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Borghesani robot bar, which hammered for €32,000 ($34,610) and sold for €41,600 ($45,170) with buyer’s premium at Piasa April 25.

Mid-century Modern Borghesani Robot Bar leads our five auction highlights

Mid-century Modern Borghesani Robot Bar, $45,170

PARIS – A highly coveted Borghesani robot bar sold at Piasa for a hefty sum April 25 as a star lot in its Art and Design Sale. The late-1960s oddity hammered for €32,000 ($34,610), or €41,600 ($45,170) with buyer’s premium.

Despite there being little known about Borghesani, the bar is said to have been released in 1969 around the time of the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission, though its design more closely resembles a postwar Japanese battery-operated robot.

Estimated at €15,000-€20,000 ($16,000-$21,000), competing bids blew past the high to land at €32,000 ($34,610).

Kermit Oliver for Hermès, 'La Vie Sauvage du Texas (The Wildlife of Texas)' Silk Scarf, $4,062

Kermit Oliver for Hermès, 'La Vie Sauvage du Texas (The Wildlife of Texas)' silk scarf, which hammered for $3,250 and sold for $4,062 with buyer’s premium April 26 at Ahlers & Ogletree.
Kermit Oliver for Hermès, 'La Vie Sauvage du Texas (The Wildlife of Texas)' silk scarf, which hammered for $3,250 and sold for $4,062 with buyer’s premium April 26 at Ahlers & Ogletree.

ATLANTA – Kermit Oliver (b. 1943-) is a native Texan artist who specializes in depicting the wildlife of the Lone Star State. He also worked as a mail sorter until 2013 – when he reached the age of 70 – for the United States Postal Service, telling others he felt it was his responsibility to provide for his family first.

Hermès used one of Oliver’s designs to create ‘La Vie Sauvage du Texas’ (The Wildlife of Texas)’, a silk scarf measuring 35in square. An example of the scarf, complete with its original orange Hermès box with tissue paper, found itself at Ahlers & Ogletree on April 26 as part of the house’s Fine & Costume Jewelry, Luxury Accessories sale. Estimated at just $600-$800, it hammered for $3,250, or $4,062 with buyer’s premium.

C. H. Meylan for Spaulding & Co. Chronograph Pocket Watch, $48,640

C. H. Meylan for Spaulding & Co. chronograph pocket watch, which sold for $38,000 ($48,640 with buyer’s premium) at Schmitt Horan April 28.
C. H. Meylan for Spaulding & Co. chronograph pocket watch, which sold for $38,000 ($48,640 with buyer’s premium) at Schmitt Horan April 28.

CANDIA, NH – An extremely rare and complex circa-1910 pocket watch by the man dubbed the ‘king of complications’, C. H. Meylan, hammered for $38,000 and sold for $48,640 with buyer’s premium at Schmitt Horan & Co. on April 28.

Originally from Switzerland, Meylan (1842-1910) grew up in the Vallée de Joux, a remote area bounded by mountains that were impassable during the winter months. As a result, a cottage industry of watchmaking sprung up, allowing farmers to earn extra income creating watch movements that they would sell in Geneva when spring arrived.

Meylan came to America in 1871 and soon was working with Waltham, then America’s leading watch and clock manufacturer. At some point, Meylan created the pocket watch featured in the April 28 sale: a minute-repeating, split-second chronograph with perpetual calendar, for Spaulding & Co. of Chicago. Meylan’s designs resulted in three US patents that helped propel the complex pocket watch industry to new heights.

Two Katsushika Hokusai Woodblock Prints, $20,480

Katsushika Hokusai, ‘Snow at Mukojima on the Sumida River’ and ‘Hodoyaga on the Tokaido’ woodblock prints, which together hammered for $16,000 and sold for $20,840 with buyer’s premium at Winter Associates May 6.
Katsushika Hokusai, ‘Snow at Mukojima on the Sumida River', which hammered together with a second Hokusai woodblock print for $16,000 and sold for $20,840 with buyer’s premium at Winter Associates May 6.

PLAINVILLE, CT – A lot comprising two well-known woodblock prints by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) raced away from a lowly estimate at Winter Associates on May 6.

Snow at Mukojima on the Sumida River is from Hokusai’s 1833 Snow, Moon and Flowers series, while Hodoyaga on the Tokaido, showing a group of travelers on their way to a nearby village, is one of the famed Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, produced between 1830 and 1832.

Lifetime impressions of both prints can bring more than $20,000 each in good condition, so even with some minor tears and discoloration, these were a hugely appealing prospect at $200-$400. The duo hammered together for $16,000 and sold for $20,480 with buyer’s premium.

Katsushika Hokusai, ‘Snow at Mukojima on the Sumida River’ and ‘Hodoyaga on the Tokaido’ woodblock prints, which together hammered for $16,000 and sold for $20,840 with buyer’s premium at Winter Associates May 6.
Katsushika Hokusai, ‘Hodoyaga on the Tokaido’, which hammered together with a second Hokusai woodblock print for $16,000 and sold for $20,840 with buyer’s premium at Winter Associates May 6.

Exacta Time Babe Ruth Watch with Baseball-shape Case, $985

Exacta Time Babe Ruth watch in its original baseball-shape case, which hammered for CA$1,100 ($800) and sold for CA$1,353 ($985) at Miller & Miller May 10.
Exacta Time Babe Ruth watch in its original baseball-shape case, which hammered for CA$1,100 ($800) and sold for CA$1,353 ($985) at Miller & Miller May 10.

NEW HAMBURG, Canada – Issued sometime between 1948 and 1953, the Exacta Time character wristwatch made to mark the passing of Babe Ruth survives in substantial numbers. However, what distinguished the example offered by Miller & Miller on May 10 was its original case, which is in the shape of a baseball. Another lot from the legacy collection of toy and pop culture collector Howie Mayer, it hammered for CA$1,100 ($800) and sold for CA$1,353 ($985) against an estimate of CA$200-$300 ($145-$220).