Published: October 1, 2019
Bidding was high strung at Julien’s Auctions on September 21 as a prototype for 80 limited edition Lucille guitars, given by Gibson to B.B. King on his 80th birthday, was bid to $280,000. The guitar was heavily used by King and served as his primary guitar on tour in his later years. Directing our attention to sought-after art, the Marc Chagall work “Cirque,” a 1967 portfolio with complete text and 38 lithographs, brought $143,000. Meanwhile, a hanging scroll portrait of a young official by the artist Chae Yongshin sold for $79,950 against an estimate of $10/15,000. If fashion is your thing, check out these notable sales: 37 dresses worn by Dame Olivia De Havilland at Hindman’s took in $85,000 while a vintage opera coat brought almost $2,000 at Coyle’s. More of these notable results await below.
LOS ANGELES – A black Gibson ES-345 used as a prototype for 80 limited edition Lucille guitars, given by Gibson to B.B. King on his 80th birthday, was bid to $280,000 at Julien’s Auctions September 21 sale of property from the B.B. King estate. The guitar was heavily used by King and served as his primary guitar on tour in his later years. King called several of his guitars Lucille after an incident early in his career. He once ran into a burning nightclub to rescue his $30 guitar and later learned the blaze started when two men began arguing over a woman named Lucille and knocked over a kerosene stove. He said he never found the woman but vowed to never endanger his life again. For information, www.juliensauctions.com or 310-836-1818.
NEW YORK CITY – Swann Galleries opened its fall season on September 19 with a sale of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century prints and drawings. Replete with pieces by European and American visionaries, the auction featured work from Nineteenth Century harbingers of Modernism through the major Modern art movements of the Twentieth Century. Marc Chagall, who held an avid interest in the circus throughout his career, led the sale with one of his most widely appreciated livres d’artiste, “Cirque” – a 1967 portfolio with complete text and 38 lithographs. The lively work brought $143,000. For information, 212-254-4710 or www.swanngalleries.com.
CHICAGO – Hindman’s September 17 auction was highlighted by a collection of 37 Parisian haute couture and Hollywood designs worn by Dame Olivia de Havilland from 1954 to 1989. Dame Olivia is 103. All of the 37 lots sold, exceeding estimates and realizing a total of $85,000. The collection was popular with private collectors and museums alike, with Dior Heritage, the archive of the fashion house of Christian Dior in Paris taking home nearly all of the lots. For information, 312-280-1212 or www.hindmanauctions.com.
BOSTON – Skinner’s September 14 Asian works of arts auction presented the arts of China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia dating from Neolithic times through the Twentieth Century. The top lot of the day was a hanging scroll portrait of a young official by the artist Chae Yongshin (1848-1941). Acquired in Korea in the early 1960s by the family of the consignor, the subject matter and provenance proved appealing, with bidders on the telephone and online vying for the portrait. Underbid by an online bidder, the scroll painting depicting the unidentified official holding a fan and seated on a tiger-skin chair sold for $79,950 against an estimate of $10/15,000. For more information, www.skinner.com or 617-874-4313.
NEW YORK CITY – A Chinese painted porcelain table lamp, the body with flared neck depicting scenes of a figure in a garden amid pagodas and pine trees on white ground, turned in a surprising result at Auctions at Showplace on September 22. The estimate for the 31-by-6¼-by-5½-inch square base lamp was $800-$1,200, but an online bidder turned on the switch to a final price of $11,875. For information, 212-633-6063, extension 808 or www.nyshowplace.com.
EAST WINDSOR, CONN. – Nadeau’s September 21 three-owner sale featured two prominent Manhattan estates plus property from Credit Suisse. Each of the Manhattan estates were from Sutton place – one townhouse, one apartment. Achieving a sold price of $7,320 was a Kashan silk Oriental rug, alive with three-dimensional with, animals and serpents, Signed, the Twentieth Century piece measured 4 feet 5 inches by 7 feet. For information, www.nadeausauction.com, 860-246-2444 or 860-524-8666.
BERKELEY, CALIF. – One of the top sales in the September 19 sale at PBA Galleries was Russischer Atlas, etc by Joseph Nicolas De l’Isle, et al, which went into uncharted territory when it brought $11,400 against an estimate of $5/8,000. It was purchased by a trade client in the United States bidding online. The Russischer Atlas was one of the primary fruits of 20 years De l’Isle spent in Russia and brought the science of Western European cartography to the vast expanse of greater Russia. Not only is it a landmark work, it is also quite scarce. While a number of copies were exported to the West at the time of publication, many remained in Russia, and the tumult of war, revolution and social upheaval over the centuries led to the destruction of many of the atlases. For information, www.pbagalleries.com or 415-989-2665.
NEW HAMBURG, ONTARIO, CANADA – A rare antique printing telegraph invented by John Burry, made by the Stock Quotation Telegraph Company of New York and used in the early 1900s by Canadian National Telegraphs sold for $8,900 at a Mantiques auction conducted September 14 by Miller & Miller. The American-made stock ticker, complete with correct base and glass dome, was patented in the 1890s and was the top lot of the auction. The register had a rare, cobalt cut-to-clear glass-top sign, burled walnut sides and rear panels and the correct key. For additional information, www.millerandmillerauctions.com or 519-573-3710, 519-716-5606.
MEDWAY, MASS. – Coyle’s Auction sold a vintage, heavily beaded opera coat as part of a small collection of vintage dresses and clothing at the company’s September 17 estates auction. The coat brought $1,926 during an auction conducted at the VFW Hall here. For additional information, www.coylesauction.com or 508-733-6868 or 774-571-8263.
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