Auctions | Houses ready for the holiday shopper/bidder

Area auction houses are jumping onto the holiday-shopping bandwagon as never before, with at least five sales over the next few days offering gift possibilities - plus the debut of a newcomer.

That newcomer is Jeffrey Fuller, who will start the scramble at noon tomorrow with a sale of fine art at his gallery, 730 Carpenter Lane in West Mount Airy. Among the offerings will be 19th- and 20th-century paintings, sculpture, drawings and prints, most from a single collector.

Fuller, a Philadelphia art dealer for more than three decades, got involved with auctions in the 1980s, when he organized an art sale for a nonprofit organization in Upstate New York and became the auctioneer for it "by default," he said this week. Since then, he has helped with the nonprofit sales of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and more recently with David Rago's fine-art sales.

Tomorrow's sale, Fuller's first since getting his license last year, will offer more than 280 lots, 80 percent of them from the estate of Harriet Fingerote, a collector who used to live on Delancey Place. Fuller expects to get between $80,000 and $120,000 for two of the lots: a bronze sculpture of a hand holding a cigarette by Fernando Botero, and an impressionist depiction of a mother and child by the American Lilla Cabot Perry, who, according to Fuller, for 13 years was a neighbor of Monet's in the Giverny area.

Other works are more affordable, according to a listing at www.fullersllc.com, with well over half the lots expected to sell for $500 or less, and a few for less than $25. Notable works of local interest include a Sam Maitin watercolor ($100 to $200) and a self-portrait by Humbert Howard that comes down through the Robert N.C. Nix family ($2,000 to $3,000).

Previews are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to sale time tomorrow. For more information, call 215-991-0100.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, Barry S. Slosberg Inc. will conduct a sale featuring Judaica as well as items suited to Russian and Greek Orthodox Christmas.

"While most of these religious-oriented lots are expected to sell only in the two- to low-three-figure range, they represent an interesting mix of material," says Slosberg associate Rob Goldstein. Among them are icons and crosses, both vintage and contemporary.

Among the Judaica are a number of items dating to Israel's formative days as a British mandate, including British Palestine ephemera.

Preview will be from 9 a.m. to sale time tomorrow at the gallery, at 2501 E. Ontario St. Information: 215-425-7030 or www.bssauction.com.

The catalog holiday-gift auctions will start at 11 a.m. Tuesday, when Freeman's will offer more than 300 lots of dresses, hats, shoes, handbags, luggage, vanity and other couture items at the gallery, 1808 Chestnut St.

Presale estimates range from $40 to $60 for Yves St. Laurent studded pumps (size 6) to $2,000 to $3,000 for a Louis Vuitton woven canvas fitted trunk, though most prices will be in the modest three-figure range.

Beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Freeman's will offer more than 350 lots of jewelry, coins and watches, which, judging from past sales, attract the private buyer with a thing for bling every bit as much as dealers.

Presale estimates run from $100 to $300 for a pretty 14-karat-gold pin with pink flower and lily-pad leaves to $80,000 to $120,000 for a jeweled woman's wristwatch made 20 years ago by Cartier.

Previews are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today and Monday and noon to 5 p.m. tomorrow. Information: 215-563-9275 or www.freemansauction.com.

At 2 p.m. Thursday in Hatfield, Alderfer Auction and Appraisal will start a three-day sale of fine and decorative arts with the Joan Grossman collection of more than 240 perfume bottles and vials, followed by 100 more uncataloged bottles and advertising and reference materials. Most bottles will sell for low-three-figure prices or less, although a Meissen figural bottle of a boy pruning a tree is expected to sell for $1,500 to $2,000.

The second session, beginning at 4 p.m. Dec. 7, will offer more than 270 lots of fine art, some expected to bring five- or six-figure prices.

Winter Brook by George W. Sotter is expected to sell for $80,000 to $120,000; his Village at Night has a presale estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. Five-figure prices are also expected for a roadside scene by Robert Spencer, Frozen Delaware by John Folinsbee, and April Spring Day by Walter Baum. An uncataloged sale of 250 lots of "discovery art" will be offered beginning at noon.

The final session, beginning at 9 a.m. Dec. 8, will open with about 125 lots of jewelry, most in the three-figure range, followed by military and American Indian items, porcelains, sterling and fine furniture.

The furniture includes 11 tall case clocks and English and continental pieces, generally in the four-figure range.

Previews are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow, 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 7, and 7 to 9 a.m. Dec. 8 at the sale site, 501 Fairgrounds Rd. Information: 215-393-3003 or www.alderferauction.com.


Contact David Iams at daiams@comcast.net.

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