Published: August 27, 2019
This week presents lots that broke their high estimates by leaps and bounds, and at least one that you can’t quite load into the back of your car or have shipped to your home — because it is a home. The top lot this week goes to a bidder from Nebraska who paid $920,000 for a house designed and built by iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright — great deal for the bidder since the home had been on the market for 11 months at $1.65 million. Moving back to lots much smaller in dimension but big in our hearts, a Tibetan gilt-bronze seated bodhisattva found a new home with a final price of $60,000 at Michaan’s. At Amero Auctions, a Keith Haring original mixed media artwork brought a considerable price above its $2/3,000 estimate, selling for $30,750 despite presenting in a less than perfect condition. Read on for the results of a Buffalo Bill rifle, a Qing Dynasty censer and more.
KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) – A bidder from Nebraska has paid $920,000 for a house designed and built by iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Kansas City Star reported that Heritage Auctions said the new owner wants to remain anonymous for now, but the bidder plans to honor the integrity of the Sondern-Adler house that sold on August 12. Wright designed the home in 1939 for Clarence Sondern. He designed a later addition for the second owner, Arnold Adler. Heritage Auctions spokesman Eric Bradley said the winning bidder plans to keep it a national or regional destination. The home had been on the market for 11 months at $1.65 million. Bidding began at $450,000. Bids quickly soared to $775,000, with the Nebraska bidder on the phone going head-to-head with a representative for a local bidder. For information, 214-528-3500 or www.ha.com.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – August may be a great time for beach reading, weekend getaways and back-to-school shopping, but auction buyers know it’s also a good time to discover great finds at Michaan’s. There were several notable results at the firm’s August 10 gallery sale, the highest price going to a Tibetan gilt-bronze seated bodhisattva (pictured), which went out at $60,000. A large Chinese blue and white Arabic Inscribed jar was bid to $7,800, and a circa 1890 “Indian Princess” figure attributed to Samuel Anderson Robb, a Scottish-born shipwright/carver who emigrated to New York in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century, earned $19,200. Robb’s cigar store figures are recognized and prized by discerning collectors. The carved wood sculpture had been owned by one family from the 1920s to the present. For information, 510-740-0220 or www.michaans.com.
CRANSTON, R.I. – An Eighteenth Century Chinese Qing dynasty bronze tripod censer sold for $30,000 August 17 at Bruneau & Company. Coming to the block with a $3/5,000 estimate, the antique censer, which was used to burn incense to honor ancestors, purify the air or cure ailments, bears the Xuande mark, stands 5 inches high and is 4¾ inches in diameter. From the collection of a Warwick, R.I., gentleman, the front and underside are impressed with character seal mark. For information, 401-533-9980 or www.bruneauandco.com.
SARASOTA, FLA. – A Keith Haring original mixed media artwork brought a considerable price despite presenting in a less than perfect condition. Consigned from a Florida estate, the ink / charcoal / crayon on heavy paper drawing had been stored unframed for some time, and its condition issues were clearly pointed out. Amero Auctions offered it on August 11 in its Sizzling Summer Fine Art and Antiques auction to an excited audience. Absentee, phone and internet bids were swiftly received by auctioneer Alan Amero. Despite an estimate of just $2/3,000, the Haring finally found a new home with an internet bidder for a final price of $30,750. For information, www.ameroauctions.com or 941-330-1577.
WINDSOR, CONN. – Nadeau’s Auction Gallery might have set a record for a modern folding card table when it achieved $4,445 for a table with shiny brass legs and a black leather top with ornamental stylized fleur-de-lys. The top lot in Nadeau’s August 17 sale came from an unidentified estate from Fifth Avenue in New York City and had been estimated at $200/300, but more than 30 bidders upped the ante, and an internet buyer had the upper hand. After the sale, president Ed Nadeau said the table was not marked. For more information, 860-246-2444 or www.nadeausauction.com.
CLAREMORE, OKLA. – An 1864 J.M. Stevens & Co presentation rifle engraved “from Buffalo Bill to Night-Hawk & Broncho Bill” (shown) scored a bull’s-eye for $18,125, and a pre-1845 S. Hawken Kentucky half-stock walnut rifle rang out for $15,000 in an auction conducted July 26-28 by Holabird Western Americana Collections, at the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum. About 2,400 antique firearms from the private collection of J.M. Davis, spanning multiple conflicts and generations, were offered in the three-day event. The Buffalo Bill Cody rifle was one of J.M. Davis’s prized possessions. It was on display at the Mason Hotel in Claremore until about 1968-69. For information, 775-851-1859, 844-492-2766 or www.fhwac.com.
EPSOM, N.H. – Remember the days when there was free air for your car’s tires at gas stations around the United States? The successful bidder for a gas station air pump (shown) at George Foster’s August 21 antiques and collectibles did, nostalgia taking it to $1,100. The full-day auction, conducted under tents, dispersed a trove of furniture, pottery, glass and china, jewelry, sterling silver, paintings, toys and more that had been gathered from some 25 local estates. Also sold were a 1935 Ingo bike for $600, a Texaco serviceman’s hat for $475 and a men’s room key for $45. For information, 603-736-9240 or www.thecompleteauctionservice.com.
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Among the striking lots at the Benefit Shop Foundation’s Red Carpet auction August 14 was a folky antique and hand-carved wood doll mannequin. It brought more than four times its high estimate, going out at $608. The 15-inch-tall doll has articulated arms and a nice surface patina commensurate for its age. “Primitives are highly appealing, and this folky doll is a beauty who no doubt had a long and successful career as a model for a doll clothesmaker,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of the Benefit Shop Foundation. “She’s got folky charm in spades.” For information, www.thebenefitshop.org or 914-864-0707.
NEW YORK CITY – Christie’s August sale of Interiors on August 22 totaled $2,331,375 with 89 percent sold by lot and 92 percent sold by value. The sale attracted a high volume of online bidding, with 59 percent of all lots won or directly underbid by clients participating online. The sale saw global participation with registered bidders from 43 countries. The top lots of the sale were André Masson’s (French, 1896-1987) Histoire de Thésée, which realized $125,000 against a high estimate of $7,000, and a Victorian silver tête-a-tête service mark of Elkington & Co., Birmingham, 1879, which sold for $68,750 above a high estimate of $5,000. For information, 212-636-2000 or www.christies.com.
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