Last Week @ The Auction - April 2020

Updated: May 23

Here we go! It's Last Week at the Auction. America's Favorite Top 10 List of Auction Results from around the globe as hand selected by me, Josh Levine, you host and guide to the world of auctions. This is Episode 1 of Season 2....we are back baby! The Hottest You Tube Series and Social Media Sensation. It is like you took Brad Pitt, the Antiques Roadshow, and the Magic that is Santa Claus...bottled it, shook it and now you get to look at it...still with me?

Of course, you are, and yes.... I got a great stuff for you this week.


Welcome back to my subscribers and hello to you newbies...We've got the goods...Amazing Auction Results, Fun Facts and so much more...I am telling you...Nothing is more interesting than The Auction World...even during a Pandemic. Don’t like reading? Scroll to the bottom to watch the magic. You might just get hooked.


Just a little quick business, before you leave, subscribe, share with a friend, and comment below. I have links at the end of this post to everything I discuss and where you can find out more about all of these great auctions.


Are you ready...it's Last Week at the Auction, Season 2...electric boogaloo!


Coming in at #10 is a great piece...when art meets furniture. This crazy 27" table brought $3,250 at Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland Ca. Talk about provenance, this sale featured this and many items other items from the estate of the late actor and comedian, Robin Williams. All came from his home in Tiburon California.

Always remember provenance can influence values and should you ever buy a piece like this, keep any and all documents to support the piece for later transfer. I can't tell you how many times people tell me purported stories, but in today’s world, documented chain of custody is necessary. Think Block Chain.


Okay...#9 Check out this lovely Chinese Enameled Vase that brought...$4,000, also at Clars in Oakland. Measuring 20" tall and decorated with peonies, bats and pair of mythical beasts, I chose to feature this piece to illustrate a point. The base had been drilled out, and right thru its mark! So, it was most likely a lamp at some point in its life. Once, the kiss of death, to Chinese antique vases, as these early pieces become more and more scarce or priced out of affordability...the collectors have become more forgiving and willing to spend good money on rare pieces with a few issues. There a lot of lamps out their hiding Qing & Ming Dynasty Vases out there...



#8...comes from my Buddy Matt in Ottawa Ill... I know I've done videos about Hot Wheels but what better illustration of the madness then telling you he just sold THIS....for $6,500.


A loose but Ultra Rare, 1976 Hot Wheels Hong Kong with White Body and Painted Datsun Z decals...Possibly a Prototype but showing you, it does not need to be new in the package or mint to bring a Mint!

So, here's #7....I am Iron Man... pre-Black Sabbath. It's the 1963 Marvel Comics, Tales of Suspense, Issue #39 which just sold at Bruneau & Co in Cranston RI for....am I keeping you in suspense? $7,750! and its value, as with most period comics is the treasured "first appearance of" factor.


These are what you are looking for, and again.... condition was not a plus. At a 4.5 out of 10, you see.... collectors are willing to step up even when it’s not the best as affording those these days can be nuts. A 9.6 sold for $220,000 8 years ago.

We head North...for #6....it's a Canadian Militia Coat from the War of 1812, quite Rare and a wonderful scarlet red....I can just hear the Arizona Winter Battle Cry "The Canadians are Coming...The Canadians are Coming..."...it's a snow bird joke, you'd have to live here to get it.


Anyway, it sold for an amazing $9,500 in Canadian Dollars and for the History Buffs...you have to remember during the war of 1812 which lasted until 1815, and just to keep their Country Safe, Captain George Platt raised a Cavalry Volunteer Unit for the defense of Canada...just in case those expansionist in America got any funny ideas !


Here were are at #5 and for those of you that watched my Epic (Pocket Change: The History of American Coins) will get this...An 1892 S (meaning the San Francisco Mint as you learned) and graded AU58, as you also learned....sold for $11,000 a 1 Great Deal Auctions in Meridian Idaho.


Due to the low mintage, on 1.2 million where made that year at the SF Mint, they are quite collectible, further...find one in the Almost Uncirculated condition makes it a treasure. Being able to Illustrate, in real life and during a pandemic, the points made in my video from last week is quite satisfying...




Coming in at #4 and hoping my auction world "book hater friends" are watching is a 1953 First Edition CASINO ROYALE by Ian Fleming. You Know....James Bond Baby....This great estate find sold for $19,000 and you would have donated to Good Will! I always call Books the scratch off lottery ticket of the Estate Sale and Auction World....lots of duds, but when you find a good one.


Yes...anyway, the folks at Potter and Pottery Auctions in Chicago had an amazing assortment of books, including other Ian Fleming Treasures. This one is known to be 1 of the 4,728 copies printed. That's obviously not a large run and at the time, he was not a well-established Author. It’s a fact that the majority of them went to public libraries back then if they didn't sell.

So, stop, I know what you are thinking...no stealing Library Books!


So, let’s get to #3 - remember the auction at Clars in Oakland that featured some of Robin Williams Goodies? It also featured items from Venture Capitalist, Frank J Caufield's Estate. And #3 today is an amazing 7th Century BC Greek Corinthian Bronze Helmet.


It sold for $30,000 and was an amazing example from the period. Truly a museum specimen. I don't think provenance, in this case, trumped rarity and desirability.


But now we are getting crazy and where only the auction world can take you...and again, these results are all in a Covid 19 Online Auction Market.

#2 is out of this world or supposed to be...it's a Rare Lunar Module Upper Docking Tunnel Hatch manufactured by Grumman. And just what would one pay for such a thing? $72,598! Yes...this late 1960s Lunar Docking Hatch Door developed and tested by Grumman for Space usage that has no current purpose, other than being cool, could have been yours, but no. You'll have to wait for the next one.

This sale at RR Auction in Boston had a wicked Nasa collection. Space Collectors have always looked for those really rare and one of a kind prototypes and you have to remember, most being developed for the government, many of these items never see the light of day, let alone made available to the public, so when they are....it’s an auction feast. That why I want to do the auction at Area 51. Do you have any idea the commission to be made selling alien body parts, Implants or ET's Speak N Spell...I am on it?


But here we go...@ #1 and with true Auction Power here on display...It’s a set of 4 chairs? What's going on here...I'll tell you what's going on... I often speak about the Current Trends in Chinese Antique Market, and how hot it is, but most people, including me, just think of the Bronze Buddhas and Porcelain Vase, etc...but not the furnishings and you need to watch these for just the same reason.


There is a huge population, in our global marketplace with newfound disposable income and they want their antique back. During the cultural revolution, they were scattered to the world and now thru modern technology and the online auction world, they are heading back and fetching premium. Of course, it’s for the best of the best and the rare examples like these....so enough educational ramblings...how much for the 4 chairs? $140,000!

Yes...you heard me correct...this set of 4 Huanghuali (HWANG HWALI) Southern Chinese Rose Armchairs brought $140,000. (HWANG HWALI) which literally translates "yellow flowering pear wood"... is a member of the rosewood family.


Today, anything made from "the real deal" is a highly sought after...and just as with true Brazilian Rosewood, Hwang Hwali wood prices have increased largely due to the incredible scarcity of the wood. I am sure the folks at Roswell Auctions in GA were in shock when it happened as I was when I read it.


So now you know what happened, Last Week at the auction!


And for those of you with short attention spans...its This Week's Rapid Recap...


Let’s do it...Monster Truck Style!


#10 Robin Williams Modernist Table Sculpture - $3,250

#9 Chinese Enameled Vase - $4,000

#8 Ultra Rare 1976 Hot Wheels Redline - $6,500

#7 1st Appearance of Iron Man - $7,750

#6 Canadian War of 1812 Captains Coat - $9,500

#5 1892-S Morgan Silver Dollar - $11,000

#4 1st Edition Casino Royale - $19,000

#3 7th Century BC Greek Helmet - $30,000

#2 Lunar Module Space Hatch - $72,598

#1 Chinese Chairs - $140,000


There you go and I cannot forget this weeks "viewer email"...


This week's question comes from Mark W of Boston...Mark W of Boston??? Could it be Mr. Wahlberg....cool...Okay, Marky Mark asks..."Are any of the Online Instant Appraisal Tools, any good?"


Great Question...my answer is.... some yes, some no....just do a little homework...


Recently I broke down and used JUST ANSWER and I was quite pleased. I was completely stumped, and they popped up on my browser.... looked like they had a freelancer online and one of Christies Certified Post Grads, so I had them research the piece and it was great. Just what I needed....

If you are search the Valley here...

Mortonappraisals.com here in the Valley has an excellent online evaluation service as well.

So Yes, they are out there. But a lot of new one's are popping up with the Covid 19 and a few of the companies I have seen offering services, unless they are outsourcing would shock me if they knew Tupperware from turkey baster.


Watch out for the auction companies just using it as a bait and switch for consignments, unless that’s what you are looking for, then sell, sell sell baby!


You can always email me photos too. I love a good mystery!


Great question Mark. Thanks, and hey, all of you....


email me at josh@joshlevinespeaks.com and feel free to send in any and all questions. I do try to get to them all ASAP.


Thanks again for all your support, and remember if you enjoy, Subscribe and I'll keep you up to date!


Until next week...or Last Week at the Auction!

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LINKS TO INFORMATION I SPOKE ABOUT

The Auction Houses Featured this week!

1 Great Deal: http://www.1greatdealauctions.com/

Bruneau & Co - https://www.bruneauandco.com/

Clars Auction Gallery: https://clars.com/

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers: https://www.bullockauctioneers.com/

Pridham's Auction House Inc: https://pridhams.ca/

Roswell Auctions: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/auctioneer/7010/roswell-auctions/

RR Auction: https://www.rrauction.com/

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“Instant” ONLINE APPRAISALS

Just Answer - https://www.justanswer.com/?rpt=220

Morton Appraisals - https://mortonappraisals.com/online-evaluation/

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Anyway....that my update. If you ever need help with an estate, a free consult or an appraiser. I'd be thrilled to help you.

All my best!

Josh


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