Published: July 25, 2017
This week’s Across The Block roundup features an assortment of high flying lots including ceramic works by Pablo Picasso, an antique Italian water font, a 1904 World’s Fair apothecary store and so much more from auctions around the United States.
NEW YORK CITY – The absence of reserves on the many lots offered by Showplace Antique + Design Center in its July 16 live estate auction spurred bidders to compete for an antique Italian carved marble water font in the neoclassical style. The 16-inch-diameter piece left its $300/500 estimate in the dust to realize $2,475. For information, www.nyshowplace.com or 212-633-6063.
FREEVILLE, N.Y. – The July 15 sale at National Book Auctions featured a broad range of rare and collectible books and ephemera. Figuring prominently were titles relating to the opening of the American West as well as emblem books dating back to the early Seventeenth Century. Another standout offering was an early edition of Alexander von Humboldt’s magnum opus Voyage aux Regions Equinoxiales du Nouveau Continent. This highly decorative set with calf-backed, marbled and gilt-stamped boards fetched $1,125 against a high estimate of $400. For information, wwwnationalbookauctions.com or 607-269-0101.
SCOTTS VALLEY, CALIF. – It was evidently “Pablo Picasso Day” on July 16 as Pablo Picasso “Visage” ceramics were top lots at auctions on both the East Coast and West Coast of America. Robert Slawinski Auctioneers sold a Pablo Picasso “Visage” pitcher, having a Madoura stamp, for $8,260, while a similarly decorated ceramic plate brought good money at a Philadelphia auction house (see item on this page). The 12-inch-tall pitcher in Slawinski’s sale was marked on the bottom “Edition Picasso,” and the lot included the original owner receipts from 1963. For information, 831-335-9000 or www.slawinski.com.
ONLINE – A highlight of a global ceramic auction benefiting the Sante Fe-based CFile Foundation that ran online July 3-21 on Bidsquare was a contemporary work by Native American-Anglo artist Diego Romero, “Earth Goddess at Delphi,” 2010, that earned $4,377. The artist began making pottery with traditional Anasazi decoration painted in gold but was challenged at UCLA to be bold. He then began creating images drawn from ancient Greek vessels and other cultures whose heroes and values matched those of the Native American, such as the example in this sale. The foundation, which works to support contemporary ceramicists, includes educators, ceramics creatives, critics, curators, collectors and dealers. For information, www.cfileonline.org.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. – A John Grillo (American, 1917-2014) untitled painting more than doubled its high estimate to attain $33,600 at Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches on June 19. The oil on canvas, dated “51,” measured 35 by 51 inches. For information, www.agopb.com or 561-805-7115.
ST LOUIS – Link Auction Galleries had among the highlights from its July 15 summer gallery auction a massive 1904 World’s Fair mahogany apothecary store that finished at $27,000. For information, www.linkauctiongalleries.com or 314-454-6525.
PHILADELPHIA – Material Culture sold this Pablo Picasso ceramic plate, “Visage no. 192,” for $10,000, well above estimate, on July 16. The Madoura work was conceived in 1963 and is 109 out of an edition of 150. For information, 215-438-4700 or www.materialculture.com.
ONLINE – A highlight in Jones & Horan’s online-only “Christmas in July” watches and jewelry auction that ran July 13-20 was an E. Howard & Co, Boston, pocket watch, among the highest grades of Series III model 1862 with rayed NI damascene finish in 18K yellow gold, which fetched $5,100. The watch had a fine gold cuvette and lever escapement. Research indicates that only about 140 model Series III model 1862 movements were made in the damascene N1 finish. For information, www.jones-horan.com or 800-622-8120.
CHICAGO – Potter & Potter Auctions sold a Peter Force engraving of the Declaration of Independence for $16,800 on July 8. The rice paper engraving from volume I of Force’s 1837-53 series of books The American Archives is one of only a few hundred in existence and rarely shows up at auction. Force was commissioned by Congress to print a series of books of important American documents, The American Archives. The stone engraving used earlier on the Declaration by William J. Stone in 1820 was taken out of storage for the occasion and used to print new copies on rice paper. While 1,500 sets were authorized, subscriptions were low and many fewer copies, perhaps as few as 500, were printed. For information, 773-472-1442 or www.potterauctions.com.
PLAINFIELD, N.H. – Highlighting a Sunday afternoon estate auction on July 16 by William Smith was an Industrial mixed metal mirror by Evans and matching console, which brought $2,243. Other notable lots among the designer furnishings, artwork and accessories from a multimillion-dollar Long Island home included a gouache on paper Abstract view of the Moulin Rouge, signed lower right, 19 by 24 inches at $1,265 and a Ralph Lauren bed that fetched $2,013. For information, www.wsmithauction.com or 603-675-2549.
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