Antique salesman samples and Studebaker wagon memorabilia featured at Chupp April 12-13

Monitor Mfg. Co. windmill sample with original case, estimated at $100-$200 at Chupp.

SHIPSHEWANA, Ind. — A trove of highly coveted salesman samples and a collection of vintage Studebaker wagon memorabilia are featured items at Chupp Auctions as part of its two-day Antique Auction Sale on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13. The catalogs are now available for review and bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Salesman samples were highly accurate and often fully functional miniatures of products too large to transport to a client’s location. The salesman could convincingly demonstrate a product’s functionality and build quality using the scale model, making them a highly effective sales tool. Today they are prized for their rarity and ingenuity.

Chupp’s consignor clearly had an affection for agrarian salesman samples. Located in Auburn, Indiana, this Monitor Mfg. Co. windmill with original transportation case is all original and looks virtually new. It is estimated at only $100-$200, but at the time of writing has reached $5,500 in bids.

Lima Mfg. Co. of Lima, Indiana, created this 19in-tall windmill sample for its salesmen on the road. Described as near mint, it has already been bid to $600 against a $100-$200 estimate and will certainly go higher.

This Adriance Platt & Co. (Poughkeepsie, New York) horse-drawn sickle sample comes with its original case that has a metal plate identifying it as model no. 213. Fully detailed and functional, bidding has already reached $2,000.

The Studebaker collection is equally impressive. Studebaker is best remembered for its automobiles and trucks, particularly the later Raymond Loewy-styled line of the 1950s and early 1960s with vehicles such as the Avanti, the Golden Hawk, and the Lark. But the South Bend, Indiana-based manufacturer dates to the late 1800s, when it was a pioneer in mass-manufacturing wagons for commercial, industrial, and agricultural use.

The review begins with a full-size Studebaker wooden box wagon made for J. W. Skinner of Goshen, Indiana. It was discovered buried under old hay in a barn, which served to protect it from dry rot and vermin damage. Outfitted with a Studebaker seat, the wagon has already reached $1,000 in bids.

Goats can pull wagons, and Studebaker made a model just for this purpose. All original, with only one spoke missing on one wheel, this Studebaker Junior goat wagon comes complete with seat, shafts, and a pull handle. It currently rests at $550 in bids.

Final highlights include three examples of Studebaker wagon advertising signs. The Sun Always Shines On the Studebaker is a framed lithograph, currently at $700. The Studebaker Is Sold Here is a circular 14in diameter tin-lithographed two-sided sign with one rough presentation side. It has made it to $400 in bids so far. And the 20th Century Studebaker Wagons sign is made from embossed lithographed tin, and currently bid to $800.

‘Psycho’ one-sheet featuring Hitchcock leads our five auction highlights

Advance one-sheet for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, which hammered for £9,500 ($12,180) and sold for £12,350 ($15,830) with buyer’s premium at Propstore.

‘Psycho’ One-sheet Featuring Hitchcock, $15,830

VALENCIA, Calif. – Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) was a larger-than-life figure in Hollywood, taking delight in making cameo appearances in the films he produced and directed. In 1960, his biggest projected film to date was Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins as the soon-to-be-notorious innkeeper Norman Bates.

Hitchcock’s longtime studio, Universal Pictures, loved using Hitchcock in its advance marketing. This one-sheet poster admonishes the reader It Is Required That You See Psycho From The Very Beginning! Hitchcock stands pointing to his watch, adjacent to a position where the theater staff could mark the next upcoming showing.

The poster was from the David Frangioni collection of movie memorabilia. Frangioni is an accomplished drummer who has played with rock’s elite, and is considered one of the most knowledgeable sources of information on Clint Eastwood. It took only three bids to achieve the final hammer of £9,500 ($12,180) for the one-sheet, selling for £12,350 ($15,830) with buyer’s premium at Propstore’s Collectible Poster Live Auction – London on February 8.

Jan Matulka, ‘Still Life With Gramophone’, which hammered for $50,000 and sold for $64,500 with buyer’s premium at Schwenke.

Jan Matulka, ‘Still Life With Gramophone’, $64,500; and ‘Broadway’, $29,670

WOODBURY, Conn. – Though born in the Austro-Hungarian province of Bohemia in what is today the Czech Republic, Jan Matulka (1890-1972) made his mark in America. He was the first recipient of the Joseph Pulitzer National Traveling Scholarship in 1917, which allowed him to tour the United States and paint as he went. He is considered the first modern artist to capture the Hopi Indian ‘snake dance’, which he depicted as part of his national tour.

Schwenke Auctioneers had two Matulka works in its February 14 estate auction for Thomas and Whitney Armstrong. Still Life With Gramophone is a 1927 original that has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art. A fierce battle broke out over the work between the floor and LiveAuctioneers bidders. After dozens of escalations, the floor finally won out at $50,000 ($64,500 with buyer’s premium).

Broadway, an undated pencil and ink on paper, saw a similar battle waged, with the $3,000-$4,000 estimate shattered at $23,000 ($29,670 with buyer’s premium).

Jan Matulka, ‘Broadway’, which hammered for $23,000 and sold for $29,670 with buyer’s premium at Schwenke.

John Rogers, ‘The Bushwhacker / The Wife’s Appeal For Peace’, $27,500

John Rogers, ‘The Bushwhacker / The Wife’s Appeal For Peace’, which hammered for $22,000 and sold for $27,500 with buyer’s premium at Ralph Fontaine Heritage Auctions.

CANAAN, N.Y. – John Rogers (1829-1904) was a sculptor and mass marketer of plaster statues that became must-have items in 19th-century America. No home of any means would be without what was called a ‘Rogers Group,’ so named because the sculptures were designed by Rogers to tell a story.

Rogers typically worked in clay to finalize his ‘group,’ then would create a bronze master from that model. The bronze yielded multiple plaster molds that were used in turn to mass-replicate the design for public sale. Highly sought after today by a dedicated John Rogers collecting community, Rogers Groups are auction house favorites.

Ralph Fontaine Heritage Auctions brought The Bushwhacker / The Wife’s Appeal For Peace to market February 25 as part of its Wonderful Winter Estate Auction. With a presale estimate of $50-$10,000, the house didn’t know where this 22in-tall item would end up. It was described by Fontaine in the lot notes as the “rarest John Rogers group,” adding, “I was told there [are] only 5 known to exist (3 in museums).” Dated April 1865, The Bushwhacker depicts a family of three positioned around a long rifle. Furious bidding ended when a LiveAuctioneers customer offered $22,000 ($27,500 with buyer’s premium).

Hugh Ferriss, ‘The 1964 World's Fair Unisphere’, $20,910

‘The 1964 World’s Fair Unisphere’ by Hugh Ferriss, which hammered for $17,000 and sold for $20,910 with buyer’s premium at Soulis.

LONE JACK, Mo. – A work by Hugh Ferriss (1889-1962) discovered in a Missouri home was presented at Soulis Auctions on February 24. Titled by the auctioneer The 1964 World’s Fair Unisphere, the work is a charcoal on artist board depicting Ferriss’ vision for the beloved Unisphere erected in Queens for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Considering Ferriss died two years before the fair’s opening, it’s fair to say his rendering of what would ultimately be built is exceptional.

Ferriss was a Missouri native who trained as an architect, but found his calling creating architectural renderings of buildings for clients. He moved to New York and worked for famed architect Cass Gilbert, for whom he would render the planned Woolworth Building. As time went on, Ferriss’ style became darker and moodier, often depicting buildings at night with full illumination. His masterwork, 1929’s The Metropolis of Tomorrow, delivered his vision and influenced generations of architects.

The 1964 World’s Fair Unisphere carried a respectable $4,000-$6,000 presale estimate. The final hammer for the previously lost work was $17,000, or $20,910 with buyer’s premium.

François Bénévol Head-cutting Magician’s Prop, $1,600

‘Head of François Bénévol,’ which hammered for €1,100 ($1,200) and sold for €1,203 ($1,600) with buyer’s premium at Bernaerts Auctioneers BV.

ANTWERP, Belgium – François Bénévol (1865-1939) was an Italian by birth (real name: Francesco Luigi Maria Benevole) but he adopted a French accent, name, and mannerisms for his career as an illusionist. Online biographies list his duties as ‘conjurer, illusionist, acrobat [and] clown musician.’ So successful was he that in 1899 Bénévol opened Théâtre-salon Bénevol, his own performance space.

Though he is largely forgotten today, two Bénévol-related items appeared at Bernaerts Auctioneers BV as part of its Circus & Magic sale February 19 in Antwerp, Belgium. The first was billed as the Head of François Bénévola 1920s-era carved wooden likeness of the magician used in his séance performances. During the course of the program, Bénévol would appear to behead himself, earning him the nickname ‘le coupeur de têtes’ (chopper of heads). With a modest €500-€600 ($545-$655) presale estimate, the prop soared to a final hammer of €1,100 ($1,200) and sold for €1,203 ($1,600) with buyer’s premium.

A color-lithographed promotional poster for Bénévol’s act also crossed the block in the same sale. Le légendaire professeur Bénévol was undated, though the style appears to be early 20th century. It doubled its low estimate to hammer at €400 and sell for €532 ($580) with buyer’s premium.

Morphy returns to Las Vegas April 11-13 with coin-ops and vintage advertising

Caille musical triple Eclipse, serial number 121, estimated at $150,000-$300,000 at Morphy.

DENVER, Penn. — A century ago, coin-operated machines could be found everywhere, ready to entertain, dispense a treat, tell a fortune, or offer patrons a chance to win a jackpot. They return to Las Vegas Thursday, April 11, Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13 in Morphy Auctions‘ latest coin-op and vintage advertising sale. The 1,919-lot auction is now available for review and bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The sale’s top-estimated lot is a highly sought-after Caille Bros. Musical Triple Eclipse upright slot machine with a design that incorporates three separate machines — accepting 5¢, 50¢, and 5¢, respectively — in one stunning oak cabinet. Made between 1902 and 1904, it is marked with serial no. 121, confirming it is the earliest of only four extant examples of this model. The estimate is set at $150,000-$300,000.

A circa-1930 Fair-Weigh golf scale made by Colonial Golf Scale Co. is believed to be one of only three machines of its type still in existence. When a penny is inserted, the machine displays the patron’s weight and allows them to play a complex golf game by means of an internal golf club operated by a knob. With provenance from the collection of Bill Howard, it is estimated at $15,000-$30,000.

An Amusement Machine Co. 1¢ floor model game represents the 1927 World Series, which pitted the Pittsburgh Pirates against the ultimately victorious New York Yankees. The machine is unrestored, with original cast-iron figures of the umpire and players and an original cardboard grandstand. Made between 1929 and 1931, the machine is estimated at $40,000-$70,000.

A circa-1952 black ‘Lu-Cat’ machine combines a trade stimulator with a gumball-vending feature. Its action begins when a nickel is inserted and the painted-aluminum feline’s tail is pulled. Fewer than a dozen ‘Lu-Cats’ are believed to exist, and of those, this is the only 5¢ version known. It is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.

This circa-1920 Mr. Peanut cast-iron roaster-dispenser was made as a point-of-sale display for Planters Peanut Co. By means of an electric motor, a top-hatted, three-dimensional Mr. Peanut figure ‘operates’ the machine. One of very few of its type known to exist, it stands 89in tall and is in impeccable restored condition. It is estimated at $30,000-$60,000.

Antique advertising signs are led by a stained- and leaded-glass trade sign for S & S Shoes (Schauder’s Shoe Store, Rhinelander, Wis.), a firm that was established in 1890. Measuring a sizable 41 by 25 by 12in, the sign illuminates. Morphy’s experts have never seen another example of its type, and have estimated it at $40,000-$80,000.

Hughie Lee-Smith and Jacob Lawrence star at Swann’s African American Art sale April 4

Hughie Lee-Smith, Ball Player, estimated at $150,000-$250,000 at Swann.

NEW YORK — Swann GalleriesAfrican American Art sale scheduled for Thursday, April 4 includes a standout selection of house favorites, including Hughie Lee-Smith and Jacob Lawrence, and features a special evening session to benefit the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. The catalog is now available for review and bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The sale is led by a significant mid-career work by Hughie Lee-Smith (1915-1999),  Ball Player, a 1970 painting that epitomizes the artist’s evocative depictions of African American youth in desolate urban settings. Ball Player has been widely exhibited and was in the personal collection of the artist before being acquired by the current owners. It carries an estimate of $150,000-$250,000.

Kermit Oliver’s Hay Rolls, a 1983 acrylic on board estimated at $100,000-$150,000, is a key mid-career work by this important Texas artist.

The house is excited to bring to auction for the first time since 2008 a complete set of Jacob Lawrence’s masterwork in printmaking, The Legend of John Brown. With this 1977 portfolio, Lawrence translated his series of John Brown paintings into 22 stunning color screen prints. The portfolio comes to auction with an estimate of $100,000-$150,000.

Abstract art is represented by an example of the earliest such works by Norman Lewis with Tenement, an oil on board from 1947 that has an estimate of $120,000-$180,000.