Auctions: Sidney Sheldon collection and more

Inlaid Gustav Stickley occasional table, estimate $25,000 to $35,000, in the Sidney Sheldon collection at the Rago sale.

Auctions next week will feature the arts and crafts furnishings of a famous novelist, the work of a folk-art woodcarver, and a collectible that is riding high on current worries about the economy.

The novelist is the late Sidney Sheldon. About 1990, he and his wife, Alexandra, began amassing furniture and appointments bearing such names as Stickley, Roycroft, Grueby, Tiffany and Van Briggle to decorate their Palm Springs, Calif., estate. The 245 lots will be sold beginning at noon March 8 at the start of the two-day Craftsman Auction Weekend at Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J.

Items to be offered range from a Tiffany Studios table lamp with a presale estimate of $50,000 to $75,000 to an inlaid Gustav Stickley occasional table with a presale estimate of $25,000 to $35,000 to a half-dozen pieces of Rene Lalique glass expected to sell for $500 to $700.

In addition to more Stickley, Grueby and so on, the auction's second session (immediately following the first) will offer an early Newcomb College vase ($30,000 to $40,000) and two lots of wrought-iron transom panels Samuel Yellin made between 1927 and 1952 for J. Walter Thompson Co. in the Graybar Building in Manhattan ($4,000-$6,000 per lot).

Beginning at noon March 9, the action opens with 65 lots from the Roycroft collection of Kevin McConnell, including a hammered three-stem candelabra ($20,000 to $30,000). Following that will be the collection of New England ceramist Arthur E. Baggs, of Marblehead Potteries. Among the 80 lots is a circa 1915 Marblehead vase with incised brown crabs and green sea plants ($20,000 to $30,000).

This session ends with 300 lots from various consigners, many with five-figure presale estimates. Previews are from noon to 5 p.m. tomorrow through next Friday and 9 a.m. to sale time March 8 and 9 at 333 N. Main St., Lambertville.

For more information, call 609-397-9374; view the catalog at

Woodcarvings and more. Seven three-dimensional folk-art woodcarvings of Pennsylvania German life by John Dale, who died last year at age 80, will be featured at Alderfer Auction and Appraisal's sale of fine and decorative arts Wednesday, Thursday and next Friday in Hatfield.

Among the Dale dioramas are scenes of a barn raising, a country auction, a schoolhouse and a family porch. They are expected to sell for $300 to $500 each.

In a blaze of eclecticism the sale will open at 1 p.m. Wednesday with 240 lots of vintage photography (a daguerreotype of Mormon leader Erastus Snow, $2,000 to $3,000), followed by 200 lots of fine jewelry (a platinum and diamond pin is expected to go for $2,800 to $3,800).

At 9 a.m. Thursday, the sale will continue with ephemera (a 1910 welcome-home dinner menu for Theodore Roosevelt, $1,000 to $1,500); Civil War memorabilia (U.S. Army medical department surgeon's set, $3,000 to $4,000); decoys (a yellowleg, $1,000 to $1,500); art glass (a Murano Venini bowl, $800 to $1,200); and furniture (cherry Dutch cupboard, $2,000 to $4,000).

At 4 p.m. next Friday, the final session will offer more than 200 lots of fine art - and the sale's top anticipated prices: Walter Baum's Returning From Pasture ($40,000 to $60,000); John Berninger's Spring at the Farm ($10,000 to $15,000); figures and horse on bridge by Roy Nuse ($15,000 to $25,000); and four George Sotters ($8,000 to $15,000 each).

Previews are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Friday at the auction center, 501 Fairgrounds Rd. Information: 215-393-3000.

Gold, coins at Briggs. The collectible riding high on economic worries is, of course, gold - gold coins, specifically. At 6 p.m. Monday, Briggs Auction, 1347 Naamans Creek Rd., Garnet Valley, will offer more than 120 lots of U.S. and international gold and silver coins and bullion.

Briggs officials expect prices to range from $40 to $60 for late-1800s silver dollars to $6,000 to $8,000 a lot for South African gold Krugerrands to be sold in lots of 10.

Preview is from 2 p.m. to sale time Monday or by appointment Sunday. Information: 610-566-3138.

Furniture, more at Slosberg. Beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, Barry S. Slosberg Inc. will hold the first session of a two-day, 700-lot quality auction featuring 18th- to 20th-century furniture in a variety of styles, estate antique Oriental carpets, and continental and American paintings, notably an abstract oil-on-canvas by Dox Thrash dating to about 1960, at the end of his career ($4,000 to $6,000).

A bronze and onyx Champleve pedestal clock could bring $9,000 to $12,000 at Sunday's session.

The second session, beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, will feature glass, pottery, Swiss music boxes, bronze and marble sculptures, silver, and a large assortment of watches, including a small collection of gold and silver repeater pocket watches.

Preview is from 2 to 7 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to sale time Sunday, and 3 p.m. to sale time Monday at the gallery, 2501 E. Ontario St. Information: 215-425-7030 or

Contact David Iams at

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