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Thornton Dial watercolors

Thornton Dial watercolors noted in online auction Dec. 19

Thornton Dial watercolors
Thornton Dial (1928-2016), ‘Lady Holds the Long Neck Bird,’ watercolor, charcoal and pencil on rag paper, 1991, 30 x 22 in. Estimate: $6,000-$7,000. Jasper52 image

NEW YORK – Three watercolor paintings by African American artist Thornton Dial are among the highlights of a 500-lot auction of Americana, folk art and outsider art that will be conducted by Jasper52 on Thursday, Dec. 19. Handcrafted tramp art boxes, vintage signage, baskets and quilts are just a few of the added attractions in this expansive Americana sale. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.  

Thornton Dial (1928-2016) came to prominence in the late 1980s. With little schooling or formal art training, Dial created powerfully evocative assemblages, sculptures, collages, paintings and drawings that reflected his personal history and events in the world. One of the original Dial works in the auction is a 30- by 22-inch watercolor, charcoal and pencil on rag paper titled Lady Holds the Long Neck Bird, from 1991 (est. $6,000-$7,000).

A rare shooting gallery target is in the form of a mule that kicks up its hind legs when hit. This cast-iron target is attributed to the A.J. Smith Co., which was purchased by the Evans Co. of Chicago in 1923. It measures 24 ¼ by 23 inches (est. $2,500-$2,800).

Thornton Dial watercolors
Kicking mule shooting gallery target, circa 1923, Chicago, 24¼ x 23in, cast iron. Estimate: $2,500-$2,800. Jasper52 image

A late 19th century weathervane in the auction depicts Black Hawk (1833-1856), a well-known Morgan horse that sired more than 1,700 foals. The copper and zinc weathervane is 25 inches long by 18 inches high (est. $3,500-$4,000).

Thornton Dial watercolors
Black Hawk weathervane, circa 1890, 25 x 18 x 1½in, copper and zinc. Estimate: $3,500-$4,000. Jasper52 image

Having the highest estimate in the sale is an early 20th century cigar store Indian that greeted customers at a Chicago shoe store for many years. Nicknamed “Minnie,” the 4-foot-tall carved wood figure retains its original paint. He’s expected to sell for $12,000-$14,000.

Thornton Dial watercolors
Cigar store Indian, carved wood, original paint, 48 x 18 x 18in. Estimate: $12,000-$14,000. Jasper52 image

Two miniature stoneware pitchers by contemporary Catawba Valley, North Carolina, potter Steve Abee are offered in separate lots. Each dates to the mid-1990s and is a mere 3 inches high (est. $40-$50).

Thornton Dial watercolors
Steve Abee, miniature pottery pitcher, 1995, 3 x 2½in. Estimate: $40-$50. Jasper52 image

The Jasper52 auction of Americana, folk art and outsider art will be conducted Thursday, Dec. 19, beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern time.

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