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. Here’s his July 2021 edition of Gallery Report. All prices include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.
Lucy L’Engle painting, $50,000, Bakker Auctions
A 1931 oil on canvas by Lucy L’Engle (American, 1889-1978), titled Martha Graham Dance Composition, depicting the dance troupe performing in the dunes, sold for $50,000 at a Summer Online Fine Arts auction held June 5 by Bakker Auctions in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Also, an oil painting by Edith Lake Wilkinson (American, 1868-1957), titled Unitarian Universalist Church, realized $6,875, and a painting by Karl Knaths (American, 1891-1971), titled Interior, sold for $6,250.
Sir Isaac Newton manuscript, $118,750, University Archives
A manuscript penned by Sir Isaac Newton, with mathematical notes and calculations relating to Book III of his scientific work Principia, sold for $118,750 in an online-only auction of autographs, manuscripts, artwork, and comic art held May 26 by University Archives in Wilton, Connecticut. Also, an important three-page scientific manuscript pertaining to Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory from the 1940s brought $68,750, and a signed photo of Einstein reached $34,375.
Cornelius Vanderbilt signed bond, $11,250, Holabird Western Americana Collections
A California Gold Rush-era bond certificate from 1856, signed twice by railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, sold for $11,250 at a five-day Western Americana Signature Sale held May 13-17 by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC in Reno, Nevada. Also, a beautiful circa 1880-1920 Red Mesa Navajo rug measuring five feet by eight feet, five inches, brought $5,000.
Winchester cartridge board, CA$100,300, Miller & Miller Auctions
A framed Winchester 1884 cartridge display board sold for $100,300 in an online-only Canadiana & Sporting Auction held June 5 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada. In addition, an 1887 Winchester cartridge display brought $88,500, and a circa-1880s Union Metallic Cartridge Company cartridge board hit $53,100. Prices are in Canadian dollars.
Leicaflex 35mm camera, $1,280, Crescent City Auction Gallery
A Leicaflex 35mm camera with a Leitz Summicron 1: 2/90 lens and a Summilux lens 1:1.4/50, sold for $1,280 at a Summer Decorative Arts & Interiors Auction held June 18 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana. Also, a 20th century green onyx pedestal on a stepped octagonal base sold for $1,088, and a set of six 19th century French Henri II-style carved walnut dining chairs went to a determined bidder for $896.
Figural weathervane, $258,000, Morphy Auctions
A late 19th century molded and gilded copper weathervane depicting a full-bodied standing Massasoit Indian with bow and arrow atop a directional arrow sold for $258,300 at a Fine & Decorative Arts auction held June 8-9 by Morphy’s in Denver, Pennsylvania. Also, a double-signed Keith Haring vase featuring some of the artist’s iconic motifs sold for $84,000, and a 1916 double-die obverse Buffalo nickel realized $33,600.
De Latoix oil painting, $37,500, John Moran Auctioneers
An 1890 oil on canvas painting by Gaspard De Latoix (British, 1858-1918), titled Two Indians on Horseback, sold for $37,500 at an Art of the American West sale held May 25 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, California. Other lots that performed well include a set of 24 matted drypoint etchings on Japanese paper in a leather-bound portfolio case with 28-page Outlines of History, Description, etc., by Henry Chapman Ford (American, 1828-1894), which brought $34,375, and a Navajo Crystal room-sized rug, which sold for $11,875.
Judson’s Bird Girl sculpture, $390,600, Freeman’s
A garden sculpture by Sylvia Shaw Judson, titled Bird Girl, which was pictured on the cover of the popular book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, sold for $390,600 at an American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists auction held June 6 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a painting by Norman Rockwell, titled Piney Rest Motel, realized $478,800; a painting by Albert York titled Still Life: Green Apples hit $239,400; and a work by Daniel Garber titled Houses, Shannonville sold for $189,000.
WWII binoculars, $22,800, Cowan’s Auctions
A U.S. Navy ship’s bridge binoculars from World War II sold for $22,800 at an Arms & Armor auction held May 25-26 by Cowan’s in Cincinnati. Other top-performing lots include a 1902 DWM Luger carbine with stock and hardcase, which hit the mark for $10,455; a JP Sauer & Sohn M30 World War II Luftwaffe survival drilling, which changed hands for $9,225; a Type II Colt single action Army Artillery revolver, which brought $7,440; and an experimental XB serial numbered inlaid M1 carbine that went for $5,700.
Brooks cigar store Indian, $63,000, Pook & Pook
A circa-1882 beautifully carved and polychromed cigar store Indian by Thomas Brooks of New York sold for $63,000 at an Americana & International auction held May 21 by Pook & Pook, Inc. in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Also, an exquisite miniature watercolor portrait of a boy with riveting blue eyes, rendered by Mrs. Moses B. Russell, sold for $40,320, and a set of four Meissen painted porcelain portrait plates was the surprise lot of the day, realizing $32,760.
Rev-War discharge form, $18,750, Skinner
A George Washington-signed Revolutionary War printed discharge form for a soldier in the 2nd New York Regiment sold for $18,750 at a Historic Manuscripts & Rare Books Auction held May 13 by Skinner, Inc. in Boston. In addition, a 1787 sworn oath testifying to a debt owed by a Philadelphia sailmaker and signed by Benjamin Franklin realized $10,000, and the 1863 Civil War diary of Lincoln Ripley Stone, surgeon of the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, made $11,250.
1830 center table, $46,875, Doyle
A circa-1830 Continental center table, probably German, featuring a giltwood base lavishly carved with lions, Bacchic masks, and floral swags supporting an alabaster top, sold for $46,875 at an English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts auction held May 26 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a German gilt-brass compass by Christopher Schissler from 1566 commanded $43,750. Overall, the auction totaled $762,623 against a pre-sale high estimate of $690,100.
Kurt Cobain drawing, $281,250, Julien’s Auctions
A self-portrait caricature drawing by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, created during the group’s 1992 Nevermind promotional tour, sold for $281,250 at a Music Icons auction held June 11-13 by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles. Also, Alex Van Halen’s 1980 Invasion tour and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum-displayed Ludwig drum set sold for $230,400; Prince’s 1994 Blue Cloud electric guitar brought $281,250; and an Eddie Van Halen-owned guitar hit $210,225.
Joseph Severn oil painting, $31,250, Auctions at Showplace
An oil on canvas painting by Joseph Severn, titled Angelica Rescued, sold for $31,250 at an Estates auction held June 6 by Auctions at Showplace in New York City. Other lots of note include a circa-1915-1916 bronze sculpture by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, titled Head for Titanic Memorial, which brought $37,500; a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels 18K yellow gold link bracelet, which made $28,125; and a 17th century ink drawing on paper by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, titled Almond Seller, which went for $21,250.
Roman marble sculpture, $137,500, Hindman
A 1st or 2nd century Roman marble sculpture of Eros riding a dolphin sold for $137,500 at an Antiquities & Ancient Art auction held May 27 by Hindman in Chicago. Additional leading lots include a 2nd century Roman marble lower torso of a satyr, which realized $75,000; a Greek marble funerary stele of Eurynome from the early 4th century B.C.E., which achieved $56,250; a marble panther head from 2nd or 3rd century ancient Greece, which earned $68,750; and a Roman marble portrait head of Emperor Trajan, which sold for $43,760.
Tiffany stained glass window, Fontaine’s Auction Gallery
A circa-1910 leaded and stained glass window by Tiffany Studios, titled Sunset and Evening Star, sold for $139,150 at a two-session auction held May 22 and May 29 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Also, a 1793 monumental English carved oak tall case clock chimed on time for $127,050, and a circa-1918 Tiffany Aquamarine paperweight went for $50,820.
Copy of Phantom Lady No. 17, $456,000, Heritage Auctions
A copy of Phantom Lady No. 17 from 1948, with cover art by Matt Baker, graded CGC NM+9.6, realized $456,000 at a sale of the Promise Collection, a group of all high-grade Golden Age comic books from the 1940s, held June 18 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Worthy of mention is a copy of Detective Comics No. 140, featuring the first appearance of the Riddler, graded CGC NM+9.6, which realized $456,000, and a copy of Mask Comics No. 1 from 1945, graded CGC VF+8.5, which finished at $102,000.
JFK birthday program, $29,232, RR Auction
An original program for President Kennedy’s birthday celebration, held in May 1962 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and signed by many of the luminaries who were there – including Marilyn Monroe – sold for $29,232 in an auction held May 25-June 16 by RR Auction in Boston. Other top-performing lots included a set of oversized and signed Wizard of Oz cast photos, which made $62,500; a William Penn-signed letter and document on Captain Kidd’s treasure, which hit $55,263; and an Albert Einstein handwritten scientific manuscript, which brought $38,781.
Thurston magician poster, $10,200, Potter & Potter
A Thurston, World’s Greatest Magician linen backed color litho poster from 1909 sold for $10,200 at a Summer Magic Sale held June 19 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a 1960s-era spun aluminum Ken Brooke Master Chop Cup, owned and used by British magician Paul Daniels, realized $19,200; a Wine and Water Change magic apparatus made in Hamburg by Cal Willmann around 1910 went for $16,800; and an archive of Robert Harbin ephemera rose to $12,000.
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