ATLANTA – At the start of every month, ACN columnist Ken Hall compiles the most notable auction highlights from across the United States and also the world. The May 2023 edition of Ken’s Gallery Report showcases a bumper crop of standout results. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.
Maud Lewis painting, CA$91,450, Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
An oil-on-board painting by Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis (1903-1970), titled Traffic Jam, sold for $91,450 in an online-only Canadiana & Decorative Arts auction held March 25 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., in New Hamburg, Canada. Also, a circa-1820s Georgian period Canadian breakfast table in mahogany, attributed to Thomas Nisbet, rose to $16,520; and a circa-1820s Montreal key hole wall clock by Martin Cheney earned $20,060. Prices are in Canadian dollars.
Art Deco-style jardiniere, $26,620, Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery
An Art Deco-style bronze jardiniere, after a vase by Pierre Lenoir (French 1879-1953) and Marcel Guillard (French 1896-1932), for Etling, Paris, sold for $26,620 at an Estates & Collections auction held April 20-22 by Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery in Atlanta. Also, Study of a Brown Bay Horse by Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822-1899) brought $15,730; and a 1970 Modern Head Relief by Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997) hit $14,520.
Ludwig van Beethoven letter, $99,000, RR Auction
A handwritten letter by composer Ludwig van Beethoven sold for $99,000 in an online auction that ended April 12 at RR Auction in Boston. The one-page letter, penned sometime in September 1823, was written in German and signed “Beethoven.” It concerned sending his work Missa Solemnis (Latin for “Solemn Mass”) to London and was addressed to Franz Christian Kirchhoffer. In the letter, Beethoven invites Kirchhoffer and his nephew Karl to lunch at his flat on Sunday.
Cartier Coussin watch, $34,650, Hindman
A Cartier 18K gold Bamboo Coussin watch sold for $34,650 at a Watches Auction held in April by Hindman in Chicago. Also, a Cartier 18K gold Tank watch rang up $16,380; a Cartier 18K gold dual-time Tonneau watch realized $8,820; a Roger Dubuis perpetual calendar chronograph Hommage watch commanded $28,350; an Alfred Dunhill lighter with a clock went for $7,560; and an 18K gold Jaeger-Lecoultre watch garnered $21,420.
Toshiko Takaezu ceramic, Moon, $541,800, Rago/Wright/LAMA
Toshiko Takaezu’s (American, 1922-2011) ceramic creation titled Moon sold for $541,800 at a Post-War Ceramics Auction held April 13 by Rago/Wright/LAMA in Lambertville, New Jersey. It was a new world auction record for the artist. Also, John Mason’s Untitled (Vertical Sculpture) went for $258,300, setting a new world auction record for the artist; Betty Woodman’s Pillow Pitcher finished at $69,300; Peter Voulkos’s Untitled (Stack) changed hands for $44,100; and Viola Frey’s Bubble Man achieved $27,720.
Negro Motorist Green Book, $50,000, Swann Auction Galleries
A 1949 copy of the Negro Motorist Green Book sold for $50,000, breaking the previous record of $27,500, in a Printed & Manuscript African Americana auction held March 30 by Swann Galleries in New York. Also, an inscribed carte de visite by the early photographer James Presley Ball achieved $125,000; a Civil War-era photograph of Black Union recruits at Camp William Penn brought $52,500; and a copy of the Harlem Renaissance-era literary magazine Fire! went for $32,500.
Late Georgian tea caddy, $2,375, Roland Auctions
An English late Georgian shell-inlaid tea caddy of sarcophagus form sold for $2,375 at a Multi-Estates Auction held April 1 at Roland Auctions in Glen Cove, New York. Also, an 18th-century American Chippendale mahogany and marble table settled at $18,750; a GIA-certified 3.34-carat diamond in a platinum ring slipped onto a new finger for $34,375; a set of 12 Chinese paintings mounted in a fold-out book brought $50,000; and a Neoclassical-style gilt bronze chandelier made $5,000.
Qing dynasty Manchu empress’s robe, $100,000, Lark Mason Associates
A Qing dynasty Manchu empress’s 12-symbol embroidered yellow gauze robe, or jifu, sold for $100,000 in an online Asia Week auction that closed March 30 at Lark Mason Associates in New York City. Also, a Qing dynasty Chinese amber figure of Shoulao realized $26,250; and a large 20th-century Nine Peach and Blossoms vase went to a determined bidder for $22,500.
Alphonse Mucha’s The Stars, $114,000, Poster Auctions International
Alphonse Mucha’s (Czech, 1860-1939) decorative panel poster from 1902, titled The Stars, sold for $114,000 at Rare Posters Auction #89 held March 26 by Poster Auctions International in New York City. Also, Geo Ham’s Monaco Grand Prix 1933 realized $20,400; Leonetto Cappiello’s 1903 Absinthe Gempp Pernod finished at $26,400; Ludwig Hohlwein’s Besuchet den Tiergarten from 1912 earned $13,200; and Charles Loupot’s 1929 Cafe Preccia: Maquette attained $18,000.
1859 Comstock Lode mining document, $16,875, Holabird Western Americana Collections
An 1859 document dating to the very beginning of the Comstock Lode silver rush in the U.S. sold for $16,875 at a Big Bonanza auction held March 30-April 2 by Holabird Western Americana Collections in Reno, Nevada. Also, a U.S. $10,000 gold certificate, cancelled and not redeemable, printed in Washington, D.C. and dated May 3, 1917, achieved $2,875; and a collection of six antique Oklahoma I. T. (Indian Territory) crown top bottles brought $3,000.
Warhol Mick Jagger print, $131,250, Heritage Auctions
Artist Andy Warhol’s 1975 screenprint portrait titled Mick Jagger, signed by the Rolling Stones front man, sold for $131,250 at a Prints & Multiples auction held April 18 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a 1989 set of four lithographs by Keith Haring, titled Pop Shop III, realized $125,000; Joan Mitchell’s large lithograph diptych titled Sunflowers brought $93,750; and Pablo Picasso’s linocut from 1962 titled Grande Tete Femme earned $62,500.
Majolica dish and cover, $62,225, Doyle
A Mintons majolica hare and duck head game-pie dish and cover attributed to Paul Comolera sold for $62,225 at Part 2 of the sale of the Joan Stacke Graham Majolica Collection, held April 4 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a circa-1875 T.C. Brown Westhead, Moore & Co. Egyptian Revival Majolica garden seat realized $50,400; and a circa-1875 Mintons majolica Japanese boat spill vase designed by Johann (John) Hasselmann Henk brought $28,350.
Wasatch Gasoline sign, $324,000, Dan Morphy Auctions
A Wasatch Gasoline 48in-diameter porcelain service station sign sold for $324,000 at an Automobilia, Petroliana & Railroadiana Auction held March 21-23 by Dan Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania. Also, a Polly Gasoline porcelain neon service station sign with a parrot mascot flew to $78,000; a Mohawk Gasoline porcelain service station sign with a Native American down feather graphic earned $312,000; and an Idaho Chief Gasoline service station sign made $138,000.
Tiffany Arabian lamp, $7,200, Treasureseeker Auctions
A Tiffany Studios Arabian lamp with a signed Favrile shade and a signed brass base sold for $7,200 in an online-only Spring into Treasures: Fine Art & Collectibles sale held April 16 by Treasureseeker Auctions in Pasadena, California. Also, a Meiji-era silver and enamel floral box went for $3,840; a cat painting by Jules Leroy finished at $3,520; a 19th-century malachite and bronze clock decorated with a cherub and a rooster reached $3,300; and a Japanese silver and enamel vase settled at $2,560.
Saturday Night Fever suit, $260,000, Julien’s Auctions
The iconic white suit John Travolta wore when playing the character Tony Manero in the movie Saturday Night Fever sold for $260,000 at a Hollywood: Classic and Contemporary auction held April 22 by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California. Also, Bela Lugosi’s vampire mirror cigarette box from the 1931 film Dracula achieved $130,000; a coat and hat worn by Warren Beatty in the movie Dick Tracy made $91,000; and a hoverboard from Back to the Future II floated to $91,000.
Porfirio Salinas painting, $47,200, Amero Auctions
An untitled Texas landscape with bluebonnets by Porfirio Salinas sold for $47,200 at a Spring 2023 Spectacular Sale held March 26 by Amero Auctions in Sarasota, Florida. Also, a pair of Spring Festival pattern elongated hexagonal tables by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne earned $18,880; a pair of Egyptian-style bronze figures by Emile Louis Picault brought $10,620; and an equestrian-themed painting by Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski, titled Morning Ride, galloped off with $44,250.
Tiffany & Co. bird brooch, $17,500, John Moran Auctioneers, Inc.
A Tiffany & Co. mother-of-pearl, diamond, yellow sapphire and onyx bird brooch sold for $17,500 at an auction titled Jewelry from the Estate of Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, held March 29 by John Moran Auctioneers, Inc. in Los Angeles. Also, a pear-shape 26-carat diamond ring realized $979,000; a Zambian emerald and diamond ring brought $21,250; and a David Webb 18K gold rock crystal and lapis lazuli bracelet changed hands for $28,125.
Pair of Chinese bowls, $94,500, Freeman’s
A pair of Chinese famille rose-decorated Balsam-Pear bowls with a Jiaqing six-character seal mark and of the period sold for $94,500 at an Asian Arts auction held April 18 at Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a pair of Chinese yellow-glazed bowls with the Kangxi mark and of the period rose to $81,900; a Chinese carved beige jade table screen left the room for $75,600; and a Chinese blue and white porcelain figural plaque from the Kangxi period earned $44,100.
Click to view top auction results on LiveAuctioneers: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/