NEW YORK — The Swann Galleries fall offering of Printed & Manuscript Americana was held on September 30, delivering remarkable results across the board. The auction brought $938,298, with 89% of lots finding homes, demonstrating an upward trend and strength in the category. It is the fifth straight Swann auction of Americana to have a more than 80% sell-through rate, with sale totals reaching or exceeding the high estimate.
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 October 2021 edition of Gallery Report. All prices include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.
Kyser & Rex mechanical bank, $288,000, Bertoia Auctions
A Mikado cast-iron mechanical bank made by Kyser & Rex (Philadelphia) sold for $288,000 at Part 2 of the sale of the Schroeder toy collection held Sept. 10-11 by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, New Jersey. The bank, in pristine to near mint condition, was the red table version. The user placed a coin under the right hat, turned the rear crank and watched as the man lifted the left hat to reveal the coin, then lowered the hat as the coin was deposited.
1987 Hermes handbag, $15,000, Crescent City Auction Gallery
A circa-1987 Hermes Kelly Sellier handbag in natural black box calf leather with gold hardware sold for $15,000 at an Important Estates Auction held Sept. 18-19 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans. Also, a 1988 oil on canvas by James Michalopoulos, titled New Orleans Center Hall Cottage, went for $10,625, and a circa-1965 oil painting by Clementine Hunter, titled Uncle Tom in the Garden with Little Eva, made $9,375.
Chinese dragon bowl, $200,000, Briggs Auction, Inc.
A Chinese porcelain dragon bowl with Yongzheng mark sold for $200,000 in an online Fine Estates Auction held July 30 by Briggs Auction, Inc. in Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania. Also, an early 20th-century Louis Vuitton steamer trunk adorned with various travel stickers brought $12,250; a Scandinavian peg tankard with Danish Coronation medal realized $10,625; a George Nakashima Minguren side table with triangular-form free-edge top made $8,750; and a painting by James Webb hit $8,750.
Elvis contract for Graceland, $114,660, PristineAuction.com
The 1957 contract signed by Elvis Presley and both of his parents for the purchase of the home in Memphis that became known as Graceland soared to $114,660 in a single-lot online auction held August 10 by PristineAuction.com, based in Phoenix, Arizona. The document stated that the Presleys would trade their property on Audubon Drive in Memphis for a $55,000 credit, plus an extra $90,000 to purchase Graceland.
Model steam locomotive, CA$15,340, Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
A 7 ¼in gauge model steam locomotive of the Great Western Railway 4-6-0 locomotive and tender sold for $15,340 in back-to-back online auctions held September 11 and 12 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., based in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada. Also, an 1869 French style Boneshaker bicycle sped off for $10,620; and an iconic 1946 Wurlitzer jukebox Model 1015 hit $7,670. Prices are in Canadian dollars.
Moby-Dick first edition, $60,000, Potter & Potter Auctions
A first American edition copy of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; or, The Whale sold for $60,000 at a Fine Books & Manuscripts Sale held August 28 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a 38-volume set titled The Writings of Mark Twain brought $33,600; a set of five Christmas books by Charles Dickens made $28,800; and a typed letter by Nikola Tesla, signed, hit $10,800.
Shaw cup and saucer, $75,000, Skinner, Inc.
A cup and saucer from Samuel Shaw’s Society of the Cincinnati Chinese Export porcelain service sold for $75,000 in Americana auctions held Aug. 18-19 by Skinner, Inc. in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Also, an Andrew Clemens patriotic sand bottle rose to $75,000; two molded copper models of the Massasoit weathervane brought $31,250 and $43,750; a portrait of a child in a blue dress by William Matthew Prior climbed to $28,750; and a Portsmouth, New Hampshire work table brought $17,500.
Ivan Aivazovsky painting, $169,650, Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
An oil on canvas by Ivan Aivazovsky, titled After the Storm, sold for $169,650 at an auction titled the Splendid, Part II, held August 27-29 by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries in Thomaston, Maine. Also, an oil on hardboard depicting the yacht America by James E. Buttersworth realized $117,000; and a painting by Andrew Wyeth, titled In the Georges Islands, finished at $87,750.
Korean glazed ceramic moon jar, $22,500, Auctions at Showplace
A large Korean Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) white glazed ceramic moon jar sold for $22,500 at an estate auction held August 8 by Auctions at Showplace in New York. Also, an Indian ink and watercolor on paper Paithan manuscript illustration, depicting a figure with two horses, earned $4,062; and a colorful 1990 Pop Art acrylic on paper of a man, a house and a water tower by Tom Slaughter finished at $3,125.
Duncan McFarlane oil, $39,680, Marion Antique Auctions
A mid-19th-century marine oil on canvas rendering of the packet ship City of Montreal by Duncan McFarlane sold for $39,680 at a Summer Sale held June 26 by Marion Antique Auctions in Marion, Massachusetts. Also, a diminutive oil on canvas by Charles Henry Gifford, depicting New Bedford Harbor, realized $33,920; an Izannah Walker doll went for $26,240; and two wooden decoys by Canadian carver Tom Chambers rose to $5,625.
Laverne Chan cabinet, $113,400, Freeman’s
A four-door Chan cabinet by renowned 20th-century designers Philip and Kelvin LaVerne sold for $113,400 at an Art and Design auction held September 15 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a striking glazed ceramic work ,Untitled (Dango) by Jun Kaneko, achieved $20,160; a 1950s settee by Paul Laszlo realized $11,970; and two prints by Josef Albers, SP IV and SP XII, both from Homage to the Square, brought $13,680 and $10,710.
Jason Rich painting, $12,500, John Moran Auctioneers
An oil on board by Jason Rich, titled Working Sun to Sun, sold for $12,500 at an Art of the American West auction held August 31 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, California. Also, a painting by Bill Anton, titled Range Management, brought $10,625; a 20th-century Thomas Curtis, Sr. Navajo / Dine silver bolo and buckle set achieved $8,750; and John William Hilton’s 1961 work Desert Hideaway realized $7,500.
Sleeping mallard decoy, $144,000, Guyette & Deeter, Inc.
A sleeping mallard decoy by Shang Wheeler, which was featured on the dust jacket cover of Shang by Dixon Merkt, sold for $144,000 at a Summer Auction held Aug. 6-7 by Guyette & Deeter, Inc. in Saint Michaels, Maryland. Also, the finest known pair of canvasbacks by Elmer Crowell soared to $78,000; a mallard drake by John Blair, Sr. rose to $96,000; and an oil painting of waterfowling on Chesapeake Bay by Herman Simon brought $102,000.
Nicolai Fechin still-life, $281,000, Dallas Auction Gallery
A floral still-life painting by Russian artist Nicolai Fechin sold for $281,000 at an auction held September 8 by Dallas Auction Gallery in Dallas. Also, a 1951 work by Porfirio Salinas, titled Bluebonnets with Fence and Gate, realized $56,250; a signed oil on canvas by G. Harvey titled Pinon Smoke Santa Fe achieved $75,000; a circa-1905 Parisian street scene by Edouard Cortes went for $93,750; and an acrylic on canvas by Ernie Barnes, titled Two Shots, hit $81,250.
Copy of Journey into Mystery, $319,800, Goldin Auctions
A copy of Journey into Mystery #83, from 1962, featuring the first appearance of Thor, graded CTGC 9.4, sold for $319,800 in an online auction held in September by Goldin Auctions, based in Runnemede, New Jersey. Also, a copy of the 1962 Marvel Amazing Fantasy #15 comic, featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man, commanded $707,000; and a 1996 copy of the Super Mario 64 game, graded WATA 9.8/A++, changed hands for $800,000.
Taffin diamond ring, $387,500, Hindman
A diamond ring by Taffin, containing an internally flawless cushion cut 5.89 carat diamond, D color and Type IIa, sold for $387,500 at an Important Jewelry auction held September 13 by Hindman in Chicago. Also, a diamond ring with a 5.12 carat emerald cut diamond, D color, VVS2 clarity, rose to $181,250; a Vendura yellow gold multi-gem and diamond ‘Sunburst cuff bracelet hit $43,750; and a Tiffany & Co. diamond bracelet realized $37,500.
Harrington & Richardson calendar, $6,548, Route 32 Auctions
A 1908 Harrington & Richardson Arms Co. calendar, depicting a hunter with a back pack and elk by artist Phillip Goodwin, sold for $6,548 at a Firearms & Western auction held Aug. 26-27 by Route 32 Auctions in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Also, a Winchester Model 1866 .44 caliber centerfire rifle, shipped in 1870, realized $7,188; and a 1911 Peters (“Big Game Ammunition Will Stop Them”) poster rose to $5,462.
Copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, $3.6 million, Heritage Auctions
A copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 from 1962, featuring the first comic book appearance of Spider-Man, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, sold for $3.6 million at a Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction held Sept. 8-12 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. It was the most ever paid for a comic book, eclipsing the $3.25 million pledged earlier this year for a copy of Action Comics #1. Also, a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #1 from 1963 realized $241,200.
Chinese Imperial vase, $2.45 million, Doyle New York
A Chinese Imperial falangcai vase, created during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1735-1796), sold for $2.45 million at an Asian Works of Art auction held September 20 by Doyle in New York. The vase came from the collection of Sarah Belk Gambrell, the Belk department store heiress. It bore a four-character mark in blue, indicating its origin as a product of the Qianlong Emperor’s imperial workshop. Only a few were produced.
Gerrit Beneker painting, $11,250, Bakker Project
An early 20th-century oil on board by Gerrit Beneker, titled Mudhead, sold for $11,250 in an online Fine Arts auction held August 28 by The Bakker Project in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Also, an early 20th-century charcoal drawing by Kathe Kollwitz, titled Mother and Child, achieved $12,500; and a circa-2010 oil on canvas by Christopher Sousa, titled Sometimes in the Morning, went to a determined bidder for $6,250.
BERKELEY, Calif. – PBA Galleries announced its Americana, Space, Travel, History, Maps auction to be held on August 19. Its catalog includes nearly 600 lots ranging from scarce local histories to the science and valor that put men and women into space and to the moon. There is much material on California from the time of the gold rush to the creation of the freeways of today; a large selection on the African American experience, from the struggles against slavery to the movements of the 1960s and the Black Panthers; Mexico; Cookery; Hawaii; U.S. Presidents; Texas, and more, with sections on space exploration; travel and world history; and maps. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
FALLS CHURCH, Va. – On Thursday, July 8, Quinn’s Auction Galleries will host an outstanding 317-lot auction of rare and signed books, antique maps, prints and autographs, with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers. Selections include works by Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dutch engraver/cartographer Henricus Hondius II. The art category features an unpublished Frederic Dorr Steele illustration titled The Slavering Hound, which was created for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — On May 20, Freeman’s presents a Books and Manuscripts auction beginning at noon Eastern time. The 131-lot auction will showcase a number of historically and culturally significant books, posters, prints, and letters, including an annotated draft of a missive from President John F. Kennedy to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill; a selection of important World War II posters; many first and limited editions from such prominent authors as Henry David Thoreau, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, and T.S. Eliot; as well as significant scientific and medical texts. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.