Published: September 25, 2018
Artists and artistry abound in this week’s Across the Block. “Here Comes the Sun” must have been on the seller’s mind as a guitar played by George Harrison in concert sold for a tidy sum. Van Gogh and Tiffany represent other interesting sales you won’t want to miss.
CORSHAM, WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND – One of 400 guitars offered in a three-day auction by Gardiner Houlgate, George Harrison’s Moton Mastersound electric guitar (shown) used in a concert during the rise of Beatlemania, namely at Liverpool’s Cavern Club in 1963, sold for $450,000. Another celebrity axe crossing the block was a custom-made 1968 Gibson EBS-1250 double-neck that combines bass and guitar in one instrument. It had once been owned by Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees and brought $11,300. For information, +44 1225 812912 or www.gardinerhoulgate.co.uk.
FRANKLIN, MASS. – Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890) painted three authenticated oil versions of his “Bedroom in Arles,” now held by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Musee D Orsay in Paris, respectively, and two sketches, one sent to his brother Theo and the other to Paul Gauguin. A study bearing many striking similarities to Van Gogh’s first two oil versions of the composition sold for $20,000 on September 6 at Woodshed Art Auctions. The 12¼-by-15½-inch gouache on carton board, signed lower left, was stamped verso with the stamp of Dr Paul Gachet, Van Gogh’s physician in Auvers-sur-Oise after his hospitalization and patron of many influential late Nineteenth Century artists, and his son, Paul-Louis Gachet. For information, 508-533-6277 or www.woodshedartauctions.com.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – Michaan’s offered a pair of Wucai Dragon and Phoenix bowls on September 8 at its gallery auction with an estimate of $8/10,000. Each bowl was well-painted with iron-red and green dragons racing amidst flower stems in pursuit of flaming pearls and separated by downward-swooping phoenixes below a narrow band of conjoined bajixiang and ruyi heads, with an iron-red dragon leaping amid green flames in the interior. From a Piedmont, Calif., estate with Daoguang marks and period, the 6-1/8-inch bowls sold for $30,000. For information, 510-740-0220 or www.michaans.com.
HATFIELD, PENN. – A floral stained glass window with mosaic glass and moonstone jewels in a wood frame was the top lot, and something of a surprise, at Alderfer Auction’s Philadelphia Main Line auction on September 10. The 20-by-72-inch window had Alderfer’s standard $50/500 estimate, but one intrepid internet bidder stopped the competition cold with a winning bid of $4,800. For information, 215-393-3000 or www.alderferauction.com.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The top lot at Garth’s Country Americana auction on September 14-15 was a zinc figure of Lady Liberty, which sold for $25,200. Attributed to William Demuth, New York City, the late Nineteenth Century zinc figure depicted a classically robed woman with American shield and laurel wreath. She wears a liberty cap and carries a sword. Featuring old paint in patriotic colors, the 58-inch-high figure is pictured on page 196 in Zinc Sculpture in America 1850-1950 by Carol A. Grissom. For information, 740-362-4771 or www.garths.com.
DOVER, N.J. – A diverse sale conducted by Berman’s Auction Gallery on September 12 saw one of its better lots, a pair of white leather Widdicomb slipper chairs, leave the gallery at $2,760. A slipper chair is an armless upholstered chair that has short legs so that it sits closer to the ground. For information, 973-361-3110 or www.bermansauctiongallery.com.
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – EstateofMind brought out militaria, Americana and fine art for its September 15 two-session auction, but it was a huge Victorian J.W. Fiske cast iron urn with egret base, circa 1880, that drew admiring looks and a winning bid of $6,875. And to make things even more interesting, the 55-inch-high, 53-inch-wide urn is going back to the home from which it was removed. Military and sporting rifles were also part of the mix with a Remington Model Eight 25 caliber rifle and a Winchester model-25 22 caliber target rifle with J.W. Fecker scope each taking $1,375. For information, 845-386-4403 or www.estateofmind.biz.
CHEVY CHASE, MD. – Lighting the way at the September 14 sale at Sloans & Kenyon was a Tiffany arrowroot table lamp with Tiffany bronze cat tail base, the base and shade both marked “Tiffany Studios, New York.” The estimate ($35/45,000) generated considerable interest, and a phone bidder finally prevailed, taking it home for $119,500. For information, 301-634-2330 or www.sloansandkenyon.com.
LITCHFIELD, CONN. – A group of five bronze baboons, three of which were life-sized, by South African artist Donald Greig (b 1959) scampered off with top honors at Litchfield Auctions’ September 15 sale. Consigned from a private collection in New Canaan, Conn., which had consigned other animal bronzes in the sale, and estimated at $2/3,000, the group charmed bidders, and they ultimately went home to private collector who purchased them online for $6,250.
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