Gallery Report: October 2011

A 1946 sculpture by Alexander Calder, titled Shoe With Split Heel, sold for $148,125 at a sale of Fine Paintings held Sept. 9 by Skinner Inc. in Boston. Also, French artist Maurice Utrillo’s Impasse Trainee sous la Neige a Montmartre brought $101,910; Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s Jeune fille assise lisant, les cheveux sur les epaules realized $64,175; Frederick John Mulhaupt’s Gloucester Gill Netters rose to $65,175; and an untitled work by Zao Wou-Ki went for $53,325. Prices include an 18.5 percent buyer’s premium.


Diamond ring, 9.87 carats, $71,300, Stefek’s Auctioneer


A 9.87-carat diamond ring set in platinum (S-T color) sold for $71,300 at a Fabulous Furniture, Silver and Fine Jewelry Auction held Sept. 22 by Stefek’s Auctioneers & Appraisers in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. Also, an antique carousel zebra brought $2,990; a Georg Jensen three-piece partial tea service realized $11,150; a Georg Jensen tea kettle on a stand went for $4,370; a Whiting & Davis mesh purse with Clark Gable portrait made $1,610; and a Gertrud & Otto Natzler earthenware yellow glazed bowl hit $2,530. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Detaille painting, $27,280, Rago Arts and Auction


An original oil on canvas painting of a French Infantry soldier by the French artist Edouard Jean Baptiste Detaille sold for $27,280 at a Great Estates Auction held Sept. 10 by Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, an Archangel Fernandez Flamenco guitar peaked at $13,640; a group of original illustrations by Henry L. Stephens brought $12,400; a bronze mounted porcelain centerpiece fetched $6,200; and a Rudolf Ernst watercolor on paper titled Waiting for a Customer changed hands for $8,580. Prices include a 22 percent buyer’s premium.


Chinese white jade seal, $3.5 million, Freeman’s


A n important Chinese imperial-style “double dragon” white jade seal sold for $3.5 million at an auction held Sept. 10 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. It was the highest-selling single lot ever at a Freeman’s auction, and the auction itself was an overall record-breaker with a gross of over $5 million. The square-form seal, measuring 22 1/2 inches tall, had been previously purchased by a Philadelphia collector in Palm Beach, Fla., in the 1970s. Before that, it was part of a 19th century French collection. The price includes a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Meissen porcelain dresser box, $14,375, Elite Decorative Arts


An antique Meissen hand-painted oval-covered dresser box with reticulated design throughout sold for $14,375 at an estates sale held Aug. 27 by Elite Decorative Arts in Boynton Beach, Fla. Also, a rare Tiffany & Co. sterling silver Revival urn with figural snake handles brought $8,555; a pair of Royal Vienna antique vases with hand-painted nymph scenes rose to $5,074; a circa-1900 KPM porcelain plaque, framed, garnered $6,195; and a Teplitz amphora portrait vase changed hands for $5,865. Prices include a 15 or 18 percent buyer’s premium.


Six Ch’ing Dynasty bowls, $373,750, James D. Julia Inc.


One lot consisting of six small bowls from the late 19th or early 20th century Chinese Ch’ing Dynasty sold for $373,750 at an Antique & Fine Arts Auction held Aug. 23-26 by James D. Julia Inc., in Fairfield, Maine. Also, a trove of Boston Evening Post and other local Boston newspapers from the Revolutionary War period soared to $345,000; a Qing Dynasty carved rhinoceros horn Tibetan Buddhist tower made $224,250; and a Seth Thomas regulator #19 Santa Fe Railway system regulator clock hit $111,550. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Wormser Brothers bottle, $18,480, American Bottle Auctions


A Wormser Brothers barrel bitters bottle, made between 1867 and 1871 and possibly the only green example in existence (most are amber), sold for $18,480 in an Internet and catalog auction that went online Aug. 29 and ended Sept. 8 by American Bottle Auctions (, based in Sacramento, Calif. Also, an early General Lafayette portrait pint went for $6,720; a Greeley’s Bourbon bitters bottle, pure green, brought $5,600; and a Zanesville Shepard & Co. (Ohio) pint flask made $5,376. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium


Horse race slot machine, $36,000, Morphy Auction


A Superior 5-cent horse race slot machine and confectionery dispenser sold for $36,000 at an auction featuring the antique gambling and coin-op machine collection of Bob Levy, held Sept. 2-3 by Morphy Auction in Denver, Pa. Also, a cast-iron Mills Little Duke poker machine realized $32,400; a Kyser & Rex ‘Uncle Remus’ cast-iron mechanical bank crossed the block at $32,400; a Caille Centaur upright slot machine commanded $24,000; and a Buckley ‘Bones’ 25-cent dice slot machine went for $19,200. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


King Charles II letter, $120,000, Swann Auction Galleries


A 1674 handwritten letter signed by King Charles II, authorizing Edmund Andros to take possession of New York from the Dutch, sold for $120,000 at a sale of the Eric C. Caren Collection held Sept. 15 by Swann Auction Galleries in New York. Also, the first printed baseball scorecard, dated Oct. 1, 1866 for a game between the Athletic Club of Philadelphia vs. the Atlantic Club of Brooklyn, hit $36,000; and William Hubbard’s A Narrative of the Trouble with the Indians in New-England (1677) made $24,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.


Chinese gilt-bronze bell, $482,500, Doyle New York


A Chinese gilt-bronze bell bearing a Kangxi cast mark and measuring 11 1/2 inches high, sold for $482,500 at an Asian Works of Art Auction held Sept. 12 by Doyle New York. Also, a pair of Qing Dynasty white jade moon-shaped screens went for $187,000; a Ming Dynasty Longquan celadon meiping, 15 inches high, rose to $65,500; an 18th century 12-panel coromandel screen hit $62,500; and two late 19th century Chinese polychrome painted ivory maidens changed hands for $50,000. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.



Shaker maple dining table, $64,900, Northeast Auctions


A Shaker elder’s figured maple dining table with trestle base sold for $64,900 at a three-day sale held Aug. 5-7 by Northeast Auctions in Manchester, N.H. Also, a rare Shaker child’s sewing desk, Canterbury, N.H., garnered $54,280; a group of three American folk art portraits, circa 1830-1840, possibly Connecticut River Valley, breezed to $28,320; a late 18th century Connecticut Chippendale inlaid-cherry desk and bookcase brought $23,600; and an American folk art wool appliqué crib quilt made $17,700. Prices include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.


Severin Roesen painting, $57,500, Thomaston Place


A large oil on canvas still life painting by Severin Roesen (Pennsylvania, 1815-1872) sold for $57,500 at an auction dedicated to fine art and antiques held Aug. 27-28 by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries in Thomaston, Maine. The painting, pictured on the back cover of the auction catalog, depicted a glass vase filled with spring flowers on a marble-top table. The auction attracted bidders who braved Hurricane Irene. The price includes a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Dean Cornwell painting, $86,250, John McInnis Auctioneers


An original oil on canvas painting by illustrator Dean Cornwell, done in 1916 and titled Some Man and a Lady, sold for $86,250 at an auction held Aug. 11-12 by John McInnis Auctioneers in Amesbury, Mass. The work was used as an illustration for a story that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. Also, a 19th century Continental ebonized cabinet on a stand commanded $14,750; a beautiful pair of Sevres cassolette urns realized $11,150; and a Louis XV cask on a stand, circa 1750, brought $4,025. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


Colt model 1911 pistol, $109,250, Rock Island Auction Co.


A rare, early production U.S. Colt Model 1911 semiautomatic pistol, serial #33, one of the few Model 1911 pistols completed by Colt in 1911, sold for $109,250 at a Premiere Firearms Auction held Sept. 9-11 by Rock Island Auction Co. in Rock Island, Ill. It was a new world auction record for a U.S. Colt 1911 Army pistol. The gun boasted a high Colt polish blue finish, (changed to a dull finish by order of the Chief of Ordnance starting in April 1912). This Colt pistol was assembled on Dec. 28, 1911. The price includes a 15 percent buyer’s premium.


18th century corner cupboard, $35,000, Beckort Auctions


An 18th century corner cupboard, possibly by Squire Boon Jr., the younger brother of Daniel Boone, sold for $35,000 at an auction held Sept. 3 by Beckort Auctions in Corydon, Ind. Also, a 13 1/2-inch long Civil War cannon, stolen by Morgan’s Raiders as they advanced toward Indiana, hit $8,500; a black powder pistol from the Battle of Corydon, the only Civil War battle fought in Indiana, realized $4,000; and an archive of Brigadier Gen. Daniel F. Griffin commanded $3,100. There was no buyer’s premium for in-house bidders, 10 percent for Internet bidders.


Roman silver denarius coin, $546,250, Heritage Auctions


An “Ides of March” dime-size silver denarius coin featuring a portrait of Marcus Lulius Brutus (the lead assassin of Julius Caesar) sold for $546,250 at a World & Ancient Coins event held Sept. 7 by Heritage Auction Galleries at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. It was the most ever paid at auction for a Roman silver coin. Also, a gold aureus of Marc Antony and Octavian, struck circa 41 B.C., brought $80,500; and a “striated” electrum stater of Iona, struck circa 670-660 B.C., hammered for $74,750. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.