Antebellum daguerreotype of slaves sells for $324,500

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):

Antebellum image of slavery, $324,500, Cowan’s Auctions

A rare antebellum quarter plate believed to be the earliest known image of enslaved African Americans with cotton sold for $324,500 at an American History Auction held Nov. 15 by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati, Ohio. Also, a William S. Soule photo album of Southern Plains Native Americans, 40 albumen images in all, fetched $57,500; and an archive of the postmaster and Indian Agent of Fort Berthold in the Dakota Territory changed hands for $56,250.

Bunker Hill musket, $492,000, Morphy’s

A .79 caliber Dutch flintlock musket belonging to Pvt. John Simpson of Deerfield, N.H., used to fire the first shot at the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill, sold for $492,000 at an auction held October 23 by Morphy’s in Denver, Pa. Also, a Colt 1847 Walker A Company No. 181 percussion revolver, one of only 1,000 made to arm mounted troops for the war with Mexico, hit the mark for $153,750; and a circa 1850 percussion shotgun by Keozi & Jahnchimek (Warsaw, Krakow), made $270,000.


Edward F. Caldwell centerpiece, $60,800. J. Garrett Auctioneers

A large gilt bronze and white marble centerpiece by Edward F. Caldwell & Co. (N.Y.), circa 1905, sold for $60,800 at an auction held Nov. 2-4 by J. Garrett Auctioneers in Dallas, Texas. Also, a pair of 1890 Royal Vienna urns, 57 inches tall on stands, fetched $54,400; a Louis XVI bedroom suite after the design of Jean-Henri Riesener (French, 1734-1806) realized $48,000; and an oil painting of Columbus’s discovery of America by Nicolaas Pieneman (Dutch, 1809-1860) went for $41,600.

Steinway player piano, $11,250, Crescent City Auction Gallery

A 1981 Model L Steinway ebonized baby grand player piano with Pianomotion 2000-disc player and bench sold for $11,250 at an auction held Nov. 16-17 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans, La. Also, a Rolex Datejust Oyster Perpetual men’s watch and a Rolex Datejust Oyster Perpetual Milgauss men’s watch each brought $6,875; a Russian icon of the Virgin of Kazan, 19th century, made $2,125; and a painting by Richard Hume Lancaster (1773-1853) hit $4,687.

Patek Philippe men’s watch, CA$29,500, Miller & Miller Auctions

A men’s Patek Philippe 5110P World Time platinum wristwatch sold for $29,500 at a Watches & Jewelry Auction held Nov. 23 by Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd., in New Hamburg, Ontario. Also, an 18K gold ring, claw-set with a 4.25-carat solitaire diamond graded VS1 for clarity and K-L for color achieved $33,040; and a Patek Philippe women’s 18K white gold and diamond Calatrava watch brought $9,225. Prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.

Whitney U.S. Navy rifle, $6,000, Milestone Auctions

An unissued, .69 caliber Whitney Model 1861 U.S. Navy rifle, barrel dated 1863, with large eagle-and-flag motif on the lock and a bayonet made by Collins & Co. (Hartford, Conn.), sold for $6,000 at a Premier Firearms Sale held Nov. 2 by Milestone Auctions in Willoughby, Ohio. Also, a Smith & Wesson 2nd Model Schofield .45 caliber revolver, U.S.-issued Indian Wars era, made $5,760; and a Colt Model 1878 .44-.40 cartridge double-action revolver made in 1893 hit $4,560.       

Marklin 0 gauge trolley set, $72,000, Bertoia Auctions

A Marklin 0 gauge Third Avenue R.R. Co. trolley set sold for $72,000 at an auction of the Tony Annese toy, train and Christmas collection held Oct. 11 by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, N.J. Also, a boxed Marklin gauge 1 American Eagle hand-painted clockwork passenger train set chugged away for $52,000; a Marklin gauge 1 Schlitz Beer car, hand-painted, fetched $31,200; and a key-wind nodding polar bear with Santa rider holding a feather tree went for $24,000.

Vasily Polenov painting, $375,000, Shapiro Auctions

A painting by Vasily Polenov (Russian, 1844-1927), titled The Herzegovian Lookout (1876), sold for $375,000 at auctions held Nov. 2-3 by Shapiro Auctions in New York City. Also, Russian Landscape by Andrei Mylnikov (Russian, 1919-2012) gaveled for $115,625; a large Russian silver and cloisonné enamel kovsh from the Gish workshop in St. Petersburg (1908-1917) rose to $75,000; and a double-sided drawing by Bill Traylor (American, 1854-1947) made $46,875.

Anthony Bourdain knife, $231,250, Lark Mason

The late chef Anthony Bourdain’s Bob Kramer steel and meteorite chef’s knife sold for $231,250 in an online auction that ended Oct. 30 by Lark Mason in New York City. Also, Bourdain’s U.S. Navy jacket from the USS Nashville, with a Tony Bourdain patch, went for $171,150; a French silvered bronze Bibendum (or Michelin Man) sculpture brought $61,250; and an artist’s proof artwork by Ralph Steadman, titled Rats in the Kitchen, inscribed to Bourdain, rose to $52,500.

South Pacific mask, $17,550, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

An antique ethnographic South Pacific Malagan / Tatanua ceremonial mask sold for $17,550 at a Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held Oct. 18-19 by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mount Crawford, Va. Also, an Ercole Barovier Tessere Policrome Murrine art glass vase made    $17,550; a Parisian street scene by Edouard Leon Cortes brought $15,210; an Edison Louis XV floor model phonograph, one of 62 made, hit $10,530; and an Emile Galle faience open vase realized $6,435.

Granville Redmond oil painting, $200,000, John Moran Auctioneers

An oil on canvas painting with poppies and lupine by Granville Redmond (Los Angeles, 1871-1935), sold for $200,000 at a California, American & Fine Art Auction held Nov. 3 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, an oil on canvas laid to canvas by William Wendt A.N.A. (Calif., 1865-1946), titled Tahoma, the Eternal, commanded $62,500; and an oil painting by Hanson Duvall Puthuff (California, 1875-1972), titled Where Hill and Valley Meet, rose to $28,125.

Frankenthaler work on paper, $137,500, Freeman’s Auction

An important artwork on paper by American artist Helen Frankenthaler, titled Red Hot, sold for $137,500 at a Modern & Contemporary Art auction held Oct. 29 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a pencil drawing by American artist Ellsworth Kelly, titled Lemon Branch, achieved $181,259, a new auction record for a pencil work by the artist; and an untitled work on paper by Chinese/French artist Zao Wou Ki, from the artist’s Oracle Bones series changed hands for $93,750.

Costume from ‘Grease,’ $405,700, Julien’s Auctions

The black leather jacket and pants worn by singer-actress Olivia Newton-John for the song You’re the One That I Want in the 1978 hit movie Grease sold for a combined $405,700 at auctions held Nov. 1 and 2 by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles, Calif. Also, a costume worn by Marilyn Monroe in the movie There’s No Business Like Show Business made $280,000; and the red floor-length gown worn by Monroe in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes finished at $250,000.

Einstein signed photo, $20,000, Doyle

A photograph of Albert Einstein, signed by him in Berlin, Germany, in September 1927, sold for $20,000 at a Rare Books, Autographs & Maps auction held Nov. 12 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a copy of the 1969 deluxe edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with illustrations by Salvador Dali, fetched $18,750; and a copy of the 1747 edition of Robert and Andrew Foulis’s translation of Homer’s The Iliad went to a determined bidder for $11,250.

Automaton and table, $13,200, Potter & Potter Auctions

A circa 1999 harlequin automaton and table built by Deutsch sold for $13,200 at a Mid-Fall Magicana Sale held Oct. 26 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a finely sculpted and hand-painted circa 1939 talking skull by puppet makers Glen and George McElroy brought $13,200; an automaton talking skull made around 1930 by John Willmann garnered $13,200; and a conjuring broadside from 1867 for magician Johan Nepomuk Hofzinser (1806-1875) hit $8,400.

Finn Juhl Chieftain chair, $79,950, Clars Auction

A black leather Finn Juhl for Neils Vodder (Denmark) Chieftain chair sold for $79,950 at an auction held Nov. 16-17 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, a UBS 1 kilo gold bar, .9999 24K pure gold, rose to $43,000; a German Black Forest tall-case clock chimed on time for $33,825; a Continental white porcelain figure of Hercules brought $18,450; and an oil on canvas painting by Mihaly Munkacsy (Hungarian, 1844-1900), titled The Good Samaritan, made $14,760.

Copy of ‘Marvel Comics No. 1,’ $1.26 million, Heritage Auctions

A copy of Marvel Comics No. 1, the 1939 comic book considered the ‘Big Bang’ of the Marvel Comics Superhero Universe, sold for $1.26 million at a public auction of vintage comic books and comic art held Nov. 21 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas. The price set a new world record for the most expensive Marvel comic book ever sold at auction. The copy was graded 9.4 on a scale of 1 to 10, making it the best condition copy ever found. That drove up the price.

1930s Atlantic City poster, $16,250, Swann Auction

A circa 1935 poster by Edward M. Eggleston, titled Atlantic City/Pennsylvania Railroad, sold for $16,250 at a Rare & Important Travel Posters Auction held Nov. 14 by Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. Also, Hubert Herkomer’s Normandie/The World’s Most Perfect Ship/French Line (1939) realized $13,750; Ludwig Hohlwein’s Yellowstone Park (1910) gaveled for $13,750; and Leslie Ragan’s The New 20th Century Limited (1939) changed hands for $11,250.

Pokémon promo card, $224,250, Weiss Auctions

A Nintendo Pokémon “Pikachu Illustrator” trainer promotional hologram trading card, graded in Mint 9 condition and given to a winner at the 1998 CoroCoro Comic illustration contest in Japan, soared to $224,250 at an auction held Oct. 23 by Weiss Auctions in Lynbrook, N.Y. Also, the complete five-volume set of Science Fiction Magazine #1-5, including The Reign of Superman (1933-1934), a Superman rarity by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, went for $44,070.

Percival Rousseau oil, $100,000, Shannon’s

An oil on canvas painting by Percival Rousseau (American, 1859-1937), titled Pointers on the Hunt (1927), signed and dated, 23 inches by 32¼ inches, earned $100,000 at a Fall Fine Art Auction held Oct. 24 by Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Milford, Conn. Also, an oil on canvas by John George Brown (American, 1831-1913), titled The Flower Girl (1878), fetched $87,500; and an oil on Masonite by Grandma Moses (American, 1860-1961), titled Over the Bridge, hit $80,000.

Henri Thiriet 1898 poster, $108,000, Poster Auctions International

A circa 1898 poster by Henri Thiriet, titled Absinthe Berthelot, a rare Belle Epoque design depicting a bustling outdoor café scene, sold for $108,000 at Auction LXXIX (#79), held Oct. 27 by Poster Auctions International in New York City. Also, Alphonse Mucha’s 1902 poster Cycles Perfecta realized $36,000; Manuel Orazi’s La Maison Moderne from 1900 changed hands for $78,000; and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec’s Salon des Cent from 1896 topped out at $78,000.