Thursday
Jun152017

Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana Sale at Christies June 15, 2017, Auction Highlights

This was a treat for any ephemera enthusiast. I am glad I have the catalogue so that I can go back at my leisure and read through the offerings. Below are a few of special interest to me.

Lot 241 A 1777 broadside giving an account  of George Washington and his troops crossing the Delaware River and the ensuing battle in Trenton. The illustrated woodcut of a Continental soldier is quite thrilling. Estimate $40,000. -$60,000. Sold for $140,000.

Lot #275 The Earliest Obtainable Full Printing of The Star Spangled Banner in the Daily Federal Republican, Georgetown, September 1814. Somehow, I thought I had a shot at this. The Star Spangled Banner is dear to my heart. I wrote my High School term paper on this topic. It was my first research project. Hope springs eternal. I thought , possibly, this might pass under the radar. Oh no. It started at $2,000. and increment by increment ( which took about 15 minutes in hushed silence) ended at $135,000.Well done!

Lot #413 Coffee Anyone? A complete copy of the first herbal written and published in America by Johann Christoph Sauer Germantown, PA. The coffee page was posted in 1770. Folks cared about their coffee as much then as they do now. Estimate $6,000. -$9,000. Sold for $7,500.

 

Lot # 366 How to pickle barberries from The First Known Published Cookbook in America 1796. After reading this description, it hardly seems worth the trouble, don't you think? Estimate $5,000-$8,000.

Lot # 330 The Signature of Button Gwinnett, the Rarest of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Gwinnett emigrated to America and as a merchant, eventually settled in Georgia. He became interested in the movement toward independence, attended a meeting, and was named to the Continental Congress. He was present for the vote and signed the Declaration of Independence.Estimate $100,000. - $150,000. Sold $319,500.

Lot # 432 See above for description. Sold for $607,500.

 

 

Thursday
Jun152017

The Metropolitan Opera Guild Collection at Christie's, NYC June 15, 2017

Below are some highlights from the auction of items from the Metropolitan Opera Guild Collection at Christie's, NYC on June 15, 2017. I did not win Stravinsky's gold writing instrument ($1500.) though I did bid.

I heard through the grapevine that these were the last of the items available through the Guild. They were sold to raise money for the opera. Check out the catalogue. There were some amazing items sold today.

Lot # 51 A letter from Wolfgang Mozart to his father Leopold, explaining why he has not come to visit because of his very full performance schedule. The letter includes a list of concert dates and locations. Estimate $200,000.-$300,000. Sold for $260,000.

Lot #66 Franz Schubert Piano Sonata in A flat Major. Eight pages of manuscript and autographed by the composer. Estimate $350,000- $500,000. Sold for $390,000.

Lot #85 1 page manuscript of an ending to "Das Rheingold" one of the earliest bits of musical material introducing the public to "The Ring Cycle." Gives me goosebumps just to think....

Estimate $30,000. -$50,000. Sold for $75,000.

Afterwards, I happened upon our Auctioneer as she was being photographed for publicity. I told her that she is now my new favorite Auctioneer. She is friendly, interesting, bothered to know a bit about what she was offering, beguiling, and made personal contact with Internet bidders. She created a sense of in the moment reality with bidders from around the world right there in the room with us. In a word, Delightful. I failed to catch her name but when I find out, I will post it here.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Jun132017

American Art at the Swann Auction Gallery, June 15, 2017

"Theshing Grain" by Dale Nichols,watercolor and gouache, 1946

Another warm day in NYC. I was getting cabin fever from avoiding the heat. I decided to check out the Swann Auction Gallery, which I've frequently seen advertised in the antiques newspapers. The address is 104 East 25th Street, a short distance from where we are staying.

The gallery is on the 5th & 6th floors of the building. There were a number of American works available, incuding a piece by Glackens ( which you can see on my Noonmark Face Book page) Ralph Blakelock, and the above painting, which was my favorite. I discovered later that apparently, this was a choice piece for Swann advertisers-they used it for their publicity post card.

The auction begins at 1:30 on June 15, 2017.

Monday
Jun122017

Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana Sale at Christies June 15, 2017

One of the perks of temporarily living in NYC is easy access to events. Today, I walked a mile in sweltering heat to Christies to preview the Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana Sale on June 15. In particular, I hoped to see Lot #241, a broadside from 1777 relating the story of Washington’s victory in Trenton after crossing the Delaware. This has always been a thrilling tale to me- I couldn’t wait to see how folks felt about such an occurrence in 1777.

A small group of people were occupying the area I wished to peruse. I moved to another portion of the auction and patiently waited for them to move on. They did not move on. Sigh. One of the curators took me under her wing and informed me that the owner of the collection to be auctioned, Eric C. Caren, was in the group. Oh! But, Mr. Caren was not the center of attention. I had to ask who the predominant speaker was and found that it was Sir Harold Evans, of England, who had been editor in chief of The London Times and the Sunday Times, came to America and became editorial director of US News & World Report, the New York Daily News and The Atlantic Monthly. Oh! The curator urged me to join the group. But, there was a photographer accompanying the entourage and my hair was not done, so I declined.

If you have a moment, check out the Christies catalog online for the June 15 auction. I think history buffs will find the selections fascinating. Some of these include articles on the Salem Witch Trials, The Effects of Liquor on Native Americans, Repeal of the Stamp Act, Benedict Arnold’s Treason- on and on.

I plan to attend this auction and will post some highlights.

 

Monday
Jan232017

New York Ceramics and Glass Fair 2017

This intimate show on 73rd Street and 2nd Avenue is located at the Bohemia Hall. I believe this is my 4th year as an attendee and I am always thrilled with the selection and scope of this gem of a show. Items for sale range from ancient to contemporary.

Robert Hunter led a presentation on this hard paste porcelain punch bowl, recently discovered in Philadelphia. It appears to be the key that unlocks a mystery.

Paul Vandekar's lovely booth

Striking display by Jill Fenichell

Hideaki Miyamura

Astonishingly beautiful pieces from Polly Latham

From above- Jeff and Bernadette Evans

Another birds eye view from the 5th floor