Published: May 3, 2022
It was mostly fun and games at auction this week, with a couple of more conventional works of art making it out unscathed and above estimate. At Burchard Galleries, a rowdy Dutch brothel scene set the party precedent back in the Sixteenth Century at $27,600, with a rare Queen demo tape from 1973 carrying on the legacy at Scott Daniels’ auction for $6,360. At Block’s Marble Auctions, a rare figure marble with a seated dog within won the whole round, and a Winchester gun case blew out its $1,000 estimate at Fontaine’s Heritage Auctions for $8,400. Read on, responsibly, for more highlights.
SHELTON, CONN. — A rare German hand painted sulphide figure marble, circa 1860-1920, featuring a dog seated at attention on the ground drew a final bid of $2,985 at Block’s Marble Auctions on April 23. The firm’s Robert Block said this marble was part of a consignment of marbles from India. “Antique German marbles have been found in India in recent years. They likely were imported for the children of English and Dutch colonists,” said Block. For information, www.marbleauctioons.com or 203-209-7076.
HIGH FALLS, N.Y. — When Scott Daniels presented his “All You Need Is…” auction on April 23, pop culture collectors lined up for a chance to snap up the items that made them smile so many decades ago. One of those memories came in the form of a Queen 1973 original demo tape first US radio played, which realized $6,360. With provenance and signed by Brian May, the song. “Keep Yourself Alive,” written by guitarist May, is the opening track on the band’s eponymous debut album of 1973. This recording was from the private collection of former Elektra Records executive Ric Aliberte and was inscribed on the box for “Ric” — “a priceless heirloom.” For information, www.scottdanielsauction.com or 845-372-4787.
MARLBOROUGH, N.H. — All things vinyl — blues, jazz, rock and country — were on offer by Moggies’ Auction Service on April 24, featuring more than 280 albums ranging from the early 1960s to present day. Selling for $185 was “Alkebu-Lan, Land of the Blacks” from 1972. By the Afro-Spiritual Mtume Umoja Ensemble, the LP marked the debut of James Mtume as a band leader. Mtume was a percussionist who played regularly with Miles Davis, Buddy Terry, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders and others. For information, www.moggiesauction.com or 603-494-5964.
CANAAN, N.Y. — An eclectic mix of estate antiques came to Ralph Fontaine’s Heritage Auctions on April 24. A rare oak Winchester rifle store display case with a pyramid top led the day, selling for $8,400 against a $1,000 high estimate. “It had five phone lines and sold to one of the phone bidders,” reported Ralph Fontaine. In original finish, the 73-inch-tall case was missing the gun holder and had three shelves that someone had made. For information, www.fontaineheritage.com or 413-442-2537.
NEW YORK CITY AND NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS — After wrapping up Asia Week New York with a successful round of exhibition previews in its New York salesroom, Lark Mason Associates presented its spring sale of Asian, ancient, ethnographic works of art sale, which ran April 7-26 on iGavelAuctions.com. Among the highlights of the 400 lots offered was a pair of oil on canvas portraits by Luo Zhongli (Chinese, b 1948), “Portrait of a Woman,” 1987, and “Portrait of a Man,” also 1987. Both paintings were bid to under $20,000 on the morning of the sale; closing when the digital gavel fell, the two paintings sold for a combined total of $268,750. It was in the final minutes that they rose and now will be going back to Asia together to their new owner. For information, www.igavelauctions.com.
PLAINVILLE, CONN. — Sydney Mortimer Laurence’s (American,1865-1940) “Indian Cabin” oil on canvas topped Winter Associates’ April 25 auction, selling for an above-high-estimate $27,600. In the scene, the sun is setting over a man sitting by a fire, his boat in the foreground, raised storage cache (Indian cabin) and lean-to visible beyond. Signed lower right with an artist plaque on the frame, the painting was presented in a wood frame with gilt edges, with labels from expositions in Ecuador and Peru verso, 26¼ by 17½ inches. For information, 860-793-0288 or www.auctionsappraisers.com.
ST PETERSBURG, FLA. – Depicting high spirits with high details, a brothel scene with many figures cavorted way above its $3/5,000 estimate to sell for $27,600 at Burchard Galleries on April 23. The oil on cradled panel painting measured 20½ by 26½ inches and may have been done by the so-called “Brunswick Monogrammist,” an anonymous Netherlandish painter, active in the mid-to-late Sixteenth Century. He painted religious scenes and has been called “the most significant precursor of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.” For information, www.burchardgalleries.com or 727-821-1167.
PASADENA, CALIF. — An enameled wisteria vase, designed by Camille Faure (1874-1956) for Limoges, was one of the top lots in Treasureeker Auctions’ April 24 Spring Antique & Decorative Arts auction. The 11¼-inch tall vase was reportedly in good condition and blossomed from an estimate of $2,5/3,500. It was one of 325 lots in the sale, which also saw highlights among jewelry offerings. For information, 626-529-5775 or www.treasureseekerauction.com.
MEDWAY, MASS. — This Philip LaVerne 40-inch “Chan” Bronze, pewter and enameled coffee table with original label sold for $5,980 Coyle’s Auction’s in its two session April 26 Estates Auction. The table drew a lot of interest, bidding was active on the phones but eventually sold to a buyer in the audience. For more information, 508-733-6868 or www.coylesauction.com.
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