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This page updated March 5, 2018.
NOTE: The following entry provides an example of the reviews we will post here. I chose these two houses because they are above and beyond the majority of the thousands of auctioneers in the U.S, not to mention the world. Ensuing reviews will essentially follow the same format, so if you subscribe to our newsletter, Spotlight for Collectors. we will give you a heads-up whenever new reviews are added.
www.jamesdjulia.com - MorphyAuctions.com
Note: Julia has now merged with Morphy Auctions and is now a division of Morphy Auctions, expanding the specialty auction areas they represent. They have consistently brought to auction the very finest examples in the respective specialties: Rare Firearms; Rare Lamps,Glass & Fine Jewelry; and Fine Art, Asian and Antiques. The merger opens new specialty areas including Toys, Petroliana and Autmobiliana, Coin Op, Advertising, and more.
The websites of both houses are very well designed and laid out.
The Morphy digital catalogues are beautifully produced with concise, accurate descriptions. (In my case, the catalogue pages tend to load a trifle slowly) The Julia catalogues are equally beautiful, and the descriptions are complete and thorough.
These two companies now joined, are poised to approach total sales of 80 million dollars annually, making them one of the top Auction houses in the U.S.
Both houses consistently offer the best of the best, no matter which category is being offered. Currently there is a small difference between them in buyer's premium, Julia charging 21% and Morphy, 20% of hammer price with both adding an extra 3% for those paying by credit card. (Please refer to their separate Terms of Sale for full disclosure.)
If you are considering consigning to either house, the commissions charged to the consignor are for Julia, based on a sliding scale starting at 20% at the top and going down to 0% for highest selling items. I have no details on Morphy commissions, but they probably are similar. Contact each house independently for specific details regarding consignment and commissions.
OVERALL RATING = A+
This is a family business owned and operated by Anthony, Barbara, Brandt, Luke, and Mark Zipp. They have been selling stoneware and redware since 1983, and possess an unsurpassed knowledge of the art form. Our company is the industry leader in auctioning antique American stoneware and redware pottery, realizing many world auction records over the years. We hold our auctions at our historic gallery, the 1841 Gorsuch Barn, in Sparks, Maryland.
They have spent hundreds of hours conducting original research on American stoneware and redware potters in original, period sources, such as census records, city directories and newspapers. New information brought to light through our research includes ground-breaking revelations on Baltimore, MD stoneware and redware; the long-sought origin of "H. Myers" stoneware; important findings on the history of the prolific Remmey family of American potters (of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore); significant contributions to the study of Alexandria, VA and Washington, DC stoneware; new findings in the areas of Shenandoah Valley pottery, Midwestern stoneware, New York City stoneware, and many more. Exhaustive research conducted by us on James Miller, potter of Alexandria, Virginia, took the surviving examples of his work out of obscurity, increasing the value of these vessels by thousands and thousands of dollars. In March 2010, Brandt revealed that Thomas Commeraw, the famous Manhattan potter of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, was actually a free African American, and his book on Commeraw's remarkable life will be completed soon. These are just a few of the important contributions we have made to the field of American utilitarian ceramics.
They are also a primary source for prices realized at auction starting with 2009 up to the present.
They consistently offer a wide variety of American stoneware and redware, ranging from New England and New York, to Virginia and the Southern U.S. states, to the potteries of America's Midwest. This always results in an exciting auction environment for all involved with high participation from all areas of American stoneware and redware collecting.
Their high-quality, full-color auction catalogs, praised as the best the field has to offer, are essentially high-quality research texts and help to educate the collecting base on American utilitarian ceramics in general.
Even though specializing in stoneware and redware, they also hold fine antique auctions as well. They are well worth keeping an eye on.
They offer several options for bidding. For details, click here. Online live bidding is through LiveAuctioneers.com. Sales commissions can be as low as 12.5% and buyer premium of 18% when paid by cash and 23% if settled with credit card.
Rating = A+
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