Across The Block 128

Published March 18th, 2020 by Akiba Galleries

Notable sales detailed in our March 27, 2020 issue include typewriters used by authors Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway in an online sale by University Archives. Hemingway’s Royal typewriter, used to write A Moveable Feast, finished at $34,375. In the art scene, an original oil painting by Zhan Jianjun, “Morning in the Stone Forest,” roared past its $2/4,000 estimate to finish at $40,800. Beautiful furniture was prominent as a late Nineteenth Century Hermle Renaissance Revival hand-carved oakwood tall-case clock went to a high bidder for $18,600, and a three-part Federal, Portsmouth, N.H., mahogany secretary sold at $17,250. Explore further for more details on these and more.

Kerouac’s and Hemingway’s Typewriters Are Key Lots at University Archives

WESTPORT, CONN. – Typewriters used by American authors Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway hit the virtual auction block in an online sale by University Archives that closed February 26. The typewriters, valued at between $18,000 and $100,000, were among the most popular auction items, coming in third and second, respectively, after the auction’s top lot, Samuel Colt’s signed patent items for “revolving cylinder guns,” which sold for $40,625. Kerouac’s personal Smith-Corona typewriter, which he used to compose and type Vanity of Duluoz, written in 1967 and published in 1968, brought $20,000, while Hemingway’s Royal typewriter, circa mid-1950s (shown), used by him to write A Moveable Feast came with provenance to his close friend A.E. Hotchner, who lent Hemingway this typewriter. It finished at $34,375. For information, 203-454-0111 or

These Salts Were Not Passed at Nest Egg Auctions

BERLIN, CONN. – Open salts – thousands of them – comprised an online auction by Nest Egg Auctions featuring the lifetime collection of Barbara and Elmer Guilmartin that closed on February 23. “We’ve been shipping like crazy,” said the firm’s owner Ryan Brechlin a week later. “We had a tie for the two top lots in the sale,” he reported. Each selling for $780 were a Nineteenth Century Vienna, Austria, hand-painted enamel footed oval open salt with romantic scenes and grotesque mask supports, and a Russian cloisonne on silver open salt with original spoon, both hallmarked Gustav Gustavovich Klingert (Moscow, 1908-1917) and set on ball feet. For additional information, 203-630-1400 or

Hermle Grandfather Clock Strikes High Note at Akiba Antiques

DANIA BEACH, FLA. – A late Nineteenth Century Hermle Renaissance Revival hand-carved oakwood tall-case clock with wood carving of figures, griffins, lions and sweeping raised floral motifs came to the block at Akiba Antiques auction on February 18 with an estimate of $6/12,000. After some 42 bids for the 8½-foot-high German grandfather clock, the high bidder won it at $18,600. For more information, 305-632-5563 or

Rembrandt ‘selfie’ Gets Lots of Likes at Showplace

NEW YORK CITY – “We sold a Rembrandt self-portrait etching on March 1 that achieved $7,800 to a phone bidder after spirited bidding from other phones, the internet and the floor,” said Showplace Auctions’ Keith Lebel. The etching on paper by Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), “Self-portrait in a Cap and Scarf,” was signed and dated in plate “Rembrandt 1633,” with a label below the image (covered by mat): “Christopher Mendez (London),” with information including “References: Bartsch 17, second state, Provenance: Artaria (L. 33); G. Ritter von Franck (L. 1152).” The image size 5½ by 4½ inches; framed: 17 by 12¼ by 1 inch. For information, or 212-633-6063, extension 808.

Chinese Oil on Canvas Blazes to $40,800 at Helmuth Stone

SARASOTA, FLA. – Illustration art, jewelry, antiques, fine art and a selection of Chinese paintings crossed the block at Helmuth Stone’s downtown Sarasota gallery on March 1. It was the latter category that generated the most excitement, with Chinese paintings and watercolors doing very well. An original oil painting by Zhan Jianjun (b 1931), “Morning in the Stone Forest,” which originally appeared on the Fleetwood first day cover stamp issue of September 18, 1981, blazed past its $2/4,000 estimate to finish at $40,800, Sight size 27½ by 23½ inches, the work came from the personal collection of James A. Helzer. The auction house said it will have another painting by this artist in its next auction on April 5. For information, 941-260-9703 or

Rare Volume Closes Book on Schwenke Sale

WOODBURY, CONN. – Leading Schwenke Auctioneers’ February 29 sale was a rare copy of Christina Rossetti’s Verses, which brought $13,200 from a buyer in the United States bidding on the phone. The volume, which had been privately published by Rossetti’s grandfather’s private press in 1847, had been inscribed “E.H. Polidori from Christina Rossetti, July 1847.” The volume had been consigned from a Southbury, Conn., estate, and Thomas Schwenke thought the price realized might be a record for the title. For information, 203-266-0323 or

A ‘worthy’ Circa 1805-1810 Secretary Tops W.a. Smith’s Estate Auction

PLAINFIELD, N.H. – According to William Smith, owner and auctioneer of the eponymous auction house, W. A. Smith, Inc, a three-part Federal, Portsmouth, N.H., secretary, mahogany with flame birch inlays, including drop panel, attributed to Judkins and Senter Portsmouth, circa 1805-10, was a worthy lot in the February 29 estate auction. The 40-inch-wide-by-87-inch-high secretary with four drawers and mullioned glass doors above the inlaid drop panel sold well at $17,250. For information, 603-675-2549 or

Izannah Walker Doll Struts to $15,680 at Bill Spicer Sale

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. – Rare dolls and toys took over Bill Spicer’s auction at the Washington Lodge Masonic Temple on February 26. First place went to an Izannah Walker doll, circa 1840 (shown) from Central Falls, R.I, which sold for $15,680. A 20-inch Bru JM porcelain head doll was bid to $8,960, and a Depose Jumeau porcelain head doll brought $3,136. Pulling up in fourth place was a Buddy L Express Line truck, which went out at $1,120. For information, 401-265-5104.

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