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 report:
Marklin steam-powered liner, $59,000, Bertoia Auctions
A circa 1929-1930 Marklin ‘Amerika’ Series II steam-powered liner, exquisitely detailed, sold for $59,000 at an annual Fall Auction held Nov. 11-13 by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, N.J. Also, a circa-1929 Marklin ‘Rheingold’ paddleboat, 30 inches long, sped off for $35,400; a Belsnickle candy container with glass icicle beard, mica “snow” on the coat and hood, and golden beads around the hood, 16 inches tall, realized $26,550; and a Gunthermann eight-man plus coxswain tinplate clockwork scull made $20,060. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
A copy of Sir Isaac Newton’s (1642-1727) Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica sold for $3.7 million at a Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction held Dec. 14 by Christie’s in New York. It was a new world auction record for a printed scientific book. Also, an autographed letter written from Mount Vernon, N.Y., and signed by George Washington, dated April 25/May 1, 1788, brought $307,500; and Walt Whitman’s personal copy of Leaves of Grass (N.Y., 1855) made $162,500. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Cartier Mystery Clock, $504,500, Sotheby’s
A platinum, yellow gold, rock crystal, onyx, mother-of-pearl and diamond-set Mystery Clock made in 1929 for Cartier, designed by Maurice Couet, sold for $504,500 at an Important Watches Auction held Dec. 7 by Sotheby’s in New York. Also, a massive open-face Patek Philippe grande and petite Sonnerie clock watch breezed to $468,500; and a fine and rare yellow gold Rolex chronograph wristwatch, the “Paul Newman” Daytona (Ref. 6241, No. 2084361), went for $275,000. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Giltwood figure of Amida Buddha, $22,800, John Moran Auctioneers
A handsomely carved Japanese giltwood figure of Amida Buddha, shown seated in a lotus position and clad in flowing robes, dating to the 1930s, sold for $22,800 at a Decorative Art Auction held Nov. 15 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, a color collotype after Pablo Picasso titled L’Arlequin et Campagne, made $11,400; and an art vase titled A Summer Queen, a fine example of Amphora’s Art Nouveau portrait pottery, hit $1,560. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Palace-size antique Heriz rug, $2,530, Direct Auction Galleries
A palace-size antique Oriental Heriz rug from a London Ritz-Carlton Hotel by way of a Ritz in St. Louis, reputed to be 130 years old, sold for $2,530 at an estates auction held Nov. 15 by Direct Auction Galleries in Chicago. Also, a 14K pendant with a 1.40-carat round diamond brought $2,185; an Omega Speedmaster chronograph watch with box and papers fetched $2,185; and a lithesome bronze mermaid figure, 33 inches long and 23 inches tall, went for $2,415. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Buster Brown comic strips, $47,700, Kaminski Auctions
A collection of six Buster Brown Sunday comic strip original artworks by the illustrator Richard F. Outcault (1863-1928) sold for a combined $47,700, with the top lot titled The Worm Turns Twice (shown, dated March 19, 1916, at a Thanksgiving sale held Nov. 27 by Kaminski Auctions in Beverly, Mass. Also, an 18th century French Louis XV basin, decorated with carved putti and figureheads, brought $14,000; and a signed Tiffany Studios Turtleback table lamp rose to $18,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Mickey Mantle rookie card, $183,750, Goldin Auctions
A 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle rookie card, graded PSA NM7, sold for $183,750 at a Holiday Auction that closed Dec. 3 by Goldin Auctions, based in Runnemede, N.J. Also, Mike Trout’s 2014 MVP season game-used and signed glove soared to $31,850; the handcuffs used by officer Ray Hawkins to arrest Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas, in 1963 realized $110,250; and a baseball signed by both Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth went for $40,250. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
29 carat Colombian emerald, $1.03 million, Rago Arts & Auction
An unenhanced, 29-carat Colombian emerald sold for $1.03 million at a Jewelry Auction held Dec. 4 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, a pear-shape diamond necklace of 28.67 carats finished at $850,000; a 7.70-carat unmounted pear-shaped diamond realized $68,750; a Tiffany & Co. ruby and diamond ring hit $62,500; and a predominantly natural pearl necklace rose to $56,250. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Isidor Kaufmann painting, $455,000, Shapiro Auctions
A painting by the Austrian-Hungarian artist Isidor Kaufmann (1853-1921), titled A Business Secret, sold for $455,000 at an auction held Dec. 10 by Shapiro Auctions in New York City. Also, a rendering of an outdoor garden by Henri Martin (French, 1860-1943) brought $350,000; a painting by Alexander Samohvalov (Russian, 1894-1971), titled Girl in an Interior (1940), rose to $131,000; and a 1927 colorful, stylized landscape by Jean Dufy (French, 1888-1964) gaveled for $149,000. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.
Alfred Mira street scene, $19,000, Carlsen Gallery
An oil on canvas New York City street scene signed by Alfred Mira (1900-1980), 25 inches by 30 inches, sold for $19,000 at an auction held Dec. 4 by Carlsen Gallery in Freehold, N.Y. Also, a pair of cast-iron urns on bases, 43 1/2 inches tall, realized $9,000; a trade sign for Iroquois Beer Co. brought $9,000; an Egyptian marble-top center table hit $6,000; a cast-iron recumbent dog fetched $4,250; and a pair of 19th century mahogany saber-leg armchairs hit $4,000. Prices are hammer, exclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Revolutionary War copy book, $35,966, Alderfer’s Auctioneers
A fragment of a Revolutionary War-era copy book belonging to Jonathan Williams (1751-1815), the first superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy and the grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin, sold for $35,966 at a Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held Dec. 8 by Alderfer’s Auctioneers & Appraisers in Hatfield, Pa. Also, a land indenture document signed by Benjamin Franklin in 1763 went for $8,061; and a document fragment signed by Sir Isaac Newton gaveled for $8,540. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Patek Philippe watch, $389,000, Antiquorum
A Patek Philippe 18K white gold minute-repeater retrograde perpetual calendar watch sold for $389,000 at an Important Watches & Jewelry Auction held Dec. 8 by Antiquorum in New York City. Also, a Patek Philippe minute-repeater watch with enamel dial in platinum rose to $245,000; a Chopard Imperiale Tourbillon watch with baguette diamonds in pink gold gaveled for $205,400; and a Graff diamond and gold necklace with matching bracelet realized $173,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Harry Bertoia sound sculpture, $24,000, Schwenke Auctioneers
A large, untitled Sonambient sound sculpture by Harry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978), made from beryllium copper and brass and standing 42 1/2 inches tall, sold for $24,000 at a Holiday Fine Estates Auction held Dec. 4 by Schwenke Auctioneers in Woodbury, Conn. Also, a Gorham sterling silver Aesthetic Movement square pitcher with elephant-head handles made $15,860; and a Chinese porcelain oxblood glazed bowl, bell form and bearing the Yongzheng seal mark, hit $5,700. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Edward Redfield painting, $200,000, Freeman’s Auction
A painting by Edward Willis Redfield titled Road to the River sold for $200,000 at an auction held Dec. 4 and 6 by Freeman’s Auction in Philadelphia. Also, Frederic Remington’s The Bronco Buster soared to $106,250; Winold Reiss’s triptych depicting members of the Black Foot tribe realized $125,000; an illustration by N.C. Wyeth titled The Departure of the Rose (The Mother of the Hero) fetched $112,500; and a Harry Bertoia sculpture titled Sea Anemone (Bush) made $137,500. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.
English butcher shop diorama, $33,600, Pook & Pook/Noel Barrett
An elaborate English butcher shop diorama window display made from painted wood and embossed paper board, with 75 cuts of meat, two butchers and a delivery boy, sold for $33,600 at an inaugural toy auction co-held Dec. 2-3 by Pook & Pook Inc. and Noel Barrett. Also, a Gustave Dentzell carved and painted outside row standard carousel horse, circa 1905, went for $20,400; and a Knickerbocker Toy Co. Mickey Mouse toy, showing Mickey in his Sunday best, rose to $7,800. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Winchester model 1873 rifle, $529,000, Rock Island Auction
A special order John Ulrich-signed, relief engraved and monogrammed Winchester deluxe first model 1873 lever-action rifle sold for $529,000 at a Premiere Firearms Auction held Dec. 2-4 by Rock Island Auction Co. in Rock Island, Ill. Also, a Savage model 1899 lever-action rifle presented to Horace Dodge, co-founder of the Dodge Brothers Motor Co., rang out at $195,500; and a Colt Paterson No. 1 ring lever percussion revolving rifle hit the mark for $115,000. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Diamond and 18K 2-tone ring, $72,600, Clars Auction Gallery
A diamond and 18K two-tone ring centered by one round brilliant cut 6.30-carat diamond accented by 43 full diamonds sold for $72,600 at an auction held Dec. 10-11 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, a Verdura Spinel diamond and 18K white gold bracelet with 69 oval-shape and 14 pear-shape purplish spinels brought $48,400; a calligraphy by Yu Youren titled Wo yu tian shan realized $20,570; and a Chinese patinated bronze globular tripod censer made $45,375. Prices include a 19 percent buyer’s premium.
Fernando Amorsolo painting, $112,100, Michaan’s Auctions
A landscape painting by Filipino artist Fernando Amorsolo, titled Marikina (1927), of a lush countryside and fieldworkers at rest, sold for $112,100 at a Fine Art, Furniture, Decorative Arts & Jewelry Auction held Dec. 9 by Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda, Calif. Also, Etienne Trouvelot’s portfolio of chromolithographs titled The Astronomical Drawings fetched $44,250; and Bernard Buffet’s striking mid-century French landscape titled Coastal Town with Lighthouse netted $31,860. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.
1913 Type II buffalo nickel, $58,750, Legend Rare Coin
A 1913 Type II buffalo nickel, graded PCGS PR68 CAC, sold for $58,750 at a Regency Auction held Dec. 15 by Legend Rare Coin Auctions in Lincroft, N.J. Also, an 1892 $5 US gold coin, PR65, gaveled for $52,875; an 1893 U.S. 50-cent piece, MS66, fetched $45,825, an 1898-O U.S. 10-cent coin, MS67+, changed hands for $36,425; a 1914-D Lincoln head cent, MS66, rose to $30,550; a 1913 Type I buffalo nickel, MS68, realized $28,200; and an 1898-O silver dollar made $18,800. Prices include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.