Auction Report

Colorful Currier & Ives lithograph reeled in a winning bid of $17,050

Stuart Holman conducted his annual Spring Select auction on April 20, at the Starlite Ballroom in Cincinnati. Prices were strong on a variety of American and European paintings, furniture, decorative arts, and a large offering of sterling silver. Bidding was lively from floor, absentee, phone, and eBay Live bidders. Leading the sale was an original hand-colored Currier & Ives stone lithograph, Brook Trout Fishing: An Anxious Moment. This image from 1862, on a 24 by 31in sheet showing vivid colors with some discoloration, and in an early gesso frame, was the object of desire for several bidders, finally landing at $17,050.

Another fine addition to the auction was a group of Viennese enamels from a fine Cincinnati estate. Each example had detailed hand painted enameled panels with mythological scenes. The highlight was an unusual compote with a mermaid figural stem, mariner finial, and etched rock crystal and enameled silver bands to both the bowl and foot, that sold for $13,200. A tall ship with enameled sails and chased-metal deck was hammered at $8,800. A 7in clock, decorated on all four sides, sold above estimate at $4,250 despite losses to the enamel.

In the world of porcelain plaques, KPM continues to be among the best. Holman sold a KPM portrait plaque of a beautiful young woman with bared breasts for $7,700. Two other porcelain lots brought well over estimate: a Royal Vienna style three-piece clock set, hand painted on all sides, with blue beehive mark, for $3,500; and a hand painted porcelain lamp with cartouche decoration of musical scene against orange luster background, that reached $2,200.

One of the highlights of Holman's Select auction was a Wooton desk. Built to be both expansive and compact for the complications of late 19th century industrialists, the Wooton desk has two large cubby-filled doors and a drop-front writing surface. This example, the second Holman has sold in recent years, was 72in high with three hinges per door, and was hammered at $11,000. Another fine Victorian example in the auction was a pair of hanging apothecary show globes, clear glass with gilt metal mountings, selling for $4,950. Holman commented that the globes had received tremendous pre-sale interest.

Two oils on canvas by Indiana artist William McKendree Snyder sold: an 18 by 28in forest road scene sold at $7,975, exceeding its estimate; and a red forest interior, 12 by 20in, was hammered at $3,300. A large and bright abstract oil by Cincinnati's Paul Chidlaw brought $4,950. And a mountainous Galway landscape by George K Gillespie landed at $3,750.

There was a nice group of lighting in the sale, including two Tiffany bronze lamps: a counterbalance desk lamp with green damascene shade that brought $7,150; and a pad-footed floor lamp with favrile shade that made $3,250. An Austrian bronze figural lamp, in an unusual form with Arab merchant by stone building, sold for $3,500.

Holman reported a strong boost to the sale from the sale of silver. A five-piece sterling repoussé tea service decorated with fruit, attributed to A.G. Schultz of Baltimore, with monograms, sold for $4,125. A Japanese sterling bowl with deep repoussé decorations of leaves on stippled background, made $3,300. A Herschede sterling punch bowl with reticulated rim sold with twelve Kirk sterling punch cups for $2,700. A pair of sterling reticulated lidded urns with pear finials, rams' head handles, and frosted glass insert to one, made $2,500. An ornate sterling repoussé pitcher with floral decorations and leafy twig handle, by Loring Andrews, landed at $2,000. Several large S. Kirk & Son sterling trays sold, including a two-handle example weighing 95 troy ounces that brought $1,900.

This original Currier & Ives print, Brook Trout Fishing: An Anxious Moment, reeled in $17,050

Wooton desk: $11,000

Tiffany Studios: $7,150

Hand painted enamel: $13,200

Hand painted KPM porcelain: $7,700

William McKendree Snyder: $7,975

A.G. Schultz sterling repousse: $4,125

Hand painted enamel: $8,800

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