Gallery Report: December 2008

E. Howard #61 clock, $189,750, Fontaine’s

An E. Howard & Co. #61 astronomical floor regulator clock sold for $189,750 at a Fall Clock Auction held Nov. 8 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass. The second top lot was also an E. Howard clock, a #60 astronomical hanging regulator that soared to $46,000. A rare U.S. Clock Co. astronomical floor clock with regulator went for $37,375, a 30-day period Biedermeier lantern clock made $25,875, and a Brocot French figural three-piece clock set changed hands for $20,700. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Dorflinger tankard, $49,000, Woody Auction

A dark cranberry cut to clear tankard by Dorflinger in the fine #99 pattern and signed Tiffany & Co. sold for $49,000 at a sale of American Brilliant Cut Glass held Nov. 15 by Woody Auction of Douglass, Kan. Also, a matching pair of 15 1/4-inch cut glass cornucopia vases with 24-point hobstar bases brought $20,000 and a 15-inch round charger cut in the perfect Panel pattern by Hawkes, with a nearly three-quarter-inch blank, made $19,000. Prices are hammer prices; no buyer’s premium was charged.

T206 Honus Wagner card, $791,000, Philip Weiss

A T206 Honus Wagner baseball card, one of only a handful known to exist and considered the Holy Grail of sports collectibles, sold for $791,000 at a multiestate sale held Nov. 21-23 by Philip Weiss Auctions in Oceanside, N.Y. The card dating to 1909-1911 was SGC graded 3. Also from the T205-T206 series, a Ray Demmitt error card, SGC graded 4, gaveled for $7,625. A Sid Luckman game-worn Chicago Bears football jersey from the 1940s earned $32,770. Original art from a 1956 Prince Valiant Sunday page brought $16,950. Prices include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.

Painted Sheraton chest, $11,500, Knotty Pine

A gorgeous paint-decorated four-drawer Sheraton pine chest in the original old mustard paint, circa 1830s-1840s, sold for $11,500 at Part I of the living estate of Dolores Wettach Williams, the former fashion model, actress and third wife of baseball legend Ted Williams. Knotty Pine Auction Service in West Swanzey, N.H., conducted the sale Nov. 23. Part II will be held in May. Also, a shoulder mount greater kudu, a woodland antelope, bagged by Ted Williams while on safari in 1972, with photo, hit $805. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Aguilar sterling service, $41,400, Leland Little

A 72-piece Aztec motif sterling flatware service from the early 1950s by the renowned Mexican silversmith Hector Aguilar sold for $41,400 at a two-day multiestate sale held Dec. 6-7 by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales Ltd. in Hillsborough, N.C. Also, a rare North Carolina paint-decorated Rowan County blanket chest, circa 1800 from the Yadkin River area, brought $36,800. A signed pastel on silk work by Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, titled Jamie, realized $28,750. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Bronze abstract sculpture, $935, Elliot Bernstein Auctions

A bronze abstract sculpture sold for $935 at a Mid-20th Century Sale held Nov. 30 by Elliot Bernstein Auctions in Sarasota, Fla. Also, a pair of Lucite and brass Hollywood Regency lamps lit up the room for $770, a Sven Madsen Denmark teak desk went for $633, a Dunbar custom step-back display hit $633, a Kindel Hollywood Regency cherry credenza hammered for $550, a Charles Eames shell rocker brought $550, a Paul McComb credenza made $468, and a pair of glazed pottery lamps reached $429. Prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.

Pair of carved ivory tusks, $70,200, Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches

A pair of late 19th-century Chinese export carved ivory tusks bearing a British coat of arms sold for $70,200 at the first of two Fall Art & Antiques Sales held Sept. 22 by Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla. The top lot of the Oct. 27 auction was an oil on canvas work by Guy Wiggins, titled Public Library in Winter, which made $36,270. Also, a 19th-century micromosaic Italian tabletop depicting a view of the Coliseum hit $17,550, while a French/German carved bone chess set realized $9,652. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.

Lobrichon painting, $92,000, Brunk Auction

A large Christmas-themed painting by the French artist Timoleon Lobrichon titled Jouets, 44 3/4 by 33 3/8 inches, sold for $92,000 at a sale held Nov. 8-9 by Brunk Auctions in Asheville, N.C. Also, a handcrafted and hand-drawn book of Austrian maps and castle views prepared in 1627 for Archduke Leopold of Austria brought $34,500; a proof 1895 Morgan silver dollar, graded PR-60, made $50,600; and a 210-piece Tiffany Palm silver set with case realized $20,700. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Schoenhut boxed set, $34,500, Bertoia’s

An exquisite boxed Teddy Roosevelt Adventures in Africa set made by Schoenhut, with optional lithographed cardboard scenery and immaculate original paint, sold for $34,500 at a Toys For All Seasons Sale held Nov. 7-9 by Bertoia’s in Vineland, N.J. Also, a musical clockwork rabbit with cabbage automation by the French maker Vichy realized $28,750, a 17-inch-long Britains painted metal bicyclist with a cloth-dressed figure made $21,850, and a Steiff cinnamon mohair teddy bear brought $17,250. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Marc Ferrez photos, $48,000, Swann Galleries

An album containing 68 original photographs of Brazil by Marc Ferrez, dating from the late 1880s to the early 1890s, sold for $48,000 at a sale of 19th and 20th Century Photographs held Oct. 21 by Swann Galleries in New York City. It was a new auction record for Ferrez. Also, Roman Vishniac’s portfolio of 12 silver prints from 1936-38 titled The Vanished World, hammered for $38,400; and Margaret Bourke-White’s 1939 silver print titled DC-4 Flying Over New York City rose to $15,600. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Babe Ruth uniform, $310,500, Hunt Auctions

A full Babe Ruth 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers road uniform sold for $310,500 at an auction held Nov. 15 by Hunt Auctions of Exton, Pa., at the Louisville Slugger Museum in Louisville, Ky. The winning bidder was SCP Auctions, Mission Viejo, Calif., which represented an unnamed collector of Babe Ruth memorabilia. It was the last professional uniform worn by Ruth, who was a coach with the Dodgers in 1938, his final season in baseball. The price includes a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Greene & Greene cabinet, $354,000, Sollo Rago

An architectural cabinet made by Greene & Greene sold for $354,000 at a Modern Auction held Oct. 25-26 by Sollo Rago in Lambertville, N.J. The circa 1907-1911 piece was Charles Sumner Greene’s personal cabinet. Also, a pair of Betty Woodman glazed earthenware urns covered in mottled majolica went for $7,200 and $6,600, a Phillip Lloyd Powell stacked walnut laminate dining table with an elliptical slate top commanded $33,600, and an Alexander Calder tapestry titled Moon (1975) brought $10,200. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Ben Franklin letter, $36,290, R&R Enterprises

A letter written by Benjamin Franklin to his sister in 1757 while waiting in New York for the ship that would carry him to England as a agent for Colonial Pennsylvania sold for $36,290 in an online auction held in November by R&R Enterprises Inc., Amherst, N.H. Also, a letter handwritten by President Abraham Lincoln on April 19, 1862 rose to $25,216. An early signed photo of Marilyn Monroe in a cheeky swimsuit pose also hit $25,216. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Beardsley illustration, $213,300, Skinner Inc.

An illustration by Aubrey Beardsley titled The Climax sold for $213,300 at a Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction held Nov. 16 by Skinner Inc. in Boston. It was a new world auction record for an illustration by Beardsley, an English artist who burst onto the international art scene at the height of the Art Nouveau movement. Another pen and ink drawing by Beardsley titled A Platonic Lament rose to $142,200. Both illustrations appeared in Oscar Wilde’s 1894 book, Salome: A Tragedy in One Act. Both prices include an 18 1/2 percent buyer’s premium.

Alphonse Mucha poster, $63,250, Poster Auctions International

A rare poster by Adolphe Mucha for Heidsieck Champagne sold for $63,250 at a semiannual poster auction held Nov. 10 by Poster Auctions International in New York City. Also, the same amount was paid for A.M. Cassandre’s poster for Miniwatt/Philips Radio, far exceeding the presale estimate. In the books and periodicals portion of the auction, a complete set of Les Maitres de l’Affiche soared to $43,700. More than 500 lots of rare, vintage posters crossed the block in a sale that grossed about $1.3 million. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Copper weathervane, $50,600, Charlton Hall

A ram-form copper weathervane, probably made by Cushing & Sons of Waltham, Mass., sold for $50,600 at a Grand Estates at Auction sale held Nov. 22-23 by Charlton Hall Galleries in Columbia, S.C. Also, a New England tall case clock by Timothy Chandler hit $17,250. Another New England tall case clock, by Gardiner Parker, hammered for $8,625. A Chinese Export Okeover armorial porcelain plate rose to $14,950 and a German Lenzkirch Boulle-style regulator clock hit $8,050. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Jan Beschey painting, $72,000, Rago Arts

An oil on copper plate painting in a period gilt frame by the Flemish painter Jan Frans Beschey (1717-1799), titled The Market Place, signed lower center, 13 by 17 1/2 inches, sold for $72,000 at an estates auction held in December by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, an Emic Romer George III silver epergne, London, 1772, soared to $24,000; a Raymond Yard gem-set bird brooch, platinum and 18-karat yellow gold, rose to $12,000; and two Royal Worcester covered urns hit $10,800. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Pair clown musicians, $76,000, Theriault’s

A rare pair of Clown Musicians on Stage by the French doll maker Vichy/Triboulet, sold for $76,000 at a Doll Auction held Nov. 23 by Theriault’s, Annapolis, Md. Also, five examples of French automata went for a combined $192,500. They included Lady Reclining on Recamier, $34,000; Two Acrobats Performing in Gilded Wooden Case Clock, $23,000; Pierrot Writing, $42,000; Japanese Mask-Seller, $57,500; and Kneeling Egyptian Lady Playing the Harp, $36,000. Prices quoted are hammer, exclusive of a buyer’s premium.

Ken HallKen Hall is a former business writer now based in Atlanta, where he is with Star Printing & Publishing, parent company of Southeastern Antiquing & Collecting magazine. In 2002 Ken began syndicating three antiques and collecting-related columns: Ken’s Korner, The Celebrity Collector, and Gavels ‘n’ Paddles. His collecting interests include coins, records, autographs and art.