Published: October 25, 2022
There was magic and mystery at auction this past week. The Benefit Shop excavated an unattributed crayon sketch of a Roman tomb that sold at the top of its monthly auction and an abstract painting by Norman Lewis materialized at Swann’s African American Art auction. Lark Mason Associates raised a Qing Dynasty Peking rug with a single dragon to their highest price and Bruneau dealt an unopened Magic The Gathering starter deck in their comic and toy auction. Continue reading for more fantastic prices.
DANIA BEACH, FLA. – A rare “Mr Bibendum” French bronze hood ornament for Michelin tires, circa 1920s, inflated its $800-$1,000 estimate to finish at $4,284 in Kodner Galleries October 13 estate jewelry, art and collectibles auction. The 4-1/8-inch-high “Micheline Man” mascot was inscribed on the base and despite some spotting to the surface was in otherwise good condition. Bibendum is the official mascot of the Michelin tire company. A humanoid figure consisting of stacked tires, the mascot was introduced at the Lyon Exhibition of 1894 where the Michelin brothers had a stand. For information, www.kodner.com or 954-925-2550.
NEW YORK CITY – Swann Auction Galleries opened its early printed books sale on October 13, offering 277 lots of early modern European written works and a single photograph by John Randall Norton. Near the top of this sale was a 1685 printing of William Shakespeare’s Comedies and a 1655 printing of King Lear; however, these were surpassed by Shakespeare’s predecessor, Geoffrey Chaucer (circa 1343-1400). Printed in London by Richard Grafton for John Reynes in 1542 The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed more than doubled its $30/50,000 estimate for $106,250. This was the second edition of the printing and came from the Ken Rapoport collection. For information, 212-254-4710 or www.swanngalleries.com.
ST PETERSBURG, FLA. – Some items rocketed out of the park at Burchard Galleries’ October 15 sale, including one that originally took the slow route – an early 1930s Louis Vuitton steamer trunk chest. With serial #17470 and the original monogrammed print, wood bands with buttons that were impressed Louis Vuitton, it also sported the original tag near the serial number at the interior. At approximately 22½ by 36 by 21½ inches, it left the gallery at $13,530. For information, 727-821-1167 or www.burchardgalleries.com.
NEW YORK CITY – A Peking blue ground five-clawed dragon-decorated wool carpet, Qing dynasty and from North China, sold for $11,500 at Lark Mason Associates’ online auction on www.iGavelauctions.com. The sale, which ran October 4-18, featured rugs and carpets from the collection of Barry MacLean. The MacLean Collection has been formed over the last 50-plus years by the businessman who is based in the Chicago area. For information, 212-289-5524 or www.larkmasonassociates.com.
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – The Benefit Shop’s Red Carpet Auction on October 19 continued its monthly tradition of offering property from local estates, and bidders truly never know what will be unearthed in these sales. This month’s top sale was an antique conte crayon drawing of the Plautii Tomb outside of Rome, which is remarkably still standing. Possibly dated 1760 in the lower left corner, the drawing showed no apparent signatures but had not yet been examined out of the frame. With a Sotheby’s label affixed to the recto and two other labels, including that of fine frame makers House of Heyndenryk on the verso, the drawing’s mysteries drew the winning bid of $17,360 ($100/500). For information, www.thebenefitshop.org or 914-864-0707.
MOUNT CRAWFORD, VA. – Achieving the top price of $10,120 in Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates October 15 fine and decorative arts sale was a French Louis XV-style ormolu mounted desk or bureau plat with leather top. Retaining an early surface with warm color, the desk once belonged to Henry Carter Stuart (1855-1933), the 47th governor of Virginia (1914-1918) and was part of the furnishings at the governor’s mansion in Richmond, Va., during his term in office. It had descended in the Stuart family and had been offered with an estimate of $2/3,000. For information, 540-434-3939 or www.jeffreysevans.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Swann Galleries’ October 6 sale of African American art delivered $3.7 million with auction debuts and records for artists in the top 15 lots of the auction and a sell-through rate of 82 percent. Earning top lot honors at $437,000 against an estimate of $400/600,000 was Norman Lewis’ (1909-1979) untitled abstract, executed in oil on canvas, 57½ by 38 inches, which was painted in 1967, between his black and white Civil Rights and Klans paintings, and his later large-scale paintings, his “Sea Change” series. For information, 212-254-4710 or www.swanngalleries.com.
CRANSTON, R.I. – Bruneau & Co Auctioneers’ October 15 fall comic, TCG and toy auction offered 267 lots and was led at $18,750 by a sealed Magic The Gathering beta starter deck that came from a Saugus, Mass., collector who received it as a Christmas present in 1993. Considered a rare opportunity, it was estimated at $15/25,000 and sold to an online collector, new to Bruneau & Co., who said it was “going to go on his shelf for a long time.” For additional information, www.bruneauandco.com or 401-533-9980.
LITCHFIELD, CONN. – Despite an estimate of $1/1,500, a Civil War Union colonel’s Colt 1851 Navy .36 caliber pistol made in 1861, selling in the same lot with an Ames Mfg. Co sword with chased and engraved scabbard, earned $11,700, the highest price in Litchfield Auctions’ antiques and decorative arts sale on October 19. The gun had belonged to Warren W. Packer, who eventually became colonel in the Union Army; the sword to Thomas Mercer Riley of Alabama, who served under General Robert E. Lee. The buyer of both is in California. For information, 860-567-4661 or www.litchfieldcountyauctions.com.
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
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