Indulge yourself: live life elegantly like a Bridgerton, updated for season three

Bridgeton Season Three courtesy of Netflix
Left, an English Regency casket-form sewing box that realized $650 plus the buyer’s premium in November 2014; Center, a matched pair of English Regency giltwood mirrors sold in March 2015 for $3,750 plus the buyer’s premium; Right, a tilt-top mahogany English Regency breakfast table that achieved $1,500 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2020. Images courtesy of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery, David Skinner Antiques and LiveAuctioneers.
Left, an English Regency casket-form sewing box realized $650 plus the buyer’s premium in November 2014; Center, a matched pair of English Regency giltwood mirrors sold in March 2015 for $3,750 plus the buyer’s premium; Right, a tilt-top mahogany English Regency breakfast table achieved $1,500 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2020. Images courtesy of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery, David Skinner Antiques and LiveAuctioneers.

 

Warning: This article contains mild spoilers for the first two seasons of Bridgerton.

NEW YORK – Today, May 16, Part One of the third season of the Netflix series Bridgerton appears, with episodes from Part Two scheduled to go live on Thursday, June 13.

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Alex Katz’s study for ‘Rackstraw and Pamela’ leads our five lots to watch

Alex Katz, study for ‘Rackstraw and Pamela’, estimated at $60,000-$100,000 at Freeman’s Hindman May 21.

Alex Katz, Study for ‘Rackstraw and Pamela’

PHILADELPHIA – One of the star lots at Freeman’s Hindman on Tuesday, May 21 is this fascinating study for Rackstraw and Pamela, a 1976 oil on Masonite by figurative artist and father of what would become the 1960s Pop Art movement, Alex Katz (b. 1927-).

The study by Katz features his artist friend Rackstraw Downes and Downes’ then-wife Pamela Berkley. Set against the serene backdrop of coastal Maine, it features close cropping that eliminates background detail in favor of a focus on the figures. Using simplified forms, flat planes of color, and minimal shadow, Katz achieves depth and complexity. The study for Rackstraw and Pamela is estimated at $60,000-$100,000.

Staffordshire Figural Group Depicting an Important 1860 Boxing Match

Staffordshire figural group depicting a historic 1860 boxing match, estimated at $200-$300 at Strawser Auction Group on May 24.
Staffordshire figural group depicting a historic 1860 boxing match, estimated at $200-$300 at Strawser Auction Group on May 24.

WOLCOTTVILLE, IN – The fight between American boxer John C. Heenan and the English boxer Tom Sayers in Hampshire, England on April 17, 1860 is often touted as the first ‘world title’ international boxing match. An illegal affair, it lasted two hours and 27 minutes – 42 rounds – until the police, brandishing magistrates’ warrants, stormed the ring to stop it.

This Staffordshire flatback figure commemorating the event has an estimate of $200-$300 as part of a sale of Staffordshire pottery figures at Strawser Auction Group on Friday, May 24. It is one of a series of sales the auction house is holding in May, including Antique Glass and Victorian Silver on Tuesday, May 21; a Pottery and Ceramics Auction on Thursday, May 23; the aforementioned Staffordshire sale; and one simply titled Majolica on Saturday, May 25.

American Flyer S Gauge AT&SF No. 21720 Alco PB-1 unit

American Flyer no. 21270 factory-error AT&SF PB-1 unit, estimated at $800-$1,600 at Weiss Auctions May 22.
American Flyer no. 21270 factory-error AT&SF PB-1 unit, estimated at $800-$1,600 at Weiss Auctions May 22.

LYNBROOK, NY – One of the rarest factory-error items from the A. C. Gilbert Co. period of American Flyer S gauge comes to market at Weiss Auctions on Wednesday, May 22 as part of its Vintage Train Auction.

Sometime in January of 1958, the AC Gilbert production line in New Haven, Connecticut was running the Alco PA and PB lines in Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway’s blue-and-gold freight scheme. A very small number of B-units (so called because while being motive power, they lack an engineer’s compartment) were stamped with the number 21720 rather than the correct 21910-1. The factory finished the misprinted items and packed and shipped them to dealers.

Only in the 1970s did American Flyer collectors begin to realize the true rarity of the 21720 B-unit. The example at the Weiss sale is equipped with the standard air-chime whistle and diesel roar unit. It is missing part of one step and the box is worn, but an estimate of just $800-$1,600 renders it tempting to seasoned American Flyer S gauge collectors.

Napoleonic Wars-era Imperial Marine Shako

French Imperial Garde Marine shako, estimated at $20,000-$30,000 at Potter & Potter May 23.
French Imperial Garde Marine shako, estimated at $20,000-$30,000 at Potter & Potter May 23.

CHICAGO – A battle-worn French Imperial Marine shako from the Napoleonic Wars period will be presented at Potter & Potter on Thursday, May 23 as the 19th Century Historical and Military Rarities sale’s top-estimated lot. It has been assigned an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

Original and complete, the hat was issued and in use during the Napoleonic Wars, which, as Potter & Potter states in the lot notes, makes it “virtually unique”. The Imperial Marines were a small, elite branch of the Garde Imperiale, formed in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte to serve in the planned (but eventually scrapped) invasion of England. Consisting of only 1,200 members, most were killed or captured during the Battle of Bailen in Spain. The remainder served at the Battle of Waterloo as a force of approximately 200 men. As a result, their uniforms and equipment survive in vanishingly small numbers today.

Petty’s Garage-tuned 2021 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Super Stock

Petty’s Garage-modified 2021 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Super Stock, estimated at $125,000-$135,000 at GWS Auctions May 25.
Petty’s Garage-modified 2021 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Super Stock, estimated at $125,000-$135,000 at GWS Auctions May 25.

AGOURA HILLS, CA – When Fiat Chrysler America (FCA, the precursor to today’s Stellantis) reintroduced the Challenger nameplate to its Dodge brand in 2008, it had to match years of 1970s pony car glory earned by the original Challenger, which was in production between 1970 and 1974. Built on the same platform as the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, the Challenger was a rarity in the contemporary automotive market – a coupe, and increasingly, one with radically strong power plants, making it a street beast of the likes not seen since the original late-1960s muscle car era.

Sadly, rather than retool and evolve, the platform was discontinued in December 2023 by Stellantis at its Brampton, Ontario plant ‘to focus on electric vehicles’ as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, it is likely this decision will be reversed as continued declines in EV sales worldwide lead to six-month (and greater) EV inventories sitting on dealer lots.

In the meantime, muscle car enthusiasts can enjoy the last years of production, including this 2021 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Super Stock. Professionally modified by Petty’s Garage – yes, that Petty, as in Richard, Lee, and Maurice of Level Cross, North Carolina – this Challenger pushes all the right buttons. It boasts a 6.2L (378 cubic inch) V8 supercharged high-output engine with more than 900 horsepower, mated to a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission.

When new, vehicles such as the 2021 Challenger Hellcat would routinely receive dealer markups in excess of $30,000 above the sticker, so GWS Auctions’ estimate of $125,000-$135,000 represents an excellent buying opportunity when it brings the Estate of Bibi Hilton Case to market on Saturday, May 25.

Large-scale model trains and antique toys to delight bidders in New York May 22

Tippco Silver Racer, estimated at $2,879-$3,838 at Jasper52.

NEW YORK — An impressive collection of large-scale model trains and antique toys come to market at Jasper52 starting at 1 pm Eastern time on Wednesday, May 22 as part of the Vintage Toys: Cars, Trains and More sale held exclusively at LiveAuctioneers.

A massive Gauge 1 live-steam model of the legendary Norfolk & Western J no. 611 is a premier lot in the sale. Never fired, the model is in as-new condition and requires a 10ft radius for operation. Complete with two cylinders and a drain water valve, it operates at 60 PSI pressure. The mighty locomotive is estimated at $11,700-$15,600.

A 1930s-era A. C. Gilbert Co. Erector Set for the New York Central Hudson is another strong lot in the sale. Complete with its original case and label, the set has been inventoried and organized and is in nearly new condition. It is estimated at $3,240-$4,320.

Another 1930s-era toy of note is the Tippco Silver Racer with driver and sidecar occupant. When wound up, the wheel steers to the left and the passenger swings out to balance the bike through turn, then the wheel straightens and the rider sits back in its seat. Complete with original packaging, the Silver Racer is estimated at $2,879-$3,838.

Damascened casket depicting Henry VIII campaigns in northern France presented at Templum May 23

King Henry VIII Nuremberg Casket, estimated at €1 million-€1.5 million ($1 million-$1.6 million) at Templum Fine Art Auctions.

BARCELONA, SPAIN — A potentially important 16th-century damascened casket depicting Henry VIII campaigns in northern France will be presented on Thursday, May 23. The iron and gold inlaid dome-lidded casket is attributed by Templum Fine Art Auctions to Diego de Çaias, the celebrated Spanish armorer who served at the Henrician court from 1542 to 1547. Consigned from an ‘important Madrid estate’, it carries an estimate of €1 million-€1.5 million ($1 million-$1.6 million).

Measuring 8in (20cm) wide, the chest is adorned with 12 different scenes of fortified cities surrounded by an army of foot soldiers, cavalry, seize engines, and cannons, thought to relate to the two sieges of Boulogne sur Mer (1544-1546), a city on the northern coast of France. In what was the largest continental land grab by an English monarch since the Hundred Years War, the siege resulted in the brutal depopulation of the local Boulonnaise and the arrival of English settlers.

Although short-lived – the territory was effectively rescinded in 1550 – at the time, Henry VIII’s conquest was commemorated in triumphal paintings that were displayed at the Palace of Whitehall in London, which was then the main residence of English monarchs, and by a series of paintings commissioned by Sir Anthony Browne in 1545 for Cowdray House in Midhurst, England. Templum said the scenes on the casket closely resemble the Cowdray House paintings which, although lost to fire, are known through engravings.

Diego de Çaias worked for the French court from 1535 to 1542 before moving to London to work at the court of Henry VIII. A similar casket, decorated with hunting scenes, is part of the Waddesdon bequest to the British Museum, while a sword and scabbard also made to commemorate the capture of Boulogne sur Mer from the French in 1545 is in the Royal Collection. The latter is thought to be one of the items described in the inventory of the King’s possessions taken after his death in the latter year as ‘iij longe woodknives ij of them of Dego his makinge’. Having left the royal collection before the 19th century, it was acquired by Queen Elizabeth II in 1966.

Dino Martens glass works sparkled at Aste di Antiquariato Boetto

Dino Martens for Aureliano Toso, 'Sommerso', which sold for €21,000 ($22,375 or $28,420 with buyer’s premium) at Aste di Antiquariato Boetto.

GENOA, Italy — Two distinctly different pieces of glass designed by Dino Martens (1894-1970) led the April 23 sale at Aste di Antiquariato Boetto. Both dated from the early 1950s, when Martens was working as artistic director for Venetian glassworks Aureliano Toso. Complete results for the Design, Murano glass and A.Ve.M Glass sale are available at LiveAuctioneers.

An 11.5in (29cm) perforated vase from the Oriente range hammered for €16,500 ($17,580, or $22,325 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of €4,500-€5,000 ($4,800-$5,300). The result of many experiments in which Martens strived to blur the borders between painting and blown glass, the Oriente technique, which was exhibited for the first time at the 1952 Biennale, was achieved by rolling a clear cylinder of glass over colorful flat patterns comprising ground glass and aventurine, glass canes, and latticino glass squares. Martens’ great talent was to combine traditional Muranese techniques with daring asymmetric shapes.

Sold to a LiveAuctioneers bidder at €21,000 ($22,375, or $28,420 with buyer’s premium), this time against a €3,000-€3,400 ($3,200-$3,600) estimate, was an 8in (20cm) Sommerso vase from 1954, one that effectively ‘submerged’ a vessel fashioned with polychrome cane decoration within a clear crystal casing. The finished surface of the vase, which was cut with wavy vertical lines, represented several hours of highly skilled grinding. The range was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1954.

Read more about Dino Martens in our Bid Smart column.