Published: April 23, 2019
In this week’s “Across The Block,” a rare log cabin remedy bottle sold with a high bid of $1,624 while a Kentucky Sampler topped the block for more than $5,000. Personal keepsakes raised interest from bidders as a royal hand bag once belonging to Princess Diana sold for $4,375 and a portrait miniature by Edward Green Malbone (American, 1777-1807) brought a price of $9,600. Monumental Sevres Urns, modern art and old Levi’s denim round out some of the remaining notables for the week.
KIRKWOOD, N.Y. – A 6½-inch-tall Log Cabin Cough and Consumption remedy in an amber, uniquely shaped bottle with three beveled panels and flat back label panel sold for $1,624 at McMurray’s Antiques & Auction. The absentee mail, phone bid cataloged auction of patent medicines, pills, tins, apothecary, drugstore and advertising items ended on March 30. The bottle bore “Pat Sept 6 87” on the base and a complete label. Terry McMurray said, “It’s only the second labeled example I’ve sold in 23 years, with the last one selling approximately three years ago for $1,250.” This is the smaller of the two sizes this remedy came in and it had a $600/800 estimate. For information, 607-775-5972 or www.mcmurrayauctions.com.
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – A highlight among a group of artworks at the Benefit Shop Foundation’s Red Carpet auction April 10 was a signed drypoint etching by German Expressionist Max Beckmann. “Two Dancing Couples (Zwei Tanzpaare)” fetched $10,880. The circa 1923 work measuring 17¾ by 11 inches led the auction and attracted much interest online and on the phone before selling to an online bidder. “He is known to have favored the scratchy texture of etching and drypoint, and this fine work embodies city life and leisure activities, a recurrent motif in his printmaking,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of the Benefit Shop Foundation. For information, www.thebenefitshop.org or 914-864-0707.
MONROE, CONN. – A pair of monumental Sevres urns were not the most expensive lot in Fairfield Auctions’ March 27 sale, but they were a big sleeper, bringing a commensurately high price of $26,400 against an estimate of $6/9,000. Described by owner Jack DeStories as “of exceptional quality,” one depicted a bacchanal scene, the other showed Hannibal on an elephant. They had been discovered in a Scarsdale, N.Y., estate and had apparently been in the same family since the 1920s or 1930s. The pair was bought by a trade buyer. For more information, www.fairfieldauction.com or 203-880-5200.
ASHBURN, VA. – An 1825 Kentucky sampler (shown) by Mary Rootes Thornton, stitched on a linen ground with two scripture quotes below the numbers and alphabet brought $5,120 at Oakridge Auction Gallery’s April 13 fine art, antiques and jewelry auction. Mary Rootes Thornton (McAboy) was born in Paris, Ky. (Bourbon County) on February 9, 1815, and died there in 1892. Another lot in the sale that exceeded expectations was a rare 6th plate daguerreotype of a Sioux woman, which was bid to $4,480, more than ten times its high estimate. For more information, 888-349-9910 or www.oakridgeauctiongallery.com.
PITTSBURGH, PENN. – Billed as an auction featuring property of a lady – the estate of Jane Holt Roesch – Concept Art Gallery’s April 13 sale featured a selection of American and European antiques, Oriental rugs, Chinese and Japanese antiques and more. What really got paddles waving was an antique Louis Vuitton steamer trunk, Lily Pons model, fitted for 24 pair of shoes, measuring 36 by 16 by 25 inches. This lot fetched $19,200. Roesch was married to William R. Roesch, the former chief executive officer of United States Steel. She traveled extensively with friends and created a successful fine arts business known as Merryvale Antiques in Shadyside. For information, www.conceptgallery.com or 412-242-9200.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – Michaan’s April 13 gallery auction offered abundant diamonds, a lush Bay Area landscape by an Italian painter, midcentury furniture by Gerald McCabe of Santa Monica and a massive red embroidered silk panel among the Asian art treasures. Among the many items in this eclectic sale, Edward Greene Malbone’s (American, 1777-1807) “Miniature of Peter Bours,” a painted portrait sealed in metal casing sold for $9,600. Born in Newport, R.I., Malbone was the most sought-after miniaturist of his day. His works are held by a number of institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gibbes Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. For information, 510-740-0220 or www.michaans.com.
LISBON FALLS, MAINE – After selling a pair of unworn Nineteenth Century Levis blue jeans for almost $100,000, Daniel Buck Auctions was contacted by people from coast to coast asking for assistance in selling their antique and vintage Levis. The firm’s April 13 auction proved that fervor remains strong for antique and vintage Levis and Lee jean pants and jackets. Among the sale’s notables: a rare pre-World War II-era Levi Strauss & Co. 506 denim jacket in unworn condition (shown) that sold for $34,925 and a pair of 1940s Levi Strauss & Co. 501 blue jeans in unworn condition with the original tags that sold for $18,150. For information, 207-407-1444 or www.danielbuckauctions.com.
NEW YORK CITY – On April 14, Auctions at Showplace presented selections from New York estates in a sale featuring fine art, sculpture, furniture, silver, jewelry, decorative art, and more. An abstract painting by Agustin Fernandez (Cuban, 1928-2006), “The Petite Skin Comparison 3,” realized $18,750. In 1959, Fernandez, a Cuban exile, moved to Paris, where he would remain for more than ten years, producing a series of erotic work. This one was signed and dated lower right “Agustin Fernandez 64,” inscribed on reverse “Agustin Fernandez / Si Petit Peau Comparasons 3….,” and measured 49 by 43¼ inches. For additional information, www.nyshowplace.com or 212-633-6063.
WINDSOR, N.Y. – Princess Diana’s evening bag with pearl and diamond-like button on the front, purchased from Harrods and containing a card inside stating that if the handbag is found it can be returned to Diana Spencer at Althorp, sold for $4,375 at Mid-Hudson Galleries sale on April 6. The bag was given to a staff member in the 1980s as it was going to be sent to a charity shop during a time when there was a clean-out of Lady Diana’s room by her stepmother Raine Spencer. This was sold by a staff member soon after receiving the item. Competitive bidding saw seven bids in total, with an internet bidder claiming the lot. For additional information, www.midhudsongalleries.com or 914-882-7356.
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