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Prehistoric blade commands $276K at Morphy’s May 17 auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 23 May 2014 13:15

Grayware headpot, Late Mississippian, 600 B.P., Golden Lake Site, Mississippi County, Arkansas, $78,000. Morphy Auctions image

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s May 17 auction may have gotten off to a “rocky” start, but that was just fine with bidders, since prehistoric stone artifacts were exactly what they came to buy. The 190-lot auction that featured blades, bannerstones, arrowheads and points of tremendous rarity chalked up a healthy $661,000 (all prices quoted inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium). LiveAuctioneers provided the Internet live bidding for the sale.

The top 10 was led by the exceptional Ross Blade, an exotic flint specimen from the Woodland period, Hopewell phase (2000-1500 B.P.). Crafted to a very high standard, the translucent sunset orange blade measuring 8 1/8 inches would have been reserved for only the elite of Hopewellian society, said Morphy’s Prehistoric Americana expert John Mark Clark.

“The Ross Blade is likely the most beautiful, and largest, known example of its type in private hands,” said Clark. “Legend has it that this blade traveled from the Midwest – probably southern Illinois – all the way to Utah, where it was found during the restoration of an antique truck. The blade had been wrapped in a shirt and stashed inside a door panel. It made its way back to the Midwest, where it ended up being one of few things that survived a massive house fire. That’s why the blade is known to collectors as ‘The Survivor.’” At Morphy’s auction, the Ross Blade reached the upper end of its estimate range, selling for $276,000.

Two other blades achieved top-10 status. A translucent sugar quartz Clovis point from the Early Paleolithic Period (11500-10000 B.P.) was discovered near Buckhart Township in Fulton County, Illinois. Its distinctive white tip was part of the craftsman’s design plan, Clark said, and because it is so unusual, it was chosen for inclusion on the Paleo poster created by Pete Bostrum, Lithic Casting Lab, Troy, Illinois. “The ‘Bostrum blessing’ is given to only the finest of specimens,” Clark noted. Against a $45,000-$60,000 estimate, the point realized $69,000. Not far behind was a corner notch blade of Missouri origin, from the Archaic Period (7500-4000 B.P.). With provenance from several well-known early collections, the 7-inch blade described in Morphy’s catalog as “museum grade” sold for an above-estimate price of $64,800.

Having a gemstone-like color, a ferruginous quartz hourglass bannerstone of the Late Archaic Period (4000-3000 B.P.) was bid to $39,000 against an estimate of $20,000-$30,000; while two discoidal game stones – believed to have been playing pieces for “chunkey” hoop-and-stick games enjoyed by North America’s indigenous population – were in great demand with bidders. A flint discoidal specimen from the Mississippian Period (1000-5000 B.P.), found in Dickson County, Tennessee, surpassed its high estimate to settle at $33,000. Another discoidal highlight from Tennessee – dating to the same general timeframe – was crafted of finely grained quartzite. It changed hands at Morphy’s for $39,000.

One of the most compelling objects in the sale was a grayware headpot discovered at the Golden Lake Site in Mississippi County, Arkansas. Featured in Dr. James F. Cherry’s epic 1990 book dedicated to headpots, the vessel is described by the author as having “an unusual occipital bun…multiple ear piercings, a pierced forelock tab, and a highly burnished finish…with no restoration, [which is] almost unheard of…” The pot was offered together with two X-rays confirming its solid, untouched condition; a copy of Dr. Cherry’s book, and two collector journals depicting the vessel that is known as the Ray Pohler Headpot. It garnered a winning bid of $78,000, just shy its high estimate.

“This was our second auction of North American artifacts and arrowheads, and it proved without a doubt that there is a large and dedicated following for prehistoric specimens. We will continue to develop the Prehistoric Americana division at Morphy’s and offer our ironclad policy of backing the authenticity of each item sold,” said Dan Morphy, president and founder of Morphy Auctions.

Quality consignments are currently being accepted for Morphy’s next American Artifact and Arrowhead Auction. To discuss a consignment, contact John Mark Clark by calling 931-237-3646 or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

View the fully illustrated catalog for Morphy's May 17 auction, complete with prices realized, online 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

Grayware headpot, Late Mississippian, 600 B.P., Golden Lake Site, Mississippi County, Arkansas, $78,000. Morphy Auctions image

Ross blade, Woodland period, Hopewell phase, 8 1/8 inches long, $276,000. Morphy Auctions image

Translucent sugar quartz Clovis point, early Paleolithic, Fulton County, Illinois, $69,000. Morphy Auctions image

Earl Townsend’s monumental 7in Corner Notch Blade, Archaic, 7500-4000 B.P., Missouri origin, $64,800. Morphy Auctions image

Ferruginous quartz hourglass bannerstone, Late Archaic period, 4000-3000 B.P., $39,000. Morphy Auctions image

Flint discoidal, Mississippian period, 1000-5000 B.P., Dickson County Tennessee, $33,000. Morphy Auctions image

Double-cupped discoidal, Mississippian period, 1100-600 B.P., Hamilton County (Chattanooga), Tennessee, $39,000. Morphy Auctions image

Nebo axe, speckled granite, Middle Archaic period, 7500-4000 B.P., Louis County, Iowa, $11,400. Morphy Auctions image

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 08:28
 

Miniature barber chair sells at $42,000 clip in VCA auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 23 May 2014 11:26

An exceptional salesman’s sample of a Kochs barber chair sold for $42,000. Victorian Casino Antiques image.

LAS VEGAS – Proving a continued demand for “not the things people need, but the things they want,” Victorian Casino Antiques hosted another fast-paced, fun auction inside its Las Vegas showroom May 2-4, where 2,500 live and remote bidders competed to lay claim to more than 1,800 antique radios, slot machines, arcade games, gas and oil collectibles, advertising art and more. The sale totaled $1 million. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The highlight of the three-day event was the intense bidding for an exceptional salesman’s sample barber chair manufactured by Theo A. Kochs of Chicago. This beautiful, fully detailed scale model sold for $42,000 to the top bidder.

Another standout item that attracted serious attention during “3 Days in May” was a five-cent Victor Novelty Works cast-iron tabletop gambling machine from approximately 1907. The rare coin-op – only two or three are known to exist today – commanded more than $32,000 at the auction.

Along with other gambling machines such as the 1939 five-cent O.D. Jennings escalator bell slot that sold for $4,200, vintage advertising art and displays also continued to be popular among bidders. A classic Pepsi-Cola metal floor display rack for bottle cartons – including 13 early six-pack carriers – achieved $15,000. A surprisingly intact Eveready batteries store display with moving parts sold for $5,700, and a rare Harley Davidson Motorcycles 5-gallon motor oil can brought $6,000.

Among the more than 500 lots of antique toys up for bid were some excellent specimens such as a French-made, 21-inch Alfa Romeo pressed-steel race car that hammered at $4,800 and a 22-inch German Guntherman “Silver Bullet” tin windup race car that sold for $2,400.

Proving that not even an auction is over until the fat lady sings, a buxom, life-size, animatronic talking “Laffing Sal” carnival figure closed out the weekend by singing all the way to the bank to the tune of $9,775.

VCA recently acquired the William A. Harrah Antique Gambling Machine Collection, which features one of the largest concentrations of upright single- and double-wheel slot machines in the world. This unique assemblage of vintage trade stimulators, floor consoles and assorted memorabilia from Harrah’s world-famous casinos – totaling more than 75 pieces – will be up for bid at VCA’s next multi-day auction event, taking place at the Las Vegas showroom Oct. 10-12.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

An exceptional salesman’s sample of a Kochs barber chair sold for $42,000. Victorian Casino Antiques image. 

Guntherman 'Silver Bullet' tin windup race car. Price realized: $2,400. Victorian Casino Antiques image. 

 Harley Davidson 5-gallon metal motor oil can. Price realized: $6,000. Victorian Casino Antiques image.

 Mechanical Eveready batteries store display. Price realized: $5,700. Victorian Casino Antiques image.v

 This Victor Novelty Works five-cent cast-iron tabletop gambling machine, circa 1907, topped $32,000. Victorian Casino Antiques image.

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 23 May 2014 12:36
 

Collection of Bronte sisters first editions sells for £111,600

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:02
A collection of first edition novels by the Bronte sisters, including Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Price realized: £111,600 ($188,085). Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image. LONDON – A complete first edition set of the novels by the three Brontë sisters sold at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Important Books and Manuscripts, sale on May 19, for £111,600 ($188,085).

LiveAuctioneers.com facilitated Internet live bidding.

The unique collection was formed by American lawyer Thomas Lincoln Chadbourne, founder of Chadbourne & Parke. Bidders competed online and on the phone for the rare opportunity to take home the Brontë collection, which sold to a collector in the saleroom [Lot 67].

A highly desirable Chinese photograph album, circa 1860, demanded attention from buyers around the world. The collection boasted fascinating views of Shanghai Custom House, Anglo-Chinese artillery at Ningpo, riverside buildings before and after a typhoon, the steamer landing at Canton, bridges and a pagoda alongside portraits of Chinese sitters and a group of three Russian Orthodox priests, presumably members of the Peking mission. It sold for £37,200 [Lot 172].

The earliest Bible in both English and Latin, The Newe Testament in Englyshe and Latyn according to the translacyon of doctor Erasmus of Roterodam, first edition, 1538, also achieved a top price, selling for £22,320. Only three copies, all defective, have been offered at auction in the last 35 years [Lot 77].

A travel diary belonging to Nelson detailing a journey from Ringwood, Hampshire to Dublin, from the Matcham Collection of Nelsoniana, sold for £806. The collection was formed by Nelson’s brother-in-law, George Matcham (1753-1833) a traveler who married Catherine “Kitty” Nelson (1767-1842). One extract from the journal reads; “The ladys are to take me to the pump room aft but I am to go with Mr.C at 8. The town is beautiful. A new pump room will soon be completed from the old one – to the White Hart inn. A new street from that down to the duke of Kingstons bath … ” [Lot 34].

Elsewhere in the sale charming illustrated autograph letters and postcards by war artist and writer Edward Ardizzone, sailed past the presale estimate, selling for £3,720 [Lot 56] as did a collection of illustrated autograph letters by painter Paul Nash (1889-1946) which sold for £2,728 [Lot 53].

A collection of striking designer bindings from the property of the late Mel Kavin of Kater-Craft Bookbinders, captivated bidders, with the beautiful A Catalogue of The Thirty-Three Miniature Designer Bindings of You can Judge a Book by its Cover, by Michael Wilcox selling for £7,192 [Lot 144].

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

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE
A collection of first edition novels by the Bronte sisters, including Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Price realized: £111,600 ($188,085). Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image. One of more than 100 prints comprising a circa 1860s Chinese photograph album, which sold for £37,200 ($62,726). Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.
Last Updated on Friday, 23 May 2014 11:18
 

1776 silver dollar, 1792 cent sell for $1.41M each at Heritage

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 15:37
1776 $1 Continental dollar. Prize realized: $1.41 million. Heritage Auctions image. NEW YORK – A 1776 Continental dollar – the finest of only four silver Continental currency dollars known to exist and a 1792 silver center one cent piece – one of the earliest and most famous of all 1792 pattern coins – both realized $1.41 million at a coin auction conducted by Heritage Auctions, May 16-17.

These rare coins from the birth of the American republic were the undisputed stars at Heritage Auctions’ selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection IV Signature® Auction, which totaled more than $11 million. The Continental Dollar realized the highest price ever paid for a non-gold American Colonial coin.

The nearly 700 lots of the most important U.S. Colonials offered in recent memory, many of them pedigreed to “Colonel” E.H.R. Green, across the festive two-day auction, gave collectors of all levels a chance to own part of this long-held collection.

At almost 103 years of age Eric P. Newman is the foremost United States numismatic researcher and author. His massive and storied collection is one of the single finest numismatic assemblages ever seen. Along with the first three parts of his collection, auctioned earlier in 2014 and in 2013, his coins so far have realized more than $44 million.

“Historic coins like these, treasures from the birth of the United States, commanded appropriately important prices,” said Jim Halperin, co-founder of Heritage Auctions. “The top collectors in the world knew that they weren’t likely to see many of these coins ever again. The competition and overall prices, as it’s been throughout Mr. Newman’s amazing collection, exceeded even our in-house expectations.”

A 1783 “100” Unique Plain Edge Nova Constellatio 100 Units, Silver, AU55 NGC, the first pattern coin issued by the newly independent United States and a forerunner of the decimal coinage's acceptance, first in America, then eventually by most monetary systems throughout the world, proved popular with collectors at a final price realized of $705,000. A 1652 New England sixpence, AU58 NGC, the finest known specimen, was also highly sought-after before finishing the auction at $646,250.

Copper highlights included the 1787 George Clinton Copper, MS63 Brown NGC, the finest-certified example of this rare classic offered at auction for the first time in more than a century, which realized $499,375, a price equaled by a simply stunning 1792 Reeded-edge Copper Disme AU55 NGC.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
1776 $1 Continental dollar. Prize realized: $1.41 million. Heritage Auctions image. 1792 P1C one cent. Price realized: $1.41 million. Heritage Auctions image.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:20
 

First Wolverine art page brings world record $657,250 at Heritage

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 09:34
Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel, original art from 'The Incredible Hulk' #180, final page 32: the first-ever appearance of Wolverine. Auctioned by Heritage on May 16, 2014 for $657,250. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions DALLAS – The original artwork featuring the first ever appearance of Wolverine, by artists Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel, on the final page of The Incredible Hulk #180 (1974), arguably the most important debut of a comic book character in the last 40 years, tied a record for any page of American comic art and set a world record price for any page of interior comic art, by far, when it brought $657,250 (including 19.5% Buyer’s Premium) on May 16, 2014, at Heritage Auctions in Dallas.

It was sold to East Coast collector Thomas Fish, a sports card dealer.

“We knew when this artwork surfaced that is was, without doubt, one of the most significant pieces of original comic art ever drawn,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “It has now brought a final price realized commensurate with that status.”

The final price realized by the piece ties the world record price also set by Heritage in July of 2012 for Todd McFarlane’s original 1990 cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #328.

Another world record price was set in the auction for the highest price ever realized at auction for a piece of original comic strip art when Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon Sunday comic strip original art, dated Aug. 28. 1938 (King Features Syndicate, 1938), a piece used to create a USPS 1995 comic strip classics stamp, decimated its $50,000+ pre-auction estimate to realize $215,100.

The top comic book offering in the auction came in the form of an exceedingly rare copy of Wonder Comics #1 (Fox, 1939) CGC NM 9.4, which realized $68,713. The issue featured the debut of Wonder Man, who appeared on the stands at the very same time as Batman, who premiered in Detective Comics #27. The Wonder Man character was perceived by the competition at DC Comics as having ridden on the coat-tails of their prized character Superman. Accordingly, Wonder Comics publisher Victor Fox was slapped with a lawsuit by DC (national Periodical) for infringement on the Superman character, causing Fox to withdraw his creation from future issues.

Further highlights of the Heritage sale included Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland Sunday comic strip original art dated 1906 (New York Herald, 1906), which brought $89,625, a new price record for the artist; Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers’ Incredible Hulk #5 Tyrannus “Beauty and the Beast” splash Page 1 original art (Marvel, 1962), finishing at $71,700; and the original art to a Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, this one dated May 9, 1987 (Universal Press Syndicate, 1987), which doubled its’ $20,000+ to bring $47,800; and All-American Comics #16 (DC, 1940) CGC VG- 3.5, the key first appearance of Green Lantern, which realized $44,813.

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $900 million, and 850,000+ online bidder members. Visit them online at www.ha.com.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:00
 

Sam Doyle painting of midwife garners $204,000 at Slotin auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 19 May 2014 15:15

This house paint on found roofing tin work by Sam Doyle (1906-1985) sold for $204,000, a record for the artist. Slotin Folk Art Auction image.

BUFORD, Ga. – A folk art rendering by the renowned self-taught artist Sam Doyle (1906-1985), titled St. Helena’s First Blak Midwife Trane By Dr. White, soared to $204,000 – a new world auction record for the artist – at Slotin Folk Art Auction’s Delta Blues to Visual Blues Auction, held April 26 and 27 at the Historic Buford Hall in Buford.

LiveAuctioneers.com facilitated Internet live bidding.

The painting, 28 inch by 50 inches, was created from house paint on found roofing tin. It was in excellent condition and depicted Mr. Doyle’s grandmother, a midwife, holding a newborn baby. It was the top lot of the April 26 session, dedicated to Visual Blues (folk art, typically from the Deep South). The April 27 session was themed Delta Blues and featured photographs, concert posters, records and more.

“We married two entirely American-born and inspired phenomena, folk art and the blues, into one massive two-day sale, and it went very well,” said Amy Slotin of Slotin Folk Art Auction, based in Gainesville, Ga. “It was one of our most successful auctions to date. Bids poured in literally from around the world, prices were strong and several world records were shattered.”

The auction came on the heels of another successful sale held by the firm on Nov. 9-10, also in Buford. That event, a Masterpiece Sale (Slotin Folk Art Auction has held many of those) was packed with around 1,200 lots of folk art creations. The top lot of that auction was an enamel on wood painting by Howard Finster (1916-2001) titled Vision of Mary’s Angel. It fetched $51,600.

“It is heartening to know that, even now with the economy still in a state of recovery and many collecting categories seeing a downturn in sales, prices and the market for self-taught art seems to be on an upswing and stronger than ever,” Slotin said. “The November Masterpiece Sale grossed $1.1 million, which astounded us, then the April auction did even better – $1.2 million.”

Following are additional highlights from the April 26-27 auction. All prices quoted include a 20 percent buyer’s premium. Online bids, phone bids and left bids combined totaled around 3,000. About 200 people attended the auction.

An important and rare folk art sugar chest in the form of a desk, made circa 1825-1850 by an unknown craftsman – or possibly slaves – in South Carolina, and the only known example of its kind to exhibit such an extraordinary inlay design, changed hands for $36,000. The inlay and apron profiles suggest upstate South Carolina, an area of Southern slave-holding plantations.

An enamel on Masonite painting by William Hawkins, titled Rider on Horseback, 1980, signed and dated, with Hawkins’s birth date, measuring 48 inches by 36 inches (less the frame), gaveled for $43,200; and a graphite and silver pencil on paper by Chris Hipkiss (British husband and wife artists, both born 1964), titled Trans Whispered, rose to $19,200, a new auction record.

Additional record prices were achieved for Herman Bridgers (1912-1990) and the second-tier artist Myrtice West (1923-2000). Bridgers’s Two Churchmens, 1978, made from cutout wood with off-white paint, tar and nail head eyes, hammered for $13,200; while West’s Christ Returns As Church Gets Ready, a paint and glitter on canvas spiritual work, coasted to $11,400.

Two other lots achieved identical selling prices of $11,400. One was a pair of decorated Lee Godie photographs, circa 1970, both black and white with some hand-coloring by Godie and each one 4 inches by 5 inches (one signed). The other was an oil on canvas panel by Minnie Evans, titled Solomon’s Temple, 1963, signed and dated and measuring 20 inches by 16 inches.

A signed, dated (1980) and titled (Hurrying Home) oil on canvas painting boasting beautiful colors by Mattie Lou O’Kelley, with intricate details and great hill scenery, 32 inches by 24 inches, went for $18,600; while a pair of Indian motif whiskey jugs by Cheever Meaders, circa 1960s, done in an ash glaze and initialed on the bottom, each one 8 1/2 inches tall, made $13,200.

A hand-stitched cotton cloth plantation quilt with paper pattern backing by the centenarian folk artist Clementine Hunter (1886-1988), measuring 66 inches by 84 inches (framed) realized $10,080; and an interesting eight-blade fan made from paint on cardstock by Sister Gertrude Morgan, a Slotin Folk Art favorite, breezed to $9,600.

To learn more about Slotin Folk Art Auction and the firm’s calendar of upcoming events, call 404-403-4244 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

This house paint on found roofing tin work by Sam Doyle (1906-1985) sold for $204,000, a record for the artist. Slotin Folk Art Auction image.

Enamel on Masonite painting by William Hawkins from 1980, titled ‘Rider on Horseback.’  Price realized: $43,200. Slotin Folk Art Auction image.

Rare and important South Carolina folk art sugar chest in the form of a desk, circa 1825-1850. Price realized: $36,000). Slotin Folk Art Auction image.

Graphite and silver pencil on paper by the British husband-and-wife couple known as Chris Hipkiss. Price realized: $19,200, a record for the artist. Slotin Folk Art Auction image.

Signed, dated 1980 and titled ‘Hurrying Home’ oil on canvas painting by Mattie Lou O'Kelley. Price realized: $18,600. Slotin Folk Art Auction image.

Cut-out wood with off-white paint, tar and nail head eyes creation by Herman Bridgers, titled ‘Two Churchmens.’ Price realized: $13,200, a record for the artist. Slotin Folk Art Auction imae.

Pair of Indian motif whiskey jugs by Cheever Meaders, circa 1960s, done in an ash glaze, 8 1/2 inches tall. Price realized: $13,200. Slotin Folk Art Auction image.

Pair of decorated Lee Godie photographs, circa 1970, black and white with hand-coloring, 4 inches by 5 inches. Price realized: $11,400. Slotin Folk Art Auction image.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:02
 

Newly authenticated Rodin sculpture sells for $306,800 at Quinn’s

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Written by CATHERINE SAUNDERS-WATSON, Auction Central News International   
Monday, 19 May 2014 12:10

Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917), circa-1905 lifetime casting ‘Le Desespoir’ (Despair), green-patinated bronze and carved marble, signed ‘A. Rodin’ on top of base with raised ‘A. Rodin’ on underside of bronze, 13¾in high x 12in wide x 11in long. Authenticated by Comite Rodin, Paris. Sold for $306,800 against an estimate of $60,000-$80,000. Quinn’s Auction Galleries image

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (ACNI) – Going the extra mile to authenticate a sculpture they suspected was an original Rodin has reaped a big reward for Quinn’s Auction Galleries. On Saturday, May 17, the metro-Washington, DC company auctioned a bronze-and-marble Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) sculpture titled Le Desespoir [Despair] for $306,800, inclusive of 18% buyer’s premium. The 13¾ by 12 by 11-inch sculpture had been entered in Quinn’s Fine Art sale with a presale estimate of $60,000-$80,000.

The buyer of the artwork, whose name has not been released, is a collector from Germany who bid over the phone.

“It’s an important and very beautiful artwork that sold for what the marketplace said it was worth, with the knowledge that the Comite Rodin had issued its authentication on the piece. It attracted intense presale interest,” Quinn’s Vice President Matthew Quinn told Auction Central News.

Quinn, who is known to art fans nationwide from his role as an on-air appraiser with PBS Television’s Antiques Roadshow, knew the monetary difference it might make if he could obtain the blessing of Comite Rodin in Paris, which has the final word when it comes to verifying Rodin artworks.

“We felt an obligation to the consignor to use whatever resources were available to us to prove the sculpture was an original. We knew the difference it would make to the auction price,” Quinn said.

Quinn spent months going through the process of authenticating the sculpture, which consists of a bronze human figure on a natural-stone base. The first order of business, Quinn said, was separating the figure from the stone to which it was bolted to see if, and how, it was marked. It was a gutsy move that involved gently hammering away at the plaster around the bolt till it loosened.

Once the sculpture was freed, Quinn saw what he had been hoping for – the bas-relief signature “A. Rodin.” While locating the signature was an essential first step, it was not enough to confirm that the piece was an original as opposed to an authorized copy, so Quinn contacted Comite August Rodin in Paris and made arrangements to show the piece to the organization’s top expert, Jerome Le Blay. A renowned authority on all things Rodin, Le Blay also authored the Catalogue Critique de l’Oeuvre Sculpte d’Augustin Rodin.

In late April, Le Blay happened to be in New York on business. Quinn made an appointment to meet with Le Blay and drove up to Manhattan with the Rodin in the back seat of his car, wrapped securely in a soft flannel sheet.

When the layers came off, Le Blay – who has inspected 8,000 Rodin artworks over the past 15 years – reacted quickly and affirmatively.

“Within 15 seconds, he confirmed it was an original,” Quinn said. Because it was cast during Rodin’s lifetime, the sculpture immediately was deemed more valuable than any copies that may have been produced after the artist’s death in 1917.

Securing the stamp of approval from Le Blay and Comite Rodin was a game changer for the star lot in Quinn’s auction.

“We set the opening bid at $30,000, and that was quickly met. A person from New Jersey left an absentee bid in that amount, and not long afterward, there were seven requests to register for a phone line. Additionally, more than 800 bidders signed up for the sale through LiveAuctioneers, although we can’t know for sure how many specifically had their sights set on the Rodin,” Quinn said.

Thirteen bidders from the United States, UK and Germany battled over the prized sculpture. It opened at $37,500, leaped to $60,000, then rose in typical auction increments till it settled at $306,800. In all, the bidding took less than three minutes.

Members of the family that consigned the Rodin were in the audience during the auction and were said to have been on the verge of tears as bids escalated through the thousands, then hundreds of thousands. The Rodin sculpture previously had belonged to their parents, Elizabeth and Karl Mathiasen, who appreciated art but never conveyed much about the history of the sculpture to their children. All that was known was that the siblings' grandfather had obtained the piece sometime after 1960 and it subsequently passed down to their parents.

“It’s amazing, but the siblings recall that while they were growing up, the sculpture was not regarded as anything particularly special -- for a period of time it even sat alongside their pet gerbil’s cage,” said Quinn.

LiveAuctioneers online statistics for Quinn’s Auction Galleries’ May 17, 2014 auction:

• Total for items sold online: $171,845

• 182 items / 31.76% sold online

• 803 online bidder sign-ups

• 555 absentee bids / 1,151 live online bids

• 1,039 underbids from online bidders

• 621 bidders watched live online

• 7,844 visitors viewed the online catalog

• 65,200 online-catalog page views

View the fully illustrated catalog for Quinn’s auction, complete with prices realized, at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

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Copyright 2014 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917), circa-1905 lifetime casting ‘Le Desespoir’ (Despair), green-patinated bronze and carved marble, signed ‘A. Rodin’ on top of base with raised ‘A. Rodin’ on underside of bronze, 13¾in high x 12in wide x 11in long. Authenticated by Comite Rodin, Paris. Sold for $306,800 against an estimate of $60,000-$80,000. Quinn’s Auction Galleries image

Last Updated on Monday, 19 May 2014 14:26
 

Pearlware jug tops $4,887 at Jeffrey Evans ceramics sale

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 16 May 2014 15:16

The English Staffordshire pottery pearlware large harvester’s dated jug was painted in typical Prattware and inscribed under the spout ‘Thomas Mafsey Heaton Norris 1800.’ The jug sold for $4,887.50, well above the $2,000-$3,000 estimate (Lot 1).

MT. CRAWFORD, Va. – The Deike Collection of English pottery, the Prus Collection of flow-blue pottery and the ceramics library of Steve & Mimi Levine of Alexandria, Va., formed the backbone for the May 6 ceramics auction at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates. Despite being a small, highly focused auction, the unreserved sale attracted 1,735 bidders from 34 countries, with many items selling for multiples of the original estimates.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

In the first section of the auction, devoted to items from pottery collectors and authors George and Mickey Deike’s collection, a large harvester’s dated jug, inscribed “Thomas Mafsey Heaton Norris 1800,” sold for $4,887.50, far above the $2,000-$3,000 initial estimate.

A circa 1785-1800 charger dish painted with a large rural landscape, sold for $1,725, over the $300-$500 estimate. Two Staffordshire pottery animals realized very strong prices. A Ralph Wood the Younger-type figure of a stag sold for $4,025, over the $600-$800 published estimate; and a figure of a squirrel painted in bright Prattware hues, sold for $3,335, 10 times more than the estimate.

The Deikes’ Peafowl wares were much admired and did extremely well, too. A domed-cover coffeepot, painted with a colorful peafowl standing on berried branches, circa 1780-1790, sold for $2,415 (estimate: $300-$500). Many of the pieces offered in the auction were illustrated in the Deikes’ 2005 book, Feathers and Foliage – The Life and Times of the Pearlware Peafowl.

Joyce and the late Greg Prus collected flow-blue wares for decades, particularly items printed in the Amoy and Scinde patterns. A rare Alcock reticulated serving dish in the Scinde pattern, circa 1840-1860, sold for $1,035 (estimate: $200-$300), while a ewer and basin in the same pattern sold for $920 (estimate: $300-$500). One of the more unusual lots, a pair of Doulton vasiform kerosene lamps, printed in the Watteau pattern, sold for $805 (estimate: $300-$500).

Mother-son antique ceramics dealers Mimi and Steve Levine retired from business in 2013. They specialized in selling Meissen porcelain, Russian porcelain and figural groups. Mimi had kept her reference library in excellent condition, and the books she sold in the auction were much sought after by collectors and members of the trade, anxious to get copies of volumes on rare topics or signed by authors. David Sanctuary Howard’s “Chinese Armorial Porcelain,” in a 1974 first edition, sold for $862.50, one of many of the book lots to surpass its estimate.

Prior to the auction, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates held its first ceramics seminar with attendees from as far away as Florida. After the auction, Jill Fenichell, vice president and head of ceramics and educational programming, said, “I am thrilled with the auction results. George and Mickey Deike have been collecting for nearly 45 years, and it’s exciting to see the reception that was accorded items from their home. Not only were private collectors and dealers bidding, the George Washington Foundation bid on several items and were successful on the great shell-edged platter marked ‘A. King’ to the underside.”

Jeffrey S. Evans added, “Our detailed catalogue descriptions, dependable condition reports and outstanding photography instill confidence in our bidders around the world. This combined with offering all lots unreserved and with very conservative estimates brings strong interest and energy to our auctions which translate into excellent results.” He went on to add, “The inclusion of educational events with specific sales has proven very poplar and demonstrates our commitment to furthering scholarship and learning in our specialties of Southern decorative arts, ceramics, and American glass.”

The next ceramics specific auction will be held on Oct. 21 and features 19th and 20th Century wares including the second annual Teapot Extravaganza.

For further information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 540-434-3939.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

The English Staffordshire pottery pearlware large harvester’s dated jug was painted in typical Prattware and inscribed under the spout ‘Thomas Mafsey Heaton Norris 1800.’ The jug sold for $4,887.50, well above the $2,000-$3,000 estimate (Lot 1).

The Ralph Wood the Younger-type hollow-bodied figure of a stag, circa 1770-1800, sold for $4,025 (estimate $600-$800). It was in very good condition with a minor horn repair (Lot 66).

This Staffordshire pottery figure of a squirrel was one of the most sought-after of the animals in the Deike collection. It sold for $3,335 (estimate: $200-$300) (Lot 75).

The George Washington Foundation of Fredericksburg, Va., purchased this J. Heath Staffordshire pottery pearlware platter. Price realized: $192 (Lot 89).

Scinde pattern rare flow blue two-handled serving dish indicated the strength of bidding for the Prus collection. The dish sold for $1,035 (estimate: $200-$300) (Lot 145).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 08:24
 

Rare Edward VIII gold proof sovereign sells for record £516,000

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 08 May 2014 10:26

Considered Britain's most valuable coin, this Edward VIII 1937 gold proof sovereign sold for £516,000 ($874,700). A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

LONDON – An Edward VIII, 1937, gold proof sovereign sold for £516,000 ($874,700) today achieving a world record price for any Royal Mint Coin ever produced in the UK. It was sold as part of the Hemisphere Collection of gold sovereigns at A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd., the first complete monarchical collection of gold sovereigns ever to be offered at auction.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The King Edward VIII gold proof sovereign, dated 1937, was the only single example available to collectors anywhere in the world. Never produced for currency use, due to the abdication of King Edward VIII, the coin originally formed part of a proof set of proposed coinage, the designs of which would have been minted and put into circulation after the king’s coronation in 1937.

After the death of Edward’s father, King George V, in January 1936, Edward ascended the throne and proposals for his coinage were produced. Controversially he refused to follow the coinage traditions of facing in the opposite direction to his predecessor and insisted on using his left facing profile that he preferred. The tradition was started with King Charles II who wished to face the opposite way to Oliver Cromwell, and had been followed ever since until Edward.

This is only the third time this example has appeared at public auction, and the first time it has been seen for sale in the UK since its first auction outing in 1984 when it achieved £40,000 (hammer). Today a tense battle between bidders in the room saw this exceptional coin finally settle at £516,000, it sold to an anonymous buyer in the room [Lot 2079].

“For the first time the Hemisphere Collection brought together sovereigns from every monarch, from the first sovereign struck under the reign of Henry VII to those of our current monarch, Elizabeth II. The Edward VIII gold proof sovereign that sold today, for a record breaking price, was a fitting celebration of the iconic British denomination, both the owner who formed the collection and Baldwin’s are thrilled with the result,” said Steve Hill, director of British coins at Baldwin’s.

Elsewhere in the sale prices were driven high by a room full or bidders that were competing with buyers online and on the phone. An Elizabeth II gold proof sovereign dated 1953, another rarity, sold for £384,000 ($650,600) [Lot 2081] and topping the hammered coins was an impressive Henry VII gold sovereign, 1502-1504, which sold for £120,000 ($203,300) [Lot 2001].

The Hemisphere Collection was part of Baldwin’s three-day May auction calendar.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Considered Britain's most valuable coin, this Edward VIII 1937 gold proof sovereign sold for £516,000 ($874,700). A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

Elizabeth II gold proof sovereign dated 1953 sold for £384,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

Henry VII gold sovereign, 1502-1504, sold for £120,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:50
 
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