Liberty & Co silver and enamel trumpet vase, Birmingham, 1906, $2200 (£1700) at Stair Galleries.

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For those who had not yet drunk their fill of the Ann and Gordon Getty collection, there was a chance to imbibe one last time on March 1.

A day later than planned, Stair Galleries (28% buyer’s premium) sold the final 340 lots under the poetic title A Confluence of 19th and 20th Century Design.


Doulton stoneware clock to a design by William Burges, 1888, $3000 (£2300) at Stair Galleries.

Following a three-day auction in January, the primary focus of this last hurrah in Hudson, New York, was the Aesthetic movement, Gothic revival and Arts & Crafts works that Ann Getty bought in the 1990s to furnish a Greco-Roman style estate in Berkeley Hills called Temple of Wings.


Charles Eastlake ebonised oak cabinet set with Wedgwood tiles depicting A Midsummer Night’s Dream, $6000 (£4700) at Stair Galleries.

Under her stewardship, the historic house held a microcosm of late 19th century taste: lighting and glass from Tiffany Studios, pewter by Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co, and ceramics by William De Morgan.

This may have been the material that didn’t quite make the cut when Christie’s held its $19m Temple of Wings sale back in June 2023, but there was plenty here to whet the appetite with estimates set in the distinctly affordable range.

While many items included provenances to auctions and dealerships in London and New York, estimates started at $50 and peaked at $5000.

Of course, bidding passed these modest guides on many occasions.


English silver and enamelled table box with monkey supports, London 1908, $5000 (£3900) at Stair Galleries.

De Morgan tiles

Sets of tiles by De Morgan were as popular here as they had been at Stair eight months ago.

A lot comprising 35 Sands End period tiles in the design known as Blue Bedford Daisy Cornflower, 6in (15cm) square, hammered for $21,000 (£16,400) against a guide of $1500-3000, while a generous group of 58 New Persian No 2 pattern Sands End tiles (40 of them complete) hammered for $19,000 (£14,800) when estimated at $1200-1800.


Tiffany bronze and nautilus shell desk lamp, $18,000 (£14,050) at Stair Galleries.

Equally certain to generate plenty of interest at guides way below the norm were a series of wares from the Tiffany Studios. A patinated bronze and nautilus lamp, for which bidding had already reached three times the $2000-3000 estimate before sale day, took $18,000 (£14,050), while $21,000 (£16,400) was bid against the same guide for a 10in Favrile glass vase worked with an iridescent pulled peacock feather design.


Tiffany Favrile glass peacock feathers vase, $21,000 (£16,400) at Stair Galleries.

The peacock was one of Louis Tiffany’s favourite decorative motifs: he unveiled his first vases at the company’s Fourth Avenue showrooms in the early spring of 1897.

The auction included 18 works by the Glasgow School painter, etcher and illustrator Annie French (1872-1965). In 1909 she succeeded Jessie M King as tutor in ceramic decoration at the Applied Art Studios of Glasgow School, although following her marriage to etcher and stained-glass artist George Wooliscroft Rhead in 1914, she moved to London and then to Jersey.


Dreaming, an ink and gouache illustration by Annie French, $10,000 (£7800) at Stair Galleries.

At 10 x 16in (26 x 41cm), the 1920s ink and watercolour painting on vellum titled Dreaming was a relatively large work and an appealing fairytale subject: a maiden seated upon a carpet of brightly coloured flowers lit by the night sky. Estimated at $2000-3000, it took $10,000 (£7800) from a LiveAuctioneers bidder.


Lily Yeats embroidered panel c.1900, $6000 (£4700) at Stair Galleries.

Markedly outpacing its estimate was an Irish Arts & Crafts embroidered panel by Lily Yeats which hammered for $6000 (£4700) against a $700-900 estimate.

The sibling of William Butler and Jack Butler Yeats, Susan Mary Yeats (1866-1949), known as Lily, trained under May Morris (she called her employer ‘the Gorgon’) before running embroidery departments at the Dun Emer craft studio near Dublin and at Cuala Industries at nearby Churchtown.

This 10 x 14in (25 x 35cm) panel dated to c.1900 had a label sewn to the reverse reading Embroidery Picture by sister of poet Yeats, Wedding present from Mary Geoffrey Holt (cousin of Yeats). It had been bought at Christie’s in October 1998 for £1200.


Silk damask and crewel work hanging designed by Alexander Fisher, $5500 (£4300) at Stair Galleries.

Alexander Fisher (1864-1936) is best known as the key figure in the revival of enamelling in Britain, but he too worked in textiles. He designed his Rose Tree hangings for the refurbishment of Fanhams Hall in Ware, Hertfordshire. Eight panels were worked by the Royal School of Art Needlework, c.1904, and remained at the house until its contents were auctioned in 1950.

Included in the Getty sale was an embroidered silk damask hanging to this design measuring over 10ft by 4ft 8in. (3.05 x 1.42m). It was given a nominal guide of just $250-450 and took $5500 (£4300). A similar panel sold for £24,000 at Christie’s in London in 2006.


Pair of AWN Pugin for John Hardman & Co enamelled brass vases, $5500 (£4300) at Stair Galleries.

Estimated at $1500-3000 but again sold at $5500 (£4300) was a pair of reformed Gothic brass and enamel vases to a design by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-52), architect of the Palace of Westminster and its renowned clock tower, the Elizabeth Tower.

Although unmarked they were made by John Hardman & Co, the Birmingham firm that enjoyed a close relationship with Pugin from the 1840s. Bought from London dealership H Blairman & Sons in 1996, this is one of just a handful of pairs known, including one previously owed by Sir Stuart Knill, cousin of Pugin’s third wife Jane Knill.

Dishy looker

The unexpected highpoint of the sale was provided by a Doulton & Co stoneware washroom sink with matching shelf and soap dishes.

Probably dating to the first quarter of the 20th century, the various elements shared a geometric pattern and a mottled blue ground of the type more commonly seen on Lambeth vases and bowls.

According to the catalogue, Getty had bought it from dealer Miles Hoole at The Great Antiques Fair held at Earls Court, London in 1998.

A total of 105 bidders were watching it on LiveAuctioneers as it passed its guide of $600-800 to make a punchy $26,000 (£20,300).