Published: April 4, 2023
Fine art and toys were the more dominant categories across the block this past week. Oil on canvas paintings from all eras and styles found favor, from Nineteenth Century Flemish iconography to early Twentieth Century still lifes. Trains won the race at an eclectic estate auction, and a group lot ball-jointed dolls charmed their way to first place at a toy auction. Read on for more winning bids.
HARRISBURG, PENN. – A group of seven ball-jointed, elfin dolls led Cordier’s March 26 auction of vintage toys, trains, dolls and doll accessories, going way above the $80-$120 estimate to end the bidding at $1,440. All of these dolls were ball jointed, with joints at the feet, knees, hands, elbows and head. Often, these dolls will have markings or signatures under the skull caps to indicate artist or manufacturer, according to Diana Packard, the firm’s director of catalog and specialty auctions. “These do not,” she said. “Only one is considered complete, meaning face-up with painting/make-up to face and with wig and clothes.” All others were face-up and with clothes, and were between 10½ and 11 inches high. For information, www.cordierauction.com or 717-731-8662.
COPAKE, N.Y. – In an estate auction conducted on March 25 by Copake Auction, more than 700 lots crossed the block, including an original baseball advertising painting for “Peach Gloves,” which were made by John A. Peach’s J.A. Peach Co., Gloversville, N.Y., a sporting goods business there at the turn of the century. The oil on board, 21 by 28 inches, featured a lively lineup of uniformed players, many with the advertised glove. The painting went out at $5,400 against a $500-$1,000 estimate. For information, 518-329-1142 or www.copakeauction.com.
WINDSOR, CONN. – Ascending to the top of Nadeau Auction Gallery’s Contemporary and Antique Furnishings, Fine Art and Collectables sale on March 25 was a religious icon, cataloged as Nineteenth Century or earlier, which depicted two saints in full length. The 26½-by-13½-inch painting retained old paper labels on the back and had been estimated at $200/400. An international private buyer won the lot, paying $8,960 for the privilege. For information, 860-246-2444 or www.nadeausauction.com.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – Of the 300 lots of antiques and accessories auctioned by Eldred’s on March 24, a pair of Eighteenth Century Italian demilune side tables earned first place with a final bid of $7,500, several times the lot’s $1/3,000 estimate. They were described as in overall excellent condition, with wear appropriate to age, and eager bidders liked the inlaid walnut tops and scrolled legs and stretchers enough to overlook some old, discreet repairs. For information, 508-385-3116 or www.eldreds.com.
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Amoskeag Auction Company’s Auction #137 on March 26 was led by a low numbered Python revolver, serial #47 to be precise, a 357 Magnum, 6-inch vent rib barrel with a mint bore. It retailed for $125 from 1955 until 1965, but in this sale reached $48,875, the sale’s top lot. Collectors of antique firearms were treated to an investment quality Smith & Wesson revolver (pictured) exuding character and the romance of America’s gilded age. Bearing serial #1976, 44-40, 6½-inch barrel, this revolver, circa 1887, was extensively engraved in full coverage, including animals in panel scenes and with a large inscription on its backstrap. The gun sold for $12,500 in 1977, and in this sale it rose to $40,250. For information, www.amoskeagauction.com or 603-627-7383.
CLEVELAND, OHIO – Bidders longing for spring took a Gerrit A. Beneker (1882-1934) oil on canvas to the top of Rachel Davis Fine Arts’ March 25 auction. “A Spring Day – Provincetown,” 1925, signed lower left, also signed, titled and dated verso, framed, 20 by 16 inches, realized $17,920 against its $1,5/2,500 estimate. Beneker was a student of Charles Webster Hawthorne at the Cape Cod School of Art, and while the sale’s focus was on Eighteenth to Twenty-First Century American, European and contemporary art featuring Ohio artists, Beneker’s connection was having spent four years painting workers of the Hydraulic Pressed Steel Company in Cleveland as part of a labor-management relations improvement project. For information, www.racheldavisfinearts.com or 216-939-1190.
NEW MILFORD, CONN. – With exactly 400 lots on offer at the Auction Barn’s online estate sale March 27, bidders had much from which to choose but gave the longest chase to a Nineteenth Century painted cast iron fence depicting seven hounds chasing a fox. Measuring 25½ inches high by 51 inches long, the panel had been estimated at $6/9,000 and sold within expectations, for $8,125. For information, 860-799-0608 or www.theauctionbarnct.com.
CANAAN, N.Y. – Ralph Fontaine’s Heritage Auctions offered nearly 600 lots of coins, instruments, comic books, baseball memorabilia and advertising collectibles in addition to general household furnishings in the firm’s March 26 Eclectic Estate Auction. Winning the sale’s highest price at $2,500 was a lot of oversized Ives trains that had been discovered in the barn of a Berkshire estate. The set was missing the locomotive but was otherwise complete and retained the book, accessories and track, all with the original boxes. A representative for the house confirmed it sold to a buyer “on the other side of the country.” For information, 413-441-7641 or www.fontaineheritage.com.
PROVINCETOWN, MASS. – James R. Bakker Antiques conducted its spring live online fine arts auction on March 18, with more than 150 lots of artworks from local estates and several prominent Provincetown and Cape Cod collectors. The sale saw more than 15 new auction price records. Topping the sale at $6,250 was a photograph of Robert Mapplethorpe in the bath by Don Herron. It was followed closely at $5,313 by “Morning Glories” (pictured), a color woodblock print by Margaret J. Patterson that had been exhibited in the Provincetown Print exhibition at the Provincetown Art Association & Museum in 1996. For information, 508-413-9758 or www.bakkerproject.com.
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