Published: January 18, 2021
Notable sales found in our January 29, 2021 issue offer a number of final five-figure bids within a spectrum of artistic styles. A figural bust in marble of “Diana” by American sculptor Hiram Powers made for active bidding at Amero Auctions, while “Mao,” a 1972 screenprint by Andy Warhol led print offerings at Lark Mason Associates. Southwestern art highlighted at Mid-Atlantic Auction with two oil on canvas paintings by Earl Biss Jr (1947-1998). A vintage Elvis movie poster along with Japanese and Chinese art round out this week’s offerings.
SARASOTA, FLA. – A figural bust in marble of “Diana” by American sculptor Hiram Powers (1805-1873) sold for $88,500 at Amero Auctions’ January 17 sale. The bust measured 30½ inches high and featured the subject in tiara with moon and stars, a flowing dress and a strap accented with arrows and garland. It was signed verso and came from a private collection. “Diana” was first modeled by Powers in the 1850s for Lucius Manilus Sargent, of the prominent Boston family. In its crown and subject, the bust shows similarities to the artist’s “America” first carved in 1850-54. The Smithsonian holds an edition of “Diana.” For information, www.ameroauctions.com or 941-330-1577.
CLARENCE, N.Y. – On the first day, January 15, of its two-day estate antiques auction, Schultz Auctioneers saw an antique Chinese covered cloisonne vessel on a teakwood stand reach $55,460. Estimated just $2/3,000, the antique vessel, which came from a local estate, was pushed to its final price by 98 bids. It measured approximately 22 by 14½ inches at its widest part and weighed approximately 17 pounds including the top. The no-reserve auction featured several large collections from the Strong Museum, more items from the William Buchanan estate and there were more than 1,200 lots. For information, www.schultzauctioneers.net or 716-759-8483.
NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. – On January 16, Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries offered more than 400 lots from the archive of Bunny Yeager, who Diane Arbus once referred to as “the world’s greatest pin-up photographer.” The sale featured thousands of never-before-seen and unpublished camera images, negatives, transparencies, contact sheets, modeling outfits, photography props and camera equipment, as well as correspondence with pin-up star Bettie Page. Leading the sale was a page of 12 negatives of Page, which had an estimate of $300/400 but sold to an American private collector for $3,438. The auction was one of many in which the archive will be sold. For information, www.midhudsongalleries.com or 914-882-7356.
NEW YORK CITY – “Mao,” a 1972 screenprint by Andy Warhol, sold for $35,000 at Lark Mason Associates’ December 12 to January 14 prints, multiples and drawings sale. The print was editioned 25/250 and was produced by Styria Studio Inc. It measured 36 by 35¾ inches on the sheet and was sold to benefit the Visitation Catholic School, a K-8 elementary school in Kewanee, Ill. It had been donated by James Hannon, from the class of 1960, and featured a chain of provenance back to the artist. For information, www.larkmasonassociates.com or 212-289-5524.
OAKLAND, CALIF. – A Japanese six-panel screen that depicted the Tale of Genji took top-lot honors for Clars Auction Gallery during two days of fine art and antiques online-only auctions conducted January 16-17. During the weekend sales that ushered in the New Year for the Bay Area firm, more than 1,400 lots crossed the block. The screen, which had been acquired at San Francisco department store Gumps, measured 48¾ inches high and 123 inches total length, had an estimate of $1/2,000 but after protracted bidding, it folded at $24,600. For information, 510-428-0100 or www.clars.com.
WILMINGTON, DEL. – Featuring the estate of Helen Penrose Wolff Kahn, the doyenne of Douglaston Manor, N.Y., Mid-Atlantic Auctions and Appraisals conducted a single-owner sale on January 17. Beloved resident of 82 years, Helen and her late husband Bernie owned a magnificent waterfront residence, which they furnished over a period of 50 years. The collection featured more than 100 paintings, including several Old Masters, Nineteenth Century Continental and American paintings and a collection of Southwestern art and accoutrements that adorned Bernie’s Manhattan advertising agency. Southwestern art highlights topped the sale, including two oil on canvas paintings by Earl Biss Jr (1947-1998) dated 1978. “Buffalo Grass” (shown) sold for $15,000, while “Ladies in Waiting” brought $12,500. Biss, born in Washington state and active in California and Montana, is known for Modernist Indian genre and figure painting. For information, 302-528-0206 www.mid-atlantic.com.
HARRISBURG, PENN. – A vast collection of vintage and modern sports cards and memorabilia were up to bat at Cordier Auctions and Appraisals on January 17. Among large and small lots, a 1952 Bowman set with Hall of Fame players rose to $3,720, selling to a private collector on seven bids. The Hall of Fame players got good marks with grades as follows: #1 Berra (Good), #8 Reese (Good), #21 Fox (Good to very good), #43 Feller (Good to very good), #44 Campanella (Good), #52 Rizzuto (Fair), #101 Mantle (Good), #116 Snider (Good), #196 Musial (Fair), and #218 Mays (Good). For information, 717-731-8662 or www.cordierauction.com.
BEVERLY, MASS. – A highlight from Kaminski Auctions’ two-day New Year’s Estates Auction January 16-17 was an Elvis “Love Me Tender” movie poster, which had provenance to the Elvis Presley honeymoon home and sold to an American buyer, bidding on the phone, for $19,200. The poster was part of a sizeable collection with the same provenance and had been estimated at $100-200. For information, 978-927-2223 or www.kaminskiauctions.com.
BERKELEY, CALIF. – Of particular note in PBA Galleries’ January 14 sale was a small map of the District of Columbia by Thomas Gamaliel Bradford, published in 1835 in his Comprehensive Atlas. A rather simple map free of adornment, it shows the diamond-shaped region with street layout for Washington City, Georgetown and Alexandria. There is a key that locates ten buildings, including the Capitol, President’s House, War Department and others. Offered without reserve, it rose to $780. For information, 415-989-2665 or www.pbagalleries.com.
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