NYC Architectural Rendering Exceeds Expectations
M.A.D. STAFF | OCTOBER 15TH, 2017

A 37″ x 19″ color pencil rendering by John C. Wenrich of the Art Deco skyscraper at 70 Pine Street, a Manhattan landmark, brought $5000 (includes buyer’s premium) at Worth Auctions’ October 15 sale in Freeville, New York. According to the auction house, the price is a record for the artist.

The pencil architectural rendering from 1932 was gifted to the building’s architectural supervisor and is accompanied by documentation of the opening of the building. The building at 70 Pine Street has had a number of names throughout its history; it served as the headquarters of AIG from the mid-1970s until 2008; and it was the tallest building in Lower Manhattan for many years. It has recently undergone a renovation and now serves as a luxury residential and retail property.

Wenrich (1894-1970) served as an architectural illustrator for Rockefeller Center and for the 1939 and 1964 New York World’s Fairs. He was born in Cumberland, Maryland, the son of a locomotive engineer. In 1914 he enrolled at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI, now RIT) where he studied drawing and design. In 1916 Wenrich received the Wiltsie Water-Color prize, an award given annually to two students at RAMI from 1892 to 1943. After two years, he moved to New York City where he spent a year at the Art Students League. Wenrich also studied for five months at the University of Toulouse in France following his two years of service in the U.S. Army during World War I. When he returned from Europe, he joined the firm of Gordon & Kaelber Architects, Rochester, New York, as an illustrator, staying there until 1931. His art was strongly influenced by Japanese woodblock artists of the early 20th century.

Originally published in the October 2017 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2017 Maine Antique Digest


Press Release: November 21, 2017
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Post Auction Bulletin November 19, 2017: Art and Artifacts, Ancient to Modern

The November 19, 2017 sale at Worth Auctions featured a tantalizing range of fine art and artifacts originating from every continent and dating from antiquity to the twentieth century.

Among many fine Chinese offerings was a rare Zisha Ware tree trunk form vase, which sold to a private collector in Hebei Province for $9,062.

Numerous antique natural history illustrations were also showcased, including an Audubon’s double-elephant folio aquatint of the three-toed woodpecker, which fetched $2,125.

Pre-Columbian objects were also well represented, such as a burnished terracotta dog head jar from Colima which brought $1,750.


Press Release: September 11, 2017
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Post Auction Bulletin September 10, 2017: Italian Renaissance ‘Old Masters’ and American Colonial Currency

The September 10, 2017 sale at Worth Auctions featured a broad range of art and antiques, with particular focus on Italian Renaissance works on paper and votive sculpture. These included pen and ink drawings attributed to Salimbeni ($3,250), Zuccaro ($2,750), and Empoli ($2,375), as well as a finely crafted 17th century terra cotta statue likely depicting one of the four evangelists ($2,000).

The sale also featured colonial American currency, designer mid-century modern furnishings, fine and costume jewelry, Judaica metalwork, autographs, and much more.


Press Release: August 15, 2017
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Post Auction Bulletin August 13, 2017: Bauhaus Porcelain Features Prominently in Multi-Estate Auction

The August 13, 2017 auction at Worth Auctions featured a broad range of art and antiques from multiple estates and collections nationwide.

Leading off the sale was a 1965 Buick Wildcat. Consigned by the initial owner, this classic American sport coupe was in pleasing garaged condition with 59,000 original miles and brought $3,375.

Another exceptional lot was an important porcelain dinner service manufactured by KPM Berlin under the direction of Bauhaus designer Marguerite Friedlaender Wildenhain which was repatriated to Germany for $3,750.

Also showcased in this auction were the contents of two private binderies, including a full set of leather carving and stamping tools which fetched $2,500. A rare, highly decorated Indian bronze incense censer exceeded its high estimate to reach $3,375. A group of 23 vintage photogravure portraits by Yousuf Karsh earned $1,062, as did a 31-piece Imari-pattern Tiffany tea service.

Other items of interest were a pre-1927 Martin ukulele, a Colt Model 1849 cartridge revolver, and a set of antique magic lantern slide orreries for the teaching of celestial mechanics. Further complementary material will be featured in Worth’s upcoming sales throughout the year.


Post Auction Bulletin June 25, 2017

On June 25, 2017, Worth Auctions offered a three-part Curator’s Catalog featuring carefully selected offerings of rare and desirable maps and views, Western art, and Audubon bird prints.

The first portion of the sale was tailored to the interests of serious antique map collectors. It featured such early and important works as Saxton Ryther’s 1577 map of Yorkshire ($3,125), Gasgoigne’s 1776 plan of the River and Sound of D’Awfoskee ($2,750), and Mortier’s circa 1700 map of the American colonies ($1,875).

The second portion was devoted to fine prints by the major artists of the American West. These included McKenney & Hall’s 1836 lithograph of the revered Sioux chief Wa-Na-Ta, which fetched $1,125.

The third portion showcased several large-scale Audubon images from both the Amsterdam and the scarcer Leipzig editions. Further complementary material will be featured in future sessions in 2017.


Press Release: June 16, 2017
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Post Auction Bulletin June 11, 2017

The June 11, 2017 sale at Worth Auctions featured the sixth and final installment of firearms and militaria from the estate of a prominent Civil War collector in Upstate New York, plus significant additional offerings of natural history specimens, fine art, and other desirable material from multiple consignors nationwide.

Firearms of note included a Colt Single Action Army revolver dated 1874, which sold for $6,562, and a vintage M1 thirty-caliber semi-automatic carbine, which went for $1,000.

Many of the natural history specimens in this sale were fresh to market, having been found by the consignor on private lands in the Western and Southern United States during the 1960s. These included a well-preserved dinosaur limb bone, a woolly mammoth tooth, and a complete Eocene Age turtle fossil. These discoveries, which brought $3,468, were identified and cataloged in collaboration with the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), which received a portion of the proceeds.

Among the fine art offerings in this sale were a series of stone sculptures by the noted Iroquois artist Joseph Jacobs, which sold upwards of $1,250, and a satirical Gold Rush era lithograph by Currier & Ives entitled “The Way They Go To California,” which exceeded its high estimate to be hammered down at $1,000.


Press Release: May 22, 2017
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Post Auction Bulletin May 21, 2017

The May 21, 2017 sale at Worth Auctions comprised an extensive and carefully selected group of fine and decorative prints, watercolors, drawings, and maps.

Notable pieces included Bodmer’s “Moennitarri Warrior in the Costume of the Dog Danse” ($4,062); Thomas Moran’s “Grand Canyon of Arizona From Hermit Rim Road” ($2,500); and Peter Schenk’s “America Septentrionalis Novissima” ($1,000).

The sale also showcased a fine array of seventeenth- to nineteenth-century natural history prints by such masters as John James Audubon, Basil Besler, and Mark Catesby, as well as important equestrian, sporting, and nautical images.

Further complementary material will be featured in future sessions in 2017. These cataloged live sales will take place in the Galleries at Worth Asset Brokerage in Freeville, New York and will be simulcast to a global bidding audience via Invaluable, LiveAuctioneers, and eBay Live.


Press Release: May 8, 2017
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Post Auction Bulletin May 7, 2017

Worth Auctions’ May 7, 2017 sale featured the fourth session of rare and desirable militaria from the estate of a prominent Civil War collector from Upstate New York plus select other material from multiple consignors nationwide.

Notable results included $3,125 for a Confederate Naval Artillery shell jacket; $2,000 for Currier and Ives’ large folio lithograph “A Stopping Place on the Road;” and $1,000 for an albumen photograph by George N. Bernard depicting the Capitol at Nashville, Tennessee.

Among many other intriguing offerings were several ornately carved Chinese inkstones; a trove of Indian head and wheat cents; and a very scarce demo recording of Bob Dylan’s “I Want You.”


Press Release:April 24, 2017
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Post Auction Bulletin April 23, 2017

Worth Auctions’ April 23, 2017 sale featured the third session of rare and desirable arms and militaria from the estate of a prominent Civil War collector plus select material from other consignors around the country.

Central to the Civil War collection is a veritable arsenal of over 150 antique firearms and edged weapons, over 30 of which were offered in this sale. Results of note included $2,625 for a Model 1873 Winchester rifle; $2,250 for a Confederate D-guard Bowie knife with a letter from author Lee Hadaway; and $1,187 for a Clauberg officer’s sword with an etched and gilted blade.

Numerous other interesting Civil War items were also showcased, such as an engraved identification tag ($1,437); officers’ shoulder straps ($1,000); and Confederate belt buckles ($1,000).

Fine and decorative artwork in this session included $4,062 for Webber’s monumental engraving of the Death of Captain Cook; $2,500 for an albumen photograph of Atlanta from Barnard’s “Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign,” and $1,437 for a stone carving by contemporary Inuit artist Barnabus Arnasungaaq.

Worth’s next sale will be held on May 7, 2017 at The Galleries at Worth Asset Brokerage (2085 Dryden Road, Freeville, New York) and will feature additional Civil War arms and militaria plus significant collections of original Currier & Ives lithographs, antique Asian inkstones, dinosaur fossils, vintage radios, and much more.


Press Release: April 13, 2017
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Post Auction Bulletin April 2, 2017

A scarce Fayetteville musket marked “CSA” on the lock plate achieved $14,687 at Worth Auctions’ April 2, 2017 sale, soaring past its presale estimate of $4,000-$8,000 after a series of spirited volleys between phone bidders and prominent Civil War collectors on the floor.

More than fifty other rare and desirable antique weapons were offered, including an ornately bejeweled Clauberg presentation sword ($5,000); a Colt First Model Dragoon revolver ($5,000); and a foot officer’s saber inscribed to a captain of the Wisconsin Volunteer infantry for his services at Petersburg ($3,375).

Other lots of note in this sale included a Mounted Riflemen commission signed by President James K. Polk ($1,312); a boxed amputation kit ($1,312); and a quartet of highly decorative union cases ($1,625.) Also highlighted were an antique H.L. Leonard raised pillar salmon fly fishing reel ($2,000) and a Gillmore Medal ($3,250).

This sale was the second session primarily devoted to the estate of a highly respected militaria aficionado in Upstate New York. Central to this collection is a veritable arsenal of over 150 firearms and swords, of which several (including original Confederate Bowie knives and a selection of collectible post-1898 handguns) will be featured in Worth’s next sale on April 23, 2017. That auction will also include very fine oil portraits, duck decoys, Inuit sculptures, oriental rugs, and much more.

Worth Auctions handles a broad variety of personal property including fine and decorative art, furnishings, jewelry, coins, antique arms and armor, and more. Its sister company, National Book Auctions, is a specialist auction house focusing almost exclusively on rare and collectible books and ephemera since the 1990s.


Press Release: March 27, 2017
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Post Auction Bulletin March 2017

Worth Auctions’ March 12, 2017 sale featured the first of three sessions of rare and desirable arms and militaria from the estate of a prominent Civil War collector, plus substantial additional offerings of fine art, jewelry, musical equipment, and other valuable estate items. Central to the Civil War collection is a veritable arsenal of over 150 antique firearms and edged weapons, 64 of which were offered in this sale. Weapons of note included a Colt Third Model dragoon revolver with engraved cylinder ($4375.00) and a Sharps Model 1843 rifle ($2,625.00). Other remarkable items from this estate included a cased field surgery set ($2,000.00) and an oil on board portrait of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, the first casualty of the Civil War ($2,500.00). Other compelling offerings in the sale were a gold, diamond, and sapphire Rolex watch ($3,250.00); a group of Etruscan and Greco-Roman pottery dating back to 800 BCE ($1,468.75); and a 1966 Fender Bandmaster tube amp ($1,250.00).

Worth’s following sale on March 19, 2017 presented an extensive and carefully selected group of fine and decorative prints, paintings, and drawings. Notable results included $5,312.50 for Karl Bodmer’s iconic portrait of a costumed Moennitarri Warrior; $4,062.50 for Thomas Moran’s monumental chromolithograph of the Grand Canyon; and $3,375.00 for a finely rendered watercolor of the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli by Samuel Prout. Other offerings included an array of antique natural history prints by such masters as Audubon, Wolf, Thornton, Smit, Ettingshausen, Redoute, Catesby, and Gould.

Worth’s next sale will be held at The Galleries at Worth Asset Brokerage in Freeville, New York on April 2, 2017 and will be simulcast on Invaluable, LiveAuctioneers, and eBay. Featured lots will include a fine Clauberg presentation sword with garnets and gold panels; land grants with presidential signatures; and a selection of daguerreotype and ambrotype portraits in decorative cases.


Press Release: February 13, 2017
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Auction Record Set for Versatile Painter George Rhoads

A diverse range of fine art and antiques was featured at Worth Auctions’s February 12, 2017 sale in Freeville, New York. A cadre of devoted collectors were undeterred by a lake effect snowstorm, and further enthusiastic bidding activity took place on three online bidding platforms: Invaluable, LiveAuctioners, and eBay.

Among the fine art offerings were numerous natural history plates by John James Audubon and John Gould, signed lithographs by twentieth-century black-and-white masters Stow Wengenroth and John McClellan, and plein air paintings by William R. Davis. A quintet of canvases by the versatile painter George Rhoads exceeded their high estimates, with one sunset image bringing $2,000 and setting an auction record for the artist. A suite of complete issues of the deluxe French periodical “Derriere le Miroir” fetched $4,000.

In the antiques department, a pleasing group of artifacts collected along the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea brought $1,100; a collection of vintage dolls sold for $1,900.00; and a set of Capodimonte porcelain figurines realized $2,000. A handsomely restored Ithaca Calendar Clock fetched $875. An Austrian gold and opal bracelet sold for $900.00.

The cataloging staff at Worth Auctions is already busy preparing for its March sales, which will showcase rare and desirable Civil War firearms and edged weapons, fine and costume jewelry, modern and contemporary art, and more.


Civil War – Private Estate Collection

Worth Auctions and its sister company National Book Auctions will be handling the complete estate of a major Civil War collector in Upstate New York.

Scores of antique firearms, edged weapons, paintings, and unusual items like a custom eating utensil made for an amputee will be offered by Worth Auctions over the next few months. A selection of post-1898 firearms by major manufacturers will also be featured.

National Book Auctions will sell the thousands of rare and collectible volumes which cover nearly every notable personage and event of the Civil War from Abraham Lincoln to Jefferson Davis and Fort Sumter to Palmito Ranch. Many regimental histories are included in the collection. Related topics include New York State history and Victorian literature.

Says CEO David Hall, “This gentleman was a very well-known and well-respected lifetime collector in this region. He certainly applied a discerning eye to all his acquisitions.”

The cataloged live sales will take place in the Galleries at Worth Asset Brokerage in Freeville, New York and will be simulcast to a global bidding audience via Invaluable. Stay tuned for more information and links to the catalogs.


Appraisal of a Major Private Photography Collection

The staff at Worth Auctions recently completed an insurance appraisal of a major private photography collection in the Midwest.

The collection comprised over two hundred original gelatin silver prints by such twentieth century masters as Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, and Paul Strand. The retail replacement value totaled $832,000.

The project was led by Worth’s Director of Fine Art & Special Collections, Evan D. Williams, who is a Certified Member of the Appraisers Association of America—the organization’s highest designation.

Worth Auctions is equipped to supply USPAP- and IRS-compliant appraisals of a wide range of personal property for all common purposes including insurance, estate tax, equitable distribution, charitable donation, and liquidation.


NEWS/PRESS ARCHIVE