The Hot Bid: Lino Tagliapietra ‘Dinosaur’ could sell for $15,000 at Rago

Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center

What you see: A Lino Tagliapietra Dinosaur, a glass sculpture created at Murano, Italy in 2008. Rago estimates it will sell for $10,000 to $15,000 at its Contemporary Glass Featuring Dan Dailey: From the Barbara Tarleton Collection, a sale taking place Sunday, Sept. 22, with absentee and live online bidding through LiveAuctioneers.

The expert: Suzanne Perrault, partner and co-director of Rago’s 20th and 21st century design department.

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The Hot Bid: Why this toy robot sold for $86,100

The rare Machine Man robot toy stands 15 inches tall. Image courtesy of Morphy Auctions

NEW YORK – Over the summer months, The Hot Bid revisits antique and vintage collectible items that set world records in the past. Today’s subject: an out-of-this-world robot.

What you see: A tin lithographic Machine Man Japanese robot toy, circa 1960. Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania, sold it in March 2019 for $86,100 – a record for this toy and for any “Gang of Five” Japanese robot toy.

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The Hot Bid: Magician automaton from 1972 film ‘Sleuth’

CHICAGO – A magician automaton that appeared in the 1972 motion picture Sleuth will step back into the spotlight as a star attraction of Potter & Potter’s August 24 auction, with absentee and live online bidding through LiveAuctioneers. There are expectations that it could sell for as much as $60,000. Here’s its backstory.

Full view of Sleuth automaton. Potter & Potter image

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The Hot Bid: Record-setting Karl Lagerfeld fashion drawing

NEW YORK – During the summer, when auction schedules slow down, The Hot Bid showcases items that have set world auction records.

Image courtesy of Palm Beach Modern Auctions

What you see: A Karl Lagerfeld fashion drawing, done in the 1960s while he was working for the House of Tiziani. Palm Beach Modern Auctions sold it in April 2019 for $6,000 (inclusive of buyer’s premium), a record for a Karl Lagerfeld fashion drawing.

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The Hot Bid: The story behind an astronaut’s record-setting watch

Astronaut David Scott wore this Bulova chronograph on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 15 mission in 1971. RR Auction image

During the summer, when auction schedules slow down, The Hot Bid showcases world auction records. 

What you see: The Bulova chronograph that astronaut David Scott wore on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 15 mission. RR Auction sold it in October 2015 for $1.6 million against an estimate of $750,000. It set a then-record for an Apollo item, a record for an item owned and directly consigned by an astronaut, a record for a timepiece used on the lunar surface, a record for any Bulova watch, and a RR Auction house record for the most expensive lot that it has handled.

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The Hot Bid: Hake’s goes to bat for rare Negro League Baseball broadside

The uncirculated condition of this Negro National League broadside could be attributed to the Nashville Elite Giants moving to Columbus, Ohio, for the 1935 season. The team moved again the following year to Washington, D.C. Hake’s Auctions image

What you see: A 1935 Negro League baseball broadside, picturing six of the eight active teams of the time. Hake’s Auctions estimates it at $10,000 to $20,000.

The expert: Philip Garry III, Hake’s sports consultant.

How rare is Negro League Baseball (NLB) material in general? I suspect less of it was made, and less of it was saved. Is that correct? Exactly. Before Major League Baseball (MLB) became integrated in 1947, it was very unusual to find any surviving examples of NLB material, whether it was game-used pieces, cards, postcards, scorecards or broadsides. There was never a single NLB baseball card issued in the United States, as opposed to millions released for MLB up until 1947.  Read more

The Hot Bid: Civil War Black regiment flag bound for glory at Morphy’s

The 127th Regiment United States Colored Troops (USCT) Civil War battle flag measures 72in. x 55¼in., excluding the fringe. It has a $150,000-$250,000 estimate. Morphy Auctions image

What you see: The battle flag of the 127th Regiment of the USCT (United States Colored Troops), from Pennsylvania, which fought in the Civil War in 1864 and 1865. It was painted by African-American artist David Bustill Bowser.

The expert: Craig D. Womeldorf, chief executive officer, Morphy Auctions.

How rare are battle-used Civil War regiment flags of any kind? It’s such a wide range. There are battle flags from many regiments, Union and Confederate. They had to have flags in battle to identify the regiment. As you can imagine, they were used heavily. Some got lost and destroyed. They’re very rare. Read more

The Hot Bid: Auction Team Breker works the steampunk Writing Ball

The Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, circa 1870s. Auction Team Breker image

What you see: A Malling-Hansen “Writing Ball,” the first commercially produced typewriter, circa the 1870s or so. Auction Team Breker estimates it at €70,000 to €90,000, or $78,000 to $100,000.

The expert: Nick Hawkins, U.K. representative for Auction Team Breker, on behalf of founder Uwe Breker.

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The Hot Bid: John Lennon’s signed Beatles ‘Butcher’ album

The original ‘Butcher’ cover for the Beatles’ ‘Yesterday and Today’ album, which was hastily replaced, this one once owned and signed by John Lennon.  Julien’s Auctions image

What you see: A U.S first state Butcher album prototype, stereo example, of the Beatles’ Yesterday and Today, which was owned by John Lennon. He inscribed and dated it and drew a sketch on the back cover. Later, the recipient obtained signatures from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Julien’s Auctions estimates it at $160,000 to $180,000.

The expert: Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions.

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The Hot Bid: spellbinding artwork of self-taught artist Minnie Evans

Minnie Evans, Beautiful Portrait Surrounded by Vivid Flora, signed, circa 1960s. Crayon, colored pencil, ink and graphite on paper. Estimate: $5,000-$8,000

What you seeBeautiful Portrait Surrounded by Vivid Flora, a circa 1960s work on paper by self-taught African-American artist Minnie Evans. Slotin Folk Art will auction it on April 27 with a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$8,000.

The expert: Steve Slotin of Slotin Folk Art in Buford, Georgia.

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