In The News

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.

Doubling Down: Legend-Morphy Introduces Monthly “Premium Internet Only Auctions”

August 1st, 2013 by

DENVER, PA – Legend-Morphy Rare Coin Auctions is expanding. Response to their live “Regency Auctions” has been so robust that they will soon be rolling out monthly “Legend-Morphy Premium Internet Only Auctions.”

The Premium Auctions will begin this September, and will be similar to Regency Auctions, but with the number of lots limited to between 100 and 250 PCGS and NGC graded coins. The auctions will max out at 250 lots, all valued between $500.00 and $10,000.00, and they will not be accepting modern coins. In keeping with their other boutique style sales, all coins will be vetted for quality, and all coins will be sold unreserved. Premium Auctions will only be scheduled during months without a Regency Auction.

Legend-Morphy president Julie Abrams stated that “the comment I receive most often is how much our customers appreciate our boutique approach and the carefully chosen high-end offerings in our auctions. We feel the natural offshoot to our quarterly Regency Auctions is to continue in a similar vein, adding what will now be our high quality Premium Internet Only Auctions. As with our Regency Auctions, every coin will be hand-selected with no surprises.”

 

Legend-Morphy Premium Internet Only Auction Schedule:

  • Sale I: Sept 23 – Sept 30th

Consignment deadline:  Sept 6th

 

  • Sale II: Oct 21 – Oct 26th

Consignment deadline:  Oct 4th

 

  • Sale III: Nov 11 – Nov 18th

Consignment deadline: Oct 25th

 

 

**For information about consigning to an upcoming Legend-Morphy Premium Internet Only Auction 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.

The next Legend-Morphy live 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.

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.

Gemologist Josh Cohn joins Morphy Auctions’ team of specialists

July 25th, 2013 by

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions has announced the appointment of gemologist and art glass expert Josh Cohn to itsteam of specialists.

Gemologist and art glass expert Josh Cohn, GG, newly appointed to Morphy Auctions’ team of specialists.

A graduate gemologist (GG) who spent 20 years at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – the world leader in the grading and quality analysis of gemstones and diamonds – Cohn is a recognized expert in his field. He will bring his vast knowledge and experience to all Morphy sales that include estate jewelry, diamonds and other precious gems.

Cohn, who lives in a New York City suburb, spent most of his years at GIA in a laboratory environment, identifying and verifying diamonds of all types. He also studied while at GIA and earned his GG accreditation there.

“Although he is very well known in the world of diamonds and gemstones, Josh is also a respected dealer of art glass, silver, jewelry and paintings. His shop in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, The Emporium, is a popular stop for antique hunters in the Berkshires,” said Morphy Auctions CEO Dan Morphy. “We’re very pleased that Josh has agreed to become part of our organization.”

Cohn is currently in the process of gathering precious gem and estate-jewelry consignments to evaluate and catalog for Morphy’s Nov. 2 Fine & Decorative Art Auction. So far, highlights include a 5-carat white diamond, a 5-carat colored diamond in a platinum mounting set with smaller colored diamonds, and several highly desirable collector-quality color-changing diamonds known in the trade as “chameleons.” Cohn also expects to receive auction consignments of mounted and loose colored diamonds, and other fine gemstones, including sapphires, expressly for the Nov. 2 event.

 

To contact Josh Cohn about consigning to Morphy’s, call 914-907-9385 or email toobiltd@comcast.net. Visit Morphy Auctions online at www.morphyauctions.com.

 

‘Diamonds Speak’ In Watch Auction HQ’s Sept. 30 Auction Debut

September 18th, 2012 by

PORTLAND, Ore. – On Sept. 30, 2012, a new first-class auction resource for luxury gems, jewelry and timepieces will become available to buyers worldwide with the launch of Watch Auction HQ’s auction division. The Portland-based company was formed from the 2011 merger of a private jewelry wholesale firm and a boutique specialist in estate and privately acquired fine jewelry. Businessman Nick Dillard and a prominent jeweler/gemologist are partners in Watch Auction HQ, which deals only in fine jewelry and watches of an especially high standard, as evidenced in the selection they’ve hand-chosen for their Sept. 30 auction premiere.

“Our private clients are entertainment executives, business owners and ‘captains of industry.’ They are sophisticated buyers who expect exclusivity and a much higher level of customer support than they might receive elsewhere,” said Dillard. “For instance, we recently sold his-and-her diamond bezel bracelets to a movie industry executive and flew to Los Angeles to deliver them personally to the client’s Beverly Hills residence. We’ve tailored our auction model so it incorporates many of the white-glove extras our private clients appreciate, such as lovely cases and packaging for all goods, and complimentary Fed Ex shipment. In addition, auction bidders will have the assurance of knowing that they are dealing with a company that has already proven itself to be of utmost integrity.”

The 300-lot Sept. 30 auction titled ‘Diamonds Speak’ will be structured as a timed online auction through LiveAuctioneers.com, with additional bidding options to include phone and absentee bidding. Lots will close consecutively after the start time of 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST).

Among the men’s timepieces to be offered are watches by Audemars Piguet, Omega and Rolex. Leading the ladies’ watches is a highly desirable diamond-bezel 18K gold Rolex Datejust model. Other ladies’ watches include a stunning 18K yellow gold Lucien Picard contemporary design with 48 pavé diamonds on its face, 32 diamonds on the bezel and 240 diamonds on the bracelet; and a chic 18K yellow gold Tiffany & Co. wristwatch with 134 diamonds on the bezel and diamond dial markers.

The ultimate fashion accessory that moves with ease from the country club to a formal dance is the now-classic tennis bracelet. Watch Auction HQ will offer to the highest bidder an elegant, mint-condition 14K gold tennis bracelet set with 39 diamonds weighing approximately 10 carats.

Several other bracelets are worthy of special mention. A 18K yellow gold custom design by David Freeland features a full carat of sparkling diamonds set in a row alongside a circle of gold-framed opals. Also guaranteed to turn heads is a superb Renaissance-style custom-designed bracelet of white and yellow gold set with tourmalines and both square and round diamonds – total weight: 62.2 grams. The third key lot amongst the bracelets is a hinged design of cobalt-enameled 18K yellow gold fashioned as two intricately detailed, ruby-eyed lions’ heads.

Another statement piece in the sale is an 18K yellow gold and diamond necklace designed by Gabriel Barda. Its graceful motif features gold “leaves” set with 60 round diamonds cumulatively weighing (approx.) 2 carats.

If there is a single jewel that can speak a thousand words, it is the diamond solitaire, says Nick Dillard. “When a fine diamond is cut in a special way, it shows off the jewel’s brilliance and can be the most spectacular thing.” Just such an example in the Sept. 30 sale is the marquise-cut solitaire diamond that serves as the focal point of a 14K yellow gold ring. Ten channel-set diamonds accent he impressive center diamond within a distinctive contemporary design.

Dillard said Watch Auction HQ will be introducing many custom marketing features to its online sales, as well as a private club whose members will receive an exclusive catalog containing “pieces to dazzle even the most discriminating buyer – these items will be for members’ eyes only.”

Starting with the Sept. 30 auction, there will be a gift drawing to accompany each Watch Auction HQ sale. No purchase is required. Anyone who signs up to bid or to receive either the company’s e-mails or e-catalog will automatically be entered for a chance to win a fine-jewelry item or timepiece valued at no less than $500. The Sept. 30 auction-drawing prize is a men’s 14K gold Longines vintage watch valued at $1,000.

“What we want to stress above all else is that customer service is of prime importance to us. We answer every question and respond to every phone call, e-mail and social media contact promptly and courteously. We view each customer as a long-term business partner and want to build lasting relationships with people who like to have fun and enjoy the finer things in life,” Dillard said.

For information on any item in Watch Auction HQ’s Sept. 30 “Diamonds Speak” auction, or to arrange for a phone line on auction day, call 800-890-7780 or e-mail nick@watchauctionhq.com or info@watchauctionhq.com. Visit the company’s website at www.watchauctionhq.com. View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet on auction day at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

To view a brief video clip previewing Watch Auction HQ’s Sept. 30 sale, click here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KGv9lefS7Sg&noredirect=1

Early American toys, trains and firefighting vehicles raced past their estimates at Noel Barrett’s May 21 ‘Something for Everyone’ auction

August 28th, 2012 by

Lionel 408E standard gauge train set with electric engine, four compartmented coaches and original boxes, sold via the Internet for $35,395.82. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

NEW HOPE, Pa. – Prior to Noel Barrett’s richly varied May 21, 2011 “Something for Everyone” sale, some collectors speculated that the whimsical clockwork veggie man on the catalog cover might take the blue ribbon on auction day. While the cheeky, 16-inch papier-mache Halloween figure did surpass expectations to sell for $16,520 (all prices inclusive of 18% buyer’s premium); it was a modestly estimated Lionel train set that took the express journey to the top of prices realized.

 

The Lionel 408E standard gauge set with electric engine and twin Bild-A-Loco motors pulled four compartmented coaches identified as 412 California, 413 Colorado, 414 Illinois and 416 New York, the latter being an observation car. All of the cars – which were finished in tan and chocolate brown with cream window frames and peacock-blue accents – came with their original boxes. The set drew numerous competitors, with an Internet participant claiming the lot for $35,395.82. The bidder eventually drove six hours to Pennsylvania to collect his prize.

 

“It was an exquisitely rare train set in that particular color scheme. The selling price was a very nice surprise for the consignor and proved yet again that, in today’s marketplace for antique and vintage trains, it’s the collectors who call the shots,” said auction company owner Noel Barrett.

 

Trains proved to be the sale’s strongest suit. An American-profile Carette gauge 1 #2350 steam loco and tender featured in Paul Schiphorst’s book The Golden Years of Toy Trains had been entered in the sale with a $12,000-$15,000 range. But with energy to burn, it powered its way to a $29,500 finish.

 

Marklin Central-Bahnhof train station #2651, hand painted with candlelit interior and furnishings, $23,600. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Superbly hand painted and designed for illumination by candlelight, a Marklin Central-Bahnhof train station #2651 was outfitted with a table, chairs and benches. Its sumptuous details included etched and stained glass windows, doorway arches, a canopy and ticket-queue rail. Perhaps the best preserved of all known examples, the perennially popular German train station achieved $23,600 against an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

 

Toys with a firefighting theme “never suffer a shortage of interest,” Barrett remarked. A case in point was the salesman’s sample fire ladder wagon made by Seagrave Co., the oldest continuous manufacturer of fire apparatus in America – and still in existence. The 50-inch-long sample fire wagon from the 1890s included an array of ladders, fire axes, extinguishers, lanterns and fire buckets. It settled just short of its high estimate at $10,030.

 

Fire pumper model, spirit fired and believed fully functional, 21 inches long, weight 32 lbs., $8,260. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

A mechanical marvel replicating a spirit-powered fire pumper was described in Barrett’s catalog as “one of the most amazing…we have seen.” Fully functional, it included double-pump pistons, valves and a flywheel crafted from brass and iron, with nickel-plated wheel rims and other components. Estimated at $6,000-$7,000, it blazed to $8,260.

 

Early automotive advertising showed its muscle in the form of a self-framed Marathon Tires sign depicting two anxious couples in a red open tourer, navigating a narrow, craggy ledge. Retaining an original paper label on verso from the famed tin sign maker Kaufmann & Strauss, the 22¾ inches by 19¾-inch advertisement applied the brakes within estimate at $16,520.

 

George Brown painted-tin horse-drawn omnibus stenciled “Broadway & Central Park,” $12,980. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Several highly desirable American painted-tin toys were offered in the May 21 auction. Two of the best were attic finds. Discovered in California, a Fallows 1886 (patented) Buffalo Hunter, whose design includes a pair of rocking buffalo on a wheeled base, surpassed its $2,000-$3,000 estimate to realize $7,670. A George Brown horse-drawn omnibus stenciled “Broadway & Central Park” was a fresh find from a Long Island home. It had a smooth ride all the way to its above-estimate $12,980 destination.

 

A third 19th-century American toy highlight in the sale was the Hull & Stafford “America” clockwork locomotive that came directly from the collection of Disney animator and train collector extraordinaire Ward Kimball (1914-2002). Made of stenciled tin and wood with cast-iron wheels, it was one of only two toy trains retained by Betty Kimball (1912-2010) when her husband’s incomparable collection was consigned to Barrett’s in 2004 and 2005. “The Hull & Stafford ‘America’ was always one of Betty’s favorites,” Barrett noted. Estimated at $3,000-$4,000, the charming, primitively styled red and yellow locomotive was a crowd favorite. It ended its bidding run at $11,800.

 

Set of McLoughlin paper litho on wood Brownie ninepins, $7,670. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Other standouts included a set of McLoughlin paper litho on wood Brownie ninepins $7,670 (est. 2,000-$3,000) and an Erzgebirge painted-wood village consisting of 12 structures and numerous accessories, all housed in a bentwood box, $5,310 (est. $700-$1,000). An antique Parisian perfumery came to the auction podium stocked with a multitude of miniatures that included various fragrances in glass bottles, powders, soaps and pomades arranged on mirror-topped counters and on vanity shelves. The deluxe emporium was also accompanied by a shop attendant: a well-dressed, bisque-head doll outfitted in fashionable turn of the 20th century attire. Estimated at $2,000-$3,000, it clinched a winning bid of $4,425.

 

Barrett’s next sale is planned for the weekend of Nov. 16-17, 2012.

 

To contact Noel Barrett, call 215-297-5109 or email toys@noelbarrett.com. Visit Barrett’s website at www.noelbarrett.com.

Sotheby’s New York – Lichtenstein’s ‘Sleeping Girl’ Sets New Artist Record | Contemporary Art Evening Auction

May 11th, 2012 by

NEW YORK, 9 May 2012 - Tonight at Sotheby’s, the Contemporary Art Evening Sale brought a strong total of $266,591,000, well within the $216/304 million pre-sale estimate and with 81% of lots sold.

Tobias Meyer, this evening’s auctioneer and Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art, said: ‘‘We are thrilled with tonight’s total of $266 million, and especially with the results achieved for our top four lots, which set a record for Roy Lichtenstein, for a single panel by Francis Bacon, one of the strongest prices for Andy Warhol in some time, and a record for Cy Twombly. The top end of the market performed beautifully this evening due to a global demand for masterpieces that is almost unparalleled, and we saw a remarkable depth of bidding between $30-40 million.’’

RSL’s July 1 Antique Toys, Train Stations, Banks & Americana auction led by revered Jirofsky, Laster collections

May 11th, 2012 by

Circa-1905 Marklin ‘Café’ train station with many papier-mache figures, ex Ward Kimball collection. Est. $18,000-$25,000. RSL Auction Co.

TIMONIUM, Md. – Fine European antique toys and train stations, plus a fabulous array of still and mechanical banks are at the heart of RSL’s 621-lot auction to be held July 1, 2012 at Richard Opfer’s gallery in Timonium (suburban Baltimore), Maryland. Titled “Toys, Train Stations, Banks & Americana,” the auction’s wonderfully varied selections include the John Jirofsky architectural still bank collection, the late Dr. James Laster’s collection of train stations, and other carefully chosen additional consignments.

 

A longtime collector, Jirofsky is a member of both the MBCA and SBCCA, a reflection of his penchant for both mechanical and still banks. “We sold John’s mechanical banks in June of last year; now we have his still banks, which were his true collecting passion,” said RSL partner Ray Haradin. “There’s great diversity in his collection, especially among the painted buildings. It contains the only known example of the ‘1905 Bank.’” Having an almost mosque-like appearance with its tall spires, the 1905 Bank could cash out at $12,000-$18,000.

 

Gebruder Bing 1 gauge train station with patio, circa 1910. Est. $4,000-$6,000. RSL Auction Co.

Another highlight is a red Palace Bank with exceptionally fine detailing and a smooth, lustrous patina. It is expected to make $10,000-$15,000.

 

From a different consignor comes a rare and exceptional 1890s polychrome-painted Ives Santa bank, complete with a removable wire Christmas tree accessory. The bank’s gilt-edged trail of provenance includes the distinguished Leon Perelman and Donal Markey collections. The presale estimate is $8,000-$12,000.

 

Marklin three-tiered castle, circa 1895, parade ground moves when connected to steam engine. Est. $14,000-$20,000. RSL Auction Co.

RSL is honored to have been chosen to handle the European train station collection of the late Dr. James Laster, whose specialty was German 1 gauge. Fifteen train stations from the Laster collection will be lined up to meet their new owners on auction day, including a large, circa-1905 Marklin Café station (1 Gauge) ex Ward Kimball collection. It could bring $18,000-$25,000, Haradin said.

 

A circa-1910 Bing station with patio, in excellent condition, is entered with hopes of realizing $4,000-$6,000. There will also be a host of other, smaller Bing, Marklin and J. Krauss stations from the early 1900s.

 

The magical Marklin name will also be represented by a circa-1895 three-tiered castle. “It’s a pristine example from the Lutz /Marklin era and should sell for $14,000-$20,000,” Haradin said. Other Marklin prizes include a horse-drawn stagecoach with driver, est. $6,500-$9,500; and a large Marklin Jolanda riverboat, est. $12,000-$18,000.

 

Circa-1895 Hubley Toy Co. Gondola Amusement Park Ride, clockwork cast iron, brass and wood. Est. $30,000-$40,000. RSL Auction Co.

A first-rate assortment of American tin toys is highlighted by a circa-1885 Ives “Giant” locomotive. Measuring an impressive 17½ inches long, the Giant was the largest locomotive of the American clockwork-toy era. One of only four known, the entry in RSL’s sale is estimated at $12,000-$18,000.

 

Two other clockwork treasures to be sold are a circa-1875 Ives Stump Speaker in pristine condition, est. $5,000-$7,000; and one of only about 6 extant examples of an Ives Nursemaid, also known as “Old Aunt Chloe.” The toy is meant to depict a black nanny caring for a white infant. Estimate: $7,000-$9,000.

 

German painted papier-mache and cardboard ‘Black Dandy’ ball toss, circa 1895. Est. $5,000-$7,000. RSL Auction Co.

Cast-iron American toys exhibiting particularly fine condition include a “super-mint” circa-1905 Uncle Sam Chariot, made by Kenton Hardware and retaining an unbelievable 99.5% of its original paint. The 12-inch-long patriotic toy, whose chariot replicates an American eagle, is expected to achieve $15,000-$25,000 at auction. Right alongside it is one of the rarest of all Hubley toys, a Gondola Amusement Park Ride, with intricately cast ironwork on its wheels. The 19-inch-long toy, whose condition is rated “excellent,” is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

 

A featured section of the sale is devoted to antique European character and automotive toys by such makers as Lehmann, Nifty, Schuco and the coveted French brand Fernand Martin, whose “Orange Vendor” and “Gendarme,” est. $3,000-$4,000, are rarely seen. European automotive toys will follow their category’s leader, a deluxe model Fisher Taxi with rare leather canopy and two female passengers, est. $3,500-$5,500.

 

J. & E. Stevens Bread Winners cast-iron mechanical bank, circa 1886. Est. $26,000-$32,000. RSL Auction Co.

A grouping of 18 character toys and other items with a black theme will be led by a circa-1895 papier-mache and cardboard Dandy Ball Toss. German made and displaying bright, appealing colors, the toy is designed so the “dandy” nods his head when a ball is successfully tossed into an opening in his midsection. Est. $5,000-$7,000.

 

It wouldn’t be an RSL auction without high-end cast-iron mechanical banks. The July 1 sale includes around 175 mechanicals, many in near-mint condition. Among the top lots is a circa-1886 J. & E. Stevens Bread Winners bank designed by Charles Bailey. With pristine paint, it has the potential to realize $26,000-$32,000.

 

J. & E. Stevens Calamity cast-iron mechanical bank, circa 1905. Est. $35,000-$55,000. RSL Auction Co.

Other coveted classics include a superior circa-1905 J. & E. Stevens Calamity bank, est. $35,000-$55,000; and a near-mint circa-1888 Kyser & Rex Butting Buffalo, $20,000-$30,000.

 

The perfect “go with” for a mechanical bank is an illustrated trade card. RSL’s sale will include approximately 10 trade cards advertising mechanical banks, including a relatively rare “Bad Accident.” Some of the cards are ex Bob Brady collection.

 

All forms of bidding will be available in RSL’s Sunday, July 1 auction, including Internet live bidding through www.LiveAuctioneers.com. The sale will begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with a preview from Tuesday, May 26 commencing at 12 noon through Sunday morning prior to the auction. A complimentary cocktail party preview will be held at the gallery on Thursday, May 28 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

 

For additional information, call Ray Haradin at 412-343-8733, Leon Weiss at 917-991-7352, or Steven Weiss at 212-729-0011. E-mail raytoys@aol.com or geminitoys@earthlink.net. Visit RSL Auction Co. online at www.rslauctions.com.