Published: December 30, 2019
Notable subjects detailed in our January 10, 2020 issue run the gamut from a sophisticated ride to a reform school girl. Representing the ride, active bidding drove a rare 1964 Mercedes Benz two-door cabriolet to a final sale for $51,600 at Garth’s. At Christie’s, the Ansel Adams work, “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico,” realized $75,000, while a Civil War-era nickel-plated bugle/cornet blew past its $500/800 estimate during Cottone’s online art and antiques auction to land at $14,100. Other notables include a Chinese figure of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, a Josef Albers portfolio, a Native American turquoise and silver necklace, and as mentioned, a reform school girl. We’ll let you discover her for yourself as you read on.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – At Garth’s December 12-13 Gentleman’s Auction, a car fit for a gentleman (or woman) was the top lot when a rare 1964 Mercedes Benz two-door cabriolet sold at $51,600. Only 2,729 of these 220SEb cabriolets were made between 1961 and 1965, when production ended. This one, odometer reading 92,494 miles, is a six-cylinder, with a 2,195cc/134hp engine and a four-speed manual transmission. Finished in black with red interior, the body is solid with good chrome work and appears to be original. The car has its original Becker radio together with the original handbook and a purchase receipt from 1965. For information, www.auctions.garths.com or 740-362-4771.
NEW YORK CITY – The top lot of the December 10 live auction of works by Ansel Adams (1902-1984) at Christie’s was “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico,” 1941 (shown), which realized $75,000. Another highlight of the sale to benefit the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona included “Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite Valley, California,” 1938, which realized $60,000. Proceeds from the sale will benefit a new acquisition endowment for the center, which when Adams co-founded it, he envisioned it as a place for the exhibition, research, dialogue and celebration of all photographers and photography throughout time. For information, 212-636-2000 or www.christies.com.
GENESEO, N.Y. – A Civil War-era nickel-plated bugle/cornet blew away its $500/800 estimate during Cottone’s online art and antiques auction on December 10 to land at $14,100. Manufactured by D.C. Hall, Boston, the 20-inch-long instrument that came from the Rochester Historical Society sold to benefit the collections fund. The Hall brothers, Lyme, N.H., natives, became major figures in Nineteenth Century American band music. David C. Hall conducted the Boston Brass Band from 1853 until the 1880s and was an instrument maker and dealer. His brother, Rhodolph, was a well-known clarinet and cornet soloist. For information, www.cottoneauctions.com or 585-243-1000.
CLINTONDALE, N.Y. – Sold at Kensington Estate Auctions’ December 9 sale was the Josef Albers portfolio: “Homage To The Square,” 1962. After very active floor, online and phone bidding, the number-embossed portfolio was purchased by a collector in the New York region for more than $14,000. The complete portfolio included ten color screen prints, each with its own original folder and original linen-covered portfolio and slipcase. The edition of 250 was identified and numbered three in ink on the justification page. The publisher was Ives-Sillman Inc of New Haven, Conn., the printer being R.H. Norton and Yale University Press, New Haven. For information, www.kensingtonestateauctions.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW YORK CITY – Doyle’s December 11 auction of photographs offered a wide range of examples spanning the history of the genre. Featured were works by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Barkley L. Hendricks, Horst, O. Winston Links, Richard Prince and Thomas Russ, among many others. Works by Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) have become highly sought-after recently, resulting in ever stronger prices. A photograph printed in 1979 titled “Up in Grandma’s room, Meadsville, Virginia” soared past its estimate of $1/1,500, achieving $9,375 – a world auction record for a photograph by the artist. Known primarily as a painter, Hendricks created vivid, often life-sized portraits that are incredibly striking documents of Black Americans – confrontational and bold slabs of photorealism in bright, punchy colors. Though lesser-known, Hendricks’ photography and mixed media works on paper, while differing in tone and presentation, are equally powerful statements on African American culture. For information, 212-427-4141 or www.doyle.com.
CRANSTON, R.I. – Headlining Bruneau & Co Auctioneers’ December 14 sale and making $3,438 was Avon Realistic Comics Reform School Girl CGC 3.0, which a collector in Pennsylvania bidding on the phone snapped up for slightly more than its estimate of $2/3,000. When asked why the lot outperformed expectations, Bruneau’s director of pop culture Travis Landry said, “It’s as easy as this: sex sells, and this is why Reform School Girl is one of the most famous Seduction of The Innocent comics.” For information, 401-533-9980 or www.bruneauandco.com.
ALEXANDRIA, VA. – A Native American turquoise and silver squash blossom necklace sold at $8,960, far exceeding its $1,6/2,000 estimate, at the Potomack Company’s December 11 auction. This example of early Navajo silverwork is believed to be the work of one of the earliest recorded Navajo silversmiths, Peshlakai Atsidi/Slender Maker of Silver. The necklace, acquired in the late 1800s, was consigned by descendants of a US Infantry soldier stationed at Fort Union, N.M., territory, in the late 1800s, who collected it along with other Native American silverwork and pottery. The necklace, made of ingot silver and turquoise, is an early example. The squash blossom style was named for its beads shaped like a blossoming flower. It comprises a single strand of seamless globular beads, ten flared “blossoms” and a two-band cast “naja” set with three natural stones, strung on supple hide thong. For information, 703-684-4550 or www.potomackcompany.com.
PHILADELPHIA – A Chinese figure of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara with 11 faces and six arms, made of carved and lacquered wood sold for $12,500 on December 9 at Material Culture’s estates, fine, folk, Asian and ethnographic art auction. Ex-collection/estate of John Frederick Harbeson and Georgiana Brown Harbeson, the figure is 16 by 8½ by 7 inches, and the final price more than doubled its $5,000 high estimate. For information, www.materialculture.com or 215-438-4700.
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. – Drawing bids from more than a dozen eager collectors and more than doubling its auction estimate was “Haunted Mansion” Stretching Room Disneyland Painting (Walt Disney, 1969), which reached $57,600 to become the top lot in Heritage Auctions’ animation art auction December 13-15. This painting is from a series of Stretching Room paintings created for the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans, used in the elevator/stretching rooms for a period of six months and then replaced. This example is one of the rarest original hand-painted stretching room paintings ever to come to market and is one of only two with a signature known to have been free-hand-painted by artist Marc Davis. For information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
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