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:
1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air, $31,860, Cordier Auctions
A fully restored 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air two-door hardtop sold for $31,860 at an antique auction held May 20 by Cordier Auctions in Harrisburg, Pa. Also, a painting by Harold Newton (American, 1934-1994), one of the legendary Florida Highwaymen, fetched $3,894; a 1924 Steinway Model B grand piano finished on a high note at $11,800; a 14K gold ring with a 2.16-carat diamond solitaire sold for $12,980; and an Eames for Howard Miller lounge chair brought $2,242. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Letter written aboard the Titanic, $22,500, Philip Weiss Auctions
A letter handwritten aboard the RMS Titanic on April 13, 1912 sold for $22,500 at an auction held June 22 by Weiss Auctions in Lynbrook, N.Y. Also, an original life ring from the SS Andrea Doria changed hands for $8,400; a glass clock given to first class passengers aboard the SS Normandie in 1935 earned $4,560; a derby worn by President William Howard Taft rose to $1,840; and a postage stamp signed by Albert Einstein gaveled for $1,860. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Pair, 4-light candelabra, $22,200, A. B. Levy’s
Two exhibition silver-gilt four-light candelabra produced by Elkington & Co., Birmingham, 1860, sold for $22,200 at a jewelry, art and antiques Auction held June 29th by A.B. Levy’s in West Palm Beach, Fla. Also, an oil on panel by Louis Marie de Schryver (French, 1862-1942), titled The Flower Girl, realized $18,000; and a pair of circa 1900 glass vases by Daum Nancy, one an acid etched and applied “Christening” vase, the other a gilt decorated cameo vase, went for $18,000 and $9,600, respectively. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Zhang Daqian calligraphy, $78,000, Michaan’s Auctions
A signed, sealed and inscribed calligraphy by Chinese artist Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) sold for $78,000 at an Asian works of art auction held June 18 by Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda, Calif. Also, an album of eight paintings by Pu Ru (Chinese, 1896-1963) went for $24,000; a mounted scroll painting of wisteria by Wu Changshou (Chinese, 1844-1927) realized $24,000; a delicate pair of Doucai cups brought $19,200; and a Qianlong period carved round cinnabar box hit $22,800. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Engraved Henry rifle, $25,875, Rock Island Auction
An engraved lever-action Henry rifle sold for $25,875 at a gun auction held June 22-25 by Rock Island Auction Co. in Rock Island, Ill. Also, a Borchardt pistol in fair condition sold for $17,250; an engraved Winchester Model 1866 rifle hit the mark for $11,500; a Remington Model 8 and Model 81 rifle sold as one lot for $11,500; and two Colt DA target revolvers decorated with gold inlaid Rampant Colts went for $8,050. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Steinway grand piano, $22,500, John Moran
A Steinway & Sons Model D grand piano sold for $22,500 at a Traditional Collector Auction held June 20 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, an .800 silver eagle by Italian maker Buccellati finished at $19,200; a rustic scene of a fisherman before waterfalls in a verdant forest setting by John Brandon Smith (Br., 1848-1884) coasted to $3,750; a small KPM porcelain plaque fetched $1,920; and a large-scale Daum pate de verre ‘Amaryllis Magnum’ vase made $5,313. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
William Faden map, $38,000, Leland Little Auctions
A Map of South Carolina and a Part of Georgia Containing the Whole Sea-Coast, by the cartographer William Faden, sold for $38,000 at an auction held June 14-17 by Leland Little Auctions in Hillsborough, N.C. Also, a pair of pale celadon jade hanging vases rose to $18,000; a 1976 Triumph TR6 convertible British sports car went for $16,000; a French 18K gold, emerald and diamond clip brooch brought $4,600; and Dale Chihuly’s Blue Sky basket set earned $4,000. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Patek Philippe wristwatch, $24,500, Jones & Horan
A Patek Philippe perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phase sold for $24,500 at a jewelry auction held May 21 by Jones & Horan in Manchester, N.H. Also, a Rolex Sea-Dweller watch, retailed and signed by Tiffany & Co., slipped brought $24,000; an Illinois, Washington Watch Co. pocket watch (“Greenwich, 23 Diamond, Ruby and Sapphire Jewels”) fetched $12,000; and a jade, diamond and platinum ring made $3,800. Prices are hammer; there was no buyer’s premium.
Uncut sheet, baseball cards, $32,200, Blackwell Auctions
An uncut sheet of 110 Topps baseball cards from 1956 sold for $32,200 at an Americana Auction held June 10 by Blackwell Auctions in Clearwater, Fla. Also, a Los Angeles Police Dept. lieutenant’s badge #7, accompanied by a 14K gold retirement badge, went for $7,500; an 1852 daguerreotype of American artist Thomas Hicks, with a lock of his hair, made $13,200; and a 14K gold pocket watch presented by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 to a British ship’s captain hit $9,300. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
1996 Fender Stratocaster guitar, $31,112, Bonhams in London
A 1996 Fender Floyd Rose classic Stratocaster guitar originally owned by Gary Moore sold for $31,112 at an entertainment sale held June 28 by Bonhams in London. Also, a 1982 Fender ’57 reissue Stratocaster fetched $29,475; a six-page letter handwritten by George Harrison to Astrid Kirchherr soared to $24,562; an Ossie Clark suede fringed jacket once owned by Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones realized $22,925; and a black Dalek from the BBC program Doctor Who gaveled for $24,562. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
1892-S Morgan silver dollar, $293,750, Legend Rare Coin
An 1892-S Morgan silver dollar U.S. coin, fresh to the market and graded highly at PCGS MS 64 CAC, sold for $293,750 at the 22nd Regency Auction held July 13 by Legend Rare Coins of Lincroft, N.J., official auctioneer of the PCGS Members Only Show. Also, a 1909 $20 U.S. gold coin, graded at PCGS PR66 CAC, gaveled for $193,875; a 1908 U.S. $10 gold coin, PCGS PR66 CAC, rose to $76,375; and an 1880-S $1 U.S. coin, PCGS MS68+ CAC, hammered for $61,687. Prices include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.
Henry Moore maquette, $125,000, Nye & Co.
A cast bronze maquette for Stringed Figure by the British artist Henry Moore (1898-1986) sold for $125,000 at an auction held June 30 by Nye & Co. in Bloomfield, N.J. Also, a hearth blanket from a New Jersey estate, framed in a shadow box and measuring about 24 inches by 40 inches, realized $36,250; and an oil on canvas of a Prussian cuirassier by Alphonse de Neuville, from the Ben Michel collection of French military art, rose to $7,500. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.
Arthur Szyk first edition, $17,500, Swann Galleries
A limited first edition copy on vellum of Arthur Szyk’s The Szyk Haggadah (London, 1939), author-signed, sold for $17,500 at an Art, Press & Illustrated Books Auction held June 13 by Swann Galleries in New York City. Also, a signed and inscribed limited first edition copy of Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit (Tokyo / New York, 1964) realized $13,750; and a complete set of 13 color lithographs by Maurice Denis, three signed, titled Amour (Paris, 1899), hammered for $11,250. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Circa 1950s toy bulldozer, $3,000, Alderfer Auction
A New London Caterpillar D-4 toy bulldozer made in the 1950s sold for $3,000 at an auction held June 17 by Alderfer Auction in Hatfield, Pa. Also, a 1937 Pierce Arrow pedal car sped off for $2,700; and a 1937 Auburn Supercharger pedal car changed hands for $2,400. All the lots in the sale came from a single-owner collection of more than 40 toy vehicles. These included both restored and unrestored cars, trucks, motorcycles, trains, boats, airplanes and three bulldozers. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Apollo 11 moon bag, $1.8 million, Sotheby’s
A bag used by astronaut Neil Armstrong to bring the first samples of moon dust back to Earth in July 1969 as part of the historic Apollo 11 lunar mission sold for $1.8 million at an auction held July 21 by Sotheby’s in New York. Also, the Apollo 13 flight plan, annotated by its crew, gaveled for $275,000; a spacesuit worn by astronaut Gus Grissom fetched $43,750; and a famous image of astronaut Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11 on the moon, taken by Neil Armstrong, made $35,000. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Vampire killing kit, $5,500, Rich Penn Auctions
A vampire killing kit in a wood and leather case with ornate brass sold for $5,500 at an auction held May 19-21 by Rich Penn Auctions in Waterloo, Iowa. Also, a four-color porcelain neon sign for Blatz Beer fetched $4,750; a circa 1900 Fleischmann painted ocean liner toy boat realized $3,500; a children’s miniature or salesman’s sample step-back cupboard rose to $2,900; a Wurlitzer jukebox, model 1015 classic Paul, made $2,250; and a pair of Japanese toy battleships hit $2,100. Prices are hammer, exclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Emerald and diamond ring, $5,512 million, Christie’s
An emerald and diamond ring by Raymond Yard, set with an octagonal step-cut emerald of about 18.04 carats, sold for $5.5 million at a jewelrey auction held June 19 by Christie’s in New York. It was a new world record per carat ($305,516) for an emerald at auction. Also, a modified lozenge mixed-cut, 5.01-carat, fancy deep grayish-bluish green, VS-2 clarity diamond soared to $4.4 million; and a round brilliant-cut, 16.11-carat, D-color, flawless diamond made $1.9 million. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
1915 Ty Cobb baseball card, $432,000, Heritage Auctions
A 1915 Cracker Jack #30 baseball trading card, one of only three cards known graded PSA Mint 9, sold for $432,000 at a premium sports card catalog auction held June 29 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a Topps 1954 Hank Aaron #128 baseball card, PSA Mint 9, was a hit for $192,000; a Topps 1957 Johnny Unitas #138 football card, PSA NM-MT+ 8.5, brought $40,800; and a Topps 1967 Rod Carew A.L. Rookie Stars #569 baseball card, PSA Mint 9, hit $13,200. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
By Ken Hall