Rago posts $406K world record for a William Morris glass vase

William Morris, Beetles with Flora glass vase, which sold for $310,000 ($406,100 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.

LAMBERTVILLE, NJ — On May 17, Rago achieved a new world record for American glass artist William Morris (b. 1957-) with a $310,000 hammer ($406,100 with buyer’s premium) for Beetles with Flora, a hand-blown glass vase from the artist’s Native Species series. The hammer price was far beyond the estimate of $30,000-$50,000. Full results for the sale can be seen at LiveAuctioneers.

Morris’ previous record was set in 2013 by Sable Antelope, a 1995 canopic jar with a figural antelope head, all from blown glass. Bonhams achieved $290,500 (including buyer’s premium) for the work, more than triple its estimate.

Trained under legendary glass artist Dale Chihuly, Morris carved his own niche in art glass by creating works that resemble ancient or antique objects. He brings history and a bit of nature to everything he designs.

Morris retired in 2007 to homes in Washington and Hawaii, making the 1999 work Beetles with Flora all the more desirable to collectors. Bidding began at $22,000 but steadily rose until it reached the $310,000 sum. The vase was far and away the top lot at Rago’s Contemporary Glass sale.

American, English, and Continental Silver comes to New York May 28

Louis XV French Gold-Plated Bronze Wall Clock, estimated at $21,000-$25,000 at Jasper52.

NEW YORK — American, English, and Continental silver ranging from the 18th to the 21st centuries comes to market at Jasper52 on Tuesday, May 28 exclusively at LiveAuctioneers.

The sale is highlighted by this early 18th-century George II silver bread basket, made in London in 1728 by Thomas Farren. With a beautiful scrolling edge upper border and pristine weave-work walls, the 9in diameter piece weighs 73 troy ounces. It carries an estimate of $50,000-$60,000.

Also featured is a 19th-century Louis XV French gold-plated bronze wall clock. Signed Preyat – Paris on the face and stamped S. Marti – Medaille de Bronze, it is estimated at $21,000-$25,000.

The final highlight comes direct from a private chateau in the south of France. This pair of privately commissioned candelabra were crafted by Henin & Cie, are in superb condition, and date to the 1880s. The pair is estimated to bring $14,000-$17,000.

One-sheet Poster for the 1980 British Royal Premiere of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ leads our five lots to watch

British world premiere one-sheet for ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ estimated at £10,000-£20,000 ($12,500-$25,000) at Propstore May 30.

One-sheet Poster for the 1980 British Royal Premiere of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

RICKMANSWORTH, UK – One of the rarest of Lucasfilm marketing one-sheets for The Empire Strikes Back will be offered at Propstore Thursday, May 30 as part of its UK-based Collectible Poster Live Auction – London sale. The complete catalog is available for review and bidding now at LiveAuctioneers.

Anticipation was high for the release of the top summer blockbuster of 1980. Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox spared no expense for the UK release, timing it around the traditional date for British Empire Day. As a nod to philanthropy, the film’s premiere was part of the Royal Charity event in London May 20. This special poster was designed by Eddie Paul of the London ad agency FEREF, with the final artwork created by Ralph McQuarrie. Fox hired legions of actors dressed as Imperial stormtroopers to march around downtown London holding up placards of this poster.

Described as ‘unrestored in original flat, unfolded condition,’ the Empire Strikes Back poster to be offered at Propstore is estimated at £10,000-£20,000 ($12,500-$25,000).

Time Magazine Cover Art Featuring Gina Lollobrigida

Original portrait of Gina Lollobrigida, created by Boris Chaliapin for a 1954 ‘Time’ magazine cover and later presented to the actress, estimated at €50-€70 ($54-$75) at Wannenes May 28.
Original portrait of Gina Lollobrigida, created by Boris Chaliapin for a 1954 cover for ‘Time’ magazine that was later presented to the Italian actress, estimated at €50-€70 ($55-$75) at Wannenes May 28.

GENOA, Italy – On Tuesday, May 28, Italian auction house Wannenes will sell more than 400 lots from the estate of actress Gina Lollobrigida (1927-2023). Everything in the sale is offered without reserve, with all estimates set at just €50-€70 ($55-$75).

Pictured here is the original artwork used for the cover of a 1954 edition of Time magazine. It was one of 413 covers painted for Time by the Russian-born portrait painter Boris Chaliapin (1904-1979). It was said that he could execute excellent likenesses in as little as 12 hours. Occasionally, the magazine sent his portraits to the sitters after publication. Lollobrigida was among those who were favored in this way. Her Chaliapin portrait is offered in a wooden box with a label on one side that reads, ‘To Gina From her friends at Time, March 1969.’

Viking-era Amulet Designed to Ward Off Attacking Elves

Viking-era amulet to protect against 'elfshot', estimated at £250-£350 ($315-$445) at Timeline Auctions in its early June series of sales.
Viking-era amulet to protect against 'elfshot', estimated at £250-£350 ($315-$445) at Timeline Auctions in its early June series of sales.

HARWICH, UK – This Viking-era amulet dating from the 9th to the 11th century AD was believed to offer protection against ‘elfshot’. This term for an attack of elves was believed to be responsible for mysterious suffering in men and livestock, such as rheumatism and arthritis, as well as muscle stitches and cramps. Elves were thought to shoot darts or arrows at the places when pain had no obvious external cause. The occasional discovery of small arrowheads – the remains of Neolithic or Mesolithic flints – was thought to be proof of their existence. 

The tiny 5/8in (16mm) amulet, in gold and carnelian, is one of two offered for sale by Timeline Auctions as part of a five-day auction running from Tuesday, June 4 through Sunday, June 9. Each is estimated at £250-£350 ($315-$445). 

Original 1950s Rube Goldberg Daily Comic Strip

Original Rube Goldberg comic strip art, estimated at $3,000-$5,000 at Weiss Auctions June 5.
Original Rube Goldberg comic strip art, estimated at $3,000-$5,000 at Weiss Auctions June 5.

LYNBROOK, NY – For decades, American cartoonist Reuben ‘Rube’ Goldberg (1883-1970) delighted the public with his zany, complicated, and convoluted mechanisms for performing simple, everyday tasks. To this day, any contraption deemed unnecessarily complicated is described as a ‘Rube Goldberg device,’ so lasting is his cultural comedic impact.

Weiss Auctions brings an original 1950s-era Rube Goldberg daily one-panel strip to market as part of its Wednesday, June 5 Comics, Comic Art, and Animation sale. Titled ‘Taking the Shirt Off the Taxpayer’s Back,’ it features a comedic series of actions that ultimately trigger the intended result. The strip is dated July 15, but it is unknown which year it ran. Measuring 7 by 15in, the original artwork is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

Pair of Robert Garrard II Victorian Sterling Silver Four-arm Candelabra

Pair of Robert Garrard II Victorian sterling silver four-arm candelabra, estimated at $20,000-$30,000 at Tremont June 4.
Pair of Robert Garrard II Victorian sterling silver four-arm candelabra, estimated at $20,000-$30,000 at Tremont June 4.

SUDBURY, MA – R&S Garrard was one of Victorian London’s fine silversmiths, serving a genteel clientele in the booming days of the British Empire. This pair of sterling silver four-arm candelabra is a featured lot at Tremont Auction’s Tuesday, June 4 Annual Spring Fine Arts & Antiques sale.

The pair dates to 1869 and 1870 and features ornate figural decorations of lion’s head scrolling arms with aesthetic angular accents. Their columns have faceted and decorated panels supporting figural busts and urns, and they bear the motto of Ung Durant Ma Vie, possibly for the Barrington family of London. They are also hallmarked on the sides of the bases and the interior columns of their tops with the phrase R&S Garrard Panton St. London. The pair carries an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

David Iwerks collection of Disney and Ub Iwerks items performed admirably at Abell

Charlotte Clark Mickey Mouse Doll signed by Walt Disney, which sold for $16,000 ($20,480 with buyer's premium) at Abell.

LOS ANGELES — The David Iwerks collection of Disney-related items — along with artifacts from his father Ub’s legendary animation career — crushed estimates at Abell Auction April 16. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

As anticipated, the sale’s top lot was the Charlotte Clark Mickey Mouse doll signed by Walt Disney. Estimated at $6,000-$8,000, the 1930s-era plush toy doubled its high estimate to hammer at $16,000 and sell for $20,480.

Also expected to beat its expectations was the original hand-written score for Minnie’s Yoo-Hoo by legendary animation scoring specialist Carl Stalling. With sheets for every instrument in the scoring orchestra, the one-of-a-kind 1930s artifact hammered for $15,000 ($19,200 with buyer’s premium), more than doubling the high estimate.

The super-performer was a one-sheet for Flip The Frog, a generic promotional item from the 1930-1933 run while Ub Iwerks was at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Estimated at just $700-$1,000, it hammered for $5,500 ($7,040 with buyer’s premium).