Arts of Asia
Jul
8
10:30 am10:30

Arts of Asia

  • Live Online Auction: Saturday, July 8 at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through July 8

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present a diverse selection of over 200 lots at its ‘Arts of Asia’ sale on Saturday, July 8.  The online auction features distinctive items from multiple consignors and estates that date from the early-18th century to the mid-20th century. Among the countries represented are China, Korea and Tibet. Offerings include jade jewelry, plaques and other carved pieces; cloisonné (figures. bowls, vases, animals); Chinese and Korean paintings; ginger jars, Yixing and other pottery; porcelain pieces; jewelry; gilt-bronze figures and other bronzes; blue and white decorative items; snuff bottles; Asian seals; cinnabar lacquer items; reference books; small furniture (screens, tables, stools et al); embroidered panels; and more.  

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").


Southwest Jewelry, Pottery, Art and Collectibles
May
14
10:30 am10:30

Southwest Jewelry, Pottery, Art and Collectibles

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, May 14, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through May 14

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer over 230 lots of Southwest jewelry, pottery, art and collectibles – Part 3 of the private collection from a major Southern California dealer/collector, plus items from several estates.  Jewelry offerings, many vintage pawn of sterling or coin silver and embellished with turquoise, include works from the Navajo, Zuni and Santa Domingo. Among the diverse range of items are belt buckles, belts, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bolo ties, rings, hat bands, money clips and watch cuffs. The pottery – jars, bowls, pitchers, wedding jars, and other vessels – come from various tribal entities, cultures or pueblos, such as Hohokum, Anasazi, Hopi, Casas Grandes, San Ildefonso, Tularosa, Laguna, Acoma, San Juan, Santa Clara and others. Artwork offered includes Navajo and other rugs, masks by Gene Brabant (plus two masks from Africa), sculpture, paintings, framed art hangings and prints, and Navajo sand paintings.  Collectibles include hand-tooled leather goods, katsina dolls, Mexican spurs, Apache ranger law badges, El Rancho china, Navajo-style tableware, stone animal fetishes, stone/spear points and turquoise stones.  Reference books focus on ethnic arts – Southwest, Indonesian, Pre-Columbian, Tribal and Oceanic.

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World
May
7
10:30 am10:30

A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, May 7, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through May 7

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer an online sale of over 425 lots featuring decorative arts and more from around the world. This "Fine Mélange" comes from numerous sources, collections and estates. Dating mostly from the 1700s – 1900s, here are just some of the diverse items this sale includes, by type or country: 

  • Lamps & lights:  Including from Tiffany Studios, Van Briggle and others 
  • Glass:  Pressed, molded, Bohemian, colored, satin quilted
  • European porcelain:  Tableware, figurines
  • Copper and brass items:  Pans, candlesticks
  • Pewter:  Ice cream molds, tea and coffee pots, flagons, chargers
  • Steiff:  Menagerie of stuffed animals
  • Textiles:  Needlework samplers from the 1700s and 1800s, vintage American hand-made quilts
  • Stoneware:  Jugs, crocks, salt box
  • Decorative arts:  Hand-colored prints and map, papier-maché boxes and tole trays
  • Wooden items:  Duck decoys, boxes, chest
  • American folk art:  Vintage and contemporary
  • Small furniture:  Clocks, children’s chairs, mirrors, tables, footstool
  • Automobile mascots:  From 1909 onward, and the collectors' related printed materials
  • Reference books:  On china, molds, pewter, ceramics and more
  • Napoleon-related items:  Books, engravings, other antique books
  • Memorabilia & ephemera: 1932 Olympics, various World’s Fairs and Expositions, vintage postcards
  • Artwork:  Several portraits
  • Toys & toy guns
  • Sunken treasure from the Hoi An Hoard: Vietnamese ceramics from the 14th-15th centuries
  • Other:  Dirk Van Erp serving dish
  • From England:  Staffordshire pottery, Toby jugs, English ceramics, molded pitchers & mugs, Royal Doulton figurines
  • From France:  Limoges plates, inkwell, decanter, porcelain boxes
  • From Germany:  Art Deco bookends, a Dresden planter, porcelain figurines, dessert service
  • From China:  Carved soapstone roosters, snuff bottle, jade items, Wucai jar, blue and white export porcelain, table-top stands
  • From Japan:  Imari ware, bronze bowl

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the mobile site, and download the free app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

The Warren Heid Family Collection of Toy Trains
Apr
22
10:30 am10:30

The Warren Heid Family Collection of Toy Trains

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to announce the sale of the Warren Heid Family Collection of Toy Trains. Featuring over 210 lots amassed over 50+ years, the collection includes toy trains from leading American makers, including the Ives Manufacturing Company, American Flyer, Lionel Corporation, and Hafner Manufacturing Company. European manufacturers are also represented as well, such as Bing and Issmayer.  Most date from the early 1900s to the 1930s. In addition to train sets and individual train cars, the collection offers accessories such as passenger stations, signals, windmills and bridges.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Warren Heid has lived there most of his life, although his military service in World War II took him to many exotic, far-flung places. As a Class 4 Sergeant in the Army Air Corps working in communications, he traveled around the world, spending time in India, China and North Africa. When he returned from the war, thanks to the GI Bill, Mr. Heid studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to finding his career there, he also found his bride, marrying Shelia when he was a university sophomore; they have now been happily married for 70 years.

During his long, award-winning career as an architect, Mr. Heid designed private homes, commercial and government buildings, schools, churches and hotels, including one in Tahiti. Living and working in Saratoga, California, for decades, he retired in 2008.  In late 2016, the Architect Emeritus was honored by the Saratoga City Council for his architectural contributions there, which include St. Andrews Episcopal Church and The Inn at Saratoga.

Mr. Heid did not collect trains as a child – that passion came later, and by accident. In 1958, working on a project in San Jose, Warren parked in front of a Goodwill store and happened to see a train in the window. Encountering that American Flyer train by chance and buying it, he launched an enthusiasm that has endured to this day.  

With his interest piqued in his new toy, literally, Mr. Heid continued to visit Goodwill in search of trains. Getting to know the staff over time, he was invited to the Goodwill train depot, where trains were fixed before going to sale. Soon Mr. Heid was repairing trains as well, buying some along the way and building a collection.  

Besides antique stores and friends, the Train Collectors Association played a significant part in Mr. Heid’s collecting. He was an early member – number 433 of a group that now includes over 50,000! – and is still a member to this day. Through the years, the group’s Nor-Cal division met once a month in the East Bay, where members would buy, sell and trade trains. Over this shared interest, numerous long-term friendships were made. Mr. Heid’s family – Shelia and their children Susan and Jeff – participated as well, enjoying Christmas parties, regional meets and national conventions. During his time as a TCA member, Mr. Heid served on the Board of Directors and was elected as President of the Nor-Cal chapter.

Pursuing toy trains for over 50 years, Mr. Heid’s collection grew to over 2,500 individual train cars and train sets (comprised of a locomotive, tender and three cars). These were displayed in the basement of his home, a room dedicated to showcasing and enjoying the collection. There Mr. Heid and Jeff operated the trains on a large, standard-gauge layout. Among the favorites in his collection are Ives trains, the Blue Comet by Lionel, delicate tin-plate trains, a live steam engine that works with alcohol, and Tootsietoys. The collection goes up for bid on April 22 at Turner Auctions + Appraisals, except for a few valued items, including his first train from Goodwill.

Long before eBay provided easy, fingertip access to countless goods and collectibles, 
Mr. Heid was inspired by the joy of the hunt for toy train treasures. At an antique store, for example, buying a box of old train-related stuff, one might find a coveted catalog at the bottom. Now in his ninth decade, Mr. Heid is ready to share the fruits of his half-century of passionate collecting with others, who hopefully will enjoy them as well. “Part of the fun is the chase,” he says. “My many years of collecting have brought great pleasure to me, and my family as well. I’ve had a wonderful life. Train collecting has been part of it – giving me an enjoyable hobby, a valuable investment, and great friends with other train-crazy people.”

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the mobile site, and download the free app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

The 19th-Century Collection of Daniel Kirchner
Mar
19
10:30 am10:30

The 19th-Century Collection of Daniel Kirchner

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, March 19, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through March 19

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to feature the 19th-Century Collection of Daniel Kirchner.  With 325 lots, the collection offers 19th-century decorative arts, both American and international, including early American pressed glass; salt-glazed stoneware; Bennington, Majolica and other pottery; paintings and prints; French porcelain apothecary jars; American and English samplers; Toby jugs; Staffordshire transfer ware; diverse items of brass, copper and pewter; small furniture; tole and tin items; several bronze works; and much more.

Born in Wisconsin and raised on a farm, Daniel Kirchner came to collecting at an early age.  When he was 12, he went to an auction in Ellsworth, which launched a lifetime hobby and a enjoyable pursuit that lasted over 50 years.  Mentored by several antique enthusiasts who sought items of earlier times, Mr. Kirchner developed a similar appreciation, focusing on decorative arts of the 19th century.  On the hunt even before he could drive, Mr. Kirchner would visit local auctions, flea markets, estate sales and antiques and second-hand shops, dropped off by his parents who would pick him up an hour or so later.

In accounting by trade, Mr. Kirchner relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1976.  He took along with him a number of his valued collectibles from Wisconsin, some then in his possession for over 40 years, and continued the hunt in California for treasures that pleased him.

Now, having retired several years ago and downsizing to a new home, Mr. Kirchner is ready to pass along the alluring decorative collection he amassed, beginning as a boy and continuing for over half a century.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

Part 2: Southwest Jewelry from the Private Collection of a Major Dealer/Collector
Feb
12
2:30 pm14:30

Part 2: Southwest Jewelry from the Private Collection of a Major Dealer/Collector

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, February 12, at 2:30 pm PDT
  • Online Preview: Through February 12

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is very pleased to offer Part 2 of the private collection of Southwest jewelry from a major dealer/collector.  The extensive, multi-part sale features Native American works from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi.  Part 1 was sold in November to great success; other parts, offering Southwest and Western jewelry and artwork, will be sold later this year.  Offerings in Part 2 include coin or sterling silver jewelry (bracelets, rings, necklaces – often embellished with turquoise, coral, gold or coins); watch cuffs and watch bands; belts, belt buckles and caps; ketos; money clips; bolo ties; a silver desk set; and a David Spellerbery sculpture.

The owner of this collection was a major dealer and collector of Navajo, Zuni and Hopi jewelry in Southern California for over 30 years.  From the mid-1970s to the early 2000s, he operated a retail business that sold vintage, contemporary and custom Southwest jewelry to movie studios, prop and costume houses, and collectors.  All auction items are “from the vault” – ones that were reserved for personal use or set aside for future appreciation.  Everything in the collection is original and hand-made.  Most items are crafted of heavy, solid silver – either coin or sterling silver; embellished with gem-quality turquoise or coral stones, gold or coins; and elaborate hand-cut bezels.  The majority were crafted by talented artists; many are maker-stamped. Some items are vintage ceremonial pieces; many are museum-quality.  None of the pieces have color-enhanced stones, or are plated with silver or nickel.  Overall, the owner’s quest was to obtain top-quality items that were out of the ordinary – the finest examples of handwork they could find.  (See below for more about the collector and this collection.)

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

More About the Southwest Collection and the Collector

The owner of this collection grew up in the Southwest in the 1950s.  Back then, the desert town he lived in (which had ballooned from 8,400 in 1940 to about 25,000 in 1950 and over 64,000 in 1960) was still filled with purveyors of Native American and Western wares.  Then, like now, jewelry for Indians was a store of value and status, along with sheep and horses.  So with his background, contacts and interest in the Old West, the owner launched his own Southwest jewelry business in Southern California in the mid-1970s.  At the time, there were few competitors, he says; in the era’s collegial environment, shops would send customers to other stores to find the specialties they wanted.

Now, after 40 years and working all his life, the owner is ready to retire – from his business, his collection and his numerous possessions – and kick back a bit.  As he says, “I have greatly enjoyed collecting for my business and myself.  And now it’s time for someone else to do the same.”

The items in the collection range from the 1950s to about 1990, plus ones from the 1920s and 1930s during the “Harvey House period.”  (One route of the Santa Fe Railway – officially named the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway – went southwest from Chicago to Southern California through New Mexico, Arizona and other states.  Beginning in 1878, at numerous railroad stops, Fred Harvey built Harvey House restaurants, bringing good food at reasonable prices to the traveling public throughout the Southwest for nearly a century.  In fact, because of the indigenous jewelry they offered train travelers, it can be said that Harvey Houses – considered America’s first restaurant chain – introduced Indian art to America, which became extremely popular with tourists as superb souvenirs of their trips to the Old West.) 

Jewelry in the collection was acquired in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi – each with a distinctive style.  Many of the Native American jewelry makers for Harvey House were farmers who, during down time in the winter, made jewelry for shops to supplement their income.  Other items were acquired from the makers themselves or their families.  Some were obtained through trading posts or itinerant sellers; that is, representatives of various tribes who would stop at dealers to show and sell new wares.  Other inventory was obtained from the vault of Tobe Turpen, Jr., a long-time trader who sold his Gallup, NM, store in the mid-1990s.  Some were obtained from trading posts and reservation pawn shops:  many Native Americans, having nowhere to store their valuables, would go to pawn shops near their reservations for items’ safekeeping, then redeem them later on.  Some items became “dead pawn” – items sold after they had gone to pawn and were never redeemed, for one reason or another.  The collection also features a few items from Plains or Northern Indians, which had been traded among tribes at pow wows.

Sunken Treasure from the Hoi An Hoard
Feb
12
11:30 am11:30

Sunken Treasure from the Hoi An Hoard

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, February 12, at 11:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through February 12

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is excited to present an online sale on February 12 from the renowned “Hoi An Hoard” – historic treasures of 15th- and 16th-century Vietnamese ceramics that were recovered from a trading ship that sank over 500 years ago in a typhoon in the Dragon Sea.  Excavated from the deep with extreme difficulty under death-defying conditions in the late 1990s, the shipwreck’s collection of porcelain artifacts is considered by many experts to be the most significant find in Vietnamese art.

The auction features over 160 lots, almost all with multiple items. Among the offerings are vases large and small, boxes, wine flasks, bowls, tea and wine cups, serving plates, platters and more. Some items are decorated with blue and white designs, enamel or white glaze; some are undecorated; and some include marine encrustations from over five centuries buried at sea. An auction highlight is a small, one-of-a-kind box in the form of a crab, decorated with green enamel that has degraded over the years due to underwater exposure at the bottom of the sea.

The works for sale from the Hoi An Hoard are sure to tempt today's treasure hunters. These 500-year-old ceramics – probably created in the mid-1400s, before Johannes Gutenberg printed his first bible and Leonardo da Vinci was born – infrequently come up for auction.  Focused on individual buyers, this auction presents a rare opportunity to obtain art objects with a unique historical, cultural and archaeological provenance – and at prices that enable most people to participate.

Sunken Treasure: The Amazing Story of the Hoi An Hoard

The story of the Hoi An Hoard – from the collection itself, which is the only known cache of Vietnamese ceramics, to the extraordinary underwater archaeological excavation, which involved smuggling, typhoons and hazardous diving operations – is an amazing tale.  

Although a number of items from the Hoi An Hoard have been acquired by museums – including San Francisco's Asian Art Museum and London's British Museum – Vietnamese ceramics are relatively unknown except to a small group of collectors.  The items from the Hoi An Hoard come from the village of Chu Dau, the oldest pottery center in Vietnam and renowned for its high quality export ceramics.  Although Vietnam became independent from China in 936 A.D., Chinese migrants continued to venture south, influencing the local craftsmen with Chinese styles and production processes.  When the Chinese Ming government, torn by wars and internal strife, curtailed all foreign relations, Chu Dau producers became the leading suppliers of trade pottery to overseas markets. 

It's no surprise that the Vietnamese artisans put their own stylistic stamp on their wares of blue-and-white and polychrome ceramics.  It is these wares, retrieved from their watery grave, that comprise the Hoi An Hoard.

Indeed, the tale of the Hoi An Hoard is one of mystery, danger and intrigue.  Perhaps the modern story begins the 1980s when a Japanese diplomat in Vietnam made the fortuitous comparison that pottery shards from the Red River Delta were similar to those of the famous Chu Dau vase exhibited in Istanbul's Topkapi Saray Museum, a piece signed by its creator in 1450.  Then, in the early 1990s, Vietnamese fisherman increasingly began to find shards of porcelain in their nets near Cu Lao Cham Island.  Quickly and quietly, these pieces began to show up in the nearby town of Hoi An, an ancient trading center no longer bustling except with occasional tourists.  As recognition of the artifacts' provenance spread among visitors, the secret leaked out.  

Soon adventurers, opportunists and antique dealers were in hot pursuit of these ancient wares – all encouraging fishermen to abandon their trade and drag the sea floor with nets and steel rakes for loose pieces.  As greed overcame good sense, scant regard was given either to the potential damage to the wreck and its cargo, or to Vietnam's laws that prohibit the export of national artifacts.  The scandal was uncovered when two Japanese art dealers were stopped at Da Nang Airport with valises filled with contraband.  The authorities traced the smuggled goods back to the region of Cu Lao Cham Island in the Dragon Sea, an area of the South China Sea named for its typhoons' unpredictable ferocity, and placed a ban on the illegal activities. 

Subsequently, it became clear that salvage of a deepwater wreck was beyond local capabilities.  To locate the wreck and excavate it, an Asian salvage company and the Vietnamese Government formed a joint venture to bring the needed technology, management and financial resources.  The project was placed under the stewardship of Vietnam History Museum.  Then Oxford University Maritime Archaeological Research Unit (MARE) was engaged to provide the scholarly and scientific expertise for this complex endeavor.

Exploration began in mid-1997 after the sidescan unit bouncing sonar off a large anomaly on the ocean floor portended a wreck.  But the extreme depths thwarted efforts to confirm it until the operation's eleventh hour, when with all alternatives exhausted, a remote-operated vehicle was finally jerry-rigged into working.  Its camera recorded the entire wreck and much of its cargo, which despite numerous plunderers, appeared virtually intact.  That was the good news.

The bad news was that the depth of the shipwreck required extraordinary means of retrieval.  Usual scuba diving techniques allow divers to go to about 110 feet.  This wreck however was located 230 feet (70 meters) below the surface, so scuba would not work.  In spring 1998, various recovery options were considered, tried and discarded.  Then, when an out-of-season typhoon wiped out the initial operation and allocated funding was exhausted, the project was nearly abandoned altogether. 

But the team regrouped in 1999 with a new and controversial strategy – to use a complex, hazardous technique called "mixed gas saturation diving."  This procedure is used in oilfield and deepwater recovery operations.  (A well-documented example was the retrieval in 2000 of the ill-fated Russian nuclear-powered submarine Kursk at 350 feet deep.)  However, this technique had never before been applied in an archaeological excavation, and the MARE experts were skeptical that the procedure's high cost would compromise the time and care such a historic operation required.  But if successful, the groundbreaking endeavor would be the world's deepest, full-scale archaeological excavation.

Moreover, even for terra firma residents who love the water, saturation diving is filled with requirements that engender extreme unease.  First, the technique required that divers be kept in a confined pressurized chamber.  Second, they had to live for the duration of the project – about two-and-a-half months! – in the sealed, claustrophobic saturation chamber (in essence, a tube six feet in diameter and 12 feet long) or the diving bell, which was smaller still.  Third, the divers would not undergo decompression until the end of the operation, when three full days would be necessary to re-acclimate their bodies' systems.  Fourth, although the saturation chamber sat atop a barge and not under water, the sealed and pressurized container meant that, if anything happened to its handlers or the barge itself, the divers would be doomed to certain death.  (Such a tragedy befell another saturation salvage operation near Hong Kong in 1996 during a typhoon.)

This was risky business indeed.  But six divers from Australia, New Zealand and Ireland accepted the challenge – and two three-man teams worked round-the-clock in 12-hour shifts on the sea floor for 69 days!

The six divers, however, were just one part of the vast excavation operation.  Topside on board the 230-foot barge Tropical 388, there were 19 life-support technicians and 12 supervisors who continuously fed the divers, maintained their lifeline and monitored all their functions within the pressurized capsule. During their 12-hour work shifts, the divers were transported in the diving bell to the black, underwater wreck site where, under control of the Diving Superintendent, they carried out the excavation monitored by topside archaeologists.  Items from the shipwreck were brought to the surface by a huge crane and transferred to two other barges.  There items were cleaned and kept in a water bath for desalination to prevent their drying out and cracking.

Along the way, each was tagged and catalogued. Unique and selected examples were photographed and drawn in detail.  In all, this complex operation required 120 people – and that excludes Vietnamese Navy personnel, whose gunboats were on hand to provide armed security against pirates and looters.

In total, 244,000 items were recovered.  Amazingly, after tops and bottoms were re-mated, the final tally yielded over 180,000 intact ceramics.  The cache was extremely diverse, ranging from special occasion items for the wealthy to more mundane items for everyday use.  The sunken ship's name and origin remain a mystery, although the vessel's wood and a crewmember's skull suggest it was from Thailand.  It is known the trading ship was destined for Southeast Asia and the Middle East before its voyage was cut short by an unknown disaster, perhaps a typhoon or pirates.  Current thinking suggests the overloaded, top-heavy ship capsized in a powerful Dragon Sea tempest, but it's likely the truth was buried with the treasure.

On the other hand, the precious cargo from the Red River Delta has finally – circuitously, over the span of centuries, and using resources never before available in history – reached the export trade market.  It is the good fortune of today's collectors that some wares have surfaced, albeit 500 years later than expected.  

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

Estate Auction
Dec
31
10:30 am10:30

Estate Auction

  • Live Online Auction: Saturday, December 31, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through December 31

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer this estate sale with over 270 diverse lots. Items up for bid include decorative arts from the United States and other countries, small furniture, paintings and prints, vintage watches, American and international pottery, pewter and brass, antique samplers and other textiles, vintage and contemporary Americana, books, automobile mascots, geographic ephemera, and charming Steiff toy animals.

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A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World
Dec
11
11:30 am11:30

A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, December 11, at 11:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through December 11

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer an online sale of 340 items of decorative arts and more from around the world. This "Fine Mélange" comes from numerous sources, collections and estates. Here are just some of items this sale includes: charming Steiff animals (over 40 lots of almost 150 items), Louis Vuitton briefcase and trunk, wooden dollhouse and cradle, small furniture like children's chairs and shelf clocks, vintage and contemporary American folk art, samplers from the 1700s and 1800s, Toby jugs, wooden duck decoys, candlesticks and brassware, American and European antique and vintage pewter, diverse molds (for butter, jelly, chocolate and ice cream), blue-and-white Staffordshire transferware, quilts, numerous artworks (of California, 19th-century landscapes and portraits, wildlife, airplanes, and automobiles, plus from renowned artists like Miro, J.A.M. Whistler, Shimoda, Jay Koka and others), books on Napoleon and for reference (on pottery, china, pewter, ceramics, lighting), 1932 Olympic memorabilia, distinctive automobile mascots dating from 1909, vintage watches, and more.

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Southwest Jewelry from the Private Collection of a Major Dealer/Collector
Dec
4
1:00 pm13:00

Southwest Jewelry from the Private Collection of a Major Dealer/Collector

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, December 4, at 1:00 pm PDT
  • Online Preview: Through December 4

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer the private collection of Southwest jewelry from a major dealer/collector. The extensive sale will be held in several parts:  Part 1 features 200 top-quality Native American works from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi. Offerings include bracelets, squash blossom and other necklaces, rings, belt buckles, watch bands, earrings, ketos and more for men, women and children. Parts 2 and 3, to be offered in 2017, feature Western jewelry and artworks.  

The owner of the collection was a major dealer and collector of Navajo, Zuni and Hopi jewelry in Southern California for over 30 years. From the mid-1970s to the early 2000s, he operated a retail business that sold vintage, contemporary and custom Southwest jewelry to movie studios, prop and costume houses, and collectors. Some items have been in his possession since the 1960s. All items at auction are “from the vault,” he says – ones that were reserved for personal use or set aside for future appreciation. 

Everything in the collection is original and hand-made. Most items are crafted of solid silver – either sterling or coin silver (“as heavy as we could get it”), embellished with gem-quality turquoise stones, some from mines now closed, and elaborate hand-cut bezels. The majority were crafted by talented artists; many are maker-stamped. Some are vintage ceremonial pieces; other contemporary pieces feature gold enhancements. Many are museum-quality items suitable, not only for wearing, but for display as wall-hangings or in shadow boxes. None of the pieces has color-enhanced stones, or are plated with silver or nickel. Overall, the owner’s quest was to obtain top-quality items that were out of the ordinary – specifically, “the finest examples of handwork we could find.”

The items in the collection range from the 1950s to about 1990, plus ones from the 1920s and 1930s during the “Harvey House period.” (One route of the Santa Fe Railway – officially named the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway – went southwest from Chicago to Southern California through New Mexico, Arizona and other states. Beginning in 1878, at numerous railroad stops, Fred Harvey built Harvey House restaurants, which brought good food at reasonable prices to the traveling public throughout the Southwest for nearly a century. In fact, because of the indigenous jewelry they offered train travelers, it can be said that Harvey Houses – considered America’s first restaurant chain – introduced Indian art to America, which became extremely popular with tourists as superb souvenirs of their trips to the Old West.) 

Jewelry in the upcoming auctions was acquired in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi – each with a distinctive style. Many of the Native American jewelry makers for Harvey House were farmers who, during down time in the winter, made jewelry for shops to supplement their income. Other items were acquired from the makers themselves or their families. Some were obtained through trading posts or itinerant sellers; that is, representatives of various tribes who would stop at dealers to show and sell new wares. Other inventory was obtained from the vault of Tobe Turpen, Jr., a long-time trader who sold his Gallup, NM, store in the mid-1990s. Some were obtained from trading posts and reservation pawn shops:  many Native Americans, having nowhere to store their valuables, would go to pawn shops near their reservations for items’ safekeeping, then redeem them later on. Some items became “dead pawn” – items sold after they had gone to pawn and were never redeemed, for one reason or another. The collection also features a few items from Plains or Northern Indians, which had been traded among tribes at powwows.

The owner of the collection grew up in the Southwest in the 1950s. Back then, the desert town he lived in (which had ballooned from 8,400 in 1940 to about 25,000 in 1950 and over 64,000 in 1960) was still filled with purveyors of Native American and Western wares. Then, like now, jewelry for Indians was a store of value and status, along with sheep and horses. So with his background, contacts and interest in the Old West, the owner launched his own Southwest jewelry business in Southern California in the mid-1970s. At the time, there were few competitors, he says; in the era’s collegial environment, shops would send customers to other stores to find the specialties they wanted.

Now, after 40 years, the owner is ready to retire – from his business, his collection and his numerous possessions. As he says, “I’ve worked all my life and am ready to kick back a bit. I’ve greatly enjoyed collecting for my business and myself. And now it’s time for someone else to do the same.”

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The Steve and Linda Stuart Collection of American Art Pottery
Dec
4
10:30 am10:30

The Steve and Linda Stuart Collection of American Art Pottery

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, December 4, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through December 4

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer the Steve and Linda Stuart Collection of American Art Pottery.  Acquired over two decades from the Midwest and California by avid enthusiasts and antique dealers, the live online auction features over 100 lots, including many Arts & Crafts works and a Tiffany Studios lamp.  Several related items round out the sale.  

Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan, Steve and Linda Stuart collected American art pottery for over 20 years.  Steve’s enthusiasm for antiques began well before then, when he started refurbishing vintage furniture pieces found at farm sales and auctions in the Midwest, using gentle chemicals to avoid damaging the wood, sanding them by hand, and refinishing them to bring out their natural finish and beauty.  He appreciated the older furniture because of it was of better quality and not disposable, as much furniture was in the 1970s.

Over time, the couple evolved beyond collecting furniture to include American art pottery, visiting local flea markets and antique dealers, and even standing in the Michigan snow to acquire items from farm auctions.  Linda says, “Steve collected what he liked most and what he liked most was American art pottery.”  He enjoyed talking to dealers and was on the hunt for items of high quality in pristine condition.

In the early 1980s, the Stuarts moved from Michigan to Northern California, where the couple’s personal interests took a professional turn.  They launched Stuart Antiques, in business from 1985 to 2000, offering farm furniture, American art pottery, Native American rugs, primitives like pie safes and jelly cupboards and more, at numerous antique shows and San Francisco Bay Area collectives like the Antique Society of Sebastopol.  For Steve, dealing in antiques and refurbishing furniture became a full-time job; Linda worked elsewhere, but enthusiastically assisted in their retail and collecting ventures.

The items in the upcoming sale are from the Stuarts’ “personal stash,” as Steve called them.  These were the ‘cream of the crop’ – gems from their own private collection, showcased in their home, and never shown or offered for sale by them.  Among their treasures are Arts & Crafts pottery from Grueby, Teco, Van Briggle and others; and a Tiffany Studios lamp acquired in the 1980s.

Steve passed away in 1995.  Now, after three decades in Northern California, Linda decided recently to return to her Michigan roots to be close to family.  As she moved and downsized, the couple’s precious collection of American art pottery has been in storage, with beautiful items unable to be appreciated as they had been before.  As she offers her collection for sale, Linda says, “Steve and I had a wonderful time collecting through the years.  I hope others can now enjoy them as much as we did.”

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The Library and Selected Artifacts from the Personal Collection of Jim Haas
Nov
13
11:30 am11:30

The Library and Selected Artifacts from the Personal Collection of Jim Haas

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, November 13, at 11:30 PDT
  • Online Preview: Through November 13

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer the library and selected artifacts from the personal collection of Jim Haas, the noted, long-time specialist in Native American and Ethnographic Arts, who recently retired from Bonhams after 31 years with the company and its predecessor.  Featuring over 360 lots, the sale also includes property from a major Southwest museum and estates of two long-time collectors:  the Furgatch Collection features contemporary Southwest pottery; the Nancy Florsheim Estate, Part 2, offers contemporary and prehistoric pottery and Southwest jewelry.  

Reflecting Jim Haas’s 30+ years as a professional appraiser and expert in the arts, his printed collection is a working library of art reference books and auction catalogs.  It includes volumes that are older and in some cases rare; along with materials on oriental rugs, old-world antiquities, and photography, an interest of his wife Claudia.  Although there is a focus on the Native American and Ethnographic Arts books used in his profession, his collection is a sizable reference library in many areas that would be difficult to put together today.  Collectors, scholars and researchers will find the library to be of great interest.  The sale features several hundred volumes grouped into 53 lots.

In addition to the working library, items at auction from Jim Haas’s personal collection include oriental rugs and ethnographic esoterica such as Australian Aboriginal spear throwers, a Greek orthodox religious staff, a Bedouin outfit from Egypt, a mid-19th-century Turkmen tent band, and more.  While these items are sure to attract serious collectors, the sale is affordably priced to interest novice enthusiasts or retailers.

Jim Haas began his long and acclaimed career in the arts through serendipity and chutzpah.  A graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a master’s degree in Communication Arts and a focus on media production, he came to San Francisco in 1984 and was unable to find a job in that field.  Out and about one day, he walked by the Butterfield & Butterfield auction house and saw an Oriental rug auction was underway.  He went in, was fascinated, and asked to see Bernard Osher, Butterfield’s owner.  Mr. Osher, perhaps thinking he was a member of the prominent San Francisco Haas family (he’s not), granted him an audience.  Jim pitched himself with enthusiasm and zeal, resulting in a job first as a preview worker, then at the front desk.  Although Jim Haas’s career path was different than he intended, it was not without personal interest:  he recalls many weekends as a teenager getting up early to go treasure hunting at a Milwaukee flea market while his boyhood friends slept off the previous night’s escapades. 

At Butterfields, his good luck continued when the Ethnographic Department head quit and Jim assumed the position, becoming a specialist and respected expert through the years.  During his 31 years at Butterfields, later acquired by Bonhams, Jim spent 20 years as Director of the Ethnographic Art Department, which included Native American, African, Oceanic, Southeast Asian tribal and pre-Columbian art.  During the first five years, he also worked simultaneously as Director of the Oriental Rug Department, focused on tribal and rural weaving traditions of village and nomadic people of the east.  For the last decade, Jim has focused strictly on Native American art.  Over the length of his career, he estimates he oversaw about 75 sales that generated some $65-$70 million for the company.

Now, after retiring in June from his long career at Butterfields/Bonhams, Jim has decided to downsize many of the items he’s accumulated, saying “If they’re not appreciated on a daily basis, why own them?”  Nonetheless, despite reducing the collection he’s amassed, Jim Haas expects to remain very active in the Native American art field as an appraiser, consultant and broker.

In addition to the Jim Haas Collection, the upcoming sale also features works from three other sources:

•   The property deaccessioned from a major Southwestern museum features semi-antique basketry from the Apache, Pima and Papago, and some antique Plains beadwork.  Because of their focus on local Native American arts and material culture, the Pima and Papago are no longer germane to the museum’s current mission.  Sale highlights include beaded items and Southwest basketry.

•   The Furgatch Collection of Contemporary Southwest Pottery includes works by Camilio Sunflower Tafoya, Lucy Lewis, Lois and Derek Gutierrez, and numerous other noted artists.  Residents of the east coast, the Furgatchs enjoyed going to the Southwest and meeting with local potters.  They formed a lengthy friendship, in particular, with Lois and Derek Gutierrez of Santa Clara, New Mexico, a number of whose works are included in the sale.

•   Nancy Florsheim of Lake Forest, Illinois, amassed one of the best collections of Southwestern pottery in the U.S., according to one expert.  While she often acquired the finest works, she also enjoyed collecting more modest pieces, including those offered in this sale – and at prices estimated to be well within most enthusiasts’ means. A regular attendee of the annual Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Nancy Florsheim loved meeting the artists, buying from them directly and supporting their work. Of note are offerings from well-known potters such as Maria Martinez, Joy Navasie and Helen Naha; and from jewelry-maker and silversmith Joe H. Quintana.

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The Anita & Sedwick Hellman Collection of Toys
Nov
12
11:30 am11:30

The Anita & Sedwick Hellman Collection of Toys

  • Live Online Auction: Saturday, November 12, at 11:30 PDT
  • Online Preview: Through November 12

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to feature the Anita & Sedwick Hellman Toy Collection. Offering over 245 lots amassed from coast to coast over 50 years, the collection includes toy cars, trains, guns, airplanes, tin toys, dolls and more.  

Residents of Mamaroneck, New York, Anita and Sedwick Hellman were avid toy collectors for five decades.  Sedwick was a funeral director in a multi-generation family business.  His wife Anita, a flamboyant beauty with striking red hair, was an elementary schoolteacher for 28 years at the Osborn School in Rye, a top public school in New York.  During summer vacations, the Hellmans made collecting a fun family affair, taking their son Jaime, now a TV producer in New York, on cross-country collecting trips from New York to California and Maine to Louisiana for a month or two at a time.  During their forays in the mid-1960s to early-1970s, the family traveled in their ‘home away from home’ – first a small International Harvester school bus, converted with beds and a kitchen; then in one of the first commercially built motor homes. 

At other times, the Hellmans regularly frequented East Coast antique shows and dealers, flea markets, and church and garage sales to expand their collection, traveling beyond New York to Vermont, Pennsylvania and other parts of New England.  Anita was partial to dolls and collected hundreds over the years.  Her husband enjoyed toys of all kinds.  Both were on the hunt for great buys – looking for toys of value, in good shape, and ones that caught their fancy. 

Over the decades, Jaime Hellman estimates their collection numbered from 2,000 to 3,000 items – creating one of the largest collections on the East Coast.  Moreover, according to a magazine feature in “Of Westchester” from about 1975, it was considered to be “one of outstanding toy collections in [that] part of the country.”  While the pursuit itself was paramount, learning about toys was important too, and the couple did painstaking research on their acquisitions and the subject overall.  Their hope was to someday have a toy museum and share their pleasures of their collecting efforts with others.

In addition to teaching, on the weekends, Anita ran Hellman & Hellman Antiques in Larchmont, New York, for 15 years.  In the 1980s, after her husband passed away, Anita moved first to Santa Monica, then to Santa Barbara, where she continued collecting toys, showcasing them in her home.  While her passion for toys continued through the years, she also collected costume jewelry, Asian-influenced antiques, ABC plates, hats, American paintings and antique furniture.

Reflecting on his parents’ toy collecting, which was such a memorable part of his childhood, Jaime Hellman has some thoughts.  Both his parents were Depression-era kids and not likely to have had many toys growing up.  Perhaps their collection was a way to make up for what they missed as children.  But their quest created many adult pleasures as well:  50 years of an enjoyable and passionate hunt, frequent travel all over the country, acquiring the “cream of the crop,” and ultimately amassing a collection that was “as eclectic as they were,” says their son.

Mrs. Hellman passed away in late 2015.  Jaime, not a collector himself, is fearful his parents’ beloved toys would end up unseen and unappreciated in storage boxes.  So he is now passing them along to others.  “It’s time,” he says. “They’re ready to move on the next phase in their little toy lives, and find other mothers and fathers who will take care of them.”

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The Americana Collection of the Late Alice S. Reynolds
Oct
16
11:30 am11:30

The Americana Collection of the Late Alice S. Reynolds

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, October 16, at 11:30 PST
  • Online Preview: Through October 16

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present the Americana Collection of the late Alice S. Reynolds, plus selected Americana items from other collectors. Offering 180 lots, the online sale features diverse Early American items, many from the first half of the 19th century, including blue-and-white Staffordshire transferware; a selection of pewter; chocolate, candy and ice cream molds from the late 1800s-early 1900s; samplers; and more. Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on October 16 at 11:30 am PST; sale items can be previewed online now until the sale starts.  

The late Alice S. Reynolds was a product of New England, a background that fostered a collecting interest in early Americana that lasted more than 60 years. It started when she was still a student at Brown University in the early and mid-1940s, and extended thru the first decade of the 21st century. From Rhode Island, Alice married Myron Reynolds, a PhD student in chemistry, also at Brown, in 1943. Setting up their new household, they went to country auctions and antique shops instead of buying new items, which were scarce in the post-war, baby-boom era. In 1947, the couple moved near Schenectady in upstate New York, which was a prime hunting ground for early American country antiques, said their daughter, Susan Rosenberg of Washington. There the collection grew and expanded to include country Early American furniture from the early 1800s, American pewter, ironstone, wooden kitchen utensils, cast iron tools and more. Thus, they put together a house, a family and a life surrounded by these items of American history.

In the late 1950s, the Reynolds were transferred to the Bay Area. This removed them from easy access to Colonial period antiques, and caused a shift in Alice’s collecting focus to a later historical period and items more available on the West Coast. During the 1970s and 1980s, she developed an interest in chocolate and candy molds, and later an enthusiasm for pewter ice cream molds, ending up with sizable collections of each. She began acquiring American samplers, quilts, and woven coverlets during this period as well.

Alice had always liked Staffordshire blue and white transferware china from the very early 1800s – made in England for the American market – but had acquired only a few pieces prior to the 1990s. As her interest intensified, she began seeking out pieces and building her collection, which included pieces featuring French views, English stately homes, and images of battles of the War of 1812.  

Alice was born in Warren, Rhode Island, a small town near Bristol that was founded in the early 1600s and the original home to Brown University, founded in 1764. She grew up surrounded by Colonial history, which, along with teaching, was a life-long interest – one which infused her collecting aesthetic. She was a teacher in various fields and places – she worked with nursing students in Providence, Rhode Island; elementary school children in New York and California; as a children’s librarian; and was a docent at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley in Northern California. After she retired as a school teacher, she continued to instruct students in the history, design and artistry of the era, teaching programs on Colonial crafts such dipping candles. In the 1990s, she was a key player in the restoration of the Tassajara One-Room School, built in 1889 in Danville, nominated for federal historic designation. It is still used today by school children for historical re-enactments of a typical 1889 school day, and Alice was a schoolmarm in its living history programs. 

Alice’s husband Myron, a skilled amateur cabinetmaker, was a collector in his own right – of history of technology books, early electrical apparatuses and more. Nonetheless, he also “aided, abetted and supported” his wife’s enthusiasms, said Mrs. Rosenberg, and was a good-natured companion on her many antique-hunting forays through the years. Now others can enjoy the fruits of a collection ardently amassed from one coast to another over six decades.

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A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World
Sep
9
Oct 2

A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World

  • Live Online Auction Begins Sunday, October 2 at 2:30 PDT
  • Online Preview Underway through October 2

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer an online sale of over 180 items of decorative arts and more from around the world. This "Fine Mélange" comes from numerous sources and estates. Here are just some of items it includes: Japanese woodblock prints, Imari boxes, and a metal cigarette box; vintage American quilts; pre-Colombian pottery; Native American baskets; Dresden vases; Royal Doulton figurines; French prints, books and Sèvres boxes; Venetian glassware; a Steiff kangaroo and joey; English books from the 19th century; indigenous people's containers from the South Seas, Asia and Latin America; postcards from San Francisco and the Russian/Japanese war; Napoleonic-era items; Staffordshire dogs and pottery; numerous ephemera from early 20th-century World's Fairs (1904, 1933 and 1939) and the 1915 Pan-Pacific International Exposition; and more.

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The Sperisen Collection of California Art -- Plus Fine Works by Noted American & International Artists
Aug
30
Oct 2

The Sperisen Collection of California Art -- Plus Fine Works by Noted American & International Artists

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, October 2, at 11:30 PST
  • Online Preview: Through October 2

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present an online sale of over 180 fine artworks, mostly paintings, by noted American and European artists.  Featured is the Sperisen Collection of California Art:  its 100+ lots offer paintings and other works of art from three generations of collectors – spanning over 100 years – in the Sperisen family of Northern California.  The Sperisen Collection includes works by Percy Gray, Thomas Moran, Frederick Schafer, Ira Yeager and others.  In addition, the sale offers a large number of fine artworks from various estates by well-known wildlife artists and listed American and international artists. 

THE SPERISEN COLLECTION OF CALIFORNIA ART
According to third-generation family member Matt Sperisen, the Sperisen collecting began with two brothers, Matt Sperisen’s grandfather Francis and great-uncle Albert, both San Francisco Bay Area residents.  Francis Sperisen was a lapidarist for 48 years, designing jewelry such as rings, brooches and watches, and providing stones for fine jewelers such as Tiffany and Gump’s.  His brother Albert was a vice president of a San Francisco publishing firm, in charge of magazines and books on marketing, including advertising sales.  

Francis’s son – and Matt’s parents – Richard and his wife Diane continued collecting, expanding in additional directions during their 53-year marriage.  After fulfilling his military obligation in the Korean War, Richard Sperisen worked for the San Mateo County Office of Education.  Perhaps with an appreciation for art passed down from his father and uncle, he became Art Curriculum Director, responsible for art studies of 300 schools, from kindergarten through 12th grade.  Diane Sperisen began as a first-grade schoolteacher, but became an entrepreneur:  working first in retail sales in Woodside, California, she later acquired the ladies clothing store, Quail & Thistle, expanding it to Carmel, Pebble Beach and Burlingame, owning her shops for 31 years.

Richard and Diane Sperisen were avid and frequent travelers in Northern California – particularly Carmel, the Monterey Peninsula and Yosemite.  They had a genuine love of the area and of art, and would “look for a fond memory piece from each of their travels,” said their son, who has continued the tradition with his own wife.  As a result, about 80% of their acquisitions – oils, etchings and pencil drawings – feature Northern California landscapes, which were showcased “everywhere” in their Atherton home. 

After many years in Atherton, the couple decided to move closer to Matt’s family and their grandchildren.  As they retired and downsized to a new residence, most of their treasured artworks could not be accommodated in their new home.  Now, with Richard Sperisen’s passing several years ago and most artworks in storage, Matt Sperisen decided it was time to let others enjoy some of the lovingly acquired and long-enjoyed art.  

Now the family’s collecting torch has been passed to Matt Sperisen, who is Director of Operations for Men’s Basketball at the University of the Pacific in Stockton.  Reflecting his family’s long collecting heritage, Matt has kept some of his favorites for his family to enjoy, including his two pre-teen children, the fourth generation of art enthusiasts.

The collection began with two brothers involved in creation – one with jewels and stones, the other with visual design.  It continued with Matt’s parents, who had a good eye and knew what they liked.  They purchased quality, then added new works when an artist’s reputation grew, enhancing both their enjoyment and the value of their acquisitions.  Now the collecting continues with Matt, his wife and their children.  Reflecting on his family’s legacy through art, Matt said, “Life is about memories – and collecting is a great way to use art as memory markers.”

OTHER FINE WORKS
The September sale also includes a diverse selection of fine artworks, mostly paintings, primarily by American and European artists, which come from various estates and other sources. Most are oil or watercolor paintings, plus some etchings, sculptures, engravings, lithographs and earthenware.  American artists include Percy Gray, Emile Gruppé, Millard Sheets, Percival De Luce, Mary DeNeale Morgan, Jade Fon, Hudson Mindell Kitchell, Robert Wood, Ray Ellis and Red Skelton.  American wildlife painters include David Maass, Peter Markham Scott, and Richard Bishop.  Among the European artists are Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Mary Cassatt, Zygmunt Ajdukiewicz, Klaus Fussmann and Lucas Van Leyden.  Other noted international artists include Rufino Tamayo, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Graciela Rodo Boulanger.

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The Barnaby and Karen Beck Collection of American Folk Art
Aug
19
Sep 11

The Barnaby and Karen Beck Collection of American Folk Art

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, September 11, at 11:30 PST
  • Online Preview: Through September 11

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present the Barnaby and Karen Beck Collection of American Folk Art.  Offering over 115 lots, the online sale features contemporary and antique folk art, primarily from the East Coast of the United States, plus additional pieces from Europe and Asia.  Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on September 11 at 11:30 am PDT; sale items can be previewed online now until the sale starts.  The online auction will be featured live on LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable. 

Barnaby and Karen Beck’s diverse collection features numerous contemporary works of American folk art from noted artists such as Vermont’s K. William Kautz, Ohio’s Dan Noyes, Maine’s Barry Norling and others.  These works include trade signs, whirligigs, weathervanes, sculptures and more – some commissioned by and customized for the Becks. 

The Beck collection also includes folk art in wood from the 19th and 20th centuries, like painted trade signs, a carousel ride, a cigar store Indians, Pennsylvania Dutch corner cupboards, children’s chairs and more.  Some of the antique items were made from the 1850s to 1920s by skilled German carvers for shipbuilders – often from the Black Forest – who were forced to find other work as their industry changed significantly and their talents were no longer in demand.  Before steam power, all boats were made of wood, with a wooden figurehead at the projecting prow that represented the owner, a deity or other symbol to bring good fortune.  However, with the increasing shift to metal ships, the expert carvers, looking for new means to feed their families, transitioned from adorning ships to crafting carousel rides, cigar store Indians and trade signs. 

Also featured in the sale are Toby Jugs, English trophy rowing oars, Spanish Colonial Santos figures, Southeast Asian carved panels, Staffordshire and Prattware pottery, and pearlware figures.

Both natives of California, Barnaby and Karen Beck began collecting folk art about 20 years ago.  Mr. Beck’s appreciation of older things began when he was growing up in Berkeley:  a noted Persian rug collector lived across the street, storing about 80 rugs in the garage.  Over the years and multiple visits to his neighbor, Mr. Beck not only learned much about Persian rugs, he also developed a lifelong interest in and appreciation for items with a history and a story.  Coupled with his wife Karen’s eye for design, honed working at Herman Miller, the Becks began collecting – first Persian rugs, then Toby Jugs.

Their interest in folk art was a “happy accident,” says Mr. Beck.  Attending a trade show in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, on restoring 18th–century houses, he happened on a secondary exhibit there that featured folk art, starting the couple on an extended collecting journey.  Initially, they acquired contemporary folk art sourced from large fairs in the east, including Zoar, Ohio, and Waterford, Virginia.  In Pennsylvania, they attended juried shows featuring traditional and contemporary folk art, becoming friends with many artists and fellow collectors.  Living for several years in Chicago, their proximity to antique folk art in the eastern U.S. expanded their interest in original works from past centuries.  Over time, as they became more knowledgeable and discriminating, their collection became more refined.  Today, with a house full from 20+ years of collecting and family members not eager to manage or curate the collection going forward, the Becks have decided to downsize, keeping special pieces for themselves and moving into new areas of interest.  For American folk art collectors and enthusiasts, the Becks’ decision is a noteworthy opportunity.

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Part 2 of the Sy and Ronnie Margolis Collection -- Plus Other Fine Automobilia from Larry Frye
Aug
18
Sep 9

Part 2 of the Sy and Ronnie Margolis Collection -- Plus Other Fine Automobilia from Larry Frye

  • Live Online Auction: Friday, September 9, at 11:30 PDT
  • Online Preview: Through September 9

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present the Sy and Ronnie Margolis Collection, Part 2, featuring 1932 Olympics Automobilia; plus other fine automobilia from Larry Frye.  The sale features 110 lots related to the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, including car mascots, radiator badges, license plates, banners, maps, pennants, booklets, tickets and ephemera.  Other fine automobilia includes two Ferrari sculptural works, signed 20th-century automobile artworks, vintage posters, and a range of American and European car mascots.  Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Friday, September 9, at 11:30 am PDT; sale items can be previewed online now until the sale starts.  The online auction will be featured live on LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable. 

Sy and Ronnie Margolis began collecting in the late 1980s as an enjoyable hobby the couple could share.  During that time, Mr. Margolis, an art aficionado and enthusiast of fast Italian cars, and his wife attended an Avanti owners’ outing at the Nethercutt Collection near Los Angeles.  Touring the acclaimed automobile museum, the couple was struck by the history and charm of the car mascots. And so began a collecting passion that continued for several decades, until Mr. Margolis passed away in 2008. 

In their quest for intriguing car mascots, both beautiful (for him) and whimsical (for her), Mr. and Mrs.  Margolis acquired a number of hood ornaments and other items of automobilia from the 1932 Olympics.  Set in the sprawling Los Angeles, these famed sporting events required spectators to drive to the venues.  As the birthplace of car culture, fans showed their Olympic support by adorning their cars with mascots, badges, decals and more. 

For Mr. and Mrs. Margolis, the 1932 Olympics theme thus became a natural offshoot of their collecting efforts, for several reasons.  First, the 1932 Olympics were held in Los Angeles, near the Margolis’s home in Orange County.  Second, the 1932 date was in keeping with the general era of much of their car mascot collecting – the 1920s and 1930s.  Third, some key Olympic events were held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, home to the Trojans football team of the University of Southern California (USC), from which their son graduated.  Finally, the Olympics expanded the Margolis’s collecting interests, adding diversity and additional excitement to their hunt.  

The 1932 Summer Olympics were officially known as the Games of the X Olympiad.  Held during the worldwide Great Depression, many nations and athletes were unable to afford the trip.  (Even President Herbert Hoover didn’t make it.)  Nonetheless, 37 nations competed in 117 events in 14 sports.  There were 1,332 participants – 1,206 men and 126 women – including Babe Didrikson, who won a gold medal in both the javelin and hurdles.  China competed for the first time, with just one athlete.

In addition to the Margolis Collection of the 1932 Olympics, this sale also include other fine automobilia from Larry Frye, a long-time sports car aficionado.  He began collecting – and restoring – cars in 1988 with a 1972 Ferrari Daytona coupe.  He continued with others:  a 1952 Jaguar XK 120, a 1967 Jaguar XKE, and a 1953 Siata 208S Barchetta Spyder previously owned by Steve McQueen.  Along the way, Mr. Frye’s automobiles earned numerous awards at the prestigious California cars shows during Monterey Car Week, highlighted by the “Second in Class” trophy at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1997 for his 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Spyder.

Mr. Frye says he has enjoyed cars since he was a little kid.  His enthusiasm grew when his parents bought him a 1971 Opel GT as a junior in high school.  It continued in college, when he purchased a 1962 Cadillac limousine from a funeral home, a notable car on campus at Stanford University.  Cars may have also impacted his studies there:  as an undergraduate, he obtained a degree in thermodynamics, the study of energy and engines.  In a business school investment class, his thesis focused on investing in old Ferraris.  Not only did he do well on the paper, but also some of his work was later published in the “Ferrari Market Letter.”  Through the years, he has enjoyed the car culture – restoring, driving, rallies and camaraderie – as exemplified by his 25+ year membership in the Candy Store car club in Burlingame, California.  Now in a new home with less storage space, Mr. Frye is downsizing, keeping only one sports car in his garage – a red 1967 Corvette 427 convertible. 

Over time, Mr. Frye’s passion for sports cars spilled over into related automobilia, acquired from both auctions and the artists themselves.  Of note in the September sale are the Ferrari ‘Cavallino Rampante’ (‘Prancing Horse’) trophy; and a bronze sculpture of Enzo Ferrari by Larry Braun.  There are also signed prints by Larry Shinoda; Carroll Shelby, Bob Bondurant and Pete Brock; and others. Original posters include a Bugatti Type 35 print by Roger Soubie and a Geo Ham print of the 6ème Grand Prix Automobile in Monaco; plus artwork, photographs, and works by Jay Koka.

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The Sy and Ronnie Margolis Collection of Automobile Mascots
Jun
21
Jul 24

The Sy and Ronnie Margolis Collection of Automobile Mascots

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, July 24, at 11:30 PDT
  • Online Preview: June 21-July 24

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer the Sy and Ronnie Margolis Collection of Automobile Mascots.  The sale features over 215 lots of diverse car mascots, mostly from the U.S., France and Britain; and related collectibles. Turner Auctions + Appraisals will begin its online auction on July 24 at 11:30 am PDT; sale items can be previewed online from June 21 until the sale starts.  The online auction will be featured live on LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable, with links below.

Sy and Ronnie Margolis’s eclectic collection features a wide range of hood or fender ornaments, from about 1909 to recent times.  Most date from the 1920s and 1930s, with many from the 1910s as well.  In the early days of automobiles, wealthy owners would customize their vehicles with mascots to add beauty, make a political statement, identify with an organization or brand, or convey something about themselves.  This collection offers a very wide selection of subject matter – from playful to classical – as petite statues: most mascots range from 4 to 9 inches in height and/or width. 

Reflecting the era of Art Deco design – sleek and stylized – there are numerous winged gods and goddesses, as well as more human women and men.  Fauna are a popular subject matter, including animals (lion, ape, cat, dogs, panther, fox squirrel, seal, bunny, bear), birds (eagles and owl), and fish.  Famous figures are widely represented, both real (Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Richard Nixon, Cleopatra, British Bobbies) and not (Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty, Cupid, Cupie).  Amusing mascots include a bulldog with a sore tooth, a golfing beetle, Jojo the Gnome, and a baby with a toothache (from the French Dental Association).  Marking the excitement of early aviation and its pioneers, there are a number of early 20th-century car mascots featuring airplanes and/or Charles Lindbergh, who made his historic first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.  Hood ornaments from automobile manufacturers include Cadillac, Studebaker, Stutz, Jaguar, Willys-Knight, Lincoln, Chevy, DeSoto, Pontiac and Mack Truck. The collection also include several glass mascots, including one from René Lalique, and various moto meters, used in early automobiles to read the temperature of the radiator.  Rounding out the sale are related automobile ephemera including advertising prints, art, posters, letters, stock certificates and vintage photos.

Residents of Orange County, Sy and Ronnie Margolis started their collection in the late 1980s as an engaging hobby the couple could enjoy together.  During that time, Mr. Margolis, an art aficionado and enthusiast of fast Italian cars, and his wife attended an Avanti owners’ outing at the Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, California, near Los Angeles.  On their tour of the acclaimed automobile museum, the couple was struck by the history and charm of the car mascots, which are like “beautiful little statues,” said Mrs. Margolis.  Thus began a collecting passion that continued until Mr. Margolis passed away in 2008. 

In their early collecting years, Mr. and Mrs. Margolis purchased the hood ornaments at antique shows and car shows:  two favorite venues were Hershey, the noted car show in Pennsylvania, and the fall Beaulieu motor event near Southampton, England.  As online commerce developed, some later additions were acquired on eBay.  Despite the size of their collection, which ultimately totaled over 300 items, it was kept on display in their home, on shelves where they see their treasures and remember the fun they’d had acquiring them.  While Mr. Margolis was drawn to mascots that are beautiful, Mrs. Margolis preferred those that are whimsical.  Together they created an engaging, eclectic collection of miniature works of art and delight.

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The One-Owner Collection of Napoleonic Items of Eustis Paine, 20th-Century Industrialist
May
27
Jun 19

The One-Owner Collection of Napoleonic Items of Eustis Paine, 20th-Century Industrialist

  • LIVE ONLINE AUCTION: BEGINS SUNDAY, JUNE 19, AT 11:30 AM PDT
  • ONLINE PREVIEW: MAY 27-JUNE 19

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present the collection of Napoleonic items of George Eustis Paine, a noted 20th-century industrialist from New York, New York, and Newport, Rhode Island. The fine collection of over 155 items comes to sale from Michele Thomure from Illinois, who is Mr. Paine’s step-granddaughter. The sale features a Napoleonic library, including Napoleon’s personal map, autographed material, and books belonging to and about Napoleon; several bronze sculptures of him; portrait miniatures; snuff boxes; and other items of the era.  

G. Eustis Paine (1893-1953) was a wealthy 20th-century industrialist, banker and executive, who was chairman of the board of the New York and Pennsylvania Co., paper manufacturers. He was born in Willsboro, New York and graduated from Columbia University. Besides the company he headed, he was Trustee of Hanover Bank, a director and chairman of the Fidelity-Phenix Fire Insurance Company’s executive committee, and a director and executive committee member of the Great Northern Paper Co.  

He also was a summer resident of Newport, Rhode Island, for 20 years, until his death.  The estate he owned there, “Land’s End,” has a storied history. Located on Ledge Road in Newport, the summer “cottage” was also owned by Edith Wharton (1862-1937), the first woman winner of the Pulitzer Prize for ‘The Age of Innocence.’ She purchased it in 1893 for $80,000 from Robert Livingston Beeckman (1866-1935), a former U.S. Open Tennis Championship runner-up who later became Governor of Rhode Island in 1915 for six years. During the decade Wharton owned the estate, she and revivalist architect Odgen Codman, Jr. redesigned the house and grounds, which became the basis of her book ‘The Decoration of Houses.’ Today, “Land’s End” is found on the southeast end of the well-known Cliff Walk along the eastern shore of Newport. Designated in 1975 as a National Recreation Trail, this 3.5-mile, public-access walk combines natural beauty of Newport’s shoreline with the architectural history of the Gilded Age.

While the history of Eustis Paine’s interest in collecting Napoleana is unknown, he was a world traveler, and honorary trustee of the French Institute. At his death, Eustis Paine was married to the former Katryna Weed Dana, Michele Thomure’s grandmother.

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Southwestern Basketry, Pottery, Jewelry, Rugs & More
May
19
Jun 12

Southwestern Basketry, Pottery, Jewelry, Rugs & More

  • ONLINE PREVIEW:  MAY 20-JUNE 12
  • LIVE ONLINE AUCTION:  BEGINS SUNDAY, JUNE 12 AT 11:30 AM PDT

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present a diverse selection of over 175 Native American items from the Southwest, including basketry, jewelry, pottery, rugs, folk art and more. Indigenous peoples represented in the sale include Pima (also known as Akimel O'odham), Papago (also known as Tohono O’odham), Navajo and Hopi. These distinctive offerings come from three main sources:  property deaccessioned from a major Southwestern museum and from the estates of two long-time collectors – Nancy Florsheim of Lake Forest, Illinois, and Tucson, Arizona; and Margaret Taylor of Flagstaff, Arizona. 

Here is more information on each:

--  The property deaccessioned from a major Southwestern museum features semi-antique basketry from the Pima and Papago, and some beadwork. Highlights include classic Pima baskets with iconic squash blossom designs and other characteristic patterns.

--  Nancy Florsheim amassed one of the best collections of Southwestern pottery in the U.S., according to one expert.  While she often acquired the finest works, she also enjoyed collecting more modest pieces, including those offered in this sale – mostly pottery and folk art – and at prices estimated to be well within most enthusiasts’ means. A regular attendee of the annual Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Nancy Florsheim loved meeting the artists, buying from them directly and supporting their work. Of special note are offerings from well-known potters such as Joy Navasie and Helen Naha. 

--  Margaret Taylor was a teacher for many years near the Hopi and Navajo reservations around Flagstaff, Arizona. She greatly enjoyed meeting weavers and purchasing their wares, thereby helping support their families. A collector for decades, she filled her home with baskets, rugs and other items, adorning it throughout with items on display from her collection. Items offered in this auction – mostly contemporary and post-World War II works – include Navajo and Hopi basketry, rugs, jewelry and pottery. This collection showcases the width and breadth of recent Hopi and Navajo art, stretching its design vocabulary, and reinforcing that this is not a dying art, but one that is vibrant and alive. 

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An Eye on Japan: 19th-Century Woodblock Prints and Preparatory Drawings from Two Collection
Apr
26
May 15

An Eye on Japan: 19th-Century Woodblock Prints and Preparatory Drawings from Two Collection

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present two one-owner collections with a focus on Japan. From a couple in New Jersey, there is a collection of 85 Japanese woodblock prints, predominately from the 19th century. From a California collector, we offer over 65 preparatory drawings, unsigned sketches from the 19th century, which were deaccessioned from the Honolulu Museum of Art. A selection of other lots, including erotic Shunga and other paintings, pillar prints and Japanese woodblock books, completes the auction. Highlights of the sale include works by Utagawa Hiroshige, Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, and Toshi and Hiroshi Yoshida.

Auction of Diverse Items from Multiple Estates
Mar
23
Apr 10

Auction of Diverse Items from Multiple Estates

This auction sourced from multiple estates presents over 260 diverse lots. The sale features artworks from important California and European artists (including Donald Teague, John F. Carlson, John Francis Murphy, Pablo Picasso and Mary Cassatt); a rare hand-colored lithograph of San Francisco; European decorative arts; Chinese jade and porcelain; Japanese woodblock prints (by Hiroshi Yoshida, Toshi Yoshida, Hiroshige II and others); Emilia Pazza, vintage and other designer handbags; jewelry; historic postcards & memorabilia; Chinese snuff bottles; small tables and chairs; and a wide selection of Tiffany and Georgian silver, plus a Dirk Van Erp tray.

From the Private Collection of Curator Peter L. Corey, Basketry and Other Items from Native American and Other Indigenous Cultures
Feb
8
Feb 27

From the Private Collection of Curator Peter L. Corey, Basketry and Other Items from Native American and Other Indigenous Cultures

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present basketry and other items from Native American and other indigenous cultures from the private collection and estate of Peter L. Corey, who served as curator and director of the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka, Alaska, for nearly 25 years. Accumulated over four decades and painstakingly organized, the one-owner collection of about 1000 items in 165 lots includes both contemporary and antique items, primarily baskets, dolls and whimsical goods. Most are from Alaska and other Native American cultures, including Aleut, Eskimo, Seminole, Iroquois, Hopi, Cherokee and Choctaw; some are from Mexico. Highlights in the upcoming sale include Alaskan Eskimo baleen baskets, and Seminole and Eskimo dolls. 

Peter L. Corey passed away in September 2015. His interest in Native American cultures began with a gift, a book from his grandfather at age 12, which evolved into an enthusiasm for collecting that continued his entire life. Asked about Mr. Corey’s lifelong passion, Irene Shuler, a close friend in Sitka who was asked by Mr. Corey to help manage his collection going forward, said “I think collectors are born; that was the way with Peter. For him, it wasn’t just about the objects, but the culture.” She noted that his interest went deeper: he liked to study the items, then do them himself, such as beading and weaving arts, which he later taught.

Mr. Corey was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1939. He graduated with a degree in anthropology from Colorado State University, worked in the Dominican Republic with the Peace Corps, then pursued a master’s degree in historical museum procedures from Cooperstown Graduate Program. Moving to Alaska in 1969, he served in various curator positions, working first for the Alaska State Museum, then the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan, and finally the Sheldon Jackson Museum, from which he retired in 2002.

Mr. Corey’s original collection also included Navajo silver, Alaska Native art, and masks from around the world; many of these items have been given to family members, sold privately or gone to auction. Other parts of the extensive collection have been donated to Alaska museums: 105 items were bequeathed to the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka, and six items went to the Ketchikan Museums. In this way, Peter L. Corey’s collection, lovingly accumulated over a lifetime, will continue to be valued by others who share his passion.

Read more:

"Coming Home," Ketchikan Daily News, December 21, 2015

"The Curator's Collection," Ketchikan Museums Newsletter, January-March 2016

The Collection of American Folk Art Quilts of Nena Hopkins Talcott
Feb
5
Feb 22

The Collection of American Folk Art Quilts of Nena Hopkins Talcott

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present the collection of American quilts of Nena Hopkins Talcott. Amassed over more than 15 years, this collection of 89 folk art quilts, which come from throughout the United States, were crafted from the early 1900s to the 1950s. All are handmade, many done by church ladies, probably in sewing bees. Most are full-sized, meant to top a white bedspread, adding color and artistry.

Many quilts in her collection came from the Penlands of Sonoma, California, an older couple who had connections through their church to source quilts from the Midwest. The Penlands took the quilts on consignment, then tithed 10% to their church when they sold.

Although Ms. Talcott’s initial interest in quilts was as a financial investment for her family, her appreciation grew in their artistic quality. Originally thinking she would become an artist, her works then were geometric, hard-edged paintings. So the strong geometry of the quilts’ designs and patterns greatly appealed to her. Initially, she began collecting quilts that were only navy blue and white, followed by red and white. Then her interests broadened to encompass wedding ring and applique quilts and more. Today, with limited wall space and children with contemporary taste, Nena has decided the time is right to share her collection with those who value the American craftsmanship and artistry of decades past.

Nena Talcott lives in Napa Valley, where she managed the family vineyards, olive groves and winery for 30 years. An avid cyclist and world traveler, she today is co-founder and co-partner with Bonnie Storm of Grove 45 Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This world-class olive oil in an award-winning package is sold in upscale specialty stores in the U.S. and Japan.

A Diverse Selection of Art & Decorative Items
Dec
30
Jan 17

A Diverse Selection of Art & Decorative Items

Choose from an extensive selection of art and decorative items, featuring 168 lots. This sale includes oil and watercolor paintings; charcoal drawings; Russian works; vintage posters; art glass; glazed pottery; sculpture; Japanese woodblock prints; hand-painted fans; Asian, French, Italian and other European and American vases; stoneware jugs; a Tiffany desk set and sterling silver tableware; gold, diamond, pearl and jade jewelry; a French pâte de verre covered powder box; and more. Artists include Percy Grey, Jacob Koch, Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Bel'skyFrancesco Longo Mancini, Hiroshi Yoshida, Edgar H. Nye, George Otis, Marie Laurencin, PicassoGabriel Argy-Rousseau, and others.

Fine Jewelry
Dec
10
Dec 20

Fine Jewelry

Just in time for holiday gift-giving! This selection of elegant jewelry with over 75 lots features beautiful items with pearls, diamonds, yellow and white gold and fine jade.

A Selection of Auction Catalogs
Dec
5
Dec 6

A Selection of Auction Catalogs

A library of over 400 auction catalogs, with over 100 lots grouped in lots of four. Catalogs include fine art, paintings, contemporary prints, arms & armor, classic cars, Japanese art, Chinese art, jewelry, pens, antiquities, Hollywood memorabilia, books & manuscripts, and watches & timepieces.