January 28, 2014 | Sotheby's set a record on Saturday, January 25, with the sale of the Ralph O. Esmerian Collection of Folk Art. The 228 lots reached a total of $12,955,943 eclipsing the previous record set by Sotheby's in 1994 with the sale of the Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little Collection.
Saturday's top lot was the 1923 figure of Santa Claus by the Brooklyn-born artist Samuel Anderson Robb, which sold for $875,000, more than three times the pre-sale estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. A rare carved pine pheasant hen weathervane once in the collection of the influential folk art dealer Edith Gregor Halpert achieved $449,000; and Ruth Whittier Shute and Samuel Addison Shute's c. 1832 portrait of Jeremiah H. Emerson of Nashua, New Hampshire, realized $665,000. The c.1816 double portrait of John Bickel and Caterina Bickel from Jonestown in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, painted by Jacob Maentel reached $401,000.
Santa Claus by Samuel Anderson Robb, New York, c. 1923. Sotheby's New York.
January 9, 2014 | We asked exhibitors at the Winter Antiques Show to highlight one exceptional object in their booths and describe it as they might to an interested collector. Here are the things they chose, along with some of their comments.
Edward or Edvard Olson, the carver of this Uncle Sam that dates from about 1925, was born in Sweden in 1887. After coming to the United States he worked for twenty-four years as a machinist at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. The carving of Uncle Sam comes with a period photograph showing Olson at work carving a small horse alongside his Uncle Sam.
Several months ago we got a telephone call from a Dutch notary. The notary asked if I remembered a certain lady for whom we had done an evaluation fifteen years ago. As I did remember her, I was asked to make an appointment at the notary's office. Once there he explained that my late father was mentioned in her will. She so appreciated our k…» More
December 16, 2013 | December 18
"Decisive Moments: Photographs from the Collection of Cheyre R. and James F. Pierce"; Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI
"The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925"; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
"‘Workt by Hand': Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts"; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
Bars quilt, circa 1890, Pennsylvania. Cotton, wool. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Peter Findlay,photograph by Gavin Ashworth, on view at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
"The Netherlandish Miniature, 1260-1550"; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
"The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute"; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
"100 Works for 100 Years: A Centennial Celebration"; MontclairArt Museum, NJ
"Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music"; Portland Art Museum, OR
"History's Shado…» More
October 21, 2013 | By Laura Beach
Yorkshire calendar and almanac
Calendar and almanac, probably York or Ripon, Yorkshire, England, c. 1425. Ink, tempera, and gold leaf on parchment, each page 6 by 4 1/8 inches.
WHY: Priced in the six figures by Les Enluminures of Paris, New York, and Chicago, this calendar and almanac of about 1425, with prognostications in Latin, illustrates the English monarchy from William I to Henry VI and depicts the history of the world from Adam's creation to St. Thomas Becket and Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, beheaded in 1322. Renderings of local saints suggest a Yorkshire origin for this gilt- and tempera-embellished ink on parchment document, which notes solar and lunar eclipses and predicts events such as the harvest, disasters, and war. The work sold to a collector at Masterpiece London.
TAKEAWAY: "This manuscript testifies to the emergence of a class of private book owners, among them prosperous landowners and country doctors, in northern England at a time when the…» More
September 9, 2013 | A full-length portrait by the celebrated Revolutionary-era painter John Trumbull of Alexander Hamilton, then secretary of the treasury under President George Washington, has joined the permanent collections of both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, thanks to a gift from the painting's former owner, the global wealth manager and investment bank Credit Suisse. Each institution owns a half share of Portrait of Alexander Hamilton, which is currently on view in the new American Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum. In subsequent years, the museums will each exhibit the painting for a two-year period. As the greatest known portrait of Hamilton and one of the finest civic portraits from the Federal period, the painting is a splendid addition to both collections and demonstrates how institutions can enrich access to art by working together.
In December 1791 a committee of five New York merchants, some of whom were members of the recently found…» More
[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi» View All