Published: April 27, 2021
Notable lots highlighted in our May 7, 2021 issue start with a Chinese white jade paperweight that soared to $48,750 at Clars Auction Gallery. American and Asian art flew high as well with a Paul Sample (attr.) oil on canvas bringing $20,000 at Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries and a Chinese hanging scroll painting that was bid to $10,800 at Michaan’s. Other notable lots include a Bob Kramer Damascus steel knife that made $7,438 at Helmuth Stone and an 18K yellow gold ring designed by Lois Sasson at David Killen Gallery. These and more will satisfy the collector in you.
OAKLAND, CALIF.- A Chinese white jade paperweight held down the pressure when it flew to $48,750 at Clars Auction Gallery’s April 17-18 sale. The example was carved in the form of a hand scroll enclosing the Hehe twins and pine trees, the reverse featuring an inscribed poem and a two-character seal. It measured only 2¼ inches wide and sold after 31 bids. For more information, www.clars.com or 510-428-0100.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – Asian art has drawn buyers to Michaan’s Auctions from the firm’s earliest days, owing to its position in the San Francisco Bay Area, which enjoys a longstanding reputation as a significant locale for Asian art collecting. Featured in the monthly gallery auction on April 17 were Asian art treasures from the Piedmont, Calif., estate of Richard I. Stone, whose passion for collecting transformed his home into a living museum. It was property from another estate – that of Professor Richard Miller – that contributed the sale’s top lot. By an unknown artist, a Chinese hanging scroll painting was bid to $10,800. For information, 510-740-0220 or www.michaans.com.
SARASOTA, FLA. – The reputation behind master bladesmith Bob Kramer is pushing the prices for his crafted kitchen knives to record highs on the secondary market. A 15-inch Damascus steel knife with 10-inch-long blade made $7,438 in Helmuth Stone’s April 18 sale. Its blade was made with 400 layers of carbon steel and it came with the original case and cutting board. A record was made for any Kramer knife when a steel and meteorite blade example from Anthony Bourdain’s collection sold at auction for $231,250. For additional information, www.helmuthstone.com or 941-260-9703.
ST PETERSBURG, FLA. – An 18-by-14-inch pastel work by Elizabeth O’Neill Verner (American, 1883-1979) sold for $7,500 at Burchard Galleries Inc’s April 18 sale. The work featured an image of a Black female flower seller with a full basket in one hand and green leaves in the other. The work is a familiar subject for the artist, who came out against the actions of the Charleston mayor when he attempted to outlaw flower vendors in the city. She wrote, “I wanted the flower women because I painted them and I need them as models.” Verner was a leader of the Charleston art scene during her time. For more information, www.burchardgalleries.com or 727-821-1167.
BELLOWS FALLS, VT. – A group of 13 Chinese paintings found favor in the April 18 sale at SB & Company Auctioneers, the firm founded by Sharon Boccelli. The auctioneer said the works, which varied in size up to 20 by 14 inches, featured Chinese immortals. They were laid down on paperboard and featured character seals to the corners. Bidders pursued them for 26 bids before the final price tallied $2,640, the highest seller in the 348-lot sale. For more information, www.sbauctioneers.com or 802-460-1190.
NEW YORK CITY – An 18K yellow gold ring designed by Lois Sasson, the partner of singer Lesley Gore, sold for $6,000 at David Killen Gallery’s April 18 sale. Killen offered the estate of Sasson, who passed away at the end of 2020, which included many things from Gore as well, the two having been a couple for 36 years. The ring featured a central cat’s-eye stone flanked by chrysoberyl diamonds. Sasson was noted for her career as a jewelry designer, including the commission to design the engagement ring of Joan Rivers. Her works were sold at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. For more information, www.davidkillengallery.com or 646-590-2788.
NORTH CONWAY, N.H. – One of the top lots in Centennial Auctions’ April 18 Powers Collection Numismatic Auction was this 1973 Judaic Heritage Society 18K gold Kiddish cup that commemorated the 25th anniversary of the State of Israel. Numbered 3 from an edition of just 25, the cup was accompanied by its original box and paperwork. The cup had an AGW of 6.9 oz and an original cost of $3,000. It sold to a buyer from Massachusetts, who was bidding in the room, for $11,760. For information, 603-356-5765 or www.centennialauctions.com.
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – A large collection of limited edition Judith Leiber minaudieres crossed the block at the Benefit Shop on April 21, the highest runner of the collection being a Swarovski crystal train car purse, which pulled in at $4,920. Limited edition, number three of five, the number 3 is depicted on its sides. A multicolored Swarovski crystal exterior covered a gold-tone metal form. The interior featured a gold-tone change purse, comb and mirror, which was signed “Made in Italy.” Inside was tucked some provenance and other information, a Neiman Marcus price tag (original price: $4,500 in 1995), a clipping from W magazine about the purse, information about maintenance on the purse, and a handwritten note from 1996. Property of a single owner’s Palm Beach estate collection, the purse was one of 14 sold in this auction. For information, 914-864-0707 or www.thebenefitshop.org.
NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. – Attributed to Regionalist artist Paul Sample (1896-1974) was an oil on canvas work, which bidders chased to $20,000 at Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries’ April 24 sale. The 32-by-39-inch scene centered on a valley view panorama of Vermont, the foreground featuring a woman sitting and reading while others are seen playing with cats. A carriage passes in the middle of the scene, while a 1920s-30s car is seen parked at the church below. In the 1920s, Sample spent his summers painting in Maine and Vermont. In 1938, he moved permanently to New England when he became the artist-in-residence at Dartmouth College, living with his family in Norwich, Vt. For more information, www.midhudsongalleries.com or 914-882-7356.
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