Bird whirligig turns into a favorite at Neue Auctions

Bird whirligig

Garden bird whirligig yard ornament standing about 5 feet 6 inches tall with a central post, attached to which were seven spinning branches, each with a bird on either end. Sold for $1,353. Neue Auctions image

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – A simple but charming garden bird whirligig yard ornament standing about 5 feet 6 inches tall with a central post, attached to which were seven spinning branches, each with a bird on either end, proved irresistible to bidders in Neue Auctions’ online-only Summer Art & Antiques Auction held July 25. After spirited bidding, it flew away for $1,353. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

The birds (above) appeared to be machine stamped metal with traces of blue paint, and the tip had an ornamental fleur de lis style finial. Each branch spun in the wind with ease. The estimate was conservative at $150-$300. After 23 bids, it sold to a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $1,353 and was marked as a “hot lot” with 50 bidders marking it a favorite.

The sale was packed with 300 lots of unique treasures seeking new homes. These included art, antiques, rock ’n’ roll-signed albums, vintage posters, decorative arts, Asian objects, furniture garden items and works on paper.

“I wasn’t sure if bidding would be soft or strong, but many lots exceeded our expectations and estimates,” said Cynthia Maciejewski of Neue Auctions. “People are staying home right now and getting their fix through online shopping and bidding. This is the first summer auction I’ve had in 20 years.”

Maciejewski said, historically, Neue Auctions has had an auction every other month, but for 2020, it’s been every month. “We’re working with many estates right now,” she said. “The Baby Boomer generation is downsizing and properties are selling quickly, and that’s keeping us busy. I’m grateful that we’re able to keep up with the momentum.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 23 percent buyer’s premium.

A stunning, hand-carved and painted figure of an osprey hawk by artist Wendell Gilley (Maine, 1904-1983), depicting the osprey in flight landing on a driftwood branch over a flounder on the sand, 17 inches tall and artist signed, brought $1,599. Also, an oak Arts and Crafts watchmaker’s desk having a rectangular top and fitted with a glass panel over three drawers, commanded $799.

Bird whirligig

Hand-carved and painted figure of an osprey hawk by artist Wendell Gilley (Maine, 1904-1983), artist signed. Sold for $1,599. Neue Auctions image

A sailor attracted much attention in the decorative arts category. He was lot 182: a hand-painted cast-iron doorstop in the form of a uniformed sailor, painted in red, white and blue and standing 13½ inches tall ($1,169). Also, a Nantucket basket hand-woven in 1995 by Sylvia Terry, oval form, surmounted by a carved whale, with bone fittings and closure, artist signed, rose to $677.

Bird whirligig

A cast-iron doorstop in the form of a sailor, 13½in tall. Sold for $1,169. Neue Auctions image

Asian lots were led by three Chinese Export armorial plates, the center plate Qing, Quianlong (circa 1735-1738), painted in the center with the arms of Dickinson impaling Wright above the motto “Dei Manus Medicus.” The other two plates (Qing, Qianlong, circa 1745) were painted in the center with the quarterly arms of Fazakerley impaling Lutwyche. The set brought $1,599.

Bird whirligig

Three beautiful Chinese Export armorial plates, both Qing, Quianlong (circa 1735-1745) both painted in the center with coats of arms. Sold for $1,599. Neue Auctions image

A set of eight 20th century Chinese Export cabbage leaf-covered cups and saucers, the delicate cups having two handles and domed covers, the saucers 6 inches by 5 inches, garnered $1,353. Also, a capodimonte armorial china lot comprising two cookie plates with handles, six plates and five bread plates, all decorated with bacchanalian scenes around the rims, fetched $1,107.

Bird whirligig

Set of 20th century Chinese Export cabbage leaf covered cups and saucers. Sold for $1,353. Neue Auctions image

A color woodblock with embossing by Hiroaki Takahashi Shotei (Japanese, 1871-1945), titled Tama, the Cat (1924), 10 inches by 14 inches, from the lifetime edition published by Shozaburo Watanabe, signed with the publisher’s seal used from 1929-1942, went for $1,107; and a group of eight assorted Chinese blanc de chine Guanyin figures, the tallest one 10 inches, made $799.

Bird whirligig

Color woodblock with embossing by Hiroaki Takahashi Shotei (Japanese, 1871-1945), titled ‘Tama, the Cat,’ 1924, 10in x 14in. Sold for $1,107. Neue Auctions image

Chinese textiles piqued bidder interest. A silk jacquard woven table cloth, patch construction in gold and earth tones woven with dragons in clouds, measuring about 86 inches by 44 inches, knocked down for $1,169. The same price was realized for a silk jacquard woven quilt, woven with dragon and phoenix borders centering bands in multiple colors, 70 inches by 64 inches.

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