Published: February 18, 2020
Notable sales detailed in our February 28, 2020 issue include a 1950s coin-operated children’s Pegasus ride, which soared to a final bid of $25,200 at Michaan’s Gallery, while a 1928 Lionel six-piece prewar Transcontinental Limited train set almost doubled its high estimate, selling at Witman Auctioneers for $22,000. On the literary front, a first edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass crossed the PBA Galleries block at $18,000. At Dana J. Tharp Auctions, a Towle “Old Colonial” sterling silver flatware set took top lot honors when it sold for $3,867. Abstract art, vintage electronics and fine furniture round out this week’s notable sales.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – February 8 was the date set for Michaan’s recent gallery auction, offering one-of-a-kind collectibles, fine art, Asian art, jewelry and rare furnishings. Among a diverse lineup of lots ranging from Baccarat crystal, sterling flatware by Georg Jensen and an Art Nouveau tea service by Shreve & Company ($5,100), a 1950s coin-operated children’s Pegasus ride flew out of the gallery for $25,200. The symbol of speed and power, this example predated Mobil’s adoption of the steed as its US trademark in 1968. For information 510-740-0220 or www.michaans.com.
MANHEIM, PENN. – Witman Auctioneers conducted a toy and antiques auction on February 1 that featured the much-anticipated sale of a 1928 Lionel six-piece prewar Transcontinental Limited train set, including engine, tender and four passenger cars (New York, Illinois, Colorado and California), all with original boxes. Presale banter estimated a price of $10/12,000; however, the highly collectible set ended up realizing a robust $22,000 across the block. For information, 717-665-5735 or www.witmanauctioneers.com.
PASADENA, CALIF. – When the California International Antiquarian Book Fair set up shop at Pasadena Convention Center over the weekend of February 7-9, rare bookseller PBA Galleries of Berkeley was nearby at the Pasadena Sheraton presenting a sale of rare books and manuscripts on February 6. Notable in the sale was the Arion Press Leaves of Grass, which sold for $18,000. The celebrated 100th book from Arion Press was based on the 1855 text of the first edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass “Having stood on the shoulders of the giants at the Grabhorn Press, Andrew Hoyem looked back to the 1930 Leaves of Grass printed by the Grabhorn Press for Bennett Cerf’s Random House,” said the firm’s president Sharon L. Gee. “The present sale marks the first time this sought-after book has appeared at auction.” For information, 415-989-2665 or www.pbagalleries.com.
FREWSBURG, N.Y. – It would not win any beauty contests, but in the eye of a vintage electronics collector, the Fairchild Model 658 Reverbertron Dynamic Reverberation System was certifiable ear candy. As any rock guitarist can tell you, such a system processes a direct signal from a guitar or other instrument and adds the echoey effects that simulate playing in a vast concert hall. Offered as part of Corey Brown’s vintage electronics auction on February 8, among tube amps, reel-to-reel recorders, oscillators, power supplies and other categories of recording equipment, the piece of studio magic brought $1,089. For information, 716-485-6164 or www.coreybrownauction.com.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Say you’re a rare book collector with a burgeoning pile of choice tomes. Why wouldn’t you want to protect your investment in the Cadillac of bookcases? To wit, two Globe Wernicke four-section bookcases that left Garth’s gallery following its Eclectic Auction on February 7. Selling for more than triple their high estimate at $2,500, the American case pieces from the first quarter of the Twentieth Century were of Southern gum and featured leaded glass doors, cap and base with drawer, each standing 58 inches high by 33½ inches wide and 12½ inches deep. For information, 740-362-4771 or www.garths.com.
WILLOUGHBY, OHIO – Dana J. Tharp Auctions online fine art auction on February 8 was filled with a great group of items, including 14K and 18K jewelry, Victorian mourning hair jewelry, a huge selection of rare, unopened Lego sets, a group of musical instruments from Fender guitars to a Fender Junior Blues amp, early turn-of-the-century violins, a 1922 Gibson MB-1 acoustic mandolin/banjo and fine original artwork. It was a Towle “Old Colonial” sterling silver flatware set, however, that took top lot honors when it sold for $3,867. For information, www.danajtharpauctions.com or 440-463-7158.
WEST VESTAL, N.Y. – Selling a rural Pennsylvania collection on February 4, Mapes Auction offered furniture, fine art, accessories, Oriental rugs and vintage paper and posters. In a full estate sale with selected additions, the top lot was a period Chippendale tall chest with figured wood ogee base that sold at $2,185. For information, 607-754-9193 or www.mapesauction.com.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – The top seller in Eldred’s February 7 Winter Market Auction was a Charles Green Shaw (1892-1974) 1958 work, “Cosmic Flight,” netting $15,000. The 32-by-48-inch oil on canvas had an Albert Landry Galleries, N.Y., provenance. Shaw was a significant figure in American abstract art and was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists. A wealthy socialite in New York, he mingled with 1920s notables, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and George Gershwin, and he studied under Thomas Hart Benton and George Luks. He was also an illustrator, writer and poet. For information, 508-385-3116 or www.eldreds.com.
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