Published: June 4, 2019
Fine and contemporary art were big sellers in this week’s Across The Block. The top lot at Shapiro Auctions’ May 18 sale was a painting titled “The Volga,” estimated at $75/95,000, it more than doubled to a final price of $200,000. A John Singer Sargent watercolor, “Bologna Fountain” soared past its estimate to sell for $183,000 while a contemporary painting by Jim Dine titled “9 Little Flesh Paintings,” sold for $33,750. Other notable sales include a Nineteenth Century Bru Jne No. 2 doll that sold just shy of $13,000; a Chinese garment that rang in at $20,400 and a Grateful Dead concert poster that brought bidding to life for a final gavel pounding of $56,4000.
NEW YORK CITY – “We sold a fabulous Bob Kane painting at our sale on May 19,” said Keith Lebel of Auctions at Showplace.” Among a selection of artwork, Kane’s (1937-2013) “Luncheon on the Balcony,” 1973, was bid to $1,875. Signed lower right “Kane,” with an Ankrum Gallery label attached to reverse with artist information, the 32-by-43¾-inch oil on canvas came from the collection of actor Ron Rifkin, acclaimed for his work on and off Broadway, including a 1998 Tony Award for his performance as Herr Schultz in the musical revival of Cabaret as well as numerous movie credits. For information, www.nyshowplace.com or 212-633-6063.
BOSTON – Skinner’s May 10 auction of American and European works of art saw a curated two-session sale of prints, multiples and photographs followed by paintings, sculpture and drawings. Participation was brisk with more than 1,000 registered bidders from the United States, Central America, United Kingdom and Europe competing online, by telephone, in the room and via partner platforms. Top lots in the auction included two watercolors by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). “Bologna Fountain” (shown), a small watercolor and gouache, titled and dated to 1909, soared past its estimate to sell for $183,000. A slightly later Sargent watercolor, dated 1913, of an “Olive Grove” reached $86,100. For information, 617-350-5400 or www.skinnerinc.com.
GENESEO, N.Y. – Cottone Auctions rocked the collectibles category on May 18 when a Nineteenth Century Bru Jne No. 2 doll with blown paperweight eyes, pierced ears, bisque shoulder and arms, composition body and original clothes bested its $5/8,000 expectation to bring $12,980. The successful bidder was not deterred by a slight bit of loss where the earring rubs on left earlobe and minute spot of loss to the top left eye socket on the 13-inch-high doll. For information, 585-243-1000 or www.cottoneauctions.com.
ST LOUIS, MO. – For the well-dressed court official, a Chinese mid-Twentieth Century garment was bid to $20,400 at Selkirk’s May 18 spring gallery auction. Alive with well-embroidered medallions having cranes with two peaches centering meandering patterns of clouds, bats, blossoms and longevity symbols, the garment’s cuffs and extremities were further embroidered with crashing waves and the eight auspicious symbols atop a bed of clouds and imperial striping. From cuff to cuff, it measured 72 inches long; from neck to tail, it was 55 inches. For information, 314-696-9041 or www.selkirkauctions.com.
HARRISBURG, PENN. – Cordier Auctions conducted a specialty auction of coins, jewelry, watches and sterling on May 18, which featured an Emile Jacot key wind pocket watch that was bid to $475. These early examples ranged from the Sixteenth to the latter part of the Nineteenth Century and required a watch key in order to wind the watch and set the time. The firm’s full-time professional staff comprises licensed auctioneers, certified appraisers, business and marketing managers and specialists. For information, 717-731-8662 or www.cordierauction.com.
BALTIMORE, MD. – A rare, museum-quality 1966 Grateful Dead “Skeleton and Roses” concert poster brought a world record price of $56,400 in an online auction conducted May 16 by Psychedelic Art Exchange. The poster had been independently authenticated and graded as 9.8 out of 10 for condition. The poster was designed by concert poster artists Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse. It was used to promote two Grateful Dead concerts – September 16 and 17, 1966 – at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco. The famous “Skeleton and Roses” design would later be appropriated by the band as its logo. For information, www.concertpostergallery.com or 435-659-1660.
BOONTON, N.J. – A nine-panel painting by Jim Dine (b 1935) titled “9 Little Flesh Paintings,” 1959-60 (shown) tied for top lot at the Millea Bros May 16-18 auction when it sold at $33,750. A large-scale painting by Carlo Alfano (1932-1990), 1973, was the other top lot in the three-day auction event. Both paintings sold on day two of the modern and contemporary art, design and photography auction and both were from the collection of Ileana Sonnabend. For information, 973-377-1500 or www.milleabros.com.
MOUNT CRAWFORD, VA. – A pressed lacy princess feather medallion and basket of flowers compote / dish on foot sold at more than five times its high $2,000 estimate at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates’ May 22 sale of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century glass and lighting. A brilliant purple blue made by Boston & Sandwich Glass Co, 1840-45, the shallow, oblong dish with shaped even scallop rim, raised on an eight-lobe Leaf pattern standard stands 6¼ inches high. A previously unrecorded example recently discovered in California, it sold for $11,950. Jeffrey Evans said, “it had damage to the base; otherwise, it would have probably sold for $30,000 or more.” For information, 540-434-3939 or www.jeffreysevans.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Leading Shapiro Auctions’ May 18 sale was a painting titled “The Volga” by Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatov (Russian, 1876-1945). The wintry scene, which had been exhibited at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute in 1926, retained its original exhibition label and inspired heated international interest. Estimated at a healthy $75/95,000, it brought $200,000, selling to a private Russian collector who was competing with other Russian collectors on the phone. Speaking after the sale, Gene Shapiro said, “As auctioneer, I was pleased to see that the Russian market is getting healthier.” For information, www.shapiroauctions.com or 212-717-7500.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm