Published: March 20, 2017
There is, and always has been, a tremendous value placed upon bewilderment, amazement and entertainment. Those who can make us believe in the impossible are owed a great deal of gratitude and, when money is no object, jewels. In 1903, when a Russian royal took kindly to Houdini’s great spectacles, his wife, Bess, was presented with a stunning crown-shaped brooch with 70 jewels set in good, Russian gold – to show thanks, of course. A crown of jewels for the queen of magic joins a Harvard president’s Massachusetts highboy, icons, porcelain, paintings and more in this week’s picks.
Sale Date: April 8, 2017
Bess Houdini’s Diamond and Gemstone Brooch
A gift from Russian royalty, circa 1903. A 14K gold crown outline, encrusted with 39 old mine-cut diamonds, 17 round sapphires, 14 round rubies and a single emerald. On a 19-inch gold twist chain. Brooch 29mm by 39mm. Studio photographs depict Bess donning the piece both soon after she obtained it and decades later, following Harry’s death. She presented the brooch as a gift to her close friend Geraldine Larsen, with whom, in 1939, she formed Magigals, an organization for female magicians. The organization’s top prize at its annual awards banquet became the “Houdini Award” — a pin modeled in part after this very piece. In all the intervening years, the piece has remained in the Larsens’ collection.
Sale Date: April 2, 2017
Quincy Family Queen Anne Carved Mahogany Bonnet-Top Highboy, Boston Area
In two parts, the upper section with open bonnet and three turned finials above a case of three aligned drawers, the central with fan carving, over four long graduated drawers; the lower section with long drawer above three aligned drawers, the central with fan carving, and a skirt with acorn drop-pendants, raised on turned legs with bold pad feet, 87½ inches high. According to a letter accompanying the highboy and a Quincy family genealogical chart, the Massachusetts highboy was inherited by Josiah Quincy (1772–1864) and it came from the “Old House.” Josiah Quincy, active in Federal and Massachusetts state politics, served as president of Harvard University from 1829 to 1845.
Sale Date: April 7, 2017
A Fine Pair Of Royal Doors
Greek, Kreta, second half of the Seventeenth Century, tempera on wood panels. Finely executed on a gold ground. The upper register representing the Annunciation, the lower frieze showing the two equestrians, Saints George and Demetrios, facing each other. The wooden doors, carved, gilded and polychrome. Minimally restored.
Sale Date: April 1, 2017
Nippon “Dancing Frogs” Porcelain Humidor
Twentieth Century, 6½ inches high.
Sale Date: March 29, 2017
Set of Six Scottish Composition Golf Ball-Form Salts With Silver-Plated Rims & Levers
Marked ‘’G.J. & S.’’ and ‘’A.B.D.N’’; together with three salt spoons, in fitted case for retailer Geo. Jamison & Son, Aberdeen. 1¾ inches high.
Sale Date: March 31-April 2, 2017
Monumental Model Of Clipper Ship Thermopylae
Monumental Twentieth Century model of the three-masted clipper ship Thermopylae of the Aberdeen Line, launched in 1868, executed in finely carved and painted wood, the royal and top sails of stitched cotton blend, with Thermopylae painted on the bow, the whole rising on an associated base and housed in a glass case surmounting a carved mahogany stand, overall dimensions including stand 145½ inches high. Thermopylae was designed by Bernard Waymouth (1824–1890) and built by Walter Hood & Co. for the Aberdeen Line shipping company. She was built for speed and to be primarily a “tea clipper,” bound for the Far East. She created her first record on her maiden voyage, sailing from Gravesend, England, to Melbourne, Australia, in 60 days, land to land. She finished her career as a training ship for the Portuguese Navy where she was renamed Pedro Nunes. She was sunk in October of 1907 with full military honors.
Sale Date: April 8, 2017
Gerard Curtis Delano (1890–1972)
“Canyon Exodus,” oil on canvas, 32 by 48 inches, signed lower right.
Sale Date: March 31–April 1, 2017
Rare Hubley Cast Iron Indian Say It With Flowers Three-Wheel Delivery Motorcycle
With excellent Indian tank decals, nice flower bouquet decals and original tan police driver, 10½ inches length.
Sale Date: March 24-29, 2017
American Needlework Sampler
With leaf and vine border, the top with a bird in tree and bottom right with animals and house. New Haven, Conn., late Eighteenth Century.
February 23, 2018
February 21, 2018
February 20, 2018
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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