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
ride is a mechanical walking elephant that must be seen to be believed. Built by English inventor Frank Stuart in 1947, it appears to be an elephant “walking” along at speeds of up to 20 mph. But neatly tucked inside the body cavity is a 4-cylinder Chevy engine, plus all the necessary hydraulics to pull off the illusion. We'd love to say it's a one-of-a-kind, but Stuart built three!
Architectural and decorative pieces will include a curved glass and bronze store entryway originally from the Guerlain Boutique in Paris, France; a massive period Art Deco pharmacy interior, executed in birch and mahogany (100” high, 13' long, circa 1925); a grand scale American saloon front and back bar, by the Kurtz Co.; and a beautiful jewelry store interior, with oval case and wall cases.
In the finery category, you'd be hard pressed to find a more dramatic exhibition statue than the Lalique example in this sale. Standing 30” tall and made out of cast glass on wood plinth, the soft blue piece depicts a woman with her hands clasped in prayer. It has been featured in definitive books on Lalique and is signed, “R. Lalique France.”
Decorative arts will include a crystal, green malachite and gilt bronze round vitrine, originally a store fixture in St. Petersburg; a pair of rouge marble-topped consoles (or bracket shelves), circa 1840; an inlaid ivory and king wood hall bench, with matching hall tree and two chairs; a carved Italian gilt mirror with putti, circa 1860; and an antique lavabo with dolphin head, in walnut case.
Collectibles will feature an antique “Sunburst” token slot machine; an antique “Eagle” slot machine; an oak bird cage with carrying handles; an iron cat's-eye Route 66 sign, “California”; a black jack table with brass footrest (38-1/2” tall, 79” long); a candy jar rack with 15 jars; a blue porcelain urn with bronze lion and bronze mounts, circa 1920; and a wood carving of a servant boy, circa 1880, 63”h.
Red Baron, in its fourth decade of business, is widely regarded as the premier auction house in the Southeast. The firm holds just three sales a year, all of them themed extravaganzas. Auctions in the past have featured ice sculptures, dwarfs in costume and armed guards protecting some of the more valuable lots. Restaurant Hospitality magazine described Red Baron as “a three-ring circus gone mad.”
To learn more about Red Baron and the upcoming February auction, you may visit the firm online at www.rbantiques.com. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at (404) 252-3770. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Red Baron is located at 6450 Roswell Road in Atlanta.