Published: March 6, 2017
Sir Ernest Shackleton was a seminal figure in the “Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration,” an era at the turn of the Twentieth Century that found explorers, geographers, sailors, scientists, poets and artists — anyone who volunteered, really — attempting to conquer and catalog the most inhospitable place on earth: Antarctica. In his 1914–1917 expedition to the frigid continent, Shackleton attempted to become the first party to complete a land crossing. His expedition quickly turned to a rescue operation when his ship, the Endurance, became stuck in an ice pack and was crushed and sunk. Shackleton set out in an open rescue boat for the nearest whaling island, leaving behind his 28-man party on the uninhabited Elephant Island. He returned for them, as promised, 137 days later, rescuing the men without casualty. An explorer’s watch engraved to Shackleton as a member of the Royal Geographic Society hits the block at Willis Henry, along with, an important Alamo document, a near perfect grade Babe Ruth game-used and signed baseball bat, a Hart’s Fulton stoneware butter churn and a Renoir painting, all in this week’s top picks.
March 18, 2017
Very Fine Explorer’s Watch, Engraved “Royal Geographical Society Sir Ernest Shackleton”
Herbert Blockley, circa 1900, double-sunk porcelain up/down indicator, dial engraved “Royal Geographical Society Sir Ernest Shackleton,” silver screw, 17-jewel mount, back case hallmarked “London 1907,” complete with original mahogany double-hinged case with key, 55mm case.
April 1, 2017
1937 Packard 115 Convertible Coupe
Original, unrestored car. One old repaint, no rust and very straight. Convertible top will need replacement. Fully serviced, runs and drives. Low windshield Detrich design, original 6 cylinder flathead with three-speed manual transmission.
March 24, 2017
William Barret Travis Autograph Document Signed, with Second Document Signed by John N. Seguin and Antonio Menchaca
One page, 7 ½ by 9 ½ inches, Commandancy of [San Antonio de] Bexar [Alamo]; February 21, 1836. The document refers to Travis’s plan to defend the Alamo from the anticipated attack of Mexican forces. Travis was warned of the planned invasion of Texas by the Mexican army of Santa Anna by San Antonio merchant Eugenio Navarro, who owned the wood referred to in Travis’s document. The document, endorsed by William G. Cook (1808–1847), quartermaster general, demonstrates Travis’s intention of compensating Navarro for providing the materials. The lot is one of the most significant Alamo documents that has survived.
March 17–18, 2017
Victorian Aesthetic Movement Specimen Top Table
Circular top inset with marble specimens, part parcel-gilt and ebonized stand, USA, circa 1870, 37 inches high.
March 25, 2017
Hart’s Fulton New York Five-Gallon Stoneware Butter Churn
Impressed “Hart’s/Fulton” with cobalt blue-decorated old man smoking a pipe. 17-1/8 inches high.
March 19, 2017
“Ètude de tête espagnol,” circa 1900, with Renoir’s estate stamp “R” lower left, oil on canvas laid on board, 7½ by 5-7/8 inches.
March 17, 2017
1931 Babe Ruth Signed Game-Used Bat (PSA 9)
A near-perfect example of a Ruth game-used bat, it is signed in strong fountain ink and has verifiable provenance — it is signed to Matty Martin, doorman of the Stork Nightclub, who was a close friend of Ruth’s and was personally given this bat. Thirty-five inches length and a little over 35 ounces, it matches factory records, center label branding is very crisp and clear as is the “George Babe Ruth” facsimile on the barrel. It is uncracked and shows very nice use with ball marks and green, gray and white paint transfers from being in the bat rack at various stadiums. The bat is graded by PSA as a GU 9.
March 25, 2017
Norman Rockwell (American, 1894–1978)
“Bedtime,” signed lower right, oil on canvas, 21 by 19 inches. The boy pictured on the lap of the woman is the son of John A. Chew. Chew and Rockwell were neighbors in New Rochelle, N.Y., in the 1920s and had become lifelong friends. Rockwell would sketch and illustrate advertisements for Chew’s company. This painting is the cover for Literary Digest issue, Vol. 76, No. 13, March 31, 1923. After the painting was complete, he gave it to Chew as a gift; it has been owned by the Chew family since 1923.
March 11, 2017
Martiros Seregeevich Sarian (Armenian, 1880-1972)
“Persian Still Life,” dated 1913, tempera on canvas, signed lower right, dated 1913, 21-7/10 by 29-1/10 inches.
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