Auction Highlights for Thursday 2/22/2024 (Updated!)

Auction Highlights for Thursday 2/22/2024 (Updated!)

Slim Pickens isn't just the stage name of Louis Burton Lindley Jr., who famously played Major T.J. "King" Kong in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 black comedy "Dr. Strangelove;" it's also the name of this week's sliiiiim auction. A sparsely attended Sunday antique market and a relatively dry slate of offerings at local auctions have left me with a small selection for this week's auction on I'm still trying to pull something out of my hat and pack the show with more, but time is a'runnin' out. But hey, big or small, long or short, there's a sure-to-be-fun auction happening this Thursday, February 22nd, at 8pm EST right here on and I hope you'll be there.

Here are some highlights:

Wednesday Update:

Black Forest Style Bears and Beehive Pocket Watch Stand

The design of this item, with bears clamoring up to claim bees' honey from a hive, seems to have been used for a variety of decorative objects, from girandole candle stick holders to pocket watch stands. I believe the iteration I have of it for this week's auction is the latter, though it does not have a hook where a pocket watch would hand. It also doesn't look as if there ever was a hook that has broken off. I'm still going to call it a pocket watch holder, but really its just a lovely woodland decorative item to grace your curio shelf. Its made of metal - likely brass - and has good age and is in great condition. Bidding will open at $25.

Venus Weighing Cupid by Henri-Pierre Picou (1824-1895) Print

We're just past Valentine's day, but I think its always the perfect time for ethereal prints of naked ladies weighing Cupid against the comparatively heavy weight of a butterfly. Such is this print done after the original painting done by French artist Henri-Pierre Picou. The original sold at Christie's in 2004 for $28,680. Let's see how much this sadly-waterstained print brings. Tune in Thursday to find out, or to take it home for yourself.

I love the frame on this, as well as the wood back. It seems to be somewhat rare to find an antique copy of this, as most of the ones out there for sale on the Internet are modern repros. Like I said, there's a nasty water stain across the Venus' chest, but its still lovely, and the colors are great. Bidding will open at $25.

E.A. Spaulding Rebekah Lodge No. 124 Collar

The Odd Fellows are my favorite of the fraternal orders, mostly because they have the coolest material culture. The women's auxiliary of the IOOF, the Rebekah Lodge, brings us similarly cool stuff, like this gorgeous green, pink, and gold collar. It seems to have come from the Townsend, Massachusetts based E.A. Spaulding Rebekah Lodge No. 124, as there is a small pamphlet in the original box with it from 1944-1945 that says as much. This collar is in fantastic condition, and would look great displayed on your favorite piece of taxidermy. Bidding will open at $25.

Original Post:

19th Century Family Bible

I almost never buy Bibles. For one, its the most widely printed book in history, and that kind of ubiquity dulls my interest. Secondly, the really interesting ones, the heavily illustrated, ornately decorated family bibles of the late 19th century are always in shambles, with torn pages, loose bindings, and severed covers. I believe I've found the exception to that general rule for this week's auction.

The 1880s bible that I have for you this week boasts 2500 illustrations, an incredibly decorative exterior lush with esoteric symbology, and an impressively fine cosmetic and physical condition. I've provided just a few examples of the many detailed engravings to be found throughout this incredible book, and there are many more that will be shown in this week's show. Bidding on this bible will open at $25.

The Dresden Gallery Book

Like the bible for this week's auction, this incredible Dresden Gallery book is profusely illustrated. It contains incredible engraved plates done after the many fine 15th to 18th century works in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Gallery) in Dresden, Germany. This incredible 19th century book has survived the past century and a half completely intact and in very, very good condition. Have a look below at some of what you'll find inside. This book will open at $25 come auction time.

Print of Ships in Peril

A couple years ago I purchased an awesome print of sailors in peril over rough seas at an antique show. I was excited to include it in that week's auction, but its dimensions fit perfectly a gap in the wall in my upstairs hallway, so it was squirreled away into the personal collection.

I'm not big on nautical themed items - I have never lived on the coast, I've never sailed the open sea, and there are no career fishermen in my family. Still, the metaphorical and mystical weight of the ocean, especially when it is rough and unforgiving, appeals to me. Plus, the sea and its sailors feature prominently in the history of tattooing. All this is to say, despite not being a swashbuckling seafarer myself, I quite like this print of ships negotiating a stormy harbor that I've got for this week's auction. I'm tempted to keep it to go with the one hanging in my hall, but no such space exists on my gallery wall. So it will go on yours. Bidding will open for $25.

Silver Overlay Art Deco Decanters

These decanters were an afterthought - something I bid on so that I would have more than just the harbor print above waiting for me when I drove an hour and half from home to pickup from an online auction. It never fails that when I leave a dozen bids on in a far away auction, I end up winning so few of my desired items that the trip to pickup is hardly worth the trouble. However, my thoughts this time around changed when I saw these beautiful decanters in person. I had thought they were small miniatures from the photos on the auction site, but in reality they are a substantial nine inches tall. Unfortunately they're monogrammed, and I don't think I have anyone with the initials TCL among my bidders. I hope that the beauty of them will be enough to make prospective buyers forget their own initials come bidding time. Like nautical items, I'm not big on glass, but I like these a lot. Bidding will open at $25 for the pair, one lot, one money.

Fisticuffs Tintype & Other Photos

Boy do I wish this tintype was in better condition. It depicts a trio of boys playfully come to blows. A rare example of a Victorian photograph where the subjects aren't pictured in stoic poses, but engaged instead in tomfoolery. I've had tintypes like this in poor condition bring strong money before, so we'll see if its humorous nature is enough to overcome the dents and chips.

I've got a couple other interesting photos this week - an interior shot with a couple graduates of Harvard's class of 1910, and a great exterior occupational photo of John T. Wall's shop, offering hats and caps, millinery, ladies and gents furnishings, and dry goods.

Religious Items

There was a time when religious wares made up the bulk of my inventory. They still feature prominently throughout my home and in the barn; the art and material culture of the Christian faith, specifically Catholicism, is something I still really enjoy. That said, I think my tastes and the tastes of my customers has evolved a bit to the point where its hard to get excited about any old crucifix. The ebony crucifixes with the skull and crossbones of Adam below Christ's feet used to bring near to $100 in my auctions, but now they attract little attention. I think at this point everyone in my audience that wants a crucifix in their home has one or many, either from myself or the myriad of other dealers selling them. Still, for anyone wanting to get their toes wet in the world of oddities and esoterica, I've got a couple for this week's auction.

I've also got this really funky contemporary painting of Christ's crucified left hand. I found it on my first-ever trip to Salem Flea Market in Salem, N.H. (it runs Saturdays as well as Sundays, and I am always looking for a Saturday picking opportunity), and even though it was probably made in the last few years, I thought it was just odd enough to pick up.

Nudie Mags

I like my auctions to be family friendly, but sometimes things get a little steamy. I have a great collection of tasteful 1940s and 1950s nudie magazines for you this week. We'll probably sell them as BINs (that's buy-it-now for the uninitiated), and won't give the naked ladies on their covers too much screentime.

Other Items This Week

Vintage Working Eskimo Brand Spiderweb Fan

Mickey Mouse 16mm Disney Films

Pyrography Playing Cards Box (Empty)

Assorted Ephemera


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