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Auction Results in the News

Early calculator tallies $313,000 at Auction Team Breker

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 17:16
Thomas de Colmar’s Arithmomètre (lot 8), sold for 233,600 euros ($313,000). Auction Team Breker image.

COLOGNE, Germany – As clothes are said to make the man, so in the world of auctions and antiques, an exceptional housing or original box can sometimes influence the price of an item exponentially. Such was the case at Auction Team Breker’s marathon 900-lot auction of antique toys and technology in which an example of the world’s first commercially made calculator, Thomas de Colmar’s Arithmomètre (lot 8), sold to a private French collector for 233,600 euros ($313,000).

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

Not only is the Arithmomètre a milestone in its own right, but this 1835 example was housed in a luxuriously appointed boulle case engraved as a "Souvenir de l’Inventeur" to de Colmar’s sister-in-law, Emilie Charlotte Reynaud de Barbarin.

From calculators to computers, a 1976 Apple I – the first ready to use PC in the world to offer monitor and keyboard access – was bought for nearly 246,000 euros ($330,000) by another collector from overseas (lot 22). In addition to an original monitor, software and peripherals in near-mint condition, the motherboard also retained its original cardboard shipping box that had been signed and authenticated by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

A contemporary photograph taken in the Steve Jobs' family home showed a pile of identical white boxes awaiting shipment to the company’s first customer, California electronics chain the Byte Shop.

Another landmark was the first officially named Mac computer, a rare surviving prototype of the unsuccessful "Twiggy Mac" series from 1983 (lot 19), which fetched 30,750 euros ($41,200).

Meanwhile a three-rotor 1944 Enigma cyphering machine (lot 10) and a lilliputian German watch-form Kryha-Liliput cipher device (lot 11) from 1924, both of which were in their original cases, sold for 39,350 euros ($53,100) and 9,850 euros ($13,300) respectively.

Continuing the trend of top prices for pieces in superb original condition was a single-owner collection of scientific instruments whose strength was 19th century surveying apparatus. Two German transit theodolites, both with well-preserved original lacquer, by Hildebrand of Freiburg (lot 213) and Sartorius of Göttingen (lot 252) garnered particular interest, selling for many times their estimates at 8,000 euros ($10,800) each.

Casework also proved important for mechanical music instruments, which ranged in size from the mighty – a Frati & Co. pneumatic orchestrion with the vocal capacity of a small band (lot 366) for 8,000 euros ($10,800) – to the miniature, a gem-set necessaire formed as a grand piano by Russian silversmith Konstantin Egorovitch Knyasev (lot 421) for 30,750 euros ($41,500).

Two French automata with an Oriental inspiration proved especially popular. The first, an early and intricate piece for the Chinese market, depicting three artisans and a musician at work in the forecourt of a stately building, fetched 18,500 euros ($25,000) (lot 431). The second was a large and elaborate electric advertising automaton titled "The Mysterious Illusion" (lot 436), whose Mandarin magician and elusive assistant had originally entertained passers-by from the windows of Midwestern businesses during the 1930s. The publicity piece, which was accompanied by period testimonials and photographs from the shops which leased it, fetched 36,900 euros ($49,800). An automaton with a contemporary American theme was the 2013 "Portrait of Obama" by Christian Bailly (lot 438), which sold to an online bidder from the U.S. for 27,800 euros ($37,500).

As with the instruments, original boxes add a special cache for toy collectors and can mean the difference between an average and an exceptional price. Auction Team Breker’s sale featured a fine private collection of about 400 antique tin toys which included the work of German makers Bing, Lehmann, Carette and Marklin as well as classic Japanese makers of the 1950s and '60s. In the first category were favorites such as Lehmann's Masuyama Rickshaw (lot 574) for 4,300 euros ($5,800), Bing's largest limousine (lot 629) for 11,000 euros ($15,000) and a Marklin horse-drawn coupe (lot 560) for 6,400 euros ($8,600), while among the second were elegant automobiles like ATC's Buick (lot 687) for 5,000 euros ($6,750), mostly in pristine condition and many in their original boxes.

Also in its original box was a fine Jouet de Paris Train Automobile Rénard, produced in a short run for the luxury department store Grand Magasins du Louvre (lot 593), which fetched 17,700 euros, ($24,000).

A convoy of over 70 miniature tin motorcycles inspired some of the most heated bidding of the day, with the work of William Krauss of Nuremberg (lot 767) at 9,200 euros ($12,500) and a rare Chinese tin toy cycle from the 1930s (lot 764) at 11,400 euros ($15,400), more than tenfold its estimate – just two of the exceptional prices achieved. Others included a large and near-mint Tipp & Co. motorcycle (lot 737) for 9,200 euros ($12,400) and a Johann Distler cyclist and female pillion (lot 799) for 9,800 euros ($13,200).

Aeronautical transport was represented by a selection of early biplanes, gliders and airships, including a Wright-pattern Aerona (lot 530) which floated to a new home in a significant German toy museum for 6,600 euros ($8,900). With its roots planted firmly on the ground was a rare Marklin tree stump monkey bank – illustrated in the maker's 1910 catalog but previously unknown – (lot 846) for 6,900 euros ($9,300). Creating interest among collectors in several categories, a Tipp & Co. Calculating Boy (lot 3) brought a surprisingly high 6,750 euros ($9,100), a new record price for this piece.

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
Thomas de Colmar’s Arithmomètre (lot 8), sold for 233,600 euros ($313,000). Auction Team Breker image. German watch-form Kryha-Liliput cipher device (lot 11) from 1924, in its original case, sold for 9,850 euros ($13,300). Auction Team Breker image. German transit theodolite by Hildebrand of Freiburg sold for many times its estimate at 8,000 euros ($10,800). Auction Team Breker image. Gem-set necessaire formed as a grand piano by Russian silversmith Konstantin Egorovitch Knyasev sold for 30,750 euros ($41,500). Auction Team Breker image. ‘The Mysterious Illusion’ automaton fetched 36,900 euros ($49,800). Auction Team Breker image. Bing's largest toy limousine sold for 11,000 euros ($15,000). Auction Team Breker image.  Tin motorcycle by William Krauss of Nuremberg made 9,200 euros ($12,500). Auction Team Breker image. Tipp & Co. Calculating Boy set a new record, selling for 6,750 euros ($9,100). Auction Team Breker image.
Last Updated on Monday, 09 December 2013 14:00
 

Rodin’s ‘The Kiss’ brings $485,000, seals $1.9M Heritage sale

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 15:05

Rodin's 'The Kiss' bronze nearly doubled the estimate, selling for $485,000. Heritage Auctions image.

DALLAS – Auguste Rodin's The Kiss, standing 15-3/4 inches high, which was discovered in a private collection in Amarillo, Texas, sold for $485,000 at Heritage Auctions. The rare and important bronze – ranking alongside The Thinker as one of Rodin's most recognizable works – led a $1.9+ million selection of major impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, sculpture and drawings on Nov. 8.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live biddings.

Many of the auction’s top lots were discovered in private Texas collections.

“It’s gratifying to be able to bring important works from Texas collections to the market,” said Brian Roughton, director of American and European art at Heritage. “It validates the high level of connoisseurship and world-class sophistication of collectors in this region.”

Two post-impressionist masterpieces by Henri Martin, from an important private collection in San Antonio, enjoyed intense bidder interest, as Petit bassin près de la tonnelle sud de Marquayrol (Jardin de l'Artiste) or Small pond near the South Arbor Marquayrol (Garden of the Artist) hit $149,000 and Charmille realized $118,750. The Nov. 8 auction marks the first time the two works have been seen by the market since the 1960s.

Works by School of Paris artists remain popular with bidders as Edouard-Léon Cortès’ Place de la Republique, Paris, from 1918, sold for $62,500 and Pierre Eugene Montezin’s Le Casino, a lively landscape of Cannes, took $59,375, more than double its estimate. Montezin’s Les Paons, a striking work depicting a male and a female peacock from the collection of former Dallas Mayor Starke Taylor and his wife, Carolyn, sold for a strong $43,750.

Additional highlights include:

  • Paysage d’Hiver á Chaponval by Gustave Loiseau. Realized: $53,125;
  • La ferme à Châtillon-sur-Seine by Camille Pizzarro. Realized: $46,875;
  • Nu allongé contre un lit by Henri Baptiste Lebasque. Realized: $46,875.
Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Rodin's 'The Kiss' bronze nearly doubled the estimate, selling for $485,000. Heritage Auctions image.

'Petit bassin près de la tonnelle sud de Marquayrol,' an oil on canvas by Henri Jean Guillaume Martin, sold for $149,000. Heritage Auctions image.

Jean Guillaume Martin's oil painting titled 'Carmille' sold for $118,750. Heritage Auctions image.

'Place de la Republique, Paris,' painted in 1918 by Edouard-Léon Cortès sold for $62,500. Heritage Auctions image.

Pierre Eugene Montezin’s 'Le Casino,' an oil on canvas landscape of Cannes, made $59,375. Heritage Auctions image.

'Paysage d'Hiver á Chaponval' by Gustave Loiseau sold for $53,125. Heritage Auctions image.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 17:24
 

Rago auctions Ruth Asawa wire sculpture for $627,750

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 22 November 2013 16:19

Lot 529: Ruth Asawa, Untitled. Price realized: $627,750. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

NEW JERSEY - A Ruth Asawa woven wire mobile with five lobes, measuring 61 inches tall sold for $627,750 at Rago's Nov. 16 fine art auction, setting a record for her like-size, multi-lobed work.

According to Artnet.com, there has been only one other sale at auction since the artist's August death. It took place on Nov. 12 in New York, when a larger 78-inch seven-lobed work sold for $389,000.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

All prices quoted include buyer's premium.

"The Asawa record is attributable to a number of market factors, from the beauty of her body of work to provenance to her recent death," said Meredith Hilferty, director of fine art at Rago Arts and Auction Center. "In the final analysis, good is good and this is an impeccable thing. Still, I would hate for it to completely overshadow the many other successes in the sale, from op art to pop prints. I'd like to personally thank all our buyers and consignors, with special thanks to Steve Andersen for entrusting us with his personal collection of prints and original works."

The auction totaled $2,607,313, inclusive of premium, with 73 percent of the 579 lots finding buyers. The postwar and contemporary art session totaled $2.2 million, well over the $1.9 million high estimate.

The top lots in the postwar and contemporary art session were:

  1. 529 Ruth Asawa, Untitled: $627,750
  2. 611 Julio Le Parc, Serie 3 D N° 1: $87,500
  3. 571 Richard Anuszkiewicz, Crimson Sanctuary: $75,000
  4. 574 Julian Stanczak, Summaries of Light: $68,750
  5. 553 Sol LeWitt, Two works of art: Set 223 and Untitled: $62,500
  6. 576 Richard Anuszkiewicz, Feast of the Sun and the Moon: $56,250
  7. 596 Friedel Dzubas, Royal Skin: $50,000
  8. 550 Roy Lichtenstein, Shipboard Girl: $46,875
  9. 646 Andy Warhol, Howdy Doody: $33,750
  10. 540 Roy Lichtenstein, On: $30,000
  11. 579 Julian Stanczak, Passing Through: $30,000

The 19th/20th century American and European Art session totaled $403,813, inclusive of premium, falling short of a low estimate of $574,700. Leading works in this category were:

  1. 4 Frederick William MacMonnies, Pan of Rohallion: $53,125
  2. 122 Romare Bearden, Lonely Beach: $18,750
  3. 21 Arthur Lismer, Untitled: $17,500
  4. 102 Joseph Barrett, Yellow House on the Delaware: $17,500
  5. 129 Andre Brasilier, Marcilly Village de Touraine: $17,500
  6. 90 Charles F. Ramsey, Untitled: $12,500
  7. 112 Clark Hulings, The Grain Merchant: $12,500
  8. 46 Jean Louis Chauvin, Maternite: $8,750
  9. 69 Ida Wells Stroud, A Hillside - Clara's Garden: $8,750
  10. 93 Lloyd Raymond Ney, Composition No. 10: $8,750

Consignments are now being accepted for Rago's May 2014 Fine Art auctions and all of Rago's Spring 2014 auctions: 609-397-9374 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Lot 529: Ruth Asawa, Untitled. Price realized: $627,750. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

Lot 611: Julio Le Parc, ‘Serie 3 D N° 1.’ Price realized: $87,500. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

Lot 571: Richard Anuszkiewicz, ‘Crimson Sanctuary.’ Price realized: $75,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

Lot 574: Julian Stanczak, ‘Summaries of Light.’ Price realized: $68,750. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

Lot 4: Frederick William MacMonnies, ‘Pan of Rohallion.’ Price realized: $53,125. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

Lot 122: Romare Bearden, ‘Lonely Beach.’ Price realized: $18,750. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

Lot 21: Arthur Lismer, Untitled. Price realized: $17,500. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

Lot 102: Joseph Barrett, ‘Yellow House on the Delaware.’ Price realized: $17,500. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 November 2013 19:00
 

Albums drew high bids at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury, Nov. 7

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 17:01

‘The Attorney-General's Charges Against the late Queen,’ 1821, collection of charicatures.  Price realized: £22,320 ($36,157). Dreweatts & Bloomsbury image.

LONDON – One of the most important albums of drawings by the celebrated 18th century caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson, Comparative Anatomy Resemblances between the Countenances of Men and Beasts (1822), sold for an outstanding £57,600 ($93,283) in Dreweatts & Bloomsbury’s auction "The Library of a Gentleman" on Nov. 7. It had been estimated at £10,000-£15,000. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The album of drawings and watercolors is one of only three known complete albums, and the only one in private hands. The other two are housed in the British Library and the Houghton Library. These albums, alongside numerous other loose studies in various collections, most notably in the Courtauld Institute of Art, show the interest Rowlandson had in the scientific developments of physiognomy and comparative anatomy, and how his humorous engagement with contemporary scientific thought influenced his drawings and watercolors (Lot 317).

An exceptional work of color plates and caricatures, George Moutard Woodward's The Caricature Magazine, or Hudibrastic Mirror, was another highlight of the sale. This rare complete set of humorous and satirical caricatures comprised 385 plates and was in excellent condition. It realized £37,200 (Lot 271).

The Attorney-General's Charges Against the late Queen (1821), another rare collection of caricatures this time aimed at Queen Caroline, included 49 hand-colored etched plates by Theodore Lane with contributions from brothers George and Robert Cruikshank. No copies were listed on COPAC, the national, academic and specialist library catalog. This collection achieved £22,320 (Lot 42) .

Two lots by William Heath were particularly sought after, generating much presale interest and a buzz in the saleroom. Theatrical Characters (lot 198) and Household Servants (lot 199), were two lots of rare suites of plates which realized £5,952 and £8,680 respectively.

Every single item sold and many realized exceptional prices, up to two or three times higher than estimate.

“We were all delighted with the result of the sale. It was testament to a collection of rare and desirable books, fresh to the market and in prime condition, put together over a number of years by a collector with taste and a very good eye," said Rupert Powell, auctioneer and deputy chairman at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury.

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

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

‘The Attorney-General's Charges Against the late Queen,’ 1821, collection of charicatures.  Price realized: £22,320 ($36,157). Dreweatts & Bloomsbury image.

 ‘Towlandson (Thomas), ‘Comparative Anatomy. Resemblances between the Countenances of Men and Beasts.’ Price realized: £57,600 ($93,283). Dreweatts & Bloomsbury image.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 17:35
 

Lincoln & Hamlin campaign flag tops Cowan’s auction at $44,650

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 15:09

Lincoln & Hamlin ‘Wide Awake’ portrait campaign flag sold for $44,650. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions American History auction on Nov. 15 realized $652,000. Bidders battled competitively on the floor, phone and Internet for many of the exceptional items in the sale. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding. The 462-lot auction included scarce daguerreotypes, photographs of the American West, 19th century photography, manuscripts, books, maps, political campaign ephemera and flags.

Cowan’s offered one of the most important photographs of the 20th century in the sale. Mary Ann Moorman’s photograph of John F. Kennedy’s assassination hit the auction block on Nov. 15, but it failed to meet its reserved value.

“From the Civil War-era photographs of camp life and cased images of Union and Confederate soldier, which commanded incredibly strong prices, to the early American and political flags, Cowan’s Nov. 15th American History Auction was a great success,” notes Katie Horstman, Cowan’s director of American History.

A Lincoln & Hamlin "Wide Awake" portrait campaign flag was the auction’s frontrunner, selling for $44,650.

Other flags also brought high prices in the auction. A 13-star American flag, accompanied by the daguerreotype of the flag’s maker and related items hammered down at $11,750, a Civil War period 34-star silk flag sold for $4,993, and a 38-star gold fringe American parade flag realized $4,112.

Civil war photography had a strong performance in the auction. A scarce Gen. Robert E. Lee and staff photograph brought $9,400, a Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson large format albumen photograph by Brady sold for $7,637, a set of Civil War CDVs of CSA Col. John J. Mosby, the “Gray Ghost,” with related period newspapers sold above its estimate of $2,000-$3,000 and realized $7,050, and a collection of Civil War CDVs of the Indiana 16th Battery Light Artillery realized $3,172.

Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes did well in the Nov. 15 auction. An attributed pair of superlative 9th Indiana Cavalry half plate tintypes sold for $8,812, a half plate daguerreotype of a Parker & Elder storefront in Grass Valley, Calif., realized $7,050, and a half plate outdoor ambrotype of a gold mining scene featuring a water wheel brought $7,050.

Maps had a strong showing in the sale last Friday. A Disturnell Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Mejico dating to 1846 tripled its estimate of $6,000-$8,000 and sold for $23,500, a scarce 1863 Gettysburg Battlefield Map by T. Ditterline hammered down at $5,875, and a Nova Totius Terrarum map dated to 1630 realized $4,112.

Additional notable lots included a spectacular Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad broadside reading “500,000 Acres of the Best Prairie, Timber and Coal Lands in the West,” sold for $19,975; a book by George Wilkins Kendall, titled The War Between the United States and Mexico, sold for $8,225; and a unique group of Civil War artifacts described as a temporary burial marking for Confederate Col. Henry B. Strong of the 6th Louisiana realized $7,637.

For more information about the auction or to consign an item to an upcoming Cowan's auction sale, call Katie Horstman at 513-871-1670 ext. 236.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Lincoln & Hamlin ‘Wide Awake’ portrait campaign flag sold for $44,650. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. 

Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, ‘500,000 Acres of the Best Prairie, Timber and Coal Lands in the West,’ spectacular broadside. Price realized: $19,975. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. 

Scarce Gen. Robert E. Lee and staff photograph by Brady. Price realized: $9,400. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. 

Attributed pair of superlative 9th Indiana Cavalry half plate tintypes. Price realized: $8,812. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 15:52
 

De Blaas painting tops $2.1M Clars auction Nov. 9-10

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 13:53

One of the finest works by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian/Italian, 1843-1932), ‘The Proposal’ sold for $166,600. Clars Auction Gallery image.

OAKLAND, Calif. – On Nov. 9-10 Clars Auction Gallery hosted what was anticipated to be a very strong sale and indeed it was. Realizing $2.1 million for the two-day event, this was the strongest November auction in the firm’s history and the second largest overall.

“Everything did very well, across the board and, currently, for 2013, we are up 23 percent over 2012,” said Redge Martin, president of Clars.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

All categories of fine art sold extremely well with numerous bidders from around the globe participating. Out of the many spectacular American, European and Chinese paintings, prints, and sculpture that were offered, the highest selling painting of the sale was The Proposal by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian, 1843-1932) which faired exceptionally well selling for $166,600. Rick Unruh, vice president and director of fine art at Clars, commented, “We were quite pleased with the outcome of the De Blaas painting selling 40 percent better than the most recent auction results for the artist held in New York two weeks ago.”

Among the other European highlights were a charming oil on canvas titled Kittens Playing with a Pocket Watch (1898) by Charles H. van den Eycken (Belgian, 1859-1923), which fetched $23,800, and two vibrantly beautiful paintings by Emilio Grau Sala (Spanish, 1911-1975) that sold for $17,850 and $11,900. An impressive color etching and aquatint by Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983) titled La Femme Arborescente sold for $11,900, which was the highlight of the numerous modern and contemporary prints that were offered. Rounding out the top performing European lots was a lovely oil on paper by Jean Jansem (French, 1920-2013) titled Village au Matin, which made $9,520.

American art was equally as successful. A large and important portrait titled The Black Kimono, by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) topped the list, fetching $47,600. Close behind the Chase painting was Joseph Rusling Meeker’s (1827-1889) stoically beautiful painting titled Near the Atachafalaya, selling for $38,675. Sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012), African American Lady, soared past its $5,000 to $7,000 estimate settling at $11,900, while Frederick William MacMonnies’ (1863-1937) bronze Venus and Adonis, 1895 sold for $14,280.

California artists held their own with equally impressive results such as James Weeks’ (1922-1998) grand acrylic on canvas titled Bocce Ball #1, selling for $17,850, followed by a classic painting by Thomas Hill (1829-1908) titled Yosemite, fetching $15,470. Passing Clouds, an oil on board by Percy Gray (1869-1952) flew past its $6,000-8,000 estimate to reach $10,710. Lastly, a rare set of 18 photographs, Pageant of History in Northern California, by Ansel Adams (1902-1984), made $16,660.

Contemporary Chinese art found global attention with two watercolors by Chen Chi (Chinese/American, 1939-2005) selling for $20,230 and $14,280, ending up well past their $3,000-$5,000 estimates. A lovely painting by Shang Ding (Chinese, b. 1954) titled, Contemplation, also surprised the crowd by fetching $10,700.

The furniture and decorative arts department “performed very well with strong prices realized from the start to the conclusion of the sale,” commented Deric Tores, vice president and director of decorative arts and furnishings. Two important special collections were offered, the first being a collection of French cameo glass that realized over $50,000. The second was a collection of Native American textiles, basketry, pottery and 19th century totem poles. This collection sold very strong, realizing $60,000 overall.

In the individual lots offered, topping this category and soaring past estimate was a monumental 19th century Royal Vienna urn, executed in hand-painted porcelain with a reserve depicting the portrait of Unschuld (Innocence). Measuring 24 inches high by 16 inches wide by 6 inches deep, it sold for $19,040, a new gallery record for Royal Vienna. A Meissen figural group brought an impressive $10,755.

Lighting was particularly strong. The top lamp, a Tiffany Studios example deaccessioned from the Honolulu Museum of Art, brought $14,340. A rare Tiffany Studios Mermaid lamp base sold for $15,535 against its high estimate of $5,000.

Also from the Honolulu Museum was an important circa 1760 Chippendale slant-front desk. Expected to achieve a high of $6,000, this historic piece went for over three times that amount, selling for $19,040.

A fabulously finned 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville with only 38,000 original miles on the odometer cruised to $32,725.

Two exquisite pieces of jewelry placed in the top 15 lots of the sale. A fancy brownish-yellow diamond and near colorless diamond ring sold for $28,560. Just a few lots later, an 18K yellow gold ring centered with a bezel set oval jadeite cabachon earned an impressive $19,040.

Taking the no. 3 spot in the sale overall was a Chinese hardwood side table. Coming from the Honolulu museum, this table was Qing dynasty (17th/18th century) and reputed to be huanghuali and achieved $41,650.

Also contributing the highly successful November sale was a Chinese daye zitan hardwood table en suite that brought $28,560.

For further information about Clars’ November Fine Art and Antiques Sale call 510-428-0100 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

 One of the finest works by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian/Italian, 1843-1932), ‘The Proposal’ sold for $166,600. Clars Auction Gallery image.

 This signed oil on canvas titled ‘Black Kimono,’ circa 1903, by William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916), topped the American works offered, achieving $47,600. Clars Auction Gallery image.

This spectacular painting by Louisiana artist Joseph Rusling Meeker (American, 1827-1889) titled ‘Near the Atchafalaya,’ 1853, sold for $38,675. Clars Auction Gallery image. 

This monumental 19th century Royal Vienna urn sold for $19,040. Clars Auction Gallery image. 

From the Honolulu Museum of Art was this Chippendale desk that achieved $19,040. Clars Auction Gallery image. 

With only 38,000 miles on the odometer, this 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville sold for $32,725. Clars Auction Gallery image. 

This stunning ring that featured a fancy brownish yellow diamond surrounded by near colorless diamonds topped the jewelry offerings, selling for $28,560. Clars Auction Gallery image. 

Achieving the third-highest price in the auction was this Chinese Qing dynasty hardwood side table that sold for $41,650. Clars Auction Gallery image. 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 15:00
 

Coral sculptures sell for $66,550 at Elite Decorative Arts

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 11:30

Chinese hand-carved red coral figural group depicting two Guan Yin with flowers throughout. Price realized: $66,550. Elite Decorative Arts image.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A Chinese hand-carved red coral sculpture of four Guan Yin – Buddhist deities of mercy and compassion – from the Qing Dynasty, and a Chinese hand-carved red coral group figure depicting two Guan Yin with flowers throughout, each knocked down for $66,550 to share top lot honors at Elite Decorative Arts’ Nov. 2 auction.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The sale featured Chinese works, fine decorative arts and fine artworks. Three hundred of the 370 lots met or exceeded their reserves.

By the time the final hammer came down, the sale had grossed $735,000. “It was one of our better auctions," said Scott Cieckiewicz of Elite Decorative Arts.

The red coral sculpture grouping of the four Guan Yin stood just shy of 11 inches tall and was estimated to be from the Tongzhi reign (circa 1862-1874) of the Qing Dynasty. The lot included a certificate of antiquity from the Hong Kong Art Craft Merchants Association from 1985. It was appraised then for $50,000. Each figure was beautifully and meticulously hand-carved.

The same bidder who purchased that lot also bought the one immediately following it: a 14 1/2-inch-tall Chinese hand-carved red coral group depicting two maidens holding sheng and pipe instruments. A phoenix and crane can also be seen. A rock formed the base with high relief flowers. The piece sold for $41,140, so the two purchases combined topped $100,000.

The other Chinese carved red coral group that realized $66,550 was larger than either of the two just described (19 inches tall). A fitted wooden base was included in the total height. One other Chinese carved red coral group that did well was a finely carved sculpture depicting a standing Guan Yin holding a platter with flowers, 7 1/2 inches tall, circa 19th century. It sold for $15,125.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premiums.

Fine artworks were abundant and did exceptionally well. An oil on canvas still life of a cup with fruit by the Mexican artist Pedro Coronel (1923-1985), titled Naturaleza Muerta, 31 1/2 inches by 44 1/2 inches, fetched $33,880. Coronel was a painter, sculptor, engraver and draftsman. In 1946 he went to Paris, were he studied under artists Victor Brauner and Constantin Brancusi.

Five paintings by German-born American artist Wolf Kahn (b. 1927) did well. These included the works Tree Dance ($16,520), Forest Murmurs ($29,500), Red Shed, Blue Sky ($13,570), Ruisdale, New Hampshire ($25,960) and an untitled impressionist work ($13,570). All were recently valued by Christie’s for between $12,000-$30,000 each.

A collage on metal by Victor Vasarely (French, 1906-1997), depicting a monochrome violet design, 39 3/4 inches square, signed and mounted in a chrome tone metal frame, rose to $15,730; a still life of flowers in a vase by Nell Blaine (American, 1922-1996), signed and mounted in a gold and white painted wooden frame, went for $13,730; and a bonded acrylic on canvas of a majestic stallion by Judith Dazzio (b. 1942), titled Wild Passion, 30 inches by 40 inches, made $13,915.

Returning to Chinese objects, a Qing Dynasty, circa 19th century, palace-size hand-carved figural jadeite scholar’s brush washer of slightly tapered oval form, 8 1/2 inches tall by 27 inches in length, with the exterior carved to depict nine raised Chih lung dragons amid lingzhi-form clouds atop crashing waves, weighing a total of 92 pounds, topped out at $23,600.

A Chinese hand-carved white jade boulder depicting a mountain city scene and depicting what is called “Kong Cheng Ji” (or the “Stratagem of the Empty City” where occupants open the gates of a nonfortified city to confuse and frighten approaching armies) hammered for $21,830. The 9 3/4-inch-tall translucent jade specimen featured russet suffusions and a fitted wooden base.

A pair of fine Chinese relief-carved and pierced pale green translucent hetian jade incense holders in a fitted presentation box – each one having a continuous scholar’s mountain landscape scene depicting pagodas, rock formations, trees, waterfalls and bridges – breezed to $21,240. Each holder stood just under 10 inches tall (including covers and spinach jade bases).

Rounding out just some of the auction’s top lots, a rare Chinese antique hand-painted enameled Grisailles planter, with a flower and leaf design over yellow ground, from the Qing Dynasty (Tongzhi to Guangzu, circa 1862-1908) realized $12,980; and a stunning Bensabbot of Chicago sterling silver and jade hook desk set with a gold wash magnifying glass and letter opener, made circa 18th or 19th century – and decorated by Bensabbot later on – garnered $11,798.

For further information contact Elite Decorative Auctions by phone: 561-200-0893 or email an inquiry to 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

Chinese hand-carved red coral figural group depicting two Guan Yin with flowers throughout. Price realized: $66,550. Elite Decorative Arts image. 

Antique Qing Dynasty period Chinese hand-carved red coral sculpture depicting four Guan Yin. Price realized: $66,550. Elite Decorative Arts image. 

Oil on canvas by Wolf Kahn (American/German, b. 1927), titled ‘Forest Murmurs,’ done circa 1991. Price realized: $29,500. Elite Decorative Arts image. 

 Oil on canvas by Pedro Coronel (Mexican, 1923-1985), titled ‘Naturaleza Muerta,’ 31 3/4 inches by 44 1/2 inches. Price realized: $33,880. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Bonded acrylic on canvas by Judith Dazzio (b. 1942), titled ‘Wild Passion,’ 30 inches by 40 inches. Price realized: $13,915. Elite Decorative Arts image. 

Chinese hand-carved white jade boulder depicting a mountain city scene, 9 3/4 inches tall. Price realized: $21,830. Elite Decorative Arts image. 

Rare antique Chinese hand-painted enameled Grisailles-decorated yellow ground planter, 14 inches tall. Price realized: $12,980. Elite Decorative Arts image. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 12:24
 

Prehistoric point sells for record $276K at Morphy's

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 18 November 2013 18:17

Star of the auction, the Rutz Clovis Point, sea green obsidian, 9¾ in, discovered by Les Ira Kreis in the early 1950s in a wheat field on Badger Mountain, near the community of Badger Creek Springs, Washington. Sold for $276,000. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – A buzz filled the room at Morphy’s November 9 auction after the hammer fell on Lot 57, a 9¾-inch sea-green obsidian artifact known as the Rutz Clovis point. The star of Morphy’s 159-lot Prehistoric American Artifact & Arrowhead debut auction, the point discovered on a mountain in Washington state in the early 1950s is known to collectors far and wide as one of the great treasures of its type. Entered with a $200,000-$400,000 estimate, the Rutz Clovis did not disappoint, selling to a Texas collector for $276,000. All prices quoted are inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium.

“How famous is the Rutz Clovis point? Ask the floor bidder who had an image of it tattooed on his calf!” said an amused John Mark Clark, who heads Morphy’s Prehistoric American Artifact & Arrowhead department. “Unfortunately for him, he’ll have to be satisfied with the tattoo, because he wasn’t the winning bidder.”

With the sale of the Rutz Clovis, Morphy’s has established what experts believe is a world-record price for a North American flaked stone artifact at auction.

Many other lots in the sale achieved strong prices. A ferruginous quartz bottle bannerstone found on the Bell Farm in Davidson County, Tennessee, in 1910, handily surpassed its estimate at $38,400. Another unusual figural piece, a rat-tail spud of polished metamorphic material, described in the auction catalog as “one of the rarest spud forms within the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex,” was bid beyond its estimate range to $31,200. Also attracting an impressive price was the lot of 20 points from the grouping known as the Motley Cache, of Todd County, Kentucky. It concluded its bidding run at $28,800.

“Top lots in the sale attracted fantastic prices, and many collectors around the country were paying close attention,” said Morphy Auctions CEO Dan Morphy. “There was a lot of positive feedback after the sale, and we had several phone calls regarding the potential consignment of important collections. It’s an exciting new category for Morphy’s, and we’re definitely well guided with Mark Clark as head of our department. All of the collectors know how incredibly knowledgeable and honest he is.”

Commenting on the success of Morphy’s debut in the category of prehistoric American artifacts and arrowheads, Clark remarked: “I think buyers had confidence in our authentication process and with our introduction of scientific procedures to that process. Right out of the gate, Morphy’s has established itself as the place to buy and consign top-quality artifacts.”

Morphy’s next specialty auction in this category, slated for June or July of next year, will be considerably larger than the Nov. 9 Prehistoric premiere and will continue to focus on the upper end of the market. Premium-quality artifacts have already been consigned, including a one-of-a-kind proto-historic pottery pipe, blades and projectile points from a three-generation northern Ohio family’s collection.

To contact Morphy’s, call 717-335-3435 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit their website at www.morphyauctions.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Star of the auction, the Rutz Clovis Point, sea green obsidian, 9¾ in, discovered by Les Ira Kreis in the early 1950s in a wheat field on Badger Mountain, near the community of Badger Creek Springs, Washington. Sold for $276,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Rat-tail spud with unusual tally marks on each side of the bit. Origin: Polk County, Tennessee. Sold for $31,200. Morphy Auctions image.

Cumberland fluted point found on farm near Marion, Tennessee. Sold for $26,400. Morphy Auctions image.

Tennessee bottle bannerstone of ferruginous quartz. Found on the Bell Farm in Davidson County, Tennessee, in 1910. Provenance: John Mark Clark collection. Sold for $38,400. Morphy Auctions image.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 12:16
 

Faulkner first edition sells for $18,750 at Hindman auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 18 November 2013 18:16

Lot 162: Audubon hand-colored engraving, 'Great Blue Heron. Area herodius.' Plate CCXI, 1834. Sold for $62,500. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

CHICAGO – Printed and manuscript literature and Americana were among the top lots that soared past presale estimates at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Fine Books and Manuscripts auction Nov. 6. Over 90 percent of the books, autographs, natural history prints, maps and numismatics sold.

Internet live bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.

The sale opened with an impressive collection of eclectic literary offerings. This session featured a fine collection of Dickens’ first editions, including Great Expectations, which brought $3,750, and a rare first edition, first printing of William Faulkner’s first novel, The Marble Faun, which, being in its rare dust jacket, brought $18,750.

Another headlining item of the sale was an archive of letters and typescripts from the modernist critic and poet, Ezra Pound, to Saint Louis artist Ernest Trova from Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Pound was housed at the facility after being deemed unfit for trial for treason due to his fascist sympathies and broadcasts in Italy during World War II. With a presale estimate of $10,000-$15,000, the archive exceeded all expectations bringing $35,000.

Achieving an unexpectedly high price was a group of more than 150 early American lottery tickets culled by Patricia Lyons Simon Newman and her second husband, Ralph Newman, founder of Chicago’s Abraham Lincoln Bookshop. Newman recently received national attention due to a touching public farewell from her son, National Public Radio’s Scott Simon, who kept vigil by her bedside and tweeted to his 1.3 million followers reports of her final hours. The archive, spread across five lots by category (institutions, public works, Revolutionary War, etc.) brought a combined total of $19,125 against a low estimate of $4,200.

Presidential manuscript letters and documents also drew high prices, including a fine autographed George Washington letter from the collection of Lewis and Clark historian and former University of Illinois professor Donald Jackson, which sold for $7,500. Rare early American travel books housed in custom wooden boxes also drew strong prices.

The highest prices of the auction came from a session of rare Audubon prints, including a Whooping Crane, $25,000, and a Great Blue Heron, $62,500. Rounding out the top lots were Turgot’s mammoth bird’s-eye view plan of Paris, $12,500; Benner’s series of portraits of the Romanov family, Collection de vingt-quatre portraits de la famille imperiale, $7,500; and a fine incunable, Herolt’s Sermones discipuli de tempore, et de Sanctis, March 25, 1477, $4,000.

The sale closed with a session of coin and paper currency, including a series of rare 16th-century Papal gold coins and a 17th-century silver marriage medal. A collection of 45 1928 Series $100 Federal Reserve Notes sold for $6,250.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Lot 162: Audubon hand-colored engraving, 'Great Blue Heron. Area herodius.' Plate CCXI, 1834. Sold for $62,500. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

Lot 32: Ezra Pound letters to Ernest Tino Trova. Sold for $35,000. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

Lot 50: group of 29 early American lottery tickets for universities, 1753-1814. Sold for $6,250. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

Lot 143: [Plan de Turgot] Bretez, Louis. Plan de Paris. Paris, 1739. First edition of famed bird's-eye view map, on 21 sheets. Sold for $12,500. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 11:22
 
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