Quarter Million Realized at Cordier’s March Fine & Decorative Arts Auction

March 22, 2024

The thrill of the auction ended on Thursday afternoon at Cordier Auctions in Harrisburg, PA with their Fine & Decorative Arts Auction hitting $218,000 on only 133 lots. From beautiful Baroque sterling silver sets to contemporary art by Fernando Botero, Cordier brought together some of the best from Central Pennsylvania to the world. All prices realized include buyer’s premium.

The highlight of this auction was a fabulous collection of vintage and antique Native American jewelry. The collection realized just over $55,000. The top lot of this collection included highly detailed Zuni inlay work on beautiful pins, tie clips, and belt buckles featuring Zuni cultural dance figures, which sold for $11,780. Other items in this collection included a rare late 19th century Navajo sterling horse bridal and several selections of Zuni inlaid bolo ties that showcased kachina dance figures. One such bolo tie included work by one of the first known artists to include turquoise and red coral into a combined setting – Dan Simplicio (1917-1969).

The small but mighty selection of fine art included an oil painting by Louisa McElwain (American, 1953-2013), which depicted the luscious landscape near Chimayo in New Mexico. McElwain was a renowned New Mexico artist, known for her plein-air depictions of the New Mexico sky. The oil painting sold for $26,040.

Another artist, more familiar to those along the Philadelphia mainline, was an oil painting of an iceberg by Carl Philip Weber (Pennsylvania, Germany, 1849-1922). While more known for his rural Pennsylvania scenes, this dramatic painting of a ship approaching an iceberg realized $5,200.

From the Meiji Period (1868-1912) in Japan, a gorgeous bronze goshawk by Akasora Gyokoo brought $10,540. This goshawk settled on a twisted branch absolutely reveals the beauty of Gyokoo’s exceptional craftsmanship. This auction price is one of the best for his bronze work.

Of the offerings, the piece with perhaps the most fascinating story was that of famed international artist Fernando Botero. In September of 1961, the sound of torn paper rang out. Botero had just ripped into two a failed piece of artwork and thrown it away! His then-roommate, Michaelangelo DeLocca, immediately dove in to save the paper. This artwork would have become a part of Botero’s 1960s series “Caballito.” While it is unknown exactly why Botero may have thrown the piece away, the painting continues to have a life long after the artist forgot about it in his trashcan. In the 1970s, DeLocca sold the artwork to a couple who lived in Coconut Grove, Florida. There, it remained in their collection until sold at auction for $3,800!

You too can find what your possible treasure can be worth with Cordier Auctions. Visit www.cordierauction.com or call 717-731-8662 for more information.

Louisa McElwain, "Chimayo Badlands" (1994) [SOLD: $26, 040]

Akasofu Gyokko (Japanese) Bronze Model of A Goshawk  [SOLD: $10, 540]