Stories for August '20

(Issue Story)

Auction Prices Realized, August 2020
by M.A.D. staff

Here are a few notable prices of antiques sold recently at auction, as provided by press releases. All prices include the buyer’s premium when charged. We’re always looking for news of prices realized at auctions, particularly unusual or top lots. Send pictures, complete descriptions, and information to A.P.R., Maine Antique ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

New Overhead Premium Fee at Sotheby’s
by Julie Schlenger Adell

Sotheby’s will implement a new fee as of August 1. Called an “overhead premium,” it will be payable by all auction buyers in the house’s global salesrooms and online sales. The fee, which will be 1% of the hammer price plus any applicable local taxes, “is an allocation of the ... (Read More)

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Sign of the Times
by M.A.D. staff

A hand-painted sign by Ken Manko of Manko Antiques & American Folk Art in Moody, Maine, lays out the rules for shopping in the barn during the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally published in the August 2020 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2020 Maine Antique Digest ... (Read More)

(Book Review)

An Updated Guide to Fraktur Artists
by Lita Solis-Cohen

A Book Review Corinne Earnest (1942-2016) called her life’s work Papers for Birth Dayes, the term used to describe fraktur in the estate of prolific fraktur artist Friederich Krebs, whose juvenile son’s upbringing was entrusted to the Earnests’ direct ancestor David Ernst after Krebs’s death in 1815. Russell Earnest points out ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Take a (Different) Seat
by Hollie Davis and Andrew Richmond

The Young Collector We have a large window in the eat-in area of our kitchen that overlooks the driveway, which is surrounded by a head-high concrete retaining wall. A seat here offers a vantage point for watching the kids play and interact, and Hollie was doing just that this spring when ... (Read More)

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The Deerfield Show Will Go On
by M.A.D. staff

Amid the wreckage COVID-19 has wrought on Antiques Week in New Hampshire in August, there’s one lone exception: Gurley Antique Shows’ one-day show in Deerfield. The show, typically a kickoff event for the week, will be the only live Antiques Week show for 2020. “The Socially Distant Deerfield,” joked Rachel Gurley ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Letter from London, August 2020
by Ian McKay,

Things have begun to look much better on the U.K. auction front, even if it is not yet possible to attend auctions in person. This month’s selection includes quite a few body parts, principally Roman or Indian, as well as several foxhounds, some cute gogottes, and even a fearless vegetarian ... (Read More)

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Madison-Bouckville Antique Week Canceled
by M.A.D. staff

The Madison-Bouckville Promotions board of directors has announced that the August 10-16 event has been canceled. “After discussion with multiple local and state officials it has been determined it would be unsafe to hold an event of this magnitude at this time,” a statement reads. Madison-Bouckville Antique Week comprises 14 ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Making Up the Difference
by Clayton Pennington

On May 18, 2017, New York art dealer Anatole Shagalov, whose business is Nature Morte LLC, was the winning bidder at a Sotheby’s sale for an untitled work by Keith Haring (1958-1990). The hammer price was $5,600,000, and the buyer’s premium added another $937,500 for a total of $6,537,500. Shagalov never ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Hanging with Gemma Sudlow
by Julie Schlenger Adell

We are all spending much more time now in our houses and apartments because of COVID-19. To give our readers an idea of what some of their colleagues, fellow collectors, and other readers surround themselves with in their abodes—on the walls, floors, or ceilings—we have introduced this new column, “Hanging ... (Read More)

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Antiques Week in New Hampshire Online
by M.A.D. staff

Three Antiques Week shows have moved this year to an online format. Barn Star Productions will present the Midweek Online Antiques Fair from 8 a.m. on Wednesday, August 5, through midnight on Friday, August 7. The show will be hosted on Ruby Lane (www.rubylane.com). Frank Gaglio of Barn Star Productions ... (Read More)

(Auction)

American Paintings and Pennsylvania Impressionism
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Freeman’s, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Photos courtesy Freeman’s Freeman’s American art and Pennsylvania Impressionists sale on June 14 had been postponed a week from June 7 because of Black Lives Matter protests and a curfew in Philadelphia. Bidders convened virtually on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and bought 70 of the 74 lots offered for ... (Read More)

(Auction)

A Virus- and Anxiety-Delayed North Carolina Debut
by Pete Prunkl

Ledbetter Auctions, Gibsonville, North Carolina Photos courtesy Ledbetter Auctions After buying full-page ads in Maine Antique Digest over three consecutive months—one announcing a sale followed by two COVID-19 delays—Matt Ledbetter of Ledbetter Auctions finally had his day on the podium. On June 13 in tiny Gibsonville, North Carolina, the 38-year-old first-time auctioneer ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Online African American Fine Art Auction
by Julie Schlenger Adell

Swann Galleries, New York City Photos courtesy Swann Galleries In a heavily promoted sale, New York City’s Swann Galleries offered 187 lots in its African American fine art auction, held online because of the pandemic. Rescheduled to June 4 from its usual slot in early April, the sale took place during the ... (Read More)

(Auction)

The Stories of Annie Oakley and the Tomahawk
by Mark Sisco

Morphy Auctions, Denver, Pennsylvania Photos courtesy Morphy Auctions Some auction catalogs never seem to lack for superlatives when describing unique, top-of-the-line historic items. Once in a great while, the superlatives don’t seem adequate. That would be the case with Morphy Auctions’ three-day “doubleheader” firearms auction May 27-29 in Denver, Pennsylvania. The star ... (Read More)

(Auction)

New Kid on the (Auction) Block
by Mark Sisco

Tunick’s Auction Gallery LLC, Rockland, Maine Obviously in this quarantine-plagued economy, there are some changes going on in the antiques and auction world. As of this writing, virtually all in-person auctions have been shut down. Some companies have been nimble enough to quickly adapt to all-online sales for the duration of ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Sotheby’s Prohibition Sale
by Julie Schlenger Adell

Sotheby’s, New York City Photos courtesy Sotheby’s Marking the 100th anniversary of Prohibition, which was established by the 18th Amendment and implemented by the Volstead Act, Sotheby’s ran an online sale May 7-21, filled with vintage cocktail shakers, flasks, wine bottle holders, ice tongs, pitchers, cups, and fine silver from Alan Bedwell, ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Pent-up Demand Leads to Strong Showing of Western Americana
by Alice Kaufman

Witherell’s, Sacramento, California Photos courtesy Witherell’s Sacramento auctioneer Brian Witherell said his May 21 Western Americana auction featuring Gold Rush items, Western advertising, paintings, bronzes, and Native American arts did better this year than in the past. Usually the auction is promoted at the Old West Show in Grass Valley, California, which ... (Read More)

(Auction)

American and European Art
by Danielle Arnet

Hindman Auctions, Chicago, Illinois Photos courtesy Hindman Auctions After a viral pandemic upended auctions earlier this year, collectors’ thoughts turned next to the new normal—whatever that could be. It makes sense that staff at Hindman Auctions in Chicago had to have major worries, even butterflies, before a clutch of previously planned fine ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Online Sale Recalls Farm Sales of the Past
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Pook & Pook, Inc., Downingtown, Pennsylvania Photos courtesy Pook & Pook, Inc. Pook & Pook’s online sale on May 20 was one of those that regularly follow its major catalog sales: material deemed not quite worthy of illustrations in a printed catalog. These sales call to mind the once common farm sales ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Country Americana and Decorative Arts
by Don Johnson

Garth’s Auctions, Columbus, Ohio Photos courtesy Garth’s Auctions May was different at Garth’s Auctions. That’s not how Jeff Jeffers, CEO and principal auctioneer, would have wanted it, but with Ohio restricting businesses and gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the way things were. The trouble was, May is always a big ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

“A Strong and Continuing Demand”
by Mary Ann Brown

Antique Jewelry & Gemology Photos courtesy Brunk Auctions Brunk Auctions in Asheville, North Carolina, held its two-day “Spring Premier and Emporium Auction” May 15 and 16, and the first day of the sale included 156 lots of antique to contemporary jewelry and timepieces that achieved a 98% sell-through rate, indicating “a strong ... (Read More)

(Show)

Virginia Pickers Takes a Step into the New World
by Walter C. Newman

Virginia Pickers Antiques and Collectables Show, Glen Allen, Virginia The fourth installment of the Virginia Pickers Antiques and Collectables Show was held on its originally scheduled dates at Gilman’s Farm in Glen Allen, Virginia, May 15 and 16. As with virtually all antiques events, the fate of the Pickers show had ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Spring Sale Makes $2.5 Million
by Susan Emerson Nutter

Bertoia Auctions, Vineland, New Jersey Spring Sale Makes $2.5 Million Sometimes you just have to go for it. “At the beginning of March, once we realized everything was probably going to be shut down due to COVID-19, we knew we had to address our spring toy auction slated for May 7 and ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Shannon’s Spring Auction
by Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo

Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers, Milford, Connecticut Photos courtesy Shannon’s The new watchword for auction house websites and ads for antiques shows is “T.B.D.” (“to be determined”). Dates and places all depend on COVID-19. The spring sale at Shannon’s in Milford, Connecticut, normally a full-on event with live, phone, and online bidding, became an ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Business Goes On as Usual…Sort of…with the Right Tools
by Mark Sisco

Martin J. Donnelly Auctions, Avoca, New York Photos courtesy Martin J. Donnelly Auctions Martin Donnelly must have been a great Boy Scout. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, he was very well prepared. Under ordinary circumstances, his Live Free or Die antique tool auction would have been held in Nashua, New Hampshire, on ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Mario Buatta Estate Charms Collectors a Third Time
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Stair Galleries, Hudson, New York Photos courtesy Stair Galleries The Mario Buatta estate was a gift that kept on giving. After the big two-day sale at Sotheby’s in January that brought $7.6 million, Stair Auctions, Hudson, New York, put together two more Buatta sales. One in March brought $2.2 million, and the ... (Read More)

(Auction)

No Preview, No Podium, No Problem: Watches and Clocks Online
by Bob Frishman

Skinner, Marlborough, Massachusetts Photos courtesy Skinner In about an hour, it was all over. Even with brief anti-sniping extensions for last-minute bids, nearly 400 lots at Skinner cascaded to their timed closings on the evening of Tuesday, April 14. Bidders for wristwatches, pocket watches, clocks, music boxes, scientific instruments, and cameras had ... (Read More)
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