Across The Block 132

Published September 22nd, 2020 by Akiba Galleries

Notable sales found in our October 2, 2020 issue prove that collectors across the United States are eager to raise their paddles or pounce on their mouse pads. Iconic pieces of hip hop history set new benchmarks during Sotheby’s inaugural Hip Hop sale, including Notorious B.I.G.’s worn and signed crown that settled at north of half a million. Bronze items noted this week include a comet nude by Maurice Guiraud-Rivière at Akiba Auctions, a Chinese bronze figure of a standing Acuoye Guanyin at Eldred’s and a pair of figural bronze panels at Kaminski. All of these and more will keep you reading.

Sotheby’s First Auction Dedicated to Hip Hop Achieves $2 Million

NEW YORK CITY – On September 16, Sotheby’s inaugural auction dedicated to hip hop achieved $2 million, surpassing its high estimate with a 91 percent of all lots sold. There were more than 400 registered bidders, more than 25 percent of whom were new to Sotheby’s, from 19 countries around the world. Iconic pieces of hip hop history set new benchmarks and achieved new records throughout the sale, including Notorious B.I.G.’s worn and signed crown from the 1997 “K.O.N.Y.” photoshoot for Rap Pages magazine, which led the sale at $600,000. More than ten new artist auction records were achieved, with many artists appearing at auction for the first time, as the sale broke ground for hip hop artists spanning fine art, photography, illustration, sculpture and more. For information, 212-606-7000 or

Guiraud-Rivière’s Bronze Comet Nude Flies to First for Akiba

DANIA BEACH, FLA.- Maurice Guiraud-rivière’s (French, 1881-1947) “Le Comet” was the top lot at Akiba Antiques’ September 8 sale when it sold for $14,400. The bronze figure features a stylized female nude as a comet, her flowing hair down to her ankles like a comet’s tail as she flies above a group of stylized clouds. An example of the model was placed in the reception of New York City’s Chrysler Building in the 1930s. For more information, 305-632-5563 or

Greeves Sterling Silver Tea Set Serves Up $4,800

MILFORD, CONN. – Joseph Kabe conducted his September 12 estate auction outside, cautioning attendees to be sure to “bring a chair, mask and keep your distance.” It is after all the new drill in the age of COVID-19. Still, precautions aside, the sale performed as per usual, with a myriad of estate lots, including sterling silver, period furniture, paintings, samplers, Oriental bronzes, china, glass and many box lots crossing the block. A Greeves six-piece sterling silver tea service hit the jackpot price in the sale, finishing at $4,800. For information, 203-980-0606 or

Steinway & Sons Baby Grand Piano Plays to $11,520 at Roland Sale

GLEN COVE, N.Y. – Ebony & ivory ruled at Roland NY’s September 12 sale as a black lacquer Steinway & Sons baby grand piano, model #538638-S, 1992 (pictured), tickled a bidder’s fancy and earned $11,520. Also doing well were an 18K yellow gold and diamond brooch by Cartier, signed and numbered 22449 with approximately 2.5 carats of diamonds at $4,480 and – precursor of Halloween? – a Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990) hand drawn and signed terracotta pottery planter with his famous characters. From a private New York City collection, it brought $6,875. For information, or 212-260-2000.

Monumental Vases Bring Monumental Price for Heritage

DALLAS – Standing tallest among lots offered September 16 in Heritage Auctions’ Curated Home sale was a pair of circa 1900 54-inch-high monumental French Sèvres-style bronze-mounted porcelain vases, signed Jeanne, that topped off at $35,000. The lot had been viewed more than 400 times and saw competition from both phone and online bidders. Bringing the second highest price in the sale was a gilt-bronze mounted marble centerbowl from a Dallas estate that had originally retailed at Edward F. Caldwell & Co., in New York City; it reached $32,500 with nearly 550 page views. The sale achieved a total of $1.3 million. For information,

Bair’s American Book Award for ‘samuel Beckett’ Reads Loudest at Fairfield Auction

MONROE, CONN.- A “Louise Nevelson Sculpture For The American Book Award,” edition number 43, sold for $9,375 at Fairfield Auction, LLC’s September 16 sale. The award was presented in 1981 in the category for autobiography/biography to Deirdre Bair for her title Samuel Beckett. Bair, who also wrote an acclaimed biography for Simone de Beauvoir, passed away in April of 2020. She was entirely unknown when she approached Beckett to write his biography, a title she worked on for seven years and what ultimately launched her name into acclaim. For more information, or 203-880-5200.

Acuoye Guanyin Raises Hand at Eldred’s

EAST DENNIS, MASS. – A Chinese bronze figure of a standing Acuoye Guanyin rose to $31,250 on a $700 estimate at Eldred’s September 17 auction. The auction house dated the work to the Eighteenth Century and said it was made in two parts and was likely once attached to a larger sculpture. The bronze figure sat on a wood base. For information, 508-385-3116 or

Pair of Figural Bronze Panels Go for $10,320 at Kaminski Estate Auction

BEVERLY, MASS. – From an Everett, Mass., estate, a pair of figural bronze panels or doors, signed Cascieri Di Biccabi A.C. Scieri realized $10,320 at Kaminski’s September 20 estate auction. Weighing 320 pounds, the panels measured 73 inches high by 20 inches wide. For information, 978-927-2223 or

Flying Eagle Small Cent Coin Flies High for Nest Egg

BERLIN, CONN. – It may have been worth $.01 in 1856 but a Flying Eagle small cent, graded PCGS PR63, flew across the auction block at Nest Egg Auctions on September 19 with an estimate of $10/15,000. It had been found in an estate album and sparked considerable interest with bidders, ultimately bringing $16,605 from a local private collector who prevailed against a local underbidder. For information, 203-630-1400 or

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