Published: April 6, 2021
Notable sales in our April 16, 2021 issue start with a lot that finished almost 37-times its high estimate as a set of Joseon dynasty studded armor and helmet sold for $293,750 against an estimate of $6/8,000 at Hindman Auctions. The very rare armor and helmet are constructed of vivid red wool, padded and lined with pale blue damask woven silk and trimmed with fur. Art in the five-figure range includes a G. Harvey New Orleans street scene at Andrew Jones, a Reynolds Beal Impressionist oil on canvas maritime scene at 5th Avenue Auctions and a signed limited edition lithograph by MC Escher at the Benefit Shop Foundation. A literal John Hancock at Pook & Pook and a NASA report on Apollo 8 add to the variety of lots up for review this week.
CHICAGO – Hindman Auctions saw tremendous engagement in its three days of Asian Art sales on March 25-27. The auctions realized nearly $3 million across the three days, the highest total an Asian Art season has ever reached at Hindman. Of particular note, the Chinese and Southeast Asian works of art sale realized more than $2.2 million, more than double the estimate, and saw competitive bidding throughout. The March 25 auction was led by a set of Joseon dynasty studded armor and helmet, which sold for $293,750 against an estimate of $6/8,000. The very rare armor and helmet are constructed of vivid red wool, padded and lined with pale blue damask woven silk, and trimmed with fur. The robe is embellished with rows of gilt bosses and medallions between sinuous dragon across the shoulder crest. The helmet case is decorated with dragons and phoenix bordered by auspicious symbols and topped by a gilt finial supporting a tuft of auburn hair. For information, www.hindmanauctions.com or 312-280-1211.
SAUGERTIES, N.Y. – “The sale was very successful,” said Stephen Brackett at the conclusion of Fox & Crane’s online auction on March 20. “We set a record with the sale of a Walt Disney’s Dumbo of the Circus by Heath Co., Boston, which sold for $900 (shown).” The mint unused Dumbo book was from the estate of Ruth Ivener, who was the vice president of Kay Kamen, the marketing division of Walt Disney during the 1930s-40s. Another sale highlight was a three-piece set of Art Deco Rodden copper and pewter bookends and light. It sold for $1,659. For information, www.foxandcraneonlineauctions.com or 845-234-0083.
DETROIT, MICH. – DuMouchelles’ March 25-26 auctions included more than 800 Nineteenth and Twentieth Century pieces of fine and decorative art, including more treasures from the collection of Michigan Senator Jack Faxon, in addition to a collection from a descendent of the esteemed Americana collector, James Keene, among others. Bidding was robust across the internet, phone and floor and a highlight of the auction was an oil on canvas, 18 by 28 inches, of the Piazza San Marco in Venice by Martin Rico Y Ortega (Spanish, 1833-1908), going out at $27,280. Rico was one of the most important artists of the second half of the Nineteenth Century in his native Spain and stayed true to his love of painting en plein air, even as his artistic style evolved. Rico discovered Venice in 1873 and spent nearly every summer in the “City of Light,” thereafter. The painting was owned by Gloria Anton of Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., for more than 50 years and will now find its way back to Europe where Rico was born. DuMouchelles’ next auctions will be April 29-30. For information, www.dumoart.com or 313-963-6255.
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – A signed limited edition lithograph by MC Escher (1898-1972) sold for $11,520 in the Benefit Shop Foundation’s March 24 sale. The work, titled “Butterflies,” was originally produced in June 1950 and is editioned 18 of 100. Each butterfly differs in pattern from the others before they become part of a fragmented mass at the top of the work. This is the sixth and highest result for an Escher work that the auction house has sold within the last 12 months. For information, www.thebenefitshop.com or 914-864-0707.
LOS ANGELES – Andrew Jones Auctions conducted a 300-lot Design for the Home and Garden sale on March 28, packed with antiques, fine art, antiquities, early works of art, rare books, silver, garden furniture and sculpture. The array of fine art included paintings, prints and sculpture from Old Masters to contemporary works. American regionalism featured an impressive scale oil on canvas painting by G. Harvey (American, 1933-2017) titled “Carriages on Canal Street, New Orleans.” Estimated $40/60,000, it made $75,000. Signed lower left G. Harvey, titled to top stretcher bar, titled and signed again to reverse, the 40-by-30-inch work had provenance to Trailside Galleries, Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Scottsdale, Ariz., and the estate of June Ebensteiner, Westlake Village, Calif. For information, www.andrewjonesauctions.com or 213-748-8008.
STAMFORD, CONN. – According to inscriptions on the back of the work, American artist Reynolds Beal (1888-1951) began his Impressionist oil on canvas maritime scene, “USS Utah Off Rockport,” in 1928 and did not finish it until 1944. The work sold for $43,750 in 5th Avenue Auctions’ March 28 sale. It had been consigned from a New Jersey collector and measured 26 by 36 inches. The back bore a label for the Rockport Art Association, an organization well-known to the artist, who moved to Rockport in 1924 and died there in 1951. Beal was known to travel the coast and the broader world by boat, which he called his “floating studio.” For information, www.5thavenueny.com or 212-247-1097.
SAN FRANCISCO – An Apollo 8 mission report published by NASA in February 1969 brought $1,200 at PBA Galleries’ Space Travel, Fine Press, Maps, Americana and Books sale that closed March 25. Apollo 8 was the first crewed spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit as it circled the moon without landing and landed back on earth. Astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders were the first humans to witness and photograph an Earthrise, a finding detailed in the Apollo 8 mission report that included 268 pages, with maps, diagrams, graphs and photographs. It is stamped presumably for its prior owner, Anton Tedesko, a structural engineer who planned and supervised the construction of the Space Vehicle Vertical Assembly Center Building at Cape Canaveral. For information, www.pbagalleries.com or 415-989-2665.
BEACON, N.Y. – Heading Hudson Valley Auctioneer’s March 29 sale was a Brutalist iron sculpture made in 1961 by American sculptor, Richard Stankiewicz, which sold to an online bidder for $10,625. The 29-inch-tall work, which was signed “RS,” came from the lower Manhattan apartment of Michigan State Senator Jack Faxon (1936-2020). It was the highest price achieved in the 417-lot unreserved multi-estate sale. For information, 845-831-6800 or www.hudsonvalleyauctioneers.com.
DOWNINGTOWN, PENN. – A Revolutionary War document addressed to Commissary General Joseph Trumbull, Esq at Morris Town Headquarters and signed by President John Hancock was one of the highlights of Pook & Pook’s March 25 Firearms, Militaria & Sporting sale. The document, which was dated April 20, 1777, directed Trumbull to “repair with all dispatch to Philadelphia.” The document had come from a Maryland private collection and was purchased by a trade buyer for $5,229. For information, 610-269-4040 or www.pookandpook.com.
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