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Auction Report

From the Print Edition:
Kevin Costner, Nov/Dec 00

(continued from page 1)

Stunning results greeted Christie's $26.5 million Pebble Beach motor car auction on August 20, with a 1966 Ex-Scuderia Ferrari 330 P3 accelerating to $5.6 million (est. $5 million­$7 million), a 1928 Maserati Tipo 26B/M 8C 2800 hitting $1.65 million (est. $1.5 million­$2 million) and a 1932 Maserati 8C 3000 Grand Prix two-seater racing car zooming to $1.08 million (est. $1 million­$1.5 million).  

A 1969 ex-Steve McQueen Porsche 917, used in the film Le Mans, brought $1.32 million (unpublished estimate), and an ex-Carroll Shelby 1964 Cobra Daytona coupe rocketed to an awesome $4.4 million (unpublished estimate) at the Monterey Sports Car Auction, organized by RM Auctions that same high-horsepower weekend. For slower-minded folks, a 1966 Volkswagen 21-window microbus chugged to $34,100 (est. $34,000­$42,000).  

OLD MASTER PAINTINGS

Phillips struck gold in London on July 4 when Jean Francois de Troy's recently rediscovered eighteenth-century French painting La Retour du Bal hit a record $3.63 million (est. $600,000­$900,000). The painting was found in a cupboard, packed in cardboard under the stairs of the consignor's home. A picture of a fancily dressed group of late-night revelers returning home after a gala party, the work last appeared in public in 1769, when it was sold at a Paris auction. Its companion work, La Toilette pur le Bal, hangs at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Less dramatic but steamy was Francois Boucher's Venus Disarming Cupid and Cupid Caressing Venus that sold for $992,250 (est. $900,000­$1.2 million).  

A seventeenth-century Dutch painting featuring figures skating on a frozen river, A Winter Landscape, by Adam van Breen, hit a record $397,500 (est. $90,000­ $120,000). Another Dutch overachiever, A Dune Landscape with Travellers, by Esais van den Velde from circa 1590­1630, brought $173,250 (est. $30,000­$45,000).  

OLYMPIC MEMORABILIA AND SPORTING POSTERS

Olympic fever rose at Christie's South Kensington's July 6 sale when a trove of gold and silver medals, plaques, badges and silk shorts from the late British Olympian sprint champion Harold Maurice Abrahams sold for $12,337 (est. $12,000­$18,000). Some of Abrahams's victories in the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris were relived in the popular 1981 film Chariots of Fire.   From other Olympiads, an aluminum Olympic torch studded with the famed five-interlinked rings from the 1948 Games realized $9,693 (est. $3,000­$3,750) and a colorful linen-backed letter-press poster from 1896 titled "Jeux Olympiques A. Athenes" and featuring a pack of racing cyclists sold for $564 (est. $450­$750). A framed and separately autographed black-and-white photo of Olympic great Jesse Owens doing the long jump brought $1,144 (est. $900­$1,200). Owens won four gold medals at the controversial 1936 Games in Berlin, dashing Hitler's hopes for an Aryan-dominated Games.  

PICTURE FRAMES

Bonhams's London sale of fine picture frames on June 20 was honeycombed with striking examples, ranging from a Spanish seventeenth-century gilded molding frame that sold for $450 (est. $375­$525), to an English eighteenth-century carved-and-gilded frame that made $3,600 (est. $450­$1,000). A Provincial French Louis XIV carved-and-gilded frame with stylized leaf brought $1,950 (est. $600­$900). Neophytes to this rather arcane field need a good glossary to interpret typical catalogue descriptions of the profusely decorated frames, as evidenced by the description of the English example cited above: "...with plain sight, centered raking gadroon, plain hollow, and centered pin and ribbon-twist below centered raking gadrooned top knull."  

TELEVISION MEMORABILIA


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