Auction Highlights - Treasure Hunting

Auction Highlights - Treasure Hunting

Numismatists, this one’s for you (or anyone who likes to keep their dimes, particularly the 1894-S dime). This very rare dime recently fetched $2M at the Florida United Numismatists show. One of just nine remaining dimes of the original 24, the coin is said to be in near perfect condition. We can’t tell you much about who bought the dime or who owned it before, but if you have any 1894 dimes that were coined in San Francisco at that time, Heritage Auctions will be happy to examine them. You could even win a $10,000 reward for the right dime. Even if you’re not a numismatist, you have to appreciate the irony of a $2M-Dollar Dime!

When American Furniture Becomes Decorative Art

Sometimes removing the varnish from a piece of valuable furniture is a good thing, especially when it reveals its true colours underneath. Such is the case with this rare find – an American Hadley Chest from the early 18th Century. According to Christie’s specialist, John Hays, this chest is an extraordinary find for the American Furniture & Decorative Arts, the likes of which he hasn’t seen for 10 years.

As far as discoveries go, he calls this chest the "Rosetta Stone." Its unique paint and compass design tells us something new about 1715 in Hadley, Massachusetts. The artist who painted this chest went against convention and bravely experimented with new designs – something we haven’t seen until now. The piece is in remarkable condition, thanks mainly to a layer of varnish that preserved the underlying craftsmanship. After this varnish is removed by restoration experts, the vibrancy of the colours will come to life once more like they did 300 hundreds years ago.

To see this piece in action, check out this video.

Off The Wall at Waddington’s

Back on home turf now, and some incredible deals to be had at Waddington’s Off The Wall Online Art Exhibit. Distinctly Canadian, you can find beautiful scenes of Canada in every medium from urban streetscapes, like this one of King Street, Toronto, from Arto Yuzbasiyan, a Canadian artist born in 1948 with a knack for watercolour. This piece is estimated at $1,200 to 1,600. You can also find some beautiful oil paintings depicting the magnificent beauty of Canadian winters, and the splendour of fall. Also on sale are some wonderful creations from Native artist Norval Morrisseau. These pieces are highly collectible and so affordable, you could even decorate the walls of your office. Prices start as low as $100. The best part is that the Off The Wall show is an ongoing online series with amazing sales like this every month. Be sure to check it out.

Hope Springs Eternal

Warming things up now with a provocative sculpture from the great master Auguste Rodin and his famous work entitled, L’Eternel Printemps. There’s a beautiful love story behind this magnificent piece, the nature of which you can clearly see in the sculpture itself

"The human body is first and foremost the mirror of the soul and its greatest beauty comes from that" ~ Auguste Rodin

One of the greatest sculptures of its time, Rodin’s Eternal Spring was created in 1884 as part of a huge commissioned project called The Gates of Hell. This particular composition didn’t make the grade because of its provocative nature, so Rodin exhibited it as a separate piece, later renaming it L’Eternel Printemps. The masterpiece captures a time when Rodin was madly in love with one of his students, a young woman and incredible artist by the name of Camille Claudel. Their love affair was charged with emotion, and this energy and passion is skillfully crafted in this fine sculpture. L’Eternal Printemps will come up for auction on February 4 at Bonhams, New Bond Street, with an estimated value of 5000,000 to 700,000 GBP. You can see the full story right here.

A Lifetime of Collecting Asian and Ethnographic Art

If Asian and Ethnographic art is more to your taste, then you may be familiar with Bernheimer’s Antique Arts Massachusetts (1963-1992). Passionate collectors, Paul and Louise Bernheimer lived a lifetime of collecting and dealing in antiques, and were once the official purveyors to the Court of Bavaria. Their expansive collection is up for auction at the Artemis Gallery Live, and showcases everything from ceramics, sculptures, and jewellery.

The Chinese New Year is always a good time to find auctions in your neighbourhood specializing in Chinese ceramics and porcelain, as well as Asian works of art. Two local auction houses that might tickle your fancy are Eins Auctions and 888 Auctions, both located in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Happy treasure hunting!

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