Published: March 5, 2019
During a moment of rare amphibian vulnerability, Kermit the Frog coined the phrase, “It’s not easy being green.” But the stunning Lalique jade green Alicante vase at a recent Bonhams auction challenged that outlook with a double-whammy: selling for twice its estimate and setting a record for the model. Other notable lots share the stage in this week’s “Across The Block,” including a Robsjohn-Gibbings table that beat its estimate 10 times over, jewelry from the estate of Barney’s and a piece of American history in an Abraham Lincoln handwritten Gettysburg Address draft print.
LONDON – A jade green Alicante glass vase, designed in 1927, sold for $50,000 at Bonhams Knightsbridge on February 20, doubling its initial estimate. The vase made an auction record for the model. The sale of the large private collection of masterpieces by glassmaker René Lalique, assembled during the past 20 years, made a total of $745,000, Said Bonhams department director of Twentieth Century decorative arts Mark Oliver, “This is a landmark sale for Bonhams, and we are delighted that the Alicante vase made an auction record. The high prices achieved for our sale show the sustained demand that René Lalique’s timeless pieces still command.” For information, +44 20 7393 3900 or www.bonhams.com.
HYDE PARK, N.Y. – A great Hudson Valley step back cupboard, discovered in an unoccupied Dutch stone house in Ulster County, N.Y., was the subject of intense interest at Hyde Park County Auctions on February 16. The early to mid-Eighteenth Century cupboard with a large cornice over two glass doors, each with nine original lights, over two solid raised panel doors mounted on its original Queen Anne shaped base, in a grungy, old white paint over the original blue/green paint came to the block with a $3/4,000 estimate – the interest translated into bids, and the 73½-inch-high-by-64½-inch-wide cupboard sold at $46,000. For more information, 845-471-5660 or www.hpcountryauctions.com.
DETROIT, MICH. – DuMouchelles conducted a three-day auction on February 15-17 encompassing antique furniture, decorative arts, silver, art glass, paintings and sculpture. It was in the painting and sculpture categories that the top lots were found, each bringing $62,000 after strong bidding from across platforms. On February 16, a 32½-inch bronze leaping gazelle by Marshall Fredericks (1908-1998) was the first to reach the $62,000 mark. It was followed the next day by an oil on canvas of the sailing vessel “Loch Etive” by Montague Dawson (1890-1973). In its period or original gilt frame, the painting shows the Loch Etive, the 15th vessel built for the famous Loch Line of Glasgow. For information, www.dumoart.com or 313-963-6255.
MEDWAY, MASS. – If life is a carnival, Coyle’s two-session estates auction on February 9 at the VFW Hall served up the perfect mascot in the form of a carved wood Running Rooster carousel figure with glass eyes and hinged head. Standing 56 inches high, stripped of paint and exhibiting some repairs, the figure sold for $4,830. For information, 774-571-8263 or www.coylesauction.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Collectors and fans of jewelry by Linda Lee Johnson (1944-2018) turned out for Doyle’s two-day auction of her estate on February 19-20. Property from the estate comprised 199 lots, and all 199 lots sold, with a majority selling well over their estimates. Jewelry that reflects the sculptural quality and tactile finish that are the hallmarks of her designs was exemplified by a group of high karat gold pieces. Highlights included a gold Linden Leaf cuff bangle enhanced with glittering diamonds that achieved $8,750, far above its estimate of $2/3,000. For information, 212-427-4141 or www.doyle.com.
WINDSOR, CONN. – Midcentury modern, antiques, collectibles and toys all paraded across the block at Nadeau’s Auction Gallery on February 23. A live steam train model (shown), with locomotive and coal tender stretching 41 inches long, part of a train collection, chuffed past its $500-$1,000 estimate to arrive at $7,620. Other highlights included a Max Kuehne (1880-1968) signed modern coffee table at $6,100 and a Herman Miller leather lounge chair and ottoman, signed, that settled at $3,050. For information, 860-246-2444 or www.nadeausauction.com.
LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – An octagonal extension dining table sold at ten times above its $1/1,500 estimate at Rago’s unreserved February 24 auction. The 30-by-60-inch bleached walnut table by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb, Grand Rapids, Mich., circa 1950s, had two 22-inch leaves and sold for $10,625. For information, 609-397-9374 or www.ragoarts.com.
WESTPORT, CONN. – A gold medal given to the widow of Lieutenant Commander George W. De Long, who commanded the ill-fated arctic expedition aboard the USS Jeannette in 1879, sold at Westport Auction February 24 for $22,800. Eight gold metals and 25 silver medals were struck by the Philadelphia Mint in commemoration of the expedition, which ended with death for 20 of the 33 original crew members. For more information, www.westportauction.com or 203-222-3448.
NEW YORK CITY – One of six copies of the “Hay’s Manuscript,” which is itself one of six handwritten copies of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”, sold at Guernsey’s February 20 sale for $17,500. Five copies of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” were given to the president’s close associates prior to and after his speech. Lincoln’s own “Battlefield Draft” is the sixth handwritten draft thought to exist, though it has never been found. The “Hay’s Manuscript,” which is held by the Library of Congress, was given to Lincoln’s aide John Hay and contains editorial revisions in Lincoln’s hand. Six copies were authorized in 1905 and were photographed from the original manuscript. Guernsey’s said that the book had been in the same hands for 90 years. For information, www.guernseys.com or 212-794-2280.
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