Wednesday, January 30, 2008


JANUARY 30, 2008

FEBRUARY 18 - MARCH 3, 2008

An 18th century gilt bronze egg given to Paul I will be among the antiques and art to cross the block online at Elder’s Fine Art & Antiques Auction February 18 – March 3.

(NOKOMIS, FL) - Self made American millionaire William Boyce Thompson (1869-1930), an industrialist and mining mogul, was part of the American Red Cross Mission sent to turbulent Russia in 1917 after the February Revolution and the overthrow of the Czar. The purpose of the Mission was to find ways to feed the hungry populace while the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky tried to stabilize the country. Thompson donated $1 million of his own money to the cause, in vain it turned out, because the Bolsheviks came to power after the second Revolution in October and discarded all outside aid efforts.

But Thompson’s trip was not entirely without results. While in Russia he used his considerable wealth to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire a number of major Russian art treasures under favorable circumstances. One of those treasures was a relatively large 6 inch, elaborately decorated gilt bronze Easter egg reported in the book by Robert C. Williams "Russian Art and American Money 1900-1940" to have been presented to Paul I by a prime minister. The egg will soon be presented again, this time for sale at Don Elder’s Fine Art & Antiques Auction during the two week online sale hosted by iGavel February 18 – March 3. Elder expects the egg to sell for between $10,000 and $15,000.

Another treasure, this one from the East, bears the Qianlong reign mark of 18th century China. A large vase and cover, 9 inches tall, carved entirely from white jade having an unusual color called “white water,” features a highly stylized taotie mask on the body with an interior chair carved attaching the lid to the body. The taotie mask represents the face of a mythological man-eating beast from ancient Chinese legend. The vase was originally purchased from Gump’s in San Francisco in 1926. Gump’s, founded in 1861, has long been a marketplace for Asian, American and European art objects. The magnificent vase has a pre sale estimate of $10,000/$15,000. Also in the inventory is a large statue of a court lady of the Chinese Tang Dynasty, 618-907 A.D.

What is expected to be the top lot of the sale has a much younger provenance. It is a necklace made by French jewelry firm Cartier in the 1950s containing a breathtaking assemblage of jadeite, onyx, platinum and diamonds. This elegant ornament has a pre sale estimate of $20,000/$30,000.

American art will be represented by eighteen examples of works by Ben Wilson (1913-2001). Wilson was among the little recognized painters of the Abstract Expressionist school of the 1930s through the 1960s but whose work is now beginning to gain popularity. He was nurtured in the “Project”, the WPA of the Depression era, attending the National Academy of Design, 1930-33, graduating from City College of New York in 1935 and from Academie Julien in Paris 1953-54. His work was influenced by cubism in the 1950s and he evolved a vocabulary of interlocking shapes and bold sweeping gestures that served as a transition from his early figurative expressionism to his later more abstract constructivist works. Wilson kept a large portion of his body of work for himself and this sale represents a rare opportunity to acquire a variety of pieces by this important American artist. The sale will also include two works by Wilson’s wife, sculptor Evelyn Wilson.

For more information on this sale call auction owner Don Elder at Elder’s Antiques, (941) 488-1005, visit the website at for a preview or email Elder’s Antiques is located at 901 Tamiami Trail (US 41) South, Nokomis, Florida 34275.

Written by:
Fred & Gail Taylor


Chinese White Carved Jade Vase & Cover

Cartier Jadeite, Onyx, Enameled Gold, Platinum & Diamond Necklace

Russian 18th Century Gilt Bronze Easter Egg

Ben Wilson (American 1913-2001) Oil on Masonite, Sahara 1986

Chinese Tang Dynasty Court Lady

Monday, January 28, 2008


January 28, 2008

Boca Raton, FL
Sale December 30, 2007 – January 1, 2008

J. K. Galleries of Boca Raton held its largest sale ever December 30 and January 1 with 850 lots of art pottery and fine art.

Art pottery dealers and collectors from around the world put off New Year’s celebrations long enough to take part in the two day sale hosted by J.K. Galleries of Boca Raton on December 30 and January 1. Auction owner Jay Kielstock said he had 300 bidders registered in house and 900 registered to bid by phone, absentee and live online through for the 850 lot inventory forty percent of which sold online. Since relocating to Boca Raton in late 2006 J. K. Galleries has established itself as the premier art pottery venue in the South and this sale helped cement that reputation.

Nearly half the lots, 48 percent, sold online including the opening lot of the sale, a Moorcroft silver overlay tea set which also turned out to be the top lot of the sale. Each piece of the three piece set was signed “W. Moorcroft” and had incised script reading “W. Moorcroft ship to San Francisco” followed by the black registration number 452777. The set had a sage green ground with pewter colored highlights featuring a cartouche of swirling leaf circled by heavy sterling overlay with handles, spouts and finals all encased in sterling. The set was competed heavily on the phone, in the room and online beginning with an opening bid of $1,200. It closed after the top bid of $14,400 including buyer’s premium from an online bidder in England, well above the presale estimate of $3,000/5,000.

The next three lots fell right into line and pretty well set the tone for the remainder of the sale. A superb Roseville Tourist jardiniere in mint condition featuring a scene of a man in an open touring car passing a sign reading “Garage 10 miles” sold for $3,450. It was followed by a Newcomb College vase, 5 by 6in, impressed with the initials of the artist, Sadie Irvin. The vase showed a swamp scene in various shades of blue with soft green at the sky and an ivory moon behind Spanish moss. It closed over estimate at $4,025 followed by another Sadie Irvin Newcomb College vase at $3,795, also over estimate.

Two of the non-pottery lots achieved impressive results from an overseas audience ready to buy. A Louis XV small table/commode, 16 by 12in by 27½in tall, was signed “Galet” on the drawer apron. The mid 18th century green painted finish with winged cherubs on all surfaces accented by brass gallery and dore bronze corner mountings was essentially 100 percent intact. It sold on the phone to member of the Chanel family for $11,500 and will make the trip back to Europe. A sterling tea set will also cross the Atlantic headed to England. The seven piece tea and coffee set was made in 1935 in the Champlain pattern by Ellmore Silver Co of Meridian, CT and contained approximately 360 ounces. It closed at $10,925. Another non-pottery lot that did well but will stay in the United States was a pastel figure study by painter and sculptor Francisco Zuniga (Mexican 1912-1998) dated 1974 from the estate of Leon Klinger, a noted Chicago area auto dealer. It sold online to a Las Vegas bidder for $8,400.

But this was, after all, a pottery sale and pottery was strong. Roseville Futura maintained its charm with lots like a green balloon vase, shape number 408, making $1,093, an ostrich egg vase, shape number 400 in mottled pale green and tan, selling for $863 and a seldom seen 8in tall beehive vase, shape number 406 with blue and green raised leaves closing at $2,070. Other good Roseville included a tan Artcraft 12in jardiniere and pedestal base with green accents, $2,160, nearly double the estimate and a 10in sunflower vase online for $1,440.

Hand painted Rookwood was no slouch. A 9in Rookwood scenic vellum vase by Ed Diers, 1921, sold online for $2,400 and a 7 ½ in landscape vase by Diers, 1912, brought $1,840. A 7in vellum daffodil vase by Shiraymadani, 1944, brought $1,380.

And Weller was also in the fray. A large Weller Louwelsa dog vase signed L. Blake featuring a St Bernard brought $1,380 and a seldom seen Coppertone piece by Weller with black ink mark, 7in tall with a full bodied fish handle grip, sold for the same price.

For more information about this sale or upcoming sales call Jay Kielstock, J. K. Galleries, at (954) 421-2800, email at or visit the website at J.K. Galleries is located at 8221 W. Glades Road, Suite # 13, Boca Raton, FL 33434.

Written by:
Fred & Gail Taylor


This elegant silver overlaid tea set was top lot of the sale at $14,400.

A Roseville Beehive vase closed at $2,070.

This huge set of Moser cranberry glass cut to clear stem ware with gold
highlights had 12 goblets, 12 champagnes, 12 sherries and nine wine glasses. It
sold online for $5,640.

A 9in low bowl from Saturday Evening Girls sold online for $2,040, wel
above the $500 high estimate.

This 1935 seven piece tea service by Ellmore Silver Co. sold for $10,925.

This Louis XV painted table went to a bidder in Europe for $11,500.
This Roseville Tourist jardiniere brought $4,025.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


January 25, 2008

Sale January 7, 2008
West Palm Beach, FL

A chess set designed by Salvador Dali reproducing his own fingers sold for $23,400 at Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

A close up look at the details of the digits of renowned artist Salvador Dali (Spanish 1904-1989) could be found in the figures of a chess set designed by Dali at the request of his friend Marcel Duchamp in 1964 for the American Chess Federation. All of the pieces of the set were modeled after Dali’s fingers except the two Queens which used one of Dali’s wife’s fingers crowned with a tooth and the rooks which were modeled after the salt cellars of the Hotel Saint Regis in New York. Of the thirty two pieces sixteen are sterling silver and sixteen are silver gilt. The set was cast by F. J. Cooper of Philadelphia and was signed and numbered “AE 45.”

The set was consigned to Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches from an estate on Palm Beach Island. The lot, appearing just past half way in the 328 lot sale, was hotly contested among two bidders in the room and one on the phone. One of the bidders in the room had flown in from New York for the sale and this was the only lot he bid on. He outlasted the other bidders claiming the set of finger figures for $23,400 including the buyer’s premium for the top lot of the sale.

The bulk of the January 7 sale was comprised of consignments from local estates and attracted over 400 registered bidders, 293 online through, 70 phone bidders and 80 on the floor. Auction owner Brian Kogan remarked that bidders were serious about quality items, often bidding above estimate. Included in the quality list was an oil on canvas by Nicola Simbari (Italian B. 1927), entitled "Market" and signed “Simbari” lower right. With a provenance from Wally Findlay Galleries, New York #32762, the surface showed no inpainting under ultra violet light. Estimated at $6/8,000 “Market” sold in the room for $11,115. Other quality art work included a watercolor on paper by Henry Martin Gasser (American 1909-1981) entitled “Backyards in Winter.” Estimated at $1,200/1,600 it closed at $3,510. An oil on canvas by Johann Berthelson (American 1883-1972) called “Central Park at Dusk” sold online over estimate for $3,660.

Other quality lots included a superb eight piece Royal Berlin Tete set, German circa 1840, with blue scepter, red orb and KPM mark selling for $6,435 and a patinated gilt and polychrome bronze figure of Buddha, possibly Tibetan, in a seated position holding implements, 17½in tall, estimated at $1,200/$1,600 closing online for $4,575. Two early 20th century items of Judaica were also well received. A 15¼in tall pair of George V parcel gilt sterling silver Torah Rimonims, English, London 1920, each with Torah finials hung with bells, applied with lions and surmounted by the star of David went for $3,510 and a George VI parcel gilt sterling silver Torah breast plate, English London 1943, embossed with the lions of Judea, columns, book and a receptacle containing the four books, suspended from two chains, measuring 10¾in x 9in, closed over estimate at the same price.

Furniture with a flair struck a chord with bidders. A George III inlaid mahogany bookcase cabinet, English circa 1810, with two glazed doors above the projecting lower section with two long and two short drawers surrounding a cupboard door soared over the $2,500/4,000 estimate to close at $7,137 and a unique William IV figural mahogany diminutive sideboard, English circa 1830, with shell carved backsplash and two pedestal cupboards centered by a bow-fronted center with a long frieze drawer, raised on short reeded legs was a pleasant surprise at $2,925.

Kogan attributed much of the success of this sale to the cataloguing expertise of the newest addition to the Gallery staff, Leslie Baker, joining Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches after twenty seven years with Arthur James Galleries of Delray Beach, FL. His expertise in 18th to 20th Century American, English, and Oriental Antiques and Fine Art is well known by clientele nationally and internationally. He is already hard at work cataloguing the sale for the Chess Collectors International Society biannual convention on May1.

For more information about this sale and upcoming sales call (561) 805-7115, email or visit the website at The Gallery is located at 1609 South Dixie Hwy, Suite 5, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401.
written by:
Fred & Gail Taylor


Top lot of the sale was this digitally inspired chess set designed by Salvador Dali. It sold in the room for $23,400. The chess board illustrated with the Dali set was not part of the set and was sold as a separate lot. It was designed by Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887-1968), incised signature "Marcel Duchamp" dated 1965 on the top edge of the board. Verso is pencil signed, dated, titled, and inscribed "American Chess Found. NY." It sold for $3,042.

This George VI Judaica parcel gilt sterling silver Torah breast plate, 1943, sold for $3,510.

A pair of Renaissance style oak hall armchairs, Flemish 18/19th Century, with upholstered arched high backrest flanked by shaped arms above the cushion padded seat, raised on turned legs joined by conforming stretchers, sold for $4,446.

A Venetian Glass vase, Italian of ovoid shape, decorated in yellow, black, white, orange, purple and pale blue, height 12in was estimated at only $150/200 but lively action among three Internet bidders and several floor bidders chased the close to $2,574.

Nicola Simbari’s oil on canvas “Market” was top art lot of the sale at $11,115.

This George III inlaid mahogany bookcase rose to $7,137.

A seated bronze Buddha, possibly Tibetan, with a crystal forehead inset on double lotus base sold for $4,575.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


January 3, 2008

Moline, IL
Sale December 8,9 & 10, 2007

Three world records result from sale of a collection by man trying to buy a car for his elderly mother.

Rock Island Auction Company in Moline, IL was a busy place in September, 2007 following a major three day firearms sale and it would have been very easy for the telephone receptionist to dust off another caller looking for a free appraisal. However, the experienced receptionist knew a key phrase when she heard it and she immediately transferred the call to Acquisitions. The phrase? Colt Belt Paterson.

The caller just wanted to get an idea if the Colt was worth enough to buy his mother a new car. Acquisitions asked if he could send a photo and inquired of the condition. Yes he had a photo and the condition – new in the original box. Too good to be true but the photo confirmed the identity and the condition – flared grip, square back cylinder with all accessories in unpolished new condition in the original case. And, as if that weren’t enough, the original photo was accompanied by the photo of a Volcanic lever operated pistol made by New Haven Arms in 1857. That was all it took.

Auction owner Patrick Hogan was on the airplane on Monday morning to check out the new finds in Pennsylvania. Over the kitchen table the owner told Hogan a local collector had offered $8,000 for the entire collection that had belonged to his stepfather. When his independent research turned up a possible value as high as $75,000 he called Rock Island for confirmation. Hogan confirmed the estimate and told him it could sell as high as $275,000. The Volcanic from the photo turned out to be brand new and the owner asked Hogan if he was interested in the old box the gun came in. “Did you want it? I was going to throw it out as it is battered, would you like to see it?” Hogan’s jaw dropped “You have the original box?” As of that time there was only one original box known. This now makes two. The box itself could bring $30,000 plus the $100,000 + value of the pistol. Did he have any more? During this visit in the morning the son continued to bring out one fabulous piece after another setting them before Hogan on the kitchen table, guns from the mid-1850’s through the 1860’s cared for by the stepfather, a true collector.

The items were consigned to Rock Island and included in the December 8,9,10 catalog and sale. Throughout the sale the auctioneers would mention as each piece of this collection came up for sale “Here’s another kitchen table gun,” delighting the attentive crowd who knew the story.

The Colt, circa 1837-1840, touted in the Rock Island sale catalog as “The Finest Colt No. 3 Belt Model Paterson Known,” bearing serial number 51, was the top lot of the December Rock Island sale hammering down at a new world record of $414,000 including the buyer’s premium. The Volcanic in the original box likewise set a new record at $143,750 and a factory engraved Remington Double Derringer in the original box brought home a third world record for the collection at $46,000.

In all the Pennsylvania collection from the kitchen table exceeded the original collector’s offer of $8,000 by over 100 times, grossing $850,00 for the woman who merely wanted a new car. Now she has her pick. Rock Island also set some records in December with the largest single sale in its history and the largest grossing year in the history of firearms sales.

For more information call (800)238-8022 or visit the website at

written by:
Fred & Gail Taylor


This Colt No. 3 Belt Paterson made between 1837 and 1840 set a new world’s record at $414,000.

This lever action Volcanic No 1 pistol made by New Haven Arms in 1857 sold for another record of $143,750, est $60,000-$90,000.

A pocket sized repeater, the diminutive Remington Double Derringer, Type 1 produced 1868-1888, grabbed the third record for the collection at $46,000 against an estimate of $8,500-$12,000.