Published: May 14, 2019
Sought-after paintings account for a good part of this week’s notable lots across the United States. A bidding war for contemporary artwork by Kaï cleared $100,000, a world record for the American street artist. Multiple bidders competed for Patrick Nagel’s untitled acrylic on canvas while a work titled “Une Maison de fleur,” by Haitian artist Hector Hyppolite sold for $20,000 over its high estimate and a contemporary piece from actor Ron Rifkin’s collection brought $37,500 at Showplace in New York City. On a musical note, bidding for a 1949 vintage Martin acoustic guitar opened at just $5 but ended at a more believable $7,280. These and other sales of interest will keep you reading through this week’s top lots.
MIAMI, FLA. – Paintings and sculptures were offered at auction on April 23 in the Miami Design District FAAM as it presented 65 artworks, including Latin American, Cuban, European and American paintings and sculptures. The tension peaked when a bidding war started for contemporary artwork by Kaï, part of the young Street Art generation. His emblematic character once again included at the center of the mixed media artwork on concrete charmed its audience and sold for a $100,000, a world record for the American artist. Overall, the auction house sold more than two-thirds of the lots presented. Its next auction will be conducted in September. For information, www.faamiami.com or 305-573-4228.
DALLAS – Multiple bidders competed for Patrick Nagel’s untitled acrylic on canvas painting until it nearly doubled its high estimate, selling for $137,500 to lead Heritage Auctions’ illustration art auction on April 23. The 39-by-29-inch image continues a surge of enormous popularity for works by the artist. It was reproduced on page 123 of Nagel: The Art of Patrick Nagel by Patrick Nagel, as well as in a limited edition serigraph (silkscreen print) titled “Gina.” For more information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. – A Keith Haring wood cut was in the mix at Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries when it conducted a diverse auction on April 27. Shaped like a dog and painted, signed on the back “K. Haring” and dated ’84, the 40-by-28-inch piece easily jumped past its $2/4,000 estimate to a final price of $10,000. For information, 914-882-7356 or www.midhudsongalleries.com.
HATFIELD, PENN. – A 1949 vintage Martin acoustic guitar struck the right chord with bidders at Alderfer Auction’s April 25 musical instruments sale. The model 000-21 had serial number 112599; a natural finish; a vintage hard case; and appeared to have the original tuning machines, no cracks in back, sides or top and typical wear. Bidding opened at just $5 but ended on a high note of $7,280, going to a private collector bidding on the phone. For more information, 215-393-3000 or www.alderferauction.com.
PHILADELPHIA – Coming to the block on May 5 with an estimate of $20/40,000 at Material Culture’s Art 360, fine, folk, Outsider and ethnographic art auction, a 22½-by-29-inch oil on cardboard by Haitian artist Hector Hyppolite (1894-1948) sold at $62,500. Titled “Une Maison de fleur,” the circa 1947 painting was pictured in Life Magazine (page 61) issue of September 1, 1947 and was ex collection of Dr and Mrs Raphael Bazin; PDC Brands, Connecticut (formerly Parfums de Coeur). For information, 215-438-4700 or www.materialculture.com.
SWANSEA, MASS. – Leading Great Oak Auction Services’ April 30 sale was a Handel lamp that sold for $5,750. The lamp lit up the saleroom with five phone bidders and as many as four in-house bidders. Speaking after the sale, the firm’s auctioneer, Ray Lynch, said, “It ended up with an in-house bidder as the underbidder, with the phone bidder securing the lamp by bidding $5,000 when the asking bid was $4,800. I think the in-house bidder got the message that the guy on the phone was serious about buying the lamp!” For information, 508-493-0412.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – “Impression of a Violinist,” an oban-tate-e Japanese woodblock print by Koshiro Onchi, sold for $6,000 on a conservative $400/600 estimate at Eldred’s on May 2. Titled, signed, dated 1946, seal-marked and numbered 7/25 on self-printed label, the print had provenance to the Helen and Felix Juda collection of Japanese Modern and contemporary prints. For information, 508-385-3116 or www.eldreds.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Auctions at Showplace has been presenting auctions featuring items from the collection of stage and screen actor Ron Rifkin, a native New Yorker who has garnered acclaim for his work on and off Broadway. Off-screen, Rifkin has been recognized for his refined taste in art and design. He and his wife, Iva, inveterate collectors, amassed an impressive collection of Midcentury Modern furniture, paintings, photographs, art pottery and glass and other decorative arts. At Showplace’s May 5 auction, the firm sold a contemporary painting by Caio Fonseca (b 1959) from the Rifkin collection for $37,500. “Pietrasanta C06,” a mixed media on canvas, inscribed, signed and dated in pencil on reverse, measured 52 by 72 by 2 inches. For information, www.nyshowplace.com or 212-633-6063.
SARASOTA, FLA. – Freedom Auction Company partnered with the Circus Historical Society (CHS) to present the first global offering of circus memorabilia by the organization on May 4, in conjunction with CHS’ annual convention. The CHS typically conducts an internal club auction with items available to those participating in the convention meetings. Sarasota’s own Freedom Auction Company presents regular circus memorabilia auctions, and the partnership came together through efforts of both parties. Featuring items offered by the historical organization, including both consigned items and estate-related material, the sale was led by an original, porcelain medallion worn as part of a elephant headdress by “Tonka,” who was with the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey show in the final years. It sold for $11,400. For information, www.freedomauctions.com or 941-725-2166.
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