This finely hand turned wood bud vase is by the noted designer woodworker George Biersdorf of Cooksville, Maryland. Mr. Biersdorf, a professional woodworker since 1973, uses only hardwoods that are native to the U.S., most of which he harvests and dries himself. He does not use endangered species and all his finishes are natural. Since he has no assistants or employees, each of his studio creations is his alone. His current focus is on creating spectacular, unusual lamps and lampshades. Our final photo is of George Biersdorf with some of his lighting, courtesy of his website http://www.georgebiersdorf.com/
This bud vase is in excellent condition with no chips, no cracks and the beautifully-grained cherry wood is unfaded and just glows. It’s 5 inches tall, has a 2 3/4 inch diameter base and weighs about 10 ounces. Burned into the wood bottom is the signature and date: G Biersdorf 1979. As he often did, Mr. Biersdorf attached a paper label that identifies the wood as cherry and the original price as $6.00 (!). This is the perfect size vase to tuck on a shelf or table, alone or in a grouping.
This Tea Leaf ironstone pitcher was made by the firm of Alfred Meakin (1875-1976) in Tunstall, Staffordshire, England, in the 1880s. Pure white with a copper lustre traditional tea leaf centered on the front and back, the body style is called “Bamboo” and the hand painted trim is copper lustre as well. The printed black mark on the bottom includes the words “Royal Ironstone China” and “Alfred Meakin England.” In the center is a logo that mimics that of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, complete with the quote “Honi soit qui mal y pense” (from the French “Shame be to him who thinks evil of it”), the motto of the British Order of the Garter. The mark does not include “Ltd.” (Limited) in the firm’s name, which dates it to pre-1897, when that designation was added.
This pitcher is in excellent condition, with extremely fine crazing to the glaze and minor flaking to the lustre but no damage or staining–it’s glossy and immaculate. It measures 7 1/4 inches tall to the tops of both the handles and the spout, 6 3/4 inches across from spout to handle and 3 1/2 inches front to back. It weighs about 1 1/2 pounds. A lovely, barely used addition to a collection, it’s also usable for serving.
This vivid, humorous English sporting print is an original chromolithograph of ‘Breakfast at the Three Pigeons’ by Cecil Charles Windsor Aldin, R.B.A. (1870-1935). It’s from his first set of hunting prints, entitled “The Fallowfield Hunt,” which he began to publish in 1899. The set instantly became popular in both the U.K. and the U.S. and has remained so for over a century.
This scene shows the fox hunters breakfasting at the Three Pigeons Pub in Fallowfield, a suburb of Manchester, England. Their hounds are baying at the open door of the beamed ceiling dining room, no doubt anxious to get a taste of the side of ham on the long trestle table. The artwork is inscribed lower right in the matrix ‘Cecil Aldin 1900,’ his hand lettered signature a lovely example of an Arts and Crafts era font. Photograph #10 pictures Cecil Aldin with one of his beloved dogs.
The print is 15 inches by 24 inches ( 21 inches by 30 inches overall), surrounded by a 3 inch’ wide, grooved oak frame painted flat black. There is a half round gilt fillet and the covering glass is somewhat wavy. A hanging wire is installed on the back and it appears the intact paper dust cover is original. The frame, which we believe is original to the print, is in very good condition, with some scattered rubs to the paint and slight separation at the corners. A portion of one edge about 4 inches long on the left side was brushed with gold paint (see photograph # 7); this could be covered with flat black paint—we leave that to the buyer’s choice. The print itself is in excellent condition, no stains or tears, the colors fresh and perhaps even more vibrant than we were able to capture in our photographs. It’s a handsome, elegant way to bring rural England to your home.
Note: This print complete with glass and frame weighs 7 pounds, 6 ounces
This fabulous cased glass trumpet vase was mouth blown by Vincenzo Nason in Murano, Italy, in the 1990’s. The thin walled glass is an unusual color on the exterior, appearing a smoky grey or a grey tinted greenish, depending on the lighting. The cased layer on the interior is a vibrant cherry red. Standing 11 1/4 inches tall, it weighs a considerable 4 1/4 pounds. The flared mouth is 7 1/4 inches across while the bulbous base is 6 1/2 inches in diameter. The vase retains its original V. Nason & C. Murano Italy label with its white lettering printed on clear and also bears the diamond-engraved signature V. Nason on the bottom of the piece, shown in our photograph # 7. The bottom also exhibits a very large polished pontil scar. It’s in spectacular condition, showing virtually no wear.
After training at the famous Venini glassworks in Venice, Vincenzo Nason established his own glassworks called Vincenzo Nason & Cie in 1967, the name changing to V. Nason in 1989. The firm is no longer in business, having closed around the turn of the 21st century.
This handsome basket exhibits the exceptional workmanship and detailing that was given to both useful and ornamental objects by Chinese craftsmen. Baskets like these are commonly called wedding baskets but they are actually betrothal baskets. The two lidded compartments, finely woven of rattan, were used to transport gifts such as tea sets, linens, incense, candles and snacks and beverages.
The frame is dark reddish brown bamboo, the two sides beautifully carved with auspicious symbols and fastened with brass circlets. They form “feet” at the bottom and a stationary handle at the top, which can be used to carry the basket when it is filled and quite heavy. The wooden handle is surmounted by a heavy hand-wrought brass carrying handle set on an ornamental back plate pierced with symbols. The rattan portion of the topmost lid was woven in two colors to form a shòu character, symbol of longevity, wishing long life to the betrothed couple. There are also two small feet that support the basket, which is 20 1/2 inches tall to the top of the bamboo handle and about 16 inches across including the side supports. The basket weighs a sturdy 7 pounds, 4 ounces.
This example has seen use and shows obvious age, having been made in the latter part of the 1800’s in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). The rattan basketry is rubbed along the sides from carrying, so there are areas that are lighter in color. The brass has developed a darkened patina and there is minor chipping along the bottom edges and on the feet. As is common with Chinese lidded baskets, the most wear is to the rim of the lid, where there is some loss of the bamboo edge (pictured). Overall, the basket is in very good condition. It displays beautifully and is large enough to be used as a side table, as well as a fabulous wedding gift.
An interpretation of the artist’s emotional response to a majestic landscape, this handsome original oil on academy board is signed lower right “M. Gross.” On the verso, it’s titled “Camp Fire” and dated 1932, lower right on the dust paper over the stretcher. A snow-covered peak towers in the background– possibly Mount Dana in the Sierra Nevadas at the eastern boundary of Yosemite–fronted by a sparkling blue lake and immense fir trees. In front of the teepee-style tent is seated a man, alone in the wilderness and relaxing in front of his campfire.
Overall, the work is 17 1/2 inches wide and 14 1/2 inches top to bottom and weighs 1 pound 10 ounces. The 1 inch wide frame is original to the painting. It is matte gilded wood, with a narrow inner gilt molding, a center strip of sponge-grained dark brown with gilt and an outer gilt molding with a simple geometric design. The painting is in great condition, with a few white flecks to the upper right of the tent against the trees the only blemish. The dust paper is torn and ragged; we’ve left it in its as-found condition but it’s easily and inexpensively replaced (be sure to preserve the title and date). The frame is good structurally, with tight corners, but has a few subtle chips here and there. There’s a double wire for ease in hanging this wonderful Impressionist landscape painting.
This spectacular chocolate set was made in Waldershof, Bavaria by the Franz Neukirchner Porcelain Works. The set consists of the tall pot with lid, sugar bowl with lid and cream pitcher. Also included is a small cup and saucer for the cocoa; the set can also be used to serve demitasse and espresso-based drinks. The creamy white bodies are decorated with a color they called “Swedish Red” and have hand applied raised flowers of genuine gold, which also trims the rims, curvaceous handles and lid knops. All of the pieces of this set are pristine; in fact, the demitasse cup still retains the original foil label placed on it at the factory (shown in one of our photos), which reads “Echt Gold” with a capital N (for Neukirchner, of course) between the words. “Echt,” which is sometimes mistakenly assumed to be a maker’s name, simply means “real” in German.
The chocolate pot stands 10 1/2 inches tall with its lid, measures 10 inches across from spout to handle and holds about 48 ounces (1 1/2 quarts). The sugar bowl is 4 1/4 inches tall with its lid; the creamer measures 6 inches in height and holds 6 ounces (3/4 cup). The petite saucer is 4 1/2 inches in diameter; the cup is 2 1/2 inches tall and holds 2 ounces. There are no cracks, chips, hairlines and virtually no wear to the decorations; there are a few brown spots in the bottom of the pot in the crevice, but that’s it. This set was deservedly cherished and cared for.
A bit of history on Neukirchner Porzellan: We found a listing for the company in a 1906 Directory of the German Ceramic Industry that indicated the company was in existence since 1890 and that one of its specialties was chocolate sets (“Mokkaservice” in German). Also mentioned was that they were highly successful with heavily gilded china. The mark of the crowned N on the bottom of the pieces was one of four they used that we could locate and was used from 1916 until the demise of the company in 1977.
This exquisite Bavarian china chocolate set is one that will be the star in any setting.
This beautiful open rose shaped covered candy bowl is #54 of an edition of 650 made by Fenton Art Glass in Williamstown, West Virginia. The glass is chocolate slag, with its lovely variations in color and fine streaks of chocolate throughout. The lid is topped with a finial in the shape of a finely molded butterfly.
Both the inner lid and the bottom of the bowl are marked with the raised mark of the name Fenton in an oval. The bottom is also etched with the limited edition information #54/650—see photograph #5, right side and be sure to zoom. This candy dish is one of the over 1400 pieces Fenton made for QVC, the home shopping TV network, starting in the late 1980’s.
This collectible Fenton piece is in very nice condition. There are no cracks or chips; there is a tiny fleabite on the inner rim that supports the lid, along with a few minute rough spots that you can’t see but can feel with your finger. It’s 5 1/2 inches tall to the top of the butterfly wings and 5 inches across the widest part of the bowl and weighs 8 1/2 ounces. It’s a lovely gift for a Fenton collector or a choice addition to your collection.