Also featured: Exceptionally rare mint/boxed Ulysse Nardin platinum, diamond and sapphire Royal Blue Mystery Tourbillon watch, #1 of 99 produced, estimated at $150K-$250K
DENVER, Pa. – Stunning jewelry and watches, early Amphora pottery, and a spectacular array of 18 Tiffany Studios lamps are among the highlights of a shining selection of fine and decorative art to be auctioned by Morphy’s on June 7-8, 2023. Those who wish to bid remotely either before or during the 837-lot gallery event may do so by phone, absentee or live online via Morphy Live.
Each piece in this sale – from dazzling diamonds to fancifully-carved antique walking sticks – has been examined, evaluated and cataloged by the appropriate expert from Morphy’s respected team of professionals. An experienced eye is especially important when the subject matter is as exquisite as the auction’s top jewelry lot: an extremely rare mint/boxed Ulysse Nardin platinum, diamond and sapphire Royal Blue Mystery Tourbillon watch, Reference No. 799-93. This spectacular timepiece carries the unique distinction of being #1 of only 99 made. It has a solid 950 platinum case, a sapphire main plate, and a 16-jewel movement. Its luxe adornments include 192 round brilliant-cut diamonds and 12 round, faceted blue sapphire hour markers. A single-owner watch, it retains its original presentation case, certificate, hang tag and all other original packaging. This impeccable production from an esteemed Swiss firm founded in 1846 comes to auction with a $150,000-$250,000 estimate.
An undeniable “statement piece” in the jewelry category is a ladies’ 18K custom-made white gold engagement ring featuring a natural 7.77-carat Asscher-cut diamond, graded G color, VS2 clarity and measuring approximately 11.44 by 11.34mm. The massive central gem is encircled and flanked by 1.75 carats of round brilliant-cut accent diamonds of F color and VVS clarity. The ring has a total weight of 9.52 carats and an approximate retail value is $255,000. It will convey to its new owner with a Universal Gemological Laboratory (UGL) report. Auction estimate: $40,000-$60,000.
Tiffany Studios art-glass lamps are among America’s greatest treasures, and over the years, Morphy’s has auctioned some of the finest fresh-to-market examples of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s work. The entries chosen for the upcoming sale are sure to delight even the most discerning connoisseur, starting with a near-incomparable Tiffany Studios “Poppy” leaded glass table lamp that is a “sister” to the Poppy lamp Morphy’s sold on June 22, 2022 for $541,000. (That particular lamp differed in that its base featured 16 Favrile glass balls as supports.)
Executed in a rich and sumptuous floral garden motif, the magnificent lamp to be auctioned on June 8 combines various shades of complex reds and numerous and varied examples of prized drapery glass. Quite noticeably, there is exceptional transparency to the background glass. In Both the shade, which is in absolutely wonderful condition, and the handsome patinated-bronze “Tyler” base are signed. Bidding is guided by an estimate of $350,000-$500,000.
“Exotic” is the right word to describe a very rare Tiffany Studios “Zodiac” leaded-glass table lamp of quintessential Art Nouveau style. The shade is profusely decorated with an overall geometric pattern that combines dominant cobalt blue with richly mottled yellows, oranges and greens. Its beauty if further enhanced by iridescent green turtleback tiles and filigree medallions in a zodiac motif. Both the gorgeous shade and its “Heart” base are signed – the required finishing touches to make this one of the auction’s top prizes. Estimate: $110,000-$150,000
Some may not realize that Tiffany Studios also produced beautiful art pottery. Such pieces are rare and sought after but don’t appear on the open market very often. Morphy’s is pleased to offer in its June 8 session a Tiffany Studios Favrile glass vase that boasts a striking red background with subtle flecks of gold and hand-decorated “feather” columns. The signed 6½-inch-tall vessel is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
Amphora is another legendary ceramics firm whose wares are in great demand. More than two dozen Amphora designs have been cataloged for the June event. Among them is a coveted, mint-condition porcelain Berry Bat vase with applied bats and water lilies. Standing 21½ inches high, with an RSTK mark and impressed numbers under its base, this fantasy-infused vase is similar to examples illustrated in Vreeland’s reference Monsters and Maidens: Collector’s Edition and Scott’s The House of Amphora. It is expected to sell for $15,000-$25,000.
A very special highlight of the sale is a collection of more than 100 antique canes and walking sticks. “It’s the nicest collection we’ve ever handled – very high quality,” said Morphy Auctions’ president, Dan Morphy. A huge variety of carved ivory designs is seen in the collection, including lions, estimated at $2,000-$3,000; a skull with snake, $1,000-$3,000; a trio of glass-eyed horses, $1,000-$3,000; an eagle with monkeys, $1,000-$2,000; and a dog wearing a coat and muff, $2,000-$1,6000, to name but a few. Strong interest is already being shown in a very fine case topped by a glass-eyed carved ivory hippopotamus with an open mouth and visible teeth, $1,000-$3,000.
Americana collectors would quickly recognize the significance of a 19th-century Shaker cherry and tiger maple stand hand-crafted by Abner Allen of Enfield, Connecticut. Its classic Shaker style includes a wide top and two small, stacked drawers, one of which has an inscription on the side that dates it to “April 12, 1818. This handsome, simply designed stand retains its original red surface, drawers and brass pulls. The pre-sale estimate is $4,000-$8,000.
The Wednesday/Thursday June 7-8, 2023 Fine & Decorative Arts Auction will be held live at Morphy’s gallery, 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517, starting at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. Preview jewelry by appointment only. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, by phone and live via the Internet through Morphy Live. Enquiries: call 877-968-8880, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Morphy’s online at www.morphyauctions.com.
Editors – Please click to view the entire 837-lot online catalog:
All images courtesy of Morphy Auctions
Ladies’ 18K custom-made white gold engagement ring featuring one natural 7.77ct Asscher-cut diamond, UGL (Universal Gemological Laboratory) graded G color, VS2 clarity and measuring approximately 11.44 x 11.34mm; with round brilliant-cut accent diamonds, F color, VVS clarity, total weight of 1.75cts. Accompanied by UGL Appraisal Report. Ring total weight: 9.52cts. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000
Exceptionally rare and important mint/boxed Ulysse Nardin platinum, diamond and sapphire Royal Blue Mystery Tourbillon watch, #1 of only 99 produced, Ref. No. 799-93. Total of 192 round brilliant-cut diamonds and 12 round, faceted blue sapphire hour markers. Alligator strap. Retains original presentation case and all other packaging. Excellent to near mint. Estimate: $150,000-$250,000
Shaker cherry and tiger maple stand created by Abner Allen of Enfield, Connecticut. Inscribed on drawer side ‘April 12 1818.’ Height: 26½in.Top width: 25¾in. Estimate $4,000-$8,000
Tiffany Studios Favrile feathered red glass vase, 6½in tall, signed to underside ‘LC Tiffany 1372N.’ Excellent condition, free of any cracks or chips. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000
One of the finest of all known examples of a 20in Tiffany Studios ‘Poppy’ leaded glass table lamp. Stunning colors including various shades of complex reds and numerous and varied examples of prized drapery glass. Exceptional transparency to the background glass. Both shade and patinated bronze base are signed. Estimate: $350,000-$500,000
Very rare and exotic Tiffany Studios ‘Zodiac’ leaded glass table lamp. Cobalt blue with geometric pattern in richly mottled yellows, oranges and greens with iridescent green turtleback tiles and filigree medallions in zodiac motif. Both shade and Art Nouveau ‘Heart’ base are signed. Estimate $110,000-$150,000
Amphora porcelain Berry Bat vase with applied bats and water lilies, 21½in, RSTK mark, impressed ‘669’ and ’41.’ Similar examples illustrated in Vreeland’s reference ‘Monsters and Maidens: Collector’s Edition’ and Scott’s ‘The House of Amphora.’ Mint condition. Estimate $15,000-$25,000
2357 + Closeup –
Rare antique walking stick/cane, 36in long, with handle carved in form of glass-eyed hippopotamus with open mouth revealing teeth. From an exceptional collection of canes offered on Day 2 of Morphy’s June 7-8, 2023 auction. Estimate: $1,000-$3,000