CRANSTON, R.I. - A screenprint in color, accented with diamond dust of screen legend Greta Garbo as Mata Hari by Andy Warhol, titled The Star and from Warhol’s “Myths” portfolio, sold for $52,000 at a two-session Spring Antiques and Fine Arts Auction held Saturday, March 25th by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, online and in the firm’s gallery at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston.
The screenprint was signed in pencil by Warhol and numbered “4 of 200” on the verso. It also came with the original certificate of authenticity from Gallery 121 in New York City and sold for nearly two times its estimate to take top lot honors. “With interest worldwide, the Warhol print had a strong result for today’s market,” said Kevin Bruneau, company president and auctioneer.
In addition to original artworks and prints, the auction also featured fine antiques, decorative arts, vintage toys and old comic books. “It was a very strong sale with great results all around,” said Travis Landry, Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer. “I was especially impressed with the Martinez painting which, according to records, is a new record price for a work by the artist.”
He was referring to the Mexican painter Miguel Martinez (b. 1951) and the fine pastel and oil on paper titled Woman from Velarde, New Mexico that brought $8,125. The 30 inch by 40 inch work (sight, less frame) depicted the divine and winsome face of a young Hispanic woman over a background of rolling farmlands. It was signed and dated (“95”) in the lower right hand corner.
Approximately 100 people packed themselves into the Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers gallery, while a staggering 7,845 others registered to bid online, using LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Bidlive.Bruneauandco.com. Over 150 telephone and absentee bids were also recorded. The Warhol piece attracted 11 phone bids and two absentee bids. Overall, 470 lots came up for bid.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.
The day started with a morning “Discoverit” sale, offering over 150 lots to an in-house crowd only - no absentee or phone bidding. A highlight was a bronze sculpture of a samurai that sold for $450. The first portion of the catalog featured 100 works of art, many from an outstanding Westport, Mass., collection. The Warhol and Martinez pieces both came out of that collection.
Noteworthy artworks from the cataloged sale at noon included a limited lithograph by Pablo Picasso, pencil signed and numbered (91/200) in the margin and dated (“21.4.60”) in the plate ($4,065); an oil on canvas marine rendering by Walter Franklin Lansil (Mass./Maine, 1846-1925), titled Boston Harbor, signed and dated “1879” ($3,437); and a well-executed oil painting by Wesley Webber (Mass./Calif., 1841-1914), showing a milkmaid and cows in a field ($2,250).
Overall, the second portion of the cataloged session consisted of over 225 diverse lots. These included a Pairpoint Puffy reverse painted hummingbird and rose table lamp, made around 1920. The lamp illuminated the room for $2,812. Also, a Czechoslovakian Art Deco carved alabaster and patinated metal figural table lamp, made circa 1920 with a globe form shade, went for $750.
A mid-20th century George Nelson for Herman Miller modular sofa set - one section having a laminated table attached to the base and acting as a corner side table, the other placed next to the side table to firm an “L”-shaped sofa - brought $2,375. Also, an 18th century sturdy American Chippendale mahogany tall chest with the overall original finish, 60 inches tall, reached $1,625.
An English 20th century Royal Crown Derby dinner service for eight in the Red Aves pattern, in very good condition and appearing never to have been used, changed hands for $2,125. Tops in the Asian category was a fine pair of early 20th century Chinese Export porcelain famille jaune (ground yellow in color) palace vases, 36 ½ inches tall, showing warriors on horseback ($3,250).
Also from Asia, a large Chinese pictorial rug, made circa 1930 and depicting a temple in the lower right and colorfully decorated, 139 ½ inches by 108 inches, coasted to $1,500; and a large Japanese Meiji period (19th century) embroidered and woven tapestry, decorated with a bevy of dragons and other mythical creatures against the clouds, 81 inches by 55 inches, reached $812.
Back to vases: An Art Deco Rookwood pottery vase, made circa 1946 and designed by Jens Jensen, decorated with five grazing deer in a steel blue and gray high glaze, 7 ¼ inches tall, knocked down for $812; while a Roseville Art Deco vase in the Laurel pattern (form #675-9), in the green color variation and with the original Roseville foil sticker, changed hands for $688.
A collection of five CBCS-graded Superman and Batman comic books, paired with a grouping of Silver, Bronze and Golden Age comics, all from the 20th century, went for $750; a collection of eight CBCS-graded Tales of Suspense comic books, paired with a grouping of Avengers-related comics, realized $531; and a copy of Marvel Comics’ Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1976), with the first appearance of Kingpin and having an overall grade of 4.5, rose to $406.
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ next sales will be on Saturday, May 6th, featuring a single-owner collection of fine Asian arts; and Saturday, June 3rd, being billed as a Summer Estates Auction.
Image: Original screenprint depiction of screen legend Greta Garbo as Mata Hari by the iconic pop artist Andy Warhol ($52,000).