Toomey & Co. will hold its first Early 20th Century Design auction of the year on March 2nd featuring an impressive selection of furniture, lighting, decorative arts, fine art, and more from Arts & Crafts, Prairie Style, Art Nouveau, Secessionist, and Art Deco makers.
Notable works are on offer from: Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Gustav Stickley, Charles Rohlfs, Dirk van Erp, Frederick Hurten Rhead, Tiffany Studios, Émile Gallé, Josef Hoffmann, Gio Ponti, Gustave Baumann, Frances Gearhart, and others.
There are five Frank Lloyd Wright lots in Early 20th Century Design, including an Important tall-back chair (est. $40,000-60,000) from the Susan L. Dana House, Springfield, IL. This circa 1902 example was originally part of the furnishings in one of Wright’s earliest and largest residential commissions. The Susan Lawrence Dana House was famously dubbed the “blank check” commission that allowed Wright to create a Prairie School masterpiece for socialite, heiress, and widow Susan “Susie” Lawrence Dana.
After getting settled in Springfield, Dana learned of an architect who was taking Chicago by storm. And so she approached Frank Lloyd Wright about remodeling her expansive, Italianate villa, which had additions in varying styles. Among the highlights of Wright’s complete overhaul of the property was a new dining room adorned with natural prairie motifs, a twenty-foot-high vaulted ceiling, butterfly-inspired hanging light fixtures, and a long dining table with seating for up to forty people. The tall-back chair available in Early 20th Century Design was used in the Dana House’s grand dining room. For more than half a century, the chair has been in a private family collection and retains its original finish.
Over thirty lots designed by or for American Arts & Crafts leader Gustav Stickley are also part of the sale. One of the most dramatic Stickley forms is a Rare and Early cabinet (est. $20,000-30,000), which is attributed to Harvey Ellis. Handcrafted circa 1903, this handsome, antique oak model has six doors concealing four fixed shelves and two open storage compartments. Other Gustav Stickley designs include: a Harvey Ellis-influenced Chest of drawers, model 913; a Spindle lamp table, model 663; a pair of Spiked andirons, model 237; a Writing desk, model 712; and a Hanging fixture, model 598.
Early 20th Century Design also has three bold works by artistic furniture maker Charles Rohlfs, each showcasing fine woodworking. Along with Rohlfs’ Rare hall chair and Rare oversized sofa (both est. $10,000-15,000), a finely wrought Candle stand will be auctioned. Additional examples by distinguished designers are: a pair of Octagonal inlaid side tables based on a design by Greene & Greene; a Roycroft Chiffonier, model 0113; an L. & J.G. Stickley Trestle table, model 594; a Limbert Server; a George Walton Holland cabinet; and a Rare hat, coat, and umbrella stand (est. $4,000-6,000) by Charles Rennie Mackintosh from the Argyle Street Tea Rooms, Glasgow, Scotland.
Antique lighting is led by multiple lamps and candlesticks from Tiffany Studios. Three lots of particular note are a Counterbalance desk lamp (est. $6,000-8,000), a Greek Key table lamp, and a Candlestick, model 1200. Other lighting designers represented in the auction include Dirk van Erp, Handel, Pairpoint, and Bradley & Hubbard.
Collectors of Art Nouveau have much to choose from in Early 20th Century Design. Perhaps the finest such example is Alfred-Louis-Achille Daguet’s Large lidded box with underwater scene (est. $6,000-8,000) in hammered and patinated copper with repoussé motifs of marine creatures. The auction also boasts art glass vases from Émile Gallé and Daum plus brooches by René Lalique and Gabriel Argy-Rousseau. French Art Deco furniture is likewise available from Louis Süe & André Mare and Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann.
Art pottery by several notable artists and studios will be offered, such as: Frederick Hurten Rhead, Grueby Faience, Teco, Van Briggle, Pewabic, George E. Ohr, Martin Brothers, Edmond Lachenal, Gio Ponti, and others. Fine art includes a range of landscape prints by Gustave Baumann, for example, Salt Creek (est. $5,000-7,000), and Frances Gearhart plus a Neoclassical marble portrait bust by Preston Powers.