Fontaine's Auction Gallery To Offer Striking Statement Pieces In May 18 Sale

May 10, 2019

As temperatures warm up and spring blooms appear, the auction action is also heating up at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. With spring being a perfect time for undertaking projects in and around the home, buyers can find plenty of decorating inspiration at this sale on Saturday, May 18, starting at 11 am.
This auction will feature 350 lots of antiques and fine art, including American Victorian and figural carved furniture; 19th and 20th century lighting by Tiffany Studios, Duffner & Kimberly, Handel, Gorham, J.A.Whaley, and others; fine clocks and music boxes; paintings; Royal Vienna and KPM porcelains; gold and diamond jewelry; fine silver; art glass and cameo glass; bronze and marble statuary; Black Forest items and more.
“Beautiful objects never go out of style, and this auction is bursting at the seams with statement pieces from intricately carved furniture and finely detailed marble sculpture to luminous lamps and dazzling jewelry,” said John Fontaine, owner of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. “Buyers will find things here that will not only be a fine addition to their homes and have a strong design aesthetic but also bring them joy.”
Crossing the block early on will be a near life-size white Carrara marble sculpture, one of several artistic standouts in the sale. The sculpture depicts a nude sea nymph rising from the waves, her hands reaching up toward the sky, raised on a large carved marble pedestal and signed “Galli” on the back. Professor Fortunato Galli worked in late 19th century Florence. The statue stands 64 inches tall. Another choice example of marble statuary will come in the form of a pair of C. Lapini (Italian, 1848-93) hand-carved marble sculptures on tripartite green marble bases, both dated “1886.” The left sculpture shows a man playing guitar and leaning on a tree stump, titled “La Serenata,” the right sculpture is a woman, with her left hand on her hip and holding a tambourine in the other, titled “Ciociara.” Each sculpture is marked “C. Lapini, Firenze 1886” on the base. The male figure stands 42 inches tall, and the woman, 40 inches tall.
An unusual item represented in the sale will be of key interest to numismatists, a lot of 36 Mexican 50-peso gold coins. The front of each coin features a portrait of Winged Victory, a symbol for the Greek goddess of victory (Nike), and each coin weighs just over one troy ounce.
Ornate and elegant objects are distributed throughout the auction, including a Lenzkirch gilt bronze mounted mahogany bracket clock on a matching pedestal. The clock has a 10-inch porcelain paneled dial with black Roman hour numerals, five-minute numbers, gilt brass pierced decorated hands and a fancy hinged door bezel with convex crystal. The clock measures 33.5-by-19.5-by-11 inches and with the pedestal stands at a total height of 105 inches.
The parade of clocks across the block continues with a massive three-piece figural gilt bronze clock set displaying an allegory of astronomy on its case with two putti figures seated on either side of the urn-form clock tower, one in a thinking pose and writing in a scroll, the other calculating measurements, and a Walter Durfee nine-tube grandfather clock having a large brass dial with a silvered 12-inch chapter ring having applied gilt brass Arabic hour numbers, fancy scrolling gilt engraved center and spandrels, sub dials for Chime-Silent and Westminster-Whittington and a nautical moon phase dial, 103 inches tall.
Fontaine’s is known for period lighting, and this auction will have the category well represented. Lighting highlights include a Duffner & Kimberly 26-inch Wisteria hanging lamp with wisteria flowers in striated blue and white panels, having a 26-inch diameter shade; a Pairpoint Puffy Appletree table lamp with a 12-inch blown out closed top shade, 21 inches tall overall; and a signed Tiffany Studios dore bronze 10-light Lily lamp, 20.75 inches tall.
Fine art, of course, also will be abundant, led by an Edouard Leon Cortes (French, 1882-1969) oil-on-canvas titled “Café De La Paix,” measuring 18-by-13 inches (sight).
The jewelry and watch category will feature statement pieces, such as a Roberto Coin 18-carat gold bangle Nemo bracelet in rose and white gold with diamonds, rubies with black enameling, from the Animalier Collection, and a man’s Rolex 18-carat Yacht-Master watch with a brushed blue dial and an 18-carat yellow gold “Oyster” case.
Furniture offerings in this sale lean toward the ornate and a Continental aesthetic, such as an 18th-century Portuguese carved rosewood bureau having a paneled lid with four carved rocaille motifs in each corner above three drawers with rocaille motifs carved on each side, 44.5-by-44-by-27 inches, and a French Empire style marble top center table, late 19th century, having a 35-inch diameter green marble top with white striations atop a triangular base with three dore bronze standing robed women having their arms crossed, 32 inches tall.
Rounding out the auction will be an unusual Regina-style 38 “Flat” upright, 12-disc, five-cent coin op music box in an oak case with carved crest and retaining the original Regina decal at the top of the door frame, and, with summer entertaining coming soon, a striking addition to the porch or sunroom would be a 19-piece Bar Harbor wicker set in a two-tone green and red painted finish.
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is the oldest operating auction gallery in Western Massachusetts.
They are located at 1485 W. Housatonic St. (Route 20), Pittsfield, Mass.
For more information, call 413-448-8922 or visit


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