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Original "Buster Brown" art examples command $47,700

Six lots of original 'Buster Brown' comic art, with notable provenance, sold for a combined $47,700 during Kaminski's annual Thanksgiving auction.

BEVERLY, Mass. — A collection of Richard F. Outcault (American, 1863-1928) "Buster Brown" Sunday comic strip original art works that had descended through the family of the artist brought the most excitement to Kaminski Auction’s Annual Thanksgiving Auction. Richard F. Outcault created the comic strip character of Buster Brown in 1902. The character was adopted as the symbol of a children’s shoe company called the Brown Shoe Company in 1904. In the early 20th century Buster Brown and his pit bull terrier” Tige” were well known to the American public.

"Buster Brown" Art Prompts Bidding Battles

Buster Brown original comic strip art

Sample of the six lots of original Buster Brown comic strip art, circa early 20th century, that sold for a combined $47,700 during Kaminski's Thanksgiving auction. (All photos courtesy Kaminski Auctions)

Bidders via the Internet and phones created much competition for the six Buster Brown lots. Combining for a final sale price of $47,700 with buyer’s premium, all lots sold to the same European bidder. "The Worm Turns Twice," dated March 19th, 1916, took top lot status. All of the Outcault artwork included the original newspaper sheet from the Philadelphia Record.

Other artwork and decorative arts on offer were from the Belvedere Guest House on Fire Island, New York. Three Robert Bliss (American, 1925-1981), paintings sold as separate lots with the highest titled "Boy at the Beach," oil on masonite, signed and dated bringing $7,800.

Busts of Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott, both 19th century examples, realized $5,700. Top lot from the Belvedere was an outstanding 18th century French Louis XV basin decorated with carved putti and figureheads. Lined in copper, the basin boasts a crest on its embossed center. Originally purchased at Park Bennett, New York in the 1940s to 1950s, it sold for $14,000.

A signed Tiffany Studios Turtleback table lamp from a private collector with an exquisite leaded stained glass shade was the top lot of the two- day sale with an $18,000 hammer price. Twelve Baccarat crystal "Czar" pattern stemware comprised of three different forms brought $10,800. The grouping features four each of wine, champagne and water goblets, each with four colors of blue, rose, green and chartreuse.

Top name estate jewelry brought good prices with a signed Van Cleef ladies’ eighteen carat gold and diamond bracelet from a New York collection bringing $14,400, a circa 1920 Cartier diamond, platinum and sapphire fur clip sold for $8,400 and a ladies' diamond and platinum engagement ring with a 3.53carat center stone sold for $18,000.

Asian Art Rounds Out Sale Highlights

Brian Coole's “The Hongs of Canton from the Mainland”, oil on board from a New Hampshire estate finished at $11,400, while a circa 1950’s modern Chinese painting of a boat by the coast, signed lower right and inscribed verso "Given to George and Rosalie Humphrey, Sept. 1953, by Sergei Eliseev Professor at Harvard-Yenching Institute, brought $15,600.

All prices quoted include 20% buyer’s premium for all prices realized go to The Design and Decorative Auction, slated for Jan. 1, is next on the calendar at Kaminski's.

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