The newly discovered Prendergast painting, circa 1892-1894, measures 9 1/2 inches by 6 3/4 inches. Image courtesy of Clarke Auction Gallery.

Prendergast painting discovered in box of art tops $165K at Clarke’s

The newly discovered Prendergast painting, circa 1892-1894, measures 9 1/2 inches by 6 3/4 inches. Image courtesy of Clarke Auction Gallery.

The newly discovered Prendergast painting, circa 1892-1894, measures 9 1/2 inches by 6 3/4 inches. Image courtesy of Clarke Auction Gallery.

LARCHMONT, N.Y. – A small painting pulled from a box of artwork dropped off at Clarke Auction Gallery last month became a once-in-a-lifetime find for the consignor when it sold on Oct. 23 for $165,910, inclusive of the buyer’s premium. Under a layer of dust, the unframed oil on panel painting of a woman seated in a café was signed “Prendergast, Paris.”

Ronan Clarke, owner of Clarke Auction Gallery, and appraiser/auctioneer Nelia Moore, recognized the quality of the work and the name as being that of American painter Maurice B. Prendergast (1858-1924), who studied art in Paris in the early 1890s.

“It was more typical of his early work done in Paris. He brightened up his paintings a lot after he came back to America,” said Clarke, adding that determining the $40,000-$60,000 estimate was difficult.

“Many collectors like his brighter paintings,” said Clarke. “This painting – of an elderly woman with a veiled face – is more important historically.”

Clarke took the painting to Nancy Mowll Mathews, the Prendergast catalogue raisonné expert at Williams College Museum of Art in Massachusetts, who authenticated it as one of the artist’s early works.

“It’s in as-is condition, of course. It hadn’t been touched in a hundred years,” said Clarke.

Opening at $20,000, the painting quickly passed six figures and ultimately hammered for $140,000 to a bidder in the gallery.

“I was pleasantly surprised – very pleased,” said Clarke. “We’ve been on a roll lately. We’ve sold a painting for a million dollars and sold paintings for a quarter of a million. It’s been a good year.”

The lucky consignor was also happy with the result, said Clarke.

“He’s a regular consignor – a hard worker who does a lot of cleanouts. Never a nuisance.”

And with a find like that, he never will be.

The fully illustrated catalog with prices realized from Clarke Auction Gallery’s auction of Oct. 23 is available at www.liveauctioneers.com .

 

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.

Tiffany & Co. Mackay silver gilt and enamel coffee cups, est. $5,000-$7,000. Image courtesy of Rago.

Rago’s Nov. 29 open house features curator’s talk on Amer. silver

Tiffany & Co. Mackay silver gilt and enamel coffee cups, est. $5,000-$7,000. Image courtesy of Rago.

Tiffany & Co. Mackay silver gilt and enamel coffee cups, est. $5,000-$7,000. Image courtesy of Rago.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – The Rago Arts and Auction Center will host an open house on Tuesday, Nov. 29, featuring a talk by Newark Museum curator Ulysses Grant Dietz.

“Silver in America 1840-1940: Jewelry’s Sister Industry in America’s Gilded Age” will look at the development of silver production from the 1840s, when foreign competition was first halted, to World War II, when silver manufacturing began its long slow declineDietz will discuss the impact that silver – in all its diverse forms, fashions and functions – has had on the everyday life of the American home.

Ulysses Grant Dietz has been the curator of Decorative Arts at The Newark Museum since 1980. He has been collecting silver for the Newark Museum for over 30 years.

The talk takes place during preview week for Rago’s Silver, Jewelry and Great Estates auctions, to be held on Dec. 2, 3 and 4, 2011 (Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com).

It is co-sponsored by the Appraisers Association of America, a distinguished association of personal property appraisers serving the arts, legal, and financial communities. The certified members of the Appraisers Association of America provide USPAP-compliant appraisals for the fine and decorative arts, jewelry, and household contents for purposes of insurance, estate tax, charitable donation, equitable distribution, liquidation, purchase and sale.

The auction house opens on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at noon. A reception begins at 5 p.m. Ulysses Grant Dietz will speak at 6 p.m.

RSVP is appreciated; tel. 609-397-0374, ext. 119. All are welcome.

# # #


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Gorham silver bottle stopper by Erik Magnussen, est. $800-$1,200. Image courtesy of Rago.

Gorham silver bottle stopper by Erik Magnussen, est. $800-$1,200. Image courtesy of Rago.

 

Circa-1881 Tiffany & Co. after-dinner silver coffee service, est. $6,000-$8,000. Image courtesy of Rago.

Circa-1881 Tiffany & Co. after-dinner silver coffee service, est. $6,000-$8,000. Image courtesy of Rago.

Abraham Lincoln signed one-page letter dated April 4, 1863 to John Albion Andrew, governor of Massachusetts, in response to defense of Boston Harbor. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000. Image courtesy of Skinner Inc.

Presidential papers to be auctioned at Skinner on Nov. 13

Abraham Lincoln signed one-page letter dated April 4, 1863 to John Albion Andrew, governor of Massachusetts, in response to defense of Boston Harbor. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000. Image courtesy of Skinner Inc.

Abraham Lincoln signed one-page letter dated April 4, 1863 to John Albion Andrew, governor of Massachusetts, in response to defense of Boston Harbor. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000. Image courtesy of Skinner Inc.

BOSTON – Skinner Inc. will host an auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts on Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. Eastern in its Boston gallery located at 63 Park Plaza. Among the featured works is a strong group of presidential material, including several Lincoln and Washington documents as well as examples from nearly every president from Washington through Reagan. The sale is also highlighted by an interesting group of witchcraft titles, an excellent and varied collection of maps and original art by important illustrators such as Arthur Szyk and Lynd Ward.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Of particular local interest is a letter written by Abraham Lincoln dated April 4, 1863 to Massachusetts Gov. John Albion Andrew. In it, Lincoln offers the governor his opinion on naval warfare, specifically an idea regarding the defense of Boston Harbor. This interesting letter is estimated to sell between $30,000 and $50,000.

Historically important on a national scale, lot 35 is a signed manuscript petition proposing the XIII Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. This vellum document, estimated to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000, is dated November 1864 and is signed by Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax, Vice President Hannibal Hamlin; and 110 members of Congress. This rare document is one of only a handful still in existence. It is the formal proposal to the states for the ratification on the abolishment of slavery in this country.

The sale is also highlighted by an interesting letter from George Washington to the architect William Thornton, dated July 2, 1799, concerning the construction of a building in the “Federal City,” now known as Washington, D.C. Thornton is often called America’s “first architect” because of his successful design of the Capitol Building in 1793. The two townhouses referenced in lot 143, estimated to sell between $20,000 and $30,000, reside in the area now known as Upper Senate Park. There is a letterpress copy of this letter in the archives of the New York Public Library.

The books offerings in the sale run the gamut of literature, science, botany, travel and exploration, poetry, library sale catalogs, and an interesting group of witchcraft titles.

Rare book offerings include a fine first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, printed in 1934. This book, lot 400, retains its original first issue dust jacket and has an estimated auction value of $6,000 to $8,000.

Also rare is a two-volume set concerning Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic exploration, lot 690. This set includes The Heart of the Antarctic 1907-09, numbered 234 of 300 copies, as well as the scarce The Antarctic Book, 1909, which is one of only 300 copies signed by every member of the shore party. This vellum-bound and slipcased set is estimated to fetch between $20,000 to $25,000.

The sale includes a strong group of maps and atlases. Of local note is lot 907, a 1771 Thomas Jeffery’s map of New England titled A Map of the Most Inhabited part of New England, containing the Provinces of Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire with the Colonies of Conecticut and Rhode Island. The map is estimated to sell between $10,000 and $15,000.

Representative of the John James Audubon works is lot 824, The Wolverine, Plate XXVI from The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, which has an estimated value of $2,000 to $3,000, and lot 814, Western Duck, Plate CCCCXXIX from The Birds of America, which is expected to bring between $2,000 and $3,000.

Rounding out the sale is a group of original art by celebrated illustrator Lynd Ward. An example of this group is lot 501, an original oil on board, depicting the jacket illustration for Esther Hoskins Forbes’ book America’s Paul Revere, published in 1946. The work has an estimated auction value range of $500 to $700.

Previews for the auction will be held by appointment only on Thursday, Nov. 10, from noon to 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11, from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, from noon to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 13, from 9 to 11 a.m.

For details go to Skinner Inc.’s website at www.skinnerinc.com or phone 508-970-3000.

 

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Important petition proposing the XIII Amendment abolishing slavery, one-page manuscript document, November 1864, on vellum, signed by Schuyler Colfax as speaker of the House, Hannibel Hamlim as vice president, and 110 members of Congress. Estimate: $200,000-$300,000. Image courtesy of Skinner Inc.

Important petition proposing the XIII Amendment abolishing slavery, one-page manuscript document, November 1864, on vellum, signed by Schuyler Colfax as speaker of the House, Hannibel Hamlim as vice president, and 110 members of Congress. Estimate: $200,000-$300,000. Image courtesy of Skinner Inc.

 

'The Wolverine,' plate XXVI from 'The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America,' by John James Audubon, lithograph printed in colors and with touches of gum arabic by J.T. Bowen, Philadelphia, 1843, folio, the full sheet, 22 x 27 5/8 inches. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Image courtesy of Skinner Inc.

‘The Wolverine,’ plate XXVI from ‘The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America,’ by John James Audubon, lithograph printed in colors and with touches of gum arabic by J.T. Bowen, Philadelphia, 1843, folio, the full sheet, 22 x 27 5/8 inches. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Image courtesy courtesy of Skinner Inc.

Man pleads guilty to Picasso theft at San Francisco gallery

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A New Jersey man who walked out of a San Francisco gallery with a pencil sketch by Pablo Picasso worth $275,000 pleaded guilty to grand theft Thursday.

Workers at the Weinstein Gallery said Mark Lugo brazenly snatched the drawing, called Tete de Femme (Head of a Woman), from a wall of their gallery on July 5. Lugo then walked down the street and got into a cab with the sketch under his arm.

But quick police work, video surveillance cameras and an alert taxi driver led to his arrest within 24 hours.

When investigators searched Lugo’s apartment in Hoboken, N.J., they uncovered a treasure trove of stolen art worth some $430,000.

Lugo, 30, pleaded guilty to grand theft in the San Francisco case. Under terms of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop other charges, including burglary. The deal calls allows for Lugo to be released on his sentencing date, Nov. 21, after getting credit for the time he has already served.

His attorney, Douglas Horngrad, said Lugo would then be extradited to New York to face similar charges in art heists there.

Horngrad said the case had been wildly overblown.

“Now that all the hoopla has died down, he’ll serve the time that reflects the conduct,” he said. “Nobody was killed, nobody was assaulted; this was not the crime of the century.”

Lugo’s initial bail of $5 million was “preposterous,” Horngrad added.

He also hinted that his client suffered from a mental illness.

“All these things that Mark is alleged to have taken were all taken within a 30-day period, with no behavior like that before, and that suggests that there was some psychiatric episode,” the lawyer said.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said the other pieces of stolen works found in Lugo’s apartment included another Picasso painting worth $30,000, a Fernand Leger sketch valued at $350,000 and three bottles of Chateau Petrus Pomerol wine worth $6,000.

“This is a person who definitely had a taste for the finer things, and he didn’t like to pay for them,” Gascon said.

Investigators said Lugo worked at upscale Manhattan restaurants and as a wine steward.

Rowland Weinstein, owner of the San Francisco gallery, talked to reporters Thursday as he stood next to the Picasso and the FedEx box in which they found the sketch ready for shipping.

“I got to see firsthand really extraordinary police work,” said Weinstein. “This piece is a love affair of mine.”

#   #   #

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


 

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Cowgirl Museum lassos Sandra Day O’Connor exhibit

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Sandra Day O’Connor made her mark in history as the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, but she’s still a hardworking cowgirl at heart, she said Wednesday.

An exhibit about her life opens this week at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, a tribute to the 30th anniversary of her appointment to the high court.

“It is odd that a cowgirl ended up on the court, isn’t it?” she said Wednesday, joking that her 1981 nomination by President Reagan stemmed from his own love of ranching. “Probably because I had grown up on the back of a horse, he had more interest in me than other candidates.”

O’Connor, 81, is an El Paso native who spent summers on her family’s Arizona ranch that initially didn’t have electricity or water. It later had two large windmills providing water from wells underneath.

Before touring the exhibit Wednesday, she said her time on the ranch taught her responsibility and how to solve problems on her own.

“Cowboys don’t spend a lot of time telling you things. They just expect you to get things done and done right,” O’Connor said. “But it’s a great way to grow up.”

The exhibit called “The Cowgirl Who Became a Justice: Sandra Day O’Connor” features spurs, chaps and a branding iron from the ranch and photos of O’Connor as a girl. The 3,000-square-foot exhibit also features a section from her time on the Supreme Court, including the 1981 White House press release announcing Reagan’s intent to nominate O’Connor, one of her robes as a justice and a photograph from her swearing-in ceremony. She retired in 2006.

After touring the exhibit, which opens Thursday and runs through March, visitors can play iCivics in an adjacent area with about two dozen computers. O’Connor helped develop the web-based computer game to teach students about the government, legal system and federal budget.

In 2002 O’Connor was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, which honors women whose pioneer spirit typifies the American West. She is among nearly 200 women inducted since 1975.

Diana Vela, the museum’s associate executive director for education and exhibits, said the Cowgirl Museum was humbled to create an exhibit “that honors one of our own.” It shows the stark contrast between O’Connor’s childhood on the isolated, rural ranch and her being thrust into the national spotlight decades later, Vela said.

As nine women were inducted into the hall of fame at a luncheon later Wednesday, O’Connor said the Cowgirl Museum is serving “a wonderful purpose.”

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-10-26-11 2141GMT

 

 

 

Historic St. Alphonsus Church, built in 1857, is located in New Orleans' Lower Garden District. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Proposed auction of sacred altar piece stirs controversy

Historic St. Alphonsus Church, built in 1857, is located in New Orleans' Lower Garden District. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Historic St. Alphonsus Church, built in 1857, is located in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A bejeweled altarpiece from the 19th century that was at St. Alphonsus Church during the time of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos is up for auction Nov. 16 in New York City and may never return to New Orleans.

The piece, which is scheduled to be sold at Sotheby’s auction house, is a monstrance, a vessel shaped like a cross surrounded by a sunburst. At the center is a glass case, called a luna, in which the consecrated Host is exposed for the adoration of the faithful.

Charles “Jerry” Rosato, a longtime antiques dealer who collects religious artifacts, said he bought the monstrance in the late 1990s for $5,000. He consigned it to Sotheby’s because he needed money to pay off a $30,000 Katrina-related loan.

News of the sale brought a quick rebuke from New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, who said church law prohibits the sale of a sacred object to someone not affiliated with a church.

Saying he is “very concerned and very disturbed,” Aymond added, “Besides being a relic of someone who could be canonized with local ties, a monstrance holds the body of Christ and should never be auctioned off for money.”

The monstrance, which gets its name from the Latin word monstrare (to show), was made in France in 1857 by Jean Alexandre Chertier for the Irish Channel church, one of three built in the 1800s by the Redemptorists. Chertier, a renowned silversmith who specialized in liturgical art, made a silver-gilt and enamel container of holy oils that Emperor Napoleon III gave to Notre Dame Cathedral, Wood said.

The monstrance is depicted in St. Alphonsus’ main ceiling fresco, which Domenico Canova painted.

Rosato bought the vessel in the late 1990s from the Rev. Alton Carr, the pastor of St. Mary’s Assumption Church, because the parish needed money. That church, also built by the Redemptorist order, sits across Constance Street from St. Alphonsus, which was closed in 1979 and has since been used as an art and cultural center.

When Carr demurred about selling the monstrance, Rosato told him to call Monsignor Earl Woods, the archdiocesan archivist. “He said, ‘If Jerry Rosato’s buying it, he will take care of it,’” Rosato said.

Woods has died. Carr, who lives in San Antonio, could not be reached for comment.

“I wasn’t intending to make money off it,” Rosato said. “I wanted to be the caretaker of it. My intention was, when I died, to give it back to St. Alphonsus.”

Hurricane Katrina changed his plans. It wrecked the Kenner auction house, where he had been storing goods that people wanted him to sell. Rosato said his losses from wind and water damage and looting amounted to about $275,000.

He dipped into his retirement savings, but he still needed to borrow about $30,000. The monstrance, Rosato said, was the only thing he could use as collateral.

After making the rounds of well-heeled Catholics in an attempt to sell the vessel so he could pay off his loan, Rosato decided to sign it over to Sotheby’s to see what it could fetch at auction. He had to pay $1,500 to ship it to New York.

It is now scheduled to be part of an auction of 19th-century art and silver.

The monstrance is an example of silver-gilt work – silver with gold plating. It is 4 feet tall and 27 inches wide, and is adorned with an angel sculpture and paste stones.

When he was an altar boy at St. Alphonsus, Bill Murphy said, the massive 13-pound piece required three priests to carry it.

“I was always afraid they were going to drop it,” he said.

The monstrance was in St. Alphonsus during the 13 months Seelos was in New Orleans – from September 1866 until his death from yellow fever in 1867 at the age of 48. After a miraculous cure was attributed to his intervention, Seelos was beatified in 2000, and he needs one more miracle to be declared a saint.

Because Seelos was a native of the German state of Bavaria, he was assigned to St. Mary’s Assumption Church, where many German Catholics worshipped.

But he frequently crossed Constance Street to celebrate sacraments for English-speaking parishioners at St. Alphonsus, said the Rev. Byron Miller, who is the chief American advocate for Seelos’ canonization.

“Father Seelos was a tireless sacramental priest,” Miller said, adding that Seelos was valued as a man who heard confessions and was a wise counselor.

But more important than the monstrance’s tangential connection to Seelos is its iconic importance to the community, said Murphy, who called it “one of the great artifacts from the Irish Channel.”

John Wood, the head of Sotheby’s silver department, said its estimated value for the auction’s purposes is between $40,000 and $80,000, but it would take more than that to be withdrawn from the sale.

That is more than the archdiocese can afford, Aymond said.

But Rosato hasn’t given up hope of getting the monstrance back to the Irish Channel.

“Maybe someone will step up and buy it so it can come back,” he said.

David Schwab, an antiques dealer who has Rosato as a client, shares that hope. “It’s a sacred artifact,” Schwab said, “and it belongs in St. Alphonsus, not in some rich New York guy’s apartment.”

___

Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-10-26-11 1746GMT

 

 

 

Ai Weiwei in a June 2007 photo by Benutzer. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany license.

Ai Weiwei cannot attend major exhibition of his work

Ai Weiwei in a June 2007 photo by Benutzer. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany license.

Ai Weiwei in a June 2007 photo by Benutzer. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany license.

TAIPEI (AFP) – A new exhibition of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s work launched in Taiwan on Friday, featuring a photo of the dissident giving a middle-finger gesture to the portrait of Mao Zedong in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The show at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum also showcases other controversial works by Ai, including a picture of Wei Jingsheng, one of China’s best-known democracy activists, who spent 15 years in a Chinese jail before being exiled to the United States.

Ai, who is banned from leaving Beijing, suggested that his absence from the exhibition, his largest solo show ever in a Chinese community, had significance in itself.

“(My absence) will give the exhibition a special meaning,” he said in a statement issued by the museum.

Ai, who is one of the most outspoken critics of Communist Party controls and censorship in China, is currently being investigated for tax evasion and has been ordered not to leave Beijing.

He was released in June from three months in detention, following outrage around the world over the way he was treated by the Chinese government.

The influential Art Review magazine recently named Ai the world’s most powerful art figure, drawing criticism from Beijing.

The three-month “Ai Weiwei Absent” show opens on Saturday and features 21 sets of Ai’s creations from 1983 to present, including installation pieces, photography, sculpture and videos.

The centrepiece is Forever Bicycles, a giant installation of 1,200 bicycles placed on top of each other, symbolic of a changing Chinese community, for which Ai finalized the design after his release.

A Taipei city government spokesman has said that Ai’s wife Lu Qing is planning to come to Taipei to see the show next month.

 

 

 

Howard Finster, tractor enamel on board, titled ‘Coca-Cola, #1113.’ Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

Slotin sale billed as ‘Who’s Who in Folk Art,’ Nov. 12-13

Howard Finster, tractor enamel on board, titled ‘Coca-Cola, #1113.’ Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

Howard Finster, tractor enamel on board, titled ‘Coca-Cola, #1113.’ Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

BUFORD, Ga. – A weekend sale featuring 1,327 lots of self-taught art will be held Nov. 12-13 by Slotin Auction at the Historic Buford Hall, located just north of Atlanta. Featured will be many pieces from the lifetime collection of George and Sue Viener, owners of the prestigious Outsider Folk Art Gallery in Reading, Pa.

Internet live bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.

The auction will provide bidders with an exciting mix of offerings by more than 500 top-tier artists. Auction-goers can expect to see examples of outsider and self-taught art, Southern folk pottery, African American quilts, weather vanes, tobacconist figures, Americana carvings, trade signs, tramp art, European art brut, vernacular photography, Haitian works, African art, religious art, erotica, antique and anonymous works, as well as some incredible new discoveries. Slotin Auction specializes in bringing the strange, the unusual and the vanishing America to auction.

“We’re calling this our Fall Masterpiece Sale, with the theme being “The Who’s Who in Folk Art,” said Steve Slotin of Slotin Auction, which is based in Buford. “This sale will feature amazing pieces by all the major self-taught art players, and many of the pieces have been exhibited in major museum and gallery shows. If a collector is interested in self-taught art, this sale will take their breath away.”

George and Sue Viener began collecting in 1970 and are considered to be early pioneers in the folk art genre. They found the bold colors and powerful sculpture of everyday necessities such as weather vanes and trade signs depicting objects for sale very powerful and moving. In the years that followed, they became scholars in the field and began collecting. In 1986, while vacationing in Santa Fe, N.M., they met Chuck and Jan Rosenak, authors of many reference books including The American Folk Art Museum’s Encyclopedia of 20th Century American Folk Art and Artists. The Rosenak’s became their friends and mentors in the field of self-taught art.

After several decades of collecting and study in the field, the Vieners are moving to smaller quarters nearer to their children and grandchildren and have decided to downsize their famous collection of art. “We are blessed to both love and have a passion for self-taught art,” the Vieners note. “We have traveled and met some very special artists, collectors, and dealers; making life-long friendships. We believe collectors have an obligation to be responsible custodians of what they consider to be important examples of objects produced by past generations and hope they find good homes.”

Some expected top lots of the auction follow, with accompanying high and low estimates.

Folk art legend, Bill Traylor, a freed slave who created works on the street corner in Alabama authored feature lot 118. Black Dog with Signature, pencil on cardboard, circa 1939-42, 14 inches x 11 inches, ex. collection of Joseph H. Wilkinson, the Viener Collection, with gallery stickers from Janet Fleisher Gallery, Philadelphia, and Hirschl & Adler Modern (est. $35,000-$45,000).

The Vieners, famous not only for their self-taught art collection, but for their premier collection of cigar store Indians have consigned a beauty, Lot 116, Cuban girl tobacconist figure, circa 1895, signed, J. Engle, 21 inches x 21 inches x 77 inches high, (est. $25,000-$35,000).

European Art Brut is well-represented at auction including lot 125. Man In Room and Blue Horse, a double-sided painting by Italian artist, Carlo Zinelli, signed and dated, 1967, image is 20 inches x 28 inches, ex. Greenberg Collection and Phyllis Kind Gallery.

A folk art masterpiece, Mr. and Mrs. Aaron, by Elijah Pierce takes center stage with a painted wood-relief plaque, signed and dated, 1974, 15 inches wide x 20 inches high, (est. $10,000-$15,000). Lot includes the original Ebony Magazine with The Aarons on the front cover that inspired this piece as well as a photographic copy of the piece signed by both Hank Aaron and his wife. It exhibited at Cahoon Museum of American Art, 2003.

Two folk art giants – coal miner Jack Savitsky and the Rev. Howard Finster will be featured in the sale. Savitsky’s Reading Railroad, oil on masonite, signed and dated, 1981, measures 49 inches wide x 25 inches high, should bring $8,000-$10,000, while Howard Finster’s Coca-Cola, #1,113, tractor enamel on board with handmade cypress trim frame, 16 1/2 inches wide x 31 1/2 inches high, provenance original Paradise Garden piece and Cavin-Morris Gallery, New York, is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

A masterwork by Kentucky artist, Hugo Sperger, 20 Stages of Adam and Eve, In and Out of the Garden, acrylic on masonite, signed and dated, 1977, size with frame is 74 inches wide x 52 inches high, featured in Coming Home, 2004, Carousel Crown, pgs. 18 and 167, a double-page spread in O’Appalachia, pgs. 118-119, exhibited at Ursinus College, the Reading Public Library and illustrated in the New York Academy of Science, The Sciences, 1996, (est. $4,000-$6,000).

An important and timely piece, Martin Luther King Jr., by Atlanta artist Archie Byron, made of sawdust, glue and paint on board, signed and dated, 1974, 39 inches x 39 inches, exhibited at the Smithsonian, 2002-2004 and illustrated in Tinwood Books, pg. 138, should fetch $3,000-$5,000. Also, paintings by a new discovery, Lewis Bonnit Spencer, a Vietnam vet who was returned from suffering from physical and mental disabilities, will be featured, including the visually shocking, Meeting in the Lady’s Room,” circa 1994, oil on canvas, with the story behind the painting on verso, 24 inches wide x 36 inches high, (est. $1,000-$2,000).

The Meaders family, always Slotin Auction favorites – will be featured, with works such as a grape cluster decorated bean pot, by Arie Meaders, initialed and dated, 1969 (est. $1,000-$2,000) and Lanier Meaders’ 1960s double face rock tooth Politician Jug (est. $3,000-$4,000).

Finally, fine examples of self-taught art by Edgar Tolson, William Dawson, Minnie Evans, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Sam Doyle, S.L. Jones, Clementine Hunter, James Castle, Nellie Mae Rowe, Thornton Dial, Raymond Coins, Daniel Pressley, Ulysses Davis, Jesse Howard, Purvis Young, and so many others will also make their way to the auction block on Nov. 12-13.

The Historic Buford Hall is located at 112 E. Shadburn Ave. in Buford, Ga., 45 minutes north of downtown Atlanta. The auction will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern on Saturday and noon on Sunday. Previews will be held Thursday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and on Friday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., or by appointment. Phone and absentee bids will also be taken. Slotin Auction’s next big event after this one will be the Spring Masterpiece Sale at Historic Buford Hall.

Slotin Auction is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single piece or an entire collection, phone 770-532-1115 or 404-403-4244. Or email them at auction@slotinfolkart.com. To learn more about Slotin Auction and the calendar of upcoming events, log on to www.slotinfolkart.com.

 

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Bill Traylor, paint and pencil on cardboard by freed slave, Bill Traylor, Lot 118. ‘Dog with Signature.’ Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

Bill Traylor, paint and pencil on cardboard by freed slave, Bill Traylor, Lot 118. ‘Dog with Signature.’ Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

J. Engle, well-carved and polychromed wood, circa 1895, Cuban girl tobacconist figure. Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

J. Engle, well-carved and polychromed wood, circa 1895, Cuban girl tobacconist figure. Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

Carlo Zinelli, double-sided paint on paper, 1967, titled ‘Man In Room and Blue Horse.’ Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

Carlo Zinelli, double-sided paint on paper, 1967, titled ‘Man In Room and Blue Horse.’ Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

Elijah Pierce, carved and painted wood-relief plaque, 1974, titled ‘Mr. and Mrs. Aaron,’. Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

Elijah Pierce, carved and painted wood-relief plaque, 1974, titled ‘Mr. and Mrs. Aaron,’. Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

Jack Savitsky, oil on masonite, 1981, titled ‘Reading Railroad.’ Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

Jack Savitsky, oil on masonite, 1981, titled ‘Reading Railroad.’ Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art.

This autographed photo of actress Candice Bergen is among the celebrity auction items taken from Dogs Deserve Better's canine rehabilitation center in Virginia. Image appears by permission of Dogs Deserve Better.

Canine charity issues appeal after theft of celebrity auction items

This autographed photo of actress Candice Bergen is among the celebrity auction items taken from Dogs Deserve Better's canine rehabilitation center in Virginia. Image appears by permission of Dogs Deserve Better.

This autographed photo of actress Candice Bergen is among the celebrity auction items taken from Dogs Deserve Better’s canine rehabilitation center in Virginia. Image appears by permission of Dogs Deserve Better.

SMITHFIELD, Va. (ACNI) – Dogs Deserve Better – the nonprofit organization that purchased and turned Michael Vick’s one-time dog-fighting property into a canine rehabilitation center for formerly chained and penned dogs – is asking collectors for help. A box containing celebrity items that would have served as the centerpiece of their annual holiday fundraising auction has been stolen. The group is now asking for the public’s help with donations of both celebrity-related and general merchandise so the auction can go forward.

“I’ve seen many things that disappointed me since starting work for chained dogs, but this one takes the cake,” said Dogs Deserve Better’s founder, Tamara Thayne. “We had gathered many celebrity items for our Celebrity Collars for Dollars Auction that we intended to run in conjunction with our annual Holiday Auction this year – items from Candice Bergen and John Travolta, amongst many others. But now our box of celebrity items has been stolen.”

Thayne said that over the past week – the timeframe during which the theft occurred – many volunteers had been in and out of the center.

“We know that 99 percent of the people who want to come visit us and help the dogs would never think of something so horrible as stealing from a nonprofit, but apparently we had one of that 1 percent who would,” Thayne said.

“We are so disheartened by this, because we really needed the money these items would have brought us to keep our center going, and now we have lost that income for our dogs and our facility,” Thayne continued.

Dogs Deserve Better is asking for donations of new or very gently used items valued at $10 or more and would be particularly grateful for any celebrity-related items to add to the special Celebrity Collars for Dollars section of the auction.

Auction Central News will start off the renewed celebrity section with the donation of an 8 x 10 inch photograph of Brigitte Bardot with then-child actor Bill Mumy (Lost in Space), autographed in bold blue marker by both Bardot and Mumy. The photograph is accompanied by a letter of provenance.

Auction bidding will begin on Nov. 15, so the charity asks that donations be sent by Nov. 10 to: Dogs Deserve Better, 1915 Moonlight Rd., Smithfield, VA 23430.

Dogs Deserve Better is a 501c3 incorporated nonprofit. Donations are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS guidelines. To contact Dogs Deserve Better, tel. 757-357-9292 or e-mail info@dogsdeservebetter.org. Visit Dogs Deserve Better and Good Newz Rehab Center online at www.dogsdeservebetter.org.

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Fifteenth-century Xuande Period porcelain charger achieved an astounding $241,500. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

Xuande dragon charger tops $241,500 at 888 Auctions

Fifteenth-century Xuande Period porcelain charger achieved an astounding $241,500. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

Fifteenth-century Xuande Period porcelain charger achieved an astounding $241,500. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

RICHMOND HILL, Ont. – Anchored by an excellent group of fine Chinese ceramics, meticulously casted bronze ware, and a superb collection of finely carved jade and Shoushan stone items, 888 Auctions concluded its evening auction of Chinese Ceramics and Asian Works of Art with a total of $619,707.

The demand for Asian art seemed unhindered by the hard global economic downturn as the action on the floor, over the phone, and on the Internet churned out bids at a fast and furious pace far into the night.

Led by lot 502, the 15th-century Xuande Period blue and white charger featuring a central dragon in reverse design and surrounded on the cavetto with a continuous band of lotus blooms borne on an undulating, achieved an astounding $241,500.

In addition, great attention among the important group of Chinese ceramics was fixed on lot 500, a rare Song Dynasty Guanyao celadon tripod dish. Seemingly unremarkable and covered with a pale grey glaze suffused with crackle, the small dish crafted from the imperial kilns of the Song Dynasty realized a hammer price of $10,890.

The evening sale featured a remarkably strong collection of finely carved jade. Led by lot 188, the 19th-century hu-shape vase exceeded its high estimate of $26,520 realizing $26,520. Other jade carvings that managed to exceed its estimate high included lot 201, a charming white Hetian jade model of a fish; and lot 174, a pair of white Hetian jade belt buckles. The jade pieces sold for $1,936 and $1,694 respectively.

Metalware also had a strong showing in the evening. Headed by lot 284, the 15th-century Imperial Ming cloisonné censer achieved a remarkable $7,670 despite the fact that it was missing its sister censer.

An 888 auction would not be complete without a collection of superbly carved rhinoceros horn items. After some furious bidding action, with the fall of the hammer, lot 601 realized $6,630, six times its high estimate. Another item of note, lot 250, a wonderfully hollowed and bronze lined rhinoceros horn snuff bottle sold for $4,130.

Incredibly enough, in spite of the excellent display of Chinese ceramics and Asian Works of Art, Moutai was the star of the collection of lots on display. With the auction house floor filled to capacity, it was no secret that many, if not all, had come to see the vintage bottles of Moutai on display. The unique bottles of grain wine would not disappoint as lot 605, a vintage Moutai Chinese grain wine, circa 1980, realized $2,420. Several lots later, a sealed vintage Moutai, circa 1970, realized $5,445 at lot 614.

Whether it be important Chinese ceramics, charmingly small and intricately crafted jade and shoushan stone carvings, or vintage Chinese Moutai that have been reaching six-digit hammer prices on the Chinese mainland, bidders eagerly await the next collection of fine Asian Art from 888 Auctions.

Featuring imperial jade carvings in its next auction, 888 Auctions is proud to announce its future auction, Fine Imperial Jade and Asian Works of Art, taking place on Thursday, Nov. 24. Previews in Richmond Hill will be Nov. 21-24. For consignment inquiries or additional information, contact 888 Auctions at 905-763-7201 or by email at info@888auctions.com.

 

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Rare Song Dynasty Guanyao celadon tripod dish covered with a pale grey glaze suffused with crackle realized a hammer price of $10,890. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

Rare Song Dynasty Guanyao celadon tripod dish covered with a pale grey glaze suffused with crackle realized a hammer price of $10,890. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

Charming rhinoceros horn carved cup fetched $6,630, six times its high estimate. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

Charming rhinoceros horn carved cup fetched $6,630, six times its high estimate. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

The pair of Chinese white Hetian jade belt buckles, finely incised and openwork carved sold for $1,694, two times its high estimate. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

The pair of Chinese white Hetian jade belt buckles, finely incised and openwork carved sold for $1,694, two times its high estimate. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

Vintage (circa 1970) Moutai Chinese grain wine realized $5,445. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

Vintage (circa 1970) Moutai Chinese grain wine realized $5,445. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.