Published: June 28, 2022
Offerings at auction were eclectic in the past weeks. Two works from English masters, or their schools, appeared to fetch more surprising prices at the stand as their work has in recent sales. An undiscovered early printing with hand-colored illustrations appeared in Washington, with a history as rich as its images. Meanwhile, Buffalo Bill rode toured Lyon and a comic book with a gruesome cover emerged from the darkness. Read on for more action.
BERKELEY, CALIF. – The horrific image of a severed woman’s head on the front of EC’s Crime SuspenStories #22 by Johnny Craig (American, 1926-2001) has long been considered one of the most iconic covers in American horror comic book history. It got some competition from Story Comics’ Fight Against Crime #20, CGC 6.5, the crazy severed head cover that was published hot on the heels of EC’s scandal-ridden mag. It brought $15,000 at PBA Galleries on June 9. “Judging by the 2-3 month gap in the publication dates of these titles, Story was probably wrapping up production of this ish [issue] just as CSS 22 was hitting the stands, giving Story’s editor just enough time to hire a hack to bang out a knock-off,” stated the catalog. For more information, www.pbagalleries.com or 415-989-2665.
FALLS CHURCH, VA. – Quinn’s Auction Galleries conducted a Fine and Decorative Arts sale on June 4, featuring Asian, American, European and modern art. The unquestionable headliner was a floor lamp by Tiffany Studios, with a “Curtain Border” shade and a bronze base, which took a bow at $101,600 against its $40/60,000 estimate. Tiffany lamps continue to be favorites on the auction circuit, with another table lamp with a “Daffodil” shade in this sale selling for $25,400 ($12/16,000). For additional information, www.quinnsauction.com or 703-532-5632.
GLEN COVE, N.Y. – Roland Auctions’ monthly Estates sale took place on June 11, offering listings from the estate of Herbert and Florence Irving, who founded the Southeast Asian Art galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Focused more on American and European fine and decorative art, the top lot of this sale was an oil on canvas landscape after Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875), which realized $17,920 against a $1/1,500 estimate. Corot has been popular at auction of late, with Schmidt’s selling another landscape after the artist in May for $13,750 ($400/800) and an “Italian Peasant Boy” with the same attribution by Everard earlier in June for an explosive $96,000 despite a $300/500 estimate. Do these buyers Corot something we don’t Corot? For more information, www.rolandantiques.com or 212-260-2000.
BEVERLY, MASS – On June 12, a small oil sketch by John Constable (English, 1776-1837) sold during Kaminski Auctions’ monthly Estates Auction, which featured a selection of European paintings from a Gloucester, Mass., estate. This recently rediscovered painting has further provenance from a private collection in Sintra, Portugal, and probably depicts Leighton Hall in Lancashire, England. It is reported to be one of Constable’s earliest plein air sketches in oil and sold over its $7/10,000 estimate for $12,000. For more information, 978-927-2223 or www.kaminskiauctions.com.
WALLA WALLA, WASH. – Macon Brothers Auctioneers auctioned objects from the collection of Dr Vernon H. McFarlane with select additions, including an unusual, hand-colored print of Sacra Historia Acta a Raphael Urban in Vaticanis Xystis ad miraculum Pictvrae Expressa. The images and printing date to 1649, but the coloring and remounting of the illustrations is believed to have been executed circa 1776-80 by three English artists studying under Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-1779) in Rome during this time. The book was given to Rev Charles Townsend in 1825 and then purchased in 1952 at The Export Book Co. in Preston, Lancashire. This is the first time the book has appeared at auction and sold for $20,060 ($5/8,000). For additional information, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.maconbrosauction.com.
CLINTONDALE, N.Y. – A Buffalo Bill’s (Colonel F. Cody, 1844-1917) Wild West European Tour of France poster from 1905 realized $7,130 at Kensington Estate Auctions’ June 13 sale. This impressive, large advertisement poster announced his spectacular arrival in Lyon, France. The stone lithograph poster mounted on linen was published in 1905 by Weiners, Paris, and was based on the portrait of Buffalo Bill painted by Rosa Bonheur. It bore the dated French tax stamps, 1905. For information, 917-331-0807 or www.kensingtonestateauctions.com.
BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. – An 80-piece collection of New York state blue-decorated stoneware, including crocks, jugs and butter churns, crossed the block at Brzostek’s Auction Service on June 11. Decorations of flowers, birds and more, plus advertising jugs from a myriad of makers were on display and on offer. The priciest piece was a Lyons, N.Y., 2-gallon, two-handle Blue Bird decorated covered stoneware jar with cover. At 11 inches high, it flew to $6,000. For information, 315-678-2542.
NEW YORK CITY – “Park Ave & 54th,” a signed and dated watercolor and gouache on paper by Burhan Dogancay (Turkish/American, 1929-2013) led Doyle’s 123-lot Fine Art sale on June 14. The 27½-by-22½-inch work had provenance to the collection of Mr and Mrs Robert Coleman as well as the Purnell School in Pottersville, N.J.; it had also been illustrated in two monographs on the artist. Estimated at $3/5,000, it finished at $15,120. It was the highest price in a sale that totaled just over $401,000 and was 91 percent sold by lot. For information, 212-427-2730 or www.doylenewyork.com.
NEW MILFORD, CONN. – Leading The Auction Barn’s June 13 Estate Auction was “Black Still Life” by Paul Cadmus (1904-1999), which brought $8,500 against an estimate of $500/700. Painted in oil on board and provenance to the Midtown Galleries in New York City, it measured 12¼ by 18 inches and was one of two works by the artist in the sale. For more information, 860-799-0608 or www.theauctionbarnct.com.
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