On October 14 collectors of antique and vintage toy soldiers have a double helping from two speciality single owner collections in an online sale from Pittsburgh. The first is the Ib Melchior Collection of 18th, 19th and 20th Century Antique Military Miniatures.
This family collection, started in 1860 by Jorgen Melchior, was added to by his son, Lauritz and grandson Ib, the renowned Danish screenwriter and director, and has remained in their family for over 150 years.
Consisting of 170 lots, the majority are 30mm Nuremberg-style flat figures, the oldest type of military figures offered by Old Toy Soldier Auctions. Nuremberg figures represent the very earliest period of commercial toy manufacture and seldom appear in the marketplace, with the majority of surviving examples held in museums in Germany and Austria. The collection also encompasses 2500 figures from the fabled collection formed by a Dutch army general named Snyders, bought by Lauritz in 1896.
The Melchior property will be followed by the second part of the Bill Jackey collection which covers the production of Britains’ famous toy soldiers from the firm’s inception in 1893. Among its rarities is the Paris office French matelots set shown here which includes a rare officer figure and is estimated at $3000-5000.
New York - Swann
Included in Swann Galleries’ October 26 travel posters auction in New York will be two posters for London Transport designed by the French artist Jean Dupas.
His monumental style was employed in large scale decorations such as those on the Normandie liner and here he has produced idyllic views of famous London landmarks.
The posters, which date from 1930 and are titled Where is his Bower Beside the Silver Thames and Thence to Hyde Park Where Much Good Company and Many Fine Ladies, are each estimated at $15,000-20,000.
New York - Stair Galleries
Described as a “supersonic jetsetter” by the British tabloids in the 60s, Princess Fredericka 'Bo' Guirey lived an unapologetically glamorous life. Her father, Sir Frederick Sigrist, was a British aviation pioneer in the early 20th century, and she inherited Sigrist House in Nassau from her mother, Lady Ormerod.
Built in 1937 by Schoepell and Voivesky, the interiors of Sigrist House were largely furnished by the British firm, Mallett Antiques, and the gardens were considered among the finest in the West Indies. The Spanish Colonial house had decidedly English interiors and was the setting for many glamorous parties, welcoming wealthy, famous and royal guests such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Stair Galleries will offer the majority of the contents from the house, ranging from furniture, silver and porcelain to fine art and sculpture, in its auction on October 28-29.
New York - Doyle
A highlight of the silver section of Doyle’s October 25 auction of English and Continental furniture, decorative arts and Old Masters is a George II silver cake basket by the celebrated 18th century goldsmith Paul de Lamerie.
The 49oz basket, of classic de Lamerie design with its four mask feet, oval form and openwork sides, is marked for 1742 and measures 14in (35.5cm) in width. It has been in a Philadelphia family for at least three generations and has an estimate of $150,000-250,000.
New York - Clarke Auctions
An oil on canvas by the Russian artist Vladimir Weisberg (1924-85) features in Clarke Auctions' sale on October 8 in New York.
Titled Natyurmort s Rakovinami (Still Life with Shells) it is signed and dated 1967 and comes to auction from a prominent corporate collection in Westchester County, New York. It is in excellent, original condition, measures 2ft 2in x 2ft 3in (66 x 69cm) and carries an estimate of $25,000-35,000.
The notable New England collector Lorna Lieberman assembled a collection of fine early 19th century dolls over a period of nearly 50 years, amassing a group that ranged from English wax and wood to German porcelain and papier-mâché to French bisque bébés and poupées. They will be auctioned by Theriaults, Maryland, on October 28 and 29.
Lieberman was particularly interested in dolls with trousseaux, and this German porcelain doll is a fine example.
It was first acquired by nine-year-old Miss Annie Kelley at the charity Sanitary Commission Fair held in the old music hall in Boston in December 1863, along with an elaborate trousseau of fine costumes and accessories.
The fairs of the Sanitary Commission (forerunner of the Red Cross) were held in cities such as Chicago, New York, Manhattan, Philadelphia and Boston to raise funds to support wounded Civil War soldiers and their families.
A popular highlight of the fairs was the presentation and sale of a doll with her trousseau sewn by noted local couturiers and it is rare for the continuing life story of the doll to have been documented as in this example, which carries an estimate of US$12,000-18,000.
The seasons were a popular subject in 19th century British art, particularly with the Pre-Raphaelite school, and A Personification of Autumn attributed to the circle of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (English 1828-82) will be offered at Michaan’s gallery auction on 11 November.
The oil painting measures 18½ x 18in (47 x 45.5 cm) and comes to auction from a private collection with an estimate of $50,000-80,000.
The Modern Design auction at Leslie Hindman, in Chicago, on November 14, includes numerous works by the renowned 20th century furniture designer George Nakashima, including these Kornblut cabinets. They were custom built when the Avery Coonley Playhouse, a Frank Lloyd Wright home, was updated in the late 1980s.
The Nakashima furniture was created between 1987-89, making it some of the last works by the designer, who died in 1990. Each cabinet is made in American black walnut and features two doors concealing an adjustable shelf. They were originally nestled next to the fireplace at the Coonley Playhouse, alongside original period works by Lloyd Wright and Gustav Stickley.
They carry an estimate of $40,000-60,000.
The Fine Silver & Objects of Vertu sale at Heritage in Dallas on October 17 includes this Victorian silver trophy on a nautical theme by Garrard.
The 165oz, 23in (58cm) high trophy is surmounted by the figure of Neptune with shells, kelp and intertwined dolphins or sea serpents to the base. With marks for London, 1863, it is estimated at $30,000-50,000.
Several lots of armour from a private collector will be sold by Gray’s in Cleveland, Ohio on October 4. The first lot in the sale is this restored English three quarter suit of armour, c.1630, that carries an estimate of $10,000-15,000.
Rings bearing the cypher of the sovereign were given as gifts by Russian monarchs from the late 18th century, but their use became more frequent during the 19th century and the circumstances surrounding their presentation were codified under the reign of Nicholas I.
A ring could be presented by the emperor at any time in return for a personal favour, but extravagant rings of this type were only granted if the recipient met more stringent requirements due to honourable length of service in the army, the civil service or at court.
This example was presented to Pavel Osipovich Shcherbov-Nefedovich soon after he rose to the rank of Lieutenant General on December 6, 1897.
Of prodigious size, the ring was made by Michael Perchin for Fabergé, and is unique in its form and its opulent diamond encrusted ornamentation. A rare survivor of the second highest rank of presentation rings, it is perhaps the first of its type to be offered at auction.
It is estimated at $80,000-120,000 and will be offered in a sale of British & European Furniture & Decorative Arts, Silver, Objects de Vertu & Russian Works of Art on October 17 at Freeman’s, Philadelphia.
Collectables specialist Morphy Auctions will conduct a 1300-lot sale of coin-op machines, mechanical music and antique advertising on October 21-22 in Las Vegas. This painted linen banner promoting the Buffalo Bill Wild West show is estimated at $15,000-25,000.