Archive | December, 2011

New Year – New USPAP

23 Dec


As the new year approaches, it’s time to update our USPAP manuals.

Effective January 1, 2012, there will be changes to the following definitions:
Extraordinary Assumptions
Hypothetical Condition
Exposure Time

There are also revisions relating to:
Development and disclosure of exposure time opinion
Certification statement on prior services
Creation of a new Record Keeping rule
Conduct section of the Ethics rule
Advisory Opinion 21 on USPAP compliance

What does this mean for the client who needs an appraisal?  Not much.  The biggest issue to note is that the appraiser must now disclose any services provided on the subject property within the prior three years.  For example, if Susie appraiser has an Oriental rug cleaning and appraisal business, Susie must disclose in her appraisal, if she had cleaned the rug within the last three years.  For another example, if Susie appraised the rug for estate tax purposes, then the rug was later sold and the new buyer wanted an insurance appraisal, Susie must disclose that she had previously appraised the rug. 

The overall changes and revisions are not major issues.  The Appraisal Foundation which oversees USPAP is trying to make everything as clear and transparent as possible.  And that’s always a good thing.


YEAR IN REVIEW: American & European Art

21 Dec

The American & European Art department featured a number of important paintings this year.  In November, a lovely bouquet of roses by Pierre-Auguste Renoir brought a phenomenal price.  This is the highest price paid in the last 10 years for one of Renoir’s rose bouquets.  With stunning provenance, this fresh-to-the-market work had multiple bidders raising their paddles.  The John Koch painting soared over its high estimate in May, as did the Jonas Lie painting also in May and the Daniel Ridgway Knight painting in November.  While paintings seem to be faring well, we did not see much sculpture this year.  Perhaps more sculpture will pop up on the auction block next year? 

Highlights of this year’s sales include:

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (French, 1841-1919)
Le Bouquet, 1910
Oil on canvas
Sold for $657,250 (November 2011)




JOHN KOCH (American, 1909-1978)
Father and Son, 1955
Oil on canvas
Sold for $155,350 (May 2011)



DANIEL RIDGWAY KNIGHT (American, 1839-1924)
Young Woman Knitting
Oil on canvas
Sold for $143,400 (November 2011)



JONAS LIE (Norwegian-American, 1880-1940)
Off on the Breeze
Oil on canvas
Sold for $80,663 (May 2011)



The next American & European Art sale will be held in Dallas on May 15th, with a deadline for consignments on March 13th.  The department will also host a single-owner sale of prints from the Boss Star Collection on May 8th.  And don’t forget the inaugural California Art sale to be held in Beverly Hills on March 20th.  Consignments for this sale are still being accepted.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Fine Silver & Vertu

20 Dec

The Fine Silver & Vertu department hosted three signature auctions this year in April, September, and December.  The sales included the usual stable of American and European flatware and hollowware, silver jewelry, Russian objets d’art, and other unique items.  This year, Tim and Karen Rigdon have been offering a selection of matchsafes in each of the sales from a very large East Coast collection.  I love how the Rigdons have put together boutique auctions with different, yet collectible, items.  The next Fine Silver & Vertu sale will be held in Dallas on April 10th, with a deadline for consignments on February 7th.  I look forward to seeing the 2012 sales!

Highlights of this year’s sales include:

Rattray & Co., Dundee, Scotland, circa 1931
Sold for $56,763 (December 2011)

What’s better than silver?  Gold!  This Scottish gold presentation center bowl is magnificent in all aspects – royal provenance, fantastic workmanship, and fabulous condition.  The melt value alone is tremendous – NOT that anyone would melt this incredibly important piece!

Moritz Elimeyer, Dresden, Germany, circa 1890
Sold for $86,638 (September 2011)

Rarity + quality = lots of bidding!  This stunning pair of candlesticks is a late 19th century revial of  a design by Dresden silversmith Christian Heinrich Ingermann in the mid 18th century as part of the Doppelt Matt Vergoldete service for the court of Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony (Augustus III, King of Poland).

Gorham Manufacturing Co., Providence, Rhode Island, circa 1875
Sold for $22,705 (September 2011)

This is one of only two known Gorham carved antler and silver match safes produced. In an article by Neil Shapiro in the March 2007 edition of the International Match Safe Association newsletter, this piece was proclaimed to be one of the great match safe masterpieces.  Collectors thought so too, and bid continuously for this 3-inch treasure.

Bailey & Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1859-1878
Sold for $28,680 (April 2011)

473.68 troy ounces….that’s some very heavy silver and gilding.  Regardless of the intrinsic value, this tea and coffee service is stunningly beautiful in design.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Texas & Western Art

19 Dec

The Texas Art and Western Art departments had a phenomenal year – led by the million-dollar world record painting by William Robinson Leigh.  Strong prices were achieved all around for the works that were offered.  Both departments have proven success of selling great works in 2011, and all they need now to continue and grow is more great consignments.  All prices include buyer’s premium.

Highlights of this year’s sales include:

William Robinson Leigh’s 1932 masterpiece, Home Sweet Home, which sold in November for $1,195,000, a world auction record for the artist.  Great art + great provenance + great condition =  world record price.  The audience certainly cheered on the fierce telephone bidding, and a round of applause broke out as soon as the hammer came down. 


The applause had barely died down from Home Sweet Home, when this William Robinson Leigh work went on the auction block in November.  Painted in 1941, Renegade at Bay, sold for  $388,375 – a very good price for this smaller work.



In May, Frederic Remington’s Apache Signal Firewhich sold for $262,900,  started the year off with a bang.




The Texas sale in November featured this superb Julian Onderdonk landscape, Bluebonnets at Sunrise, which sold for $65,725.  Prices for early Texas landscape artists remain strong, but early Texas modernists are garnering increased interest among the collectors.  



The next Texas and Western Art sales will be held in Dallas on Saturday, May 5th.  Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Heritage and bid on great works of art!  If you are interested in consigning to either of these sales, the deadline is March 3rd.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Modern & Contemporary Art

16 Dec

The Modern & Contemporary Art department hosted three sales this year – two various owners sales, and the Estate of Ted Pillsbury single-owner sale.  Frank Hettig, the charismatic director of the department, is meticulous in his research and cataloguing – providing clients with the comfort in knowing that they are truly buying a great work of art. 

Highlights of this year’s sales include:


Josef Albers
Study for Homage to the Square: Stucco Setting, 1958
Oil on board
Sold for $262,900, May 2011



Richard Prince
Untitled, 1998
Silkscreen, paper and pigment on foamcore
Sold for $131,450, October 2011




Surrounded Islands (Project for Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida), 1983
Pastel, charcoal, pencil, crayon, enamel paint, fabric sample and aerial photograph
Sold for $119,500, October 2011


Modern and Contemporary Art is always the talk of the art media.  Speculation on who’s the next big artist, who’s the next big hedge fund collector, and who’s the next big (whatever) is rampant.  Within the chaos of this ever-changing field, Frank is quietly building a Modern & Contemporary empire at Heritage — expect great things from his department in 2012!

Estate Sale Find

15 Dec

For all the cat lovers out there, mark your calendars now for Heritage’s Estate Sale on February 7th.  The sale will feature multiple lots of Austrian cold-painted bronze figures of cats.  This one is my favorite.


Circa 1900
4 inches high (10.2 cm) (tallest)

The three bronzes comprising a group of three cats in front of a mirror, a cat bathing a kitten in a tub, and a barber cat shaving a client.

Pre-sale estimate: $600-900 – opening bid $300

UPDATE: Sold for $1,156.25

YEAR IN REVIEW: Photographs

15 Dec

The Vintage and Contemporary Photography department had many achievements over the past year.  Led by Rachel Peart in close conjunction with Senior Vice President Ed Jaster, the department sold many iconic images by well-known classic and contemporary photographers.  It takes time, energy, and alot of love for a department to be successful.  Rachel has the energy and the love of the medium.  Heritage will surely give her the time to grow and be very successful in this venture.

Highlights of this year’s sales include:

Irving Penn’s Harlequin Dress, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, 1950, a platinum-palladium printed in 1979, sold for $131,450 (May).  This is a stunning image of the photographer’s wife, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, who was one of the most sought after fashion models of her time.



May also saw the sale of another iconic Penn print, Woman in Dior Hat with Martini (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1952.  This one, a gelatin silver re-printed in 1984, sold just over the pre-sale high estimate at $56,763.



And my personal favorite photograph, Robert Mapplethorpe’s Shoe (Melody), 1987, sold in December for $47,800.   I just love this shoe.  I like the tones and highlights in the photograph, but most of all, I just really want to wear this gorgeous shoe!


The next Photographs sale will be held in New York on May 21st.  The deadline for consignments is March 19th.  Call Rachel today if you are looking for anything in particular.  In addition to auctions, the Photography department also handles private sales and formal appraisals.