Archive for April, 2010

Bonhams & Butterfields – Prints – May 4th, 2010

April 20th, 2010 by

Bonhams & Butterfields

Catalog Now Online

Fine Prints

May 4th, 2010

Bonhams – Photographs – May 18th, 2010

April 20th, 2010 by

Catalog Now Online


New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles

Phillips de Pury & Company – Design – London

April 19th, 2010 by

London Design

Catalogue Available Online

Auction April 28th, 2010

Elvgren, Vargas, Petty and other Pin-Up luminaries head to Beverly Hills for $3,000,000+ Heritage Auctio

April 19th, 2010 by

The greatest pin-up paintings of the epic Martignette Estate will be offered in a special May 7 Heritage Beverly Hills Pin-Up and Glamour Illustration Art auction.

BEVERLY HILLS – If ever there was a perfect match, it would be the setting of the Golden State with a showing of the greatest names in Pin-Up and Glamour Art, and now they’ve set a date to make beautiful music together at Heritage Auction Galleries Beverly Hills on May 7, 2010 for the company’s Signature® Illustration Art Auction, in-person at 9478 West Olympic Blvd, and online at

“The top names in Glamour and Pin-Up – Elvgren, Vargas, Petty, Armstrong, Bolles, Moran – are all here in this superb collection,” said Ed Jaster, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “Los Angeles is celebrated for its beautiful women, but even so, the city is in for a fun, glitzy floor show with these ladies.”

The Illustration Art venue at Heritage has grown increasingly popular throughout the last 10 months, with the three auctions that have transpired since the company began auctioning the epic Charles Martignette Estate last July. Many of the best examples are waiting their turn at auction, and for several of Martignette’s personal favorites, that turn is coming up in Beverly Hills in only a few weeks.

Perhaps the most significant piece of Pin-Up art in the auction, and certainly one of the most famous pieces of pin-up art ever painted, is Gil Elvgren’s 1962 masterpiece Bear Facts (A Modest Look; Bearback Rider), estimated at $50,000-$75,000.

“The pin-up talent most near and dear to Martignette’s heart had to be Gil Elvgren, and his favorite piece was Bear Facts,” said Todd Hignite, Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions. “It was showcased as the dust jacket cover, and featured again as figure 414, of the important monograph, Gil Elvgren All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups by Martignette and Louis K. Meisel, and once again as figure 382 of The Great American Pin-Up, also written by Martignette and Meisel. Here is a pin-up masterwork that top collectors have been waiting years to have a chance at owning.”

Martignette was also a passionate fan of the radiant hues, sweeping rhythms, and enchanting detail featured in the pastels of the legendary Rolf Armstrong, all of which are on full display in the artist’s 1947 drawing for the calendar print Twinkle Toes, one of the most iconic pin-ups in the Martignette Estate, estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

“For those who know illustration, drawings don’t get much better than this piece,” said Jaster. “All of Armstrong’s bravura draftsmanship is evident in this incredible piece, perhaps more so than any other that he created.  Martignette knew what this piece was worth, and I’m betting that today’s collectors also know its value, and are willing to bid whatever it takes to win.”

In keeping with the theme of Martignette’s favorites, Heritage is also offering Coles Phillips’ 1922 Holeproof Hosiery Company ad illustration, one of the earliest and most popular of all American pin-up pieces. This lovely ad illustration appeared in Life, Redbook, Library Digest, Good Housekeeping, Pictorial Review, and Women’s Home Companion magazines in 1922-23, and it was reproduced in the books,  All American Girl — The Art of Coles Phillips by Michael Schau, Famous American Illustrators by Arpi Ermoyan, and  Martignette and Meisel’s own seminal book, The Great American Pin-Up. It is estimated at $18,000 – $24,000.

While Martignette was identified almost exclusively with the big-name illustrators whose art he saved and championed, his incredible eye for often unheralded, yet important works, must also be noted, and credited. He single-handedly saved many superb mid-20th Century American illustrations from a fate that might otherwise have been measured only in obscurity. Such is the case with George Hughes’ classic Aug. 28, 1954 Saturday Evening Post cover, a painting that, in acquisition, confirmed not only Martignette’s eye for great paintings of ladies, but also his ability to identify a compelling story, and a classic piece of Americana. It is estimated at $8,000 – $12,000.

“In addition to the Martignette Pin-Up and Glamour Art treasures that anchor this auction,” said Hignite, “we’ll offer a sparkling selection of highlights from his collection of the biggest names in Illustration, just as the Heritage clients have come to expect.”

Among the important examples of the form that will be auctioned in Beverly Hills are  J. C. Leyendecker’s 1920 House of Kuppenheimer ad illustration Record Time, Cool Summer Comfort, estimated at $20,000 – $30,000, and Norman Rockwell’s c. 1960 Portrait of a Woman in a Red Dress (Mrs. David Shapiro), an important piece in the Rockwell oeuvre that was a product of the artist’s  1960 joining of Best on Thursday mornings, a group of artists that met in the Pine Street, Cambridge, MA studio of Peggy Worthington. It is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.

According to Rockwell historian Laurie Norton Moffatt, “The purpose of the class was for him to experiment in loosening up his tight, detailed style in which he felt he had become too rigid.” She has further noted, “Some of the portraits were sold in a gallery shop at the studio. Many were given to the models who had posed during the session. The remaining paintings are part of the Norman Rockwell Paintings Trust at the Old Corner House.”

While the Martignette lots will be an undeniable draw in the May 7 auction, avid collectors of Science Fiction/Fantasy art have already sat up and taken notice of the inclusion of The Frank Collection of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Art, perhaps the most awesome assemblage of Fantasy art ever offered.

Chief among the amazing rarities in The Frank Collection is Frank Frazetta’s Warrior with Ball and Chain, Flashing Swords #1, paperback cover, 1973, one of the most-recognizable and famous of all Sword and Sorcery Fantasy paintings. It is estimated at $200,000-$300,000.

“This stirring, savage and superb Frazetta masterwork first appeared on the cover of the anthology Flashing Swords #1, published by Dell in the early 1970s,” said Jaster, “and it’s only gained in popularity since then. Such a peak-period, published cover painting spotlighting the signature subject matter by the master represents an incredible collecting opportunity.”

Science Fiction masterworks from The Frank Collection take the stellar form of Chesley Bonestell’s Saturn Viewed from Titan, c. 1952, the most famous and recognized image Bonestell ever painted, estimated at $30,000-$50,000, and in Virgil Finlay’s Palos of the Dog Star Pack, Famous Fantastic Mysteries cover, October 1941, another of Science Fiction’s most intriguing and beloved images. It is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
An exhilarating opportunity for erudite collectors comes to auction from The Mort Künstler Collection, selections from the personal archives of the legendary post-war men’s adventure magazines’ premier artist.  Among its offerings will be Captured by the Chief, Stag cover, February 1967, estimated at $4,000-$6,000, Blonde on the Rocks, Men cover, August 1967, a classic of the form, for which Künstler set the standard, which is estimated at $3,000-$4,000.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers – Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts

April 19th, 2010 by

Catalogue Now Online

Preview April 28th – May 1st

Auction May 2nd – Mat 4th 12pm

Chicago, Illinois

Dazzling diamonds, designer jewels and famous names highlight Heritage May Jewelry auction

April 19th, 2010 by

Selections from The Dorothy & Sidney Factor Collection; also Cipullo, Cartier, Tiffany, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels and more, May 3 in Dallas

DALLAS, TX — A fantastic collection of jewels by some of the most prolific and highly sought after jewelers and jewelry firms on the planet will have the eyes of collectors of brilliant gems and precious metals firmly fixed on Dallas on Monday, May 3, when Heritage Auction Galleries presents its Signature® Fine Jewelry Auction live at the company’s Dallas Design District showroom, 1518 Slocum Street, and online at

“The selections in this auction run from the Venerable – names like Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston,” said Jill Burgum, Director of Jewelry Auctions at Heritage, “to the artistic and contemporary, with names like Aldo Cipullo, David Webb, Marco Bicego and Donna Vock constituting just a few of the designers in the sale.”

Above all, however, what stands out in this auction are the diamonds with a dazzling array awaiting erudite bidders. The first among equals is the gorgeous pear-shaped 13.75 carat Diamond and Platinum Ring from the Dorothy & Sidney Factor Collection, being sold by the famous Beverly Hills family to benefit charity. It is estimated at $125,000-$175,000.

“You’ll be hard pressed to find a more elegant or eye-catching diamond,” said Burgum. “It was a gift from Sidney to Dorothy during the latter part of their legendary marriage, and has always been one of Dorothy’s favorite pieces. She’s parting with it now to let someone else enjoy its magnificence, as well as to act as a fundraiser for the family’s favorite charities.”

Another Diamond, Platinum Ring, this one from Tiffany & Co., featuring s 5.60 carat Lucida™-cut diamond, is also expected to turn heads. The Lucida™-cut from Tiffany is one of the company’s most popular cuts, introduced in 1999, and was the result of decades of development by the famed company. The elegant cut features elements of the Asscher and antique cushion-cuts melded into what is considered a more contemporary diamond cut. It features a modified square cut with truncated corners, a high step-cut crown, a small table and brilliant faceted pavilion – making for 50 total facets. It is estimated at $100,000-$125,000.

Also of considerable note to collectors is a Fancy Colored Diamond, Diamond, White Gold Ring featuring a Grayish Yellowish Green oval-shaped diamond weighing 7.84 carats, enhanced by round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing a total of approximately 3.00 carats, set in 18k white gold. It is estimated at $75,000 – $100,000.

A Fancy Green Diamond, Pink Diamond, Platinum, Gold Ring from designer David Alan, featuring a natural Grayish Yellowish Green radiant-cut diamond weighing 5.55 carats, estimated at $60,000-$80,000, is expected to bring some competitive bidding, while a simple yet stunning Diamond, Platinum Ring, weighing 4.07 carats, flanked by baguette-cut diamonds and set in platinum, is expected to bring $40,000-$50,000.

Of particular note in the designer jewelry selections is a grouping of four gorgeous and colorful designs from legendary Cartier designer Aldo Cipullo, one of the only craftsmen that Cartier let sign his pieces while he was in their employ.

“Cipullo invented the LOVE bracelet, which is just as popular today as it was 30 some years ago,” said Burgum. “His designs are timeless. Owning a Cipullo piece is an art experience.”

Roman-born Aldo Cipullo, the son of a prominent Italian jeweler, immigrated to New York in 1959 at age 23, where he studied at Manhattan’s famed School of Visual Arts. It was while working for David Webb, Tiffany and Cartier that he showcased his talent for innovative design. Cipullo’s passion for modern living influenced his pure, clean designs. The mass appeal of his designs was evident in the tremendous interest expressed in both the press and the public, as well as by socialites and celebrities alike. Some of his most well-known clients included Sophia Loren, Liza Minnelli, Elizabeth Taylor, and the Duchess of Windsor, as well as Pierre Cardin, Frank Sinatra and Richard Burton.

“In 1974, the same year he opened his own business – Aldo Cipullo, Ltd. – he won the prestigious Coty Award for his pioneering influence on the design of men’s jewelry,” said Burgum. “Ten years later, on February 2, 1984, Cipullo died much too early, at age 48, in New York City.”

Further highlights include, but are not limited to:

Bvlgari Fancy Yellow Diamond, Platinum, Gold Ring: Featuring two Fancy Yellow triangular-shaped diamonds, one weighing 2.12 carats together with one weighing 1.64 carats, flush set in platinum and 18k yellow gold, accompanied by its original signed box. Marked Bvlgari. Estimate: $35,000 – $45,000.

Diamond, Platinum Ring: Featuring a cushion-shaped diamond weighing approximately 4.45 carats, flanked by cut-cornered shield-cut diamonds, set in platinum. Estimate: $30,000 – $40,000.

Diamond, Platinum Ring: Featuring a round brilliant-cut diamond weighing 4.07 carats, enhanced by baguette and square-cut diamonds, set in platinum. Total diamond weight is approximately 5.65 carats. Estimate: $30,000 – $40,000.

Diamond, Platinum, White Gold Necklace: Featuring a kite-shaped diamond weighing 4.05 carats, enhanced by a full-cut diamond weighing approximately 0.45 carat, set in platinum, suspended by 18k white gold chain. Estimate: $30,000 – $40,000.

Diamond, Platinum Bracelet: From the Dorothy & Sidney Factor Collection. The bracelet features 38 pear-shaped diamonds of varying weights, enhanced by baguette-cut diamonds, set in platinum. Total diamond weight for the bracelet is approximately 32.50 carats. Estimate: $25,000 – $50,000.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Bonhams – London – The Sampson and Horne Collection

April 19th, 2010 by

Catalogue Now Online

The Sampson and Horne Collection – Defining the British Vernacular

April 28th  10:30am

New Bond Street,  London

Keeping you appraised of an antiques and design show you just can’t miss!

April 18th, 2010 by

The countdown is on!

I can’t wait to see you at New England Antique Show‘s much anticipated Spring Fever Antiques and Design Show and Sale! This event – truly a breath of fresh air –  is April 24th from 10am to 5pm and April 25th from 11am to 4 pm.  It will be held at the historic Concord Amory, located at 91 Everett Street, Concord, Massachusetts. There is plenty of free parking.  And speaking of a good deal, click here for your two-for-one admission coupon, just for VIPs! (Val’s Important Pals!) Otherwise, a weekend pass is $7; Sunday only is $5. Children 16 and under are admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
It goes without saying that this show is a “can’t miss” for anybody interested in antiques, collectibles, and decorative items for homes and gardens of any size. Over 40 dealers from 10 states will showcase outstanding items just in time for the spring wedding, graduation, and Mother’s Day season. Expect to find treasures including estate jewelry, fine art and pottery, toys and games, rare books and maps, tabletop settings, furniture, rugs, silver, china, glass, and crystal.  Here on the left you see a wonderful garden antiques display by Debra Queen of South Dartmouth,  MA, who will be bringing her delightful wares to Concord. Personally, I hope to find some Fenton glass for my Grandmother, Blue Willow china for my Mom, and mohair Teddies and animals for me at the show!
And what’s an event without a special guest? In addition to high quality, exceptional merchandise, the show also features a valuation clinic lead by industry veteran Linda Roberts, an accredited member of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA). Linda has vast experience identifying and valuing the full spectrum of vintage and antique collectibles.  Linda looks forward to speaking with you about your special treasures you bring from home.  Who knows…maybe that vintage vase you picked up at a tag sale for $0.50 a few years ago really is worth something?  It’s certainly worth finding out!  Each of Linda’s valuations is $5 with a show admission ticket, with a maximum of three items per person. All proceeds from the clinic will go to the Family Readiness Group of the 182nd Medical Company of the Concord Armory.
Val had the pleasure of speaking with Linda recently about her experience and the world of identifying and valuing antiques and vintage collectibles. Here’s some interesting highlights from the conversation…

Val: Linda, first of all, thank you so much for your time and participating in the upcoming Concord show.  Can you tell us what exactly is an “appraisal?”

Linda: Sure. An appraisal is a written, bound document with extensive research, photos and opinion of value usually done for a specific purpose such as estate taxes, insurance etc. A verbal approximation of value, which is what is given at events, fairs, shows, etc., is just that, a verbal approximation with very little or no research. Nothing is in writing.

Val: Can you tell us about the most unusual item brought to you at an event?

Linda: Let’s see.  I think the most unusual item was a dress worn by Judy Garland. The woman who brought it to me owned a costume store and would buy clothing from a dealer that purchased items from sales at movie studios.  This dress had a label stating that it was Judy Garland’s costume. It dated from around the 1940’s. It was very difficult to assign a final value to it without more research; for example, the movie in which it was worn would contribute to its value.  In a case like this, the owner was told to do some detective work and identify the movie in which the dress appeared. I suggested calling the archives at the studio or simply watching old movies! I eventually valued the dress in $1,800 to $2,300 range.
Val: Wow, that’s so cool!  Can you tell us about the highest valued item you have assessed?

Linda: Sure!  I was examining items in a home for an estate tax appraisal. I was crawling around a small storage area and found a few old paintings. One in particular was interesting to me because I recognized the artist immediately, even though it was in terrible condition.  I discussed the painting with my client and told him it was painted by one of the “Philadelphia Ten” by the name of Fern Coppedge.  Fern was an American artist who lived from 1883 through 1951. I was able to broker the painting and it sold for $250,000! The client was very happy and told me that if I were not there he would have sold the painting for $25 at a house sale!

Val: A quarter of a million dollar windfall… not bad!  Have you ever been stumped by something someone has brought to you?

Linda: Of course. No appraiser knows everything. It is important for the appraiser to know their limitations. It is not unusual for an appraiser to give a referral instead of a value especially at an appraisal fair. Sometimes the referral is to another expert or to do some detective work on their own. Part of our expertise is to have extensive contacts in all fields. A good appraiser will reveal their specialties.

Val: Speaking of specialties, are you a collector of anything?
Linda: Yes, I am a collector!  I love books with great illustrators such as those done by Margaret Tarrant. I love hand-painted porcelain as well as Lalique glass. My favorite is a rare large cockatoo that stands approx 12″ tall and has a 12″ wing span.  He was made by Rene Lalique in the early 20th century. To the left is a picture of my collectible cockatoo for your readers!
Val: Thanks for your insights and looking forward to meeting you – and all of our community site readers – soon in Concord!  And hopefully there is a Lalique treasure just waiting for you there!
The Spring Fever Antiques and Design Show and Sale is produced by Marvin Getman of New England Antique Shows. For more information please call (781) 862-4039 or visit NEAS’ website at

Getting right to the point with spiky Steiff hedgehogs

April 18th, 2010 by

Steiffgal does not want to hog your valuable time on this lovely spring day, so she’ll keep this post short and sweet (much like the charming item under discussion today!) Let’s get right to the point with this question from a reader who asks about her spiky Steiff hedgehog friend! Eryka writes…


I have a query about a little hedgehog that I got for Christmas from my dad, who knows that I love hedgehogs.

From the tip of his black nose (some sort of plastic ball) to his furry rear end he is about 6 inches. He has two felt front paws, two circular felt ears, and little round black eyes. He has a Steiff button and tag in one of his paws and it says: original Steiff 1670/10 Made in Austria Preis- Price. On the back of the tag it says that he is made from cotton and wool and the number is PA 55 MASS 73. He has airbrushed dark brown lines on his face, and his fur is mainly made up of long, stiff fibers which are light tan at the tips and darker brown near his body. His belly is flat.

What can you tell me about his make and the time period when he was produced? I have attached some photos for you.


Let’s shine a little light on Eryka’s nocturnal buddy. What you have here is what Steiff calls Joggi Igel or Joggi Hedgehog. He is made from spiky “tipped” (meaning that the fiber ends are dyed a different color than the entire length of the fiber) mohair, in a lying position, and has a flat bottom. His sweet tiny face, ears, paws, and underside are made from grey felt. This particular Joggi was made in 6, 10, and 17 cm from 1966 through 2002. Eryka’s Joggi, number 1670/10, dates him in the 1968 to 1985 production period.

Today, hedgehogs are quite prolific in the Steiff line – but that was not always the case. The first hedgehog, as far as Steiffgal can tell, appeared in the Steiff catalog in 1951. Also named Joggi, this standing hedgehog was 12 cm tall and made from mohair from 1951 through 1977, and then mohair and dralon from 1978 through 1985. In 1961, a very similar 12 cm standing hedgehog design was produced; he was manufactured through 1966. Since the 1960’s, hedgehogs in all shapes, sizes, and materials have made regular appearances in the Steiff catalog, appearing as play toys, collector’s editions, woolen miniatures, puppets, wooden pull toys, a purse, and even a golf club cover! The current Steiff line features a tiny Steiff hedgehog keyring, which has the charming looks of the Eryka’s vintage Joggi.

And just why do hedgehogs seem to all of a sudden to be in the Steiff spotlight in from the early 1950’s onward? Steiffgal has a two word theory on this: Mecki and Micki. This beloved and well known (at least in Europe) hedgehog cartoon couple was first designed in Germany in 1940 by the artist Ferdinand Diehl. They became much more famous in the early 1950’s with their regular appearance on the German TV magazine HORZU. The Diehl Film company from Munich granted Steiff the licensing rights to produce the dolls in 1951, and they have been a mainstay in the line to this day. Both Mecki and Micki have been produced in 17, 28, and 50 cm from 1952 onward; a 100 cm Mecki was produced in 1967, perhaps as a special window display. The spiky tipped mohair that has been used for Mecki and Micki’s hair over the years hasn’t changed, and is almost identical to the spiked mohair used on most other mohair Steiff hedgehogs, even today.

Steiffgal hopes this quick review of the history of Steiff hedgehogs has “tipped” you off to a new area of collecting!

Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures, nocturnal or otherwise? Let’s talk! Click here to learn more.

Swann Auction Galleries – Old Master Through Modern Prints – April 27th, 2010

April 16th, 2010 by

Old Master Through Modern Prints – Catalog now online

Auction –  Tuesday April 27th, 10:30am & 2:30pm

Including works from Rembrandt van Rijn, Henri Toulouse-Loutrec, Paul Klee, Max Beckman

New York