Published: August 13, 2019
The top lot among the highlights this week set an artist record at Bonhams’ August 6 sale. Joseph Raphael’s painting, “Tea in the Orchard,” went to a final bidder for $548,075, and found itself in the company of six more world record setters that included Chester Beach, Barbara Beretich, Charles Griffin Farr, Raimondo Puccinelli, Po-Pin Lin and Francis Sinnett. Staying within the record-setting activity, a contemporary oil painting by Stephen Fox sold for $10,800. And not a record, but a high nevertheless, Tan Choh Tee’s Chinatown scene sold for $15,500 at Sarasota Estate Auction. If you’re in the mood for famous signatures, check out the rare baseball signed by Henry Ford and a “Yellow Submarine” pencil drawing signed by all four of the Beatles. These and more in this week’s “Across The Block.”
LOS ANGELES – The August 6 sale of California and western paintings and sculpture at Bonhams achieved seven world auction records for artists, including Joseph Raphael, Chester Beach, Barbara Beretich, Charles Griffin Farr, Raimondo Puccinelli, Po-Pin Lin and Francis Sinnett. The top lot of the sale was Raphael’s painting, “Tea in the Orchard,” which realized $548,075. Painted circa 1916, this work is considered one of the artist’s best post-Impressionistic paintings. The work also has distinguished provenance, having been donated to the San Francisco Museum of Art by the avant-garde collector Albert M. Bender. The 173-lot sale achieved a total of $2.3 million. For information, 323-850-7500 or www.bonhams.com.
CHICAGO – Selections of pop culture ephemera left a lasting impression on bidders at Potter & Potter’s July 27 pop culture sale. A “Yellow Submarine” production pencil drawing signed by all four members of the Beatles reached $7,800. This piece was acquired in 1981 from the photographer Vincent Zuffante. The autographs were collected during a time of great personal conflict among the band members, and as such, getting them to all sign the same item was almost impossible. Zuffante accomplished this with strategic folds, hiding the other autographs from each signer. For information, www.potterauctions.com or 773-472-1442.
COPAKE, N.Y. – On July 27, Copake Auction conducted an unreserved estate auction with selected additions that featured Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century furniture, artwork, folk art, period accessories, china, glass, stoneware, primitives and more. A gilded grasshopper weathervane on stand took flight and landed at $3,540. The vane stood 20½ inches high and was 37 inches wide. For information, 518-329-1142 or www.copakeauction.com.
SARASOTA, FLA. – It was summer fine art and Chinese works on offer at Sarasota Estate Auction on July 28. The sale featured works from Syd Solomon, a collection of sculpture from Sun Yu-Li and Will Grant lucite, among others. A high point of the event came when Tan Choh Tee’s (b 1942) Chinatown scene (Singapore) sold for $15,500. Signed and dated bottom right and signed and titled verso, the 29-by-34½-inch oil on canvas depicts a view of Chinatown between Temple Street and Trengganu Street in Singapore. It came from a private Sarasota collector. For information, 941-706-3910 or www.sarasotaestateauction.com.
LOS ANGELES – A baseball signed by Henry Ford sold on August 8 for a record $23,985 at Huggins & Scott Auctions. It was just the second baseball signed by Ford to be offered at auction. In 2016, a Ford-signed baseball sold for $15,000. The Ford Motor Company had custom-made baseballs produced for the Chicago’s World’s Fair in 1933-34 to commemorate the city’s centennial. The Ford Motor Company issued baseballs with the “1903 Ford 1933 Safety Glass Exhibit” logo stamped on the balls. The balls also featured an Art Deco “V8” logo promoting the V8 engine the Ford Motor Company introduced the previous year. Ford signed the commemorative baseballs for students at the Ford Trade School in New York City on December 16, 1933. For information, www.hugginsandscott.com or 301-608-0355.
TOWSON, MD. – Fifty lots of vintage Leica cameras and accessories brought thousands at Alex Cooper’s August 8 auction. The sale featured scores of jewelry and heaps of silver at the block, but a single-owner collection of Leica cameras and accessories shone the brightest. The collection achieved just shy of $30,000 for the camera consignor. Some of the highest achieving pieces were a 1969 Leica M2 black camera body for $1,600; a 1965 Leica MD camera with lens and lens cover for $2,500; and a 1968/69 Leica M4 with Leitz Summilux Lens for $4,750 (shown). Alex Cooper will continue to sell a second portion of the sizable collection in its September 12 auction. For information. www.alexcooper.com or 410-828-4838.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – One of the top lots at Garth’s Auctioneers and Appraisers’ August 9 Eclectic Auction was a lot of three automobile-themed shaving mugs that sold to an online bidder for $2,000. The price achieved was well in excess of the $150-300 estimate. The mugs were all American, circa 1900, two with transfer-print decoration, the third hand painted with muted colors of Auto Express. For information, 740-362-4771 or www.garths.com.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – An oil on canvas painting from Anne Packard (b 1933) was the top lot of Eldred’s 163-lot August 7 contemporary paintings sale when it sold for $11,750. Titled “Anchored,” the work was executed in 2003 in Provincetown, Mass., and measured 25 by 30 inches. The painting featured a quiet, solemn scene of an anchored sailboat on still waters amid a dense, gray fog. For more information, www.eldreds.com or 508-385-3116.
NEW YORK CITY – A highlight from Showplace’s August 10 sale was a contemporary oil painting by Stephen Fox (b 1957) that sold for $10,800. “Distant Rumble,” 1985, is an oil on canvas nocturne with train tracks, signed and titled verso with OK Harris (NYC) gallery label, 33 by 70 inches. “The presale estimate was $2/4,000, and from what we can tell online, this sets a new auction record for the artist,” said auction house specialist Keith Lebel. “There was much interest, and in the end, the painting sold to a phone bidder.” For information, 212-633-6063 or www.nyshowplace.com.
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