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 Digest, PO Box 1429, Waldoboro, ME 04572 or email them to [email protected].
This 5½" x 4¾" multi-gem and petrified coral brooch by Tony Duquette containing one cushion-mixed-cut blue fluorite measuring approximately 29.00 mm x 19.35 mm, six mixed-cut citrines, 15 mixed-cut green fluorites, and 17 mixed-cut citrines surmounted on eight pieces of petrified coral, mounted in yellow gold, brought $23,750 (est. $6000/8000). Hindman, Palm Beach, Florida, February 9.
This multi-gem bird-of-paradise-form brooch by Nicholas Varney was the top lot at Hindman, Palm Beach, Florida, on February 9, selling for $28,125 (est. $6000/8000). The 4¾" x 4¾" brooch contains free-form abalone, 70 round brilliant-cut diamonds, 41 round brilliant-cut yellow diamonds (origin of color not tested), and numerous round mixed-cut yellow and blue sapphires and tsavorite garnets, mounted in yellow gold and blackened sterling silver.
This Baccarat crystal Mille Nuits chandelier with bevel-cut crystals, decorative scrolls with hexagons and prisms, and a red crystal drop, measuring 105¼" x 51½" overall, sold for $43,750 (est. $10,000/20,000). Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, Windsor, Connecticut, January 1.
Richard MacDonald (b. 1946), half-life-size polychrome bronze, Trumpeter, Draped, 41" tall, numbered 51/90, $29,440 (est. $8000/12,000). Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, Windsor, Connecticut, January 1.
This Eldred Wheeler tiger maple secretary desk, a two-part rarity, 91" tall, with a full bonnet top over two raised-panel doors resting on a lower section with a slant lid over four drawers, sold for $8100 (est. $1500/2500). Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, Windsor, Connecticut, January 1.
Sir John Tenniel (British, 1820-1914), three original signed and monogrammed drawings from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, including Transformation!, Alice and Kitty, and And It Really Was a Kitten After All, with a letter from Tenniel, $72,000 (est. $25,000/40,000). Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, Windsor, Connecticut, January 1.
This unusual 33" tall metal and wood shooting gallery target in the form of a medieval drummer, circa 1880, unexpectedly rose to the top of prices realized at Milestone Auction, Willoughby, Ohio, on January 30. The target was once in the collection of the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. The coveted antique was estimated at $4500/6500 but sold for $27,000. “The target had everything going for it,” said Milestone Auctions co-owner Miles King. “It was artistically beautiful, in great condition, and had an unusual mechanical action. If a shooter hit the small round target on the drummer’s shoulder, it would ‘play’ the drum to signal a bull’s-eye.” The winning bidder was a first-time buyer who bought the target for its decorative value. Milestone Auction, Willoughby, Ohio, January 30.
Johann H. Weissenbruch (Dutch, 1824-1903), Country Landscape, watercolor, 13" x 20½", $28,800 (est. $800/1200). Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, Windsor, Connecticut, January 1.
Sammy Davis Jr.’s 1965 .357 Magnum, engraved and inlaid in gold by Joseph Condon of Las Vegas, known as the “engraver to the stars,” with images of a Buffalo nickel, a coyote, a mountain lion, a rattlesnake, and more, sold together with a holster and belt carved and stamped with his name, “SAMMY DAVIS JR,” for $16,800 (est. $10,000/20,000). Milestone Auction, Willoughby, Ohio, January 30.
Made to order by Hunter Arms Co., Fulton, New York, 1913, this L. C. Smith crown-grade 20-gauge ejector gun has a 26" and a 32" barrel. One barrel is marked “Sir Joseph Whitworth Fluid Compressed Steel.” It sold for $24,000 (est. $3000/4000). Milestone Auction, Willoughby, Ohio, January 30.
This Berdan Sharps model 1859 rifle, bore .52, is one of the finest-condition rifles known of the approximately 2000 shipped to Berdan in 1862. In extraordinary all-original condition, in the original Civil War-era rifle case, it is identified to James Baker of Ohio, who enlisted with the Berdan Sharpshooters, 1st Regiment, Company K, at age 20. The rifle brought $25,800 (est. $20,000/30,000). Milestone Auction, Willoughby, Ohio, January 30.
This mustard and lavender Hotel Fremont $5 faro casino chip, drilled twice and notched three times, sold for $3600 (est. $150/250). Potter & Potter Auctions, Chicago, Illinois, January 30.
Two-pounder smoothbore percussion field cannon with carriage and accessories, $9200 (est. $3500/6500). Rock Island Auction Company, Rock Island, Illinois, February 3-6.
Scarce Civil War Confederate Griswold & Gunnison percussion revolver, listed by serial number in The Confederate Brass-Framed Colt & Whitney by William A. Albaugh III, $18,400 (est. $10,000/20,000). Rock Island Auction Company, Rock Island, Illinois, February 3-6.
Thomas Bland & Son four-bore double-barrel hammer shotgun, $10,350 (est. $1700/2250). Rock Island Auction Company, Rock Island, Illinois, February 3-6.
Martially inspected U. S. Civil War 1863 production New Haven Arms Co. Henry lever-action rifle, $23,000 (est. $27,500/37,500). Rock Island Auction Company, Rock Island, Illinois, February 3-6.
The Expert at the Card Table by S. W. Erdnase, first edition, self-published in Chicago in 1902, illustrated with 100-plus drawings “from life” by Marshall D. Smith, $11,400 (est. $6000/9000). Potter & Potter Auctions, Chicago, Illinois, January 30.
A group of 38 vintage photographs and silver prints (one shown), 1932-42, by John Vachon (1914-1975) sold for $37,500 (est. $5000/7500) at Swann Galleries, New York City, on February 4. Vachon began his work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) as an assistant messenger. As his interest in photography grew, he began to take his own photographs and accompanied photojournalist Arthur Rothstein on one of his assignments. In 1938 Vachon had his first solo assignment for the FSA in Nebraska, where he was tasked with photographing agricultural programs in the area. After this project, Vachon continued assignments from the FSA to document the poverty in rural areas of the Plains states, creating a compassionate record of the region.
Made in Chicago at the turn of the 20th century, the gaffed faro box owned by Canadian magician Dai Vernon (1894-1992) was accompanied by a handwritten, signed note by Vernon from when he sold the box to collector Tom Blue. This German silver example retains its period brown leather case and realized $13,200 (est. $6000/9000). Potter & Potter Auctions, Chicago, Illinois, January 30.
Rare and unusual roulette/gaming wheel set from the 1930s, with three painted wood and glass gaming wheels resting on a bar within an ornate nickeled cast-iron stand, with a second nickel wheel with a leather flap stopper, $7200 (est. $2000/3000). Potter & Potter Auctions, Chicago, Illinois, January 30.
Comrades, a 10 5/8" x 4 5/8" lithograph by Norman Lewis (1909-1979), 1943, from an auction featuring artists of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) at Swann Galleries, New York City, February 4, realized $9375 (est. $5000/7000). Lewis worked sporadically with several entities of the WPA.
This untitled work (WPA Practice Piece) by Arthur Getz (1913-1998), casein and tempera on masonite, 11" x 16", 1938, brought $10,625 (est. $2500/3500), an auction record for the artist. Known for his long career as an illustrator and cover artist for The New Yorker, Getz completed three murals funded through the Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts: the Lancaster, New York, post office, 1940; Bronson, Michigan, post office, 1941; and Luverne, Alabama, post office, 1942. Swann Galleries, New York City, February 4.
The most sought after of all 1960s Batman collectibles, the rare official Batman utility belt, manufactured by Ideal in 1966 (the year the Batman television series debuted), sold for a record $16,940 (est. $5000/10,000), the highest price ever paid for a vintage Batman toy. The “Complete Set of Crime Fighting Equipment” includes a yellow plastic utility belt adjustable to a 32" waist, a Bat-Rocket-Grenade, Bat-Rope with a grapple claw, a Bat-Storage Pouch, a Bat-A-Rang, a Dummy Transmitter, a Bat-Signal Flash, Bat-Cuffs, a Bat-Gun Launcher, and a Batman Message Sender, all assembled in the original cardboard box packaging. Van Eaton Galleries, Los Angeles, California, January 30 and 31.
This very rare vintage “Sweet 16” Hot Wheels store display with a set of Redline cars produced by Mattel from the toy line’s inaugural year of manufacture, 1968, went for $36,300 (est. $30,000/50,000). Van Eaton Galleries, Los Angeles, California, January 30 and 31.
Victorian taxidermy songbird parlor dome, 19th century, 29" high, $6080 (est. $800/1200). Neal Auction, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 5.
A pair of Neoclassical inlaid olivewood commodes (one shown), 49½" wide, sold for $20,625 (est. $8000/12,000). Neal Auction, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 5.
A record auction price was realized for the artist Joan Griswold (b. 1954) with the sale of Papers & Books (Julia’s Office), this 14 1/8" x 11 7/8" oil on canvas, which sold for $7930 (est. $800/1200). Neal Auction, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 5.
This early 20th-century 78-piece Cauldon bone china luncheon service realized $26,840 (est. $1200/1800). Neal Auction, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 5.
George III inlaid mahogany breakfront bookcase, 111" wide, $38,400 (est. $4000/6000). Neal Auction, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 5.
Establishing a new world record auction price for a work by artist William Dunlap (b. 1944), Mississippi - Father of Waters - History of Mud, 2006, polymer paint and gold and silver leaf on canvas, 40" x 82", sold for $42,700 (est. $12,000/18,000). Neal Auction, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 5.
Attributed to Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), this unsigned oil on canvas, 30" x 25" (sight size), a portrait of Joshua Reynolds’s sister, Elizabeth Johnson, after the original by Reynolds, was included in the May 4, 1922, auction of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts’s collection of pictures and drawings held by Christie, Manson and Woods. The original catalog of the sale was included with the lot, which is pictured (plate 64) and described on page 21. The portrait sold for $9225 (est. $8000/10,000). Locati LLC, Maple Glen, Pennsylvania, in an Internet auction that ended January 18.
This Victorian bird diorama from a Philadelphia collection, 36" tall x 35" wide x 10½" deep, with common North American bird species, brought $2337 (est. $800/1200). Locati LLC, Maple Glen, Pennsylvania, in an Internet auction that ended January 18.
Originally published in the April 2021 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2021 Maine Antique Digest