Color and shape were celebrated in last month’s best batches. The Nazmiyal Collection sold an intricate Masahir rug with impressive results, and Rachel Davis Fine Arts offered an Alexander Calder lithograph in simplified, vibrant hues. More intense was a sculpture by Bergman of a tiger fighting on the back of an elephant at Heritage, which made Hermann Historica’s Prussian war eagle look almost tame. Meanwhile, DuMouchelles sold a much less subtle “Eve” bronze sculpture. Read on for more winning sales.
Antique Persian rug proves noble for Nazmiyal collection
NEW YORK CITY — An antique Persian Kerman rug known as Mashahir sold for $20,000 at the Nazmiyal Collection sale on June 12. The meaning of the word Mashahir in Urdu, which is mainly spoken in Pakistan, translates to “nobles”. In Arabic, the word can be translated to mean famous, a world celebrity or a prince of this world. Mashahir is also the name of a small village in Azerbaijan and a family name. And the Mashahir horses are the horse bloodlines of the nobles. The example of the special class of oriental rugs in this sale measured 8 feet 3 inches by 5 feet 1 inch. For information, 212-545-8029 or www.nazmiyal.com.
Alexander Calder lithograph pays tribute to the Barcelona hatter
CLEVELAND, OHIO – A group of eight artists have created a series of 11 prints to honor the life of their friend, Joan Prats, a Barcelona hatter whose shop was a gathering place for artists and critics until his death in 1970. The series was exhibited in an exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum from June to September 1976. “Tribute to Joan Prats” by Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976), a color lithograph, 1965, signed and numbered 32/ 100 in pencil, sold for $6,875 at the June 11 Sale at Rachel Davis Fine Arts. Measuring 22¾ by 30¾ inches, it was from the estate of Agnes Doth, Lexington, Ky., who operated a contemporary gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the 1960s-70s. For information, 216-939-1190 or www.racheldavisfinearts.com.
Mapplethorpe Photo Portrait fetches $8,820 at Doyle Auction
NEW YORK CITY — Doyle presented a photography auction on June 21, showcasing a wide range of fine examples spanning the history of the genre, from early photographs to contemporary works. The sale also included a small selection of photo books. The top lot of the sale was a 1976 photograph by composer Philip Glass and director and playwright Robert Wilson by Robert Mapplethorpe which fetched $8,820. Glass, notoriously slightly scruffy, and Wilson, in jeans and a dark shirt (quite spotless) make this image, set during Einstein on the Beach, memorable. For information, 212-427-4141 or www.doyle.com.
Bergman Elephant Trumpets at Heritage
DALLAS — On June 14, Heritage Auctions held its Signature Fine Furniture & Decorative Arts sale, an eclectic mix of European, Asian and American examples. The highest sale result was $10,625 for a cold painted bronze figure of a tiger hunt, showing three men atop an elephant as a tiger attacks them. Franz Xaver Bergman (1861-1936) produced these figures in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Another of his works was in the top lots, a “naughty” painted bronze of a geisha that sold for $9,375. For more information, 214-528-3500 or www.ha.org.
Mini Pitcher, Major Dollars
TIMONIUM, MD. – Over & Above Online Auction and Estate Sales’ Fashion and Frivolity auction took place on June 18, featuring jewelry of all kinds and eras, as well as beautiful pieces of decorative art. The top lot was an unusual triumph in this category, a miniature stoneware jug that far exceeded its $40/60 estimate to just under $3,000. Just 3 5/8 inches tall and 2 ½ inches in diameter, the little wonder was painted with cobalt lettering that read “TJ Gamblim S % H”. For more information, 410-458-5768 or www.overandabove.com.
‘Eve’ tempts bidders at DuMouchelles auction
DETROIT, MICH. — A bronze sculpture by Marshall Fredericks (American, 1908-1998), “Eve With Golden Apple,” sold for $49,600 on the second day of the DuMouchelles auction on June 17. The standing figure of Eve in green patina, holding a “golden apple” on a circular base was signed on the base and was 19 inches tall. “We’ve handled this Marshall Fredericks work before, never achieved a price like we did this time,” said the company’s Joe Lint. technical and marketing manager. The sculpture comes from the estate of Roy and Lucia Zurkowski. Roy is a partner in Vic Tanny’s gym group. For information, www.dumouchelles.com or 313-963-6255.
The Tiffany ring sparkles at Doyle
NEW YORK CITY — Doyle’s fine and significant jewelry sale on June 23 exceeded expectations, topping $2 million in sales. The auction’s top lot, a platinum ring and a Tiffany & Co diamond ring, contributed to this total. The latter contained a round brilliant-cut diamond weighing 3.16 carats and two tapered baguette diamonds, both of which were signed and sold with the ring for $88,200. For information, 212-427-2730 or www.doyle.com.
The Prussian Golden Eagle soars at Hermann Historica
GRASBRUNN, BAVARIA, GERMANY – One of its many June 20-24 sales, Hermann Historica held its Military Orders and Collectibles Sale through 1918 on June 23. The winner was a heavy Prussian wall eagle, circa 1900. Forged in several parts and gilded, the eagle stood over 14 inches tall and weighed over 25 pounds. The eagle was designed to be fixed to the wall and it is hoped that it will never fall. Unique and exceptionally distinguished, it sold for just under $14,500. For more information, www.hermann-historica.de.
Don’t Fear ‘The Reaper’ at Kimball
HATFIELD, MASS. – On June 26, the Kimball Summer Antiques Auction offered a variety of lots including ancient artifacts, naturalia, jewelry and coins, as well as items from a collection of West Hartford ephemera, books and toys. Among these was the flagship lot of the sale, an 1812 Letter of Marque signed by President James Madison and future President James Monroe. The document tasks an armed schooner, The Reaper, to capture British ships and their crews on behalf of the American government during the War of 1812. A true piece of metal in American history, the Letter of Marque sold for slightly less of $3,440. For information, www.kimballsauction.com or 413-549-8300.