Published: September 15, 2020
Notable sales found in our September 25, 2020 issue cover a spectrum of literature, art and fashion. A rare first edition presentation copy inscribed by Winston S. Churchill to the former King Edward VIII sold for six figures at PBA Galleries, while at Bill Hood & Sons an oil on canvas by Fernando de Szyszlo was bid to a similar outcome. On the fashion front, an early Valentino dress, circa 1968, showed nicely at Augusta Auctions, almost tripling its high estimate. These and more across the United States round out this week’s offerings of interest.
BERKELEY, CALIF. – A rare first edition presentation copy inscribed by Winston S. Churchill to the former King Edward the VIII sold for $33,000 and was the top lot at PBA Galleries’ rare books, manuscripts and art auction on September 10. Titled Step by Step, 1936-1939, and published in London by Thornton Butterworth, Ltd., the volume of 365 pages contained two maps, one of them folding, and had been specially bound for the Duke of Windsor by Lucie Weill, in half green morocco and marbled boards, spine gilt with three red morocco lettering pieces, crowned cipher of the Duke of Windsor on the lower label. In 1939, Churchill was still a voice in the wilderness, futilely warning against the dangers of appeasing Adolf Hitler. Little more than two months later, his warnings were to prove tragically well-founded, as Hitler attacked Poland, starting World War II and propelling Churchill into again serving the British government. For information, 415-989-2665 or www.pbagalleries.com.
DELRAY BEACH, FLA. – Bill Hood & Sons’ Arts & Antiques Auctions conducted its Summer Sizzler auction on September 8, and the hottest lot to cross the block was an oil on canvas by Fernando de Szyszlo (Peruvian, 1925-2017). Titled “Abstraction-1979,” the 23½-by-29-inch work was bid to $20,000 against an $8/12,000 estimate. Painter, sculptor, printmaker and teacher, Szyszlo was a key figure in advancing abstract art in Latin America since the mid-1950s and one of the leading plastic artists in Peru. For information, www.hoodauction.com or 561-278-8996.
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Amoskeag Auction Company, an auction house specializing in antique and modern sporting and military arms, edged weapons, sporting advertising, militaria and related items, on August 29 sold a rare Parker VH small-bore 28 gauge shotgun on a 00 frame for $17,625, nearly double its high estimate. With Vulcan steel barrels choked modified and full with bright excellent bores, the firearm’s barrels retained about 98 percent original blue, showing some very light muzzle wear. According to the firm’s Eddie Grogan, the shotgun, weighing in at 5¾ pounds, is a lightning-fast little small-bore, which remains investment grade. For information, www.amoskeagauction.com or 603-627-7383.
MORRISVILLE, VT. – Sold via online auction by Thomas Hirchak Company on September 3 was a vintage barber shop leaded glass globe light fixture that distinguished itself above 370 other lots of toys, antiques, currency and other barber shop collectibles. The globe, which measures 21 by 24 inches, with an approximate 12½-inch diameter, was proudly displayed inside the iconic Stowe Barber Shop for more than 20 years. The owner of the barber shop purchased the item from a Florida antiques shop and said the item came from a hotel lobby from the early 1900s. The globe’s lucky winner was the high bidder at a total of $805. For information, www.thcauction.com or 800-634-7653.
CHICAGO – Potter and Potter Auctions’ August 29 coin-op and advertising sale caught the attention – and the bids – from collectors across the globe. When the hammer fell for the last time, 89 lots realized $750-$1,499; 35 lots scored $1,500-$5,999; and four lots made more than $6,000. One of these super-achievers was a large and impressive midcentury neon sign from Reno’s Nevada Club casino. The sign more than tripled its low estimate, making $16,800. Its red, blue and cream lettering spelled out Nevada Club / Gaming – Bar – Fine Food. For information, www.potterauctions.com or 773-472-1442.
DALLAS – The top lot at Heritage Auctions’ monthly online auction of fine and decorative arts that closed September 10 was an Italian marble bust of Venus, marked “A. Mornaghini, Roma 1819,” which closed at $10,312. It was followed by a marble female figure attributed to Alessandro Lazzerini (Italian, 1860-1960) that made $7,500 and Frederick Etienne Leroux’s (French, 1836-1906) marble “Nude Female Reclining in a Chair,” circa 1867, that closed at $6,875. The sale brought in a total of $263,810. For information, www.ha.com.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The top lot of nearly 414 lots in Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraiser’s September 12 Country Americana sale was an American presentation yellow clay pitcher with Albany slip and an engraved design of flowers with the inscription, “Mrs. R. Pannabaker from Charles 1891.” Garth’s had previously sold the pitcher in 2004 and it had provenance to Robert Treichler and Susan and Mark Laracy. It had also been published in F. Robert Treichler’s 2011 book A History of Northeast Ohio Stoneware, and then again in 2015, in his More History of Ohio Stoneware. Bidding on the lot opened at $500 with online and absentee bids but took off with competition from two phone bidders; in the end, however, a Midwestern collector/dealer bidding in the room prevailed, taking it home for $6,120. For information, www.garths.com or 740-362-4771.
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – A sterling vermeil mermaid brooch by Eisenberg Original was the top lot of a curated sale September 12 at Ripley Auctions that saw many published works by the firm brought to the block. Dating to the 1940s, the mermaid holds strands of aquamarine crystals with faceted open-backed aquamarine crystal torso and red enamel lips. It sold for $4,500. Many of the pieces in the sale were illustrated in the 2017 title Eisenberg Originals: The Golden Years of Fashion, Jewelry, and Fragrance, 1920s-1950s written by Sharon Schwartz and Laura Sutton. This example appeared on page 111 and the firm said it was advertised in a 1946 Vogue magazine. For information, www.ripleyauctions.com or 317-251-5635.
BELLOWS FALLS, VT. – An A-line gown in heavy ivory silk from Valentino’s White Collection, circa 1968, sold at Augusta Auctions for $17,500 on September 9. The gown with gathered back and three-quarter length sleeves featured a hand painted Sicilian coral motif in ombre shades of red, pink and cream. It handily outperformed its $4/6,000 estimate as it received a total of 59 bids. For information, www.augusta-auction.com or 802-463-3333.
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