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Oil and watercolor paintings command top lots at auction

Two uniquely different paintings commanded top lot status during two separate auctions, presented by Cordier Auction in November.

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The month of November saw a stunning oil on canvas of a winter floral scene realize $24,000, and a 19th century album of 60 watercolors of India command $6,500, during two separate auctions at Cordier Auction.

India paintings

This example of one of 60 watercolor paintings of India, circa 19th century, that is part of an album of paintings that realized $6,500 during a Nov. auction at Cordier Auction. (All photos courtesy of Cordier Auction)

Additional highlights of the Nov. 29 Book and Photography Auction included a first edition of The Outsider & Others by H.P. Lovecraft brought $1,800 after spirited bidding, and a 1953 first issue of Playboy hammered down at $700. A first edition of Vidi Vidii Florentini de Anatome Corporis Humani Libri VII by Guidi Guido (Florence 1509-Pise 1569) published in Venice in 1611, sold for $2,100.
In terms of ephemera, a group of 18 Schutter-Johnson Major League Secrets Cards from the 1930s drew excitement, selling for $4,300 after spirited bidding. An 1889 silver George Washington inaugural centennial medallion designed by Augustus Saint Gaudens (French, 1848-1907) and modeled by Philip Martiny (American, 1858-1927) sold for $2,500 amid heavy interest. One outstanding lot was a template used to prepare two top hats for President Kennedy’s inauguration along with two JFK signatures and related newspaper articles; the grouping brought $1,700 from an earnest collector.

During the Nov. 14-15 auction where the floral oil painting by David Burliuk sold for $24,000, other highlights include a portrait of Grigory Gagarin (1810-1893) that sold for $14,000, an 8.24 ctw diamond pendant ($7,500), and a Chinese Qing rock crystal covered urn sold for $4,500. Prices quoted are hammer prices.

Other highlights on the first day included an 1894 Morgan silver dollar graded PCGS PR64 ($4,500), a Russian silver-gilt cloisonné basket by Petr Fariseev ($2,300), and a set of 15 antique electric star-shaped Christmas lights ($1,200). Another item, a 1780 Pennsylvania Chippendale fall front desk drew competitive bidding from the floor, internet, and phones before hammering to a phone bidder for $4,000. A Gothic Revival tall case clock retailed by J.E. Caldwell hammered down for $4,100. In Asian arts, a Chinese Qing rock crystal covered urn sold for $4,500, and a trio of Chinese famille rose plaques also brought $4,500.

Multiple fine art pieces found heavy interest. Three paintings by Russian-American artist David Burliuk (1882-1967) were offered including The Wizard ($3,400), Couple in Sled ($1,500) and the top lot of the auction, Winter’s Tales ($24,000) which is purported to be the last painting ever completed by Burliuk before his death in 1967 and drew international attention. Also garnering international attention was a Continental School portrait of a young Grigory Grigorievich Gagarin (1810-1893), Russian painter, Major General, and administrator, in his uniform ($14,000). Femme au Jardin by Louis Valtat (French, 1869-1952) brought $6,500 after spirited bidding.

Cordier Auction is presenting a Mega Auction on Jan. 2, and a Consignment Auction on Jan. 9. For more information, visit, email, or call 717-731-8662.

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