Beethoven concerto, $452,400, Bonhams
The sketch-leaf for Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto in E Flat Major (Op. 73), the 'Emperor' concerto, one of the earliest sketch-leafs of this work and possibly containing Beethoven's first draft of its famous themes, sold for $452,400 at an auction held Oct. 20 by Bonhams in London. The concerto was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf of Austria (1788-1831), brother of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor and Beethoven's friend, patron and pupil. It is one of only a handful of the sketch-leafs known. The price is inclusive of the buyer's premium.
Julian Stanczak artwork, $93,750, Rago Arts & Auction
An artwork by Julian Stanczak, titled Walking Shadows, sold for $93,750 at a Fine Arts Auction held Nov. 5 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias's Bathing in the River soared to $40,650; Lorraine Shemesh's Exhale, from the Allan Stone Project, went for $46,875; an untitled sculpture by Ousmane Sow also realized $46,875; illustrations by author Chris Van Allsburg fetched $53,125 and $40,625; and M.C. Escher's Castle in the Air finished at $36,250. Prices are inclusive of the buyer's premium.
Paul Newman chronograph, $231,250, Freeman's Auctions
A rare Rolex 14kt gold “Paul Newman” chronograph bracelet watch (named after the actor, not owned or worn by him), a Cosmograph Daytona, circa 1969, sold for $231,250 at a Jewelry & Watches Auction held Nov. 7 by Freeman's Auctions in Philadelphia, Pa. Also, a 5.13-carat diamond and platinum ring with guard rose to $106,250; a diamond and platinum clip-brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels realized $62,500; and a fancy, intense yellow diamond, platinum and 18kt gold ring changed hands for $50,000. Prices include a 25 percent buyer's premium.
Albert Bierstadt work, $660,000, John Moran
An early painting of Yosemite Valley by Albert Bierstadt (N.Y., 1830-1902), titled El Capitan, Yosemite (1866), sold for $660,000 at a California and American Fine Art Auction held Oct. 25 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, Calif. Also, an atmospheric scene of a shepherd leading his flock down a country lane by Granville Redmond (Calif., 1871-1935), titled Going Home, brought $114,000; and a still life painting by Severin Roesen (Pa., 1815-1872) went to a determined bidder for $27,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer's premium.
Chinese imperial firearm, $2.46 million, Sotheby's
The first Chinese firearm with an imperial reign mark ever to be offered at auction sold for $2.46 million at an auction held Nov. 9 by Sotheby's in London. The gun – a brilliantly designed and exquisitely crafted musket – was created for the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799) of the Qing Dynasty, arguably the greatest collector and patron of the arts in Chinese history. Incised on the breech of the barrel were Chinese characters denoting the musket's peerless ranking: “Supreme Grade, Number One.” The price is inclusive of the buyer's premium.