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Rare slot machine pays $90K jackpot at Morphy’s

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 05 May 2014 11:11

Caille double-upright slot machine combining 5-cent Centaur and 25-cent Big Six models, $90,000. Morphy Auctions image

DENVER, Pa. – A superb Caille double-upright floor model slot machine combining a 5-cent Centaur and 25-cent Big Six paid off handsomely at Morphy’s April 26-27 Antique Advertising & Coin Op Auction. Its richly gold-plated façade, paw feet and other embellishments made the early gambling machine the center of attention at Morphy’s $1,640,000 sale, where it garnered a winning bid of $90,000. All prices quoted are inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium. Internet live bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.

The auction also featured many smaller gambling, arcade and vending machines. A Mills 1-cent “Electric Treatment” machine emblazoned “For One Night Jags” and “Take a shock and look pleasant,” surpassed its high estimate at $11,400. Not quite as jolting was a quaint Chuck-O-Luck glass-dome-topped nickel dice machine. Made in 1926 by the Southern Novelty Company of Atlanta, it attracted multiple bidders who pushed it to $6,600 against a presale estimate of $600-$1,000.

A 40-year single-owner collection of more than 100 early syrup dispensers featured many scarce entries, including a circa 1910 Cherri Bon dispenser and one of very few known examples of a circa-1900 Fan-Taz 5-cent “DRINK of the FANS” dispenser in the form of a realistically “stitched” baseball. Each was bid to $31,200. Other popular syrup dispensers included Beats All and Grape Smash, which realized $20,400 each; and Chero Crush, $19,200. A vibrant, barrel-shape “Drink Orange-Julep” dispenser commanded a sweet bid of $17,400 – nearly triple its high estimate.

America’s classic soft drink, Coca-Cola, was not to be denied a place in the top 10. A framed 1911 Coke calendar in near-mint condition with a beautiful image of a “Gibson Girl” wearing an impressive flowered hat swept past its $6,000-$7,000 to settle at $17,400. An extremely rare “Hutchinson-style” Coke bottle, with a straight-sided as opposed to cabriole shape, nearly doubled its high estimate at $8,400.

An extensive collection of Orange Crush advertising included a very rare 1936 embossed-tin triangle sign. In near-mint condition, it bubbled up a winning bid of $4,500. Among the other beverage highlights was a brewery sign with regional appeal – a tin pictorial sign for York Brewing Co. Lager Beer, York, Pa. It sold for $5,400 against an estimate of $1,500-$2,500.

The fine array of more than 150 advertising tins was led by a Buster Brown cigar tin with an amusing image of comic strip character Buster Brown and his trusty bull terrier Tighe. Estimated at $2,000-$3,000, the perennially popular container rose to $14,400. One of only a few known examples of a Sweet Violet Tobacco vertical pocket tin was estimated at $1,000-$2,000 but realized a hefty $6,600.

The Sunday session opened with Morphy’s second offering of pinball machines from the 35-year David Silverman collection, previously displayed at the National Pinball Museum. Film-related machines found favor with bidders, including a 1993 Williams “Indiana Jones” pinball that sold within estimate for $6,600. And there was cross-over interest from sports fans for a 1953 D. Gottlieb & Co. “Grand Slam” pinball machine. Described as being in 9.75 (out of 10) condition and a “really great game to play,” it surpassed expectations at $3,000.

“Once again, antique advertising showed its strength in the marketplace,” said Morphy Auctions’ president and founder Dan Morphy, after the busy two-day event. “Collectors keep coming back to our sales because they know we understand what they want – rarity and condition. Every one of our advertising auctions is different because we specialize in collections, in particular those that have been privately held for decades. You never know when a collector will decide it’s time to sell. But that’s what makes our advertising sales so exciting. They contain things that may only be available to purchase once in a buyer’s lifetime, so collectors pay close attention.”

To contact Morphy Auctions about consigning, call 717-335-3435 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

View the fully illustrated catalog for Morphy's April 26-27 auction, complete with prices realized, at www.LiveAuctioneers.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 double-upright slot machine combining 5-cent Centaur and 25-cent Big Six models, $90,000. Morphy Auctions image

Cherri Bon syrup dispenser, $31,200. Morphy Auctions image

Grape Smash syrup dispenser, $20,400. Morphy Auctions image

Beats All syrup dispenser, $20,400. Morphy Auctions image

1911 Coca-Cola calendar, $17,400. Morphy Auctions image

Sweet Violet Tobacco vertical pocket tin, $6,600. Morphy Auctions image

Buster Brown Cigar tin, $14,400. Morphy Auctions image

1993 Williams Indiana Jones pinball machine, $6,600. Morphy Auctions image

1926 Chuck-O-Luck nickel dice machine, $6,600. Morphy Auctions image

Mills 1-cent Electric Treatment shock machine, $11,400. Morphy Auctions image

Last Updated on Monday, 05 May 2014 14:51
 

1855 French map climbs to £5,208 at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 12:23

French map by Charles Louis Minard, 1855, sold for £5,208 ($8,763). Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

LONDON – A map by Charles Louis Minard, sold for £5,208 ($8,763) in Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions sale of maps and atlases alongside a private collection of cartographic curiosities on April 25 at their saleroom, in London’s Mayfair. LiveAuctioneers.com facilitated Internet live bidding.

Carte Figurative et Approximative des Tonnage des Merchandies qui ont circulé en 1855, was a schematic map of the rail and canal routes throughout France and was scaled according to the volume of traffic on each route.

Charles Joseph Minard, 1781-1870, was a pioneer in the use of information graphics, and is considered one of the founders of modern graphic design for conveying statistical information. His work in this field increased significantly following his retirement as superintendent of the Ecole Nationale de Ponts et Chaussées, and inspector of the Corps des Ponts in 1851.

In his article The Thematic maps of Charles Joseph Minard Arthur H. Robinson says about Minard’s work: “The 51 cartes figuratives that come from his fertile mind and adept hand show a combination of cartographic ingenuity and concern with the graphic portrayal of statistical data that was almost unique during the central portion of the century.” The work doubled its presale estimate of £2,000-4,000 selling for £5,208 [Lot 395].

Also attracting fierce bidding was a Russian serio-comic map of Europe dating from 1883 by V.C. Editor K.I. Kordig, which sold for £3,224 ($5,424). Although satirical maps have a long history that stretches back to the medieval period and Munster’s Geographica, 1540, it was with the outbreak of World War I that the genre became a media sensation, and increasingly popular as a collectible. This example is printed on a cotton handkerchief, surrounded by declamatory text panels and a title cartouche that translates as Contemporary Map of Europe [Lot 258].

A private collection of cartographic curiosities attracted interest with globe timepieces ticking up top prices. A French enamel, gilt-brass and rouge marble eight-day globe timepiece, circa 1890, sold for £3,472 ($5,842) [Lot 45] and a brass patent Empire Clock, a globe timepiece with eight-day movement hidden within the pedestal and inscribed “The Empire Clock, Cable, Patent 19460,” sold for £2,976 ($5,007) [Lot 46].

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

French map by Charles Louis Minard, 1855, sold for £5,208 ($8,763). Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image. 

Russian serio-comic map of Europe dating from 1883 by K.I. Kordig, printed on a handkerchief. Price realized: £3,224 ($5,424). Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 April 2014 13:15
 

New bidders discover antique toys at Bertoia's $1.2M season opener

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:03

Meier Gnome on Egg articulated penny toy, 3in long, sold for $4,720. Bertoia Auctions image

VINELAND, N.J. – Whether high-end European productions of a century ago or mid-range boomer toys produced for the prosperous postwar American market, toys made an impressive statement at Bertoia Auctions’ first sale of the year, held March 28-29. The auction attracted a bidding audience divided equally among floor, phone and LiveAuctioneers participantsm and grossed nearly $1.2 million. All prices quoted are inclusive of a 18% buyer’s premium.

“There were many new players whose names I did not recognize,” said Bertoia Auctions associate Rich Bertoia. “That’s always an encouraging sign, because it means there are collectors starting fresh with many slots to fill in their collections. When someone has been collecting for 20 to 25 years, they’re only looking for certain things they don’t already have. We’re seeing new interest from bidders who’ve only just discovered antique and vintage toys. They have a long and enjoyable journey ahead of them.”

Character toys – whether those representing early radio personalities or “evergreens” like Popeye and Disney favorites – showed strength across all demographic lines. “Everyone can relate to Mickey Mouse, whether they’re 18 or 88,” said Bertoia. And that they did, bidding an appealing Distler Mickey and Minnie Mouse Hurdy Gurdy to an above-estimate price of $5,900.

Three iterations of Marx’s Merry Makers Bands were offered. Both the marquee/conductor version and marquee/violinist bands achieved individual prices of $1,298; while a band designed with a marquee but no conductor reached $1,098. Other notable tin toy entries included a Marx Butter and Egg Man, $2,242 against an estimate of $600-$700, and a Henry Katz Soldiers Parade toy with extremely rare box, which marched to $3,540.

European toys came on strong, especially Gunthermann’s early hand-painted productions with whimsical themes and ingenious actions. “Those very same qualities that appealed to American buyers in the 1890s are what continue to attract collectors to Gunthermann toys today,” Bertoia said. Gunthermann highlights in Bertoia’s sale included a Gordon Bennett racer, $9,440; and a performing clown with flying boats, $2,950.

Other European standouts ranged from a clockwork biplane based on a Wright Brothers design, $1,652; a clockwork boat, possibly of French manufacture, with two bisque-head, cloth-dressed rowers, $3,835; and a Doll et Cie. Ferris wheel, $4,720. A circa-1910 hand-crank-operated automaton of a gentleman in tails with performing dogs on a musical Ferris wheel fetched $4,720.

A fleet of nicely scaled, well-detailed Marx vehicles followed. A scarce red and white circa-1930s pressed-steel ambulance doubled its estimate at $944, while a Marx lithographed-tin Mack steam shovel with original box powered its way to $2,950 against an estimate of $250-$300. Many of the Marx toys came from the collection of the late Dr. Malcolm Kates, who was known for his excellent eye for color and design.

The parade of European toys resumed with a strong performance from the Lehmann corner. A boxed Tut-Tut sped to $2,950; a Zig Zag commanded $2,006; and a Man-Da-Rin made $1,770. A fine selection of French Martin characters included a Barrel Roller, $1,121; and an Advocate, which successfully made its case at $2,950 against an estimate of $800-$1,000. The Martin that “cleaned house,” however, was the perennially popular Washer Woman, which more than quadrupled its high estimate to settle at $6,490.

Of all the categories featured in Bertoia’s Spring Opener, none realized more money per centimeter than the choice grouping of tiny penny toys. On average, they sold for $300-$700, but several earned remarkable four-figure sums, including a 3-inch articulated Gnome on Egg, which rose to $4,720 (est. $500-$600); and a 3-inch Meier double-decker bus, $2,242 (est. $400-$600). A boxed Parker Bros. Toy Town Airship Meet with a lithographed hangar and a Bleriot penny toy dirigible and two airplanes was bid to $1,880.

Cast-iron collectors stepped up to the plate to bid aggressively on a Hubley reindeer-drawn sleigh, $5,310; and a Kenton oversize Caisson, possibly a prototype, $9,440. Ideal’s Bicycle Riders, consisting of three riders joined together on bikes, wheeled their way to $3,540.

Rare and beautiful Erzgebirge carved-wood toys rarely appear at auction, but several wonderfully detailed examples were offered at Bertoia’s sale, including a boxed set of Townspeople, $3,540; and a Logging Encampment, $2,006. Another German highlight was a 24-inch Steiff golden mohair bear with leather muzzle, which handily surpassed its $4,000-$6,000 estimate to reach $10,030.

The magical Tom Fox collection and other select consignments drew antique Christmas ornament collectors from far and wide. Dresdens included a boar’s head “popper,” $4,130; a monkey jockey on horseback, $2,360; and a Bugatti-type roadster, $1,534. A nodding polar bear with Santa achieved $5,605, and a clockwork reindeer nodder pulling a frosted lichen sleigh with a bisque Santa rider topped the group at $11,210 against an estimate of $6,000-$8,000.

Bertoia’s May 9-10 Spring Toy Break Auction will feature the Frank Loveland collection of early American trains and the Harvey Funderwhite horse-drawn cast-iron toy collection. For additional information on this and other upcoming auctions, visit Bertoia Auctions online at www.BertoiaAuctions.com. Tel. 856-692-1881 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

View the online catalog for Bertoia's March 28-29 auction, complete with prices realized, at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Meier Gnome on Egg articulated penny toy, 3in long, sold for $4,720. Bertoia Auctions image

Fernand Martin Washer Woman clockwork toy, painted tin, cloth dressed, sold for $6,490. Bertoia Auctions image

Henry Katz Soldiers’ Parade lithographed tin wind-up toy with original box, sold for $3,540. Bertoia Auctions image

Bell Ringers automaton, featured in the book ‘Mechanical Toys’ by Spilhaus, sold for $7,670. Bertoia Auctions image

Steiff golden mohair bear, 24in high, with leather muzzle, sold for $10,030. Bertoia Auctions image

Portrait doll from earliest period of Jumeau’s production, bisque head, 16½in tall, sold for $5,900. Bertoia Auctions image

Dent service/pickup truck, 9in long, ex Donald Kaufman collection, sold for $8,260. Bertoia Auctions image

Noah’s Ark, 37in long, hand-painted details, with 91 pairs of animals and 8 people, sold for $16,520. Bertoia Auctions image

Dresden Christmas ornament of elephant with glass eyes and faux-ivory tusk, sold for $3,540. Bertoia Auctions image

Clockwork reindeer nodder with Santa on sleigh, 30in overall length, sold for $11,210. Bertoia Auctions image

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 April 2014 08:43
 

Aetna Insurance, El Bar Gin signs top $51K at Showtime event

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 16:31

El Bart Gin tin sign with original frame, copyright 1905 by Wilson Distilleries. Price realized: $51,300. Showtime Auction Services image.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – An Aetna Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn., reverse-glass painted sign with mother of pearl inlay, 34 inches square and in excellent like-new condition, sold for $51,300 at an auction held April 4-6. The sale was conducted by Showtime Auction Services with Internet live bidding facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.

“That Aetna sign was one of the most impressive reverse glass signs we’ve ever seen, just beautiful,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services. The sign tied for top lot of the auction with an El Bart Gin tin sign, housed in the original frame and copyrighted in 1905 by Wilson Distilleries, Kaufman & Strauss Co., N.Y. That sign also gaveled for $51,300.

In all, more than 1,800 lots from two major collections, plus consignments from over 100 other advanced collectors came up for bid, in an auction that grossed more than $1.3 million. Headlining the event were the lifetime collections of Robert and Janet Straub of Kansas and Neil J. Frick of Michigan. Both collections were diverse, with items in more than 40 categories.

The auction was a bit different than past Showtime sales, in that live, Internet and phone bidding were permitted all three days. “We used to have live-only auctions the first day of each sale, but that won’t be the case any longer,” Eckles said. “From now on, Internet bidding will be available the entire time. Real-time bidding has really taken hold, and we’re obligated to make our consignments open to all forms of bidding,” he said.

That said, Eckles was somewhat surprised by the large in-person turnout – around 200 people each day. “There were more folks at this auction than our fall sale,” he remarked, “and because of how we spread out all the categories, the audience kept changing.” He added internet bidding was heavy as well.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a buyer’s premium that ranged from 14 percent to 20 percent, depending on how the winning bid was placed.

A rare Hires Root Beer, the green version, showing a graphic of the Hires Boy and a price of 5 cents, went for $49,200. The dispenser – 18 inches tall and with no chips or cracks, was stamped “Mettlach 3098” on the bottom. Also, a full-size, bright red 1928 Model A fire hose and ladder truck, fully restored and complete with patriotic banners and ribbons, charged away for $31,200.

Two lots realized identical selling prices of $34,200. The first was a Happy Jap  Chewing Gum 1-cent machine patented in 1902, with the original porcelain sign and custom wall bracket. The machine stands 12 inches tall. The second was a Glencoe Brewing Co., Glencoe, Minn., Vitrolite corner sign, “Uncle Sam Beer,” in great shape and in the original copper flashed frame.

Another beer sign that did exceptionally well was a Yosemite Beer reverse glass sign for Enterprise Brewing Co., San Francisco. The sign, in excellent condition and measuring 15 1/4 inches by 19 1/2 inches, brought $27,600. Also, a De Laval Cream Separator die-cut two-sided flange sign, mounted on a wood display stand and showing just a few minor rubs and scratches, turned $6,400.

A Skinner’s Satins self-framed oval tin sign, Chas. W. Shonk Lithographers, Chicago, in near-mint condition and with a boldly rendered American Indian in full headdress graphic, rose to $24,000; a sheep weather vane made of zinc, in very good original condition, fetched $25,650; and an October Sweet Apple Cider stoneware crock, “Good to the Core,” commanded $2,700.

A Mills one-armed bandit miner-themed slot machine, taking 25 cents per play and possibly attributed to Frank Polk, 76 inches tall and in very good working condition, made $17,100; and a Union Pacific System die-cut porcelain shield sign, “The Overland Route,” professionally restored and in excellent condition, measuring 38 1/4 inches by 42 inches, breezed to $12,540.

Two other lots cracked the $10,000 mark. One was a Puffer Hubbard Co. salesman’s sample silo, the Minneapolis panel silo, in very good original condition, 16 inches tall and 8 3/4 inches in diameter, which sold for $11,400. The other was the earliest version of a oscillating gyro fan by Adams Bagnel. In excellent restored condition, it sold for $10,200.

A Model 716 Enterprise floor model coffee grinder, datent 1898, with the original paint, stenciling, eagle finial and pan, in very good condition, 58 1/2 inches tall, coasted to $9,000.

A Life-Savers die-cut cardboard string hanging two-sided sign, 10 inches by 12 inches, in very good condition except for some edge wear at the bottom and corners and at the top hole went for $9,600. A rare Merry War pure powdered lye tin match holder, “The girl who knows the best,” made by E. Myers Lye Co., St. Louis, Mo., 3 3/4 inches tall, commanded $4,500.

A hard-to-find Red Goose Shoes cast-iron string holder with most of the original paint intact and in very good overall condition, 14 inches by 10 inches, went for $4,200; and a Tuxedo Perfect Tobacco cardboard store display box, showing a picture of baseball player Harry Gowdy and with a quote attributed to him endorsing the product, hammered for $2,500.

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

El Bart Gin tin sign with original frame, copyright 1905 by Wilson Distilleries. Price realized: $51,300. Showtime Auction Services image. 

Aetna Insurance Co. reverse glass painted sign with mother of pearl inlay. Price realized: $51,300. Showtime Auction Services image. 

Hires Root Beer dispenser, the green version, depicting the Hines Boy, 5 cents. Price realized: $49,200. Showtime Auction Services image. 

1928 red Ford Model A fire hose and ladder truck, with patriotic banners, ribbons. Price realized: $31,200. Showtime Auction Services image.

Glencoe Brewing Co. “Uncle Sam Beer” Vitrolite corner sign, in frame. Price realized: $34,200. Showtime Auction Services image.

Zinc sheep weather vane in very good condition, 24 1/2 inches by 18 inches. Price realized: $25,650. Showtime Auction Services image.

Model 716 Enterprise floor model coffee grinder, patented 1898, original paint. Price realized: $9,000. Showtime Auction Services image.

Life-Savers die-cut cardboard two-sided string hanging sign, 10 inches by 12 inches. Price realized: $9,600. Showtime Auction Services image.

Mills one-armed bandit slot machine, 25 cents, possibly by Frank Polk. Price realized: $17,100. Showtime Auction Services image.

Skinner's Satins self-framed tin sign with Native American graphic in full headdress. Price realized: $24,000. Showtime Auction Services image.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 08:16
 

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury sells 'Casino Royale' first edition for £24,180

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:10

A first edition of Ian Fleming’s ‘Casino Royale’ sold for £24,180 ($40,612) at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Modern Literature on April 11. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury image.

LONDON – A first edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale thrilled bidders again April 11, selling for £24,180 ($40,612) at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Modern Literature on.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The first book in the 007 series, Casino Royale introduced Fleming’s renowned James Bond franchise to the world. Since it was first published on April 13, 1953, the book had been adapted for film three times, and in 2006 it became the 21st film in the Eon Productions film series of the Bond novels, and the film that introduced Daniel Craig as the eighth actor to play the fictional MI6 agent.

Written by Fleming in Jamaica, the book received stellar reviews and the first UK print run sold out in under a month. The dust jacket was designed by Fleming himself and the initial hardcover release was priced at 10s, 6d a copy. This rare first edition Casino Royale is in exceptional condition, and was the first of a complete collection of Fleming’s 007 novels to be offered during the sale. Also from the collection, a first edition of Live and Let Die, (1954), sold for £8,060 ($13,537), and a first edition of Moonraker, (1955) sold for £5,952 ($9,997). [Lot 51]

Another rare first edition, this time of J. J. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again (1937) sold for an exceptional £18,600 ($31,240). The classic fantasy novel has been celebrated by readers f or many generations, and has never been out of print. First published in 1937, Tolkien’s letters, and the records kept by his publishers, confirm that he was very involved with the design of the book. His original full-color drawings for the dust jacket were redrawn by him several times, removing colors until just four remained. In a bid to control costs, the UK publishers finally removed the red from the sun, leaving just black, green and blue ink to be printed on the white paper.

A copy of Moliere L'Avare (1918), owned by acclaimed novelist, playwright, poet and theater director Samual Beckett, sold for £8,060 ($13,537). Complete with Beckett’s ink ownership inscription to endpaper, and his annotations and notes to margins, the book is an early example of Beckett's study of French language as well as his growing understanding of one of the most important French playwrights. The notes largely cover translations of difficult words or phrases, although he highlights a particular exchange as being "A favourite trick with M." Beckett was awarded an honorary degree by Trinity College in 1956.

It is likely that Beckett sold his student books, post-graduation, to Fred Hanna's bookshop, where this was purchased some 25 years later by Daniel Rogers, whose family consigned the book for sale. Daniel Rogers attended Trinity College first as a student, then a junior lecturer, before moving to Durham University.

An almost complete collection of the works of P.G. Wodehouse garnered much presale interest from Wodehouse enthusiasts. Lots 150-208 included an extremely rare first edition of the author’s first adult novel, Love Among the Chickens. In 1921 Woodhouse rewrote the first five chapters to change the narrative from the third to the first person, making this first edition extremely sought after. The book sold for £4,712 ($7,194).

Also from the Wodehouse collection, titles that are rarely seen in their dust jackets included a copy of The Inimitable Jeeves (1923), which sold for £2,356 ($3,957), and Carry On, Jeeves (1925), which sold for £1,364 ($2,291).

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

A first edition of Ian Fleming’s ‘Casino Royale’ sold for £24,180 ($40,612) at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Modern Literature on April 11. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury image.

A rare first edition of J.J.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again’ (1937) sold for £18,600 ($31,240). Dreweatts & Bloomsbury image.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 May 2014 14:53
 

Asian arts earn strong prices at Schwenke’s Woodbury Auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:21

Rare pair of Chinese fabric panels. Woodbury Auction image.

WOODBURY, Conn. – Schwenke’s Woodbury Auction sold 495 lots of fine Asian decorative arts and estate decorative arts on March 23. The Asian section of the sale included fine Asian porcelains, bronzes, jade and other hard stone carvings, snuff bottles, textiles, fine art and woodblock prints. The sale also included over 100 lots of estate property, all freshly gleaned from tri-state area estates and consignors.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

“The sale was timed to coincide with the close of Asia Week New York to afford the Asian buyers the opportunity to preview our sale during the week and arrange bids on items of interest,” said auctioneer Tom Schwenke.

The highlight of the sale, fetching $20,425 to a phone bidder from Great Britain, was a fine Chinese archaistic inlaid bronze ritual wine vessel in the manner of the early Western Zhou dynasty. The lidded bronze vessel had 24K gold and silver inlays of pear form cast with flanges on a flaring base and having a swing handle terminating in animal masks, boldly decorated with Taotie masks and bands of stylized dragons in relief against a leiwen background, with incised inscription to the underside of the cover and interior of the base, 13 1/2 inches high and 11 inches wide. Such ritual bronzes were used for funeral offerings of food and drink to ancestors in family temples, ceremonial halls or at ritual banquets in which living and deceased members participated. They were eventually buried with the owner so he could continue to pay his respects in the afterlife.

Second top lot of the sale was a textile – a vintage roll of Chinese imperial pattern silk in gold with five toed dragon pattern, signed at the end, and approximately 16 yards long, 30 inches wide. The fabric sold to an Internet bidder for a surprising $18,750.

Other Asian textile lots performed well, including a pair of Chinese framed embroidered and painted silk textiles, 18th/19th century, 71 inches high, 19 1/4 inches wide, selling to a Chinese bidder in Spain for $8,125. The cover lot of the sale, an important Chinese framed embroidered panel on silk, 19th century, depicting a family of six, and measuring 53 inches high, 50 inches wide, sold above estimate ($3,000-$5,000) at $7,200 to a Connecticut collector bidding in the room.

The sale featured two fine Chinese export porcelain items in the rare Don Quixote pattern: an oval platter, circa 1750-60, measuring 14 inches long, 10 inches wide, and a 10 inches diameter dish, the center of both enameled with Don Quixote in full armor, astride his horse holding a lance, Sancho Panza holding the reigns beside him and two women watching from behind a tree, the border with four “en grisaille” reserves painted with landscapes alternating with birds, gilt highlights. The platter fetched $9,375 from a phone bidder in Canada, and the plate reached $3,150 from an Internet bidder in Taiwan, for a combined result of $12,525.

Other Chinese porcelains brought strong prices, including a rare Chinese enameled porcelain jar, Yung Chieng period (1723–1736), depicting the Hundred Boys' Festival, having a pierced wood lid with carved jade inset, mounted on a carved wooden stand, 12 3/4 inches high, 9 1/2 inches diameter, which also went to the phone bidder in Canada at $2,250. The same successful bidder claimed a beautiful large Chinese famille rose baluster form decorated vase, 19th century, with decoration of women with spotted deer pulling a cart, 18 inches high, 8 inches diameter. The price for that vase was $4,065.

The top Asian furniture lot of the sale was a rare Thai lacquered and gilt decorated two-door tapering cabinet, with a molded top over two paneled doors above a scalloped base ornament set on short feet, late 19th century, measuring 51 inches high, 33 inches wide, 18 3/4 inches deep. The cabinet returned to Thailand, claimed by an Internet bidder in Bangkok for $6,900.

The second highest Asian furniture lot of the sale, crossed the block at $4,270 to a domestic phone bidder, was a very fine Japanese lacquer, gilt, and metal mounted Isho Tansu chest, 18th/19th century, with overall gilt, Manji and Mon decoration, the cabinet doors opening to reveal five drawers interior drawers and set on a carved rosewood stand, and measuring 49 3/4 inches high, 42 1/2 inches wide, 18 1/2 inches deep. This Tansu was collected by the consignor's ancestor, James A. Scrymser, in 1898 while he was in Japan as a guest of the Japanese government. Scrymser was a businessman, philanthropist and served as a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Other Asian furniture lots fared well, including a Chinese carved wood center table, 19th century, with inset marble top on elaborate pierce carved tripod base ending in paw feet, 32 inches high, 28 inches diameter. The table, from a Connecticut estate, sold for $5,100 to a Vietnamese bidder present in the room.

Japanese decorative arts were also offered, and the top lot from Japan was a fine Japanese Satsuma koro and cover, circa 1900, possibly by Kinkozan, the lobed body with reserves of birds amid foliage, signed on base, 6 1/2 inches high, 5 inches wide, which was claimed by a phone bidder at $4,800. A large and rare Japanese blue and white Arita porcelain charger, circa 1580-1620, with Wanli decoration of a star-shaped reserve in eight panel medallions with an insect on a rock, and eight rim reserves with peaches and valuables went out at $1,650 to an internet bidder.

Consignments are being accepted through May 5 for Woodbury Auction’s Fifth Anniversary Spring Fine Estates Auction, which will be early June. For details email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 203-266-0323.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Rare pair of Chinese fabric panels. Woodbury Auction image.

Chinese famille rose decorated vase. Woodbury Auction image.

Satsuma koro and cover. Woodbury Auction image.

Imperial dragon fabric. Woodbury Auction image.

Archaic Chinese wine vessel. Woodbury Auction image.

Chinese porcelain jar. Woodbury Auction image.

Chinese embroidered figural panel. Woodbury Auction image.

Chinese carved center table. Woodbury Auction image.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 May 2014 14:54
 

Jeffrey S. Evans sale shows strength of Southern decorative arts

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 11 April 2014 13:09

Lot 1, a 3-gallon stoneware jar attributed to James Miller, sold for $74,750. The rare salt-glazed jar, circa 1825, sold for over twice the $20,000-$30,000 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

MT. CRAWFORD, Va. – In a 714-lot, nine-hour marathon session, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates sold the entire Americana collection of the late John and Lil Palmer of Purcellville, Va., to a standing-room only crowd on April 5. The Palmers, well-know collectors, were killed in a single-car accident last July.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Interent live bidding.

The auction totaled just over $1.5 million dollars including the 15 percent buyer’s premium. Top price of the day was $74,750 paid for lot 1, a rare and important stoneware salt-glazed jar of 3-gallon size, painted in cobalt with a Federal Eagle, attributed to James Miller (active 1797-1827). Made circa 1825, in Alexandria, Va., or Georgetown, D.C., the jar sold for over twice the $20,000-$30,000 estimate and realized a record price for pottery from the general D.C. area. The buyer was Clifton Anderson, of Lexington, Ky., the dealer who had originally discovered the jar in a West Virginia estate auction in 2002 and sold it to Woodbridge, Conn., dealers Allan and Penny Katz in 2003, who in turn sold it to the Palmers.

The Palmers’ stoneware and pottery collection was remarkable for its depth of offerings. One of the great surprise results of the auction was a salt-glazed stoneware diminutive canning jar made at the Thompson Pottery in Morgantown, W.Va., which sold for $48,875, ten times its low estimate. Palmer family members loved it, so did bidders on the phone and in the room. The bold image of a squirrel in typical profile pose, painted in cobalt blue on the body, had the saleroom abuzz. Lil Palmer had bought the piece in the mid-1980s, and it is one of a group of objects discussed in Ceramics in America 2011, in The Stoneware Years of the Thompson Pottery of Morgantown, West Virginia, an article by Richard Duez, Don Horvath and Brenda Hornsby Heindl.

Lot 293, a rare John James Trumbull Arnold oil on canvas folk art Portrait of Mary Mattingly, dated 1850, sold for $33,350, against an $8,000-$12,000 estimate. Additionally known and signed portraits by Arnold of Mattingly’s parents Ellen and Silvester, were offered at Christie’s in 1995 and there are other subjects painted by Arnold in the collections of Colonial Williamsburg. The warm, black-painted wood frame, and the soft browns and blacks on the dress make Mary’s frank expression and bright face, the rose in her hands and the white bow in her hair pop within the context of the darker background. The painting was purchased by Norma Wangel of Potomac Md., from the family, and later sold to John Dobricky of Warrenton, Va., who then sold it to the Palmers. Colonial Williamsburg was the successful bidder, against multiple competitors on the phone and in the saleroom. (Lot 293)

A rare and important painted poplar and pine closet/pie safe by Matthew S. Kahle (1800-1869) and John Henson (active 1819-after 1831), made in Lexington, Rockbridge County, Va., sold for $25,300, to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. The pie safe will be included in the “Safes of the Valley” exhibition at the museum, set to open May 11. With its wonderful, aged green paint and structural design by Kahle and its combined motifs of George Washington profiles, stars and urns hand-punched by Henson, it is no wonder the piece sold for far more than the $8,000-$12,000 estimate. The safe was in the article by Kurt Russ and Jeffrey S. Evans, The Kahle-Henson School of Punched-Tin Paneled Furniture, published in the 2012 edition of Chipstone’s American Furniture. The Palmers had purchased the safe from Ed and Delores Truitt of Roanoke, Va.

Another item of Southern regional interest, a rare and important fraktur made for John Kelley of Hampshire County, Va. (now West Virginia), sold for $32,200 against the $10,000-$15,000 estimate. One of a small and unusual group of mainly death records decorated with gilt lettering typical of a sign-painter, the Kelley example joins five others as being identifiable to one hand, possibly that of W.H. Jones, working actively in Winchester circa 1850.

After the auction, company president and head auctioneer Jeffrey Evans commented, “John and Lil Palmer were dear friends and their passing leaves a real void in the Virginia decorative arts collecting community. The overwhelming response to the auction and tremendous results are a testament to the Palmers’ great eye for folk art and passion for collecting.” He added, “John kept detailed notes about many of their pieces including family history as well as publication and exhibition records. This provenance was instrumental in the strong prices achieved throughout the auction. “

A full-color 198-page detailed auction catalogue is also available for this important collection.

For further information, call 540-434-3939 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To speak with ceramics specialist Jill Fenichell, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 917-302-1757.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Lot 1, a 3-gallon stoneware jar attributed to James Miller, sold for $74,750. The rare salt-glazed jar, circa 1825, sold for over twice the $20,000-$30,000 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Lot 111, a salt-glazed stoneware canning jar made by Thompson Pottery in Morgantown, W.Va., sold for $48,875. The bold image of a squirrel, painted in cobalt blue on the body, had the saleroom abuzz. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Lot 293, a rare John James Trumbull Arnold oil on canvas folk art portrait dated 1850, sold for $33,350 to Colonial Williamsburg. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Lot 422, an important painted poplar and pine closet/pie safe made in Lexington, Rockbridge County, Va., by Matthew S. Kahle and John Henson sold for $25,300. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A rare and important fraktur made for John Kelley of Hampshire County, Va., (now West Virginia), sold for $32,200 against the $10,000-$15,000 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:02
 

Treadway/Toomey reports strong results for 20th century design

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 15:28

L.C. Tiffany Tel El Amarna vase that brought $5,312. Treadway / Toomey Gallery image.

CHICAGO – On March 8, Treadway / Toomey Gallery of Chicago held another successful 20th Century Art & Design auction. Composed of three sessions – Arts & Crafts, Paintings and Modern – the first auction of 2014 garnered strong results. Exactly 1,070 lots were on the block, a number of which sold for well above their high estimates.

Internet live bidding was provided by LiveAuctioneers.com with the highest amount of lots sold online ever.

Session one focused on ceramics, lighting, glass and furniture. Strong results were seen in numerous lots, including a Marblehead vase which sold for $4,270 and an L.C. Tiffany “Tel El Amarna” vase that brought $5,312. Outstanding prices were realized in the fine silver and metalworks led by an important Kalo copper and brass samovar and tray bringing $14,640, while a Wiener Werkstatte silver spoon went for $9,760. The demand for Russian items continued, specifically two Russian enameled cigarette cases, one of which was estimated at $1,500 to $2,500 and brought $4,687, while another sold for $2,875.

The highlight of the second session of the sale was a LeRoy Neiman oil painting that went for $29,280. Chicago artist Gertrude Abercrombie’s work continued to be of interest with two paintings bringing $9,150 and $12,200. Chicago artist Ivan Albright’s Chicago Street Scene watercolor sold for $5,490, well over the $1,000 to $2,000 estimate.

The third and final session offered 1950s, Modern, and Art Deco artwork, furniture, and sculpture. A Barovier & Toso Intarsia vase from Murano brought $4,880, far over its high estimate of $1,200. Also impressive was the $6,100 that a Otto Prutscher goblet sold for, well over its high estimate of $2,200. Two Milo Baughman barrel lounge chairs sold for $6,875, while a Vladimir Kagan Cloud sofa made $6,710, over $5,000 more than its estimate of $1,000 to $1,500.

For details contact Treadway / Toomey Gallery by phoning 513-321-6742 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

L.C. Tiffany Tel El Amarna vase that brought $5,312. Treadway / Toomey Gallery image.

Marblehead vase sold for $4,270. Treadway / Toomey Gallery image.

Wiener Werkstatte silver spoon went for $9,760. Treadway / Toomey Gallery image.

Barovier & Toso Intarsia vase from Murano brought $4,880. Treadway / Toomey Gallery image.

LeRoy Neiman oil painting went for $29,280. Treadway / Toomey Gallery image.

Two Milo Baughman barrel lounge chairs sold for $6,875. Treadway / Toomey Gallery image.

Otto Prutscher goblet sold for $6,100. Treadway / Toomey Gallery image.

Chicago artist Gertrude Abercrombie painting sold for $12,200. Treadway / Toomey Gallery image.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 13:18
 

Fresh Henry Farney painting bags $96,000 at Cowan’s

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:15

Henry Farny’s ‘After Big Game’  sold for $96,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

CINCINNATI – Cowan's Auctions Inc. live salesroom American Indian and Western Art Auction took place on April 4 and realized just over $1 million. Competitive bidding on the phone, Internet and floor drove the prices for many of the lots well past their estimates. The auction featured an array of paintings, weaponry,  basketry, beadwork, moccasins and clothing.

LiveAuctioneers.com facilitated Internet live bidding.

The highest selling lot in the auction was a painting by Henry Farny, titled After Big Game, which hammered down at $96,000. This meticulously executed example had never been offered on the market since it was sold by the artist in Cincinnati.

The final portion of the Marvin L. Lince Collection attracted fierce bidding. An Iroquois figural ball club sold above its $40,000-$50,000 estimate and realized $57,000. A Plains Jukes Colson bone handle dag knife sold for $34,800, a plateau beaded hide blanket strip hammered down at $31,200, and a Great Lakes pipe tomahawk with decorated inlay sold for $22,800.

Exceptional weavings and blankets did particularly well in the sale. A Navajo Ganado room-size weaving sold for $19,680, a Navajo Klagetoh roomsize weaving realized $15,600, a Navajo Third Phase chief’s blanket sold for $12,000, and a Navajo crystal weaving sold for $6,765.

Jewelry items brought exceptional prices. A Navajo turquoise and silver cuff hammered down at $9,000, a turqouise and coral bracelet attributed to Dan Simplicio eventually sold for a phone bidder for $5,842, and a Tufa cast silver and turquoise belt buckle by Preston Monongye realized $2,640.

Pottery and basketry had a strong showing in the auction. A Maragaret Tafoya carved redware jar brought competing bids from the floor and phone, and eventually sold for a phone bidder for $19,200, a set of Pima baskets realized $3,690, an Apache basket sold for $3,360, and an Elizabeth Naranjo blackware jar hammered down at $2,400.

Additional notable items in the auction included a circa 1835 Cherokee bandolier bag collected by Michael Francis, which sold for $43,200, a pair of Apache beaded hide hightop moccasins realized $10,800, an Apache beaded hide sunrise dress sold for $11,400, and a Henry Farny bronze realized $9,840.

For details email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 513-871-1670.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Henry Farny’s ‘After Big Game’  sold for $96,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Iroquois figural ball club from the collection of Marvin Lince sold for $57,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Cherokee bandolier bag collected by Michael Francis sold for $43,200. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Margaret Tafoya carved redware jar sold for $19,200. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:02
 
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