Published: March 16, 2021
Notable sales in our March 26, 2021 issue lead with a Richard Mille RM-11-03 watch that was bid to more than $350,000 at Kodner Galleries. The final bid for the watch contributed to the sale’s $1.8 million total. Decorative lots highlighted this week include a Nineteenth Century American schoolgirl academy painted box that sold for five figures at Merrill’s and a Nantucket “Double Lollipop” basket that gaveled for the same at Showplace. American artists and Chinese porcelain will keep you reading on some of the latest auction activity across the United States.
DANIA BEACH, FLA. – The jewelry, couture and collection of musician Phil Collins’ ex-wife, Orianne Collins kept on giving on March 3, as Kodner Galleries offered Part 2 of the collection. The sale totaled $1,803,410, according to Kevin Patrick Taylor, Kodner’s general manager and head of cataloging and research. “Quite an auction,” he said. “We continue on every other Wednesday night, still with no live audience as we strive to keep the Kodner staff safe. Phone, absentee and online bidding only. Seems to be working very well.” Within the overall sale, exclusive brand watch sales totaled $1,219,680, led by a Richard Mille RM-11-03 that was bid to $350,900. For information, www.kodner.com or 954-925-2550.
NEW YORK CITY – Auctions At Showplace unwrapped a Nantucket “Double Lollipop” basket for $11,250 in its March 6 sale. The basket had been estimated at $2/4,000. Featuring a woven design with swing handle, the example featured staves extending beyond the uppermost rim as well as star details and round pins through the handle. It measured 9¼ inches diameter. For information, www.nyshowplace.com or 212-633-6063.
GIBSONVILLE, N.C. – An oil on board by Ukrainian/American artist Aaron Birnbaum (1895-1998) brought $6,458 on 49 bids at Ledbetter Folk Art & Americana Auction’s March 6 sale. The work centered on a large boat with a single stack flying an American flag. After immigrating to the United States and working as a dress manufacturer, Birnbaum turned to painting at 70 years old and would produce a series of works painted from memory. For information, www.ledbetterauctions.com or 336-524-1077.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – An American school portrait of Sophronia Willard Houghton Fitch sold for $5,317 at Eldred’s March 4 sale. The oil on canvas measured 32 by 27 inches and was relined with some areas of paint loss. A typewritten note on the back read, “According to genealogical records, Sophronia Willard Houghton was born October 25, 1806 in Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts. She and George Fitch were engaged May 9, 1827 and married June 6, 1827 in Worcester. She died March 13, 1884.” For information, www.eldreds.com or 508-385-3116.
WILLISTON, VT. – A Nineteenth Century American schoolgirl academy painted box sold for $17,700 at Merrill’s Auctioneers and Appraisers on March 5. The box, with dovetailed construction and slide lid top, was painted with different scenes to all sides, including an iteration of “The Shepherds Care” and a coastal landscape scene. According to Betsy Krieg Salm, “American Schoolgirl Art was practiced by female academy, seminary and tutored students in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries. Often their greatest work was reserved for pen and paint decoration of wooden pieces. At that time, their families would commission a cabinetmaker to create furniture and accessories for them to decorate. In true American fashion, these pieces were always of a practical nature.” The box featured a fitted interior, measured 5 by 9 by 7 inches, and came with the contents it was found with, including early powder flasks and shoe buckles. For information, www.merrillsauction.com or 802-878-2625.
FREEHOLD, N.Y. – One of the highlights of Carlsen Gallery’s March Madness sale on Sunday, March 7, was a pair of Chinese Republic period porcelain vases with an estimate of $300/600 that inspired competitive bidding from both phone and online bidders. The vases, which had been consigned by a Hudson Valley collector, were purchased for $4,688 by a buyer in China, bidding online, who also picked up a few other porcelain lots. For information, 518-634-2466 or www.carlsengallery.com.
PROVINCETOWN, MASS. – Twentieth Century works of art is Bakker Auctions’ bread and butter so it was a happy surprise when a Nineteenth Century seascape by American artist Alfred T. Bricher (1837-1903) swam to top lot honors in the March 6 Online Winter Auction. The small (8 by 13 inches) oil on canvas was consigned by a New York City trade seller who is a regular client of Bakker’s. It drew interest from both dealers and collectors, selling to a local buyer for $15,000, its low estimate. For information, 508-413-9758 or www.bakkerproject.com.
ROCKVILLE, MD. – The sunny landscapes of Carrie Hill (American, 1875-1957) appealed to winter-weary bidders at Weschler’s March 11 Winter Gallery sale of 142 lots. Three works by the artist were in the sale, with an oil on canvas board example measuring 18½ by 14½ inches – “Italian Hillside with Cypress Trees” – bringing the top price of $6,765 against an $800-$1,200 estimate. The buyer also snapped up the other two works by Hill that were in the sale, spending $4,674 for another European landscape and $2,337 for a painting of a cottage. For information, 202-628-1281 or www.weschlers.com.
CINCINNATI – A Monarch Country Store pickle counter sold for $6,050 at Forsythes’ Auctions, LLC on March 14. The sale offered the estate collection of Bob and Betty Carter, who owned early painted furniture, country store items and advertising, decorated stoneware, country smalls and more. The counter featured a double-sided chromolithographed steel base featuring the company’s lion logo with four inset stoneware jars in the top. With bronze hardware, the jars were made by Reid, Murdoch & Co. For information, 937-377-3700 or www.forsythesauctions.com.
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