Published: March 1, 2021
Notable sales in our March 12, 2021 issue lead with a leader at Abell Auction’s Twentieth Century design and jewelry auction when a pair of Chinese imperial Palace panels drew a final bid north of $150,000. Meanwhile, a Bertoia “Willow” sculpture brought bidding to more than $60,000 at DuMouchelles in Michigan, while offers for Salvador Dali’s “Carmen” portfolio ended just shy of $30,000 at Helmuth Stone Gallery in Florida. For sports collectors, a partial set of Fleer 1961-62 basketball cards scored more than $8,000 at Jeff Evans’ sale while a 1909-11 Cy Young card defied its PSA rating in active bidding at Cordier. Vintage teddy bears and oil paintings round out the remainder of this week’s auction results.
LOS ANGELES – Abell Auction conducted a fine art, antiques, Twentieth Century design and jewelry auction on February 21 that featured property from prominent California estates. The sale was highlighted by a pair of Chinese imperial palace panels (shown), which was bid to $168,000. Also doing well was a Larry Bell (b 1939) “Cube” finishing at $93,000, an Edgar Payne (1883-1947) painting, “Navajo Scouts,” at $60,000 and “Picnic with a Row of Trees,” a work by Roland Petersen (b 1926) that brought $54,000. For information, www.abell.com or 800-404-2235.
SARASOTA, FLA. – Salvador Dali’s “Carmen” portfolio reached the high notes when it brought $29,760 at Helmuth Stone Gallery’s American and European fine art auction on February 21. The lot, which came from a local downtown Sarasota collector, had been estimated at $25/35,000 and attracted multiple phone bidders from South America and the United Kingdom, but in the end, it sold to an online buyer from Mexico. According to Austin Helmuth, scarcity in the subject and a low edition number (#2 of 125) helped drive the price. For information, 941-260-9703 or www.helmuthstone.com.
HARRISBURG, PENN. – It was Part II of a large collection of vintage and modern sports cards at Cordier Auctions and Appraisals on February 21. Baseball and football, 1950s through modern, Hall of Fame through autographed items and photos, it was all lined up for bidders in the firm’s online-only auction. Reflecting the current hot market for baseball cards, the top lot was a 1909-11 E-90 American Caramel Cy Young (Boston). This was graded by PSA a 1 (poor) and yet brought $780. For information, 717-731-8662 or www.cordierauction.com.
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – A surprise standout from Benefit Shop Foundations’ February 24 Red Carpet auction was a vintage Dieges & Clust gold tone metal pin that read “Press, World Series, American League, 1927.” The 1¼-by-1-inch pin, which had been estimated at $50-$150, had received little interest prior to the sale so staff were surprised when it sold for $1,088 to an online bidder. For information, 914-864-0707 or www.thebenefitshop.org.
LOS ANGELES – Andrew Jones Auctions posted a notable result on February 24 when an oil on artist’s board by Frank C. McCarthy (American, 1924-2002), “On the banks of the Little Big Horn,” went to $9,375. The 12-by-16-inch painting of a Native American warrior astride his horse on the banks of the river had been exhibited in “Visions of the West” in August 1999 and was property from the estate of June Ebensteiner, Westlake Village, Calif. Ebensteiner’s collection featured a number of works from Western artists, including Dan Mieduch, Charles Pabst and Ron Smith. And for lovers of Western art, “We have a monumental work by Western artist G. Harvey of Canal Street, New Orleans, coming up in our March 28 Design for the Home and Garden auction from Ebensteiner estate,” said Aileen Ward, the firm’s vice president and senior specialist. For information, 213-748-8008 or www.andrewjonesauctions.com.
TIMONIUM, MD. – A sizeable section of Richard Opfer Auctioneering’s Timed Online Eclectic Collector Auction on February 25 was the local estate of a dealer of Christmas ornaments, collectibles and Steiff animals. Lots from his estate swept the leaderboard with a group of two vintage mohair teddy bears bringing the most, $5,700, while a small Steiff clown bear made $4,500. Speaking after the sale, Rick Opfer said, “the sale overall was very good, very strong with lots of different buyers. We probably had at least 40 different buyers on the Steiff.” For information, 410-252-5035 or www.opferauction.com.
DETROIT, MICH. – DuMouchelles’ February 25-26 auctions included more than 800 curated pieces of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century fine and decorative art from the estate of Senator Jack Faxon and other prominent estates and collectors. Bidding was robust across the internet, phone and floor, achieving more than 95 percent sell-through rates. A circa 1968 stainless steel wire on steel base “Willow” sculpture by Harry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978) led the sale, going out at $62,000 to a Florida buyer. The 64-by-34-inch sculpture was owned by a prominent Bloomfield Hills, Mich., collector. At the age of 15, given the choice to stay in drought-ridden Italy or move to Detroit, Bertoia chose Detroit, where he studied art and design and his career flourished – focusing on sound art and modern furniture design. He produced more than 50 commissioned public sculptures that are installed at numerous prestigious museums and institutions. DuMouchelles’ next auction will be March 25-26. For information, www.dumoart.com or 617-721-6316.
MOUNT CRAWFORD, VA. – Top lot for the weekend sale at Jeffrey S. Evans, February 26-27, was a partial set of 1961-1962 Fleer basketball cards – a desirable set with many iconic Hall of Famers, including Bill Russell, Len Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Bob Cousy and Jerry West (slabbed example PSA graded VG-3), some duplication. Together with 14 assorted 1971-72 cards, examples included Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Wilt Chamberlain. The lot finished at $8,775. For information, www.jeffreysevans.com or 540-434-3939.
BEVERLY, MASS. – Kaminski Auctions’ February 27-28 sale featured an eclectic mix of items. Fine art in the sale was led on the second day by a Brian Coole painting of the tea district of Pagoda Island at Foo Chow, viewed from Hong Kong (shown). The oil on board painting measuring 17.6 by 30 inches illustrated Chinese laborers at work and had been purchased directly from the artist. It sold for $8,400. The first day of the sale was led by a Persian Tabriz carpet, among a large selection of Oriental rugs, that finished at $3,750. For information 978-927-2223 or www.kaminskiauctions.com.
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