Published: December 27, 2022
Top lots were blowing up their estimates this past week, bringing exponential results. The biggest surprise came in the smallest group listing of a Chinese moonstone and a carved jade “creature” that sold for almost 13 times its modest estimate. A rare Royal Worcester teapot sold for nine times the pre-estimate, and a Friesz painting achieved 40 times the estimated outcome. Follow along for more surprising sales.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – On December 8, John McInnis Auctioneers sold silver from the Dover, N.H., estate of Dr James C. Faskianos at the Jarvis Center. The 111-lot sale included centerpieces, candelabra, flatware, bowls, tazze and trays. Earning the most from McInnis’ bidders was a set of 12 Tiffany & Co. sterling silver plates, each 11 inches diameter, that exceeded expectations and sold to a buyer in New England for $9,300. For information, www.mcinnisauctions.com or 978-388-0400.
ROCKVILLE, MD. – The top lot in Weschler’s December 9 Capitol Collections sale was an acrylic on canvas by Alma Woodsey Thomas (American, 1891-1978), which brought $1,487,000, nearly triple its high estimate. “Sparkling Dew on Spring Flowers,” 24 by 36 inches, was signed A.W. Thomas and dated ’68 lower right, inscribed 1530 15th Street NW and numbered 3B on verso. It came from the private collection of Eileen Shanahan, Washington DC, acquired directly from the artist in the late 1960s and passed by descent to present owner in 2001. Shanahan, a second-generation Washingtonian, graduated from the old Central High School (now Cardozo) and George Washington University, where she studied political science and became the first female editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, The Hatchet. She was one of the few women journalists of her generation to write about economics, and was a reporter for the Journal of Commerce and then for The New York Times Washington Bureau. For information, 202-628-1281 or www.weschlers.com.
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. – A rare Royal Worcester double wall and reticulated jeweled teapot (shown) ignored a $700/800 estimate at World Auction Gallery’s December 11 sale to finish at $7,150. Another lot that did well was a rare Royal Worcester double wall and reticulated jeweled creamer. It was estimated at $500/600 but did much better, earning $2,080. For information, 516-307-8180 or www.worldauctiongallery.com.
PLAINVILLE, CONN. – An 18K guilloche enameled snuff box with a miniature portrait of Napoleon on its cover was just one of the items from a New England estate presented at Winter Associates on December 12 in its central Connecticut gallery. Fetching $14,760 against a $4/6,000 estimate, the antique 3-1/8-inch diameter enameled round box with removable top tested 18K gold. Decorated with elaborate guilloche enamel on top, bottom and sides, the center of its top had an oval miniature painting of Napoleon Bonaparte covered with a plastic crystal. A trademark letter “R” with a crown above it is believed to be for Jean Georges Remond & Co., Geneva. For information, www.auctionsappraisers.com or 860-793-0288.
SHELTON, CONN. – Block’s Marble Auction #1138 on December 10 was led by Akro Agate Company’s original No. 116 yellow Popeye box containing an original Popeye pouch and 15 original Popeye corkscrew marbles. The estimate was $800-$1,600, but the final bid totaled $2,350, a record for a yellow Popeye box. It’s one of the most iconic boxes in the hobby of marble collecting, according to the firm’s Robert Block. Produced in the early 1930s by the Akro Agate Company of Clarksburg, W.Va, the box top and the pouch both feature the same image of Popeye walking with a bunch of marbles in his hand, saying, “I Yam Wat I Yam, I Yam A Marble Shooter, Arf!” For information, 203-209-7076 or www.marbleauctions.com.
WINDSOR, CONN. – Nadeau Auction Gallery’s December 10 holiday sale offered 250 lots of giftable jewelry and coins. The top lot at $3,520 was an 18K yellow and white gold rope-style necklace, having yellow gold rope wound with small white gold chain, weighing in at 80.5 grams. For information, 860-246-2444 or www.nadeausauction.com.
NEW YORK CITY – One of the top lots of 280 that crossed the block on December 18 at Auctions at Showplace was a personalized brown marker on paper drawing of a horse by Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989) that sold to a New York City metro-area collector for $3,750. The drawing was done in 1973 for Kennith, the son of the owner of Geilin Gallery, who was an art dealer in Manhattan from 1960 to 1984 and who worked directly with Dali. For information, 212-633-6063 or www.nyshowplace.com.
NEW YORK CITY – “Nudes in a Landscape” by Fauvist painter Achille Emile Othon Friesz (French, 1879-1949) soared past its $4/6,000 estimate to achieve $23,900, the highest price in Doyle’s Fine Art & Photographs auction on December 13. The 15-by-18-inch oil on canvas composition depicted a group of bathers by a shoreline, rendered in the artist’s unmistakably energetic waves of color. It had been in a 1933 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as well as at the California Pacific International Exposition of Fine Arts in San Diego, circa 1935-36 and came to Doyle from the collection of Dr Thomas Chua. For information, www.doyle.com or 212-427-2730.
PHILADELPHIA – Rising high above its $300/600 estimate in Material Culture’s Big Tent 2 No Reserve Estates sale on December 14 was a lot comprised of a Chinese moonstone and jade creature, which sold for $75,000. The moonstone was in a 13½-by-13½-inch frame while the creature measured 6½ inches in length. Both had provenance to the Pittsburgh, Penn., collection of Dr Horacio Fabrega. It was the highest price achieved in the 552-lot sale. For information, www.materialculture.com or 215-438-4700.
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