by Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod
$1,606 (12 bidders, 29 bids): Extremely rare antique silver polar bear pincushion, Adie & Lovekin, 1909.
Dating from 1909, an antique silver pincushion in the form of a polar bear pulling a mother-of-pearl sleigh. This wonderful item was made in Birmingham by top makers Adie and Lovekin. The polar bear is one of the hardest pincushions to source, commanding the highest prices known for this type of item. Condition is great, no damage at all, and he even retains the original cushion, which fits securely, too. The item measures 9.5 cm in length (3.75″) and weighs 16.5 grams (.58 ounces).
(Photo: eBay seller silverminature77)
DBA: Adie and Lovekin was a company making specialty silver sewing products, primarily in the Victorian and Edwardian Periods in Birmingham, England. Animal pincushions were one of their items in demand. The polar bear is the most rare and valuable of all the pincushions. The sterling swan can be found for around $500. The camel was found for around $800. The polar bear had a sled made of mother of pearl, and the total object is larger than the others. I have seen a silver pig pulling a mother-of-pearl cart and a ram pulling a similar cart. There were many of these silver novelties made, and they can be found occasionally for less. I would consider this a retail price.
See the exceptional quality of this 65-inch tall Victorian bronze and ruby red glass kerosene banquet lamp. This lamp has a ruby glass base with 3 shell feet that are 16 1/2 inches apart. There is a spring lever just below the font that allows you to adjust the height up to 80 inches. This Victorian kerosene banquet lamp has never been converted and is in original, unrestored condition. All the fancy metal sections are made from solid bronze and retain their original patina. Top to bottom is decorated with deep ruby red art glass. Even the top of the kerosene font is ruby glass. The duplex burner is original, and if you look closely around the center of this lamp, you will see a stand with four round sections that allows you to put something small in them or maybe plants. Below that is a large piece of ruby glass decorated with Ormolu handles and gargoyle heads. I have looked this circa 1870s high Victorian banquet lamp over very carefully, from top to bottom. It is in perfect original condition, and there are no restorations.
(Photo: eBay seller wwolst12)
DBA: This is a very large lamp. Most of the comparison lamps I found were about half the height of this lamp. The prices for these lamps vary greatly, and the kerosene ones are increasingly hard to find. I have seen the banquet-size lamps vary from $1,000 to $16,000. I believe that this is a great buy. Also making this more valuable is the lamp being bronze and ruby glass, which is very popular.
These 1930s German hand-blown tulips are not only stunning but very rare to find. Up for your consideration are these 15 very desirable multi-colored blooms (4 red, 4 yellow, 3 white, 2 pink, 1 orange and 1 purple) along with 7 (hard to find) hand-blown original foliage leaves. Ten of the blooms are in excellent condition; the leaves are also in excellent condition. The other 5 blooms are as follows: the purple bent stem has an open end and is short; 1 white bloom has an open stem and is short; 1 red bloom is a closed stem but is short; 1 yellow bloom has a small hole; and 1 red bloom has a layer hole. The top layer of a bubble is missing; the hole does not go all the way through the bloom. This is a rare and beautiful addition to any collection.
(Photo: eBay seller corvette72401)
DBA: At best, we can say that these are modeled after the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants that were made by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka from 1887 through 1936, commissioned by George Lincoln Goodale who was the director of Harvard’s Botanical Museum and financed by Mary Lee Ware and her mother Elizabeth C. Ware. These flowers were very realistic, and they were made using a process called lampworking where glass is melted over a flame fed by air from a foot-powered bellows and pinched, pulled or cut with tools to form the flowers. The Blaschka flowers were all commissioned. The father and son team did make some sea creatures, which caught Goodale’s attention. I am not aware of a commercial operation with them making these flowers. Others from the same time period could have made flowers for commercial purposes. From the photographs, these appear to be similar to the Blaschka works.
There are no sales with which to compare these. Based on the popularity of these flowers from exhibits at Harvard University, I would say that the seller got a good deal.
When I first purchased this large, 39-inch tall by 14-inch diameter Blue Dragon vase, I thought it was Chinese. After some research, I believe that it is an example of Victorian Majolica. The 10-inch square bronze base is signed “P. E. Guerin.” They were a 19th century New York foundry and were known for their decorative items. The bold Dragon was applied to the vase, and you can see glazed separations in the photographs. These lines are in the making, and the only real damage is to one of the Dragon’s horns and one whisker. The rest of this circa 1880s New York P.E. Guerin Majolica floor vase is in very good condition with no restorations.
(Photo: eBay seller wwolst12)
DBA: The P. E. Guerin Company is now in its fourth generation of descendant owners, being founded in NYC in 1857. They are a decorative hardware company and a foundry. They have been at their Greenwich Village location since 1892 and now have locations worldwide. They made the decorative brass base that the majolica vase sits on. P. E. Guerin is not a maker of ceramic works. Someone put the vase on it, and I do believe that this is of Chinese origin (or at least from Taiwan). It looks like a China Pottery Company object.