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The Devil's Work

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, your host and guide to the world of auctions – This is the blog post version of Season 3's 1st episode for my readers.... #LWATA continues to be The Hottest You Tube Series and Social Media Sensation in the world....okay, the auction world.

I am just so excited to be back. The following post contains real auction results from real auction houses and with that comes, I think, valuable insight to what’s going on in the secondary market. Whether you are a reseller, an appraiser, an auctioneer, downsizing an estate, thinking of selling a collection or just like antiques and collectibles, we all might just learn something today.

Don’t forget to check out the link section below….I have all the links below to everything I discuss, social media channels and most importantly, where you can find out more about all of these great auction houses….they are where I find this cool stuff…

So, let’s get on with it…. This all happened, LAST WEEK AT THE AUCTION.


#10 This Royal Bayreuth Devil Water Pitcher just brought $350 @ WOODY'S…it was only 7.5" tall but commanded top dollar. Known for their vintage novelty wares, Royal Bayreuth hard paste porcelains have always been highly collected. Founded in Germany in 1794 they are still in business.

I find it’s the whimsical figurals from the later 19th and early 20th century seem to have the biggest following. Be on the lookout. They are out there and can be a great score.


#9 is a Set of T&V Limoges Oyster Plates that hammered for $550 at ABELLs in LA. The Victorian Period introduced several, quite specialized service pieces, that had never seen before. Perhaps none are as decadent as the Oyster Plate. If you wanted to impress the most affluent of guests in the late 19th century, the service of the shellfish delicacy and presented on one of these porcelain masterpieces was the way to do it. Their allure to the serious collector, has remained. Some of the more delicate and intricate have fetched 1000s.


Alright #8 is a Michel Perchin Blue and Gold Fountain Pen that brought $1100 @ TOYS, TRAINS AND OTHER OLD STUFF…it was part of wonderful collection and Wylie knocked it out of the park. The auction showed what auctions can do for you and…there is quite the pen collector subculture. Keep your eyes peel for vintage fountain pens. These might be the most often missed collectible.

When handling an estate…. check those junk drawers for pens!


#7 Two Modern Upholstered Armchairs just sold at auction for $1500 @ HINDMAN. And I don’t know about you, but I think these things are Ugly. And there are several lessons and a proverb or 2. Beauty and therefor value is truly in the eye of the beholder, or check book / credit card holder. I would have thought $100 bucks on a good day and walked on by. Not worth the hassle of loading them in the car but see…. I would be wrong. $1500 wrong. No one knows everything. Trends and tastes are constantly changing….so keep up.


Okay #6 is an 1899 $5 Dollar Chief Silver Certificate that brought $2200 @ 1 GREAT DEAL Auctions. Now that is inflation. Old paper currency is hot. They are not printing any more of it….and heck, we might be doing away with it soon, but I’ve been watching for several years and prices are on the rise. It only makes sense. It’s paper and more perishable than coins. Production runs, in many cases, were very limited. And further, many were destroyed or taken out of circulation years ago by the banks as they were replaced. Plus, can I just say, the engraving that went into some of these is simply amazing. So, you have rarity and desirability and therefore…. Money.


So what’s next…..#5 is Four Antique Sherman Denton Trout Prints that sold for $2700 with our friends at LELAND LITTLE….and these turn of the century chromolithographs, circa 1895, were from the Game Fish of New York Set. Prints are often overlooked these days and I get it, but desirability and rarity are still the key.

Many of you may know original Audubon Prints can command 1000s of dollars but there are so many under the radar prints like these that are highly prized. A quick search of sites like Worthpoint or historic auction results from LiveAuctioneers is a great way to do a quick search for value when you don’t know. And trust me…. there are thousands of them that you don’t.


Let’s move on to #4 which is a Michel Ducaroy (dock-a-roy) Togo Sofa that brought $3000, also at LELAND LITTLE. I know what you are thinking….is that made from Sharpei skin? Heavens no…. but It sure does illustrate that mid mod designer furniture is still all the rage. Looks comfortable, am I right?

And it’s a great follow up to this one.


#3 is Pedro Friedeberg Giltwood Hand Chair. It brought $7500 @ HINDMAN…. right out of an Austin Powers Movie, this design personifies the surrealist art furniture movement and it is what the famed Mexican Artist and artist best known for.

There are several variants out there…. fact is, if you see one under $500, buy it !


Okay…. this lot is smoking…. #2 is Russian Gold Cigarette Case that crushed it…. $18,000 @ HINDMAN….it bore the Mark of Faberge and was approx. 6oz of 14k gold. So, for you scrappers out there doing the math…that’s $6700 dollars in gold. You see what knowing your marks here can do. An extra $12000.

I just want to point that out as I see, all too often, the desire to cash out quick with gold and silver scores. Many Pickers and Yard salers just flipping their finds for a quick buck and I get it, but I bet you’d be a little sick if you just left $10000 on the table.


So what is #1 this week…. well it’s a Qing Dynasty Huanghuali Horseshow Back Armchair. It had a pre-auction estimate of $1500 to $2500 and when the bidding was over, its realized…. $47,500 @ The WILMINGTON GALLERY in Delaware. Wow. I keep talking about the Chinese Antique Market and it shows no signs of slowing down, that’s for sure.

And from the estimate you can see, the predictability of prices in this market are out the window. I could do an entire episode on crazy Chinese Auction Prices…it’s the Wild Wild West.


But I am not done…I am throwing in a bonus crusher! A Rockwell Kent Oil on Canvas entitled “Tree Tops and Mountain Peaks" just sold for $280,000 @ COTTONE…art will always be the place were financial dreams can come true, but you have to know your art and artists. The best examples by the best artists command top dollar. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the odd ball or off topic genres in the artist catalog of know works that realize the best prices.

If an artist is known for landscapes…you don’t want a portrait he or she did for a friend, or a seascape by an artist known for pop art, and so on. If you don’t know, consult with an expert…use sights like Worthpoint, Askart, etc. I have the links below or shoot me an email.

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


And it’s time for this week's "viewer email." This week's question comes from Mark Forrester of Spokane Washington who asks, “What’s this Worthpoint App you keep talking about?”

Great question. I’ve been singing their praises for a few months now. Worthpoint is a one stop shop for researching all your stuff. I think I heard they have over 500 million items and counting. And look, I know there are so many sites out there that offer valuation services, but typically you will find they only specialize in certain genres.

Art, cars, coins, and these sites are expensive…. but with Worthpoint you get everything and I mean everything for one charge. Plus, an amazing library of price guides, hallmarks and signatures…I could ramble on, but I’d have to charge them for the commercial.

Check out my Resellers Secrets Blog Post at to find out more…. plus I have links below and also how….you creative types, might be able to get the app for free.

Thank you for the Question Mark…. I hope that helps and thanks again everyone….do not forget to email me… - where you too can ask me any, and all questions. I have no life.

And before I go, if you enjoyed the post, Subscribe Below! Please Give Me Thumbs Up and Leave Comment....

Be sure to check out all the great auction houses from today’s show and support your local auctioneers…they are some of the hardest working people in show business! And speaking of show business, if you happened to watch the video version of this post, my new backing track is Whiplash by the Lucky Odds out of San Antonio Texas, check them out a Remember to Support Your Local Musicians and Artists…these are some of the hardest hit folks in the economy right now. So, do it…

I’ll see you next week...or……………. Last Week at the Auction!




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Anyway....that my update. If you ever need help an estate, just a free consult or a real estate agent. I would be thrilled to help you.

All my best!


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