Gallery Report: December 2010

An untitled mixed media on canvas work by Robert Rauschenberg, signed and inscribed and mounted on linen, sold for $366,000 at the auction of The Collection of Bernarda and Ben Shahn held Nov. 14 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, a George Nakashima walnut platform bed with Mr. Shahn’s name written on the bottom brought $34,160; a watercolor on paper by Rufino Tamayo, untitled (1926), made $26,840; and a lithograph on paper by Louis Lozowick (1923) hit $28,060. Prices include a 22 percent buyer’s premium.


‘Mark Twain manuscript,$79,300, Leslie Hindman


Ahandwritten draft chapter from Mark Twain’s A Tramp Abroad sold for $79,300 at a Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction held Nov. 18 by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago. Also, an original handwritten high school essay by Ernest Hemingway brought $7,320; a George Washington document signed as president of the Potomack Company commanded $9,760; a copy of Alice in Wonderland bound by Kelliegram soared to $9,760; and Robert de Flers’ Ilsee, illustrated by Alphonse Mucha, hit $9,760. Prices include a 24 percent buyer’s premium.


Texaco porcelain sign, $6,325, Matthews Auctions


A Texaco Marine Lubricants single-side porcelain sign, made in 1959 and rated 9.25 out of 10 for overall condition, sold for $6,325 at an auction held Nov. 6-7 in Raymond, Ill., by Matthews Auctions, LLC, based in Nokomis, Ill. Also, a Ford anniversary crest neon single-sided porcelain rolled edge die-cut sign, rated 8.9, made $4,950; a United Motor Service single-sided porcelain die-cut arrow sign with touring car graphic realized $4,950; and an Oilzum Motor Oil single-sided tin sign, framed, brought $4,510. Prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.


Brown’s Bitters bottle, $36,960, American Bottle


A n outstanding, mint condition Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb bitters bottle, patented Feb. 11, 1868, sold for $36,960 in an Internet and catalog auction held Oct. 29-Nov. 13 by American Bottle Auctions (, based in Sacramento, Calif. Also, an Eagle/Grapes one-quart flask soared to $19,600; a GI-40 aqua Major Ringold Rough ‘n’ Ready pint flask realized $15,680; a puce Fells Point/Sloop GVI-2 half-pint flask rose to $12,320; and an M. Keller (L.A.) California wine bitters made $10,080. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.


Gibson home run bat, $575,912, SCP Auctions


Baseball player Kirk Gibson’s iconic home run bat from Game 1 of the 1988 World Series sold for $575,912, and his jersey went for $303,277, at an auction that ended Nov. 14 by SCP Auctions of Laguna Niguel, Calif. Also, a 1934 Babe Ruth professional-model bat used by the Babe to hit career home run #702 flew out of the park for $137,866; a Ty Cobb H&B professional model game-used bat realized $75,330; and a 1953 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees autographed game-worn road jersey brought $62,256. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Canada goose decoy by Brady, $142,500, Guyette & Schmidt


A Canada goose decoy by Walter Brady of Oyster, Va., sold for $142,500 at an annual Fall Decoy Auction held Nov. 10-11 by Guyette & Schmidt, Inc., based in St. Michaels, Md. The auction was held at the Talbot County Community Center in Easton, Md. The Brady decoy was a new world auction record for the maker. Also, a rigmate pair of pintails by the Ward Brothers of Crisfield, Md., rose to $126,000. Shorebird decoys by John Dilley were also sold, as were examples by Mason Decoy Factory. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Whistler print of Nocturne, $282,000, Swann Galleries


Avery early impression of a print of Nocturne, by James McNeil Whistler (1834-1903), etching and drypoint on Japan paper (1879-80) sold for $282,000 at an auction titled Whistler and His Influence (Oct. 27) and Rare & Important Old Master Prints (Oct. 28) held by Swann Auction Galleries in New York. It was the most expensive Whistler print ever sold at auction. Also, Rembrandt van Rijn’s etching The Descent From the Cross (1633) brought $64,800; while a Rembrandt self-portrait etching made $50,400. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Michael Jackson glove, $330,000, Julien’s


The glove worn by singer Michael Jackson during his “Bad” tour sold for $330,000 at an Icons & Idols Auction held Dec. 3-4 by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills. Also, a military-style jacket worn by John Lennon for a 1966 Life magazine photo shoot achieved $240,000; an X-ray of Albert Einstein’s brain realized $38,750; a letter handwritten by Marilyn Monroe commanded $43,750; a pair of empty prescription bottles of Monroe’s brought $18,750; and a red velour pullover shirt worn by Elvis Presley made $90,000. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.


American School oil, $71,300, Carlsen Gallery


An American School oil on canvas painting of a young girl in a red dress sold for $71,300 at an auction held Nov. 27 by Carlsen Gallery in Freehold, N.Y. Also, an 18th century tall case clock marked Ashwin & Company chimed on time for $27,600; a 19th century bronze clock with a bust of George Washington gaveled for $14,375; a Fritz Vogt graphite on paper dated June 14, 1893 went for $11,500; a 19th century Berlin plaque coasted to $10,925; and a circa 1900 Steinway & Sons grand piano topped out at $6,325. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Harry Winston ring, $326,500, Doyle NY


AHarry Winston platinum ring centering one cushion-cut diamond of about 5.68 carats and flanked by two tapered baguette diamonds sold for $326,500 at an Important Estate Jewelry Auction held Dec. 8 by Doyle New York in Manhattan. Also, a platinum ring centering one round diamond of about 6.57 carats from the estate of Dorothy Parker commanded $116,500; and a two-color gold, diamond and sapphire pendant-necklace by Mario Buccellati with 18kt yellow and white gold fetched $86,500. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.