Gallery Report: August 2010

A bronze figure of a Jewish widow, Judith, with sword in hand, by Emile Coriolan Hippolyte Guillemin, sold for $27,025 at a Continental Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held July 31 by Cowan’s Auctions Inc., in Cincinnati. Also, an oil on canvas painting by Frederick Soulacroix (1858-1953), titled Portrait of Woman, also realized $27,025; a 16th-century Spanish Vargueno chest achieved $17,625; and a Japanese-made rickshaw with a velvet seat, footrest and spring suspension hit $7,637. Prices include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.


Agnew & Brown target ball, $29,120, American Bottle


An Agnew & Brown (Pittsburgh) 3-inch target ball from the 1870s showing an embossed pigeon on the reverse side sold for $29,120 in an online auction held July 15-22 by American Bottle Auctions (, based in Sacramento, Calif. Also, a J.H. Johnston (Pittsburgh) target ball in an extremely rare purple coloration brought $14,560; a Jas. Brown & Sons (Pittsburgh) three-piece mold, 2.4-ounce target ball hit $10,080; and a near-mint E.E. Sage & Co. (Chicago) target ball made $4,928. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.


Washington Chief sign, $20,900, Matthews Auc.


An outstanding 72-inch Washington Chief Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign with full Indian headdress profile for a graphic sold for $20,900 at an auction held Aug. 6 by Matthews Auctions LLC of Nokomis, Ill., on the final day of the 2010 Iowa Gas Show in Des Moines, Iowa. Also, an Ace High & Wil-Flo Motor Oil porcelain thermometer, 38 inches tall by 8 inches wide, commanded $13,200; and a Hood Tire Man with straight bow tie single-sided tin die-cut sign went for $9,900. Prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.


Pennsylvania cupboard, $17,250, Jeffrey S. Evans


A Pennsylvania paint-decorated Dutch cupboard sold for $17,250 at a cataloged auction of Americana, Fine Antiques & Decorative Arts held June 26 by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mount Crawford, Va. Also, a pair of large French Chinese-style palace urns garnered $13,800; a Pennsylvania signed Jacob Eby mahogany and cherry tall-case clock made $10,925; a Shenandoah Valley (Virginia) cherry tall-case clock hit $7,475; and a Pennsylvania Queen Anne walnut tall-case clock brought $5,750. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Devotional panel, $323,000, St. Charles


An exceptionally rare Renaissance period tempora and gold leaf painted devotional panel by Giovanni di Marco (1385-1438) sold for $323,000 at a sale of the Texas estates of Warren Spencer Strauss and June Adair held July 24-25 by St. Charles Gallery in New Orleans. Also, another devotional panel from the same period, by Francesco Botticini (1446-1497) soared to $246,000. Prices include a 23 percent buyer’s premium.


‘Footlight Parade’ poster, $47,800, Heritage Auc.


A 1933 poster for the Warner Brothers movie Footlight Parade, the famous Busby Berkeley musical starring James Cagney, sold for $47,800 at a Signature Movie Poster Auction held July 16-17 by Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas. Also, a three-sheet poster for RKO’s 1936 film Follow the Fleet brought $19,120; a “drive-in” style one-sheet poster for the 1977 Academy Award winning movie Rocky hammered for $5,975; and a one-sheet poster for the 1941 Betty Grable film Moon Over Miami hit $14,938. Prices include a 19.5 percent buyer’s premium.


Britains Set from 1937, $5,015, Old Toy Soldier


A rare Britains set no. 1476, made in 1937 and with a coronation coach and a single figure of uncrowned King Edward VIII, sold for $5,015 at an auction held May 1 by Old Toy Soldier Auctions in Pittsburgh. Also, a Cherilea 22-piece postwar baseball set went for $4,425; a Britains Set no. 1473, with King Edward VIII in coronation robes, in the original box and with the Marshall Field $1 price sticker still on it, brought $3,422; and a 21-piece prewar set of Haffner Frederick the Great and troops hit $3,186. Prices include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.


Occupational shaving mug, $16,100, Morphy Auctions


An occupational shaving mug depicting a roofing contractor in his truck sold for $16,100 at a Premier Auction held July 16-17 by Dan Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa. Also, original art from a Charles Schulz Peanuts comic strip dated “5-2-67” climbed to $15,000; an Atom Jet tin friction race car, Japanese, 25 1/2 inches long, with all original parts intact, breezed to $15,500; a painted lighthouse mechanical bank, 10 1/2 inches tall, made $11,000; and a 1903 tin tip tray advertising Coca-Cola went for $8,600. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Stevens mechanical bank, $78,975, RSL Auction Co.


A J. & E. Stevens Calamity cast-iron mechanical bank, circa 1905, depicting Yale and Harvard University football players, sold for $78,975 at a sale of Antique Toys & Banks held May 22 by RSL Auction Co. in Timonium, Md. Also, a turtle cast-iron mechanical bank made by Kilgore Mfg. Co., Westerville, Ohio, circa 1930, coasted to $72,900; and an Initiating First Degree cast-iron bank, circa 1880, by Mechanical Novelty Works of New Britain, Conn., went for $60,850. Prices include a 21 1/2 percent buyer’s premium.


Qianlong doucai vase, $41,400, Brunk Auctions


An 11 1/2-inch doucai (“joined colors”) vase with Qianlong marks sold for $41,400 at an estates sale held July 10 by Brunk Auctions in Asheville, N.C. Also, a 1984 oil on canvas painting by Andre Brasilier, titled Les etangs bleus loupeigne (Blue Ponds), with a copy of the original receipt, went for $43,700; an 1873 Steinway piano (serial no. 25070), reconditioned in 1985, sold to a phone bidder for $33,350; and a monumental Chinese lidded jar was the top Asian art lot, crossing the block at $25,300. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Haxston Ottoman crock, $5,463, Hudson Valley


A 6-gallon Haxston Ottoman & Co. Fort Edward crock sold for $5,463 at an auction held June 21 by Hudson Valley Auctioneers in Beacon, N.Y. Also, a bronze bust of Dailia, executed in Rome in 1871 and signed “Mercie” (Marius Jean Antonin Mercie), brought $4,255; an oil on paper abstract painting by Georges Mathieu (French, born 1921) topped out at $2,588; a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk went for $2,415; and a West Troy 5-gallon urn with two hawks as a decorative motif changed hands for $2,300. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Passover Haggadah, $86,100, Kestenbaum


The first Passover Haggadah to be printed in America (New York, 1837) sold for $86,100 at a sale of Fine Judaica held May 27 by Kestenbaum & Co. in New York City. Also, A Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine by Joseph Schwarz (Philadelphia, 1850) brought $68,800; Joseph Solomon Delmedigo’s Sepher Mayan Ganim (Amsterdam, 1628-29) breezed to $23,370; and a comprehensive set of Festival of Prayer-Books printed in Philadelphia (1837-38) went for $46,740. Prices include a 23 percent buyer’s premium.


Joseph Lincoln drake decoy, $60,375, Guyette & Schmidt


A classic widgeon drake decoy by Joseph Lincoln of Hingham, Mass., sold for $60,375 at the annual Summer Decoy Auction held Nov. 29-30 in Portsmouth, N.H., by Guyette & Schmidt Inc., of St. Michaels, Md. Also, a rare redhead hen by Ira Hudson of Chincoteague, Va., soared to $58,075; a resting mallard hen by Enoch Riendahl of Stoughton, Mich., commanded $40,825; and a dowitcher by John Dilley of Quogue, N.Y., went for $43,125. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Carl Rungius oil painting, $460,000, Copley Fine Art


An original oil on canvas painting by Carl Rungius (1869-1959), titled Humpback Grizzly, sold for $460,000 at a sale of paintings from the collection of Massachusetts businessman, sportsman and author H. Wendell Endicott (1880-1954), held July 22-23 by Copley Fine Art Auctions at the Radisson Hotel in Plymouth, Mass. Also, an oil on canvas painting by Ogden M. Pleissner (1905-1983), titled The Rapids, rose to $345,000, a new world record for the artist; and a miniature Wilson plover decoy brought $6,325. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


George Boyd decoy, $109,250, Ducks Unltd.


An early 1900s Canada goose decoy by the Seabrook, N.H., carver George Boyd sold for $109,250 at an annual Summer Auction held July 26-27 by Decoys Unlimited at the Cape Codder Hotel & Conference Center in Hyannis, Mass. The decoy featured a hissing posture and crooked neck. Also, a Ward Brothers black duck in near-mint condition, with dry original paint, climbed to $97,750. It was a new auction record for a “bishop’s head club” black duck, passing the previous record price of $57,000. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Religious painting, $8,050, The Cobbs


A primitive Mexican (or possibly New Mexican) painting on yellow pine, depicting Our Lady of Guadalupe sold for $8,050 at an estate sale held July 10 by The Cobbs in Petersborough, N.H. Also, a Persian serape rug went for $12,075; an oil on board by Frank Henry Shapleigh, titled Mount Washington and the Ellis River at Jackson, N.H. (1881) realized $7,475; an oil on canvas portrait by Massachusetts artist Alvan Fischer of his son garnered $6,900; and an 18th-century New England tavern table made $805. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


French Poupee doll, $160,000, Theriault’s


A French Poupee doll by Adelaide Huret with Victor Hugo provenance sold for $160,000 at an auction held in downtown Chicago by Theriault’s, based in Annapolis, Md. Also, a rare French bisque wooden-bodied “Bebe Musique” by Leon Casimir Bru topped out at $44,000; a bisque bebe from the Anne Rice Collection hit a respectable $40,000; an outstanding French bisque “Juliette’s Poupee” doll by Pierre-Victor Celement coasted to $14,000; and a German bisque Chinese baby (243) by Kester made $9,000. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.


Norman Lewis oil, $48,000, Swanns


An oil on canvas abstract jazz painting by Norman Lewis titled Bassist, 1946, sold for $48,000 at a sale of African-American Fine Art titled Out of the Blue: Modern Art & Jazz held June 24 by Swann Galleries in New York. Also, Charles Alston’s oil on canvas Cityscape at Night, circa 1950-1955, breezed to $24,000; Ernie Barnes’ oil on canvas expressionist work Song of Myself, circa 1970, brought $19,200; and Romare Beraden’s oil monotype Jazz Musician at Piano, circa 1975, fetched $30,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.