Published: May 24, 2022
Heavy metal met the metaphysical this week at auction. Analog technologies such as an 1891 typewriter and a Marantz Preamplifier were given renewed purpose with winning price tags, and one buyer gained new perspective with an early set of stereoscopes. Abstract art was also popular, with Frankenthaler and Hockney prints soaring as high as a towering hemp sculpture by Mukherjee. Smaller but perhaps more powerful, a Raven totem plaque from the Pacific Northwest flew to its new home. Read on to learn what other objects came to light.
WORCESTER, MASS. – Central Mass Auctions, just a short drive from the Brimfield Antiques Market, serves central Massachusetts and outlying areas. Owner and auctioneer Wayne Tuiskula showcases a variety of quality antiques, collectibles and estate items that are found throughout the Northeast. A jewelry and coin auction ended on May 10 and another auction that ended on May 11 included historical memorabilia, sports cards and more. They were led, respectively, by platinum solitaire diamond ring of 1.70 carats at $5,310 and a collection of 1910 T 210 Old Mill tobacco cards (shown) comprising 83 cards of different series featuring minor league players at $7,670. For more information, www.centralmassauctions.com or 508-612-6111.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – A Northwest Coastal totem plaque sold for $8,750 in Eldred’s May 12 general sale, after a long online bidding battle. The piece is perhaps smaller than usual, only 7¾ inches high, and is inlaid with mother-of-pearl. In northern Northwest Coast mythology, Raven is a powerful figure who transforms the world by stealing light and bringing it out to light up the world. For information, 508-385-3116 or www.eldreds.com.
PLAINSVILLE, CONN. – Nest Egg’s Spring Estates & Collections sale on May 14 yielded a mix of coins, flatware, ceramics and vintage technology among its highest-selling lots. The top was a Marantz Model 7 Tube Preamplifier, which was reported to be tested and running at the time of sale. Marantz is a desirable name in the audio-visual field, both for musicians and home theater enthusiasts. In excellent condition, this example sold right within its $3/5,000 estimate at $4,613. For information, www.nesteggauctions.com or 203-630-1400.
MORRISVILLE, VT. – Group lots were at the top of Thomas Hirchak’s sales on May 12. The second highest price realized was a set of two vintage Tru-Vue Stereoscope Picture Depth Viewers with around 150 films. They were earlier examples of the viewers with original boxes, and the whole set sold for $127. This lot was only surpassed by a contemporary set of hardwood dining chairs, which achieved $150. For more information, 800-634-7653 or www.thcauction.com.
SCHENKSVILLE, PENN. – The table was set with sterling at Tom Hall Auctions on May 9. The top two lots of its Fine Antiques and Artwork sale were both sterling flatware services, and each tied at $1,187. The first (shown here) was a group lot of a Silver Rose Heirloom set with no box, with a Raymond Sheffield four-piece silver plated knife set with pearlescent handles. The second was a sterling Steiff service for six minus one soup spoon, with a few other miscellaneous sterling pieces. The box was included. For information, 610-799-0808 or www.tomhallauctions.com.
WINDSOR, CONN. – Fine art stole the show at Nadeau’s Spring Midcentury, Outdoor Furnishings and Decorative Arts auction on May 14. The highest-flying lot was the signed and numbered “Skywriting” screen print by Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011), which sold for $18,450 against its $5/10,000 estimate. A Belleek porcelain kettle stand decorated with phoenixes and dragons represented the decorative arts, selling for $7,995 ($5/7,000). Behind this was an iron sculpture by David Hayes (1931-2013), also selling over its $2/4,000 estimate for $7,040, and a Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) woodcut “Curved Bands” for $6,150 ($500-$1,000). For more information, 860-246-2444 or www.nadeausauction.com.
LOS ANGELES – Of the 210 lots offered by Andrew Jones Auction on May 18 from the collection of Kirk and Anne Douglas sold for the benefit of the Douglas Foundation, the top lot was a 1993 lithograph and screenprint in colors titled “Gorge d’Incre, from Some More New Prints.” Signed in pencil by the artist, David Hockney, and numbered 50/68, the work attracted worldwide interest and bids. It ultimately sold to a private collector in Los Angeles for $37,500, well ahead of its $3/5,000 estimate and the highest price in the sale that was 100 percent sold and totaled $343,000. For information, 213-748-8008 or www.andrewjonesauctions.com.
CRANSTON, R.I. – An abstract woven and died hemp sculpture by contemporary Indian artist Mrinalini Mukherjee (1950-2015) that went high at Bruneau & Co’s May 16 Fine Art & Decorative Art Online Auction. Standing 113 inches tall and discovered in a Central Falls, R.I., collection that had acquired it from a Manhattan estate, the piece is returning to New York City where it was purchased by a collector for $27,500. It was the top price in a 295-lot sale. For more information, 610-799-0808 or www.bruneauandco.com.
KÖLN, GERMANY – An 1891 model 1 Fitch typewriter, serial number 327 with a wooden case that was considered one of the most exciting typewriter designs of its time topped Auction Team Breker’s May 14 auction of antiques, telephones, photographica & film, science & technology, and more. Considered one of the most sought-after office antiques and an ideal piece for an advanced collection, it had been estimated at $12,5/16,500; it sold for $30,436. It was the top lot of more than 400 offered. For information, www.breker.com.
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