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Monumental mixed media on plywood painting by Purvis Young, estimated at $10,000-$30,000 at Akiba Galleries.

Purvis Young’s ‘Angels Free Us’ leads our five lots to watch

Purvis Young, ‘Angels Free Us’

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – Just months after achieving a massive new auction record for Purvis Young (1943-2010), Akiba Galleries is offering another large-scale work by the African American Outsider artist. The monumental mixed media on plywood painting from the 1990s is estimated at $10,000-$30,000 on Tuesday, April 2.

Young, who lived his entire life in the Overtown area of Miami, was emerging as an art market ‘name’ when this 4ft by 8ft work, titled Angels Free Us, was painted. It was purchased from Outsider Folk Art Gallery in Reading, Pennsylvania by the present owner.

Eclipsing all previous prices for the artist, a large-scale, mid-career work by Young sold for a remarkable $350,000 at Akiba Galleries in December 2023. Date, size, and subject matter were key to its appeal: the 1974 painting on shipping crate plywood chronicles the artist’s unhappiness when his neighborhood was effectively divided to make way for an overpass bridging more affluent sections of Miami.

British or American Wooden Carving of a Spread-winged Eagle

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – On Wednesday, April 10, Brunk Auctions will present almost 150 lots of art, furniture, and decorative pieces from the collection of Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, who served as the US ambassador to Finland from 2001 to 2003. Her other achievements include serving as the first woman leader of the American Red Cross and founding Pace Communications in 1973, where she holds the title of CEO.

Among the eminently tasteful George III, Regency, William and Mary, and Chinese Chippendale pieces on offer, which once graced her former homes in Greensboro, North Carolina and Washington, D.C., is a wooden carving well suited to the latter, and to her tenure as ambassador. Standing 43in tall, a handsome spread-winged eagle, made in Britain or the US in the late 19th or early 20th century, carries an estimate of $1,500-$2,500. Its provenance includes an October 2007 sale at Christie’s New York.

Fred Stone, ‘Spectacular Bid’

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. – This watercolor by equine artist Fred Stone (1930-2018) depicts Spectacular Bid, the champion racehorse who won 26 of his 30 races, including the 1979 Kentucky Derby. The 31 by 30in painting, purchased directly from the artist in 1981, is the original work, which was also issued as a print in an edition of 500.

It comes for sale as part of the California Estates Auction at Clark’s Auction Company on Sunday, April 7. The estimate is $4,000-$6,000, although at auction there is always a chance of a spectacular bid.

Sterling Silver Baltimore Repoussé Serving Dish and Cover

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Repoussé wares became the signature output of a host of silversmiths working in late 19th-century Baltimore. It was here where the Baltimore Style emerged – a range of highly ornate tableware and holloware in numerous floral patterns.  

This serving dish and cover has a full set of marks for the Baltimore Silversmiths Manufacturing Co., founded in 1903 by the Gorham-trained silversmith Frank M. Schofield (1873-1947). Weighing 39oz, it has an estimate of $2,800-$3,800 as part of an estate collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century silver to be auctioned by SJ Auctioneers on Sunday, March 31. The auction, titled Luxe Decor Silverware Toys and More, includes silver pieces by Tiffany & Co., Samuel Kirk, and Reed & Barton. 

US Cartridge Company Poster, ‘The Black Shells’

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Only a handful of examples of this US Cartridge Company poster are known. Titled The Black Shells, the scene depicts a peregrine falcon as it attacks a pair of green-winged teal. The artwork – often attributed to wildlife illustrator Lynn Bogue Hunt (1878-1960) – includes drawings of each of the company’s line of shotgun shells in their signature black casings. The poster is among the highlights of the Saturday, April 13 Premier Firearm & Sports Advertising sale at Richmond Auctions. Like all the lots in the sale, it has the broad estimate of $50-$200,000. However, in December 2022, Rock Island Auction Company sold another as part of the George F. Gamble collection for $14,000. 

The US Cartridge Company, founded in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1869 by the Civil War general Benjamin Butler, grew to supply some 65 percent of American small arms ammunition production for the First World War. When acquired by the owner of Winchester Repeating Arms, production was shifted from Lowell to New Haven, Connecticut.

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