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 (prices include the buyer’s premium unless stated otherwise):
George Copeland Ault painting, $336,500, Hindman LLC
A painting by George Copeland Ault (American, 1891-1948) titled Morning in Brooklyn sold for $336,500 at an American & European Art Auction held May 23 by Hindman LLC in Chicago, Ill. It was a wonderful example of the artist’s time in New York. Also, The Clammer by Andrew Newell Wyeth brought $137,500; L’Anneau de Jade by Vu Cao Dam rose to $62,500; La Clairiere by Henri Maik realized $32,500; and The Rovers of the Ardennes by Alexandre Cabanel went for $45,360.
Miniature Chinese censer, $8,125, Bruneau & Co.
A Chinese Qing Dynasty miniature bronze censer, less than 2 inches tall by 2½ inches wide having a swelled and lobed body, sold for $8,125 in an Antiques & Fine Art Auction held June 8 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers in Cranston, R.I. Also, an Impressionist winter landscape painting signed by Antonio Cirino (RhodeI Island, Italy. 1889-1983) realized $2,812; and an oil on canvas naturalistic painting by Jeremiah Wilson (Calif./Pa./Canada, 1824-1899) changed hands for $2,375.
‘Birds of Paradise’ lamp, $10,030, Miller & Miller
A Handel table lamp with a signed, 17¾-inch-diameter Birds of Paradise shade sold for $10,030 at a sale of art, antiques and clocks held June 8 by Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd., in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada. Also, a rare Pequegnat “Nelson” tall case clock, made in Canada and one of only a few known, 81 inches tall, sold for $8,625; and an oil on canvas painting by Homer Watson (Canadian, 1855-1936) made $8,625. Prices are in Canadian dollars.
Mary Tillman Smith painting, $25,000, Material Culture
A painting done on found metal by Mary Tillman Smith, large at 60 inches by 40 inches, sold for $25,000 (a new auction record for the artist) at a Straight Up: American Outsider Art Auction held June 10 by Material Culture Auctions in Philadelphia. Also, a signed oil painting on cardboard by Jacques Enguerrand Gourgue (Haitian, 1930-1996), titled Ritualistic Symbols (circa 1940-1950), 25½ inches by 17 inches, sold for $37,500 (also a new auction record for the artist).
Black regiment Civil War flag, $196,800, Morphy’s
An 1864 hand-painted flag that was carried into battle by the 127th Regiment, one of 11 African-American regiments from Pennsylvania that fought for the Union during the Civil War, sold for $196,800 at an auction held June 13 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa. Believed to be the only survivor from the original 11 flags hand-painted by David Bustill Bowser, son of a fugitive slave, the flag’s artwork shows a Black troop bidding farewell to Columbia, the Goddess of Liberty.
Le Pho oil painting, $52,000, Palm Beach Modern
An oil on canvas painting by Le Pho (Vietnamese-French, 1907-2001), 27¼ inches by 32 inches, sold for $52,000 at an auction held May 25 by Palm Beach Modern Auctions in West Palm Beach, Fla. Also, a lithograph by David Hockney (British, b. 1937), titled Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink, signed, edition 66/1000, 1980, realized $28,600; and a collage, lithograph and screenprint on paper signed by Frank Stella (American, b. 1936), titled The Candles (1952), edition 34/65, brought $18,200.
Peruvian drug vessel, $49,800, Artemis Gallery
A Chavin (north coastal Peru) hallucinogenic drug vessel, circa 900-200 B.C., 11½ inches high, sold for $49,800 at an auction held May 22-23 by Artemis Gallery in Boulder, Colo. Also, a huge ancient Egyptian bronze bust of Osiris, 21st-22nd Dynasty (1070-712 B.C.), realized $46,688; an Egyptian limestone head Late Period to Early Ptolemaic (circa fourth to third century B.C.) brought $31,500; and a Greek Chalcidian bronze helmet, circa fifth-fourth century B.C., made $31,125.
First published ‘Tintin’ cover, $1.12 million, Heritage Auctions
The very first original cover art featuring the beloved comic character Tintin titled The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (1930), by the artist known as Herge, sold for $1.12 million at a European Comic Art Auction held June 8 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. It is one of the few known privately owned cover illustrations signed by Herge, and also the oldest. The cover art features both Tintin and his canine companion, Snowy.
5.01-carat fancy yellow diamond ring, $50,000, John Moran
A 5.01-carat fancy intense yellow diamond ring sold for $50,000 at a Fine Jewelry & Timepieces and Studio Jewelry auction held May 21 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, a diamond line bracelet from the collection of actress Loni Anderson gaveled for $12,500; a Rolex President 18K white gold wristwatch earned $12,500; a gold skeletonized pocket watch realized $6,875; and a pair of Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond flower ear clips made $6,000.
‘Psychic Sensation’ poster, $4,800, Potter & Potter
An eight-sheet color lithograph poster titled The World’s Greatest Psychic Sensation, promoting Samri S. and Miss Baldwin in “Oriental Hypnotic Dream Visions,” circa 1895, 109 inches by 81 inches, sold for $4,800 at a Vintage Poster Sale held May 22 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a 28-by-41½-inch poster of Kar-Mi (Joseph Hallworth) from 1914, titled Performing The Most Startling Mystery of All India, showing the illusionist levitating a sarcophagus, rose to $3,120.
1930 Cord L-29 Phaeton, $157,300, RM Auctions
A 1930 Cord L-29 convertible Phaeton sedan sold for $157,300 at an Auburn Spring Sale held May 29 thru June 1 by RM Auctions in Auburn, Indiana. Also, a 2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith roared off for $156,750; a 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 CSX 8001 topped out at $104,500; a 1988.5 Ferrari Testarossa changed hands for $99,000; a 1932 Packard 900 coupe roadster hammered for $94,600; a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Pagoda brought $93,500; and a ’57 Chevy Bel-Air convertible made $84,150.
Giacometti bronze, $112,500, Doyle
A patinated bronze furnishing by Swiss sculptor-designer Diego Giacometti (1902-1985), featuring a base naturalistically designed as a tree with an owl perched on a branch, sold for $112,500 at a Doyle+Design auction held June 5 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a set of eight rosewood and leather chairs by Ole Wanscher (Danish, 1903-1985) garnered $34,375; and a circa 1915 Tiffany Studios bronze and gold Favrile glass 10-light Pond Lily lamp lit up the room for $18,750.
Cecilia Beaux portrait, $454,000, Freeman’s
A portrait painting by Cecilia Beaux (Philadelphia, 1855-1942), of a friend dressed as the mythological water nymph Undine, sold for $454,000, a record for the artist, at an American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists Auction held June 9 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a painting by Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945), titled Angelica and the Sea Serpent (1924), brought $358,000; and a snowy landscape by Walter Launt Palmer (1854-1932), titled January, realized $137,500.
Printz/Dunand cabinet, $5.496 million, Christie’s
An important cabinet made in 1937 from palmwood, dinanderie, oxidized brass and sycamore by Eugene Printz (1889-1948) and Jean Dunand (1877-1942) sold for $5.496 million at a Design Auction held June 4 by Christie’s in New York City. Also, a Grand Mouflon de Pauline bar cabinet and a Belier, Transhumant and Agneau by Francois-Xavier Lalanne brought $1.935 million and $675,000, respectively; and Claude Lalanne’s Les Grandes Berces bench made $615,000.
Warren Buffett golf clubs, $39,671, RR Auction
Warren Buffett’s personally owned and used golf clubs and custom NetJet bag sold for $39,671 in an online auction June 12 by RR Auction in Boston. Also, Eddie Van Halen’s ‘Frankenstat’ Art Series guitar played by the musician in 2008 achieved $18,750; a Benjamin Franklin document signed in 1786 earned $17,500; an Albert Einstein hand-painted silhouette portrait of his profile made $15,678; and a Howard Hughes signed photo hit $7,871.
Burt Reynolds’ Trans Am, $317,500, Julien’s Auctions
The 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am car custom-built for Burt Reynolds and driven by him in the movie Smokey and the Bandit sold for $317,500 at an auction of items from the estate of the movie star held June 15-16 by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California. Also, the original Smokey and the Bandit script, signed by Reynolds, realized $37,500; his “Bandit” scanner and CFB radio, signed, made $25,000; and an Unforgiven movie poster personalized to Reynolds by Clint Eastwood made $19,200.
Babe Ruth Yankees jersey, $5.6 million, Hunt Auctions
A New York Yankees jersey worn by Babe Ruth sold for $5.6 million at an auction held June 15 in New York City by Hunt Auctions, based in Exton, Pa. It was a new auction record for an item of sports memorabilia. The previous record of $4.4 million was set in 2012, also for a Ruth jersey. The one just sold dates from 1928-1930. It was consigned by a private collector and was part of a collection of items auctioned at Yankee Stadium. The buyer asked not to be named.
Nakashima freeform table, $19,200, Alderfer Auction
A walnut freeform coffee table by George Nakashima (Bucks County, Pa.) sold for $19,200 at Fine & Decorative Arts auctions held June 5 and 6 by Alderfer Auction in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. Also, a 2017 Ford LFP 727 Mustang GT, painted in Grabber blue, roared off for $39,600; a GIA-certified 14K, 3.19 carat solitaire ring set in white gold realized $22,800; a 22-inch-tall Chinese carved signed table screen brought $12,000; and a mahogany cellaret on stand finished at $10,800.
Steam traction engine model, $13,420, Pook & Pook/Barrett
A large model of a Case traction engine sold for $13,420 at an Antique Toy Auction held June 17 by Pook & Pook, in conjunction with Noel Barrett, in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Also, a 22-inch live steam traction engine model of a 1913 Burrell & Sons tractor rolled away for $10,980; a French CIJ clockwork Alfa-Romeo race car sped off for $6,100; a horse-drawn Adriance Buckeye sickle mower brought $4,880; and an E. Trask mechanical Salem Witch toy made $3,416.
Plancius map of Africa, $87,500, Swann Galleries
A map of southern Africa by Petrus Plancius (1592-1594), depicting fanciful beasts, sea monsters and giant lobsters devouring a ship, sold for $87,500 at a Maps & Atlases Auction held June 6th by Swann Galleries in New York City. Also, a May 2, 1775 draft of A General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America by Lewis Evans, documenting the Colonies into Ohio for the first time, soared to $125,000; and John Fisk Allen and William Sharp’s Victoria Regia, done in 1854, hit $30,000.
Sapphire and diamond ring, $46,875, Rago Auctions
A Harry Winston sapphire and diamond platinum ring featuring a 5.11-carat Ceylon sapphire sold for $46,875 at Fine and Unreserved Jewelry Auctions held June 7 and 9 by Rago Auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey. Also, a Georgian rose-cut diamond button ring, the central diamond of which once belonged to the last Emperor of Mexico, Maximillian I, gaveled for $46,875; and a 4.89-carat diamond Art Deco engagement ring retailed by J. E. Caldwell finished at $43,