Dylan Lewis bronze leads our five auction highlights

Dylan Lewis, ‘Lioness Standing On Sloped Base, Maquette’ bronze, which hammered for $10,000 and sold for $12,500 with buyer’s premium at Auctions at Showplace.

Dylan Lewis Bronze ‘Lioness Standing On Sloped Base, Maquette’, $12,500

NEW YORK – South African Dylan Lewis (b. 1964-) is widely regarded as a master sculptor of animals, with a particular focus on lions and tigers. He spends a large amount of his time in the wild observing, tracking and sketching animals, which he then takes back to his studio in Stellenbosch, where he works in his preferred medium of clay. His final works are then rendered in bronze and sold in limited editions to collectors worldwide.

Lewis is one of the few artists to ever have a solo sale at Christie’s, beginning in 2007 and continuing every few years thereafter. Lioness Standing On Sloped Base, Maquette was first auctioned at Christie’s London in its Predator & Prey: The Dylan Lewis Bronzes sale on June 16, 2011. Numbered 9 from an edition of 15 and signed by Lewis, the bronze measures 23.5in in height by 25in wide, which delivers an impressive impact on the viewer. The design is archetypically Lewis, with the proud lioness standing at attention on an incline, observing her surroundings.

Lioness Standing On Sloped Base, Maquette returned to the market at Auctions at Showplace January 7 as part of the house’s New York City Estate Auction sale. It carried a presale estimate of $6,000-$8,000 but hammered for $10,000 ($12,500 with buyer’s premium), demonstrating continued demand for Lewis’ styled bronzes.

Norman Lindsay Lithographs for ‘Satyrs and Sunlight’ by Hugh McRae, $1,220

‘Satyrs and Sunlight’ by Hugh McRae with illustrations by Norman Lindsay, which hammered for A$1,500 and sold for A$1,830 ($1,220) with buyer’s premium at The Book Merchant Jenkins.
‘Satyrs and Sunlight’ by Hugh McRae with illustrations by Norman Lindsay, which hammered for A$1,500 and sold for A$1,830 ($1,220) with buyer’s premium at The Book Merchant Jenkins.

BRISBANE, Australia – Norman Lindsay (1879-1969) was one of Australia’s most prolific artists, excelling in areas as diverse as painting, illustration, cartooning, sculpting, art criticism and even professional boxing. He was the author and illustrator of one of Australia’s most beloved children’s books, The Magic Pudding, which was released to great acclaim in 1918.

Being an artist, Lindsay was no stranger to controversy. His 1938 book Age of Consent focused on a love relationship between a middle-aged painter and his teenage muse, causing the book to be banned in Australia until 1962, just a handful of years before his death.

In 1909, early in his career, Lindsay created a series of eight stone lithographs for Hugh McRae’s book Satyrs and Sunlight. It was the most extravagant and opulent fine art book ever published in Australia, designed in a large format to showcase Lindsay’s original artworks.

Unfortunately, it was highly controversial. Its contents were considered so obscene that the staff of John Sands, a major Australian printer and publisher founded in 1888, simply would not print it. The task of publication then fell to D. H. Souter.

Today, Satyrs and Sunlight is considered McCrae’s finest published work. The author signed an edition of 130 copies, of which number 83 came to market on January 3 at The Book Merchant Jenkins. Originally estimated at A$600-A$800 ($400-$540), the book ended up hammering for A$1,500 ($1,000) and selling for A$1,830 ($1,220) with buyer’s premium.

Korean Joseon Period Moon Jar Converted to a Lamp, $14,300

Table lamp formed from a Korean Joseon period moon jar, which hammered for $11,000 and sold for $14,300 with buyer’s premium at William Bunch.
Table lamp formed from a Korean Joseon period moon jar, which hammered for $11,000 and sold for $14,300 with buyer’s premium at William Bunch.

CHADDS FORD, Penn. – The top lot in William Bunch‘s January 9 Eclectic Variety Auction was a table lamp formed from a Korean Joseon period moon jar.

Made using baekja, a refined white kaolin clay with little to no iron oxide that gave the porcelain its white color, these distinctive vessels were created in Korea in the 17th and 18th centuries as household food storage jars. Referred to as a daeho (big jar), these vessels were thrown on a wheel in two halves before being united at their widest point prior to firing.

While utilitarian in nature, they assumed new status in the early 20th century as they became appreciated as distinctly Korean and indicative of the Confucian ideals of frugality and purity. An artful asymmetry became a key part of their appeal.

This example was certainly marred by a large hole that had been cut into the base to allow for an electric light fitting. However, it may have been a 17th-century piece (these earlier jars have a compressed and more rounded opening at the top), and it attracted many hopefuls at its estimate of $60-$120. As 30 bidders watched, it hammered for $11,000 and sold for $14,300 with buyer’s premium.

Album of Rare and Possibly Unique Photos Taken in China Between the 1860s and 1890s, $13,300

Photo album containing rare and possibly unique views in the Treaty Port of Chinkiang, China, which hammered for £8,200 and sold for £10,450 ($13,300) at Flint’s.
Photo album containing rare and possibly unique views in the Treaty Port of Chinkiang, China, which hammered for £8,200 and sold for £10,450 ($13,300) at Flint’s.

THATCHAM, U.K. – An album containing rare and possibly unique views in the Treaty Port of Chinkiang, China hammered for £8,200 and sold for £10,450 ($13,300) at photographica specialist Flint’s on January 9. Offered by a descendent of the original owner, it was knocked down to a phone bidder some distance above the estimate of £3,000-£5,000 ($3,820-$6,360).

The concession area at Chinkiang (which is modern-day Zhenjiang) was divided into 19 lots across a 500-yard section of the south bank of the Yangtze River in 1861. The British Consulate there was originally part of a Buddhist temple, but in 1871, funds became available to construct a permanent building – a two story consul’s house and constable’s quarters. After they were burned and looted in February 1889, the complex was rebuilt in 1890.

Accompanied by 55 more general topographical views of Egypt, Somalia, Japan, and the Channel Islands, the album of 82 albumen prints included images of the Chinkiang area, the Customs House after rebuilding, and most notably, images of the ruins of the old British Consulate after the riot. Among the people pictured in the photographs are John George Whitford Gearing, an agent in Chinkiang and a member of the committee of the Land Renters Council in the British Concession of Chinkiang. This album was owned by him and was consigned by his great-granddaughter.

The images may be the work of several photographers. One photograph is inscribed ‘Griffith’ in the negative, probably for David Knox Griffith, a British commercial photographer listed as working in Shanghai from 1872. Griffith photographed the upper reaches of the Yangtze. Another is labeled for Henry Cammidge, a photographer working in Shanghai from 1866 through 1874. The photos are bound together in green cloth with a label that reads ‘Tien Dhing, Book Binder, Stationer and Printer, Honan Road, Shanghai.’

Part of the lot was a scrapbook with multiple newspaper clippings, including a report from the North China Herald recording the riot on February 8, 1889 and handwritten minutes concerning the Chinkiang concession, the treaty rights of British subjects and local opposition to British rights and ownership of land.

Cyril Power, ‘The Sunshine Roof,’ $83,000

‘The Sunshine Roof,’ a linocut by Cyril Power, which hammered for £55,000 and sold for £65,400 ($83,000) with buyer’s premium at Bonhams London.
‘The Sunshine Roof,’ a linocut by Cyril Power, which hammered for £55,000 and sold for £65,400 ($83,000) with buyer’s premium at Bonhams London.

LONDON – Many of Cyril Edward Power’s (1872-1951) most sought-after subjects for his Futurist-style linocuts involve different methods of public transport in London. This one, titled The Sunshine Roof, dates from circa 1934 and came about after the artist took a trip from London to Hertford at the suggestion of his son, who worked for a time as a Green Line bus driver.

Like most Grosvenor School prints, it was produced in a relatively small signed and numbered edition – in this case, just 60 impressions – and only six copies are recorded as selling at auction in the last 25 years. Appearing at Bonhams’ dedicated December 12 sale of Grosvenor School prints in New Bond Street, London, titled The Age of Speedthis example was billed as ‘a very good impression’ of the 10 by 13in (26 by 33cm) print.

The estimate of £25,000-£35,000 was in line with previous prices but, with no example emerging for more than two years, it drew significant interest, hammering for £55,000 and selling for £65,400 ($83,000) with buyer’s premium, a record for the edition.

Gallery Report: Magical mechanical bank conjures $288K winning bid

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.