Published: April 19, 2021
Notable lots that share the spotlight in our April 30, 2021 issue include a Korean six-fold painted paper floor screen from the estate of Roberta Wright McCain that brought six-figures at Sloans & Kenyon. Other art pieces bringing active five-figure bids were an Orientalist painting at Merrill’s Auction and a Maud Lewis landscape. Bids were offered in good faith for an 1830 edition of The Book of Mormon at Swann and a 1656 Martin Luther German Bible at Public Auctions. Women’s suffrage material, more art and a leopard print sofa will add to your review of interesting sales across the nation.
BETHESDA, MD. – Sloans & Kenyon had a bit of excitement at the firm’s April 16 auction. Achieving $183,000, a Korean six-fold painted paper floor screen from the estate of Roberta Wright McCain, Washington, DC, was purportedly from Young ha sa temple in Gae Sung Ki province. With an old retail label from Eddy Chang’s Co., Inc., Korea, each panel was painted in full color with sage or noble figures. For information, www.sloansandkenyon.com or 301-634-2330.
NEW YORK CITY – Soaring to nearly double its high estimate in Swann Galleries’ April 15 sale of Printed & Manuscript Americana was an 1830 edition of The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon. It brought $68,750 and was the top lot in the 387-lot sale that featured an additional five books and manuscripts connected with the Mormon faith. Published in Palmyra, N.Y., by E.B. Grandin, the octavo volume in publisher’s calf had its original black leather spine blind-stamped with minor conservations to the binding, including a period board replacing the original front board. For information, www.swanngalleries.com or 212-254-4710.
HUDSON, N.Y. – Nearly 500 lots crossed the block at Public Sale Auctions’ April 11 “Printed Paper” sale, but it was a 1656 Martin Luther German Bible with embossed leather cover and brass clasp that made the top price of $8,400 after opening at $20 and receiving an online bid of $1,150. The bible was published in German in a hardcover folio full calf with beveled corners, ornate bronze clasps and ornate embossed designs. The inside bore the bookplate of a former owner and handwritten inscriptions. For information, 518-966-7253 or www.public-sale.com.
THOMASTON, MAINE – Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ Vintage Accents sale on April 14 was accented by assorted items, including a 1915 women’s suffrage sign of the Massachusetts Suffrage Association, a die-cut bluebird-shape tin litho sign with “Votes for Women, Nov. 2,” standing 11¾ inches high. An early Twentieth Century Stanley Co. dry plate glass negatives box (4-by-5-inch size) with four negative images was included in the lot, as was a late Nineteenth Century embossed tin alphabet plate featuring Jumbo the elephant and a Fairy Soap tin litho tip plate, 4¼ inches in diameter. Totaled up, the lot, estimated just $300/400, went out at $2,529. For information, 207-354-8141 or www.vintageaccentsauctions.com.
WILLISTON, VT. – Merrill’s Auction had a great sale on April 9. Of particular note was a painting of a woman and child in an Orientalist style by Frederic Arthur Bridgman (American, 1847-1928), inscribed to a friend, which brought $49,200. There were numerous left, phone and internet bids on the painting, according to the auction house, and it sold to an online bidder. Inscribed upper right was “To C. Sprague a friendly Souvenir of Bold Clichy FA Bridgman 1875.” Retaining fragment of old paper label reverse, the oil on panel measured 11 by 14 inches and was presented in a later frame. For information, www.merrillsauction.com or 802-878-2625.
NEW HAMBURG, ONTARIO, CANADA – Miller & Miller’s April 17 sale of Canadiana and folk art headlined the lifetime collection of Marty Osler and offered 305 lots. It was led by a folk art oil on board of a fall landscape by Canadian artist Maud Lewis (1903-1970) that depicted the red-roofed Lynch House with the ferry Princess Helene entering the harbor in the background. The work, which was done in 1960 and measured 11 by 13 inches, nearly doubled its high estimate and realized $20,760. Prices have been converted into USD from Canadian dollars. For information, www.millerandmillerauctions.com, 833-662-4800 or 519-662-4800.
NEW YORK CITY- Austin Powers would have had a field day with the leopard print velvet-upholstered three-cushion sofa that brought $11,970 at Doyle’s April 14 Doyle At Home sale. Mike Myers’ character would certainly have given it a “Rawr, baby” as he made a clawing motion forward with his hand. The sofa came from the collection of socialite Jayne Wrightsman, who with her husband Charles, endowed the Wrightsman Galleries For French Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wrightsman passed away in 2019 at the age of 99. For more information, www.doyle.com or 212-427-2730.
PLAINVILLE, CONN. – Once in the collection of the Hartford Courant, considered the country’s oldest newspaper in continuous publication, an oil on canvas by Connecticut artist Cornelia Cowles Vetter (1881-1959) sold for $3,225 at Winter Associates Inc’s April 12 sale. “Cuban Boy” is a 29½-by-24½-inch portrait of a young man in a dark coat, flat brimmed hat and red shawl. The painting had been exhibited at The Connecticut Gallery in 1989 and featured a label verso for the Benton Museum. Vetter studied with Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase at the Art Student League and would go on to become one of the most important female artists of the Hartford art colony. For information, www.auctionappraisers.com or 860-793-0288.
LONE JACK, MO. – An auction of multiple estates featuring a few maritime antiques from the collection of Judge Paul Vardeman was conducted by Soulis Auctions on April 17. An Admiralty Islands New Guinea frigate bird feast bowl with considerable damage nevertheless commanded $4,012. “Items with provenance to Judge Paul Vardeman, the Dean of Scrimshaw Collectors, seemed to bring high prices,” said Dirk Soulis. “Searching results for “Folk Art Ship Diorama” on LiveAuctioneers finds five out of the top nine entries to be from this auction of Vardeman maritime antiques, including the number 1 and number 2 positions of highest results for the category.” A folk art ship model of the four-masted William P. Frye from the Vardeman collection (shown) sold for $2,596. For more information, www.dirksoulisauctions.com or 816-697-3830.
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