Joe DiMaggio relief plaque should be a hit with bidders

Joe DiMaggio relief plaque This bronze and plaster sculptural plaque created for Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio was made at the Steinmeier Bronze factory (est. $4,000-$5,000). (photo courtesy Sterling Associates, Inc.)

Baseball items from a prominent single-owner New York collector – to include a Joe DiMaggio relief plaque, two important New York Giants team-signed balls and a pair of lots pertaining to the Milwaukee Braves' World Series championship team of 1957 – will be part of Sterling Associates' two-session “hybrid” auction (internet-only, but with live previews at the firm's gallery in Closter, N.J.) on Wednesday, October 19th. Baseball items will comprise over 150 lots of vintage pennants, signed balls, autographed photos, programs, scorecards, yearbooks, jerseys and more.

The bronze and plaster sculptural plaque created for Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio was made at the Steinmeier Bronze factory and is said to be the original artwork for the very plaque that is now on view at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The artist was George Seaman, who made an extra one for himself – the one being sold. It's estimated to bring $4,000-$5,000. One of the New York Giants' team-signed balls is from their World Series-winning season in 1954 and features over 30 JSA-certified signatures, including Willie Mays. Visit


Rare portrait miniatures of George and Martha Washington up for bid

After George Washington’s death in 1799, Martha Washington commissioned Robert Field to paint portrait miniatures of her late husband. (photo courtesy Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers)

Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers will offer two famous portraits of President George Washington and First Lady Martha Washington at an auction planned for Thursday, October 27th in Milford, Conn. Prized by collectors from the time they were painted, the portraits disappeared from written accounts in the 1920s. They were only recently rediscovered in a private collection. After Washington’s death in 1799, Martha Washington commissioned the artist Robert Field to paint portrait miniatures of her late husband. Field painted eight miniatures over the course of a year.

Two miniatures depicted Washington in military uniform and six in civilian dress. The two military portraits were sold at auction in 2008 and 2009 for $303,000 and $336,000, respectively. The miniature of First Lady Martha Washington was done by Walter Robertson, probably in 1794. In 1927, the portrait of Mrs. Washington was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Since then it has been secured in a private collection, unseen by the public. Both of the portraits carry identical estimates of $40,000-$60,000. Visit



Pining for a 1951 Willys jeep? There's one for sale Oct. 20th

Pining for a 1951 Willys jeep The Willys M38A1 U.S. Army jeep was produced from 1952-1957: 80,290 were sold for domestic use and 21,198 units to foreign markets.  (photo courtesy Alderfer Auction & Appraisers)

You really never know what you're liable to see at an auction. All manner of wild and wonderful animal, vegetable and mineral may present itself (reminding me of the old joke about the guy who went to an auction for the first time, just to watch, ended up buying a parrot in a cage of all things, told the auctioneer afterward he had buyer's remorse not knowing if the parrot could even talk, to which the auctioneer replied: “Of course he can talk! Who do you think was bidding against you?”) That joke was told at a conference by the late, great attorney, Steve Proffitt.

But I digress. On Thursday, October 20th, Alderfer Auctioneers & Appraisers in Hatfield, Pa., will offer, among other things, a 1951 Willys M38A1 U.S. Army jeep. The model was produced from 1952-1957. During that five-year span, 80,290 units were sold for domestic use and 21,198 units were sold to foreign markets. This was the first appearance of the 'round-fender' Jeep that would eventually become the CJ5. Even after it was replaced by the high-tech Ford M151, they could be seen in olive drab green as late as the 1970s. Visit



Crowell bufflehead drake decoy should bring $150,000-$200,000

Crowell bufflehead drake This bufflehead drake decoy, carved around 1915 by the renowned carver A. Elmer Crowell, is expected to soar to $150,000-$200,000 on Nov. 10. (photo courtesy Guyette & Deeter, Inc.)

A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952) was a master decoy carver from East Harwich, Mass., who specialized in shorebirds, waterfowl and miniatures. His decoys are consistently regarded as the finest and most desirable decoys ever made. In 1915, Crowell sat down and carved the bufflehead drake you see here, for his close friend Dr. John Cunningham. That very decoy is the expected top lot at Guyette & Deeter's 31st annual Fall Decoy & Sporting Art Auction, on Nov. 10 at the Talbot Community Center in Easton, Md. It's estimated to bring $150,000-$200,000.

Those kinds of dizzying estimates aren't uncommon in the rarefied world of decoy collecting. In the same sale, an early pair of “humpback” style pintails by the Ward Brothers is also expected to hit six figures (the hen $125,000-$150,000 and the drake $100,000-$125,000). The hen is considered to be the best Ward Brothers decoy known. The top shorebird in the sale is a ruddy turnstone in transitional plumage, circa 1860s, by Obediah Verity. Sporting art will feature a watercolor by Arthur Burdett Frost titled The Argument. Visit



George Washington material at Skinner's next sale, Oct. 30

George Washington material The first lot in the sale is a survey of land created in 1751 by a teenaged Washington, who worked as a professional land surveyor from the ages of 17 to 20. (photo courtesy Skinner, Inc.)

One of the most notable collections of original signed George Washington material to be offered at auction in recent memory will be part of Skinner's Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction planned for Sunday, October 30th, by Skinner's in Boston. The diverse material highlights Washington's ongoing commitment to nurturing and maintaining Mount Vernon, key moments during the Revolutionary War and his first Presidency. Lot 1 is a survey of land created in 1751 by a teenaged Washington, who worked as a professional land surveyor from ages 17-20.

Also sold will be a personal letter to Col. Burwell Bassett, Sr., written in Washington's hand in 1773; eight signed letters by Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Dickens, Napoleon Bonaparte, Horatio Nelson and John Wesley; documents signed by John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, James Madison and James Monroe; and 11 lots relating to Alexander Hamilton, which should appeal to history buffs and fans of Broadway musicals. Visit