Published: June 14, 2022
As spring turns to summer, auction sales reflect the season’s spirit with colorful landscapes, serene fine arts and activities for those just about to start vacation. The Baum School of Art’s annual auction achieved $13,750 with Bradley Boyer’s “Spring in the Valley,” and Kimballs’ top lot of their Estate Services’ auction was “Calèche au Bois du Boulogne by Jean Dufy at $8,125. Turning to the coast, Steenburg sold a “High Tide” woodblock print for $1,850 whose cool tones matched a $40,800 cong at Kaminski’s Late May Estates Auction. Read on for more sales to brighten the day.
ALLENTOWN, PENN. – The Baum School of Art’s 37th annual art auction closed on May 21, keeping to its online format to let participants preview the items up for bid. The school was able to sell more than $145,000 of artwork to 145 bidders in a total of 18 different states. Two of the notable works in the sale were “Spring in the Valley” by Bradley Boyer (pictured), an oil measuring 26 by 36 inches, which was bid to $13,750, and Val Bertoia’s “Sounding Sculpture B-2553,” copper, silver, beryllium and brass,41 by 12 by 12 inches, which found a new home at $10,010. For information, www.baumschool.org or 484-274-3725.
CRANSTON, R.I. – Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ Spring and Comic, Toy & Sports Auction ignited on May 21 with Timely Comics Marvel Mystery Comics #9, which topped the sales at $40,000. With artwork by Bill Everett and Alex Schomburg, the book featured the second Sub-Mariner cover battling the Human Torch. The definition of scarcity, there are only two of this comic in existence with a CGC 4.0 rating, with 15 higher and a total of only 39 in CGC Universal Grade. For information, 401-533-9980 or www.bruneauandco.com.
SCARBOROUGH, MAINE – Saco River Auction Co. hosted the Estate of Frank and Cynthia Wilbur three-day sale May 20-22, with just over 1,800 lots covered in that time frame. The top lot of all three sales was an Auto Lite Batteries tin sign that powered past its $30/40 estimate to reach $5,310. “There are so many repros out there, this was 100 percent original,” said Troy Thibodeau of Saco River, “[The sign] hadn’t been seen in 50 years.” Thibodeau also mentioned that at 60 by 18 inches, the sign is far bigger than usual. There was charged bidding between “three or four” in-person and online participants until the final hammer. For more information, 207-650-5677 or www.sacoriverauction.net.
HATFIELD, MASS. – Kimballs Auction and Estate Services’ Fine Arts and Antique Auction on May 22 offered almost 500 lots of fine art, Midcentury Modern furniture, glass, jewelry and geological specimens. Out of all these categories, four gouache watercolors by Jean Dufy (French, 1888-1964) were among the top lots. The highest price was won by “Calèche au Bois du Boulogne,” circa 1940, at $8,125. According to Huck Kimball, this and two of the other Dufy paintings went to a Canadian phone bidder, with one bought by an American buyer via LiveAuctioneers. For more information, 413-549-8300 or www.kimballsauction.com.
BEVERLY, MASS. – Kaminski Auctions’ Late May Estates Auction was conducted on May 22, offering items from the estates of the late James T. DeLuca of Forest Hill Gardens, N.Y., and Polly Byrne of Littleton, Mass., as well as objects from several Palm Beach estates. Chinese porcelain occupied a few of the sales’ top lots, including a very rare celadon cong vase of the Xuantong period (1909-11) with a six-figure mark that took home the highest price of $40,800 against a $25/30,000 estimate. The square-form vase was decorated throughout with Eight Trigrams and bagua in relief and covered in a pale bluish-green glaze. This vase may look familiar to collectors, as it last sold at Sotheby’s in 2021. For information, 978-927-2223 or www.kaminskiauctions.com.
MEDWAY, MASS. – On May 24, Coyle’s Auction conducted its 37th Anniversary sale with a shakedown. A diminutive Shaker desk from a property on Massachusetts’ North Shore sold for $21,275. The stepback maple desk was in impressive condition with burlwood drawer facings and ebonized wood knob pulls. Its functional desktop extension and unusual asymmetrical drawers were also worth noting. Attracting many potential buyers, the desk ultimately sold to one of many phone bidders. For information, 774-571-8263 or www.coylesauction.com.
COCKEYSVILLE, MD. – The room lit up on May 26 during Richard Opfer Auctioneering’s Lighting, Decorative Arts & Curious Objects sale, featuring every type of lamp from the Aesthetic Movement to Midcentury Modernism. A few other decorative art categories were also represented, including a pair of Art Deco bronze grills that triumphed as the top lot. In a “Lady Justice” form, these architectural bronzes were designed and cast circa 1930 by Raymond Phillips Sanderson (1908-1987). They are identical to those on the front entrance of the Cochise County Courthouse in Bisbee, Ariz., although these are not original to that building. The grills closed at $3,690. For information, 410-252-5035 or www.opferauction.com.
PLAINVIEW, N.Y. – The sounds of a Spring Estate Auction were in the air on May 29 at Gold Coast Auctioneers. With more than 500 lots from properties in the tri-state area, there was a wide selection of items, including Asian art, silver, Judaica and antique arms, offered, and that was just in the top lots! However, the highest price went to an Antonio Stradivarius (1644-1737) violin, believed to be created circa 1721 for just over $2,800. The back was in one piece, and the lot included a silver-mounted bow and a case that was not original to the instrument. For information, 516-586-3992 or www.goldcoastauction.com.
PIKE, N.H. – “There was a little something for everyone,” said Josh Steenburgh of Steenburgh Auctioneers and Appraisers, referring to the 580 lots offered during its May 21 sale, which successfully sold in five and a half hours “with hundreds of customers in attendance.” The high watermark was set by a print by Barnard, Vt., artist Sabra Field, who works in archival pigment woodblock prints. The Sabra Field Collection, her complete body of work, is permanently housed at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. “High Tide” was signed and numbered 87/100 and sold for just over $1,850. For information, 603-303-3072 or www.steenburgh.com.
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