Published: May 7, 2019
Musical instruments of high quality tend to increase in value, as was evident at recent auctions across the United States. A Steinway Model S piano, 1941, struck a high $7,800 note at Litchfield County Auctions’ spring sale. Meanwhile, a 1962 Gibson custom electric double neck mandolin with four-string tenor guitar almost doubled the Steinway’s final price at Steeburgh Auctioneers in New Hampshire. Paintings by Nolin, Tait, and Lhote, as well as fine bowls, boxes and vases add to this week’s notable sales.
LITCHFIELD, CONN. – The top selling lot in Litchfield County Auctions’ (LCA) spring sale on April 17 was a Steinway Model S piano, 1941, that sold for $7,800. In excellent condition and offered with a wooden seat, the serial #305285 piano came to the block with a $5/9,000 estimate from one of the multiple New York, Maine, Connecticut and New Jersey estates that made up the auction. Now the online bidder who won the piano just has to figure out how to move it – but LCA will help with that. For information, www.litchfieldcountyauctions.com or 860-567-4661.
PROVINCETOWN, MASS. – James R. Bakker Antiques conducted its annual spring fine arts auction featuring property from local estates and private collections on April 20 at the Harbor Hotel Provincetown. A selection of masterworks from the Provincetown Art Colony were offered, and the sale set ten artist records, including one for a Provincetown favorite, Ray Nolin. His painting, “Henry Hensche and Ada Rayner’s Chairs” settled at $2,125. Originally from New Haven, Conn., Nolin (1959-2015) was a longtime Provincetown resident known for his paintings of local scenes, especially the dunes, as well as charcoal drawings, sculptures and painted cigar boxes. For information, 508-413-9758 or www.bakkerproject.com.
ST LOUIS, MO. – Modernism was on the map in Selkirk’s weekend auction on April 20, and a Swedish cubism landscape in vibrant hues by Andre Lhote (French, 1885-1962) was the choice destination, bringing $19,800 and beating its top estimate. “Stockhom 3,” an oil on canvas, signed upper left and titled verso, was archived in the artist’s catalogue raisonné being classified in 1947 and titled “Les Farmes Vues a Travers les pins” (Farms Seen Through the Pines). In 1950, the painting was part of the Stockholm Exhibition at Gallery Moderne and the reference Stockholm No. 3 was listed with the title “Paysage Rythme” (Rhythmic Landscape). It came from the collection of the late Ann Stringer, World War II reporter and wife of celebrated New York Times photographer Henry Ries. For information, 314-696-9041 or www.selkirkauctions.com.
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – Leland Little posted notable results from its April 13 gallery auction, with particular interest shown in the Asian decorative arts category, broadly represented by the major estates that were auctioned. One of these notable lots was an Eighteenth Century painted punch bowl that was bid to $3,600. With a multitude of figures, the bowl’s interior center features women seated in an outdoor pavilion having tea, the large border around them is filled with women engaged in leisure pursuits of calligraphy, playing music, reciting poetry and playing games. The smaller rim border above has many repeated figures under blooming trees, the exterior of the bowl has a brilliant blue and gold key border and below a continuous narrative painting of a court household. Measurements were 6¼ inches high with a 14¼-inch diameter. For information, 919-644-1243 or www.lelandlittle.com.
BEVERLY, MASS. – The April 27-28 sale at Kaminski Auctions kicked off with more than 300 lots of Chinese porcelains and bronzes, followed by a Sunday session featuring the estate of Christine Vining Smith, a longtime North Shore, Mass., resident and respected dealer. Kaminski’s Asian specialist, Bob Yang, put together the selection of Chinese porcelains, and the top lot for this category was a Nine Peach vase that sold for $21,600. Leading the weekend overall was a signed Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait American School painting of deer leaping away from a hunter and his dog (shown). It measured 25 by 35 inches and sold for $26,250. For information, www.kaminskiauctions.com or 978-927-2223.
MOUNT CRAWFORD, VA. – “Friday’s high lot, the Webb vase, was expected to do very well,” said Jeff Evans, of Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates following the firm’s spring antiques, fine and decorative arts auction on April 26-27. “Saturday’s high lot, a Caucasian scatter rug, was a surprise.” At Friday’s session, Eighteenth-Twentieth Century American and European glass from the estate collection of Eugene and Charlene Sussel, Rockville, Md., and others crossed the block, and the Thomas Webb Chien Lung carved cameo vase (pictured) went out at $28,000. The surprise Caucasian scatter rug on Saturday rose to $17,000. For information, 540-434-3939 or www.jeffreysevans.com.
DALLAS – Multiple bidders drove the price for Henning Koppel’s silver fish dish and cover no. 1026 for Georg Jensen: Cod Fish, Copenhagen, to $87,500, claiming top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions’ silver and vertu auction April 24. Designed in 1954, the streamlined dish is indicative of the style that has generated increased interest among collectors in works by Koppel. The dish, with its studied curve, thickening lips suggesting quality and weight and precisely fitted dome and base was thought to be impossible to create, and required roughly 500 hours for master silversmiths to create. Measuring 26¾ inches long, the dish weighs 176.91 troy ounces, and comes from a private Dallas collection. For information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
WOODSVILLE, N.H. – What jazz and swing musician wouldn’t want a versatile instrument like the 1962 Gibson custom electric double neck mandolin with four-string tenor guitar that sold for $14,690 at Steeburgh Auctioneers on April 24. The rare custom order instrument came with its original case and was a highlight in a sale that featured instruments, coins, silver, jewelry, furniture and accessories. For information, 603-303-3072 or www.steeenburgh.com.
LOS ANGELES – Bonhams’ modern design and art auction on April 24 yielded several fine results, with prices exceeding high estimates. One such lot was a rare enameled jewelry box by June Schwarcz (1918-2015) and Arthur Espenet Carpenter (1920-2006) that sold for $31,325, more than six times its $5,000 high estimate. It is the most ever paid for a work by Schwarcz sold at auction. The circa 1975 jewelry box in cherry, enamel, copper, is etched on underside “June Schwarz 557″ and “Espenet 6808″ and is 3¾ by 12¼ by 10¼ inches. For more information, 323-850-7500 or www.bonhams.com.
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