Gallery Report: February 2009

Triceratops skull, $250,000-plus, Heritage

An almost fully intact Triceratops dinosaur skull sold for more than $250,000 at a Signature Natural History Auction held Jan. 17-18 by Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas. Also, an American Pyromorphite mineral specimen with a yellow-green hue climbed to $131,450; a “Brandenburg” scepter cluster of quartz with a mirror-bright luster garnered $119,500; a large lizard, fully preserved in historic amber, reached $95,600; and a classic American Red Cloud Wulfenite found a new owner for $71,700. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Pair of Italian commodes, $28,750, CRN Auctions

Two matching 18th-century Italian serpentine commodes in walnut parquetry veneer in an overall diamond pattern with ormolu mounts sold for $28,750 at a multiestate sale held Nov. 23 by CRN Auctions in Cambridge, Mass. A set of six English George II walnut side chairs on robust pad feet and with fine needlework tapestry soared to $19,550; a painting of a nude with a vase of flowers rose to $18,975; and an 1861 American landscape with a boy herding cows by Paul Weber changed hands for $14,950. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Ram-form weather vane, $50,600, Charlton Hall

A 19th-century ram-form copper weather vane, probably made by Cushing & Sons, Waltham, Mass., sold for $50,600 at a Grand Estates Auction held Nov. 22-23 by Charlton Hall Galleries in Columbia, S.C. Also, a Chinese Export Okeover armorial plate, circa 1740-1743, went for $14,950; a Hayden & Gregg-marked French bronze mantel clock brought $8,050; a signed Chandler stoneware jug from Edgefield, S.C., brought $3,450; and a 19th-century metal advertising sign for a buggy company hit $2,760. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Joe Jackson baseball card, $102,000, Mastro Auctions

A 1910 T210 Old Mill Cigarettes baseball card for “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, one of only about 10 known examples, sold for $102,000 at a Premier Catalog Auction that closed Dec. 17-18 by Mastro Auctions ( in Burr Ridge, Ill. A 1924 Babe Ruth personalized game-used bat (PSA 10, MEARS A-10), hailing from the 1922-1925 labeling period, 36 inches, 42 ounces, was a hit for $105,000. A collection 64 different 1898 Cameo Pepsin Gum pins soared to $87,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Colt Serial No. 1 pistol, $862,500, Greg Martin

A Serial No. 1 Colt single-action Army “Peacemaker” revolver sold for $862,500 at an auction conducted Jan. 16-18 in Las Vegas (concurrent with the Las Vegas Antique, Sporting Arms & Custom Knife Makers Show) by Greg Martin Auctions, San Francisco. A Freunds Brothers Frontier Armory single-action Army revolver, No. 83639, topped out at $241,500; and a Colt single-action Army revolver, deluxe cased, gold inlaid, engraved and inscribed “Last Gun Made in Hartford,” rose to $172,500. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Philip Guston work, $23,000, Carlsen

A still life oil painting by Philip Guston (N.Y./Calif., 1913-1980) sold for $23,000 at an auction Jan. 18 by Carlsen Gallery in Freehold, N.Y. A room-size serape carpet went for $15,525; a Hepplewhite tambour door chest with inlay soared to $10,580; a marble statue of a maiden by A. Battachi reached $6,900; a pair of cast-iron entrance dogs were a hit for $6,325; and an oil on canvas winter landscape by Robert Melvin Decker (N.Y., 1847-1921) went to a determined bidder for $6,037. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Size 14 Bru Jne bebe, $57,500, Theriault’s

A size 14 Bru Jne bebe doll sold for $57,500 at a Theriault’s doll auction Jan. 9-11. An early portrait poupee by Pierre-Francois Jumeau reached $50,000; a ringlet-curled Izannah Walker American cloth doll, circa 1873, hammered for $23,000; a stunning early portrait bebe realized $20,000; and a porcelain man made by KPM Meissen, circa 1840, and featured on the cover of the Margaret Hartshorn Collection changed hands for $18,500. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

African carved mask, $56,880, Skinner Inc.

An African carved wood mask, Pende, the hollow form with pierced eyes set in concave oval devices, sold for $56,880 at a sale of American Indian & Ethnographic Art held Jan. 24 by Skinner Inc., in Boston. A Polynesian carved wood war club from the Marquesas Islands, circa 19th century, rose to $55,695; a classic Northwest Coast dance blanket, Chilkat, circa late 19th century, brought $46,215; and a Central Plains beaded buffalo hide bow case and quiver, Lakota, circa 1885, made $23,700. Prices include an 18.5 percent buyer’s premium.

Moulin Rouge poster, $300,000, Swann Gallery

An 1891 poster by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, titled Moulin Rouge, La Goulue, the rare three-sheet version, sold for $300,000 at a sale of Rare & Important Art Nouveau Posters held Dec. 17 by Swann Galleries in New York. Also, a poster by Alphonse Mucha advertising Job rolling papers, Paris, 1896, topped out at $26,400; a set of four decorative panels depicting Les Arts by Jules Cheret, 1891, brought $40,800; and a poster by Leonardo Bistolfi, Turin, Italy, 1902, realized $13,475. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

George III mahogany table, $40,625, Doyle New York

AGeorge III mahogany serving table, circa 1780, with a D-form top, three-quarter brass gallery and a frieze drawer sold for $40,625 at a sale of Important English and Continental Furniture and Decorations held Jan. 28 by Doyle New York. A George I parcel gilt mahogany armchair fetched $23,750; a pair of George III mahogany window benches by Francois Herve, circa 1780, topped out at $20,000; and a George II mahogany concertina action games table hammered for $18,750. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

1927 Yankees photo, $94,153, SCP Auctions

A team photo signed by all members of the legendary 1927 New York Yankees baseball team, graded PSA Mint 9, sold for $94,153 in a January Internet Auction held by SCP Auctions in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Also, a 1914 Cracker Jack #30 Ty Cobb tobacco card (PSA NM-MT 8) brought $59,100; a Boston Red Sox jersey worn by Hall of Fame outfielder Harry Hooper from 1916-1918 hammered for $58,461; and a 1952 Topps complete set of 407 baseball cards, plus 80 black back variations, realized $30,328. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Alcatraz riot gun, $2,530, Alderfer’s

A Winchester Model 97 riot shotgun from the Alcatraz Federal Prison sold for $2,530 at a Firearms Auction held Jan. 21 by Alderfer Auction Center in Hatfield, Pa. An early four-digit serial number Colt Model 1911 revolver with blued finish went for $4,950; a Winchester Model 71-348 rifle topped out at $2,420; an obscure antique European bolt-action military rifle, 11mm, found a new owner for $2,530; and a pair of German Luger pistols in fine condition commanded $1,760 and $1,870. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Pale celadon jade vase, $96,400, Leslie Hindman

An 18th-century pale celadon Chinese jade vase, Qinglong, ovoid form with carved relief of trees, craggy rocks and pine, atop a hardwood stand, sold for $96,400 at a Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction held Feb. 1-2 by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Chicago. A near-white jade lidded koro, 18th century, soared to $31,600; a French porcelain mounted gilt bronze singing bird automaton mantel clock attributed to Botems, circa 1875, brought $27,600; and a Daum cameo glass crocus vase made $18,300. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Painting by Jimmy Carter, $100,000, Carter Center

An oil on panel painting by former President Jimmy Carter titled Sunflower sold for $100,000 at the annual Winter Weekend Auction held Feb. 7 by the Carter Center in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Also, a baseball signed by five former presidents – Ford, Carter, Clinton and both Bushes – soared to $82,500; a fly-fishing trip with Mr. and Mrs. Carter at Brigadoon Lodge went for $80,000; a handmade Manuel Rodriguez classical guitar brought $65,000; and a baseball signed by Barack Obama was a hit for $8,000. Prices are hammer, as there was no buyer’s premium.

Gold bow-shaped pin, $28,750, Nadeau’s

A gold diamond bow-shaped pin containing 36 diamonds, including a central six-carat emerald-cut diamond, sold for $28,750 at an auction held Jan. 1 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Conn. A David Webb carved jade bracelet with diamond inserts and enamel decoration rose to $16,100 and a Louis Bornand gold pocket watch gaveled for $14,375. Furniture included a Federal-style sideboard by Fineberg in crotch mahogany that sold for $4,500.

Richter painting, $252,000, Treadway

An oil on canvas painting by French artist Edouard Frederic Wilhelm Richter, titled Oriental Splendor, 1876, showing a group of harem women gathered in an exotic courtyard, sold for $252,000 at an Arts and Crafts/Art Nouveau Sale held Dec. 7 by Treadway Gallery at the John Toomey Gallery in Oak Park, Ill. A work by Spanish artist Mariano Jose Maria Bernardo Fortun y Carbo, titled From the Urn, realized $54,000; and an 18-inch diameter Tiffany lamp in the Peony pattern with leaded shade hit $102,000, Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Large porcelain plaque, $61,000, Freeman’s

A large topographical porcelain plaque showing Berlin from the Kreuzberg sold for $61,000 at an English and Continental Furniture & Decorative Sale held Jan. 29-30 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a pair of Sevres porcelain cache pots, presented by King Louis XV of France to Frederick V of Denmark, fetched $34,600; a French Louis XV-style lacquered commode soared to $18,750; an Italian credenza owned by artist Nelson Shanks brought $16,250; and a 17th-century Spanish trestle table hit $11,250. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

Tennessee sampler, $28,125, Case Antiques

A Tennessee house sampler, signed “Mary Elizabeth Collins’ work, Franklin, Tenn., April 1836,” sold for $28,125 at an auction held Dec. 6 by Case Antiques in Knoxville, Tenn. It was a new auction record for a Tennessee sampler. A painting attributed to American Impressionist Catherine Wiley (1879-1958) topped out at $12,375; a folky inlaid walnut chest of drawers with pierced skirt and turned pilasters achieved $5,850; and an inlaid walnut blanket chest of drawers, circa 1800, went for $4,500. Prices include a 10 percent 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.