Published: November 13, 2018
A buyer at Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries got ahead of other bidders with a purchase of $610 for a medical school study skull which featured mouth articulation and a removable top. Other heady sales in this week’s Across the Block include a gilt-bronze figure at Christie’s which brought 10 times its high estimates to sell in the millions. Keith Haring prints at Bonhams passed the million dollar mark as well.
PARIS – A Finn Juhl Grasshopper armchair, 1938, sold for $360,457 at Artcurial on October 30, establishing a new world reference price for the Danish design. There are only two such copies in the world, according to the auction house. In the firm’s Scandinavian design sale, fully 74 percent of its volume was made up by foreign buyers. For information, +33 1 42 99 20 76 or www.artcurial.com.
LOS ANGELES – The October 23 sale of prints and multiples at Bonhams achieved $1,418,000 and the top lot of the sale was Keith Haring’s (1958-1990) untitled: four plates, 1987, which realized $52,500, a world auction record for four color lithographs by the artist. Morisa Rosenberg, director of prints and multiples, Los Angeles, commented, “With works ranging from Albrecht Durer to Tom Wesselmann, the fall auction was a great success in part due to the variety of material in this sale. We also set world auction records for Ed Ruscha’s ‘Heaven and Hell,’ 1988 ($43,750), as well as the iconic lithograph with Gothic letters, ‘The End,’ 1991 ($30,000) and Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita’s, ‘Book of Cats’ ($50,000).” For information, 323-850-7500 or www.bonhams.com.
NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. – Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries’ sale of antiques, fine art, Hollywood and sports memorabilia and autographs was conducted on October 27, just days before Halloween. While filled with two significant Hollywood photographic collections, it seems glamour was upstaged by the macabre when a medical school study skull, featuring mouth articulation and a removable top to examine interior, sold for $610. The skull was real, not a reproduction and had been owned by a physician for 40 years and used in medical school lectures and demos. For information, 914-882-7356 or www.midhudsongalleries.com.
BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – Mounted on a hardwood base, a Chinese hardstone inkwell sold for $31,250 at Nye & Co.’s Estate Treasures auction on October 30, which featured a variety of fine and decorative arts. Offered together with a jade floral-form vase that was 6½ inches high, the lot was conservatively estimated at $800-$1,200. For additional information, www.nyeandcompany.com or 973-984-6900.
NEW YORK CITY – An auction of Old Master through Modern prints on November 1 at Swann Galleries offered a grand selection of prints by Pablo Picasso and rare, museum-quality prints from the Fifteenth to the Twentieth Centuries. European works from the early Twentieth Century were led by a selection of works by Picasso. Hailing from the artist’s Blue Period, “Le Repas Frugal,” 1904, presents an allegorical scene constructed from glimpses into the lives of those living in poverty. It finished at $125,000. A late color linoleum cut by the artist, “La Femme au Chapeau,” 1962, which spotlights his second wife, Jacqueline Roque, brought $81,250. For information, 212-254-4710 or www.swanngalleries.com.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – At Humler & Nolan’s holiday sale on November 3, a rare French Red vase decorated by Sara Sax in 1923 sold for an above high estimate $29,500. The rich red color was imported from France and used infrequently because of its cost. This example is perhaps the Magnum Opus of French Red, being at once the largest example to employ intricate incised and enameled glazes over a dull finish ground and easily the most complex. The pattern of tulips and lilies repeats three times around the vase with Greek key designs around the base. Each area of color is first outlined by incising in the wet clay and the rich colors are then applied in heavy slip. Several other areas of decoration are simply incised. The rich French Red is used on many of the flowers and as a lining for the vase’s interior. At 14-1/8 inches high, the vase was the cover lot for Rookwood IV and a copy of that catalog as well as a framed cover were included in the lot. For information, www.humlernolan.com or 513-381-2041.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – A Josef Albers painting, “Study for a Homage to the Square,” was auctioned off on Everything But The House (EBTH), an online marketplace for authenticated pre-owned goods and estate sales, with a final bid of $161,999. This was the most expensive lot auctioned off on EBTH to-date, with a portion of the proceeds going to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. For information, 213-910-4870 or www.EBTH.com.
LONDON – The top lot of Christie’s Chinese ceramics and works of art auction on November 6 was a gilt-bronze figure of Avalokiteshvara (1426-1435) from the collection of the late Soame Jenyns, which realized $2,518,947, ten times its high estimate. Jenyns (1904-1976) was a well-known figure in the field of Chinese and Japanese art. He was a renowned British art historian, collector and connoisseur and worked at the British Museum authoring several seminal books on East Asian art. The sale itself totaled $11,340,488. For information, www.christies.com or +44 20 7839 9060.
CHADDS FORD, PENN. -William Bunch Auctions presented a two-day sale of fine art and works on paper October 29 and 30. On the first day, with a single-owner collection of fine and rare prints, “Fertility,” a lithograph on paper by Grant Wood (American, 1891-1942), sold at $3,737. On day two, an array of original artwork by artists from the Delaware Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey region came to the block. Topping the auction and more than doubling its $4,000 high estimate, Karl J. Kuerner’s (b 1957) “The Light Within,” depicting a chapel interior with shadows of angels, realized $11,500. The acrylic on canvas by the Chadds Ford artist came from the collection of Richard A. McLellan. For more information, 610-558-1800 or www.bunchauctions.com.
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