Published: May 8, 2018
From Spider Man to silver salad servers to a Virgin & Child sculpture, this week’s Across the Block features a running hot list of notable prices recently achieved at various auction houses.
PLAINVILLE, CONN. – Paintings by Paul Sample, Man Ray and Jane Peterson were offered in a Winter Associates auction on April 23, which also featured Continental furnishings, sculpture, Asian decorative arts, tribal artifacts and more. Headlining the fine art category and overall sale was “San Pedro Harbor” by Paul Starrett Sample (American, 1896-1974), one of eight oil paintings commissioned by Fortune magazine to accompany a 1937 article profiling the nation’s largest ports. Fetching $60,000, double its high estimate, the painting was a bird’s-eye view of a busy Twentieth Century Los Angeles harbor with large ships, piers and docks. For more information, www.auctionsappraisers.com or 860-793-0288.
DALLAS – Roy Lichtenstein’s “Nude with Blue Hair” topped Heritage Auctions’ $2.4 million sale of Modern and contemporary prints and multiples on April 17. From the private collection of master printmaker John Hutcheson, the 1883 acrylic on canvas realized $540,500. “The sale price is one of the highest prices ever for the work,” said Holly Sherratt, Heritage Auctions’ director of Modern and contemporary art, San Francisco. For information, 214-528-3500 or www.ha.com.
BOSTON – On April 25, Skinner sold a 57-year-old bottle of Macallan single malt scotch preserved in a one-of-a-kind Lalique crystal decanter for $61,500. The Macallan, officially bottled in 2009, comes from two separate casks: a 1950 American oak sherry butt and a Spanish oak sherry butt. The classic dried fruits and spice are reminiscent of the Macallan House style of the 1950s. The extravagant bottle was one of more than 1,000 lots sold in an online auction for a total gross of $757,508. For information, www.skinnerinc.com or 617-350-5400.
CANAAN, N.Y. – Billed as a Super Estate Auction, Ralph Fontaine’s Heritage Auctions’ event on April 22 featured material from estates in Schenectady, N.Y., and southern Connecticut, along with a Shaker collection. A monumental Victorian wardrobe with Beethoven plaques brought $2,400. For more information, www.fontaineheritage.com or 413-442-2537.
PARIS – Artcurial’s April 27 auction dedicated to furniture and works of art totaled $1,707,638, exceeding its overall estimate, with 78 percent of lots sold. A marble bust, presumed to be Alexander the Great, fired up the sale and won $68,700, almost 11 times its estimate. “Madonna and Child,” a white marble sculpture (shown) from the former collection of Baron Robert von Hirsh, was the top lot, selling for $156,000. It was attributed to Lupo di Francesco, who was active in Pisa from 1315 to 1336.
DALLAS – A highlight of Heritage Auctions’ April 25 sale of silver and vertu was a two-piece Gorham salad serving set in the Narragansett pattern that sold for $30,000 – three times its $10,000 auction estimate. The 11Ã¼-inch set comprised a trident fork with curved tines and a spoon with shell-form bowl with pebbled and faux pearl texture near stem. Each stem has a coral reef texture interspersed with kelp, shell and various oceanic motifs and shell terminals embellished with applied crabs and shells. For more information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
CRANSTON, R.I. – A 1985 Kenner Star Wars Power of The Force 92 back AT-AT Driver action figure was a hard-charging lot at Bruneau’s April 28 auction, going out for $6,875. The AT-AT Driver is one of the hardest Power of The Force cardbacks to find, only seeing a limited release in Australia. The figure came packaged with a Warok coin. For information, www.bruneauandco.com or 401-533-9980.
TOWSON, MD. – A successful single-owner sale of comic books was conducted solely online by Alex Cooper Auctioneers and ended on April 25. There were several highlights of the sale, including the issue of the first appearance of The Amazing Spider-Man, which sold for $14,760. The Comic Book and Toy Discovery Sale comprised 287 lots for a total of $106,000. A total of 96 of those lots were from the local estate of a comic book collector. For information, 800-272-3145, 410-828-4838 or www.alexcooper.com.
ST PETERSBURG, FLA. – Art collectors are familiar with the Florida Highwaymen, a group of 26 African American landscape artists, who, self-taught, created a body of work of more than 200,000 paintings that portray expansive, pristine landscapes or gritty urban cityscapes and made their living selling them door-to-door or out of the trunks of automobiles. On April 22, Burchard Galleries sold a number of these, three of which were the “most powerful Highwaymen paintings we have ever seen,” according to the firm’s president Jeff Burchard. “Our auction generated more than $158,000 in Highwaymen paintings alone,” he said. The highest price, $46,000, was achieved for Harold Newton’s (American, 1934-1994) street scene with multiple figures, an oil on canvasboard, measuring 18 by 24 inches, signed lower right. It is believed to be a world auction record for an individual Highwaymen work. For more information, 727-821-1167 or www.burchardgalleries.com.
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