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.
Circus sideshow banner, $28,800, Potter & Potter
A circa 1930s or ’40s circus sideshow banner (“Cavalcade of Wonders – Freaks Past & Present”), 90 inches tall and 20 feet wide, sold for $28,800 at a Circus, Sideshow & Oddities Sale held Sept. 26, by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a circa 1965 photograph by Diane Arbus, titled Group Portrait at Hubert’s Museum, rose to $12,000; and a collection of signed circus performer photographs changed hands for $4,320.
David Burliuk painting, $39,100, Weiss Auctions
An oil on canvas portrait of a Japanese girl by David Burliuk (Ukrainian/American, 1882-1967), signed and dated 1922, sold for $39,100 in an online auction held Sept. 16 by Weiss Auctions, based in Lynbrook, N.Y. Also, a 14K gold custom flute handmade by Verne Q. Powell (Boston) in 1951 or 1952 rose to $17,825; a circa 1900 Seth Thomas Regulator No. 60 wall clock earned $17,250; and an oil painting by Michel Delacroix (French, b. 1933) went for $15,600.
Roy Lichtenstein tile, $36,900, Neue Auctions
A rare and unusual mosaic tabletop tile by Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997), made in 1950 and 14½ inches by 16¼ inches in a walnut frame, sold for $36,900 in an online Fine Art & Antiques auction held Sept. 26 by Neue Auctions in Beachwood, Ohio. Also, a circa 1910 Roycroft Ali Baba bench featuring a plank seat realized $17,220; and a stunning 17th century English, Netherlands or Spanish School oil portrait of a royal or court lady went for $14,760.
Pietro Calvi bust of Othello, $102,400, J. Garrett Auctioneers
A marble and bronze bust of Othello by Pietro Calvi (Italian, 1833-1885) sold for $102,400 in a Texas Billionaires online auction held Sept. 12-15 by J. Garrett Auctioneers, based in Dallas. Also, a snowy New York winter streetscape by Guy Carleton Wiggins (American, 1883-1962) brought $54,400; a classic Cartier 18K chronograph Pasha diamond wristwatch went for $41,600; and an oil on canvas country scene by Louis Aston Knight made $21,760.
French Atmos clock, CA$6,490, Miller & Miller
A French Atmos perpetual time clock from the 1940s sold for $6,490 in an online-only Canadiana & Historic Objects auction held Oct. 24 by Miller & Miller Auctions based in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada. Also, a Wettlaufer decorated child’s wagon made in Canada circa 1890 rolled away for $5,900; a cased set of English dueling pistols made by William Chance & Son (London, circa 1830-1860) hit $4,720; and a painting by John J. Kenyon made $4,720. All prices are in Canadian dollars.
American Life Bitters bottle, $42,000, Glass Works Auctions
An American Life Bitters bottle made in Ohio circa 1865-1875 sold for $42,000 in an online-only auction held Sept. 21-28 by Glass Works Auctions, based in East Greenville, Pa. Also, a Constitution Bitters bottle made in New York circa 1865-1875 brought $23,000; a St. Drake’s Plantation Bitters bottle patented in New York in 1862 fetched $14,000; and a pattern globular bottle made by Zanesville Glass Works in Ohio, circa 1815-1835, changed hands for $7,500.
Machine Man robot, $160,000, Morphy’s
A rare Masudaya Japanese-made Machine Man toy robot, lithographed tin and battery-operated, graded in VG-NM condition, with original pictorial box, sold for $160,000 at a Toy Auction held Sept. 23-24 by Morphy’s in Denver, Pa. Also, a Gum Inc. (Philadelphia) “Horrors of War” boxed card set, 240 cards total, made $28,300; a circa 1912 J. & E. Stevens Boy Scout Camp cast-iron mechanical bank hit $25,900; and a circa-1890s Atlas cast-iron mechanical bank reached $25,900.
1916 Boston Red Sox button, $62,980, Hake’s Auctions
A Boston Red Sox 1916 World Championship button, advertising “Alpen Brau, Detroit’s Champion Beer,” featuring images of future Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Herb Pennock and Harry Hooper, sold for $62,980 at a Pop Culture Memorabilia Auction held Sept. 23-24 by Hake’s Auctions in York, Pa. Also, a copy of Superman #1 (Summer 1939), graded CGC Restored 6.0, with the origin story of Superman, brought $42,992; and an Ingersoll Mickey Mouse wristwatch, first version, 1933, went for $11,422.
Painted pie safe, $38,240, Dirk Soulis
A painted pie safe, probably Midwestern, with 16 punched tins lettered ‘LINCOLN’ above crossed flags and floating stars, sold for $38,420 at Americana Week in Missouri auctions held Sept. 19 and 26 by Dirk Soulis Auctions in Lone Jack, Mo. Also, a William F. Mangels (Coney Island, N.Y.) cast-iron light-up clown gallery target known as “Rowdy’, 26 inches by 19½ inches, brought $35,200; and a 53-inch ‘Shorty’ cast-iron shooting gallery target (also by Mangels) hit $33,000.
Tiffany Poppy chandelier, $665,500, Fontaine’s
A Tiffany Studios Oriental Poppy chandelier sold for $665,500 at a Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held Sept. 12 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass. Also, a Tiffany Studios Elizabethan table lamp, having a 22-inch diameter octagonal shade with multicolored glass jewels, lit up the room for $90,750; a Duffner & Kimberly Louis XIII table lamp knocked down for $33,275; and a Diego Rivera watercolor and gouache on paper titled Mineros (1925) made $29,040.
Pollock painting, $87,500, Freeman’s
A painting by Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), titled Pennsylvania Landscape, once thought to be lost, sold for $87,500 at a sale of the collection of Dr. Henry and Mrs. Fannie Levine held Oct. 5 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a gouache on paper by Sam Francis (American, 1923-1994), Untitled (SF73-095), finished at $53,125; Karl Appel’s (Dutch, 1921-2006) Big Boy Blue knocked down for $75,000; and Medusa by Paul Jenkins (American, 1923-2012) achieved $43,750.
Unfinished FDR portrait, $40,000, Swann Galleries
Three watercolor studies for the Unfinished Portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (one shown, 1945), by Elizabeth Shoumatoff, sold for $40,000 at a sale of Printed & Manuscript Americana held Sept. 24 by Swann Galleries in New York City. Also, a guest registry for the legendary Catskill Mountain House (1839-43 and 1846-52) earned $45,000; and James W. Bentley’s 1865 diary of a U.S. cavalry officer made $27,500.
Friedeberg chair, $10,000, Doyle
A ‘Hand Chair’ by the Mexican Surrealist artist Pedro Friedeberg, introduced in 1962, sold for $10,000 at an auction of items from the Maison Jansen-designed home of film producer and distributor Walter Manley and his wife Janice held Oct. 7 by Doyle in New York. Also, a Maison Jansen upholstered chair knocked down for $10,000 and a pair of upholstered club chairs finished at $8,125. The sale overall grossed a robust $150,250.
Shakespeare’s ‘First Folio,’ $9.9 million, Christie’s
William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories & Tragedies, often referred to as the “First Folio,” sold for $9.9 million at The Exceptional Sale held Oct. 14 by Christie’s in New York City. It was a new world auction record for a work of literature, exceeding its $4 million-$6 million presale estimate. The book was published in 1623 by two of Shakespeare’s friends and fellow actors. It contained 36 of his plays, organized by category.
MacDonald marble bust, $22,230, Jeffrey S. Evans
A carved marble bust of Psyche or Diana by Lawrence MacDonald (British, 1799-1878) sold for $22,230 at a Fall Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held Oct. 16-17 by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mount Crawford, Va. Also, a presentation copy of the Imperial Edition Bible, in Chinese, realized $22,230; a Ukrainian mountain landscape by Joseph Boksay hit $18,720; and a bronze figure by Harriet Frishmuth, titled The Vine, went for $10,530.
Alexander Calder mobile, $1.9 million, Hindman
A standing mobile by Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976) titled Triple Cross (1947) sold for $1,872,500 million at a Post War and Contemporary Art sale held Oct. 1 by Hindman in Chicago. The mobile had a presale estimate of $600,000-$800,000 and set a record for the highest sale price for a single lot in Hindman’s 38-year history. Also, another Calder work, titled Petit Poteau jaune (Little Yellow Post) earned $432,500.
Andy Warhol’s ‘Chanel,’ $225,000, Heritage Auctions
Andy Warhol’s iconic image Chanel, from Ads (1985), sold for $225,000 at a Prints & Multiples Auction held Oct. 20 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, Applause (2006), by the enigmatic British graffiti artist Banksy, brought $57,500; Ankle Bracelet (2017) by KAWS went for $45,000; Piranhas When You’re Sleeping (2016), also by KAWS, hit $42,500; and Damien Hirst’s Cathedral Print, Palais des Papes (2007) made $42,500.
Louis XV-style pedestals, $81,250, John Moran
A pair of Louis XV-style pedestals sold for $81,250 at A Traditional Collector auction held Sept. 23 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, a Louis XV-style Chinoiserie two-drawer commode realized $8,125; a pair of cloisonné enamel foo dogs fetched $22,500; a School of Giovanni (Johannes) Battista Guadagnini violin reached $11,250; and an oil painting by Heywood Hardy (British, 1843-1933) went for $11,875.
Arthur Mathews oil, $500,075, Bonhams
An oil painting by Arthur Frank Mathews (Calif., 1860-1945), titled Monterey, 38 inches by 50 inches (sight, less frame), sold for $500,075 at a California and Western Art sale held Oct. 13 by Bonhams in Los Angeles. Also, View of Wood’s Cove by Guy Rose (1867-1925) brought $560,075; Flickering Sunlight by William Wendt (1865-1946) hammered for $137,575; and Landscape with Three Figures by David H. Ligare (b. 1945) rose to $52,580.
Alfa Romeo concept cars, $14.8 million, Sotheby’s
Three Alfa Romeo B.A.T. concept cars together brought $14.8 million in sales of Contemporary and Impressionist & Modern Art held Oct. 28 by Sotheby’s in New York City. Also, Alberto Giacometti’s towering female sculpture from 1947 titled Femme Leoni sold for $25.9 million; two works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, titled Black and Jazz, together totaled $15.1 million; and Girgio de Chirico’s Il Pomeriggio di Arianna went for $15.9 million.
Michael Jordan signed card, $425,000, Goldin Auctions
A 1997 UD Game Jersey Autograph basketball trading card signed by the legendary player Michael Jordan, numbered to only 23 copies (the number on his jersey), sold for $425,000 in an online auction that ended Oct. 3 by Goldin Auctions, based in Runnemede, N.J. The card featured a blue signature of Jordan and included a large piece of his game jersey. The final price eclipsed the previous record of $420,000 set in late August.
By KEN HALL