Most important George Washington document in private hands showcased at Potter & Potter April 18

George Washington commission document as general and commander in chief of the United Colonies Army, estimated at $150,000-$250,000 at Potter & Potter.

CHICAGO — Potter & Potter president Gabe Fajuri calls consignor Eric Caren the “Babe Ruth” of the historic document collecting world, and rightly so. Caren’s collection returns to market for its ninth edition on Thursday, April 18 with a trove of George Washington-related ephemera, including the most important Washington document not owned by an institution or the federal government. The complete catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The sale’s top-estimated lot is George Washington’s commission as Commander In Chief. Written by and signed in the hand of Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress, it’s dated June 19, 1775, and appoints Washington as General and Commander in Chief of the Army of the United Colonies. It reads:

To George Washington Esquire. We reposing especial trust and confidence in your patriotism, conduct and fidelity Do by these presents constitute and appoint you to be general and commander in chief of the army of the United Colonies and of all the forces raised or to be raised by them and of all others who shall voluntarily offer their service and join the said army for the defence of American Liberty and for repelling every hostile invasion thereof…” Thomson signed the document as secretary and on behalf of “John Hancock, President.”

Provenance traces it to General Washington’s acquaintance Dr. George Whitfield Avery, who hung it in his office for many years, and to Richard M. Ahlstrom, who purchased the document in 1969 at an antique show in Ohio. It is estimated at $150,000-$250,000.

Caren noted, “I have owned literally millions of historical documents in my six decades of collecting, and this is, by far, the most important piece of all of them.”

In all, the sale features 21 Washington-related items with a wide range of estimates. They include:

A tiny Louis Vuitton trunk, a bronze lobster, and George Washington portraits triumphed at Thomaston Place

Louis Vuitton salesman’s sample trunk, which sold for $9,375 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.

THOMASTON, Maine – ‘Correct in detail, material and quality of construction, down to brass hardware, stencilled cloth and monogrammed leather trim’, a miniature Louis Vuitton trunk hammered for $7,500 and sold for $9,375 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries. Only a handful of these diminutive luggage pieces are known, made at the time either as salesman samples or as playthings for the children of wealthy Louis Vuitton customers. Following every detail of the full-size version, this suitcase measuring 11in (27cm) across was in good condition, save the interior, which had been relined in a marbled paper. Beneath it may be a label for Louis Vuitton’s offices at 149 New Bond Street and the Paris Champs Elysees. The miniature trunk sold well above its estimate of $800-$1,000, topping the first day of the February 23-25 Winter Enchantment auction.

Sharing its estimate and winning second place on Day One was a Meiji-period bronze model of a lobster. Described in the lot notes as ‘hyper realistic, fully jointed and moveable’, it was one of the remarkable models produced by Japanese metalworkers in the post-Samurai era. Despite lacking one of its antennae, it hammered for $6,000 ($7,500 with buyer’s premium).

Day Two was dominated by two portraits of George Washington by or after Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828). Estimated at $3,000-$5,000 but sold at $27,000 ($33,750 with buyer’s premium) was a circa-1805 version of the classic George Washington bust portrait – the so-called Athenaeum type, painted from life in Philadelphia in 1796. Stuart referred to these portraits as his “$100 bills” as, whenever he needed the money, he would retire to his Boston studio and paint another. He sold more than 70 of them in his lifetime, and there are many others that were painted by followers after he died. This unsigned portrait in its original frame was attributed to Stuart.

Stuart created the original full-length portrait of George Washington at Dorchester Heights for the City of Boston in 1806. It shows the general in his battle pomp posing next to the backside of a horse. The original hangs in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts with versions in Faneuil Hall in Boston and Mechanic’s Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, but the version offered at Thomaston Place was one of many impressive if somewhat pedestrian copies. A stencil on the verso for Goupil & Co., New York dates it to the 1850s. Housed in a heavy gold molded cove frame standing 6ft high, it hammered for $26,000 ($32,500 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $5,000-$7,000.

Washington’s 1795 Thanksgiving proclamation and Rembrandt school painting triumphed at Sarasota

Broadside of George Washington’s 1795 Thanksgiving Day proclamation, which sold for $37,000 ($47,360 with buyer’s premium) at Sarasota Estate Auction.

SARASOTA, Fla. – A printing of George Washington’s 1795 Thanksgiving Day proclamation and a Rembrandt School oil sold way above their estimates at Sarasota Estate Auction. Both made five-figure sums as part of the two-day sale on January 20-21. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

Quite different from the national holiday at harvest time, Washington’s second Thanksgiving Proclamation proposed a day of celebration on February 19, 1795, after the end of the Whiskey Rebellion. The potential schism caused by a violent protest against the whiskey tax imposed in 1791 to pay down the war debt had been quashed without great bloodshed.

This proclamation was published in Gazette of the United States and Daily Evening Advertiser of Philadelphia and other newspapers on January 1, 1795, and it also was issued in several variations as a broadside by the short-lived Secretary of State Edmund Randolf, whose name appears to the very foot of the text.

This 14 by 12in copy, with some tearing to the folds, had been sent through the mail to Rev. Joseph Gosse of Sutton in Worcester County, Massachusetts, with remnants of a red candle wax seal still visible on the envelope. Estimated at $300-$600, it hammered for $37,000 ($47,360 with buyer’s premium).

Far more speculative was the lot that topped day two, a painting credited to the school of Rembrandt van Rijn. Although it is undeniably an image of the 17th-century master in his late 20s, it was not dated in the catalog. Sensing it was better than just a good 19th-century imitation, two bidders pushed it way past the $1,000-$2,000 estimate. It hammered for $49,000 ($62,720 with buyer’s premium). A clue to its provenance may be found in an old ‘Christie’s P’ stamp on the verso.

Reagan’s ‘Gipper’ speech with handwritten notes targets the end zone at University Archives Jan. 10

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WILTON, Conn. – A draft of Ronald Reagan’s iconic 1981 Win One for the Gipper speech, with extensive handwritten notes, is one of the compelling lots in University Archives‘ online-only auction on Wednesday, January 10. The complete catalog is now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

“We’re ushering in the New Year with an exciting auction featuring exceptional and desirable material from the U.S. Presidential, Science, Music, Literature & Military collecting categories,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives.

President Reagan’s Win One for the Gipper speech, featuring eight pages of handwritten notes and additional manuscript revisions to typed pages, was delivered as the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame on May 17, 1981, just weeks after he survived an assassination attempt by Jodie Foster-obsessed John Hinckley, Jr. In 1940, Reagan had portrayed George Gipp, Notre Dame’s beloved All American football player, in Knute Rockne, All American, where he uttered the immortal line on his character’s deathbed. Impeccable provenance is assured, as this item comes from the files of Helene von Damm (b. 1938-) Reagan’s longtime personal secretary. The draft carries an estimate of $15,000-$24,000.

Also up for bid is a mixed typed and handwritten draft of Reagan’s Welcome Home speech, signed by Reagan as ‘RR’ and annotated with nearly 350 words in his hand. Reagan delivered the final draft of the speech in January 1981 at the White House, one week after Iran released 55 American hostages kidnapped from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 after the fall of the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. The draft is estimated at $10,000-$12,000.

A Revolutionary War-dated letter from 1780 signed by George Washington regarding a prisoner exchange illustrates a compassionate side of his military decision-making. Washington gives instructions to Col. James Wood, commander of the Convention Army, concerning the release of two German officers attached to British Gen. John Burgoyne, who had surrendered at the Battle of Saratoga three years earlier. The lot’s estimate is $18,000-$20,000.

A lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair with his clipped signature as ‘A. Lincoln,’ displayed in a custom red velvet case, is an unusual item in the sale. The relic comes with rock-solid provenance from several former custodians, including Henry Pratt Cattell, who embalmed Lincoln’s body, and Justus Chollar, an official who guarded Lincoln’s body during the autopsy and embalming. The display carries a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.

A miniature engraving of John Quincy Adams, boldly signed by him at top, is probably one of the earliest examples of a signed presidential image. The portrait comes with an early gilt frame with a Detroit backstamp, and an enameled portrait pin of a woman greatly resembling Adams’s mother, Abigail. The engraving is estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
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Ronald Reagan’s Win one for the Gipper speech with handwritten notes, estimated at $15,000-$24,000 at University Archives.
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Ronald Reagan’s first draft of his Welcome Home speech, which marked the arrival in the U.S. of freed Iranian hostages, estimated at $10,000-$12,000 at University Archives.
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Lock of Lincoln’s hair, plus a Lincoln signature, estimated at $10,000-$15,000 at University Archives.
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George Washington prisoner exchange letter, estimated at $18,000-$20,000 at University Archives.
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John Quincy Adams-signed portrait, estimated at $5,000-$7,000 at University Archives.
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Yankee Stadium seat a nostalgic highlight of Aug. 16 Benefit Shop sale

Seat removed from Yankee Stadium during a 1970s refurbishment of the venue, estimated at $100-$300. Image courtesy of the Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc.
Seat removed from Yankee Stadium during a 1970s refurbishment of the venue, estimated at $100-$300. Image courtesy of the Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc.
Seat removed from Yankee Stadium during a 1970s refurbishment of the venue, estimated at $100-$300. Image courtesy of the Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc.

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — The Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. will hold its next Red Carpet auction on Wednesday, August 16, starting at 10 am Eastern time. Boasting more than 750 items, the auction ranges from documents signed by Founding Fathers and renowned presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, James Monroe and Ulysses S. Grant. It will also feature a trove of baseball memorabilia that centers on the New York Yankees. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Gallery Report: Ted Williams, Uncle Sam and a prize pumpkin made headlines in May

ATLANTA – At the beginning of each month, ACN columnist Ken Hall compiles the most notable auction highlights from across the United States and the world as well. The June 2023 edition of Ken’s Gallery Report showcases a wealth of compelling results. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.

Kusama’s A Pumpkin (RT), $56,250, John Moran Auctioneers

A 2004 painting by Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929-), titled A Pumpkin (RT), sold for $56,250 at a California Living auction held April 11 by John Moran Auctioneers in Los Angeles. Also, a 1958 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar played a sweet tune for $32,500; Edouardo Sarabia’s (b. 1976-) Painted Memories 2 from 2008 made $18,750; four topiary lounge chairs with ottoman by Richard Schultz for Knoll earned $6,500; and a circa-1980s-90s Art Deco Revival credenza settled at $5,850.

Houdini’s strait jacket, $43,200, Potter & Potter Auctions

Legendary magician Harry Houdini’s strait jacket escape, a heavy canvas jacket reinforced with leather across the neck, back, arms and waist, sold for $43,200 at a dedicated Harry Houdini event held April 8 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, Houdini’s spirit cabinet escape realized $50,400; a circa-1925 poster advertising The World Famous Houdini /Master Mystifier, commanded $11,400; and a circa-1891 tintype portrait of a young Houdini, probably taken at Coney Island, New York, reached $21,600.

John Wilkes Booth reward poster, $166,375, Nate D. Sanders Auctions

The first printing of the reward poster for the capture of John Wilkes Booth and two other conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln – issued by the War Department in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 1865, five days after President Lincoln died and six days before Booth was killed – sold for $166,375 at an auction held April 27 by Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles. The poster, originally displayed on a tree, had never been auctioned before.

Tiffany Studios Nasturtium lamp, $71,500, Woody Auction

A Tiffany Studios table lamp with a 32in Nasturtium shade sold for $71,500 in the auction of Part 2 of the Ron Blessing collection, held March 18 by Woody Auction in Douglass, Kan. Also, an R.J. Horner china cabinet in the Atlas pattern climbed to $22,000; a French cameo art glass vase marked Daum Nancy, with penguin decor, waddled off with $17,000; and a Brilliant Period Cut Glass amethyst cut to clear water pitcher attributed to Stevens and Williams brought $9,200.

Gilt Bronze Tibetan Buddha, $200,000, Briggs Auction

A gilt bronze Tibetan Buddha sold for $200,000 at a Fine Estates Auction held March 24 by Briggs Auction in Garnet Valley, Penn. It was the most ever paid for a single item at a Briggs Auction event. Also, a nearly life-size portrait of a seated beauty, titled Lorelai, changed hands for $32,000; and a pocket watch by the 18th-century Delaware clockmaker Thomas Crow earned $5,500. These sums are hammer prices, exclusive of the buyer’s premium.

German World War II machine gun, $456,000, Morphy Auctions

A German World War II Model FG-42 machine gun, Model E 1st Model, one of only about 2,000 made, sold for $456,000 at a Firearms & Militaria Auction held April 11-13 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Penn. Also, a British-made WWII silenced Sten Mark IV (SD) machine gun went for $129,000; a mid-1950s American-made Harrington & Richardson T48 (FAL) machine gun with box achieved $114,000; and a circa-2000 David McKay Brown (Scotland) 20-gauge shotgun attained $61,200.

Ted Williams’ Baseball Hall of Fame ring, $444,000, Heritage Auctions

Boston Red Sox immortal Ted Williams’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction ring, given to him upon his entry into Cooperstown on July 25, 1966, sold for $444,000 at a Spring Sports Catalog Auction held May 11-13 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a Mickey Mantle Topps rookie card from 1952, graded SGC Near Mint+ 7.5, earned $384,00, a record for the grade; and a 1916 M101-5 (blank back) Babe Ruth card also set a new record for its graded (SGC Fair 1.5) when it achieved the home-run price of $276,000.

Andrew Clemens sand bottles, $151,200, Hindman

A pair of Sweetheart sand bottles from 1883 by Andrew Clemens (1857-1894) sold for $151,200 at an American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts auction held March 30 by Hindman in Chicago. Also, a Tiffany & Co. seven-piece silver tea and coffee service with matching tray made $18,000; a Baltimore Federal mahogany tall case clock realized $11,970; and a Renaissance Revival etagere attributed to John Henry Belter went to a determined bidder for $22,800.

Uncle Sam clockwork toy, $72,000, Bertoia Auctions

An Ives (USA) Uncle Sam clockwork preambulator, one of two known, sold for $72,000 at a Spring Signature Sale held March 24-25 by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, N.J. Also, an oversized Ives horse-drawn fire hose reel in pristine condition went for $14,400; a Kenton Speed Truck, the largest of its series, rolled away with $16,800; and a Kyser & Rex (USA) Chimpanzee cast-iron mechanical bank brought $34,800.

George Washington-owned book, $441,000, Freeman’s

A volume from the personal library of George Washington, titled The Transactions of the Royal Humane Society, a first edition copy given to Washington during his second presidential term by physician Dr. John Coakley Lettsom and featuring Washington’s bold signature at the top of the half-title page, sold for $441,000 at a Books and Manuscripts auction held May 3 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. In addition, a 1787 land grant signed by Benjamin Franklin finished at $17,640.

1854 US $1 coin, $91,062, Legend Rare Coin Auctions

An 1854 US $1 coin, graded MS65 CAC, sold for $91,062 at the Central States Numismatic Society’s 84th Anniversary Convention held April 27 in Schaumburg, Illinois by Legend Rare Coin Auctions, based in Red Bank, N.J. Also, an 1837 US $2.50 coin, graded MS65 CAC, went for $88,125; a 1942-S US 50-cent coin, graded MS 67 CAC, hit $70,500; a 1935-S US 50-cent coin, MS 67 CAC, brought $67,562; and a 1795 US 1-cent coin, PCGS MS 65 BN CAC, made $61,687.

Jefferson Davis revolver, $470,000, Rock Island Auction Company

The Jefferson Davis surrender Beaumont-Adams double action revolver, one of the most important war trophies of the Civil War, sold for $470,000 at Premier Firearms Auction #88, held May 19-21 by Rock Island Auction Company in Rock Island, Ill. Also, the engraved gold and Winchester Model 1895 belonging to Zane Grey realized $440,625; a Krieghoff FH42 Type 1 changed hands for $411,250; and the cased Colt 1861 Navy revolver presented to Capt. George Williams rose to $258,500.

Circa-1820 Armoire Crocodile, CA$29,500, Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.

A circa-1820 Quebec armoire in a strong alligatored yellow paint that earned it the family nickname “Armoire Crocodile” sold for $29,500 at the sale of the Belzile collection held in Quebec, Canada by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., based in New Hamburg. Also, a Louis XIII armchair in old green paint realized $21,240, and an 18th-century Quebec pine armoire with four Louis XIV hourglass-shaped panels won $17,700.

Kurt Cobain Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, $595,000, Julien’s Auctions

Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s Nevermind smashed and signed black Fender Stratocaster electric guitar sold for $595,900 at a Music Icons auction held May 19-20 by Julien’s Auctions in New York City. Also, Bono’s 2002 U2 stage-played Gretsch Irish Falcon electric guitar achieved $238,125; Eddie Van Halen’s 2004 Charvel EVH Art Series 78 electric guitar settled at $114,300; and Michael Jackson’s Dangerous world tour jacket made $117,000.

Xavier de Charlevoix account, $5,700, Old World Auction

F. Xavier de Charlevoix’s Histoire et Description de la Nouvelle France – an account of French possessions in colonial North America, featuring 28 maps – sold for $5,700 in an online auction held April 12-26 by Old World Auctions in Richmond, Va. Also, The New Twelve Inch British Celestial Globe by William and T.M. Bardin, composed of 12 paper gores, a brass meridian and an engraved horizon ring, realized $5,100.

Marklin toy paddle boat, $250,000, Pook & Pook

The Marklin toy paddle wheel river boat New York, in exceptional condition, sold for $250,000 at an Americana auction held May 4-5 by Pook & Pook in Downingtown, Penn. Also, an English Staffordshire slipware doll cradle dating to 1698 brought $22,500; a Berks or Montgomery County (Penn.) painted poplar shrank, a robust example of early 18th-century German furniture design, earned $81,250; and a Mifflin County (Penn.) Samuel Plank-painted box brought $45,360.

Steve Jobs-signed check, $106,985, RR Auction

An Apple Computer check signed by Steve Jobs in 1976 – the year of the company’s founding – sold for $106,985 in an online auction held April 17-May 10 by RR Auction in Boston. The check was filled out in type and signed by Jobs himself, for $175.00, payable to Crampton, Remke & Miller, Inc., a provider of business processing consulting services to high-tech companies. Also, an early 1990s NeXT business card listing Jobs as chairman and CEO brought $3,076.

1897 experimental pistol, $72,000, Cowan’s Auctions

A Bergmann Schmeisser prototype 1897 model 5 experimental pistol with holster stock sold for $72,000 at an Arms, Armor & Militaria auction held May 3-4 by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati. Also, a Peter Chapman 28 gauge sidelock hammerless side-by-side shotgun with straight English stock hit the mark for $36,000; a Parker GH grade 20 gauge shotgun with 32in barrels attained $25,200; and a Japanese model 1902 Grandpa Nambu holster stock rose to $15,600.

Maurice Prendergast beach scene, $162,500, Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers

A colorful oil-on-panel Boston beach scene by Maurice Prendergast (American, 1858-1924), painted circa 1907-1910, sold for $162,500 in a Spring Fine Art Auction held April 27 by Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Milford, Conn. Also, a circa-1880s oil on canvas by Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819-1904), titled Vase of Red Roses, went for $125,000; and a 1904 oil on canvas by Richard Hayley Lever (American, 1876-1958) titled Sunshine in the Hills, brought $106,250.

Click to view top auction results on LiveAuctioneers: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/

 

Game-worn Orioles gear perches atop lineup at University Archives, May 31

Detail from circa-1990-2016 group of six game-worn baseball helmets and jerseys from the Baltimore Orioles, estimated at $900-$1,000
Circa-1990-2016 group of six game-worn baseball helmets and jerseys from the Baltimore Orioles, with grading and authentication from JSA and Mears, estimated at $900-$1,000
Circa-1990-2016 group of six game-worn baseball helmets and jerseys from the Baltimore Orioles, with grading and authentication from JSA and Mears, estimated at $900-$1,000

WILTON, Conn. – An autograph letter handwritten in German and signed by Ludwig van Beethoven, regarding his only opera, Fidelio; a group of six game-worn baseball helmets and jerseys from the Baltimore Orioles, dating to circa 1990-2016; and an autograph letter signed by John Adams in 1801 regarding the influence of Virginia Democrats will headline University Archives’ next online-only auction, scheduled for Wednesday, May 31. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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George Washington-owned and signed book commands $441K at Freeman’s

First edition of ‘The Transactions of the Royal Humane Society,’ previously owned by George Washington and signed by him on the half-title page, $441,000
First edition of ‘The Transactions of the Royal Humane Society,’ previously owned by George Washington and signed by him on the half-title page, $441,000
First edition of ‘The Transactions of the Royal Humane Society,’ previously owned by George Washington and signed by him on the half-title page, $441,000

PHILADELPHIA — Freeman’s May 3 Books and Manuscripts auction was marked by fierce bidding for presidential material and significant Americana, resulting in the remarkable $441,000 sale of a volume from the personal library of George Washington.

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Lincoln pre-election note a top contender at University Archives, Apr. 19

A handwritten note twice signed by Abraham Lincoln days before winning the 1864 presidential election, most likely to his eldest son Robert, estimated at $40,000-$50,000
A handwritten note twice signed by Abraham Lincoln days before winning the 1864 presidential election, most likely to his eldest son Robert, estimated at $40,000-$50,000
A handwritten note twice signed by Abraham Lincoln days before winning the 1864 presidential election, most likely to his eldest son Robert, estimated at $40,000-$50,000

WILTON, Conn. – A handwritten note twice signed by Abraham Lincoln just days before winning the 1864 presidential election, ship’s papers from 1794 signed by both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and a 1748 handwritten note signed by Benjamin Franklin are among the highlights of University Archives’ online-only auction slated for Wednesday, April 19. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Gallery Report: Lynn Chadwick’s Winged Figures hit lofty heights at Doyle

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.

Click to view top auction results on LiveAuctioneers: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/