At Large  August 5, 2017

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates Auction of the Kaiser Collection of 19th Century Glass Produces Strong Prices

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates’ annual spring auction of 18th & 19th century glass and lighting was held on May 20, 2017.  The 1000-lot sale featured the collection of glass author and scholar Joan E. Kaiser of East Sandwich, MA.  The renowned Kaiser collection comprised an outstanding selection of Sandwich and South Boston glass of all types, including many important pieces published in Barlow/Kaiser, The Glass Industry in Sandwich, volumes 1-5, and Kaiser, The Glass Industry in South Boston. Bidders traveled to the auction from as far away as Wisconsin and Canada for the opportunity to view this outstanding collection.  Further marking the occasion, a special 426-lot color auction catalogue of the Kaiser collection was produced.

The most hotly contested lots in the sale fell into the lighting category.  Leading the way was an extremely rare pair of circa 1830 Boston & Sandwich free-blown and pressed whale oil stand lamps in a deep purple-blue color [lot 16].  Each featured a bulb-form font raised on a square five-step base and  original tin and cork double-tube drop-in burner.  In outstanding condition, the pair had been published in Barlow/Kaiser, The Glass Industry in Sandwich, Vol. 2, p. 56, fig. 2020, and included in the “Sensational Sandwich” exhibition held at the Sandwich Glass Museum in 1995.  All of these factors contributed to the pair selling for $26,910.00 to an advanced New England lighting collector (all prices include the 17% buyer’s premium).  Other lamps that sold well included a pair of deep brilliant emerald green pressed Three-Printie Block fluid stand lamps [lot 29] that reached $10,530.00; a pair of brilliant sapphire blue pressed Bigler whale oil stand lamps [lot 31]that soared to $7,605.00; and a canary yellow Triple-Dolphin hurricane lamp with fluid font [lot 36] that quickly blew to $6,435.00.  Candlesticks were another strong lighting category led by a fine pair of translucent blue Petal and Columnar examples [lot 64] that brought $3,042.00, and a pair of Petal and Loop sticks in an unusual translucent light turquoise blue [lot 73] that fetched $2,691.00.

A fine selection of other colored Sandwich glass followed the lighting section of the auction.  An extremely rare pressed hen on nest covered dish in translucent jade green [lot 109] was the favorite of many.  It had been published twice and was included in three different exhibitions at the Sandwich Glass Museum.  Representing the first production of this form in the United States, the circa 1860 dish flew off at $9,945.00.  Rare colored flint early American pattern glass (EAPG) was also well represented in the sale.  Highlights included a canary yellow Mirror 10” diameter open compote [lot 119] and Comet water tumbler [lot 123] that sold for $3,802.50 and $2,925.00 respectively.  Each had been published in volume one of Barlow/Kaiser, The Glass Industry in Sandwich.

The Kaiser collection also included a diverse selection of later wares made at and/or in Sandwich including six pieces of rare Trevaise art glass manufactured by the short-lived Alton Manufacturing Co. between 1906 and 1907.  The top seller here was a 10” triangular-body vase with an iridescent mint green and gold coil design on a green-tinted white ground [lot 358].  The vase was raised on a flared foot featuring an applied disk-like wafer with polished pontil mark to the underside, a trademark feature of Trevaise wares.  It sold for a solid $2,574.00 against an $800-1,200 estimate.        

Other consignments to the auction included the Roger Gehman estate collection of primarily Pittsburgh glass.  High lot among this collection was a seemingly unique pair of Strawberry Diamond and Fan cut candlesticks, each featuring a turn-over rim socket raised on a hollow, ovoid standard and wide star-cut foot [lot 843].  After opening above estimate at $1,400, the pair was battled to $4,680.00.  Two collections of historical/figured flasks, one from the Nancy DuPont Reynolds Cooch estate (being sold to benefit the Toledo Museum of Art’s Collections Fund) drew strong interest lead by an emerald green GII-64 Eagle - Willington Glass Co., Connecticut pint flask that soared to $1,872.00.  The auction also included a selection of 18th and 19th century English glass featuring part one of the George & Patricia Arden collection of New York City.  This category was led by a Liege A Traforato openwork basket and two stands [lot 980] that sold for $2,691.00.

The auction was 100% unreserved and drew over 700 active bidders, with roughly 40% of the lots selling online.  Over 40 bidders attended the auction in person and four museums were among the successful bidders.   

Company president Jeffrey S. Evans commented after the sale, “It was a great pleasure and honor to handle the Joan Kaiser collection.  The collection was assembled with great thought and meticulous documentation.  Her eye for detail, attention to condition, and understanding of historical context were the guiding attributes of her collecting objective.  Always one to have a clear goal in mind, every piece was carefully vetted and tells a part of the overall story of glass made and used in the Boston/Cape Cod area during the 19thcentury.”  He added, “We were very pleased, but not surprised with the strong interest the auction drew.  While there are still many great buying opportunities in the glass market, this sale showed that most great rarities in top condition are hotly contested and selling for strong prices.” 

The complete detailed catalogue with prices realized is available at jeffreysevans.com.  A limited number of the fully illustrated color print catalogues of the 426-lot Kaiser collection are still available for $30 plus shipping.  For further information visit e-mail [email protected] , or call 540.434.3939.