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Gallery Report: August 2014


Famille rose plaques, $463,000, Michaan’s


A pair of famille rose porcelain plaques from the Republic period of Wang Qi (1884-1937) sold for $463,000 at a Fine Asian Works of Art Auction held June 23 by Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda, Calif. Also, a folding screen inset with porcelain plaques coasted to $59,000; two huanghuali horseshoe back armchairs with side table fetched $100,300; a landscape hanging scroll by Wu Hufan (1894-1968) made $59,000; a cinnabar lacquer scroll form box brought $38,350; and a spinach double gourd-form wall vase reached $23,600. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.


Berlin KPM plaque, $36,000, John Moran


A visually arresting Berlin KPM plaque featuring The Three Fates sold for $36,000 (a record for this plaque image and size) at a Decorative Arts Auction held June 17 by John Moran Auctioneers in Pasadena, Calif. Also, a late 18th century French provincial gilt bronze-mounted walnut commode rose to $22,050; artist Marc Chagall’s Le Prophete changed hands for $9,000; and an early 20th century Russian icon, featuring a painted portrait of St. Nicholas on panel surrounded by silver-gilt and enamel oklad hit $3,900. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Gettysburg cannonball, $5,850, Mohawk Arms


A Confederate cannonball from the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, mounted on three brass leg finials, sold for $5,850 at Mohawk Arms’ Auction no. 71 held June 13-14 online and at the firm’s gallery in Bouckville, N.Y. Also, a Civil War felt fez hat worn by a member of the 11th New York Fire Zouaves brought $5,850; a uniform worn by SS officer Karl Franz, the last Kommandant of the German Nazi concentration camp at Treblinka, realized $10,238; and a Japanese Yasukuni World War II shrine sword made $5,265. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.


Durham Whiskey bottle, $13,440, American Bottle


A rare Durham Whiskey fifth bottle, made circa 1876-1882 and one of only about six known, sold for $13,440 at Auction no. 60 from American Bottle Auctions, an Internet and catalog sale that went online July 11 (at and ended July 20. Also, a Clasped Hands bottle with a cannon on the reverse (G-XII-42a) soared to $4,928; a Jockey Club western whiskey sixth, circa 1873-1878, graded 9.6, brought $5,152; and a GI-51 George Washington/Zachary Taylor quart flask commanded $5,376. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.


Leaded glass boot sign, $109,350, James D. Julia


A highly ornate and one-of-a-kind leaded glass figural boot trade sign from a Wisconsin shoe store sold for $109,350 at a Spring Toy, Doll & Advertising Auction held June 13 by James D. Julia Inc., in Fairfield, Maine. Also, a black Steiff Titanic “Mourning Bear” – made to honor the lives lost after the ship’s sinking in 1912 – went for $35,550; a 24-inch-tall gold mohair five-ways jointed Steiff bear from around 1910 fetched $21,330; and a miniature Mosler cannonball safe designed as a cutaway hit $11,553. Prices include an 18.5 percent buyer’s premium.


Baccarat Egyptian bottle, $38,400, IPBA Convention


An exquisite 1917 Baccarat Egyptian bottle presentation sold for $38,400 at an auction held during the 26th annual convention of the International Perfume Bottle Association, May 2, in Pittsburgh, Pa. Also, a Czechoslovakian blue crystal bottle with an Egyptian motif changed hands for $12,000; and a 1922 Rosine bottle, Antinea ou au Fond de la Mer (or “bottom of the sea”) went for $18,000. Nicholas Dawes, from PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, was guest auctioneer for the event. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Two Kofod-Larsen chairs, $39,360, Clarke Auction


A pair of Ib Kofod-Larsen “Elizabeth” chairs sold for a record $39,360 at an auction held July 14 by Clarke Auction in Larchmont, N.Y. Each rosewood chair was marked with the Christiansen & Larsen company branding under the front seat rails. The upholstery was original but in very worn or absent condition. The frames were in complete original condition. The previous record for a pair of “Elizabeth” chairs was $9,500, set in 2011. In other results, a Paul Evans wall-mounted cabinet went for $30,500. Prices include a 23 percent buyer’s premium.


Frank Sinatra’s driver’s license, $15,575, RR Auction


Frank Sinatra’s first New Jersey driver’s license – dated 1934 and issued to “Francis Sinatra, 841 Garden St., Hoboken, NJ” – sold for $15,575 in a Hollywood-themed online auction that began June 19 and ended June 26 by RR Auction, based in Boston, Mass. Also, Marilyn Monroe’s personal script from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, with dialog exchanges and acting tips, made $22,689; and correspondence between Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell and an admirer from Philadelphia commanded $14,087. Prices include a 22.5 percent buyer’s premium.


Lou Gehrig signed mitt, $287,500, Hunt Auctions


A first baseman’s mitt, used and signed circa 1935 by New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig sold for $287,500 at the 10th annual live auction at T-Mobile Fan Fest, held by Hunt Auctions as part of 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Week. Also, Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella’s Hall of Fame induction ring went for $86,250; a Jackie Robinson professional model baseball bat, circa 1953, brought $80,500; and a Harmon Killebrew Washington Senators professional model home jersey rose to $20,700. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Two Aboriginal shields, $24,000, Clars Auction


A pair of rare, possibly 19th century Aboriginal Northern Australia shields sold for $23,000 each at a Fine Art, Jewelry & Decorative Arts Auction held July 12-13 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, a fancy, light brownish pink unmounted diamond weighing 1.51 carats went for $24,000; a large bronze sculpture by Bob Grieves (b. 1986), titled Shenandoah Farewell, realized $15,470; and an oil on board painting by Douglas Hofman (American, b. 1945) titled Madam Derriere achieved $11,900. Prices include a 19 percent buyer’s premium.


French bisque doll, $36,000, Theriault’s


A A French bisque wooden bodied poupee doll, circa 1867, with extensive trousseau and original trunk, sold for $36,000 at an auction titled “As in a Looking Glass” held July 15 in San Antonio, Texas, by Theriault’s, based in Annapolis, Md. Also, a porcelain lady doll, made circa 1850 and accompanied by an elaborate trunk and trousseau gaveled for $16,500; a French bisque bebe by Schmitt et Fils, circa 1882, fetched $11,000; and a petite French bisque block-letter bebe by Gaultier, circa 1884, topped out at $6,500. Prices are hammer and exclude a buyer’s premium.


Three Paul Evans chairs, $47,200, Briggs Auction


Three rare lounge chairs (two shown), by the New Hope, Pa., artist Paul Evans, on welded and patinated steel frames, sold as single lots for a combined $47,200 at a Fine Antiques & Decorative Arts catalog auction held June 6 by Briggs Auction Inc. of Green Valley, Pa. Also, a Chester County, Pa., Chippendale tall chest with unusual document drawer and monogram on the front brought $11,800; and a fine Chester County, Pa., sampler, dated 1830, worked by Hannah Bittle with animal and floral motifs made $17,700. Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.


Pair of 1857 Colt Dragoons, $54,000, Morphy Auctions


A pair of 1857 Colt Walker Type 3 Dragoons with consecutive serial numbers sold for $54,000 at a Firearms Auction held July 19 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa. Also, a pair of Colt .57 caliber pistols known as “Snake Eyes,” new with original boxes, hit the mark for $13,200; a Winchester Model 1886 .50 Express Rifle rang out at $11,400; a Winchester Model 1886 Takedown .45-.90 caliber rifle coasted to $7,800; and an 1871 Smith & Wesson 320 Revolving Rifle went to a determined bidder for $7,200. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Reuven Rubin painting, $61,200, Stefek’s Auctioneers


An original oil painting titled Two Musicians by Israeli artist Reuven Rubin (1893-1974) sold for $61,200 at a Modern Art & Fine Furniture Auction held May 22 by Stefek’s Auctioneers & Appraisers in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. Also, two rare Maurizio Tempestini for Lightolier sculptural table lamps, circa 1953, sold as individual lots for $1,140 and $960; an Arredoluce floor lamp, circa 1955, climbed to $1,080; and a Milo Baughman rosewood and chromed steel desk changed hands for $1,800. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Rare U.S. banknote, $2,513, Trader Chris


A rare U.S. banknote from the First National Bank of Kingston (Tenn.) that was mixed in with a North Carolina coin collection sold for $2,513 on eBay, in an auction brokered in July by Trader Chris Consignments of Chapel Hill, N.C. A professional organizer in the Raleigh-Durham area contacted Trader Chris regarding the coin collection. Soon afterward currency dealers started making offers when Trader Chris contacted them about the banknote, which was subsequently listed on eBay and sold for more than the dealers had offered. There was no buyer’s premium.


Babe Ruth’s 1918 contract, $1.02 million, Goldin Auctions


Babe Ruth’s 1918 contract to play baseball for the Boston Red Sox sold for $1.02 million at a Babe Ruth 100th Anniversary Auction held July 12 (and online, through July 19) by Goldin Auctions of West Berlin, N.J. Also, a circa 1916-1918 Babe Ruth rookie-era game-used bat fetched $204,000; a 1965-1966 Mickey Mantle game-used fielder’s glove rose to $181,500; and Roy Campanella’s 1951 National League MVP Award hit $181,500. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


1935 Mickey Mouse cel, $98,000, Heritage Auctions


An all-original, unrestored production cel and master background from Walt Disney’s 1935 cartoon, Mickey’s Service Station, featuring Mickey Mouse and Goofy, sold for more than $98,000 at an Animation Art Signature Auction held July 1-2 by Heritage at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion in New York City. Also, a cel of Mickey as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Fantasia (1940) went for $20,913; and a 1928 production drawing by Ub Iwerks for Steamboat Willie made $1,528. Prices include a 19.5 percent buyer’s premium.


Winslow Homer drawing, $106,250, Swann Auction


An original pen-and-ink drawing by Winslow Homer, titled Study: Fresh Air, sold for $106,250 at an American Art Auction held June 12 by Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. Also, a 1924 brush, ink, wash and color pastel with pencil by Preston Dickinson, titled The Peters Mills, gaveled for $60,000; an oil on board by James D. Smillie, titled Sunset Over a Lake, chalked up $11,875; and a 1972 color pastel and charcoal by Peter Cadmus, titled Seated Male Nude (NM 96), found a new owner for $37,500. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.