BEVERLY, Mass. – Buoyed by a wave of new buyers, Kaminski Auctions posted impressive numbers on many of the top lots in their Asian and estate auction on July 12.
DOUGLASS, Kan. – A monumental and gorgeous signed Daum Nancy French cameo art glass vase, 19 1/2 inches tall and with a winter scene, sold for $12,000 at a sale of the large and eclectic collection of Virginia and the late Dr. Jimmie Downing held July 11 by Woody Auction. Read more
DALLAS – An outstandingly preserved hand-painted, double-sided jugate banner from the 1844 Presidential campaign of James K. Polk sold for $185,000 and claimed the world record as the most valuable piece of political memorabilia ever sold at public auction in Heritage Auctions’ June 27 presentation of the Merrill C. Berman Collection Part II. The banner took top-lot honors amid more than 350 lots that realized $756,178 and recorded a sell-through rate exceeding 98 percent by value. Absentee and Internet live-bidding services were provided by LiveAuctioneers.
“Simply, this is the finest political banner known to exist and fully deserving of a new world record,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage Auctions. “Not only is this banner historically important to early American political campaigns, it is true work of art unique in the world of Americana memorabilia and American folk art.”
The auction represents just the second time the banner has been seen publicly in more than 30 years. It was first shown publicly when it graced the cover of the catalog for the 1984 exhibition of items from the Berman Collection at the Hudson River Museum. The 171-year-old banner spans 76 by 75 inches, and its colors and portraits of Polk and running mate George M. Dallas remain vivid and vibrant.
A second banner in the auction is also from the 1844 election and featured Polk in addition to his opponent Henry Clay. A delightful folky hand-painted scene depicts Clay giving Polk a sound drubbing below a soaring eagle holding a banner reading “Protective Tariff,” an issue central to Clay’s campaign. The banner sold for $31,250.
A large “pewter rim” engraved portrait of Andrew Jackson under glass sold for $20,000 against a $2,500 estimate. Although quite prolific in its time, few remain, and larger specimens like the example auctioned by Heritage, measuring a full 94 millimeters in diameter, are highly sought after by collectors of pre-Civil War political and presidential memorabilia. A classic Abraham Lincoln ambrotype brooch by George Clark, perhaps one of the most famous of all photographic political badges of all time, quickly surpassed its $5,000 pre-auction estimate to end at $16,250.
The storied Berman collection of pinbacks once again lived up to its reputation as an iconic jugate of Cox and Roosevelt, referred to as the “Americanize America” button, sold for $20,000 despite some minor condition issues. A rare jugate pinback of Davis and Bryan, the Democratic ticket which lost badly to Coolidge and Dawes in 1924, sold for $18,750 and a stunningly vibrant jugate by American Artworks of Coshocton, Ohio, featuring Wilson and Marshall brought $11,875.
Click here to view the auction catalog for Heritage Auctions’ June 27 sale, complete with prices realized.
NEW ORLEANS – The highlight of Neal Auction Co.’s Important Summer Estates Auction June 27-28 was a small – 6 1/2 by 12 1/2 inches – oil painting of The Cove at Ponce Park by William Aiken Walker (American/South Carolina, 1838-1921). Estimated at $15,000-$25,000, the work sold for a near-record $152,362. Read more
LONDON – The Scottish artist and landscape painter William York MacGregor hit a high note at Roseberys London Fine Art auction June 30, when an oil on canvas titled “Moonrise” broke the world auction record for a work by the artist, selling for £9,840. Read more
ATLANTA – A rare Chinese Ming Dynasty porcelain vase dating to the Chenghua period (1465-1487), 8 1/2 inches tall and with a milky white glaze, sold for $6,500 at a Summer Estates Auction held June 28 by Ahlers & Ogletree. LiveAuctioneers.com provided absentee and Internet live bidding. All prices quoted are hammer, exclusive of a sliding scale buyer’s premium.
NEW YORK – Capo Auction Fine Art and Antiques in Long Island City enjoyed their most successful auction of the year thus far at their June 27 sale, with select rare Asian decorative items, fine art and jewelry pieces bringing in top bids. LiveAuctioneers.com provided absentee and Internet live bidding. Read more
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Michaan’s Fine Asian Works of Art auction on June 22 established records and broke new sales ground. The highlight, Fu Baoshi’s (1904-1965) hanging scroll titled Lady by the Bamboo, set a new U.S. auction record for the artist, realizing $1.41 million. LiveAuctioneers.com provided absentee and Internet live bidding.
LONDON – A selection of 252 pieces of fine jewelry and luxury vintage watches took London by storm, when items from the estate of the late Denisa Lady Newbrough and other private UK collections went under the hammer at Roseberys on June 30. The sale nearly reached the £300,000 mark, totaling £296,012 (including buyer’s premium) with 188 of the 252 lots selling.