Published: January 2, 2018
SAN FRANCISCO – Bonhams annual end-of-year two-day sales of Asian fine and decorative arts yielded strong results. One of the surprises of their December 19 sale of Asian decorative arts, which featured approximately 1500 works from Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and China, was a large Chinese carnelian carving of a tree trunk from the late Qing / Republic period. The top lot of their sale, it was estimated at $3/5,000 but interest pushed it to finish at $23,750. A more thorough review of the sale to follow. For further information, www.bonhams.com or 415-861-7500.
LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. – A 7-foot, 5-inch bronze sculpture by Tolla Inbar (German Israeli, b 1958) titled “Aspiration Duo” sold at Capo Auction on December 16 for $6,875. Dated 1999 and hand signed “Tolla” on leg, the piece is numbered “4/4,” and is set on an 18-inch wood base. For information, 718-433-3710 or www.capoauctionnyc.com.
DANIA BEACH, FLA. – At Kodner’s December 20 auction, an oil on canvas by American Russian artist Mane Katz (1894-1962) titled “Rabbi With Torah Scroll” crossed the block with a $4/6,000 estimate. Serious bidding ensued and the 26-by-21-inch signed painting sold for $22,990. For more information, www.kodner.com or 954-925-2550.
CLEVELAND, OHIO – An exquisite piece by a storied jewelry designer, goldsmith and beloved instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Art bedazzled and inspired bidders at Rachel Davis Fine Arts’ December 9 fine and decorative arts auction. The late John Paul Miller’s elegant 18K gold and enamel Octopus pendant/brooch refused to float at its $20/30,000 estimate; rather, the bidding crested at a final price of $60,500. For more information, www.racheldavisfinearts.com or 216-939-1190.
BEVERLY HILLS – A painting by one of the most famous Walt Disney Studios artists of all time, Carl Barks, led Heritage Auctions’ animation art auction on December 9 -10. More than a dozen bidders pursued “Family Portrait,” Uncle Scrooge and Disney Ducks Painting #73-15 with handwritten letter (Walt Disney, 1973) until it finally finished at $68,712. The entire Duck family “posed” for the legendary Disney artist, with Donald Duck surrounded by Uncle Scrooge McDuck (a Barks creation), Grandma Duck, Daisy Duck, Gladstone Gander, and in front, Donald’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. The auction cleared more than $1.5 million. For further information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
LONDON – A private collector paid $58,575 to win a Boss & Co. pair of 12-bore, round body, single trigger, self-opening sidelock ejector guns at Gavin Gardiner’s Auction of modern and vintage sporting guns on December 13 at Sotheby’s New Bond Street. Auctioneer and expert-in-charge Gavin Gardiner said, “I am delighted to end the year with such a robust sale. It was extremely busy and attracted a high level of interest in all areas and the results reflect the quality of the entry. I look forward to our next auction at Sotheby’s on April 18.” The price was converted to US dollars on editing. For further information, www.gavingardiner.com or 01798 875300.
SAN FRANCISCO – PBA Galleries saw strong prices realized in its December 14 Americana, travel and exploration, world history and cartography auction. A number of lots sold for well over high estimates, and many lots saw spirited bidding, including a fascinating and rare album of 63 Albertypes – photographs – by William Henry Jackson that sold for $12,000. These were some of the first photographic views of the Yellowstone region that were taken on the 1871 Hayden Geological Survey; they led the way for the area to be the first designated National Park. For more information, www.pbagalleries.com or 415-989-2665.
LARCHMONT, N.Y. – At Clarke’s unreserved fine art auction on December 11, Richard Smith’s 48-by-48-inch “Epigram” sold at a surprising $5,000. The acrylic, canvas, string and rods square work was found in a Larchmont storage locker with a gallery label verso. The subject of a flurry of bidding from competing bidders, the final price was significantly above the modest $1,000 high estimate. For information, www.clarkeny.com or 914-833-8336.
NEW YORK CITY – At Roland’s auction, a circa 1926 Steinway & Sons Model M studio grand piano, with an ebonized finish and accompanied by a piano bench, sold at $7,500, to lead the December 2 sale. Estimated at $2,5/3,500, the piano sold to an internet bidder. For further information, 212-260-2000 or www.rolandantiques.com.
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