Published: December 1, 2020
Notable sales found in our December 11, 2020 issue include a 1942 Casablanca movie poster that brought $384,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters sale. Earlier in the month, the same firm took a high bid of $300,000 for a Goelet Yachting Trophy. Lots of online and phone activity brought a mixed-media screen-print lithograph by Frank Stella titled “Polar Co-ordinates for Ronnie Peterson” to a final bid of more than 800 times its opening at Hudson Valley Auctioneers. Settle in and check out the rest of this week’s interesting auction finds.
DALLAS – More than a dozen bidders chased one of just a handful of copies known to remain in existence of a Casablanca (Warner Bros., 1942) six sheet until it finished at $384,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters sale November 21-22. An undeniable treasure for collectors of elite movie posters, there are design similarities between this poster and the “style B” half sheet for Michael Curtiz’s beloved classic film, but the portraits on this poster are of a quality unmatched on any of the other American posters. For information, www.ha.com.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – Exceeding expectations to lead Eldred’s November 20 Fall Sale was “The Cabbage Patch, Bermuda” by E. Ambrose Webster (Massachusetts, 1869-1935), which sold for $45,000 on a $15/20,000 estimate to a phone bidder. Eldred’s previously sold this 34-by-24½-inch oil on canvas in 2009, when it was housed in what was likely its original frame bearing a label with the title and the artist’s name. Since that time, the frame has been replaced and the label lost. The painting eventually ended up in the care of noted Webster scholar Dr John Driscoll, of Driscoll Babcock Galleries in New York. Driscoll maintained a relationship with the Webster estate, and the painting now bears an estate-signed and authorized stamped signature lower right. Driscoll also believes that rather than Bermuda, as the original label suggested, the painting is possibly a lost work depicting Jamaica that was exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show in New York. For information, www.eldreds.com or 508-385-3116.
HUDSON, N.Y. – Topping the November 28 auction at Public Sale Auction House was a pair of antique industrial copper street lamp lantern tops that rose to $1,680 from an estimate of $50-$100. Described as having an old world charm, the pair measured about 2 feet high by 2 feet wide, with wonderful patina and in good condition for their age, despite being in parts. For information, 518-966-7253 or www.public-sale.com.
BEACON, N.Y. – More than 10,000 bidders were registered to bid on LiveAuctioneers and competed against phone bidders in Hudson Valley Auctioneers’ November 16 “Outsider Unreserved Multi Estate” sale. Topping the 634-lot sale was a mixed-media screen-print lithograph by Frank Stella titled “Polar Co-ordinates for Ronnie Peterson,” a work done in 1980 with multiple layers of screen printing and lithography with hand painted detail, on paper. The work, which numbered 80 from an edition of 100, was in its original framed condition and measured 38 by 37¼ inches. Bidding on the lot opened at just $20 but jumped to $7,500 from an online bid; after some competition, it sold to a private collector, bidding online, for $16,218. For information, www.hudsonvalleyauctioneers.com or 845-831-6800.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – A bronze sculpture titled “Le Couple” that was attributed to Diego Giacometti (Swiss, 1902-1985) was one of the top lots at Michaan’s Auctions’ November 21 when it brought $8,400. The 13-inch-tall work, which had been estimated at $5/7,000, was consigned from a private Bay Area collector who had come to Michaan’s through an appraisal event. Though the work was unsigned, it had a foundry mark and was accompanied by a laminated letter of authenticity from James Lord. The buyer, an American private collector who had never previously purchased from Michaan’s, was bidding online. For more information, www.michaans.com or 510-740-0220.
DALLAS – The Goelet Cup, a Tiffany & Co., silver yachting trophy made in New York City in 1893, sold for $300,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Fine Silver & Objects of Vertu sale on November 17. The cup was from the collection of J.D. Parks, and had not only been exhibited at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago but was presented each year from 1882 to 1897 during the races held off Newport, R.I., during the New York Yacht Club Cruise. The cup was one of several Tiffany & Co., or Gorham silver yachting or horse racing or driving trophies in the sale, many of which were among the top lots of the sale. For information, www.ha.com.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – A rare and possibly unique sixth-plate daguerreotype of a bare-knuckle boxer tentatively identified as John Morrissey was one of the top lots in Cowan’s online-only sale of American historical ephemera and photography that closed November 19. According to the sale catalog, there are only a few early artistic renderings of Morrissey as a young man, who was born in Ireland in 1831 and emigrated with his family to Troy, N.Y., around 1833. Morrissey claimed the heavyweight title as his own when he prevailed over the American Heavyweight Champion, Yankee Sullivan (born James Ambrose, 1811-1856) on September 1, 1853. Estimated at $10/15,000, it sold to an American online bidder for $15,000. For information, 513-871-1670 or www.cowanauctions.com.
PHOENIXVILLE, PENN. – A Chinese cloisonné vase with ring handles surpassed its $1,200 high estimate to land at $7,500 in Wiederseim Associates Inc’s November 28 sale. The auction house said the piece dated to the Ming dynasty and measured 15 inches. From start to finish – more than 42 bids – the vase received its attention from internet bidders. For information, www.wiederseim.com or 610-827-1910.
NEW YORK CITY- A bronze bust of a Japanese woman by French artist Émile-Louis Truffot (1843-1895) sold for $37,500 in Auctions At Showplace’s November 22 sale. The subject wears a kimono with a reddish-brown patina and scales down to a connected bronze pedestal that took the form of an archaic bronze. It had provenance to a Christie’s sale and was consigned from a Bronxville, N.Y., estate. For information, www.nyshowplace.com or 212-633-6063.
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