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):
Francis N. Souza painting, $235,000, Weiss Auctions
A large oil painting by the Indian-American artist Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002), titled Head in a Landscape, sold for $235,000 at an auction held May 17 by Weiss Auctions in Lynbrook, N.Y. Also, three artworks by Russian artist Mihail Chemiakin (b. 1943) – a painting and two sculptures – brought a combined $44,800; and a lithograph and screenprint in colors by Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008), titled People for the American Way (1992) hammered for $24,600.
Colin Campbell Cooper oil, $162,500, Shannon’s Fine Art
An oil on board painting by Colin Campbell Cooper (American, 1856-1937), titled New York From Brooklyn, circa 1922, sold for $162,500 at an auction held April 26 by Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Milford, Conn. Also, an oil on canvas by Eugene Berman (Russian/American, 1899-1972), titled Esmeralda, From The Hunchback of Notre Dame, realized $81,250 (a new record for the artist); and a painting by Alice L. Mattern (American, 1909-1945), titled Cadence, hit $81,250, also a record.
Libbey crescent vase, Woody Auction, $22,000
A rare pedestal crescent vase by Libbey in the Herringbone pattern sold for $22,000 and a large round tray, also by Libbey, in the Diana pattern, realized $17,000 to take top lot honors at a sale of several collections of Brilliant Period Cut Glass held May 12 by Woody Auction of Douglass, Kan. The auction was conducted in St. Louis. Also, a pair of vases by glassmaker Dorflinger – one cranberry and one green, both cut to clear – sold as one lot for $14,500. Prices are hammer, exclusive of a buyer’s premium.
Two WWII-era French rifles, $4,625, Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Two 1944 French-made MAS Mle semiautomatic rifles sold as single lots for a combined $4,625 at a Military, Firearm & Weapon Auction held May 5 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers in Cranston, R.I. Also, a U.S. Civil War cavalry sword, produced around 1864 and engraved “Henry Boker Solingen,” a German-made export weapon meant for the American market, fetched $1,375; and a World War II U.S. Marine Corps uniform rig gaveled for $2,000.
John Falter oil painting, $92,400, Ripley Auctions
An oil on panel painting by John Philip Falter (American, 1910-1982), rendered around 1955 and depicting a Future Farmers of America student with his father, receiving a check for his first delivery of steers to the Omaha stockyard, sold for $92,400 at an American Craft, 20th Century Art & Design Auction held March 31 by Ripley Auctions in Indianapolis. Also, an early modern studio pottery vase by Japanese-born American artist Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011) made $19,200. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Babe Ruth signed contract, $282,325, Goldin Auctions
A 1934 Babe Ruth signed New York Yankees player contract sold for $282,325 at a Spring Premium Live Auction held April 26 by Goldin Auctions, based in Runnemede, N.J. Also, a 1929-1930 Babe Ruth game-used Louisville Slugger R34 bone-rubbed bat was a hit for $196,400; and a 1968 Wille Mays game-used and signed San Francisco Giants home jersey made $92,062.
Harry Houdini scrapbook, $66,000, Potter & Potter
A mostly 1922-1925-era, two-volume Spiritualism scrapbook signed, kept and annotated by Harry Houdini sold for $66,000 at a Magic Memorabilia Auction held April 28 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, Houdini manuscripts and an archive chronicling Elliot Sanford’s year with the Houdini family and filled with unpublished data and first-person accounts rose to $48,000; and a The Jail Breaker and Dextrous Handcuff King Houdini poster hammered for $7,200.
Chinese enamel wine pots, $198,900, Jeffrey S. Evans
A pair of Chinese enamel wine pots sold for $198,900 at a Spring Antiques, Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held April 27-28 by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mount. Crawford, Va. Also, a 5.45-carat diamond solitaire ring sold for $52,650; a Chinese enamel mirror fetched $23,400; a still-life painting by Roger de la Fresnaye (French, 1885-1925) brought $12,450; and a Steuben cathedral art glass sculpture rose to $4,387.
1882-O Morgan dollars, $18,000, Doyle
A group of high-grade 1882-O Morgan dollars in brilliant, uncirculated mint state sold for $18,000 at a sale of U.S. and world coins, bank notes and stamps held May 1 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a collection of United States early stamp issues composed of singles from 1847 to 1940, graded very good to extremely fine condition, changed hands for $11,400; and a choice brilliant uncirculated example of the rare 1879 Morgan silver dollar from the Carson City mint rose to $6,500.
Gershwin manuscript, $27,500, Leslie Hindman
A George Gershwin autographed musical manuscript, signed twice to Hyman Sandow, dated Aug. 17, 1928, sold for $27,500 at a Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction held May 1 by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago. Also, Conradus de Halberstadt’s Concordantiae bibliorum went for $27,500; an Albert Einstein signed letter, in German, to Herr Bernstein, dated May 6, 1929, fetched $25,000; and a 1799 signed George Washington letter to Samuel Fox made $16,250.
Sleeping mallard hen decoy, $212,400, Guyette & Deeter
A sleeping mallard hen decoy by Robert Elliston sold for $212,400—a new auction record for the maker—at the 33 annual Spring Decoy Auction held April 26-27 by Guyette & Deeter Inc. of St. Michaels, Md. The sale was held in St. Charles, Ill. Also, a sleeping black duck by Shang Wheeler topped out at $153,400; a goldeneye drake by the Ward Brothers realized $159,300; and a sleeping mallard hen by Illinois carver Charles Perdew knocked down for $135,700.
Painted pine dower chest, $280,600, Pook & Pook Inc.
A Berks County, Pennsylvania, painted pine dower chest, made circa 1775, sold for $280,600 at an Americana & International Auction held April 28 by Pook & Pook Inc., in Downingtown, Pa. Also, a colorful Charles Hofmann landscape painting realized $43,920; an oil on canvas foxhunt scene by American artist Charles Morris Young knocked down for $29,280; a magnificent Arms of Pennsylvania platter earned $34,160; and a Johann Adam Eyer fraktur changed hands for $9,150.
Guy Rose oil painting, $168,000, John Moran
An oil on canvas study for Windswept Trees, Laguna by Guy Rose (California, 1867-1925), sold for $168,000 at a California & American Fine Art Auction held March 27 by John Moran Antique & Fine Art Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, a California landscape with poppies oil on canvas by Granville Redmond (California, 1871-1935) rose to $156,000; and a large oil on canvas painting by Frederick J. Mulhaupt (New York, 1871-1938), titled Morning, Gloucester Harbor, made $90,000. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Frank Frazetta comic cover art, $1.79 million, Heritage Auctions
Original artwork by legendary artist Frank Frazetta titled Death Dealer 6 (1990), first published as the cover for Verotik’s 1996 Death Dealer #2 comic book, sold for $1.79 million at a World Record Comic Book & Art Auction held May 10-12 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a copy of Action Comics #1 (DC, 1938), the first appearance of Superman, graded CGC VG 4.0, brought $573,600; and a copy of Batman #1 (DC, 1940), graded CGC NM+ 9.6, made $215,100. Prices include the buyer’s premium.
Keith Haring painting, $1.34 million, Phillips
An untitled painting by Keith Haring from 1983 sold for $1.335 million at a sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art held May 16 by Phillips in New York. Also, John Chamberlain’s Chamooda, 1975, realized $795,000; George Condo’s Marc Jacobs, 2007, went for $591,000; Jaume Plensa’s Kneeled Shadow, 2008, brought $591,000 (a new world auction record for the artist); Max Ernst’s Clouds, Sun and Sea, 1952, made $579,000; and a 2015 Yayoi Kusama work hit $555,000.
1892-S Morgan silver dollar, $193,875, Legend Rare Coin
An 1892-S Morgan silver dollar, graded MS65 PCGS, sold for $193,875 at Regency Auction 6 held May 16-17 by Legend Rare Coin Auctions of based in Lincroft, N.J. The sale was held in New Orleans. Also, an 1891-O Morgan dollar, graded MS65 PCGS, commanded $58,750; an 1889-O Morgan dollar, graded MS66+ PCGS, fetched $43,475; an 1889-CC Morgan dollar, graded MS63 PCGS, went for $42,300; and a 1927-D silver dollar, MS66 PCGS, brought $41,125.
Prince yellow Cloud guitar, $225,000, Julien’s Auctions
The late entertainer Prince’s custom-made and played yellow Cloud guitar sold for $225,000 at a sale titled Property from the Life and Career of Prince held May 18 by Julien’s Auctions of Beverly Hills, Calif. The auction was held in New York City. Also, the electric blue stage-worn ensemble from Prince’s Rave Un2 the Year 2000 New Year’s Eve show, as well as the 1999 MTV Music Awards show, realized $108,797; and his diamond love pendant finished at $57,597.
LeWitt gouache painting, $276,000, Brunk Auctions
A large gouache painting by Sol LeWitt, titled Wavy Brushstrokes, sold for $276,000 at a Spring Premier Auction held May 11-12 by Brunk Auctions in Asheville, N.C. Also, a bronze sculpture by Herbert Haseltine, titled Ralla, changed hands for $108,000; a single-owner 1964 Chevrolet Corvette sped off for $90,000; and a Wayne Thiebaud color etching, titled Park Place, realized $19,680.
Eight Finn Juhl chairs, $75,600, Clars Auction Gallery
A set of eight Egyptian rosewood chairs by Finn Juhl for Niels Vodder sold for $75,600 at an auction held May 19-20 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, a set of seven original inks on paper by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz (American, 1922-2000) realized $67,920; an oil on canvas painting by Maqbool Fida Husain (Indian, 1915-2011), titled Dame with Elephant, coasted to $54,450; and a Boesendorfer model 290 imperial concert grand piano changed hands for $51,425.
Nirvana signed photo, $14,323, RR Auction
An oversized color photo of the grunge rock group Nirvana, signed by the late frontman Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl, sold for $14,323 in an online auction held May 10-18 by RR Auction. Also, a copy of the Bob Dylan album Freewheelin’, signed by Dylan, reached $12,646; a photo of the group The Grateful Dead made $12,426; and a Pink Floyd fully signed Animals album rose to $10,450.
Wayne Thiebaud painting, $3.85 million, Christie’s
A painting by Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920), titled Three Candied Apples, sold for $3.85 million at a Post-War & Contemporary Art Auction held May 18 by Christie’s in New York City. Also, an untitled work by Donald Judd (1928-1994) rose to $2.65 million; Iva by Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) knocked down for $3.25 million; Alone by Philip Guston (1913-1980) made $3 million; and Maritime Hotel Pot with Aloe by Jonas Wood (b. 1977) hit a record $2.29 million.