Published: September 3, 2019
An interesting array of notable lots come in play this week, starting with the one and only — Babe Ruth. A less than perfect photograph of The Babe, wearing his Red Sox uniform, was the top lot when it sold at $37,200 at Heritage Auctions’ August 23 Vintage Sports Photography sale. Bidders took aim on August 26, closing on a Creative Art engraved round action single-trigger over and under ejector shotgun by Glasgow gunmaker David McKay Brown for $24,500. Art collectors were active at Kensington Estate Auctions’ August 26 sale, taking Richard Hambleton’s original “Shadow Man” painting home for $21,000. More details on these and others below.
DALLAS – At Heritage Auctions’ August 23 Vintage Sports Photography auction, a charming albeit slightly marred photograph of Babe Ruth, wearing his Red Sox uniform, was the top lot when it sold at $37,200. Titled “1919-20 Babe Ruth Sold to Yankees Original News Photograph,” it shows a youthful image of the great Bambino, clad in the flannel of the Boston Red Sox and striking a southpaw pitching pose, but it is the caption on reverse that is even more compelling. It trumpets, in all caps: “BABE RUTH SOLD TO YANKS FOR $125,000.” Yes, indeed – this is a photo that accompanied the reporting of a transaction that would shift the baseball world upon its axis. As Heritage said in the catalog, “In light of the enormity of the significance, the distractions of a three-hole punch and a chipped lower left corner fall away.” A bidder clearly agreed. For information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4814.
AUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND – A Creative Art engraved round action single-trigger over and under ejector shotgun by Glasgow gunmaker David McKay Brown sold for $24,500 on August 26 at Gleneagles Hotel. The event was Gavin Gardiner’s annual auction of modern and vintage sporting guns. An online bidder won the gun, which the maker confirms was completed in 2006 and was engraved by Creative Art. For information, +44 1798 875300 or www.gavingardiner.com.
TURNER, MAINE – At Charles M. Talbot Associates’ Summer estate auction on August 20, an album of 43 Civil War officers of the 44th Regiment of Massachusetts was the top lot of the day with a final price of $3,600 (Charles M. Talbot does not charge a buyer’s premium). The auction was conducted at Talbot Farm, Poplar Hill, and the album was one of the first from a large collection of Civil War photography and ephemera. For information, 207-225-3797 or www.ctaauctions.com.
NEW YORK CITY – Auctions at Showplace’s August 25 sale saw particularly strong results for American silver, including pieces by brothers John and Joel Sayre, two silversmiths active in New York City and Long Island between 1778 and 1818. Topping the sale was a baroque manner English sterling silver repoussé large centerpiece (shown), circa 1894, that commanded $15,600. Three pieces by New York silversmith Joel Sayre (1778-1818), included a pair of sweet meat dishes, $3,300; a round footed salver, $2,040; and a set of four gilt-silver salts, $1,920. For information, www.nyshowplace.com or 212-633-6063.
CLARENCE, N.Y. – There were more than 700 lots in Schultz Auctioneers’ August 24 sale at its facility. Crossing the block at $11,500 was bucolic Wolf Kahn (b 1927) landscape painting. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Kahn immigrated to the United States by way of England in 1940. In 1945, he graduated from the High School of Music & Art in New York, after which he spent time in the Navy. Under the GI Bill, he studied with renowned teacher and Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, later becoming Hofmann’s studio assistant. Kahn regularly exhibits at galleries and museums across North America, and his works are held by many institutions. For information, 716-759-2260 or www.schultzauctioneers.net.
COPAKE, N.Y. – Bringing the top price at Copake’s auction on August 24 was a landscape painting by John Wells James (1873-1951) that realized $7,646. The work, which depicted a mountain landscape with figures and buildings, had been estimated at $3/4,000, saw considerable competition and went to a collector on the phone. Proceeds from the sale of the lot were to benefit Restore-Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, N.Y. For information, 518-329-1142 or www.copakeauction.com.
HATFIELD, PENN. – Bringing one of the top prices at Alderfer Auction’s August 22 sale was a Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair and ottoman, which sold for $8,750. Estimated at $3/5,000, the angular teakwood frame was upholstered in the original hunter green tweed upholstery and bore a retailer’s mark, “Povl Dinesen Cabinet-Maker 7 Madvigs Alle Copenhaven V. Denmark.” It was purchased by an online bidder. For information, 215-393-3000 or www.alderferauction.com.
LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – The top lot in Rago Auctions’ two-day unreserved sale August 24-25 was a contemporary conference table estimated at $1,5/2,000 that realized $11,875. The custom-made 12-foot-long table by City Joinery for Architectural Research Office had a top of sawn walnut and legs of blackened steel. It opened at $750 and received 44 bids, finally selling to an online bidder. For information, 609-397-9374 or www.ragoarts.com.
CLINTONDALE, N.Y. – Richard Hambleton’s original “Shadow Man” painting brought the top price at Kensington Estate Auctions’ August 26 sale when it realized $21,000. Estimated at $6/9,000, it was accompanied by a photograph of the artist and had been acquired directly from him. The work saw competition from phone and internet bidders but ultimately sold to an absentee bidder who had not been able to attend the sale. After the sale, a representative for the house said that there is keen interest in the works of Richard Hambleton. For information, 917-536-3748 or www.kensingtonestateauctions.com.
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