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):
‘Wizard of Oz’ movie poster, $108,000, Heritage Auctions
A half-sheet style A poster for The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939) sold for $108,000 at a movie posters auction held March 23-24 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, an insert for The Wolf Man (Universal, 1941) achieved $96,000; an insert for The Bride of Frankenstein (Universal, 1935) brought $90,000; original set continuity photos for Casablanca (Warner Bros., 1942) rose to $55,200; and a German magazine promotional ad for Nosferatu (PranaFilm, 1921) made $52,800.
Old Judge cabinet cards, $431,000, Weiss Auctions
The North Fork Collection of 37 Old Judge cabinet baseball cards from 1888 sold for a combined $431,000 at a Sports, Comics, Comic Art & Animation Auction held March 28 by Weiss Auctions in Lynbrook, N.Y. The top seller of the group was a card of New York Giants captain Buck Ewing wearing civilian clothes (shown); it brought $109,250, a record for an Old Judge 1888 cabinet card. Also, one lot of two circa 1888 G&B Gum baseball cards hammered for $8,050.
Johnson Sea-Horse display, CA$8,850, Miller & Miller Auctions
A scarce Johnson Sea-Horse outboard motor store display, made in America in the late 1920s, sold for $8,850 Canadian/US$6,606 at an Advertising & Nostalgia Auction held April 6 by Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd., in New Hamburg, Ontario. Also, a 1967 English-made 650cc Triumph TR6R Trophy Sport motorcycle roared off for CA$5,605/US$4,184; a 1945 Black Cat Cigarettes porcelain sign fetched CA$5,310/US$3,963; and a 1950s Armstrong Tires two-sided tin sign made CA$2,950/US$2,202.
Karl Lagerfeld drawing, $4,550, Urban Culture Auctions
An original drawing on card stock of a chic three-piece ensemble with matching hat by the late Chanel mastermind Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019) sold for $4,550 at an auction held April 18 by Urban Culture Auctions in West Palm Beach, Fla. The sale of original fashion drawings by the iconic designer, from the 1960s, attracted intense worldwide bidding. The auction realized $247,520 and was 100 percent sold. Other drawings in the sale gaveled for $2,990, $2,860 and $2,730.
‘Expert at the Card Table,’ $16,800, Potter & Potter Auctions
A first-edition copy of S.W. Erdnase’s The Expert at the Card Table, a book relating to gambling, cheating and card sharping, sold for $16,800 at a Gambling Memorabilia Sale held March 30 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, F.R. Ritter’s Combined Treatise on Advantage Card Playing and Draw Poker (1905) hit $9,000; an original circa 1880 Will & Finck brass sleeve holdout cheating device brought $9,000; and a copy of How Gamblers Win (1865) made $8,400.
Copy of the ‘Green Book,’ $27,500, Swann Galleries
A copy of Victor H. Green’s The Negro Travelers Green Book (New York, 1958), the book that was featured in the recent Oscar-winning movie, sold for $27,500 at a Printed & Manuscript African Americana Auction held March 28 by Swann Galleries in New York City. Also, a copy of David Ruggles’ The Mirror of Liberty from July 1838 (Vol. 1, No. 1, New York) brought $37,500; and a draft typescript of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, late 1958 or early 1959, went for $30,000.
Samuel Robb Indian figure, $47,500, New Haven Auctions
A turn-of-the-century cigar store Indian chief by the renowned American carver Samuel Robb sold for $47,500 at an auction held March 17 by New Haven Auctions-Fred Giampietro in New Haven, Conn. Also, an 1870 copper and zinc Index horse weather vane by J. Howard of Waltham, Mass., climbed to $28,750; and a mixed media, colored pencil and watercolor on paper by Joseph Yoakum, titled Holly Hills of Jerusalem, Judea, 17¾ inches by 23¾ inches, achieved $13,125.
Steinway Model D grand piano, $169,400, Fontaine’s Auction
A Steinway Model D Centennial concert grand piano sold for $169,400 at an auction held March 23 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass. Also, a Tiffany Studios 24-inch inverted hanging lamp lit up the room for $66,550; an 8-foot-tall library window with fiery orange and green panels, griffins and cornucopias, 103 inches by 76 inches, brought $66,550; a Pottier & Stymus (attributed) rosewood credenza made $10,285; and a Tiffany Studios leaded Nautilus desk lamp hit $13,335.
Chinese cloisonné charger, $315,000, Skinner
A Chinese cloisonné charger bearing a six-character Wanli mark and decorated with dragons, ruyi clouds and Eight Buddhist Treasures, sold for $315,000 at an Asian Works of Art Auction held March 22 by Skinner in Boston. Also, a Chinese ceramic egg-yolk yellow dish, Jiajing mark and period, brought $20,910; a Chinese ceramic sang de boeuf bowl, six-character Qianlong mark, went for $19,680; and a Sino-Tibetan serene bronze Manjushri rose to $18,450.
Dr. Yuhua Wang painting, $1.49 million, Gianguan Auctions
A framed ink and color on paper painting by the Chinese contemporary artist Dr. Yuhua Shouzhi, titled Pomegranates in Bamboo Basket, 27 inches by 18 inches, sold for $1.49 million at an auction held March 18 by Gianguan Auctions in New York City. It was a new world auction record for the artist. Also, a Ming dynasty blue glazed deep bowl with relief carved lotus pond motifs in white reserve changed hands for $47,200; and Qi Biashi’s painting titled Shrimps made $70,800.
Group of carved shore birds, $7,800, Schwenke Auctioneers
A group of carved shore birds, including decoys by Harry Shourds, sold for $7,800 at an estates auction held Feb. 27 by Schwenke Auctioneers in Woodbury, Conn. Also, a large painted sheet iron rooster weather vane on a directional stand changed hands for $4,270; a 19th century brass imperial standard bushel measure coasted to $4,575; an embroidered Chinese silk robe made $5,080; and a large oval ceramic platter designed by Betty Woodman (American, 1930-2018) hit $3,500.
Led Zeppelin signed album, $32,156, RR Auction
Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut album signed by each of the rock band’s four members sold for $32,156 in an online auction held April 10 by RR Auction, based in Boston. Also, a Paul McCartney signed Hofner bass guitar went for $26,487; an Al Capone twice-signed interest note document achieved $25,060; a Queen Elizabeth I signed letter hammered for $24,970; and a gold-tone waist chain charm belt worn onstage by the late musician Prince brought $19,625.
8 Bodhisattva, $75,000, Doyle
A group of eight Chinese gilt-bronze figures of Bodhisattva (a person on the path toward enlightenment), each posed seated in a meditation position, sold for $75,000 at an Asian works of art auction held March 18 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a Buddhist duck-form gilt-bronze censer depicting the bird standing in water hit $22,500; an underglazed blue and iron-red fish jar from the Kangxi or Yongzheng period hit $62,500; and a group of four Chinese snuff bottles made $22,500.
Li Dongyang hand scroll, $4.57 million, Christie’s
An ink on paper hand scroll by Li Dongyang (Chinese, 1447-1516), titled Fourteen Poems on Planting Bamboo, dated 1516, sold for $4.57 million at an auction held during Asian Art Week (March 19-22) by Christie’s in New York City. Also, a ‘Number Three’ Jun jardinière from the Yuan-Ming dynasty (14th/15th century) brought $3.015 million; and an untitled (Horses) oil on canvas painting by Maqbool Fida Husain (1913-2011), circa early 1960, changed hands for $1.035 million.
Prototype Coke bottle, $110,700, Morphy Auctions
A rare Coca-Cola prototype bottle sold for $110,700 at an auction held April 12-14 in Las Vegas by Morphy Auctions, based in Denver, Pa. The modified prototype bottle was created by the Root Glass Co. of Terre Haute, Ind., in 1915 and submitted to Coca-Cola executives for consideration as the design for their standard Coke bottle. After remaining out of sight for more than a century, the bottle was discovered in the collection of a retired Coke employee who also worked for Root Glass.
Book of Ottoman dress,$137,500, Freeman’s
A book of various types of Ottoman dress, containing 148 original watercolors by a follower of artist Fenerci Mehmed, sold for $137,500 at an auction held April 10 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a root wood sculpture by Stephen Erzia (Russian, 1876-1960), titled Le Desenchante (The Disillusioned) brought $71,500; a late 15th century Nasrid-style early marquetry and ivory inlaid cassone rose to $59,375; and an early 19th century Ottoman ewer and basin made $48,750.
Grizzly bear claw necklace, $60,000, Cowan’s Auctions
A massive grizzly bear claw necklace made up of 31 honey-colored grizzly claws, 18¾ inches from end to end, along with a miniature photo of the original collector, sold for $60,000 at a Spring American Indian & Western Art: Premier Auction held April 5 by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati. Also, a late 19th century Zuni polychrome olla, large form, went for $33,210; and a Nampeyo of Hano (Hopi, 1859-1942) pictorial pottery jar knocked down for $18,000.
Cartier watch, $5,350, Market Auctions
A women’s yellow gold diamond Cartier Tortue quartz watch sold for $5,350 at a Jewelry, Antique & Art Sale held April 3 by Market Auctions in Palm Beach, Fla. Also, a painting by Emile Albert Gruppe (1896), titled Winter in Vermont, rose to $5,000; another work by Gruppe, titled Cloudy Day Branches, brought $4,375; a Chrichton Brothers sterling silver two-handled presentation cup changed hands for $3,750; and an S. Kirk & Son sterling silver presentation cup made $2,815.
Albert Bierstadt oil on board, $315,900, Scottsdale Art Auction
An oil on board painting by Albert Bierstadt, titled Sunset, Salt Lake, sold for $315,900 at a 15th anniversary auction held April 6 by Scottsdale Art Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. Also, an oil on canvas by E. Martin Hennings, titled Across the Valley, 25 inches by 30 inches, achieved $105,300; Frank Tenney Johnson’s Smoke of a .45 hit the mark for $669,000; Henry Shrady’s Elk Buffalo brought $380,250; and Melvin Warren’s Remnants of the Herd achieved $497,250.