Archive | October, 2011

Happy Halloween!

31 Oct

In the spirit of Halloween, let’s look at some spoooooooky matchsafes coming up for sale in the Fine Silver and Vertu Auction scheduled for December 7th!

How about this spider-ific matchsafe for your collection?  From an unknown American silversmith, this matchsafe features a creepy-crawler with sapphire head and ruby body.  Fun!
UPDATE: Withdrawn from sale


Frank M. Whiting & Co. made this mixed metal piece featuring a copper spider on the front and back sides.
UPDATE: Sold for $1,135.25





Or how about this Devil of a matchsafe from Carter, Howe & Company, circa 1900?
UPDATE: Sold for $896.25




Or my favorite piece of all – this fabulous mixed metal George W. Shiebler & Co. piece featuring an owl and a bat in a molded forest!
UPDATE: Sold for $5,676.25


In the spirit of the World Series…

28 Oct

Let’s celebrate with some St. Louis Cardinals Baseball memorabilia that is featured in the upcoming Sports Collectibles auction to be held in Dallas on November 11th.

Go Cards!  Game 7 is tonight!



First up is Steve Carlton’s game worn jersey from 1968.  Heritage says: Early career gamer dates to what was arguably the most important season in the development of a pitcher who would come to prominence as one of the most dominant southpaws ever to take the mound. Though the St. Louis pitching spotlight was firmly directed at fellow future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson and his outrageous 1.12 ERA Cy Young-winning campaign, Carlton began experimentation with his trademark slider during this National League Championship season, beginning the transition from a solid number three starter to a first-ballot Hall of Famer. 

All this means is that this jersey is from the early career period of a future Hall of Fame left-handed pitcher.  He’s the first pitcher to win 4 Cy Young awards over his career.  And what’s makes this jersey special at $40,000 and up?  It’s in SUPERB 100% complete and original condition.

Next up is this 2004 National League Champions Ring.  After winning the National League, the Cards went on to face the Boston Red Sox.  Not a series I would like to remember….as the Red Sox swept the Cardinals 4 games to none….but Boston certainly remembers this series as the Curse of the Bambino was finally broken!  Estimated at $10,000 and up, this ring is a gorgeous consolation prize.


And last but not least, this 1968 team signed ball features the National League championship team members Maris, Schoendienst, Carlton, Cepeda, Flood, McCarver and more.  Nice, strong signatures throughout.  It can be yours for $800 and up.

Spotlight on Ruba Rhombic

27 Oct

Ruba Rhombic – say that 3 times fast!

An advanced design for the time with its highly-stylized Cubist planes – the Ruba Rhombic line was introduced in 1928 by designer Ruben Haley.  Some say the series was named after Ruben himself; though some say the name is a play on rhomboid – meaning a geometric shape with no parallel lines.  In my opinion, perhaps both are correct.  Normally, the Ruba Rhombic series was produced by the Consolidated Glass Company out of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, but the Phoenix Glass Company produced only one item – the fishbowl – as seen here. 

With limited production (production ceased in 1932), any piece from the series is considered rare and valuable by Depression glass collectors and Art Deco collectors alike.  During the four-year production, an entire line of tableware was created consisting of vases, perfume bottles, pitchers, goblets, plates, bowls, and barware.  The colors range from a smoky topaz and yellow-green vaseline to jungle green and opalescent.  The whiskey decanter and shot glass sets are definitely a favorite of mine!

Heritage is pleased to present a superb example of the fishbowl and original stand in its upcoming sale of Lalique and Art Glass on November 19th.   

Yellow glass fishbowl of abstract planes on etched metal tripod stand, for the Phoenix Glass Company, circa 1928
Engraved: Patented Sept 4 1928 P G Co
32 inches high x 12-3/4 inches diameter (81.3 x 32.4 cm)

Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000.

Painting of the Day

26 Oct

There’s just something about this painting that makes me miss New York… 


BOB KNOX (American, b. 1953)
City from the Sky, 2002
Acrylic on canvas
84 x 84 inches (213.4 x 213.4 cm)
Signed, titled and dated on the reverse

Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, October 2002.

Long Beach, California, University Art Museum, California State University, Bob Knox: Nonfiction Paintings, May 1 – December 30, 2003.

This ambitious painting was included in realist painter Bob Knox’s first solo museum exhibition, which was co-organized by the Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston and the University Art Museum at Cal State, Long Beach. The artist characterized the body of work to which City from the Sky belongs as “non-fiction painting,” a description that reflects the power his paintings draw from the deadpan reality embedded in them.

Estimate: $5,000 – $7,000.

UPDATE: Sold for $6,573 including buyer’s premium.  Wish I could say that I bought it….

New World Auction Record

25 Oct

HOWARD CHANDLER CHRISTY (American, 1872-1952)
Nymphs in Summer, 1946
Oil on canvas
60.5 x 72 in.
Signed lower left

Commissioned from the artist by Commander Oliver Colvin, New York.


At last Saturday’s sale of Illustration Art, Heritage broke several world auction records.  This superb work by Howard Chandler Christy sold for $179,250 including buyer’s premium, shattering the previous world auction record for the artist ($115,500) set in 1988 at Sotheby’s New York.

“This masterpiece by Christy is the most impressive canvas by the artist that we’ve ever offered, and it performed as such,” said Todd Hignite, Consignment Director for Illustration Art at Heritage. “Nudes were an important subject throughout Christy’s career, and represent some of his most sought after images with collectors.”

Bidding across the board was spirited in the auction, as 1,192 bidders vied for 903 lots, with the $3.725 million total in prices realized translating into a sell-through rate of 99% by value.  Lots of artworks and lots of bidding = a marathon of a sale!

“This was certainly one of our strongest Illustration sales ever, both in terms of the total and sell-through rate,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage. “The market is absolutely great for top quality work—each time a great example by virtually any pin-up artist came up, the bidding was fierce.”

Besides the record price set on the Christy painting, record prices were also realized for pin-ups by a number of artists, including: Edward Runci’s A Surprising Figure, 1949, that saw a final price realized of $41,825; Earl Macpherson’s Blonde Pin-Up on the Phone brought $23,900; Olivia de Berardinis’ Two of a Kind, Heather Kozar, Playboy Pin-Up, September 2004 realized $21,510 and Arthur Saron Sarnoff’s Brunette in Black Negligee in Pink Bed, from The Estate of Charles Martignette, realized $16,730.

The popularity of Illustration art does not seem to be slowing down.  Whether it’s a nostaglia for pin-ups and advertisements from the 50s and 60s or a rediscovery of magazine/book illustrators as artists in their own right, there is a strong demand for these works as evidenced by the prices realized.

Lubbock…Oh Lubbock…

24 Oct


The things we do for appraisals….


I was fortunate (or unfortunate as the case may be) to be in Lubbock last week for the dust storm!  My colleague Madeline and I had just gotten to the airport and were waiting to board our flight back to Dallas, when this large dark cloud started rolling in fast!

Oh. My.

So needless to say the airport was shut down while the winds and tumbleweeds and the water tanks blew by.  The storm lasted about an hour, but the debris on the runway caused several more hours of delays.  The winds were so strong that a FedEx plane tipped over!  What a scary but beautiful weather phenomenon…









Living in a world of art glass…

24 Oct

Many apologies for the lack of postings lately, as I had been caught up in the whirlwind world of preparing the forthcoming catalogue for The Lalique & Art Glass Auction.

But now that the catalogue is off to the printer, let me give you a sneak preview of what’s to come.  The sale is scheduled for Saturday, November 19th at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion in New York City.  Over 500 lots of classic, unique, and lovely art glass items will be featured by designers such as Lalique, Galle, Daum, Muller Freres, Moser, Tiffany Studios, Dale Chihuly, and Charles Schneider. 

There is a lovely collection of Lalique perfume bottles from Dorothy C. Shaker highlighted by an excellent example of the La Phalene  bottle with perfume by d’Heraud. The condition is excellent and retains nearly all of the original sepia patina.

There is a fantastic collection of works by Charles Schneider, Le Verre Francais, coming from Susan and Roy Bittan.  This selection is only the beginning as part 2 of the collection will be sold by Heritage in a future auction.  From vases to lamps to ewers, the colors and patterns are the best of the best of the Schneider designs.

So this is a taste of what’s to come.  Be sure to check out the catalogue soon – we all worked very hard to create a beautifully designed book to showcase all of the beautiful glassworks.