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Another Auction Record: Kappa Candlesticks, $60,000

Candlesticks60k Our friend Tamara Herrod, who handles PR for the folks at Treadway-Toomey, forwards us the following press release. $60,000! Well, some folks have an awful lot of money, don't they? Not that these aren't gorgeous - they certainly are - but, well, goodness.

Rare Pair of Kappa Candlesticks by Chicago Metalsmith Robert Jarvie Brings Record $60,000 at Treadway-Toomey Galleries' Auction

But man, the twofold creature, apprehends the twofold manner, in and outwardly, and nothing in the world comes single to him, a mere itself, - cup, column, or candlestick.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

OAK PARK, Ill. -- A rare and perfectly matched pair of Kappa model bronze candlesticks handwrought by Chicago metalsmith Robert R. Jarvie fetched a record $60,000 at Treadway-Toomey Galleries' 20th Century Art & Design Auction on May 7.  The presale estimate was $10,000 to $15,000 for the pair. The graceful, 14-inches tall candlesticks had their fine original patinas and removable bobêches.    

"These candlesticks were a great version of that particular Jarvie form," said Don Treadway, gallery owner. "Two bidders - one from the east and the other on the west coast - were well aware of how difficult they are to find. That model is quite rare and the condition was superb. With Jarvie, the model is what dictates the value, and then the condition creates an additional level of interest and desire. These were exceptional."

In the late 19th Century, Robert Riddle Jarvie (1865-1941) began crafting elegant candlesticks and lovely lanterns as a hobby. In 1904 he quit his job at the Chicago Department of Transportation and launched the Jarvie Shop in downtown Chicago to pursue his metalworking passion full-time.

"Between 1890 and the outbreak of World War I, metalsmithing in Chicago was infused with a new vitality that flowed from the Arts and Crafts movement, which had its origins in England," wrote Sharon Darling in "Chicago Metalsmiths," her 1977 exhibition catalog. As Curator of Decorative Arts at the Chicago Historical Society, Darling had also organized the exhibition.

"A number of metalsmiths studied the simple, forthright forms of silverwork produced during the Colonial period and some, like Robert Jarvie and employees of Marshall Field & Company, reproduced them in addition to more innovative pieces," Darling wrote. "The idealized figure of the Colonial silversmith, proud of his work and imbued with revolutionary spirit, served as an inspiration for the American metalworker in much the same way that the medieval guild craftsman did for the 19th Century British craft worker."

Metalwork by California-based coppersmith Dirk Van Erp of The Netherlands was also in demand at the sale. An 18-inches tall Van Erp table lamp with original patina and four-panel mica shade achieved $25,200 (est. $10,000-$15,000). In a style much like Van Erp's, a 7.5-inches high lamp, which featured a hammered copper base in a stocky, bean-pot shape and a mica shade, sold for $2,400 (est. $900-$1,200).

An unconventional Tiffany Studios lamp that showcased the natural beauty of a genuine nautilus shell with an opalescent finish as its shade brought $12,000 (est. $6,000-$8,000). Supported by a bronze base with its fine original patina, the 13-inches tall lamp was signed 'Tiffany Studios New York #25893.' 

A 51-inches tall Gustav Stickley chest, style no. 913, with six small drawers over three large drawers and an arched front, sold for $11,400 (est. $7,000-$9,000).

Architectonically inspired designs from The Gates Potteries fared extremely well. A handsome Teco vase by Harold Hals sculpted in a four-sided form with looping handles at the bottom brought $26,400 (est. $20,000-$25,000). Hals' stately creation stood 13 inches tall and was covered in one of the magnificent matte green glazes for which Teco was renowned. An 11.5-inches high Teco vase by Max Dunning in a four-handled and four-footed form, which was covered in a green matte glaze with charcoal highlights, sold for $9,000 (est. $5,000-$7,000). According to the firm's 1905 catalog, Dunning's vase was "especially adapted for rooms with Mission furnishings."

Two Teco vases covered in rare and exquisite matte dandelion-yellow glazes were also of interest. One, a splendid, four-buttress design by founder William Day Gates, fetched $4,800 (est. $2000-$3000). The other, a curvaceous Fritz Albert find, sold for $3,120 (est. $1,700-$2,700).

An outstanding Newcomb College vase, which had been painted by Anna Francis Simpson with a magnificent monochromatic blue landscape of moss-laden oaks, sold for $13,200 (est. $4,000-$6,000). Executed by Henrietta Bailey, a 13-inches high Newcomb College vase in a large classic shape decorated with carved and painted pinecones brought $12,000 (est. $5,000-$7,000).

By French ceramist Adrien Dalpayrat, a vase covered in a magnificently mottled glaze of green, red, blue and brown fetched $9,600 (est. $5,500-$7,500). The Musée d'Orsay in Paris owns a number of Dalpayrat's works, including vases with his remarkable glazes.

An 11.5-inches tall Grueby vase in a large gently tapered form with carved and applied vertical leaves sold for $7,200 (est. $5,000-$7,000). Covered in a suspended matte green glaze, the design was suggestive of a sturdy watermelon.

A rare E.T. Hurley bronze bowl, which was sculpted with more than a dozen turtle hatchlings scampering inside the vessel, fetched $6,600 ($1,500-$2,000). Its rich and beautiful verdigris patina proved to be an especially stunning finish for Hurley's delightful design of scurrying turtles.   

Carved and painted with a stylized floral design, a 2.5-inches high Overbeck vase that was covered in a tan and mauve glaze brought $6,000 (est. $2,500-$3,500).

An unusual Weller vase in a 12-inches tall, tapered form that was sculpted with flowing tasseled tufts of wheat brought $3,000 (est. $1,000-$1,500). Its matte glaze was a dappled blend of wheat-toned yellow, red and green.

The Fine Art and Paintings session featured works from the prominent collection of former United States Senator William C. Benton (1900-1973). Benton and his modern art collection were the targets of attacks by Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950s. Paintings by Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), an American who painted social realist scenes of New York, were among the offerings. "Gypsy Rose Lee, The Star and Garter," a circa 1943 watercolor and ink on paper, was the top-selling lot at $54,000 (est. $50,000-$70,000). Marsh's "Fun in the Dark," a circa 1950 double-sided watercolor and ink on paper, sold for $18,000 (est. $20,000-$30,000), while his "Girl Bicyclist," a circa 1951 tempera on masonite, brought $12,000 (est. $15,000-$25,000).

Other works from Senator Benton's collection also fared well. "The Family," a circa 1958 oil and wax with applied gold leaf on masonite, by German-American artist Siegfried Gerhard Reinhardt (1925-1984) sold for $11,400 ($6,000-$8,000). "Volcanic Range," a circa 1947 oil on canvas by American painter Reuben Tam (1916-1991) achieved $9,600 (est. $3,000-$5,000). "Storm Composition #4," a circa 1955 oil on masonite by American Abraham Rattner (1895-1978) brought $9,000 (est. $6,000-$8,000).

Vintage gelatin silver prints by noted American photographer Edward Steichen (1879-1973) were of interest. "Goats on Michigan Beach," a circa 1930s silver print, fetched $2,040 (est. $400-$600). A lot of two images, "Mary with the Sandburg's Goats," also brought $2,040 (est. $800-$1,200). "Little Girl with Dog" sold for $840 (est. $800-$1,200) and "Daughter and Friend at Voulangis" achieved $720 (est. $600-$800).

Fetching avian etchings by American artist Frank Benson (1862-1951) were especially in demand. "Finch on a Branch" sold for $3,480 (est. $200-$300). Circa 1920 "Duck on a Pond" brought $1,080 (est. $200-$300). "Black Birds" also sold for $1,080 (est. $500-$1,000), and "Sand Pipers" went for $1,800 (est. $500-$1,000).

In the 1950s to Modern session, designs by George Nelson were coveted. Reminiscent of a giant set of watercolors, the George Nelson Marshmallow Sofa sold for $20,400 (est. $15,000-$20,000). Manufactured by Herman Miller circa 1960, it featured the original multi-colored wool upholstery over 18 individual cushions on a black enameled and polished steel base in its original finish.

George Nelson rosewood cabinets by Herman Miller also fared well. One with four drawers brought $3,000 (est. $1,800-$2,200) and the other, which featured two doors and four drawers, sold for $6,000 (est. $3,000-$4,500).

A large iridescent clam-shell shaped glass vase by Ercole Barovier for Barovier & Toso achieved $5,400 (est. $1,200-$1,500).

An Edward Wormley cabinet by Dunbar, which was formed with a slightly concave shape and crafted of dark mahogany and burled wood, sold for $8,400 (est. $3,500-$4,500).

A Philip and Kelvin Laverne "Chan" coffee table from the 1960s fetched $6,600 (est. $3,000-$3,500). Carved of bronze and pewter, its enamel top featured an acid-etched and carved design of a sacred Chinese ceremony honoring an Emperor's son.

A pair of Ludwig Miles van der Rohe Barcelona ottomans, which were made by Knoll circa 1973 of brown leather tufted cushions on polished steel "X" bases, sold for $8,400 (est. $1,500-$1,800).

A set of eight "Beaubourg" chairs created by Michael Cadestin and George Laurent brought $12,000 (est. $9,000-$12,000). Made by Teda of France circa 1976, the steel wire forms featured attached black leather seats and back cushions. Designed specifically for the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Beaubourg chair was conceived by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano. The final form devised by Cadestin and Laurent was chosen as the winning chair by a jury headed by Jean Prouvé.

Treadway-Toomey Galleries' proprietors are always seeking consignments. As specialists in 20th Century Design, both Don Treadway and John Toomey offer appraisal services, private consultations, as well as purchasing and acquisition services. In addition, Treadway Gallery now handles estate sales services.

For more information, call Treadway Gallery at 513.321.6742 or John Toomey Gallery at 708.383.5234, or visit their website.