Gallery Report: June 2011

An early 19th-century Simon Willard tall case clock, 93 1/2 inches tall and signed “Warranted by S. Willard” on the dial, sold for $32,900 at an estates auction held April 23 by Gordon S. Converse & Co. in Malvern, Pa. Also, a 16 1/2-inch “mystery clock” made circa 1835 and attributed to Robert Houdin (1806-1871), the French magician and inventor, brought $11,750; and an early 19th-century Philadelphia mahogany tall-case clock by Abraham Cassell realized $5,875. Prices include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

Cranberry bride’s basket, $16,000, Woody Auction

Abride’s basket boasting a strong cranberry glass bowl with dentil style edge and set atop a Simpson Hall & Miller figural stand sold for $16,000 at the sale of the collection of Bill and Sue Frick, held April 30 by Kansas-based Woody Auction at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Mo. Also, a four-piece signed Daum Nancy tab-handle Four Seasons salt dip set brought $10,500; an 11 1/2-inch pickle caster condiment set made $9,500; and a mother of pearl bride’s bowl centerpiece hit $9,500. There was no buyer’s premium.

Jule’s Bourbon fifth bottle, $25,200, American Bottle

A mint condition spin mold fifth bottle for Jule’s Bourbon, made circa 1900 and probably the only known perfect example of a Julius Goldman back bar bottle, sold for $25,200 in an Internet and catalog auction that ended May 14 by American Bottle Auctions (www.americanbottle.com). Also, a triangular-shaped, very dark National Bitters bottle (C.C. Jerome & Co., Detroit, 1865), gaveled for $12,880; and a blown, three-mold geometric inkwell (GII-18C, circa 1815-1835), 1 3/4 inches tall, hit $6,720. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Coin-op Multiphone, $63,250, James D. Julia

A coin-operated Multiphone, one of only a handful known to exist and perhaps a precursor to the modern-day jukebox, with a tall oak cabinet encasing a carousel of 24 cylinder records, sold for $63,250 at a Spring Toy & Doll Auction held May 4-5 by James D. Julia Inc., in Fairfield, Maine. Also, an all-original 18-inch Marklin paddle wheel boat representing the “Brooklyn” brought $60,375; and an all-original double paddle wheel boat emblazoned “Montreal” and made by Lutz or Rock & Graner hit $46,000. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Porcelain Bodhisattva, $44,650, Cowan’s

A Sino-Tibetan porcelain Bodhisattva – an enameled and gilded figure, probably of Tara, a female Buddhist deity – sold for $44,650 at a Spring Fine & Decorative Art Auction held May 21 by Cowan’s Auctions Inc. in Cincinnati. Also, an outstanding Chinese polychrome ivory figural group commanded $27,600; a Chinese silver enameled bowl hammered down at $21,150; and a lot of three rare Chinese carved ivory Cultural Revolution figures (early 20th century, Republic Period) rose to $30,000. Prices include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

Dr. J’s basketball jersey, $190,414, Grey Flannel

An autographed Virginia Squires ABA road jersey game-worn in 1972-73 by basketball great Julius “Dr. J” Erving sold for $190,414 at a Summer Games Auction held May 11 by Grey Flannel Auctions in Westhampton, N.Y. Also, the navy and gold UCLA staff jacket that John Wooden (1910-2010) wore while basketball coach of the Bruins, with a letter of authenticity signed by Wooden, realized $183,500; and “Downtown” Freddy Brown’s 1979 Seattle SuperSonics championship ring made $115,242. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

1889 $5 Liberty Half-Eagle, $44,800, Morphy Auctions

Alarge Chinese bronze statue of a standing figure from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), possibly a god of war or other deity, sold for $27,600 at the annual Spring Asian Antiques & Fine Art Auction held March 20 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Conn. Also, a 20th century trio of Chinese ivory Quan Yins, each seated in different poses on lotus bases, demanded $18,400; and an 18th century (or older) large Chinese bronze bottle-form vase with salamanders applied to the neck also went for $18,400. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Andy Warhol’s Liz #5, $26.9 million, Phillips

A1963 painting by Andy Warhol titled Liz #5 (one of 13 the artist made of Elizabeth Taylor in various colors) sold for $26.9 million at an auction held May 10 by Phillips de Pury & Co. in New York City. Also, one of Warhol’s Flowers paintings, from 1964, realized $8.1 million; a 1973 Mao painting by the artist soared to a little more than $4 million; and a work that Warhol painted with Jean-Michel Basquiat, titled Third Eye (1985) gaveled for $7 million. A 1986 painting by Basquiat failed to sell. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Claude Monet painting, $22.5 million, Christie’s

A n original oil on canvas painting by Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), titled Les Peupliers (1891), sold for $22.48 million at an Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale held May 4 by Christie’s in New York City. Also, a 1905 oil on canvas by Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958), titled Paysage de benlieue, also realized $22.48 million (a world auction record for the artist); and a 1955 oil on canvas by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), titled Les femmes d’Alger (version L), went to a determined bidder for $21.36 million. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Oglala Sioux war shirt, $2.7 million, Sotheby’s

An Oglala Sioux beaded and fringed hide war shirt set a new record for a Native American work at auction when it sold for $2.66 million at a sale of American Indian Art held May 18 by Sotheby’s in New York. Also, a Northwest coast polychromed wood figure, probably Nootka, commanded $212,500; a Northwest coast horn bowl coasted to $146,500; a Haida polychrome wood headdress hit $134,500; and a Cree or Red River Metis quilled hide horse crupper topped out at $122,500. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Original Batman art, $448,125, Heritage

The original art from page 10, issue #3 of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (DC, 1986) sold for $448,125 at a Vintage Comics & Comic Art Auction held May 5-6 by Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries in New York City. Also, the original art for Carl Barks’ Vacation Panel painting (1972) fetched $179,250; two bound volumes of Action Comics (#1-24) brought $131,450; and a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #4 (Marvel, 1963), graded CGC NM+ 9.6, went for $77,765. Prices include a 19.5 percent buyer’s premium.

UCLA jump circle, $325,085, SCP Auc.

The original center court basketball jump circle from UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion sold for $325,085 in an auction that ended May 1 by SCP Auctions in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Also, a 1925 Ty Cobb game-used bat was a hit for $113,938; a Lefty Grove game-worn uniform also hit $113,938; Hall of Fame NBA coach Arnold “Red” Auerbach’s Boston Celtics championship ring from 1981 climbed to $82,727; and Ted Williams’ signed 1937 Boston Red Sox rookie player assignment contract with photo made $107,314. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Marc Chagall’s Bible, $156,000, Swann Gall.

Marc Chagall’s Bible (1931-39), with 105 etchings, one of 275 numbered copies signed in ink, sold for $156,000 at a sale of Old Master through Modern Prints held April 28 by Swann Galleries in New York City. It was a record price for the set without the hand-colored plates. Also, Das Graphische Werk von Egon Schiele, a portfolio with two lithographs, five drypoints and one etching (1914-18), went for $78,000; and James A.M. Whistler’s etching and drypoint titled The Beggars (1879-80) sold for $31,200. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Chagall color lithograph, $46,875, Doyle New York

Acolor lithograph by Marc Chagall, titled Roses and Mimosas (1975), sold for $46,875 at a sale of Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints held April 20 by Doyle New York in Manhattan. Also, a color lithograph by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, titled Napoleon (1895), realized $43,750; a lithograph by Willem de Kooning, titled Landing Place #2 (1970), brought $21,250; a color screenprint by Andy Warhol, titled Mao (1972) fetched $28,125; and Roy Lichtenstein’s color screenprint The Oval Office (1992) hit $28,125. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

Carl Spitzweg work, $248,000, Skinner

Ascene depicting a letter carrier by German artist Carl Spitzweg, likely the rediscovered final version of this known composition, circa 1860, sold for $248,000 at a sale of American and European Paintings & Prints held May 20 by Skinner Inc., in Boston, Mass. Also, Peter Lanyon’s Deep Blue Coast climbed to $201,450; Robert Spear Durning’s Still Life With Root Vegetables changed hands for $88,875; and Coastal Surf by African-American artist William Henry Johnson, circa 1932, gaveled for $82,950. Prices include an 18.5 percent buyer’s premium.

Chinese moon flask, $1.55 million, Schultz

Arare Chinese moon flask sold for $1.55 million to a bidder from Shanghai at an auction held May 7 by Schultz Auctioneers in Clarence, N.Y. The flask came out of a local estate and had been in the same western New York home for more than half a century. About 300 people turned out to bid on the flask at Antique World in Clarence. Bidders poured in from several states. Phone bids were taken from London, England and elsewhere. The flask had a low estimate of $100,000. The price includes a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Chinese bronze vases, $660,000, Leslie Hindman

Apair of rare Chinese Imperial bronze vases sailed past their estimate of $80,000-$120,000 to sell for $660,000 at a Marathon Asian Auction held May 2 by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago. Also, two carved rhinoceros horn cups went for $394,000 each; a white jade lidded vase realized $231,800; and a jade scholar’s object depicting shells and sea animals changed hands for $122,000. Overall, the auction grossed over $4.5 million, with a salesroom packed with international buyers. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Chinese drawings, $253,000, Kaminski

An album of 10 20th-century drawings by the noted Chinese artist Wu Guanzhong sold for $253,000 at a sale of Asian Art & Antiques held April 8-9 by Kaminski Auctions in Beverly, Mass. Also, a pair of huanghuali wood horseshoe chairs made in either the 17th or 18th century commanded $87,400; a 19th-century huanghuali altar table with scroll-form spandrels and side panels brought $64,400; a Wanli period wucai fish bowl rose to $55,200; and a Ming dynasty porcelain fish tank went for $51,750. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Charles Birch swan decoy, $186,500, Guyette & Schmidt

Arare swan decoy by Charles Birch, Willis Wharf, Va., sold for $186,500 at the 26th annual Spring Decoy Auction held April 28-29 by Guyette & Schmidt Inc. in St. Charles, Ill. It was a new record price for a Birch decoy. Also, a pair of bluewing teal decoys by Robert Elliston soared to $103,500; a canvasback drake by Ferdinand Bach changed hands for $54,625, a new auction record price; and a blackduck by Nathan Cobb Jr. brought $53,475, a new record for a Cobb blackduck. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Carrington painting, $117,800, Rago Arts

An original painting done in 1953 by Lenora Carrington titled Oleo Sobre Tela sold for $117,800 at a Fine Art Auction held May 14 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, Theodoros Samos’ King on the Mountain (or The Emperor Sees the Mountain) brought $68,200; Fairfield Porter’s 1965 oil on Masonite work August Wildflowers finished at $58,900; Alexander Calder’s The Trio changed hands for $46,500; and an untitled work by Raymond Pettibon gaveled for $42,160. Prices include a 22 percent buyer’s premium.

1955 Lancome bottles, $37,200, Perfume Bottles

A1955 Lancome presentation for Magie and Tresor, with fragrances in arrow-shaped bottles of frosted glass in a cardboard quiver with ribbon handle, sold for $37,200 at a Perfume Bottles Auction held April 29 in Bloomingdale, Ill. The event was held in conjunction with the International Perfume Bottles Association’s annual convention. Also, a Maison Lalique bottle from 1911, Oreilles Lizards, brought $22,800; and a 1923 Lalique bottle for D’Heraud, La Phalene went for $36,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.