Robert Davidson’s (Haida), S’gan mask (Killer Whale mask), carved and painted red cedar, cedar bark, feathers and operculum shells, attained $54,458 plus the buyer’s premium in July 2021. Image courtesy of First Arts Premiers Inc. and LiveAuctioneers.

Indigenous Northwest Coast art speaks to collectors everywhere

Robert Davidson’s (Haida), S’gan mask (Killer Whale mask), carved and painted red cedar, cedar bark, feathers and operculum shells, attained $54,458 plus the buyer’s premium in July 2021. Image courtesy of First Arts Premiers Inc. and LiveAuctioneers.

Robert Davidson’s S’gan mask (Killer Whale mask), fashioned from carved and painted red cedar, cedar bark, feathers and operculum shells, attained $54,458 plus the buyer’s premium in July 2021. Image courtesy of First Arts Premiers Inc. and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — The arts and objects made by native and indigenous peoples in North America have long been of interest, not just in region where they were made but by collectors and admirers everywhere. This is no less true for the works of the Native American communities of the Northwest Coast of the continent.

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The upright piano: the original home entertainment center

A circa-1800 satinwood and mahogany upright square piano by Irish artisan William Southwell achieved £16,000 (about $18,200) plus the buyer’s premium in May 2016. Image courtesy of Dreweatts Donnington Priory and LiveAuctioneers

A circa-1800 satinwood and mahogany upright square piano by Irish artisan William Southwell achieved £16,000 (about $18,200) plus the buyer’s premium in May 2016. Image courtesy of Dreweatts Donnington Priory and LiveAuctioneers

NEW YORK – The upright piano was the original home entertainment center. Before the rise of the television, the hi-fi stereo and the radio, family and friends gathered around a piano to while the evening away. The upright, or vertical design, which arrived in the early 1800s, effectively democratized the piano; it was more compact and less expensive than a grand piano, the case for which concealed a horizontally-oriented arrangement of strings that demanded far more floor space than most middle-class people could provide in their homes.

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Howard Finster was renowned for his wood cutouts, such as this 1989 example titled ‘The Angel Of The Lord,’ which earned $26,000 plus the buyer’s premium in April 2021. Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art and LiveAuctioneers.

Howard Finster: a preacher whose other calling was folk art

Howard Finster was renowned for his wood cutouts, such as this 1989 example titled ‘The Angel Of The Lord,’ which earned $26,000 plus the buyer’s premium in April 2021. Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art and LiveAuctioneers.

Howard Finster was renowned for his wood cutouts, such as this 1989 example titled ‘The Angel Of The Lord,’ which earned $26,000 plus the buyer’s premium in April 2021. Image courtesy of Slotin Folk Art and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — Howard Finster (1916-2001) is known to most as an important self-taught artist, but he likely would have said his most important job, out of the many different trades he pursued, was as a Baptist preacher in the South. His twin callings of art and faith became forever intermingled.

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This circa-1935 Dinky pre-war No.28/2 trade box (A1009), including six delivery vans, achieved $11,505 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2019. Image courtesy of M&M Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

The small world of Britain’s now-classic Dinky Toys

This circa-1935 Dinky pre-war No.28/2 trade box (A1009), including six delivery vans, achieved $11,505 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2019. Image courtesy of M&M Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

This circa-1935 Dinky pre-war No. 28/2 trade box (A1009), featuring six delivery vans, achieved $11,505 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2019. Image courtesy of M&M Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — Dinky Toys are a beloved collectible that were first produced in 1933 by Frank Hornby of Hornby Railways, a British maker of model electric trains. These die-cast zinc cars and vehicles were first known as Hornby Modelled Miniatures and were designed as accessories to the company’s O gauge train line.

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A Nippon porcelain covered urn, 38in tall, achieved $42,000 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2020 against an estimate of $400-$600. Image courtesy of Susanin’s Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

Nippon label is alluring to Japanese porcelain buffs

A Nippon porcelain covered urn, 38in tall, achieved $42,000 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2020 against an estimate of $400-$600. Image courtesy of Susanin’s Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

A Nippon porcelain covered urn, 38in tall, achieved $42,000 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2020. Image courtesy of Susanin’s Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — Vintage porcelain has always been collectible. Some pieces can cost as much as a house, while others have more reasonable prices. Japanese culture has a rich porcelain-making tradition, driven in part by an abundance of good clay. Porcelain has been made throughout the country for centuries, and archeologists have documented at least six kilns designed for firing ceramics that date back to ancient times.

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Birger Sandzen landscapes: not a bad one in the bunch

‘Twilight,’ a 1927 oil-on-board Colorado landscape by Birger Sandzen, achieved $81,000 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2017. Image courtesy of Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals and LiveAuctioneers


‘Twilight,’ a 1927 Colorado landscape by Birger Sandzen, achieved $81,000 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2017. Image courtesy of Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals and LiveAuctioneers

NEW YORK – When you see your first Birger Sandzen painting, your brain performs an obvious, unmistakable swivel. First, you think, “That looks like a Van Gogh,” followed by the quick realization, “Van Gogh never left Europe.” Your brain is right. Vincent Van Gogh never left Europe. Birger Sandzen did, however, and he unleashed his considerable talents on the landscapes of middle America, finding color and vivacity in the plains of Kansas and the mountains of Colorado.

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Peter Collingwood elevated weaving from craft to art

A Peter Collingwood macrogauze wall hanging achieved $23,023 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2022. Image courtesy of Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers and LiveAuctioneers.

A Peter Collingwood macrogauze wall hanging achieved $23,023 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2022. Image courtesy of Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — British surgeon-turned-weaver Peter Collingwood (1922-2008) was so passionate about elevating weaving from handicrafts to legitimate art, he pushed its boundaries. Taking apart looms and reassembling them in new ways, he reimagined the process by which textiles could be made, and became one of Britain’s foremost weavers.

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A notable exception to Hale Woodruff’s landscapes is this 1973 acrylic painting, ‘Marisa In Vogue,’ which brought $23,000 plus the buyer’s premium in November 2017. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

Hale Woodruff: a trailblazing African-American artist

A notable exception to Hale Woodruff’s landscapes is this 1973 acrylic painting, ‘Marisa In Vogue,’ which brought $23,000 plus the buyer’s premium in November 2017. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

Hale Woodruff’s 1973 acrylic painting, ‘Marisa In Vogue,’ brought $23,000 plus the buyer’s premium in November 2017. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — Hale Aspacio Woodruff’s (1900-1980) contributions to 20th-century American art could easily fill a book.

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An education in back-to-school-themed collectibles

Selling well above its high estimate, this oil on board by Amos Sewell, titled ‘Back to School,’ achieved $90,000 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2019. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

Selling well above its high estimate, this oil-on-board by Amos Sewell, titled ‘Back to School,’ achieved $90,000 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2019. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — Goodbye swimsuits, hello backpacks. The arrival of the end of August and the Labor Day weekend signifies the unofficial end of summer as schools ready to reopen. There’s no better time to look at classic children’s books that have become fixtures of school classrooms and libraries and delighted families at home.

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Australian aboriginal art has captured the world’s attention

This 1995 triptych by Emily Kame Kngwarreye, ‘Ochre Body Paint,’ sold for $19,000 plus the buyer’s premium in July 2022. Image courtesy of Abell Auction and LiveAuctioneers.

This 1995 triptych by Emily Kame Kngwarreye, ‘Ochre Body Paint,’ sold for $19,000 plus the buyer’s premium in July 2022. Image courtesy of Abell Auction and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — Aboriginal art — a term typically used to describe works made by the indigenous people of Australia — takes several forms, all intriguing. They range from body paint and bark paintings to rock art; ochre paintings using organic pigments; textiles; wood carvings; and paintings on canvas, linen or wood. Paintings, in particular, have become one of the most desirable forms of Aboriginal art to collect and are widely represented in museums and fine collections around the world.

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