Auction News

John W. Coker announces Sept. 15 no-reserve auction of Dr. Albert K. Chapman collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist treasures

August 9th, 2010 by

‘Intensely private’ former chairman of Eastman Kodak formed core of collection

from 1930s-1960s; very few knew of its existence

NEW MARKET, Tenn. – An extraordinary and virtually unknown collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterworks amassed by the former president and later chairman of the board of Eastman Kodak will be auctioned without reserve on Sept. 15, 2010, at the John W. Coker gallery in New Market, Tennessee.

The Dr. Albert K. Chapman (1890-1984) collection, which has been privately held in three subsequent generations of the Chapman family since the 1930s, includes artworks by Childe Hassam, Alfred Sisley, Pierre Bonnard and 30 other distinguished artists from the period 1870 to 1950. None of these paintings were exhibited at any time while in the hands of either Dr. Chapman or his heirs. Additionally, the collection is graced by a superb pastel work by Mary Cassatt that has been exhibited only once since joining the Chapman collection – at the Smithsonian Institution in 1970.

The collection’s 65 artworks, many accompanied by bills of sale or other written provenance, are described by auctioneer John Coker as “lost and forgotten treasures that are sure to excite the fine art community.”

Mary Cassatt, Simone Talking to Her Mother, pastel on paper, 25½ by 30½ inches, est. $200,000-$400,000. John W. Coker Auctions image.

“Very few people even knew Dr. Chapman’s collection existed,” Coker said. “Most of his acquisitions were made prior to the 1960s, and once he purchased a painting, he did not want it out of his possession. They are untouched, with no visible signs or cleaning or repairs, and with the exception of the Cassatt, the paintings were never exhibited or displayed outside the family home after he acquired them.”

According to Dr. Chapman’s grandson and granddaughter, who are the collection’s consignors, not even the few close friends their grandparents, and later their parents, chose to entertain in their homes had any idea the artworks were originals. “This is a family of intensely private, highly refined people who would not have made a point of mentioning the art was original, as this might have been misconstrued as an ostentatious show of wealth,” Coker said.

Dr. Chapman’s greatest prize was Childe Hassam’s (American, 1859-1935) oil on canvas titled Royal Palms, Cuba, which will be included in an upcoming catalogue raisonne. Its bill of sale indicates that the 25- by 30-inch artwork depicting towering palm trees against a cloud-filled turquoise sky was purchased from the M. Knoedler & Co. gallery in 1948 for $1,500. The 1895 painting was previously owned by Horatio S. Rubens, a Cuban-American tobacco industry lawyer who boasted that he had bankrolled the sinking of the

Childe Hassam, Royal Palms, Cuba, oil on canvas, 1895, 25 by 31 inches, est. $300,000-$600,000. John W. Coker Auctions image.

U.S.S. Battleship Maine during the Spanish-American War. “We believe Rubens was quite likely the original owner,” Coker said.

A succession of European ambassadors and dignitaries had previously owned Mary Cassatt’s (American, 1844-1926) Simone Talking to Her Mother, a 25- by 30-inch pastel on paper that was another of Dr. Chapman’s purchases from the Knoedler gallery. He acquired it in 1950 for around $5,000. Making a rare exception, Dr. Chapman loaned the artwork to the Smithsonian in 1970 for Adelyn Dohme Breeskin’s exhibit and accompanying catalogue raisonne. Ten years later, Dr. Chapman received a letter from a man hoping to buy the painting from him. Paperwork discovered in the Chapman archive documents the doctor’s sincere reply: “Thank you for your enquiry of December 5, but I have no intention of selling the Mary Cassatt. Living with it gives us entirely too much pleasure to have it depart.”

Dr. Chapman was a “brilliant inventor” who held a patent for a type of prismatic effect used in photography, Coker said. “When you look at his art selections as a whole, you’ll see the same array of colors as in a prism.” An example would be Pierre Bonnard’s (French, 1867-1947) Landscape St.-Tropez, a 1956 acquisition that depicts a lush view of mountains across a bay, with a bridge leading to a beachside village.

Gustave Loiseau, Roof Top View from Artist’s Studio, oil on canvas, 25 by 21 inches, est. $40,000-$60,000. John W. Coker Auctions image.

Other alluring works include Gustave Loiseau’s (French, 1865-1935) Roof Top View from Artist’s Studio and Emile Bernard’s (French, 1868-1941) Pont Aven, purchased in 1961 from the M.R. Schweitzer Gallery on Madison Avenue in New York. The hilly village landscape with grazing fowl is accompanied by a two-page letter [written in 1961 in French, with translation to English] from the artist’s son, in which he confirms that his father painted the unsigned picture in 1889 in Brittany.

Paysage Ain, a 1917 painting by Suzanne Valadon (French, 1865-1838) – mother of Maurice Utrillo – was purchased in 1953 for $5,750 from Sam Salz Inc. of Park Avenue, New York. The verdant, long-range view from a hillside perspective was previously in the collection of Edouard Herriot (1872-1957), three-time Prime Minister of France. The picture was exhibited twice in Paris – in 1924 and 1931. The Chapman archive included a letter from Sam Salz in which the art dealer wrote: “I have known of this painting for a long time, and it was always my intention to buy it for myself.”

Coker said he made it his mission to locate all existing written provenance held in Dr. Chapman’s records so the documents could be permanently reunited with the artworks. “Luckily, Dr. Chapman kept his receipts, and eventually I was able to find all of the backups by digging through his files,” said Coker.

A.T. Hibbard, Late Sun, oil on canvas, 36 by 28 inches, est. $15,000-$25,000. John W. Coker Auctions image.

Dr. Chapman also appreciated the work of a variety of regional artists.” The collection includes Anthony Thieme’s (American, Rockport school, 1888-1934) Entrance to Magnolia Gardens in Spring, Charleston, S.C.; A.T. Hibbard’s (American, Rockport school, 1886-1972) Late Sun; and Harry Leslie Hoffman’s (American, 1871-1964) oil on board titled The Cotton Pickery – Savannah.

Additional highlights of the collection include Camille Pissaro’s (French, 1830-1903) graphite-on-paper work titled Young Lady Reading in Bed and Alfred Sisley’s (English, 1839-1899) Conte crayon-on-paper sketch for the painting La Rade de Cardiff.

“This magnificent collection most certainly would have been welcomed by any of the major auction houses in New York, London or Paris, so it is a tremendous honor for us to have been chosen to sell the artworks for Dr. Chapman’s heirs,” Coker said.

The no-reserve auction of the Dr. Albert K. Chapman Fine Art Collection will be held on Sept. 15, 2010 commencing at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. All forms of bidding will be available, including live in the gallery, absentee, phone and live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. Complete auction and bidding details appear on John Coker’s Web site at www.antiquesonline.com. The fully illustrated auction catalog may be viewed  online at www.liveauctioneers.com, www.antiquesonline.com or www.auctionzip.com beginning Aug. 10.

John W. Coker’s auction gallery is located at 1511 W. Hwy. 11E, New Market, TN 37820. For additional information, call 1-865-475-5163 or e-mail john@antiquesonline.com. Visit the company’s Web site at www.antiquesonline.com.

Bonhams & Butterfields – SoMa Estate Auction

August 9th, 2010 by

Catalog Now Online

August 15th, 2010

San Francisco

Bonhams & Butterfields – Asian Works of Art

August 9th, 2010 by

Catalog Now Online

Auction August 23rd, 2010

San Francisco

Bohnams & Butterfields – Fine Jewelry & Watches – Quail Lodge Carmel, California

July 28th, 2010 by

Catalog now online

Auction August 13th, 2010 starting 12:00

Grey Flannel announces details of Aug. 13 Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Auction

July 27th, 2010 by

WESTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Grey Flannel Auctions of Westhampton, N.Y., has announced details of its Fifth Annual Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Auction and other special events associated with the 2010 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The live auction will take place on Friday, Aug. 13, onsite at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The excitement level is already running high for this year’s enshrinement, which is expected to draw the largest number of Hall of Famers ever to congregate for the prestigious annual event. The Class of 2010, which will be inducted in an evening ceremony on Aug. 13 at the Hall of Fame includes eight individuals and two teams. They are (alphabetically): Jerry Buss, Cynthia Cooper, Bob Hurley Sr., Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen, along with the 1960 USA Men’s Olympic team and the 1992 USA Basketball “Dream Team.” Three legendary players will be honored posthumously: Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson and the great Brazilian center Maciel “Ubiratan” Pereira.

Grey Flannel Auctions will begin its Hall of Fame activities on Aug. 12 by hosting an invitation-only pre-induction dinner for Hall of Famers, inductees and VIPs at the Hall of Fame’s Center Court. The following afternoon, starting at 1 p.m., Grey Flannel will conduct its 244-lot auction of vintage basketball-related memorabilia.

“I think collectors are going to be ecstatic when they see what’s in store for them at this auction,” said Grey Flannel Auctions’ president Richard E. Russek. “We’ll be offering some of the rarest and most desirable basketball jerseys and uniforms, as well as some great mementos, like the Chicago Bulls 1991-1992 NBA Championship banner that hung in Chicago Stadium.”

1965-66 Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia 76ers game-used home jersey (MVP and scoring title season), style used for one year only, reserve $10,000. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

A premier lot to be auctioned with a $10,000 reserve is Wilt Chamberlain’s 1965-66 Philadelphia 76ers game-used home jersey. Exhibiting a style used for only one season, the red and white jersey is emblazoned with the all-time single game point-scoring king’s number “13” and the word “Phila.”

Also entered with a $10,000 reserve is Elvin Hayes’ circa-1970 game-used and autographed San Diego Rockets home uniform. On the front is the name “Rockets,” while the “E” on the back of the jersey needs no further explanation. The number “11” appears on both front and back.

Grey Flannel has put together a very special and unprecedented selection of 12 articles related to the career of the late slam-dunking superstar Dennis Johnson, and each of the items in the sale comes with impeccable provenance: a letter of authenticity from the Johnson family.

Johnson’s 1984 Boston Celtics World Championship player’s ring features a green sapphire shamrock with a central diamond, the name “Johnson” and other symbols and words associated with the revered Boston franchise. The ring carries a reserve of $5,000.

Other highlights among the dozen articles from the Johnson family include Dennis’ 1980 Western Conference game-used All-Star uniform (reserve $2,500), his 1984-85 Boston Celtics game-used home uniform (reserve $2,500), and two multicolored Spalding basketballs commemorating career milestones: Johnson’s 15,000th point and his 5,000th assist. Each has a required minimum bid of $2,500.

Another important commemorative basketball in the sale’s top 10 lots is the one denoting the 47 points scored for the Atlanta Hawks by “Pistol” Pete Maravich on Feb. 8, 1975. The ball is autographed by Maravich in black marker, and comes with a letter of authenticity from JSA as well as a letter from the wife of the fan who received the ball at the game and asked Maravich to sign it that night.

The pride of French Lick, Indiana, Larry Bird, is represented in the sale by a game-used uniform he wore in the 1990 Eastern Conference All-Star Game. The front of the jersey says “NBA All-Star,” and both front and back carry the record-setting sharpshooter’s number “33.” Reserve: $5,000.

1969-70 Bill Bradley New York Knicks game-used NBA Finals home jersey, worn during series-clinching game, photo match, accompanied by letter of provenance, reserve $5,000. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

Other game-used apparel includes Bill Bradley’s 1969-70 New York Knicks NBA Finals home jersey (reserve $5,000), Steve Green’s 1975-76 Spirits of St. Louis home uniform (reserve $2,500) and the only known Dolph Schayes Syracuse Nats jersey, which was autographed by the 6ft. 8in. prodigy known for his shooting and rebounding skills (reserve $5,000).

Grey Flannel’s Friday, Aug. 13, 2010 auction will take place at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 1000 W. Columbus Ave., Springfield, MA 01105, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. In addition to in-person and phone bidding, Grey Flannel welcomes absentee bids, including by phone (please call to reserve a line) and through its Web site: www.GreyFlannelAuctions.com. Printed catalogs are free to all registered bidders. The fully illustrated electronic version of the catalog may be viewed online at www.GreyFlannelAuctions.com.

To request a catalog, register as a bidder or obtain further information on any lot in the auction, call 631-288-7800, ext. 223; email gfcsports@aol.com.

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About Grey Flannel and Grey Flannel Auctions:

Grey Flannel was founded in New York in 1989 by Richard Russek. With its respected team of experts and long-established friendships with athletes and their families, Grey Flannel rose to become the world’s foremost authenticator and dealer of game-used jerseys. In 1994, Grey Flannel became the official appraisers and authenticators for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1998, the firm was hired by Sotheby’s to authenticate the Barry Halper Uniform Collection, which rivaled in scope even that of the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1999, Grey Flannel entered the auction arena, and since then has auctioned some of the most important sports memorabilia ever to reach the public marketplace, including Babe Ruth’s 1932 “Called Shot” uniform, which sold for more than $1 million. Grey Flannel continues to achieve record prices, most recently in April 2010 with the $564,930 sale of the iconic New York Yankees home uniform Yogi Berra wore during the 1956 World Series perfect game pitched by Don Larsen.

Treadway/Toomey Galleries – 20th Century Art and Design Auction

July 23rd, 2010 by

An important three session sale including over 1100 lots. Featuring Arts & Crafts/Art Nouveau, Fine Art and 1950′s/Modern Furniture.

September 12th, 2010  10am

Morphy’s July Premier auction led by O’Hearn collection tops million-dollar mark

July 22nd, 2010 by

DENVER, Pa. – Worldwide competition for a high-end collection of antique toys resulted in a million-dollar gross at Morphy’s on July 16-17 as the central Pennsylvania auction house presented the 28-year collection of retired California architect Michael O’Hearn.

“Interest in the O’Hearn collection, and in all of the toy consignments for that matter, was fierce,” said auction house owner Dan Morphy. “The gallery was busy all day with in-house bidders, and we had the largest number of Internet bidders in Morphy’s history.” The final tally for the 1,354-lot sale was $1,050,000. All prices quoted are inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium.

Atom Jet tin friction race car, Japanese, 25 ½ inches long, all original parts intact, $15,500. Dan Morphy Auctions image.

A futuristic postwar Japanese friction racer known as the Atom Jet, measuring an impressive 25½ inches long, commanded a strong price due to its originality and excellent condition. Against an estimate of $4,000-$8,000 the bizarre, dorsal-finned vehicle finished in a mint green color sped across the finish line at $15,500.

A toy vehicle of quite a different type, a 21-inch-long red metal Ferrari made around 1952 by the Italian manufacturer Toschi, had the added appeal of a (reproduction) factory tag featuring the trademark Ferrari horse logo. With hopes of making $2,000-$3,000, the car confidently achieved that and more, closing its hood at $5,200.

Of a much earlier era, an early 20th-century German-made Karl Bub clockwork limousine, 10½ inches long with original lithographed driver, front headlights and gearshift levers on both sides of the front door, was won by an Internet bidder who paid $4,680.

1956 Haji (Japan) tin friction Ford Sunliner convertible with original box, 11¼ inches, $7,500. Dan Morphy Auctions image.

A colorful fleet of toy ice cream trucks found favor in the midsummer sale. The bell rang loudest for a 7-inch tin friction truck made by the Japanese company HTC and emblazoned with advertising on both sides that says “Fresh Delicious Ice Cream.” Its bonus feature is a three-dimensional vendor figure that pops out to offer an ice cream cone when the truck is activated. Against an estimate of $700-$1,000, the truck scooped up a winning bid of $3,700.

Of the two-wheeled vehicles, a 15-inch-long Japanese tinplate Harley-Davidson friction motorcycle with smartly dressed and helmeted rider fared best. Made by I.Y. Metal Toys, the bike exhibited true, unfaded colors and crisp lithography. It rolled to the top of its estimate range at $4,900.

The last lot of the opening session hit a nostalgic note with those who could recall riding in Dad’s new car – a Ford – in the carefree 1950s. Made by Haji, the faithful depiction of a 1956 Ford Sunliner convertible in a snappy red and white color scheme with peppermint-striped seats came with its original pictorial box showing a young family out for a leisurely drive. One of the most desirable of all postwar Japanese tin cars and described as the same example shown in Dale Kelley’s book titled Collecting the Tin Toy Car, it easily glided past its $3,000-$6,000 estimate to a final bid of $7,500.

Painted-lead still bank depicting Mickey Mouse on a round of cheddar cheese, 5 inches tall, $4,600. Dan Morphy Auctions image.

Character toys put in an impressive performance. A lot consisting of a pair of 80-year-old Amos & Andy walking toys, each 11 inches tall and with the correct individually named “Amos” or “Andy” box, sashayed to $5,200. In other character highlights, a 1932 Chein Popeye Heavy Hitter wind-up toy flexed its muscle at $4,300; while a rare and very charming painted-lead still bank fashioned as an early-style Mickey Mouse standing on a round of cheddar cheese earned every penny it deserved, with a winning bid of $4,600. The perennial popularity of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters was evidenced by the above-estimate $15,000 price paid for the artist’s original daily comic strip panel dated “5-2-1967.”

While toys were red hot, so were virtually all other categories in the sale. An exceptional single-owner collection of antique occupational shaving mugs attracted spirited bidding, with a china mug depicting a roofing contractor in his 1920s-vintage, spoke-wheeled truck taking top honors for the group at $16,100 – nearly five times the lot’s high estimate.

Yet another auction surprise was the $11,000 price fetched by a 10½-inch-tall cast-iron mechanical bank replicating a lighthouse of red brick. “It had everything going for it,” said Dan Morphy. “It was all original, in near-mint condition with strong red paint, and it was a form that isn’t seen very often.” The bank had been entered in the sale with a $3,000-$4,000 estimate.

There was a surge of bidding for early Coca-Cola advertising, such as the 1903 tinplate “pretty lady” tip tray that earned an $8,600 gratuity (est. $3,000-$5,000), and the 1940s cardboard sign of a bathing beauty sipping a Coke atop a beach blanket, $6,900 (est. $3,500-$4,500).

Convex porcelain Campbell’s Soup sign, 22½ inches by 12¼ inches, $8,190. Dan Morphy Auctions image.

In other advertising, an Internet bidder claimed a convex porcelain Campbell’s Soup sign in near-mint condition for $8,190 (est. $4,000-$6,000); and a tin Robert Smith Ale sign featuring the image of a forward-leaping tiger met presale expectations at $5,500. A Hi-Ho Tobacco pocket tin with an image of scullers rowing past the Houses of Parliament on the River Thames reached the upper level of its estimate range at $4,600.

Dan Morphy Auctions has a full slate of Discovery and Specialty sales planned for the remainder of 2010, all of which are detailed on Morphy’s Web site. The company’s next Premier Auction, featuring antique toys, dolls, trains and advertising, will be held on Oct. 15 and 16. A special highlight of the sale is the antique, vintage and contemporary doll collection of the late Martha Cristol and her daughter, Merle Cristol Glickman.

For information on any upcoming Dan Morphy event, call 717-335-3435, e-mail dan@morphyauctions.com or visit the Morphy Web site at www.MorphyAuctions.com.

Burchard Galleries July 24th – 25th Auction

July 22nd, 2010 by

Items from over 80+ consignors and various Important New England & Florida Estates to include Outrageous Carved Oak (Horner Quality) Dining Suites; Italian Renaissance Furniture; French Ormolu Furnishings; Important Continental Silver; Art Glass; 18th & 19th C Chests etc.; Danish Moderne; Fabulous China and Sterling Services; Period Lighting; Estate Fresh Oriental Carpets; Superior Estate Gold, Platinum & Diamond Jewelry.  Also many original artworks, including pieces by John Hering, Hans Klat,  Herbert Pollinger, Victor Vasarelly, Roy Nichols and David Anderson as well as more than 100 other important 18th – 20th C. Oils, Watercolors, Bronzes, Sculptures, Prints & Drawings.  Note:  Make sure to watch our website as this is only a sample.  You will not want to miss this Spectacular Auction Sale!  Quality Consignments are welcome for future Auction Events.

Sloans & Kenyon – July Evening Auctions of Fine Art

July 21st, 2010 by

Bid Live & Online in this Auction Via ArtFact Live!

Advanced registration required

Bohnams Sale Announcement

July 20th, 2010 by

The Richard Wright Collection of Moorcroft Pottery

Tuesday 21 September

New Bond Street, London