One of the more intriguing and beautiful lots in Rare-Era’s upcoming annual Discovery Auction on Sunday, February 26th, is the Hudson River Valley School painting pictured here. It’s housed in the original frame and is in untouched, original condition (that’s code-speak for needs a good cleaning). It isn’t signed, so the identity of the painter is a matter of speculation, but the stretcher bars are a wealth of information, mentioning Elmira College (N.Y.) and showing a date of June 23, 1892. That would put the artist into the second-generation, Hudson River Valley School.

The painting’s back story is nearly as fascinating as the painting itself. It is from a charity in Florida called Personalized Estate Liquidating Benefiting Youth, Inc. (PEL), which donates proceeds of the items it sells to at-risk youths in Sarasota County, Fla. They received the painting as a donation from a lifelong collector of fine art in the Northeast wished to support PEL and its good mission. This painting is the oldest piece in her collection. The auction will be held online and in Rare-Era’s gallery, in Tarpon Springs, Florida, starting promptly at 2 pm Eastern time.

Find out more and submit here to Rare-Era's Gallery




Sculptures by Matia and Kelsey will headline Part II of Fay estate

Part II of the Robert B. Fay collection of mostly Western-themed artworks and sculptures will headline Dargate Auction Galleries’ Western Art & Antiques Estate Auction slated for March 4th and 5th, online and at the firm’s gallery in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh. Fay was a larger-than-life figure who traveled the world in search of pieces for his Western fine art and taxidermy collections, which he showcased in his home that was a veritable museum. Dargate sold Part I of Fay’s estate in November. The taxidermy items were sold privately.

Two lots expected to command much attention are figural bronze sculptures by Walter Matia (Am/Md.., b. 1953) and TD Kelsey (Am./Mont., b. 1946). The Matia, shown here, is a sculpture of two wolves titled Gray Ghost (est. $20,000-$30,000). Fay initially kept the work indoors, on a wooden base, but later moved it outside, where it now stands, on a stone base. Both wolves are signed “Matia 2/16.” Overall the piece is 88 inches tall. The Kelsey is a bronze rendering of elk titled Pillow Talk (est. $30,000-$50,000). It’s artist-signed and also stands outdoors.

Find out more and submit here to Dargate Auction Gallery




Gorgeous Galle marquetry vase is part of Woody’s cure for cabin fever

“This auction began to come together when the Galle marquetry vase came in.” That was the assessment of a spokesperson for Woody Auction, describing one of the expected top lots in the firm’s upcoming auction on Saturday, March 18th, online and at their gallery in Douglass, Kansas. The Galle piece she mentioned is an extremely rare and beautiful signed art glass vase, just 5 ½ inches tall, having a white background with wheel carved pink overlay and large marquetry blossoms. A carved cameo inscription in French translates to: “Happiness in New Century.”

Woody Auction is describing the auction as “a surefire cure for cabin fever” and that’s pretty accurate. It will be the finest art glass auction held yet at the firm’s new gallery, opened in 2015. Aside from the marquetry vase, the sale will also feature Galle and Daum Nancy “bat” vases, brides baskets, Weller and Roseville art pottery, Handel lamps, Tiffany pieces and more. The “bat” vases are so-named because bats in flight are literally incorporated into their design. In all, more than 350 lots will cross the auction block, and everything will be sold without reserve.

Find out more and submit here to Woody Auction




Guitars signed by the Stones, the Dead at Premiere Props, March 11

Collectors of TV and movie memorabilia are already familiar with Premiere Props as a great destination to bid on props and costumes at auction, but the firm also offers great merchandise from the world of music and sports, too. Take the electric guitar shown here – signed by all the original members of the legendary rock band The Grateful Dead, to include its late frontman, Jerry Garcia. It will be sold in Premier Props’ upcoming March 11th auction. Another guitar, signed by the original members of The Rolling Stones, including the late Brian Jones, is also up for bid.

Another music-related lot to watch is an original entry ticket and concert poster for the iconic rock festival Woodstock, from 1969, framed. Sports items will include Everlast boxing gloves signed by Muhammad Ali, a football helmet signed by many members of the New York Jets championship team from 1969 (including Joe Namath), a basketball signed by many members of the New York Knicks championship team of 1970 (including Willis Reed and Bill Bradley), and a football signed by 52 men who played under legendary head coach Vince Lombardi.





It’s been a busy last couple of months for Gustav Klimt

First came the news earlier this month that media mogul Oprah Winfrey had sold a painting by the Austrian symbolist painter to a wealthy Chinese buyer for $150 million in what the press called “the biggest private art deal of 2016.” Oprah had purchased the work – Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II – in 2006 for $87.9 million, but couldn’t resist the urge to snag a 71 percent return on her investment Then came word that Sotheby’s would be selling the more obscure Klimt painting Bauerngarten (1907,  shown) in London on March 1st. It’s expected to bring over $45 million.

You may remember that in June 2006, a 1907 painting by Klimt (1862-1918) sold for $135 million, which at the time was the highest sum ever paid for a painting, anywhere. Like the Winfrey work, that one also depicted Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a Jewish sugar industrialist and the hostess of a prominent Vienna salon. It was the focus of a restitution battle between the Austrian government and a niece of Mrs. Bloch-Bauer, who argued that it was seized, along with four other Klimt paintings, by Nazis during World War II. All five paintings were awarded to the niece.