Published: July 31, 2018
Great items in this week’s Across The Block, as a Grateful Dead poster displayed the band’s continued relevance, along with the early English book The Great Herball Newly Corrected. Many others scored big as well.
BOSTON – Demonstrating that when a piece is very rare, the condition is less relevant, a Tekke Torba rug from early Nineteenth Century Turkestan achieved $7,320 against an estimate of $500-$1,000 in Grogan & Company’s July 18 auction of Oriental rugs and carpets. The 3-foot-8-inch-by-1-foot-6-inch rug came from the collection of Joan and E.B. “Ned” Long. For information, 617-720-2020 or www.grogan.com.
BOSTON – On July 20, Skinner offered about 200 lots from the Howard Knoll collection of early English books, mostly printed in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Topping the sale was The Great Herball Newly Corrected, by Thome Gybson, printed in London, 1539. Only three copies are known in the United States, and the last copy, which was incomplete, was sold at auction in 1949. It described 270 natural substances derived from plants, animals and minerals, mostly of use to medical practitioners. For information, 617-350-5400 or www.skinnerinc.com.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – One of the top selling lots in Eldred’s July 17 sporting art sale was a circa 1890 swimming ring-necked or ring-bill drake by Sunrise, La., carver Nicole Vidocovitch. The decoy, which had been consigned by a private collector for an estimate of $7,5/9,500, was a rare example of a Louisiana decoy and generated considerable interest among buyers, who fought it out to close at $20,400 to a private collector bidding by telephone. For information, 508-385-3116 or www.eldreds.com.
DALLAS – The Grateful Dead has enjoyed enormous popularity for decades, and that held true in Heritage Auctions’ entertainment and music memorabilia auction July 21. Collectors snapped up 19 lots from the iconic band, including a Grateful Dead concert poster, first printing, signed by designers Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley FD-26 (Family Dog, 1966). Numerous bidders pursued the poster, driving the sale price to $37,500 (against an estimate of $1,000) to make it the auction’s top lot. This is from the first printing of this classic poster and incorporates an illustration taken from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The 14-by-20-inch poster advertises a series of Grateful Dead shows in September 1966 at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco. For further information, 877-437-4824 or www.ha.com.
CANAAN, N.Y. – One of the surprise lots at Ralph Fontaine’s July 22 Heritage auctions was a white-painted iron fountain, signed “Fiske.” According to Ralph Fontaine, it had come from the grounds of a Long Island estate. Carrying an estimate of $6/8,000, it made a splash with buyers, who competed until it closed at $13,225, going to a private buyer. For information, 413-442-2537 or www.fontaineheritage.com.
LITCHFIELD, CONN. – An immense Nesle emerald green glass 18-light chandelier taken out of a 1920s manor house in Katonah, N.Y., lit up the bidding at Litchfield Auctions’ Interiors & estates tag sale on July 21, selling for $12,500. It had been purchased from and originally installed by Nesle in around 1960. For information, 860-567-4661 or www.litchfieldcountyauctions.com.
ONLINE – At Heritage Auctions’ July 22 internet comics, animation and art auction, Kaja Foglio “Magic: The Gathering,” Arabian Nights “Shahrazad” card painting (original art) and card (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) blew away auction expectations when it sold for $72,000. This card has the distinction of being the only non-conspiracy card that does not require an ante that has been banned in “Type I/Vintage” and “Legacy” play. This 7-by-5½-inch image from the Ethan Roberts estate collection is done in oil on illustration board and is signed in the lower right corner of the image by the artist. For information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
ST. LOUIS, MO. – It was a welcome surprise. Selkirk Auctioneers auctioned off a collection from Murray College July 21, and among the offerings was a 2-1/8-inch-high Yongzheng doucai bowl. The small bowl dated to Eighteenth Century China and came with a wide $2,5/7,500 estimate, an indication that something could be in store for the lot. That assumption turned out correct when the lot sold to a Chinese bidder on the Invaluable platform for $62,500. The bowl featured the six-character Yongzheng mark and thin double lines inside the base and around the rim. For more information, 314-696-9041 or www.selkirkauctions.com.
LARCHMONT, N.Y. – The $55,000 result was 61 times the $900 high estimate that Clarke Auction Gallery put on a near pair of bronze Guanyin figures mounted as lamps in the firm’s July 22 sale. The finely done figures featured a deep and dark patina with metal inlay to the robes. The taller measured 17¼ inches high and featured character marks to the back. For information, www.clarkeny.com or 914-833-8336.
MONROE, CONN. – Fairfield Auctions is on a hot streak with numismatists, as an assorted lot of Italian coins brought $12,000 in the firm’s July 18 sale. The lot featured a high estimate of $1,200 and included 13 silver coins and 12 small gold coins of different lire denominations from an abandoned safety deposit box. The firm had an assorted coin lot in its prior May 23 sale go four times the high estimate as well. For more information, www.fairfieldauction.com or 203-880-5200.
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