Rare African art to be sold Feb. 17-18 at Red Baron's About 200 rare West African artifacts from a huge collection, amassed in the '40s and '50s by a botanist working in Liberia for the Firestone Company, will be sold Feb. 17-18 by Red Baron's in Atlanta
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - 200 RARE AFRICAN ARTIFACTS FROM A MASSIVE COLLECTION
WILL BE SOLD FEBRUARY 17-18 BY RED BARON'S IN ATLANTA
(Atlanta, Ga.) - About 200 rare West African artifacts from a huge collection, amassed in the '40s and '50s by a botanist working in Liberia for the Firestone Company, will be sold as part of a four-estate auction slated for February 17-18 by Red Baron. The objects will be offered up in group lots (masks, wooden figures, jewelry, bronzes, etc.). All are museum quality and fresh to the market.
“This is a traveling exhibition waiting for a permanent home,” said Paul Brown, vice president of Red Baron. “Every item is tagged, like in a museum.” Brown added the collection has been exhibited at the Pensacola Museum of Art and was almost sold to the Peabody Museum at Harvard in 1974. But a deal was never finalized. It's been in secure, climate-controlled storage ever since.
The African art is sure to draw intense bidder interest, but it is only one in a galaxy of show-stopping lots – typical for a Red Baron sale. “This one is a little early for us,” Brown said of the sale date. “Normally our first auction of the year is in the spring. But we had one big estate – a former customer – who just couldn't wait. So we're rolling out the red carpet in winter.”
Other expected highlights include:
A genuine 20-foot-tall carousel, with 18 metal horses and made around 1950, will be sold. The unit is portable, fully operational, and one of only five known to exist. “This is an extremely rare and desirable piece,” Brown said. “Amusement park memorabilia and carousels are a hot collectible right now, too. I expect this will sell for between $25,000 and $35,000.”
About 40 beautiful marble pieces will come under the gavel, all from a single-owner collection. These include a carved statue of a lady holding flowers on a pedestal (signed P. Bazzani, circa 1880); a pair of marble and alabaster floor lamps, 69” tall; a carved piece of a man and lady on a jug (signed F. Vichi Firenza, circa 1860); and a figural group featuring a semi-nude Venus with Cupid.
Vintage and one-of-a-kind automobiles, a staple at all Red Baron auctions, will be offered, too. Imagine being the winning bidder for the very Rolls Royce once owned and driven by silent film star Mary Pickford. Or a 1956 light blue-and-white Chevrolet Bel Air convertible, V8 automatic, fully restored. Other cars include a red 1957 Thunderbird hardtop and a 1949 Willys Overland Jeepster.
Two vehicles bound for the auction block would turn heads on any street. One is a 1936 Rolls Royce, which would be rare and unusual enough, but this one is a Moxie Cola Horsemobile – used as a promotional vehicle for the famous beverage company. The only way to drive it is to ride atop the horse that's positioned where a driver would normally sit, then press an extended gas pedal.