You have 2 more free articles remaining

MOMA were rationalising their Tiffany holdings and collectors were more than willing to acquire rare pieces: the group of works totalled $1,422,661 (£851,890) premium inclusive), triple pre-sale estimate and 100 per cent sold.

Top lot of this Tiffany group was a very rare enamelled copper vase using a favourite Tiffany motif of wisteria vines and pods, c.1901.

Estimated at $100,000-150,000, it sold for $240,000 (£143,710) to an anonymous buyer, making a world record for an enamelled copper object by Tiffany Studios.

A decorated Favrile glass vase, c.1901, with a swirling abstract pattern, was conservatively estimated at $15,000-20,000 and sold for $90,000 (£53,890). This had been acquired by MOMA in 1957, by which time Tiffany was slowly drifting back into fashion, but the museum had been buying far ahead of the trend, commencing its Tiffany acquisitions in the 1940s.

In 1960 MOMA received 155 pieces of art glass and other works from Joseph Heil, a pioneering Tiffany collector. One of these, a purple and green special order Favrile glass floriform vase, c.1895, made $80,000 (£47,905), $20,000 over high estimate.

The top lot of Christie’s sale was a Tiffany piece consigned by a private collector. A glowing red, blue and green Flowering Bouquet leaded glass and bronze chandelier made by Tiffany Studios c.1910, was hotly contested. It finally sold to an American private collector for $320,000 (£191,615), a world auction record for this model.

Laburnum is one of the most desirable Tiffany patterns and floor lamps tend to survive less often than smaller objects. Christie’s offered one such lamp from a private source and it sold to an American private buyer for $260,000 (£155,690) (estimate $250,000-350,000).

Christie’s offered a group of works from the Kersey Coates Reed house in Lake Forest, Illinois, designed and decorated in the 1930s for Marshall Field heiress Helen Shedd Reed by the brother-and-sister team of Adler and Elkins. Frances Elkins mixed antiques with French avant-garde pieces, including a massive leather-covered desk by Jean-Michel Frank and Hermès, c.1930, which sold to a New York dealer for $240,000 (£143,710), $90,000 over high estimate. Frank’s parchment-covered desk, manufactured by Chanaux & Co, made a low-estimate $60,000 (£35,930).

Two eggshell and lacquer low tables from the house, attributed to Jean Dunand, failed to reach their low estimates of $60,000, but a Frank and Hermès leather and oak X-shaped folding stool fetched $65,000 (£38,920) against $15,000-20,000 expectations.

Christie’s began their sale with 20 lots of bronze and ivory Art Deco figures by Preiss and Chiparus from a private collection started around 1975. All but one sold, mostly within
or over estimates. Best price was $42,000 (£25,150) for Ferdinand Preiss’s spectacular Flame Leaper, c.1925.

The Archer, a cold-painted bronze of a Native American archer cast from a model by Alexander Kelety, c.1930, sold to an American private collector for $160,000 (£95,810), double high estimate.

Christie’s offered another tranche of Tiffany from MOMA in their Part II sale on June 13. All but one of these sold, the top price being $6000 (£3590) for a Calla Lily Favrile glass paperweight vase (estimate $3000-5000).

The top price of the Part II sale was the $46,000 (£27,545), more than double high estimate, given by a European private collector for an elegant Brazilian rosewood and metal dining table by Eugene Printz, c.1942.

Tiffany also dominated Sotheby’s (20/10% buyer’s premium) 20th Century Decorative Arts sale on June 6, accounting for seven out of the top ten lots.

Top lot was the Tiffany Favrile glass and bronze wisteria lamp, 1898-1918, in a desirable palette of deep purple and blue, which sold for $410,000 (£245,510) against $400,000-600,000 expectations.

A Tiffany favrile glass and bronze daffodil/jonquil shade on a rare cat tail and lily pad base, 1899-1918, fetched a mid-estimate $150,000 (£89,820).

The other three most expensive lots were accounted for by the bronze animal sculptures of Rembrandt Bugatti, which all sold within estimates. Petit Elephant en Marche, c.1913, fetched $105,000 (£62,875) against an estimate of $90,000-120,000, while Elephant Blanc ‘Il y Arrivera’ Le Petit Modele, c.1908, which was cast in an edition of 20, made $95,000 (£56,885) (estimate $70,000-100,000).

Among the furniture, a fine Majorelle fruitwood marquetry cabinet with a Symbolist inlay design of girls picking flowers in a landscape by Victor Prouve, fetched $62,500 (£37,425).

As at Christie’s, custom-designed 20th century American furnishings brought strong interest. A rare Greene and Greene hammered copper and iridescent glass hanging lantern designed for the Robert R. Blacker House, Pasadena, California, 1907, sold for $60,000 (£35,930).

A unique history helped a Jensen silver four-piece tea and coffee service designed by Soren Georg Jensen, 1956/65, to fetch $26,000 (£15,570) against a $10,000-15,000
estimate. The coffee set and tray were made in 1956 and bought by the consignors in Copenhagen in 1964, where they also specially commissioned a matching teapot. The lot was accompanied by a screen print by Soren Georg Jensen, a gift to the collectors.