Published: October 15, 2002
NEW YORK CITY — Was the elephant trade sign offered at Christie’s on Wednesday, October 9, a portent of things to come? If not an indication of prevailing electoral winds, the carved and painted wooden artifact certainly demonstrated that whimsical folk art on a large scale can command top dollar. Underbid by Connecticut dealer Allan Katz, the 57- by 79-inch figure sold to Massachusetts dealer David Wheatcroft for $113,525 against an estimate of $30/50,000.
“It seems to be modeled after a print, possibly a circus poster,” Wheatcroft said of the advertisement for John M. Dyckman Boots & Shoes, by oral tradition a Peekskill, N.Y., retailer. “The boots on the elephant give it a nice touch of humor.”
Christie’s 277-lot auction of Important American Furniture, Silver, Prints and Folk Art realized $1,352,805 including premium.
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