Gallery Report: Magician’s props conjure auction excitement

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. All prices include the buyer’s premium.

Magician cups and balls, $14,400, Potter & Potter

A magician’s cups and balls used by industry luminary Johnny Thompson (American, 1934-2019) for his version of the classic sleight-of-hand trick, sold for $14,400 at a Magic Sale held May 2 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, Chung Ling Soo’s circa 1915 wig finished at $10,200; a signed circa 1908 notebook of secrets from Harry Houdini’s collection hit $9,000; and a framed poster promoting “Harry Kellar’s Latest Theosophic Wonder” commanded $7,200.

Milton Resnick painting, $137,500, Shannon’s

An oil on canvas painting by New York School Abstract Expressionist Milton Resnick (1917-2004), titled Ulysses (1956), sold for $137,500 in an online Fine Art auction held April 30 by Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers, based in Milford, Conn. Also, an oil on canvas by Daniel Ridgway Knight (American, 1839-1924), titled Summer Afternoon, Seine Valley, commanded $52,000; and an oil on Masonite by Eric Sloane (American, 1905-1985), titled Berkshire Barn, went for $28,600.

Ammunition board litho, CA $4,500, Miller & Miller

A rare Dominion Cartridge Co. ammunition board, produced in Canada in the 1930s, sold for $4,500 in an online Signs, Toys & Historic Objects auction held May 9 by Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd., in New Hamburg, Ontario. Also, an early Canadian Victoria “Family” sewing machine, Canadian, 1880s, gaveled for $3,245; and a Penn-Drake Motor Oil porcelain sign (American, 1930s), boasting great color and gloss, brought $2,950. Prices are in Canadian dollars.

French dining chairs, $9,375, Crescent City Auction Gallery

A set of six French Henri II style carved oak dining chairs, circa 1880, sold for $9,375 at a Spring Decorative Arts & Interiors auction held May 15 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans. Also, a pair of framed Turkish Iznick style glazed earthenware tiles with floral decoration brought $2,176; a bamboo silk Sultanabad carpet, 8 feet 10 inches by 11 feet 7 inches, realized $896; and a French provincial carved oak desk rose to $576.

Harbor Petroleum sign, $44,000, Morphy Auctions

A circa-1940s porcelain sign for Harbor Petroleum Products (Long Beach, Calif.), graded 8.9+ out of 10, 39 inches by 35 inches, sold for $44,000 in an Automobilia & Petroliana sale held May 13-14 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa. Also, a 1906 porcelain license plate #1, the very first issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia, fetched $27,060; and a neon sign for Pacific Bait & Tackle with a leaping fish graphic made $27,060.

Russian silver bowl, $43,750, Doyle

A Russian silver and cloisonné enamel bowl with bear handles by Feodor Ruckert and retailed by Faberge sold for $43,750 at a Russian Works of Art auction held April 26 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a Faberge silver-gilt and cloisonné enamel kovsh, also by Ruckert, rose to $28,125; a Faberge jeweled gold-mounted Bowenite bell-push by workmaster Michael Perchin fetched $25,000; and a watercolor by Grand Duchess Olga hit $4,687.

Chippendale clock, $62,500, Freeman’s

A Chippendale carved walnut tall case clock with works by Daniel Rose (1749-1827), made in Reading, Pa., circa 1790, sold for $62,500 in an American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts auction held April 28-29 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a gilt-washed sterling askos claret jug made by Gorham Mfg. Co. (N.Y.) and retailed by J.E. Caldwell in Philadelphia, after 1868, brought $18,750; and a marine painting by Alexander Charles Stuart (1831-1898) made $13,750.

Bronze dancer figure, $7,020, Jeffrey S. Evans

An Art Deco enameled bronze figure of a dancer by Gerda Gerdago sold for $7,020 at a Spring Fine & Decorative Arts auction held April 23-25 by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mount Crawford, Va. Also, a diminutive coastal landscape painting by Edward Henry Potthast realized $6,435; a Tiffany Studios Grapevine electric table lamp brought $5,850; a Paul Stankard Bee and Bouquet lampwork studio art glass paperweight hit $5,265; and a 3.82 carat diamond ring gaveled for $17,550.

Pennsylvania drysink, $5,625, Pook & Pook

A Pennsylvania drysink, with a fine old dry blue surface and showing great wear, sold for $5,625 in an online-only Decorative Arts auction held April 29-30 by Pook & Pook Inc. in Downingtown, Pa. Also, a studio ceramic vase by Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011), closed form with a blue color, rose to $3,438; a collection of early wool, homespun and linen clothing settled at $3,188; and an oil painting of a sunset by Charles Grant Beauregard (1856-1919) made $1,175.

Sheldon Mayer collections, $284,452, Nate D. Sanders

The Sheldon Mayer collections, featuring many Sugar and Spike comic strips, sold for $284,452 in an auction held April 30 by Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles. The top lot was an original Scribbly artwork (Sept. 1939), which sold for $29,845. The iconic four pages appeared as four complete stories in the #6 issue, which chronicled Scribbly Jibbet’s journey of getting hired as a 13-year-old boy cartoonist, a storyline based on Mayer’s own experiences in the 1930s.

Chinese automaton clock, $62,500, John D. Moran

A Chinese mechanical automaton table clock sold for $62,500 at a Traditional Collector auction held May 3 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, a 1935 Ford V-8 Deluxe Phaeton car sped off for $40,625; a gilt and polychrome-patinated bronze by Jean Leon Gerome (French, 1824-1904), titled La Femme au Voile, depicting a standing woman with veil, gaveled for $34,375; and a Continental Neo-Classical gilt bronze table went for $6,875.

Colt Paterson revolver, $132,000, Cowan’s

A #5 Holster Model “Texas” Colt Paterson revolver, serial number 23, sold for $132,000 in an Arms & Armor auction held May 6-7 by Cowan’s in Cincinnati. Also, a factory engraved Winchester Model 1886 “Big 50”’ lever-action rifle with factory letter rang out at $60,000; a rare Colt Civilian Walker revolver hit the mark for $39,600; and a double cased pair of silver and gilt Colt 1860 Army revolvers with raised carved Mexican snake and eagle ivory grips finished at $39,000.

Paul Evans cabinet, $106,250, Rago Arts

A sculpture front cabinet by Paul Evans sold for $106,250 in a Modern Design auction held May 13 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, an exceptional hanging wall cabinet by George Nakashima realized $62,500; Peter Voulkos’s sculpture titled Shogun went for $62,500; and an untitled (Multi-Plane Construction) sculpture by Harry Bertoia commanded $52,500.

Patek Philippe watch, $75,000, Hindman

A Patek Philippe Nautilus wristwatch in 18K rose gold with diamonds and a mother-of-pearl chronograph subdial, Ref. 5980-1, sold for $75,000 in a Fine Timepieces auction held May 13 by Hindman, based in Chicago. Also, a Franck Muller Double Mystery watch in white gold and diamond achieved $27,500; a Cartier ‘Tortue XL’ watch in 18K white gold with diamond inlays brought $60,000; and a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch hit $58,880.

1848 letterpress broadside, $37,500, Swann Auctions

An 1848 letterpress broadside offering a reward for the return of three female runaway slaves sold for $37,500 in a sale of Printed & Manuscript African Americana held May 7 by Swann Galleries, based in New York City. Also, E. Simms Campbell’s A Night-Club Map of Harlem from 1933 realized $27,500; and  a 17th Year Afro-American’s Travel Guide from 1957, printed by the Travel Bureau of African-American Newspapers, made $27,500.

9K gold center bowl, $60,000, Heritage Auctions

The Rattray & Co. 9K gold center bowl presented to England’s Queen Elizabeth II’s grandparents on their golden wedding anniversary sold for $60,000 at a Fine Silver & Objects of Fine Vertu auction held May 5 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a gem-set, enameled silver-mounted rock crystal figural tazza, circa 1880, finished at $47,500; and a Tiffany & Co. gold center bowl and a pair of Tiffany 14K gold candlesticks, both circa 1948, hit $32,500 and $31,250, respectively.

Mike Trout rookie card, $922,500, Goldin Auctions

A 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects #BDPP89 Mike Trout (Red Refractor) signed rookie baseball card (#5/5), graded BGS GEM MINT 9.5, sold for $922,500 at Spring Auction Session #1 held May 21 by, based in Runnemede, N.J. Also, a 2003-2004 LeBron James game-used Cleveland Cavaliers road jersey soared to $371,200; and a 2000 Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers NBA Championship ring that he gifted to his mother, Pam Bryant, made $206,080.

Chinese floral bowl, $46,125, Clars Auction

A blue and white painted Chinese floral bowl with a Yongzheng double ring mark sold for $46,125 in an auction held May 17 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, a Hans Wegner for Andreas Tuck cabinet realized $7,380; a Chinese copper red porcelain bowl with a six-character Yongzheng mark on the base went for $28,290; a table by Albert Paley rose to $6,150; and a George Demont Otis (American, 1879-1962) hand-carved and painted gun rack fetched $9,840.

Choultse oil painting, $56,580, Brunk Auctions

An oil on canvas painting by Ivan Fedorovich Choultse, titled Lever du Soleil (Engadine) sold for $56,580 at a Premier Auctions held May 15-16 by Brunk Auctions in Asheville, N.C. Also, a patinated bronze sculpture by Ernst Barlach titled Der Verschwender II (The Spendthrift) (Laur II 330) climbed to $59,040; a Confederate First National flag, captured at Fort Donelson, knocked down for $34,440; and an oil on panel by Harry Humphrey Moore, titled Tangier, went for $36,900.

Southern stoneware jug, $6,000, Wooten & Wooten

A Southern alkaline glazed stoneware jug, circa 1835, 7½ inches tall, attributed to Colin Rhodes (Edgefield, S.C.), sold for $6,000 in an auction held March 14 by Wooten & Wooten Auctioneers in Camden, S.C. Also, a set of two mesh purses with 14K gold clasps, circa 1900, set with diamonds and sapphires, brought $5,280; a circa 1800 edge-inlaid walnut Federal chest fetched $1,800; and a circa 1770 Dutch neoclassical chest made in the manner of Matthis Horrix (1739-1805) hit $2,040.