Published: December 12, 2017
DALLAS – A rare painting completed in 1955 by John F. Kennedy and auctioned by Kennedy family heirs sold for $162,500 in Heritage Auctions’ December 2 Americana and political auction. The auction realized $1,162,777 on period presidential memorabilia ranging from pinbacks to White House china. The oil painting Kennedy completed in 1955 is believed to be one of just two known paintings by the president, the other being in the Kennedy Library. It hung in the bedroom of Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s home, Hickory Hill, and was eventually presented to their son upon his marriage to Victoria Gifford Kennedy. For information, 214-528-3500 or www.ha.com.
KIRKWOOD, N.Y. – “It was another strong sale with much interest in all categories,” said Terry McMurray of McMurray Antiques following his firm’s November 18 auction of patent medicines, pills, tins, apothecary/drugstore and advertising items. The absentee mail/phone bid sale was led by a blue-green color Warner’s “Safe” cure, Frankfurt A/M, 9¼-inch-tall bottle in pristine condition with nice complete original rear label in German with a few areas of light stain. This color is only known on this particular Frankfurt bottle and it is probably the only one known with the original label. Bidders were not going to let this “must have” example get away, chasing it up to a final price of $5,880. For information, 607-775-5972 or www.mcmurrayauctions.com.
PARIS – On November 21, Artcurial celebrated the great names of Art Deco with an auction that totaled more than $2.2 million. Diego Giacometti focused bidders’ attention with a “Twist Table,” one of the largest ever presented for sale. Made especially for an American collector in 1981, the table brought $416,754. Two other two works by the artist, a rare “Renard” and a “Dog’s Head” from the former collection of Baroness Alix de Rothschild, sold at $121,680 and $60,840, respectively. For information, +33 1 42 99 20 76 or www.artcurial.com.
LONDON – An opaque-twist wine glass with blue-tinted bowl and foot, circa 1765, sold for $54,000 at Bonhams on November 17. Setting a world record for a blue bowl glass, it was part of the famous collection of glass formed by Washington lawyer Julius (known as Jay) Kaplan and his wife Ann. The glass and British ceramics exceeded $670,000, more than doubling its estimate. The collection was assembled over a period of 40 years. The Kaplans required each piece they purchased to be one of the best available. The collection was particularly strong in Eighteenth Century glass from the Beilby family workshop in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Examples of Beilby glassware can be found in museums all over the world. For information, +44 20 7447 7447 or www.bonhams.com.
HUDSON, N.Y. – On November 11, Stair Galleries let collectors view India through the eyes of Paul F. Walter, whose collecting stemmed from his love of that country. The culture and the people, in times of peace and in times of war, wove a tapestry of life that pulled at Paul Walter’s heartstrings and mind. One of the strands in that tapestry were gouache miniatures on paper of nobility and deities. Leading these was an Indian School Andhryali Ragini gouache on paper, circa 1700, with text on the reverse, 8½ by 7¼ inches (sheet). With provenance to Doris Weiner Gallery, New York, the gouache finished at $11,500. For information, 518-751-1000 or www.stairgalleries.com.
LOS ANGELES – A jewel-toned painting by Joseph Kleitsch achieved a new auction record for the artist at the California and Western paintings and sculpture auction at Bonhams on November 20. The vivid work, “The Oriental Shop (or The Jade Shop),” sold for more than three times its low estimate, achieving $912,500. The sale totaled $4,136,000 and sold 84 percent by lot and by value. Scot Levitt, Bonhams director of fine arts, said, “We were witness to robust bidding across the board. Top quality works continue to energize a bevy of collectors, all vying for those works rarely seen on the market.” For information, 323-850-7500 or www.bonhams.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Swann Galleries’ auction of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century literature on November 14 offered a veritable library of scarce first editions and inscriptions by authors from the last two centuries. More than two-thirds of the sale was devoted to Twentieth Century literature, with myriad genres represented among the highlights. Topping the sale was the deluxe centenary limited edition set of 18 volumes comprising the works of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond. Each tome is ensconced in a custom leather binding reflecting its contents: Casino Royale features playing cards, while Octopussy is adorned with undulating tentacles. The set, celebrating what would have been Fleming’s 100th birthday, includes a selection of the author’s travel writings, previously unpublished stories and a copy of Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. One of 26 lettered sets published in 2008, the work reached $30,000, tying the previous auction record. For information, 212-254-4710 or www.swanngalleries.com.
LONDON – Simon Tovey, Phillips head of the New Now sale on December 7, said. “A great finish to 2017 – the highest sale total for a New Now auction in London. The sale was led by George Condo’s ‘Robot Girl,’ consistent with the artist’s ever-growing demand, with further standout results including Shara Hughes, who attracted widespread interest from nine phone bidders, as well as interest in the room and online.” “Robot Girl” achieved $157,938, while the untitled 2005 work by Hughes sold for $74,813. For information, +44 20 7318 4010 or www.phillips.com.
DOVER, N.H. – An evening antiques auction conducted on November 28 at the Dover Elks Lodge #184 by Devin Moisan was packed with a single-owner session of more than 200 Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century lighting devices and accessories from a Midwest collection. Amassed over a period of 30 years, with an emphasis on condition and scarcity, it included many examples of rare lighting and country accessories. One such rarity, a miniature four-tube wood and pewter candle mold, was raised on bootjack ends, standing 6 inches high. It brought $4,600. For information, 603-953-0022 or www.moisan-inc.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Christie’s December 6 Magnificent Jewels auction achieved a total of $62.5 million, led by a twin-stone fancy vivid blue diamond ring of approximately 3.36 and 2.71 carats by Graff, which achieved $12.5 million. For information, 212-636-2000 or www.christies.com.
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