Dale Miller Collection for Fontaine’s Auction

An exceptional antique estate auction featuring some of the biggest names in period American furniture, vintage lighting and more will be sold Saturday, April 4, by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. The vast bulk of the auction will comprise the living estate of Dale Miller, a dedicated collector from Ashville, N.C. Nearly 500 items have been moved from his home to Fontaine’s gallery.

“Over the past 40 years, Mr. Miller has acquired nothing but the best in period Victorian-era furniture, lighting and accessories,” said John Fontaine of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. “He has made the decision to sell everything without reserve, to the highest bidder. Anyone acquainted with Dale knows he is a perfectionist and, as such most of his items are in excellent condition and ready for home use.”

Bidders will be treated to dozens of furniture lots with noted names like John H.Belter, J.& J.W. Meeks, R.J. Horner, Alexander Roux, Allen Brothers, Karpen, John Jeliff etc. Lamps by Tiffany, Handel, Pairpoint, Wilkinson, Chicago Mosaic, Unique and more. The sale will also feature over 50 chandeliers, to include early gas, gas and electric and electric, many pairs; and vintage clocks, including 10 grandfather clocks.

The list goes on: numerous original paintings, some by noted, listed artists; Oriental rugs; music boxes; juke boxes; Nickelodeon; harps; spool and ribbon cabinets; and hundreds of related accessories. The sale will take place at Fontaine’s Gallery, located at 1485 West Housatonic St. in Pittsfield, Mass. Artfact.com will broadcast live streaming video of the sale, allowing viewers to bid from any computer.

John Henry Belter (1804-1863) was a German-born U.S. cabinetmaker and designer. He settled in New York City in 1833, where he operated a shop specializing in rosewood, walnut and mahogany furniture. He patented a way to process rosewood in layers to achieve thin panels for fine carving. His shop closed in 1867, just a few years after his death, but his creations are still highly sought after today.

Belter pieces to be sold April 4 include a rosewood marble-top table in the Rosalie pattern; and an 8-piece laminated rosewood parlor set in the Rosalie pattern, with grapes. Also to be offered will be a Thomas Brooks carved walnut marble-top table; a carved Black Forest bear hall tree; an Allen Brothers carved walnut triple-back sofa; and a pair of figural carved gnome pedestals, also made by a Black Forest wood carver.

Like Belter, Robert J. Horner was a 19th-century manufacturer of high-end furniture operating out of New York City. He used the best mahogany and quarter-sawn oak hardwood for his heavily carved creations, the patterns for which he drew on a wide variety of patterns and themes. R.J. Horner chairs, sofas, parlor sets, hall trees, benches, partner tables and dining sets are highly collectible today.

Horner pieces will be offered in abundance at the Fontaine’s sale. Examples include an oak winged griffin partner’s desk; a 10’carved oak grandfather clock; an oak winged griffin bonnet-top china cabinet; a monumental griffin carved oak curio sideboard; a four-griffin mahogany pedestal; a carved oak mirrored hall bench; 2 figural maiden carved oak double door china cabinets; 4 matching double door bookcases with maidens and an elaborate mahogany partner’s desk with full standing griffins.

John and Joseph W. Meeks (sons of Joseph Meeks, who made furniture in New York City as far back as 1797) went into business in 1820, making cabinets and other furniture pieces for the middle class on up to the aristocracy in the Empire, Gothic and Rococo Revival styles. Earlier Meeks Rococo pieces were often mistakenly attributed to J.H. Belter. But like Belter, Meeks is highly prized today.

Two of the several J. & J.W. Meeks lots set to cross the block in April are a Hawkins laminated rosewood sofa and an 8-piece Stanton Hall parlor set. Other furniture pieces sure to pique the interest of the crowd include a Pottier & Stymus inlaid rosewood marble-top table; a four-piece carved rosewood marble-top bedroom set; a pair of Rococo gilt-carved curio cabinets; and other high-end examples too many to list.

Over 50 vintage clocks and other timepieces will chime on time for eager bidders. A few examples include an Ansonia antique standing clock; a 12-bird automaton with Jappy Freres timepiece; and a carved Black Forest 2-weight cuckoo clock with a St. Bernard. Music boxes will include 2 Regina 12-disc coin-operated mahogany upright changers plus several other floor and table models.

Rounding out the top lots: a Wilkinson 20-inch Water Lily leaded table lamp; a pair of monumental figural landing windows; a 19th-century bronze of a winged maiden on a carved marble pedestal; and a Powers Mfg. stenciled cameragraph movie projector. Previews will be held on Friday, April 3, from 10-5; and Saturday, the day of sale, from 8-11 a.m. A free full-color catalog is available.

Fontaine’s Auction Gallery’s next big sale will be an Antique Estate Auction planned for Saturday, May 2. Then, on the weekend of May 30-31, a truly important sale: Fontaine’s Spring Clock & Watch Auction. The 2 day sale will include over 900 timepieces. May 30 will feature over 450 clocks including uncataloged discovery items before the main catalogued sale. The centerpiece lot promises to be a Howard #61 astronomical regulator. Two of these coveted clocks were sold in previous Fontaine’s auctions. One went for $195,500 in June of last year; another example brought $189,750 in November. Also to be sold May 30 will be a Howard #70 clock with 20-inch dial, French industrials, chronometers and other rarities. Sunday, May 31 will feature over 450 wrist watches and pocket watches including repeaters & chronometers.

Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. The firm is actively seeking quality lots for its spring and summer auction series. Wanted are firearms, clocks, watches, barometers, antique lamps and lighting. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call them directly, at (413) 448-8922; or, you can e-mail them, at [email protected]

To learn more about Fontaine’s Auction Gallery and its calendar of upcoming events, please log on to www.fontainesauction.net.

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