Painting of conductor Leonard Bernstein’s Carnegie Hall debut shines at Amelia Jeffers March 7-9

Theresa Ferber Bernstein-Meyerowitz’s oil on canvas depicting Leonard Bernstein’s first performance with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, estimated at $8,000-$16,000 at Amelia Jeffers.

DELAWARE, Ohio – An exuberant canvas depicting Leonard Bernstein’s first performance with the New York Philharmonic is among a group of works by Theresa Ferber Bernstein-Meyerowitz (1890-2002) offered by Amelia Jeffers in Ohio on Thursday, March 7. It comes to auction as part of ‘A Lifetime Collection of Fine Art’ formed by the late Carl Eriksson, a civil engineer and past president of the Scandinavian Club of Columbus.

The painting, which captures much of the vitality of Bernstein’s last-minute debut at the Carnegie Hall on November 14, 1943, is estimated at $8,000-$16,000. It is one of 10 works on offer by Bernstein-Meyerowitz, the Krakow-born Philadelphia artist who painted for close to a century in a style that evolved from realism to expressionism. To try to avoid the discrimination that came with being a women painter, she seldom used her full name and instead signed her works T. Bernstein or just Bernstein.

Remarkably, having held her first solo exhibition at the Milch Gallery in New York City in 1919, she was also in attendance at Jo-An Fine Art in New York City in 2000 for the exhibition Theresa Bernstein: An Early Modernist, held to mark her 110th birthday. She died in 2002, just a couple of weeks short of her 112th year, still living in the rent-controlled loft-style studio a block from Central Park West where she had worked for decades.

The second day of this three-day Ohio sale brings more Americana from the collection of Bruce and Vivalyn Knight. Knight, a full-time antiques dealer from the late 1960s, was the man who put Springfield, Ohio on the antiques map. He founded the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market, which became one of the largest of its kind in the country, and the Heart of Ohio Antique Center in Springfield, which is still America’s biggest. The lion’s share of his collection was sold by the auction house during two days in January, with an 18th-century Native American trade axe pipe linked to the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh selling at $41,000. However, this offering numbers a further 438 lots, with most categories of folk art well represented.

Sharing top-lot status on the third day of the sale are two 1969 pencil-signed Alexander Calder lithographs from an edition of 75 each. Soucoupes Volantes numbered 72/75, and Soucoupes Dans de Noir numbered 55/75, are both estimated at $4,000-$8,000.

Screen-used R2D2 from ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ topped $600K at Studio Auctions

Screen-used R2D2 prop from 'Obi-Wan Kenobi,' which sold for $470,000 ($611,000 with buyer’s premium) at Studio Auctions.

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. – A contemporary R2D2 prop created for use in the Disney+ streaming series Obi-Wan Kenobi rocketed past its estimate to hammer for $470,000 and sell for an incredible $611,000 with buyer’s premium at Studio Auctions‘ February 17 sale. Complete sale results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

The sale’s title — The Force is Strong with Studio Auctions — proved to be prophetic with the R2D2 prop. Competition between the floor and LiveAuctioneers bidders resulted in more than three dozen counterbids, with the floor eventually winning out. The inside of the robot’s dome had been signed by virtually every cast and crew member, making this item even more desirable to Star Wars collectors.

Bidders weren’t terrified of the screen-worn bite-restraint mask of Hannibal Lecter from 1991’s Silence of the Lambs. Estimated at $50,000-$60,000, the acrylic mask worn by Anthony Hopkins hammered for $170,000 ($221,000 with buyer’s premium), nearly tripling the high estimate. LiveAuctioneers bidders were in the hunt early, but the floor took over and delivered the winning bid.

The Mattel Hoverboard commandeered by Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in 1989’s Back to the Future: Part 2 also saw a triple-estimate win, hammering for $150,000 ($195,000 with buyer’s premium) against a pre-sale $50,000 high estimate.

The sleeper of the auction was the screen-worn White Stag Speedo track suit worn by Lee Majors as Colonel Steve Austin in the 1970s sci-fi television show The Six Million Dollar Man. Seen in the opening credits as the cyborg-astronaut demonstrates his newly acquired superhuman abilities, the ensemble had been estimated at $8,000-$10,000. Bidders drove the action all the way to $19,000, or $24,700 with buyer’s premium.

Louisianans George Rodrigue and Jim Blanchard highlighted at Crescent City March 8-9

George Rodrigue , 'HO HO HO,' estimated at $800-$1,200 at Crescent City.

NEW ORLEANS — Crescent City Auction Gallery’s Important March Estates Auction runs Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9, and includes lots as diverse as 19th-century Russian Orthodox Church icons and a Louis XV-style Art Nouveau bronze dore chandelier. However, it is the local talent that takes the spotlight at the two-day sale. The catalogs are now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

George Rodrigue (1944-2013) began painting in the 1960s and focused on local Louisiana landscapes and other historic Louisiana historical scenes and events. But when he found his ultimate muse in his Blue Dog, he catapulted to international fame and wealth. The sale includes seven silkscreen prints featuring the wide-eyed pup in various Christmas-themed designs, ranging in estimates as low as $500 and as high as $2,000.

Truly Rudy is the top-estimated Rodrigue lot at $1,000-$2,000. Like all the prints, it is signed by the artist and numbered, in this case, 43 of a 350-piece run. On the more affordable side is Sweet Like You, a screen print with numerous floating blue dog heads around Christmas candy canes and holly. It is estimated at $500-$900 and is numbered 104 of 150.

Jim Blanchard (b. 1955-) bills himself as an “architectural archival artist,” meaning his paintings are of buildings — Louisiana buildings in particular. John Kemp, writing in Louisiana Cultural Vistas, said, “[Blanchard] pursues his paintings with the mathematic exactness of the architect’s rendering, and the visual elegance of an artist’s brush.” 

Crescent City has five Blanchard original watercolors on paper, all estimated at $1,500-$2,500, and each is signed by the artist and accompanied by his book, Jim Blanchard’s Magnificent Obsessions: New Orleans Business and Residences, 300 Years of New Orleans Architecture.

Marine Hospital, Natchez is dated 1993 and is classic Blanchard: dead-on flat perspective with incredible detail. Rev. John Bliss Warren House [Maple Street] is undated. And Van Court Townhouse is also from 1993. All Blanchard originals come in handsome frames.

JFK, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and George Gershwin all featured at Swann March 7

May 1945 presentation first edition of ‘As We Remember Joe’ signed by John F. Kennedy, estimated at $15,000-$25,000 at Swann Galleries.

NEW YORK – An original lyric sheet to the song that prompted the FBI to investigate John Lennon will be offered at Swann Auction Galleries. Signed by both Lennon and co-author Yoko Ono, the words to Attica State are estimated at $10,000-$20,000 as part of a Thursday, March 7 sale of autographs, which will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.

Attica State was written for the Plastic Ono Band shortly after the state suppression of rioting at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York claimed 43 lives in September 1971. It includes the lyric: What a waste of human power, what a waste of human lives, shoot the prisoners in the towers, 43 poor widowed wives.

The former Beatle performed the song publicly for the first time as part of a rally for White Panther Party founder and Black Panther supporter John Sinclair on December 10, 1971. This sheet, signed to the upper edge, is a photocopy of the original typed lyrics that was used during a second performance of the song on the David Frost Show on December 16, 1971. The FBI investigated Lennon from December 1971 until at least Richard Nixon’s defeat of George McGovern in November 1972.

The top-estimated lot in the sale is a 1945 presentation first edition of As We Remember Joe, the privately printed memorial to Joseph Kennedy Jr., who was killed in action in 1944. Sent to the publisher’s secretary, Edgar B. Sherrill, it includes the inscription ‘For Mr. Sherrill with the greatest appreciation for all of his thoughtfulness from Jack Kennedy, May 1945’, plus a typed list of names of those who were to receive some of the 500 printed copies. Described as being in ‘uncommonly good condition’, it has an estimate of $15,000-$25,000.

A group photograph taken at the inauguration ceremony of John F. Kennedy signed by 15 attendees including Jacqueline Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Earl Warren, and Richard Nixon is estimated at $3,000-$4,000, while a score for Rhapsody in Blue, signed and inscribed by its composer, George Gershwin, is estimated at $6,000-$9,000. Rhapsody in Blue premiered at Aeolian Hall in New York City on February 12, 1924 with this early edition of the piano solo and second piano printed in 1925. Gershwin signed it ‘For Mr. Eugene Fuerst – with all best wishes’ on the title page.