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 Gallery Report (prices include the buyer’s premium unless stated otherwise):
R.S. Prussia marked bowl, $15,000, Woody Auction
An R.S. Prussia marked fall season bowl, 9¾ inches in diameter with poppy highlights, sold for $15,000 at the Part 1 sale of the lifetime collection of R.S. Prussia antique porcelain from the late John and Lavaun Headlee, with nearly all the pieces rare cobalt blue, held May 26 by Woody Auction in Douglass, Kansas. Also, from the same set, the summer bowl fetched $11,000 and the winter bowl realized $7,000; also, an unmarked chocolate set, cobalt blue with a stylized carnation décor, hit $10,000. Prices quoted are hammer.
‘The Federalist‘ first edition, $223,500, PBA Galleries
A rare first-edition copy of The Federalist, 1788, one of only 500 printed and considered the most important book in the political history of the U.S., sold for $223,500 at an auction held May 31 by PBA Galleries in San Francisco. Also, a presentation copy of Jonathan Mayhew’s book A Discourse, bearing the signature of John Adams, brought $10,800; and a typed letter signed by J. Edgar Hoover in 1942, written to FDR adviser Harry Hopkins on FBI stationery, rose to $10,200.
Watling slot machine, $3,250, Holabird Western Americana
A mid-1930s Watling three-reel 5-cent slot machine sold for $3,250 at an Americana, Railroad, Mining & More Auction held May 7-10 by Holabird Western Americana Collections in Reno, Nevada. Also, an 1871 general and business directory for the residents of four counties in Nevada brought $2,875; a circa 1870s silver chalice from Virginia City, Nevada, stamped “M.M. Frederick” hammered for $2,125; and a group of 10 vintage Hamilton open-face pocket watches made $1,125.
Knight’s Cross Certificate, $9,000, Milestone Auctions
A leather-cased Nazi German Knight’s Cross Certificate awarded to Helmut Naumann, dated June 2, 1941 and signed by Adolf Hitler, sold for $9,000 at a Premier Firearms & Militaria Auction held May 26 by Milestone Auctions in Willoughby, Ohio. Also, an early World War II German Gewehr G41 sniper rifle brought $5,520; and a rare model 1819 J. Hall breech-loading flintlock rifle, second production type dated 1826, made by Harper’s Ferry Armory, hit $4,560.
Butterfield horse sculpture, $70,400, Palm Beach Modern
A metal horse sculpture by Deborah Kay Butterfield (American, b. 1949), 39½ inches tall, sold for $70,400 at a Spring Modern Art & Design Sale held June 2 by Palm Beach Modern Auctions in West Palm Beach, Florida. Also, a Directional set of eight dining chairs by Paul Evans (American, 1931-1987), upholstery over bronzed resin/steel, fetched $48,640; a pair of Max Ingrand for Arte Fontana floor lamps hit $30,720; and a bronze sculpture by Lynn Chadwick (British, 1914-2003) made $30,720.
Secor mechanical bank, $132,000, Bertoia Auctions
A Jerome B. Secor “Freedman’s” mechanical bank, circa 1880, made in America and one of fewer than 10 known examples, sold for $132,000 at a Spring Signature Sale held April 27-28 by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, N.J. Also, a Citroen hand-painted clockwork tin “Au Louvre” delivery van sped away for $48,000; a classic French Bru bebe doll with original kid body and blue paperweight eyes fetched $19,200; and a Gendron pressed-steel Buick pedal car roared off for $14,400.
Chinese carved objects, $35,000, Freeman’s
A Chinese carved bamboo pomegranate and a pine water cup from the Qing Dynasty sold as one lot for $35,000 at an auction held May 22-23 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a Louis XV ormolu-mounted kingwood barometer by Lange de Bourbon (French, active 1750-1775) realized $26,250; a Louis XV Vincennes hand-painted porcelain rouet de salon fetched $26,250; and a large Meissen porcelain figural group titled The Triumph of Amphitrite (1815-1860) went for $26,250.
Howard No. 57 wall regulator, $145,200, Fontaine’s Auction
An E. Howard & Co. (Boston) No. 57 wall regulator clock, retaining its original 14-inch signed silvered dial, sold for a record $145,200 at an auction held May 19 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass. Also, a 14K gold ring with three prong-set diamonds totaling over 9 carats brought $63,525; and a Tiffany Studios landscape window showing a single-etched star in the sunset sky with purple mountains gaveled for $57,475.
Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, $12,000, Cordier Auctions
A 1973 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow with just 42,000 miles on the odometer sped off for $12,000 at a Spring Antique & Fine Art Auction held May 19-20 by Cordier Auctions in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Also, an 18K diamond cigarette case brought $4,920; an antique 18K gold cameo bracelet in a Tiffany case fetched $4,560; a pair of early Delft tobacco jars made $3,720; a Southern hunt board hit $3,720; and 60 pieces of Waterford Collen crystal stemware gaveled for $3,480.
Hockney photo portfolio, $75,000, Millea Brothers
A David Hockney 1976 photo portfolio from the collection of Ileana Sonnabend sold for $75,000 at a Spring Select Auction held May 17-19 by Millea Brothers in Boonton, New Jersey. Also, a 17th or 18th century Italian specimen marble top on table base made $43,750; a Chinese blue and white floral vase, Qing dynasty, 19 inches tall, having a blue underglaze and Imperial Qianlong mark, realized $27,500; and a 1974 oil painting by Dimitri Krasnopevtsev, titled Still Life II, rose to $21,250.
3.22-carat diamond ring, $39,040, Pook & Pook
A 3.22-carat pear-shaped diamond in a platinum setting sold for $39,040 at a Fine Jewelry Auction held May 11 by Pook & Pook Inc. (and Stuart Kensington Jewelers) in Greenville, Delaware. Also, an 18K gold diamond, emerald, sapphire and ruby cuff went for $3,660; a 14K gold opal ring changed hands for $2,318; a Goosens coral, quartz and shell necklace coasted to $3,904; and an unmounted 4.44 carat brilliant cut round diamond hammered for $29,280.
Trumble’s ‘Faro Exposed,’ $24,000, Potter & Potter
Alfred Trumble’s antique gambling book titled Faro Exposed, or, The Gambler and His Prey, 1882, sold for $24,000 at a Gambling Memorabilia Auction held May 19 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, F.R. Ritter’s 1905 book Advantage Card Playing and Draw Poker commanded $14,400; a Will & Finck circa 1880 Jacob’s ladder-style brass sleeve holdout cheating device brought $12,000; and a gambler’s palm pistol with pearl grips changed hands for $9,600.
Jean Royere table, $591,000, Phillips
A Flaque low table made in 1955 by the French artist Jean Royere sold for $591,000 at a Design Auction held June 6 by Phillips in New York. It was a new world auction record for a Flaque table by Royere. Also, Piero Fornasetti’s La Stanza Metafisica (Metaphyasical Room) from 1958 brought $507,000, a new world auction record for the deigner; Wendell Castle’s Unique “Student” Chair, 1961, realized $262,500; and Zaha Hadid’s Bench, 2006, commanded $125,000.
Edward Steichen photo, $20,000, Doyle
A 1926 photograph by Edward Steichen (French, 1879-1973), titled Brancusi’s Endless Column (in Steichen’s garden at Voulagis, France) sold for $20,000 at a Photographs Auction held June 14 by Doyle in New York City. Also, Consuelo Kanaga’s (American, 1894-1978) She is the Tree of Life to them, Florida, 1950, realized $17,500; Hiroshi Sugimoto’s (Japan, b. 1948) U.A. Playhouse, Great Neck, New York, 1978, made $13,750; and a 1962 photo by Ansel Adams hit $12,500.
Chinese huanghuali low table, $51,425, Clars Auction Gallery
A Chinese huanghuali low table inset with three floating panels sold for $51,425 at a Fine Art, Decorative Arts and Furnishings & Timepieces Auction held June 16-17 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, an ink and color on paper Chinese scroll attributed to Zhang Daqian (Chinese, 1899-1983), titled Lotus, breezed to $24,200; a Himalyan painted thangka knocked down for $7,865; and a Chinese underglaze blue celadon ground vase changed hands for $11,495.
Emerald and diamond ring, $20,400, John Moran Auctioneers
A carved emerald and diamond ring, Van Cleef & Arpels, sold for $20,400 at a Jewelry Auction held May 21 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, an Art Deco diamond and sapphire ring brought $13,200; an antique gold musical fob realized $5,938; a group of four Cartier keys coasted to $3,900; and an American Watch Co. hunter’s case pocket watch knocked down for $2,700.
Harry Bertoia sculpture, $275,000, Rago Arts and Auction Center
A large Bush sculpture from midcentury modern designer Harry Bertoia sold for $275,000 at Design Auctions held May 19 and 20 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, Masai (Twelve Elements) by glass artist Lino Tagliapietra gaveled for $118,750; a bench with back by George Nakashima went for $62,500; a Mesa table by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings topped out at $62,500; and a bronze coffee table by Ingrid Donat finished at $59,375.
Fernando Botero painting, $275,000, Heritage Auctions
A painting by Fernando Botero titled Seated Man, 2000, sold for $275,000 at a Modern & Contemporary Art Auction held May 24 by Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills, Calif. Also Hans Hofmann’s Holocaust, 1953, realized $250,000; Richard Lin’s Welsh Summer, 1971, brought $225,000; Gunther Uecker’s Poesie der Derstruktion, 1984, hit $181,250; and Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Signos y ritmos vegetales,1956, went to a determined bidder for $137,500.
1907 $20 U.S. gold coin, $28,000, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
A 1907 U.S. Saint-Gaudens high relief-wire edge $20 gold coin sold for $28,000 at a sale of numismatics from the estate of Scott E. Strahan held May 21 by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago. Also, a U.S. 1858-O Liberty Head $20 gold coin realized $26,400; a U.S. 1885-CC Liberty Head $20 gold coin breezed to $21,600; a U.S. 1850-O Liberty Head $20 gold coin rose to $16,800; and, in an online sale, a group of 20 U.S. 1879-S Morgan silver dollars gaveled for $1,440.
John Marin painting, $206,250, Bonhams
A painting by the Modernist artist John Marin (1870-1953), titled Sea in Red, Version II, 1948, sold for $206,250 at an American Art Auction held May 23 by Bonhams in New York City. Also, Charles Green Shaw’s Untitled (Atomic Flight) earned $93,750, a new auction record for the artist; a painting executed in 1954 by Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), titled Architectural Cadences, brought $162,500; and Beach Scene in Fort George Island, Fla., by Thomas Moran made $162,500.
Nancy Drew cover illustration, $35,000, Swann Auction Galleries
The watercolor, ink and gouache cover art for the 1944 book The Secret in the Old Attic, for Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #21 by Carolyn Keene, by illustrator Russell H. Tandy, sold for $35,000 at an Illustration Art Auction held June 5 by Swann Auction Galleries in New York. Also, Al Hirschfeld’s ink and correction fluid illustration titled Cabin in the Sky, for The Herald Tribune, 1940, achieved $32,500; and a Charles Addams watercolor cover for The New Yorker, 1977, hit $30,000.