Bill Reid Cast Bronze leads our five lots to watch

Bill Reid, ‘Killer Whale Spirit (Blowhole)’ cast bronze, numbered 8 of 10, estimated at $20,000-$30,000 at James Cox Gallery June 9.

Bill Reid, ‘Killer Whale Spirit (Blowhole)’ Cast Bronze

WILLOW, NY – Bill Reid (1920-1998) was a highly celebrated First Nations artist from the Haida tribe in British Columbia. In 1994, he created a limited edition cast bronze titled Killer Whale Spirit (Blowhole) for exclusive distribution to the board members of the Tallix Foundry in Beacon, New York. Reid insisted that the run of 10 bronzes not be sold by the recipients until after his death, going so far as to have each owner sign a legal contract agreeing to the terms.

James Cox Gallery brings number 8 of 10 to market on Sunday, June 9 as a leading lot in its Collectors Exchange Fine Art Auction. It is accompanied by the executed contract dating to 1994, when the run was cast. Killer Whale Spirit (Blowhole) is estimated to bring $20,000 to $30,000.

New-old Stock Studebaker Dealership Neon Sign

New-old stock Studebaker dealership neon sign, estimated at $15,000-$25,000 at Milestone Auctions June 15.
New-old stock Studebaker dealership neon sign, estimated at $15,000-$25,000 at Milestone Auctions June 15.

WILLOUGHBY, OH – At one point in its history, Studebaker of South Bend, Indiana was the world’s largest manufacturer of vehicles – horse-drawn wagons, to be exact. Its entry into motorized vehicles was early, and by the post-World War II period, Studebaker cars and trucks were familiar sights on the American highway.

To update its image, Studebaker rolled out the ‘lazy S’ logo in 1950. Around the same period, the company retained famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy to focus on what would become some of the most iconic and beautiful vehicles of the postwar period, including the Golden Hawk and Avanti.

Someone managed to squirrel away this circa-1950s lazy S Studebaker porcelain and neon bullnose double-sided commercial sign. As the top lot in Milestone’s Saturday, June 15 Advertising Signs, Toys, Coin-Ops and Coins sale, it retains its original crating and has only one broken letter in the neon. At 10.5ft in in length, it is impressive and all the more remarkable for surviving in unused condition. Milestone estimates the sign at $15,000-$25,000, numbers that are likely conservative considering the high current demand for quality petroliana.

Joe Talirunili, ‘Migration Boat’

Joe Talirunili, ‘Migration Boat,’ estimated at CA$160,000-CA$260,000 ($117,000-$190,000) at First Arts Premiers June 10.
Joe Talirunili, ‘Migration Boat,’ estimated at CA$160,000-CA$260,000 ($117,000-$190,000) at First Arts Premiers June 10.

TORONTO – Considered one of the top prizes in all First Nation art is a ‘migration boat’ sculpture by Joe Talirunili (1893-1976). Though he made many, the dramatic origin story behind these coveted boats continues to turn collectors’ heads. This example is the top-estimated lot at First Arts Premiers in the Monday,  June 10 Inuit & First Nations Art sale.

As a child, Talirunili hunted for caribou with his father. As the caribou would migrate, so would the Inuits. On one such migration, Talirunili and his father, along with about forty others, became shipwrecked while traveling to an island in Hudson Bay. They had to build what they called “skin boats” out of their sleds, and after floating for days, they finally reached land. Many tribal members perished as a result of the tragedy, which informed a lifetime of art by Talirunili.

Dating to 1972-1974, this migration boat carries an estimate of CA$160,000-CA$260,000 ($117,000-$190,000).

Three Plaster Architectural Models Attributed to Jean-Pierre and François Fouquet

Plaster architectural models attributed to Jean-Pierre and François Fouquet, estimated at £6,000-£8,000 ($7,700-$10,000) at Sworders June 11-12.
Plaster architectural model, one of three attributed to Jean-Pierre and François Fouquet, estimated at £6,000-£8,000 ($7,700-$10,000) at Sworders June 11-12.

STANSTED MOUNTFITCHET, UK – Sworders Fine Interiors two-day sale scheduled for Tuesday, June 11 and Wednesday, June 12, includes three plaster architectural models attributed to Jean-Pierre and François Fouquet. Dating to the 1830s, the models are re-creations of the Ilisos Temple in Athens, the second Temple of Hera in Paestum, Italy, and the Roman Maison Carrée.

Previously in the collection of Ben Weinreb (1912-1999), a similar set of plaster models by Fouquet can be found in the collection of Sir John Soane’s Museum. According to the records held by the museum, Sir John Soane purchased twenty models by François Fouquet in 1834 from the architect Edward Cresy (1792-1858) who, from 1829 to 1835, worked in Paris. Soane paid Cresy the substantial sum of £100. It is likely that Cresy purchased the models directly from Fouquet et Fils.

Sworders estimates each model at £6,000-£8,000 ($7,700-$10,000).

Henry Dreyfuss-designed New York Central Illuminated Drumhead

Henry Dreyfuss-designed New York Central illuminated drumhead, estimated at $8,000-$12,000 at Flannery’s June 10.
Henry Dreyfuss-designed New York Central illuminated drumhead, estimated at $8,000-$12,000 at Flannery’s June 10.

PINE BUSH, NY – Flannery’s Estate Services has a choice New York Central Railroad illuminated drumhead designed by Henry Dreyfuss as a star lot in its Glen Morris estate auction scheduled for Monday, June 10.

Famed industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972) was retained by the NYC to create its streamlined look in the 1930s. Fast passenger trains ‘looked’ faster with streamlining, and what would become known as the Dreyfuss Hudson was a rock star of the period. Gone were the lumbering old Pullman heavyweight passenger cars. In their place came a new generation of lightweight designs.

This drumhead once graced the no. 59 observation car running on the Ohio State Limited passenger service. Its classic Art Deco typography is iconic and often reproduced. Flannery’s estimates the drumhead at $8,000-$12,000.

Antique and vintage rugs come to Jasper52 June 11

Chinese vegetable-dye rug, estimated at $3,000-$3,500 at Jasper52.

NEW YORK – Jasper52 presents Woven in Time: Antique and Vintage Rugs Tuesday, June 11 at 5 pm Eastern time, a 255-lot sale featuring fine rugs from around the world. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The first of three featured lots is a circa-1960 Persian kashan ‘all over’ rug measuring 10ft 9in by 14ft 7in. The rug has a palmette design on an off-white field, a peach-color floral border, and is in excellent condition, with a good pile throughout. It is estimated to bring $3,500-$4,000.

Next up is an antique vegetable-dye Art Deco square Chinese rug measuring 6ft square. Professionally washed and cleaned, the striking rug is ready for display in the home and is estimated at $3,000-$3,500.

This antique gallery-size blue Sarouk rug dates to 1940 and is from Iran. It measures 5ft 3in by 10ft 1in and is in excellent condition, with all-original ends and edges. It is estimated at $3,000-$3,500.

Albrecht Dürer’s 16th-century Meisterstiche engravings beat estimates at Grogan

Albrecht Dürer, 'Knight, Death, and the Devil,' which sold for $80,000 ($104,000 with buyer's premium) at Grogan.

BOSTON — Impressions of all three of Albrecht Dürer’s (1471-1528) famous Meisterstiche (master engravings) were sold by Grogan & Co. on May 4. All were part of a collection of Old Master prints that came from ‘the estate of a Cambridge, Massachusetts lady’. Most bore labels from US galleries operating in the first half of the 20th century. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

Dürer’s three large-scale copper engravings known as the Meisterstiche were created in 1513 and 1514. Titled (in the 19th century) Knight, Death, and the Devil, Saint Jerome in his Study and Melencolia I, they have been interpreted by some scholars as a complementary set, evoking different virtues: the moral (the Knight), the theological (Saint Jerome), and the intellectual (Melencolia). Certainly, they represent the pinnacle of the German artist’s practice as an engraver.

Dürer prints are typically sold with reference to the Austrian art historian Joseph Meder, who in 1932 published a vast catalog of all Dürer’s known works together with the characteristics of various impressions and the watermarks found on printing paper stocks.

Closest to the artist’s original vision and intention, lifetime impressions of Dürer’s prints are the most valuable. The very best lifetime impressions of the Meisterstiche can sell for prices of more than $500,000 each.

Grogan’s prints were sold without reference to states and so buyers were left to determine date and quality by themselves. And generally, the market approved.

Grogan & Company’s President and Fine Art Director, Georgina Winthrop, said: “These works had descended within the client’s family for decades. From welcoming bidders to our gallery to examine the works in person to numerous FaceTime calls with international clients to examine the works ‘up close’, we strived to make sure our clients felt confident in their bids for these rare fresh-to-market works.”

Seven phone bidders competed for Knight, Death, and the Devil, an image of a knight on a magnificent charger making his way through a rocky gorge, which sold at $80,000 ($104,000 with buyer’s premium), while against the same estimate of $10,000-$20,000, Melencholia I, the winged personification of a dejected Melancholy, hammered for $50,000 ($65,000 with buyer’s premium). Saint Jerome in his Study hammered for $37,500 ($48,750 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $5,000-$10,000. None had visible watermarks and all showed various degrees of staining.

Prices for etchings by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) are similarly determined by states and dates. The copper plates the Dutch artist produced were famously reworked and reused time and again, both during his life and in later epochs.

The impressions of two well-known prints in this Cambridge collection were well received. Sold at $50,000 ($65,000 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $4,000-$6,000 was a rich, black impression (with partial fleur-de-lis watermark) of The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, an etching and drypoint from 1634. This episode from the Gospel of Luke, with its dramatic collision between heaven and earth, was the first etched nocturnal scene attempted by Rembrandt. It was issued in three different states, each achieving a different depth of shadow and contrast.

Another New Testament scene, La Petite Tombe (Christ Preaching), was made more than 20 years later, in 1657. It takes its name from the man who commissioned it, the Amsterdam book and art dealer Pieter de la Tombe (1593-1674). Another rich impression of a print that was published on several occasions between the 17th and the 19th century, this example, with a Jester watermark, hammered for $37,500 ($48,750 with buyer’s premium) against $5,000-$10,000.