The Iowan

Gavels & Paddles

Results of Recent Auctions From Near & Far

By Ken Hall

Beacon die-cut sign, $55,000, Matthews

A Beacon Security Gasoline single-sided porcelain die-cut sign, rated 9.5/10 for condition and measuring 48 inches by 30 inches, sold for $55,000 at an auction held Feb. 28-Mar. 1 in Peotone, Ill., by Matthews Auctions, LLC, based in Nokomis, Ill. Also, a Harbor Petroleum Products single-sided porcelain die-cut sign with seaplane graphics soared to $40,700; a 1933 Cadillac and La Salle double-sided porcelain sign fetched $36,300; and a Peerless Stages Bus Depot double-sided porcelain sign hit $17,050. Prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.

J. Hoare claret jug, $75,000, Woody Auction 

     A magnificent 16-inch-tall American Brilliant Cut Glass turquoise cut to clear claret jug attributed to J. Hoare sold for $75,000 at an auction held March 2 by Woody Auction, based in Douglass, Kan. The auction was held at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Mo. Also, a signed Libbey punch bowl set in the rare Aztec pattern brought $35,000; an original four-drawer stemware chest with 69 rock crystal stems made $25,000; and a Tuthill round tray in the Rex pattern hit $23,000. Prices are hammer, exclusive of a commission.

Constitution Bitters, $7,840, American Bottle

     A museum-quality, mid-19th century Constitution Bitters bottle, possibly the earliest figural bitters bottle ever blown in America, sold for $7,840 in an Internet and catalog auction (#57) ended Feb. 22 and held by American Bottle Auctions (, based in Sacramento, Calif. Also, a Wynkoop & Company Tonic Mixture medicine bottle, graded 10 out of 10 for condition, also went for $7,840; and a Nixon & Co. (Seattle, Washington Territory, circa 1883-1885) western whiskey fifth hit $7,280. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

William Wendt painting, $299,000, Cottone Auctions

     An original oil on canvas painting by American landscape artist William Wendt (1865-1946), titled Patriarchs of the Grove (1920) sold for $299,000 at a multi-estate auction held Mar. 22-23 by Cottone Auctions in Geneseo, N.Y. Also, an oil on canvas by Jonas Lie (Am., 1880-1940), titled Manhattan, soared to $126,500; a late 19th century bronze group of a bogatyr by Evgeni Lanceray (Russ., 1848-1886) garnered $115,000; and a Gustav Stickley oak corner cupboard, circa 1905, went for $92,000. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Yuan Dynasty porcelain jar, $1.324 million, I. M. Chait

     A magnificent 14th century Yuan Dynasty blue and white ovoid porcelain jar, with narrative scene from the Yuan zaju drama The Savior Yuchi Gong, sold for $1.324 million at an Asia Week Sale held Mar. 17 by I. M. Chait in Beverly Hills, Calif. Also, an early 15th century Ming Dynasty gilt bronze bodhisattva of Manjushri, with six-character Yongle mark under the base, made $274,500; and a large spinach jade brushpot with a continuous landscape scene of sages in a courtyard, 7-¾ inches tall, hit $122,000. Prices include a 22 percent buyer’s premium.

Paul Sawyier painting, $89,450, Cowan’s Auctions

     An original painting by Kentucky artist Paul Sawyier, titled The Kentucky Arsenal, sold for $89,450 at a Fine and Decorative Arts Auction held Mar. 9 by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati, Oh. Also, a Newport Chippendale drop-leaf table commanded $45,000; a Regina standing music box realized $36,000; a Tiffany & Company sterling marquise flatware set hammered down at $7,000; an early Western County (Ohio) sampler brought $11,400; and a Woolworth & Co. carved eagle trade sign hit $9,600. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Edvard Munch woodcut, $1.49 million, Sotheby’s

     A woodcut print in colors titled Two Human Beings (The Lonely Ones), executed in 1899 and signed in pencil by the artist Edvard Munch, sold for $1.49 million at a sale of Old Masters, Modern & Contemporary Prints held Mar. 19 by Sotheby’s in London, England. Also, a complete set of ten screen prints from 1983 by pop icon Andy Warhol, titled Endangered Species, signed in pencil, hammered for $583,383; and Rembrandt’s 1655 dry point titled Christ Presented to the People: Oblong Plate fetched $329,804. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Huanghuali pedestal table, $9.08 million, Christie’s

     A rare and massive huanghuali plank-top pedestal table from the 17th or 18th century (Jiaji’an) sold for $9.084 million at Asian Art Week Sales held Mar. 9-12 by Christie’s in New York. It was a new world auction record for a piece of huanghuali furniture. Also, an important and rare gilt bronze figure of a bodhisattva (Tibet, 19th /10th century) fetched $2.81 million; a 1964 oil on canvas by Syed Haider Raza, titled Village en Fete, brought $1.86 million; and a large 18th century white porcelain Asian jar made $1.2 million. Prices include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Lou Gehrig jersey, $717,000, Heritage

     New York Yankees slugger Lou Gehrig’s 1927-1928 game-worn jersey sold for $717,000 at a Platinum Night Sports Auction held Feb. 23 in New York City by Heritage Auctions, based in Dallas, Tex. Also, Mickey Mantle’s signed and endorsed 1949 Yankees signing bonus check realized $286,800; the jersey worn by team captain Mike Eruzione in the 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey Team victory over the Soviet Union went for $657,250; and the stick Eruzione used to score the game-winning goal made $262,900. Prices include a 19.5 percent buyer’s premium. 

Richardt oil painting, $37,200, Morphy Auctions

     An oil on canvas painting by Ferdinand Richardt (Danish, 1819-1895), titled View of Niagara Falls, 33 inches by 43 inches, sold for $37,200 at an auction held Feb. 8-9 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa., in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Treasury Bureau of Unclaimed Property. Also, a platinum engagement ring with a 4.25-ct. European-cut diamond and two flanking baguettes coasted to $19,800; and a monumental 18-½ inch Amphora Daughter of the Rhine vase with applied jewels went for $18,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Noguchi stools, table, $124,200, John Moran

     A set of four Isamu Noguchi “Rudder” Model IN-22 stools, plus a Noguchi Model IN-20 table, sold collectively for $124,200 at a Decorative and Fine Art Auction held Feb. 5 by John Moran Auctioneers in Pasadena, Calif. Also, a copper and mica lamp by the Seattle shop of Albert Berry realized $11,400; a lithograph by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, titled Dog Barking at Moon, rose to $5,819; a Navajo pictorial rug from the 1920s hit $5,100; and a Southern Plains beaded umbilical fetish made $2,280. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Fritz Albert vase, $212,500, Rago Arts

     A massive vase with iris blossoms by Fritz Albert (Teco) sold for $212,500 at a 20th Century Design Auction held March 2-3 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, a tile panel with fish by Frederick H. Rhead (Santa Barbara) fetched $118,750; a cherry sideboard by Wharton Esherick realized $118,750; a bird tobacco jar by the Martin brothers went for $93,750; a collaborative cabinet by Phil Powell and Paul Evans rose to $68,750; and a 1960s deep relief cabinet by Paul Evans made $56,250. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

Jimmy Carter stool, $300,000, Carter Center

     A stool handmade by former President Jimmy Carter sold for $300,000 at a Winter Weekend Auction held Feb. 22-23 by The Carter Center (based in Atlanta, Ga.) in San Diego, Calif. Also, a fly fishing fantasy vacation hammered for $140,000; a signed Argo movie poster went for $13,000; and a Kenny Rogers photograph of President Carter realized $22,000. In all, the auction raised more than $1.6 million, to benefit the not-for-profit Center’s initiatives to advance peace and health worldwide. Prices are hammer; there was no buyer’s premium.

George Rodrigue work, $98,400, New Orleans

     A large oil on canvas painting by George Rodrigue, featuring his classic “Blue Dog” and titled My Yellow Oak, sold for $98,400 at a Southern Experience Auction held Feb. 23-24 by New Orleans Auction Galleries in New Orleans, La. Also, an oil on canvas by Marie Madeleine Seebold Molinary, titled Chrysanthemums, went for $61,500 (a new world auction record for the artist); two 19th century automaton music boxes realized $36,900; and a provincial Louis XV style fruit wood settee hammered for $11,992. Prices include a 23 percent buyer’s premium.

Ammi Phillips portrait, $880,000, Skinner, Inc.

     A double portrait of the Ten Broeck twins by Ammi Phillips sold for $880,000 at a sale of items from singer Andy Williams’ estate held Mar. 3 by Skinner, Inc., in Boston, Mass. Also, a 19th century still life painting of a basket of fruit with flowers brought $480,000; a carved and polychrome-painted race-track trout tobacconist figure by Charles Parker Dowler made $390,000; a pair of Ward brothers wigeon decoys went for $132,000; and James Bard’s portrait of the side-wheeler steamboat Neversink hit $108,000. All prices quoted include a buyer’s premium. 

Zitan wooden throne, $29,000, Kaminski

An antique zitan  wooden throne featuring elaborate carved designs sold for $29,000 at a Fine Asian Art & Antiques Sale held Jan. 26 by Kaminski Auctions in Beverly, Mass. Also, an elegant, gold-embellished 19th century green jadeite bangle made $5,500; an 18th century ivory box from the Mughal Empire of India, labeled “Spink & Son #11,” rose to $4,000; a famille rose candle holder with Jia Qing mark on the base coasted to $3,250; and a set of three early 19th century export rose Mandarin platters hit $3,250. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.

Faro dealing box, $20,230, Clars Auction

     A Gold Rush-era gambling device — a Hugh McConnell and Frederick Adolph Will (1837-1912) Faro dealing box — created in San Francisco and complete with leather case, sold for $20,230 at a Fine Art & Antiques Sale held Mar. 16-17 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, an 18th century Italian giltwood carved chandelier, electrified, hit $21,420; a Hamilton platinum and diamond covered wristwatch realized $21,420; and a Meissen Armorial plate from the “Swan Service” (circa 1737-1741) made $17,850. Prices include a 19 percent buyer’s premium.

Chinese porcelain vase, $362,500, Doyle New York

     A Chinese yellow glazed porcelain vase with the Jiajing six-character mark and of the period sold for $362,500 at an Asian Works of Art Auction held Mar. 18 by Doyle New York in New York City. Interest in the five-inch-tall vase was intense and was sparked by its unusual form and yellow glaze. The winning bidder was calling on the phone from Hong Kong. The auction offered nearly 500 lots showcasing the arts of China, Japan and Southeast Asia, from the Neolithic Period through the 20th century. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

Barkley Hendricks work, $132,000, Swann Auction 

     A 1970 oil and DayGlo on canvas painting by Barkley L. Hendricks, titled The Hawk, Blah, Blah, Blah, depicting a disc jockey friend in Philadelphia, sold for $132,000 at a sale of African-American Fine Art held Feb. 14 by Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. Also, a large abstract acrylic on canvas from 1971 by William T. Williams, titled Up Balls, garnered $120,000 (tying an auction record for the artist); and a 1954 oil on Masonite by Hughie Lee-Smith, titled Poet #4, went for $120,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

1796/5 half dime (MS64+), $92,000, Legend-Morphy

     A 1796/5 U.S. half dime PCGS-graded MS64+ and boasting fully struck details, pristine surfaces, light semi-proof-like mirrors and strong luster, sold for $92,000 at a Regency Auction held Feb. 28 by Legend-Morphy Rare Coins in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Venetian/Palazzo Hotel. Also a 1909-D $20 U.S. gold coin, PCGS-graded secure MS66, brought $80,500; a 1798 small eagle bust dollar with 15 stars, PCGS-graded secure AU55+, realized $51,750; and a 1909-VDB penny, graded PR64, made $27,600. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Tretchikoff painting, $1.5 million, Bonhams

     A painting titled Chinese Girl, by the Siberian-born South African artist Vladimir Tretchikoff (1913-2006), sold for $1.5 million at a sale of African art at Bonhams auction house in London, England. The buyer was the British businessman and jeweler Laurence Graff. Millions of copies of Chinese Girl have been produced over the years since it was painted in 1950. It is also known as “The Green Lady” because of the unusual blue-green skin tone of the subject (a laundress Tretchikoff met in Capetown). The price includes a buyer’s premium. 


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