Published: January 16, 2018
Holiday entertainment and good old-fashioned commerce joined forces once again inside auction halls around the United States as sales that are traditionally conducted during the period around New Year’s – and shortly after – assembled a year-end trove of estate treasures, personal collections and the rare oddity to cross the block.
The photos on the following pages showcase these and other notable items auctioned at sales that were conducted December 29 to January 7.
Fetching $15,000 at Kaminski’s annual New Year’s auction, December 29–30, in Beverly, Mass., was this set of Christofle sterling silver flatware in case totaling 142 pieces, approximately 269 troy ounces.
Kaminski Auction had a successful annual New Year’s auction December 29–30 in Beverly, Mass. A recently discovered midcentury painting soared to $84,000. It was a Nicolas de Stael abstract painting of a reclining nude that had been purchased at a Palm Beach house sale and consigned to the New Year’s auction. The 8-by-10½-inch framed “Blue Nude,” circa 1955, oil on paper, exceeded the $30/50,000 estimate, with several European phone bidders and many more registered to bid on the internet bidding platforms.
An oversized Kittinger world globe on stand brought $8,000 at Kaminski’s annual New Year’s auction, December 29-30, in Beverly, Mass. It was estimated at $2/3,000.
Ringing in the New Year at Mooney’s January 2 auction, a National Cash Register no. 584107 with a nine-drawer tiger oak base sold for $3,120. The nickel over brass register, in fine working order with original keys, had the original top sign with name of the store: Taylor & Jones. It sold just above its $2/3,000 estimate at the East Durham, N.Y., auction gallery.
At Mooney’s January 2 New Year’s special auction, with some 250 carefully chosen lots at the gallery in East Durham, N.Y., this R.J. Horner formal partners’ desk with winged griffins, carved lion heads and birds sold for $4,080.
Mooney’s Auction conducted its annual special New Year’s auction on January 2. With a good crowd at the East Durham, N.Y., gallery and online bidders, a Handel signed table lamp reverse painted Persian border sold for $3,360. Standing 25 inches tall, stamped on collar was Handel Lamps pat’d no. 979664; the base had Handel Lamps label, and the highly textured ice chip shade measured 18 inches in diameter.
William Jenack Auctions conducted an estate sale on the last day of December 2017 in Chester, N.Y. Many items sold well above estimates, including a Nineteenth Century Chinese carved Hongmu framed dressing mirror, 97 inches high and 57 inches wide. The large mirror had a $2/3,000 estimate, but that did not deter bidders from pushing the final price to $13,570.
On December 31 in Chester, N.Y., a Chinese embroidered Mandarin rank badge, inset in a hardwood tray, came up for bid at William Jenack’s auction with a $160/250 estimate. Kevin Decker of William Jenack said that most likely it was a late Ming Imperial General Badge, and therefore garnered a great deal of interest until it sold at $9,440.
A 60-inch adjustable daybed, Hans Wegner teak for Getama, Gedsted, Denmark, realized $4,484 at William Jenack’s December 31 sale in Chester, N.Y. The daybed came to the auction block at this end-of-year event with an estimate of $1,8/2,500, but, as was the case with many lots, it sold well above estimate.
On Thursday, December 28, Soulis Auctions, conducted its 10th annual year-end antique auction at its Lone Jack, Mo., gallery. Leading the day was an Albert H. Potter & Co. 18K repeater watch in very good cosmetic condition, that sold at $12,095. Although the movement was seized, the engine-turned hunter’s case with ornate embossed date of 1890, Roman numerals with sunken seconds bit and signed Albert H. Potter & Co, Geneva, far surpassed its $1/2,000 estimate.
Soulis Auctions’ 10th annual year-end antique auction on December 28 featured more than 1,000 lots and two auctioneers. There was excitement in Lone Jack, Mo., when a large (82 inches tall) American oak jeweler’s regulator tall clock sold at $3,304, despite having a replacement crown in its oak case.
A signed first edition of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind realized $2,360 at Soulis Auction on December 28. Signed by the author in ink, dated May 1936 on the copyright page and with a later jacket, the book was one of more than 1,000 lots at the Lone Jack, Mo., auction house’s 10th annual year-end sale.
This B. Haas, Geneva & Paris 18K gold minute repeating chronograph pocket watch with triple complication and perpetual calendar was a high flier at Schmidt Antiques’ New Year’s Day gallery auction on January 1 in Ypsilanti, Mich. Finishing at $19,200, the timepiece featured high-quality movement jeweled through the hammers, under a glazed cuvette, DSD with Roman numerals. Four subsidiary dials indicate month (four-year cycle) date, day of the week and moon phase.
Fetching $12,000, this Loetz feather Phanomen glass vase, 1902, of chalice form with a silvery iridescent feather motif on a mottled green and gold ground, was a choice lot at Schmidt Antiques’ New Year’s Day gallery auction January 1 in Ypsilanti, Mich. The vase’s décor is reminiscent of Titania and it is 9¾ inches high.
Schmidt Antiques’ New Year’s Day gallery auction on January 1 in Ypsilanti, Mich., was led by Angel Botello’s (Spanish, 1913–1986) bronze sculpture titled “Mother and Child,” depicting a mother holding a child in her arms. The sculpture with incised signature Botello, Cast #5 verso, stood 38¼ inches high overall and sold for $43,200.
Among the approximately 350 lots crossing the block on January 1 at Meissner’s Auction, New Lebanon, N.Y., this rare Miller 1830s ship dial tall case clock was notable, going out at $2,660.
On January 1 in New Lebanon, N.Y., Meissner’s Auction offered an early New York state house carved bench. The 1870s piece with high back and spread-wing eagle and shields was a tour de force and brought $5,800.
Bringing $1,400 was this Georg Jensen sterling tumbler at Meissner’s Auction estate antiques sale on January 1 in New Lebanon, N.Y.
A lot of two 1861 scarce Confederate Montgomery notes finished as the top lot in Foster Auction’s January 1 sale in Newcastle, Maine, fetching $16,100. Only 1,606 notes were issued on each: a T-3 $100 note with railway train at center, of which there are only 165 known, and a T-4 $50 note with slaves hoeing in center, 163 known.
A rare, almost uncirculated to uncirculated US 1861 six-piece coin collection went for $9,775 in Foster Auction’s January 1 sale in Newcastle, Maine. The set included a one dollar, half dollar, quarter dollar, dime, half dime and 3-cent piece. The lot sold to a floor bidder.
A fine Nineteenth Century cigar store Turk figure was the subject of heated bidding at Copake’s annual New Year’s day sale as it went on to sell for $10,620. The figure, on original base with first coat paint, stood 66 inches high with his right arm outstretched, grasping a bushel of tobacco leaves in his hand. It sold to the internet.
The top lot of Copake’s annual New Year’s Day sale was the only piece of Modern art amid a sea of antiques. But it was not just any old abstract, it was an oil stick on paper titled “Bird of God” by the late American Neo-Expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Copake has sold five of these to date from the same consignor, with this one fetching $12,980.
A case can be made that Louis Vuitton trunks last forever, as evinced by the constant bidding fervor that descends upon them whenever they cross the block. The trunk at Time & Again Auction Gallery’s January 1-2 New Year’s sale was no different, finishing as the second highest lot in the sale at $12,600. The piece was in good condition and came from the collection of dealer Harvey Sacks. It sold to a phone bidder.
A nice market comparison was presented at Time & Again Auction Gallery’s January 1-2 New Year’s sale, as a Regency mahogany wine cistern that was attributed to Bellows crossed the block for the second time in four years. The piece, which had originally sold in a Christie’s June 2013 sale for $8,750, achieved a better price this time around, fetching $9,920.
A pair of Nineteenth Century dore bronze figural torchieres were the top lot of Time & Again Auction Gallery’s January 1-2 New Year’s sale, as the duo went to an in-house bidder for $15,730. The torchieres depicted a pair of dancing putti at the base and rose to an alabaster covered top with a bronze flame finial.
A sweet song was in the air at Hudson Valley Auctioneers’ New Year’s Day sale as a 1951 model S Steinway & Sons grand piano finished as the top lot at $7,200. The clean example was bought by a Westchester retail bidder who wanted the instrument to play themselves. The lot came with a Steinway lyre back mahogany piano chair.
Bidders were kept in waiting, much like the subjects of the work in question, to see what was in store for an endearing oil on canvas painting titled “Cats & Mouse!” signed by English painter and illustrator Horatio Henry Couldery, which went on to bring $3,840 in Hudson Valley Auctioneer’s January 1 sale. The 15½-by-24-inch painting depicted a family of four cats staked outside of a mouse hole in the kitchen wall, their collective eyes unwavering in their attention to the hole. The work sold to a floor bidder who took it home the same day.
A Barye signed bronze horse galloped across the block in Hudson Valley Auctioneer’s New Year’s Day sale, as it sold to a floor bidder for $4,800 following competition from the internet. The total height of sculpture on base measured 13 inches. A similar example of the sculpture, titled “Turkish Horse,” with its left foot raised is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A 2008 Disney Pirates of the Caribbean pinball machine was the top lot of Duane Merrill & Co.’s December 30 estate auction as it bounced its way from bidder to bidder before selling for $3,300 to the internet. The machine was manufactured by Stern Pinball Inc, and followed on the heels of the release of the third installment in the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which premiered in 2007.
A group of Nineteenth Century glass flew high at Duane Merrill & Co.’s December 30 estate auction as it went on to sell for $2,875. The group, which included three decanters, a tankard and a bowl, was led by the latter, which turned out to be an early example of Pittsburgh Glass. “We had suspected that it was,” said Duane Merrill, auctioneer, following the sale. “And it was certainly made clear by the result.” It sold to a phone bidder.
The Philip & Kelvin Laverne Chan table was a notable lot at the January 1 “Le Grand” auction at Thos. Cornell Galleries, Bellport, N.Y., going out at $4,375.
“Le Grand” auction, conducted on January 1 at Thos. Cornell Galleries, Bellport, N.Y., continued the firm’s 40-year tradition of presenting an annual New Year’s Day auction with items drawn from major estates. Another tradition continued as the gallery served a complimentary catered champagne brunch to its patrons. Offered was a collection of singing bird boxes, including this unusual double bird box that realized $5,000.
Achieving $3,500 in James R. Bakker’s annual December fine arts online-only auction that closed on December 30 was Nicoletta Poli’s (1958–2014) “Race Point,” an oil on canvas.
Arthur T. Hutchins (1887–1919), “Passing Ships,” oil on canvas, realized $2,438 in James R. Bakker’s annual December fine arts online-only auction that closed on December 30.
Provincetown, Mass., auctioneer James R. Bakker’s annual December fine arts online-only auction closed on December 30, topped by Nancy Ferguson’s (1872–1967) “Provincetown,” an oil on panel that sold for $8,250.
A big single-owner collection was the focus at Paul Arsenault’s gallery on January 1 in Hebron, Maine. The top lot from Rangeley, Maine, was this painted folk art twig stand, 26 inches tall, with the top measuring 13 by 13 inches. Red and green decoration commanded the center of the table and red decoration was on all corners and sides. The pointed looking teeth go all around the stand and are painted red, green and black. In amazing condition and a great find for any collector, the stand went for $4,290.
This Victorian oak corner china cabinet earned $1,540 at Paul Arsenault’s gallery on January 1 in Hebron, Maine. The 1880s cabinet measured 40 inches wide, 76 inches tall and about 20 inches deep. The top of the china cabinet has three beveled mirrors and a carved crest in the very center with matching lions on both sides. The cabinet also has a carved center leg with claw feet. On the back is marked J.L. Libby furniture store, which is probably where the cabinet was purchased.
A rare ornate fireplace fender with dogs on both ends drew a final price of $1,430 at a single-owner collection sale conducted by Paul Arsenault on January 1 in Hebron, Maine. This fender, circa 1890–1910, is adjustable and will extend on both sides by sliding out.
Three hundred bidders attended George Cole Auctions’ January 6 sale in Red Hook, N.Y. One of them bought this two-volume limited edition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s works, #8 of 10 edition, for $1,322. It was the second-highest selling lot in the sale.
Despite sub-zero temperatures outside, bidding inside George Cole Auctions’ January 6 sale in Red Hook, N.Y., was fast and furious. The top lot was this Persian carpet measuring 5 feet by 9 feet 11 inches. It sold for $1,437 to a retail buyer in the audience.
Bidders from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York City flocked to Red Hook, N.Y., on January 6 to attend George Cole Auctions’ sale. Phone bidders from as far away as North Carolina, Florida and California were on the phone. A retail customer on the phone won this Gustave Stickley two-door bookcase, which sold for $747.
Trade signs are always popular, as proven at Ingraham & Co. Auctions on January 1. Antique barber poles brought a range of prices, $400- $1,500, in Coventry, Conn.
Any sale that can bring $1,700 for an antique cast iron sewing machine should be considered a success. Bruce Ingraham of Ingraham & Co. Auctions said he had more than 100 left bids and a full house of more than 150 registered bidders at his January 1 sale in Coventry, Conn.
Two of these vintage medical skeletons brought $900 and $1,200 at Ingraham & Co.’s January 1 auction in Coventry, Conn.
The top lot at Nest Egg Auctions’ December 30 sale in Berlin, Conn., was a photo and negative archive from photographer Shepard Sherbill. With significant presale interest, it opened at $10,000 and continued with very determined floor bidders until it reached $30,680, ten times its low estimate.
Nest Egg Auctions in Berlin, Conn., had more than 2,000 participating online bidders for its December 30 sale; one of them got this Black Forest dog carving, which was attributed to Walter Mader, for $10,455.
Berlin, Conn.’s Nest Egg Auctions had standing room only for its December 30 Gala New Year’s Auction. Phone bidding was clearly the way to go for the winner of this pair of amberina American brilliant cut glass wines, which made nearly six times their low estimate to finish at $5,900.
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