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Part 2 Of The Ed And Marilyn Flower Majolica Collection Will Be Auctioned March 16, Online And Live

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By Author: Michael Strawser
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The second of three auctions dedicated to the outstanding majolica collection of Edward Flower (1929-2022) and his wife Marilyn (1930-2017) will be held on Saturday, March 16th, online and live in the Holiday Inn ballroom at 1750 Sumneytown Pike in Kulpsville, Pa. The auction will begin at 10 am Eastern time.

The auction catalog in its entirety has been posted online, at LiveAuctioneers.com. To view, click here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/315059_flower-family-majolica-auction-2/.

“We’re honored that the Flower family has continued this important auction with us,” said Michael Strawser of Strawser Auction Group, which has been chosen to handle all three sales. “Ed and Marilyn were longtime customers who have attended our auctions since the mid-1990s.”

The first auction, held on August 23rd of last year, was a huge success. Top lots included two majolica creations by the French artist Charles-Jean Avisseau that sold for a combined $71,340, and a pair of majolica pieces by George Jones that together brought $57,455. The third and final auction will be held later this year, date and time ...
... to be announced.

As in the initial auction, the Part 2 sale will feature many of the finest names in all of majolica production: Minton, George Jones, Holdcroft, Wedgwood, Hugo Lonitz, Palissy, Massier, T.C. Brown Westhead Moore & Co., Copelands and others – 185 lots in all. The collection in its entirety comprises over 600 pieces, each one carefully chosen for beauty, rarity and condition.

Two items are expected to vie for top honors. The first is the iconic Minton ‘Hare and Duck’ head game pie dish and cover, the model attributed to Paul Comoléra, the tureen affectionately known among collectors as The Bunny Tureen. The oval body piece, shape #1990, is 11 ½ inches tall by 18 inches wide (est. $25,000-$30,000).

The second is a George Jones teapot, one of only a few known, the angular body formed as a Chinese junk filled with cargo, the spout formed as the helm and the cover formed as a figure in Chinese costume. “In my thirty years of selling majolica this is the first one I’ve ever offered,” Mr. Strawser said (est. $20,000-$25,000).

A circa 1875 Minton tete-a tete tea set in the Chinoiserie taste, one of only three complete sets known, is expected to gavel for $12,000-$15,000. The set consists of a teapot, sugar bowl, creamer, two cups and saucers, and a tray. The teapot is formed as a yellow lychee with a green stem handle and spout, the finial designed as a leaf.

A monumental circa 1890 Jerome Massier jardiniere on a stand, overall 52 inches tall by 19 inches wide, has an estimate of $6,000-$9,000. The pedestal has been designed as a beautifully painted peacock around a column of grasses, supporting a circular jardiniere surmounted by three large, gorgeously colored butterflies.

A circa 1880 Delphin Massier elephant floor jardiniere, 30 ½ inches tall, should hammer for $6,000-$9,000. The jardiniere is naturalistically modeled, the elephant mounted with a beautifully painted standing hexagonal howdah sitting atop a tasseled saddle blanket. It was sold as part of The Gem Collection at Christie’s in 2015.

A circa 1875 Copeland 1876 memorial vase, 10 inches tall, was produced as a souvenir for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. The vase is modeled as three back-to-back grey eagles guarding the American Flag with spears and three cobalt blue shields. This design being the most coveted example of Copeland's majolica production (est. $4,000-$6,000).

A very rare Hugo Lonitz model of a jay bird, 17 ½ inches tall and produced around 1880, features a bird with sharply modeled feathers perched on a tree stump (est. $4,000-$6,000).

Also expected to bring $4,000-$6,000 is a rare Minton grape chariot, one of only two known, modelled as a cart upon two wheels and draped with vine, showing two boys pulling to the front and a girl pushing behind, all in 18th century style rural dress and all on an oval pedestal base.

A circa 1880 R. M. Krause (Schweidnitz, Prussia) Renaissance Revival jardiniere, 37 inches tall, probably made as an exhibition piece, should finish at $3,000-$5,000. The piece has a central column of leaves and bullrushes with three maidens holding drapes aloft the central bowl, with acanthus border and fruit cornucopia swags, all upon a pedestal base supported by four griffins.

A scarce circa 1875 Minton ink well and cover, shape #1325, is modeled as an upright pinecone, the upper quarter surmounted by a bird forming the lid, all on a shaped edge circular tray with a branch and leaves forming the pen holder. It’s one of only three known (est. $1,500-$2,000).

A circa 1879 Wedgwood Aesthetic Movement palm pattern cheese dish features a domed lid decorated with Japanese style palms, prunus and birds, with a recumbent elephant handle. The base has a border in the Chinese meander pattern. The dish has an estimate of $1,200-$1,500.

A circa 1890 Bordalo Pinheiro Palissy wall plaque is designed as a deep wicker basket brimming with vegetables, a cuttle fish and a large lobster, all mounted on a circular plaque (est. $1,200-$1,500). Also, a circa 1875 T.C. Brown Westhead Moore & Co. glove box, 10 inches long by 3 ½ inches tall, is formed as a rectangular rounded shouldered box and cover bound at each end with a belt and buckle, with the handle formed as coiled rope. The box should realize $300-$500.

In addition to live and online bidding, phone and absentee bids will also be taken.

Several pieces in the Flower collection were recently part of the renowned Majolica Mania Exhibition that was launched in New York City in the fall of 2021, traveled to the Walters Museum in Baltimore in early 2022 and finished at Stoke on Trent in the UK in fall 2022. Only the finest pieces of majolica made their way into the show.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the Flower collection is the fact that the couple didn’t begin collecting majolica until much later in life – Ed at about age 60. Prior to that, Ed collected other things: coins, stamps and books as a youth, then later on American Impressionist oil paintings, early 20th century American prints and netsuke.

After Ed retired, in the early 2000s, the couple attended nearly every majolica auction held by Strawser Auction Group. And it was a certainty that their hands would go up several times at each auction. The couple simply refused to be outbid when they spotted a piece they had to have. They could also be found at every majolica convention – usually a bi-annual event. Also, Ed served for a time on the Board of Directors of the prestigious Majolica International Society.

To learn more about the Strawser Auction Group and the second of three auctions dedicated to the majolica collection of Edward Flower (1929-2022) and his wife Marilyn (1930-2017) slated for Saturday, March 16th, visit www.strawserauctions.com. To view a flip-booklet for the auction, click here: https://flipbooklets.com/pdfflipbooklets/flower-majolica-2024#page1

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