Gallery Report: April 2010

A first-edition copy of Adam Smith’s groundbreaking analysis of capitalist economics, The Wealth of Nations (1776), sold for $60,000 at a sale of the Library of Roger Wagner held March 18 by PBA Galleries in San Francisco. Also, an original leaf from the 42-line Bible of Johannes Gutenberg, acknowledged as the first book printed with movable type, brought $54,000 – new auction record for a Gutenberg leaf; and a copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection (1859) hit $51,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Art Deco bracelet, $253,500, Skinner


An Art Deco Cartier platinum, diamond and onyx bracelet sold for $253,500 at a Fine Jewelry Auction held March 16 by Skinner Inc. in Boston. Also, a pair of Cartier Art Deco platinum and jadeite and diamond ear pendants garnered $118,500; an important antique diamond and enamel demi-parure soared to $201,450; an antique double-strand pearl and diamond Black, Starr & Frost necklace fetched $88,875; and a Black, Starr & Frost pearl and diamond necklace slipped around a new neck for $71,100. Prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.


George Bellows painting, $91,500, Leslie Hindman


An original oil on canvas painting by George Wesley Bellows, titled Lady in a Green Dress, sold for $91,500 at a sale of property from the estate of Ronald C. Sloter held March 31 by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago. Also, a pair of Theodore Earl Butler paintings went for $43,920 and 41,480, respectively; a Mary Cassat watercolor changed hands for $41,480; an American tall case clock chimed on time for $31,720; and an exceptional Gothic Revival bed went to a determined bidder for $7,930. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Pair of flintlock pistols, $437,000, James D. Julia


A rare cased French set of gold and silver embellished Nicholas Noel Boutet flintlock pistols sold for $437,000 at an annual Spring Firearms Sale held March 15-16 by the James D. Julia Auction Co. of Fairfield, Maine in conjunction with the Poulin Auction Co., also based in Fairfield. Also, an AH Fox XE/HE Special, known as the “Bo Whoop,” built for the renowned sportsman and author Nash Buckingham, crossed the block at $201,250. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


4 Gothic bookcases, $115,000, Hal Hunt


A monumental set of four matching bookcases, crafted in 1854 and attributed to Crawford Riddell of Philadelphia, sold for $115,000 at a combined estates sale held March 13 by Hal Hunt Auctions in Northport, Ala. Also, a three-piece walnut Renaissance bedroom suite with bronze plaques, attributed to Thomas Brooks, wowed the crowd for $34,500; an oak sideboard by R.J. Horner coasted to $28,175; and a rosewood Renaissance marquetry inlay credenza attributed to Portier & Stymus went for $69,000. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


‘Flying car,’ 1935, $65,175, Red Baron


The oldest original “flying car” – the 1935 brainchild of Frank Skroback and meant to be flown from house to house using existing roads as runways – sold for $65,175 at a massive weekend sale held March 13-14 by Red Baron in Atlanta. Also, a white 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible, with both hard and soft tops, sped off for $16,500; an original painting by the noted Newport artist Edward Fay, titled Boxer’s Rebellion, climbed to $2,133; and a Kerman rug, 10 feet by 13 feet, crossed the block for $1,125. Prices include an 18.5 percent buyer’s premium.


UMC bullet board, $11,769, SoldUSA


A rare 1899 United Metal Cartridge Co. factory bullet board in excellent condition sold for $11,769 in an Internet and catalog auction that ended March 20-21 by, based in Matthews, N.C. Also, a Winchester vertical banner poster, featuring “The Cougar,” achieved $7,278; a 1902 Winchester lithographed double “W” cartridge board topped out at $6,526; a 1926 U.S. Cartridge Co. Ajax Heavies poster made $4,418; and a scoped German DSM 34 .22 caliber trainer rifle hit $1,955. Prices include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.


Chippendale cellaret, $165,200, Brunk Auction


A North Carolina Chippendale cellaret, circa 1780-1795, made by Micajah Wilkes of the Roanoke River Basin, sold for $165,200 at the sale of the Tom Gray Collection held March 29 by Brunk Auctions in Old Salem, N.C. Also, an unsigned circa 1748 oil on canvas portrait of young Amarinthia Elliot (1741-1822) of Charleston, S.C., by Jeremiah Theus (1716-1774), brought $94,400; and an engraving titled A View of Savannah, depicting the Moravian settlement of Savannah, Ga., in 1734, hit $70,800. Prices include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.


Archive of material, $50,400, Swann Galleries


An archive of research material amassed by art historian James Amos Porter (portrait shown), consisting of thousands of photos, letters, exhibit catalogs, art books, flyers and bibliographical data on important African-American artists, sold for $50,400 at an auction of Printed & Manuscript African Americana held Feb. 25 by Swann Galleries in New York. Also, a rare poster carried by a sanitation worker in Memphis in 1968, around the time Martin Luther King was assassinated there, commanded $40,800. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Semi-automatic Luger, $494,500, Greg Martin


A 1907 semi-automatic Luger pistol sold for $494,500 at a Fine Collectible Arms & Militaria Auction held March 14 by Greg Martin Auctions in Irvine, Calif. It was a new world auction record for a Luger. Also, a Bowie knife made by Daniel Searles and Reese Fitzpatrick of Louisiana, circa 1830s, brought $120,750; a fine cased model 1893 Borchardt semi-automatic pistol by Ludwig Loewe rang out at $31,625; and a pair of deluxe Winchester model 1886 lever-action rifles made $28,750 each. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Qing dynasty vase, $69,000, Grogan


A blue and white Qing dynasty porcelain vase with foo dog handles sold for $69,000 at an auction held Feb. 21 by Grogan & Co. in Dedham, Mass. Also, a book titled Collection des Fleurs et des Fruits, circa 1805, which included 48 colored stipple engravings by L.C. Ruotte after Jean-Louis Prevost, hammered for $43,125; an original painting by Boston artist Winckworth Allan Gay, titled Sandy Beach, Cohasset, 1880, brought $21,850; and a Qing dynasty carved quartz figure made $13,800. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Rare pair of shovelers, $6,900, Guyette & Schmidt


A rare pair of shovelers (one shown) by Ben Schmidt sold for $6,900 at a decoy auction held March 19 at the Ohio Decoy Collectors Show in Westlake, Ohio, by Guyette & Schmidt Inc., based in St. Michaels, Md. Also, a redheaded drake flew off for $3,738; a decorative wood duck by Jim Foote brought $2,588; and a pair of bluebills by Roland Jarvis went for $1,495. Overall, the auction grossed $54,863, which was within estimate. Guyette & Schmidt holds three major auctions a year throughout the United States. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Italian collector’s cabinet, $24,400, Rago Arts & Auction


An Italian collector’s cabinet sold for $24,400 at a Great Estates Auction held March 20 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, a Steinway piano and bench went to a determined bidder for $23,180; an Ad Lumen bronze figure topped out at $20,740; a 34-star American flag was a crowd-pleaser at $14,640; a European mantel clock chimed on time for $10,980; a patinated bronze bust made $9,760; and a pair of cranberry overlay glass candelabra hit $9,760. Prices include a 22 percent buyer’s premium.


Rousseau painting, $9,487, Fairfield


An original painting with a sporting theme by Percival Rousseau sold for $9,487 at an auction held March 21 by Fairfield Auction in Newtown, Conn. Also, a rare, stuffed Felix the Cat doll by Steiff brought $4,887; a Hofner electric bass guitar signed by Paul McCartney soared to $4,600; a storyboard drawing from the classic Disney film Dumbo climbed to $1,380; a chest of drawers attributed to Samuel McIntyre went for $1,955; and a large stained glass window depicting Whitmore Landing rose to $2,875. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


William & Mary table, $88,500, Northeast Auction


A small William & Mary rare mahogany construction gate leg table sold for $88,500 at an Americana Auction held March 28 by Northeast Auctions in Portsmouth, N.H. Also, a portrait of Mrs. Thomas Leiper and her daughter, Helen Hamilton Leiper, executed around 1794 by Charles Wilson Peale, went for $44,840; a rare Paul Revere sugar urn with cover, Boston, circa 1800, rose to $64,900; and a George Washington Order of the Society of the Cincinnati Chinese Export porcelain plate, circa 1785, hit $37,760. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.


Sapphire pint flask, $100,620, Heckler


A deep sapphire blue pint flask with an inward rolled mouth and a pontil scar sold for $100,620 at a sale of Fine Bottles and Flasks that closed March 31 by Norman Heckler Auction Co. in Woodstock Valley, Conn. It was a new record price paid for an American flask at auction. Also, an eagle/medallion flask (GII-8), in a brilliant and beautiful yellow-olive coloration, wowed the crowd for $64,350; and a free-blown Mount Vernon seal bottle in a deep green color went to a determined bidder for $26,910. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.