ATLANTA – At the start of every month, ACN columnist Ken Hall gathers top auction highlights from across the United States and the world as well. The April 2023 edition of Ken’s Gallery Report showcases strong results from the finest auction houses. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.
Lynn Chadwick bronzes, $126,000, Doyle New York
British artist Lynn Chadwick’s (British, 1914-2003) bronze Winged Figures Version II from 1973, depicting male and female forms with wing-like capes and geometrical heads, sold for $126,000 at a 20th Century Abstraction auction held March 8 by Doyle in New York City. Also, Valencia I by Filipino artist Fernando Zobel (1924-1984) achieved $214,200 as well as a new U.S. record for the artist; and Fluidos by Spanish artist Juan Genoves (1930-2020) settled at $189,000, also a new U.S. auction record for the artist.
Roger Brown painting, $138,600, Hindman
A monumental 1989 painting by Roger Brown (American, 1941-1997), titled Crossing the Bandiagara Escarpment with Baobab Trees and Dogon Dancers, sold for $138,600 at the auction of the single-owner collection of Susann Craig held March 9 by Hindman in Chicago. Also, Untitled (Guitar Nun) by Sister Gertrude Morgan (American, 1900-1980) brought $34,650; and William Dawson’s A Group of Three Articulated Figures (1976-1977) went for a record $25,200.
Gold Rush-era gold ingot, $138,000, Holabird Western Americana Collections
A 32.15-ounce Kellogg & Humbert assayer’s California Gold Rush gold ingot sold for $138,000 at Part 2 of the sale of items recovered from the 1857 sinking of the S.S. Central America held March 4-5 by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC in Reno, Nevada. Also, a 19th-century daguerreotype photograph of an unidentified young woman that the S.S. Central America scientific mission recovery team nicknamed the Mona Lisa of the Deep changed hands for $73,200.
Chippendale corner cupboard, $8,400, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates
A Maryland or Virginia Chippendale painted yellow pine corner cupboard sold for $8,400 at a Winter Americana Auction held March 2-4 by Jeffery S. Evans & Associates in Mt. Crawford, Virginia. In addition, a Buddy L Junior Line pressed-steel toy dump truck finished at $4,200; a Western Pennsylvania stoneware jar earned $2,040; a Frank Finney (American, b. 1947-) carved and painted figure of a basset hound achieved $6,600; and a group of antique and vintage pocket knives made $3,900.
Cox-Roosevelt button, $100,300, Hake’s Auctions
A James M. Cox and Franklin Roosevelt 1920 jugate button, one inch in diameter, sold for $100,300 at a Premier Auction held March 21-22 by Hake’s Auctions in York, Pennsylvania. Also, a circa-1920 Type 1 original photograph of Babe Ruth from his first New York Yankees season, credited to Paul Thompson, rose to $78,529; and a 1980 TOLTOYS (Australia) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back JAWA vinyl-caped action figure brought $49,324.
Antique map after Ptolemy, $110,700, Neue Auctions
A map of the Persian and Red Seas after Claudius Ptolemy, titled Geographica and dating to circa 1482 or later, sold for $110,700 in an online-only Estate Fine Art and Antiques auction held March 11 by Neue Auctions in Beachwood, Ohio. Also, a circa-1910 carved and painted carousel giraffe by Gustav and William Dentzel, restored, brought $9,840; and a typed letter in German, signed by Albert Einstein and dated 1950, made $10,455.
19th-century Boston shelf clock, $49,200, Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
A 19th-century B. C. Gilman (Exeter, N.H.) Boston shelf clock sold for $49,200 at a Couture, Jewelry and Fine & Decorative Art auction held February 27 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers in Cranston, Rhode Island. Also, an early 20th-century Duffner & Kimberly heraldic armorial table lamp earned $3,900; a Jose Reyes (American and Filipino, 1902-1980) Nantucket friendship basket reached $3,600; and a Chinese Qing dynasty porcelain sculpture of a Guanyin rose to $2,400.
Emmi Whitehorse painting, $36,300, Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery
A 1992 mixed media on paper by Emmi Whitehorse (American/Navajo, b. 1956-), titled Field of Birds, sold for $36,300 at an Art of the American West & Native American Art & Objects auction held February 24 by Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery in Atlanta. Also, a 1988 oil on canvas by Frank McCarthy (American, 1944-2002), titled The Warriors of Canyon Land, made $16,940; and a patinated bronze sculpture by Robert F. Elwell (American, 1874-1962), titled Birchbark Canoe, hit $7,260.
Mark Twain’s typewriter, $106,250, Heritage Auction
The Williams No. 6 typewriter that author Mark Twain purchased in 1906 and used until his death in 1910 sold for $106,250 at a Historical Manuscripts Signature Auction held February 22 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a pair of paintings that artist Colin Campbell Cooper created while onboard the RMS Carpathia during the rescue of Titanic survivors achieved $112,500; and a copy of LIFE magazine from May 1965 signed by Martin Luther King, Jr. went for $93,750.
Benjamin Franklin-signed document, $39,928, RR Auction
A one-page Benjamin Franklin-signed document, dated Dec. 6, 1785, ordering a loan to support Pennsylvania’s new currency, sold for $39,928 in an online auction held in March by RR Auction in Boston. Also, a Wright Brothers portrait, signed by both Wilbur and Orville, finished at $30,819; a King Henry VII letter to expedite payment of Catherine of Aragon’s dowry brought $27,164; and an Abraham Lincoln handwritten letter to Attorney General Bates earned $18,750.
Circa-1900 juggler poster, $14,400, Potter & Potter Auctions
A circa-1900 poster touting juggler the Great Knetzger as The Master Spirit of Ambidexterity sold for $14,400 at Part 1 of the Ricky Jay collection held February 25 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a circa-1869 broadside advertising the Davenport Brothers earned $11,875; a circa-1905 poster for Bostock & Wombell’s World Renowned Menagerie hit $12,500; and a copy of the 1808 book New Art of Hocus Pocus Revived realized $12,000.
George Valentine Dureau painting, $8,750, Crescent City Auction Gallery
A painting by George Valentine Dureau (American, 1930-2014), titled El Viaje Dorado, from the artist’s Dead Toreador series, sold for $8,750 at an Important March Estates auction held March 17-18 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans. Also, a 151-piece sterling flatware set by Gorham in the Old English Tipt pattern made $3,840; and an American carved walnut Rococo Revival marble-top dresser went for $2,500.
Circa-1820 flintlock pistol, $45,630, Milestone Auctions
A P & D Moll Allentown Pennsylvania brass-barrel German silver-escutcheoned flintlock pistol, manufactured around 1820, sold for $45,630 at a Premier Collectible Firearms Auction held March 11-12 by Milestone Auctions in Willoughby, Ohio. Also, a pair of circa-1860 Belgian Brevete Colt Navy revolvers, .36-caliber, hit the mark for $43,050; and a pair of 1851 Colt square-guard Navy revolvers, .36 caliber black-powder models, made $30,750.
Copy of Captain America #1, $146,000, Goldin Auctions
A copy of Captain America #1 from March 1941, graded CGC 3.0 and featuring the origin of Steve Rogers and his sidekick Bucky, sold for $146,000 in a Winter Comics, Video Games & TCG Elite Auction held in March by Goldin Auctions, based in Runnemede, New Jersey. Also, the original pen-and-ink artwork for the dust jacket of Batman: Hush 20th Anniversary Edition, signed by artist Jim Lee, brought $57,600; and a copy of Fantastic Four #1 from Nov. 1961 earned $84,000.
Ward Brothers duck decoy, $90,000, Copley Fine Art Auctions
A Ward Brothers Humpback black duck decoy sold for $90,000 at a Winter Sale held Feb. 24-25 by Copley Fine Art Auctions in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Also, a Harmon Running Curlew by Nathan F. Cobb, Jr., was the top shorebird of the sale, commanding $78,000; a Jerry Mastin Canada Goose soared to $51,000, a new world record for the maker; Richard Bishop’s painting Prairie Wings flew away with $180,000; and Bob Kuhn’s Close but No Cigar reached $78,000.
Paul De Longpre watercolor, $9,225, Michaan’s Auctions
An 1892 watercolor on paper by Paul de Longpre (American and French, 1855-1911), titled Matillija Poppies and Bees, sold for $9,225 at a Gallery Auction held March 17 by Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda, California. Also, a 1954 mixed media on wood board by Bruce Conner (American, 1933-2008), titled Facade, went for $7,995; a pair of Etruscan Revival bronze floor lamps attributed to Caldwell earned $7,995; and a 1782 Thomas Hennell sterling silver tea caddy brought $2,214.
Gertrude Abercrombie painting, $51,250, Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
A 1956 Modernist painting by Gertrude Abercrombie (American and German, 1909-1977), titled Leaf and Chaise Lounge, sold for $51,250 at a Winter Enchantment sale held Feb. 24-26 by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries in Thomaston, Maine. Also, Andy Warhol’s (American, 1920-1987) signed and numbered serigraph on paper from 1968, Campbell’s Soup (Cream of Mushroom), realized $42,000; and a 1965 offset lithograph by Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997), Shipboard Girl, earned $31,250.
Portrait of George Washington, $34,375, Nye & Company Auctioneers
A portrait of George Washington after Rembrandt Peale, titled Porthole Washington, sold for $34,375 at a March Estate Treasures auction held March 8-10 by Nye & Company Auctioneers in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Also, a lithograph by Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997), titled Foot and Hand, topped out at $8,750; a Chinese Qing-style cloisonne shallow charger earned $34,375; and a Chinese famille verte porcelain ginger jar rose to $7,500.
Drawing attributed to Joan Miro, $2,048, La Belle Epoque Auction House
A drawing of a woman attributed to Joan Miro, signed and dated 1917, sold for $2,048 at a multi-estates auction held March 18 by La Belle Epoque Auction House in New York City. Also, a 17th- century Italian walnut prie dieu with marquetry and parquetry inlay throughout rose to $832; a circa-1900 group of Schafer & Vater Alice in Wonderland German bisque porcelain pieces realized $448; and a Piranesi-style print, two-sheet 18th-century engravings of the Vatican, framed, hit $960.
All images shown in this report appear courtesy of the auction houses who sold the items they depict.
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