Gallery Report: May 2015

ATLANTA – On the 1st 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:

Pair of huanghuali stools, $448,400, Quinn & Farmer

A pair of 17th or early 18th century huanghuali stools, one of them retaining a label from the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture, sold for $448,400 at an auction held April 18 by Quinn & Farmer in Charlottesville, Va. Also, a 17th or early 18th century zitan kang table brought $247,800; a mahogany with oak secondary George III dressing chest crafted by William Gomm made $76,700; and a late 19th century palace-size Serapi carpet, measuring 19 feet 6 inches by 11 feet 4 inches, hammered for $25,960. Prices include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.



Nine portrait miniatures, $94,163, Louis J. Dianni

Nine oval miniature on ivory portrait paintings of prominent men and women from colonial-era America, all of them rendered by Charles Willson Peale (Md./Pa., 1741-1827), sold for a combined $94,163 at the 6th annual Palm Beach Auction, held Feb. 14-16 by Louis J. Dianni, LLC (based in Palm Beach, Fla.) at the Hilton Hotel & Conference Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. The top lot of the group was a portrait of Robert R. Livingston (shown), a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It sold for $23,600. Prices include a sliding scale buyer’s premium.



Chinese jadeite cabbage vase, $59,520, Elite Decorative Arts

A Chinese late Qing Dynasty carved multicolor jadeite figural cabbage vase, 6 3/4 inches tall, sold for $59,520 at a fine decorative arts and estate jewelry auction April 11 by Elite Decorative Arts in Boynton Beach, Fla. Also, a large Chinese early Qing Dynasty white He Tian jade figural floral vase, 9 1/4 inches tall, made $31,000; a Tiffany & Co. 18K white gold 32-carat aquamarine and diamond ring brought $8,773; and a Schlumberger Tiffany & Co. 18K yellow gold floral brooch pendant topped out at $8,470. Prices include a sliding scale buyer’s premium.



Double eagle historical flask, $57,330, Norman C. Heckler

An early Pittsburgh district double eagle historical flask, made circa 1820-1840 and with a bright yellow green color with an olive tone, sold for $57,330 at Auction #120, an Internet auction held by Norman C. Heckler & Co. of Woodstock, Conn., ending on March 18. Also, a “North Bend – Tippecanoe” historical cabin bottle, probably made by Mount Vernon (N.Y.) Glass Works, circa 1840, fetched $25,740; and a “G.W. Stone’s” (Lowell, Mass.) medicine bottle, circa 1860-1870, hammered for $18,720. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.



Clarence Millet painting, $18,300, Crescent City

An oil on canvas painting by New Orleans artist Clarence Millet (1879-1959), titled Studio Courtyard, sold for $18,300 at an estates auction held April 18-19 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans. Also, a Sevres-style champleve and gilt bronze mounted porcelain vase, circa 1900, 28 1/2 inches tall, realized $9,760; an 18K yellow gold minute repeater pocket watch, early 20th century, by A. Golay Leresche Fils (Geneva) made $4,740; and a painting by Alexander Drysdale (1870-1934) hit $5,333. Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.



Thomas Brooks etagere, $63,250, Stevens Auction

A rosewood rococo etagere with a bonnet top, crafted by 19th century furniture maker Thomas Brooks, sold for $63,250 at an onsite estates auction held April 18 in Meridian, Miss., by Stevens Auction Co., Aberdeen, Miss. Also, a mahogany heavily carved Chippendale-style grandfather clock with nine tubes and Elliott works of London, circa 1890, chimed on time for $12,650; and a rare rosewood laminated recamier in the Rosalie With Grapes pattern, attributed to J.H. Belter, circa 1855, made $12,650. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.



Peters Ammunition poster, $12,540, Showtime Auction

A rare, antique Peters Ammunition poster with a bold and imposing graphic of a bear on a mountain ledge, sold for $12,540 at an auction held April 10-12 by Showtime Auction Services in Ann Arbor, Mich. Also, an oil painting by Edmund Henry Osthaus (1858-1928), done in 1892 and showing two English setters on the scent, rose to $12,000; an Ithaca (N.Y.) Sign Works tin sign with a picture of motorists in a Locomobile brought $10,080; and an ivory poker buck, or chip, in fine original condition, with the words “You Deal,” made $9,000. Prices include a sliding scale buyer’s premium.



Grandma Moses painting, $78,000, Nadeau’s Auction

An oil on Masonite painting by the iconic American folk artist Grandma Moses (1860-1961), real name: Anna Robertson), titled Sap Gathering (1954) and showing people engaged in snowy winter outdoor fun, sold for $78,000 at the annual Spring Antiques, Fine Art & Asian Auction held April 11 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Conn. Also, a Chippendale cherry reverse serpentine chest attributed to Eliphant Chapin brought $48,000; and a pair of Federal mahogany knife boxes hammered for $25,200. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.



Civil War-era cannon, $350,750, James D. Julia

A Confederate New Orleans-made 12-pound bronze Napoleon on carriage cannon with limber sold for $350,750 at a firearms auction held March 15-16 by James D. Julia Auctioneers in Fairfield, Maine. Also, a factory engraved gold and silver Colt SAA pistol, shown at the 1876 World’s Fair, rang out at $333,500; and an English presentation 1855 Charter Oak Colt Root, to William Read, hit $132,250. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.



Stevens mechanical bank, $270,000, Bertoia Auctions

A Darky Kicking Watermelon mechanical bank made by the J. & E. Stevens Co. and designed by Charles A. Bailey, one of only four known and patented in 1888, sold for $270,000, at Part II of the Max Berry Toy Collection held March 27-28 by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, N.J. Also, a Freedman’s Bank mechanical bank, made by Jerome B. Secor, Bridgeport, Conn., circa 1880, gaveled for $228,000; and a Zig-Zag mechanical bank, maker unknown, patent applied for in 1889, hammered for $210,000. Prices include the buyer’s premium.



Guy Rose painting, $168,000, John Moran

A seascape painting by Pasadena, Calif., artist Guy Rose (1867-1925), titled Black Rock, Laguna, circa 1915-1916, sold for $168,000 at a California & American Fine Art Auction held March 24 by John Moran Antique & Fine Art Auctioneers in Pasadena, Calif. Also, a painting by the Laguna Beach artist William Wendt (1865-1946), titled Canyon Cottage, soared to $54,000; a still life by San Francisco artist Samuel Marsden Brooke (1816-1892) fetched $48,000; and a landscape by James A. Fetherolf made $19,200. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.



Weakley Equipment sign, $125,000, Mecum Auctions

A porcelain neon Weakley Equipment Co. lawn equipment sign from 1948, measuring 96 inches by 138 inches, in original working condition, sold for $125,000 at a sale of the Walker Sign Collection held March 18-19 by Mecum Auctions in West Memphis, Ark. Also, a 1920s-era Goodyear Tires C.O.D. Garage Co. pre-neon back-lit double-sided tin sign with milkglass lettering gaveled for $100,000; and an original porcelain neon factory-rotating Mobil Pegasus sign in working condition made $72,500. Prices are hammer, exclusive of a buyer’s premium.



Iaclovleff still life painting, $11,500, White’s Auctions

A framed gouache on paper still life painting of a bowl of grapefruits by Russian Federation and American painter Alexandre Evgnenvich Iaclovleff (1887-1938), titled Fruits, sold for $11,500 at an auction held March 1 by White Auctions in Middleboro, Mass. Also, two George Nakashima walnut chairs and a pair of Nakashima triangular paddle-form side tables sold as separate lots for $3,335 each; and a letter hand-written by Nathaniel Hawthorne to George Manning, Esq., on June 8, 1855 hammered for $2,750. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.



18th century highboy, $8,000, Carlsen Gallery

An 18th century tiger-maple bonnet-top highboy sold for $8,000 at an auction held April 12 by Carlsen Gallery in Freehold, N.Y. Also, an oil on canvas painting signed by Eric Sloane, 24 inches by 42 inches, hammered for $9,500; an oil on canvas signed and dated (1892) by Edmund D. Lewis, titled Lake George, realized $3,750; a pair of bronze rabbits, including one titled Lapin a la Carotte, breezed to $3,250; and a pair of New York Empire scroll-base pier tables went for $3,000. Prices are hammer, exclusive of a buyer’s premium.



Frankenstein poster, $358,500, Heritage

A discarded Frankenstein movie poster – the only 6-foot example from the 1931 Universal horror classic known to exist – sold for $358,000 at a vintage movie posters auction held March 28-29 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a six-sheet poster for The Maltese Falcon (Warner Bros., 1941) fetched $191,200; a three-sheet poster for the silent film London After Midnight (MGM, 1927) earned $71,700; and a one-sheet for the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz (MGM) changed hands for $65,725. Prices include a 19.5 percent buyer’s premium.



Pablo Picasso linocut, $93,750, Swann Auction

A color linocut from 1962 by Pablo Picasso, titled Tete de Femme (Portrait de Jacqueline de Face, II), sold for $93,750 at a sale of 19th and 20th Century Prints & Drawings held March 5 by Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. Also, a 1952 drypoint by the New York City printmaker Martin Lewis, titled Glow of the City, realized $52,500; a 1974 color aquatint and etching by Joan Miro, titled Le Permissionaire, rose to $47,500; and Gerald Brockhurst’s etching Adolescence from 1932 brought a record $25,000. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.



Japanese articulated snake, $118,750, Rago Arts & Auction

A Japanese Myochin School iron articulated snake sold for $118,750 at an estate jewelry and coins and currency auction held April 15-17 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, a Tiffany Schlumberger enameled gold diamond bracelet achieved $30,720; a U.S. 1839-D gold coin ($2.50) brought $34,945; a collection of Chinese or Baltic amber jewelry went for $5,000; and a cigar store Indian attributed to William Demuth & Co. (American, 1863-1911) hammered for $16,250. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.



Emerald-cut diamond, $22 million, Sotheby’s

An internally flawless, 100.20-carat emerald-cut diamond (D color, Type IIa) sold for just over $22 million at a jewels auction held April 21 by Sotheby’s in New York City. Also, an oval 22.30-carat diamond ring (also internally flawless, D color, Type IIa) sold for $3.25 million; a 35.02-carat Columbian emerald and diamond pendant known as The Flagler Emerald realized $2.77 million; and an emerald, sapphire, lapis lazuli and diamond pendant-necklace (circa 1924) hit $2.59 million. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.



Frida Kahlo love letters, $137,000, Doyle New York

A group of 25 love letters written by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo from 1946-1949 to Jose Bartoli, a Catalan emigre artist whom she met in New York, consisting of more than 100 pages in Spanish, sold for $137,000 at an auction held April 15 by Doyle New York in New York City. The unpublished letters were secreted away and cherished by Bartoli until his death in 1995. Their affair continued after Kahlo returned to Mexico to her home in La Casa Azul, and her artist husband Diego Rivera. The price includes a 25 percent buyer’s premium.



Chinese bracket clock, $10,620, Michaan’s

A Chinese Export mother-of-pearl inlaid rosewood automaton bracket clock on a matching revolving stand sold for $10,620 at a fine art, decorative arts, asian art and jewelry auction held April 11 by Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda, Calif. Also, an Eames Herman Miller lounge chair with ottoman changed hands for $4,720 (benefiting the Oakland Museum); a Tiffany & Co. platinum and diamond ring sold for $9,440; and a collection of jade and yellow gold items went for $4,425. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.



Palestine £5 banknote, $12,980, Archives Int’l

A 1944 Palestine Currency Board £5 note dated 1944, with rare “F” prefix, sold for $12,980 at a sale of U.S. and worldwide banknotes, Federal bonds and documents and security printing ephemera held March 10 by Archives International Auctions in Fort Lee, N.J. Also, a 1945 Lebanon Banque de Syrie et do Liban specimen for 25 Livres brought $2,950; and two Imperial Bank of Persia notes, for 1 Toman and 20 Toman, went for $3,304 and $7,965, respectively. Prices include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.