Holman's Select showcased good taste of Cincinnati

Stuart Holman's Fall Select Auction on October 15 [2004] in Cincinnati featured a wide variety of decorative arts, with bidders participating from across the country, as well as in Europe and Central America. A high-interest item going into the sale was a 19th century Italian ebonized jewelry casket with freestanding Roman figural finials, caryatids, putti riding swans, several doors and drawers, and covered with 89 hand-painted enameled panels. The casket sold for $11,000, including the 10% buyer's premium in effect.

The highest selling lot in the sale was a Waterbury #7 wall clock. At 84in tall, with porcelain dial, carved oak case in excellent old finish, and STANDARD TIME written in old paint on its glass front, this accurate timekeeper brought $13,200.

Pre-auction activity was highest on an intricately carved ivory presentation tankard that sold for $8,250. The depth and detail of carving, a Hellenic scene with charioteers and draped women, was as impressive as its condition. An old wax seal on the bottom was marked Frankfurt.

Holman's Select Sales continue to offer paintings by listed Cincinnati artists. An oil on canvas, 24 by 20in, by Charles Salis Kaelin (1858-1929) of a gnarled tree in an autumn forest had suffered some minor paint loss, yet it's strong Divisionist style and execution yielded a final bid of $6,875. A colorful Kaelin pastel with beach house, 12 by 16in, sold for $1,980. The auction got off to a strong start with its opening lot: a 12 by 16in oil on board plow scene with farmer and oxen by Edward C. Volkert (1871-1935), selling above its high estimate at $4,675. Grace Young (1869-1947) is well known for her Indian portraits on Rookwood; a watercolor of an Indian squaw by Young, 5.5 by 3.5in with 20 by 7in hand painted matting in Native American designs, brought $4,400. Two oils on canvas by T.C. Lindsay (1845-1907) sold: an 11 by 22in landscape with cow at stream brought $4,125; and a 26 by 32in rushing river scene for $3,300. The Blue Room East Hampton by John Rettig (1860-1932), watercolor, 24 by 20in, sold for $2,200. L.C. Vogt's (1864-1939) Long Island shoreline watercolor, 9 by 14in, fetched $1,540. A forest scene watercolor by E.T. Hurley (1869-1950), 13 by 10in, landed at $880.

A mountain river landscape by T.B. Griffin (1858-1918), oil on canvas, 30 by 25in, finished at $1,925. A Rockport Harbor scene by Joseph Margulies (1896-1984), oil on board, 16 by 20in, landed at $1,320. Frank W. Marshall's (1866-1930) Provincetown Dunes, oil on canvas, 16 by 22in, reached $1,210. A nicely painted watercolor garden scene by B.D. Sigmund (19th century) made $990.

From a collection of early European portraits on canvas, the top sellers were Cardinal Ximenez de Cisneros (1436-1517), a famous Franciscian, for $2,200; and Thomas Wentworth (1593-1641), first Earl of Strafford, for $1,870. A school of Rembrandt portrait of a Dutch scholar, 13 by 11in, reached $1,430, and an Elizabethan-school portrait of a young man, 24 by 18in, brought $1,320. A portrait of a naval officer, oil on canvas, 20 by 17in, sold for $1,210.

Holman's Rookwood offering included two porcelain glaze vases by Kataro Shirayamadani. A 9in example from 1930 with two parrots on a pale blue and rose background sold for $6,600. A 7in vase from 1926 decorated with lilies of the valley brought $2,750. In a special offering, a Rookwood faience drinking fountain in a cream/putty glaze, with floral decorated panels, Greek key edging to the bowl, and standing 33in high, brought $1,705. Other Rookwood items included a 3in standard glaze by Fred Rothenbusch for $440, and an Arts & Crafts matt glaze for $330.

Leading the furniture category was a nine-piece French Victorian parlor set, Louis XV style with gold leaf and hand painted decoration, including a marble top table. This ornate set brought $3,850. A walnut Victorian bedroom set with extensive burling and carvings, consisting of armoire, dresser and bed, was hammered at $3,300. Selling for $2,750 was a 19th century Welsh oak pewter cabinet. A large half-oval sideboard in Adam style decoration finished at $1,265. A flamed oak curved glass china cabinet with carved crown reached $1,210. A walnut Renaissance Revival table with original fluted white ogee cut marble top made $1,165.

From Tiffany Studios, a nautilus lamp with bronze base achieved $3,300. Also from Tiffany Studios, a four-light bronze candelabra with emerald blown glass, selling without its original bobeches, reached $2,200. An unusual bronze theater ticket dispenser wheel by Tiffany & Co sold for $605.

A Miller table lamp with green reticulated base and leaded glass shade made $2,200. A Handel table lamp with bronze base in brown patina and chipped iced shade reached $2,090. A pair of 19th century bronze doré candelabra with standing cherubs sold for $990. A Wedgwood lamp, in an unusual tri-color Jasperware, landed at $660.

A service of Johnson Bros Florida Royal china, flow blue with gold highlights, finished strong at $2,585. A Limoges game set (large platter and 12 plates), hand painted in hunt scenes, sold for $2,200. From a group of Limoges enamels on copper, a 5.5in curio vase with a woman in red dress, with fish scale work, stood out at $1,100. Five Austrian enamels on silver, all intricately decorated, ranged from $550 to $1,540. Holman's auction featured many lots of sterling, including 136 pieces of Towle "Candlelight" flatware for $1,100.

A walnut 30-day case clock brought $1,500, and a Gustav Becker wall clock made $1,320. A French carriage clock sold for $715. A Regina table model music box, with a Wurlitzer label, sold for $2,090 with 42 discs. An E. Howard pocket watch, selling with framed wedding portraits of the original owner and his wife, made $1,100. Two salt glazed crocks gathered interest: a six gallon crock marked Maysville, KY, sold for $990; and a 10in high Ripley, OH, for $605. A 44in high carved wood and polychromed statue of a Catholic dignitary, c.17th century, sold for $880.

Italian ebonized jewelry casket: $11,000

Carved ivory presentation tankard: $8,250

C.S. Kaelin, oil on canvas, 24" x 20": $6,875

Rookwood porcelain glaze by Kataro Shirayamadani, 9": $6,600

Grace Young, watercolor, 5.5" x 3.5": $4,400

Edward C. Volkert, oil on board, 12" x 16": $4,675

Tiffany Studios nautilus lamp: $3,300

Tiffany Studios bronze and glass candelabra: $2,200

Rookwood faience drinking fountain, 33": $1,705

Austrian enamels: $550-$1,540