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‘Scout of the Caravan’ by Oscar Edmund Berninghaus, which hammered for $42,000 and sold for $53,760 with buyer’s premium at Brunk Auctions.

Oscar Edmund Berninghaus’ ‘Scout of the Caravan’ leads our five auction highlights

Oscar Edmund Berninghaus, ‘Scout of the Caravan’, $53,760

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – An estimate of $5,000-$7,000 on an original oil by Oscar Edmund Berninghaus (1874-1952) was left in the dust at Brunk Auctions on March 8. Titled on the verso Scout of the Caravan and additionally inscribed OE Berninghaus, Taos, NM, this 2ft 1in by 2ft 6in canvas hammered for $42,000 and sold for $53,760 with buyer’s premium.

A founding member of the Taos Society of Artists in 1915, Berninghaus lived year-round in New Mexico for 27 years, painting hundreds of pictures of the mountains, forests, and people of the area. Typically, he made small pencil and crayon sketches that he later worked up in the studio.

This relatively late canvas was formerly part of the famed John and Margaret Hill collection of American Western art assembled from circa 1930 through 1990 and later given to the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee. It was being offered as ‘Property of a Southern Museum sold to benefit the acquisition fund.’

Vintage Mercedes-Benz 300SL Tool Roll, $10,240

Vintage Mercedes 300 SL tool roll, which hammered for $8,000 and sold for $10,240 with buyer’s premium at Uniques and Antiques.
Vintage Mercedes 300 SL tool roll, which hammered for $8,000 and sold for $10,240 with buyer’s premium at Uniques and Antiques.

ASTON, Penn. – As an original Mercedes-Benz 300SL now costs something north of $1 million, it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that original accessories associated with the Flügeltürer are eagerly sought. Necessary to complete a car for a concours is the tool roll, a series of Mercedes-Benz branded steel tools that allowed owners to perform routine maintenance.

These are often reassembled from elements and reproduction parts, but the example offered at Uniques and Antiques on March 12 was seemingly all-original. Not only did it retain its leatherette roll, it came with the purchase receipt of the car itself from Bryn Mawr Mercedes-Studebaker of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in March 1961. At the time, the three-year-old 1958 300SL Roadster was priced at $6,000 plus sales tax (roughly $62,275 in modern dollars).

Sixty-three years later, the tool roll, estimated at $400-$600, hammered for $8,000 and sold for $10,240 with buyer’s premium.

Early 15th-century Stained and Painted Glass Panel, $38,400

Early 15th-century stained and painted panel depicting The Annunciate Angel, which hammered for $30,000 and sold for $38,400 with buyer’s premium at Willow Auction House.
Early 15th-century stained and painted panel depicting The Annunciate Angel, which hammered for $30,000 and sold for $38,400 with buyer’s premium at Willow Auction House.

LINCOLN PARK, N.J. – The March 14 sale at Willow Auction House included a New York City private collection of leaded and stained glass panels. Featuring glass dating from the medieval period to the early 20th century, very much the front runner was this early 15th-century 2ft by 14in stained and painted panel depicting The Annunciate Angel. As countless similar gothic panels were destroyed during the iconoclasm of the Restoration, survivors outside Catholic Europe’s gothic churches are scarce. Acquired from London specialist dealership Sam Fogg in 2004, it was estimated at just $2,000-$3,000 but hammered for $30,000 and sold for $38,400 with buyer’s premium.

Red Grange Memorabilia Collection, $5,160

Group of vintage football materials, including a silent-movie premiere poster for ‘One Minute to Play’ starring Red Grange, which hammered for $4,300 and sold for $5,160 with buyer’s premium at Lot 14.
Group of vintage football materials, including a silent-movie premiere poster for ‘One Minute to Play’ starring Red Grange, which hammered for $4,300 and sold for $5,160 with buyer’s premium at Lot 14.

NILES, Ill. – Today’s world of professional American football owes an unpayable debt to Red Grange (1903-1991). Born in Forksville, Pennsylvania as Harold Edward Grange, his mother passed away when he was only five, and his father, a lumber man, floated until the family settled in Wheaton, Illinois. Grange would attend Wheaton Community High School, where his innate skill at football came to light. He went on to lead the Fighting Illini at the University of Illinois and became the first-ever All American to win the prestigious award by unanimous vote. Sports historians consider Grange’s signing with the Chicago Bears in 1925 as the singular event to validate the nascent National Football League.

Auction house Lot 14 recently uncovered a trove of vintage football material from a local collection and brought it to market on March 7. It included a 1916 matted presentation of football player photographs from Wheaton Community High School that predated Grange’s time there, and a group photo of the 1916 football team for Carter H. Harrison Technical High School in the South Lawndale area of Chicago.

Bidders focused on the rough-condition 1926 poster for One Minute to Play, the silent action picture that starred Grange and was produced by Joseph P. Kennedy, the patriarch of the American political dynasty. The film premiered at the Rialto Theater in Joliet, Illinois on October 4, 1926; the poster lists the run as October 4 through November 1. The ensemble lot was estimated at only $40-$75, but a war between the floor and a LiveAuctioneers bidder ensued, sending the final hammer to $4,300, or $5,160 with buyer’s premium.

Gustave Vertunni Figure of Jeanne d’Arc on Horseback, $1,024

Gustave Vertunni Jeanne d'Arc figure mounted on a horse, which hammered for $800 and sold for $1,024 with buyer’s premium at Old Toy Soldier Auctions.
Gustave Vertunni Jeanne d'Arc figure mounted on a horse, which hammered for $800 and sold for $1,024 with buyer’s premium at Old Toy Soldier Auctions.

PITTSBURGH – A LiveAuctioneers bidder triumphed in the online battle to become the next owner of a Gustave Vertunni hollow-cast figure of Joan of Arc. It took only one bid to silence the competition, with $800 being the number ($1,024 with buyer’s premium). The figure had been estimated at $350-$600 by Old Toy Soldier Auctions, as part of its OTSA 92 Luck of the Soldier sale on March 15.

Vertunni was Italian, but he moved to Paris after the end of World War II, where he would go on to create a huge variety of French historical figurines. He modeled kings, queens, and other notables with stunning accuracy, making his works highly sought after by contemporary collectors. Vertunni modeled figures from the Middle Ages through the Napoleonic era.