Auction News

Southeby’s – Southern California Minimalism: 1960 to the Present curated by and in cooperation with Kayne Griffin Corcoran

February 29th, 2012 by

S|2 is pleased to present its upcoming selling exhibition of seminal work by Southern California minimalist artists James Turrell, John McCracken, Craig Kauffman, Larry Bell and Robert Irwin. The show, curated by and in cooperation with Kayne Griffin Corcoran, champions five key artists who helped define the California minimalist movement in the sixties. Primarily concerned with perceptual phenomena, these artists worked in newly developed materials including neon, polyester resin, fiberglass and acrylic to create pieces that altered or influenced their viewers’ sensory experience. Sotheby’s exhibition will mark a unique opportunity to see these distinct works in New York.

Sotheby’s – Photographs

February 29th, 2012 by

Sotheby’s was the first international auction house to offer regular sales of Photographs, beginning in 1971 in London, 1975 in New York, and 2002 in Paris. We sell photographs from the entire history of the medium, from salt prints and daguerreotypes of the 1840s to contemporary works of the present decade.  Included in our auctions are works by a roster of blue-chip photographers from around the globe, from William Henry Fox Talbot in London, to Eugene Atget in Paris, to Richard Prince in New York.

Our international team, the most experienced and highly regarded specialists in the auction world, has established itself as a leader in scholarship and evaluation.  Their passion and expertise have resulted in dozens of world records for individual photographers, brought new categories of work to the public’s eye, and defined many of the market criteria against which photographs and collections are judged.

Major auctions of Photographs are held in April and October in New York, and in May and November in Paris. In addition, special sales are held at other times throughout the year as opportunities arise.

 

All Sights On This Weekend’s American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show

February 29th, 2012 by

HERSHEY, Pa – “Toys, toys and more toys,” said Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres, producers of this weekend’s exciting, new event called the American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show.

 

“There will be an impressive timeline of toys and collectibles on exhibit, dating from the late 1800′s to the late 1980′s,” Vastola said. “Exhibitors are already loading up their vehicles, in preparation of this weekend’s event,” he added.

 

The show will feature numerous dealers buying, selling and trading all sorts of antique toys and collectibles, such as tin toys, cast iron toys, mechanical toys, banks, character toys, action figures, playsets, model kits, dolls, diecast vehicles, lunchboxes, advertising items, posters, rock-n-roll memorabilia, penny arcades, slot machines, trade stimulators, fortune teller machines and jukeboxes, according to USA Theatres.

 

“This show is so diverse that you will find anything from hand-painted turn of the century toys to vintage Beatles memorabilia,” Vastola said.

 

The American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show is set to debut this Saturday, March 3, at the Eastern Civic Center, located at 90 Harding Road in Old Greenwich, Connecticut (only 40 minutes via train from Grand Central Station NYC).

 

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. Parking is free.

 

A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase at the show, provided by Joemomma Foods, Inc. of Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 

For more information, visit the website, www.usatheatres.com/conventions

 

For hotel accommodations, attendees are encouraged to contact the Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Meeting Center, the official hotel of the American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show. The hotel is conveniently located just 1.4 miles, 4 minutes from the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center.

 

Mention the show to receive a special room rate of just $79 per night (promo code: AMA). The hotel can be reached by visiting their website www.hiltonstamfordhotel.com or by calling them directly at (203) 967-2222.

Clark’s Fine Art’s March 10 auction showcases artworks from Rona Barrett collection, other distinguished West Coast collections and estates

February 28th, 2012 by

Veteran celebrity journalist Barrett to donate proceeds to foundation benefiting seniors

 

Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen (French/Swiss, 1859-1923), ‘La Rue: Affiches Charles Verneau,’ lithographed color poster, artist-signed and dated 1896, 90½ by 116¼ inches, est. $50,000-$70,000. Clark’s Fine Art image.

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. – The southern California auction house Clark’s Fine Art is preparing its spacious gallery for a March 10 sale filled with beautiful artworks, quality furniture and decorative art. The 310-lot sale features several important West Coast consignments, including artworks from the collection of trailblazing entertainment columnist Rona Barrett. Proceeds from the sale of the Barrett collection will benefit The Rona Barrett Foundation, which provides assistance to seniors in need.

 

Additionally, the auction includes highly collectible drawings from the Diane and Sandy Besser collection; and desirable contemporary prints from the Irv Wiener collection. Furniture, paintings and decorative art objects have come directly from the Estate of Harold Berkowitz and the Estate of Guy McElwaine, who was chairman and CEO of Columbia Pictures during the 1980s.

 

Alexandre-Marie Colin (French, 1798-1873), ‘Man and Woman by the Shoreline,’ oil on canvas, est. $6,000-$9,000. Clark’s Fine Art image.

The caliber of fine art to be offered sets the tone for the entire sale. The selection is led by a Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen (French/Swiss, 1859-1923) lithographed color poster, artist-signed and dated 1896. Titled La Rue: Affiches Charles Verneau, the vividly colored impression depicts a bustling street scene populated with a cross-section of French society. Bright and lively, the massive six-panel Art Nouveau poster measures 90½ by 116¼ inches and is expected to make $50,000-$70,000.

 

Other 19th-century paintings to be auctioned include an Alexandre-Marie Colin (French, 1798-1873) oil on canvas titled Man and Woman by the Shoreline, est. $6,000-$9,000; and Hugh Bolton Jones’ (American, 1848-1927) Farmers Tilling the Fields, a 30 by 50-inch oil on canvas that could harvest a winning bid of $4,000-$6,000. Boy with Dog, a 19th-century Continental school oil on canvas, measures 40 by 30 inches and is estimated at $2,000-$4,000. All three artworks are from the Estate of Guy McElwaine.

 

Jacob Thompson (British, 1806-1879), ‘River Landscape with Horsemen and Peasants,’ est. $20,000-$30,000. Clark’s Fine Art image.

An outstanding 1837 British painting, after 17th-century artist Aelbert Cuyp, is Jacob Thompson’s (1806-1879) River Landscape with Horsemen and Peasants. A signed work, it is estimated at $20,000-$30,000. Peasant Girl in Field, a 1917 oil on canvas by the Polish artist Antoni Piotrowski (1953-1924), is signed and dated both at lower right and on verso. Its estimate is $5,000-$10,000.

 

The distinctive grace of the hand of Vietnamese artist Le Pho (1907-2001) is seen in his signed Flower Still Life, a tranquil 28¾ by 21¼-inch work that the consignor acquired from the Wally Findlay Gallery in Beverly Hills. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.

 

Guy Dill (American, b. 1946-), monumental painted and welded-steel sculpture, est. $15,000-$25,000. Clark’s Fine Art image.

 

California artists are well represented in the sale. A monumental painted and welded-steel sculpture by Guy Dill (b. 1946-) could realize $15,000-$25,000; while Charles Arnoldi’s (b. 1946-) acrylic painting on chain-sawed multilayered plywood, titled Untouchable, is entered in the sale with a $7,000-$9,000 estimate. A 48-inch-square untitled mixed media on canvas by Mary Ann Corse (b. 1945-) was acquired directly from the artist, whose abstract works have been shown at the Guggenheim and Whitney Museum of American Art. It carries an estimate of $5,000-$7,000.

 

Other American artists include visualist and sculptor Robert Longo (b. 1953-), whose 1989 End of Season – a mixed media work numbered 9/11 on the artist’s label on verso – carries an $8,000-$12,000 estimate. The Longo comes from the Irv Wiener collection, as does a selection of prints by Louise Nevelson, Terry Winters, Carroll Dunham, Barbara Bloom and Helen Frankenthaler. The art selection continues with an Edward Curtis (1868-1952) platinum photograph titled Standing Woman in Dress and drawings by John Sloan and David Burliuk (Russian, 1882-1967).

 

Robert Longo (American, b. 1953-), ‘End of Season,’ mixed media, numbered 9/11, est. $8,000-$12,000. Clark’s Fine Art image.

A Dale Chihuly (American, b. 1941-) blue and gold work of acrylic and metallic paint on paper is framed with glass, reflecting the medium for which the Seattle-based artist is so widely acclaimed. It is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

 

A beautiful array of Reuge music boxes will be auctioned, with estimates ranging from $200-$400 for an inlaid marquetry box that plays four songs to $1,000-$2,000 for a singing automaton bird box with oval pop-up. Also by Reuge, a musical erotic pocket watch, Louis XVI style, has a 15-inch gold chain and colored stone inlays and key. Estimate: $2,000-$4,000.

 

Archive of letters written by Charles Manson to his attorney, Irving Kanarek, during the infamous Helter Skelter trial, est. $1,000-$2,000. Clark’s Fine Art image.

Interior furnishings include a dining set, sideboard, mahogany cheval mirror and a sparkling leaded-crystal chandelier with 20 lamps, estimated at $2,000-$4,000. In addition, the auction features Chinese porcelains, sterling silver wares, an antique carousel horse, and a collection of letters Charles Manson wrote to his attorney, Irving Kanarek, during the infamous Helter Skelter trial.

 

Clark’s Fine Art welcomes all forms of bidding for its March 10 auction, including live at the gallery, absentee, by phone, or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. The gallery is located at 14931 Califa St., Space A, Sherman Oaks (Los Angeles), CA 91411. The auction will begin at noon Pacific Time. Preview 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, March 5 through Friday, March 9, and from 10 a.m. till noon on auction day.

 

For additional information on any lot in the sale, call 818-783-3052 or e-mail gallery@pacbell.net. View the fully illustrated catalog online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com. Visit Clark’s website at www.estateauctionservice.com.

AMERICAN ANTIQUE TOY & COIN OP CONVENTION!

February 13th, 2012 by

AMERICAN ANTIQUE TOY, COIN-OP SHOW ATTRACTING INTERNATIONAL BUYERS

February 13th, 2012 by

1932 5c Mills Eagle slot machine that pays out in both coins and mints. Image courtesy Mark Schlesinger, dealer

HERSHEY, Pa – The economy is thriving amongst toy and coin-op collectors, according to USA Theatres, producers of the upcoming American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show, who just announced that buyers will be coming from overseas to seek out American made antique toys and coin-operated machines.

 

“We have received several emails from collectors overseas who will be attending the show,” said Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres. “Buyers will be coming from the UK and Netherlands”.

 

Buyers will have the unique opportunity to acquire extremely rare, hand-painted turn of the century toys, not only made in the US, but imported from France and Germany by renowned toy dealer Lionel Fournier, owner of France Antique Toys.

 

If what was said, so far, doesn’t impress you, just check out some of the recently revealed dealers who will be exhibiting at the event.

 

Alan Green, owner of American Jazz Antique Toys, will be bringing some of his finest inventory of merchandise, followed by Mike Caffarella, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who will be offering early American tin toys, mechanical toys and banks.

 

Additional exhibitors will include Mark Schlesinger, of New Jersey, who will be bringing some antique penny arcades, occupying 16 ft. of exhibit space with Ken Schnoll, owner of Antiques Slots, who will be offering an array of antique slot machines and other coin-op related items.

 

If this still doesn’t impress you, here’s something to chew on… Rich Brinkos (a/k/a The Gumball Guy) will be loading up his truck with all sorts of antique and vintage gumball machines, while exhibiting next to Larry Garland, who will occupying 24 ft. of exhibit space to accommodate antique jukeboxes, pinballs, trade stimulators and other rare toys and collectibles.

 

Exhibitor Bob Adams, of Connecticut, will also be occupying 24 ft. of exhibit space to display antique amusement items, advertising items, and coin-ops, to name just a few categories.

 

A new addition to the show is exhibitor Tom Sage, Sr., of Allentown, Pennsylvania, who is one of the best-known antique toy dealers in the world.

 

More quality exhibitors from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, who specialize in antique and vintage collectibles, have responded to the show; including Ken Farrell, owner of Just For Kids Nostalgia, who is interested in utilizing 16 feet of exhibit space.

 

Those who are seeking vintage toys and memorabilia will be able to choose from a variety of dealers, including Wex Rex, Heroes Unlimited, and Milo Toys & Collectables.

 

“Exhibitor space inside the auditorium of the Civic Center is sold out,” Vastola said. “We are now expanding into a second exhibit hall”.

 

The American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show is set to debut on Saturday, March 3, 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. Parking is free.

 

Attendees are encouraged to come hungry, in order to taste a variety of food and beverages offered for sale by Joemomma Foods, Inc. of Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 

“Joemomma Foods of Hershey will be offering dinner on Friday evening and breakfast and lunch on Saturday,” Vastola said. “This will be a nice treat for everyone,” he added.

 

Exhibitors wishing to set up inside the second hall of the Eastern Civic Center, should contact USA Theatres at (717) 542-0567 or email usatheatres@yahoo.com

 

You may also visit the website, www.usatheatres.com/conventions

 

For hotel accommodations, everyone is encouraged to contact the Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Meeting Center, the official hotel of the American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show. The hotel is conveniently located just 1.4 miles, 4 minutes from the Eastern Civic Center.

 

Mention the show to receive a special room rate of just $79 per night (promo code: AMA). The hotel can be reached by visiting their website www.hiltonstamfordhotel.com or by calling them directly at (203) 967-2222.

I.M. Chait to host March 21 auction of Important Chinese Ceramics & Asian Works of Art during Asia Week New York

February 2nd, 2012 by

Rare 15th-century Ming Xuande porcelain sprinkler, est. $250,000-$350,000. I.M. Chait image.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – When the doors are opened to I.M. Chait’s elegant Manhattan gallery space during Asia Week New York (March 16-24), the management and staff of the family-owned southern California firm expect to welcome many old friends to their preview and March 21 auction of Important Chinese Ceramics & Asian Works of Art.

 

The company’s venerable founder and auctioneer Isadore “I.M.” Chait, who is celebrating his 45th year as a specialist dealer of Asian art, takes pride in the fact that collectors who bought from him decades ago are still amongst his active clientele.

 

“What is particularly interesting about the Asian market is the cycle of buying, holding and selling,” Chait said. “We’ve noticed that pieces purchased five to fifteen years ago in Hong Kong or New York auctions are now resurfacing. It has been an ongoing practice for some Chinese art collectors to buy an object, put it in their collection, then 10 or 20 years later, put it up for sale at the same venue and buy something else they like.”

 

But what is changing, Chait said, is that nowadays there are so many private museums establishing or adding to their Asian collections, that many rare pieces are being removed from the cycle. “They’re going into institutional collections and staying there. This is one factor that is driving auction prices upward,” Chait said.

 

Mark on the Ming Xuande porcelain sprinkler. I.M. Chait image.

There are many rare and exotic artworks in the 300+ lot March 21 auction that Chait predicts will attract intense interest. Topping the list is a marked 15th century Ming Xuande Period porcelain sprinkler of Islamic shape. Chait explained that, at the height of its manufacture, Chinese porcelain often went to Middle Eastern potentates, hence the distinctive bulbous style with graduated cylindrical spout.

 

“Anything from the 15th century is exceedingly rare. This sprinkler comes from a major collection that was started 35 to 40 years ago. The only reason this piece is being sold is because the consignor is fortunate enough to have another one in their collection,” Chait said.

 

An estimate of $250,000-$350,000 for the sprinkler is conservative when measured against recent comparables. “At a show one or two years ago we saw an example that sold for half a million dollars,” Chait said. “It showed up a few months later in a Chinese auction with a million-dollar estimate.”

 

Yuan Dynasty blue and white porcelain bowl, est. $120,000-$150,000. I.M. Chait image.

Another highlight with a six-figure estimate is the Yuan Dynasty blue and white porcelain bowl with expectations of reaching $120,000-$150,000. The bowl comes to auction with outstanding provenance, having once been part of the renowned T.T. Tsui Museum of Art Collection in Hong Kong.

 

An estate collection local to the auctioneer’s Beverly Hills gallery was the source for an important spinach jade brushpot that Chait describes as “one of the most exquisitely carved brushpots we’ve ever seen.” Under its base is a label – possibly from the 1960s/’70s – from the London auction house Spink & Son.

 

Important spinach jade brushpot, est. $40,000-$50,000. I.M. Chait image.

Chait noted that the object is deeply and intricately carved from a single piece of jade, a method that requires great artistic skill. The carver’s technique masterfully rendered a three-dimensional, “layered” effect to the piece. The presale estimate has been set at $40,000-$50,000.

 

The rich cobalt hue of lapis lazuli is the immediate focal point of a Qianlong table screen from an old Shanghai collection. According to Chait, it may have Imperial provenance.

 

Qianlong lapis lazuli table screen, est. $35,000-$40,000. I.M. Chait image.

“Most table screens of this type are made of wood. Lapis is more rare,” he said. The lot is estimated at $35,000-$40,000.

 

Additional objects of exceptional quality are still arriving for consignment to Chait’s Asia Week auction, including a collection of 70 extremely fine 20th-century netsukes, most being of ivory and all by important carvers. The collection was purchased at auctions and from top dealers in the 1990s, bearing out Isadore Chait’s theory about a 20-year buying-and-reselling cycle.

 

Chait’s Asia Week auction is the firm’s most important sale of the year. Each object selected for inclusion in this year’s premier event was personally selected and vetted by Isadore Chait and comes with the company’s guarantee of authenticity. Mr. Chait is an internationally acknowledged expert in both Oriental sculpture and gemology. He is a recommended appraiser to many museums and educational institutions, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Norton Simon Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

 

All auction items will be available to preview daily from March 16-20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (10 a.m. till noon on auction day) at I.M. Chait’s gallery on the 6th floor of the historic Fuller Building, 595 Madison Ave. at 57th St., New York, NY 10022. A West Coast preview will take place from Feb. 27-March 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment, at I.M. Chait’s flagship gallery located at 9330 Civic Center Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

 

The March 21 Asia Week New York auction will commence at 2 p.m. Eastern Time at the Fuller Building gallery, with all forms of bidding available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com.

 

Four of I.M. Chait’s staff are fluent in Mandarin and will be on hand to greet Asian visitors to the New York gallery space and to assist Chinese-speaking bidders over the phone during the auction.

 

For additional information on any lot in the sale or to obtain a fully illustrated color catalog ($35 + shipping), call 1-800-775-5020 or 310-285-0182; or e-mail joey@chait.com. Visit the company online at www.chait.com.

Morphy’s to auction fine Tiffany silver, antique telephones and centuries-old armor in Feb. 24-25 General Antiques auction

February 2nd, 2012 by

Antique occupational shaving mug with image of railway steam shovel, est. $2,000-$2,500. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – Some say chivalry is dead, but Dan Morphy says “Nay, verily.” Morphy’s central Pennsylvania auction gallery will soon be the setting for an auction of antique helmets, swords and other metal weaponry that even Sir Lancelot might be tempted to bid on. The 40-lot grouping of armor is one of several collections featured in Morphy’s Feb. 24-25 General Antiques auction, along with Tiffany silver, early telephones, antique American firearms, jewelry and watches.

 

Day one of Morphy’s 1,350-lot auction – a Friday session – will open with 150 occupational shaving mugs from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the top lots in this grouping are mugs with images of a railway steam shovel, estimate $2,000-$2,500; and a fire truck with the word “Liberty,” est. $1,000-$1,500. A particularly rare mug has a photographic image of its owner, identified as “W.I. Xander.” Est. $1,000-$1,500.

 

The 100 automobilia lots to follow include a number of early 20th-century French posters, as well as Royal Doulton and Nippon pottery with motoring themes. There are six pieces of Roseville in a pattern featuring touring cars, with a jardinière estimated at $2,000-$3,000; and a flared vase, $1,500-$2,500.

Extremely rare Roseville 8-color Della Robbia vase designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead (1880-1942), 20 in. tall, est. $10,000-$15,000. Morphy Auctions image.

 

An additional 100 lots of general pottery feature Roseville, Rookwood and Weller. Highlights include an eight-color Roseville Della Robbia vase designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead (1880-1942), $10,000-$15,000; and a Weller Louwelsa American Indian portrait vase, signed “A. Williams” and estimated at $3,000-$3,500.

 

An extensive selection of fine jewelry has been cataloged, with top lots led by a highly decorative 14K gold bridal belt, circa 1920s and weighing 578 grams, est. $20,000-$30,000. A trove of bracelets, necklaces, pendants and rings of very high gold content will be offered, including a heavy “statement” ring with a lion’s-head motif that is expected to make $18,000-$22,000. Weighing 171 grams, an 18K gold enameled ladies’ compact carries an estimate of $7,000-$9,000.

 

From the private vault collection of retired Florida jewelers comes an array of fine wristwatches by prestigious Swiss watchmakers. Patek Philippe, Juvenia and Rolex models from the 1930s through 1950s are included, as are numerous pocket watches and several 18K gold repeaters with individual estimates of $2,500-$3,500.

 

From the Bill Daniels collection – Part II, circa-1904 silver dollar pay station telephone manufactured by the Gray Co., walnut with Western Electric ‘pony’ receiver, est. $5,000-$7,000. Morphy Auctions image.

The Saturday session will begin with Part II of the late Bill Daniels’ collection of antique and vintage telephones. Highlights from the more than 200 lots to be auctioned include a circa-1878 Charles Williams “coffin” telephone, $5,000-$10,000; an 1895 Western Electric folding vanity telephone, $3,000-$4,000; and a circa-1904 pay station phone that operates on silver dollars, $5,000-$7,000. The collection also includes telephone-related porcelain signs and other great advertising pieces.

 

The featured collection of antique armor was amassed over a period of 50+ years by renowned Hollywood animator and film director Frank Andrina. The most imposing item in the collection is a suit of full standing armor, with most of its composite pieces dating to around 1560. Standing approximately 75 inches tall, the suit is in very good to excellent condition. It is expected to sell in the $30,000-$50,000 range.

 

A favorite sword in the Andrina collection is a circa-1580 German production with flambé blade and deeply stamped haft. One side of the handle is marked “SDIOSDI,” while the other bears the sacred “IHS” monogram. The 75-inch-long sword could fetch $10,000-$15,000.

 

Constructed entirely of hand-forged steel, a circa-16th-century mace incorporates six unusual arrowhead-spiked flanges. Each flange features the touch mark of a shield with cross and the initials “H.K.” Nicely laminated throughout, it carries an estimate of $4,000-$8,000.

 

Circa-1630 Italian or German Savoyard-style helmet with two-piece skull, low comb and two-piece visor. Estimate $4,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Yet another leading lot is a circa-1630 Italian or German Savoyard-style helmet with two-piece skull, low comb and

two-piece visor. The helmet retains the majority of its blackened finish and displays two small period restorations. Estimate: $4,000-$8,000.

 

From armor and swords, the sale moves into a grouping of 100+ vintage firearms, including more than a dozen prized Kentucky rifles.

 

“The highlight is definitely the early (1st/2nd quarter) 19th-century Leonard Reedy rifle that passed through descent in the family of the original owner,” said Morphy Auctions CEO Dan Morphy. “It’s a very rare and desirable Pennsylvania gun, and although we’ve estimated it at $20,000 to $40,000, our antique firearms expert, Steve Hench, said it would not surprise him if it sold for $50,000 or more.”

 

Leonard Reedy Kentucky rifle made in the first or second quarter of the 19th century, untouched and all original. Estimate $20,000-$40,000. Morphy Auctions image.

The rifle showcases the very best of Reedy’s workmanship, according to an extensive catalog description written by Hench. He writes: “The brass patchbox with its nine piercings may be considered his finest design; obviously it was a costly undertaking. The patchbox engraving, while typically light in depth, is highly visible on the mellowed, oxidized brass, and inside the patchbox cavity, there is still some of the tallow-beeswax used for greasing the patches that encase the lead balls… The rifle stock’s relief carving is almost as crisp as the day it was done.”

 

Colt Lightning Model 1877 gun with original papers. Estimate $7,500-$15,000. Morphy Auctions image.

In addition to the Kentucky rifles, Morphy’s Feb. 24-25 sale includes a nice selection of Springfield bolt-action rifles, a Colt Lightning Model 1877 with original papers, est. $7,500-$15,000; and a Philadelphia Derringer with ivory grip, est. $3,500-$5,000. Additionally, there are numerous other shotguns, muskets and pistols; as well as more-contemporary entries.

 

The session continues with several lots of folk art, led by two circa-1870s Brubaker carved wood horses, $10,000-$15,000 pr.; a five-color stoneware water cooler with a Niagara Falls scene, $4,000-$6,000; and more than 100 figural napkin rings. Designs include Kate Greenaway designs – two girls on ladder, and lady on toboggan – and a giraffe under a palm tree. Each is estimated at $1,500-$2,000.

 

From a superb selection of extensively chased and embossed Tiffany & Co. silver, a pair of circa-1882 nine-light candelabra with triton, seahorse and mermaid motif, est. $40,000-$60,000; and a pair of circa-1882 center bowls, est. $40,000-$60,000. Morphy Auctions image.

More than 50 lots of fine sterling silver from a single-owner collection add luster to the auction. “This is a fantastic collection – certainly the best one we’ve ever been privileged to sell,” said Morphy, noting, “This will be our inaugural sale with Peter Thompson as our in-house specialist for silver.”

 

Two consecutive lots feature exquisite pieces from Tiffany & Co., all dating to around 1882. A pair of elegant 16-inch-tall candelabra are extensively chased and embossed with rocaille work and seaweed – one with tritons and seahorses; the other with mermaids. Each candelabrum features nine tentacle-like candle arms terminating in sockets with removable drip pans. The pair will be offered together with a $40,000-$60,000 estimate.

 

Two circa-1882 Tiffany silver center bowls are decorated similarly to the candelabra, with extensive chasing and embossing, and swirling seaweed and rocaille work. The triton-theme bowl weighs 80 oz., as does the bowl with the mermaid motif. Their liners weigh 23.5 oz. and 24 oz., respectively. These spectacular bowls are expected to fetch $40,000-$60,000 the pair.

 

Another highlight is a circa-1899 Gorham martele silver water pitcher. Originally retailed by the Chicago jewelers Spaulding & Co., the vessel is entered in the sale with a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.

 

Both the Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 auction sessions will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live or LiveAuctioneers.com. View the fully illustrated catalog online at www.morphyauctions.com or www.liveauctioneers.com. For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail serena@morphyauctions.com.

A&S to auction extraordinary 65-year Roy Gay collection of railroad antiques, March 10-11 in Waco, Texas

February 2nd, 2012 by

This MoPac (Missouri Pacific) railroad lantern with ruby-colored glass is one of approximately 160 lanterns from various train lines in the Roy Gay collection. A&S image.

WACO, Texas – There is no more enduring symbol of how the Old West became part of the New World than the American railroad, with its steam-powered “iron horses” that linked East to West. It is the lifelong fascination with early trains and the culture that surrounded them that inspired the late Roy Gay’s 65-year collection of railroadiana, which will be auctioned in its entirety on March 10-11. A&S Antique Auction Co., specialists in Western Americana, will conduct the sale of the approximately 2,000-piece single-owner collection at its Waco, Texas gallery, with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com.

 

“Mr. Gay, who passed away on January 11th of this year, gave his whole working life of 40-plus years to the Union Pacific Railroad. He was an auditor for the company and traveled a three-state region in the course of his job, so that opened all the necessary doors to acquire railroad relics. When a depot closed down, he would know about it and be in a position to buy the pieces he wanted,” said A&S’s owner Scott Franks.

 

Roy Gay’s collection of lanterns, railroad advertising signs, tableware, tinware, whiskey crocks and literally anything else that would have been part of a train journey from the late 19th- through mid-20th centuries grew to such size that an unusual step was taken.

 

“This was the worst case of a passionate collector I’ve ever seen,” Franks said with a chuckle. “When he retired, Mr. Gay bought the old railway station at Troup, Texas, and literally had it moved to his East Texas farm. Later, Mr. Gay spent $35,000 to restore the station, which is where he displayed his remarkable collection.”

 

Most of the items Gay collected are from the “golden era” of railroads – the 1880s through middle “teens” – with a smattering of later objects whose timeline ends around the 1970s.

 

Railroad sign whose design was in use from 1890-1930 to advertise MKT (Missouri-Kansas-Texas Lines), one of a multitude of signs in Roy Gay collection. A&S image.

The Waco auction gallery’s walls are a spectacle to behold with the massive sub-collection of approximately 160 railroad lanterns now on display. Many of the lanterns have green, ruby and amber colored glass panels; while a few were made with richly hued cobalt-blue glass. Franks noted that most are signal or switch-type lanterns made by Dietz or other manufacturers. Each is marked with the name of an American railroad.

 

Additionally, there are some very scarce inspectors lanterns with matching IDs on the casing and globe components, and one particularly rare presentation lantern. The grouping also includes many as eight brass firemen’s lanterns, which have a distinctive shape and large, rolled handles that prevented the user’s hands from getting burned.

 

“The lanterns will be accessible to every level of collector,” said Franks. “Their book values range from $50 to $700 apiece.”

 

Selection of blue and white historical-pattern china used in dining cars on the B&O (Baltimore & Ohio) line. A&S image.

Franks predicts crossover competition from antique advertising collectors for the scores of old railroad signs in the Gay collection. Highlights include a beautiful, all-original circa 1890-1930 MKT porcelain sign, conservatively estimated at $2,000-$3,000; and a 36-inch-diameter “buzzsaw” sign, referring to its serrated edges, which advertises Texas Pacific Lines on one side and Missouri Pacific on the other. Franks explained that the sign would be flipped over when a train crossed a state line where one or the other of the companies had jurisdiction.

 

A vast array of railroad tableware incorporates 200-300 pieces of marked china, including a rare dinner plate for the Great Northern Iron Mountain Route’s Sunshine Special, estimate $2,000-$3,000. Other railroad china comes from Missouri Pacific (including service plates), Texas Pacific, MKT, NY Central, Union Pacific and Southern Pacific. Additionally, there is a large assortment of blue china in B&O’s historical pattern.

 

Other food service goods include silver flatware and covered wares marked for dining cars or railroad companies; table linens, 65 railroad-marked sugar tongs, 2-cup pitchers for tea or coffee, creamers, sugar bowls, covered bowls, carafes, pedestaled dessert dishes, and salt and pepper sets.

 

The late Roy Gay prized this beautiful plate from the Great Northern Railroad’s Sunshine Special above all other china in his vast collection. A&S image.

Every train had a galley where beverages and other liquids were stored in crocks. One- and 2-gallon examples marked with railroad names are part of the Gay collection, as are more than 100 crocks marked for brands of whiskey and other alcoholic beverages; saloons and taverns.

 

“Right now, whiskey crocks are one of the hottest tickets in the auction market,” said Franks. “Mr. Gay’s crocks are marked with the name of a person or company, and also, in many cases, the location where the whiskey was distilled. They represent old-time whiskey companies from Texas all the way up to New York. We think collectors are going to really get excited when they see this selection.”

 

Decks of cards in the Roy Gay collection include this rare pack advertising the St. Louis Southwestern Railway’s Cotton Belt Route. A&S image.

Many items kept train passengers occupied on long journeys of a century ago, and nearly all were marked with the names of particular railroads. Among the convenience articles to be auctioned are ashtrays, playing cards (some with an African-American theme), dozens of paper hand fans with advertising, blankets and numerous cast-iron footstools that ladies and children would step onto when boarding a train.

 

Manly metal from the steam-train era will be front and center on auction day, with such contents as railroad-branded locomotive engine bells, spittoons, and brass railroad locks and keys; plus an extremely rare cast-iron stove made by Hart Mfg. of Louisville, Ky., and embossed with the word “Caboose.” Auctioneer Franks, who has handled numerous railroad items over the years, said it is the first of its type he has ever seen.

 

The ‘heavy metal’ section of the sale includes steam locomotive engine bells (as shown), spittoons, brass railroad locks and keys; plus an extremely rare cast-iron caboose stove. A&S image.

Framed decorative artworks from train stations of a bygone era are led by a spectacular panoramic, shadowboxed wildlife photo titled “An Elk Lodge in the Jackson Hole Country Reached via the Union Pacific System.” Measuring 48 inches wide by 12 inches high, the circa-1920s picture was taken on the Steven N. Leek resort lodge and ranch, an elk refuge in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Leek’s Lodge, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was destroyed by fire in 1998.

 

The auction offering contains many other desirable railroad mementos, such as caps from conductors, inspectors and engineers; railroad passes, railroad station thermometers that advertise train lines and various products, and 75-80 pieces of railroad-marked tinware for use with diesel cans and other containers.

 

Roy Gay’s 1929 emerald green Model A with camel upholstery and rumble seat. A&S image.

In addition to railroad antiques, the Roy Gay collection includes an extensive selection of early automobilia, 30 to 35 gas pump globes, an 8ft. Mobil Pegasus sign and other advertising; and even a beautiful emerald green 1929 Model A rumble-seat Ford. The car has always been garaged and is drivable.

 

The March 10-11 auction will be held live at A&S Antique Auctions’ gallery, 900 E. Loop 340, Waco, TX 76716, and will start at 10 a.m. Central Time each day. All forms of remote bidding will be available, including absentee, by phone or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. For additional information call 254-799-6044 or e-mail asantiques@yahoo.com. Visit the A&S website at www.asauctions.com. View the online catalog at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

Sotheby’s London – The Collection of Giovanni and Gabriella Barilla

January 27th, 2012 by

From their Geneva residence, the collection of Giovanni and Gabriella Barilla, descendants of the famous dynasty of pasta makers, encompasses pieces for both the passionate and composed collector. Among one of the most important European collections of German and Italian porcelain, early Meissen by Böttger, Baroque commedia dell’arte figures by Kändler, and rare models and harlequins from the Wiessenfels group, mix happily with exceptional and very rare Capodimonte pieces, Buen Retiro, Vezzi and Fabrica Ferdinandea, Napoli groups and figures – altogether encapsulating the vibrance of ‘carnival’. Together with colourful Maiolica, Faenza and Della Robbia, these compliment and enrich the collection of elegant 18th century Venetian furniture and paintings, drawings, silver, works of art, books and 15th century manuscripts.