The Alan Schneider Collection presented by Moran’s
Monrovia, CA – After setting a world auction record for the sale of a Picasso vase during the recent biannual Modern and Contemporary art sale, Moran’s quickly pivoted to a single owner sale of The Alan Schneider Collection. The auction prominently featured American and European art glass and furnishings from the late 19th and 20th Centuries. A wide array of Tiffany Studios leaded glass lamps, candlesticks, and Favrile glass, alongside Handel reverse-painted lamps that all over performed. With over 1,000 active participants bidding online, by phone, and absentee, Moran’s rolled out a 6-hour white glove sale with 100% sell through by lot and 175% by value.
The sale kicked off with a selection of specialty lighting by Tiffany Studios and L.C. Tiffany. There was extensive interest in each lot, with heated bidding coming from the phones and multiple online platforms setting remarkable prices early on with a pace of 40 lots per hour. While all the first dozen lots exceed expectations, lot 12, a Tiffany Studio “Vine Border” table lamp more than doubled the high end of the pre-auction estimate of $8,000-$12,000, selling for $28,125 (with premium). The early momentum carried through the more than 70 lots of Tiffany, each piece finding a new collection to join.
Of the almost 300 lots in this single-owner sale, the Tiffany Studios “Arrowroot” table lamp was the top lot of the auction, selling at $32,500 (including buyer’s premium). Tiffany Studios created multi-colored, textured, opalescent stained-glass designs capturing the complexity of nature for the indoors. This design was offered in multiple color schemes and sizes from Tiffany. The simplistic motif and artfully patterned glass make this a memorable piece among Tiffany’s numerous examples within the sale.
“There was extensive interest in each lot, with heated bidding coming from the phones and multiple online platforms setting remarkable prices early on with a pace of 40 lots per hour.”
Established in 1885, Tiffany Studios was created by entrepreneur, designer, and artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. The artist had previously been an interior designer and used his keen eye for detail, color, and composition in his new business where he wanted to bring the richness and quality of older European artists to contemporary American glasswork. At Tiffany’s studio in New York, he would invent a new technique called ‘Favrile,’ that created an iridescent surface, patented in 1894. In 1900, Tiffany used this technique to win the grand prize at the Paris Exposition.
Moran’s offered a selection of Tiffany Favrile glass table items featuring this award-winning innovation in art glass. These objects incorporate flora form designs and delicate soft shapes that remind the viewer of Tiffany’s ability to capture the beauty of nature and transform it into an everlasting object. One example of this is the L.C. Tiffany Favrile glass leaf and vine vase. Created in 1907, it features a slender cylindrical neck with flared rim and a bulbous body that has been decorated with blue iridescent leaf and vine motif. It had an estimate of $1,000-$1,500 sold for $2,813 (with buyer’s premium).
While turn-of-the-century lighting and art glass dominated the sale in both number of lots and price, strong results were realized in some of Schneider’s other collection categories. After 1721, when Peter the Great became Tsar, craftsman adopted Western designs in addition to shifting the epicenter of art production from Moscow to St. Petersburg. While Moran’s Russian parcel-gilt silver figural drinking vessel was produced in 1797, this vessel recalls a traditional beaker form, while offering a more modern motif with parcel gilt nude figural elements. The lot was listed for sale with a pre-auction estimate of $500-$700 and sold for $3,750 (with buyer’s premium) and had the most bids placed of any item through invaluable.com although steady bids were coming in through the two other platforms, showing that Russian silver continues to dominate the market.
Fast forward a hundred years and you have an equally traditional offering in a gilt bronze female figure titled “Naiade. The French artist Charles Louchet (1854-1936) created this gilt bronze form in 1899. It was brought to the block with a pre-auction estimate of $800-$1,200 and set the second-highest auction record for the artist, selling for $10,000 (with buyer’s premium).
The French word or-moulu meaning ground gold used in gilding, describes a technique that was prominent in 18th and 19th Century European furnishings. Anglicized to Ormulu, the gilding is comprised of gold leaf and mercury and then fired, leaving a gold tone over the cast bronze. A master craftsman would use up to 3,000 tools to carve out the fine details seen in Louchet’s figure’s face, hands, feet, and body. The process of creating gilt bronzes was so complicated that France set up two foundries, the fondeurs-ciseleurs (casters and chasers) and the ciseleurs-doreurs (chasers and gilders) to oversee the production of all items in order to regulate quality.
Emile Gallé was one of France’s most well-known glassmakers in the 19th Century and an innovator in the Art Nouveau movement. As a young apprentice, Galle studied to be a botanist and would later take up painting and drawing, where he focused on nature. Like LC Tiffany, his admiration of plants and flowers would influence his designs throughout his career. In 1885 Galle would open his first studio in Paris and win major awards and prizes for his famed glasswork. The cameo glass “Sunflower” vase by Galle is the ideal example, showcasing the remarkable glass-blowing ability of the artist. The acid-etched and fire-polished design, cut from orange to clear with applied green glass cabochons and metallic foil inclusions is an exceptional example and a favorite of Moran’s Head of Sale for the collection. It was offered at $1,000-$1,500 and sold for $4,375 (including buyer’s premium).
Moran’s featured several works by Daum Nancy, a French family-owned and operated company founded in 1878. Earning a reputation for their pâte de Verre technique, they would become one of France’s most prominent glass manufacturers. Auguste and Antonin Daum took over the factory from their father and continued his legacy but brought further notoriety to their factory with innovation and introduced their works at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, Illinois. A notable highlight amongst the many lots offered by Daum was a cameo glass and enameled “Paysage d’Hiver” lamp. The acid-etched cameo glass boudoir lamp featured an enameled winter woodland scene over pink and yellow frost, with a domical shade on an illuminated and tapered base. Offered with a pre-auction estimate of $7,000-$9,000 and selling for $11,875 (including buyer’s premium)
Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Mr. Schneider had a zest for life. After his inspiring trip to Europe in 1970, he began what would become his life’s passion. He started by buying and selling at yard sales. When he quickly realized that his interests were a calling, he opened The Antique Traders in San Francisco, California. He specialized in turn-of-the-century pieces from the Art Nouveau movement. As our founder, John Moran, once said, he attributed his own success to a ‘hobby that got out of control.’ It was clear the Alan had a keen eye for the rare, beautiful, and unusual which guided his hobby into a successful business that lasted more than five decades. Moran’s was honored to offer The Alan Schneider Collection and look forward to bringing the rest of his collection to auction in our California Living sale.
The next quarter will keep you checking back as new sales spring up! With installments of California Living featuring another installment of property from The Alan Schneider Collection alongside American and Western fine art, and arts and crafts furnishings on April 13th. Moran’s longest-running sale in the company’s history, the California & American Fine Art sale is featuring plein-air, western, and historical genre scenes that will come up on April 27th. The Traditional Collector sale is offering Continental and Asian fine art and decorative art and furniture on April 28th. Perhaps the brightest sale on the horizon will be Moran’s tri-annual Fine Jewelry and Timepieces auction on May 12th, which will surely have something for everyone. To round our Spring season will be our Art of the American West sale on May 25th showcasing the best of American Indian basketry, weavings, beadwork, and jewelry. If you would like to preview any item in person, call our office today to schedule your appointment!
For upcoming highlights, online catalogues, and more information on these sales, visit Moran’s website: www.johnmoran.com. Bidding is now available online via Moran’s new mobile app, Moran Mobile, available on both iOS and Android operating systems. Live bidding on a desktop is available through our website; bidding is also supported by telephone or absentee.