Hindman and Freeman’s auction houses merge to become Freeman’s Hindman

Gemma Sudlow on the rostrum for Hindman’s inaugural New York auction, Time & Space: Watches from the Collection of Glen de Vries. Image courtesy of Hindman.

CHICAGO and PHILADELPHIA – Chicago auction house Hindman has announced a merger with Philadelphia-based Freeman’s and the opening of a permanent saleroom in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The new firm, which consolidates two of America’s top regional firms, will henceforth operate under the name Freeman’s Hindman.

A 14-month discussion between Hindman and Freeman’s was completed on Christmas Eve. The newly combined firm has an extensive footprint numbering six salerooms (Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Denver, and Palm Beach, Florida) and 18 additional regional offices across the country. It is being touted as ‘the largest coast-to-coast presence of any auction house in the United States’, offering a full suite of services including auctions, appraisals, private sales, and art advisory.

The new management structure of the firm brings together executives from both Hindman and Freeman’s. While Jay Krehbiel and Alyssa Quinlan of Hindman maintain their previous roles of executive chairman and chief executive officer, they are joined by the four members of Freeman’s management team: Fraser Niven (president), Alasdair Nichol (co-deputy chair), Hanna Dougher (chief operating officer), and Paul Roberts (international business director).

Krehbiel, who has led the expansion of Hindman beyond its midwestern roots, believes the two businesses are natural partners, with the union representing “the foundation of a dynamic and comprehensive company well-positioned to lead the upper-middle auction market”.

One of the first actions of Freeman’s Hindman will be to open a new permanent New York saleroom. Located at 32 East 67th Street in the heart of the Upper East Side, it has up to 5,000 square feet of space. Both companies have had senior specialists working with clients in New York for many years, while Hindman, which opened an office there in the fall of 2022, held its first sales series in the Big Apple at a pop-up venue in Soho in October 2023.

Trading for more than 40 years and headquartered in Chicago, Hindman held 134 auctions in 2023, offering 34,301 lots with total sales standing at $99.7 million.

Freeman’s holds a similarly key position in the American auction landscape. Founded in Philadelphia in 1805, it is America’s oldest auction house. The company remained in the hands of the Freeman family for six generations until a management buyout in 2016. Alasdair Nichol, formerly chairman of Freeman’s and now co-deputy chair of Freeman’s Hindman, said the merger “heralds an exciting new chapter, continuing Freeman’s long-standing tradition of embracing change and adapting in response to the times.” He added, “Great things are bound to happen when passionate people with aligned goals collaborate, and I can’t wait to see what our two creative and client-centric companies achieve together.”

Freeman’s has long maintained an informal marketing alliance with the U.K. auction house Lyon & Turnbull, and this is expected to continue under the new regime. Paul Roberts, who works with both firms on either side of the Atlantic, told Antiques Trade Gazette he was “delighted to see the expansion of the Freeman’s brand and excited to explore the benefits of international cooperation with the Freeman’s Hindman group.”

The U.S. fine art auction scene has experienced significant consolidation in recent years. In the past decade, Morphy’s has acquired several businesses; Wright, Toomey & Co. and Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) operate as part of the Rago group; while Skinner is now part of the Bonhams network.

Vintage computer that helped launch the Apple empire offered at auction

Vintage Apple-1 computer signed by Apple’s co-founder, Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak, estimated at $200,000+. Image courtesy of RR Auctions
Vintage Apple-1 computer signed by Apple’s co-founder, Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak, estimated at $200,000+. Image courtesy of RR Auctions
Vintage Apple-1 computer signed by Apple’s co-founder, Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak, estimated at $200,000+. Image courtesy of RR Auctions

BOSTON (AP) – A vintage Apple computer signed by company co-founder Steve Wozniak is being sold at auction. The Apple-1 set in motion the company that in June became the first publicly traded business to close a trading day with a $3 trillion market value, according to RR Auction in Boston. The computer has been restored to a fully operational state and comes with a custom-built case with a built-in keyboard.

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Vintage Batman toys net $1.4 million at Heritage Aug. 4-5

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DALLAS — After a fierce bidding war, a 1966 Japanese domestic-market Batmobile tin toy set a record at $150,000 as the top lot in Heritage Auctions‘ Ultimate Batman Collection Signature auction.

Made by leading Japanese toymaker Yonezawa, the friction-powered Toyopet (Toyota) Crown with Batman at the wheel, which survived with its original box, is now the most valuable Batman toy ever auctioned.

In all, the sold-out August 4-5 event brought in a whopping $1,395,762.

“Japanese Batman tin toys certainly made their mark,” said Heritage Consignment Director of Action Figures and Toys, Justin Caravoulias. “They accounted for more than $459,000 of the total.”

More than 1,000 bidders worldwide participated in the sale packed with toys, dolls, robots, action figures, dioramas, original packaging art, prized trinkets and other memorabilia featuring Batman, Robin and their famous foes. These treasures, most in or with their original packaging, also spanned the globe, hailing from Japan, England, the United States, South America, Europe and beyond.

“This weekend’s results show, as we’ve long known, that there is an incredible international appetite for Japanese popular culture,” says Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Joe Maddalena. “These Japanese toy rarities are largely unknown except in Japan, but it’s clear from this auction’s runaway success that a worldwide audience is eager to bid on and compete for the best of the best in character collectibles.”

All prices listed are inclusive of buyer’s premium.
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Yonezawa Japanese domestic-market Batmobile from 1966, $150,000.
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Bandai battery-operated walking Batman from the 1960s, $42,500.
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Derasco Batpen point of purchase display with pen, dating to 1966 and made for the UK domestic market, $20,000.
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Masudaya battery-operated Batcopter from 1966, $22,500.
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Marx bendable Batman set dating to 1966, $21,250.
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Block of early North Korean stamps triumphed at Chiswick

Detail of a near-complete sheet of Gen. Kim II Sung 50ch stamps that sold for £27,500 (roughly $34,900) on July 19 in London. Image courtesy of Chiswick Auctions

 

A near complete sheet of Gen. Kim II Sung 50ch stamps sold for £27,500 (roughly $34,900) on July 19 in London. Image courtesy of Chiswick Auctions
A near-complete sheet of Gen. Kim II Sung 50ch stamps sold for £27,500 (roughly $34,900) on July 19 in London. Image courtesy of Chiswick Auctions

LONDON – A block of one of the first stamps issued in North Korea sold for £27,500, or about $34,900, at Chiswick Auctions on July 19. The near-mint sheet of 104 copies of the 1946 Gen. Kim II Sung 50ch was part of the second tranche of a remarkable postal history collection assembled by John Newell, who is described as being ‘a former British journalist and presumed diplomat’ during the Cold War era.

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Clark Art Institute surveys Edvard Munch’s use of landscapes

Edvard Munch, ‘The Girls on the Bridge,’ 1902, oil on canvas. Private collection, © Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York
Edvard Munch, ‘The Girls on the Bridge,’ 1902, oil on canvas. Private collection, © Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York
Edvard Munch, ‘The Girls on the Bridge,’ 1902, oil on canvas. Private collection, © Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute presents the first exhibition in the United States to consider how the noted Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863–1944) employed nature to convey meaning in his art. Munch is regarded primarily as a figure painter, and his most celebrated images, including his iconic The Scream, are connected to themes of love, anxiety, longing and death, yet landscape plays an essential role in a large portion of Munch’s work. Edvard Munch: Trembling Earth considers this important but less-explored aspect of the artist’s career. The Clark is the sole U.S. venue for the exhibition, which is on view through October 15. Organized in collaboration with the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, Germany and the Munch Museum (MUNCH) in Oslo, Norway, the exhibition is presented in Potsdam from November 18–April 1, 2024, and in Oslo from April 27–August 24, 2024.

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Heaviest animal ever may be ancient whale found in Peruvian desert

Photograph of an adult blue whale swimming in the eastern Pacific Ocean, taken no later than 2005. A newly discovered species of whale, revealed in the journal Nature on August 2 and dubbed Perucetus colossus, which means ‘the colossal whale from Peru,’ might dethrone the blue whale and claim the title of the heaviest animal ever to live. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, photo credit NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NOAA). It is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, produced as part of an employee’s official duties.
Photograph of an adult blue whale swimming in the eastern Pacific Ocean, taken no later than 2005. A newly discovered species of whale, revealed in the journal Nature on August 2 and dubbed Perucetus colossus, which means ‘the colossal whale from Peru,’ might dethrone the blue whale and claim the title of the heaviest animal ever to live. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, photo credit NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NOAA). It is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, produced as part of an employee’s official duties.
Photograph of an adult blue whale swimming in the eastern Pacific Ocean, taken no later than 2005. A newly discovered species of whale, revealed in the journal Nature on August 2 and dubbed Perucetus colossus, which means ‘the colossal whale from Peru,’ might dethrone the blue whale and claim the title of the heaviest animal ever to live. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, photo credit NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NOAA). It is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, produced as part of an employee’s official duties.

NEW YORK (AP) – There could be a new contender for heaviest animal to ever live. While today’s blue whale has long held the title, scientists have dug up fossils from an ancient giant that could tip the scales. Researchers described the species – named Perucetus colossus, or “the colossal whale from Peru” – in the journal Nature on August 2. Each vertebra weighs more than 220 pounds (100 kilograms) and its ribs measure nearly 5 feet (1.4 meters) long.

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Elias Howe patent document sells for 100x estimate at Devin Moisan

A document referencing Elias Howe Jr.’s patent for the first modern sewing machine sold for $12,500, more than 100 times its estimate of $100-$150. Image courtesy of Devin Moisan Auctioneers, Inc. and LiveAuctioneers
A document referencing Elias Howe Jr.’s patent for the first modern sewing machine sold for $12,500, more than 100 times its estimate of $100-$150. Image courtesy of Devin Moisan Auctioneers, Inc. and LiveAuctioneers
A document referencing Elias Howe Jr.’s patent for the first modern sewing machine sold for $12,500, more than 100 times its estimate of $100-$150. Image courtesy of Devin Moisan Auctioneers, Inc. and LiveAuctioneers

EPPING, N.H. – A 19th-century document referencing Elias Howe Jr.’s patent for the first modern sewing machine sold for more than 100 times its estimate at Devin Moisan Auctioneers, Inc. on July 15-16. Estimated at just $100-$150, the folded and torn manuscript agreement between Howe and school friend George Fisher brought $12,500. Absentee and Internet live bidding was facilitated through LiveAuctioneers.

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Smithsonian American Art Museum receives $2M gift from Frankenthaler Foundation

Research fellows share new discoveries about artworks on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) as part of a regular series of gallery talks. On July 31, SAAM received a gift of $2 million from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation to fund a fellowship in modern and contemporary art and related efforts. Image courtesy of SAAM, photo by Charla Jasper
Research fellows share new discoveries about artworks on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) as part of a regular series of gallery talks. On July 31, SAAM received a gift of $2 million from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation to fund a fellowship in modern and contemporary art and related efforts. Image courtesy of SAAM, photo by Charla Jasper
Research fellows share new discoveries about artworks on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) as part of a regular series of gallery talks. On July 31, SAAM received a gift of $2 million from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation to fund a fellowship in modern and contemporary art and related efforts. Image courtesy of SAAM, photo by Charla Jasper

WASHINGTON, DC – On July 31, the Smithsonian American Art Museum announced a $2 million gift from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation that culminates a major campaign to support the museum’s fellowship program, considered the preeminent program for American art scholarship since being founded in 1970. The gift will establish an endowment to support the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Fellowship in modern and contemporary art and the professional development of fellows at the museum. It is the largest single gift to the campaign and the largest gift ever to the museum’s fellowship program.

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Boots, dog tags Alan Alda wore on M*A*S*H raise $125K for charity

The combat boots and dog tags (not shown) Alan Alda wore while playing Hawkeye Pierce during the 11-season run of the television show ‘MASH’ sold for $125,000 on July 28. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions
The combat boots and dog tags Alan Alda wore while playing Hawkeye Pierce during the 11-season run of the television show ‘MASH’ sold for $125,000 on July 28. Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions
The combat boots and dog tags Alan Alda wore while playing Hawkeye Pierce during the 11-season run of the television show ‘M-A-S-H’ sold for $125,000 on July 28. Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

DALLAS (AP) – The combat boots and dog tags Alan Alda wore while playing the wisecracking surgeon Hawkeye on the beloved television series M-A-S-H sold at auction July 28 for $125,000.

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Collection of renowned interior designer Robert Kime to sell at Dreweatts this fall

George II carved giltwood pier mirror, estimated at £40,000-£60,000 ($50,900-$76,400). Image courtesy of Dreweatts
The late interior design titan Robert Kime at his Provencal home, ‘La Gonette.’ Image courtesy of Dreweatts, photo credit Tessa Traeger
The late interior design titan Robert Kime at his Provencal home, ‘La Gonette.’ Image courtesy of Dreweatts, photo credit Tessa Traeger

NEWBURY, U.K. – Dreweatts Donnington Priory will auction the personal collection of Robert Kime (1946-2022), the man known across the world as a titan of design and a polymath who was dubbed the ‘great assembler’ of beautiful things. Kime’s unique eye and aesthetic sensibility led him to become a leading interior design figure. The culmination of his lifetime of collecting will form a three-day auction at Dreweatts titled Robert Kime: The Personal Collection, which will take place on October 4-6 and will comprise more than 750 lots ranging in value from £30 to £100,000 ($38 to $127,700). It is expected to achieve in excess of £1.5 million (roughly $1.9 million).

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