Archive for March, 2011
Sotheby’s New York continues its commitment to presenting the finest and rarest examples of Chinese art to the market. One of the outstanding highlights of the sale on March 23rd is an Imperial battle painting commemorating the victory over Nian rebel forces, commissioned by the Guangxu Emperor. Two highlights from the ceramics section are an exquisite 14th Century white ewer, and a Qianlong mark and period reticulated revolving vase. Also included in this season’s sale is an Imperial ‘zitan’ long table, adorned with finely carved leaf-tip scrolls; a rare celadon jade brushpot carved in deep relief with ‘Hundred Boys’; and an album by Dong Qichang transcribing the biography of Wang Xiangqian’s family.
The Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asia Paintings sale, to be held on April 4th, will present a broad selection of works, all marked by the finest quality, utmost creativity and thematic diversity to cater to the diversified and sophisticated tastes of the collectors worldwide. The sale will offer over 145 exceptional works estimated in excess of HK $36 million/US $4.6 million.
This April, Sotheby’s Hong Kong Is privileged to present at an evening auction an extraordinary private collection of contemporary Chinese Art that typifies the birth and evolution of the Chinese Avant-Garde. Highlights of the Collection include seminal works from Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guanyl and Zheng Peili.
The Edward and Franklin Chow collection of rhinoceros horn carvings is among the finest in the world and was assembled over the last half century, starting in 1959 when Edward T. Chow acquired his first rhinoceros horn cup in London. This first selection from the collection comprises 26 exceptional examples from the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Bertoia’s Presents Donald Kaufman V – The Final Lap, an April 15-16 Farewell Auction of America’s Most Celebrated Toy CollectionMarch 15th, 2011 by admin
VINELAND, N.J. – In an auction odyssey that began in March of 2009 with an offering of rare automotive toys, Bertoia’s has been privileged to present an ongoing series of events featuring the antique toy collection of the late Donald Kaufman, co-founder of KB Toys. The four auctions to date have realized $10.9 million. The series’ grand total will be known when the checkered flag waves over the weekend of April 15-16, 2011 as Bertoia’s conducts the Donald Kaufman Auction Part V – The Final Lap.
The last of the toys from the revered Kaufman collection will be auctioned in a 275-lot opening session, followed by a daylong Saturday session containing approximately 650 lots.
“Appropriately, we will start with old store stock of Marx toys, since that’s how the Kaufman toy business began,” said Bertoia’s gallery associate Rich Bertoia. “There are many boxed Marx examples in unusually nice condition. On the other hand, some of the Marx toys in the sale are more common, but they have their rare original boxes. The boxes that contained Marx farm toys and moving vans were almost always discarded – those toys were bought to be played with.”
Collectors of pressed-steel trucks are in for a surprise, Bertoia said. “We set aside many excellent pressed-steel trucks just for this sale. There are more than 100 pieces dating from the 1920s to the 1940s, with a few toys from the Richard Keats Buddy ‘L’ Archive. Other pressed steel toy brands represented include Keystone, Sturditoy, Structo and American National. Of special note are a few very rare trucks whose restorations were completed exclusively with the toys’ original parts. “Collectors might like these restorations, which required great skill and were very expensive to do. Rather than using ‘make-do’ replacement parts from other toys, the trucks’ own parts were painstakingly restored, so they retained their original integrity,” Bertoia said.
The Marx and pressed steel toys, as well as 43 pedal cars – some of them all original and some of museum quality – will be blended into the auction over both days of the sale. Neither day will be “top loaded,” Bertoia said. “In particular, it will be exciting to see the interest level in the pedal cars, which were the largest toys in Don’s collection. There were nearly 250 pedal cars when we started the auction series. For this final selection, we reserved pedal vehicles of every style you can imagine, from fire trucks and work trucks to luxury-level automobiles.” A bumper crop of approximately 200 cast-iron automotive toys has also been added to the sale, to be divided evenly over the two-day period.
Friday’s session will open with the second half of the cast-iron toy grouping, which ranges from common trucks, farm tractors, busses and construction vehicles to several exceedingly rare David delivery trucks.
The cast-iron section of the sale is widely varied. “Anyone who ever wanted something from Donald Kaufman’s shelves stands a very good chance of attaining it, including the first toy Don ever bought – an Arcade Red Baby,” Bertoia said. Because of its significance, that particular toy has been given special status and will be offered as the final lot of the sale. “It takes the collecting journey full circle –the first toy Don bought is also the last one to be sold,” Bertoia said.
Another special inclusion in the sale is the toy that was chosen to grace the cover of each of Bertoia’s catalogs in the Donald Kaufman auction series – a tinplate Hans Eberl van made for a Pittsburgh company called Kaufmann (sic.).
The Saturday session includes a sizable array of light pressed-steel automotive toys by Kingsbury, Metalcraft, Cor Cor, Turner and other manufacturers. An additional 30-35 lots of boxed modern toys by Marklin and Paya will cruise across the auction block.
For those comic character collectors who may have struck out in previous Kaufman sales in which competition for rare examples was fierce, there’s good news. A small but very pleasing selection of comic character toys has been set aside for the April 15-16 sale. “If a paddle got in their way before, this is not only the last chance but also a good chance for comic character collectors to score a great toy,” said Bertoia.
Jeanne Bertoia, owner and co-founder of Bertoia Auctions, concurred. She said she believes the final Kaufman sale might be “more of an American buying event” than previous sessions, since part five is not comprised predominantly of European toys.
“Donald Kaufman was a completist. He had everything,” Jeanne explained. “I would say to those who were not successful at previous sales, here’s your chance to acquire a toy with very important provenance from a legendary collector who will dominate toy conversations for many years to come. There wasn’t a collector like him before he bought his first toy 61 years ago, and there hasn’t been one like him since.”
With the conclusion of the series, collectors will be able to add the final hardbound auction catalog to the five-volume set documenting the Kaufman collection. Volume V includes a special bonus – an index that alphabetically organizes auction entries from the entire compendium of catalogs, listing toys by name and/or manufacturer with the volume and page numbers where each can be found.
All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through www.LiveAuctioneers.com. For additional information, call 856-692-1881 or e-mail email@example.com. Visit Bertoia’s online at www.bertoiaauctions.com.
Don Presley Hosts Large and Lively Crowd at Feb. 5-6 Auction of Inventory From Stephen-Thomas AntiquesMarch 15th, 2011 by admin
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Over the weekend of Feb. 5-6, 2011 – Super Bowl weekend – auctioneer Don Presley conducted a $598,000 on-site sale of the remaining inventory of Steven-Thomas Antiques and Interiors, which closed its doors after 32 years in the same Orange County gallery. Operated by brothers-in-law Steven Shedd and Thomas Silk – hence the name “Steven-Thomas” – the company was known for its skill in redesigning and repurposing imported Italian and French antiques for functional use in today’s homes. All prices quoted in this report are inclusive of a 15% buyer’s premium.
“It was a great result, especially considering it was a ‘brown furniture’ sale. It absolutely surpassed all expectations, both for myself and the consignors,” said auctioneer Don Presley. “Both Steven and Thomas were very pleased that it was a clean sweep and that they could now get the premises ready for the computer assembly company that bought their building.”
The 1,100 lots of furniture offered at the event– all without reserve – included complete bedroom suites, buffets, hall trees, dressers and chests, Louis XV and XVI mirrors, china cabinets, and dining tables with complete sets of 6, 8 and 10 chairs. Additionally, there are bookcases, desks, Renaissance-style trestle tables, kitchen cupboards and coffee tables re-crafted as unique “fantasy” pieces.
The top furniture lot of the sale was a tasteful bronze and onyx table whose base consisted of three gilt griffins with fully spanned wings. The table opened at $4,000 and landed near the top of its estimate range at $11,500.
An imposing 19th-century king-size custom walnut bed, luxuriously inlaid with pearl and ivory, measured 7ft. 11in. long. The ornately carved furnishing embellished with substantial bronze hardware was bid to $8,625.
A circa-1880 Italian carved walnut Mannerist buffet, 88½ inches tall by 96 inches wide, was a good buy at $6,440; as was the carved oak staircase that once graced the Russian Consulate in Milan, Italy. Featuring 35 turned posts and 20 steps, the unit sold for $6,900.
Several elegant European light fixtures found favor with the crowd, including a matching pair of antique Lalique bronze chandeliers with pearl drops, crystal beads and decorative nymphs, which sold together for $12,650. A French Neoclassical bronze chandelier with 12 lights, crystal-enhanced bronze chains and images of cherubs in relief garnered $11,500.
Presley said auction purchases were divided “about 50/50” between the Internet and the room. “All 200 chairs were occupied, and it was standing room only beyond that. People were jumping up and clapping, and everyone was having a good time,” Presley said. “There were some who had thought the conflict with the Super Bowl might kill us, but that was hardly the case. We planned on catering for 250 people during the Sunday session, but there were 300 to 400 in attendance. The caterer had to go back and restock.”
Presley said he was most surprised by the prices paid for sets of chairs presented without their matching tables. “Ordinarily, those sorts of things are a tough sell, but we must have sold more than a dozen sets,” the auctioneer said. “Also, I was surprised that six-drawer chests brought $4,000 to $5,000 apiece, and one piece of molding consisting of two little panels with a gargoyle made $1,700. That was a big price for something so small.”
At the other end of the size spectrum, the prospect of paying for shipment of grand-scale European furnishings did not seem to deter absentee buyers. Presley said many monumental pieces were shipped to Russia, Canada and China.
The turnout and bidder enthusiasm for the auction of the remaining inventory of Steven-Thomas Antiques has made Don Presley optimistic about the future. “There was a great energy at the auction, just like we had for our New Year’s sale,” he said. “Having two sales in a row like that suggests that maybe the economy is getting better.”
Don Presley Auctions is planning an April auction of antiques, furniture and jewelry, with a date to be announced soon. Contact the auctioneer by calling 714-633-2437. Visit Don Presley Auctions online at www.donpresleyauction.com.
Morphy’s Appointed to Auction the Late Bob Levy’s Personal Collection of Antique Gambling Machines, Coin-OpsMarch 15th, 2011 by admin
DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions will be selling the late Bob Levy’s personal collection of gambling and coin-op machines over Labor Day weekend, 2011. The collection of 350-400 antique and vintage machines will be offered in its entirety in a Sept. 3 session at Morphy’s gallery, with Internet live bidding through Morphy Live and LiveAuctioneers.com.
A renowned expert in the field of coin-ops, and head of Morphy’s Antique Gambling Machine & Coin-op department, Mr. Levy passed away on Feb. 21 of this year. Although he was a prominent and very active dealer for many years, Bob also had a coveted private collection of machines that he called his “keepers.” In carrying out the instructions specified in Mr. Levy’s will, executors of the Levy Estate have appointed Morphy’s to handle the collection, with no private selling to occur prior to auction day.
Morphy Auctions’ CEO Dan Morphy said he feels a personal commitment “to make every effort possible to put the machines Bob loved in the hands of others who would appreciate them just as much as he did.”
Morphy said Bob Levy had a great passion for his collection. “Those machines were Bob’s life. He enjoyed every minute of buying and selling, but the machines he kept for himself were his treasures. They were second only to his family in terms of importance,” Morphy said.
“We are deeply honored that Bob chose us to auction his collection,” Morphy continued. “My staff and I knew Bob very well, and as sad as we are that he is no longer with us, we feel certain that Bob would want us to be excited about marketing and auctioning the wonderful machines he considered so special. We will make sure that every aspect of the sale is conducted in a way that would have made Bob proud.”
The Levy collection has already arrived at Morphy’s gallery and will be the centerpiece of an auction lineup containing other select consignments of antique gambling, vending and other coin-operated machines. For additional information, call Morphy Auctions at 717-335-3435 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Antique Helper’s Spring auctions are filling quickly. They will have many specialty collections and marketing opportunities in the upcoming sales. They are currently requesting select art glass consignments for their April auction. Please submit your quality Murano, Scandinavian, French, Bohemian and American Studio Glass images and price expectations for review to Dan Ripley at email@example.com by March 21st.
Antique Helper is always interested in your quality decorative and fine art, jewelry, toys, dolls and collectibles. Contact them today to discuss your consignment with one of their appraisers.
Their March 19th Art & Antiques featuring Asian antiques catalog is online and bidding is underway. Gallery preview is Friday 2-7pm and the sale will be streamed live with online bidding provided by Artfact.