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Gallery Report: November 2008

Iacovleff painting, $61,688, Cowan’s

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A sanguine chalk drawing by Russian artist Alexandre Iacovleff, titled Le Pecheur, Capri, sold for $61,688 at a Fall Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held Oct. 17-19 by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati. Also, a painting by American artist Howard Chandler Christy, titled Patriotic Civil War Memorial and showcasing both Union and Confederate troops along with Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, hammered for $38,775; and a fine Faberge cigarette case made by Michael Perchin brought $17,625. Prices include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

Colin Middleton painting, $71,500, Richard D. Hatch

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An original oil painting by the renowned Irish painter Colin Middleton (1910-1983), titled Teresa (1947), sold for $71,500 at an estates auction Sept. 26-27 by Richard D. Hatch & Associates in Flat Rock, N.C. Also, a pencil drawing by Louis Le Brocquy (Irish, b. 1916), titled Tinker Man (1946), went for $38,500; a 24-piece rosewood and sterling flatware set by Mexican silversmith Hector Aguilar brought $7,150; and a Wheeling Peachblow Morgan vase gaveled for $3,025. Prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.

Bowfront Mills Violano, $137,500, Showtime

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A rare bowfront Violano music player, made around 1910 by the Mills Novelty Co., Chicago, Ill., sold for $137,500 at a three-day estates sale Oct. 10-12 by Showtime Auction Services at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor, Mich. Also, a paper sign advertising the Buffalo Brewing Company of Sacramento, Calif., depicting a seminude Indian maiden, realized $45,100; and a painting of hunting dogs by Edmond Osthaus (1858-1928) rose to $44,000. Prices include a 10-20 percent buyer’s premium.

Wagon Train play set, $15,255, Philip Weiss

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A Wagon Train play set in mint condition, made around 1960 by Marx Toys and based on the popular TV show, sold for $15,255 at an estates sale held Oct. 24-26 by Philip Weiss Auctions in Oceanside, N.Y. It set a world auction record for a Marx play set. The previous record was set just moments earlier, when a Marx Ben-Hur play set, also in mint condition and made around 1960, went for $9,320. Also, four original pen-and-ink Peanuts comic strips by Charles Schulz sold for a combined $98,000. Prices include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.

Chippendale chest, $34,500, Fontaine’s

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A reverse serpentine mahogany four-drawer ball-and-claw foot Chippendale desk sold for $34,500 at an estates sale Oct. 18 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass. Also, a Frank Wesson rifle with long scope hit the mark at $26,450; a Tiffany Studios dichroic Greek key border table lamp lit up the room for $25,300; a nine-piece figural carved walnut parlor set with standing putti, figural maidens and classical scenes made $24,150; and a Queen Anne tap table in red paint brought $23,000. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

1808 $2-1/2 gold coin, $27,025, Weschler’s

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A capped bust $2-1/2 U.S. gold coin dated 1808 sold for $27,025 at a Jewelry, Coins & Watches Auction conducted Sept. 13 by Weschler’s in Washington. Also, an Edwardian platinum and diamond lavaliere hammered for $18,800; a U.S. Saint Gaudens high-relief $20 gold coin brought $12,925; an 18-karat yellow-gold Rolex Presidential automatic wristwatch (Oyster Perpetual, Day-Date) fetched $9,988; and a platinum, blue sapphire and diamond dinner ring slipped on a new finger for $12,925. Prices include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

Einstein’s wristwatch, $596,000, Antiquorum

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A historically significant Longines wristwatch, made in 1930 and presented to Albert Einstein in Los Angeles on Feb. 16, 1930, sold for $596,000 at a sale of Important Collectors’ Wristwatches, Pocket Watches & Clocks held Oct. 16 by Antiquorum in New York. The top lot of the sale was a yellow gold first-series Patek Philippe wristwatch made in 1956 (Geneve, Ref. 2499) that soared to $1,514,000. Also, an enamel dial Tourbillon minute repeater No. 1 Patek Philippe watch (1992) hit $338,400. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Alice Brady’s Oscar, $59,750, Heritage

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Alice Brady’s Oscar award for the 1937 film In Old Chicago sold for $59,750 at a Music & Entertainment Signature Auction held Oct. 4-6 by Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas. Also, the last autograph ever signed by Buddy Holly soared to $31,070; an original oil painting by Frank Sinatra achieved $26,290; the Cleopatra costume from the wardrobe archive of 1930s screen siren Theda Bara went for $19,120; and an unopened copy of the Beatles’ Yesterday & Today album – the rare butcher cover – made $21,510. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

John McCrady painting, $422,000, Neal Auction

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An original painting by John McCrady (American, 1911-1968), titled Political Rally, sold for $422,000 at a Louisiana Purchase Auction held Oct. 11-12 by Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans. It established a new record price for a work by the artist. Also, The Hatch – a New Orleans coin silver presentation coffee and tea service, circa 1858-1866, – realized $323,000; and a Raffaelli crayon on board work by William Woodward (American, 1859-1939), Furnished Rooms, French Town, brought $129,000. Prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.
Edgar Allan Poe
letter, $23,695, R&R
A rare 1845 letter from Edgar Allan Poe, seeking a favor for Elizabeth Ellett, a flirtatious author who later spread vicious rumors about Poe, accusing him of conducting an extramarital affair, sold for $23,695 in an online auction conducted in October by R&R Enterprises (www.rrauction.com), based in Amherst, N.H. Also, a scarce 1879 English-language letter from Karl Marx rose to $22,923; and a letter from George Washington, requesting clothing for his troops during the Revolutionary War, commanded $20,838. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Architectural cabinet, $354,000, Sollo Rago

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A Greene & Greene architectural cabinet sold for $354,000 at a Modern Auction held Oct. 25-26 by Sollo Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, a George Nakashima dining table went for $84,000; a T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings mesa table soared to $66,000; a Paul Evans cabinet crossed the block at $45,000; a Jean E. Puiforcat candelabra came in at $28,800; a Reg Butler painting titled Study For Girl Tying Her Hair brought $24,000; and a Natzler folded bowl realized $22,800. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Political bandanna, $13,200, Mastro

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A gorgeous 1876 Washington/Lincoln portraits American centennial bandanna sold for $13,200 in an online Classic Collector Sale held in October by Mastro Auctions (mastroauctions.com), based in Burr Ridge, Ill. Also, a Nap Lajoie circa 1916-1922 Louisville Slugger professional model bat went for $10,200; more than a century’s worth of presidential campaign buttons (375 items), from 1840 through the early 1970s, chalked up $9,000; and a 1927 Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig signed bat was a hit for $7,800. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Three bottles of wine, $60,750, Skinner Inc.

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Three bottles of Domaine de la Romanee Conti, 1911, sold for $60,750 at a Fine Wine Sale held Sept. 9 by Skinner Inc., Bolton, Mass. Also, a bottle of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, 1989, rose to $12,150; a bottle of Screaming Eagle, $4,860; a bottle of Harlan Estate, 1993, $2,430; a bottle of Domaine de la Romanee Conti, La Tache, 1972, $3,645; and a bottle of Chateau Pichon Longueville, Lalande, 2000, went to a determined bidder for $2,795. Prices include an 18.8 percent buyer’s premium.

10-carat diamond ring, $25,200, St. Charles Gallery

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A 10.47-carat brilliant cut diamond ring sold for $25,200 at an auction Sept. 27-28 by St. Charles Gallery in New Orleans. Also, a massive three-piece American bedroom suite realized $22,000; an oil on canvas by John Saccaro soared to $14,400; an American Gothic inspired rosewood secretary brought $5,040; a large American Rococo Revival breakfront gaveled for $9,000; a large oil on canvas by James Michalopoulos hit $6,900; and 12 place settings of Reed & Barton Francis I sterling flatware reached $4,320. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Chippendale clock, $70,850, Weschler’s

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A Chippendale walnut tall case clock, dial signed James Kinkead, Christiana Bridge, Delaware, circa 1780, sold for $70,850 at a sale of European and American Furniture & Decorations and Asian Works of Art held Oct. 10-11 by Weschler’s in Washington. Also, a gilt and enamel sherbet cup and stand (Fedor Ruckert, Moscow, circa 1896-1908) hammered for $34,075; a Faberge silver pendant icon of St. Nicholas brought $18,800; and a pair of Flemish historical tapestries gaveled for $18,800. Prices include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

1910 Mercedes car, $887,000, Bonhams

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A 1910 Mercedes 45-horsepower four-seat Tourabout sold for $887,000 at the sale of the Richard C. Pain Jr. Collection of Motorcars held Sept. 25-26 by Bonhams at the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine. Also, the “Horden Ghost,” a 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50-horsepower Roi-des-Belges tourer, sped off for $832,000; a 1906 American Tourist Roi-des-Belges touring car roared away for $612,000; and a 1910 Peerless Victoria brought $469,000. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Fitzgerald collection, $22,800, Swann Auction Galleries

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A short story collection by F. Scott Fitzgerald, titled All the Sad Young Men (New York, 1926), signed and inscribed in the year of publication, sold for $22,800 at a Modern Literature Auction held Oct. 16 by Swann Auction Galleries in New York. Also, a selection of works by Ernest Hemingway (New York, 1932), signed in the month of publication, chalked up $14,400; and a copy of the first illustrated edition of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (New York, 1952) hammered for $5,040. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Juan Gris oil painting, $20.8 million, Christie’s

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An original still life oil painting by Juan Gris, titled Livre, pipe et verre (1915) sold for $20.8 million at an Impressionist and Modern Art Sale held Nov. 6 by Christie’s in New York. The work was painted in Gris’ Cubist style, using stark contrast and white highlighting to create an effect similar to a photo negative. It was a new auction record for the artist. Also, Pablo Picasso’s Deux Personnages (1934) soared to $18 million, while Picasso’s Mousquetaire et femme a la fleur (1967) realized $9 million. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

Yves Klein wall relief, $21.4 million, Sotheby’s

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An original Yves Klein wall relief from 1960, titled Archisponge (RE 11) and featuring the artist’s signature rich saturated blues sold for $21,362,000 at a Contemporary Art Auction held Nov. 11 by Sotheby’s in New York. Also, Phillip Guston’s Beggar’s Joys (1954-55) rose to $10.16 million, a record for the artist at auction; Roy Lichtenstein’s Interior With Red Wall (1991) brought $7.03 million; and John Currin’s Nice ‘N Easy (1999) changed hands for $5.46 million, a record for the artist at auction. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Bru Jne bebe doll, $30,000, Theriault’s

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A classic model Jne bebe doll by Leon Casimir Bru, a size 2 with intriguing provenance, sold for $30,000 at the sale of the Madalaine Selfridge Doll Collection held Oct. 11 by Theriault’s, based in Annapolis, Md. The auction was held in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Also, a Bru Jne bebe, size 6 model in couturier costume, rose to $26,000; a Bru Jne bebe, size 1 model, changed hands for $19,000; a size 12 Jumeau Triste doll soared to $19,000; and a rare Leverd & Cie poupee doll topped out at $17,500. All prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Jean Dunand vase, $80,500, Doyle

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A Dinanderie vase by the renowned French Art Deco artisan Jean Dunand sold for $80,500 at a Design Sale held Oct. 8 by Doyle New York. Also, a Rene Buthard vase garnered $18,750; Andre Sornay tables realized $28,125; a pair of Empire chairs signed by Pierre-Adrien Bellange chalked up $13,750; a Chieftain chair by Finn Juhl crossed the block at $28,125; and a light wood breakfast table and chairs set with organic flourishes at the feet by Osvaldo Borsani commanded $10,625. All prices quoted include a buyer’s premium.

Ken HallKen Hall is a former business writer now based in Atlanta, where he is with Star Printing & Publishing, parent company of Southeastern Antiquing & Collecting magazine. In 2002 Ken began syndicating three antiques and collecting-related columns: Ken’s Korner, The Celebrity Collector, and Gavels ‘n’ Paddles. His collecting interests include coins, records, autographs and art.