Published: November 14, 2023
All creatures bright and beautiful was a theme of this week’s Across the Block, led at $225,000 by a Judy McKie tiger table that was, if not King of the jungle, king at Grogan’s four-auction event at the end of October. Racing to more than $53,000 was a bronze model of Herbert Haseltine’s “The Perfect Thoroughbred,” which topped offerings from the Los Angeles estate of Dr Levinson, which Abell sold October 25-26. Rounding out the high-flying highlights was a 4-foot tall carved and giltwood eagle that had a six-foot wingspread from the headquarters of Carteret Savings; it returned a $10,540 bid for Hartzell. Other highlights may not have offered creature comforts but were equally enticing; read on for more details.
BOSTON — Grogan & Company had four auctions over the weekend of October 28-29: fine art, the collection of Boston gallerist Portia Harcus, jewelry and silver, rugs and decorative arts. Premier among the fine art on offer was a 2009 cast bronze by Judy Kensley McKie (American, b 1944) in the form of a tiger table. Signed, dated and numbered JKM ’09 2/8 on the underside, the sleek, stalking figure sold for $225,000. For information, 617-720-2020 or www.groganco.com.
LOS ANGELES — Abell Auction’s two-part Traditional Collection sale on October 25-26 totaled $1,076,250. “It was an extremely successful sale with an average price of $1,578 per item,” reported the firm’s Todd Schireson. “Antiques were doing well, and we had amazing results and probably many record results.” Highlights included Herbert Haseltine’s (1877-1962) bronze horse, “The Perfect Thoroughbred,” property from the Dr Levinson estate, Los Angeles, which realized $53,125. With brown patination and mounted to a marble plinth, the sculpture was signed and dated 1920 in casting, and with a C. Valsuani “Cire Perdu” foundry mark. It measured overall 10 by 13 by 4-7/8 inches. For more information, www.abell.com or 323-724-8102.
WORCESTER, MASS. — Auctioneer Wayne Tuiskula of Central Mass Auctions said his toy and comic book auction on November 1 did well. On the heels of Halloween and smack dab on the Day of the Dead, it was fitting that a 1964 Talking Herman Munster by Mattel with its original box was notable, selling for $900. With pull-string action, the vintage talking doll is said to have initially said a line about The Beatles: “I like the Beatles. REAL beetles.” In later versions, that line was omitted. For information, www.centralmassauctions.com or 508-612-6111.
SARASOTA, FLA. — Sarasota Estate Auction’s second day devoted to fine art, Chinese art and antiques was led by a Georg Jensen (Danish, 1866-1935) Blossom sterling flatware set (shown), 90.79 troy ounces, serving for 12, which found favor at $25,200. A representative for the firm said, “We were very happy with the results. There was a lot of interest prior to auction time. We started at an internet bid of $7,500 and it climbed all the way up! It ended up selling to an in-house bidder.” The sale’s first day was a Dale Chihuly (b 1954) rout, with seven of the top 10 lots, paintings and art glass, garnering the highest bids. The highest price was taken by a Chihuly acrylic paint and mixed media on paper going out at $14,490. For information, www.sarasotestateauction.com or 941-359-8700.
TIMONIUM, MD. — A rare B&O Railroad Scammell’s designed Lamberton china ball pitcher took a measured victory at Richard Opfer Auctioneering’s November 2 auction, selling for $2,640. What makes this pitcher so desirable are its two central medallions of the Potomac Valley framed in floral wreaths with two smaller medallions of the Carrollton Viaduct and a horse-drawn car. Medallions on a cobalt blue spatterware ground decorate the pitcher with a floral handle. Measuring 7 inches high, the pitcher exhibited normal wear, garnering a rating of G-VG. For information, www.opferauction.com or 410-252-5035.
CRANSTON, R.I. — Bruneau & Co Auctioneers closed its nearly 430-lot “Fine & Decorative Art Online Only Auction” on November 6 with two of the three highest sales of the day being automotive advertising signs. Surpassing all the rest at $4,750 was a rectangular black and white porcelain sign that reads “Chrysler Plymouth Sales & Service” and measures 18 by 35 inches (shown). The third-highest finishing item was a metal Dodge Plymouth sign measuring 47 by 42 inches. Both signs were marked “Walker & Co. Detroit.” The only other lot that finished higher than the Dodge sign was an uncirculated set of United States “Family of Eagles” gold coins. For information, www.bruneauandco.com or 401-533-9980.
AMENIA, N.Y. — SJD Auctions’ November 7 sale of antiques and collectibles featured 318 lots ranging from Chinese hand-painted scrolls to vintage tricycles. Leading the sale and ultimately realizing $313, was a lot of cookware (shown). Within the lot were three cast iron Dutch ovens in varied sizes and a 10-by-8-inch enameled steel stock pot, all from Le Creuset and an unmarked 9-inch cast iron skillet. However, generating the most buzz was a set of vintage West German hand-painted ornaments. After 45 bids, the sale of the ornaments closed at $192. For information, 845-489-7408.
BANGOR, PENN. — A high flying highlight of Hartzell’s 80th Anniversary Auction on November 4 was a Nineteenth Century carved and giltwood spreadwing eagle that flew past its $5/10,000 estimate to land at $10,540; it sold to an online bidder. The eagle, which according to the sale catalog related to examples that have sold at both Christie’s and Sotheby’s, had a 72-inch wingspan, stood 48 inches tall and had provenance to the Carteret Savings Headquarters in New Jersey. For information, 610-588-5831 or www.hartzellsauction.com.
VALATIE, N.Y. — Old Kinderhook Auction Company, which regularly sells several lots of frames in each of their regular sales, hosted an 800-lot sale of just frames from a single collection in its “Frame of Thrones” auction on November 7. Framing out the top price at $2,640 was a 25-by-30-inch circa 1910 carved and giltwood Newcomb Macklin frame that had decoration related to the New Hope School. A representative for the house confirmed it sold to a phone bidder. For information, 518-912-4747 or www.oldkinderhookauction.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm