Published: October 30, 2018
Competitive bidding was a motivating factor in our latest auction highlights with final sales doubling and quadrupling their estimates. At Cottone Auctions, a car enthusiast called in to drive the final sale for a 1933 Auburn 12-161A to more than double its estimate, while a set of Jasper Johns’s “Cicada” raced ahead of its expected $500,000 to close at more than $1 million. A set of chairs from the Lincoln White House, that sold at more than four times expectations, shares the spotlight with other notable bids in this week’s Across the Block.
GENESEO, N.Y. – One of the top lots of Cottone Auctions’ October 20 sale was a 1933 Auburn 12-161A that had been in the collection of Russell Laidlaw, an electrical engineer from Cornell University and one of the head engineers at General Motors. The estimate of $50/80,000 generated considerable interest, and the car finally closed to a phone bidder, who drove off with it for $108,100. For information, 585-243-1000 or www.cottoneauctions.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Sotheby’s fall auction of prints and multiples concluded on October 22 with a total of $11.9 million. In all, more than 300 works by artists spanning the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries were sold across four auction sessions that commenced on October 18. A rare and complete set of Jasper Johns’s “Cicada” (ULAE 215) from 1981 soared to $1.2 million – more than double its high estimate of $500,000. The screenprints illustrate Johns’s iconic crosshatch motif across an array of complementary colors. Prior to this sale, a complete set of “Cicada” had not appeared at auction since 1997. For more information, 212-607-7000 or www.sothebys.com.
WOODBURY, CONN. – Among items of special interest in the Americana portion of Schwenke Auctions’ October 10 sale was a rare set of 12 Gothic-influenced “Lincoln White House Chairs.” Coming to the block with a $2/3,000 estimate, the set was purchased for $12,065. Commissioned by US President James Polk from Joseph Meeks & Sons (American, active 1797-1868), circa 1840, the original 24 chairs upholstered in brocade fabric were used in the dining room in the White House during the Lincoln administration, and four are still in the White House collection. For information, 203-266-0323 or www.woodburyauction.com.
CLINTONDALE, N.Y. – An original acrylic and mixed media on paper work titled “Shadow Man” by Richard Hambleton (1954-2017) loomed larger than its estimate of $3/5,000 at Kensington Estate Auctions’ October 15 sale. The work had been acquired directly from the artist and the lot included a photograph of Hambleton signing it. Bidders came after this from all corners, with an international buyer bidding online and winning it for $23,279. For information, 917-536-3748 or www.kensingtonestateauctions.com.
WOODSVILLE, N.H. – A great variety of antiques gathered from homes and estates crossed the block at Steenburgh Auctioneers on October 10, including items from the Jacobs and Pike families of Pike, N.H. “Our auction went great,” reported Josh Steenburgh, “400 lots sold – smalls performed very well. We sold a model #3 Howard & Davis banjo clock in rosewood for $2,310.” For information, 603-303-3072 or www.steenburgh.com.
VESTAL, N.Y. – Choice items primarily from an old estate in Brookfield, N.Y., and a Cornell professor’s estate in Ithaca, N.Y., were marquee lots offered by Mapes Auctioneers & Appraisers in an antiques estate auction on October 16. One the sale’s highlights was a Pairpoint lamp with hummingbird and rose decoration that darted to a final price of $1,600. For information, 607-754-9193 or www.mapesauction.com.
LITCHFIELD, CONN. – A Chinese low table with removable circular glass top significantly outperformed its $600/900 estimate to reach $5,500 from a bidder who was on the phone in the tri-state area, according to Litchfield Auctions. The firm’s Asian art and interiors sale took place on October 20. The Nineteenth Century table featured a round watercolor under glass with a mountainous landscape, pagodas and figures, plus inscription and seals at upper right. For information, 860-567-4661 or www.litchfieldcountyauctions.com.
WILLOUGHBY, OHIO – In 1922, Roald Amundsen departed from Seattle for Alaska on the steamship Maud. On board was a Junkers J13 airplane in which he intended to fly over the North Pole to Spitzbergen. The plane crashed on a test flight, ending the expedition. North Pole stamp collars in the same colors of the US 1¢ to 4¢ postage stamps of the period were issued by the expedition to be placed on the envelope and then the postage on them. The center collar had an error with ARI instead of AIR. In an October 20 live and online stamp auction, Fusco Auctions saw two unused collars, along with two flight covers, reach $767. For information, 440-975-8938 or www.fuscoauctions.com.
BOSTON – The top lot at Skinner’s October 13 sale of European furniture and decorative arts was a pair of early Eighteenth Century George II gilt-gesso mirrors that had been consigned from a private collection in Florida. The pair was in relatively good condition but nonetheless had losses to their gilding and silvering, among other condition issues and had been conservatively estimated at $2/4,000. Skinner had interest on both sides of the pond and after heated bidding, the pair sold for $20,910 to a buyer bidding via absentee bid. For information, 617-350-5400 or www.skinnerinc.com.
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