Published: March 14, 2023
Fine art, silver and early Americana were prominent in this week’s top lots. Silver was represented from early English candlesticks to a midcentury Danish coffee service. Warhol maintained his spot as top earner of most auctions, followed in price by Armenian artist Minas Avetisyan. Well-preserved examples of colonial American decorative art and portraiture also impressed. Read on for more successful bids.
SOUTH GLASTONBURY, CONN. – Despite the threat of snow, a large group of book and ephemera enthusiasts made the trek to the Connecticut River Book Auction (CRBA) on March 3. The highlight of the evening was a surprise, but should not have been completely unexpected, according to owner Tom Gullotta. A later inscribed and dated printing of Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World was sold for $1,185 to an attendee. For those unfamiliar with this classic, it details his solo global circumnavigation aboard the sloop Spray. For information, www.ctriverbookauction.com or 860-908-8067.
STURBRIDGE, MASS. – A great sale of estate-fresh antiques from all across New England awaited bidders at D.L. Straight’s March 4 Americana and folk art auction. All periods of Americana were represented – from Pilgrim period furnishings, Queen Anne, Chippendale and later. A Suffield, Conn., Queen Anne highboy was the main attraction, selling for $3,750. Standing on carved Spanish feet, the maple and pine case piece, circa 1740, was fitted with original brasses and exhibited red painted surfaces, 73 by 36 by 17 inches. For information, www.dlstraightauctioneers.com or 508-769-5404.
SARASOTA, FLA. – Featuring a lifetime collection of sterling silver, Sarasota Estate Auction’s March 4 silver sale included key examples, whether traditional English, French and American and even Mexican, Japanese and other silver from around the world. Four early English sterling candlesticks at 96 troy ounces started at an internet bid of $2,750 and climbed all the way up to $17,640, selling to an online platform. For more information, www.sarasotaestateauction.com or 941-359-8700.
GLEN COVE, N.Y. – Roland Auctions conducted its March 2023 estates sale on the fourth day of the month with almost 1,000 lots for sale from a wide variety of categories. Fine art took the top lot with a 1968 oil on canvas Fauvist painting by Minas Avetisyan (1928-1975) titled “Motherland” for $15,000, bought by an Armenian collector living in California. Avetisyan was born in Jajur, Soviet Armenia, and primarily focused on his country’s natural beauty and the poor of its citizenry. Struck by a car and killed, it was revealed that Avetisyan was assassinated by the KGB after appearing on a heavily censored 1959 documentary, whose director, Mikhail Varatnov, was imprisoned for refusing to remove the artist from its final cut. His murder is the subject of Varatnov’s three-part documentary memorializing his friend’s life and work. For information, 212-260-2000 or www.rolandauctions.com.
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. – World Auction Gallery’s Exceptional Mid-Winter Auction was just as described, offering a selection of Tiffany Studios glass light fixtures, silver, jewelry and original works of fine art in about 500 lots. At the top of the listings was a Georg Jensen hallmarked sterling silver coffee service complete with a teapot, coffee pot, sugar, creamer and original tray in the Blossom or “Magnolie” form. Inspired by natural shapes, Jensen designed the service in the early Twentieth Century. This example came from a Long Island home and sold online to a New York City collector for $11,250 ($4/6,000). For information, 516-307-8180 or www.worldauctiongallery.com.
LOS ANGELES – Abell showcased fine art, modern material and vehicles in its March 5 auction, offering more than 550 lots of antiques, vintage jewelry, modern prints and multiples, paintings, classic automobiles, Chinese antiques and collectibles and more. Prints and multiples from Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha and others were highlights, with Andy Warhol’s “Siberian Tiger” from the “Endangered Species” series, a screenprint in colors, pouncing on $225,000. It was housed in an acrylic box frame, pencil-signed and numbered 75/150. From the Connie Stevens collection, the 38-by-38-inch work was purchased by the famed American actress in 1984 with Warhol in attendance. For information, 310-858-3073 or www.abell.com.
THOMASTON, MAINE – Thomaston Place Auction Galleries found Serendipity in its so-named sale on March 8 when an American, probably Boston, oval portrait miniature estimated at $200/300 achieved $11,250. The remarkably preserved portrait showed a painted cut paper silhouette of a young man in a dark blue coat, which complemented his blue eyes and was offset by a clean, white cravat and his tied-back brown hair. It was applied to a black cloth background with a painted white bead and blossom border, all enclosed in the portrait’s original pressed brass frame. Measuring 4¼ by 3¼ inches, it bore an illegible inscription on the rear surface. For information, 207-354-8141 or www.thomastonauction.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Heading Auctions at Showplace’s March 5 New York City estate auction was a Chinese soapstone carving of a seated man that came from a Manhattan estate of a collector who had served for decades as a Sri Lankan diplomat stationed in China, Sri Lanka and Iraq. The 4½-inch-tall figure had russet tones and was wearing robes intricately carved with a cloud motif. Estimated at $800-$1,200, it sold to a local telephone bidder for $10,625. For information, 212-633-6063 or www.auctions.nyshowplace.com.
BEVERLY, MASS. – In the course of three days, March 3-5, Kaminski Auctions marched more than 1,300 lots across the block in its early March estates auction. A 143-piece English sterling silver flatware set from a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., collection, made circa 1919 by John Round and Son in the Queens pattern, was the highest priced lot of the three-day event. It sold to an online bidder for $6,875, a sizeable increase over its $3/4,000 estimate. For information, 978-927-2223 or www.kaminskiauctions.com.
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