two breathtaking church windows, including a 59-by-66-inch leaded, stained and painted glass window with an image of Jesus in a garden. In nice condition with no apparent damage, it is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. The second window, which is framed, measures 80 by 33 inches (sight) and depicts an angel flanked by pillars against a turquoise background. The pre-sale estimate is $600-$800.
From coast to coast, cities have welcomed charitable public art projects in which vividly painted animals are displayed and offered for sale. Chicago started the trend in 1999 with its outdoor exhibition “Cows on Parade,” which featured some 300 life-size fiberglass bovines hand-painted by local artists. In 2002, four Pennsylvania organizations partnered to present “Miles of Mules – History with a Colorful Kick.” The exhibition paid tribute to the hard-working mules who played a vital role in the Keystone State’s farming, coal-mining and canal industries. One of those four-legged artworks, a dazzling striped fiberglass equine that stands 65 inches high, comes from the Gruber collection and will be offered on auction day with a $4,000-$8,000 estimate.
Interest in Sol Lewitt (American, 1928-2007) has risen steadily over the past five years. Stephenson’s is pleased to offer two Lewitt aquatints/etchings on paper as one lot with a $5,000-$8,000 estimate. Each framed work is titled Horizontal Color Bands and Vertical Color Bands and measures 17½ by 34½ (sight). Labels from Dallas and New York City galleries, dated 1991, appear on verso and indicate that the duo are numbers 2 and 4, respectively, from “Edition of 30, No. 16, Series of 7.”
Another home-décor highlight not to be missed is an antique Persian Serapi rug measuring approximately 12 feet 6 inches by 9 feet 9 inches and executed in warm tones with border accents in cobalt and light blue. Its pre-sale estimate is $3,000-$6,000.
Stephenson’s May 20, 2022 Spring Decorative Arts 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: 2pm. Eastern time. In-gallery inspection of goods will be available on Thursday, May 19 from 3-6 p.m., and on auction day, Friday, May 20, 2022 from 12 noon until the auction commences at 2pm.