Iconic posters of World War II take command at Potter and Potter Nov. 10

1939 Keep Calm And Carry On poster, created by Britain’s Ministry of Information, estimated at $8,000-$12,000 at Potter & Potter Auctions.

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CHICAGO – On Friday, November 10, Potter & Potter will hold its next Vintage Posters sale, featuring more than 700 lots. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Bearing the highest estimate in the sale is a 1939 copy of the famed Keep Calm and Carry On poster created by Britain’s Ministry of Information (MOI), aka its propaganda wing. Designed mere weeks before Germany invaded Poland and started World War II, the MOI suffered a bout of cold feet after it had sent almost two and a half million copies to distribution centers across the U.K. According to a blog post by the British government on the history of the poster, “The individual responsible for sanctioning expenditure at the Treasury had, for instance, expressed real fear that ‘the population might well resent having this poster crammed down their throats at every turn’ whilst [leading MOI civil servant A.P.] Waterfield maintained that the slogan was ‘too commonplace to be inspiring’ and feared that ‘it may even annoy people that we should seem to doubt the steadiness of their nerves’.” This unease prompted the MOI to pull the plug on the poster campaign, and the bulk of the Keep Calm and Carry On press run was pulped.

It went unheralded and largely unknown until the year 2000, when two British booksellers, Stuart and Mary Manley, found a few copies of the striking, almost wholly typographic white-on-red poster in a box of second-hand books they had won at auction. The sentiment that turned the MOI against it at the dawn of World War II had, with the passage of time and with Britain’s brave and successful resistance of Nazi forces, seemed to capture and exemplify that age for people enjoying the hindsight afforded by the dawn of the 21st century. The example offered by Potter & Potter carries an estimate of $8,000-$12,000.

Another significant World War II-era poster on offer in the November 10 sale is Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, a 1943 poster designed by David Stone Martin and issued by the U.S. Government Printing Office. It is based on a photograph of Doris “Dorie” Miller in his Navy uniform, wearing the Navy Cross he received for valor during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As a Black man, Miller would not have been trained to fight. He was serving as a mess attendant, second class when the Japanese ambush hit. After carrying wounded sailors out of danger, Miller seized control of an anti-aircraft gun and proceeded to shoot down at least four, and as many as six, enemy aircraft. His efforts made him the first Black man to earn the Navy Cross, but sadly, racist Navy officials refused to consider him for a Medal of Honor despite a vigorous campaign on his behalf. Miller was subsequently killed in action in November 1943 when a Japanese submarine torpedoed his ship.

While the Dorie Miller poster is not as rare or as iconic as the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, it is significant for being a government-issued, widely distributed portrayal of a Black person as a war hero. Its estimate is $4,000-$6,000.

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1939 Keep Calm And Carry On poster, created by Britain’s Ministry of Information, estimated at $8,000-$12,000 at Potter & Potter Auctions.
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1943 David Stone Martin poster for the U.S. Government Printing Office, ‘Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (Dorie Miller),’ estimated at $4,000-$6,000 at Potter & Potter Auctions.
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1930 N.C. Wyeth poster, ‘Pittsburgh in the Beginning / Pennsylvania Railroad,’ estimated at $2,000-$3,000 at Potter & Potter Auctions.
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1970s Pan Am travel poster for New York, estimated at $1,000-$1,500 at Potter & Potter Auctions.
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Circa-1900s color stone lithograph advertising poster for Puch bicycles, estimated at $1,000-$1,500 at Potter & Potter Auctions.
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Gallery Report: Clementine Hunter’s ‘Fish Fry’ sizzles at Crescent City

ATLANTA – At the beginning of every month, ACN columnist Ken Hall delivers top auction highlights from around the United States and the world at large. We at ACN hope you enjoy the April 2022 edition of his Gallery Report. All prices include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.

Clementine Hunter, Fish Fry, oil, $7,680, Crescent City Auction Gallery

An oil-on-board painting by Clementine Hunter (American, 1887-1987), titled Fish Fry, sold for $7,680 at an Important Spring Estates Auction held March 18-19 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans. Also, a 20th-century French Art Deco style ormolu mounted carved walnut sideboard realized $4,375; a pair of early 20th-century Oriental patinated bronze figures reached $8,750; and a ladies’ 18K rose gold link and diamond bracelet hit $14,080.

Anniversary ring with 4.61-carat diamond, $118,750, Ahlers & Ogletree

A 4.61-carat platinum and diamond anniversary ring given by the late Coca-Cola company president Robert W. Woodruff (American, 1889-1985) to his wife Nell sold for $118,750 in an online-only auction of items from the Woodruff estate held February 26 by Ahlers & Ogletree in Atlanta. Also, a portrait painting of George Washington by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower went for $50,000, and a charcoal on paper portrait of Robert Woodruff by Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978) realized $43,750.

Magic: The Gathering card, $45,000, Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers

A Magic: The Gathering Beta Block Lotus trading card from 1993, graded CGC 9 Mint, sold for $45,000 at a Winter Comic, TCG (Trading Card Game) & Toy auction held February 26 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers in Cranston, Rhode Island. Also, a 1993 “MTG” Alpha Ancestral card graded CGC 9.5 Gem Mint achieved $38,750, and a copy of Detective Comics #359 (Jan. 1967), graded CGC 8.0, with the origin and first appearance of Batgirl, hit $4,000.

San Francisco Mint .999 silver ingot, $7,320, Holabird Western Americana Collections

A San Francisco Mint silver ingot, .999 fine, weighing 6.61 oz. and showing the pre-World War II logo of the Mint of San Francisco, sold for $7,320 at a Western Trails & Treasures Premier Auction held Feb. 24-28 by Holabird Western Americana Collections in Reno, Nevada. Also, five pieces of Philippines travel ephemera from the first half of the 20th century earned $10,938, and an 1853 directory for residents of Marysville City (California) reached $9,150.

World War II poster, $3,750, Fairhill Auction

An American World War II poster titled This is the Enemy, with artwork by Karl Koehler and Victor Ancona, sold for $3,750 in Vintage Poster Auction #105, held online March 10 by Fairhill Auction, based in Elkton, Maryland.

Portrait by Ryusei Kishida, $294,400, Nye & Company Auctioneers

A 1921 portrait of Kondo Tsugushige, the Japanese scientist and co-founder of the Japan Surgical Society, painted by Ryusei Kishida (Japanese, 1891-1929), sold for $294,400 at an Estate Treasures Auction held March 2-3 by Nye & Company Auctioneers in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Also, two colorful floral screenprints by Andy Warhol went to the same American bidder for $104,550 and $92,250, respectively; and a circa-1930 crayon on paper work by Marsden Hartley (American, 1877-1943), titled Mountains, hit $17,200.

R.S. Prussia bowl, $24,000, Woody Auction

The only known example of an R.S. Prussia Spring Season bowl in the Carnation mold sold for $24,000 during an auction of the David and Marlene Howard collection held March 19 by Woody Auction in Douglass, Kansas. Also, a Regina upright music box, fully operational with good sound, brought $15,400; a signed Daum Nancy French cameo art glass vase rang up $3,450; and a table lamp by Pairpoint, featuring a Venice shade, lit up the room for $7,700.

Edison Class M phonograph, CA$35,400, Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.

An Edison Class M cylinder phonograph sold for $35,400 in an online Music Machines, Toys & Advertising sale held March 19 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., in New Hamburg, Canada. Also, a 1960 Rock-Ola Tempo II Model 1478 jukebox, nicknamed the Windshield for its 1950s car-like look, finished at $8,260; and an early 20th-century J. & E. Stevens North Pole-themed mechanical bank hit $76,670. Prices are in Canadian dollars.

Boba Fett prototype figure, $204,435, Hake’s Auctions

A Kenner 1979 Star Wars Boba Fett rocket-firing prototype action figure, J-slot, version 2, sold for $204,435, a new world auction record for a Star Wars action figure, during a sale held March 15-16 by Hake’s Auctions in York, Pennsylvania. Also, a 1920 James M. Cox / Franklin D. Roosevelt jugate campaign button, one of only six known, realized $185,850; and the original cover art for Incredible Hulk #283 (Marvel Comics, May 1983), with art by Ed Hannigan and inks by Al Milgrom, rose to $33,315.

Art Deco-style lamp, $5,120, La Belle Epoque Auction Gallery

An Art Deco-style bronze figural table lamp, made after a model by Pierre Le Faguays (French, 1892-1962), sold for $5,120 on February 5, during the first-ever auction held by La Belle Epoque Auction Gallery in New York City. Also, a 20th-century Mexican sterling silver charger rose to $1,525; a late 20th-century Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller bookcase rose to $1,280; and an oil on canvas painting of two women by Charles Levier (French, 1920-2003) made $2,050.

1657 map of Brazil, $181,250, PBA Galleries

An oversize map of Brazil by Georg Margraff, published by Joan Blaeu in the mid-17th-century, one of perhaps five known, sold for $181,250 at Platinum Sale 754, held February 10 by PBA Galleries in Berkeley, California. Also, a manuscript royal order authorizing the colonization of the Californias, dated 1705 and signed by Philip V of Spain, climbed to $175,000; and George Vancouver’s A Voyage Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean (1798), in three volumes, plus an atlas, made $28,125.

1779 Ethan Allen book, $78,000, Potter & Potter Auctions

A second printing (1779) of a book written by Ethan Allen, titled in part A Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen’s Captivity … sold for $78,000 at a Books & Manuscripts auction held February 26 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a book by Richard Hakluyt, titled in part The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation … achieved $48,000, and a folio containing materials relating to the Treaty of Ghent changed hands for $38,400.

Glass cabinet vase, $13,860, Doyle 

A Galle acid-etched and engraved glass cabinet vase sold for $13,860 during Auction of Color & Light: The Collection of Dr. Thomas Chua, held March 2 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a KPM painted porcelain plaque changed hands for $13,860; a Louis XVI-style gilt-bronze mounted onyx jardiniere hammered for $13,230; a Galle mold-blown cameo glass water lily vase went for $12,600; and a Daum Art Nouveau mold-blown cameo glass forest sunset landscape vase made $12,600.

Mathilde Poulat necklace, $5,312, John Moran Auctioneers

An elaborate Mathilde Poulat Matl sterling silver filigree necklace sold for $5,312 at a Made in Mexico auction held February 15 and February 17 by John Moran Auctioneers in Los Angeles. Also, a Spratling First Design Period silver and rosewood necklace, featuring six carved delicate rosewood hands, achieved $4,375; a group of Antonio Pineda mother-of-pearl and silver foliate design jewelry reached $4,062; and an untitled 1992 pastel drawing by Roberto Gil De Montes earned $4,062.

Banksy mural, $500,000, Julien’s Auctions

A circa-2003 aerosol mural executed by the British graffiti artist Banksy on the wall of the Parisian art studio Surface to Air, titled Bomb Middle England, sold for $500,000 at a Street, Contemporary, Pop & Fine Art auction held March 16 by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles. Also, Damien Hirst’s Beautiful, Struggling to Consume and Times to Overwhelm Potential Painting achieved $128,000, and KAWS’s black four-foot companion cast vinyl figure rang up $62,500.

Baird Coca-Cola clock, $17,010, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

A Baird Chicago-era Coca-Cola advertising store clock sold for $17,010 at a Winter Americana Auction held March 2-5 by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mt. Crawford, Virginia. Also, a folk art paint-decorated cloth doll by Izannah Walker (American, 1817-1888) brought $14,580; a Staffordshire transferware medallion portrait series ceramic vegetable dish realized $10,327; and a hand-sewn silk Civil War-era 11-star Confederate Bible/parade flag went to a phone bidder for $17,010.

Andrew Clemens sand bottle, $800,000, Hindman

A sand bottle by the 19th-century Iowa artist Andrew Clemens, with a label reading, “Pictured Rock Sand, Put Up By Andrew Clemens, Deaf-Mute, McGregor, Iowa,” sold for $800,000 at an American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts auction held March 10-11 by Hindman in Chicago. Also, a circa-1860 Gothic Revival astronomical regulator by E. Howard & Co. of Boston hit $68,750; and a 126in Renaissance Revival regulator clock made for J. S. Townsend brought $50,000.

Charles “Shang” Wheeler duck decoys, $216,000, Copley Fine Art Auctions

A pair of carved wood ducks by Charles “Shang” Wheeler (American, 1867-1956) made $216,000, a new record for the artist, at a Winter Sale held March 4-5 by Copley Fine Art Auctions, LLC in Hingham, Massachusetts. Also, the only known Dodge wood duck in original paint hailing from the J. N. Dodge Factory achieved $108,000; a raised-wing canvasback pair by A. Elmer Crowell (American, 1862-1952) topped out at $102,000; and a hollow golden plover by Lew Horton flew away for $108,000.

 

View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/