ATLANTA – At the start of each month, ACN columnist Ken Hall gathers top auction highlights from around the United States and beyond. The following items made headlines since last month’s Gallery Report (prices include the buyer’s premium unless stated otherwise).
Chinese cloisonné urn, $126,000, Pook & Pook
A Chinese cloisonné urn sold for $126,000 in an online-only Decorative Arts Auction held Jan. 14 by Pook & Pook in Downingtown, Pa. The 22-inch-tall urn had an estimate of just $100-$200, but bidders recognized it as a well-constructed example that stylistically resembled top imperial urns from the early 18th century. The design was auspicious, showing two large and ferocious red dragons chasing the flaming pearl of wisdom amidst heavenly clouds.
Persian Bidjar carpet, $12,500, Bruneau & Co.
A palace-size antique Persian Bidjar wool carpet from 1920, 24 feet 9 inches by 14 feet 11 inches, sold for $12,500 at an Estate Antiques & Fine Art Auction held Jan. 26 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers in Cranston, R.I. Also, a modernist oil on canvas painting by Gaetano Pompa (Italian, 1933-1998), titled The Kitchen Door, realized $6,250; a restored 1959 Coca-Cola machine, fetched $2,812; and a European carved oak coffer chest, circa 1650, made $2,000.
Edison-Swan British patent archive, $5,000, Holabird Western Americana
A Thomas Edison-Joseph Swan British patent archive relating to the invention and manufacture of incandescent lighting, circa 1880-1883, sold for $5,000 at a Treasures Galore Auction held Jan. 24-28 by Holabird Western Americana Collections in Reno, Nev. Also, a group of three .999 fine silver ingots, including one made at the U.S. mint in San Francisco, fetched $6,800; and a Meridian Borax Co. (Calif.) mining stock certificate from 1892 made $3,000.
Stoneware water cooler, $30,680, Miller & Miller Auctions
A Morton Company stoneware water cooler made in the early 1850s sold for $30,680 at a Canadiana & Historic Objects Auction held Feb. 9 by Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd., in New Hamburg, Ontario. Also, a schrank, a two-door clothes cabinet, made in Upper Canada in the late 19th century, attributed to John Klempp, garnered $10,030; and a pair of 1910 Ontario license plates, made from rubber, brought $8,850. All prices are in Canadian dollars.
Winchester picture box, $9,500, Morphy Auctions
A rare Winchester picture box containing .45-caliber center-fire metallic cartridges, designed for Colt’s 1873 single-action Army Revolver, sold for $9,500 at a Field & Range Firearms Auction held Feb. 5-7 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa. Also, a near-new Colt Model 1911 Commercial .45 ACP semiautomatic pistol, issued in 1917, hit the mark for $7,800; and an early Springfield Armory M1903 National Match rifle, shipped in 1930, changed hands for $6,600.
German presentation dagger, $66,000, Milestone Auctions
A rare, cased 1939 German SA presentation dagger with E.F. Horster blade sold for $66,000 at a Historical Militaria & Firearms Auction held Jan. 19 by Milestone Auctions in Willoughby, Ohio. Also, a German World War II 1st Fallschirmjager Divisional trumpe banner rose to $25,800; a Browning Renaissance three-pistol set, engraved silver, in a fitted case, realized $9,900; and a Winchester experimental or prototype .32-.40 caliber lever-action rifle hit the mark for $9,600.
Russian enamel box, $150,000, Doyle
A Russian silver-gilt and enamel box by Feodor Ruckert sold for $150,000 at a Russian Works of Art Auction held Jan. 30 by Doyle in New York City. Also, two Berlin KPM porcelain plates decorated with Russian scenes, circa third quarter of the 19th century, garnered $15,000 and $11,250; a Faberge cigarette case in translucent green guilloche enamel by Michael Perchin (St. Petersburg, 1899-1903) realized $10,625; and 11 lots of salt thrones sold for a combined $54,938.
William Edmondson sculpture, $324,000, Case Antiques Auction
A carved limestone sculpture by William Edmondson, titled Miss Lucy / An Uplifted Lady, sold for $324,000 at a Winter Auction held Jan. 26 by Case Antiques Auction in Knoxville, Tenn. Also, an earthenware pottery jar by C.A. Haun (Greene Cty., Tenn.) went for $36,000; an oil on canvas landscape painting by Wolf Kahn titled Glow on the Ridge finished at $21,760; and a Confederate 1st Model Griswold revolver, serial #133, went to a determined bidder for $21,760.
1909-D Saint-Gaudens coin, $329,000, Legend Rare Coin
The Eliasberg-Duckor-Bella-A&A 1909-D Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle gold coin, PCGS MS67 CAC, sold for $329,000 at Regency Auction #30 held Jan. 27 by Legend Rare Coin in Beverly Hills, Calif. Also, an 1896-O 50-cent coin, PCGS MS67 CAC, changed hands for $123,375; an 1895-S 50-cent coin realized $85,188; a 1920-S 50-cent coin, PCGS MS66+ CAC, rose to $96,938; and a 1909-VDB penny, PCGS PR66 RD CAC, hit a record $70,500.
Peter Paul Rubens study, $8.2 million, Sotheby’s
A drawing by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, titled Nude Study of Young Man with Raised Arms, sold for $8.2 million at an Old Master Drawings Auction held Jan. 30 by Sotheby’s in New York City. It was a new world auction record for a drawing by the artist. It was drawn by Rubens in 1608, in preparation for his monumental altarpiece, The Raising of the Cross. Also, a red chalk Portrait of a youth, attributed to Agostino Caracci, went for $1.5 million, more than 40 times its estimate.
Marvel Comics X-Men #1, $3,500, Potter & Potter Auctions
A CGC-graded encapsulated copy of Marvel Comics’ X-Men #1 (1963), by Stan Lee with artwork by Jack Kirby, sold for $3,500 at a Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction held Feb. 2 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a copy of Marvel Comics’ The Incredible Hulk #181 (1974) tipped the scales at $2,880; a first-edition copy of Charles Bukowski’s South of No North made $2,280; and a group of 16 titles from the Wizard of Oz series (1920s-1930s) gaveled for $1,188.
Alphonse Mucha poster, $18,750, Swann Galleries
Alphonse Mucha’s Documents Decoratifs (1902), a complete portfolio with 72 plates of jewelry, furniture and silverware, sold for $18,750 at a Vintage Posters Auction held Feb. 7 by Swann Galleries in New York City. Also, a 1927 poster depicting French dancer-entertainer Josephine Baker, done by an unknown designer, rose to $9,750; Louis J. Rhead’s Le Journal de la Beaute (1897) made $6,750; and Emil Cardinaux’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz (1922) garnered $5,500.
Bear Lithia advertising cooler, $15,210, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates
A Bear Lithia advertising cooler sold for $15,210 at a Winter Americana & Variety Auction held Feb. 15-16 by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mount Crawford, Va. Also, a GEM Razors mechanical store display went to a determined bidder for $4,680; a Santa Fe railroad station regulator left the station for $4,095; a “Man in the Moon” straight razor finished at $2,925; and a Victorian mahogany child’s, or doll’s, dressing table knocked down for $4,095.
Babe Ruth 1932 New York Yankees player contract, $295,531, RR Auction
Babe Ruth’s 1932 New York Yankees player contract, where Ruth took a pay cut during the Great Depression, sold for $295,531 in an online auction that ran from Feb. 7-Feb. 21 by RR Auction, based in Boston, Mass. Also, a Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie baseball card gaveled for $127,904; a 1911 T206 White Border near complete PSA-graded set of baseball cards finished at $72,294; and a Topps 1952 #311 Mickey Mantle rookie card, autographed by Mantle, topped out at $48,871.
Ward Brothers wigeons, $228,000, Copley Fine Art Auctions
A pair of Bishops Head wigeon decoys, carved by the renowned Ward Brothers, Lemuel (1896-1984) and Stephen (1895-1976), sold for $228,000 at an auction held by Copley Fine Art Auctions, based in Boston, at the Southeastern Wildlife Expo, held Feb. 15-16 in Charleston, S.C. Also, a painting by Percival Leonard Rousseau (1859-1937), titled Perfection and depicting two dogs, Ned and Bob, owned by the industrialist and sportsman Samuel G. Allen, hammered for $54,000.
Japanese cloisonné vase, $135,000, Clars Auction Gallery
A rare, 8-foot-tall Japanese cloisonné vase, created for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, sold for $135,000 at an auction held Feb. 17 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, a 34.28-carat fancy light yellow old mine cut diamond and platinum ring, purportedly purchased in 1887 by King Kalakaua of Hawaii, brought $530,000; and an oil on canvas painting by Tadeusz Brzozowski (Polish, 1918-1987), titled Stancja (1961), went for $159,000, a record for the artist.
‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson card, $600,000, Heritage Auctions
“Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s 1910 Old Mill baseball card sold for $600,000 at a Platinum Night Auction held Feb. 23-24 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas. Also, Jackson’s 1914 Boston Garter baseball card fetched $480,000; Mickey Mantle’s Topps rookie card from 1952, graded PSA 8, earned $456,000; Lou Gehrig’s game-worn New York Yankees cap rose to $312,000; and Christy Mathewson’s 1903 Breisch-Williams rookie card, the finest of five known examples, made $192,000.
John Wesley Hardin album, $129,800, Old West Events
The personal photo album of outlaw John Wesley Hardin, to include a tintype of Hardin himself, sold for $129,800 at an auction held Jan. 25 by Old West Events in Mesa, Ariz. Also, a knife once belonging to Billy the Kid realized $118,000; a “Fort Worth Five” Pinkerton photo of Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch knocked down for $118,000; a salesman’s saddle by G.S. Garcia breezed to $44,250; and the ice mallet used to kill Wild Bunch member Ben Kilpatrick during a train robbery in 1912 changed hands for $64,900.
Toulouse-Lautrec poster, $132,000, Poster Auctions International
A poster depicting Napoleon Bonaparte by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, done in 1895, sold for $132,000 at Poster Auctions International’s Auction #77 held Feb. 24 in New York City. It was one of 100 signed impressions and the only poster ever rendered with a historical theme by Toulouse-Lautrec.