Published: July 2, 2019
Collectors of pop culture have been industrious as comics — even ungraded copies — continue to climb in price and original illustrations do the same. Rolex watches are right there, too, and surprisingly, so are a set of Mintons plates. All of these results and more in this week’s “Across The Block.”
DOVER, N.J. – Berman’s Auction Gallery said that its June 12 auction saw multiple lots selling at or above estimates. The top lot of the day was a ladies 18K Cellini Rolex watch that came with its original papers. After a flurry of bidding, the watch sold at $1,680. For information, www.bermansauctiongallery.com or 973-361-3110.
LOS ANGELES – The June 17 sale of Native American art at Bonhams was led by a rare Eastern Great Lakes quilled and beaded neck pouch, which realized $75,075. This pouch was likely collected by either the first Earl of Harrowby, Sandon Hall, Staffordshire, England, or his successor, both noted for being well-traveled collectors. For information, 323-850-7500 or www.bonhams.com.
DALLAS – Mary Blair’s “It’s a Small World” castle facade concept painting (Walt Disney, 1964) sold for $66,000 against a $10,000 high estimate at Heritage Auctions’ June 15-16 animation art auction. “It’s a Small World after all!” John Hench, artist, designer and creative director at the Walt Disney Company for 65 years, said of Mary Blair, “Walt really had an enormous respect for Mary’s taste. There were few people that he thought as much of. Nothing ever went wrong with her color styles. She was impeccable. No matter what she touched, it came out glowing!” This is an original 14-by-17-inch gouache on illustration board concept painting from the hand of Mary Blair (1911 – 1978) for the “Small World” outside façade. For information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
NEW YORK CITY – Beginning with classical Chinese paintings and continuing through collections of bronzes, ceramics, stone seals and teapots, Gianguan Auctions’ June 17 sale took collectors deep into their favorite categories. A group of ceramic consignments had at its top tier a Qing dynasty famille rose vase with peony motif that sold for $130,000. Its slender form with bulbous base and garlic head mouth was in perfect proportion to the 16-inch height. For information, www.gianguanauctions.com or 212-867-7288.
ALEXANDRIA, VA. – A set of 12 Mintons pate-sur-pate ivory-ground reticulated cabinet plates, circa 1900-05, picturing cavorting putti, took $23,750 at the Potomack Company’s sale series that closed on June 19. The plates have a gilt-printed crowned globe and impressed upper case marks, various impressed cyphers, 11 with signature for Albion Birks, each painted and hand-tooled in white slip with putti engaged in various pursuits, each within variously shaped and colored slip cartouches and a further ground of stars, diameter: 9¼ inches. For information, www.potomackcompany.com or 703-684-4550.
EDISON, N.J. – Among the more than 2,500 lots that crossed the block in a multi-estate auction conducted by Bodnar’s at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center on June 20, standing head and shoulders above all was a single-owner comic book collection of more than 300 comics purchased from a newsstand as a kid. And swinging high above these was Amazing Fantasy 15, marking the first appearance of Spider-Man. The ungraded comic book, fresh-to-the-marketplace, was bid to $36,800. For information, 866-349-7378 or www.bodnarsauction.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Dransy created the original incarnation of Nectar, the wine delivery man for the Nicolas firm, in 1922. When Charles Loupot was asked to continue the tradition of this iconic, well-established advertising image in 1927, he opted for a more modern Art Deco twist. He first gave Nectar a formal attire, but in this version, he goes back to the more proletariat vision of the delivery man – all the while paying homage to Nectar’s original creator (“d’aprés Dransy”). Loupot’s Nicolas, 1933, is the only known copy of the complete poster with letters, and it sold for $72,000 at Poster Auctions International’s sale on June 23. For information, 212-787-4000, www.posterauctions.com or www.rennertsgallery.com.
BELLOWS FALLS, VT. – Sharon Bocelli & Company’s June 23 auction consisted of 247 lots of antiques, fine art and accessories. Bagging a final price of $18,975 was an etching by Frank W. Benson (1862-1951), an image of hunting wild fowl, No. 37/50, sight size 10½ by 8¼ inches. It was pencil-signed lower left and numbered, initialed FWB in print lower right. This item came from the Weiner estate, Brookline Mass., a well-known, multi-generational antiques business that operated across from the state house in Boston for more than 100 years. “We had five phone bids, online bidding and inhouse bidding right up until the final hammer price,” said Sharon Bocelli. For more information, 802-460-1190 or www.sbauctioneers.com.
SANTE FE, N.M. – At Brian Lebel’s 30th annual Cody Old West auction on June 22 and 23, the top lot for the June 22 sale was the Edward H. Bohlin Dick Dickson Jr model silver parade saddle, which brought $26,500 (shown). The saddle, which was sold with a matching breast plate and bridle was made by Bohlin for John R. Dow of Kansas City, Mo. Following close behind in the two-day auction event was a lot with four artifacts related to the famous Texas gunfighter John Wesley Hardin, including two original signatures, collected together in a double-sided frame, which sold for $23,600.
For more information, www.oldwestevents.com or 480-779-9378.
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