Published: August 16, 2021
Paintings from three American artists share this week’s highlights of notable lots from across the United States, realizing four, five and six-figure results at Burchard, Eldred’s and George Cole. Musical instruments were big hits as three pianos made for beautiful bidding music at Roland. Additional highlights include science fiction and comic collections, a Tiffany pocket watch, a Korean Joseon dynasty jar and more.
ST PETERSBURG, FLA. – “Gnomon On A Sundial,” an oil on canvas by Sam Gilliam (American, b 1933) sold for $159,300 at Burchard Galleries’ August 15 sale. The abstract work measured 29¼ by 58¼ inches and was dated verso 1973. It was consigned from the niece or nephew of Katherine Allen, an artist working in Washington, DC during the 1970s. Gilliam is an important DC artist who sprung to the forefront of the art world in the 1960s. The work was evidently put on a stretcher after the painting was completed, in line with the artist’s style of production. For information, www.burchardgalleries.com or 727-821-1167.
NEW YORK CITY – The top seller at Showplace Auctions’ August 8 estate auction was a Korean Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) white glazed ceramic moon jar that finished at $22,500. According to a representative for the house, the moniker “moon jar” is derived from the vessel’s milky white appearance and spherical form, of which this jar was a particularly spectacular example. An estimate of $4/6,000 inspired competitive bidding and an American buyer prevailed. For information, 212-633-6063 or www.nyshowplace.com.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – “Upon The Shore,” a 24-by-36-inch oil on canvas by Donald Demers (American, b 1956) sold for $18,750 in Eldred’s Contemporary Art sale August 11. The coastal scene features a frothy wave crashing into a rocky shore. Demers, an artist from Maine and Massachusetts, painted the work in 2014. It had been handled in the last seven years by Vose Galleries, which represents the artist. Demers is a “Fellow” of the American Society of Marine Artists, an elected member of the Guild of Boston Artists, an elected member of the California Art Club and a signature member of Plein Air Painters of America. For more information, www.eldreds.com or 508-385-3116.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – A Tiffany & Co 18K gold repeater pocket watch sold for ten times its high estimate when it brought $14,640 in Michaan’s Auctions’ August 14 sale. The manual and jeweled movement was made in Switzerland inside of a case engraved for Marion Delafield Sturges and dated July 18, 1900. The watch was seemingly used daily, with a worn stylized foliate engraving to the front. In 1923, Marion Delafield Sturges and Samuel O. Dauchy commissioned architect William Templeton Johnson to design their home in San Diego, Calif., which retains a historical landmark number today. For information, www.michaans.com or 510-740-0220.
RED HOOK, N.Y. – There were more than 480 lots of fresh-to-market antique and estate merchandise crossing the block at George Cole’s August 7 sale, hand picked from the Hudson Valley Region. A framed oil on canvas, “Figures Arrangement” led the sale, realizing $3,095. Signed Albert Swinden, the painting bore a Graham Gallery NY label on verso and measured 40 by 36 inches. Swinden (1901-1961) was an English-born American abstract painter. He was one of the founders of the American Abstract Artists, and he created significant murals as part of the Federal Art Project. For information, 845-758-9114 or www.georgecoleauctions.com.
TIMONIUM, MD. – A collection of science fiction and comic collectibles assembled over the course of 25 years by a collector in Southern Pennsylvania was bound to have a few gems, and the sale of the collection, conducted by Richard Opfer Auctioneering on August 12, did not disappoint. Heading the 440-lot sale was a group of three Kenner/LucasFilm LTD vintage collectible figures in their original packaging, which soared past the $75/150 estimate to sell to a local private collector for $1,080. The group included EV-909, Thall Joben from the “Droids” TV series and Lando Calrissian. For information, 410-252-5035 or www.opferauction.com.
GLEN COVE, N.Y. – Pianos can be difficult lots for auctioneers to sell but Roland Auctions NY successfully offered three in its August 14 Estates Sale, two of which were Steinway & Sons models. The best of the two was also best in show, a black model M baby grand from 1967 that came with a bench. Bidders tickled its ivories and it sold for $10,625 against a $10/15,000 estimate. The other Steinway in the sale made $5,120, beating its $3/5,000 estimate. For information, 212-260-2000 or www.rolandantiques.com.
NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. – Diana, Beatles, art, movies, toys, comics, sports and more – it was all there at Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries on August 7 as the firm conducted a collector’s or dealer’s dream of an auction. The highest price, $4,063, went to a pink skirt suit by the late Designer Margaretha Ley of Escada, worn by Princess Diana in at least four public appearances between 1988 and 1990, which are well documented in countless pictures. One of the engagements to which the princess chose this suit was to the start of the Push 2 wheelchair race at the Marlborough Hotel in London, July 1989. On June 1, 1990, the Princess of Wales was again seen in this outfit during a visit in Westminster, London. For information, 914-882-7356 or www.midhudsongalleries.com.
GLASTONBURY, CONN. – The August 13 mask-wearing Connecticut River Book Auction saw active bidding in the room, but it would be an absentee bidder who was successful in purchasing a lovely 1524 vellum-bound edition of Claudiani, Opera Quam Diligentissime Castigata, Quorum Indicem in Sequenti Pagina Reperies. It sold for $1,250. For information, 860-908-8067 or www.ctriverbookauction.com.
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