Oil on board by Giuseppe Galli will come up for bid Nov. 12-13

Oil on board by Giuseppe Galli This whimsical oil on board painting by Italian artist Giuseppe Galli (1866-1953), titled A Musical Couple, should command $3,000-$5,000. (photo courtesy Crescent City Auction Gallery)

The  early 20th century oil on board painting shown here, signed by the accomplished Italian artist Giuseppe Galli (1866-1953) is expected to fetch $3,000-$5,000 at Crescent City Auction Gallery's next estates auction, slated for November 12th and 13th in the firm's gallery at 1330 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, La. The bright and whimsical rendering, typical of Galli's work, is titled A Musical Couple and is presented in a lovely period gilt and gesso frame. It measures 19 ¼ inches tall by 13 ½ inches wide and is an expected top lot of the auction.

Also sold will be original artworks by New Orleans and other regional artists, a staple at most Crescent City auctions. Works will include Moss Draped Oaks by Alexander J. Drysdale (1870-1934), signed (est. $4,000-$6,000); Brulatour Courtyard, French Quarter by Knute Heldner (1877-1952), signed (est. $4,000-$6,000); Cotton Picker by William Tolliver (1951-2000), signed (est. $2,000-$4,000); and others. The auction will also feature bronze mounted Sevres pieces and Newcomb College art pottery. Visit www.crescentcityauctiongallery.com.




Toy cradleboards are cute, rare and highly collectible

Toy cradleboards This early 20th century, fully beaded Kiowa Indian toy cradleboard, attributed to the artisan Atah (1855-1947) is expected to sell for $10,000-$20,000. (photo courtesy Allard Auctions)

A cradleboard is a wooden frame worn on the back and used by Northern Native American women for carrying their infants. Today they're highly collectible, and so are their smaller toy versions. An example is the one shown here, an early 20th century, fully beaded Kiowa Indian toy cradleboard, attributed to the artisan Atah (1855-1947). It was last purchased at the Morning Star Gallery in Santa Fe, in 1991, where it sold for $23,000, and it will be offered again at Allard Auctions' Big Fall Phoenix event slated for Nov. 12-13 in Mesa, Ariz., just outside of Phoenix.

With a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$20,000, the toy cradleboard is an expected top lot of the auction. Also sold will be an early wooden carved Mohawk toy cradleboard from the early 1920s with hand-colored foliate designs and original hand-sewn quilt (est. $2,500-$5,000); and a circa 1920s-'30s Cheyenne sinew sewn and lazy stitch  beaded cradle cover with stylized crosses and a large medallion symbol in the center (est. $5,000-$10,000). Big Fall Phoenix will feature 875 lots of American Indian artifacts, art and related collectibles. Visit www.allardauctions.com.



Watches may be obsolete, but they're still popular

Watches may be obsolete This beautiful Faberge-style silver gilt guilloche enamel key-wind desk watch and stand, 5 ½ inches tall, is expected to hammer for $2,000-$4,000. (photo courtesy Converse Auctions)

Thanks to hand-held devices, nobody really needs a watch any more. Your cell phone not only keeps perfect time, all the time, it even knows when to re-set for time zone changes and spring forward-fall back. Nowadays, watches are still worn, but mostly as a fashion accessory. My, how times have changed. Time was, clocks and watches were hugely important, especially for the railroads and many other industries that needed and depended on their accuracy. Of course, they were fashion statements back then, too, and examples do well at auction today.

A case in point is the beautiful timepiece shown here – a Faberge-style silver gilt guilloche enamel key-wind desk watch and stand, 5 ½ inches tall and with an elephant standing on the base with ruby eyes. It's Lot 504 in Converse Auctions' two-day online-only auction slated for Nov. 4-5 (clocks and watches will be in Day 2; Day 1 will be dedicated in large measure to wonderful Chinese objects). This desk watch features applied bows and swags with ruby accents and leaves against a light blue enamel background circling a pearl-framed bezel. The base is encircled by diamonds. The estimate is a modest $2,000-$4,000. Visit www.auctionsatconverse.com.



Run, don't walk, to a free valuation, appraisal event

Run, don't walk I. M. Chait Gallery in Beverly Hills assigned a pre-sale estimate of $3,000-$3,500 to this Chinese enameled porcelain vase. It ended up selling for $56,250. (photo courtesy I. M. Chait)

It's widely assumed that most items in an auction were brought to the auction houses by consignors eager to convert their treasures into quick cash. But sometimes a seller starts out as just someone who's curious to see what they have is worth, then goes into overdrive if the number they hear is to their liking. As a result, many auction houses hold free appraisal days, where they invite folks in for an inspection and valuation. I. M. Chait of Beverly Hills, California held such an event this past weekend, not at their gallery but at a Hilton hotel in Rancho Mirage, Calf.

Chait invited people to “bring up to 10 pieces for a free, no obligation valuation of your art, antiques, jewelry or collectibles,” adding, “If you cannot come in person, e-mail images of your items and we can evaluate via e-mail, discuss your items' value and determine if selling at auction is the right decision.” It's a clever marketing strategy, to coax items out from a home or attic and into the light of day. And it works. Chait assigned a modest estimate of $3,000-$3,500 to the Chinese porcelain vase shown here. It ended up selling for $56,250. Visit www.chait.com.



Astounding Buffalo nickel collection about to be sold

Astounding Buffalo nickel This rare 1915-D Buiffalo nickel, graded PCGS MS66+, will be sold as a single lot by Legend Rare Coins at its Regency Auction XIX on December 15th. (photo courtesy Legend Rare Coins)

One of the finest ever graded toned examples of the basic set of 64 Buffalo nickels and three of the varieties – three-legged, D/D and D/S – will be sold at Regency Auction XIX, slated for Thursday, December 15th, by Legend Rare Coins, in Las Vegas. The auction will be held in conjunction with the PCGS (coin grading service) Members Only Show. The set was fully assembled by Andy and Alynne Skrabalak of Angel Dee's Coins & Collectibles, the well-known Buffalo nickel specialists. Every coin in the amazing collection will be put up for bid as a single lot.

Highlights will include a 1913 Type I (PCGS MS68), a 1914-D (PCGS MS67), a 1915-D (PCGS MS 66+), a 1918-D (PCGS MS 66+), a 1927-S (PCGS MS 65+), a 1934-D (PCGS MS 66+), and a 1937 (PCGS MS 68). The collection has already been previewed at the Long Beach Expo (Sept. 7-10) and the Whitman Baltimore Expo (Nov. 3-5). It will be previewed again, one more time, at the Las Vegas venue itself, The Venetian Hotel (Dec. 14-15). Interested buyers may send an e-mail inquiry to julie@legendauctions.com. Visit www.legendauctions.com.