Published: April 13, 2021
Highlights that flew past the block in our April 23 issue include engravings, paintings, toys, memorabilia, silverplate, books, furniture and glass. Can it get more varied? An egg set sold for a sterling price at Woody Auctions, while a “Quicksand” portrait from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion floated high at Heritage. A Stickley game table kept the dream alive for Abington as a small Gallé footed vase was worth its weight in gold for World Auction Gallery. These and more in this week’s Across the Block.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. – A leather-top hexagonal quartersawn oak game table made by Gustav Stickley around 1902 hit the jackpot at Abington Auction Gallery’s April 8 sale. Sourced from a South Florida estate and estimated at $1,5/2,500, bidders on both the phone and online came to play with a phone bidder holding the winning hand and taking it to $81,000. According to the catalog, the table was published in Gustav Stickley’s Collected Works of Gustav Stickley. For information, 954-900-4869 or www.abingtonauctions.com.
NEW YORK CITY – It was not the top lot in Swann Galleries’ April 8 sale of early printed books, but Robert Hooke’s (1635-1703) Micrographic Restaurata leaped ahead of its $2/3,000 estimate to sell for $17,500. The folio, which gave prominence to the louse, flea and housefly, had been printed and sold by John Bowles, R. Dodsley and John Cuff, Optician, in Fleetstreet, London in 1745. It was illustrated with 33 large engravings and included numerous contemporary marginal drawings and notes by an unknown scientist. It had provenance to the Stephen White Collection and sold to a trade buyer, bidding on the phone. For information, www.swanngalleries.com or 212-254-4710.
NEW YORK CITY – Heading the April 11 Showplace Auctions’ sale of 280 lots was a quasi-cubist oil on canvas still life by Zybmunt (Sigmund) Menkes (Polish, 1896-1986), which came from the estate of a Chelsea, N.Y., collector. Measuring 23¼ by 38¼ inches in the frame, which bore a label for Rudolph Galleries, Woodstock, N.Y., the piece had been estimated at $6/8,000 but competitive bidding took it to $15,000. It sold to a bidder from Europe. For more information, www.nyshowplace.com or 212-633-6063.
DALLAS – The stretching room portrait of “Quicksand,” which had pride of place in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, soared to $108,000, more than four times its estimate. The original painting on canvas, an iconic image from the Haunted Mansion, was created at WED Imagineering and was backup attic stock. The massive canvas – 127 by 48 inches – is labeled on the reverse in pencil in handwriting consistent with other stretching paintings from this era. It was the top price achieved in Heritage Auctions’ “Art of the Disney Theme Park / Disney Storybook Art Collection” sale conducted April 8-10. For more information, 214-528-3500 or www.ha.com.
CRANSTON, R.I. – Cataloged simply as an “Antique Tall Case Grandfather Clock,” a Nineteenth Century example from the collection of a Jamestown, R.I., lady sold for $7,200 at Bruneau & Co’s April 8 sale. The clock took 44 bids before it was knocked down over its $600 high estimate. It featured a curved bonnet over plinth supported by turned columns. The scene in the demilune above the clock face depicted a hand-painted village scene and a faded signature could be read on the face. For more information, www.bruneauandco.com or 401-533-9980.
VINELAND, N.J. – Measuring 25 inches long, a Marklin Battleship HMS Gladiator sailed at Bertoia Auctions’ April 8-9 Annual Spring Sale when it sold for $40,000. The model was produced between 1902 and 1907 after the Arrogant class protected cruiser in the Royal Navy. The warship collided with an American steamer in April, 1908, and it was scrapped thereafter. Bertoia noted that the toy had “wonderful proportions with exaggerated superstructure and cannons, giving this boat a whimsical toy-like quality different from the intimating real warships it was based on, features large guns on forward and aft deck, and many more on starboard and port, hand painted rivets, and portholes throughout the ship give it the extra dimension that collector’s love.” The toy featured a few repairs, replacements and areas of overpaint, but the firm said the hull was wonderfully preserved and original. For more information, www.bertoiaauctions.com or 856-692-1881.
DOUGLASS, KAN. – From the collection of Dan & Mary Arnold came an early Victorian Sheffield silverplate egg set that defied its $600 estimate when it sold for $8,400 at Woody Auction LLC on April 10. The set featured a scalloped and embossed serving tray with eight removable egg cups and a raised center salt cellar. It featured eight English sterling spoons and the firm dated it to the early 1800s. For more information, 316-747-2694 or www.woodyauction.com.
EAST MEADOWS, N.Y. – It was small – only 3¼ inches high – but bidders liked that as a Gallé marquetry glass footed vase surpassed the $6,000 high estimate to bring $14,760 at World Auction Gallery’s April 11 sale. The bowl featured mottled green tones with flowers highlighted in red. It came from a New York City estate. For information, www.worldauctiongallery.com or 516-307-8180.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – A highlight in Brunk Auctions’ April 9-10 Premier Sale was the price of $54,120 realized for Albrecht Dürer’s (German, 1471-1528) “Holy Family with a Butterfly,” which sold to an international trade buyer bidding on the phone. According to the catalog note, the artist derived inspiration for the work from an engraving by Martin Schongauer (1435/50-1491). The result is the highest price on record for this engraving, which measured 9-3/8 by 7¼ inches and had been estimated at $8/12,000. For information, 828-254-6846 or www.brunkauctions.com.
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