The Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates spring auction of 18th & 19th glass & lighting was held on May 19 & 20 at the firm’s Mt. Crawford, VA gallery. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the sale was conducted with remote bidding only, in the same manner as the firm’s March and April auctions. Company president and senior auctioneer Jeffrey S. Evans noted, “We offered five different ways to bid in this auction and competition was intense across all platforms. Prices overall were some of the strongest we have seen in many years. In some instances results were at or above pre-recession levels!”  

The auction featured part one of the collection of the late Alexander Hierholzer (Holt) and Harry Saunders, Philadelphia, PA: the Duane Sand collection, Eureka Springs, AR; the cup plate collection of the late Dolores J. Bowler, Ayer, MA; the collection of Lynne and the late Philip Blaker, Austin, TX; and property of the Russell and Doris Evitt estate collection, Jackson, CA.

The sale consisted of wide variety of blown and pressed glass of all types produced in the United States, Great Britain, and throughout Europe. The auctions top lot was a cobalt blue blown cream jug molded in a baroque pattern designated as GV-14 by George & Helen McKearin. The circa 1830 beauty featured an applied solid handle and was most likely made at the Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. in Sandwich, MA. From the Holt/Saunders collection, the 4 ½” high jug was in mint condition and sold for $7,605 (Lot 1269 – all prices include the firm’s 17% buyer’s premium) to a New England private collector. Jeff Evans noted, “This jug was the first thing that Harry Saunders ever purchased from us. Beverley (Evans) found it hiding in a Staunton, VA estate back in the 1990s. It was the only old thing in the house and Harry paid $4,000 at the auction. I think it brought more than everything else in the house combined!” 


Other American blown glass in the sale included a pattern-molded Checkered Diamond pocket flask in light aquamarine standing 6 ¾” high and of approximately one-pint capacity. It was of chestnut form and molded with five rows of eight large diamonds, each divided into four small diamonds. From the Sand collection and attributed to the New Geneva (or Gallatin) Glass Works, in New Geneva, PA, circa 1800, it sold for $4,680 (Lot 1355) to a Midwestern private collector. The catalogue entry for this lot included an interesting note, “While amethyst and colorless examples of this flask attributed to the New Bremen Glass manufactory of John Frederick Amelung, Frederick Co., Maryland are illustrated in many standard reference volumes, we could locate no published examples in this color. Amethyst and colorless fragments of the pattern were found at the Amelung factory site during archaeological excavations in 1962 and 1963 by The Corning Museum of Glass and the Smithsonian Institution. The McKearins and Ken Wilson note that when the Amelung works closed in 1795, some of the workers went west to help establish the New Geneva Glass Works, and are known to have taken molds with them, probably including the mold for this pattern.”

Pressed glass was well represented in this auction including the always popular candlestick form.  Top lot in this category was a New England Glass Co. Caryatid figural-stem example in a possibly unique deep sapphire blue with strong opal marbling. Standing 9 ¾” high, the candlestick was produced for a very short period of time based on an 1870 design patent granted to Henry Whitney, an employee of the New England Glass Co. Also from the Holt/Saunders collection, they had purchased it at the auction of the Dot and Ted Anthony collection conducted by Jeff Evans in 2010. This time around it sold for $7,020 (Lot 1551). Over 30 colored flint glass vases were offered in the auction, all receiving strong bidding. Proving the old adage “bigger is better” is not always true, a brilliant medium green diminutive vase in the Loop/Leaf pattern was the top seller in this category. Standing only a little over 9” high, it is the small version of the more commonly seen 11 ½” size. The vase was in mint condition and after a fierce battle between a phone bidder and an internet bidder, it sold online for $5,850 (Lot 1491).

The demand for lighting devices from the whale oil, fluid, and early kerosene periods remain very strong and this auction included many fine examples. Burning brightest here was a Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. early kerosene Onion pattern stand lamp in a stunning deep translucent lavender color. This example was the smallest of three sizes produced around 1870, standing only 12” high. Its strong color and mint condition drove the final price to $4,387.50.

Another category that drew much interest from American and British bidders alike was the Blaker collection of English and Continental 18th & 19th century wine glasses and related drinking vessels. Presented in 83 lots, many examples had been purchased by the Blakers on their trips to England in the 1990s. The most hotly contested lot here was an English Balustroid wine glass featuring a trumpet bowl raised on a “Newcastle” light-baluster stem with slightly flattened ball knop above a beaded acorn and inverted baluster lower stem. Made around 1750 and surviving in undamaged condition it sold to an American collector on the phone for $2,925 (Lot 1001).

After the auction, Glass Department head Chase Lanford commented, “We were extremely pleased to be able to offer these old-time collections plus some exciting new discoveries at this auction. Bidders responded strongly to the opportunity to purchase fresh material that has been off the market for many years, and all without reserve.” He added, “Our dedication to providing detailed catalogue descriptions including full condition reports, references, and provenance for each lot, plus professional photographs instills confidence in our bidders, ultimately resulting in higher returns for our consignors. The strong results seen in this auction certainly demonstrate this confidence. We continue to do everything possible to make our customers feel comfortable bidding in the current atmosphere.”

The firm is currently accepting consignments for upcoming glass and lighting auctions as well as their fall schedule of Americana, Fine & Decorative Arts auctions. For additional auction results, a schedule of upcoming sales, or more information, visit jeffreysevans.com, email info@jeffreysevans.com, or call 540.434.3939.