The Antiques Addict: Staffordshire Portrait Figures

Here in Georgetown, we live in the mother lode of antiquities, an antique community where relics are everywhere we look. Since Georgetowners interact with history every day in our 18th- and 19th-century homes and on our cobblestoned streets, it’s easy to stop actually seeing the objects and places that inform our daily lives. So it’s interesting to delve a bit into the what and why of the old things that surround us, everyday household items or fine rarities from a century or more ago: a colorful vase that a favorite aunt left, an old bottle found under a floorboard during renovations, yellow ware bowls, glorious old silver, colorful tins that once held everything from soup to opium. A dealer in antiques for most of my adult life, I am drawn to old things and old places. I still like to imagine the people who lived in my early 19th-century home and how they lived in it. They loved, lost and raised their families within the quotidian realities of the age. Just as certain smells can flood us with memories, antiques can provide a powerful connection to our own personal histories. A familiar object spotted at an antiques shop can be an emotional bridge with our past, a childhood moment or a loved one. Many collectors’ fascination with the things of the past reflects a profound desire to connect to a time when life was more predictable. True collectors don’t buy to resell. They buy for that enduring link to the past, a sense of history, the thrill of the hunt or to furnish a home. My penchant for collecting Staffordshire portrait figures (1837-1901) stems from all of the above. They are decorative and have a wonderful naïve charm. The figures were the Victorian version of People Magazine; made to communicate the “news of the day” to everyman, they had a broad appeal across social classes. Many a politico, murderer, actress, soldier and historic event of the time were portrayed in Staffordshire. Victorian portrait figures are generally titled, but not always. The quality of the workmanship varies tremendously. Some were quite primitively rendered, making the characters impossible to recognize (likely the result of basing the portrait on a bad engraving in a periodical of the day). Yet all are historically interesting and, amassed, make up a visually pleasing and thought-provoking collection. Prior to 1840, most figurines were made to imitate porcelain and finely worked. Starting in 1842, the “flat-back” design made them easier to reproduce in earthenware. The Crimean War (1854-1856) was the heyday of this form. There was intense popular interest in Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the allied leaders and their war commanders, and a profusion of figures were made in the new style. One of the chief attractions in collecting Staffordshire figures is the great number of variations within a type. Each potter created his own version of a well-known contemporary subject – a famous battle, performer, literary character or royal personage – hence the profusion of similar subjects that look extremely different from one another. Some collectors specialize in certain themes, like Little Red Riding Hood (a popular subject). Others may collect circus figures, politicians, sporting figures or any of the hundreds of variations available. By the start of the 1880s, the art was beginning to decline. Finally, with the death of Queen Victoria, fewer figures were produced. Although a few figures were made to commemorate World War I, they were in a different, more sophisticated style, lacking the former rustic charm. For me, the fun is in buying whatever strikes my fancy. Since the figures are ubiquitous, I am almost always able to find company for the others in my collection. An antiques dealer for more than 25 years, Michelle Galler owns Antiques, Whimsies & Curiosities, located in Georgetown and in Washington, Va. Contact her at to suggest a topic for a future column.

The Antiques Addict: Hooked Rugs, America’s Indigenous Folk Art

Early American hooked rugs were a craft of poverty. Prior to 1780, most floors in American homes were bare, especially among the poor. Painted floors or stenciled floor cloths were found in the homes of those who were slightly better off. Only the very wealthy had the means to import carpeting, since the American textile industry was in its infancy. After 1830, as factories in America began making wool carpets for the rich, having a floor covering became a symbol of domestic and socioeconomic well-being. This was a period when Americans were looking beyond the bare necessities, trying to make their homes more livable. As the fashion for floor coverings took hold, poorer women began ransacking their scrap bags for materials to employ in creating their own floor coverings. Their work was laborious and slow, hooking rag strips through tightly woven linen or hemp backings using a special tool adapted from the sailor’s marlinspike. Then, after 1850, trade tariffs relaxed and coffee, grain and feed started to arrive wrapped in jute burlap sacks made in India. This free fabric was strong, but loosely woven enough to allow the rag scraps to be easily hooked through it into the characteristic loops. The women who made the early rugs also designed them, borrowing many of the motifs from the Oriental rugs imported by the wealthy. A New England peddler noticed the rug-hooking trend and saw an opportunity. In 1876, he began stamping the best of the traditional designs onto burlap. His designs also included lions, tigers, leopards, dogs, cats, birds, deer and floral patterns. From this point on, every woman could make her own colorful rugs from scraps of clothing. For the next 50 years, this essentially rural craft spread to the humblest households along the northeastern seaboard. In the waning years of the 19th century, with the industrial revolution well underway, machine-made goods were seen as superior to homemade goods. Hooked rugs were viewed as “quaint” and lost their popularity. By the 1920s, however, American cities were filling up with multitudes of immigrants. Many Americans reacted to these social changes by idealizing the colonial period as a time of noble virtues and high moral standards. There was a flurry of interest in hooked rugs and homemade quilts as “virtuous” colonial artifacts (though most had been produced long after the end of the colonial period). In the 1930s and ’40s, antique dealers and interior designers recognized the beauty and historical value of this form of needlework, leading to a resurgence of rug hooking. In fact, the great majority of the rugs we find today sold as “antiques” were made between 1900 and 1960. Since they are less than 100 years old, they are more properly called “vintage.” American country antique collecting was at its height in the mid-1960s. Armistead Peter 3rd (1896-1983) and his wife Caroline Ogden-Jones Peter (1896-1965), the last private owners of the venerable Georgetown estate Tudor Place, began to redecorate their stately home after Peter’s father passed away. They elected to purchase three hooked rugs for their bedrooms, and those boldly pattern rugs are still part of the collection. Today, older hooked rugs have again regained popularity, due in part to their wonderfully colorful graphics. Also, like American primitive antiques in general, they show “the hand of man” and mix well with other styles, including transitional and the now-popular mid-century modern look. Condition is very important when collecting older hooked rugs. Collectors should be sure to check the backing for signs of rot or for missing fabric. A restorer can patch the backing and restore missing rag, but a buyer should be ready to do some heavy negotiating for a damaged hooked rug. These once purely utilitarian objects are now recognized as an art form that, in addition, traces the nation’s history from pre-industrial times. The good news is that wonderful examples can still be readily found and are reasonably affordable. They add a dash of color, whimsy and history to any well-decorated home. An antiques dealer for more than 25 years, Michelle Galler owns Antiques, Whimsies & Curiosities, based in Georgetown and in Washington, Va. Contact her at to suggest a topic for a future column. [gallery ids="101977,135524" nav="thumbs"]

The Antiques Addict: Early American Pottery

Governor Gooch had a secret. Virginia Governor William Gooch had good reason to hide the truth in his 1732 annual report to the British Board of Trade. The colonies were forbidden to engage in manufacturing any products in direct competition with those imported from England, except for those that would benefit the mother country. Yet, he and his government had long encouraged local entrepreneurs, including a Yorktown merchant known as William Rogers. An enterprising brewer and businessman, Rogers’s pottery was one of Virginia’s most prosperous businesses, producing 23 types of redware and stoneware, which were shipped up and down the East Coast. Since the quality of Rogers’s vessels was comparable to anything imported from England, and clearly posed a conflict, Gooch maintained his deception until the end of the decade. The most utilitarian pottery available, redware was one of the first necessities that the colonists made themselves. It’s no wonder Governor Gooch was covert about this flourishing industry. Redware pots were used like plastic is used today. They were comparably cheap, plentiful and locally crafted, using clay with high iron content (this is what gives redware its characteristic red or orange hue). Redware jugs, jars, plates, bowls and tavern ware of various kinds were used throughout 17th- and 18th-century America. If the housewife needed it, the potter made it. Unfortunately, the potter, or anyone who regularly used redware vessels, commonly developed nervous disorders, like palsy and tremors, associated with lead poisoning. There are multitudes of contemporary pieces on the market that are being advertised as antiques. Hence, collectors should educate themselves to be able to discern fakes. Examine the back of the piece to see if it is blackened, which would indicate that it was used on the hearth and is likely an old piece. Since tallow or fat leaches into clay, smelling the piece for faint remnant odors of either can help determine whether it’s an older item. A glaze with a glassy quality is a sign of a modern piece. Stoneware was developed due to the fear of poisoning from lead-glazed earthenware. Made of dense, blended clays, salt-glazed and then fired to vitrification, stoneware was imported to the colonies from England and Germany. Early American redware potters rarely inscribed their names in the soft clay, but stoneware quite often bears the maker’s mark. Crocks, jugs, butter churns – chiefly utility items – were typically decorated with freehand cobalt decoration of flora, fauna and, occasionally, military motifs. An urn featuring Civil War soldiers recently sold at auction for $350,000. The mellow, golden-colored ware is a type of stoneware made of fine yellow clay that was found along riverbanks in New Jersey and other Mid-Atlantic states. Since the yellow clay contains a lower level of iron, causing it to vitrify at higher temperatures than red clay, yellow ware items were much harder and more durable for kitchen use. The collector can determine whether an older piece is American yellow ware by tapping it: American pieces will thud; English yellow ware will ring. It was a popular choice for kitchen use up until the 1940s, when homemakers began to be seduced by pieces made of modern materials. The south has a wide and diverse 200-year history of pottery, covering multiple states. Southern redware and stoneware research has made significant strides in the last 25 years. Entire new schools of pottery have been discovered, uncovering new forms and traditions. The pottery of the “Great Road” represents some newer discoveries of the southern pottery tradition. The Great Road, considered part of the “Great Wagon Road” initiating in Philadelphia, was the primary route from Roanoke, Va., to eastern Tennessee. A wonderful piece of antique American folk pottery, whether it is redware, stoneware or yellow ware, has its own distinct past. A potter – who probably dug his own clay, mixed his own glaze recipe and fired his pieces in old wood-fired kilns – made each piece, and every piece tells its own unique story. An antiques dealer for more than 25 years, Michelle Galler owns Antiques, Whimsies & Curiosities, based in Georgetown and in Washington, Va. Contact her at to suggest a topic for a future column. [gallery ids="101984,135444,135446" nav="thumbs"]

The Auction Block: December 2, 2015

Sotheby’s?? “À la Source,” 1982? Baltasar Lobo (1910–1993)? ?? Auction Date: December 7? Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000?? Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Sale will feature a broad array of pictures, works on paper and sculpture by artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including this Carrara marble piece. Highlights include important works on canvas by Pierre Eugène Montézin and Jean Dufy, two exceptional sculptures by Lynn Chadwick and works on paper by Daumier and Lautrec. Bonhams Sapphire and Diamond Ring Tiffany & Co.?? Auction Date: December 8 Estimate: $400,000 – $600,000 This glowing, opalescent rare sapphire and diamond ring from Tiffany & Co. is part of Bonhams upcoming Fine Jewelry auction. The ring centers a cushion-cut sapphire, weighing approximately 8.05 carats, flanked by old European-cut diamonds, which continue to a plain mount. Weschler’s Serpentine Chest of Drawers, c. 1800–1805? Attributed to Nathan Lombard (1777–1847) Auction Date: December 4 Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000 A Federal inlaid cherry serpentine chest of drawers, attributed to Nathan Lombard, is one of the highlights of Weschler’s Capital Collections Estate Auction. The chest features trailing floral inlay along its leafage-carved concave quarter-columns, as well as Lombard’s distinctive cusp-and-spur feet and signature applied beaded strip along the back edge of the top. Doyle New York Platinum, Gold and Fancy Yellow Diamond Ring Auction Date: December 16 Estimate: $100,000 – $150,000 Part of Doyle New York’s upcoming Important Jewelry auction, this marvelous 18-karat ring centers one old European-cut fancy yellow diamond of approximately 8.02 carats in a ring signed Tiffany & Co. The diamond is not original to the mounting. Freeman’s “Two Old Men and a Dog: Checkers,” 1950? Norman Rockwell (1894–1978)? Auction Date: December 6 Estimate: $60,000 – $100,000 This iconic drawing by Norman Rockwell is one of four seasonal studies (also to be offered are “Spring,” “Summer” and “Fall”). Other lots in Freeman’s American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists sale are stunning watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and paintings by Maxfield Parrish and Arthur Dove. ? Bringing the Hammer Down Final selling prices for last month’s featured Auction Block items Sotheby’s “Stabile with Mobile Element,”?1952 Lynn Chadwick (1914–2003) Auction Date: November 17–18 Estimate: $400,000 – $600,000 Final Selling Price: $749,000 Freeman’s Virginia Blanket Chest, 1798 Johannes Spitler (1774–1837) Auction Date: November 11 Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000 Final Selling Price: $56,250? Bonhams “Dorothy” Dress?Worn in “The Wizard of Oz”?? Auction Date: November 23?? Estimate: $800,000 – $1.2 million Final Selling Price: $1.56 million Doyle New York “Three Survivors,” 1964 Ibrahim Hussein (1936–2009) Auction Date: November 10 Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000 Final Selling Price: $62,500

The Auction Block November 5, 2015

Freeman’s “Huntsmen and Hounds, North Cornish Hunt,” 1954 Sir Alfred Munnings (1878–1959)? Estimate: $250,000 – $400,000 Auction Date: November 19 Sir Alfred Munnings is widely considered to have been the greatest equestrian artist of the 20th century. His work continues to have a devoted following. Munnings's love of the Cornish landscape stemmed from visits he had made between 1910 and 1914 to Newlyn, an area that at that time was home to a renowned artists colony. This painting is part of Freeman's Sporting Sale. Christie’s “Norman Rockwell Visits a Country Editor,” 1946 Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Estimate: $10 million – $15 million Auction Date: November 19 The top lot of Christie’s American Art auction, this major, large-scale work belongs to an important series of works Norman Rockwell completed for the Saturday Evening Post at the height of his career. The painting is being sold by the National Press Club Journalism Institute with the approval of the National Press Club. The proceeds from the sale will benefit both nonprofit organizations. Bonhams “The Cove, Isles of Shoals,” 1901 Childe Hassam (1859–1935)? ??? Estimate: $400,000 – $600,000 Auction Date: November 18 This painting, offered as part of Bonhams’ American art sale, comes from a prime period of Hassam's work, when he painted on the Island of Appledore, the largest of the Isles of Shoals. It manifests, with direct fluent brushwork, the brilliant midday light, clear sky, calm water and scintillating array of blues, reds, yellows and greens that he encountered. About nine miles off the New Hampshire coast, the Isles of Shoals were a source of inspiration and refuge for Hassam between about 1880 and 1916. Doyle New York “I Been Rebuked and I Been Scorned,” 1954 Charles White (1918–1979) Estimate: $70,000 – $90,000 Auction Date: November 10 Named for a Negro spiritual, this charcoal and wash drawing was created nine years before the historic March on Washington in August of 1963, at which an estimated 250,000 people witnessed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. At this same gathering, Mahalia Jackson sang “I've Been ’Buked and I've Been Scorned.” The work is part of Doyle New York's Post-War and Contemporary Art sale. Sotheby’s?? Pale Blue Faience Ushabti of Neferibresaneith,?570–526 B.C.?? Estimate: $60,000 – $90,000 Auction Date: December 8 Sotheby's will present an inaugural sale dedicated exclusively to Ancient Egyptian Sculpture and Works of Art. Highlights include a red granite portrait head of King Amenhotep III from the last ten years of his reign, two exceptional stone ushabtis and the piece featured here, 7.25 inches high, one of the best preserved faience ushabtis of Neferibresaneith. [gallery ids="102344,125561,125555,125544,125551" nav="thumbs"]

Auctions: A User’s Guide

In the Internet age, auctions might seem outdated and irrelevant. Yet auction houses continue to be effective marketplaces for everything from fine art to gourmet wine to bejeweled dog collars. For those unaware, auction houses are intermediaries between buyers and sellers -- the original eBay. If, for example, you want to sell a diamond-encrusted Barbie, you could contact a house and arrange for the doll to be auctioned. These arrangements involve setting your minimum selling price, transporting your item to the saleroom, settling on the commission amount to be taken by the auction house, and signing a contract. Or, if you wanted to buy an original Steve Jobs’s Apple computer, you could work with a specialist from the auction house to find your dream work. Then, when the auction takes place, you would bid in-person, over the phone, or online and pay. This specific example is actually on auction through Christie’s until July 9. Some of the most prominent auction houses include Weschler’s, Potomack Company, Sotheby’s, Bonham’s, and Doyle New York. Weschler’s and Potomack Company are the only ones located in the Washington area. The other companies have sales rooms in New York City and across the world. To become an auction buff, here are the key words to know: Auctioneer – the trained professional who conducts the auction Lot – an object or group of objects being exhibited in the auction Sale number – a lot’s identification code Provenance – the history describing the object’s chain of ownership since creation Chattel – the physical goods of an estate, such as furniture and cars Auction block – the object currently being auctioned Paddle – the instrument bidders use to communicate their bid to the auctioneer Bidder number – a bidder’s identification number used on the paddle Reserve price – the pre-established, minimum amount the owner will accept Hammer price – the amount of the winning bid Buyer’s premium – the amount paid between the hammer and total purchase prices Ring – the auction location Whether you’re searching for that perfect Roman sculpture to complete your living room or Moscato to complement your favorite dessert, these terms will help you raise that paddle confidently. Check out a few upcoming events for the summer and happy auctioning. Sotheby’s London Château Pétrus 1967 Auction Date: June 20 Estimate: $10,000-$14,000 Sotheby’s London will offer a unique day for wine lovers to experience a taste of the Finest and Rarest Wines. This sale will feature extraordinary collections from Bordeaux and Burgundy to the Spanish Vega Sicilia. Wine lovers can enjoy a tour of wines from the 1960s, all the way to the 21st century. These exquisite wines will be available in bottles and magnums. Don’t forget to look out for the Château Pétrus 1967, a wine that will leave you wondering and wanting more. This wine is known by experienced wine tasters, who recognize it by its rich, sweet and complex taste. It has a lingering “sweet” taste with a low concentration and density. Christie’s Tubogas “Serpenti” quartz wristwatch by Bulgari Auction Date: July 17 Estimate: $3,050 - $4,575 (£2,000 - 3,000) This jewelry sale at Christie’s is sure to be huge. There are 262 lots in the sale, with pieces from designers, such as Tiffany & Co and Chanel to Van Cleef & Arpels. In particular is the “Serpenti” wristwatch from Bulgari that expresses the elegance that Bulgari stands for and is a design that is being revived by designers today. The specialists at Christie’s explain the watch has a silver dial with Roman numerals and a bezel set with diamonds. There is a pink sapphire crown with a five-jewelled quarts movement to a sprung bracelet and 22mm wide case. The dial, case and movement are all signed Bulgari. The wristwatch is an iconic model from the Bulgari collections and would be a perfect addition to one’s own collection. [gallery ids="119049,119062,119058" nav="thumbs"]

The Auction Block

Doyle New York Platinum, Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond, emerald and diamond ring Auction Date: Sept. 12 Estimate: $80,000 – $120,000 Doyle New York’s auction of Important Jewelry will offer exquisite jewelry spanning the Antique, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Modern eras by such designers as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb and Tiffany & Co. Certain to attract attention will be this 1920 ring featuring an old-mine cut oval Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond flanked by emeralds and diamonds. Sotheby’s Egyptian Revival faience and jeweled brooch from Cartier Auction Date: Dec. 11 Estimate: $300,000 – $500,000 Designed as an Egyptian fan, centering an ancient green faience bust of the goddess Sekhmet, this jeweled brooch is among the highlights of Sotheby’s Auction of Magnificent Jewels. Set against a lapis lazuli sky, twinkling with diamond stars and bordered by a black aureole and diamond-set lotus motif, there are a total of 100 diamonds throughout the piece. It is complete with the original fitted box stamped by Cartier. Bonhams Diamond-set engraved and enameled gold singing bird snuffbox with musical movement and watch Auction Date: Dec. 12 Estimate: $120,000 – $180,000 Bonhams will auction this historic snuffbox as part of its Auction of Fine Watches, Wristwatches and Clocks. The box, with lozenge maker’s mark of Jean-Georges Reymond, bears the monogram of the 19th-century Ottoman Prince Shehzade Mahmud Celaleddin Efendi, son of the Turkish Sultan Abdul Aziz, who likely had the box embellished for his son. The diamonds were added during the mid 19th century. Sloans and Kenyon Portrait of a nude Norma Jeane Baker Dougherty (later known as Marilyn Monroe) 3D filmstrip Circa 1945 Auction Date: Dec. 14 Estimate: $2,000 – $3,000 This rare filmstrip depicts a young woman named Norma Jeane Baker Dougherty, who later changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and became the seminal, sultry icon of American desire. This full-length image is attributed to W.O. Schwartz, located in 1945 just six blocks from the Blue Book Modeling Agency, Norma Jeane’s first employer. Thought to be the first nude photograph of the future Marilyn, predating Tom Kelley’s famous 1949 pinup image. The full image is on view at the Sloans and Kenyon gallery prior to auction. Freeman’s Lemuel Everett Wilmarth (American, 1835-1918) “Still Life with Wrapped Orange” 1893, oil on canvas Auction Date: Dec. 8 Estimate: $50,000 – $80,000 Freeman’s American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists Auction has a wealth of consignments from private collections across the country, featuring this still life by Lemuel Everett Wilmarth, a rarely auctioned artist admired for his genre scenes and still-life paintings. As seen here, Wilmarth’s still lifes are celebrated for their polished realism and deft display of textures. Additional works include portraits by William Merritt Chase and John Singer Sargent.

The Auction Block

1. Freeman’s Henri Matisse (1869–1954) “Odalisque étendue” Auction Date: May 4 Estimate: $100,000 to $150,000 As part of their sale of Modern & Contemporary Works of Art, which will include works by Andy Warhol, Richard Pousette-Dart and Sam Francis, Freeman’s will offer this drawing by Henri Matisse. Matisse’s series of odalisque pictures were made in the 1920s, after he relocated to the French Riviera, and are representative of a softening of the artist’s approach following World War I. 2. Bonhams New York Peter Beard (b. 1938) “Orphaned Cheetah Cubs in Mweiga nr. Nyeri, Kenya, 1968” Auction Date: April 29 Estimate: $30,000 to $50,000 Bonhams will host a Fine Photographs auction, featuring more than 100 works from photographic masters including Ansel Adams, Jan Dibbets, Nan Goldin and Sally Mann. A highlight of the sale will be selections of animal photography, including Peter Beard’s “Orphaned Cheetah Cubs in Mweiga nr. Nyeri, Kenya,” from 1968. Beard, a prominent photographer and cultural icon, is known for his pictures of African wildlife, as well as his good looks and playboy impulses. 3. Sotheby’s Henri Matisse (1869-1954) “La Séance du matin” Oil on canvas? Auction Date: May 7 Estimate: $20 million to $30 million Bright, classic and fresh-to-market works by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Fernand Léger from a private American collection will lead Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art. The three paintings are important examples from a key phase in each artist’s career. “La Séance du matin” is one of Matisse’s celebrated works, painted in Nice in the 1920s It depicts his studio assistant Henriette Darricarrère, to whom he offered painting lessons during their time working together. 4. Potomack Company Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) “Letter to Wang Jiyuan,” 1967 Auction Date: May 3 ?Estimate: $6,000 to $9,000 This one-page letter, in ink on paper, was inscribed by the internationally renowned 20th-century Chinese artist Zhang Daqian to his friend and colleague Wang Jiyuan. The two artists held a joint exhibition at the Smithsonian in 1971. Daqian wrote this letter from Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 1967, beginning his salutation warmly: “Jiyuan, my dearest brother, and to those you are closest to....” The letter is one of several Zhang Daqian letters featured in Potomack’s May sale. Bringing the Hammer Down Final selling prices for last month’s featured Auction Block items: Potomack Company Qi Baishi,?“Rat Eating Loquat and Two Gourds,” 1924 Ink on paper on scroll Auction Date: Feb. 22? Estimate: $60,000 to $90,000 Final Selling Price: $194,000 Freeman’s Child Hassam, “The Norwegian Cottage,” 1909 Oil on canvas? Auction Date: March 30 Estimate: $200,000 to $300,000 Final Selling Price: $242,500? ? Sotheby’s? John James Audubon and John Bachman?, “The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America,” 1845/48 3 vols., hand-colored lithographs Auction Date: April 1 Estimate: $200,000 to $400,000 Final Selling Price: $245,000

The Auction Block

Bringing the Hammer Down Final selling prices for last month’s featured Auction Block items. Bonhams James Edward Buttersworth, (British/American, 1817-1894) "The America's Cup yacht Vigilant" Oil on canvas Auction Date: June 25 Estimate: $200,000 - $300,000 Final selling price: $305,000 Freeman's Edouard Leon Cortes (French 1882-1969) "Place St. Michel" Oil on canvas Auction Date: June 17 Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000 Final selling price: $43,750 Sotheby's Louis XV Ormolu-Mounted Chinese Lacquer Commode circa 1745, Stamped P. Roussel Auction Date: June 9 Estimate: $150,000 - $250,000 Final selling price: $281,000 Doyle New York Regence Style Walnut Marble Top Commode Auction Date: July 16 Estimate: $1,200 - $1,800 The popular Doyle at Home auctions attract savvy buyers with an endless diversity of stylish furniture, elegant decorations and attractive works of art from prominent estates and collections across the country. Designers, architects, magazine editors and other trend-setters look to the Doyle at Home auctions as a resource for exceptional objects that combine quality, value and style. These auctions have also become popular venues for the sale of property from designers’ own collections or for furnishings that they have incorporated into projects for their clients. This auction of Fine Furniture, Decorations and Paintings from Prominent Estates and Collections, includes an impressive collection of furniture, prints, porcelain, silver and rugs. Bonhams Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-2001) Oil on canvas Auction Date: September 17 Estimate: $300,000 - $500,000 Following a record-breaking auction of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art in March, Bonhams New York announces it will offer two seminal works by one of India’s most important modern artists, V.S. Gaitonde. The masterworks by Gaitonde will headline a special section of Modern South Asian Art and will be on preview in New York from September 14-17. Signed and dated 1961 and 1963, respectively, the paintings stem from the artist’s much coveted and pivotal ‘non-objective’ series. With record prices achieved at auction over the past six months, and an upcoming retrospective opening at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in October, Bonhams is anticipating strong international interest. This 1961 canvas, estimated at $300,000-$500,000, has a dramatic tonal variation with an abyssal vertical band of blue interrupting the median horizontal line. Sotheby’s Brian Belott Untitled, 2014, mixed media and reverse glass technique, 40 1/4 by 32 1/4 Selling Auction: Hours of Operation Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and by appointment S|2 is Sotheby’s Contemporary art gallery, offering year-round exhibition programming and bespoke private sales. With dedicated gallery space in New York, London and Hong Kong, S|2 presents selling exhibitions exploring the work of celebrated artists. In collaboration with curator Ryan Steadman, Save It For Later is a selling exhibition of paintings and sculpture created for this show by a group of young and emerging American artists working in a consumer environment of disposable goods. The exhibition features artists that work with salvaged materials and incorporate reuse and recycling in their practice. Featured artists include Brian Belott, Graham Collins, Rachel Foullon, Jack Greer, Dave Hardy, Jo Nigoghossian and Jack Siegel.

The Auction Block August 6, 2014

The fall auctions of Asian art are lined up in New York like the panels of a painted screen, beginning Monday, Sept. 15, with Asian Works of Art at Doyle New York and Chinese Art at Bonhams. On Tuesday, Sept. 16, Bonhams has a Fine Japanese Works of Art auction and Christie’s has two auctions: Indian and Southeast Asian Art and Fine Chinese Paintings. Sotheby’s also has two that day: Chinese Art through the Eye of Sakamoto Goro: Song Ceramics, and Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. The sole auction on Wednesday, Sept. 17, is at Sotheby’s: Images of Enlightenment: Devotional Works of Art and Paintings. On Thursday, Sept. 18, Christie’s has an auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art and Sotheby’s has two auctions of Chinese paintings: Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy and Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy, formerly in the collection of General and Mrs. Zhu. The Chinese-owned Gianguan Auctions, at Madison Avenue and E 41st Street, has an auction of Fine Chinese Paintings, Ceramics, Bronzes and Works of Art on Sunday, Sept. 14. On Friday, Sept. 19, concluding the week of intense contemplation – and competition – the Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction wraps up at Christie’s. Just prior to the New York auctions, on Saturday, Sept. 13, Freeman’s in Philadelphia holds its fall auction of Asian art. Skinner in Boston has an Asian art auction on Wednesday, Sept. 17, with a preview in New York at The Culture Center on Friday, Sept. 12. Asia Week New York, the even bigger spring series of sales and exhibitions, will take place March 13 to 21, 2015. Total sales at last spring’s event were $200 million, $25 million more than in 2013, due both to the rising interest in Asian art among museums and to the increasing number and wealth of Chinese buyers.