Published: November 21, 2017
CINCINNATI, OHIO – Humler & Nolan offered two days of keramics, art glass and American and European art pottery and art glass on November 4-5. On November 4, a miniature (3¾ by 4½ inches in length) Gallé cameo martelé vase, marquetry floral vase, went far above its $2,5/3,000 estimate to sell for $13,860. The crescent-form vase featured in cameo a trio of flying grasshoppers, wheel carved to exact detail. The insects swoop into a meadow of white Queen Anne’s lace, the flowers applied via marquetry and encased within honey amber and almond color glass. For information, www.humlernolan.com or 513-381-2041.
NEW YORK CITY – A happy surprise occurred on November 5 at Showplace Antique and Design Center when a Jean Luce vase that was estimated just $200/400 soared to $5,500. The Art Deco gilt and carved cameo glass vase, French School, signed with incised artist cipher, stood 11¼ inches high. For more information, www.nyshowplace.com or 212-633-6063.
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – Keith and Caroline Gray were passionate about antiques, art and history. Together they attended antiques shows and auctions for decades – assembling a collection particularly strong on American coin silver, Asian art, historical documents, early images and English ceramics. On November 4, a Chinese hardwood carved console table from their collection brought $25,000. From the Ninth Century, the rectangular-form table with relief carved and shaped skirt with intricately carved dragons and foliate decoration, raised on tall straight legs with conforming relief carving, measured 34¼ by 47 by 14¾ inches. For information, 919-644-1243 or www.lelandlittle.com.
CRANSTON, R.I. – At an all toy, comic and comic art auction conducted October 28 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, the top lot was a rare copy of Marvel Comics Amazing Fantasy #15 from August 1962. The comic book was the first appearance of Spider-Man (and peripheral characters), plus it was signed by the comic artist Stan Lee. It finished at $13,750. For information, www.bruneauandco.com or 401-533-9980.
PARIS – On November 7, Artcurial paid tribute to archeology and Oriental arts, including dispersing property from the antiques collection of the French writer Henry de Montherlant. The session, led by auctioneer François Tajan, totaled $3,722,719, more than double its overall estimate. The top lot was a Roman sculpture in high relief of marble masks, Second or Third Century, from the de Montherlant collection, which rose to $727,424. For information, +33 1 42 99 20 20 or www.artcurial.com.
SAN FRANCISCO – But of course one would expect a rare feather golf ball made by Sandy Pirie, circa 1840, to bring top price at PBA Galleries’ November 12 sale of golf books, hickory clubs and golf memorabilia. The fine unused example sold for $14,400. Pirie was depicted as a caddie in the famous Charles painting “A Grand Match Played over St Andrews Links,” 1841-47. For information, 415-989-2665 or www.pbagalleries.com.
ST PETERSBURG, FLA. – On November 12, Burchard Galleries offered everyone in the gallery and online a chance to bid on a massive German pottery stein with stand and case. “Perfect for the night when you can only have ‘one’ beer,” according to the catalog, it came with a removable lid with figure of man playing a harp. The 48-inch-tall stein opened with a $300 bid on a $600/800 estimate. But many wanted this unusual stein, offered with a rotating, illuminated oak wood stand with a Lexan case and oak top, and continued to bid it up to $4,500. Perhaps Burchard’s will have another? For information, 727-821-1167 or www.burchardgalleries.com.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – Michaan’s Auctions conducted a diverse gallery auction on November 11 at which an eight-panel painted enamel and rosewood folding screen realized $19,200. For information, 800-380-9822, 510-740-0220 or www.michaans.com.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – “Aboriginal art is back!” exclaimed auctioneer Tim Goodman of Fine Art Bourse and CooeeArt Marketplace, following the firm’s November 16 sale. One of Australia’s most famous contemporary paintings, “Earth’s Creation I” by the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye, brought $1.58 million, breaking its own record for the highest price achieved at auction for an Australian female artist. Fine Art Bourse and CooeeArt Marketplace, the newly formed auction house partnership behind the auction, revealed that it was acquired by Tim Olsen, who has recently established a gallery in New York on behalf of a client. For information, +61 481 780 302 or www.fineartbourse.com.
LONDON – Designs for the Thames Tunnel, signed by Marc Isambard Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel, sold for $265,000 at Bonhams’ books, atlases, manuscripts and photographs sale November 15. The archive, which came with the signed Brunel family album in which the drawings were originally kept, had been estimated to bring $130,000 at best. Built between 1825 and 1837, the Thames Tunnel – which connects Rotherhithe and Limehouse in East London – was the first successful underwater tunnel. The techniques pioneered by the Brunels revolutionized tunneling and had a significant impact on the development of the London Underground – indeed, they were still influential in the construction of the Channel Tunnel in the late 1980s. The Thames Tunnel remains in daily use, 180 years after its completion, as part of the London Overground rail network. For more information, www.bonhams.com or +44 20 7447 7447.
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