NEW YORK – 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.
Paul Henry painting, $45,750, Alderfer’s
A painting by Paul Henry, titled Lough Derg, sold for $45,750 at an auction event held Dec. 11-17 by Alderfer Auction in Hatfield, Pa. Also, a 14K gold solitaire ring with a 3.19-carat brilliant-cut diamond brought $25,740; an oil on board painting by Jack Butler Yeats, titled Sea and Lake, topped out at $49,725; a Jean Halter winterscape work went for $26,325; and a Joseph Greenberg gilt with undertone and gesso scrolled frame mirror fetched $3,100.
Nancy Whorf painting, $7,200, James R. Bakker Antiques
A winter streetscape painting by Nancy Whorf sold for $7,200 at a fine arts auction held Oct. 26 by James R. Bakker Antiques in Provincetown, Mass. Also, Sol Wilson’s painting titled The Liar’s Bench also brought $7,200; an oil landscape by Edith Lake Wilkinson changed hands for $5,400; one of four paintings by Anne Packard rose to $6,000; a small oil painting of a bird by Selina Treiff fetched $2,640; and Ross Moffett’s painting Mending the Nets reached $6,000.
Abraham Lincoln signed book, $175,000, University Archives
A copy of the book The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, by the American author Washington Irving, with an ownership signature by Abraham Lincoln, sold for $175,000 in an online auction held Jan. 16 by University Archives in Westport, Conn. Also, a carte de visite photograph of Lincoln, signed by him (as “A. Lincoln”) and PSA graded Gem Mint 10, hit $75,000; and a document signed by Arthur Middleton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, made $40,625.
Telephone switchboard box, $13,750, Bruneau & Co.
A 19th century mahogany telephone switchboard box, made in the U.S. by an unidentified company, sold for $13,750 at an auction held Jan. 4 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers in Cranston, R.I. Also, a group of early horn transmitter telephone reproductions from the 20th century, marked “Historical Replica Reproduced by Bell Telephone Laboratories,” gaveled for $15,000; and a 1985 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit car with just 35,000 miles on the odometer sped off for $13,750.
Cassin’s Grape Brandy Bitters bottle, $155,000, American Bottle Auctions
A rare Cassin’s Grape Brandy Bitters bottle in a bluish teal color, circa 1867-1868, sold for $155,000 in an online auction of the Ken Fee collection held Nov. 29 by American Bottle Auctions, based in Sacramento, Calif. Also, a Wonser’s USA Indian Root Bitters, bright aqua, circa 1871-73, realized $25,300; two Catawba Wine Bitters bottles finished at $5,060 and $7,150; a large Hostetter’s Bitters bottle hit $1,980; and a Boerhaave’s bottle made $30,800.
Maximilian suit of armor, $270,600, Morphy Auctions
A circa 1510-1520 composite Maximilian suit of armor, assembled in the early 1920s from period pieces, some with royal provenance, sold for $270,600 at an auction of the Susquehanna Collection held Jan. 16 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa. Also, a circa 1740 Philadelphia tall- case 8-day moon-phase clock, signed by Peter Stretch, sold for $166,050; and a pair of American Revolutionary War flintlock officer’s pistols hit the mark for $110,700.
Nelson Downs lithograph, $15,600, Potter & Potter
A circa 1905 color lithograph of coin trick artist T. Nelson Downs, the “King of Koins” (American, 1867-1938), sold for $15,600 at a Magiciana Sale held Dec. 14 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a circa 1900 half sheet color lithograph of Harry Kellar (American, 1849-1922), titled A Walk in the Woods, fetched $13,320; and a Harry Houdini-Henry Slade-Remigius Weiss book, as profiled in A Magician Among the Spirits, changed hands for $12,000.
LeBron James rookie card, $270,600, Goldin Auctions
A 2003-2004 Upper Deck Exquisite NBA Rookie Patch Parallel #78 LeBron James signed rookie card, graded BGS NM-MT+ 8.5, sold for $270,600 in an October Legends Auction held by Goldin Auctions, based in Runnemede, N.J. Also, a 1956 Topps #33 Roberto Clemente baseball card, graded PSA GEM MT 10, fetched $247,230; and Lou Gehrig’s signed New York Yankees contract from his Triple Crown season in 1934, calling for a salary of $23,000, finished at $160,000.
Tiffany Dragonfly lamp, $180,000, Michaan’s
A Tiffany Studios Dragonfly lamp sold for $180,000 at an auction held Dec. 7 by Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda, Calif. Also, an acrylic on canvas painting by James Weeks (American, 1922-1998), titled Cello Sonata, realized $37,200; a Westwood / Keith Haring patterned knitted ensemble rose to $3,000; a French Art Deco burl walnut furniture suite made $7,800; and an untitled acrylic on paper laid on canvas by Sam Francis (American, 1923-1994) hit $132,000.
‘The Birds of America,’ $6.6 million, Sotheby’s
A double elephant folio of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (plate for the American flamingo shown) sold for $6.6 million at an auction held Dec. 18 by Sotheby’s in New York. Also, the original Olympic Games manifesto, written in 1892 by the French aristocrat Pierre de Coubertin, outlining his vision for reviving the ancient Olympic Games as a modern athletic event, brought $8.8 million; and a working Enigma cipher machine from 1942 made $800,000.
Patek Philippe wristwatch, $471,000, Christie’s
A Patek Philippe platinum perpetual calendar minute repeating tourbillon wristwatch with Breguet numerals, retrograde date and moon phases, made in 2007, sold for $471,000 at a Watches and American Icons auction held Dec. 12 by Christie’s in New York. Also, a Richard Mille platinum tonneau-shaped tourbillon split-seconds chronograph wristwatch rose to $325,000; and a Patek Philippe 18K gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch changed hands for $350,000.
Tiffany silver tea set, $125,000, Potomack Co.
A seven-piece Japonesque silver and mixed metal tea set made by Tiffany, circa 1870-1890, including four pieces marked “M” for Edward Moore, sold for $125,000 at an auction held Sept. 28 by Potomack Company in Alexandria, Va. Also, an oil painting done around 1855 by Alfred Jones (American, 1819-1900), titled View on the Kaaterskill I, finished at just under $1,800; and a Southern federal chest on chest attributed to Christian Behre (Alexandria, Va.) went for $31,000.
Jerry Garcia guitar, $524,075, Bonhams
A Fender Stratocaster owned and played by Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia sold for $524,075 at a San Francisco Rock Star’s Guitars, Art & More auction held Dec. 10 by Bonhams in Los Angeles. Garcia called the guitar Alligator; it was built in 1955 and was believed to have been given to Garcia by fellow rocker Graham Nash. Also, Garcia’s Martin D-28 acoustic guitar went for $175,075; and a watercolor painting of an alligator by Garcia, signed and dated “92,” brought $52,575.
Asian Imperial bronze bell, $396,000, Tremont Auctions
An important Imperial bronze bell dating to the 52nd year of Kang Hsi sold for $396,000 at a biannual Asian Fine Arts & Antiques auction held Oct. 20 by Tremont Auctions in Sudbury, Mass. Also, a monumental cast-iron head of the Buddha changed hands for $58,000; a jade belt plaque from the Ming period went for $12,000; an oval covered box with mounted and carved jade plaque brought $26,400; and a jade carving of the Buddha’s hand rose to $5,760.
Patek Philippe Nautilus, $114,950, Kodner Galleries
A Patek Philippe Nautilus men’s wristwatch sold for $114,950 at timepieces and jewelry auctions held Dec. 4 and 18 by Kodner Galleries in Dania Beach, Fla. Also, another Patek Philippe Nautilus went out at $96,800; a Rolex Daytona “Big Red” men’s wristwatch found a new owner for $36,300; a pair of 46.50-carat pear and marquise diamond chandelier earrings realized $78,600; and a GIA-certified 8.50-carat emerald and 48.88-carat diamond necklace rose to $72,600.
Children’s portrait, $100,000, Doyle
A circa 1831 watercolor and ink on paper portrait of two children of the Prescott family of Portsmouth, N.H., by Ruth Whittier Shute and Samuel Addison Shute, a husband-and-wife team of itinerant painters who worked in New England and New York state, sold for $100,000 at an auction titled Cherished: American Folk Art & Toys from the estate of a private collector held Jan. 23 by Doyle in New York. Over 400 lots came up for bid in an auction that totaled $924,069.
Paintings by John F. Kennedy, $126,233, RR Auction
Two paintings done in 1960 by John F. Kennedy sold for $126,233 in an auction held Jan. 23 by RR Auction in Boston. JFK gifted the watercolor and gouache paintings to a friend and supporter in Beverly Hills, Calif. Both paintings had a sailing theme. Also, a printing of JFK’s historic inaugural address in 1961, signed as president, brought $37,292; JFK’s personally worn back brace earned $31,710; and his 1962 cigar box with the presidential seal and two cigars reached $19,898.
Koppel silver fish dish, $87,500, Heritage Auctions
A Henning Koppel silver fish dish and cover for Jensen sold for $87,500 at a Fine Silver & Decorative Arts auction held Nov. 7 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a large Graziella Laffi silver snake bowl (Lima, Peru, circa 1970) climbed to $12,500; a seven-piece Reed & Barton silver tea and coffee service in the Francis I pattern (Taunton, Mass., designed 1907, manufactured 1947) achieved $11,875; and a 489-piece Stieff & Co. flatware service (Baltimore) made $7,500.
Babe Ruth signed ball, $183,500, Grey Flannel
A baseball signed by Babe Ruth on the night before the New York Yankee died away sold for $183,500 at an auction held Jan. 22 by Grey Flannel Auctions in Scottsdale, Ariz. It was the highest price ever paid for a single-signature personalized baseball. Also, a 1902 Baltimore Orioles road jersey game-worn by C.B. Burns realized $48,871; and a pair of “Dream Team” basketball sneakers dual-autographed and game-worn by Michael Jackson in the 1992 Olympics made $52,417.
Maqbool Husain painting, $76,000, Amero Auctions
An oil on canvas painting by Maqbool Fida Husain (Indian, 1915-2011), titled Acrobat, sold for $76,000 at an auction held Jan. 5 by Amero Auctions in Sarasota, Fla. Also, a watercolor by L. Foujita titled Young Girl with Roses realized $67,650; Andy Warhol’s original drawing of Sam the Cat achieved $10,150; a promotional watercolor for the March of Dimes Show of 1954 knocked down for $18,450; and an oil on canvas painting by Henri-Jean Martin, titled Girl in Park, made $29,500.