Published: April 30, 2019
They say timing is everything, and that held true for two lots in this week’s “Across The Block.” An Austrian KPM porcelain mantel clock sold above its $35,000 high estimate at Rago’s Remix: Classic + Contemporary auction, finishing at $46,875. At Skinner’s Clocks, Watches and Scientific Instruments auction, an early Rolex ticked across the block for $32,000. Other lots of notable interest include a Lincoln portrait, a vintage Motorola Catalin radio and a sundry of fine art and comics that made for active bidding.
LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – An impressive Austrian KPM porcelain mantel clock sold well above its $35,000 high estimate on April 13 at Rago’s Remix: Classic + Contemporary auction when it finished at $46,875. With an enamel dial surmounted by Chronos and flanked by a sphinx and cupid, raised on scrolling base, the circa 1900 30½-by-37-inch clock featured printed and incised marks. For information, 609-397-9374 or www.ragoarts.com.
HATFIELD, PENN. – Alderfer Auction offered a large collection of Catalin and Bakelite radios at its April 10-11 vintage radio and clock auction. L. Ranae Gabel of Alderfer’s said, “It was an awesome vintage radio auction [and] it was a lot of fun.” The top lot was not unexpected when a Motorola Catalin radio, Model 51X16, with an S-grill in black with red grill and handle sold at $4,500. An extremely rare example and coloring scheme, the circa 1941 radio started at a modest $25, but an internet bidder jumped the bid immediately to $850 – 21 bids later, it sold to a competing bidder. For additional information, 215-393-3000 or www.alderferauction.com.
MARLBOROUGH, MASS. – An early Rolex with a glossy black dial, called an “Explorer,” reference 1016 wristwatch, circa 1963, sold for $31,980 at Skinner’s April 12 clocks, watches and scientific instruments auction. By descent from its original owner, with patinaed indices and 3-6-9 numerals, lollipop sweep stainless steel case with center seconds, Mercedes hands and signed crown, the watch featured a Rolex signed jubilee bracelet and sold well above its $8/10,000 estimate. For information, 508-970-3000 or www.skinnerinc.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Swann Galleries’ April 16 auction of printed and manuscript Americana featured a selection of Mexican imprints and manuscripts, state material and items relating to the Civil War and US President Abraham Lincoln. Following up on the sale of the Harold Holzer collection, Lincolniana was a top offering, including an 1865 oil portrait of Lincoln – a copy of the last rendered from life – by Matthew Henry Wilson, which sold for an above estimate $55,000. Wilson (1814-1892) was the last artist Lincoln sat for. He secured several sittings with the president in February 1865, and also made use of a February 1865 photograph by Alexander Gardiner. The portrait was commissioned by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, who paid Wilson $85 on April 12, three days before Lincoln’s death. For more information, www.swanngalleries.com or 212-254-4710.
SAN FRANCISCO – Robert de Vaugondy’s massive Atlas Universel, 1757-58, bound in period full mottled calf with 108 engraved double-page maps led the way in PBA Galleries’ travel, exploration, world history and cartography auction on April 18. The volume was notable for including the five “post-road” maps at the end, which are present only in some copies, and brought $9,600. For information, 415-989-2665 or www.pbagalleries.com.
ALEXANDRIA, VA. – Albert York’s “Pink Roses, an oil on panel measuring 10½ by 10 inches (pictured), was bid to $118,750, three times its high estimate, in a series of auctions conducted by the Potomack Company, April 13-17. In 1995, Calvin Tompkins wrote in The New Yorker that York “may be the most highly admired unknown artist in America.” According to The New York Times, York “painted only about 200 to 250 works in his lifetime. Most are in private collections and museums. Also notable was a Civil War inkstand from Appomattox that sold for $26,250. For information, 703-684-4550 or www.potomackco.com.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – On April 5, Garth’s Auctioneers and Appraisers conducted its Eclectic Auction. Fetching $4,688 and grabbing top lot status was a pair of KPM Art Nouveau vases. From Germany, fourth quarter of the Nineteenth Century, the mottled blue-green vases featured heavily enameled floral decoration and gold trim, blue scepter and red orb and KPM marks. They stood 11 inches high. For information, 740-362-4771 or www.garths.com.
FRANKLIN, MASS. – The calendar said spring, but bidders’ hearts were still after winter scenes at Woodshed Art Auctions April 4 sale. Finishing at $4,225 was Emile A. Gruppe’s (American, 1896-1978), “Winter Forest Landscape,” an oil on canvas, signed bottom right, in the original black oak frame with Constitution Galleries, East Gloucester label verso. For information, 508-533-6277 or www.woodshedartauctions.com.
CRANSTON, R.I. – Billed as a major cataloged and unreserved comic and auction, Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ April 20 sale, comprising more than 475 lots, was led by Marvel Comics Incredible Hulk #181 from November 1974, which sold for $4,075. The book featured the first full appearance of Wolverine and a Wendigo appearance. For information, www.bruneauandco.com or 401-533-9980.
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