Archive for November, 2011

Sotheby’s – Fine Watches

November 23rd, 2011 by

The fine watches sale on the 13th December has a wide selection of collectable timepieces, from early pocket watches to modern wristwatches, that will appeal to all watch enthusiasts.

Among the highlights we are delighted to be offering a Millennium wristwatch by Dr George Daniels, one of the greatest watchmakers of the 20th Century. This extremely rare handmade watch incorporates his revolutionary patented ‘Co-Axial’ escapement which represents the first advancement in escapement design since the invention of the lever escapement in 1754.

The sale also includes a large selection of pocket watches including beautiful enamel pieces and technically interesting horological mechanisms. The major premium wristwatch brands are represented and feature sort after models from Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier, Daniel Roth and Audemars Piguet.

For those collectors wishing to acquire a Patek Philippe there is a selection of vintage and modern items including a fine pink gold reference 130 and the iconic reference 3970 complication.

New HISTORY series premiering Sunday, Nov. 27 reveals risky business for collectors hoping to cash in

November 23rd, 2011 by

Hold ’em or fold ’em? Let the seller beware when angling  for a….REAL DEAL

Las Vegas dealer Glen Parshall (left) considers making a cash offer on a fossilized woolly mammoth tooth brought in during the taping of 'Real Deal,' HISTORY Channel's new auction house reality show based at Don Presley Auctions in Orange, Calif. Image courtesy of HISTORY.

ORANGE, Calif. – A 1956 Lincoln Mark II in flawless condition rolls into the lot. Its owner knows that only a handful of these beauties were produced, and he thinks he can get $70,000 for it. The dealer offers him $30,000. Should he take the money and run? The tension builds. No, the seller decides. For a collectible car in perfect running condition, he’s sure he can get top dollar at auction.


The market for collectibles is unpredictable, and everyone wants to make a profit. ‘Real Deal,’ a new 10-part / 30-minute series premiering Sunday, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on HISTORY, zeroes in on the dramatic interaction between buyers and sellers as they haggle over the best price for a piece of history.


Taped at Don Presley Auctions’ gallery in Orange, Calif., Real Deal captures the tension that fuels the art of the deal. Antique dealers must summon their expansive knowledge of antiques – and human nature – to clinch the deal. But it’s the sellers who have the advantage. They can walk away from the table at any time and head straight to the auction block, where big money could be awaiting. But there’s always the risk of going home with far less than the dealer offered – or even empty-handed.


Whether it’s a collection of footballs signed by NFL legends or an autograph by Harry Houdini, a WWII German Storm Trooper dagger or a 19th-century spittoon, everything that comes into the auction reveals something about an earlier time and the way people lived in the past. But an article that’s rich with history doesn’t necessarily make its owner rich. One seller thinks he can get $580 for a 1904 home electrotherapy machine. The dealer offers $240. No deal, decides the seller, and heads to the auction house, where he gets only $225 for it.


But a gamble can sometimes pay off, as it did for Gary, the owner of the Lincoln who rejected the dealer’s $30,000 offer. At the auction house, he gleefully looks on as bids keep rising. Eventually the vintage vehicle fetches $45,000…and Gary goes home a winner.


“With this show, the name tells it all. It’s the real deal – the most authentic antiques and auction show on television,” said auctioneer Don Presley. “I believe auctions are the best way of determining fair market value, and that’s what this show does.”


Presley explained the premise of the show: “People come into the auction house with an antique or collectible item and sit down at a poker table across from one of a team of four very smart dealers with a stack of cash to spend. They discuss the item and haggle back and forth on price; then the dealer makes them an offer. The seller can accept the offer or consign the item to auction. Viewers get to watch the entire process as it unfolds, all the way through to the bang of the gavel. It’s very entertaining,” Presley said.

New episodes will air on the following dates, with back-to-back new episodes on Sundays:

Sunday 11/27 –  9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Monday 11/28 – 11 p.m.

Sunday 12/4 – 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Monday 12/5 – 11 p.m.

Sunday 12/11 – 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Sunday 12/18 – 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

REAL DEAL is produced for HISTORY by Zodiak USA. Carl Lindahl is Executive Producer for HISTORY. Natalka Znak, Claire O’Donohoe and Rhett Bachner serve as Executive Producers for Zodiak.


HISTORY® and HISTORY® HD are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network’s program offerings are hit series such as American Pickers, Ax MenAmerican Restoration, Ice Road Truckers, Top Gear, Pawn Stars and Top Shot, as well as acclaimed specials including  Vietnam in HD, Gettysburg, America the Story of Us, WWII in HD, 102 Minutes That Changed America. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, eleven Primetime Emmy® Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards and received the prestigious Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network’s Save Our History® campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network’s signature initiative connecting America’s schools and communities with veterans from all wars.

The HISTORY website, located at, is the leading online resource for all things history, featuring over 20,000 videos, images, audio clips, articles and interactive features that allow visitors to dig deeper into a broad range of thousands of historical topics. For more information go to




USA Theatres to host new antique toy and coin-op show

November 23rd, 2011 by

HERSHEY, Pa – USA Theatres, which operates drive-in and outdoor theatres in Central Pennsylvania, is entering into the world of antique toys by launching the American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show.

According to the company, the show will feature quality exhibitors buying, selling and trading a wide array of antique and collectible toys, including tin, cast iron, mechanical, pressed steel, banks, advertising, holiday, Marx, soldiers, coin-ops, and more.

“Since outdoor movies are a seasonal business, trade shows and conventions have become an important part of our annual programming,” said Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres.  “The show will be promoted and marketed through various media outlets, including television, Internet websites, daily and weekly newspapers, trade papers, and direct market mailers and magazines.”

A previous show organized by USA Theatres was the Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention, which featured numerous exhibitors from the non-sports hobby, including artists, authors, manufacturers, publishers, and dealers.

The American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show is set to debut for the general public on Saturday, March 3, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Eastern Civic Center, situated within walking distance from the Metro-North Train Station in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.

General admission into the event is $10 for adults and free for children under 12.  Early buyers are welcome Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. and also Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. for $20 per person each day.

A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase at the show, provided by Joemomma Foods Incorporated of Hershey, Pennsylvania, according to the show’s promoter, USA Theatres.

“It’s going to be a brisk and fantastic show,” Vastola said.


Want to exhibit?

8 ft. by 8 ft. exhibitor spaces are currently available for $150 each and include one 8 ft. table, two chairs, and two exhibitor badges; while 16 ft. by 8 ft. spaces are available for $250 each, and 24 ft. by 8 ft. spaces are available for $350 each.

For more information, call (717) 542-0567 or email

You may also visit the website,

Sotheby’s New York – Hunters & Gatherers: The Art of Assemblage – A Selling Exhibition

November 22nd, 2011 by

For enquiries please contact:
Lisa Dennison,, +1 212 894 1424

Lara Barak,, +1 212 894 1577

For most of history, human beings were hunters and gatherers. Until the invention of agriculture, about 10,000 years ago, to subsist meant to comb the wilds, foraging for edible plants and animals. The impulse to scavenge is thus embedded in our genes, and through the centuries it has found powerful expression in the world of art.

Artists are a particular type of hunter-gatherers. Since ancient times, they have assembled works from assorted materials, both natural and man-made, in arrangements in which the artistic whole transcends the sum of its parts.

The focus of this exhibition is the accumulative tendency in art that has been broadly labeled as “assemblage.” Much of the work in this realm before the 20th century has been the product of artists from pre-Columbian America, Africa and Oceania. From the 17th century, Native Americans actively traded with Europeans  for precious commodities such as metal and glass beadwork, which they ingeniously incorporated into ceremonial items, clothing and weaponry. These decorations conveyed status and added luster and allure to a wide range of objects including masks, rattles and headdresses.

During the same period, a rich sculptural tradition emerged on the other side of the globe, in the Chiloango River Region in central Africa.  Power figures, carved of wood in human or animal form, were used to harness spiritual forces for protection, healing or revenge.  A ritual expert drove metal objects into the figure to awaken the spirit.  The potent physical presence of these figures, bristling with nails, blades and spikes, still resonates with the power of these awe-inspiring rituals.

In the early 20th century, African artworks began to arrive in Europe, catalyzing a seismic shift in the course of western art history. They had a profound influence on many artists, including Picasso and Braque, who were soon to create an artistic revolution of their own, when they inserted fragments of the real world onto the surface of their canvases, heralding the advent of collage. Building on these innovations, Dada and Surrealist artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Kurt Schwitters exploited the collision of the rational and non-rational through the use of readymade objects and the chance arrangements of forms. Neo-Dada and Pop artists also incorporated found and manufactured objects into their art; in his Combines, Robert Rauschenberg expressed the desire to bridge the gap between art and life.

The practice of assemblage has continued into the 21st century, with artists enthusiastically using non-traditional materials in both intimate and environmentally-scaled artworks. Many of these follow the cooler conceptual strategies of Duchamp, while others mine Africa’s heritage, not only in the sense of formal properties, but by tapping into their cultural, social and historical resonance as well.  Nick Cave, for example, explores issues of ceremony and ritual in his beautifully crafted Soundsuits, referencing both tribal and Indian art in their various guises. El Anatsui stitches together mesmerizing metal tapestries out of recycled liquor bottle caps. Others, including Anselm Kiefer and Huma Bhaba, incorporate clay and other natural materials into their paintings and sculpture.

Juxtaposing western and non-western art histories, this exhibition is itself an assemblage of different time periods, cultures and artistic forms, resulting in striking visual encounters. In some cases, there is a direct reference to the notion of hunting and gathering, while in others, materials are recuperated into hybrid compositions that are playful, enigmatic and dynamic. Ultimately, it is the fluidity of ideas and the dialogues between objects that create the universe of Hunters and Gatherers.

Quinn’s Dec. 10 auction spans Old Masters to modern art, with a premier selection of French paintings as its centerpiece

November 22nd, 2011 by

Leon Augustin L’hermitte (French, 1844-1925), oil-on-canvas harvest scene, 32 by 38 inches, est. $100,000-$150,000. Quinn’s Auction Galleries image.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Some of Washington DC’s most elegant homes were the sources for Quinn’s Auction Galleries’ upcoming sale of international fine and decorative art, with an afternoon session dedicated to Asian art and antiquities. The Dec. 10 event includes 750 lots led by a selection of French paintings whose overall quality surpasses that of any seen in previous Quinn’s auctions.


“We’re particularly excited about the French paintings in this sale, especially the oil-on-canvas harvest scene by Leon Augustin L’hermitte, which is expected to make $100,000 to $150,000,” said Quinn’s Executive Vice President Matthew Quinn. According to the consignor’s family records, the 32 by 38-inch artwork by L’hermitte (French, 1844-1925) was purchased from New York art dealers in the 1930s for a mere $200.


“Only recently, a L’hermitte of similar size and subject matter sold for $278,000 at Sotheby’s, so we feel the one in our sale could very well bring a similar amount,” said Quinn.


Eugene Boudin (French, 1824-1898), ‘Sur la Plage,’ watercolor and pencil on paper laid to board, 5½ by 10 1/8 inches, est. $20,000-$30,000. Quinn’s Auction Galleries image.

An excellent watercolor and pencil on paper laid to board painting by Eugene Boudin (French, 1824-1898) is initialed by the artist and dated “66.” The 5½ by 10 1/8 inch work is a classic scene of women at the beach with parasols and is titled Sur La Plage (On the Beach). Purchased at Sotheby’s in 1984 for $16,000, it is now estimated at $20,000-$30,000.


An exceptional Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) aquatinted lithograph, Tete de Femme, pencil-signed and numbered “2/125,” was created in 1930. With a 2005 auction price of $11,400 as a comparable, it is entered in Quinn’s sale with an estimate of $8,000-$12,000.


Abraham Hendricksz van Beyeren (Dutch, 1620-1690), still life with fruit, oil on panel, 24 by 19¾ inches, est. $8,000-$12,000. Quinn’s Auction Galleries image.

Old Masters are a fitting complement to the French artworks in the sale and include a painting by the accomplished Dutch artist Abraham Hendricksz van Beyeren (1620-1690), whose works have sold in the past for as much as $100,000. On Dec. 10, Quinn’s will offer an especially nice van Beyeren oil-on-panel still life that depicts ripe peaches and plump bunches of grapes in a beautifully detailed silver taza. The artist-monogrammed work was executed circa 1675-1676 and measures 24 by 19¾ inches (framed). The painting comes to the auction block from a London art dealer and has been conservatively estimated at $25,000-$35,000.


A signed and dated 1670 oil-on-panel painting by Jan van Hutchenberg (Dutch, 1647-1733) depicts a hunting party at rest in the Roman Campagna. Consigned by the same London art dealer as the van Beyeren, the 13- by 16-inch picture titled An Elegant Company Making Merry near Classical Ruins is expected to bring $12,000-$16,000.


Another noteworthy painting is a Eugene Claude oil on canvas, approximately 30 by 50 inches, that Quinn says “has all the elements for which the artist is known.” This particular painting incorporates asparagus, beets, pomegranates, a rabbit and chicken. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.

Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), Ship of Fortune,’ 1633, first-state etching, 4½ by 7 1/8 inches, est. $13,000-$15,000. Quinn’s Auction Galleries image


Three Rembrandt (Dutch, 1606-1669) etchings are entered in the auction, including a 1633 first-state etching of Ship of Fortune. First-state examples of this particular etching are very rare, according to Quinn. “To our knowledge, this is probably only the third one to emerge in the last 25 years,” he said. Measuring 4½ by 7 1/8 inches, it carries an estimate of $13,000-$15,000.


The two other Rembrandt etchings to be auctioned include The Omval, second state, 1645, estimated at $8,000-$10,000; and The Raising of Lazarus, undetermined state, 1631-32, with an estimate of $2,000-$4,000.


The Saturday morning session features a broad range of classic art, from 17th-century Old Masters to late-19th-Century Impressionist works, but collectors of modern works will not be left out. The array of desirable modern paintings awaiting bidders includes such highlights as Montana artist Theodore Waddell’s (b. 1941-) 72-inch-square oil-on-canvas still life titled Blackfoot Horses, est. $8,000-$12,000; an autumnal oil-on-canvas landscape by Brown County, Indiana artist Derk Smit (1889-1985), est. $3,000-$5,000; plus one other work by Smit.

American carved oak Renaissance Revival hunt board, circa 1860-70, the design incorporating a carved deer-head trophy mount with real antlers, est. $3,000-$5,000. Quinn’s Auction Galleries image.


In addition to art, Quinn’s will offer 40+ lots of American, English and European silver; as well as decorative art, including an estate collection of Rookwood pottery. The majority has come direct from private residences in the DC area. A furniture highlight is a circa-1860 to 1870 American carved oak Renaissance Revival hunt board of unusual design. Its cabinets are carved with high-relief depictions of fish and fowl, and its top has a carved anthemion crest flanked by scrolling acanthus over a carved deer-head trophy mount with real antlers. An impressive piece, it is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.


The afternoon session commencing at 3 p.m. is devoted exclusively to Asian decorative art and includes a fine selection of 200+ snuff bottles. Nineteen of the bottles have provenance from The Estate of Edmund F. Dwyer, and were part of the collection sold on Oct. 12, 1987 at Christie’s. A choice example from the assortment in Quinn’s sale displays an opalescent snowstorm ground with red glass overlay carved with a continuous river scene and figures. Dating from sometime between 1750 and 1820, the bottle is estimated at $3,000-$4,000.

Two of 19 Chinese snuff bottles to be auctioned; these two examples being ex Estate of Edmund F. Dwyer, sold at Christie’s on Oct. 12, 1987. At left: circa 1750-1820 bottle, opalescent snowstorm ground with red overlay carved with continuous river scene with figures, est. $3,000-$4,000. Quinn’s Auction Galleries image.


Additionally, the Asian session includes Chinese scrolls, beautifully carved jade pieces and other sought-after 18th- to 20th-century Chinese decorative artworks from DC and Baltimore-area estates.


Quinn’s Dec. 10 auction sessions will commence at 11 a.m. (International Fine  & Decorative Art) and 3 p.m. (Asian Art & Antiquities). The gallery is located at 431 N. Maple Ave., Falls Church, VA 22046. For additional information, call Matthew Quinn at 703-532-5632 or e-mail Visit Quinn’s online at


Morphy’s to host its largest-ever auction of antique and vintage marbles on Dec. 3, featuring the Paul Baumann collection

November 21st, 2011 by

Amber glass latticino swirl marble, 1 5/8 inches in diameter with 14 birdcage latticino bands, ex Paul Baumann collection, est. $4,000-$6,000. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – Marbles are essentially miniature works of art in glass, and the number of collectors who are drawn to them just keeps on growing, said Dan Morphy, whose Pennsylvania auction house has become a virtual collectors’ clubhouse for the specialty hobby. On Dec. 3, his company will conduct its largest-ever offering of marbles – a total of 762 lots. As has become the custom, the event is likely to attract a throng of collectors from several states, all keen to see what sorts of fresh finds have come out of collections for this particular sale.


“We’ve had collectors come from as far away as California to attend our marble sales,” Morphy said. “Those who can’t attend in person – including the many Europeans who collect marbles – are always quick to sign up for phone lines or to bid via the Internet.”


Morphy – himself a longtime buyer and seller of marbles – believes the Dec. 3 event may very well gross in excess of $300,000, noting that several marbles are poised to reach $20,000 apiece.


Onionskin Peacock lutz marble with mica, 2¼ inches in diameter, ex Paul Baumann collection, est. $10,000-$20,000. Morphy Auctions image.

The renowned Paul Baumann collection is the auction’s centerpiece and comprises the first 430 lots of the sale. The collection was started in the summer of 1952, when Baumann was a mere five years old. Baumann’s parents were antique collectors who enjoyed prowling through shops, but they worried about their son’s short attention span and wanted to think of a way to keep him occupied. The solution Paul’s dad devised was to give the boy a portion of his own marble collection, with instructions to keep an eye out for similar types of marbles during their shopping expeditions.


“That was what sparked a lifetime of marble collecting and expert scholarship on the subject,” said Morphy. “Paul was

way ahead of his time. He wrote a book about marbles that was released in 1969 and has been reprinted several times, with 44,000 copies sold in all. That’s unheard of for what was such a narrow specialty for so many years.”


One of the most highly prized pieces in the Baumann collection is a 2¼ inch diameter onionskin peacock lutz marble with mica. Its medley of colors includes purple, orange, yellow, blue, pink, red, green, turquoise and baby blue; and as described in the auction catalog, it contains “large chunks” of mica and lutz. The consignor purchased the marble over 50 years ago at a high-end antique show in Chicago, paying $75 for it. Its surface is in “fabulous” condition, and overall, the marble is graded 9.7 to 9.8. In the Dec. 3 auction, it is estimated at $10,000-$20,000, which Morphy described as “a very nice return on the consignor’s investment.”


Christensen Agate No. 00 Guinea Marbles boxed set, believed to be the only extant example of this set, contains 13 blue guineas and 12 clear specimens. Provenance: John Early, marble grader for Christensen Agate Co. Est. $9,000-$12,000. Morphy Auctions image.

The only Christensen Agate No. 00 Guinea Marbles boxed set Dan Morphy has ever seen is another highlight of the sale. The box contains 13 blue guineas and 12 clear specimens. The set was found in a trailer in Cambridge, Ohio, and belonged to John Early, a marble grader for the Christensen Agate Company. In 9.6 condition, it is estimated at $9,000-$12,000.


A rare and beautiful amber glass latticino swirl marble, 1 5/8 inches in diameter, has 14 equally spaced birdcage latticino bands just beneath its surface. “This marble is extremely rare to find in this size and condition,” said Morphy. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.


Single pontil end-of-day marble, 2¼ inches in diameter, est. $3,000-$5,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Another rarity is the 2¼-inch single-pontil end-of-day marble with two opposing red and white panels and other opposing panels of turquoise and white, and turquoise, yellow and white. Graded 9.8 to 9.9, it is cataloged with a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.


Many collectors pursue sulphide marbles, which contain suspended figures of animals, people, numerals, fantasy characters or objects of various types within the glass. The Dec. 3 sale features a wonderful sulphide with the figure of a court jester, or possibly a Punchinello or Punch character [from Punch and Judy], seated with outspread legs. “This is one of the best figures we’ve seen in a sulphide,” said Morphy, who estimates it will sell for $2,500-$3,500.


, est. $2,500-$3,500.”]The sale contains not only rare, early marbles exhibiting the creativity of past generations of artisans, but also a fine assortment of contemporary designs, with desirable examples by Matthews and Beetem.


“We expect an exciting day of bidding on December 3rd,” Morphy said. “Provenance from the Baumann collection adds a premium to any marble, and collectors are well aware of that. Paul is one of the most respected and most knowledgeable collectors in the marble hobby. Morphy’s is greatly honored to be auctioning his collection.”


Morphy’s marble auction featuring the Paul Baumann collection will take place on Saturday, Dec. 3, commencing at 9 a.m. Eastern time. All forms of bidding will be available, including live at the gallery, by phone or absentee, and live via the Internet through Morphy Live (sign up at or


For additional information on any lot in the auction, call Morphy’s at 717-335-3435 or

e-mail View the fully illustrated catalog and all other auction information online at

Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. to Hold Two-Day Winter Catalogue Auction on December 2nd and 3rd.

November 18th, 2011 by

Twelve bottles of vintage 1986 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, removed from the subterranean wine cellar of an avid collector (est. $27,500-$32,500).

Over 1000 lots of fine art, silver, estate jewelry, furniture and fine wine to be offered at LLAES, Ltd.’s Two-Day Winter Catalogue Auction.  Fine Wine to be sold Friday December 2nd at 5:30 PM, The Personal Collection of Joseph D. Rowand to be sold Friday, December 2nd at 7 PM, and Fine & Decorative Arts to be sold Saturday, December 3rd at 9 AM.


Following on the heels of two consecutive million dollar sales, LLAES, Ltd. is proud to announce their last catalogue sale of the year.  Leland Little states, “This sale promises to maintain the momentum that has been generated at our previous two catalogue auctions.”  The sale will feature the personal collection of Joseph D. Rowand, founder of Somerhill Gallery, Chapel Hill, NC, the largest collection of rare and fine wine to date, and a quality collection of fine and decorative arts.  This event will be held at the firm’s newly expanded state-of-the-art auction gallery in Hillsborough, NC.  Little elaborates, “We are pleased to announce the completion and use of our 5,500 square foot extension which offers an additional 2,000 square feet of gallery display combined with the largest walk in wine cooler in the Southeast.”  Floor, absentee, telephone, and live online bidding through Live Auctioneers will be available both days.


The two day schedule will begin on Friday, December 2nd with an Hors D’oeuvre and Wine Reception for floor bidders.  The Rare and Fine Wine Auction will begin promptly at 5:30 PM.  Particular lots of note include:  nine bottles of vintage 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (est. $21,000-$26,000), twelve bottles of vintage 1986 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (est. $27,500-$32,000), and two bottles of vintage 1985 Montrachet (est. $4,500-$6,500).  These lots have all been removed from the subterranean wine cellar of an avid collector.

Oil on canvas by Maud Gatewood entitled, “Green Shade.” Presented in a custom karated gold leaf floater frame.


Following the same evening at 7PM, LLAES, Ltd. will offer the personal collection of Joseph D. Rowand, founder of Somerhill Gallery in Chapel Hill, NC.  164 lots will be offered at this second session.  There are no pre-sale estimates for this session as it constitutes an estate collection with all items to be sold to the highest bidder.  Lots of interest include the Catalogue cover lot, an oil on canvas by Maud Gatewood, entitled, “Green Shade,” which is one of twelve works offered by the famed Gatewood.  Other lots of note include an oil on canvas by Claude Howell (NC, 1915-1977) entitled, “Boy with Watermelon,” a ceramic sculpture entitled, “Two Figures,” by Mark Chatterley, a Saarinan “Tulip” Table and a pair of chairs, and an oil on canvas by John Beerman (NC) entitled, “Seven Lombardi Poplars…”


On Saturday, December 3rd at 9AM, over 700 lots of fine and decorative arts will be offered.  This session features multi-estate national and international level collections, beginning with 106 fresh to the market Asian Art offerings.  Lots to watch include a pair of Chinese Famille Rose Lidded Bowls with a mark for Qianlong (est. $800-$1,200), a Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Pear Form Vase with a six character mark for Tongzhi reign (est. $800-$1,200), and a Chinese Carved Rose Quartz Elephant (est. $2,000-$4,000).


American Art offerings will be a highlight of the sale.  An acrylic on canvas by Rafael Cauduro, who is considered to be among the finest muralists and artists currently living and working in Mexico, entitled, “My Grandfather” (est. $6,000-$9,000) will generate excitement.  Other strong lots include an oil on canvas by Anthony Thieme (MA, 1888-1954), entitled, “Pigeon Cove” (est. $6,000-$8,000), a mixed media on board signed and dated “Dale Nichols 1947,” entitled “Red Barn in Snow” (est. $2,000-$4,000), a drypoint on heavy wove paper by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) signed and entitled “Kleine Welten XII” (est. $8,000-$12,000), and a still life oil on canvas by Thomas Wightman, Charleston, SC (est. $3,000-$5,000).


Paint Decorated Pennsylvania Dower Chest, 18th century (est. $4,000-$8,000)

American Furniture will be led by a New York Renaissance Revival Bedroom Suite, circa 1870s with elaborate relief carving as well as incised and pierced details (est. $10,000-$20,000), a Philadelphia Tall Post Tester Bed, circa 1820-30 (est. $8,000-$12,000), and a Pennsylvania Paint Decorated Dower Chest, 18th century (est. $4,000-$8,000).  Other fine lots include an American Classical Breakfront, second quarter 19th century (est. $4,000-$8,000) and a New York Federal Drop Leaf Parlor Table, circa 1810-30 (est. $3,000-$5,000).  A Continental offering of note is a Pair of Regency Inlaid Card Tables, circa 1810 (est. $3,000-$5,000).


Impressive 9.90 carat Platinum and Diamond Ring, centering on one emerald cut diamond (est. $80,000-$100,000).

Fine Jewelry offerings include 71 extremely strong lots that are sure to generate animated bidding.  An Impressive 9.90 carat Platinum and Diamond ring centering on one emerald cut diamond (est. $80,000-$100,000) will certainly be a lot to watch.  Other one of a kind pieces include a Diamond Line Bracelet comprised of 33 round brilliant cut diamonds (est. $10,000-$20,000), an Art Deco Platinum and Diamond Bracelet (est. $2,500-$5,500), an 18KT Diamond, Sapphire, Turquoise Toucan Brooch (est. $1,500-$2,500), an 18KT Gold and Diamond Cartier Brooch (est. $1,000-$3,000), and an 18KT Diamond En Tremblant Brooch, Hammerman Bros. (est. $1,000-$2,000).


Gorham “Maintenon” Sterling Tea and Silver Service (est. $10,000-$12,000)

Fine Silver offerings, both American and Continental, will excite and satisfy silver buyers.  American offerings will be led by a Gorham “Maintenon” Sterling Tea & Coffee Service (est. $10,000-$12,000) and Hector Aguilar “Aztec” Silver & Rosewood Flatware, circa 1940-1950 (est. $6,000-$9,000).  Continental Silver lots of note include a Georg Jensen “Pyramid” Sterling Flatware Service for eight (est. $5,000-$7,000), a Pair of Georgian Silver Salvers bearing the date letter for 1798 (est. $1,000-$3,000), and a Russian Silver Vodka Bucket, circa 1908 (est. $800-$1,200).


Rounding out the sale will be ten lots of fine musical instruments from an Eastern North Carolina Private Collection, led by a 1958 Gibson Les Paul Jr. Electric Guitar, 3/4 Size (est. $3,000-$5,000), sixteen lots of sculpture in various mediums, led by a cold painted gilt bronze by Pierre Le Faguays (est. $1,000-$3,000), and a 1977 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith III four door sedan (est. $10,000-$15,000).


Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd.’s Spring Catalogue Auction will be held in March of 2012.  LLAES, Ltd. is always seeking quality consignments, whether it be an entire estate or a significant item. If you would like to discuss selling please call at 919-644-1243 or email at  To learn more about Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. please visit their new website at

New Jersey’s Sterling Associates enters auction arena with Dec. 3 Estates Sale

November 18th, 2011 by

Old Masters, European bronzes, Asian art top a 450-lot fine and decorative art offering

Pair of 29¾-inch, bronze-mounted Capodimonte urns, est. $12,000-$15,000 pair. Sterling Associates image.

CLOSTER, N.J. – When Sterling Associates conducts its inaugural Fall Estates Sale on Dec. 3, bidders from around the world will have the chance to experience what may very well be the future of the auction business – a format that company owner Stephen D’Atri calls the “hybrid auction.”


“All of the bidding will be done absentee, over the phone or via the Internet, but we’re very much a permanent brick-and-mortar company where anyone can come in to inspect the goods,” said D’Atri. “It will be run exactly like a live auction, but without a live audience.”


D’Atri said the idea behind Sterling Associates developed organically, after many years of working with his family’s antique lighting business, followed by the establishment of a very successful business of his own. Over a 22-year period, D’Atri’s Sterling Restoration and Antique D’zynes grew from a one-man operation in a 1,000-sq.-ft. venue to a company with 15 employees headquartered in a 17,000-square-foot building.


Pietro Fragiacomo (Italian, 1856-1922) signed oil-on-canvas painting of women at shoreline, 20½ x 20 inches, est. $6,000-$8,000. Sterling Associates image.

As a major restorer of antiques and metalwork known to just about everyone in Bergen County’s antiques trade and well beyond, D’Atri had his finger on the pulse of what was happening in the marketplace. He felt something was missing in the region where he had lived all his life.


“I felt there was a void in my area for auction houses specializing in estates,” D’Atri said. “With the boomer generation coming into retirement age and needing to downsize, many retirees were discovering that auction houses available to them wanted only the highest-end merchandise. But it’s not all about van Goghs and Picassos; it’s also about everything else in a house. The same house where we found some wonderful Old Master paintings also had Danish Modern furniture. That’s how people live. Our goal is to be the friendly, diversified auction house that handles a variety of fresh to the market antiques.”


D’Atri’s hybrid-auction concept will become reality on Dec. 3 with a high-quality 450-lot sale of fine and decorative art, including Modern and Asian; furniture, French and Russian bronzes, and other antiques from estates throughout the Northeast.


Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008), ‘Ace, November, Venice USA, 1977,’ offset lithograph poster on wove paper, est. $2,000-$3,000. Sterling Associates image.

A nicely varied selection of artworks includes approximately 40 oil paintings and another 40 to 50 watercolors and lithographs. A beautiful Pietro Fragiacomo (Italian, 1856-1922) oil on canvas depicting two women at the shore is estimated at $6,000-$8,000; while a lively Nicholas Wassilievitch Orloff (Russian, 1863-?) winter landscape with troika is entered with a $2,000-$3,000 estimate. The sale also features a modern art section. A 1977 Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008) offset lithograph poster on wove paper is titled Ace, November, Venice USA. Its estimate is $2,000-$3,000.


Sculptures are led by a large Auguste Moreau (1834-1917) patinated bronze of a woman, est. $6,000-$8,000; and a 19th century bronze troika by Vasily Yakovlevich Grachev (Russian, 1831-1905). Described by Stephen D’Atri as “small but very fine,” the 10½-inch-long Grachev bronze is expected to make $4,000-$6,000. A Luca Madrassi (French, 1848-1919) dore and silvered bronze nymph on a conch shell stands 30 inches tall and carries a presale estimate of $4,000-$6,000.


A pair of exquisitely decorated 29¾-inch, bronze-mounted Capodimonte urns will be offered as one lot with a $12,000-$15,000 estimate, while an artist-signed 19th-century Sevres dore bronze mounted, covered vase is poised to make $3,000-$4,000.


Mid-19th-century Satsuma Gosu Blue pagoda-form candlestick, 20 inches tall, estimate $8,000-$12,000. Sterling Associates image.

Several exceptional pieces of Satsuma porcelain will be auctioned. The premier entry in this category is a mid-19th-century, 20-inch Gosu Blue candlestick created in the form of a pagoda. “Gosu Blue Satsuma wares were produced in very limited quantities in Kyoto and are highly desirable to collectors. This is a very impressive, extremely rare design,” said D’Atri.


Continuing in an Asian theme, another auction highlight comes in the form of an 18th-century Qianlong cloisonné censer with pierced kirin lid. The tripodal vessel stands 16 inches tall and retains remnants of gold on the lid. “This piece could be the star of the sale,” D’Atri observed.


Sterling Associates’ Dec. 3 auction debut represents a new way in which estate antiques and art may be brought to auction. It combines a live preview in an auction-house setting with absentee and remote forms of bidding that make the auction accessible to buyers in any location. With modern technology and the Internet working at one end, Sterling Associates strikes a balance on the traditional side by reviving services that people miss most about the auction business of 20 years ago.


Luca Madrassi (French, 1848-1919) dore and silvered bronze nymph on a conch shell, 30 inches tall, est. $4,000-$6,000. Sterling Associates image.

“Many estate auctioneers in this county have retired or gone out of business due to mismanagement. I kept hearing, ‘It’s a shame this guy is gone or that guy is gone, and there’s no one replacing them. I decided to be that someone,” D’Atri said.


“My family’s business – and later my own business – was tagged ‘high end,’ and I kind of enjoyed that tag, but it eliminated a lot of potential buyers who weren’t looking for that highest price point,” D’Atri explained. “I like the idea of having a full-service operation that can bring the best of a consignor’s pieces to auction and be of genuine help by also liquidating everything else in their estate through other appropriate venues.”


Sterling Associates’ inaugural Fall Estates Auction will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, starting at 12 noon Eastern time. The preview is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 29 through Dec. 2, and on the morning of the auction. The gallery is located at 70 Herbert Ave., Closter, NJ 07624.


Bidding methods include absentee, by phone or live via the Internet through To contact the gallery, call 201-768-1140 or e-mail Visit Sterling Associates online at View the fully illustrated catalog online at

Millea Bros. – Fall Estates Auctions at the Morristown Armory

November 17th, 2011 by

Friday – Meissen, Fine Porcelain, Asian Art

Saturday – American, English, Modern Art, Design

Sunday – European Antiques, Silver, Jewelry

Sotheby’s Paris – Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie – Catalogue Now Online

November 17th, 2011 by

Gods and Ancestors : this perfectly encapsulates what the magnificent sculptures in this December auction convey. Crafted by talented artists from Africa and Oceania, with a masterful hand and each using their own formal criteria, these pieces express the timeless beauty of the spirits that they embody.

Three exquisite masks in the auction – the Boa mask (lot 68), the black Punu mask (lot 56) and the Kwele mask (lot 55)) were never meant to be exposed to the public gaze; their beauty and strength were only devoted to the spirits and ancestors.  These majestic representations of the male and female form, created by anonymous artists, are joined by a small sculpture of a head by the famed ‘Buli Master’ (lot 62), and by two shrine (couple) sculptures, extraordinary in their artistry and rarity, from a supremely talented Yoruba Nago artist (lots 35 and 36)). Both sculptures are devoted to Shango, the deified fourth king of Oyo-Ile, the city that was the centre of the Oyo Empire in the second half of the 18th century.

From Oceania, comes a rare Rarotonga Staff God, Cook Islands (lot 85). One of only sixteen complete Staff Gods documented in museum or private collections, this sculpture pays tribute to Tangaroa, the creator God.