ATLANTA – At the beginning of every month, ACN columnist Ken Hall delivers top auction highlights from around the United States and the world at large. Here’s the June 2022 edition of his Gallery Report. All prices include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.
Ed Clark’s Creation, $740,000, Hindman
Ed Clark’s acrylic on canvas Creation sold for $740,000 at a Post-War & Contemporary Art auction held May 11 by Hindman in Chicago. It was the highest price ever achieved for the artist. Also, John Craxton’s esoteric Cretan taverna scene Still Life with Three Sailors achieved $400,000, and four works by Chicago’s Queen of the Bohemians, Gertrude Abercrombie, went for a combined $925,000. The top achiever among the four was an oil on Masonite titled Toddy, Possim and Christine that realized $337,500.
U.S. 1901 one-cent error stamp, $5,500, Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC
A U.S. one-cent stamp commemorating the Pan American Exposition of 1901 with an inverted center – an error stamp philatelic rarity – sold for $5,500 at a Western Americana Auction held April 21-24 by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC in Reno, Nevada. Also, a US Mint San Francisco 23.06-ounce silver ingot, 999.75 fine, earned $8,125; and a Navajo squash blossom turquoise and coral necklace with matching earrings signed by Victor Moses Begay achieved $1,438.
Burchfield watercolor, $587,500, Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers
A 1965 watercolor on paper by Charles Burchfield (American, 1893-1967), titled Nighthawks and the Moon, sold for $587,500 in an online-only Spring Fine Art Auction held April 28 by Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Milford, Connecticut. Three paintings by Burchfield combined to sell for more than $1 million. Also, a signed watercolor and pastel on paper by Maurice Prendergast (American, 1858-1924) attained $187,500.
Baignoire de Cartier watch, $9,225, Neue Auctions
A Baignoire de Cartier 18K gold and diamond ladies’ watch, made around 2010, sold for $9,225 in an online-only Fine Interiors, Art & Antiques auction held April 30 by Neue Auctions in Beachwood, Ohio. Also, a large pair of Chinese turquoise glaze terracotta foo dogs on stands rose to $5,842; a pair of 1980s Art Deco-style lacquered wood and upholstered club chairs realized $3,567; and an English sterling silver serving tray made in London in 1783 went for $4,612.
Newcomb Pottery group, $11,938, Crescent City Auction Gallery
A collection of six Newcomb Pottery pieces sold for $11,938 at an Important Estates Auction held May 13-14 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans. Also, a pair of 19th–century Chinese porcelain baluster ginger jars finished at $6,875; an untitled abstract artwork by George Bauer Dunbar (American, b. 1929-), featuring red gold leaf over red clay with die keen, realized $4,375; and a 141-piece set of sterling flatware by International in the Continental pattern made $8,125.
Presentation copy of The Great Gatsby, $67,200, Potter & Potter Auctions
A presentation copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925, Charles Scribner & Sons, N.Y.) sold for $67,200 at a Literature Sale held April 26 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a copy of Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol brought $26,400; a copy of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon went for $22,800; and a copy of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms went to a determined bidder for $21,600.
Chinese porcelain plaques, $137,500, Clements
A pair of 20th-century Chinese porcelain plaques bearing the artist’s marks of Pan Taoyu (1887-1926) sold for $137,500 at an auction held April 2 by Clements auction house in Hixson, Tennessee. Pan Taoyu was one of the foremost creators of porcelain during China’s Republic period (1912-1949). He adopted the studio name Gu huan and died young, at age 39, so his surviving works are very scarce. The winning bidder was a Canadian dealer who was acting on behalf of Chinese clients.
John Hancock letter, $1.896 million, Freeman’s
A 1776 letter signed by John Hancock announcing America’s independence to the state of Georgia sold for $1.896 million at a May 4 Books and Manuscripts auction held by Freeman’s in Philadelphia, the star of a pair of sales that included the auction house’s May 3 American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts auction. Also performing well at the back-to-back auctions were a Chippendale mahogany sideboard table, which rose to $163,800; Rembrandt Peale’s portrait of George Washington, which finished at $94,500; and a first American edition of Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice, which achieved $21,420.
Portrait by Thomas Sully, $94,500, Doyle New York
An 1839 portrait by Thomas Sully (British and American, 1783-1872) of Commodore James Biddle sold for $94,500 at an auction of American Paintings, Furniture & Decorative Arts held May 3-4 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a 1759 Map of the Improved Part of the Province of Pennsylvania by Nicholas Scull, the largest map printed in America in the 18th century, realized $88,200; and a pair of silver vases commissioned to memorialize Thomas Biddle, who died in a duel in 1831, brought $59,850.
1798 $1 Small Eagle coin, $205,625, Legend Rare Coin Auctions
A 1798 $1 U.S. Small Eagle coin with 13 stars, graded PCGS AU 58 CAC, sold for $205,625 at Regency Auction 51, held April 28 by Legend Rare Coin Auctions in Lincroft, New Jersey. Also, a 1795 $1 U.S. coin with two leaves, PCGS AU 58 CAC, achieved $105,750; an 1802/1 $5 U.S. coin, PCGS MS64+ CAC, changed hands for $102,812; an 1809/8 $5 U.S. coin, PCGS MS64+ CAC, went for $79,312; and an 1827 $5 U.S. coin, PCGS AU58+ CAC, rang up $79,312.
Maud Lewis oil painting, CA$413,000, Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
A 1967 oil-on-board painting by Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis (1901-1970), titled Black Truck, sold for CA$413,000 in an online-only Canadiana & Decorative Arts auction held May 14 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. in New Hamburg, Canada. Also, Lewis’s oil painting Oxen Pulling Logs realized CA$88,500; a group of three letters from Lewis to friend and artist John Kinnear attained CA$82,600; and a circa-1825 powder horn by John Tansel made $22,420. Prices in this entry are given in Canadian dollars.
1879 map of the Western U.S., $16,675, Old World Auctions
An 1879 six-sheet Map of the Territory of the United States, West of the Mississippi River, Edward Freyhold’s updated version of Lieutenant Warren’s general map, sold for $16,675 in an online auction held April 13-27 by Old World Auctions in Richmond, Virginia. Also, William Blaeu’s atlas of China and Japan, based on the compilations of the Jesuit Father Martino Martini during his mid-17th-century travels, made $13,800; and a 1779 Thomas Jefferson signed appointment hit $10,925.
Skeletonized watch, $15,000, John Moran Auctioneers
A Vacheron Constantin skeletonized wristwatch, featuring 18K gold and diamonds with a 36-jewel stem-wind set movement, sold for $15,000 at a Spring Jewels auction held May 3 by John Moran Auctioneers in Los Angeles. Also, a large 14K gold carved lapis lazuli scarab pendant necklace with an Egyptian scene on the reverse realized $5,938; a platinum ring centering an emerald-cut, 2.58-carat diamond hit $23,750; and a circa-1880 diamond brooch went for $13,750.
Imperial dragon carpet, $324,500, Skinner Auctioneers
A circa-1600 Chinese Ming Imperial dragon carpet sold for $324,500 during two sales of the Jim Dixon collection held April 25-May 5 by Skinner Auctioneers, online and in the Boston gallery. Also, a circa-18th-century Northwest Persian or South Caucasian rug, finely woven in multi-colored lozenges on a coral-colored field, rang up $40,625; a circa-1800 early central Anatolian rug fragment earned $35,000; and two Chinese Ningxia fragments from the Kangxi era rose to $5,625.
Antoni Clave painting, $37,500, Andrew Jones Auctions
An oil on canvas by Antoni Clave (Spanish, 1913-2005), titled L’enfant a l’oiseaux, sold for $37,500 at an online auction of property from the collection of Kirk and Anne Douglas held May 18 by Andrew Jones Auctions in Los Angeles. Also, a Chinese Export porcelain jardiniere on stand attained $11,250, and an Oushak carpet from West Anatolia finished at $10,625.
Bob Dylan lyrics, $60,500, RR Auction
Lyrics handwritten in 2013 by Bob Dylan for his classic song All Along the Watchtower, made popular by Jimi Hendrix, sold for $60,500 in an online auction that began April 14 and ended May 19 at RR Auction, based in Boston. The lyrics were written on one page in black ink and signed at the bottom “Bob Dylan, 2013.” Also, Jim Morrison’s handwritten lyrics for The Doors hit song Love Her Madly realized $43,750, and a Beatles signed Parlophone promo card achieved $25,970.
Rolex Daytona watch, $90,000, Clars Auction Gallery
A Rolex Daytona chronograph wristwatch, ref. 6263, slipped onto a new wrist for $90,000 at a Spring Fine Jewelry & Timepieces auction held May 19 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, California. Soon after, on May 21-22, Clars held a Fine Art, Furniture & Asian Art auction, in which an unheated Burma ruby, diamond and 18K gold ring sold for $14,400, and a print by the Japanese painter, performer and installation artist Yayoi Kusama (b. 1933-) realized $12,000.
Kurt Cobain guitar, $4.5 million, Julien’s Auctions
Kurt Cobain’s 1969 Fender Mustang electric guitar, played in the grunge rock group Nirvana’s breakthrough hit and 1991 music video Smells Like Teen Spirit, sold for $4.5 million at a Music Icons auction held May 20, 21 and 22 by Julien’s Auctions in New York City. Also, Johnny Cash’s owned and stage-played 1956 Martin model D-21 acoustic guitar hit $437,500, and the pink gown and accessories worn by Madonna in her classic music video Material Girl went for $287,500.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/