Birmingham-Southern College library collection to sell at Grant Zahajko July 31-August 1

'The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: with the names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from their first beginning', estimated at $8,000-$10,000 at Grant Zahajko Auctions.

DAVENPORT, WA — The library of Birmingham-Southern College, featuring early works on the history of North America and classics of science and literature, will be sold at Grant Zahajko Auctions during two days: Wednesday, July 31 and Thursday, August 1. Founded in 1856, Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) operated for 168 years as a private arts college affiliated to the United Methodist Church in Alabama. However, the college closed at the end of the 2023–2024 school year after years of financial trouble.

As these books were shelved in a locked special collections room, the majority have no evidence of markings of traditional library ownership, although some have book plates and, occasionally, spine damage resulting from the removal of stickers or labels.

Session One on July 31 numbers 502 lots, with Session Two on August 1 offering a further 483 lots.

One of many early histories and travelogs of the Southern states of Colonial and Federal America is The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: with the names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from their first beginning. Written by the English soldier, explorer, and colonial governor Captain John Smith (1580-1631) and first published in 1624, the book is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, histories of the territory administered by the Virginia Company of London. This copy, which references Charles I as a prince (dating it to before his succession in March 1625), comes with the four maps Virginia, Ould Virginia, Summer Isles, and New England, thought to be later facsimiles. It has an estimate of $8,000-$12,000.

Richard Hakluyt’s The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, Made by Sea or Over-land, to the Remote and Farthest Distant Quarters of the Earth, published in 1598, is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.

Though Hakluyt himself never traveled further than France, he was a key figure in Elizabethan maritime expansion and the English colonization of North America. This second edition greatly expanded on the first edition of 1589, with the entire third volume dedicated to America. The first volume also includes a section on the conquest of the Spanish region of Cadiz by the Earl of Essex in 1596, an account that was removed from later editions after Essex fell out of favor at court. The maps in this copy are thought to be later facsimiles.

Among the literary works is a volume comprising all 28 editions of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s scarce political weekly The Friend, offered with an estimate of $8,000-$10,000. Fully titled The Friend: A Literary, Moral, and Political Weekly Paper, Excluding Personal and Party Politics, and the Events of the Day, there were 27 issues plus an unnumbered Supernumerary Essay, each printed haphazardly in Penrith, Cumbria, England between June 1, 1809 and March 15, 1810. At the time, Coleridge had settled with the family of fellow Romantic poet William Wordsworth at their recently acquired house Allan Bank in Grasmere in England’s Lake District.

An 1871 first edition of Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man that includes the first appearance of the word ‘evolution’ in Darwin’s works has an estimate of $1,500-$2,000, while a copy of the first English printing of James Joyce’s Ulysses, number 1631 of 2,000 copies on handmade paper printed in Dijon, France in 1922, has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. Of the 2,000 copies printed of this edition with its blue and white ‘Greek flag’ cover, most of the 500 copies sent to the United States were seized and burned by government authorities on the grounds of obscenity.

Michael Jackson signed art comes to market by court order at King’s August 3

Michael Jackson’s 1993 wax pencil and pastel drawing 'Neverland Royal Theater Entrance – Self Portrait', which has a starting bid of $9,999 at King's.

LAS VEGAS — King’s Auctions has been appointed by the Superior Court of California to auction a collection of original artworks signed by Michael Jackson (1958-2009). The 78 drawings are believed to have been created during the time of the Jackson-Strong Alliance, the artistic company established by Michael Jackson and the Australian-born artist Brett Livingstone Strong in 1989.

The auction has an unusual angle in that the opening lot, which has an eye-watering estimate of $12 million-$30 million and requires an opening bid of $1 million, represents the entire collection of art. If the reserve price is met, the complete collection will go to the winning bidder.

However, if the reserve is not met, the sale will automatically revert to a standard protocol with each artwork offered individually with starting bids of $9,999 and printed estimates of $100,000-$1 million each.

Michael Jackson, whose artistic talents were modest compared with his prodigious gifts as a singer, dancer and composer, pursued drawing as a hobby through his life. His cartoon-like sketches occasionally come to auction, previously selling for prices up to $30,000.

However, following a friendship with Strong (b.1953-), his ambitions grew. In 1989, a company called Jackson-Strong Alliance, was established and the pair worked together with plans for a series of sculptures and collections of works to be sold as signed art prints.

The title to the ‘Michael Jackson’s art collection’ – secured for some years in an art-storage facility – has been the subject of a civil case.

The auction house confirmed: “Prior to the court order, the Michael Jackson artworks were the joint property of Vinson Investments and the Jackson-Strong Alliance. The artworks were held at a private art space in Santa Monica, California, which Michael Jackson personally maintained for years. He would go there to create his art, sometimes while healing from plastic-surgery procedures.

“Subsequent to the court order, King’s Auctions picked up the art and arranged for authenticator Roger Epperson to fly to Los Angeles from Houston [where he] authenticated the signatures and confirmed that the artworks were not prints.”

The subject matter in this selection of pencil and pastel works from the late 1980s and 1990s range from Disney-style drawings of Mickey Mouse to Michelangelo’s David.

The collection includes portraits such as My Friend, thought to be Elizabeth Taylor, and Andy, a bust portrait of a smiling Andy Warhol wearing a bow tie. Jackson titled his portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, Her Majesty.

A series of images of early presidents, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, were sketched on paper embossed with the Presidential Seal for a planned (but never held) exhibition at the White House in the late 1980s. Jackson’s portraits of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan followed an invitation to the White House in 1984, when he stayed overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom.

The auction is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the Estate of Michael Jackson and is instead a court-mandated sale by order of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Civil Division, West District, Santa Monica, California. None of the art will convey with copyright or IP (intellectual property) rights.

A brief history of the Jackson-Strong Alliance, including specific references to some of these works, can be found here.

Tommy Hilfiger’s 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby pool table leads our five lots to watch

Tommy Hilfiger's 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby pool table

ASHEVILLE, NC — On July 31, Brunk Auctions is selling 257 lots from the collection of fashionistas Dee Ocleppo and Tommy Hilfiger. A cache of music and pop-culture-related memorabilia includes this pool table modeled on the body of a blue and white 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT-350. The limited-edition furnishing made by Mustang Entertainment Inc. and dated December 18, 2013, has a guide of $5,000-$7,000.

Final American flag lowered in the Philippines prior to Japanese invasion

Second World War-era American flag lowered in Manila prior to the Japanese invasion, estimated at $2,000-$4,000 at Helmuth Stone Gallery.
Second World War-era American flag lowered in Manila prior to the Japanese invasion, estimated at $2,000-$4,000 at Helmuth Stone Gallery.

SARASOTA, FL – This 5ft 4in x 3ft American flag was one of the last lowered in Manila the day prior to the Japanese entry into the city on January 2, 1942. It comes for sale at Helmuth Stone Gallery from Louis Pritchett, a senior figure in Procter & Gamble who was instrumental in the multinational’s expansion into the Philippines. The flag has an estimate of $2,000-$4,000 on August 4.

Carte de visite of Wild Bill Hickok

Carte de visite photo of James Butler Hickok, estimated at $2,000-$3,000 at La Belle Epoque Auction House.
Carte de visite photo of James Butler Hickok, estimated at $2,000-$3,000 at La Belle Epoque Auction House.

NEW YORK — This carte de visite photograph depicts James Butler Hickok (1837-1876), of Deadwood, South Dakota. The American Old West icon better known as Wild Bill Hickok — soldier, lawman, cattle rustler, gunslinger and showman — worked as a sheriff in the Deadwood area in the Dakota Territory. He was shot by Jack McCall while playing poker; his hand of two pairs of black aces and eights is now known as the dead man’s hand. The CDV, titled simply Wild Bill, has a guide of $2,000-$3,000 at La Belle Epoque Auction House on July 27.

Screen-used, gold-tone resin Golden Snitch from 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'

Golden snitch prop from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, estimated at $5,000-$7,000 at Julien’s Auctions.
Golden Snitch prop from 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,' estimated at $5,000-$7,000 at Julien’s Auctions.

GARDENA, CA — The first of the Harry Potter movies, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), introduced the game of Quidditch, the wizarding sport played on broomsticks. In his first days at Hogwarts, the 11-year-old Harry Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe, is taught that the most important ball in the game is the Golden Snitch, an enchanted small, walnut-sized sphere with wings that is worth 150 points to the player who can catch it.

The screen-used, gold-tone resin Golden Snitch has an estimate of $5,000-$7,000 at Julien’s Auctions‘ sale of movie props and entertainment memorabilia on July 28.

Rookwood vase decorated by Edward Diers in 1909

Rookwood Vellum glaze exhibition vase decorated by Edward Diers, estimated at $2,000-$4,000 at Woody Auction.
Rookwood Vellum glaze exhibition vase decorated by Edward Diers, estimated at $2,000-$4,000 at Woody Auction.

DOUGLASS, KS — The collection of Frank Cox of Denver, CO, will be offered in 594 lots at Woody Auction. This 13.5in Rookwood vase from 1909 is thought to have been made for the factory’s stand at the 1910 Brussels World’s Fair in Belgium. The Vellum glaze architectural and landscape decoration, signed by the artist Edward Diers, includes the German-language banner ‘Glueck-Wunsch,’ meaning congratulations or good luck. It has an estimate of $2,000-$4,000, but, like all the lots in the sale, will be sold without reserve.

Edward George Diers, who was born in Cincinnati and educated at the Cincinnati Art Academy, decorated at Rookwood Pottery from 1896 until 1931, primarily painting Vellum glaze wares.

The Traditional Collector sale returns to John Moran July 30

Louis Majorelle, Aux Nenuphars gueridon, estimated at $20,000-$30,000 at John Moran.

MONROVIA, CA — John Moran Auctioneers returns with another installment in its semi-regular Traditional Collector series, a July 30 sale which groups a variety of interesting categories of collectibles from around the world with appealing estimates. The complete catalog is now available for review and bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Louis Majorelle (1859-1926) was one of the world’s leading Art Nouveau designers, creating furniture in unique designs as an ébéniste (furniture maker who worked primarily in ebony). The Moran sale features two Majorelle Aux Nenuphars gueridons (small tables supported by one or more columns) dating to around 1900 (here and here). The Art Nouveau mahogany side tables have a circular burlwood veneer table top and undershelf, bronze mounts of water lilies at the shoulders and three feet on crescent open legs. They stand 32in in height and are 31in in diameter. Both are estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

A pair of Napoleon III-style malachite-veneered cabinets are also featured. Dating to the late-20th / early-21st century, the gilt-bronze mounted cabinets feature a stepped rectangular outline with foliate and putto mounts. The cabinets’ central door is mounted with an oval relief plaque. They measure 43.5in in height and width, and 16.5in deep. The pair is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.

Maritime art collectors will note the 19th-century Maritime School unsigned oil on canvas Ship Cowper T.S. Stevens Master Entering Hong Kong Feb. 24 1860. It measures 28.25 x 39.5in and comes to market from the Vallejo Gallery, Newport Beach, CA. The majestic three-masted ship depiction is estimated to bring $12,000-$18,000.

Colonial silver, Shaker furniture and Albert Bierstadt headline Eldred’s July 24-26

Jacob Hurd silver lidded sugar bowl, estimated at $40,000-$60,000 at Eldred's.

EAST DENNIS, MA — More than 860 lots of art, antiques and collectibles head to market as Eldred’s brings its Summer Sale July 24, July 25 and July 26. Three star lots symbolize the high level of quality in each of the three days.

Jacob Hurd (1703-1758) is today considered one of Boston’s most important silversmiths of the late colonial period. In particular, his engraving skills are thought to be unparalleled for his time. As such, he was in great demand by high-end society, receiving a steady stream of commission work. Despite this, Hurd died bankrupt with only his legacy to bear witness to his talent.

This “exceedingly rare and important” silver lidded sugar bowl was created by Hurd around 1745. It bears an engraved crest on its side featuring whimsical pigs, and both the bowl and lid are marked Hurd. Standing 4.5in in height with a 4.875in diameter, the bowl is estimated at $40,000-$60,000 and is the top lot for day 1.

This Shaker trestle table is believed to be from the Shaker colony in Mount Lebanon, New York. Dating to the 19th century, it features a pine top with breadboard ends, and its arched legs end in diminutive shoe-style feet. The table stands 26.75in in height, is 98.25in long and 37.25in wide. This rare and desirable piece of historic furniture tops day 2 with a $30,000-$50,000 estimate.

Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) is considered to be one of the foremost painters of the American West. His sweeping panoramas and attention to detail have made his works in high demand for contemporary collectors. Born in Prussia but raised in the United States, Bierstadt took many journeys as part of the Westward Expansion, painting as he went and creating a monumental legacy of a vanished time and place. Sailors on the Wave exhibits Bierstadt’s use of luminism to great effect, with the figures appearing in silhouette against the threatening sky and crashing main. The oil on board measures 9 x 10in and is undated.  With minor touchup restoration by noted specialist Simon Parkes in the early 2000s, Eldred’s estimates the work at $80,000-$120,000, making it the top lot of the three-day sale. 

Personal correspondence between Lady and Princess Diana and the former Spencer family housekeeper set to sell at Sworders July 30

HRH Diana, Princess of Wales, a signed and inscribed 1994 Christmas card, estimated at £200-£300 ($260-$385) at Sworders.

ESSEX, UK — Two dozen letters and cards from Diana Princess of Wales to her family’s former housekeeper come to auction in Essex this summer. SwordersOut of the Ordinary sale on July 30 includes a trove of correspondence between the princess and the lady she knew simply as Collie.

Violet Collison had been the head housekeeper to John Spencer, Viscount Althorp and his wife Frances Ruth Roche at Park House on the Sandringham Estate. While in service, she welcomed the births of four Spencer children — Sarah, Jane, Diana (later Diana Princess of Wales) and Charles — and later, after the Spencers’ marriage broke down, followed Frances to London in 1967. Working for Frances and Peter Shand Kydd until retirement in 1973, Collie remained close to Frances and the Spencer children until she died in 2013, aged 89.

As can be seen from the variety and nature of this collection of cards and letters, Collie remained in Diana’s thoughts throughout her life, before and during her marriage to Charles Prince of Wales, the birth of their two children, Princes William and Harry, and beyond.

Invited to the Royal Wedding on July 29, 1981, she also received a ticket for the Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales on September 6, 1997.

Most of the letters to Collie are thank you notes for Christmas and birthday presents given to Diana and Prince Harry and Prince William as children, each offing a line or two regarding her life at the time.

A double-sided letter, written on Buckingham Palace notepaper to Collie thanking her for a birthday present, is dated July 8, 1981, only three weeks before the Royal Wedding. The then-Lady Diana Spencer observes “Everyone frantically busy here doing last minute decorations … the bride-to-be has remained quite calm!” In its original envelope addressed in Diana’s hand, it is expected to bring £800-£1,200 ($1,030-$1,540).

Writing as the Princess of Wales on Kensington Palace stationery on September 25, 1984, Diana thanks her former housekeeper for a gift to Prince Harry. She notes that “William adores his little brother and spends the entire time pouring an endless supply of hugs and kisses over Harry.” Offered together with a Christmas card from the same year, it also has a guide of £800-£1,200 ($1,030-$1,540).

Violet Collison’s personal invitations to the Royal Wedding (including a copy of the order of service) will be offered together with ticket no. 109 for the Funeral of Diana plus other correspondence related to the Memorial Service of Diana, Princess of Wales on August 31, 2007. It has an estimate of £200-£300 ($260-$385).

Namikawa Yasayuki cloisonné enamel works offered at Alderfer July 24-25

Namikawa Yasayuki vase with chrysanthemums and birds on a black ground, estimated at $1,000-$2,000 at Alderfer Auction.

HATFIELD, PA — Five works by one of the greatest exponents of the intricate art of cloisonné enamel are included in Alderfer Auction’s Collectors sale on Wednesday, July 24 and Thursday, July 25. The four vases and one lidded koro, each signed by the Kyoto workshop of Namikawa Yasayuki (1845-1927), carry modest individual estimates of $1,000-$2,000.

Working predominantly in silver, Namikawa was instrumental in refining the Chinese art of cloisonné into the elegant visual fantasies known in Japan as shippo-yaki. Beginning his career as a metalworker at the start of the Meiji restoration in 1868, he worked first with the Kyoto Shippo Kaisha, between 1871 and 1874, before opening his own studio. He exhibited his work to great acclaim at national and international expositions, and by the 1890s, he employed a team of highly skilled specialist craftsmen in Kyoto fulfilling imperial commissions and selling to private collectors of Japanese art worldwide. Working across half a century, spanning the reigns of the emperors Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho (1912-1926), his work assumes a number of different styles and embraces a varied color palette.

A major exhibition in Tokyo in 2017 titled Namikawa Yasuyuki and Japanese Cloisonné – The Allure of Meiji Cloisonné: The Aesthetic of Translucent Black reignited interest in his work among Japanese collectors.

Not everything the workshop made was signed, but all five of the pieces offered in the Alderfer auction sport four-character marks to the base reading ‘Kyoto Namikawa’. All worked in silver and enamel, they range in size from a miniature 3in censer and cover with a landscape decoration to a 5in vase decorated with chrysanthemums and birds.

Carlo and Rembrandt Bugatti collection of Merle and Peter Mullin appears at Bonhams July 24

Rembrandt Bugatti, ‘Petite Panthère Assise,’ estimated at $150,000-$250,000 at Bonhams.

LOS ANGELES — One of the most extensive collections of works by the celebrated Bugatti family will be offered from the renowned California collection of Merle and Peter Mullin at Bonhams Wednesday, July 24.

Peter Mullin (1941-2023), a prominent American businessman and philanthropist, was well-known in motoring circles for having one of the premier collections of Bugatti automobiles in the world. However, he also curated an exceptional collection dedicated to the artworks of the entire Bugatti family, with more than 55 pieces from Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940) as well as sculptures from his acclaimed son, Rembrandt Bugatti (1884-1916). The collection also includes exquisite molded glass car mascots by René Lalique (1860-1945), vases by Daum Frères (founded in 1876), and other pieces from luminaries of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements.

Mullin, a passionate car collector, established the Mullin Automotive Museum in 2010, which focused on French marques such as Bugatti. Furthering his fascination with Bugatti cars, Mullin explored the creative lineage of the Bugatti family. This endeavor ignited his passion for collectible design and expanded his knowledge in furniture and craftsmanship, resulting in this exceptional collection.

Carlo Bugatti’s influential design practice, which flourished in Paris, wove together organic shapes, details, and elements of Orientalist and Gothic motifs. His work gained international recognition and is proudly displayed in museum collections worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. His craftsmanship is evident in the furniture pieces offered in this sale, from chairs, desks, tables, display cabinets, and more fashioned from natural materials such as wood, silk, vellum, and copper.

Rembrandt Bugatti, Carlo’s son, is recognized as one of the most significant sculptors of the early 20th century, lauded for his bronzes that present exotic creatures with striking dynamism. In June, Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr achieved the artist’s world record price of €3.7 million for a bronze sculpture of three walking panthers. Offered in the July 24 sale are several sculptures by Rembrandt, including Petite Panthère Assise, conceived in 1906, with this version cast by the A.A. Hébrard foundry in 1912. It carries an estimate of $150,000-$250,000.

Hailing from the original Bugatti who captured Mullin’s imagination is a Type 52 Bugatti ‘Baby’ car originally designed by Ettore Bugatti for his son as a replica of the Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix car. The example offered, which dates to 1927, was fully restored under the guidance of the late Bugatti collector Bunny Phillips and features a 12-volt electric motor and livery in traditional Bugatti blue with a red leather interior. It will be offered with an estimate of $100,0000-$125,000.

Mullin’s fondness for French culture and motoring led him to amass an impressive array of glass sculptures and decorative objects by the celebrated French designer René Lalique. The sale will offer more than 30 pieces of molded glass Lalique pieces that were proudly displayed in Mullin’s museum, led by Cinq Chevaux, a famed Lalique hood ornament estimated at $6,000-$8,000.

Jasper52 presents 94 lots of Fine Pearl Jewelry July 23

South Sea and Tahitian pearl pendant on an 18K gold chain, estimated at $2,000-$2,200 at Jasper52.

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, July 23, starting at 2 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will present its latest Fine Pearl Jewelry auction, consisting of 94 lots. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The chosen highlights are all necklaces, and all feature golden-colored pearls, but in distinctly different and pleasing designs. A particular standout is a pendant on an 18K gold chain comprised of three pearls in a drop formation: a Tahitian pearl with a natural peacock green luster, a white South Sea pearl, and a golden South Sea pearl. It carries an estimate of $2,000-$2,200.

Sporting a more traditional configuration is a single-strand golden South Sea pearl necklace, estimated at $25,000-$28,000. The lot notes state that it comes with an authenticity certificate issued by the Pearl Science Lab, located in Japan.

For those who prefer a bit of whimsy in their jewelry, there’s this 18K gold necklace strung with a pendant made from golden South Sea pearls augmented to look like a dog. Tiny gold beads form its eyes, tail, nose, and collar, and its gold disc ears give it a vaguely Snoopy-like appearance. It is estimated at $2,000-$2,500.

Luxury designer fashion comes to market in New York July 23

Hermès Black Crocodile Constance bag, estimated at $53,000-$64,000 at Jasper52.

NEW YORK — Jasper52 brings nearly 500 lots of luxury designer fashion from the biggest names in the business to market Tuesday, July 23 at 6 pm Eastern time. The complete catalog is now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The first highlight is a Chanel black tweed and metallic thread sleeveless midi dress in size 40. Featuring 92% wool, the dress has a front slit design with a rear zipper and hook closure. It also has a double silk lining, sports the Chanel logo, and was made in France. It carries an estimate of $2,000-$2,500.

Next up is a highly coveted Hermès Constance black alligator and gold hardware bag. It is brand new, never used, and comes with its original duster bag, box, and protective front cover. It is estimated at $53,000-$64,000.

The final highlight is a Ralph Lauren Collection black lamb fur-cropped cover-up jacket in size M. Made in the United States, the jacket features 100% lamb shearling, 100% silk, and three-quarter sleeves measuring 16in in length. It has a lamb leather strap and is designed to have a loose fit. It is estimated at $2,000-$2,500.