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.
Patriotic sand art bottle, $275,000, Skinner, Inc.
A patriotic presentation sand art bottle meticulously crafted circa 1885-1890 by Andrew Clemens (1857-1894), 7¼ inches tall, sold for a record $275,000 at an American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction held Nov. 23 by Skinner Inc. in Boston. The bottle, one of a small group that survives today, decorated with an eagle, flag, mortar and pestle, and outstretched arms, was dedicated to Dr. Prosper Harvey Ellsworth, “From Two Friends.”
Egyptian basalt bust, $45,000, Hindman
An Egyptian basalt portrait bust of a woman sold for $45,000 at an Antiquities, Islamic & Indian Art auction held Nov. 23 by Hindman in Chicago. Also, a set of four Egyptian painted limestone canopic jars of the sons of Horus finished at $38,400; a 17th century Inzik Pottery Dish brought $25,600; a late 17th century Mughal miniature painting of a court official made $16,250; and an 18th century Bundi or Kotah painting realized $15,000.
Pokémon trading card, $50,600, Weiss Auctions
A Pokémon SM Black Star “Ishihara GX” promotional trading card, graded PSA 8 Near Mint/Mint, one of only about 60 copies in existence, sold for $50,600 in an online-only auction held Nov. 19-20 by Weiss Auctions in Lynbrook, N.Y. Also, a Peanuts daily comic strip drawn by Charles Schulz in 1952 earned $26,500; a hand-colored daily comic strip for Krazy Kat by George Herriman went for $24,150; and a Record of Bodies and Effects for the S.S. Titanic garnered $10,300.
Pace’s Races slot machine, CA$29,212, Miller & Miller
A Pace’s Races 5-cent horse race slot machine, made in Chicago in 1934, sold for $29,212 in an online Advertising, Toys & Historic Objects Auction held Dec. 12 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. in New Hamburg, Ontario. Also, a Black Cat Cigarettes porcelain sign from the 1940s, made in Canada, garnered $10,516; a 1950s Coca-Cola Vendo 44 vending machine brought $9,348; and a 1901 Berlin Lion Brewery tin litho sign realized $8,179. Prices are in Canadian dollars.
Hermes leather handbag, $8,750, Crescent City Auction Gallery
A circa 1992 Hermes Kelly Sellier black box leather handbag sold for $8,750 at a Winter Couture Auction held Dec. 5 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans. Also, a platinum tennis bracelet containing 43 round diamonds hit $11,250; a pair of 14K yellow gold stud earrings fetched $4,375; a circa 2020 Chanel black patent quilted leather 23 classic double flap shoulder bag made $3,250; and a women’s’ 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe dress watch, circa 1940, rose to $2,250.
Audemars Piguet watch, $240,000, Morphy Auctions
A platinum Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar wristwatch, purchased new in Paris in 1994, sold for $240,000, twice the high estimate, in a Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held Dec. 8-10 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa. Also, a monumental Amphora “Spitting-Coin Dragon” vase, 21¼ inches tall, made $52,800; and an oil-on-board portrait of a child wearing a coral necklace seated on a rug with cat and silver baby toys, 1840, 23 inches by 29 inches (sight) realized $38,400.
Composition Santa sleigh, $72,000, Bertoia Auctions
A large German composition Santa sleigh on a wheeled platform with six belled reindeer, 35 inches long, sold for $72,000 in an online auction held Nov. 12-13 by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, N.J. Also, a Lionel 2 7/8-inch electric-powered gondola and trailer, each 16 inches long, to be used in store window displays, chugged off for $40,800; and a German cloth-dressed composition Santa on a nodding glass-eyed polar bear atop an iceberg, 29 inches tall, brought $36,000.
Rockefeller Center poster, $6,000, Potter & Potter
An aerial view travel poster lithograph for Rockefeller Center in New York City, rendered in 1936 by Leslie Ragan (1897-1972) and produced by Latham Litho & Ptg. (N.Y.), sold for $6,000 at a Vintage Posters, Prints & Works on Paper auction held No. 4 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a rare stone lithograph from the Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, circa the 1950s, reached $3,360; and a 1930-era poster for the Moscow Theatre Festival made $3,120.
Wolf Kahn painting, $162,813, Bonhams
A painting by Wolf Kahn (1927-2020), titled Evening Encampment (1974), sold for $162,813 (a new auction record for the artist) at an American Art sale held Nov. 24 by Bonhams in New York City. Also, Albert Bierstadt’s (1830-1902) Entrance to Golden Gate realized $250,313; Enthroned by Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955), modeled in 1902 and cast in 1907, changed hands for $60,313; and Woodland Terry (1966) by Neil Welliver (1929-2005) rose to $45,313.
Eddie Van Halen guitar, $231,250, Julien’s
A guitar custom-made for rock legend Eddie Van Halen, built by Van Halen and his guitar tech Matt Bruck and later gifted to Van Halen friend and restaurant owner Bryan Cush, sold for $231,250 at an auction titled Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock ’n’ Roll held Dec. 1-2 by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles. Also, Kurt Cobain’s stage-played and smashed Fender Stratocaster guitar realized $153,600; and Gregg Allman’s Hammond organ hit $102,400.
Wayne Gretzky 1979 rookie card, $1.29 million, Heritage Auctions
A Canadian version of a 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers rookie card, graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA, sold for $1.29 million at a four-day Fall Sports Collectibles Catalog auction held Dec. 11-14 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a green-shaded 1997 Michael Jordan Metal Universe Precious Metal Gem card, one of just 10 made, achieved $915,000; and a 1916 M101-4 Sporting News Babe Ruth rookie card rose to $360,000.
Panther clip-brooch, $4,500, Doyle
A carved black onyx, mother-of-pearl, diamond and colored stone panther clip-brooch sold for $4,500 in an online Jewelry Auction held Dec. 3 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a white gold, sapphire and diamond fringe necklace slipped around a new neck for $4,500; a group of four gold bangle bracelets knocked down for $4,375; and a Chopard four-strand white gold, emerald and diamond wristwatch changed hands for $4,125.
Elmer Crowell plover, $108,000, Guyette & Deeter
A feeding golden plover decoy by Elmer Crowell sold for $108,000 at an auction held Nov. 20-21 by Guyette & Deeter Inc. in St. Michaels, Md. Also, a pintail decoy by Lloyd Sterling brought $72,000, a record for the carver; a merganser hen by Ira Hudson rose to $66,000; a 15-inch-long pike by Oscar Peterson realized $42,000, a world auction record for a fish decoy; and a Canada goose (repainted years ago as a swan) by James Best (N.C.) fetched $30,000.
Bill Traylor folk art, $105,000 Slotin Folk Art
A graphite, tempera and conte crayon on found cardboard by Bill Traylor, titled Four Figures and a Basket in Blue (circa 1940-1942), sold for $105,000 at a Self-Taught Masterpieces Sale held Nov. 14 by Slotin Folk Art Auction in Buford, Ga. Also, a tractor enamel on Masonite by Howard Finster, titled Chelsea Baptist Church (1977) realized $51,250; and a paint on found roofing tin work by Sam Doyle, titled Miss Dump Sir, made $31,250.
Art Deco pendant necklace, $53,125, John Moran Auctioneers
An Art Deco sapphire and diamond pendant necklace sold for $53,125 at a Fine Jewelry & Timepieces auction held Dec. 15 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, a French Cartier Art Deco rock crystal and gem-set perfume bottle finished at $21,250; a Tiffany & Co. diamond ring went for $28,125; a Tiffany & Co. ruby and diamond necklace rose to $23,750; and a French Cartier gold flower cuff watch made $10,000.
Lovebird carnival display, $8,540, Noel Barrett and Pook & Pook
A lovebird carnival display by Baranger, a maker of colorful and cleverly electric animated motion window displays that were rented to small-town jewelry stores from the 1940s to the 1960s, sold for $8,540 at a Christmas Antique Toy Auction held December 4 by Noel Barrett and Pook & Pook, Inc. in Downingtown, Pa. Also, a turn-of-the-century mechanical model of a Knox fire truck rolled off for $7,930; and a Dresden American Flag Christmas ornament brought $6,710.
Jackie Robinson rookie card, $400,980, Goldin Auctions
A 1948 Leaf #79 Jackie Robinson rookie card, graded NM-MT by PSA, sold for $400,980 in a Holiday Auction held Dec. 13 by Goldin Auctions in Runnemede, N.J. Also, a 1999 Pokémon Base 1st Edition #4 Charizard, holographic, MBA Black Diamond Certified card, 1 of 1, achieved $369,000; and a 2013-2014 Panini Prizm “Prizms Black Mosaic” #290 Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie card, 1 of 1, GEM MT 9.5, soared to $1.1685 million.
Augusta Savage bust, $112,500, Swann Auctions
A plaster painted gold bust by Augusta Savage, titled Gamin (circa 1929), sold for $112,500 at an African American Art sale held Dec. 10 by Swann Auctions in New York City. Also, an oil on linen canvas by Charles Alston, titled Black and White #8 (1961) went for $197,000; a collage of colored and printed papers and pencil by Romare Bearden, titled Woman and Child (1968), reached $173,000; and Wadsworth Jarrell’s Subway (1970) hit $125,000.
Hockney landscape, $41 million, Phillips
A landscape painting done in 1980 by David Hockney, titled Nichols Canyon, sold for $41 million at a sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art held Dec. 7 by Phillips in New York City. Also, Clyfford Still’s PH-407 (1964) rose to $18.44 million; Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Portrait of A-One A.K.A. King (1982) achieved $11.5 million; Untitled (1953) by Joan Mitchell made $11.298 million; and Amy Sherald’s The Bathers (2015) reached $4.265 million.
Joan Miro etching, $43,750, Rago Arts
An etching and aquatint in colors on Arches paper by Joan Miro (1893-1983), titled Galathée, sold for $43,750 at a Prints + Multiples auction held Nov. 12 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, a set of three etchings and aquatints on handmade paper by Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011), titled A Page From Book I, II, III, sold as one lot for $40,000; and Keith Haring’s screenprint in colors titled Flowers IV hit $23,750.
Rare 1933 Hitler photo, $5,000, Fairhill Auction
A rare, original first photograph of Adolph Hitler as the newly named Reich Chancellor of Germany, taken in 1933, sold for $5,000 at an auction held Nov. 28 by Fairhill Auction in Elk Mills, Md. Pictured (l to r) are: Otto Wagener, Wilhelm Kube, Hanns Kerrl, Joseph Goebbels, Hitler, Ernest Roehm, Hermann Goering, Walther Darre, Heinrich Himmler, Rudolf Hess and (seated) Wilhelm Frick. Also, the Longines 10 Grand Prix 900 silver pocket watch belonging to Hans Baur (1897-1993), Hitler’s personal pilot, brought $1,300.
By KEN HALL