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Copyright Jeffrey Herman, hermansilver.com
Normally, if an object is solid silver it will be indicated on the piece. Examples are: Sterling, 925, 925/1000, 900, Coin, Standard, 9584 (English Britannia), 800 (Germany), 84 (Russia), etc.). Most American-made objects are marked on the bottoms of holloware and on the reverse on flatware. Foreign-made objects can be marked most anywhere, and are sometimes accompanied by additional marks applied in the country’s assay office which tests the quality of the precious metal during its manufacture. Rarely will you find a piece made of solid silver that isn’t stamped. If an object isn’t stamped, a non-invasive identification method is judging by tarnish color. Silverplate will exhibit a blue-purple hue, where solid silver will exhibit grey-black. If you cannot determine if an object is solid silver, consult a silversmith or jeweler who may use an acid test.
Jeffrey Herman started Herman Silver Restoration & Conservation in 1984, and has built a national reputation of quality craftsmanship and sensitivity towards the finishing of every piece. Herman has repaired & reconstructed everything from historically important tankards, tea services, and tureens to disposal-damaged flatware. And yes, he will also polish a single spoon or fork. He considers himself an environmentalist, using the safest, non-toxic, most organic products whenever possible.
Herman Silver Restoration & Conservation
PO Box 786
West Warwick, RI 02893
The September 22nd Contemporary Auction offers carefully selected works by artists from the Post-War period through the present day. The sale covers a range of works from movements including Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimalism, Conceptualism, Contemporary Photography and Contemporary Chinese along with many of today’s most exciting young artists.
Purchased prior to Wall Street Crash of 1929, artwork remained in family for 80+ years
VESTAL, N.Y. – An exciting fine-art discovery – a fresh-to-the-market late-1920s oil-on-canvas painting by Taos Art Colony luminary Victor Higgins (1884-1949) – will headline Mapes Auctioneers’ Sept. 30 auction.
An old family piece, the 27- by 30-inch artwork depicts a Native American woman in front of an adobe building with a vine-covered column in the foreground. It was purchased directly from the artist approximately 80 years ago and passed through descent to the consignor, who is the original owner’s great-nephew. The painting has never before appeared at auction or been offered for sale.
“The Higgins came from a retired gentleman who lives less than a mile from our gallery,” said David Mapes, owner of Mapes Auctioneers. “He walked into my office one day and said he and his wife were moving to Colorado and had two paintings they wanted to sell. The other painting was nice, but when I saw the Higgins, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was similar to a smaller painting by the artist that sold at Christie’s a few years ago for over $400,000.”
Mapes recalls that he told the consignor, “That’s a very good painting,” to which the consignor replied, “How good?” Mapes then delivered the news that, in his opinion, it was worth more than $100,000, adding that the auction record for a Victor Higgins painting is $769,000. “The consignor was stunned,” Mapes said.
Several identifications are written on the artwork’s stretcher – the name “Ruth” and the notation “Victor Higgins $600.” Mapes said it is likely that the original owner made the purchase prior to the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
“From what the consignor tells me, his great-uncle was an art aficionado who once served as director of the Municipal Art League of Chicago. He was also an attorney who lost a great deal of money when the stock market crashed. It’s unlikely that he would have been buying art after incurring major financial losses, so we think the painting may have been purchased in 1928 or 1929,” Mapes said.
According to Mapes, Higgins was a visionary in search of “the real America” and moved to New Mexico around 1915, when Taos was still an isolated village with dirt roads. “He was fascinated by the native people of Taos and became both a permanent resident and a member of the Taos Society of Artists, in 1917.”
The Higgins painting has been examined by a major art restorer who works with museums, Mapes said, and it was determined that the painting has never been cleaned or restored. “It is in original condition and in a nice period frame that may be the original,” Mapes said. The painting will be offered with a $200,000-$400,000 estimate.”
The other painting coming from the Higgins’ consignor is a 24- by 26-inch
Southwestern mountain landscape by Taos school artist Carl Hoerman (German/American, 1885-1955), titled Arizona Desert. Signed and dated “1929” on the front, the framed oil-on-canvas artwork is executed in soft desert hues with depictions of cacti and numerous other indigenous flora. On auction day it is expected to make $1,000-$2,000.
The 300-lot sale also includes a collection of 60 pieces of 19th-century New York state stoneware from an estate in Trumansburg, N.Y. Most of the vessels are ovoid jugs and jars, although there are also some 3-sided examples and later molded pieces from White’s Utica. Most have a floral motif, although one features a bird. Individual estimates range from $100 to $1,000.
A beautiful American blue opaline glass fluid lamp that may be by Sandwich measures 13 inches high and was crafted in the Flame Bull’s-Eye pattern. In excellent condition, it could bring $750-$1,500. Another glass highlight is the Steuben verre de soie perfume bottle with blue stopper, estimated at $200-$400.
The nicely mixed selection of antiques and fine art also includes a 35-inch-tall Theodore Coinchon (French, 1814-1881) garden bronze of Pan playing his flute, est. $2,000-$4,000; a Chief Big Moon cast-iron mechanical bank in original condition with 90% paint, est. $2,000-$4,000; and a 19th-century coin-silver teapot on stand by Bailey of Philadelphia, est. $1,000-$2,000.
Also, a 5-piece array of Deldare ware will be offered. The grouping includes vases and two trays, which aren’t commonly found. The smaller tray measures 9 by 12 inches and is titled “Dancing Ye Minuet,” while the 10- by 13-inch tray is titled “Heirlooms.” Both are in excellent condition, and each carries a presale estimate of $200-$400.
Mapes’ Sept. 30 Antiques & Fine Art Auction will commence at 5 p.m. Eastern time, with a preview the same day from 1-5 p.m. Their gallery is located at 1729 Vestal Parkway West, Vestal, NY 13850. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com.
For condition reports on the art or any other item in the auction, call 607-754-9193 or
Sotheby’s October 5th Photographs auction in New York features a varied range of material from the 19th to 21st centuries. Two landmark documents in the history of photographic literature will be offered—an early copy of Gardner’s Sketchbook of the War, and a complete set of Alfred Stieglitz’s photographic quarterly, Camera Work. Modernist innovator Pierre Dubreuil’s mastery of the medium is evident in two of his best-known images: Spectacles and The First Round. A dramatic, twice-signed mural of Ansel Adams’s famed Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, and a mural of Leaves, Mt. Rainier National Park are featured, along with other Adams photographs. A rare lifetime print of Diane Arbus’s Viva, the Warhol superstar, was originally illustrated in an early issue of New York, nearly causing the magazine’s demise. A massive print of Peter Beard’s Maureen Gallagher and Late-Night Feeder presents a dazzling array of color drawing and collage elements.
Following the successful May 2011 sales of volumes I and II, the third volume of works from the Collection of Allan Stone comes to Sotheby’s New York this autumn. Trained as a lawyer, but passionate about art, Mr. Stone opened his own gallery in 1960. He joined the ranks of influential New York dealers such as Leo Castelli and Sidney Janis, while blazing his own path with a unique selection of artists.
London – British Designer, Faye Toogood, will launch her third furniture collection, Delicate Interference: Assemblage 3, exclusively with Phillips de Pury & Company during the 2011 London Design Festival.
The series examines iridescence as a natural optical force through new and re-contextualised works in bronze, aluminum, steel, glass and resin. By a touch of alchemy she uses man-made materials to create a natural phenomenon, mimicking nature’s ability to attract and protect through the refraction of light.
The entire series will be on show at Phillips de Pury’s, Brook Street space with Studio Toogood directing the exhibition design. All works in the collection will be available exclusively through Phillips de Pury.
Sotheby’s will be hosting a private selling exhibition of works by Sam Francis from 17 September – 14 October 2011. This will be our inaugural private selling exhibition in our new gallery, S2. The exhibition will coincide with the launch of the Sam Francis Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings, 1946 – 1994, published by the Sam Francis Foundation and University of California Press.
Sotheby’s is pleased to introduce S2, a newly-constructed private gallery space within our York Avenue headquarters that is dedicated to special selling exhibitions of contemporary art. Designed by architect Richard Gluckman, who also created the celebrated auction galleries on the 10th floor of our building, S2 will host unique shows that focus on singular artists and themes within the contemporary genre. All of the works on display will be available for private sale, offering a new and exciting dimension to the Sotheby’s experience.