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 report:
Albert Bierstadt painting, $386,100, Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
A luminist painting by Albert Bierstadt (American, 1830-1902), titled Sunrise, sold for $386,100 at an auction held Aug. 27-29 by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries in Thomaston, Maine. Also, a seascape work by Alfred Thompson Bricher (American, 1837-1908), titled Near Cape Elizabeth, Portland, Maine, realized $175,500; On the Hudson Near Tappan Zee by Francis Augusta Silva (New York, 1835-1886) brought $163,800; and Conanicut Island, Rhode Island by William Trost Richards (American, 1833-1905) hit $117,000. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.
Flash Gordon original artwork, $60,375, Philip Weiss Auctions
Original Sunday page artwork for the Flash Gordon comic strip dated Jan. 24, 1937, drawn by noted illustrator Alex Raymond (1909-1956), sold for $60,375 at an auction held Sept. 8 by Philip Weiss Auctions in Lynbrook, N.Y. Also, a copy of the comic book Superman #1 (DC Comics, 1939) soared to $32,500; drawings of Hawkman and Hawkgirl by Joe Kubert (1926-2012) sold as one lot for $7,500; and a late 1940s French poster for the The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart topped out at $23,000. Prices include the sliding scale buyer’s premium.
Sioux beaded war shirt, $27,500, Allard Auctions
A late 1800s sinew-sewn Sioux war shirt with lazy stitched beaded geometrics sold for $27,500 at the Best of Santa Fe Auction held Aug. 12-14 by Allard Auctions of Saint Ignatius, Montana. Also, a circa 1900 traditionally made buckskin Sioux warrior’s shirt went for $22,500; a late 19th century Northern Plains buckskin war shirt realized $20,000; and a buckskin Sioux women’s dress, circa 1900, fetched $11,000. Prices are hammer, exclusive of a sliding scale buyer’s premium.
Set of eight Tiffany windows, $356,950, Fontaine’s Auction Gallery
An exceptional set of eight multilayered glass windows, executed by Tiffany Studios in 1913 and depicting the Eight Beatitudes of Jesus (from Matthew 5: 3-10), sold for $356,950 at an antiques estate auction held Sept. 10 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass. Also, a Tiffany Studios curtain border floor lamp with 24-inch domical shade brought $60,500; and a pair of Chinese teak and porcelain floor screens with a 31-inch diameter porcelain center panel, overall 68 inches by 47 inches, hit $54,450. Prices include a 21 percent buyer’s premium.
Antoine Blanchard painting, $7,380, Crescent City Auction Gallery
A 20th century signed oil on canvas painting by Antoine Blanchard (French, 1910-1988), titled L’Avenue de l’Opera, sold for $7,380 at an auction held Sept. 16-18 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans. Also, a 20th century Oriental School watercolor with calligraphic inscription, titled Landscape with Children with Firecrackers, knocked down at $14,760; and a pair of oils on board by Clementine Hunter (American, 1887-1988), titled African Headdress, painted circa 1970, sold as one lot for $7,380. Prices include a sliding scale buyer’s premium.
Winchester Model 1866, $483,000, Rock Island Auction Co.
A German silver framed, exhibition quality, panel scene engraved Winchester Model 1866 rifle, with ties to trick shot Chevalier Ira Paine, sold for $483,000 at a firearms auction Sept. 9-11 held by Rock Island Auction Co. in Rock Island, Ill. Also, a gold and platinum handled blade hunting knife owned by President Theodore Roosevelt soared to a record $414,000; and a Model 1866 lever musket, nicknamed “The Three Graces,” also hit the mark for $414,000. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Henry Clay solid gold medal, $346,000, Heritage Auctions
An 1852 medal honoring Secretary of State Henry Clay, struck by the U.S. Mint in nearly 30 ounces of gold, sold for $346,000 at an auction of memorabilia relating to Abraham Lincoln held Sept. 17 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a signed 1862 carte-de-visite card image of a pensive Lincoln gaveled for $175,000; a love letter from Lincoln to his first fiancée, Mary Owens, hit $137,500; and Mary Todd Lincoln’s silk mourning dress ensemble rose to $100,000. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Big Chief Moon bank, $2,340, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates
A Big Chief Moon cast-iron mechanical bank sold for $2,340 at auction held Aug. 27 by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mt. Crawford, Va. Also, an Ohio Art Co. paint-decorated tin parade jack-o’-lantern changed hands for $2,223; a Roseville Della Robbia vase turned $2,340; an 1887 Kalamazoo Bats Bobby Matthews baseball card hit $1,989; and a Christo Cherry glass syrup bottle knocked down at $1,404. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.
Song Dynasty tea bowl, $11.7 million, Christie’s
A Chinese ‘Oil Spot’ Jian tea bowl from the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) sold for $11.7 million at Asian Art Week, held Sept. 13-16 by Christie’s in New York City. It was a new world auction record for a Song Dynasty tea bowl. Also, a superbly enameled pair of yellow-ground famille rose vases with Jiaqing six-character seal marks, circa 1796-1820, brought $2.045 million; and a Chinese peach bloom-glazed “three-string” vase, Laifu Zun, circa 1662-1722, changed hands for $2.045 million. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Louis XIII cognac and decanter, $134,750, Sotheby’s
A crystal magnum decanter of special Louis XIII cognac, engraved with a map of the Americas, sold for $134,750 at a Wine Auction held Sept. 9-10 by Sotheby’s in New York City. Also, 10 bottles of 1985 Montrachet, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti made $46,550; 12 bottles of 1985 Clos de la Roche, Cuvee Vielles Vignes, went for $42,875; a 12-bottle assortment of 1999 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti fetched $42,875; and three bottles of 2003 Romanee Conti, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti hammered for $31,850. Prices include a 22.5 percent buyer’s premium.
Farahan Sarouk rug, $5,463, Direct Auction Galleries
A 9-by-12-foot red, blue and green Farahan Sarouk Persian rug made in western Iran (Arak) and boasting a beautiful center medallion, intricate floral patterns and a rich, tightly woven pile sold for $5,463 at an auction held Aug. 23 by Direct Auction Galleries in Chicago. Also, an 18K gold Piaget men’s automatic watch with an 18K band brought $3,450; a landscape painting with figures by German painter Ludwig Muninger (1929-1997) made $1,265; and a 19th century French bronze chandelier rose to $1,495. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
School of Rubens mural, $42,500, Litchfield County Auctions
A 17th century Old Master (School of Rubens) Biblical mural painting, offered in two sections and in as-found condition, sold for $42,500 at an art and antiques auction held June 29-30 by Litchfield County Auctions in Litchfield, Conn. Also, a woman’s head ceramic pitcher by Pablo Picasso, 1954, went for $32,500; a papier-mache terrestrial globe, London, circa 1842, hit $6,125; and a pair of large 19th century, bottle-shaped Chinese enamel decorated vases, repurposed as lamps, finished at $5,000. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.
Diamond platinum bracelet, $67,276, Kodner Galleries
A stunning diamond, platinum and 18K yellow gold bracelet, set with 21 cushion-cut diamonds (21.25 carats total weght) and 21 emerald-cut diamonds (6 carats total weight) sold for $67,276 at a fine art, antiques and jewelry sale held Aug. 31 by Kodner Galleries in Dania Beach, Fla. Also, a Van Cleef & Arpels-style bracelet rose to $16,093; a set of 10 Canadian 2009 Maple Leaf $50 gold coins finished at $16,819; and a gorgeous diamond and 18K white gold flower ring rang up $13,310. Prices include a 21 percent buyer’s premium.
Four Chinese wall panels, $269,000, Doyle New York
A group of four 20th century Chinese famille rose glazed porcelain wall panels, signed Liu Yuceng, sold for $269,000 at an Asian art auction held Sept. 12 by Doyle New York in New York City. Also, a scroll depicting a landscape by Chinese artist Guan Shanyue (1912-2000) sold for $461,000; a horse painting after Xu Beihong (Chinese, 1895-1953) hit $173,000; and a depiction of a boater on a mountain lake by Zhang Daqian (Chinese, 1899-1983) went for $149,000. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.
Chinese huanghuali bed, $1.39 million, Bonhams
A rare Chinese huanghuali four-poster bed from the Ming Dynasty sold for $1.39 million at a series of Asian art auctions held Sept. 12-16 by Bonhams in New York City. Also, a pair of Chinese 18th century white jade bird boxes knocked down at $305,000; a set of three porcelain plaques depicting birds and flowers by Liu Yucen (Chinese, 1904-1969) topped out at $245,000; and a painting by renowned Korean artist Park Sookeun (1914-1965), titled Gidalim (Waiting), soared to $605,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Silver and cloisonné vase, $38,750, Rago Arts & Auction Center
A Japanese silver and cloisonné vase sold for $38,750 at Coins + Currency and Great Estates Auctions held Sept. 9-10 by Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, a pair of Chinese Qianlong porcelain tea bowls realized $18,750; a Walter Meade Black Forest dog with three pups commanded $18,750; a Russian Imperial enameled silver tea set finished at $18,750; a George II mahogany serving table coasted to $16,250; and a 1795 Liberty Cap 1-cent coin made $12,050. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.
Picasso ceramic sculpture, $14,400, John Moran Auctioneers
A circa 1955 ceramic sculpture by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) for Madoura, titled Lampe Femme, sold for $14,400 at a decorative art Auction held Sept. 10 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, a 1909 orotone by Western photographer Edward Curtis (Calif., 1868-1948), titled Signal Fire to the Mountain God, hammered for $7,200; and a Danish modern “Papa Bear” chair and ottoman by designer Hans Wegner for AP Stolen made $7,200. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Leger pencil drawing, $125,000, Swann Auction Galleries
A pencil drawing by Fernand Leger, titled La Lecture, 1924, sold for $125,000 at a 19th and 20th century prints and drawings auction held Sept. 22 by Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. Also, a pair of terre de faience ceramic vases depicting human faces by Pablo Picasso – one titled Laughing-Eyed Face (1969), the other Bearded Man (1953) – realized $42,000 and $25,000, respectively; and a richly inked drypoint work by Martin Lewis, titled Relics (Speakeasy Corner), went for $52,500. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Chinese Ge-type arrow vase, $63,000, Clars Auction Gallery
A Chinese Ge-type, hu-form arrow vase sold for $63,000 at an auction held Sept. 17-18 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, a rare and early oil on canvas painting by Gordon Onslow Ford (American/British 1912-2003), titled Escape (1939), took top lot honors by hitting $78,650; a set of four Yu Youren calligraphy, dedicated to his son Yu Wangde in 1951, went for $57,475; and an oil on canvas painting by Ennio Morlotti (Italian, 1910-1992), titled Studio per Bagnante, circa 1956, changed hands for $54,450. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
By KEN HALL