Published: July 5, 2022
Color and form were celebrated in the top lots of this past month. The Nazmiyal Collection sold an intricate Masahir rug to impressive results and Rachel Davis Fine Arts offered an Alexander Calder lithograph with simplified, vibrant hues. More intense was a Bergman sculpture of a tiger fight on the back of an elephant at Heritage, which made Hermann Historica’s Prussian war eagle seem almost tame. Meanwhile DuMouchelles sold a bronze “Eve” sculpture that was far less subtle. Read on for more winning sales.
NEW YORK CITY – An antique Persian Kerman rug known as a Mashahir sold for $20,000 in the Nazmiyal Collection’s sale on June 12. The meaning of the word Mashahir in Urdu, which is mostly spoken in Pakistan, translates to “noblemen.” In Arabic, the word can be translated to mean famous, a world celebrity or prince of this world. Mashahir is also the name of a small village in Azerbaijan and a family surname. And Mashahir horses are the lines of horses of the noblemen. This sale’s example of the special class of Oriental carpets was 8 feet 3 inches by 5 feet 1 inch. For information, 212-545-8029 or www.nazmiyal.com.
CLEVELAND, OHIO – A group of eight artists created a series of 11 prints to honor the life of their friend, Joan Prats, a Barcelona hatmaker whose shop was a gathering place for artists and critics until his death in 1970. The series was exhibited in a show at the Hirshhorn museum from June to September, 1976. Alexander Calder’s (American, 1898-1976) “Homage to Joan Prats,” a lithograph in colors, 1965, signed and numbered 32/100 in pencil, sold for $6,875 at the June 11 sale at Rachel Davis Fine Arts. Measuring 22¾ by 30¾ inches, it came from the estate of Agnes Doth, Lexington, Ky., who operated a contemporary gallery in Minneapolis, Minn., in the 1960s-70s. For information, 216-939-1190 or www.racheldavisfinearts.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Doyle presented an auction of photographs on June 21, showcasing a wide range of fine examples spanning the history of the genre, from early photographs to contemporary works. The sale also included a small selection of photobooks. The top lot of the sale was a 1976 photograph of composer Philip Glass and director and playwright Robert Wilson by Robert Mapplethorpe that achieved $8,820. Glass, famously slightly unkempt, and Wilson, in jeans and dark shirt (quite impeccable) make this image, prepared during Einstein on the Beach memorable. For information, 212-427-4141 or www.doyle.com.
DALLAS – On June 14, Heritage Auctions conducted its Fine Furniture & Decorative Arts Signature sale, an eclectic mix of European, Asian and American examples. The highest result of the sale was $10,625 for a cold-painted bronze figure of a tiger hunt, showing three men atop an elephant as a tiger attacks them. Franz Xaver Bergman (1861-1936) produced these figures in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. Another of his works was in the top lots, a “naughty” painted bronze of a geisha that sold for $9,375. For more information, 214-528-3500 or www.ha.org.
TIMONIUM, MD. – The Fashion and Frivolity auction at Over & Above Online Auction and Estate Sales took place on June 18, showcasing jewelry of all kinds and eras, as well as some fine pieces of decorative arts. The top lot was an unusual triumph in this category, a miniature stoneware jug that far surpassed its $40/60 estimate to achieve just under $3,000. Standing at just 3-5/8 inches high with a 2½-inch diameter, the small wonder was painted with cobalt lettering that read “T.J. Gamblim S % H.” For more information, 410-458-5768 or www.overandabove.com.
DETROIT, MICH. – A Marshall Fredericks (American, 1908-1998) bronze sculpture, “Eve With Golden Apple,” sold for $49,600 on day two of DuMouchelles’ auction on June 17. The standing figure of Eve in green patina, holding a “golden apple” on a circular base was signed on the base and stood 19 inches high. “We’ve handled this work from Marshall Fredericks before, never realized a price like we did this time,” said Joe Lint, the firm’s. technology and marketing manager. The sculpture came from the estate of Roy and Lucia Zurkowski. Roy is a partner in Vic Tanny’s group of gyms. For information, www.dumouchelles.com or 313-963-6255.
NEW YORK CITY – Doyle’s Fine Jewelry & Important Jewelry sale on June 23 surpassed expectations, topping $2 million in sales. Contributing to that total was the auction’s top lot, a Tiffany & Co platinum band and diamond ring. The latter contained one round brilliant cut diamond weighing 3.16 carats and two tapered baguette diamonds, both signed, and sold with the band for $88,200. For information, 212-427-2730 or www.doyle.com.
GRASBRUNN, BAVARIA, GERMANY – One of its many sales from June 20-24, Hermann Historica conducted its Orders and Military Collectibles until 1918 sale on June 23. The victor was a heavy Prussian wall eagle, circa 1900. Forged in several parts and gilded, the eagle was more than 14 inches high and weighed more than 25 pounds. The eagle was made for a wall mounting and one hopes it never fell down. Unique and exceptionally distinguished, it sold for just under $14,500. For more information, www.hermann-historica.de.
HATFIELD, MASS. – On June 26, Kimball’s Summer Antique Auction offered a variety of lots including ancient artifacts, naturalia, jewelry and coins, and objects from a West Hartford ephemera, book and toy collection. Among these was the sale’s top lot, an 1812 letter of marque signed by President James Madison and future president James Monroe. The document commissions an armed schooner, The Reaper, to capture British vessels and their crews on behalf of the US government during the war of 1812. A truly metal piece of American history, the letter of marque sold for just under $3,440. For information, www.kimballsauction.com or 413-549-8300.
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