Gallery Report: December 2012

A Krupp 5CM Mountain Howitzer, with all-metal carriage and iron-banded and wood-spoke wheels, sold for $34,500 at a Historic Firearms and Early Militaria Auction held Oct. 25-26 by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati. Also, a cased Webley Fosbery target revolver rang out at $23,000; a prototype Searle semiautomatic pistol hit the mark for $18,400; a Colt Aircrewman AF-1, presented to Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, brought $28,750; and a first model Henry rifle, second type, changed hands for $21,737. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Federal mahogany table, $36,800, Nadeau’s Auction


A lovely Federal mahogany Pembroke drop-leaf table, probably made in New York sometime between 1790-1810, sold for $36,800 at an estates auction held Oct. 20-21 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Conn. Also, a cherry four-drawer chest with an exaggerated serpentine front, circa 1800, made $25,300; an Ithaca Gun Co. field grade shotgun, 410-gauge, with side-by-side 26-inch barrels, coasted to $9,440; and an Armas Garbi model 103 William Larkin Moore shotgun  hit $4,538. Prices include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.


Edward Moran painting, $300,000, Shannon’s


An oil on canvas marine rendering by American artist Edward Moran (1829-1901), titled Summer Morning, New York Bay, sold for $300,000 at a Fine Art Auction held Oct. 24 by Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Milford, Conn. It was a new world auction record for a work by Moran. Also, an oil on canvas by Austrian painter Franz R. Unterberger (1838-1902), titled Canal in Venice, rose to $180,000; and a winter scene by Edward W. Redfield (American, 1869-1965), titled Sleigh Days, coasted to $168,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Oldsmobile ‘Rocket’ sign, $6,050, Matthews Auctions


A rare Oldsmobile double-sided porcelain “Rocket” sign, one that hung under the regular Oldsmobile sign to advertise the auto maker’s “rocket” engines, sold for $6,050 at an auction held Nov. 23-25 by Matthews Auctions LLC, based in Nokomis, Ill. The auction was held at the facilities of Pope Auction Center in Raymond, Ill. Also, a Whippet and Willys-Knight double-sided porcelain sign, rated 9+ both sides, brought $4,125; and a Wrigley’s Doublemint/Spearmint Gum porcelain sign went for $3,740. Prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.


George Washington letter, $362,500, Doyle New York


A letter written by George Washington to his wartime aide James McHenry on Dec. 10, 1783, in which he writes of his intention to resign his commission as Continental Commander and become “translated into a private citizen,” sold for $362,500 at a sale of Rare Books and Autographs held Nov. 5 by Doyle New York in New York City. In 1859, the letter was sold along with McHenry’s archives at auction, where it was purchased by Baltimore collector William T. Walters, in whose family it has since remained. The price includes a 25 percent buyer’s premium.


Ruth autographed bat, $253,000, Hunt Auctions


An autographed professional model baseball bat signed with a Christmas date 1924 by Babe Ruth sold for $253,000 at the ninth annual Live Auction held by Hunt Auctions at the Louisville Slugger Museum in Louisville, Ky. Also, a group of historic autographed baseballs assembled by the general manager of the St. Louis Jefferson Hotel in the early 1900s realized $102,245; a Honus Wagner baseball bat went for $27,600; and a 1927 World Series Champion New York Yankees team-signed ball hit $25,047. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Charles White drawing, $144,000, Swann Auction


A pen and ink drawing done circa 1953-54 by Charles White, titled Songs of Life, depicting men and women raising their voices in song, sold for $144,000 at a sale of African-American Fine Art held Oct. 18 by Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. Two other works by Lewis – a 1947 oil on canvas titled Magenta Haze and a 1953 oil on canvas titled Circular Procession of Figures – realized $96,000 and $90,000, respectively. Also, an oil on wood panel by Henry O. Tanner titled Flight Into Egypt hit $84,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Old Master drawings, $48,300, Thomaston


A bound volume of 58 Old Master drawings with a page of notations included for each, dated 1778, sold for $48,300 at an auction held Nov. 3-5 by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries in Thomaston, Maine. Also, a Gustav Stickley lamp with a large oak base with iron straps and a reticulated copper over slag glass shade lit up the room for $16,100; an ancient Greco-Roman bronze figure of a standing athlete, almost 3 feet tall, brought $34,500; and a circa-1920 Louis Vuitton travel trunk made $24,150. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.