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Upcoming auction could help fill Santa's sack

| Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
Tangled web: Don’t try to escape from this eight-legged jeweled bug that’s one of the many pieces of costume jewelry on the block at Three Rivers Auction. Estimate: $50-$100.
Lakeside ramble: Dress up the sitting room with this pastel landscape painted in the late 19th century. Estimate: $100-$200.
Always in blooms: Nearly as elegant as the flowers it will hold, this Nippon vase is a perennial favorite. Estimate: $100-$300.
Perfect reflection: One of two curved glass china cabinets with mirrored backs up for grabs, this oak model stands tall on nicely carved paw feet. Estimate: $500-$800.
Garden homage: Known for his varied work creating furniture, sculpture, set designs and gardens, Isamu Noguchi crafted this marble, glass and stone piece entitled “Ceremonial for Marcel Duchamp” to honor of the French Surrealist. Estimate: $50,000-$70,000


'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the auction houses, not a creature was stirring, except for Tripp Kline at Three Rivers Auction Co. in Washington, Pa. With the big day just around the corner, most local auctioneers are enjoying a well-earned respite and preparing for big sales on New Year's Day.

Three Rivers Auction Co.

Three Rivers Auction Co. welcomes bidders to bid farewell to 2012 with a year-end sale Dec. 18. Owner Tripp Kline has been cultivating a crop of collectibles and antiques that are perfect last-minute gift ideas. Returning to a successful formula of late, Kline offers a Santa's sack of costume jewelry that should attract a wide audience of young and old. The selection includes brooches, insect pins in the shape of spiders and other creepy crawlers, rhinestones and other bright, shiny sparkly finds.

Bidders will find plenty of solid buys in the furniture category, where two curved-oak mirrored china cabinets are the highlights. Both are nicely crafted, with one sporting a more traditional natural finish while the other possesses an ebonized look. Another timeless offering is an elegant, tall oak hall seat with four hooks for hanging coats and jackets and a long mirror on the seat back for one last style check before heading out. While they're not mid-century contemporary, a few pieces of French-style furniture were made in Italy during the 1950s. Heavily accented with marquetry inlaid tops, they lend a Continental flair to the sale. For more American tastes, several overstuffed chairs and other made-in-the-USA pieces during the 1930s might rally some buyers around the flag.

Of course, the audience will find plenty of glassware, crockery, ceramics and pottery in Three Rivers' 2012 close-out. Along with a selection of perfume bottles in various shapes, sizes and colors, the sale includes a large group of Nippon China vases, chocolate pots, bowls and other often hard-to-find pieces. Other better-known names in the group are Limoges, Lenox and Dresden, to mention a few.

No one will ask who's been naughty or nice when a bevy of Barbies and other dolls and toys go on the block. The iconic Mattel bombshell comes in a variety of vintage and more contemporary models. On the other hand, a group of bisque and celluloid kewpie dolls is definitely old school. And for a little retro kitsch, a 1970s era Cher doll in Native-American garb will certainly recall a certain Billboard hit whose title is better left unmentioned.

The sale previews from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 18, immediately followed by the auction, at the Three Rivers showroom, 382 W. Chestnut St., Washington, PA. Details: 724-222-8020

Fair Warning

Though they aren't enjoying a long winter's nap, Constantine & Pletcher and BHD Auctions are taking advantage of a short break in their sales schedules to prepare for their respective annual New Year's Day sales. Check the Dec. 31 Auction Watch column for more details.

John Altdorfer is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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