DOWNINGTOWN, PENN. — Of the 1,408 lots auctioned by Pook & Pook in its October 5-7 Americana & International Auction, the undisputed winner at $105,400 was “Balinese Cock Fighter” by Kusuma Affandi (Indonesian, 1907-1990). The 55-by-38-inch oil on canvas, painted in 1966 by “the father of Indonesian modern painting,” had been acquired by its original owner in Bangkok in 1967. It sold to a private collector overseas. Highlights from the rest of the sale include a painted pine two-part corner cupboard, a Chester County Queen Anne walnut spice chest and a 1998 Bentley Azure convertible. Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house; a future issue will have a more comprehensive sale recap.
GIBSONVILLE, N.C. — On October 8, Ledbetter Auction hosted its Quarterly Folk Art Event and offered more than 600 lots of primitive, naïve and outsider art. The sale was led by a large carved head with carefully detailed hair, eyes and teeth that sold for $23,125, over five times its $2/4,000 estimate. An early work by Shields Landon Jones (1901-1997), the carving’s forehead was stamped “SL Jones” and dated 1985 on the bottom. Jones was a self-taught artist from West Virginia who began whittling animals from wood when he was a young boy, then returned to carving after retiring as a laborer and carpenter for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. In 1972, his work was discovered by collector and cofounder of the American Folk Art Museum, Herb Waide Hemphill Jr, who first met Jones at a local country fair. Jones’s carvings are now in prominent museum collections throughout the United States. Price quoted with buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. More on this sale to follow in a future issue.
CRUMPTON, MD. — A nearly 7-inch-tall, jeweled gilt-bronze statue of Khadiravani, which had been estimated at $200/400 in Dixon’s Crumpton’s Fine and Decorative Arts Auction on October 6, earned the sale’s top place finish when it sold for $9,225 to an online client bidding via LiveAuctioneers and underbid by another online bidder. The result, which was a new record for a shelf-lot pick at the auction, selected by Dixon’s staff for the quarterly auction, is attributed to the strong market for Asian works of art. The nearly 325-lot sale also saw strong results for Danish modern, Tiffany clocks and a group of Nineteenth Century letters from Maryland and Delaware. A longer sale review will be featured in an upcoming issue.
PLAINVILLE, CONN. — An offering of Connecticut estate material was presented in a live auction by Winter Associates on October 3, with a rare privately owned oil on canvas attributed to Erastus Salisbury Field (American, 1805-1900) from a New Haven estate making an equally rare appearance across the block. Between 1865 and 1880, Field created a series of paintings illustrating the Ten Plagues of Egypt intended as decoration for the walls of the North Congregational Church in North Amherst, Mass. The artist’s deep religious beliefs and strongly held anti-slavery views expressed in these and other biblical works were no doubt the result of his relationship since boyhood with this church. Known as unusually progressive, and with a commitment to biblical text, the church’s congregation included many members of the Amherst Anti-Slavery Society decades before the Civil War which, in 1830, had removed a clause that denied Blacks the privilege of a seat. Inspired by a mezzotint of the “Seventh Plague of Egypt” by the English artist John Martin, Field’s version of “Aaron in a Hailstorm” depicted a port city in a violent storm, viewed from a terrace above, with the figure of Aaron, arms upraised, pointing his staff at the panicked crowds below. The 21¾-by-26½-inch painting led the firm’s sale, bid to $9,000, including buyer’s premium. More highlights from this sale will be presented in a later review.
NEW YORK CITY — Bonhams concluded its auctions for Asia Week New York this autumn, which included The Joan and Ted Dorf collection of Chinese snuff bottles and archer rings on September 19, Chinese Works of Art and Paintings on September 19-20, and Fine Japanese and Korean Art on September 21. Bonhams’ Madison Avenue salesroom presented works from Chinese ceramics and paintings to Japanese hanging scrolls and lacquer that date back from the Neolithic period to the Twentieth Century. This year, Bonhams saw more visitors to the galleries than in previous years, many of whom were interested in the chance to preview highlights from the Cohen & Cohen Sale of Important Chinese Export Ceramics that will be offered for sale during Americana week in January 2023. All sales were 99 percent sold by value, totaling $5.5 million. A good portion of lots sold to buyers in the United States and the majority of the top lots sold to buyers in Asia. A superb carved emerald-green glass snuff bottle, imperial, attributed to the Palace Workshops, Beijing 1730-95. Sold for $50,775. Dorf Collection. The Joan & Ted Dorf Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles & Archers Rings, September 19 Bonhams kicked off the annual fall iteration of Asia Week New York with a single-owner sale, the Joan and Ted Dorf Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles and Archers Rings, on September 19. A diverse and exciting collection that spanned more than half a century, the sale had a majority of buyers from the United States and saw nine of the top ten lots sell above estimate, including a superb carved emerald-green glass snuff bottle attributed to the Palace Workshops in Beijing (1730-1795) which more than tripled its estimate when it sold for $50,775. Additionally, a
This circa Fourteenth Century Korean large gilt-bronze figure of a bodhisattva achieved enlightenment at $441,000 in the “Dharma & Tantra” auction. NEW YORK CITY — With a combination of five live and online sales that took place September 20-27, Sotheby’s Asia Week realized a total of $19,544,742. Kicking off the week on September 20 was “Power/Conquest: The Forging of Empires,” which achieved a total of $7,090,524. The top price of the sale was $1,083,600, realized for the Yi Yu Gui, Western Zhou dynasty, King Zhao period, probably circa 980 BCE, which easily exceeded its $600/800,000 estimate. That same day, in “Dharma & Tantra,” a large gilt-bronze figure of a bodhisattva, Korean, circa Fourteenth Century, sold within estimate for $441,000. It was the top lot in a sale that achieved a total of $2,816,730.The firm’s semiannual sale of Important Chinese Art on September 21, which made $7,394,562, was led at $756,000 by a superbly carved white jade “dragon” vase, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, which came in slightly below its $800,000-$1.2 million estimate. Exceeding expectations, however, was a white-glazed Moon Jar from the Joseon dynasty, late Seventeenth or early Eighteenth Century. It made $403,200 against an estimate of $180/250,000 and was the high water mark in the firm’s “Sublime Beauty: Korean Ceramics from a Private Collection” auction on September 22 that brought $1,272,600. Closing out Asia with an online sale titled “China / 5000 Years,” a Ming-style blue and white “dragon” moonflask, Qing dynasty, roared to $47,880, a substantial rise from its $10/15,000 estimate. The sale, which opened September 16, closed September 27 with a total of $970,326. Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, www.sothebys.com.
NEW YORK CITY — Christie’s Asian Art Week achieved a total of $35,378,754 with almost 80 percent sold by lot and 117 percent hammer above low estimate. There was global participation with bidders from almost 40 nations across five continents. The top lot of the week came in the Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale. A very rare pair of Huanghuali drum stools, dating from the Seventeenth Century, realized $1.5 million, more than 12 times its low estimate of $120,000. Tina Zonars, co-chairman of Asian Art, Christie’s, said, “This fall Asia Week at Christie’s saw strong sales and great results across all of our categories. It was gratifying and inspiring to have buyers return in numbers to live bidding in the saleroom, and once again we were able to create and host a series of inviting and interesting events to bring people to Rockefeller Center. A strong market, a high level of quality in every sale, and the hard work and dedication of our team ensured another successful set of sales.” A Nagasone Katana, Japanese, early Edo period (Seventeenth Century), signed Nagasone Okisato Nyudo Kotetsu. Price realized $239,400. Japanese and Korean Art, September 20 Japanese and Korean Art achieved a total of $2,863,728 with 81 percent hammer above low estimate. The sale was led by a Nagasone Katana from the property of the Kaisendo Museum Collection, which realized $239,400, nearly five times its low estimate. A rare and fine painting of a Shat Chakravarti mandala, Central Tibet, Fifteenth-Sixteenth Century. Price realized $441,000. The John C. & Susan L. Huntington Collection, September 21 The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Collection achieved a total of $1,830,780 with 110 percent hammer above low estimate. The top
DALLAS ─— Heritage’s Musical Memorabilia Signature Auction on July 9 and 10 was a showcase of music history. The headliner of the auction was a rare original stereo pressing of Bob Dylan’s legendary second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. This 1963 album features four songs that were deleted from subsequent pressings, “Rocks and Gravel,” “Let Me Die in My Footsteps,” “Gamblin’ Willie’s Dead Man’s Hand” and “Talkin’ John Birch Blues.” Many of the original LPs that were sent out after this edit still contained the deleted songs on the album but did not list them on the jacket. Almost all of the mono and stereo copies of the album with the original musical lineup were destroyed. “The breathtakingly rare record that everybody wants but almost nobody has” realized $150,000. A more extensive review of this sale to follow.
NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. — The top price of $2,813 in Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries’ American & European Painting, The Old West & Antiques sale on July 9 was shared by two landscapes that evoked the mood of the summer season. The first of them to cross the block was Mabel Woodward’s “At the Beach,” a signed oil on board (shown) that measured 15¾ by 11¾ inches and had been estimated at $2/3,000. It sold to an in-state buyer bidding online. Thirteen lots later, “California Landscape” by Arthur Frank Mathews (1860-1945) achieved the same price. Measuring 13 by 16 inches in its original oak frame, a buyer in California, also bidding online, took the oil on board well beyond its $800-$1,200 estimate. Both landscapes were sold by the same seller and both prices include the buyer’s premium. Watch for a more extensive auction review in a future issue.
GOFFSTOWN, N.H. — Although Withington Auction’s July 8 sale offered early furniture and good Oriental rugs, the top price of the day was earned by a fine taxidermy lioness which sold for $6,600. A Portsmouth Federal period sofa with solid provenance to Dartmouth college led the furniture selection, finishing at $4,200. It can be traced back to its first owner, a professor at Dartmouth, who built a home on college grounds in 1810. The sale included other taxidermy animals, a well-carved Pennsylvania highboy base and a Pilgrim century board chest dated 1693. A more expansive sale recap will be featured in an upcoming issue.