Published: August 18, 2020
A successful bidder offers six figures for three figures of carats on a diamond and platinum necklace in this August 28, 2020 issue of Across the Block. But other lots in this week’s issue won’t be out-dazzled: a 1953 Western Flyer X-53 Super Bicycle was brought to the block by its original owner, who really came through on their childhood promise to take care of that bike. Literary pieces, classical and LGBTQ+ art, material culture and history make for another week of notable results.
DANIA, FLA. – Kodner Galleries sells a lot of estate jewelry, and it was an important estate necklace that accessorized its August 12 auction of estate jewelry, art and collectibles. An approximate 168-carat diamond and platinum necklace set with old European cut, emerald cut, marquise cut and baguette diamonds was bid to $302,500. Diamonds were F-G color, VVS1-VS1 clarity. The necklace was unsigned and measured 17 inches in length. The firm’s Kevin Taylor said such sales have been strong amid the COVID-19 restrictions, with about 1,000 bidders logging in for this most recent auction. For information, 954-925-2550 or www.kodner.com.
ELGIN, OHIO – Decorative arts, fine art and collectibles were on offer in an eclectic sale presented by Bunte Auction on August 2. The leading lot was a harem scene by Italian artist Giulio Rosati (1857-1917), which rose to $66,000. The oil painting measured 12-9/16 by 24-1/16 inches. Rosati specialized in Orientalist and academic scenes. Rosati was born in Rome into a family of bankers and militarists. He did not follow his family’s career and instead studied art at the Accademia di San Luca. He focused most of his entire painting career on Orientalist art. For information, 847-214-8423 or www.bunteauction.com.
BERKELEY, CALIF. – A complete five-volume first edition set of Aurel Stein’s Serindia sold for $9,600 in PBA Galleries’ Americana, Travel & Exploration, World History & Cartography auction that closed August 6. Stein was a Hungarian-born and naturalized British archaeologist who took expeditions to Asia, particular the region between the Pamirs and Pacific watershed, which he called Serindia. The volume serves a scholarly account of his earlier expeditions, published in 1921 by Clarendon Press. For information, www.pbagalleries.com or 415-989-2665.
DALLAS – Bidders at Heritage Auctions’ August 12 monthly online photograph sale chased the moon for a gelatin silver print after an original by Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984). Bringing $6,563 after more than 2,000-page views was “Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California,” printed in 1960 by Alan Ross. The photo was initialed by the photographer in pencil and also bore the photographer’s ‘Special Edition Photographs of Yosemite’ and “Original Negative” stamps. For information, www.ha.com or 214-528-3500.
GLASTONBURY, CONN. – Connecticut River Book Auction’s August 14 event continued the trend seen by those in the book business of strong sales and interest generated from readers across the United States. Among the several highlights were Carey’s (1805) American Pocket Atlas, which sold for $719, and Kennedy’s (1929) The Treasury of the Siphneans at Delphi, which went out the door for $805; a first edition copy of Larison’s (1883) biography of Sylvia Bubois subtitled “A Biography of the Slav who Whipt Her Mistres and Grand Her Freedom” brought $949. This amazing biography is considered by historians to “border the line between folklore and history.” “Regardless, it made its purchaser thrilled to be able to hold the first published account of this larger-than-life African American woman,” said the firm’s Tom Gullotta. For information, www.ctbookauction.com or 860-908-8067.
SAUGERTIES, N.Y. – The 1953 Western Flyer X-53 Super Bicycle Deluxe cost $69.95 when it was new, but now sold for $960 at Fox & Crane’s August 15 sale. Produced by the Murray Mfg Co., many of the components on the bike were styled by the company’s chief bicycle designer Viktor Schreckengost, the auction house wrote. The bike was mostly all original and was consigned by the original owner, who rode it as a child. For more information, 845-234-0083.
POTSDAM, N.Y. – An Adirondack boat house mirror with clock by Barney Bellinger of Sampson Bog Studios ticked up to $5,100 at Blanchard’s Auction Service’s August 14 Annual Premier Adirondack Auction. The work was made in 2002 and featured mosaic twig work with fly rod columns, antler hooks and a bird’s-eye maple shelf. It measured 40 inches tall. For information, 315-265-5070 or www.blanchardsauctionservice.com.
CANAAN, N.Y.- Rising 6½ feet tall on a marble pedestal was a Victorian marble bust of a lady in a flowing dress that sold for $7,380 above a $1,000 estimate at Ralph Fontaine’s Heritage Auctions on August 16. Both the figure and the pedestal were signed “W. Turner” and that was enough to solicit 32 bids from a hungry audience of bidders. The figure was in good condition but had damage to her fingers. For information, www.fontaineheritage.com or 413-442-2537.
NEW YORK CITY – Swann Galleries’ sale of LGBTQ+ art, material culture and history on August 13 totaled $1,017,983, offering 293 lots and posting an 86 percent sell-through rate by lot. The top lot was Tom of Finland’s “Fucker,” a graphite from 1965, which sold for $55,000, a record for the artist. Said Nicholas D. Lowry, the firm’s president, “This auction was one of the most active auctions in Swann’s history. In addition to clients who left us with their order bids, collectors from around the world participated in the sale via telephone and four separate online portals, one of which is the increasingly popular Swann Galleries App. Bidding was competitive and intense throughout the entire 293-lot auction, so much so that the proceedings took seven and a half hours to complete.” For information, 212-254-4710 or www.swanngalleries.com.
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