Silver Pitcher by Paul Revere Brings A World Record Price of $129,875
An important and historic silver pitcher with impeccable provenance made by Paul Revere, the most famous of American silversmiths, sold for $129,875 in an online-only Jewelry, Porcelain, Stoneware and Indian Pottery auction held January 18th by Weiss Auctions, based in Lynwood. It was a new world record price for a silver pitcher made by Paul Revere.
The pitcher, 6 ½ inches in height, was engraved with the initials of Benjamin Russell, the American journalist and founder and editor of the newspaper the Columbian Centinel. He learned the printing trade in the printing office of Isaiah Thomas where he learned to set type. His father participated in the Boston Tea Party and his son was a ship’s captain.
Russell’s biography is impressive; more impressive is the continued ownership through the family of the Paul Revere pitcher, a wonderful artifact from the early days of the country. Both Revere and Russell were involved in the founding of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. The pitcher weighed 17.35 troy ounces (539.6 grams).
It was a two-day auction (January 18th and 19th), which kicked off on Day 1 with 300 market fresh items, featuring jewelry, coins, porcelain, stoneware and Native American pottery. The following day, January 19th, featured over 400 lots, also fresh to the market. The session was highlighted by fine art, including paintings, posters, illustration art, cartoon art and comic art.
“Approximately 720 lots crossed the block over the two days, with strong showings in all categories,” said Philip Weiss of Weiss Auctions. “We enjoyed a huge pre-bid and live-time following, which contributed to more than $950,000 in gross sales.” Online bidding was via LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and the Weiss Auctions website (weissauctions.com).
While the Paul Revere pitcher was the undisputed star lot of Day 1 (and the top lot of the auction overall), the first day also featured a pair of diamond rings that proved irresistible to bidders. One boasted a 2.5-carat round I-J color VS-1 diamond in platinum ring, 5.5 grams ($12,600). The other was a 1.98-carat round I-J color VS-1 diamond in platinum ring, 4.1 grams ($10,500).
The top lot of Day 2 was a wonderful, large-size oil on canvas painting by Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalkski (1849-1915), titled Bedouin Camp, 49 ½ inches by 28 inches (sight, less frame), and signed lower left ($94,875). Also, an oil on board painting by Alex Katz (b. 1927), titled Window #1, 9 ½ inches by 11 inches, artist signed upper right and with a gallery label on back ($37,950).
Three original Peanuts comic strips by Charles Schulz (American, 1922-2000) sold for a combined $94,200. They included a 10-panel Sunday strip with Snoopy and Woodstock dated 12/26/1982 ($44,400); a four-panel daily strip featuring Linus and Lucy dated 7/26/1963 ($34,800); and a four-panel daily featuring Lucy and Peppermint Patty dated 5/2/1986 ($15,000).
Original Joe Kubert comic book cover art included Rima the Jungle Girl #5 from 1974 ($13,800); Men of War #17 from 1979 ($6,000); House of Mystery #298 from 1981 ($5,100); Sgt. Rock Special #7 from 1990 ($5,400); Our Fighting Forces #181 from 1978 ($4,440); G.I. Combat #251 from 1983 ($6,600); Super-Stars #15, Sgt. Rock and the Unknown Soldier from 1977 ($9,300); G.I. Combat #146 from 1971 ($7,500); Men of War #26 from 1980 ($7,200); Our Army at War #227 from 1971 ($8,400); and Kamandi – Last Boy on Earth #41, 1975 ($8,700).
An original ink illustration by Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) from Bemelman’s children’s book Madeline and the Bad Hat, titled There was Sorrowing and Pain in the Embassy in Spain, 13 inches by 16 ½ inches, signed, realized $8,100. Also, a wonderful watercolor and gouache painting by Jean Pfister (1878-1949), depicting the California coast, artist signed lower right, housed in a frame measuring 20 ½ inches by 18 inches, went to a determined bidder for $6,600.
An oil on canvas wooded landscape scene by the French artist Henri-Joseph Harpignies (1819-1916), titled Wonderful Wooded, 31 ½ inches by 39 inches (sight, less frame) and faintly signed by the artist lower left, rang up $6,300; while an acrylic on board illustration of a boy waving to a spaceship by Jeffrey Catherine Jones (1944-2011), cover illustration to The Dark Planet, signed in monogram lower left and with a sight size of 15 inches by 18 inches, earned $6,300.
Jeff Easley’s oil on board cover painting for the science fiction role playing game Gamma World – The Delta Fragment (1987), titled Dinosaur and Alien Robot, signed bottom right “Easley” and 18 inches by 18 inches minus the frame, settled at $5,700. Also, original oil cover art by Boris Vallejo (b. 1941) for the paperback book Shapechangers, by Jennifer Roberson, titled Wolf Master, signed bottom left “Boris” and 18 inches by 26 inches minus the frame, made $5,400.
Another work by Vallejo, an acrylic on board titled Shotput, used as original art from the Fantasy Olympics 1987 calendar, signed bottom left “Boris 86”, 23 inches by 26 inches (sight) went for $4,200. Also, acrylic on board illustration art by Rowena Morrill (b. 1944), titled Alien Cargo, signed bottom right “Rowena” and 16 inches by 20 inches (sight), knocked down for $4,680.
A wonderful oil on panel/wood painting by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1819-1905), titled Good Friends, featuring a flock of sheep and a dog in the background, sold for $4,800. The work, measuring 23 ½ inches by 17 ½ inches (sight, less frame), was signed lower right and dated “A.F. Tait, N.A., N.Y., 1902”. On verso the painting was artist dated, titled ad signed as well.
An artwork by Pablo Picasso, titled Nude Crowning Herself with Flowers, from the Vollard Suite (1930), published in 1939, from an edition of 50, 13 inches by 17 ½ inches, fetched $4,200. Also, Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Shopping Bag, 17 inches by 24 inches, rose to $3,960.
For more information about Weiss Auctions, visit www.WeissAuctions.com. Updates are posted frequently.