On offer at Clars Auction Gallery’s Antiques and Fine Art Auction this February was a rare, one-of-a-kind Tiffany “Aztec” presentation dagger designed in the early 1900s by G. Paulding Farnham. This unique treasure sold for $105,000 inclusive of the 16.5 percent buyer’s premium. Initially expected to fetch around $10,000 to $20,000 only, this rare dagger designed by G. Paulding Farnham ended up being one of the most sought-after pieces at the auction. Designed in the early 1900s, this dagger is executed in sterling, ivory and faceted obsidian.
The use of obsidian is Farnham’s tribute to the Aztec culture where they used obsidian to create the sharpest daggers possible. The bulbous ivory handle has cabochon accents and continues to the figural mount depicting an Aztec god in high relief. The blade with obsidian inlay has “AZTEC” lettering on its tip. High-level collectors on the floor, phones and Internet, quickly drove the price of this beautiful example of American design way above its estimated sum.
An exquisite one-of-a-kind piece, it truly was the highlight of the auction.