Published: May 17, 2022
A few figural friends sold at auction this week, some by land, some by sea and one by boat. In New York, a rare Oscar Peterson fish decoy far outswam its estimate to reach $12,000. Farther north, St. James moved forward to the top of Edward Beattie’s outdoors auction at just over $1,000. There was a taste for the pastoral as well, and not just in the milk bottles that sold at Bodnar’s for around the same price. Wiederseim sold an Onderdonk landscape for $31,250, and a cow weathervane came home from Copake at $5,400 against its $1,5/2,500 estimate.
EAST MORICHES, N.Y. – A Burbot fish decoy attributed to Oscar Peterson made a splash when it swam across the block on April 30 in South Bay Auctions’ fine art, antiques, garden and sporting auction. Estimated $600/800, the rare species, which was in very good condition and related to an example in Michigan’s Master Carver, Oscar W. Peterson, 1887-1951, sold for $12,000. For information, www.southbayauctions.com or 631-878-2909.
NEW MILFORD, CONN. – On May 2, furniture was the winning category at the Auction Barn estate sale. A Midcentury Modern eight-drawer chest with rectangular, convex pulls was far and away the top lot, selling for $22,500 against its $400/600 estimate. Despite chipped veneer and overall scuffs, this more than demonstrates the continuing demand for midcentury furniture even without a maker’s mark. For information, 860-799-0608 or www.theauctionbarn.com.
NEW YORK CITY – David Killen Gallery received two Guy A. Wiggins (1920-2020) works of art from the estate of William L. Sharfman, PhD, consulting strategist and coach, for its May 10 auction. One was a classic masterpiece to which Wiggins fans are accustomed – an image of New Yorkers trudging through the snow on Fifth Avenue, across from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Titled “Flags and Snow on Fifth Avenue.” It sold for $18,750. The second work by Wiggins was a view from his studio, again showing figures in the snow. Titled “Brownstone Façade,” (shown) it did even better, finishing at $20,000. “The condition, quality and ‘freshness’ – no abuse from sunlight or otherwise – is miraculous,” said gallery owner David Killen about the Wiggins paintings. “They hung in Dr Sharfman’s apartment for the last 50 or so years – a rare and wonderful find.” For information, 646-590-2788 or www.davidkillengallery.com.
HAMPTON FALLS, N.H. – Edward B. Beattie conducted a garden and architectural sale at a private residence on May 5. Almost every lot was large enough to be worthy of a local pickup but none so much as the top lot, a bronze sculpture of St James, the patron saint of fishermen. At more than 5 feet tall, the nearly life-sized statue commanded more than $1,000 and was a strong candidate for being transported to its new home by boat. For information, 603-770-9878.
PHOENIXVILLE, PENN. – The top lot by more than a mile at Wiederseim Associates’ April 29 spring sale was an oil on canvas landscape with a woman by Texas artist Robert Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922), which realized $31,250. Titled “Late Afternoon, S.W. Texas” and signed and dated 1912, the work will be returning to Texas to a private collector who prevailed against competition on four phones. It was being sold from the Lewisburg, Penn., estate of dealer Walter Charles Groff. For information, 610-827-1910 or www.wiederseim.com
MONMOUTH, N.J. – In a two-day sale April 27-28, Bodnar’s Auctions offered more than 600 lots of the lifetime milk bottle and dairy collectibles from the collection of Mark Conover, one of the most extensive collections of New Jersey milk bottles and New Jersey dairy farms. Topping off at $1,092 was a lot of eight mixed bottles that included a Bul-Ga-Lac example from Chattanooga, Tenn. For information, 732-210-6388 or www.bodnarsauction.com
CLARENCE, N.Y. – One of the highlights of Schultz Auctions’ April 30 “Furniture, Dolls, Toys, Paintings & More!” auction was a marked 11-inch Jumeau doll with brown eyes, blond hair and earrings. Though the age of the doll was not disclosed, it had been estimated at $500-$1,000 and closed at $5,100. It was one of the top lots in a 517-lot auction. For more information, 716-407-3125 or www.schultzauctioneers.net
DANIA BEACH, FLA. – A rare lady’s vintage Piaget 18K yellow gold wide flexible mesh link integrated bracelet watch brought $22,990 at Kodner Galleries’ May 4 sale of antique and vintage jewelry. With lapis dial, manual wind movement and length of 6-5/8 inches, the timepiece was deemed to be in very good vintage condition. For information, www.kodner.com or 954-925-2550.
COPAKE, N.Y. – A 25½-inch-long molded cow weathervane with cast head and an attractive light green patina was a highlight of Copake Auctions’ May 7 unreserved estate auction. The bovine bolted from its $1,5/2,500 estimate and was finally roped at $5,400. It was one of several strong results in the 802-lot sale, which also saw high prices for a Native American weathervane, a Chinese screen and a painting of a fireman. For information, www.copakeauction.com or 518-329-1142.
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