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Auction Results in the News

Rare Sphinx lamp reveals its true value at Coker auction

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Written by ACNI Staff   
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 14:54
Image courtesy of John W. Coker

NEW MARKET, Tenn. – “From day one, I thought it might end up being the top lot, and that’s exactly what happened,” said Tennessee auctioneer John W. Coker, describing a cameo-glass Sphinx lamp in his Oct. 18 onsite sale.

One of 19 reverse-painted and scenic glass lamps from the estate of the late Elizabeth and Donald Bates of Seymour, Tennessee, the lamp was impossible to miss, either at the preview or in the LiveAuctioneers online catalog. Atop its finely formed bronze-on-marble base replicating an elephant was a domed shade executed in vibrant shades of orange, yellow and terra cotta, with the central figure being the Great Sphinx of Giza. In its background and encircling the shade were pyramids and an Egyptian village at sunset, amid towering palms and other trees.

The 18-inch-tall lamp was signed “Arsall” on its shade, referring to a French manufacturer best known for its designs of the first quarter of the 20th century.

Coker cataloged the lamp with a conservative $1,000-$2,000 estimate. “It’s a rare lamp. I knew the collectors would decide the value,” Coker said.

Bidding was fierce from the get-go, with absentee bids quickly upping the ante to $5,500. From that point forward, there was no stopping the rapid-fire action. “Internet – floor – Internet – phone – it was back and forth, going nowhere but up,” Coker said.

It finally boiled down to a LiveAuctioneers bidder against a participant on the floor. With the 70th bid, the onsite competitor prevailed, paying $19,200 (inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium).

“The buyer was a private collector from the South who had known about this lamp for more than thirty-five years,” said Coker. “She had actually seen it in the Bates’ home in Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) when she lived there, and had always wanted it. But the Bateses, who were lifelong antique dealers, would never sell it. It was the first lamp they had ever purchased for their own collection, and even dealers have things they prefer to keep and live with.”

To contact John W. Coker, tel. 865-475-5163 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit the company’s website at www.antiquesonline.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog from John W. Coker’s Oct. 18, 2014 auction, complete with prices realized, online at http://www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/61812_elizabeth-bates-estate-on-premises-auction/page1

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Image courtesy of John W. Coker Image courtesy of John W. Coker Image courtesy of John W. Coker Image courtesy of John W. Coker
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 15:21
 

Cigar store figure packs a $102,600 punch at Showtime sale

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 17 October 2014 12:38

Nineteenth century Punch cigar store wood figure, 69 1/2 inches tall and with a contemporary base. Price realized: $102,600. Showtime Auction Services image

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A 19th century Punch cigar store wood figure, 69 1/2 inches tall and with a contemporary base, soared to $102,600 at a three-day auction held Oct. 3-5 by Showtime Auction Services. The Punch figure was the top lot in a sale that saw over 1,900 lots from the Bud and Sally Bassett lifetime collection sell to the highest bidder, with no reserves.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

Punch cigar store figures – and their more famous cousins, cigar store Indian figures – are highly collectible and can fetch dizzying dollars at auction. Examples by Samuel Robb, who produced both kinds in his New York City studio starting in 1886, can routinely command six figures. Not much was known about the Punch figure in the Showtime auction, but that didn’t deter bidders.

Headlining the auction was the Bassett collection of mostly advertising items and Western-related advertising signs, which included cowboys, cowgirls and Native American themed signs, more than 100 serving trays, and vintage papier-mâché figures of Halloween and Christmas items.

About 250 people attended the auction in person over the course of the three days. Online, hundreds more participated. Phone and absentee bids were also fielded. Typically, a Showtime auction will feature lots in a wide assortment of categories, with each item selling as one lot – and few lots of multiple items. This auction was different.

“This was a new experience for us, handling over 100,000 items, some of them in lots of 1,000 or even 2,000 pieces, but that’s how massive the Bassetts’ collection was,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services. “Also, there weren’t nearly as many collecting categories as we’re used to selling. This sale was mainly advertising signs, trays, labels and such. It was a real learning experience.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a sliding scale buyer’s premium, which fluctuated depending on how a bid was placed and/or paid.

An extremely rare Republic Tires “Staggered Tread” paper sign, one of only four known and in super condition, soared to $31,350. The 20-inch by 50-inch sign exhibited brilliant colors and graphics and, except for a few horizontal creases, was in near-perfect condition. It was made by American Lithographic Co. (New York) and boasted the original bands, both top and bottom.

A spectacular 1890 Brunswick, Balke, Collender “Princess” saloon back and front bar with the original mahogany finish, 24 feet long by 13 feet 11 3/4 inches tall, was the auction’s runner-up top lot, fishing at $79,800. Also, an extremely scarce Campbell’s Soup porcelain thermometer, 12 1/4 inches tall by7 1/4 inches wide and with just a tiny chip at the bottom, commanded $19,200.

A Thomas’ Inks and Mucilage embossed tin sign, made by the Tuscarora Advertising Co., Coshocton, Ohio, 19 3/4 inches by 13 3/4 inches (image only, minus the quartersawn oak frame), breezed to $14,400; and a Chancellor Cigars, “The Cigar of Quality,” celluloid easel back sign, possibly the only celluloid example in existence, 7 inches by 12 inches, in mint condition, garnered $13,860.

An R&G Corsets porcelain sign in a wrought iron frame with the original hanging bracket, 17 inches by 21 inches, brought $9,300; a North Western Brewery tin serving tray, one of only four known and showing a bare-breasted Native American maiden riding a buffalo, earned $9,120; and a Bloomer Club cigar lighter and tip cutter in excellent original condition topped out at $4,560.

Showtime Auction Services’ next big auction event will be held in spring 2015 (dates and times to be announced). Headlining the sale will be the outstanding ammunition, gunpowder and firearms posters and signs collection of Terri and Hal Boggess; and the lifetime collection of Mart and Kitty James, in many of the collecting categories that have typified Showtime auctions.

These will include petroliana, automobiolia, salesman’s samples, general store and country store, advertising signs, toys, barber shop, saloon, tobacciana, cigar store figures, hardware, store tins, whiskey, breweriana, gambling, soda fountain, drug store, ice cream, store displays, folk art, fire fighting memorabilia and more.

Showtime Auction Services is always accepting high-quality items for future sales. To consign an item or an entire collection, call Eckles at 951-453-2415 or e-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Nineteenth century Punch cigar store wood figure, 69 1/2 inches tall and with a contemporary base. Price realized: $102,600. Showtime Auction Services image

A Chancellor Cigars celluloid easel back sign, one of only two known, celluloid example in existence. Price realized: $13,860. Showtime Auction Services image

1890 Brunswick, Balke, Collender ‘Princess’ saloon back and front bar with original mahogany finish. Price realized: $79,800. Showtime Auction Services image

North Western Brewery tin serving tray, one of only four known and showing a topless Native American maiden riding a buffalo. Price realized: $9,120. Showtime Auction Services image

Republic Tires ‘Staggered Tread’ paper sign, one of only four known and in super condition. Price realized: $31,350. Showtime Auction Services image

Thomas’ Inks and Mucilage embossed tin sign, made by the Tuscarora Adv. Co., 19 3/4 inches by 13 3/4 inches. Price realized: $14,400. Showtime Auction Services image

Campbell’s Soup porcelain thermometer, 12 1/4 inches tall by 7 1/4 inches wide. Price realized: $19,200. Showtime Auction Services image

R&G Corsets porcelain sign in a wrought iron frame with the original hanging bracket, 17 inches by 21 inches. Price realized: $9,300. Showtime Auction Services image

Bloomer Club cigar lighter and tip cutter in excellent original condition. Price realized: $4,560. Showtime Auction Services image

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:32
 

'55 Porsche Speedster leads pack at Morphy’s auto auction debut

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 13:45

Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions, with the top-finishing lot of the Oct. 11, 2014 Automobile Auction. The 1955 Porsche Speedster sold for $198,000. Morphy Auctions image

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s Oct. 11 Automobile Auction, which introduced the company’s newest specialty division, was a roaring success, grossing $1.42 million (all prices inclusive of 10 percent buyer’s premium). More than 300 people attended the event in person, while hundreds more participated by phone and via the Internet.

LiveAuctioneers.com facilitated Internet live bidding.

Of the 40 select vintage and antique cars offered, 35 found new owners, resulting in an 87.5 percent sell-through rate (by lot). The auction’s top lot was a sleek 1955 Porsche Speedster, one of around 1,200 Pre-A models manufactured. Finished in triple black and with only 49,000 miles recorded on its odometer, the coveted German classic sold for $198,000 against a presale estimate of $150,000-$250,000.

Another connoisseur’s Porsche, a 1963 356B T-6 finished in Smyrna Green, had been an AACA first place winner. Offered with photos of its professional restoration, it swept past its $80,000-$90,000 estimate to settle at $121,000.

A stylish Brit – a 1952 Jaguar X120, silver with English red leather interior and black rag top – was an eye-catching presence in the palatial white tent where all cars were displayed prior to sale. “This particular Jaguar model was the finest production car of its year,” said Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions. “Straight from the factory, these cars could hit speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour.” The jaunty convertible sold within its estimate range at $88,000. Another classy Jag, a one-owner 1972 XKE convertible with many desirable options, including air conditioning, was offered without reserve but still handily surpassed its $45,000-$60,000 estimate to reach $74,800.

Following closely behind was a red 1987 Ferrari Testarossa, whose aerodynamic lines made it look like it was in top gear even when it was standing still. Built for speed, it boasted a 12-cylinder, 4.9-liter engine that might have tempted far more road use, but it had not even clocked 20,000 miles. Against an estimate of $40,000-$60,000, it crossed the auction finish line at $85,800.

An all-American favorite, a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a 427-cubic-inch, 390-horsepower engine retained its rare factory Laguna Blue paint, which was available for one year only. Showing off sporty knock-off wheels and GM sidepipes, the beautifully restored sports car headed for a new garage after securing a winning bid of $71,500.

An exotic little number in red and white with gold interior trim and grille, a 1954 Sunbeam Alpine Supreme boasted a wealth of quality accessories. Offered with paperwork and prior-ownership history, it breezed past its $25,000-$35,000 estimate to secure a top bid of $50,600.

Other big winners included the auction’s opening lot, a super-clean 1967 Ford Mustang GTA 2+2 in red with white trim, $46,200; and a low-mileage, nearly all-original 1939 Ford Deluxe Coupe, $41,800.

“It was very exciting for us to see the level of interest our first-ever Automobile Auction generated,” said Morphy. “From the very beginning, we felt there was a niche in the marketplace for boutique events in which the emphasis was on quality, not quantity. The prices we were able to achieve and the outstanding bidder participation confirmed that we are on the right track with our approach. We will continue to offer fresh to the market collectible cars in an honest and transparent environment that serves both buyer and seller.”

Morphy Auctions will hold its spring 2015 Automobile Auctions on April 25 at Morphy’s Victorian Casino gallery in Las Vegas, Nevada; and May 9 at the company’s flagship gallery in Denver, Pa.

For information on how to consign an automobile to a future auction at Morphy’s, call 717-335-3435 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions, with the top-finishing lot of the Oct. 11, 2014 Automobile Auction. The 1955 Porsche Speedster sold for $198,000. Morphy Auctions image

1967 Ford Mustang GTA 2+2, $46,200. Morphy Auctions image

1963 Porsche 356B T-6, $121,000. Morphy Auctions image

1972 Jaguar XKE convertible in Sable/Biscuit color scheme, $74,800. Morphy Auctions image

1987 Ferrari Testarossa, $85,800. Morphy Auctions image

1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible, $71,500. Morphy Auctions image

1952 Jaguar XK120, $88,000. Morphy Auctions image

1954 Sunbeam Alpine Supreme, $50,600. Morphy Auctions image

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 20 October 2014 09:50
 

Hovsep Pushman painting brings $50,000 at Ahlers & Ogletee

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 16:40

The top lot of the auction was this original oil on board painting by Armenian-American artist Hovsep Pushman (1877-1966), titled ‘Sacred Lotus of the Nile.’ Price realized: $50,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image

ATLANTA – An original oil on board painting by the noted Armenian-American artist Hovsep Pushman (1877-1966), titled Sacred Lotus of the Nile and depicting a woman at bust length with dark hair and wearing a jeweled tiara, necklace and emerald green camisole, was sold to a floor bidder for a robust $50,000 at Ahlers & Ogletree’s Fall Estates Auction, held Oct. 4-5.

The auction was held in Ahlers & Ogletree’s gallery where more than 300 in-house bidders and more than 900 registered online bidders competed for 1,140 lots in a wide array of categories. Many phone and absentee bids were also fielded, signaling a successful sale.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

“We were very happy with the results of this auction, with a good percentage of lots meeting or exceeding their presale estimates and a healthy turnout, both in-person and online,” said Robert Ahlers of Ahlers & Ogletree. “I know I sound repetitive, but the better items brought the better prices, proving that quality matters and people will spend, even in a still-recovering economy.”

The Pushman painting was expected to do well and sold for its high presale estimate. The work was signed by the artist and measured 28 inches by 20 inches, minus the lovely original gilt and ebonized frame. Pushman studied in Paris, France and toured the Orient. He became best known for his contemplative still life paintings that include Asian objects and sensitive portraits of women, often in exotic attire, like the one sold.

The auction appealed to a broad set of tastes and pocketbooks. It included marvelous examples of mid-19th century American furniture pieces, original artwork (much of it by listed artists), a collection of antique Persian rugs, watches and other estate jewelry, scientific objects, sterling silver, Flora Danica china, decorative accessories and select items from prominent collections.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted are hammer and are exclusive of a sliding scale buyer’s premium.

A mid-20th century Modern bikini figural Fenicio vase, made for Venini by Fulvio Bianconi (Italian, 1915-1996), 14 1/2 inches tall and executed in aubergine/black and white against a clear bodice, hammered for $12,500; while an unmarked late 19th or early 20th century English Neo-classical style agateware urn with faux brown marble glazed exterior, 15 1/2 inches tall, realized $1,750.

A set of four Chinese Kangxi style porcelain enameled tiles in the famille verte palette, each one depicting a figural scene in a pavilion or garden landscape and all of them housed in rosewood frames, went for $4,500. Also, a 19th century finely crafted Chinese silk tapestry textile panel with figural decoration of robed courtly figures in an outdoor setting, unsigned, made $1,500.

A late 19th/early 20th century Continental enamel carousel form gilt metal music box and clock with hand-painted figural scenes, winged cherubs and a figure playing a harp, all on a hexagonal base with lion’s paw feet, rose to $4,000; and a matching pair of 19th century Continental hand-carved and gilt figural wall brackets with a bird motif (likely phoenix), 20 inches tall, hit $4,000.

A large oil on canvas rendering of a table and potted pink and purple flowering plant beside a footed goblet, bowl and fruit, by Reinhold Krassnigg (Austrian, 1898-1947), titled Stilleben (Still Life), 39 1/2 inches by 31 1/2 inches (minus the frame) earned $4,000; while a patinated bronze sculpture in the style of Paul Edouard Delabrierre (French, 1829-1912), titled Horse With Dog Pulling on Reins, indistinguishably signed and standing 9 1/4 inches tall, achieved $3,000.

A Louis XV-style giltwood carved wall appliqué in the form of a baluster urn, carved with draping floral and ribbon tied garlands surmounted with a floral bouquet, 23 1/2 inches tall, finished at $2,500. A brass and leather collapsible folding pole (or library ladder), with six wooden rungs connected to leather rounded supports, 81 inches tall when opened, realized $1,500.

A Modern grass-seat armchair, made in the 1960s by the renowned designer George Nakashima (Japanese/American, 1905-1990), with a walnut wood frame, curved back, natural grass seat and tapered supports and legs, sold for $2,250; and an Italian-made, 18th century hand-carved polychromed and parcel gilt armchair (or fauteuil), with medallion form back, 45 1/2 inches tall, made $2,000.

Rounding out just some of the auction’s top lots, a circa-1920 color woodblock print by the Japanese artist Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), titled Kamino Hashi, Bridge Over the Fukagawa, 14 1/4 inches by 18 3/4 inches (framed), knocked down at $2,500; and a mid-century modern striped and upholstered sofa by the Danish-American designer Jens Risom (b. 1916) climbed to $2,000.

For details contact Ahlers & Ogletree at 404-869-2478, or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

The top lot of the auction was this original oil on board painting by Armenian-American artist Hovsep Pushman (1877-1966), titled ‘Sacred Lotus of the Nile.’ Price realized: $50,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image

Mid-20th century Modern bikini figural Fenicio vase, made for Venini by Fulvio Bianconi (Italian, 1915-1996), 14 1/2 inches tall. Price realized: $12,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image

Modern grass seat armchair, made in the 1960s by George Nakashima (Japanese/American, 1905-1990), with a walnut wood frame. Price realized: $2,250. Ahlers & Ogletree image

Patinated bronze sculpture in the style of Paul Edouard Delabrierre (French, 1829-1912), titled ‘Horse With Dog Pulling on Reins,’ 9 1/4 inches tall. Price realized: $3,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image

Set of four Chinese Kangxi style porcelain enameled tiles in the famille verte palette, each one housed in a rosewood frame. Price realized: $4,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image

Late 19th/early 20th century Continental enamel carousel form gilt metal music box and clock with hand-painted figural scenes. Price realized: $4,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image

Large oil on canvas rendering by Reinhold Krassnigg (Austrian, 1898-1947), titled ‘Stilleben’ (Still Life), 39 1/2 inches by 31 1/2 inches minus the frame. Price realized: $4,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image

Unmarked late 19th/early 20th century English Neo-classical style agateware urn with faux brown marble glazed exterior, 15 1/2 inches tall. Price realized: $1,750). Ahlers & Ogletree image

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 10:57
 

Harrah gambling machines pay off for Morphy's at $2.4M Vegas auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 09 October 2014 14:45

Caille 25-cent roulette floor machine, circa 1904, ex Harrah collection, top lot of the sale at $212,500. Morphy Auctions image

LAS VEGAS – If any name is synonymous with Las Vegas, it’s “Harrah” – in particular, William F. Harrah (1911-1978), visionary founder of Harrah’s Hotel and Casinos. So it came as no surprise when antique and vintage gambling machines from Harrah’s personal collection landed in six-figure territory in Victorian Casino Antiques’ Sept. 19-21, 2014 auction – the first event conducted since Morphy Auctions’ August acquisition of VCA. The high-profile event, which featured Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers, garnered $2,381,700 (all prices quoted inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium), with many of the top-finishing lots coming from the Harrah collection.

“There can be no question that the Harrah machines brought the people in. Once here, they ended up buying other things, as well. The collection was a very good drawcard,” said VCA president Peter Sidlow. While the event attracted more than 350 people to the gallery, phone and Internet bidders proved to be formidable contenders.

“Many things went to overseas bidders,” Sidlow said. “We’re still in the process of shipping items to places like Belgium, Germany and England.”

Leading the 1,700-lot offering was Harrah’s Caille 25-cent roulette floor machine, a handsome circa-1904 wood-cased production with ornate repousse nickel-plated embellishments. Against an estimate of $150,000-$175,000, it sold to an American collector for $212,500.

Made around 1899, a very fancy, beautifully restored Mills 5-cent Duplex floor wheel machine – ex Harrah collection – landed within estimate at $108,000. Another rare upright, a Mills 50-cent “20th Century” slot machine, achieved its estimate range with a winning bid of $42,000.

Adding a melodic accompaniment to the auction, a 1912 Mills 5-cent upright Violano Virtuoso displayed the ingenious features that led to is being named in its day as one of the “Eight Greatest Inventions of the Decade.” It surpassed its presale estimate to settle at a strong $51,600.

Mills manufactured many countertop models, including their ornate circa-1901 Busy Bee. The rare example in VCA’s auction retained its original wheel with bee motif and was in excellent condition. It more than doubled its high estimate in reaching $44,400. Another desirable trade stimulator, a circa-1902 Royal Novelty Co. 5-reel poker machine that paid its winners in cigars, ended its bidding run at a smoking $33,000.

A circa-1929 Mills/Hoke “Trap the Snake” table-model bell slot machine with eye-catching serpent graphics and working skill stops was presented in fully operational, all-original condition. It easily exceeded its high estimate to earn $45,000, a price that Sidlow believes may be the highest ever paid for a three-reel slot machine.

A 5-cent Automatic Dice Fortune Teller amusement machine made by Clawson Slot Machine Co., of Newark, N.J., was in excellent original condition and came complete with its vertical stand. It sold for twice its high estimate at $30,000.

There was no end to the variety of items available to collectors of advertising and country-store items. An especially nice example of an antique Angldile Springless Automatic Scale, with a sign promising “Honest Weight,” commanded twice its high estimate and then some, at $5,100. From much later in the 20th century, a 7ft 8in painted figural statue of the iconic Big boy restaurant mascot “running” with a giant burger in his hands delivered a $7,800 bid.

Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions, expressed his unqualified satisfaction with the results of Morphy/VCA’s first collaboration and said he was especially pleased with the way the Las Vegas and Pennsylvania flagship teams had worked together in one united effort.

“My staff and I were warmly greeted in Las Vegas. We were there with one goal in mind – to join forces with the VCA team and produce the best auction possible, and I think it’s safe to say we succeeded,” Morphy said.

“We don’t want Victorian Casino to change anything about the way they conduct their sales now that they’re operating under the Morphy banner, because their methods have been very successful in the past and are actually quite similar to our own,” Morphy continued. “Any changes in the way the first join sale was produced were very minor. Their way of doing business blends seamlessly with the way we have always operated at Morphy’s. They uphold the same high standards for quality and customer service as we do at Morphy’s Pennsylvania headquarters.”

The next Morphy’s & Victorian Casino auction will be held on January 23, 24 and 25, 2015 at the Las Vegas gallery and will feature a large selection of antique advertising. To enquire about consigning, contact Peter or Dan Sidlow by calling 702-382-2466 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit Morphy Auctions online at www.morphyauctions.com.

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Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Caille 25-cent roulette floor machine, circa 1904, ex Harrah collection, top lot of the sale at $212,500. Morphy Auctions image

Caille 5-cent ‘Busy Bee’ cast-iron countertop 5-way-wheel trade stimulator, $44,400. Morphy Auctions image

Royal Novelty co. ‘The Trader’ 5-reel poker machine/trade stimulator, circa 1902, pays off in cigars, $33,000. Morphy Auctions image

‘Trap the Snake’ 3-reel bell slot machine, $45,000, possibly the highest price every paid at auction for a 3-reel machine. Morphy Auctions image

Mills 50-cent ‘20th Century’ upright slot machine, circa 1900, $42,000. Morphy Auctions image

Mills 5-cent Duplex floor wheel machine, circa 1899, ex Harrah collection, $108,000. Morphy Auctions image

Angdile Springless Automatic Scale with etched-glass tray, $5,100. Morphy Auctions image

7ft 8in painted figural statue of Big Boy restaurant figure, $7,800. Morphy Auctions image

Mills 5-cent ‘Violano Virtuoso, patented 1912, $51,600. Morphy Auctions image

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 15:06
 

Ruth Asawa sculpture tops Keno auction at $329,000

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 13:43

Ruth Asawa (American/Japanese, 1926-2013), hanging sculpture, c. 1954, iron and brass wire, 103 inches high. Price realized: $329,000. Keno Auctions image.

NEW YORK – Leigh Keno's Oct. 1 sale confirmed the strength of the modern and contemporary art market with sales totaling $1.2 million, exceeding the high end of the presale estimate of $650,000-$1.140 million. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

"With only 48 lots offered, the sell-rate was a healthy 80 per cent," reported Leigh Keno. Telephone bidders and two determined bidders in the room battled it out for the top lot of the sale: a Ruth Asawa sculpture that drove the bidding up to $329,000 (est. $100,000-$200,000). Keno noted that the consignor, John W. Freeman, purchased the piece in 1954 at Asawa's first solo exhibition at the Peridot Gallery.

The second highest priced lot of the day was a Cindy Sherman photograph, Untitled Film Still #39 that sold for $191,000 (est. $80,000-$120,000). This work had been given to Herkimer College in upstate New York in 1979 and was being sold to benefit the school's scholarship fund. "We are grateful to Cindy Sherman for recently kindly signing and dating the work for us, assigning an edition number of '1/10,'" said Keno.

A Marc Chagall glazed ceramic dish created in 1953 achieved $97,500, against a presale estimate of $25,000-50,000. "I was not surprised at the interest because it was a unique work by Chagall and not from a series," said Keno. Ceramic works from the Madoura pottery by Pablo Picasso also did well, the best being a glazed terra-cotta plaque, Visage de Femme Pomone, 1968, which brought $20,000 (est. $7,000-$10,000).

A pair of Alexander Calder Spiral silver cufflinks brought $30,000 (est. $4,000-$8,000) in spirited bidding. Leigh said he understood the enthusiasm for them. "These were a personal gift to the consigner, John Freeman, from Calder, who came to his 27th birthday party at Wave Hill in the Bronx, in June, 1955," said Keno. "Provenance doesn't get any better than this. We were also able to publish in the catalog several photographs of Calder taken by Mr. Freeman which had been tucked away in a drawer for decades."

Not surprising for Keno Auctions sale, there were a number of mid-20th century furniture in the auction, including a rare Gio Ponti lounge chair with original upholstery that came in over estimate at $43,750 (est. $15,000-$30,000) and two Ponti sideboards that sold for $16,250 and $13,750, against estimates of $3,000-$6,000.

Rounding out the sale was a number of modern and contemporary paintings including: a Sam Francis monotype, which achieved $27,500 (est. $12,000-$18,000); a James Brooks abstract from 1951 sold for $28,750 (est. $7,000-$10,000); and a Gerhard Richter oil on canvas Vermalung, estimated at $10,000-$20,000, was finally hammered down at $48,750.

Leigh Keno said he was very happy with the overall results. "We recently redesigned and renovated our gallery space and lighting system, and I love the way the pieces looked in a clean modern space. The results exceeded the high estimate and we had the opportunity to work with some great objects and of course most importantly, some great people."

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Ruth Asawa (American/Japanese, 1926-2013), hanging sculpture, c. 1954, iron and brass wire, 103 inches high. Price realized: $329,000. Keno Auctions image.

Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954), ‘Untitled Film Still #39,’ 1979, gelatin silver print, signed, dated and numbered by artist in pencil on reverse, signature, ‘1979’ and ‘1/10.’ Price realized: $191,000. Keno Auctions image.

Marc Chagall glazed ceramic dish, 13 3/4 inches diameter, 1953. Price realized: $97,500. Keno Auctions image.

Alexander Calder Spiral silver cufflinks. Price realized: $30,000. Keno Auctions image.

Gio Ponti lounge chair with original upholstery. Price realized: $43,750. Keno Auctions image.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 16:45
 

Tiffany trio tops Cottone Auctions’ Sept. 26-27 sale

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 16:24

The top lot of the auction, selling at $71,300, was this stunning Tiffany Studios memorial window titled ‘Angel of Resurrection.’ Cottone Auctions image.

GENESEO, N.Y. – Three outstanding, early 20th century lots from Tiffany Studios – a memorial stained glass window titled Angel of Resurrection, a gorgeous Poppy lamp and a pair of unusual turtleback leaded glass hanging domes – sold for a combined $188,300 at Cottone Auctions’ big annual Fall Fine Art & Antiques Auction, held Sept. 26-27 in the firm’s modern Geneseo gallery.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The memorial window was the top lot of the auction, fetching a robust $71,300. It came directly from the Church of the Redeemer in Newark, N.J., where it had been originally installed as the “Allison Memorial Window.” Following close behind was the Poppy lamp, which lit up the room for $69,000. The lamp, 24 inches tall, had an overlay filigree shade, 17 inches in diameter.

In third place, but no less impressive than the other two lots, was the pair of leaded glass hanging domes. They changed hands for $48,000. These prices were within estimates. Much of what was produced by the Tiffany Studios in New York from 1878 to 1933 is today highly sought after by collectors. In total, around 800 quality lots came under the gavel over the course of the two days.

In addition to examples by Tiffany, the auction was packed with Mid-Century Modern pieces by major designers in the field, original oil paintings and other works of art, fine art glass creations, sterling silver, lamps and lighting, old clocks and decorative accessories. The Fall Fine Art & Antiques Auction is a major event on the Cottone calendar. It was expected to do well, and it did.

“We had a nice, broad mix of merchandise for bidders to consider, from Modern to folk art and with contemporary art glass pieces that ranged from 15 years old to the 18th century,” said Matt Cottone of Cottone Auctions. “We basically stuck to our formula, which is to aggressively seek out the best merchandise from prominent estates and collections, items bidders will really want.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Staying in the art glass category, a contemporary art glass bowl titled Boundless Serena by Toots Zynsky (American, b. 1951), a fused and slumped glass thread sculpture artist signed with a “Z,” went $17,250; and a tall, colorful Modern glass vase on a custom-made machined steel stand by Stephen Rolfe Powell (American, b. 1951), 14 inches tall, titled Bell Bottom Smith, fetched $16,100.

Asian lots featured a fine bronze and metal vase with cut glass liner ($55,200), and a Chinese screen with hand-painted porcelain plaques ($23,575). Sterling silver included a fine covered tureen ($25,300), a fine Russian enameled silver pitcher ($37,000), and a Brussells coffeepot by Hans Christensen (1924-1983), the noted Danish-American designer ($14,375).

A glazed stoneware bird tobacco jar by the Martin Brothers of London, whose Martinware Pottery firm produced distinctive Victorian-era decorative ceramics and 20th century studio pottery from 1873-1923, went for $61,000. Also, a Native American Apache olla, showing figures and horses, brought $13,800.

An original oil painting by Wiliam Aiken Walker (South Carolina, 1838-1921), depicting figures and a landing scene along the Mississippi River and titled Waiting for a Boat, went for $46,000; and an interior rendering by Walter Gay (American, 1856-1937), an artist who studied in Paris and specialized in paintings of French interiors, titled Les Baites, hit $39,100.

Three portrait paintings attributed to Asahel Lynde Powers (American, 1813-1843), the itinerant folk portrait painter who traveled across the United States from Vermont to Illinois, painting portraits as he went, sold for $34,500; and a landscape painting by Ralph A. Blakelock (American, 1847-1919), who built a reputation on mysterious, luminous landscapes, titled Fall Landscape, made $17,250.

For information phone Cottone Auctions at 585-243-3100 or e-mail them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

The top lot of the auction, selling at $71,300, was this stunning Tiffany Studios memorial window titled ‘Angel of Resurrection.’ Cottone Auctions image.

Tiffany Studios Poppy lamp, 24 inches tall, with an overlay filigree shade 17 inches in diameter. Price realized: $69,000. Cottone Auctions image.

Gorgeous contemporary art glass bowl by Toots Zynsky (b. 1951), titled ‘Boundless Serena.’ Price realized: $17,250. Cottone Auctions image.

This beautifully crafted bronze and metal Asian vase with cut glass liner achieved $55,200. Cottone Auctions image.

This fine Russian enameled silver pitcher went for $37,000. Cottone Auctions image.

This impressive glazed stoneware bird tobacco jar, crafted by the Martin Brothers, brought $61,000. Cottone Auctions image.

Figural rendering of a landing on the Mississippi River by William Aiken Walker (American, 1838-1921), titled ‘Waiting for a Boat.’ Price realized: 46,000. Cottone Auctions image.

Native American Apache olla showing figures and horses. Price realized: $13,800. Cottone Auctions image.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:34
 

With LiveAuctioneers, Moran's fall auction harvests strong prices

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 02 October 2014 14:46

As much a work of art as a functioning instrument, this Louis XVI-style Steinway Model B piano, serial number 99,999, was painted with a ‘fete galante’ by Arthur Thomas in 1907. Estimated at $30,000–40,000, it sold for $39,975. John Moran Auctioneers image.

PASADENA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers opened their fall auction season with a Decorative Arts Auction at the Pasadena Convention Center on Sept. 23. The two-session sale, featuring more than 400 lots of American and European design from the early to mid-20th century, traditional Continental furnishings from the 19th century, silver, Asian furniture and art, and a larger-than-usual selection of paintings, demonstrated a strong market for better items across all categories.

In keeping with recent trends, the vast majority of bidders participated online. LiveAuctioneers.com facilitated Internet live bidding and provided 360 bidders.

The more than 80 California and American paintings in the 228-lot cataloged session made an impression, finding a receptive audience among collectors and dealers who otherwise frequent Moran’s sales to purchase antiques. They showed a clear willingness to cross over into the fine art market, and to pay healthy prices in the process.

Several paintings fetched prices commensurate with those earned at Moran’s semiannual fine art auctions, and a few sold for twice the upper end of the presale estimate. A Summer, a scene of rolling hills by Los Angeles, Calif., painter William Lees Judson (1842–1928), realized $3,900, while Leland Curtis’s more dramatic Sierra Peaks reached a price of $1,882.50 (all prices include 20 percent buyer premium). A number of bidders competed for a hypnotic scene of a lily pond receding deeply into a grove of trees, painted by Wayne Beam Morrell (1923–2013 Rockport, Mass). Boasting deft brushwork and richly saturated color, the oil had no difficulty in selling for $3,000 (est: $1,000–1,500).

Select examples of early 20th century design were also greeted enthusiastically. A hauntingly beautiful Gallé cameo glass vase, wheel-cut in brown, green and blue with stark imagery commemorating the 1914 Battle of Lorraine, commanded an impressive price of $11,685, well over the $3,000-4,000 estimate. A two-piece lot of Art Deco Argenta pottery by Swedish designer William Kage for the Gustavsberg factory was an irresistible find. Glazed in mottled jade green and inlaid in silver with stylized mermaids and boldly patterned borders, the bowl and charger fetched $1,192.25 (est: $600–900). Also in the Art Deco style, a pair of clear glass vases by Sydney Bieler Waugh for Steuben featuring simple lines and boldly etched, classically inspired designs of Pegasus and a recumbent lamb brought $960 (est: $300–400). A Tiffany Studios bronze and Favrile glass Lily lamp with 10 lights earned a price at the high end of its estimate of $15,000–18,000, realizing $17,150, while an oak Morris chair by Gustav Stickley sold comfortably over the estimate of $1,500–2,500 at $4,800.

Good examples of European furnishings and decorative items in classic 19th century revivalist styles typically perform well at Moran’s auctions. This month’s crop of standouts included:

– A pair of 19th century Empire-style patinated bronze five-light candelabra modeled as cherubs standing on tall plinths, estimated at $1,000–2,000, brought $5,400.

– A Louis XV-style Boulle marquetry bracket clock dating to the second half of the 19th century, marked to the movement “H & F Paris,’’ realized $3,900 (est: $800 – 1,000).

– Modeled after “Water” in the “Four Elements” series by J.J. Kandler, a large 19th century Meissen porcelain ewer elaborately molded and painted with Tritons, Neptune, a mermaid and seahorses brought $9,840 (est: $5,000–8,000).

– Also by Meissen, a pair of figurines of cherubs designed after the models by Heinrich Schwabe achieved the high estimate, together realizing $1,200.

– A Spanish Baroque-style vargueno and stand also appealed to buyers despite heavy restorations, bringing $7,800 (est: $3,000–4000).

Moran’s offered two outstandingly grand pianos, each clad in a distinctive art case. A 1901 Louis XVI-style Steinway Model B, serial number 99,999, was decorated with portraits of composers painted to the exterior lid and a “fete galante’’ scene of figures in a bucolic landscape painted on the lid interior by Arthur Thomas in 1907. Arriving at auction with an impressive provenance, the fully functional work of art fetched $39,975, barely missing the high end of the estimate of $30,000–40,000. The other piano, by the venerable Parisian firm Érard, was handsomely outfitted with gilt bronze mounts and complex marquetry inlay. This instrument also clearly impressed buyers, as bidding rang off the scales to $27,000, well over the $10,000–15,000 estimate.

For more information on Moran’s sales contact John Moran Auctioneers at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 626-793-1833. Consignment inquiries are always welcome.

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

As much a work of art as a functioning instrument, this Louis XVI-style Steinway Model B piano, serial number 99,999, was painted with a ‘fete galante’ by Arthur Thomas in 1907. Estimated at $30,000–40,000, it sold for $39,975. John Moran Auctioneers image.

A rare commemorative piece from the Gallé factory, this cameo glass vase marking the 1914 Battle of Lorraine brought $11,685, handily outperforming the $3,000–4,000 estimate. John Moran Auctioneers image.

This summer landscape by Los Angeles artist William Lees Judson (1842–1928), one of several high quality paintings in the sale realized $3,900, nearly double the high estimate. John Moran Auctioneers image.

Estimated to bring $1,000–1,500, this lily pond scene by Wayne Beam Morrell (1923–2013 Rockport, Mass.) entranced bidders and eventually sold for $3,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

This pair of large Empire-style bronze candelabra demonstrated a strong market for stately pieces of high quality, selling for $5,400 (est: $1,000–2,000). John Moran Auctioneers image.

Modeled after ‘Water’ in J.J. Kandler’s ‘Four Elements’ series, this large Meissen allegorical ewer charmed bidders with its myriad mythological figures, realizing $9,840 (est: $5,000–8,000). John Moran Auctioneers image.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 October 2014 09:41
 

Cowan’s Western-themed sale on LiveAuctioneers exceeds $940,000

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 02 October 2014 13:51

Henry Farny's 'Yarns of a Summer Day' sold for $310,000. Cowan's Auctions Inc. image.

CINCINNATI – Total sales for Cowan’s Auctions Fall American Indian and Western Art: Live Salesroom Auction on Sept. 26 reached $944,800. This auction included some of the finest offerings of Western art that have come to the market in recent years. In addition to fine art, the sale featured fine carvings, basketry, weavings, rugs, sculptures and weaponry.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Intenet live bidding. More than 350 bidders signed up for the sale through LiveAuctioneers, and they placed 274 bids online bids.

The highest selling lot in the auction was a gouache on paper by Henry Farny titled Yarns of a Summer Day. The painting realized $310,000.

Additional paintings by Western artists were offered in the sale. A work by Joseph Henry Sharp, titled California Chrysanthemums sold for $24,600, an oil on canvas piece by Howard Terpning, titled Yellowstone Fall, was hotly contested and sold for $19,680, a watercolor on paper by James Boren, titled Heading for Dodge City, sold for $6,000, and an oil on canvas by Ken Carlson, titled Steer sold for $12,000.

Beaded items were highlighted in the sale. A Sioux beaded hide rifle scabbard sold for $12,000, and a Sioux beaded buffalo hide possible bag realized $13,200.

Exceptional pottery and basketry inspired competitive bidding in the auction. An Apache figural tray basket hammered down at $22,140, an Acoma polychrome olla realized $9,225, an Apache figural olla sold for $5,535, and a Nampeyo of Hano attributed canteen sold for $3,567.

Additional notable lots included a Navajo late classic woman’s dress from the estate of William Haskell Simpson which realized $14,400, a Pauta Saila dancing bear stone sculpture sold for $9,225, a Joseph Jourdain inlaid pipe tomahawk hammered down at $8,400, and a Zuni inlaid rainbow guardian blossom necklace suite realized $6,765.

For more information about the auction or to consign for future auctions, call Danica Farnand at 513-871-1670 ext. 215.

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

 Henry Farny's 'Yarns of a Summer Day' sold for $310,000. Cowan's Auctions Inc. image.

Howard Terpning's 'Yellowstone Fall,' sold for $19,690. Cowan's Auctions Inc. image. 

Acoma polychrome olla, price realized: $9,225. Cowan's Auctions Inc. image.

Sioux beaded hide rifle scabbard, price realized: $12,000. Cowan's Auctions Inc. image.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2014 14:25
 
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