Category Archive 'Auction Sales'
05 Mar 2017

Tiffany Favrile Vase

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Louis Comfort Tiffany, Favrile Vase

At DuMouchelles’ March 11 Sale, Lot 031010

L.C. TIFFANY FAVRILE VASE, H 9″, W 5 1/4″:Paperweight. Iridescent finish. Marked underneath ‘1616 L; L.C. Tiffany –


Favrile glass is a type of iridescent art glass designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It was patented in 1894 and first produced in 1896. It differs from most iridescent glasses because the color is ingrained in the glass itself, as well as having distinctive coloring. Favrile glass was used in Tiffany’s stained-glass windows.

Already at $3500.00

29 Jan 2017

Little Bighorn 7th Cavalry Colt

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One of the prizes at the upcoming James D. Julia Firearms Auction – April 11, 12 & 13, 2017:

Historic Colt SAA SN 5773 Picked Up By Captain Benteen After the Battle Of The Little Bighorn (1 of 3). This One is The Most Complete And Is Featured In Kopec’s Book.

30 Aug 2016

Smallsword Gifted by Benjamin Franklin

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Christie’s Sale 12186
Important American Furniture, Silver, Outsider and Folk Art

20 September 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

Lot 854

Estimate USD 200,000 – USD 300,000

with tapering Colichemarde blade of hollow triangular section, etched at the forte with scrollwork, and engraved inscription (a 19th century addition) in French Epée que portait Benjamin Franklin dans les combats livrés en Amérique pour la cause de la Liberté. / Il la donna depuis à son ami P.J.G. Cabania (sic) [Sword worn by Benjamin Franklin in the battles fought in America in the cause of Liberty. / He then gave it to his friend P.J.G. Cabanis], silver hilt comprising symmetrical shell-guard, quillion-block, knuckle-guard and pommel (rear-quillion missing) pierced with scrollwork and stylised trophies, and grip bound with silver wire and ribbon; with brown leather scabbard with silver locket decorated en suite with the hilt and struck on the reverse with a silversmith’s mark, and later silver chape with iron finial; and later close-fitted velvet-lined leather-covered case with brass mounts
The sword: 33 ½ in. (85 cm.) blade; 40 3/8 in. (102.5 cm.) overall
The case: 42 5/8 in. (108.3 cm.) long

The locket (upper scabbard mount) bearing a silversmith’s mark of SS in a rectangle, determined to be that of Samuel Soumaine (1718-circa 1769) of Annapolis, Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

More here.

larger version here

21 Aug 2016

Unique European Revolver

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From Ian McCollum, a very odd, downright steampunk, one-of-a-kind European prototype revolver.

Rock Island Auction September 9 – 11, 2016, Lot 1359, estimated price $2500-4000.

02 Aug 2016

Everybody Needs One of These

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From Artemis Gallery:

Lot 0023B:

Northern India, Naga, mid to late 19th CE. An early leather headhunter’s bag dramatically decorated with four monkey skulls, the two at each end framed by pairs of animal (perhaps boar) tusks, with a rectangular lid attached to the overall rectangular form via woven fibers, a leather loop at the lower end, a strand of knotted natural fibers across the front, plaited wicker lining the back of the lid, and a strap of twisted wire attached to wicker loops for suspension. This bag was most likely used to carry human heads as headhunting was a traditional practice among the Naga tribes of northern India and Myanmar. A rare find indeed! Size: 7″ deep x 11″ W x 9.5″ H (17.8 cm x 27.9 cm x 24.1 cm)

Ending tomorrow, currently at $6000.

15 Jul 2016

Kuhnert’s “Roaring Lions”

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Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert (1865–1926), Brüllende Löwen [Roaring Lions]

Jackson Hole Art Auction, September 16-17, 2016, Lot 384, Estimate $200,000-300,000.

Sporting Classics:

Friedrich Wilhelm “Lion” Kuhnert, as his contemporaries knew him, was born in Oppeln, Germany, in 1865. After beginning an apprenticeship at age 17, Kuhnert moved to Berlin in 1883 and studied with renowned animal painter Paul Meyerheim at the Berlin Academy of Arts. Kuhnert first traveled to Africa in 1891, going on safaris in the German and English colonial territories. He sketched and made field notes along the way, later turning them into impressive oil paintings in his Berlin studio.

A hunter as well as a painter, Kuhnert traveled to Africa annually to capture its wild animals in the flesh and on the canvas. Between Kuhnert’s extended visits to Africa, he returned to Germany and continued his wildlife studies, traveling throughout Europe in pursuit of its indigenous species, including red stag, elk, bison, wild boar, and moose.

It’s estimated that Kuhnert’s body of work once totaled 5,500 paintings. Today there are less than a thousand known works in existence. The remainder of his artwork was destroyed or lost in World War II.

09 Jul 2016

The Legend of Bo Whoop

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Garden and Gun:

On December 1, 1948, two hunters emerged from the cool wetlands of Clarendon, Arkansas, and ambled along a country road. The men—Nash Buckingham and Clifford Green—had spent a long morning in a duck blind and were headed back to Green’s car, on their way home. Buckingham, then sixty-eight years old, was at the time one of the most famous writers in America, a sort of Mark Twain for the hunting set. At Green’s car, they met a warden, who asked to see their hunting licenses. The warden quickly realized that he was in the presence of the celebrated writer. He asked Buckingham if he could see the most famous shotgun in America, Buckingham’s talisman, an inanimate object that the writer had referred to—in loving, animistic terms—in a great number of his stories. The nine-pound, nine-ounce gun was a side-by-side 12-gauge Super Fox custom-made by the A. H. Fox Gun Company in Philadelphia.

The carbon steel plates on the frame were ornately engraved with a leafy scroll. The gun company’s signature fox, nose in the air, was engraved on the floorplate. The barrels had been bored by the renowned barrel maker Burt Becker and delivered 90 percent patterns of shot at 40 feet, an uncharacteristically tight load for a waterfowling shotgun. It was named Bo Whoop. A hunting buddy had designated it so, after the distinct deep, bellowing sound it made upon discharge.

The warden chatted up Buckingham, handling and admiring the writer’s gun, like a kid talking to Babe Ruth while holding the slugger’s bat. At some point during the conversation, the warden laid the gun down on the car’s back fender. Buckingham and Green soon bid the warden farewell and drove off, forgetting about Bo Whoop until many miles into their trip home. In a panic, they turned around and retraced their route, painstakingly eyeing every inch of the road, to no avail.

Buckingham spent the next few years in a desperate hunt for Bo Whoop. He lamented the loss of Bo Whoop in print, likening it to the death of a treasured hunting dog. He took out ads in local newspapers, offering rewards. He befriended local wardens and police, appealing to them to be on the lookout.

He would never find it. …

Sometime in the 1950s a foreman at a sawmill in Savannah, Georgia, was offered an elegant but well-used Fox shotgun with a broken stock. The seller wanted $100. The Savannah foreman took one look at the fractured stock and countered with an offer of $50. The sale was made at that price. The foreman then put the gun in his closet, where it remained for the next three decades.

The foreman’s son, who also lived in Savannah, eventually inherited the gun upon his father’s death. He, too, left the gun in his closet, this time for nearly twenty years. But in 2005, for reasons unknown (the consignor’s family wishes to remain anonymous), he brought the gun to Darlington Gun Works, a South Carolina shop owned by Jim Kelly, a noted gunsmith. The foreman’s son wanted to repair the broken stock. Kelly, a student of hunting history, saw that on the top of the right barrel there was a hand stamp that read: “Made for Nash Buckingham.” On the top of the left barrel: “By Burt Becker Phila. PA.” Kelly was floored. “I couldn’t believe that this gun had walked right in here,”

Bo Whoop was sold by James D. Julia in 2010 for $201,250. Its purchaser donated the historic shotgun to Ducks Unlimited.

Nash Buckingham 1880-1971

20 Jun 2016

“Transfixed by her Beauty”

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Lucien Freud, drawing of Pauline Tennant, 1945

Christie’s Sale 13100, Defining British Art, 30 June 2016, King Street, London, Estimate: £2,000,000 – £3,000,000 ($2,844,000 – $4,266,000).

24 May 2016

Jack Kerouac: “The Greatest Piece of Writing I Ever Saw”

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At Christie’s Books and Manuscripts Sale 12260, 16 June 2016, in New York, Neal Cassaday’s 40-page Lost Letter to Jack Kerouac, Lot 146, Estimated price: $400,000 — $600,000.

Considered ‘lost’ for 66 years, Neal Cassady’s visionary ‘Joan Anderson letter’ is a foundational document of the Beat era and the inspiration for Kerouac’s literary revolutions, beginning with On the Road.

Neal Cassady’s long-lost letter to Jack Kerouac, dated 17 December 1950, has permeated virtually every conversation about the Beat era. Referenced not only by Kerouac but by Allen Ginsberg, Laurence Ferlinghetti, Herbert Hunke, and a host of their contemporaries, Cassady’s fluid, incantatory, and deeply revealing prose influenced the entire generation of Beat writers.

The letter was written on a three-day Benzedrine high, Cassady later confessed. It contained, by Kerouac’s first calculation, at least 13,000 words and ran to 40 pages, offering a compelling, unaffected and discursive account of Cassady’s frenetic love life in 1946, particularly with Joan Anderson (whom he visited in a hospital after a failed suicide), and ‘Cherry Mary’, recounting an acrobatic escape through a bathroom window when they were surprised by Mary’s aunt. The uninhibited, non-literary narrative pointed the way to the free, truthful style to which Kerouac aspired.

Overwhelmed by what he read, Kerouac wrote ecstatically to Cassady on 27 December: ‘I thought it ranked among the best things ever written in America… it was almost as good as the unbelievably good ‘Notes from the Underground’ of Dostoevsky… You gather together all the best styles… of Joyce, Céline, Dosy… and utilize them in the muscular rush of your own narrative style & excitement. I say truly, no Dreiser, no Wolfe has come close to it; Melville was never truer.’

13 May 2016

$1,265,000.00 1886 Winchester

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1886 Winchester, Serial Number 1, presented to Captain Henry Ware Lawton for capturing Gerinimo.


The world’s most expensive rifle–setting the record at auction for $1.265 million–is a lever-action Winchester, with a blued and case-hardened finish, engraved only with “Albee to Lawton.” It’s an unadorned Model 1886, serial number 1, given to Captain Henry Ware Lawton to celebrate his successful campaign against Geronimo, the fierce leader of the Chiricahua Apache tribe, a key event leading to the end of the brutal Apache Wars.

The rifle was auctioned as part of a lot of Lawton’s belongings including an engraved gold-plated C. Howard & Co. pocket watch and matching engraved gold chain, also in recognition of his work hunting down Geronimo. Lawton received prominent awards and medals during his career, including the Medal of Honor, rising to the rank of Major General before dying in battle during the Philippine–American War.


Rock Island Auctions, 29 April- 1 May 2016, Lot 1025


Rock Island Blog, Pt. 1

Rock Island Blog, Pt. 2


16 Apr 2016

Archibald Rutledge Turkey Call

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Guyette & Deeter Auction, 22 April 2016, Lot 483, A turkey call hand-made circa 1950 by famous Outdoor Writer and Poet Laureate of South Carolina Archibald Rutledge.
Estimate: US $1,250.00 – US $1,750.00 — Opening Bid: $650.00

Archibald Rutledge was heir to Hampton Plantation, Poet Laureate of South Carolina, and the direct descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a governor of South Carolina, and a Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. He published numerous articles on hunting and the out-of-doors in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, and similar serial publications, as well as close to 40 books. He taught English for many years at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania.

Archibald Rutledge, 1883-1973

01 Apr 2016

A Pair of Boutet Pistols Given to Simon Bolivar by Lafayette

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Christies, New York, 13 April 2016, Sale 11898, Lot 36:


With blued and gilt swamped octagonal barrels each cut with multi-groove rifling and decorated with gold-inlaid bands and finely engraved panels of foliage and Empire-style ornament, engraved and gilt breeches each struck with three maker’s marks, engraved and gilt tangs decorated en suite, silver fore-sights, blued flat bevelled locks each with roller, gold-lined rainproof priming-pan and fine gold-encrusted ornament involving foliage, a dragon and a wolf, the lower edge of each lock respectively signed ‘N.N. BOUTET A VERSAILLES’ and ‘MANUFACTURE ROYALE A VERSAILLES’ in gold, each with set trigger mounted on an engraved iron trigger-plate, exquisite silver mounts cast and chased with Classical ornament against a stippled gilt ground, comprising trigger-guards each with trophy of arms finial and winged deity with laurel wreath, rear ramrod pipes each with Medusa mask, pommels each with Hercules mask, and side-plates each depicting the mythical fight between the Centaurs and Lapiths at the wedding feast of Peirithous, original silver-mounted ramrods, and each with gold escutcheon mounted behind the barrel tang bearing the name ‘BOLIVAR’, in silver-bound close-fitted veneered case lined in green velvet, the lid with tooled and gilt red Morocco lining signed ‘MANUFACTURE ROYALE / à / VERSAILLES / 1825 / N.N. BOUTET / Le Dépôt de La a Paris. Rue Des Filles St. Thomas No.23’, the exterior with silver escutcheon signed ‘N.N. BOUTET A VERSAILLES’ with accessories including silver-gilt-mounted powder-flask with sprung nozzle and case-hardened bullet-mould, Paris silver marks for circa 1809-1818


Gifted by General Gilbert Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, to Simón Bolívar, El Libertador, in 1825

Gifted (before 1830) by Simón Bolívar to Jose Ignacio Paris (d. 1848)
Enriqué Paris, son, by descent
By whom sold to Enriqué Grice (d. 1860), 7 July 1851
The collection of William Goodwin Renwick (1886-1971)
Sold Sotheby’s London, Highly Important Firearms from the collection of the late William Goodwin Renwick (European, Part III), 19 March 1973, lot 21
The collection of Clay P. Bedford (1903-1991)
A private Latin American collection
A private American collection

Estimate $1,500,000 – $2,500,000

16 Mar 2016

A Very Posh Indo-Persian Kandshar Dagger From the Estate of T.E. Lawrence

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Czerny’s International Auction House, Sarzana, Italy, Fine & Scarce Antique Arms & Armor Sale, 26 March 2016, Lot 574.

Estimated Price: €7,000 – €8,500

A very interesting rock crystal hilted kandshar from the property of Lawrence of Arabia

dating: mid-19th Century

Curved, double-edged blade with a raiser made of fine, wootz damask at the centre (areas of rust); rock crystal grip (sliver near the quillon).

Kept in a wooden case covered with black, gilt-hemmed paper, lined with light-blue silk and bue velvet, the cover featuring a label with the writing “Jambia/Rock Crystal Hilt – Property of T. E. Lawrence/Clouds Hill – Lawrence of Arabia – Purchased S. W. Cottee & Son Wareham Dorset”.The lieutenant colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence (Tremadog, 16th August 1888 — Wareham, 19th May 1935) was a British intelligence agent, a military officer, archaeologist and writer, mostly known as Lawrence of Arabia; he was renowned for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt at the beginning of XX Century.

Sale: S. W. Cottee & Son (known today as “Cottees”);

Sale: Dix Noonan & Webb, 19/09/03 lot 1024;

Stratford Armouries Museum at Warwick.

29 Feb 2016

Joan of Arc’s Ring

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Délit d’images:

(translated freely from the French:)

The relic dating from the fifteenth century was sold for 297,600 pounds (376,833 euros –$410,361.72) to a Frenchman who wished to remain anonymous, said the spokesman for the Timeline auctions.

The opening bid was 14,000 pounds (19,051 euros — $20,746.06).

According to representatives of the auction house, Joan of Arc gave a detailed description of the ring during her interrogation at Rouen 17 March 1431. It contains the inscription Jhesus Maria and three engraved crosses.

The ring, accompanied by authentication documents, is kept in a wooden casket. After the execution of Joan, the precious object was worn by King Henry VII of England.

“The ring returns to France,” the spokesman for the auction house told reporters without revealing the name of the French citizen who acquired the relic.

The jewelery was sold by the son of Charles de Gaulle’s personal physician. Earlier, the French government had proposed to examine the possibility of buying this relic.




Timeline Auctions, Antiquities, 25 February 2016, Lot 1220

15th century AD

With a published Joan of Arc association dating back over a century, exhibited twice in France in the 1950s and in the Museum of Lancashire Millennium Exhibition, January to December 2000, this ring has a silver-gilt hoop with facetted outer face, expanding shoulders and two rectangular and angled fields to the bezel; the hoop with incised niello-filled florid lozenges and triangles, the design giving the appearance of three crosses, the ends of the shoulders with blackletter ‘I’ and ‘M’ (for ‘Iesus Maria’), the lateral faces with blackletter ‘IHS’ and ‘MAR’ (as abbreviations for Jesus and Maria); a small section inserted later to the hoop, sufficient possibly to enlarge it from a band suitable for a small, feminine finger to a larger male(?) hand; the degree of wear generally evident to the ring, including to the hoop insert, suggesting an extended period of wear, long after the date of making, perhaps indicative of the ring’s appeal as a talisman; contained in an antique, small oak casket in the form of an architectural reliquary with pitched and hipped lid, the ridge surmounted by a plain cross in iron, the box red velvet-lined, with a removable rectangular holder (the compartment beneath possibly having once held a small document or label), arranged to display the bezel and purpose-made to hold the ring, indicating the reverence in which the ring was already held when the box was made for it; the ring is very unusual in that the vast majority of rings with angled rectangular bezels have them engraved with pictures of saints rather than being inscribed (generally termed as iconographic rings); inscriptions on such rings are normally on the hoop part.

Accompanied by a professional drawing showing the ring extended, with the three crosses forming part of the design to the shank clearly depicted; also with publications, documents, press cuttings and correspondence including a photocopy of the 1917 Oates privately printed catalogue; a cuttings book containing an extract from the Sotheby’s sale of 1947 (including an image of the ring), with press cuttings from such publications as the Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph and Le Figaro at the time of that sale, followed by others (some illustrated, showing both ring and casket) including from English, American and French newspapers and periodicals in the 1950s, from when the ring was exhibited in France (at La Turbie and also at Rouen and Paris); associated correspondence with the mayor of La Turbie and further referring to the 500th rehabilitation anniversary exhibition; typescript research notes and a signed note by Cyril Bunt (dated 1949) discussing Cardinal Beaufort and the ring and its descent to Lady Morrell; papers relating to two interviews with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 1953 and 1956; correspondence with the French embassy in London, shipping documents and permissions for the ring to be sent to France for exhibition; a photocopy of the last letter (with transcript) of Joan of Arc; the exhibition pamphlet for La Turbie (4 copies, 3 in English, 1 in French, 1952), the catalogue for the Jeanne d’Arc et Son Temps exhibition (Rouen and Paris, 1956); documents, including the mounted display caption, from the AD 2000 – The Story of Christianity in Lancashire exhibition at the Museum of Lancashire held in 2000; other correspondence of various dates from 1950s to 1980s regarding the ring, most of the letters with envelopes. Ring: 4.90 grams, 21mm overall, 18.27mm internal diameter (approximate size British Q, USA 8, Europe 17.49, Japan 17); casket: 127 grams total, 79 x 58 x 77mm (Ring: 3/4″ casket: 3 1/4 x 2 1/4 x 3″). Good condition; surfaces worn.

Property of an Essex gentleman; inherited 1979 from Dr James Hasson of Harley Street, London; acquired Sotheby’s sale, 1 April 1947, lot 37; formerly in a private collection (1929-1947); previously with the F. A. Harman Oates collection (sold Sotheby’s, 20 February 1929, lot 21); earlier with Augustus John before 1914, the gift to him of Lady Ottoline Morrell; by descent, through the Cavendish-Bentinck family (Duke of Portland) from cardinal Henry Beaufort (1375-1447), who was present at the trial and execution of Joan of Arc in 1431; the ring stated by Joan at her trial to have been a gift from her parents. Supplied with a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate.

Oates, F. A. H., Catalogue of Finger Rings; Brought Together by F. A. Harman Oates, privately printed, London, 1917 (36 copies only printed, including this ring, p.5, pl.2 and referring to the belief in it having belonged to Jean of Arc; a photocopy of this Catalogue accompanying this lot); Sotheby’s, sales catalogues, 20 February 1929 (lot 21) and 1 April 1947 (lot 37, ring illustrated; sale catalogue extracts of the lot description and illustration included within the cuttings book accompanying this lot); Hasson, Dr James, The Banquet of the Immortals, Poseidon Press, Edinburgh, 1948 (310 copies printed), pp.94-100 for a romanticised account of this ring and the death of Joan of Arc (extract from this work included); The Marvellous and Symbolic Story of the Ring of Jeanne d’Arc Exhibited at the Chapelle St-Jean of La Turbie, n.d (1952; English and French language versions accompanying this lot); Jeanne d’Arc et Son Temps, Paris, 1956, Commémoration du Vme Centaire de la Réhabilitation de Jeanne d’Arc, 1456-1956, Rouen and Paris, p.61, no.190 (original catalogue accompanying this lot). Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate.

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