In The News

Rare 1782 American Bible has the last word at William Bunch Auctions, earning $78,975

May 11th, 2010 by

The title page of Robert Aitken’s Bible, which was printed in Philadelphia.

CHADDS FORD, Pa. – On a day when a trio of high-profile consignments brought outstanding prices at William Bunch Auctions’ April 13, 2010 sale, friends and former customers of the late Fred Peech showed their respect for the longtime antique dealer from Marmora, N.J., with strong bidding for the best pieces from his home.

“It was just a nice sale where a lot of I’ll say ‘the old guard’ of the antique business came together to pay homage to Fred,” said auction house owner William Bunch. He was a nice guy, very humble fellow, very well liked, who had a lot of product knowledge.”

The top piece of furniture was an early 18th-century walnut William & Mary stretcher-base tavern table with one full drawer. This Pennsylvania piece sold for $21,060. (All prices quoted in this report are inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium.)

Exhibiting a crusty finish, a small walnut stretcher-base joint stool measuring 16 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches by 20 1/2 inches high rose to $9,945.

“A good Philadelphia dish-top tea table with a single-board top had a little repair to it, but brought a respectable $9,300,” said Bunch.

“It was the typical sale one has today where the brown furniture that has a few apologies doesn’t do as well as you’d like it do,” said Bunch, “but the things that are sweet, that are still charming, still attract a lot of attention and command a lot of competition … and good prices as well.”

Three separate consignments performed particularly well at the sale, starting with a Bible printed in Philadelphia by Robert Aitken during the American Revolution. With its cover detached, the well-worn volume looked much like any other old family Bible that might have been found in an attic.

“It was literally contained in a one-gallon baggie. It was a humble-looking book, just octavo size, which is 6 or 7 inches,” said Bunch, who quickly learned the Bible was rare and valuable.

Of the 10,000 printed in 1782, significantly fewer than 100 remain, with only a handful in private hands. It is significant in that it is the first Bible containing both the Old and New Testaments ever printed in English in America. It was sanctioned and supported by the U.S. government. George Washington said of the Bible, “It would have pleased me well, if Congress had been pleased to make such an important present (a copy of the Aitken Bible) to the brave fellows, who have done so much for the security of their Country’s rights and establishment.”

Only one of Aitken’s Bibles has surfaced in recent years at auction, bringing $57,000 in 2008. Bunch assigned an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000 on this copy.

“It has some potential to bring into five figures,” he had told the consignor, who is a descendant of the original owner.

Bunch, who was hoping to attract several interested parties to make the bidding competitive, was surprised by the broad response. “I landed eight phone lines, three active bidders on LiveAuctioneers … and I had three people in the room who that had looked at the Bible and were seriously interested. And I had an absentee bid in the neighborhood of $50,000,” said Bunch.

It finally came to a battle between two phone bidders, with a rare book dealer winning the Bible for $78,975.

“It’s hard to say if he was bidding for a client. I didn’t ask and they don’t like to say,” said Bunch.

Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson (English, 1889-1946) painted this oil on canvas titled Canal at Ghent about 1912. The 30-inch by 22-inch work sold for $70,200.

The top painting at Bunch’s auction was an impressive work by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson (1889-1946), an English-born artist who studied at the Academie Julien in Paris. He was interested in Cubism and Futurism, styles that are evoked in the painting titled Canal at Ghent, a 30-inch by 22-inch oil on canvas.

The painting was consigned by a grandson of Charles Hovey Pepper, 1864-1950, who was an American artist trained in New York and Paris and was a member of “The Four Boston Painters,” founded in 1913 by Carl Gordon Cutler and including Maurice Prendergast and E. Ambrose Webster, all Academie Julian graduates. Pepper was also an avid collector, and his grandson has consigned works to Bunch in recent years that were collected by Pepper.

After discussing the painting with a British art scholar who had written books on Nevinson, Bunch estimated the painting at  $60,000 to $90,000.

“I had a lot of interest from London, but they were scared off a little by my estimate,” said Bunch. “I didn’t think I was too high; maybe I was a little optimistic.”

After a collector from the West Coast and a London gallery chased the painting to $55,000, one of Bunch’s regular customers in the gallery jumped into the fray and trumped them with a bid of $70,200.

“She buys expensive things but surprised me by buying that particular painting, but I’m glad she did,” said Bunch.

All original, this 1958 Ford Custom 300 Custom had only 5,333 actual miles on the odometer. The two-door sedan was equipped with a straight-six engine and standard transmission. A Georgia bidder paid $25,740.

The third major consignment of the sale was what Bunch described as a “rare survivor” – an all-original 1958 Ford Custom 300 two-door sedan in like-new condition.

The original owner purchased the car from Keyser & Miller Ford in Pottstown, Pa., on July 30, 1958.

“The story goes he and his wife took a trip to Florida. She didn’t like the car, so the fellow parked it and didn’t drive it much after that,” said Bunch.

The consignor’s father purchased the car from the original owner in 1973, but drove it little and kept it garaged.

“It wasn’t the most desirable model as ’50s and ’60s cars go – you’d rather see a convertible or a hardtop – but to find a car with barely 5,000 miles on it of any model is rare and unusual,” said Bunch. “Other than a little peeling paint on the engine block it was in beautiful showroom condition.”

A man from Georgia bought the classic Ford for $25,740.

For additional information contact William Bunch by calling 610-558-1800 or e-mailing

$131,450 Factor Diamond leads $1.75 million Heritage Jewelry and Timepieces auctions

May 10th, 2010 by

Rolex trio leads solid fine timepieces portion; American pocket watches show increased demand

DALLAS, TX – A stunningly beautiful 11.99 carat pear-shaped diamond and platinum ring, from the Dorothy & Sidney Factor Collection brought $131,450 – with all proceeds going to charity – to lead Heritage Auction Galleries’ May 3-4 Signature® Fine Jewelry and Fine Timepieces auctions. All prices include a 19.5% Buyer’s Premium.

“This amazing diamond is the crowning jewel of the Factor Family Collection,” said Jill Burgum, Director of Jewelry Auctions at Heritage, “and, as such, it’s no surprise that it would lead the auction. The family has always been amazing philanthropists, and with the donation of the proceeds to charity, this just further burnishes their already sterling reputation.”

The fine jewelry portion of the auction finished with a $1.045 million total, while the fine timepieces came in at just more than $750,000. More than 950 bidders competed for the assorted gems, jewelry and watches.

A rare 5.60 carat Lucida ™ diamond set in platinum from Tiffany & Co. added plenty of excitement to the proceedings as the final lot in the auction, selling for $101,575, while strong interest sparked a bidding war on a Diamond, Gold Necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels, which rocketed past its starting bid of $6,000, to hammer at $16,000.

“We had a fabulous turnout with an audience of floor bidders competing strong against both phone and Internet bidders,” said Burgum. “Along with the high gold market, it appears that the economy is improving and that helped achieve significant results.”

There was plenty of significant bidding action on the various fine timepiece offerings, with solid prices realized across the board. Of the watches performing particularly well, a trio of rare Rolex’s showed particular strength, bringing in almost $60,000 total, very respectable prices on today’s market.

“The trio of vintage Rolex sports models performed very well,” said Jim Wolf, Director of Fine Timepieces as Heritage. “The reference 1655 ‘Steve McQueen,’ the Ref. 1019 Milgauss and the Submariner Ref. 5512 were actively tracked by hundreds of collectors around the world and bidding was very spirited. They brought $19,718, $16,730 and $20,315, respectively.”

The American pocket watch market was bolstered by exceptional results as a rare Nashua Watch Co. watch brought $26,290 and a rare model 72 Waltham reached a record price of $14,340 after the gavel went down.

“I was very pleased with the attention these American pocket watches received,” said Wolf. “When truly rare American timepieces, like these beauties, are offered for sale the notice they bring is considerable, and the prices are commensurate.”

European watches were solid throughout the auction with the featured lots in particular drawing the eyes of collectors. A James Nardin, Locle, Extremely Fine Gold Minute Repeating Pocket Watch with Chronograph, Perpetual Calendar & Moon Phase, circa 1880s, rose to a $21,510 finish, while a Swiss Extremely Fine & Massive 18K Rose Gold Minute Repeating Watch With Chronograph, Perpetual Calendar And Moon Phases Made For Beyer, Zurich, circa 1896, found a new home with a $29,875 price tag and a Patek Philippe & Cie Rare & Very Fine Gold Trip Minute Repeater, Two Train Tandem Wind Pocket Watch, circa 1904, showed considerable strength as it finished as the top watch of the day with a $32,863 price realized.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Bonhams – Fine Jewelry & Jadeite Auction – Hong Kong

May 8th, 2010 by

Catalog Now Online

Auction May 28th 2010

Jw Marriott Hotel – Hong Kong

Dargate Auction Galleries & Artfact – Spring 2010 Auction

May 7th, 2010 by

Auction May 14th, 15th & 16th  10am

Featuring Objets D’Art, Art, Furniture & Accessories, Glass & Porcelain

Crescent City Aucion Gallery – May 8th auction – New Orleans

May 6th, 2010 by

Featuring Property from a New Iberia Estate, the Estate of Donald Schenk (Part II), items from the Estate of Joseph Francis Deynoodt (N.O City Attorney During the Morrison Administration), a Washington Ave. Estate and Numerous Local Estates

Auction: May 8th 10am

Exhibition thru May 7th 10am to 5pm

Remmen Auction – Mother’s Day Weekend Antique & Estate Auction – Portland

May 6th, 2010 by

Remmen Auction

Auction Highlights: vintage sheriff badges, silver, Native American items, vintage prints, vintage custom jewelry, vintage guns, vintage watches, Rosemeade pottery, Depression glass, glass, vintage books, ephemera, primitive items and much more.

Ivey – Selkirk Auctioneers – Modernisn in St. Louis

May 6th, 2010 by


Exhibition May 9th – 13th

Auction May 15th & 16th

Antique Helper Auctions – Indianapolis Contemporary: Art & Design Auction

May 4th, 2010 by

Mindy Taylor Ross of Art Strategies, LLC and Christopher West of Christopher West Presents are seeking consignments in contemporary art and design for the first in a series of contemporary art auctions to be held on Friday evening, June 25, 2010 from 5pm to 8pm at Dan Ripley Auctions (2764 E 55th Place, Indianapolis, IN 46220). The auction will include lots consigned directly from artists as well as pieces from the secondary market and will include a mix of local, regional and national artists.

*** Please note if you are seeing this for the second time, the auction has been changed to June.  We have been overwhelmed by submissions and have decided to add a few weeks to our timetable to make our selections and make this the best auction possible.

For more information or to propose contemporary art or design for the auction, please contact either Mindy or Christopher by email using the information below:

Mindy Taylor Ross–

Christopher West–

Why are we doing this?

To support the growth of offerings in contemporary art in Central Indiana and to support the growth of our Indiana-based artists and organizations in this tough economic time. In addition to helping to generate sales for you, this initial auction has a charitable benefit–5% of the hammer price of each artwork will be donated by Ripley to the Contemporary Art Acquisition Fund at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. If you would like to talk about donating 100% of your proceeds to IMA, we’d be happy to help with that as well. Our friends in the arts are struggling, like many people, and we need to support them. This charitable contribution does NOT effect your net from the sale. It is a donation given by the auction house from their proceeds.

Why should you consider being involved?

For the same reasons stated above. You can turn your pieces of contemporary art & design that you may not be using anymore into cash, and maybe find something new at the auction, while supporting the local art scene. Additionally, this outlet offers you a new way to reach buyers outside of the Indianapolis-area through Ripley’s marketing efforts and his well established network of on-line and phone buyers.

What you can do to help?

Consign great pieces of contemporary art and design and tell your friends and family to come out and buy on June 25th! We’ll be crafting emails to potential buyers who may not know a lot about auctions. We want to demystify the auction process and to have everyone come out, have fun, and BUY SOME ART. This is NOT just for experienced auction buyers. Consign to us and help spread the word.

Here are the details:


.        All consignments will be published in a 4-color print and on-line catalogue

.        The auction will be advertised in local and national print publications and on prominent on-line sites such as

.        Sales results may be listed on

To propose consignments for the sale send us ASAP the following information via email to the addresses above. If you are unable to gather the below info, drop us an email anyway and we’ll arrange a time to come to you:

.        Digital images of work available for consignment. Please be sure each image is titled to match a corresponding description list. (There are no image size requirements but please be sure it is a good clear image of the work.)

.        A Word Document that contains descriptions of each artwork and which clearly corresponds with the names of the digital image files. Descriptions should contain as much of the following information as possible:

.                                Your contact information [include US mailing address, email address and phone number(s)]

.                                Title of the work, Year of execution

.                                Medium

.                                Dimensions

.                                The price that you believe you would normally be able to sell this work for in a gallery setting.

.                                Any descriptive information that you think would be helpful for our consideration and/or for a catalogue description

Again, if you are unable to gather the above information, call or email me and I’ll help! We will notify you about pieces we are interested in consigning. A consignment form will need to be executed for each artwork.

All artworks will need to be delivered to Dan Ripley’s auction house by Monday, May 24th, 2010 so they may be photographs and logged for the catalogue.

When is this Happening?

Thursday, June 24th, 2010–Preview party at Ripley’s Auction House (time TBD)

Friday, June 25th, 2010–Live auction here in Indy (time tentatively set for 5-8pm)

And where?

Dan Ripley Auctions

2764 East 55th Place

Indianapolis, IN 46220

Bonhams & Butterfields – SoMa Estate Auction – San Francisco

May 4th, 2010 by

May 9th, 2010

Featuring paintings and works deaccessioned from the Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VA and the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA.

Eli Wilner & Company Master Framers – New York

May 3rd, 2010 by

The Sotheby’s impressionist auction May 5, 2010, includes 6 Picassos, 2 Cezannes, 4 Miros, 3 Monets and 17 Wilners.

The area between where the painting ends and the wall begins is, indeed, of the utmost importance. It can make all the difference in how artwork is experienced. And, when it comes to historical expertise, craftsmanship and artistry, it’s an area in which Eli Wilner & Company truly excels. Which is why the finest art collections, museums and galleries, including the White House, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian and Sotheby’s, all turn to Eli Wilner & Company to craft masterpieces for their masterpieces.

Restoring antique frames to their former glory. Recreating frames to customize color, texture and size. Designing entirely new frames in collaboration with artists and collectors that become an integral part of the art. Eli Wilner’s team of skilled craftsmen and conservators have been creating frames at one with the purest artistic and historical vision, one at a time, for more than thirty years.

During that time, Eli Wilner’s own collection has grown to more than 3,000 antique frames and 10,000 historical photographs. Yet it is an uncanny ability to get inside the artist’s head, see the work through their eyes, feel the sensibility of their era, that has taken these exceptional resources to the next level. To maximize the beauty, historical accuracy and value of your next project, consult with Eli Wilner. And experience a perfect pairing of painting and frame that is an art form in itself.