Published: February 21, 2017
Whalers of yore relied on many things to bring home the oil: thousands of years of nautical exploration and cartographic study, quality instruments, daring leadership, years of training at sea and, not to be left out, some good, old-fashioned luck. Wishful good fortune has always been a staple in the sailor’s diet. Such is the case with a scrimshawed whale’s tooth at Skinner that bares the good message of success, luck and prosperity. The piece joins the top lots from Sotheby’s and Christie’s upcoming Impressionist and Modern art sales, as well as works from Dali and Sargent, a Nineteenth Century English cannon and more in this week’s picks.
March 4, 2017
Scrimshaw Whale’s Tooth Showing the Frances of New Bedford
Frederick Myrick, Nantucket, circa 1828–29, one side carved with banner reading “The Frances on the coast of Peru,” above the whaleship with crew hoisting the blanket piece aboard and three whaleboats at the bow, and motto “Death to the living long life to the killers / Success to the sailors wives & greasy luck to whalers” below, the other side carved with banner reading “The Frances on her homeward bound passage,” with lighthouse off the port bow, and inscription “Ship Frances of New Bedford” below, the tip carved on one side with crossed American flags, the other with an anchor and eagle clutching arrows and an olive branch, below a vine border, stars and banner inscribed “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” Length: 7¾ inches.
February 25, 2017
Chinese Gray Pottery Figure Of A Bicorn Beast
Possibly Western Jin dynasty, circa Third Century.
March 1, 2017
Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862–1918)
“Bauerngarten (Blumengarten),” oil on canvas, signed lower right. Height: 43¼ inches. Painted in 1907.
Estimate: ~$45 million
February 25, 2017
Scarce Experimental Whitworth Cannon on Ornate Carriage
This cannon, with its 49-inch tapered brass tube, is believed to be one of Joseph Whitworth’s early trial cannons. It features a hexagonal-rifled 1½-inch-diameter bore with large brass front sight. Brass trunnions cast on a block around the barrel, near the center. The tube is mounted on an ornately carved stepped teak wood carriage on wheels. The carriage features fine relief scroll carving on all four faces. The sides are shaped and the front has an inset panel. It is believed that due to the naval style carriage, it was used on the Maharajah of India’s yacht. It has four wheels with brass tread, held in place on wooden axles with wooden wedges.
March 2, 2017
“Orologi Molli” by Salvador Dalí
Watercolor on paper, 1960. Height: 14-5/8 inches. Signed and dated in watercolor and countersigned in ballpoint pen and blue ink.
March 10–12, 2017
“Adoration Of The Magi,” circa 1520–50, oil on oak panel, cradled and rounded top.
March 3, 2017
Paul Gauguin (1848–1903)
“Te Fare (La maison),” signed and dated, oil on canvas, painted in 1892. Height: 28-5/8 inches.
Estimate: $14.94/22.41 million
February 25, 2017
John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)
Oil on canvas, Portrait of Adolphe DeBary, son of Samuel Frederick DeBary and descended through the family since. Painted circa 1900.
February 27, 2017
Important Chinese/Tibetan Silk Dragon Robe (Chuba)
Eighteenth Century. Imperial yellow silk brocade dragon robe, Qing dynasty, silk on silk embroidery. This robe features eight five-claw dragons, three on the front, three on the back, one on each shoulder. Blue silk interior lining.
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