Douglass, KS, USA, November 29, 2022 -- A gorgeous pair of early 20th century signed Galle French cameo art glass pieces, one a lamp and the other a vase, sold for a combined $133,750 in the Part 1 auction of the lifetime Ron Blessing estate collection – an amazing accumulation of quality Victorian antiques, French cameo art glass, period American furniture and other items – held live and online October 29th by Woody Auction.
The 30-inch-tall Galle table lamp, the auction’s top lot, was produced around 1920 and featured a beautiful yellow ground with blue/amethyst cameo carved Japanese chrysanthemum overlay and butterfly highlights. It was a magnificent representation of the finest quality and the crowd of about 80 people burst into applause when the final gavel came down at $93,500 (including buyer’s premium).
The circa 1910 Galle cameo art glass vase, 14 inches tall, boasted a lovely ice blue ground with white cameo carved overlay featuring 16 seagulls in flight over ocean waves. The vase had been advertised as a “must-see”, with “the finest detail available.” Bidders evidently agreed, as the piece found a new home for $40,250, good for runner-up top achiever of the over 300 lots that came up for bid that day.
The live auction was held in the Woody Auction hall located at 130 East Third Street, Douglass. Online bidding was provided by LiveAuctioneers.com. "It was an honor to conduct the Part 1 auction for the Blessing family,” said Jason Woody, the operating manager and auctioneer of Woody Auction LLC. “We’re now looking forward to the conclusion to his collection - Part 2 - on March 18, 2023. Watch the website for details.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction, which attracted 24 phone bidders and 12 absentee bidders in addition to the in-person crowd and very brisk online participation. All prices include the buyer’s premium.
Third place went to a turn-of-the-century signed Daum Nancy French cameo art glass pillow vase, 5 inches tall, having pink and green mottled ground with excellent cameo carved relief of a wild floral scene featuring dandelions, clover and daisy décor. The original Paris jeweler’s label was still on the base of the vase, which finished at $21,850.
A rare, museum-quality, two-piece yellow opaque art glass urn, signed Moser, 38 inches tall, featured an extensive and colorful enamel leaf décor and applied acorn highlights ($17,000). The upper section showed a highly detailed enameled scene of two children lighting a black powder pistol while a tavern owner looked on. “This was one of the finest pieces of Moser art glass we’ve ever sold,” Woody said.
A 12-piece dining set by R. J. Horner in the Oak Busted Lady pattern was “the most complete Horner dining set it’s been our privilege to sell,” Woody said. The set featured an 82-inch-tall china cabinet with four glass shelves, a buffet with beveled mirror, a sideboard, a table with three leaves (95 ½ inches long when fully extended), two armchairs and six side chairs, all with claw and ball feet ($18,700).
A signed, turn-of-the-century Daum Nancy French cameo art glass boudoir lamp, 13 ¼ inches tall, changed hands for $19,200. The lamp featured a white mottled ground with acid cut cameo relief with a Dutch winter scene décor and fine enamel highlights.
A two-piece American walnut bedroom set in the Renaissance Tassel pattern, featuring a 112-inch-tall by 84-inch-wide by 64-inch bed (full-size), plus an equally tall dresser, brought $14,000. The set was purchased by Mr. Blessing and put on display in his warehouse in near-perfect condition, but the crown piece on the dresser fell and other parts came unglued. But it was still a fantastic set.
An American mahogany and marble-top parlor table, with carved cherub and female busts and a wonderful center carved figure of a cherub playing the mandolin, garnered $15,600. Also, a signed Daum Nancy French cameo art glass vase, 9 ¾ inches tall, having a beautiful blue and white mottled ground with a cameo acid cut tree, field and mountain scenic décor, plus two pulled ears, hit $10,925.
A pair of Victorian brides baskets made it into the list of top lots. One, 13 ¾ inches tall, had a pink satin herringbone mother of pearl melon ribbed bowl with green interior and a heavy enamel chrysanthemum décor, set on a Meriden #01530 silverplate frame featuring full figure rampant lions. It went for $7,000.
The other, 8 ½ inches in height, featured a blue satin diamond quilted mother of pearl melon ribbed bowl with a pink interior and an enamel branch and blossom décor. The impressive basket was set on a Meriden #01556 silverplate stand that featured two rampant lions holding shields. It realized $8,050.
Ron Blessing was a long-time resident of Kearney, Nebraska, and began collecting quality Victorian antiques many years ago. Early on, he developed a love of silverplate items, especially pickle castors and brides’ baskets. His dream was to turn his Kearney warehouse into a fully displayed showroom of the finest antiques available and to host large dinner parties surrounded by the Victorian atmosphere.
As with many collectors, Ron's tastes evolved, and French cameo art glass became another passion. Consequently, he managed to acquire some of the most sought-after pieces in the country. His antiques needed to be properly displayed, so Ron commenced collecting only the finest furniture, by makers such as R.J. Horner, A.J. Johnson, Meeks, Belter, Pottier & Stymus, Karpen, Phillip Kopp and Oriel.
To learn more about Woody Auction and the firm’s calendar of upcoming auctions (including Part 2 of Ron Blessing), please visit www.woodyauction.com. Updates are posted often.