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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 Cast Bronze leads our five lots to watch

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.