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 his May 2021 Gallery Report. All prices include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.
Karl Lagerfeld mirror, $237,813, Bonhams
A mirror once owned by Karl Lagerfeld and displayed in his Paris studio, made by Gilbert Poillerat (1902-1988) circa 1948, 63 1/2 by 30in, sold for $237,813 at a Modern Design/Art auction held March 25 by Bonhams in Los Angeles. Also, a June Schwarcz (1918-2015) bowl, electroplated copper, enamel, eight inches in diameter, sold for $52,813; and a 1933 Harold Van Doren (1895-1957) mint green Air King 66 Skyscraper radio hit $44,063.
1928 Stanley Cup puck, $66,000, Weiss Auctions
A hockey puck used in the final Stanley Cup championship game of 1928, won by the New York Rangers over the Montreal Maroons, 2-1, with Frank Boucher scoring both goals for the Rangers, sold for $66,000 in an online Sports, Non-Sports, Pulps, Comics & Comic Art auction held April 14 by Weiss Auctions in Lynbrook, New York. Also, a complete international set of Magic: The Gathering cards, 362 cards in all, in the original box, with one of the cards graded, made $20,400.
Pomodoro bronze sculpture, $186,000, Ahlers & Ogletree
A polished bronze sculpture by Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro (b. 1926-), titled Sfera, sold for $186,000 in an online Spring Fine Estates & Collections auction held March 27-28 by Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery in Atlanta. Also, a walnut Minguren coffee table made in 1966 by George Nakashima (American, 1905-1990) brought $74,400, and a vivid oil on canvas painting by Ed Mell (Ariz., b. 1942-), titled Western Landscape, signed and in a giltwood frame, rose to $40,300.
Chippendale side chairs, $33,210, Neue Auctions
A pair of Chippendale mahogany side chairs, made in Philadelphia in the 1700s, sold for $33,210 in an online Fine Estates Collection auction held April 10 by Neue Auctions, which is based in Beachwood, Ohio. Also, a 19th century Hudson River School oval oil painting of a mountainous river landscape with a river, fishermen and a sailboat sold for $7,380; a Queen Anne circa 1740 Massachusetts highboy garnered $7,995; and a circa 1800 Chinese wallpaper five-panel screen went for $6,150.
Maud Lewis oil painting, $25,960, Miller & Miller
An oil-on-board painting by Canadian artist Maud Lewis (1903-1970) sold for $25,960 in an online-only Canadiana & Folk Art auction held April 17 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada. Also, a circa 1865-1870 Prince Edward Island pocket watch trade sign, marked W. N. Taunton, finished at $16,520; a carved, slide-top pencil box made circa 1800 in Quebec rose to $12,980; and a 19th century Quebec parcheesi and checkers double-sided game board hit $9,440. Prices are in Canadian dollars.
J & E Stevens cast-iron mechanical bank, $156,000, Bertoia Auctions
A J & E Stevens Girl Skipping Rope cast-iron mechanical toy bank in pristine to near-mint condition sold for $156,000 at Part 1 of the sale of Aaron and Schroeder mechanical bank and toy collection held March 5-6 at Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, New Jersey. Also, a Mohr & Krauss painted tin double Ferris wheel, 25in to the top of the tower, sold for $132,000; and a J & E Stevens Bread Winners cast-iron mechanical bank in near-mint condition changed hands for $102,000.
Banksy’s NOLA (White Rain), $162,500, Heritage Auctions
A signed and numbered artwork by the enigmatic British graffiti artist Banksy, titled NOLA (White Rain), sold for $162,500 at a Prints & Multiples Signature Auction held April 22 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a ceramic pitcher by Pablo Picasso titled Taureau (which translates as “The Bull”), executed in 1955, climbed to $106,250; seven signed, numbered, and dated screen prints from graffiti artist KAWS’s 2020 What Party? hit $81,250; and Andy Warhol’s Turtle, from 1985, made $62,500.
Heber Bishop volumes, $137,500, Skinner
A near-pristine 1906 copy of Heber Bishop’s two-volume Investigations in Jade, which combined stunning watercolor paintings with plentiful lithographs and etched illustrations, sold for $137,500 at an Asian Works of Art auction held March 16-25 by Skinner in Boston. Also, a 19th century silver-inlaid bronze sundial from Angbu Ilgu, Korea, sold for $118,750; a late 19th century Chinese semiformal robe brought $13,750; and a pre-1923 woodblock print by Kawase Hasui made $13,750.
Studded armor and helmet, $293,750, Hindman
A 19th century Joseon Dynasty studded armor and helmet sold for $293,750 at Asian Art Sales held March 25-27 by Hindman in Chicago. Also, a set of four scrolls by Chinese artist Qi Biashi changed hands for $212,500; five loose album leaves depicting landscapes, birds and flowers brought $175,000; a transparent amber-tone glass bottle rose to $75,000; a pair of Chinese silk gauze summer robes hit $11,875; and a complete series set by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi reached $31,250.
Tiffany Studios Pond Lily lamp, $143,750, Cottone Auctions
A Tiffany Studios Pond Lily table lamp lit up the room for $143,750 at an auction held March 27th by Cottone Auctions in Geneseo, New York. Also, an etching by Rene Magritte titled Paysage de Baucis earned $25,500; a bronze sculpture by Elisabeth Frink, titled Birdman I, sold for $53,750; Edmondo Bacci’s Avvenimento 7R went for $37,200; a Peacock chair by Frank Lloyd Wright rose to $21,600; and a watercolor and gouache by Charles Ephraim Burchfield made $42,000.
Einstein signed letter, $28,800, Potter & Potter
A typed signed letter by Albert Einstein, dated March 10, 1954, sold for $28,800 at a Fine Books and Manuscripts sale held March 13 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a typed signed letter by James Baldwin reached $14,400; a 1905 copy of William Shakespeare’s Sonnets achieved $12,000; a Martin Luther King, Jr. March for Freedom poster made $11,400; and a copy of John James Audubon’s The Quadrupeds of North America went to a determined bidder for $10,800.
1822 $5 half eagle gold coin, $8.4 million, Stack’s Bowers
The finest known 1822 half eagle $5 U.S. gold coin sold for $8.4 million at an auction held in Las Vegas on March 25 by Stack’s Bowers Galleries (which is based in Costa Mesa, California.) The coin, graded AU-50 by PCGS, was from the D. Brent Pogue collection and is now the most valuable U.S. Mint gold coin ever sold at auction. It is one of only three 1822 half eagles known; the other two are impounded in the National Numismatic Institution at the Smithsonian Institution.
Whale-form totem pole, $17,000, Pook & Pook
A 19th century Northwest Coast whale totem pole featuring a polka-dotted whale with a raven perched on its tail and a man’s face at the base sold for a little more than $17,000 at a Native American Indian Auction held March 24 by Pook & Pook in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Also, two ollas, one made by Two Spirit Artist Arroh-ah-och, both sold for more than $6,000; a Maria Martinez Santa Clara black on black pottery made $3,000; and a Tlingit lidded basket with an embroidered pattern hit $1,700.
Tiffany Studios floor lamp, $17,500, John Moran
A Tiffany Studios counter-balance floor lamp with a green and gold iridescent shade sold for $17,500 at a California Living sale held April 6 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, California. Also, a snowy painting by Frank J. Gavencky (1888-1966) changed hands for $17,500; a suite of silver and obsidian jewelry by Antonio Pineda brought $13,750; a pair of wrought-iron gates with C-scrolls and bronze floral medallions hit $6,250; and a Galle chandelier sold for $5,312.
1932 Olympic medal, $74,574, RR Auction
A Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics gold medal sold for $74,574 in an online auction held March 11-25 by RR Auction, based in Boston. Also, a Topps 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card, graded SGC EX 5, topped out at $106,920; a Roger Peckinpah game-used New York Yankees road uniform from the 1918 season realized $44,569; Peckinpah’s 1924 Washington Senators championship watch fob earned $67,514; and a Peckinpah check made payable to Babe Ruth hit $15,499.
Claymore tobacco bag, $100,000, Cowan’s
An Edith Claymore (Miniconjou, 1858-1910) attributed Cheyenne River pictorial tobacco bag, measuring 34in, sold for $100,000 at a Native American Art auction held April 16 at Cowan’s in Cincinnati. Also, a Tsimshian carved soul catcher made from carved bone realized $68,750; a Zuni classic period embroidered manta sold for $34,375; an Otoe ball club garnered $25,000; a Chilkat horn feast ladle hit $21,250; and a set of Apache painted rawhide playing cards made $16,250.
Sino-Korean portrait, $113,775, Nadeau’s
A circa 14th or 15th century ink and oil on silk Sino-Korean portrait of the Buddhist patriarch and nations leader Yuan Chiao Kuo Shih Chih Hsiang, measuring 45½ by 34½in, sold for $113,775 at an auction held April 17 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Connecticut. Also, an acrylic on Masonite painting by Carroll Cloar (American, 1913-1993), titled Trailers at the Gin, brought $70,725; and a Chinese 19th century hand-colored portfolio on the life of Buddha made $52,890.
Kanye West sneakers, $1.8 million, Sotheby’s
Singer Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy prototype sneakers, which he wore during a performance at the 2008 Grammy awards show, sold for $1.8 million in a private sale brokered April 26 by Sotheby’s in New York City. The buyer was the sneaker investing platform RARES. It was the highest publicly recorded price for a pair of sneakers and nearly three times the world auction record for any pair of sneakers.
LeBron James rookie card, $1.72 million, Goldin Auctions
A LeBron James 2003 Exquisite Rookie Patch card sold for $1.72 million in an online April Premium auction held by Goldin Auctions in Runnemede, New Jersey. Also, a Tom Brady 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket card commanded $1.72 million; a Wayne Gretzky rookie card garnered $248,460; a Wilt Chamberlain card rose to $461,250; a Tim Duncan card realized $223,860; and a Pokemon card portraying company president Tsunekazu Ishihara brought $247,230.
Ralph Cahoon painting, $32,760, Freeman’s
A playful Massachusetts beach scene by Ralph Cahoon (1910-1982), titled Washed Ashore, sold for $32,760 in an American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts auction held April 27th by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a large Chinese Export black lacquered cabinet finished at $11,340; a group of mourning and Victorian jewelry and accessories made $11,340; and a collection of American Indian beaded hide and cloth accessory items changed hands for $18,900.
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