Published: December 14, 2021
Notable lots highlighted in our December 24, 2021 issue start with Theodore Robinson’s “Pyramus and Thisbe – The First Kiss” that topped the lots in Brunk’s Premier Auction and brought $104,550, way over its estimate of $12/18,000. An Eden Bebe Paris #9 bisque head doll that was dressed in vintage white laced dress found love again in New Hampshire. And lastly, Heritage Auctions accumulated $812,390 in its December 7, Fine Furniture & Decorative Arts Signature® Auction.
THOMASTON, MAINE – Thomaston Place Auction Galleries conducted its first Sports and Sporting sale on December 3, offering nearly 400 lots of sporting art, decoys and hunting and fishing collectibles. Leading the pack was a pair of unsigned carved and painted display decoys in the form of green-winged teal drake and hen, that flew from an estimate of $300/500 to land at $6,435. For information, 207-354-8141 or www.thomastonauction.com.
WILLOUGHBY, OHIO – William Kelley’s Civil War star-shaped 20th Corps badge from Company I of the Ohio Infantry earned high marks at Milestone Auctions’ December 4 sale of military antiques and collectibles when it sold for $9,300 against an estimate of $5/6,000. Kelley enlisted at the age of 25 and fought Confederate forces 20 times, including at Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. The 2-5/16-inch badge was made by a jeweler of thin German silver and listed his battle honors. For information, 440-527-8060 or www.milestoneauctions.com.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Theodore Robinson’s (American, 1852-1896) “Pyramus and Thisbe – The First Kiss” was one of the top lots in Brunk Auctions’ Premier Auction on December 4 and brought $104,550 against an estimate of $12/18,000. Measuring 39 by 27 inches and with provenance to an exhibition at the Huntsville Museum of Art, it was chased by private collectors. The winning bidder was on the phone, underbid online. For information, 828-254-6846 or www.brunkauctions.com.
PLAINFIELD, N.H. – Bears, bears and more bears comprised 70 percent of the top ten selling lots of William Smith’s December 3 toy sale featuring the lifelong collections of Regina Price and Claire Tracy Glaser. It was an Eden Bebe Paris #9 extremely pale bisque head doll circa 1900, however, that brought the top price for the day, finishing at $15,990 against an $800-$1,200 estimate. She was fully dressed in vintage white laced dress, period white footwear and straw weaved, fabric-lined bonnet. In her arms she held an antique mohair horse. With Paris 9 mark on back of her head, open mouth with exposed teeth and remarkably realistic eyes, she was a walking head turner, 23 inches high. For more information, www.wsmithauction.com or 603-675-2549.
EAST MORICHES, N.Y. – The top selling lot in South Bay Auctions’ December 4 sale was a rare Marlin Ballard rifle, which sold for $25,200. The No. 7 A-1 “Extra” long-range rifle in 44-100 is one of the rarest of the Ballard models. According to Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms, this model was a custom-made version to the customer’s specifications. The “Rigby” type barrel measures 34 inches and has raised ribs at the breech where it joins the frame. The very fancy engraving has an American Eagle above arrow heads with scroll engraving and Marlin Ballard patent at top. The right side is totally done in fancy scroll, which extends over the top of the frame. The stock and forearm have highly figured wood with excellent bold crisp checkering. The stock ends in a shotgun-style horn butt plate. The stock is also fitted with a sight mount on the toe of butt. For information, 631-878-2909 or www.southbayauctions.com.
CLEVELAND, OHIO – A French bronze figural clock leapt way past its $1/2,000 estimate to sell for $38,570 at a December 4 fine and decorative arts auction presented by Rachel Davis Fine Arts. “Mars,” the Roman god of war, stands atop red marble base for this timepiece with eight-day time and strike round movement, circa 1860, which stood 33 inches high. The 549-lot sale featured the estates of Ross M. Trump and Edson J. Brown. For information, 216-939-1190 or www.racheldavisfinearts.com.
CANAAN, CONN. – Tom Mattson’s State Line Auctions & Estate Services witnessed a nice surprise in its December 5 auction when a French feline poster by none other than Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923), a Swiss-born French Art Nouveau painter and printmaker, rose to $2,478. Steinlen often depicted animals, specifically cats, as well as the bohemian cabaret culture of turn-of-the-century Paris. Cats appealed to Steinlen for their charm, movement and character, as well as for their symbolic properties. “It was a very good sale,” observed Mattson, who also noted a pair of club chairs from Brooks Brothers that sold for $2,091 and a pair of Knoll Midcentury Modern chairs that brought $1,968. For information, www.statelineauctionsandestateservices.com or 860-453-4370.
DALLAS – A French Napoleonic Imperial Bailly à Paris gilt bronze mantel clock attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire brought $81,250 in Heritage Auctions’ December 7 Fine Furniture & Decorative Arts Signature® Auction. It earned approximately one-tenth of the sale’s $812,390 cumulative total realized. It was believed to have been commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte as a near pair and had both extensive provenance and publication history. For more information, www.ha.com or 214-528-3500.
BEVERLY, MASS. – A 19-inch-tall copper-red Chinese vase with Kangxi mark soared to $10,000, ten times the high estimate, at Kaminski Auctions’ December 5 Estates Auction. An Asian buyer, bidding online, prevailed against stiff competition. It was the top lot in a 272-lot sale. For information, www.kaminskiauctions.com or 978-927-2223.
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