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Auction Results in the News

Breker auction of technological firsts ends on high note

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 14 June 2013 08:44

Another landmark machine was a 1983 Apple Lisa-1, the first commercial computer with GUI (graphical-controlled user interface), for 41,808 euros (US $54,350). Auction Team Breker image.

COLOGNE, Germany – The ascent of early PC technology continued May 25 at Auction Team Breker when an Apple 1 computer from 1976 reached a new world record price of 516,461 euros (US $671,400). The antique technology specialist made international news on Nov. 24 for selling another Apple 1 for the then record price of 491,868 euros (US $640,000). The Apple 1 sold on May 25 to a collector in the Far East who wants to be anonymous. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

Although these figures seem staggering, the Apple 1 phenomenon has had a steady build up. Early model Apple computers have been changing hands privately for many years but have only recently started to appear at public auctions. One of the main factors behind the record prices has been condition. Both machines sold in Germany were fully operational computers. According to Mike Willegal, author of the Apple Registry, there are only 46 Apple 1 units in existence, and of these just six still work.

The one sold in May had an additional special provenance. Not only did it bear its designer/inventor/manufacturer Steve Wozniak’s signature, this computer was accompanied by a 1978 letter from Steve Jobs to Fred Hatfield offering him the newest model Apple II in exchange for his old Apple 1 plus $400. Hatfield, however, liked his computer so much that he refused to part with it: in hindsight a wise decision, as the Apple II at the Breker auction sold for a comparatively modest 5,410 euros (US $7,033).

Other landmark machines in the sale included a 1983 Apple Lisa-1, the first commercial computer with GUI (graphical-controlled user interface), for Euro 41,808 (US $54,350) and a 1973 Scelbi-8H Mini-Computer Kit with extensive original documentation from its creator Nat Wadsworth for Euro 15,985 (US $ 20,780). The Scelbi-8H was arguably the first true personal computer, yet is today virtually unknown (only three examples survive), having been eclipsed within a year of its inception by the more popular MITS Altair 8800 from two years later (1975), an example of which sold for 8,607 euros (US $11,190) at the same auction.

Two more machines to have earned a place in the history of computing were Pascal’s calculator from 1652, an early 1920s working model of which fetched 31,971 euros (US $41,562), and an Enigma ciphering machine from 1944, which fetched 27,052 euros (US $35,170). A pioneer electronic calculator containing the first commercial application of an Intel 4004 processor, the Busicom 141-PF of 1971, fetched high 14,756 euros (US $19,200).

Computers and calculators, however, were not the only “office antiques” sold on Saturday. The auction catalog also featured an array of early telephones, telegraphs and typewriters. The star of the first category was an 1895 L.M. Ericsson desk telephone known as the “Coffee Grinder” for its distinctive circular shape and colourful lithography for 14,756 euros (US $19,200).

In the second category was a rare Edison Mimeograph Typewriter No. 1 from 1894, one of the first machines for the duplication of documents on waxed paper, in its original box for 8,857 euros (US $11,515) and a Ford, arguably the most elegant of 19th century typewriters, with a low serial number for 22,776 euros (US $29,610).

The second section of the sale presented some superb self-playing musical instruments, phonographs and automata. An imposing orchestral musical box for the Chinese market, featuring drum, bells, castanets and a 16-note reed organ, drew particular attention at 18,445 euros (US $23,980), while a late 19th century piece of audio-visual entertainment in the form of a musical box with Chinoiserie mandarin automata and darting enameled wasps brought 5,533 euros (US $7,193). Rather more sedate was an elegant “drum-table” disc musical box decorated in the style of Rookwood pottery by the Regina company of New Jersey for 11,388 euros (US $14,800). Also dating from the early 20th century was an Edison “Idelia” Model E phonograph in fine original condition for 22,776 euros (US $29,600). A 1903 novelty from the local Stollwerck chocolate factory in Cologne, Germany was a children’s tin toy gramophone designed to play music on chocolate discs, which fetched 5,410 euros (US $7,033) with an original record still intact and uneaten after 110 years.

A superb playing Regina 33 Changer (Lot 409) for 12 discs of 27 inches found a new home in the Far East for 21,520 euros (US $28,000). The rare Chordephon Model 63 from 1898 fetched 13,920 euros (US $18,100).

A collection of belle époque musical automata included the work of luxury Parisian toymakers Gustav Vichy and Leopold Lambert who drew their inspiration from the Orient, the circus and the street alike. Vichy’s bewitching Japanese Mask Seller with her original embroidered kimono and twirling paper parasol sold for 40,491 euros (US $52,640) while another exotic figure, the Narghile Smoker by Lambert, brought 13,526 euros (US $17,600). Other highlights included a Whistling Boy by Phalibois for 13,526 euros (US $17,600) and a delightful Clown Magician, also by Vichy, performing a “cat and mouse” routine with his top hat for 14,756 euros (US $19,200).

Two automata dating from the mid-19th century were an attractive tortoiseshell singing bird snuffbox by Rochat at 11,067 euros (US $14,400) and a superb mechanical picture clock with two-train movement, 11 moving figures and three-air musical accompaniment by Xavier Tharin for 20,245 euros (US $26,300). More macabre was the X-Ray Machine For Amusement Only, which delivered illustrated cards of male and female skeletons, each accompanied by a grim prediction, for 18,445 euros (US $24,000).

The final part of the auction featured fine antique tin toys and models, including a few surprises. In addition to an elegant open-topped racer by the distinctively French maker Eugène Pinard for 5,164 euros (US $ 6,720) and the Tippco motorcycle with pillion rider and side car for 6,073 euros (US $7,900), a 1955 Paul Weiss clockwork aeroplane was propelled to 3,074 euros (US $4,000), almost 10 times its reserve price, by lively bidding in the room and on the telephones.

Equally surprising were two lots of Bing rolling stock with original paint, a mail car and a dining car, which fetched many times their presale estimates at 3,197 euros (US $4,160) and 6,763 euros (US $8,800) respectively. A beautifully preserved Märklin Guage I Railway Station from circa 1910 provided a suitable accompaniment at 11,067 euros (US $14,400). The sale was rounded off in full steam with a physical demonstration model of a Watt-type beam engine by Eugène Bourdon for 5,567 euros (US $7,250).

The next specialty auction of Science & Technology, Mechanical Music, Fine Toys and Automata is scheduled for Nov. 16. The final date for consignments is Sept. 1 For more information about the auctions and a full list of realized prices, visit www.Breker.com.

 

View the fully illustrated catalog of Auction Team Breker’s May 25 technology auction, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.

 



ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Another landmark machine was a 1983 Apple Lisa-1, the first commercial computer with GUI (graphical-controlled user interface), for 41,808 euros (US $54,350). Auction Team Breker image.

An 1895 L.M. Ericsson desk telephone known as the ‘Coffee Grinder’ for its distinctive circular shape and colorful lithography, sold for 14,756 euros (US $19,200). Auction Team Breker image.

The Narghile Smoker automaton by Lambert brought 13,526 euros (US $17,600). Auction Team Breker image.

The elegant Ford typewriter, having a low serial number, sold for 22,776 euros (US $29,610). Auction Team Breker image.

Designer Steve Wozniak signed this Apple 1 computer ‘Woz.’ The landmark computer set a record by selling for 516,461 euros (US $671,400). Auction Team Breker image.

A superb playing Regina 33 Changer for 12 discs of 27 inches found a new home in the Far East for 21,520 euros (US $28,000). Auction Team Breker image.

A pioneer electronic calculator containing the first commercial application of an Intel 4004 processor, the Busicom 141-PF of 1971, fetched 14,756 euros (US $19,200). Auction Team Breker image.

This elegant ‘drum-table’ disc musical box decorated in the style of Rookwood pottery by the Regina company of New Jersey sold for 11,388 euros (US $14,800). Auction Team Breker image.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 10:14
 

Maravich Hall of Fame ring tops $88K in Grey Flannel’s June 5 auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 14:45

1987 ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich Hall of Fame Induction ring, $88,826. Grey Flannel Auctions image.1987 ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich Hall of Fame Induction ring, $88,826. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

WESTHAMPTON, N.Y. – More than 7,500 bids – a record for Grey Flannel Auctions – were placed on 756 lots of premium-quality professional and collegiate sports memorabilia in their blockbuster June 5 Summer Games Auction, including the auction-topping $88,826 bid to secure the late “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s 1987 Hall of Fame Induction ring.

“Pistol Pete will remain a legend as long as there’s a hoop and a basketball left on earth,” said Grey Flannel Auctions’ president, Richard E. Russek. “Even though he passed away in 1988, he’s still the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer. What makes this all the more remarkable is that he set that record – 3,667 points and 44.2 points per game – without playing varsity in his freshman year and before the three-point line was introduced to NCAA ball.”

All of the Maravich awards and personal memorabilia auctioned by Grey Flannel came directly from the Maravich family, and each lot was accompanied by a letter of authenticity signed by them. In addition to the HOF ring, other important Maravich lots included a late-1970s New Orleans Jazz game-used home jersey, $22,226; and the first basketball Maravich used as a child, $13,800.

As predicted, the baseball section was dominated by jerseys originally worn by two of the game’s all-time greats. The auction’s opener was a 1947 Mel Ott New York Giants player/manager’s worn road jersey with impeccable provenance. Against a reserve of $25,000, the ultra-desirable jersey worn by the first National Leaguer ever to hit 500 homers chalked up $77,820. Following closely behind was a 1964 Willie Mays San Francisco Giants game-used and autographed road jersey. In magnificent original condition, it attracted 18 bids before crossing home plate with a big “Say hey!” at $66,734.

Gridiron highlights included a 1995 Barry Sanders game-used and photomatched road jersey, $22,226; while Jim Brown’s 1957 Rookie of the Year trophy earned $27,584. A remarkable opportunity for hockey fans presented itself in the form of a quartet of Stanley Cup trophies awarded to Edmonton Oilers right winger, Kevin McClelland in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988. Entered in the sale as one lot, they scored a cumulative $32,545.

In addition to the Maravich HOF ring, three other jewelry lots finished in the top ten. Celtics superstar Robert Parish’s 1996 NBA 50 Greatest Players ring with presentation box and Parish LOA drew 24 bids and a final price of $47,652. Vintage pieces in this section of the sale included a 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates World Championship ring given to Class-A Savannah Pirates manager Ray Hathaway, $36,716; and a 1977 NBA World Championship ring awarded to Berlyn Hodges of the Portland Trail Blazers, $33,378.

Boxing fans had the opportunity to relive some the greatest moments in Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes’ career through an archive that came straight from “The Easton Assassin’s” home. The Holmes archive included three incredible Championship belts, which totaled more than $52,500 in a specialty offering of 57 boxing lots.

“The excitement level during this auction was very high in all major sports categories,” Richard Russek observed. “Seasoned collectors continue to be extremely interested in acquiring unique memorabilia from the legends of sport, and at the same time, many younger collectors are stepping up. This guarantees a strong future for the hobby.”

Visit Grey Flannel Auctions online at www.GreyFlannelAuctions.com. To contact the company, call 631-288-7800, ext. 230; or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

1987 ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich Hall of Fame Induction ring, $88,826. Grey Flannel Auctions image. 

1947 Mel Ott New York Giants player/manager’s worn road jersey, $77,820. Grey Flannel Auctions image. 

 1964 Willie Mays San Francisco Giants game-used and autographed road jersey, $66,734. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

 Collection of four Stanley Cup Trophies awarded to Kevin McClelland of the Edmonton Oilers (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988), $32,545. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

1995 Barry Sanders Detroit Lions game-used road jersey, $22,226. Grey Flannel Auctions image. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 June 2013 14:56
 

Paintings by Leroy Neiman fuel Clars’ $1.7M auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 03 June 2013 17:27

‘Longchamp,’ by Leroy Neiman (American, 1921-2012) galloped at full tilt past its high estimate of $50,000 selling for $77,530. Clars Auction Gallery image.

OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery realized over $1.7 million on the exceptional fine art, furnishings, decorative art, jewelry and Asian antiques that were offered May 18-19. The sale is the fourth largest in the firm’s history. Fueled in great part by the fine art category which featured a spectacular array of works by American artists as well as European, exceptional prices were also achieved in the Asian, ethnographic and fine jewelry categories.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

Turning first to the exciting fine art results, the three pivotal paintings by legendary artist LeRoy Neiman (American, 1921-2012) “stole the show,” said Rick Unruh, vice president and director of fine art at Clars. Finish at Indy, Neiman’s brightly colored 1982 painting depicting the closest finish in Indy 500 history, was expected to achieve $50,000 on the high side but collectors would compete furiously for this work driving the final sale price to an astounding $94,300. And they weren’t finished battling yet when the next lot, Neiman’s Longchamp, came on the block. Depicting jockeys atop their horses at the world famous Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, this work galloped at full tilt past its high estimate of $50,000 selling for $77,530. And finally, Neiman’s Himalayan Ascent, went solidly within estimate selling for $41,650.

Several other works by American artists also exceeded expectations. From Alaskan artist Sydney Mortimer Laurence (1865-1940), his oil on canvas Northern Lights sold for $24,990 and Southwestern artist Anna Katherine Skeele’s (1896-1963) oil on canvas Taos Chapel close to doubled its high estimate, achieving $23,800. And a rare bronze sculpture titled Horses Playing by Wilhelm Hunt Diederich (American, 1884-1953) sold for $20,230.

“California artists also fared well,” said Unruh, with Water, Sand and Patterns by August Gay (1890-1949) earning $59,500 followed by Clayton Sumner Price (1874-1950) whose Horses at Watering Hole sold for $47,600 and Eucalyptus by Maurice Braun (1877-1941) which fetched $20,230.

Several European pieces did quite well. A lovely painting titled La Jeune Maman by Spanish artist Antoni Clavé, sold for $13,090, and Italian artist Michele Cascella’s oil on canvas, Portofino, sold well above its $5,000-7,000 fetching $13,090.

Twentieth century prints added to the stellar day with a Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Austrian, 1928-2000) portfolio selling for for $26,180 followed by Roy Lichtenstein’s (American, 1923-1997) Shipboard Girl reaching $23,800.

Turning to the other outstanding sales of the day was a significant 19th century Maori people, New Zealand, architectural sculpture from inside a ceremonial house.

From the de Young Museum of San Francisco this important ethnographic offering was expected to achieve $22,000 but sold impressively for almost double at $41,650.

The exquisite jewelry offered drew collectors and the solid prices to go with them. Topping this category was an Art Deco platinum and diamond ring highlighting two old European cut diamonds, their weights approximately 2.27 carats and 2.50 carats. It was accompanied by a 14K yellow gold twisted wire ring jacket. This stunning piece surpassed its high estimate selling for $22,610.

In decorative arts, sterling and art glass held the spotlight. From renowned glass artist Dante Marioni (American b. 1964) his stunning circa 1995 work titled Yellow Pair With Red Wrap, which measured 29 inches high, easily soared to its final sale price of $13,035. A Georg Jensen Danish centerpiece topped the sterling silver offerings, commanding the same impressive price, $13,035.

And finally, Clars' always exciting Asian offerings had its surprises as well. Topping this category was a lot of five 19th century Chinese cloisonné enameled garniture set from the Tibet House, New York, which sold for double its high estimate, earning $23,800.

For complete information visit www.clars.com, call 510-428-0100 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

View the fully illustrated catalog of the Clars Auction Gallery sale held May 18-19, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

‘Longchamp,’ by Leroy Neiman (American, 1921-2012) galloped at full tilt past its high estimate of $50,000 selling for $77,530. Clars Auction Gallery image.

‘Finish at Indy,’ LeRoy Neiman’s (American, 1921-2012) brightly colored 1982 painting depicting the closest finish in Indy 500 history, achieved the astounding final sale price of $94,300. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Southwestern artist Anna Katherine Skeele’s (1896-1963) oil on canvas ‘Taos Chapel’ nearly doubled its high estimate achieving $23,800. Clars Auction Gallery image.

‘Water, Sand and Patterns,’ by August Gay (1890-1949) fetched an impressive $59,500. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Twentieth century prints added to the stellar day with this Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Austrian, 1928-2000) portfolio selling for $26,180.

This significant 19th century Maori people, New Zealand, was expected to achieve $22,000 but sold impressively for almost double at $41,650. Clars Auction Gallery image.

This Art Deco platinum and diamond ring, highlighting by two old European cut diamonds and accompanied by a 14K yellow gold twisted wire ring jacket, surpassed its high estimate selling for $22,610. Clars Auction Gallery image.

‘Yellow Pair With Red Wrap’ by glass artist Dante Marioni (American b. 1964) soared to $13,035. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Topping the Asian category was this 19th century Chinese cloisonné enameled garniture set that sold for double its high estimate, $23,800. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 July 2013 13:36
 

Hale painting, Willard clock share limelight at Case auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 03 June 2013 16:02

The most visited lot in the online catalog was this painting of a young woman behind black lace curtains by Boston Impressionist Philip Leslie Hale. It ultimately sold for $42,120 (est. $25,000-35,000). Case Antiques image.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A Boston School painting by Philip Leslie Hale and a Simon Willard labeled tall-case clock tied for top lot status at the Spring Case Antiques Auction, held May 18. The painting and clock came from the estate of Margaret Wemyss Connor of Nashville, whose collection of primarily American art and antiques accounted for 178 lots in the sale. The other 550 lots in the auction hailed from other estates and collections, including an institutional collection of Native American objects.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

More than 1800 bidders participated by phone, written absentee bid, by Internet and in person, including 150 floor bidders.

The painting, titled La Donna/Mi Velata, depicted a brunette beauty smiling enigmatically from behind sheer black curtains. The artist was Philip Leslie Hale, a Boston impressionist painter whose writings and teachings about art somewhat overshadowed his actual works of art during his lifetime (1865-1931) but whose work has become more sought after in recent years. The painting attracted multiple phone and Internet bidders, but a floor bidder took it home for $42,120.

The Simon Willard clock with Roxbury case, which also hammered down for $42,120, retained its original Isaiah Thomas engraved and printed label and French style feet, and sold to a phone bidder. Running a close third to the painting and clock was a 3.04 carat diamond solitaire ring (H color, VS2 clarity) in a 14K white gold setting, which sparkled at $37,440 (est. $25,000-30,000). All prices in this report include the buyer’s premium.

An oil on canvas of a dog in a landscape titled Champion Jojo by Frank Stick (American, 1884-1966) attracted seven phone bidders and online action before hammering down at $12,400 (est. $5,000-8,000). Other fine art highlights included a small (7 x 10 inches) oil of Paris in the rain by Edouard Cortes (French, 1882-1969), $5,382; an oil on canvas seascape by Prosper Louis Senat (American, 1852-1925), $4,212; a Leroy Nieman signed serigraph, F.X. McRory’s Whiskey Bar, $3,720; and an oil on canvas of the Grand Canal in Venice by Warren Sheppard (American 1858-1937), $2106.

There were four Erte bronze Art Deco style sculptures; each sold in the $2,500 range. A Smoky Mountain landscape by Louis E. Jones (1878-1958) led the Southern paintings at $4,914, while a pair of Jones etchings tripled their estimates at $1,112. Other regional art included an oil on canvas depiction of the Old Absinthe House in New Orleans by Cornelius Hankins (Mississippi/Tennessee, 1863-1946), $1,755; a surreal watercolor by Werner Wildner (Nashville, 1925-2004) of owl and gnome, $1,287; and a watercolor mountain scene by Mayna Avent (Tennessee, 1868-1959), also $1,287. A charcoal profile portrait of a man in a “fancy” painted chair, possibly an early image of James K. Polk, attributed to itinerant artist Charles Burton, who painted several prominent Southern subjects in the early 1800s, hammered down for $1,404.

“Brown” furniture, a tough sell in recent years, showed some bright spots. A Federal inlaid cherry sideboard attributed to Eastern Kentucky or Western Virginia, from the Connor estate, served up $10,530, and a rare Tennessee hunt table, the same height as a hunt board but with a top only 28” wide, brought a full huntboard-size price at $6,786 (est. $2,000-$2,500). It had descended in the family of a Tennessee politician. A cherry chest of drawers from the Connor estate with top center prospect door, bearing a documentation label from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, competed to $5,382 against a $2,500-$3,500 estimate, even with replaced feet.

“It was a curious piece,” noted company president John Case. “While the form is associated with Mecklenburg County, Virginia, this piece was documented in the Art and Mystery of Tennessee Furniture, has been in Middle Tennessee since at least 1920, and had secondary woods consistent with Middle Tennessee versus Mecklenburg County. MESDA told us there is a possibility it was made by a cabinetmaker who moved to the Nashville area from Virginia.”

Other furniture included an East Tennessee corner cupboard with glazed doors and vine inlaid stiles which sold for $6,552; a pair of tiger maple canopy beds, $3,744; a Sheraton period wing chair, tentatively attributed to Boston, $2,108; and a set of five contemporary Stickley brand Harvey Ellis/Arts and Crafts style inlaid oak dining chairs, $2,223.

Two Chinese watercolor on silk scroll paintings shattered their estimates. Both were believed to date from the early Qing period and were estimated in the hundreds range due to condition issues, but drew heavy attention from Chinese bidders. One, depicting figures on a terrace, competed to $13,455; the other, with a mountain landscape design, hit $11,700. Also attracting international interest was an ancient Near Eastern silver vase with heavy repousse design, which shot to $3,042 against a $250-350 estimate. A pair of large Japanese Imari floor vases with crane designs sold for $1,736, while a Famille Rose vase with celadon background and applied lizard handles brought $1,053. A small blue and white sweetmeat dish with Chinese-style decoration, made by Worcester during its Dr. Wall period, doubled its estimate at $744, and a pair of English blue and white pierced porcelain baskets attributed to Bow earned $682. A Continental creamware dish with pierced cover and underplate and figural finial brought $702, and two lots of Herend “Queen Victoria” pattern dinnerware, one containing 76 pieces, the other 33, realized $3,276 and $2,808 respectively.

In the Southern ceramics category, an East Tennessee Decker pottery stoneware jug, inscribed C.D. Decker, hammered down for $2,223 (est. $700-900). And there was reaction from the crowd when a single owner collection of miniature whiskey jugs began crossing the block and commanding full-sized price. Two flat-sided jugs from Owensboro Ky., brought $1,112 (est. 200-250), a pair from L.T. Doores of Bowling Green, Ky., brought $819 (est. 250-350), and two from Louisville (including one believed to be from a brothel) brought $761. Three miniature jugs from Nashville earned $527, the same price as a single one inscribed from the Star Saloon in Frankfort Kentucky.

The sale also included a collection of Native American pottery and artifacts, much of it deaccessioned by an East Tennessee institution. An 8-inch-long Native American three-quarter groove ax recovered alongside the Mississippi in Illinois brought $1,638, while a Mississippian grayware stirrup bottle served up $556 and a Caddo bowl with incised “friendship” designs around the rims brought $527. A 1930s Navajo Ye’ii pictorial rug depicting three figures amid cornstalks realized $682.

Metalware highlights included a 120-piece set of Reed and Barton Francis I sterling flatware, $4,329, and a George III tankard with engraved armorial crest, $2,728. A cigarette case with AH monogram by Bruckmann and Sohne, said to have been confiscated from Eva Braun’s apartment during an attempted capture of Adolph Hitler, sold for $819, while a German Art Nouveau style silverplated centerpiece by Orivit with glass bowl tripled its estimate at $1,736. A William Spratling silver and tortoiseshell necklace in the form of joined hands captured $1,989 and a circa 1940 Fred Davis Mexican silver necklace made $1,521. Early brass candlesticks from the Connor collection saw healthy demand. A lot of four Queen Anne-style candlesticks with petal bases lit up at $1,178, and a lot containing two pairs of 18th century brass candlesticks with octagonal sockets and bases brought $1,287.

The signature of Sam Houston, the only person to have been elected governor of two states, Tennessee and Texas, helped propel a Tennessee land grant to $2,106 (est. $1,000-1,200), while an 1805 judicial certification signed by Tennessee’s first governor, John Sevier, earned $1,989 (est. $400-600). An archive of letters from a Pennsylvania Civil War soldier that included a graphic account of the battle of Antietam rallied to $1,736, while an archive of letters from soldiers of the Minnesota 3rd Regiment brought $995. Other items of note in the historical category included a tintype of a Union soldier holding his sword, $744, and a group of four Abraham Lincoln/John Bell campaign lapel pins and tokens, $1,178.

Case is currently accepting consignments for its upcoming auctions. Requests for auction estimates can be emailed along with jpeg photos to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information or to be added to the mailing list, visit the company’s website at www.caseantiques.com, call the gallery in Knoxville at 865-558-3033 or the company’s Nashville office at 615-812-6096, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

View the fully illustrated catalog of the Spring Case Antiques Auction held May 18, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

The most visited lot in the online catalog was this painting of a young woman behind black lace curtains by Boston Impressionist Philip Leslie Hale. It ultimately sold for $42,120 (est. $25,000-35,000). Case Antiques image.

A Simon Willard tall-case clock with original Isaiah Thomas paper label inside the waist door brought $42,120. Case Antiques image.

A 3.04-carat brilliant diamond ring with 14K white gold setting and GIA certification earned $37,440. Case Antiques image.

Sporting art was in demand. This Frank Stick (American, 1884-1966) oil on canvas of a hunting dog titled ‘Champion Jojo’ sniffed out a top bid of $12,400. Case Antiques image.

Related to the storied Southern huntboard, but smaller and less commonly found, are hunt tables. This one wore a nice old surface and served up $6,786 (est. $2,000-$2,500). Case Antiques image.

More bidders participated from China than from any other countries except the U.S. and Canada, and many of them wanted this early watercolor on silk scroll, which sold for $13,455. Case Antiques image.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 17:17
 

Picasso linoleum cut hits $572,500 at Hindman art auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 23 May 2013 14:44

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), 'Buste de Femme d'apres Cranach le Jeune,' 1958,  linoleum cut; Galerie Louise Leiris, pub., 25 1/2 x 20 7/8 inches. Price realized: $572,500. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

CHICAGO – Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Modern Art auction May 13 was a success with international competition from hundreds of bidders in the salesroom, on the telephones and via the Internet. The auction, which featured important modern photographs, original contemporary works and a strong session of prints and multiples, grossed $2.85 million. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The highlight of the sale was a Picasso titled Buste de Femme d’apres Cranach le Jeune, which realized $572,500, making it the most expensive unsigned Picasso linoleum cut ever sold at auction.

Some of the other highlights from the sale included an untitled Alexander Calder painting, which sold for $146,500, a Deborah Butterfield sculpture titled Doney, which brought $110,500, an untitled Barnett Newman etching, which sold for $107,500 and an untitled painting by Sam Francis, which brought $92,500.

Two photographs by Robert Frank also realized strong prices. One of his photographs titled Trolley, New Orleans brought $134,500, and another titled Hoboken realized $104,500.

The sale was preceded by a successful American and European Art auction, which grossed $2.02 million. Highlights of the sale included John William Godward’s Dolce far Niente, which realized $290,500 and William Tylee Ranney’s Haying Time, which brought $182,500.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ next Modern and Contemporary auction will be held Sept. 24. The American and European Art auction will be held Sept. 23. Consignments are welcome through the end of July.

View the fully illustrated catalog Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Modern and Contemporary Art Auction May 13, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), 'Buste de Femme d'apres Cranach le Jeune,' 1958,  linoleum cut; Galerie Louise Leiris, pub., 25 1/2 x 20 7/8 inches. Price realized: $572,500. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

Robert Frank (American, b. 1924), 'Trolley, New Orleans,' 1955, gelatin silver print, signed, 9 1/2 x 14 inches. Price realized: $134,500.  Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976), 'Untitled,' circa 1945, oil on canvas, 16 x 12 1/8 inches. Price realized: $146,500. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 11:44
 

Top ceramic artists have big impact at Cowan’s auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 14:45

Peter Voulkos, untitled sculpture, 1957, realized $39,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions Inc. Modern and Contemporary Ceramics Auction on May 17 saw high prices for well-known artists such as Lucie Rie, Peter Voulkos, Beatrice Wood and Robert Arneson. Immediately following the ceramics sale was Cowan’s 20th Century Art + Design sale, which highlighted exceptional pieces of mid-century and contemporary design, fine art, works on paper, photography and art glass.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

Masterworks from the Art of Peter Voulkos hit the auction block in the ceramics portion of the sale. The highest-selling lot in the auction was an untitled stoneware sculpture from 1957 which hammered down at $39,000. Another untitled vase from 1957 more than doubled its preauction estimate of $7,000/10,000 and sold for $24,000.

Other piece by Lucie Rie, titled Pink and Grey Bottle/Vase, eventually sold for $24,000. This is a signature form known as the “stamp vase.” A similar work was chosen by the Royal Mail in 1987 adorning one of four stamps to commemorate the achievement of British potters.

Other items that garnered high prices in the auction were pieces by Robert Arneson, Michael Lucero and Ken Ferguson. Michael Lucero’s most famous work, Young Lady with Ohr Hair, realized $23,370. A piece by Robert Arneson, titled Pot Kisser, sold for $7,995, and another Arneson self-portrait shot glass realized $4,059. Ken Ferguson’s Triple Udder Mermaid Vessel smashed its original estimate of $2,500/3,500 and hammered down at $8,610.

The highest-selling lot in the 20th Century Art + Design Auction was an oil on canvas painting by Giuseppe Pino titled Melissa. The painting sold for $17,220 over its preauction estimate of $8,000/12,000.

Other notable lots were a floral woodblock by Edna Boies Hopkins that sold for $5,535, a Louis Vuitton trunk realized $5,227 and a Dunbar rocking chaise by Edward Wormley sold for $6,600.

For more information about the auction or to consign for future auctions, visit www.cowans.com or contact Sam Cowan at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 513-871-1670.

View the fully illustrated catalog for Cowan’s May 17 Modern and Contemporary Ceramics and 20th Century Art + Design Auctions, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Peter Voulkos, untitled sculpture, 1957, realized $39,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Lucie Rie, ‘Pink and Grey Bottle Vase,’ realized $24,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

‘Melissa’ by Giuseppe Pino realized $17,220. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 08:38
 

Calder painting soars to $114,000 at A.B. Levy’s auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 16:34

Gouache on paper by Alexander Calder (1898-1976), titled ‘Red and Blue Egg.’ Price realized: $114,000. A.B. Levy’s Auction image.

PALM BEACH, Fla. – An original gouache painting by renowned artist Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976), titled Red and Blue Egg, signed in the artist’s hand and dated 1969, sold for $114,000 at a two-session auction held May 5 by A.B. Levy’s. More than over 450 quality lots were offered. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Inter net live bidding.

The Calder piece was the superstar of the fine art category. Impressive at 29 inches by 42 inches, the work on paper attracted attention because it was an original, not a lithograph, and for its whimsical and colorful qualities. Calder was famous as a sculptor, best known for his kinetic abstract mobiles. But he was also a skilled painter who worked in watercolors, oils and gouache.

A standing room only crowd packed A.B. Levy’s gallery, with all 80 seats taken and the spillover forced to participate standing. In addition, over 500 people registered to bid online, via LiveAuctioneers.com and through the A.B. Levy’s website (www.ablevys.com). The phones were also active and absentee bidding was brisk in an auction that grossed about $1.14 million.

“We were excited that the top lots did so well, and the same was true of the less expensive items,” said Albert Levy of A.B. Levy’s. “The middle market merchandise didn’t fare quite as well, but overall it was still a successful auction. There’s a real hunger out there for quality items – the best of the best – and this sale demonstrated that. We were very pleased.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a buyer’s premium of 20 percent for up to $100,000 and 15 percent after that.

The top lot of the sale was a Cartier diamond ring, centered by a cut cornered rectangular modified starburst cut fancy intense yellow diamond weighing 6.01 carats and boasting VS2 clarity. Flanking the main stone were trillion cut diamonds, weighing about 1.23 carats. The size 6 3/4 ring—mounted in platinum with 18K yellow prongs—brought $182,000.

Two works of fine art realized identical selling prices of $12,000. The first was a piece by noted glassblowing artist Dale Chihuly (American, b. 1941), consisting of five “Persian” glass pieces in amparo blue with red lip wrap, circa 1999. The other was a lithograph in colors on Arches paper by Marc Chagall (French/Russian, 1887-1985), titled Les Mimosas, 1968, signed by the artist.

In the furniture category, a late 19th or early 20th century mahogany marquetry and parquetry bureau a cylindre (a desk with a front of curved quarter-circle form), made in Paris after the model by Jean-Henri Riesner and numbered 100, garnered $36,000; and a late 19th century Paul Sormani Louis XV-style ormolu-mounted amaranth and bois satin bureau plat (French flat-topped writing table with drawers to the frieze) with signed lock plate, hit $14,400.

Satsuma was a big hit with bidders. Two Yabu Meizan Satsuma vases, both signed and made in the Meiji Period (late 19th century) were sold as separate lots for $21,600 and $11,070. The costlier vase was taller (7 inches, vs. 5 inches) and was of globular form (vs. rectangular tapered form).

In the antique clocks category, a fine Louis XV-style gilt-bronze and champlevé enamel mounted onyx and marble tall case clock, circa 1900-1925, rose to $14,400.

Fine watches included a Cartier 18K yellow gold Tank Americaine women’s wristwatch with rectangular silvered dial and Roman numeral indicators on an 18K yellow gold link bracelet with a deployment buckle ($10,200); and a Swiss Piaget 18K white gold “Dancer” automatic wristwatch with 38mm silver brush dial and applied markers, on a Piaget bracelet ($10,800).

Noteworthy carved creations included a pair of Italian carved, painted and gilt female figures made in the 18th century and each showing a semi-nude maiden holding floral and fruit bouquets on a torch base, 61 inches tall ($24,000); and a pair of Italian carved marble blackamoors depicting a man and woman, each on a raised circular pedestal ($12,000).

Jumping to jewelry, a size 9 3/4 platinum and diamond men’s ring with one bezel set round brilliant cut diamond, weighing 3.45 carats, with VS1 clarity and 23.3 dwt, hit $24,000; a Versace 18K yellow gold, diamond and emerald necklace set with 135 round cut diamonds and weighing 4.46 carats, breezed to $22,800.

A fine diamond and sapphire necklace set with diamonds weighing approximately 14.50 carats, having G color and VS1 clarity and 25 sapphires weighing around 14.39 carats, went for $15,600; and a signed Lambert 14K yellow gold and diamond ring, set with three fine European cut round diamonds and a center stone weighing 1.50 carats, with a 5 dwt, commanded $12,000.

Rounding out the day’s top lots, a fine pair of circa-1840 French Le Page, Paris) cased percussion pistols, engraved “Deismas D’Acier” and with a complete accessory set and fine presentation box, rang out at $30,000; a Hermes black crocodile 32 cm “Kelly” bag, Paris, with gold hardware, reached $30,000; and a 19th century continental carved ivory tusk made $18,000.

A.B. Levy’s next big auction will also be a two-session event, slated for Sunday, Oct. 27, again at the Worth Avenue showroom in Palm Beach, starting at 1 p.m. EDT. Featured will be estate jewelry, artwork, fine china, antique clocks and other antiques in many categories. Already consigned is a great collection of 19th century Chinese red coral that is certain to garner attention.

A.B. Levy’s is actively accepting quality consignments for the Oct. 27 auction and all future sales. To consign a single piece, an estate or an entire collection, call them at 561-835-9139, or you can e-mail them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To learn more about A.B. Levy’s and the Oct. 27 auction, log on to www.ablevys.com. Updates are posted frequently.

View the fully illustrated catalog for the A.B. Levy's auction May 5, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Gouache on paper by Alexander Calder (1898-1976), titled ‘Red and Blue Egg.’ Price realized: $114,000. A.B. Levy’s Auction image.

The top lot of the sale was this Cartier 6.01-carat fancy intense yellow diamond ring, which sold for $182,000. A.B. Levy’s Auction image.

Meiji Period Satsuma vase of globular form, 7 inches. Price realized $21,600. A.B. Levy’s Auction image.

Louis XV-style gilt-bronze and champleve enamel mounted onyx and marble tall-case clock. Price realized: $14,400. A.B. Levy’s Auction image.

Late 19th or early 20th century mahogany marquetry and paquetry bureau a cylindre. Price realized: $36,000. A.B. Levy’s Auction image.

Fine pair of French LePage cased percussion pistols with presentation box, circa 1840. Price realized: $30,000. A.B. Levy’s Auction image.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 14:00
 

Peale portrait of Washington sets record at Heritage

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 15:02

Rembrandt Peale (American, 1778-1860), 'George Washington,' circa 1856, oil on canvas, 361/2 x 29 inches. Price realized: $662,500. Heritage Auctions image.

DALLAS – Rembrandt Peale’s iconic portrait of U.S. President George Washington—created in the artist’s lifelong quest to paint the most recognizable image of the “Father of the United States”—realized a new world record for a porthole portrait by the artist when it sold for $662,500 to lead Heritage Auctions’ two-day, $4.5-plus million American art events in Dallas. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The May 10-11 events spanned American Indian art, Texas, Western and California Art and masterpieces of Fine American art. The auction sold 88 percent by lot and 93 percent by value and pushed three artists’ records past $500,000.

Peale’s portrait of Washington was presented with his equally iconic portrait of Martha Washington, which reached $158,500. It followed other important offerings including John McCrady’s Steamboat 'Round the Bend, a mammoth tribute—both figuratively and literally—to Southern regional art. At 14-feet wide, the 1946 commission for Delmonico’s Restaurant in New Orleans is recognized as McCrady’s most famous mural, helping it realize $542,500—a new world record for the artist. Jerome Thompson’s 1865 oil on canvas titled Riverbank in Bloom sold for $512,500 to shatter its $8,000-plus preauction estimate and set the new record for this artist.

“These results confirm Heritage Auctions looms large in the American art auction arena,” said Ed Beardsley, vice president of fine art at Heritage. “An increasing number of important collectors trust us with their paintings and sculpture because we consistently deliver knowledgeable buyers across the complete spectrum of American fine art.”

The auction also features works by acclaimed living artists such as Stephen Scott Young, whose Hibiscus Dress (Little Cindy), 2009, realized $68,500 and Final Study for Mr. Buck’s Funeral, 2010, sold for $62,500. An oil on canvas by Shen-Huan Lu, titled House by the Pond, 1996, reached $21,250.

Among the offerings of Western and California Art were a number of iconic works, such as Indian Tales, Taos, 1922 by Blanche Grant, which realized $62,500 and Girl with Calabash, Moorea, 1977, by Millard Sheets, a notable example of California modernism, which fetched $40,625. Additional highlights include four butterfly paintings by Albert Bierstadt, offered individually, which realized a combined $64,375, Thomas Hill’s Trout Fishing, 1891, brought $42,500 and End of Day by Gordon Snidow, achieved $30,000.

Works by Texas’ plein air impressionist masters remain popular with collectors as Julian Onderdonk’s Coreopsis, Near San Antonio, Texas, 1919, reached $50,000 and Texas Cacti by Dawson Dawson-Watson, a classic example of his signature style, realized $32,500. Porfirio Salinas’ Texas Summer, fetched $25,000, and his Bluebonnets on the River Bank, realized $15,625. Jose Vives-Atsara’s Mission San Jose, San Antonio, Texas, realized $17,500 to round out the selection’s top lots.

A fresh-to-market selection of American Indian art was led by a rare and substantial Apache pictorial coiled storage jar, which reached $32,500 to more than double its preauction estimate. A monumental Santa Clara redware jar by Richard Eberlacker, sold for $18,750, and a Santa Clara carved blackware jar by Margaret Tafoya, fetched $15,625.

The auction also features a collection of pre-Columbian gold ornaments, pendants and talismans, led by a large Quimbaya gold pendant, circa A.D. 1200-1400, representing a composite human/animal creature, which sold for $15,625.

Additional highlights include but are not limited to:

Fine American Art:

  • The Artist’s Wife by Guy Pène Du Bois. Realized: $95,500.
  • Views of Northern Head at Sunrise in the Bay of Fundy by William Bradford. Realized: $53,125.
  • Dusk, Woodstock, New York, 1910 by Brige Harrison. Realized: $30,000.

Western & California Art:

  • Breaking the Ice by Earl Biss. Realized: $27,500.
  • Sisters by Mian Situ. Realized: $20,000.
  • Rocky Road Nocturne by Robert Pummill. Realized: $20,000.

Texas Art:

  • Guadeloupe River Scene by Robert William Wood. Realized: $13,750.
  • Bluebonnets, 1960 by Porfirio Salinas. Realized: $13,750.
  • Early Morning on the San Antonio River at Mill Bridge by Julian Onderdonk. Realized: $12,500.

American Indian Art:

  • A Navajo sandpainting weaving, depicting Mother Earth/Father Sky, circa 1940. Realized: $14,375.
  • A photo album from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. Realized: $12,500.
  • A Sioux beaded hide baby carrier, circa 1890. Realized: $11,250.

View the fully illustrated catalog for the Heritage Auctions American art events held May 10-11, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Rembrandt Peale (American, 1778-1860), 'George Washington,' circa 1856, oil on canvas, 361/2 x 29 inches. Price realized: $662,500. Heritage Auctions image.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 16:44
 

Chippendale pie-crust table tops Kaminski sale at $11,000

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 13:02

18th century Chippendale tilt-top table with pie-crust edge. Price realized: $11,000. Kaminski Auctions image.

BEVERLY, Mass. – Kaminski’s latest monthly estate auction, held May 5, brought a diverse set of surprising and valuable items to the podium. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The top lot of the sale was an 18th century Chippendale tilt-top pie-crust table. The finely carved table featured a beautiful spiral turned urn and shaft, carved knees, and sculptural ball and claw feet.

Tables of similar attributes and quality are listed among the “better” and “superior” examples in Albert Sack’s The New Finer Points of Furniture. The spiral turned and subtly tapered shaft, however, set this particular table apart from more typical examples listed in the book. Despite recent market trends predicting the contrary, this elegant table performed well at the podium, bringing in an $11,000 hammer price.

A 19th century Victorian revival walnut cabinet of exceptional quality also found a receptive market at Kaminski. Offered as Lot 7129, the piece featured fine inlays, bronze oval panels and an original circular hand-painted central porcelain medallion. The quality piece met its high estimate, selling for $5,500.

Also a surprise to many bidders was an 1818 broadside reproduction of the Declaration of Independence, penned by Benjamin Owen Tyler, and engraved by Peter Maverick. The fine, accurate and detailed penmanship along with Maverick’s skilled engraving made this a particularly desirable version of the 1818 copies of the Declaration of Independence from the years preceding the nation’s 50th anniversary. Originally expected to sell for between $1,000 and $2,000, the price of the broadside climbed to $7,500.

Also featured in the auction was an authentic 18K gold Presidential Rolex watch brought in at a local free appraisal event. The gold watch attracted significant preauction attention, with many interested parties requesting condition reports and additional images. The original box and paperwork, along with extra links, were also offered with the watch, which succeeded in fetching $6,000.

Of the many decorative paintings included in the sale, one watercolor caught the attention of bidders most. Many in the audience and online competed to own a scenic and sunlit watercolor of a wooded path signed W.M.T. Richards, 1868. The framed watercolor ultimately fetched $5,500.

From exceptional furniture to historic documents and paintings, the May estate sale brought an impressive variety of items to the auctioneer’s podium at Kaminski.

View the fully illustrated catalog for the Kaminski estate auction on May 5, complete with prices realized, at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

18th century Chippendale tilt-top table with pie-crust edge. Price realized: $11,000. Kaminski Auctions image.

Watercolor, signed W.M.T. Richards. Price realized: $5,500. Kaminski Auctions image.

Broadside engraving of the Declaration of Independence. Price realized: $7,500. Kaminski Auctions image.

Victorian Revival walnut cabinet attributed Poitier and Stymus. Price realized: $5,500. Kaminski Auctions image.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 15:05
 
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