Published: July 17, 2018
Portraits of Sir Francis Drake and Christ took high bids in this week’s Across the Block, as a variety of other items including bowls, scrolls, and tribal figures went above and beyond their estimates.
SAN GABRIEL, CALIF. – On June 30, Linwoods Auction offered the collection of Shi Liangcai (1880-1934), the owner of Shen Bao, one of the most prominent Chinese newspapers based in Shanghai. Among the highlights of his collection was a scroll painting by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) titled “Fish and Flowers,” which was estimated at $20/30,000. It was purchased by a collector from Hong Kong for $81,250, who was bidding in the room. For information, 626-457-8818 or www.linwoodsauction.com.
LONDON – A portrait of British explorer, Sir Francis Drake, sold at Bonhams’ Old Master paintings sale on July 4 for $471,385, the top price in the sale. The portrait had recently been on exhibition at Buckland Abbey, Drake’s former home, and is believed to be possibly one of the earliest known portraits of Drake. The painting had been extensively researched and generated interest, going to a private collector bidding on the telephone. For information, +44 20 7447 7447 or www.bonhams.com.
DELAWARE, OHIO – Condition report requests are often a good indicator of presale interest, and this proved true for a small white jade bowl at Garth’s July 6 European, Asian and Twentieth Century furniture and accessories sale. So it was perhaps no surprise that the bowl would do well when it received more condition report requests than any other lot. Cataloged as Twentieth Century and carrying an estimate of $250/450, the bowl, which came from a private Ohio consignor, elicited furious bidding to close at $14,375, the top lot in the sale. A representative for Garth’s said the bowl was probably older than Twentieth Century and was purchased by an international buyer bidding online. For information, 740-362-4771 or www.garths.com.
BRISTOL, CONN. – Among many estate offerings at Tim’s Inc Auctions on July 8, the estate of Bristol resident Raymond Larson saw record-breaking numbers with his lifetime collection of antique traps, including numerous antique bear traps and antique traps of all sizes. The total amount realized for the trap collection was just shy of $50,000, with an S. Newhouse No. 5 bear trap bringing $8,500 and a lot of five large antique steel animal traps going to $8,937 – the latter included rare under spring traps and a trail trap. Other lifetime collections included rare and sought-after items, including a fine Royal Worcester porcelain collection, a lifetime pocket watch collection, vintage radios and coin collection. For further information, 860-459-0964 or www.timsauctions.com.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – A pair of Wucai “Dragon and Phoenix” bowls rose from the fire to $39,000, making them the top lot at Michaan’s July 7 sale. The 6-1/8-inch bowls featured Daoguang marks and came with a $12,000 high estimate, which they left squarely behind. To the exterior of the bowls, the pair featured iron-red and green dragons racing and separated by downward-swooping phoenixes. Another iron-red dragon leaping amidst green flames was painted in the interior. The pair came from a Piedmont, Calif., estate. For more information, www.michaans.com or 510-740-0220.
CANAAN, CONN. – On July 8 State Line Auction Services conducted a Summer auction replete with fresh-to-the-market lots from several estates. When an 8Ã½-inch Rookwood pot from the Estate of George Fenn of Amenia, N.Y., was offered with a $200/300 estimate, many bids, mostly online, poured in, sending the final price to $2,040. The auction house says that the lovely Rookwood vase is going to a collector in Kentucky. For further information, 860-453-4370.
ONLINE – Headlining Skinner’s online Tribal Art sale, which closed July 11, was a Batak pair of male and female standing figures, which led the sale at $22,140, well in advance of their estimate ($2,5/3,500). In speaking after the sale, Skinner’s specialist, Michael Evans, attributed the success of the lot to the fact that the pair had provenance to both Sotheby’s and New York dealer Mathias Komor. The pair were acquired by an overseas collector. For information, www.skinnerinc.com.
ESSEX, UK – A rediscovered early landscape attributed to Lucian Freud (1922-2011), discovered beneath the layers of paint of another artist’s work, sold for $50,574 (converted from British pounds to US dollars at time of editing) at Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers on July 11. “A Suffolk Spring Landscape with Welsh Mountains Beyond,” 1939-40, oil on canvas, 20 by 24 inches and inscribed “Lucian” on the back (experts validated that the signature is indeed Freud’s), caused a media storm when conservation work revealed it from underneath a painting by British artist Tom Wright. The winning bidder – a private collector in the UK – successfully competed on the telephone against one online bidder, with the final hammer coming down at the painting’s high estimate. A full review of the sale will appear in a future issue.
MUNICH – While American auction houses generally stay clear of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Hampel Fine Art Auctions in Germany produced its own fireworks with a 1,000-lot sale. On a $100,000 high estimate, a 38-by-34 inch oil on board painting of “Risen Christ with Crucifix and Star-Shaped Halo,” attributed to Belgian artist Jan Sanders van Hemessen (1500-1575), took the top lot of the day at $256,000. For more information, www.hampel-auctions.com.
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