The Hot Bid: Annie Oakley rifle sights set on $400K

A close-up view of the engraved Stevens Model 44 .25-20 single-shot rifle given to Annie Oakley. Image courtesy of Morphy Auctions

What you see: A Stevens model 44 .25-20 single-shot rifle, given to Annie Oakley. Morphy Auctions estimates it at $200,000 to $400,000.

The expert: Michael Salisbury, firearms expert at Morphy Auctions.

Who was Annie Oakley? In the 1880s, exhibition shooting was extremely popular, like football or baseball is today. A well-known traveling exhibition shooter, Frank Butler, came to a Cincinnati hotel owned by Jack Frost. Butler’s coming to town was a great event. At the time, Annie Oakley was known as Phoebe Ann Moses. She was providing game meat to the restaurants at Frost’s hotel, and everybody knew she was an incredible shot. Frost arranged a shooting event. Moses beat Butler by one shot, and a romance began. She married Butler in 1882.

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The Hot Bid: Tamayo’s ‘Galaxia’ expected to soar

Rufino Tamayo (Mexican, 1899-1991) ‘Galaxia,’ color Mixografía print, 20in x 47¼in. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Swann Auction Galleries image

What you see: Galaxia, a 1977 print by Rufino Tamayo. Swann Auction Galleries estimates it at $10,000 to $15,000.

The expert: Todd Weyman, vice president at Swann and director of prints and drawings.

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Gallery Report: ‘Tutti Fruiti’ bracelet brings $1.34M 

ATLANTA – At the start of each month, ACN columnist Ken Hall gathers top auction highlights from around the United States and beyond. Here’s what made headlines since last month’s Gallery Report. All prices include the buyer’s premium.

‘Tutti Fruiti’ Cartier bracelet, $1.34 million, Sotheby’s

A magnificent “Tutti Fruiti” bracelet by Cartier, created circa 1930, sold for $1.34 million in an online auction held April 24-28 by Sotheby’s in New York City. The Art Deco jewel had never before appeared at auction, having been passed down through descendants of an American family for more than 30 years. Pursued by five bidders, the bracelet far surpassed its estimate of $600,000-$800,000. It was the highest price for any jewel sold at auction in 2020, at any auction house.

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The Hot Bid: Voters like ‘Ike’ inaugural license plates

This license plate from 1957 was issued to President Dwight D. Eisenhower for his second presidential inauguration. Morphy Auctions image

What you see: An inaugural license plate issued to President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957, for his second inaugural celebration. It’s one of two lots of inaugural license plates from the Eisenhower-Nixon years in a mid-May sale at Morphy’s; the second lot is a pair issued to Vice President-elect Richard M. Nixon in 1953. Both lots carry estimates of $3,000 to $6,000.

The expert: Jim Fox, consultant for Morphy Auctions.

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The Hot Bid: Liberty cap flag finial likely unique

Rare painted tinware and zinc Liberty cap flag finial with Civil War association to the 1861 Pratt Street Riot in Baltimore. Freeman’s image

What you see: A painted tinware and zinc Liberty cap flag finial that was part of one of the earliest deadly incidents of the Civil War—the Pratt Street Riot of April 1861. Freeman’s estimates it at $15,000 to $25,000.

The Expert: Lynda Cain, vice president and department head for American furniture, folk and decorative arts at Freeman’s.

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The Hot Bid: Buddy Holly poster could break record

The ‘Winter Dance Party’ concert poster starring Buddy Holly and the Crickets will likely sell for $50,000 to $100,000. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

What you see: A Winter Dance Party concert poster, touting Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, all of whom would die in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959—aka “The Day the Music Died.” Heritage Auctions issued no formal estimate for the poster, but its likely range is between $50,000 and $100,000.

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Gallery Report: Grahame Sydney painting tops $64K

ATLANTA – At the start of each month, ACN columnist Ken Hall gathers top auction highlights from around the United States and beyond. Here’s what made headlines since last month’s Gallery Report. All prices include the buyer’s premium.

Grahame Sydney painting, $64,350, Thomaston Place

An oil on linen painting by New Zealand contemporary artist Grahame Sydney (b. 1948), titled Cook House, Home Hills, sold for $64,350 held Feb. 28-29 and March 1 by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries in Thomaston, Maine. Also, a rare 35-star flag from the 1864 Lincoln and Johnson presidential campaign brought $38,025; a Cartier Ming Tree platinum brooch finished at $18,720; and a collection of Civil War-related ephemera went for $36,708.

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Nicolò Barovier Mosaico vase could command $500K

The rare Nicolo Barovier Mosaico vase, 1924-1925, fused and blown polychrome glass murrines, 9in diameter × 13in high. Incised signature to lower edge ‘N. Barovier Murano.’ Image courtesy of Wright

What you see: A rare and important Mosaico vase by Nicolò Barovier, dating to the mid-1920s. Wright estimates it at $300,000 to $500,000.

The expert: Sara Blumberg, a consultant for Wright.

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The Hot Bid: Princess Doraldina fortune-tellers at Morphy’s

The unrestored Princess Doraldina fortune-telling machine. Morphy Auctions image

What you see: A Princess Doraldina fortune-teller machine. Morphy Auctions is offering the vintage coin-op and a second Princess Doraldina machine in the same auction. Both were made by the same Rochester, New York, company in 1928. The estimate on the machine shown above is $20,000 to $30,000. Its “sister,” shown below and featuring a mannequin clad in white, carries an estimate of $15,000 to $25,000.

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Gallery Report: Coin-op Pegasus ride soars to $25K

ATLANTA – At the start of each month, ACN columnist Ken Hall gathers top auction highlights from around the United States and beyond. Here’s what made headlines since last month’s Gallery Report. All prices include the buyer’s premium.

Mobil Oil coin-op kids’ ride, $25,200, Michaan’s Auctions

A 1950s-era Mobil Oil coin-operated children’s Pegasus ride flew out of the room for $25,200 at a Gallery Auction held Feb. 8 by Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda, Calif. Also, a wood and paper collage by Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988), Untitled, 1957, gaveled for $8,400; an oil on board self-portrait by Jesus Guerrero Galvan (Mexican, 1910-1973), titled Autorretrato de Pinto, brought $7,200; and a Shreve & Co. Art Nouveau sterling silver tea service made $5,100.

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