Published: May 31, 2021
Notables that crossed the block in our June 11, 2021 issue include a jewel that belonged to Irene Langhorne Gibson, the original “Gibson Girl” and wife of famed American illustrator Charles Dana Gibson. Skinner brought the hammer down on this 12.20-carat diamond well-past its estimate of $100/150,000. Meanwhile, Clars brought a 1963 edition of the iconic “Crying Girl” published by Leo Castelli Graphics into the five figures. Those leaning toward a more traditional style might enjoy “Hunt Scene with Hounds,” an oil on canvas by John Emms at Ahlers & Ogletree Auction. Read on for more intriguing lots from across the United States.
BOSTON – Skinner presented a two-session jewelry auction on May 18, drawing highly competitive bidding from enthusiastic participants worldwide and generating high prices across multiple categories. Jewels belonging to Irene Langhorne Gibson (1873-1956), the original “Gibson Girl” and wife of famed American illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, garnered significant interest. The sale’s top lot was a 12.20-carat diamond passed by descent through the Gibson family (pictured). It quickly soared past its estimate of $100/150,000 to achieve a final price of $444,500. A Kashmir sapphire ring descended in the same family for more than a century brought $125,000, a Van Cleef & Arpels Burmese Ruby ring brought $100,000, and a Harry Winston Colombian emerald ring earned $100,000. For more information, www.skinnerinc.com or 508-970-3211.
CRANSTON, R.I. – A graphite on paper drawing of a nude figure holding a lamb by Indian/French artist Jehangir Sabavala (1922-2011) consigned to Bruneau & Co., Auctioneers’ May 20 sale was purchased by a collector in India, bidding against an online competitor, for $18,000, well ahead of its estimate of $6/9,000. The work was part of a larger collection of a Texas gentleman whose father had acquired it directly from the artist in the 1960s. It was the top lot in the 416-lot sale. For information, 401-533-9980 or www.bruneauandco.com.
PORTLAND, MAINE – “While a modest Discovery sale, we had an 85 percent sell-through rate, higher with post-auction sales, and grossed $152,500,” said Barridoff Galleries co-owner William Milliken of the firm’s May 15 auction. “Needless to say, we are quite pleased with the result.” The sale’s top seller was a painting by Sarah Knock (American, Twentieth/Twenty-First Century), incidentally the last lot of the auction. The framed oil on canvas, “Allen’s – Lookout Point,” 1998, 20 by 36 inches, out of a private Kennebunk, Maine, collection, sold for $4,880. For information, 207-772-5011 or www.barridoff.com.
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – At the Benefit Shop Foundation’s May 19 auction, an iridescent early Twentieth Century art glass vessel intrigued the firm’s staff. “There was not much we knew about the piece, so it was a huge surprise,” said Anna Graziosi. Bid to $7,380 against a $50/150 estimate, the artisanal handmade glass item with iridescent coating, clearly studio made – similar to carnival glass, yet not mass produced – was 6¼ inches long by 3 inches wide and 2½ inches high. For information, 914-864-0707 or www.thebenefitshop.org.
PINE BUSH, N.Y. – No, that wasn’t a big kid’s pull toy that topped Roberson’s May 15 auction. “We sold a British 30-inch-barrel signal cannon with a crown mark on wheeled carriage for $3,813,” said Del Roberson, a few days after the sale. Signal cannons, also referred to as salute cannons, were used aboard ships and on land to make salutes, to warn of danger and to attract attention in the case of an emergency. For information, 845-283-1587 or www.robersonsauctions.com.
PHILADELPHIA – On May 20, Freeman’s presented a books and manuscripts auction featuring an impressive array of carefully selected material. The 131-lot auction showcased a number of historically and culturally significant books, posters, prints and letters. The top lot in the sale was a striking folio by John Gould, “A Monograph of the Ramphastidae, or Family of Toucans,” which finished at $63,000, above its high estimate of $30,000. Printed in London by Taylor and Francis, published by the author, (1852-1854), the second edition folio was illustrated with 51 hand-colored lithographic plates after Gould and Henry Constantine Richter. The second, expanded and revised edition of his first monograph of the bird family, included 18 additional plates not featured in the first edition of 1834. For information, 215-563-9275 or www.freemansauction.com.
OAKLAND, CALIF. – “Crying Girl,” created by Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997) in 1963, has become one of the artist’s most iconic images. Believed to be inspired by midcentury comic strip, “Sacred Heart,” the work depicts the emotional troubles of your “modern American woman.” But behind her make-up and manicure is a complex figure struggling for equal rights in the world and in the home. The image begs the question, what is perfection and who is shaping that reality? Clars offered a 1963 edition of the offset lithograph published by Leo Castelli Graphics, that realized $50,000 in its May 23 auction. For information, 510-428-0100 or www.clars.com.
MANCHESTER, VT. – The estate of Manchester’s arts patron Barbara Riley keeps on giving for Nathan Auction & Real Estate. The firm conducted its third sale from the Riley collection on May 17, an event led at $7,995 by a bulto featuring two oxen, a gentleman and a saint. The work was similar to those of Jose Benito Ortega, a skilled late Nineteenth Century santero. For more information, www.nathanre.com or 802-362-3194.
ATLANTA- “Hunt Scene with Hounds,” a 25½-by-36½-inch oil on canvas by John Emms (British, 1843-1912) sold for $48,000 at Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery’s May 23 sale. The work had a label to its stretcher for the London dealer T. Richardson & Co. The scene centers on the moment a pack of hounds has seemingly “holed” its target and both of the hunters have arrived. It is a quintessential Emms scene, whose images of hunting hounds earned him acclaim during his lifetime. For more information, www.aandoauctions.com or 404-869-2478.
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