Auctions | July 23, 2013

The Adell Venus Collection of Miniatures Realizes Nearly $750,000 at Leslie Hindman

Chicago, Illinois—July 22, 2013. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, one of the nation’s leading auction houses, offered a single-owner auction of property from the Estate of Adell Venus on July 17. The auction realized nearly $750,000 and all 767 lots sold. 

The collection encompassed a diverse selection of miniatures, dolls and accessories, ranging from antiques to modern day miniaturists’ works. Adell’s passion for collecting led to five decades of accumulating tens of thousands of items and was undoubtedly one of the largest and most profound private collections of its kind.

Interest prior to the sale suggested this area of the market had a strong following. Over 30 countries were signed up to bid in the sale in hopes to acquire something from Adell’s collection. The sale lasted 10.5 hours, with active participation in the room, on the phone and online. 

Spirited and competitive bidding continued throughout the entire auction, setting record prices. William (Bill) R. Robertson’s works were in high demand with a drafting set selling for $18,750, a rodent trap and a bird cage each achieved an astounding $13,750, while a fly rod set sold for $3,000. 

A collection of miniature books published by Barbara Raheb at the Pennyweight Press was the top lot, realizing $23,750. Other highlights included: a pair of Louis XV style occasional tables, not even 3 inches tall, by Denis E.W. Hillman, $22,500; a Queen Anne style lady’s writing desk by Paul A. Runyon, $10,625; a George II style secretaire bookcase by John J. Hodgson, $10,000; and a Federal style slant front desk by Ernie Levy, $10,000. 

The sale was organized by John P. Walcher and Caroline McCarthy, both in the Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts department. “A new standard has been set in the miniature world for quality works of art,” said Walcher. 

Complete results with images of each lot are located in the online archives at For more information about the auction, please contact Leslie Hindman Auctioneers at 312-280-1212. For over three decades, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has been an industry leader combining recognition as one of the nation’s preeminent fine art auctioneers with a global reach of buyers. Founded in Chicago in 1982, sold to Sotheby’s in 1997 and reopened in 2003, Leslie Hindman has remained a constant force behind a company that benefits from an impeccable reputation and a team of professionals who have the ability to effectively market and conduct high profile auctions. From contemporary paintings and fine jewelry to continental furniture and rare books, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers continues a practice of achieving the highest prices while maintaining a high standard of integrity and quality customer service.