The Auction Block & Bringing the Hammer Down


A Child and Nurse in the Foyer of an Elegant Townhouse, the Parents Beyond

Jacob Ochtervelt (1634-1682)


Auction Date: January 30

Estimate: $3 – 4 million

Sotheby’s sale of Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture will be held during their annual Old Masters Week auctions. The sale is highlighted this year by a number of major paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, particularly this exciting rediscovery of Jacob Ochtervelt’s painting seen here, a previously unrecorded painting. This piece is tied to his series of “entrance hall paintings,” universally considered to be among the artist’s most innovative and interesting pictures.


Allegory of Poverty and Vengeance

Northern Italian School

ca. 2nd half of the 16th Century

Auction Date: January 28

Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000

Part of their European Art & Old Masters auction, Freeman’s is featuring this Italian tempera on panel painting, originally from a private collection in Milan. Painted in the lunette in the second half of the 16th century, the painting features three large form figures in a manner that suggests it previously hung in a church spandrel. With its period frame of carved, gessoed and gilded wood, this is a remarkable piece for any historic collection.


Schooners from the New York Yacht Club Racing in the Narrows

By James Edward Buttersworth (1817-1894)

ca. 1870

Auction Date: January 24

Estimate: $70,000 – $100,000

Bonhams will offer the distinguished maritime paintings of noted connoisseur Alfred “Fritz” Gold, a WWII veteran who received a Purple Heart for bravery, in the Important Maritime Paintings and Decorative Arts. The auction will feature more than a dozen pieces from Gold’s collection, including James Edward Buttersworth’s ‘Schooners from the New York Yacht Club Racing in the Narrows,’ which shows Fort Wadsworth in the distance. A matching Buttersworth composition, ‘Schooners from the New York Yacht Club Reefing off Sandy Hook,’ will also be offered.

Doyle New York

Saint John the Baptist

Roman School

17th Century

Auction Date: January 29

Estimate: $6,000 – $10,000

Exemplified by this painting from the Roman School, Doyle New York will offer paintings from the Collection of Bayard Rustin (1912-1987), an important figure in the struggle for Civil Rights and one of the main organizers of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin was recently in the news again when he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in November 2013. Part of their Auction of Important English and Continental Furniture and Decorations, the auction will feature a broad selection of furniture, porcelain, Georgian silver, tapestries and fine art encompassing the 17th to the early 19th centuries.

Quinn’s Auction Galleries

Confederate General Robert E. Lee letter and personal items, including lock of hair

Auction Date: Jan. 18

Estimate: $20,000-$30,000.

Quinn’s, a local auction gallery in Falls Church,Va., will be auctioning a hand-written letter, together with a lock of Lee’s hair, his penknife and a Baltimore Sun newspaper article about the mementos, all of which Lee donated to a Baltimore orphanage in January of 1867. The items have been on loan to Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, for the past 18 years.

Bringing the Hammer Down

Final Selling Prices for last month’s featured Auction Block items

Doyle New York

Platinum Very Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond, emerald and diamond ring

Auction Date: December 12, 2013

Estimate: $80,000 – 120,000

Final Selling Price: $365,000


Diamond-set engraved and enameled gold singing bird snuffbox with musical movement and watch

Auction Date: December 12, 2013

Estimate: $120,000 – 180,000

Final Selling Price: $233,000


Egyptian Revival faience and jeweled brooch from Cartier

Auction Date: December 11, 2013

Estimate: $300,000 – $500,000

Final Selling Price: $1,025,000


Lemuel Everett Wilmarth (American, 1835 – 1918)

Still Life with Wrapped Orange

1893, oil on canvas

Auction Date: December 8, 2013

Estimate: $50,000 – $80,000

Final Selling Price: $53,125

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