Direct Auction Galleries sells Zampighi painting for $50,000

Chicago auction house Direct Auction Galleries reached a final hammer price of $50,000 ($57,500 with the 15% buyer’s premium) on a painting by Italian artist Eugenio Zampighi in an exciting auction that took place Sep. 9. The E. Zampighi 29-inch by 41-inch painting was from a Chicago estate and depicted a festive family scene with an old accordion player and a baby being danced on his mother’s lap as other family members look on.

The Zampighi was one of over 700 lots of higher-end art, furniture, jewelry, coins and collectibles. Other auction highlights (stated without the buyer’s premium): An Edwin Harris “Girl With Basket and Blossoms” sold for $10,000; a W.H. Bartlett painting of two lakeside cabins with minor condition issues sold for $4,500; a large Eduard Huguenin-Lassanguette painting of a cabin in the Swiss Alps sold for $3,100. A card playing scene circa 18th century after Teniers sold for $2,600. Works by other international artists depicting landscapes, still life, genre and daily life scenes, and portraiture included G. Maani, Alfred E. Stevens, Arnaldo Tamburini, E. Percy Moran, George Stainton, J. Harris, de Koninck, Henry Schouten, Paul Schouten, Frank Rollin Smith, Angelo Asti, D. van Loo, F. Rezia, Alois Arnegger, and others.

For furniture, an unusual early Flemish hand-painted chest with painted landscapes and an early Italian tall cabinet with wrought iron doors each sold for $1,750; an early carved Italian marble top credenza went for $1,500, and a 6-piece carved barley twist bedroom set sold for $1,200.

Among smaller items: a 43-inch tall antique Venetian Blackamoor figure sold for $2,200; a 22-inch Victorian marble bust of a woman with an artist’s palette by R. Batteli sold for $1,500; a pair of black marble urn lamps with bronze decoration and horned Centaur heads also sold for $1,500; and a signed 10-inch diameter Lalique bowl with cherub designs and lighted base sold for $950.

An old Edison Stock Ticker emblazoned “Quotations Furnished by Western Union Telegraph” sold for $7,500.

Items came from estates and consignments in Chicago, Indiana, and other locales. Bids came from the tri-state area, Michigan, and coast-to-coast from New York to California, and as far away as Scotland, Italy, and Great Britain in person, by phone, absentee bid, and fax. Items for this special sale were accumulated over a three-month period.

“With the current economic conditions,” says Direct Auction Galleries’ John R. Modica, “we’re seeing more items and a greater influx of quality items coming in for auction. It’s both a buyer’s and sellers market,” he says, “because of the items that are surfacing for sale.”

Direct Auction Galleries is a Chicago auction house specializing in estates and fine antiques, founded in 1962 by Mike and Barbara Modica, located at 7232 N. Western Ave. in Chicago. Auctions are held every other Tuesday with inspections Monday prior to auction day and an hour before auction time. Upcoming auctions, catalogs, and past results can be viewed at

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