It was a busy week for auction houses as an Action Comics #1 set a new record at $3.2 million in an online sale and three auction houses in Maine saw good sales for everything from an Indian treaty document and a John Brewster painting to a Philippines-themed painting.
Marcia In South Paris, Maine
SOUTH PARIS, MAINE — “Wasn’t that exciting?” Joan Caddigan shouted from the front of the tent after knocking down the John Brewster Jr portrait of Marcia Ingraham for $350,000 hammer ($413,000 with buyer’s premium) on Saturday, August 23, at her onsite auction on Paris Hill Road. The painting, in untouched, original condition, measures 18 by 15 inches and is in the original frame.
“The painting hung in a hallway in the house for about 50 years,” Ted Kurtz, owner of the contents sold that day, including the Brewster portrait, said. “It was together with a number of other portraits of family members and we enjoyed it, but had no idea of the value of it,” he added.
The tent was full at the time the Brewster came up for sale, with a few people in attendance interested in the lot, along with 12 phone bidders. The phones dominated the action, and in the end Earl Gaudet of Huckleberry Trading Auctions, Gray, Maine, who was working with Caddigan on the auction, took the winning bid. “The person who bought it, identified as a private collector, was very happy with his purchase,” Earl said.
After the sale the portrait left the grounds with a member of the local police department to spend time in the lock-up until in the possession of the new owner. A complete review of the sale will appear in a forthcoming issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly.
East Meets West At Thomaston Place
THOMASTON, MAINE— Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux mingled East and West at his two-day summer auction in Thomaston August 23–24. A highlight of the 1,200-lot sale was a Sioux pictorial beaded man’s vest of circa 1890. Decorated front and back with American flags, US soldiers and Native American chiefs on horseback, it fetched $34,500 with premium.
A Roman Bronze Works cast of Frederic Remington’s “Bronco Buster” sold near its high estimate for $138,000. Signed by 44 Sachem tribe members, a Mohawk Indian treaty document went for $57,500. Closer to home, paintings from the estate of Maine summer resident Brooke Astor found a ready audience. “The Courting of a Hound” by the British artist John Frederick Herring Sr, led the Astor group at $34,500.
Busy Time At Julia’s
FAIRFIELD, MAINE — James D. Julia, Inc, can easily mark down August 19–22 as a very busy time at the gallery, with the firm conducting its four-day Summer Fine Art, Asian & Antiques Auction, which started off with session one, 453 lots of work of art.
One of the highlights of this part of the sale was lot 1234, an oil on canvas mounted on wood panel by Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (Philippines, 1892–1972), “Planting Rice — Maylon Volcano 1950,” measuring 27 by 39 inches sight, 35¼ by 47¼ inches in a carved and gilt frame with gilt liner. It came from a private Long Island, N.Y. collection, estimated at $50,000–80,000, and sold for $100,725.
A photograph by Ansel Easton Adams (American, 1902–1984), “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1942,” gelatin silver print, signed lower right in pencil on the mount, titled and dated on verso of mount in ink with artist’s Carmel Studio stamp, unframed, 15½ by 19¼ image, in very good condition. It had an estimate of $25,000–35,000, and sold for $43,845.
Jim Julia, after the sale, said, “I am extremely pleased with the auction, we had more people participating than usual, and it was our best general sale to date, grossing $5.7 million.”
A full review of the auction will be in a future issue Antiques and The Arts Weekly. —RSS
Superman’s Debut Comic Sets Record At $3.2 Million
ONLINE — It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s… a new auction record! Pristine Comics sold a copy of Action Comics #1 published in June 1938 — that introduced Superman — in an eBay auction that ended Sunday, August 24, at $3,207,852.
After much presale attention, and ten days of intense bidding that drew 48 bidders, the comic broke the old record of $2.16 set by another copy of Action Comics #1 in November 2011.
This copy, having “white pages” from being kept in storage for decades, is described as “museum-quality” and the finest known of the 100 or so extant copies of this comic, according to Comic Book Resources, which also noted only about 30 copies are in unrestored condition, as was this copy.
For additional information, www.pristinecomics.com.