Published: October 12, 2021
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Pook & Pook
DOWNINGTOWN, PENN. – Modernism dominated at Pook & Pook’s Americana and International Sale on September 30 and October 1, when an Andy Warhol print of Mickey Mouse and bronze sculptural works by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, Elie Nadelman and Paul Manship swept the leaderboard. They joined strong results for tall case clocks, weathervanes and painted furniture set on the first day of the auction. Bidding took place online, on the phone, and by both absentee and in-person bidding. More than 5,600 bidders registered for the sale, from 39 countries on five continents. Of the 1,068 lots that were on offer, more than 98 percent traded hands successfully and the sale surpassed its high estimate when it achieved a total of $3,538,163.
We caught up with Jamie Shearer after the sale for his thoughts on how the sale did. “WOW – what a strong sale! Expectations were exceeded at regular intervals throughout both days. There was strong online bidding as well as an overwhelming number of anxious and determined bidders on the phone.”
Fireworks went off throughout the sale, but the biggest bang was realized on the second day of the sale, when a screenprint in colors and diamond dust of Mickey Mouse, done by Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) brought $196,800 from an international buyer bidding on the phone. Numbered 147 from an edition of 200, it was done for Warhol’s “Myths” series, a group of ten images of Twentieth Century pop culture, celebrity icons that Warhol believed replaced the gods and heroes of previous generations.
The second highest price in the sale was realized by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth’s (American, 1880-1980) “Crest of the Wave,” which rode a swell of interest to $147,600. Described in the catalog as one of her most iconic works, the example on offer was life-sized and stood 64½ inches tall; it had been acquired from New York City gallery, James Graham & Sons, in 2006. It sold to a trade buyer from New York City, bidding at Pook & Pook for the first time.
“Man’s Head” by Elie Nadelman (American, 1882-1946) was stamped F. Costenoble Fondeur Paris and had been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1975. A trade buyer from New York, bidding on the phone, topped it off at $116,850.
The lifetime estate collection of Charles West Wilson of Red Lion, Penn., provided several pieces of American furniture and clocks, many bringing the top prices on the first day. Leading the results was a pagoda-topped Federal inlaid mahogany musical clock from the estate of Charles West Wilson of Red Lion, Penn. Made circa 1790 with an inlaid eagle topping a case housing works by New York clockmaker, Effingham Embree, it flew to $92,250, going to a private collector from Pennsylvania, bidding on the phone, for more than three times its high estimate.
Making $59,040 from a Pennsylvania collector bidding online, a Chester County, Penn., walnut blanket chest with line and berry inlay was the highlight among regional furniture.
A rare copper butterfly weathervane ($56,580), a carved wingspread eagle with Wilhelm Schimmel ($29,520) and a Lancaster, Penn., painted dressing box, attributed to Jonas or Jacob Weber ($17,220), were some of the additional folk art lots that brought notably high prices.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium,
Pook & Pook’s next Americana & International sale will take place in mid-January.
For information, 610-269-4040 or www.pookandpook.com.
January 31, 2023
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