ATLANTA – At the start of each month, ACN columnist Ken Hall gathers top auction highlights from around the United States and beyond. Here’s what made headlines since last month’s Gallery Report. All prices include the buyer’s premium.
Zhang Daqian painting, $172,200, Clars Auction
An ink and color on paper painting by Chinese artist Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), titled Red Leaves and Bird, measuring 13¾ inches by 32 inches, sold for $172,200 at an auction held Aug. 8-9 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, a pair of famille rose ruby-ground “Medallion” bowls with DauGuang six-character mark, realized $159,900; and a Chinese blue and white “Lotus” vase, 14½ inches tall, inscribed with the Qian Long six-character seal mark, rose to $110,700.
Jules Olitski paintings, $95,000, Hindman
Two acrylic on canvas paintings by Jules Olitski – one titled Ariel Dreamed (shown, 1990) and the other Hawk Channel (1985), brought $57,500 and $37,500, respectively, for a combined total of $95,000 at a How Soon is Now: Postwar Art & Design auction held July 28 by Hindman in Chicago. Also, Harry Bertoia’s untitled bush form sculpture from 1970 went for $45,000; and two expansive works by the ceramicist Ruth Duckworth garnered $18,750 and $16,250.
Toulouse-Lautrec poster, $78,000, Poster Auctions International
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s 1894 poster titled Eldorado / Aristide Bruant sold for $78,000 in Poster Auctions International’s Rare Posters Auction LXXXI held July 21 in New York City. Also, Alphonse Mucha’s four-panel set titled The Seasons (1896) knocked down for $43,200; Charles Loupot’s full-scale maquette, a 1947 preliminary design for St. Raphael, achieved $43,200; and Leonetto Cappiello’s dynamic design from 1928 for Porto Pitters went for $21,600.
Ten Cate painting, $4,688, Bruneau & Co.
A fisherman-themed painting by Dutch Impressionist Siebe Johannes Ten Cate (1858-1908) sold for $4,688 at an Estate Fine Art & Antiques Auction held Aug. 27 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. Also, a Modernist depiction of an African American jazz band by Romare Howard Bearden (N.Y./N.C., 1911-1988), lithograph edition #129 of 200, fetched $2,125; and an Abraham Lincoln political campaign ferrotype pin, circa 1860, changed hands for $1,625.
Wendell Gilley sculpture, $1,599, Neue Auctions
A hand-carved and painted figure of an Osprey hawk by artist Wendell Gilley (Maine, 1904-1983) sold for $1,599 in an online-only Summer Art & Antiques Auction held July 25 by Neue Auctions in Beachwood, Ohio. Also, beautiful Chinese Export armorial plates (Qing, Quianlong, circa 1735-1745) also brought $1,599; a garden bird whirligig yard ornament fetched $1,353; and a hand-painted cast-iron door stop in the form of a uniformed sailor garnered $1,169.
1840 Shaker sewing table, $98,400, Morphy Auctions
A circa 1840 Shaker seven-drawer, drop-leaf sewing table, attributed to Elder David Terry, sold for $98,400 at a Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held July 14-15 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa. Also, a men’s 18K gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetual Automatique wristwatch with leather box knocked down for $73,800; and a rare Tiffany Studios “Clematis” table lamp, signed on the shade and bronze base, lit up the room for $73,800.
Agassiz pocket watch, $25,000, Doyle
A rare rose gold open face pocket watch with a “world time” face sold for $25,000 in a Fine Jewelry Auction held July 29 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a gold, platinum and diamond necklace slipped around a new neck for $10,625; a Shreve & Co. gold link necklace changed hands for $8,750; a Verdura gold curb link bracelet-watch knocked down for $8,750; and a Seaman Schepps gold and rock crystal curb link bracelet went above estimate to finish at $8,750.
1793 Strawberry Leaf cent, $660,000, Stacks Bowers
A 1793 Strawberry Leaf U.S. cent, the finest one of four examples known, with all four numbers of the date legible, graded VG-10 by PCGS, sold for $660,000 at an auction held Aug. 6 by Stacks Bowers (based in Santa Ana, Calif.) at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. A Maine collector named Roscoe Staples paid $2,400 for the coin in 1941. The Strawberry Leaf cent is named for the distinctive spray beneath the portrait of Liberty that differs from all others of the year.
Nantucket curlew decoy, $108,000, Copley Fine Art
The O’Brien-Nelson hollow Nantucket curlew decoy by carver Charles Coffin sold for $108,000 at a Sporting Sale held July 23 by Copley Fine Art Auctions in Hingham, Mass. Also, a quail hunting watercolor painting by Ogden M. Pleissner landed at $37,200; and Thomas Aquinas Daly’s Electric Mountain garnered $16,800. It was a new world auction record for the artist. Overall, the sale consisted of 296 lots, 94 percent of which sold. The auction grossed $957,000.
1863 $1 United States coin, $129,250, Legend Rare Coin
An 1863 $1 U.S. coin, graded PCGS PR67+, sold for $129,250 in Regency Auction 39, held July 16 by Legend Rare Coin Auctions (based in Lincroft, N.J.) at the PCGS Members Only Show in Las Vegas. Also, an 1865 U.S. 50-cent coin, PCGS PR67+, fetched $117,500; an 1862 $1 U.S. coin, PCGS PR66+, brought $76,375; an 1865 U.S. 25-cent coin hit $64,625; an 1862-S 10-cent U.S. coin, PCGS MG65, went for $58,750; and an 1865-S 10-cent U.S. coin, PCGS MS65+, made $55,812.
Doors promo photos, $18,262, RR Auction
A group of four Elektra Records promotional photos of The Doors, signed by all four members of the rock band, including frontman Jim Morrison, sold for $18,262 in an online Fine Autographs & Artifacts sale that ran from July 24-Aug. 12 by RR Auction in Boston. Also, a letter handwritten by George Washington fetched $28,016; a signed oval portrait of Sun Yat-sen garnered $20,660; and a Jack Swigert signed lithograph in his white spacesuit went for $14,742.
1986-87 basketball cards, $90,000, Heritage Auctions
An unopened box of 1986-87 Fleer Basketball cards, containing 36 unopened packs, sold for $90,000 at a Summer Sports Card auction held July 31 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, the 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Cards & Stickers Complete set, all graded PSA Gem Mint 10 and featuring two Michael Jordan cards, soared to $216,000; a Jim Thorpe card from the 1933 Sports Kings set, graded PSA Mint 9, hit $138,000; and Ty Cobb’s Sports Kings card, PSA Mint 9, garnered $132,000.
George Sotter painting, $60,000, Alderfer Auction
An oil on board winter night scene by George Sotter, titled Gloucester, sold for $60,000 at a Collectors Auction held Aug. 12-13 by Alderfer Auction in Hatfield, Pa. Also, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual “Pepsi” GMT Master wristwatch from the 1970s hammered for $19,200; a monumental German jeweled sterling silver “Knights and Ladies” chess set made $12,000; and a painting by Pennsylvania Impressionist Charles Hargens, titled Washington Crossing, 1776, sold for $7,200.
Babe Ruth baseball card, $51,600, Cordier Auctions
An E121 American Caramel George “Babe” Ruth baseball card, graded 7 (neat-mint) by PSA, hit it out of the park for $51,600 at an auction held Aug. 15 by Cordier Auctions in Harrisburg, Pa. It is the only card of this version in the population with this grade, according to PSA. Also, an E90-2 American Caramel Honus Wagner card, graded PSA1, gaveled for $3,840; and a T206 1909-1900 White Border Ray Demmitt St. Louis card, graded PSA2, achieved $2,520.
Spratling flatware service, $34,062, John Moran Auctioneers
A William Spratling “Amarres Disco” sterling silver flatware service sold for $34,062 at a Made in Mexico sale held Aug. 16 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, a Matl Virgen de Guadalupe silver santos figure realized $25,000; an untitled pastel on paper abstract painting by Rodolfo Nieto (Mexican, 1936-1985) finished at $15,000; and a carved black marble sculpture by Felipe Castaneda (Mexican, b. 1933), titled Mujer en Reposo, went for $4,062.
Grateful Dead poster, $16,250, Stephenson’s
An original first printing of the Grateful Dead’s “Aoxomoxoa” Avalon Ballroom concert poster from a performance on Jan. 24-26, 1969, designed by Rick Griffin (1944-1991), achieved $16,250 at a concert posters auction held Aug. 14 by Stephenson’s in Southampton, Pa. Also, a lithographed poster touting two back-to-back shows by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, dated May 10, 1968 at the Fillmore East changed hands for $15,000.
Adam Smith first edition, $125,000, Swann Galleries
A first edition copy of Adam Smith’s seminal book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (London, 1776) sold for $125,000 at a Fine Books & Manuscripts sale held July 30 by Swann Galleries in New York City. Also, a sketchbook for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, illustrated with 12 tipped-in color plates and signed by Walt Disney (London, 1938) earned $22,500; and a copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses (Paris, 1922) rose to $13,750.
By KEN HALL