Collectibles

Myers’ Feb. 9 auction features Warhol, unique archive documenting ’80s dance club scene and Madonna’s inner circle of friends

January 24th, 2014 by

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – In the 1980s, New York’s gritty Lower East Side was a hotbed of aspiring artists and entertainers with the common goal of achieving fame and success. Two of the kindred spirits drawn to each other within the fast-paced microcosm of music, art and youthful freedom were British-born artist, dancer and model Martin Burgoyne and his best friend/roommate Madonna. On February 9, Myers Fine Art will auction the Burgoyne family’s archive of mementos from their late son’s New York days as the centerpiece of its 20th Century Decorative Arts sale.

Martin Burgoyne (British/American, 1963-1986), original colored-pencil drawing of Madonna used for the 1983 Madonna record ‘Burning Up,’ 8 x 6¾in, from a spiral-bound portfolio of 12 original mixed-media colored pencil drawings, portfolio estimate $2,000-$4,000

Martin Burgoyne (British/American, 1963-1986), original colored-pencil drawing of Madonna used for the 1983 Madonna record ‘Burning Up,’ 8 x 6¾in, portfolio estimate $2,000-$4,000

“Like so many talented young people who had not yet been ‘discovered,’ Martin Burgoyne worked a variety of jobs to get by while building a name for himself as a graphic artist,” said Mary Dowd, co-owner of Myers Fine Art. “He worked as a dancer, model and even a bartender at Studio 54. During that time, he and Madonna were very much a part of each other’s lives and socialized with a large circle of friends that included Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Tragically, Martin died at the age of 23, but he left quite a legacy. His parents, who are now retired in Florida, have been the guardians of his art and other mementos entered in our February 9th auction.”

Burgoyne’s portfolio of 12 original colored-pencil drawings, some of them depicting Madonna, were chosen to grace both the front and back covers of the pop star’s 1983 debut 12-inch dance single, “Burning Up.” The portfolio of original art is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

1980s Polaroid photograph of Martin Burgoyne and Madonna, who were close friends and roommates, estimate $600-$900.

1980s Polaroid photograph of  Burgoyne and Madonna, estimate $600-$900.

An extensive trove of Polaroids and studio photos, documents Martin and his friends at work and at leisure in their collective comfort zone. A candid Polaroid of Martin – then a student at Pratt Institute – and Madonna – who was on the verge of stardom – shows them in the fashions and pastel-colored hair typical of the early 1980s. “Madonna is already revealing her individuality, with rosaries draped around her neck,” Dowd noted. The photo is estimated at $800-$1,200. Other prized Polaroids include one taken of Burgoyne looking like a latter-day James Dean with friend Keith Haring (1958-1990), against the backdrop of a Haring artwork. Estimate: $800-$1,200. A color photo of Burgoyne with Madonna in a recording studio could realize $800-$1,200 at auction.

Other artworks of note include an Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) original screen print “Mao #91,” measuring 36 inches square and numbered 56/250. The 1972 print made at the Styria Studio is estimated at $35,000-$50,000. Also having a Warhol connection is a 3ft-long painted-canvas sardine with movable tail, which retains its Sotheby’s sticker from the highly publicized 1988 auction of cookie jars and other items from the pop art legend’s estate.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) original screen print ‘Mao #91,’ 1972, 36 inches square, numbered 56/250, Styria Studio, est. $35,000-$50,000. Myers Fine Art image.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) original screen print ‘Mao #91,’ 1972, 36 inches square, numbered 56/250, Styria Studio, est. $35,000-$50,000. Myers Fine Art image.

Of great historical significance is a small collection of items connected to the family of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and which will be apportioned into three auction lots. The grouping includes two 1899 signed photos of Nicholas and his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra, which were given to Secretary of the Interior Ethan A. Hitchcock while he was Ambassador to Russia under President William McKinley. The collection also includes a gift given to Hitchcock by Tsar Nicholas II: a Faberge parasol with a guilloche enameled gold and diamond handle created by premier Faberge designer Michael Perchin. Estimate: $4,000-$5,000.

Myers Fine Art’s Sunday, February 9, 2014 auction of 20th century decorative art featuring the Martin Burgoyne collection will commence at 12 noon Eastern Time. A preview will be held from 10-6 on Saturday, February 8, and from 10 a.m. till noon on auction day. The gallery is located at 1600 4th St. North in St. Petersburg, FL 33704. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable. For additional information, call 727-823-3249 or e-mail auctions@myersfineart.com. Online: www.myersfineart.com.

Auction Results for A Gentleman’s Collection

December 6th, 2013 by

Important English Furniture:
A Gentleman’s Collection

A pair of late George III patinated bronze and ormolu cassolettes

Achieving a total of £1,476,500, Sotheby’s London auction, Important English Furniture: A Gentleman’s Collection, featured the very best of 18th and early 19th-century English Furniture, offering a chance to acquire beautifully crafted works with timeless elegance.

Highlights of the sale included a pair of George III rosewood, tulipwood and marquetry commodes, circa 1775, attributed to Mayhew and Ince, which achieved £242,500, and a pair of George III ormolu mounted white marble candle vases attributed to Matthew Boulton, circa 1775, which sold for £98,500 – more than three times its pre-sale low estimate

All results are now available to view online: Here 

Palm Beach Modern’s Nov. 2 auction features select modern and decorative art, sculptural design and cutting-edge street art

October 21st, 2013 by

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – There is no such thing as an average sale at Palm Beach Modern Auctions (PBMA). Each of the company’s events is carefully curated, with the tastes of today’s sophisticated art buyers kept firmly in mind as consignments are gathered.

Larry Mohr (American, 1921-2013), stainless steel sculpture, signed, dated 1999. Est. $1,500-$2,500.

Palm Beach Modern’s November 2nd auction will reveal just how broad the contemporary category has become, with a refined selection of abstract expressionist, outsider and street art; mid-century furniture, and superb minimalist sculptures from the estate of New York artist Larry Mohr (1921-2013).

The Mohr consignment is an important one. An accomplished sculptor whose figural and abstract works are housed in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Georgia Museum of Art, Vassar College and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, Mohr was noted for his large-scale bronze and aluminum sculptures made of welded and bolted I-beams.

 

“Mr. Mohr passed away earlier this year, and much of his art was left to museums. We were allowed to pick five sculptures from his estate to offer at auction and chose some incredible abstracts that we felt would appeal to those who follow our sales,” said PBMA auctioneer Rico Baca.

Among the five Mohr artworks is a signed and dated 1999 stainless steel sculpture, 14 inches high by 36 inches wide, estimated at $1,500-$2,500. Also standing 14 inches tall, a star-like bronze is titled “CXC XXIII” and estimated at $750-$1,500. Each of the Mohr auction lots will be sold together with a catalog from the Georgia Museum of Art’s 1998 exhibition of Mohr’s sculptures.

Works by some of today’s most in-demand artists are entered in the 300-lot sale. Highlights include a Helen Frankenthaler signed 5-color screen print artist’s proof titled “Spoleto” (est. $1,000-$2,000), a Larry Rivers signed and dated (1968) mixed media cigar-box sculpture titled “Dutch Masters” (est. $4,000-$6,000), and a Paul Jenkins signed and dated (1971) abstract lithograph in blues and greens, 3/100 (est. $500-$1,000).

A dramatic pop art screen print by sought-after American artist Alex Katz is titled “White Hat” and depicts in close-up a stylish woman in a navy-trimmed white Panama hat. It is expected to make $3,000-$3,500.

Barry McGee (a k a ‘Twist,’ American, b. 1966-), monumental artwork on dropcloth canvas, 85½in high by 105in wide. Est. $50,000-$80,000.

Barry McGee (a k a ‘Twist,’ American, b. 1966-), monumental artwork on dropcloth canvas, 85½in high by 105in wide. Est. $50,000-$80,000.

One of the most exciting categories in the sale is street art, led by a monumental work by one of the movement’s true pioneers – San Francisco’s Barry McGee (a k a “Twist”). After he participated in the 2001 Venice Biennale, McGee’s profile skyrocketed, and much of his street art was scavenged or stolen, said Baca. “You don’t often see his art at auction, and certainly never a work as large as the one we will be auctioning, which measures 85.5 by 105 inches.” The McGee artwork is painted on US Army surplus canvas and “has that classic Barry McGee look, where there’s one dominant central figure and his trademark drips of paint in the background,” Baca said. “It’s a quintessential example of a new movement – a sort of neo folk art that looks a lot like the hobo art seen on trains that run between San Francisco and Canada.”

The McGee canvas is estimated at $50,000-$80,000 and has a minimum opening bid of $44,000. Baca predicts there will be multiple bidders willing to step up to the plate and pay the price to own it, citing the (approx.) $40,000 price realized at a major international auction house in May for a smaller McGee artwork.

“The McGee piece in our auction has street-art history, as well as great provenance. It was exhibited at a boutique hotel in San Francisco in the 1990s,” said Baca. The artwork will be auctioned along with a copy of a 2010 photo of the consignor with Barry McGee at Art Basel.

Other hot-ticket street artists in the Nov. 2 auction include Danny Simmons (brother of hip hop impresario Russell Simmons and Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons of Run-DMC), Shepard Fairey, Purvis Young and Katsu. While not technically classified as “street art,” auction entries by Jamie Reid, known for his punk rock show posters; and Donald Roller Wilson, whose work falls under the “Lowbrow” art movement, are expected to appeal to street art fans, as well. Wilson’s 1996 painting on canvas of Cookie the baby orangutan in a party dress (est. $10,000-$15,000) recalls the New York Times’ description of Wilson’s style as “goofy, hallucinogenic…kitsch, but high-quality kitsch.”

Palm Beach Modern’s Nov. 2nd auction will be held at the company’s exhibition center at 417 Bunker Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33405, and will commence at 12 noon Eastern Time. Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.com or Artfact.com. Preview 10-5 Mon.-Fri. during the week prior to the sale; or from 9 a.m. till noon on auction day. Contact: 561-586-5500, info@modernauctions.com.

Visit Palm Beach Modern Auctions online at www.modernauctions.com. View the fully illustrated auction catalog at www.LiveAuctioneers.com or www.Artfact.com.

Former Gettysburg Chief Curator Michael L. Vice Appointed Firearms and Militaria Expert at Morphy Auctions

September 23rd, 2013 by

DENVER, Pa. – Dan Morphy, CEO of Morphy Auctions, has announced the appointment of Michael L. Vice as expert consultant in firearms and militaria. In his new position, Vice, who is based in Gettysburg, Pa., will appraise and catalog guns, rifles and military-related artifacts for all Morphy Firearms sales, starting with a January 11 auction that features a major Colt collection.

Michael L. Vice, newly appointed Firearms & Militaria expert at Morphy Auctions

Michael Vice is a Texas native who obtained his B.A. in history from Mississippi State University, and a Master of Arts degree in museum science from Texas Tech University. He undertook further postgraduate studies in military history at Kansas State University and was an honorary research associate at the University of Birmingham’s World I History Centre in Birmingham, England.

Additionally, Vice is a graduate of the Seminar for Historical Administration, a nationally recognized museum management and leadership training course sponsored by AAM, AASLH, The Smithsonian, and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In 2009, Vice co-authored a major work about surviving Crimean War British artifacts that are held in UK museums and private collections. Titled “Crimean Memories: Artefacts of the Crimean War,” it won the Independent Publishers Association’s Silver Medal for Best Reference Book for 2010.

Vice is a Vietnam veteran and retired major in the US Army Reserve, and has spent the past 30+ years in the museum field. Most recently, he served as museum curator at the US Army Medical Museum at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. During the decade between 1993 and 2003, he was chief museum curator at Gettysburg National Military Park, overseeing a world-famous collection of 42,000 historical artifacts, a vast park archive, and a collection of 700,000 archaeological specimens. His distinguished work history also includes curatorial positions with the US Army Corps of Engineers Office of History, the US Army Center of Military History, the National Park Service, and the United States Cavalry Museum.

An active member of many state and national organizations devoted to antique firearms and military history, Vice enjoys collecting, researching, restoring and shooting American military longarms made between 1835 and 1890. He is considered a leading expert on the American Civil War and American Indian Wars (1866-1890).

“We feel extremely honored that Michael agreed to join Morphy’s as head of our Firearms and Militaria department,” said Dan Morphy. “His qualifications are superb, and his expertise and reputation will play a major role in the further development of what has become one of our strongest and most active departments at Morphy’s.”

 

**To contact Michael Vice regarding consignments to future Firearms sales at Morphy’s, call 717-335-3435 or email info@morphyauctions.com.

Coca-Cola beauties, Mr. Peanut among American icons in Morphy’s Oct. 4-5 Premier Advertising & Coin-op Auction

September 16th, 2013 by
Caille Puck 5-cent upright slot machine with music, pre-1900, stocked with great American tunes, plays well. Estimate: $18,000-$22,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Caille Puck 5-cent upright slot machine with music, pre-1900, stocked with great American tunes, plays well. Estimate: $18,000-$22,000.

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s Oct. 4-5 Premier Advertising & Coin-Op auction contains more than 1,100 top-quality lots from several major collections. There are dozens of early coin-op, slot, penny arcade and pinball machines in the sale; as well as 60+ lots of superb tobacco tins from the David Hirsch collection, and one of the most comprehensive Moxie collections ever amassed, that of the late Jan Miller Bacci of Boston.

The Hirsch collection includes many of the finest known tobacco tins. “All of them are in beautiful condition, and some are believed to be the only ones of their type in existence,” said Dan Morphy, CEO of Morphy Auctions.

Lot 8, a Century Tobacco flat pocket tin is estimated at $1,000-$1,500; while Lot 11, a pre-1900 Old Abe Chewing Tobacco flat tin is estimated at $1,200-$1,600. Images of American Indian chiefs adorn Lot 7, a Prairie Flower Chewing Tobacco tin, $1,000-$2,000; and Lot 12, an extremely rare Kipawa Cigar tin, $2,000-$4,000. Perhaps the star of the collection is Lot 13, an Alcazar round cigar tin picturing a world famous racehorse from which the brand took its name. Near mint, it is expected to make $6,000-$8,000.

Over 150 lots of soda pop advertising will be available, including many coveted, early pieces promoting Coca-Cola and its little-known offspring – Coca-Cola Chewing Gum.  Launched around the turn of the 20th century, Coca-Cola Chewing Gum wasn’t a commercial success for the Atlanta-based company.

1914-1916 Coca-Cola Gum cardboard cutout with Dutch boy image

1914-1916 Coca-Cola Gum cardboard cutout with Dutch boy image, Estimate: $15,000-$25,000.

Lot 459, a 1914-1916 cardboard cutout sign depicting a Dutch boy running in his clogs and clutching an oversize pack of Coca-Cola Peppermint Pepsin Gum is another Petretti book example. Vibrant and colorful, the 29 by 22in sign is described in Morphy’s catalog as “important and rare.” It is expected to make $15,000-$25,000 on auction day.

Saturday’s session opens with the third offering of occupational shaving mugs from the collection of the late Ray Jones and his wife, Theresa. Ray Jones’ navy career is reflected in many of the mugs he acquired, including Lot 641, shipbuilder, $800-$1,200; Lot 702, deep sea diver, $2,000-$3,000; and Lot 736, USS Philadelphia warship, $1,200-$1,500.

Coin-op and arcade machines will follow, with top entries including two prized Caille machines: Lot 795, a pre-1900 Puck 5-cent upright slot, $18,000-$22,000; and Lot 760, a 5-cent Bullfrog upright slot, $25,000-$30,000. The selection also includes many arcade games of skill and 15+ pinballs from the 1950s/60s. A Pace FOK slot machine is actually new/old stock and retains its original shipping crate. The coinage for this machine is the French franc, which is the same size as a US quarter. The machine left Chicago in the late 1930s, bound for Shanghai. It made it as far as Paris, but the outbreak of World War II prevented it from ever making it to China. It is estimated at $7,000-$8,000.

Several vintage jukeboxes stand ready to create lively mood music for the auction. Lot 838, a Wurlitzer Model 81 on “Mae West” stand, is estimated at $12,000-$15,000. It will be followed by a Wurlitzer Model 800, $7,000-$9,000.

Rare Planter’s point-of-purchase copper and steel peanut roaster topped with papier-mache figure of Mr. Peanut, design introduced in 1920. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Rare Planter’s point-of-purchase copper and steel peanut roaster topped with papier-mache figure of Mr. Peanut, design introduced in 1920.

Mr. Peanut will take his turn in the auction spotlight, as well, with Lot 825B, a 1920s peanut roaster topped by a papier-mache figure of the iconic dancing goober, leading the Planters selection. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Lot 825A, a fully functional Hamilton stand-on scale, 44½in tall, with a fantastic painted iron figure of Mr. Peanut, could weigh in at $7,000-$10,000.

Within the 100+ general store lots are numerous hunting and fishing-related advertising signs. Lot 922, a 1907 Winchester paper-on-linen poster realistically depicts four hunting dogs, $3,500-$5,000. Lot 920, a 1910 cardboard cut-out sign with the image of a shell dog and two quail, could realize $2,500-$4,000.

Morphy’s Oct. 4-5 Premier Advertising & Coin-Op Auction will commence at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on both days. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live, Artfact and LiveAuctioneers.

Morphy Auctions is located at 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517. Tel. 717-335-3435 or e-mail serena@morphyauctions.com. View the auction catalog online at www.morphyauctions.com, www.artfact.com or www.liveauctioneers.com.

Waverly Rare Books Auction Will Take Place on September 19th

September 11th, 2013 by

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries in suburban Washington DC, will deliver a wealth of local nostalgia to the auction block on Thursday, September 19th. The centerpiece of the sale is a remarkable selection of gelatin silver photographic prints by Theodor Horydczak (Polish/American, 1890-1971), whose specialty was documenting in black and white the architecture and social activities in our nation’s capital primarily during the first half of the 20th century.

Elvis Presley inscription and autograph on record-album sleeve. Est. $300-$500.

Horydczak was especially adept at capturing attractive angles of government buildings and landmarks, both inside and out. He enjoyed being in the heart of the action and was there with his camera for such events as the 1933 World Series and Washington’s World War II preparedness campaigns. The vast majority of Horydczak’s work – more than 14,000 photos in all – became part of the permanent collection at The Library of Congress after his family donated the extensive archive.

“Theodor Horydczak was an accomplished commercial photographer whose photos were turned into postcards, calendars and other printed ephemera. In our research, we came across a rare Mount Vernon souvenir postcard featuring one of Horydczak’s photos, which leads us to believe he also sold his photos to museums and cultural institutions,” said Monika Schiavo, director of Waverly Rare Books.

There are 35 large-format Horydczak photographs in the September 19th auction, some of them measuring over 6 feet. Three are pencil-signed and some are stamped on verso with Horydczak’s studio name and reproduction notice.

“The consignor of the Horydczak photographs purchased them years ago as a box lot at a country auction in Virginia, then stored them away,” Schiavo said. Estimates range from $300-$500 for a gelatin silver print of the National Cathedral Sanctuary, to $1,500-$2,500 for a dramatic after-dark image of the US Capitol and Reflecting Pool, pencil-signed by Horydczak. Beautiful photos of the Washington Monument and Mount Vernon are also among the signed lots.

The auction will recall America’s days as a new nation in the form of an archive of historical documents pertaining to Fries Rebellion. The 1798 uprising of German-American farmers near Philadelphia, led by John Fries (circa 1750-1818), protested a federal real property tax enacted by President John Adams to finance an anticipated war with France. In July of 1798 Fries led the group of dissenters to a jail in Bethlehem, Pa., demanding the release of prisoners who had been arrested for resisting the tax.

U.S. District Judge Richard Peters issued warrants for the tax protestors and sent U.S. Marshall William Nichols to Northampton County in February of 1798. Nichols arrested 20 violators and held them in the Sun Tavern in Bethlehem prior to their removal to court in Philadelphia. Fries led a company of men to the tavern and negotiated with Nichols, who eventually released the prisoners; whereupon Fries and his company dispersed. Later, Fries was captured and tried twice. Both times he was convicted of treason and sentenced to hang, but in 1800 he was pardoned by President Adams.

Group Lot 436 contains 31 documents pertaining to Fries Rebellion, including the written appointment of Capt. William Rodman of the Bucks County Troop of Light Dragoons to the post of Deputy Marshall, troop rolls, lists of equipment, payments to soldiers, and correspondence requesting payment for expenses for forage and stores. The archive is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

A compelling slice of 20th-century British history is encapsulated in Lot 371, a set of three custom-cased, blue cloth albums originally belonging to Edward the Prince of Wales (briefly King Edward VIII until his abdication; later Duke of Windsor). The albums contain 117 photographs relating to Edward’s British Army service in Egypt and Sudan during March and April of 1916. The photos include such subjects as British military personnel in a rowboat crossing the Suez Canal, Indian military men on camels, two photos of a monkey on board the ship that transported Edward to Sudan, two photos of trains, and many pictures of the prince on horseback, with honor guards and other officers. Additionally, there are photos from the palace of the Governor-General of Sudan, and images of Sudanese commoners, some with livestock. The bound albums are embossed in gold: “Windsor Photographs Vol. 159/160/161.” Estimate: $400-$700.

Edward isn’t the only royalty represented in Waverly’s September 19 auction. Memories of America’s own “king” – Elvis Presley – are captured in Lot 434, a record-album sleeve personally inscribed “To Sue/Thanks./Elvis Presley.” In very good condition, the autographed sleeve is expected to make $300-$500.

Among the top entries in the Art & Illustrations section is Lot 192, a cased 1898 folio of Pierre Bonnard lithographs titled La Lithographie Originale en Couleurs (Paris: Andrew Mellerio). Two original lithographs by Bonnard are among those included. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Also, Lot 203, a set of six French art and literary journals, features original lithos by Chagall, Calder and Tapies. The six issues of Derriere Le Miroir (Paris: Maeght) are from as early as 1966, the period during which Calder’s star rose to prominence worldwide. Estimate: $200-$300. Lot 276, The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein – A Catalogue Raisonne 1948-1993 by Mary Lee Corlett, is estimated at $150-$200.

A boxed set designed by Jasper Johns as a tribute to Gertrude Stein is cataloged as Lot 53. The compartmented set was created for a 1971 museum exhibition in Germany and includes paper rolls that introduce and list the contents of the exhibit; as well as an advertisement for Johns’ “lightbulb” works, and a red plastic rose. The lot is affordably estimated at $80-$120.

Waverly Rare Books’ September 19 auction will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern time. The preview is on from September 14 through and including auction day (see website for hours). The gallery is closed on Sundays.

All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee or live via the Internet through www.LiveAuctioneers.com. For information on any lot in the sale, call 703-532-5632 or e-mail monika.schiavo@quinnsauction.com. Visit Waverly Rare Books online at www.quinnsauction.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

Morphy’s Sept. 21 Doll Auction features prized antique French bisques, German characters and 20th-century favorites

August 27th, 2013 by

DENVER, Pa. – A fine selection of German bisque dolls and a parade of French bisque beauties – including a circle dot Bru – will join Schoenhuts, Googlies and other 20th-century classics at Morphy’s September 21 Doll Auction.

Morphy’s Doll Auction – 9.21.13

The 623-lot sale consists of consignments from a number of discriminating doll enthusiasts, with the largest single grouping coming from a well-refined, long-time Pennsylvania collection.

Premium-quality French bisque dolls encompass quite a wide production range, from fashion dolls to boxed DEPs and productions by Jumeau, Steiner and SFJB. The top-estimated doll of the sale is Lot 262, a Bru circle dot bébé with chubby cheeks and deep brown paperweight eyes with amber threading. The Bru is expected to make $15,000-$25,000.

Morphy’s doll specialist Jan Foulke explained that collectors are always on the lookout for late-19th-century bisques like the Bru circle dot bébé in the upcoming auction because they represent the golden age of French doll manufacture. “Dolls made in France around the 1870s and 1880s were exquisite productions,” Foulke said. “No other dolls can match them for their beauty and quality.”

Another French bisque highlight is Lot 130, a very rare circa-1877 mignonette doll with ball joints in both elbows. “Mignonette means ‘sweet little thing.’ It’s a term the French doll makers used in their catalogs to describe this type of small, very appealing doll,” said Foulke. “The doll to be auctioned is only 5-1/2 inches tall and is extremely desirable because it’s as original as the day it left the factory.” Its presale estimate is $2,500-$3,500.

The German bisque character category is brimming with fine Hertel, Schwab & Co., Heubach, Kley & Hahn, and Kammer & Reinhardt dolls. The varied lineup includes child, lady, nurse, Santa and “pouty” dolls. Lot 289, a rare and impressive glass-eyed 21in K&R 114 doll in antique pink cotton dress with matching hat, displays crisp modeling and an especially pouty mouth. Estimate: $7,000-$9,000.

Lot 163, a rare 16in Heubach 7746 character doll is ready to entertain in an antique gold and black ruffle-neck clown suit, pointy red hat with white polka dots, and black buckle-front shoes. His cheeky grin reveals well-molded lower teeth. The doll could make $3,000-$5,000 at Morphy’s.

Ever-popular Googlies will cross the auction block, with the top entry being Lot 19, a saucy Hertel, Schwab & Co. 172 estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Another Googly prize is Lot 436, an A.M. 323 boy doll dressed in a colorful, factory-original lederhosen outfit with all accessories, including tie, hat, wool stockings and leather shoes. A good size at 12 inches, the smartly outfitted fellow is expected to reach a bid of $1,500-$2,500.

Other early productions that collectors are sure to find appealing include turn of the 20th century Chinese Door of Hope dolls (Lot 202, Amah nursemaid with baby, est. $1,200-$1,800), French wax fashion ladies, and black dolls. Philadelphia-made Schoenhuts are led by Lot 338, a 15in all-wood “Miss Dolly” that was introduced to the market in 1915. The example to be auctioned is all original and dressed in its white factory chemise with pink stockings and pink leather shoes. It also retains its original box with graphics of Schoenhut dolls, information about Miss Dolly’s metal joints, and an explanation of how the doll was made. The auction estimate is $1,000-$1,500.

Composition dolls include Shirley Temple, Sonja Henie, the Dionne Quintuplets, a Dewees Cochran boy, Vogue Toddles and many more. Mid-century dolls are abundant in the Sept. 21 sale, as well, with an array of Madame Alexander Cissy dolls, hard plastic Ginnys, Hoyers, boxed Tonis and several other popular types. A quality grouping of Barbies includes a #2, #4, #5, and an excellent Blonde Ponytail #1 Barbie in striped one-piece swimsuit and original box, estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

There’s much more to attract collectors’ attention on auction day, including cloth and Swiss wood dolls, artist dolls (Sashas, R. John Wright, etc.), teddy bears, a grouping of 19th-century Neapolitan crèche figures, and a varied selection of doll clothes, accessories and furniture.

“Over the past several years we’ve seen a disparity in auction prices – up, then down, then up again on the same model of doll – and in every case it was the originality and condition of the doll that determined what it sold for,” said Foulke. “I think the September 21st auction is going to please collectors who want fresh, original dolls in excellent condition.”

Morphy’s September 21 Doll Auction will commence at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. All dolls are available to preview 7 days a week during regular business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at Morphy’s gallery; or on auction day from 8-9 a.m.

 

**All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live, LiveAuctioneers or Artfact. View the fully illustrated catalog online at www.morphyauctions.com, www.liveauctioneers.com or www.artfact.com. For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail serena@morphyauctions.com. Visit Morphy’s online at www.morphyauctions.com.

All in: The Regency Auction IV Realizes Nearly $3 Million

July 25th, 2013 by

Headliners: 1893-CC Morgan Dollar PCGS MS66 Jack Lee, 1916/1916 Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Obverse PCGS Secure MS64 CAC

1885 Morgan Silver Dollar (Front)

LAS VEGAS – Legend-Morphy Rare Coin Auctions recently held The Regency Auction IV in Las Vegas, the fourth under the “Regency” banner and fifth overall for the auction house. Numbers were exceptional across the board, with several noteworthy coins bringing well into six figures. The sale was once again held at the Bellagio during the PCGS Members Only Show, and huge online pre-bidding culminated with over three hours of feverish floor, phone, and online bidding, as a packed house battled over lots. Also for this sale, well known auctioneer Ron Guth returned to the podium at the request of Legend-Morphy partner Laura Sperber, setting the pace and calling the auction, which began at 6 PM PT.

Legend-Morphy partner Dan Morphy “was more than pleased with the sale and results. Lot preview was very strong with nothing but positive feedback on the catalog.

1885 Morgan Silver Dollar (Back)

Laura did a phenomenal job putting together a fresh grouping of exceptionally clean coins. We met a lot of new bidders and buyers, and are already looking forward to putting together a banner sale for December.”

Julie Abrams, Legend-Morphy president, went on to say, “This was our finest auction to date with 380 handpicked lots, many from world class collections. We could not be happier with the prices realized and the sell-through rate. We have been encouraged by the feedback that our bidders, buyers, and consignors have given us. In a relatively short period of time, they have embraced and validated our unique auction model; small, exclusive auctions with the highest quality coins.”

Total prices realized were $2,987,820.75, with several highlights bringing huge numbers:

  • Lot 62 – 5C 1916/1916 Doubled Die Obverse PCGS Secure MS64 CAC, $253,000.00
  • Lot 68 – P5C 1913 J-1950 PCGS Secure PR65 CAC Gold Sticker, $195,500.00
  • Lot 119 – 10c 1931-S PCGS MS67 FB CAC, $34,500.00
  • Lot 185 – $1 1795 Flowing Hair 3 Leaves, B-5, BB-27 PCGS MS61 CAC, $92,000.00
  • Lot 205 – $1 1885 PCGS MS66 DMPL CAC, $5,175.00
  • Lot 208 – $1 1879-CC PCGS MS65 CAC, $34,500.00
  • Lot 212 – $1 1893-CC PCGS MS66 JACK LEE, $161,000.00
  • Lot 294 – $2 1/2 1881 PCGS Secure PR67 DCameo CAC, $63,250.00
  • Lot 310 – $10 1883-CC PCGS AU58 EX Hall/Simpson, $16,100
  • Lot 334 – 25c 1893 Isabella PCGS PR65 CAC, $51,750.00

“We were thrilled that our boutique auction was able to sell nearly $3,000,000.00 worth of coins in just over 3 hours! Both collectors and dealers love the ease at which they can participate in our sales. The other auction companies can be as gigantic as they want, but for us we’re ecstatic to be small, efficient, and performance proven. We had expected the sale to do well, but we were blown away at the results,” said Legend-Morphy partner Laura Sperber. “The sale consisted of fresh, high end, eye appealing coins and many were direct from major collections. It’s gotten nearly impossible to locate true GEM pieces. From day one, we knew this sale was going to be special.”

The 1893-CC Morgan Dollar PCGS MS66 Jack Lee smashed expectations, hammering at $161,000.00, and the 1883-CC $10 Gold Eagle PCGS AU58 EX Hall/Simpson exceeded estimates, bringing in $16,100.00. Many others went for well above expectations, and in addition to the highlights listed above, Legend-Morphy was thrilled to announce the 1831 Capped Bust Quarter PCGS MS65 CAC, which went for $26,450.00, the 1879-CC Morgan Dollar PCGS MS64 from the Rancho CC Collection which realized $18,975.00, and a 1826 Capped Bust Half Dollar PCGS MS64 which went for $7,475.00. Laura went on to say that “the prices realized (many of which were record setting) proved that Legend-Morphy has as much fire power as any other rare coin auction house.” All prices realized are posted on the Legend-Morphy website: http://www.legendmorphy.com.

The next Legend-Morphy sale, The Regency Auction V will be held Thursday, December 18 at the PCGS Members Only Show at the Venetian in Las Vegas. They are now accepting consignments.

 

** For information about consigning to Legend-Morphy’s December Regency Auction V or for more information on any lot in the sale, e-mail Julie Abrams at juliea@legendmorphy.com or call 717-335-3435. You can also follow Legend-Morphy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LegendMorphy and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LegendMorphy.

Morphy’s June 1 auction a high-quality mix of antique advertising, coin-op machines and occupational shaving mugs from private collections

May 31st, 2013 by

Rover 1-cent Puss ‘N’ Boots fortune teller could reach $25,000-$30,000

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s is like a second home to antique advertising collectors, who regard the central Pennsylvania company’s auctions as a premier source of fresh-to-market pieces from long-held collections. On June 1st, Morphy’s will conduct a 537-lot specialty sale comprised exclusively of antique advertising, coin-op and penny arcade machines; and rare occupational shaving mugs. In keeping with their new, across-the-board policy, the auction will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time.

Buffalo Pepsin Gum 1-cent vending machine with brass marquee. Est. $5,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image.

 

The session will open with an exceptional single-owner collection of 150+ shaving mugs that includes several exciting rarities. Lot 29 depicts two men bowling and has an estimate of $1,500-$2,500; while Lot 122 features the image of an early airplane whose pilot wears duster-type goggles, est. $2,500-$3,000. An elusive stock market-related mug entered as Lot 89 is emblazoned with the image of a commodities broker writing numbers on a chalkboard. Although estimated at $2,500-$4,000, it “could go considerably higher,” according to Morphy Auctions CEO Dan Morphy. “Veteran collectors who’ve looked at it say it’s one of the best they’ve ever seen,” Morphy noted.

 

More than 150 gambling, vending and penny arcade machines lead the lineup of coin-operated amusements. Lot 189, a Buffalo Pepsin Gum vendor is expected to make $5,000-$8,000; while Lot 223, a Caille Centaur upright slot machine in beautiful condition could reach $25,000-$30,000. Lot 240, an original Mills 5-cent Frank Polk figural cowboy slot machine, is entered with a $20,000-$25,000 estimate. Polk produced only 70 original “cowboys,” the one in Morphy’s June 1 auction being one of them.

 

Other high-end machines include Lot 260, a Bally Reliance 5-cent dice machine, est. $8,000-$12,000; and Lot 295, a Rover 1-cent Puss ‘N’ Boots fortune teller machine, complete with 100 fortune cards, est. $25,000-$30,000. A highly desirable musical novelty of yesteryear, Lot 326 is a Wurlitzer Model 850 “Peacock” jukebox. Extremely rare and widely regarded as one of Wurlitzer’s most exquisite and colorful productions, it is estimated at $15,000-$18,000.

 

Next up will be 150+ lots of antique advertising. Lot 484, a circa-1910 to 1920 Phoenix Pure Paint curved porcelain corner sign, features the image of a Native-American boy. It is extremely scarce, as reflected in its presale estimate of $10,000-$15,000. Lot 500, a self-framed tin sign advertising Frazer Axle Grease, features a remarkable image of two horse-drawn wagons whose drivers are engaged in a discussion about a wheel problem. Estimate $4,000-$6,000.

 

The ever-popular Mr. Peanut will make an appearance in Lot 512, in the form of a life-size (75-inch-tall) papier-mache statue. The circa-1920s three-dimensional figure came from a Canadian collection and could bring $8,000-$12,000 on auction day.

 

Mills 5-cent Dewey musical upright slot machine, working order with excellent repertoire of tunes. Est. $15,000-$18,000. Morphy Auctions image.

More than 100 tip trays, most in near-mint-plus condition, have come to Morphy’s from a single-owner collection. Standouts include Lot 346, a tip tray for J. Hupfel Brewing Co., est. $400-$800; and Lot 350, an example that advertises Rienzi Beer in bottles, est. $300-$600.

 

A fine selection of railroad-themed photos includes Lot 518, a litho print dated 1858 that depicts Boston Railroad Locomotive Works builders. The 29 x 42in print is estimated at $5,000-$8,000. Another highlight is Lot 522, a ruby ambrotype photo of a locomotive, est. $800-$1,200.

 

“Our advertising sales are always enjoyable,” said Dan Morphy. “Collectors appreciate the fact that we’re very particular about the condition and quality of pieces accepted for consignment, and those who cannot bid in person never have to worry about our descriptions and condition reports. They know they can trust them one hundred percent.”

 

Morphy’s Saturday, June 1 auction of antique advertising, coin-op machines and occupational shaving mugs will commence at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live or Artfact.com.

 

Morphy Auctions is located at 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517. For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail serena@morphyauctions.com. View the fully illustrated catalog online at www.morphyauctions.com or www.artfact.com.

Material Culture To Rekindle “Spirits…” With 10/14 Event Featuring Prince Twins Seven-Seven Painting

October 1st, 2012 by

PHILADELPHIA – An important artwork by Prince Twins Seven-Seven (Nigerian, 1944-2011) not only co-headlines Material Culture’s 450-lot Oct. 14 auction, it also inspired the event’s title: “The Spirits of My Reincarnation Brothers and Sisters.”

Deeply mystical and immediately identifiable, the works of Prince Twins Seven-Seven have spurred a new level of interest in the marketplace since Material Culture offered several exciting multimedia paintings by the artist in their May 5 auction debut. The self-taught Prince Twins Seven-Seven expressed his boundless imagination in themes that blended esoteric imagery with a vibrant, traditional West African color palette. The 65 by 58-inch batik dye, watercolor, acrylic and oil-on-cloth painting featured in Material Culture’s Oct. 14 sale was purchased directly from the artist in 2007 and is one of seven of his works entered in the sale. It is expected to realize $5,000-$7,000.

Other self-taught artists represented in the October offering include Vojislav Jakic, Kwame Akoto a k a Almighty God, Purvis Young and Felipe Jesus Consalvos, a Cuban-American (1891-1960) who worked as a cigar roller but whose natural talent as an artist was not widely known until after his death. Consalvos created visually stunning modernist collages that incorporate cigar bands and cigar-box paper with photographs, postage stamps and magazine images. His mixed-media collage titled “Let Dreams Come True” was created around the second quarter of the 20th century. It measures 10 x 8 inches (15¾ x 13¾ inches framed) and comes with provenance from the Fleisher/Ollman Gallery. Estimate: $1,500-$2,000.

The auction will showcase a selection of items from the Bill Liske collection of early Chinese and Tibetan textiles, carpets and ethnographic artworks. Material Culture’s first offering of articles from the Liske collection – auctioned on May 26 – was enthusiastically received, said owner George Jevremovic, a cultural arts dealer of 30+ years.

“The Liske collection is special because it reflects the impeccable eye of a collector who lived and worked as a mountaineering guide in the Himalayan region for three decades. Textile dealers in the area taught him how to identify pieces that were genuinely exceptional,” said Jevremovic.

Liske’s expertly chosen collection has appeared at the History Museum in Denver, the Krimsa Gallery in San Francisco, the Shaver-Ramsey Gallery in Denver, and in Hali magazine.

A premier artwork in the Liske collection is a powerfully rendered early Thangka scroll painting depicting the deific reincarnation known as Vajra Varahi in Sanskrit and Dorje Pakmo in Tibetan. Dating to 14th-16th century Tibet, it is valued at $3,000-$4,000.

Another auction highlight is the Michaelian Meshed (31 feet by 47 feet), a circa-1900 Persian carpet originally custom-woven for the prestigious Union League Club in New York City. It remained in the club for decades until its purchase in the 1950s by Frank Michaelian of Michaelian and Kohlberg. Suitable for a discriminating owner with a palatial space, it will be offered for sale publicly for the first time in its history on Oct. 14, with an auction estimate of $60,000-$90,000.

An outstanding 19th-century Syrian silk and gold judge’s tunic from the collection of Samy and Sara Rabinovic, Philadelphia, was the blue-ribbon exhibition winner at the 1996 International Conference on Oriental Carpets, and is expected to fetch $3,000-$4,000. Also up for auction is a rare pre-Columbian funerary headband made with a knotted-pile technique, valued at $1,000-$1,500; and a 19th-century Tibtetan or Bhutanese bull-headed Buddhist dance mask of meditational deity Yamantaka. The mask’s vivid red hue was achieved by applying pigment to a papier-mâché of laurel or mulberry. Estimate: $3,000-$4,000.

Other categories of artifacts include an outstanding group of 17th-18th century Mughal columns and arches from northern India, 16th- to 19th-century Ottoman, Central Asian, Asian, African, Continental and pre-Columbian textiles, 17th-19th century Oriental Carpets, African, Himalayan and Oceanic Tribal Arts, antiquities from the Near East, Americas and Asia; 18th- to 20th-century folk art from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas; and 100+ lots of vintage Navajo jewelry from a private Pennsylvania collection assembled in the 1970s.

“From the beginning it has been our goal to present pieces of diverse origin that would present collecting opportunities for every level of buyer, from beginners to advanced collectors and interior designers. In addition, we take the position that it is better to have around 400 items of very good to excellent quality – from consignors who have realistic expectations – than to create a more-specialized sale with a few stars and lots of filler,” said Jevremovic, explaining his company’s mission.

“This is an age in which corporate auction departments seek to maximize their bottom lines with million-plus-dollar items or high-profile sales that have more to do with celebrity and fashion than quality or connoisseurship. We believe some of the best collecting opportunities – particularly for younger buyers worldwide – exist in the areas we are presenting in our October 14th sale: self-taught, folk, ethnographic, decorative and traditional arts,” Jevremovic said.

Material Culture’s Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 auction will commence at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. Preview: Oct. 10-12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The gallery is located at 4700 Wissahickon Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144. All forms of bidding will be available, including phone, absentee or Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com. For additional information on any lot in the sale, email expert@materialculture.com or call 215-438-4700. Visit the company online at www.materialculture.com.