Debbie Reynolds’ Unfulfilled Dream, Weird Auction Lots and More Fresh News

The flapper dress Debbie Reynolds wore in a famous scene in 'Singin' in the Rain' sold for $33,000 at auction in 2011. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Profiles in History

The flapper dress that Debbie Reynolds wore in a famous scene in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ sold for $33,000 at auction in 2011. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Profiles in History

 

News and updates from around the arts and auction community:

  • Debbie Reynolds spent years amassing one of the largest collections of Hollywood memorabilia – most of which she bought from MGM’s prop and costume auction in 1970. Yet Reynolds, who died Wednesday at the age of 84, was never able to realize her dream of opening a Hollywood museum.  [Read more from Entertainment Weekly]
  •  You never know what will get bid paddles waving at an auction. From German Third Reich toilet paper to a lost painting by Francis Bacon, a sampling of the 2016’s weird and wonderful auction offerings will amuse and amaze.  [Read more from The Irish Times]
  •  The U.S. Navy is searching for a missing painting. It was done 25 years ago to honor Admiral Arleigh Burke, the namesake of a new class of destroyer, but has since disappeared from the ward room of USS Burke.  [Read more from WCSH6]
  •  The excitement of house-hunting season kicks off with the new year. Homes of the rich and famous were on the market in 2016, from President-Elect Donald Trump’s first mansion to architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s last work.  [Read more from TopTenRealEstateDeals.com]

For more news and updates, follow LiveAuctioneers on Twitter and Facebook.

Gallery Report: December 2016

ATLANTA – At the start of each month, ACN columnist Ken Hall gathers top auction highlights from around the United States and beyond. Here’s what made headlines since last month’s report:

 

marklin-steam-powered-liner

 

Marklin steam-powered liner, $59,000, Bertoia Auctions

A circa 1929-1930 Marklin ‘Amerika’ Series II steam-powered liner, exquisitely detailed, sold for $59,000 at an annual Fall Auction held Nov. 11-13 by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, N.J. Also, a circa-1929 Marklin ‘Rheingold’ paddleboat, 30 inches long, sped off for $35,400; a Belsnickle candy container with glass icicle beard, mica “snow” on the coat and hood, and golden beads around the hood, 16 inches tall, realized $26,550; and a Gunthermann eight-man plus coxswain tinplate clockwork scull made $20,060. Prices include the buyer’s premium.

 

sir-isaac-newton-bookSir Isaac Newton book, $3.7 million, Christie’s

A copy of Sir Isaac Newton’s (1642-1727) Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica sold for $3.7 million at a Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction held Dec. 14 by Christie’s in New York. It was a new world auction record for a printed scientific book. Also, an autographed letter written from Mount Vernon, N.Y., and signed by George Washington, dated April 25/May 1, 1788, brought $307,500; and Walt Whitman’s personal copy of Leaves of Grass (N.Y., 1855) made $162,500. Prices include the buyer’s premium.

 

cartier-mystery-clock

 

Cartier Mystery Clock, $504,500, Sotheby’s

A platinum, yellow gold, rock crystal, onyx, mother-of-pearl and diamond-set Mystery Clock made in 1929 for Cartier, designed by Maurice Couet, sold for $504,500 at an Important Watches Auction held Dec. 7 by Sotheby’s in New York. Also, a massive open-face Patek Philippe grande and petite Sonnerie clock watch breezed to $468,500; and a fine and rare yellow gold Rolex chronograph wristwatch, the “Paul Newman” Daytona (Ref. 6241, No. 2084361), went for $275,000. Prices include the buyer’s premium.

 

giltwood-figure-of-amida-buddha

 

Giltwood figure of Amida Buddha, $22,800, John Moran Auctioneers

A handsomely carved Japanese giltwood figure of Amida Buddha, shown seated in a lotus position and clad in flowing robes, dating to the 1930s, sold for $22,800 at a Decorative Art Auction held Nov. 15 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, a color collotype after Pablo Picasso titled L’Arlequin et Campagne, made $11,400; and an art vase titled A Summer Queen, a fine example of Amphora’s Art Nouveau portrait pottery, hit $1,560. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

 

palace-size-antique-heriz-rug

 

Palace-size antique Heriz rug, $2,530, Direct Auction Galleries

A palace-size antique Oriental Heriz rug from a London Ritz-Carlton Hotel by way of a Ritz in St. Louis, reputed to be 130 years old, sold for $2,530 at an estates auction held Nov. 15 by Direct Auction Galleries in Chicago. Also, a 14K pendant with a 1.40-carat round diamond brought $2,185; an Omega Speedmaster chronograph watch with box and papers fetched $2,185; and a lithesome bronze mermaid figure, 33 inches long and 23 inches tall, went for $2,415. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

 

buster-brown-comic-strips

 

Buster Brown comic strips, $47,700, Kaminski Auctions

A collection of six Buster Brown Sunday comic strip original artworks by the illustrator Richard F. Outcault (1863-1928) sold for a combined $47,700, with the top lot titled The Worm Turns Twice (shown, dated March 19, 1916, at a Thanksgiving sale held Nov. 27 by Kaminski Auctions in Beverly, Mass. Also, an 18th century French Louis XV basin, decorated with carved putti and figureheads, brought $14,000; and a signed Tiffany Studios Turtleback table lamp rose to $18,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

 

mickey-mantle-rookie-card

 

Mickey Mantle rookie card, $183,750, Goldin Auctions

A 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle rookie card, graded PSA NM7, sold for $183,750 at a Holiday Auction that closed Dec. 3 by Goldin Auctions, based in Runnemede, N.J. Also, Mike Trout’s 2014 MVP season game-used and signed glove soared to $31,850; the handcuffs used by officer Ray Hawkins to arrest Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas, in 1963 realized $110,250; and a baseball signed by both Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth went for $40,250. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.

 

29-carat-colombian-emerald

 

29 carat Colombian emerald, $1.03 million, Rago Arts & Auction

An unenhanced, 29-carat Colombian emerald sold for $1.03 million at a Jewelry Auction held Dec. 4 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, a pear-shape diamond necklace of 28.67 carats finished at $850,000; a 7.70-carat unmounted pear-shaped diamond realized $68,750; a Tiffany & Co. ruby and diamond ring hit $62,500; and a predominantly natural pearl necklace rose to $56,250. Prices include the buyer’s premium.

 

isidor-kaufmann-painting

 

Isidor Kaufmann painting, $455,000, Shapiro Auctions

A painting by the Austrian-Hungarian artist Isidor Kaufmann (1853-1921), titled A Business Secret, sold for $455,000 at an auction held Dec. 10 by Shapiro Auctions in New York City. Also, a rendering of an outdoor garden by Henri Martin (French, 1860-1943) brought $350,000; a painting by Alexander Samohvalov (Russian, 1894-1971), titled Girl in an Interior (1940), rose to $131,000; and a 1927 colorful, stylized landscape by Jean Dufy (French, 1888-1964) gaveled for $149,000. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

 

alfred-mira-street-scene

 

Alfred Mira street scene, $19,000, Carlsen Gallery

An oil on canvas New York City street scene signed by Alfred Mira (1900-1980), 25 inches by 30 inches, sold for $19,000 at an auction held Dec. 4 by Carlsen Gallery in Freehold, N.Y. Also, a pair of cast-iron urns on bases, 43 1/2 inches tall, realized $9,000; a trade sign for Iroquois Beer Co. brought $9,000; an Egyptian marble-top center table hit $6,000; a cast-iron recumbent dog fetched $4,250; and a pair of 19th century mahogany saber-leg armchairs hit $4,000. Prices are hammer, exclusive of the buyer’s premium.

 

rev-war-copy-book-fragment

 

Revolutionary War copy book, $35,966, Alderfer’s Auctioneers

A fragment of a Revolutionary War-era copy book belonging to Jonathan Williams (1751-1815), the first superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy and the grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin, sold for $35,966 at a Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held Dec. 8 by Alderfer’s Auctioneers & Appraisers in Hatfield, Pa. Also, a land indenture document signed by Benjamin Franklin in 1763 went for $8,061; and a document fragment signed by Sir Isaac Newton gaveled for $8,540. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

 

patek-philippe-watch

 

Patek Philippe watch, $389,000, Antiquorum

A Patek Philippe 18K white gold minute-repeater retrograde perpetual calendar watch sold for $389,000 at an Important Watches & Jewelry Auction held Dec. 8 by Antiquorum in New York City. Also, a Patek Philippe minute-repeater watch with enamel dial in platinum rose to $245,000; a Chopard Imperiale Tourbillon watch with baguette diamonds in pink gold gaveled for $205,400; and a Graff diamond and gold necklace with matching bracelet realized $173,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

 

harry-bertoia-sculpture

 

Harry Bertoia sound sculpture, $24,000, Schwenke Auctioneers

A large, untitled Sonambient sound sculpture by Harry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978), made from beryllium copper and brass and standing 42 1/2 inches tall, sold for $24,000 at a Holiday Fine Estates Auction held Dec. 4 by Schwenke Auctioneers in Woodbury, Conn. Also, a Gorham sterling silver Aesthetic Movement square pitcher with elephant-head handles made $15,860; and a Chinese porcelain oxblood glazed bowl, bell form and bearing the Yongzheng seal mark, hit $5,700. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.

 

edward-redfield-painting

 

Edward Redfield painting, $200,000, Freeman’s Auction

A painting by Edward Willis Redfield titled Road to the River sold for $200,000 at an auction held Dec. 4 and 6 by Freeman’s Auction in Philadelphia. Also, Frederic Remington’s The Bronco Buster soared to $106,250; Winold Reiss’s triptych depicting members of the Black Foot tribe realized $125,000; an illustration by N.C. Wyeth titled The Departure of the Rose (The Mother of the Hero) fetched $112,500; and a Harry Bertoia sculpture titled Sea Anemone (Bush) made $137,500. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

 

HyperFocal: 0

 

English butcher shop diorama, $33,600, Pook & Pook/Noel Barrett

An elaborate English butcher shop diorama window display made from painted wood and embossed paper board, with 75 cuts of meat, two butchers and a delivery boy, sold for $33,600 at an inaugural toy auction co-held Dec. 2-3 by Pook & Pook Inc. and Noel Barrett. Also, a Gustave Dentzell carved and painted outside row standard carousel horse, circa 1905, went for $20,400; and a Knickerbocker Toy Co. Mickey Mouse toy, showing Mickey in his Sunday best, rose to $7,800. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.

 

winchester-model-1873-rifle

 

Winchester model 1873 rifle, $529,000, Rock Island Auction

A special order John Ulrich-signed, relief engraved and monogrammed Winchester deluxe first model 1873 lever-action rifle sold for $529,000 at a Premiere Firearms Auction held Dec. 2-4 by Rock Island Auction Co. in Rock Island, Ill. Also, a Savage model 1899 lever-action rifle presented to Horace Dodge, co-founder of the Dodge Brothers Motor Co., rang out at $195,500; and a Colt Paterson No. 1 ring lever percussion revolving rifle hit the mark for $115,000. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

 

diamond-and-18kt-ring

 

Diamond and 18K 2-tone ring, $72,600, Clars Auction Gallery

A diamond and 18K two-tone ring centered by one round brilliant cut 6.30-carat diamond accented by 43 full diamonds sold for $72,600 at an auction held Dec. 10-11 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, a Verdura Spinel diamond and 18K white gold bracelet with 69 oval-shape and 14 pear-shape purplish spinels brought $48,400; a calligraphy by Yu Youren titled Wo yu tian shan realized $20,570; and a Chinese patinated bronze globular tripod censer made $45,375. Prices include a 19 percent buyer’s premium.

 

Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (Filipino 1892-1972), ‘Marikina,’ 1927. Sold for $112,100. Michaan’s Auction image

 

Fernando Amorsolo painting, $112,100, Michaan’s Auctions

A landscape painting by Filipino artist Fernando Amorsolo, titled Marikina (1927), of a lush countryside and fieldworkers at rest, sold for $112,100 at a Fine Art, Furniture, Decorative Arts & Jewelry Auction held Dec. 9 by Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda, Calif. Also, Etienne Trouvelot’s portfolio of chromolithographs titled The Astronomical Drawings fetched $44,250; and Bernard Buffet’s striking mid-century French landscape titled Coastal Town with Lighthouse netted $31,860. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.

 

1913-type-ii-buffaolo-nickel

 

1913 Type II buffalo nickel, $58,750, Legend Rare Coin

A 1913 Type II buffalo nickel, graded PCGS PR68 CAC, sold for $58,750 at a Regency Auction held Dec. 15 by Legend Rare Coin Auctions in Lincroft, N.J. Also, an 1892 $5 US gold coin, PR65, gaveled for $52,875; an 1893 U.S. 50-cent piece, MS66, fetched $45,825, an 1898-O U.S. 10-cent coin, MS67+, changed hands for $36,425; a 1914-D Lincoln head cent, MS66, rose to $30,550; a 1913 Type I buffalo nickel, MS68, realized $28,200; and an 1898-O silver dollar made $18,800. Prices include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

 

KenHallBoilerplate

Michaan’s caps successful year in fine art sales

Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (Filipino 1892-1972), ‘Marikina,’ 1927. Sold for $112,100. Michaan’s Auction image

Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (Filipino 1892-1972), ‘Marikina,’ 1927. Sold for $112,100. Michaan’s Auction image

 

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Michaan’s second Fine Art, Furniture, Decorative Arts and Jewelry Auction of 2016 brought excellent prices across all categories, with a number of lots finishing far above their estimates at the Dec. 9 sale. Preview events were well attended and specialists fielded inquiries from many countries. Winning bids came from buyers in the house, from many states in the U.S., and from abroad. As always, bidding was active online and by phone. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.com.

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Bruneau & Co. taps New England estates for eclectic auction, Jan. 14

Oil on panel landscape painting by British-born American artist Gregory Hollyer (1871-1965), in the frame 24 inches by 36 inches (est. $600-$900). Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

Oil on panel landscape painting by British-born American artist Gregory Hollyer (1871-1965), in the frame 24 inches by 36 inches (est. $600-$900). Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

 

CRANSTON, R.I. – A Neoclassical bronze figure of the Greek goddess Thetis on a large mantel clock by French sculptor Pierre Eugene Emile Hebert (1828-1893), a Madoura pottery partial glaze ceramic bowl by Pablo Picasso and an oil on board hunting scene by Gregory Hollyer (American 1871-1965) will all be sold on Saturday, Jan. 14, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Da Vinci painting included in private art collection bought by Poland

Leonardo da Vince (1452-1519), ‘The Lady with an Ermine (Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani),’ circa 1490), oil and tempera on wood panel. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Leonardo da Vince (1452-1519), ‘The Lady with an Ermine (Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani),’ circa 1490), oil and tempera on wood panel. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Poland’s Culture Ministry finalized a deal Thursday to buy a precious private art collection that includes a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, acting to ensure that the collection will remain part of Poland’s patrimony for further generations.
The collection includes some 86,000 objects, among them da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine, Rembrandt’s Landscape with the Good Samaritan and works by Renoir.

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Handbag Hoodwinks, Crazy Bidding and More Fresh News

Hermes Birkin purse. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Hermes Birkin purse. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

 

News and updates from around the arts and auction community:

  • A clever con artist hatched a plot to fuel her luxury handbag obsession — swindling more than $1 million by buying designer purses from department stores, then returning knockoffs. A judge sentenced Praepitcha Smatsorabudh, 41, of Arlington County, Va., to 30 months in prison last week.  [Read more from The Washington Post]
  • Sotheby’s and Christie’s held their annual November sales just one week after the biggest upset in U.S. history – and according to market analysts, both did extraordinarily well. With astonishing sums of money being bid, one might assume that art buyers are making levelheaded decisions, but this is not often the case.  [Read more from New York Magazine]
  • Less than three years after it opened – and a year and a half since its founder died – the Bob McDorman Automotive Museum near Columbus, Ohio, announced it will close and liquidate its Chevrolets and neon signs. The collection of the 50-year Chevy dealer will go to auction at Mecum’s Indianapolis event in May.  [Read more from Hemmings Daily]
  • Dec. 29, 2016 marks the centenary of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which was first published in 1916. In Joyce’s home country of Ireland, this week marks the end of a year of events celebrating the centenary.  [Read more from CTV News]

For more news and updates, follow LiveAuctioneers on Twitter and Facebook.

Charleston Estate Auctions presents items from noted author’s collection Jan. 8

Charles Alexandre Picart le Doux, ‘Bouquet de Fleurs.’ Estimate: $1,800-$2,200. Charleston Estate Auctions image

Charles Alexandre Picart le Doux, ‘Bouquet de Fleurs.’ Estimate: $1,800-$2,200. Charleston Estate Auctions image

 

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Estate Auctions will present The New Year’s Auction – a live online auction to be held on Jan. 8 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The auction offers notable and rare items from private Charleston collections, including select European works from the private collection of Gerald Marterer, award-winning author of Paris 201. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Belle Époque paintings soar in Heritage’s fine European art auction

William Adolphe Bouguereau, ‘Bohémienne au tambor de Basque.’ Price realized: $334,000. Heritage Auctions image

William Adolphe Bouguereau, ‘Bohémienne au tambor de Basque.’ Price realized: $334,000. Heritage Auctions image

 

DALLAS – The saleroom witnessed lively bidding for William Adolphe Bouguereau’s Bohémienne au tambor de Basque, which realized $334,000, and pushed the total auction value over $2 million in Heritage Auctions’ Dec. 7 European art auction. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Landscape paintings lead off Michaan’s auction Jan. 7

Max Clarenbach (German 1880-1952) ‘River Scene With Bridge,’ oil on canvas. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Michaan’s Auctions image

Max Clarenbach (German 1880-1952) ‘River Scene With Bridge,’ oil on canvas. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Michaan’s Auctions image

 

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Michaan’s auction events continue into the new year, beginning with the estate auction set for Saturday, Jan. 7. Absenteee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Christie’s announces changes to company leadership

Guillaume Cerruti and Patricia Barbizet. Christie's image

Guillaume Cerruti and Patricia Barbizet. Christie’s image

 

LONDON – Christie’s has announced changes to the company governance structure effective Jan. 1. Guillaume Cerruti has been selected as the company’s new chief executive officer. Majority owner Francois Pinault assumes the role of chairman of the board and Patricia Barbizet has been appointed vice chairman.

Cerutti, a well-known authority in the art world, currently is the president of Christie’s Europe, Middle East, Russia and India operations. He has been operating for over a decade as a senior executive in the art auction world and within the cultural industry for over 20 years.

Christie’s global executive leadership team remains in place with Stephen Brooks continuing in his role as deputy chief executive officer, overseeing all operational aspects of the business. Global President Jussi Pylkkänen continues in his role working directly with leading collectors, shaping the curation and sales strategies.

“It is a great honor to take forward the company’s strategic initiatives and continue the successful work that have been implemented under Patricia’s tutorship. At year-end, Christie’s continues to lead the market globally, and is poised for continued success. I will rely on Christie’s exceptional talents to build and adapt the company for the future,” said Cerutti.

“Two years ago I asked Patricia to take the helm of Christie’s and adapt the organization to the new challenges of the art industry and market. During these two years, she has worked tirelessly on the key milestones we had established to capitalize upon Christie’s leadership. She has led the company to a point where it is appropriate to pass the baton to Guillaume Cerutti,” said Pinault. “It will now be for him to push this advantage even further. Patricia and I will provide Guillaume our continuous support so Christie’s can thrive for the greatest benefit of its clients, its specialist community, its employees and all art connoisseurs.”