Oceanliner art fetches $8,800 at Philip Weiss auction

A monumental oil painting of the oceanliner “Majestic” — done by the British-born artist Charles Edward Dixon (1872-1934) in 1924 — sold for $8,800 at a two-day sale held February 24-25 by Philip Weiss Auctions. The 71” x 41” work, in a gilded wood frame, was probably intended as the basis for the ship’s advertising prints. Prices quoted include a 10% buyer’s premium.
“This was a great sale, a true auction spectacular,” said Philip Weiss, president of the firm that bears his name. “The Saturday session was the first in a series of auctions that will be dedicated to the collections of Ken Schultz. Over 300 lots changed hands. Mr. Schultz was a dedicated collector in three areas — World’s Fair items, oceanliner art and memorabilia, and Hollywood memorabilia.”
The “Majestic” painting was from Mr. Schultz’s collection. Other highlights included:
A 1939 World’s Fair trylon and perisphere hammered for $3,080. The acrylic gesso glass, wood, paper and polystyrene model was made by Harrison-Fouilhoux-Dreyfus and came with the Fouilhoux signature label. The base was 12” square and the enclosed glass dome stood 16” high. “This was a wonderful display piece and a great addition for any World’s Fair collector,” Mr. Weiss said.
A Queen Mary oceanliner table lamp with a beautiful pink Lucite scalloped edge shade lit up the room for $2,420. “Ken Schultz made a note that seems to indicate the lamp came from the Veranda Grill inside the Queen Mary,” Mr. Weiss remarked. The 10” tall lamp had a heavily weighted, chrome base and a top with an acorn finial. The plug was intended for use in Europe, not the U.S.
A 1939 World’s Fair porcelain sign, about 29” in diameter and with the inscription “Please Keep Off – New York World’s Fair,” changed hands for $2,145. The intriguing piece featured a center decorated with a brown outline of the Statue of Liberty. It wasn’t without its flaws, however. There was chipping along the edges, and a small piece was missing from a letter “S,” but that didn’t deter bidders.
An original 1939 New York World’s Fair poster, produced by the Grinnell Litho Company in New York City, realized $2,140. The artist (apparently named “Stachie”) drew a woman with outstretched arms in front of the World’s Fair trylon and perisphere, as fireworks went off in the background. The linen-backed poster was approximately 20” x 30” in size and in excellent condition.
A vintage German oceanliner poster, advertising the “Hamburg Amerika Line,” sailed away for $2,140. Executed around 1910 by Felix Schwormstadt, the poster showed a great image of passengers playing deck shuffleboard and drinking tea. Framed and matted in a simple black frame, the lithograph poster measured approximately 34” x 47” in the frame. It was quite possibly linen backed. An illuminated model of the S.S. Statendam, a flagship of the Holland America Line, steamed off for $1,870. Built at a scale of about 1:300, the model measured 39” in length and was mounted to a wooden base and came with a Lucite cover. It was tested prior to the auction and all the ship’s lights were found to be in fine working order. The only downsides were some scuffs and dust.
The Saturday session had much more than just Ken Schultz items. It also featured high-end antique advertising; a great Coca-Cola collection; thousands of signed celebrity photographs from the estate of Stephen Strimpell (TV’s “Mr. Terrific”); Hollywood-related books and magazines; a nice collection of doorstops; and a group of museum-quality cased boat models from a Long Island estate.
Highlights from the rest of Saturday included:
An original railroad pottery pig by Kirkpatrick of Anna County, Illinois, found a new owner for $8,800. It wasn’t the first time an Anna pig had found its way to a Philip Weiss auction, and this one generated as much bidder interest as ones in the past had. The example sold, 6-1/2” in length, was incised on both sides, “604 North Fourth and 603 North Third Streets, St. Louis, Missouri.”
A 1945 cardboard Coca-Cola advertising sign, framed, sold for a respectable $880. The sign, proclaiming Coke is “Refreshing,” was marked in the lower right corner by its maker, the McCandlish Lithograph Corp. It measured 23-1/2” x 40-1/2” and exhibited some wear and tear to be expected for its age: light edge and corner wear, minor tears and scuffing, and a 2” crack along an edge.
Sunday was set aside for toys, toys and more toys: plenty of vintage and antique pressed steel; tin; dime-store; Part 3 of a Donald Duck collection; pressed steel trucks; airplanes; cast iron; a nice collection of Aurora model kits; toy soldiers (including Manoils and Barclays); trains, to include Lionel and American Flyer; and many box and group lots.
A highlight of the Sunday session was a cast iron Hubley America airplane, made in the 1930s. It soared to $4,400. The three-propeller plane was one of the largest cast iron airplanes ever produced. With square-jawed pilots in an open cockpit, it must have been quite a tin toy for a youngster in the ’30s. The plane had a series of pulleys and rubber-tired wheels, and boasted a wingspan of 17”.
Philip Weiss Auctions is already getting ready for its next big sale – a two-day, three-session extravaganza that will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25. On Saturday afternoon, over 500 lots of coins and stamps will come up for bid. Highlights include an Antiquarian coin collection from the ’40s and ’50s, a 50-year stamp accumulation, and Part 2 of the Mac Arons coin collection.
On Saturday evening, beginning at 6 p.m., all fresh-to-the-market estate merchandise will be offered. “This is a truly wonderful selection of items, and I can’t stress enough that it is new to the market, not recycled or stale goods,” Mr. Weiss said. He listed the categories people can expect to see that night: paintings; silver; high-end furniture; and super collection of signed pottery and art glass.
Then, on Sunday, March 25th, the festivities will focus on comics, comic art, animation and sports memorabilia. A staggering 10,000+ comic books will be offered, including Big Apple All Select 11, Big and Bold 28, and others. From a Connecticut estate comes more than 100 long boxes of Silver and Bronze Age comics. Also, Golden and Silver Age books will be offered in group lots.
Comic art will include an original Hogarth Sunday page that has never before been offered; a Peanuts Sunday page and two dailies, both from a New Hampshire estate; three original Charles Addams cartoons (also never before offered); two original Carl Barks pieces; and high-end, vintage Disney animation art.
Sports memorabilia will include a terrific single-signed Babe Ruth baseball; autographs (including a rare, 8” x 10” signed photo of Roger Maris); and cards, to include a nice selection of graded cards from 1900 to the 1960s; several Brunner Bread cards; coveted T-206 examples; Goudeys and more. “This is going to be a monster sale with great estate material,” Mr. Weiss declared.
Philip Weiss Auctions is one of the premier auction houses in the Northeast. To learn more about their upcoming sales, or for more information about the company, you may visit them online at www.philipweissauctions.com. To consign an item, estate or collection, you can call them directly at (516) 594-0731. The e-mail address is [email protected]