Published: November 8, 2022
Auction results spanned genres in the past few weeks, from automatons to Santa puzzles as buyers prepared for the holiday season. Abstract art brought favorable results, with Hans Hoffman and Richard Diebenkorn represented in works on paper. The survey map of young George Washington wrote out a healthy sum, and two ship paintings by Louis Dodd rounded out Americana for within or above their estimate. Read on for more top lots.
NEW YORK CITY – A 19-year-old George Washington set out to survey two tracts of land in Frederick County, Va., in the spring of 1751. An autograph document signed “GWashington” with two manuscript plat maps in holograph sold for $37,500, the top lot in Swann Auction Galleries’ October 27 sale of books and autographs. Dated April 6, 1751, the document describes young Washington’s survey of two tracts of land on Evitts Run for Gersham Keyes. Together they contained 209 acres, including one adjoining a tract belonging to his half-brother Lawrence Washington. For information, 212-254-4710 or www.swanngalleries.com.
PINE BUSH, N.Y. – The unusual and unique – coins, collectibles, art, furnishings, toys and dolls – crossed the block at Robersons Auctions on October 1. A California collector relived the holiday fun of children’s puzzles, winning a set of McLoughlin Bros. Picture Cubes “Kris Kringle” block puzzles with six different pictures in paper graphics by winning the set at $3,438. The jaw-dropping price was the culmination of competitive bidding from three phones as well as vigorous online bidding. For information, 845-283-1587 or www.robersonsauctions.com.
SARASOTA, FLA. – On the second day of its modern design, jewelry and fine art sale, Sarasota Estate Auction premiered a signed and numbered aquatint etching by Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993) titled “Red Yellow Blue,” which sold within its $50/75,000 estimate for $55,440 via LiveAuctioneers. The etching was signed, dated and numbered 1 out of a series of 60, and footage exists of Diebenkorn creating this etching. It was purchased directly from his studio in 1986 and consigned from a multimillion-dollar penthouse in Sarasota’s Ritz Carlton hotel. For information, 941-359-8700 or www.sarasotaestateauction.com.
DANVERS, MASS. – On October 29, Kaminski Auctions conducted the sale of the Anthony Athanas collection. Those familiar with the Massachusetts coast may have recognized lots from the Cummaquid Inn of Yarmouthport, the General Glover House in Swampscott and Anthony’s Pier 4 in Boston. Two Louis Dodd (British, 1943-2006) ship paintings from the Glover House took the first-rate spots, including “Ship Flying American Flag” for $3,000 ($2/3,000) and “The 74-Gun Vermont” (pictured) for $6,600 ($3/5,000). Dodd was inspired by Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century marine art and painted mostly on mahogany panels, and he earned three Schafer Awards in his lifetime. For information, 978-927-2223 or www.kaminskiauctions.com.
MEDWAY, MASS. – One of the top lots at Coyle’s Auction’s October 27 Antique Estates Auction was a French bird automaton labeled “Jouets et Jeux” Magasin des enfants Pasage de L’Opera Paris.” In working order, the piece had come from a Wellesley, Mass., collection and sold for $2,990 to a buyer in-state, who purchased it as a gift for his wife. For information, 774-571-8263 or www.coylesauction.com.
NEW MILFORD, CONN. – At the head of a 300-lot sale offered on Monday, October 24, by The Auction Barn was an untitled abstract ink drawing by Hans Hoffman that earned $4,375, a significant increase over its $200/300 estimate. From the estate of Michael Lang, co-creator of the Woodstock Festival, the verso also bore labels from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Singer Company corporate art collection. For information, 860-799-0608 or www.theauctionbarnct.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Of the 280 lots offered in Auctions At Showplace’s November 6 New York City Estate Auction, a Korean Joseon era (1392-1897) pottery jar led the sale, earning $39,000 against an estimate of $1/2,000. The 6-½-inch-tall vessel had a rare repeating underglaze copper red grapevine pattern on a light celadon glazed ground and had been dated to the Eighteenth Century; it also retained a carved wood lid and amethyst finial that matched the grapevine decoration. From the collection of the Bentley family of Amherst, Mass., the jar relates to a piece in the National Museum of Korea. For information, 212-633-6063 or www.nyshowplace.com.
BANGOR, PENN. – In the course of two days – November 4 and 6 – Hartzell’s Auction Gallery oofered nearly 1,200 lots from the estate of Linda Bryden, which included art glass, clocks, jewelry, music boxes, marble and bronze sculptures, Russian icons, miniature portraits, sterling silver and more. At the head of the sale, with a winning bid of $6,250, was a 22½-inch-tall Grand Tour black slate obelisk decorated allover with both Egyptian hieroglyphics and Latin inscriptions. It had been estimated at $100/200. For information, 610-588-5831 or www.hartzellsauction.com.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – One of the highlights of Eldred’s November 4 Works on Paper auction was “White Heron,” a woodcut by Anna Heyward Taylor (South Carolina/New York, 1979-1856), which flew to a phone bidder for $2,625. Taylor was a principal figure in the Charleston Renaissance and was noted for her woodblock prints that depicted everyday life in the city and its surroundings. Though the Southern artist spent some time in Provincetown, Mass., the 19½-by-7½-inch piece on thin fibrous paper came to Eldred’s from a collection from upstate New York. For information, 508-385-3116 or www.eldreds.com.
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