Formidable assembly of American art comes to Freeman’s Dec. 3

Mary Cassatt, Mrs. Harris Whittemore and Baby Helen, $300,000-$500,000 at Freeman's.

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PHILADELPHIA — Though it consists of only 98 lots in all, Freeman’s has assembled an amazing lineup of fine American and Pennsylvania Impressionist art for its auction on Sunday, December 3. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Leading all estimates is a classic mother-and-child portrait by Mary Cassatt (1844-1926). In Mrs. Harris Whittemore and Baby Helen, the infant places her hand on her mother’s face and looks out, while the mother gazes lovingly. These parent-child themes recur in Cassatt’s body of work and are highly favored by collectors. Painted in 1898, the work comes from a productive and successful period in Cassatt’s life, where she was receiving recognition and many requests for work. The painting is estimated at $300,000-$500,000.

Although executed in 1978, The Station by Henry Koerner (1915-1991) would not be exhibited until 1983 at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. A colorful and reflective study of human nature in the mundane location of a commuter passenger train platform, the work remained in the artist’s possession for years until it was placed at ACA Gallery in New York, from where it was purchased by the consignor. At 61 by 50in, this is an impressive painting that carries an estimate of $250,000-$400,000.

New Hope art colony Impressionist Edward Willis Redfield (1869-1965) is also represented classically with Winter Holiday, a snow-filled winter scene of children sledding. The work is estimated at $100,000-$150,000.

American Realist Bo Bartlett (b. 1955-) offers rare insight into Fear of Division, a 1989 painted recollection of the moment he and his brother saw their first jet aircraft contrail in 1963, soon after the Cuban Missile Crisis: “My brother told me that the jet stream was the bomb, and that’s the moment I tried to capture in the painting, he is yelling, ‘Hit the Dirt, It’s the End of the World!’ I am crying on the ground. He kept it up, and I kept on crying.” He went on to say, “At the time, I was having petite-mal seizures and I was completely confounded with the concept of division in second grade — addition, multiplication, and subtraction, I could grasp, but division was the beginning of my dysfunctional relationship with math.” One of two Bartlett paintings in the sale, Fear of Division is estimated at $40,000-$60,000.
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Mary Cassatt, ‘Mrs. Harris Whittemore and Baby Helen,’ estimated at $300,000-$500,000 at Freeman’s.
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Henry Koerner, ‘The Station,’ estimated at $250,000-$400,000 at Freeman’s.
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Edward Willis Redfield, ‘Winter Holiday,’ estimated at $100,000-$150,000 at Freeman’s.
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Bo Bartlett, ‘Fear of Division,’ estimated at $40,000-$60,000 at Freeman’s.
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Guy Pène Du Bois, ‘Teddy at the Typewriter,’ estimated at $50,000-$80,000 at Freeman’s.
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Lê Thị Lựu and Harry Bertoia works headline Freeman’s Modern and Contemporary Art sale Nov. 5

Lê Thị Lựu, 'Mother and Children in Landscape,' estimated at $200,000-$300,000 at Freeman's.

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PHILADELPHIA — Works by Lê Thị Lựu and Harry Bertoia are among the stars in a significant new sale at Freeman’s slated for Sunday, November 5. Modern and Contemporary Art is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The painted silk artworks of Lê Thị Lựu (1911-1988) have been producing noteworthy results in recent sales, so the inclusion of Mother and Children in Landscape as the top-estimated lot comes as no surprise. Her traditional Vietnamese subject matter, the delicate haze of the silk material and the uplifting nature of many of her subjects makes Lê’s artwork popular with contemporary collectors. Like many of the marquee lots in this auction, the Lê artwork comes from a Newport, Rhode Island estate and is estimated at $200,000-$300,000.

The tonal sculptures created by Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) are designed to engage multiple senses at once, transfixing the viewer with movement while the emanating vibrations pass through the body. This 65in-tall example is from the 1970s and is made with monel on brass plate, featuring 38 rods with cattails to produce sound. As Bertoia himself noted, “Sometimes, when I hear the sounds, they remind me of times that are gone … and in many cases they will invite me on toward things that have not quite unfolded.” Accompanied by certification from the Harry Bertoia Foundation, the untitled tonal sculpture is estimated at $80,000-$120,000.

Hyperrealist and figurative painter Claudio Bravo (1936-2011) found early success in portraiture, painting members of the Philippine Marcos ruling dynasty and also Generalissimo Francisco Franco. But it was in everyday objects that he found his passion, including his well-known series of crumpled paper works. In this example from 1991, Miss Piglet may have been one of his sitters’ pets, as he was known to create works from daily life. The 26 by 20in pastel on paper is estimated at $30,000-$50,000.

Fugue, a Cresson Award-winning painting from the early years of American Realist Bo Bartlett (b. 1955-), is a fine example of the artist’s incredible focus on detail and emotion. Created while he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in the late 1970s, the work shows Bartlett’s direct influence from Andrew Wyeth, who he studied extensively early in his career. A monumental painting at 48.25 by 66in, Fugue is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.
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Lê Thị Lựu, ‘Mother and Children in Landscape,’ estimated at $200,000-$300,000 at Freeman’s.
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Harry Bertoia, ‘Untitled (Tonal Sculpture),’ estimated at $80,000-$120,000 at Freeman’s.
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Claudio Bravo, ‘Miss Piglet,’ estimated at $30,000-$50,000 at Freeman’s.
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Bo Bartlett, ‘Fugue,’ estimated at $15,000-$25,000 at Freeman’s.
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Gertrude Abercrombie, ‘The Fisherman,’ estimated at $150,000-$250,000 at Freeman’s.
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Gallery Report: Auction sector wraps 2022 with exceptional results

ATLANTA – At the start of each month, ACN columnist Ken Hall gathers top auction highlights from around the United States and the world as a whole. Please enjoy the January 2023 edition of Ken’s Gallery Report. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.

Bo Bartlett painting, $352,800, Freeman’s

A monumental 2015 painting by American artist Bo Bartlett, titled The Promised Land, sold for $352,800 during American Art Week sales held Dec. 4-6 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, William Herbert Dunton’s Grizzly Bear earned $302,400; Edward Willis Redfield’s Winter Brook brought $151,200; Robert Spencer’s Courtyard at Noon achieved $63,000; Charles Burchfield’s The Garden Path wound its way to $119,700; and Everett Shinn’s Philadelphia Docks went for $113,400.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, CA$54,870, Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.

A Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch, Ref. 116515, with 18K Everose gold, sold for $54,870 in an online-only Luxury Watches Sale held November 19 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., based in New Hamburg, Canada. Also, a circa-1988 Rolex Day-Date President watch, Ref. 18038, with an 18K gold case, made $23,600; and a circa-2001 De Grisogono Grande ladies’ watch brought $20,060. Prices are in Canadian dollars.

Chanel shoulder bag, $4,062, Crescent City Auction Gallery

A classic double flap Chanel shoulder bag in black quilted lambskin calf leather with gold hardware sold for $4,062 at a Holiday Estates & Couture Auction held December 2 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans. Also, an oil painting titled Portrait of a Lady with Fan by Fernand Toussaint (French and Belgian, 1873-1956) went for $2,176; an early 20th-century Louis Vuitton steamer trunk finished at $1,920; and an etching by Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926) won $1,024.

Gold Rush-era jeans, $114,000, Holabird Western Americana Collections

Miner’s work pants recovered from the 1857 sinking of the S.S. Central America, the oldest known California Gold Rush-era jeans of their kind, possibly made by or for Levi Strauss, sold for $114,000 at auction held December 3 by Holabird Western Americana Collections in Reno, Nevada. Also, the historic brass name tag and keys from the ship’s Purser, Edward W. Hull, collected $102,300; and the lid to the oldest known Wells Fargo treasure shipment box went for $99,600.

‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag, $28,566, Hake’s Auctions

A circa-1864 ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Civil War-era Confederate Gadsden flag sold for $28,566 at a Pop Culture auction held Nov. 15-16 by Hake’s Auctions in York, Pennsylvania. Also, hand-colored stat paper sheets for the 1987 ‘Marvel Masterworks’ #1 hardcover book that reprints the 1963 Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1, #1, with artwork by Steve Ditko, commanded $14,437.

Diamond Planet Robot, $33,210, Milestone Auctions

An original Yonezawa 10in tin windup Diamond Planet Robot with reproduction box sold for $33,210 at a Winter Toy Extravaganza held December 10 by Milestone Auctions in Willoughby, Ohio. Also, a Masudaya 15in battery-op Target Robot from the Gang of Five robot series, with correct dart gun and dart, brought $14,400; and a Distler 8in tin windup Directional Policeman car with comical bug-eyed driver and graphics hit $14,400.

Marklin Fidelitas clown train, $84,000, Bertoia Auctions

A Marklin Fidelitas clown train with all-original paint sold for $84,000 at a sale held Nov. 17-18 by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, New Jersey. Also, a Tippco lithographed tin Santa car rolled away for $60,000; a Santa belsnickle with reindeer-drawn sleigh pull-toy, accompanied by what might be its original wooden crate realized $50,400; and a Hubley cast-iron Hill Climber motorcycle, olive green with nickel wheels, made $48,000.

Gertrude Abercrombie painting, $437,500, Hindman

A 1947 painting by Gertrude Abercrombie (American, 1909-1947), Untitled (Woman with Tethered Horse and Moon), sold for $437,500 and a new world auction record for the artist at a Post-War & Contemporary Auction held December 14 by Hindman in Chicago. Also, Subterrachial Bop Boop, a 1967 work by Gladys Nilsson (American, b. 1940-) realized $75,000; and a complete Locus portfolio, dating to 1972-1975 and made by Dorothea Rockburne (Canadian, b. 1932-), rose to $46,875.

Bird-form lamps, $63,000, Doyle

A pair of 1950s Italian ceramic bird-form lamps retailed by Beth Weissman sold for $63,000 in Day 1 of a Doyle+Design auction held Dec. 7-8 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a 1950s carved Sapele cabinet by Alexandre Noll with provenance to his estate changed hands for $44,100. Day 2 saw record prices for paintings and prints spanning the 20th century to the present day.

Theodore Roosevelt’s Smith & Wesson, $910,625, Rock Island Auction Company

A documented Col. Theodore Roosevelt Smith & Wesson No. 3 pistol sold for $910,625 at a Premier Auction held Dec. 9-11 by Rock Island Auction Company in Rock Island, Illinois. Also, a factory Cuno Helfricht Master engraved Colt Model 1877 Lightning realized $323,125, and an exhibition grade Gustave Young engraved gold Winchester Model 1866 garnered $211,500.

Molesworth-style sofa, $18,750, John Moran Auctioneers

A 21st-century New West Furniture Co. Molesworth-style sofa sold for $18,750 at an Art of the American West sale held November 16 by John Moran Auctioneers in Los Angeles. Also, a circa-1890-1910 cigar store Native American figure in the style of Samuel Robb went for $18,750, and a 2012 painting by Logan Maxwell Hagege (b. 1980-), titled Dry Air, changed hands for $22,500.

Signed Marilyn Monroe photo, $300,000, Heritage Auctions

The only known photograph of Marilyn Monroe that she inscribed to Joe DiMaggio sold for $300,000 at an auction held December 1 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. It was a new auction record for a signed Monroe photograph. The picture was a publicity still taken in 1953 for the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and it was already among the most famous and coveted of Monroe’s portraits. Monroe inscribed it, “I love you Joe, Marilyn,” and it came with a signed letter from DiMaggio’s daughters Paula and Kathie.

Aaron Judge home run ball, $1.5 million, Goldin Auctions

The baseball that New York Yankees star Aaron Judge hit for his American League record 62nd home run sold for $1.5 million in an auction that began Nov. 29 and ended Dec. 18 at Goldin Auctions in Runnemede, New Jersey. The seller was Cory Youmans, who caught the ball in his glove when Judge launched it into the left field stands at Globe Life Field in Texas on Oct. 4. It was the second highest amount ever paid for a baseball at auction. The most was $3 million for Mark McGwire’s 70th home run, hit on Sept. 27, 1998.

Thurston Master Magician poster, $9,000, Potter & Potter Auctions

 A linen-mounted ‘Thurston Master Magician. Million Dollar Mystery’ broadside poster, printed in Cleveland around 1928 by Otis Lithograph Company, sold for $9,000 at a Winter Magic Auction held December 10 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a pair of Tower Bean Pattern handcuffs believed to have been worn by Harry Houdini realized $7,200, and a Silk and Water Vase magic apparatus made in Philadelphia in 1925 by Carl Brema and Sons earned $6,600.

Martha Walter painting, $27,500, Lark Mason Associates

An oil on panel by Martha Walter (American, 1875-1976), titled Coney Island on Monday Morning, sold for $27,500 at a Fine and Decorative Works of Art auction held Nov. 16-17 by Lark Mason Associates in New Braunfels, Texas. Also, a maritime painting by Henry Moret, titled Marine, finished at $78,500; a Chinese jade mounted wood table screen realized $22,500; a Roman-style marble torso of Aphrodite won $12,438; and a Qing dynasty porcelain Jue made $43,750.

Bob Dylan love letters, $669,875, RR Auction          

An archive of 42 love letters written by Bob Dylan to a high school sweetheart, Barbara Ann Hewittt, sold for $669,875 in an auction that began Oct. 26 and ended Nov. 17 at RR Auction, based in Boston. Included in the archive were early drawings and photos, including one of the earliest signed Dylan photos known to exist, which realized $24,361. Another Dylan archive in the sale consisted of 24 handwritten works collectively dubbed Poems Without Titles, written while he was at college. It brought $249,563.

E.T. mechatronic model, $2.56 million, Julien’s Auctions

The original, film-used mechatronic model for the 1982 movie E.T. The Extraterrestrial sold for $2.56 million at an Icons and Idols: Hollywood auction held Dec. 17-18 by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California. Also, the E.T. character maquette went for $125,000 and the Kuwahara BMX bike from film production brought $115,200; Charlton Heston’s so-called “Holy Staff” from The Ten Commandments summoned $448,000; and dresses worn by Marilyn Monroe rose to $256,000 and $224,000, respectively.

“Mean” Joe Greene jersey, $60,043, Lelands

A “Mean” Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers game-worn jersey from the team’s 1975 Super Bowl-winning season sold for $60,043 at a Fall Classic Auction that closed on December 10 at Lelands in Matawan, New Jersey. Also, a New York Yankees batting helmet worn by Mickey Mantle circa 1957-1958 settled at $51,868; an early 1930s Home Run Special baseball signed by Babe Ruth brought $32,497; and a Frank Robinson 1966 Orioles jersey from his MVP / Triple Crown season hit $50,400.

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

Trio of Freeman’s American art sales total $3.9M

Bo Bartlett, ‘The Promised Land,’ $352,800
Bo Bartlett, ‘The Promised Land,’ $352,800
Bo Bartlett, ‘The Promised Land,’ $352,800

PHILADELPHIA — In three consecutive early December sales, Freeman’s American Art Week brought $3,908,835, reflecting the strength of the market for fine 20th- and 21st-century canvases, particularly women artists and Pennsylvania Impressionist works. An American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists auction on December 4 combined with strong results for the December 5 sale of the Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Rifkin collection and with those for Collect: American Art, held on December 6, to produce the $3.9 million total.

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Freeman’s puts its own fine stamp on American Art Week, Dec. 4-5

Robert Henri, ‘Spanish Gypsy,’ estimated at $250,000-$400,000
Robert Henri, ‘Spanish Gypsy,’ estimated at $250,000-$400,000
Robert Henri, ‘Spanish Gypsy,’ estimated at $250,000-$400,000

PHILADELPHIA — In back-to-back sales this December, Freeman’s presents American Art Week, bringing the best of American Art to market, with a strong emphasis on 20th-century canvases. Led by striking paintings by Robert Henri, Bo Bartlett and William Glackens, American Art Week offers important, fresh-to-market works, including two curated single-owner selections. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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