Fine sporting arms and sporting art head to Guyette & Deeter Feb. 10

Phillip Russell Goodwin, 'A Welcome Opportunity,' estimated at $50,000-$70,000 at Guyette & Deeter.

ST. MICHAELS, Md. – More than 340 lots of fine sporting arms, including Winchesters, Parkers, L. C. Smiths and more all head to market at Guyette & Deeter‘s Fine Sporting Arms Auction on Saturday, February 10. The complete catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Heading the sale with an estimate of $50,000-$80,000 is a factory-original 1984 Winchester Model 21 Grand American in 28 gauge and 410 bore. Built by the United States Repeating Arms Company as a special order for one Carl E. Press, the rib features as-ordered engraving to the original owner and has gold plated SST, auto ejectors and auto safety. Truly an over-the-top firearm, its original purchase price 40 years ago was $35,000 upon delivery.

Phillip Russell Goodwin (1881-1935) was a top-tier American sporting-art painter and illustrator whose works were reproduced by firearm and outdoors manufacturers in their advertising – often on calendars. This original oil on canvas, titled A Welcome Opportunity, measures 29 by 36in and is accompanied by a handful of examples of the work being used in period advertising in 1925 and 1935. It carries an estimate of $50,000-$70,000.

Working earlier than Goodwin was John Martin Tracy (1843-1893). In an 1895 retrospective on his career, the New York Times opined “J. M. Tracy was a painter to delight the heart of all sporting men.” Tracy fought for the Union Army in the Civil War and later studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Dying at just 49, few of Tracy’s works ever come to market, with most held in private collections or by institutions such as the American Kennel Club. Marsh Shooting is a self-portrait of the artist and his setter retrieving a snipe. Last on the market in 2009, it has an estimate of $25,000-$35,000.

The sale includes two notable cigar store American Indian figures. The first is attributed to Louis Jobin (1845-1928) of Montreal, Canada, who had trained in New York before opening his own shop in 1876. Standing 78in in height, the figure has been previously restored and distressed to look aged. Even so, it commands a $20,000-$30,000 estimate.

The second is a ‘leaner’ style indicative of Thomas Brooks (1828-1895) of New York. His shop developed a way of supporting the figures more substantially by having them ‘lean’, or be connected, to an external structure — in this case, a corner post with an integrated club. The trade sign is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

Tomahawk pipe believed to belong to Tecumseh secured $51K at Amelia Jeffers

Native American inlaid trade axe pipe believed to belong to the Shawnee chief and warrior Tecumseh, which sold for $51,250 at Amelia Jeffers’ auction of the collection of Bruce and Vivalyn Knight.

DELAWARE, Ohio – An 18th-century Native American trade axe pipe linked to the great Shawnee chief and warrior Tecumseh (1768-1813) was the runaway performer when the collection of Ohio dealer and entrepreneur Bruce Knight was dispersed in the first days of 2024. The two-day sale was conducted January 5-6 in the old Garth’s auction barn under the banner of auctioneer and appraiser Amelia Jeffers.

Distinctive for its German silver and brass inlay and curly maple handle, this tomahawk pipe  an ingenious combination of weapon and smoking pipe used in trade and diplomatic agreements between the white settlers and the Native tribes – is thought to have been taken from Tecumseh during a council meeting in Springfield, Ohio on June 24, 1807. The episode is related in John Sugden’s 1998 biography Tecumseh, A Life.

Tecumseh, born at a time when the far-flung Shawnees were reuniting in their Ohio homeland, promoted resistance to the western expansion of the United States. On the basis of the notion that ‘your enemy’s enemy is your friend’, he died fighting for the British in The War of 1812 at the Battle of the Thames on October 5, 1813.

This was a piece of some personal significance to Bruce Knight. While a young man, he had bought it out of a home in Springfield and sold it at the time to dealer Clark Garrett. Evidently, he had regretted the deal, as he bought it back when local auctioneer Mike Clum conducted the celebrated Clark Garrett auction in Rushville, Ohio in June 2002. This time out it had an estimate of $2,500-$3,500, but hammered for $41,000 and sold for $51,250 with buyer’s premium.

Knight, a full-time antiques dealer as of the late 1960s, was the man who put Springfield, Ohio on the antiques map. He founded the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market, which became one of the largest of its kind in the country, and he founded the Heart of Ohio Antique Center in Springfield, which is still America’s biggest.

Another of his prize possessions were two full-size cigar store Indians. Figures of all shapes and sizes lined cities throughout America until the 1890s, when ordinances required that they be placed inside the shops to avoid the obstruction of street traffic.

Standing 6ft 8in high on a canted base was a figure of a Native American woman in a dress, holding cigars, tobacco leaves and a signature rose. It is thought to have been made in the New York City shop of Samuel A. Robb between 1880 and 1890. In a newspaper advertisement dated 1881, Robb offered: ‘Show Figures and Carved Lettered Signs A Specialty, Tobacconist Signs in great variety, on hand and made to any design, Ship and Steamboat Carving, Eagles, Scroll Heads, block letters, Shoe, Dentist and Druggist Signs, etc.’

This example, in old painted decoration with the original colors occasionally showing underneath, had been purchased from Jane Murphy, a once well-known dealer who traded in Cincinnati as The Townhouse Antiques for more than 75 years. It hammered for $50,000 and sold for $62,500 with buyer’s premium against an estimate of $20,000-$35,000.

Most categories of American folk art were represented in the Knight collection. It included, for example, more than 20 pieces of early 19th-century English mocha ware. Several choice wares brought four-figure sums, with a 7in cider pitcher hammering for $6,250 ($7,812 with buyer’s premium), close to double the top estimate. The decoration included a central band of iron red with a slip trailed stylized tulip. Also popular was a simple child’s mug emblazoned with the name Ann to a deep tan band and a pitcher with bands of decoration including earthworm and cat’s eye. They took $2,300 ($2,875 with buyer’s premium) and $1,800 ($2,250 with buyer’s premium) respectively. 

A selection of 19th-century British livestock oils featured two canvases by or attributed to the Worcestershire painter Richard Whitford (active 1854-1887). Both had been bought by Knight at auctions in the U.K. Based in the Cotswolds, the great sheep breeding area of England, many of Whitford’s pictures are of sheep. He seems to have traveled to the annual livestock shows all across the country, often painting the local gentry standing proudly beside their prize-winning animals.

Offered in the sale at $8,000-$12,000 and hammered for $14,000 ($17,500 with buyer’s premium) was a 2ft 1in by 2ft 6in depiction of three sheep in a pasture dated 1863 and titled 1st Prize & Silver Medal, London, Xmas, 1862. A slightly smaller portrait of a prize bull, unsigned but attributed to Whitford, hammered for $9,000 ($11,250 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $1,000-$1,500 despite some patched repairs. The composition showed the animal standing four-square near a lake with a sailboat in the background.

Morphy returns to Las Vegas for coin-op and advertising event Oct. 27-30

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LAS VEGAS — After a four-year hiatus, Morphy Auctions will reestablish their Las Vegas auction series with a sale spanning Friday, October 27 to Monday, October 30 and featuring more than 2,200 lots of coin-op and gambling machines, antique advertising and general store treasures. The catalogs are now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3)

Morphy’s new Las Vegas facility will be the home for all its future coin-op and antique advertising sales, along with an added petroliana sale in February 2024. Morphy’s Tom Tolworthy said Morphy’s return to Las Vegas has been well received by collectors.

“West Coast consignors who were hesitant about having their valuable machines shipped across the country are excited to have the Las Vegas location,” Tolworthy said. “Our trucks travel to all western states, and we have a large, super-secure facility for the processing and storage of consignments.”

Top lot on day 1 is a pristine Chevrolet neon porcelain sign complemented by a Telechron clock. Marked ‘Walker & Co., Detroit’ and dated to the 1930s, the sign is a whopping 8ft in length and is estimated at $60,000-$85,000.

In excellent condition with only minor chipping is this two-sided Peerless Stages bus depot porcelain sign, probably from the 1950s based on the bus illustration’s decoration. Peerless Stages operated in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1916 to 1997 and ran lines between Santa Cruz, San Jose, Oakland and Reno. The sign carries an estimate of $30,000-$50,000.

Leading the general store category on day 2 is a carved wooden cigar store American Indian attributed to John Philip Yeager (1823-1899). Yeager was a leading creator of sailing ship figureheads and tobacconist displays. With all-original polychrome paint and no signs of touch-ups, this magnificent example is estimated at $40,000-$70,000.

Originally from Aquilla, Arizona, this hand-painted neon sign for the Burro Jim Motel has been completely refurbished from an electrical and neon perspective, while leaving the sign itself in beautifully aged original condition. It has an estimate of $10,000-$20,000.

With only a handful known to collectors, the 1-cent Mills Hats Off penny arcade lung tester is likely to be a top item in the sale. All original with only minor repairs and refurbishments, the game involves blowing into the mechanism to raise the hats off the figural faces. Blow all eight off and “the lucky windbag gets his penny back.” It is estimated at $50,000-$100,000.
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Chevrolet neon porcelain sign complemented by a Telechron clock, estimated at $60,000-$85,000 at Morphy Auctions.
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Two-sided Peerless Stages bus depot porcelain sign, estimated at $30,000-$50,000 at Morphy Auctions.
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Carved wooden cigar store American Indian attributed to John Philip Yeager, estimated at $40,000-$70,000 at Morphy Auctions.
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Hand-painted neon sign for the Burro Jim Motel, estimated at $10,000-$20,000 at Morphy Auctions.
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1-cent Mills Hats Off penny arcade lung tester, estimated at $50,000-$100,000 at Morphy Auctions.
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Morphy’s Coin-Op & Antique Advertising Auction closes the books at $3.7M

Circa-1902 Watling Cupid cast-iron slot machine, only known example with dual coin entry to accommodate both US and Canadian nickels. Also equipped with side gum-vending machine marked ‘5¢.’ Sold above high estimate for $72,000

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions’ lively April 20-22 Coin-Op & Antique Advertising Auction delivered a fantastic selection of rare slot machines, amusements and early advertising to an eager audience of bidders, cashing out at just under $3.7 million. The multi-session sale featured dozens of sought-after categories, including country store memorabilia, which was represented by one of the largest collections of its type to reach the marketplace in decades.

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Morphy’s delivers the fun with Apr. 20-22 Coin-Op & Antique Advertising Auction 

Exceedingly rare circa 1902-1904 Caille Bros Triple Eclipse upright musical slot machine incorporating three separate machines to accept 5 cents, 50 cents, and 5 cents, respectively. Displaying Serial No. 121, it is the earliest of few known legitimate Caille ‘triples.’ Magnificent example with all original castings. Estimate $200,000-$300,000

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s will bring on the fun and games April 20-22 with a stellar array of antique coin-operated machines and early advertising. Nearly 2,100 premium lots will be offered in three daily sessions, each packed with rare and desirable items. A special highlight is a substantial collection of country store memorabilia which Morphy Auctions’ CEO Tom Tolworthy describes as “one of the largest of its kind to come fresh to the market in decades.” In addition to gallery bidding, Morphy’s welcomes absentee and live online participation via LiveAuctioneers.

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Gallery Report: L’Engle painting of dance troupe a stellar performer

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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