Auction News

Rago’s No Reserve Discovery and Great Estates Auctions

June 16th, 2010 by

Discovery Auction – June 18th  10am

Great Estates Auction – June 19th  12pm

Furnishings by Gustav Stickley, L&JG Stickley, Charles Stickley, Stickley Bros, Limbert, Roycroft, J.M. Young, Plail.

Pottery, Ceramics, metal and Glass by Rookwood, Grueby, Newcomb, Ohr, Fulper, Marblehead, Saturday Evening Girls, North Dakota School of Mines, Wheatley, Hampshire, Peters & Reed, Van Briggle, Kipp, Heinrichs, WMF, Heintz, Tiffany Studios, Steuben, Durand, Weller, Roseville, Dow. American Art pottery by Grueby, Fulper, Volkmar, Marblehead.

East meets West June 26-27 as Austin Auction Gallery presents European Antiques and Religious Treasures of French Colonial Vietnam

June 14th, 2010 by

AUSTIN, Texas – The stellar Whit Hanks collection of European antiques and Vietnamese French Catholic religious relics serves as the centerpiece of Austin Auction Gallery’s June 26-27 East Meets West cataloged Estates Auction. A total of 600 lots will be offered, 350 coming from the Hanks collection.

Owner of a high-profile antiques center located in Austin’s original Coca-Cola bottling plant, Whit Hanks is also a real estate developer known for rescuing and relocating two complete 19th-century Vietnamese churches to a country property in Dripping Springs, near Austin.

“Mr. Hanks is an antiques icon in Austin and always ahead of the next collecting trend,” said Austin Auction Gallery associate Chris Featherston. “He owns the city’s premier multi-dealer gallery and is known for his impeccable taste in European antiques and Mexican religious art, which he bought and sold for nearly 30 years before discovering the colonial treasures of Vietnam.”

French 8½-foot-tall gold leaf mirror with a carved putto and wolves’ heads. Austin Auction Gallery image.

Initially drawn to antiques after inheriting his grandfather’s lavishly furnished New York apartment in the 1970s, Hanks made dozens of trips to Europe in pursuit of architectural antiques. “He would bring back spectacular stained glass and monumental mirrors, similar to the 8½-foot-tall gold leaf mirror with a carved putto and wolves’ heads that’s included in the June sale,” said Featherston.

The auction’s inventory list is also rife with evidence of Hanks’ attraction to offbeat items that aren’t standard fare in an antique gallery – things like the 30 to 40 antique terra-cotta olive jars acquired in northern Spain, each of substantial heft and standing 3½ feet tall. “If Mr. Hanks saw something he knew was special and there was a shipping container large enough to accommodate it, he would buy it,” Featherston said.

Whit Hanks’ appreciation for religious icons began in the 1980s, Featherston said, and some of his purchases were made at sales conducted by Austin Auction Gallery. “At that time, we’ve been told that it was possible to buy retablos in Mexico, six for $10. The interest in these objects was not all that great back then, but now those same retablos may be valued at $2,000 to $3,000 apiece.”

In 2007, while visiting his son who lives in Asia, Hanks discovered and made an immediate connection with the French-influenced religious antiques and architecture of Vietnam. He began to buy the relics with the same fervor that spurred his earlier trips to Europe and Mexico. Now headed to auction, the Asian collection includes more than 40 antique French colonial statues up to 45 inches tall, several relief-carved religious panels – one of them after a 15th-century Italian painting – carved altar adornments and stone heads; and a compartmented Vietnamese marriage box with lacquered faux-tortoiseshell lid. These beautiful artworks would find a fitting home in either of the two French religious cabinets to be auctioned.

An extensive selection of carved Chinese and Japanese ivories will be auctioned. Shown here is a tripodal censer with dragon motif. Austin Auction Gallery image.

The sale also features property from several distinguished estates, including art and ivory from the Marshall estate, formerly of New Orleans. Thirty pieces of Chinese and Japanese ivory will cross the auction block, including an extraordinary chess set whose “kings” each measure 12 inches tall, a profusely carved censer on tripod feet, and other fine carvings featuring deities and elders. A walking cane collection includes examples that are entirely of ivory as well as some that feature carved-ivory heads of dogs and other creatures.

A small but highly select collection of swords includes an early 19th-century showstopper of Indo-Persian origin. The sword’s decorative gilt grip and guard terminate in a three-dimensional horse-head form with jeweled ruby eyes. A foliate-decorated scabbard completes the regal presentation of this connoisseur’s edged weapon.

In the fine-art section of the sale, one of the most sought-after names in Texas regional art, Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922), is represented by a signed, oil-on-canvas landscape painting of a quintessential Hill Country scene. Handsomely framed, the artwork titled Springtime II, Texas, Bexar County measures 11¼ inches by 8½ inches and is additionally signed and titled on verso.

The furniture category is led by a circa-1880 Eastlake bedroom suite with marble-top dresser, a Victorian half-tester bed, and numerous pieces of French furniture, including a large oak vasselier.

American half-tester bed. Austin Auction Gallery image.

An Italian crystal chandelier of near-diamond shape has a drop length of 38 inches and a width of 34 inches. Another lot expect to light up the gallery on auction day is the late-19th-century bronze chandelier with six lights on arms formed as winged griffins.

Additional items of note include a pair of marble lions that formerly guarded the entrance to a palace in India, 2-ft.-tall Murano millefiori glass eggs converted to lamps, several 18th-century French clocks, a pietre dure table, a circa-1900 Ernst Plank (Germany) magic lantern with 23 colored-glass slides, and a selection of Native-American art highlighted by a circa 1200 A.D. to 1350 A.D. Southwestern pottery bowl. An actual cage-style elevator from a Paris building would be a guaranteed conversation-starter in any home.

All forms of bidding will be available for Austin Auction Gallery’s June 26-27 East Meets West sale, including live via the Internet through For additional information, call 512-258-5479 or e-mail View the fully illustrated catalog online and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at Visit Austin Auction Gallery’s Web site at

Susanin’s – Fine Art & Antique Furniture, Decorations & Jewelry

June 14th, 2010 by

Auction: June 19th, 2010

Preview: June 14th – 19th

Stair Auctioneers & Appraisers

June 11th, 2010 by

The Collection of Douglas S. Cramer & Hubert S. Bush III

Dogwood Farm

Roxbury, CT

Exhibition – June 11th – 26th, 2010

Collectors could strike gold as a little-known California toy collection comes to auction July 16-17 at Morphy’s

June 11th, 2010 by

Just when we thought all of the great toy collections have been unveiled, along came the Michael O’Hearn collection, which will be auctioned at Morphy’s on July 16 and 17. Mr. O’Hearn is a retired San Francisco Bay Area architect renowned for his visionary use of “green” technology and insistence on retaining original appointments in the more than 30 Victorian homes he restored at a time when most of their type were destined for the wrecking ball.

Over the last three decades, Mr. O’Hearn also quietly built one of the finest mint/boxed antique toy collections we have ever seen. It serves as the featured collection in Morphy’s sale, which also includes a spectacular selection of antique advertising. A highlight is the grouping of monumental Art Deco-era storefront neon signs discovered in a warehouse in Duluth, Minnesota.

Phillips de Pury & Company – Italia

June 11th, 2010 by

Contemparary Art,  Photographs, Design

Auction – June 30th, 2010  10am


Ivey – Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers – Summer Gallery Auction with Fine Jewelry

June 11th, 2010 by

Auction – June 12th – 14th, 2010

Featuring American Western Paintings, Wilson “Snowflake: Bentley Photomicrographs, English and Continental Works of Art, Fine American Antique Furniture, English Furniture including Chests and Grandfather Clock, Continental and American Paperweights, American and English Sterling Silver, Continental Bronze and Sculpture, Selection of Minerals, Oriental Carpets, Fine Jewelry including Platinum, Gold, Silver, Diamonds, Gemstones, Black Coral, South Sea Pearls, Designer Watches and Much More.

Bonhams – New York Preview This Weekend

June 8th, 2010 by

20th Century Decorative Arts

June 15th, 2010  New York

Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova Blue Pyramid, 1993 Estimate: $50,000 - 70,000

Guyette & Schmidt, Inc – Decoy Auction

June 8th, 2010 by

Auction July 29 & 30

New Hampshire

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers – Marketplace Auction

June 8th, 2010 by

Auction June 16th – 17th

Preview June 13th – 15th