Jasper52 sale carrying dozens of designer bags April 1

“The joy of dressing is an art.” – said British fashion designer John Galliano. A Jasper52 online auction on Wednesday, April 1, will bring some joy into your closet with timeless designer fashion and accessories. Four out of five lots in the auction constitute bags, purses and totes by the likes of Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Cannel, Gucci and Fendi.

Hermès Birkin 35, blue leather, includes storage bags, Cadena and Clochette with key, in good condition. Estimate: $13,000-$16,000. Jasper52 image

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Underground comix, posters costar in online auction April 1

Some of the finest underground comix ever created by the likes of Robert Crumb, Rick Griffin, Spain Rodriguez, S. Clay Wilson, Gilbert Shelton and Victor Moscoso lead off a Jasper52 online auction on Wednesday, April 1. The rare comic books will be followed by a collection of psychedelic rock posters from the Fillmore, Avalon and other concert venues.

Underground comic book, ‘Air Pirates Funnies #1,’ dealer-punched at the top left. Estimate: $300-$1,000. Jasper52 image

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Andrew Wyeth: inspired by winter

NEW YORK – Since Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) was homeschooled, he spent considerable time alone as a youth. Although his father, illustrator N.C. Wyeth, introduced him to figure study, geometrics and watercolors, the young man received no formal artistic training. Nor did he study museum masterpieces.

Instead, Wyeth’s earliest works were inspired by solitary walks in and around his hometown, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He found the neighboring Kuerner Farm especially inspiring. Through 50 years, he created nearly 1,000 drawings and paintings of its buildings, landscapes, animals and owners—Anna and Karl Kuerner.

‘Cold Spell,’ 1965, watercolor on paper, 19in x 28in, signed lower right: ‘Andrew Wyeth.’ Realized: $200,000 + buyer’s premium on Nov. 1, 2019. Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers image

Many of these pieces, like Brinton’s Mill (1958), depict leaden skies above snowy landscapes. “Oh, I love white. Marvelous,” Wyeth said to Richard Meryman in a 1965 Life magazine interview. “My wild side that’s really me comes out in my watercolors—especially of snow, which is absolutely intoxicating to me. I’m electrified by it—the hush—unbelievable … the loneliness of it—the dead feeling of winter.”

‘In the Orchard Study,’ gouache, watercolor, 1972, signed, sheet size 20½in x 28¼in, overall 32½in x 40¼in. Realized $57,000 + buyer’s premium in 2019. Image courtesy of Leland Little Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

While wintry works by Wyeth may seem contemplative, moody or melancholy, their composition is often dynamic. In the Orchard Study (1972), explains Claire Fraser, fine art and silver director at Leland Little Auctions, “features a push and pull to the image. The dramatic diagonal of the hillside, broken by the lone figure and the outline of the tree, keep the eye engaged.”

‘Cow,’ pencil, signed, 4½in x 7in. Realized $1,400 + buyer’s premium in 2016. Image courtesy of Kaminski Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

Wyeth believed that strong personal associations, when brought to significant images, imbued the artworks with their human spirits. Winter 1946, set near the location his father was killed, for example, embodies such feelings. So may Snow Hill (1989), which depicts personally significant people celebrating May Day in a winter setting.

‘Snow Hill,’ limited edition collotype, signed and numbered, framed 41in x 54¼in. Realized $2,000 + buyer’s premium in 2018. Image courtesy of Case Antiques Inc. Auctions & Appraisals and Live Auctioneers

Wyeth was not only solitary, but also secretive. In 1986, he revealed that, for over 15 years, he had surreptitiously drawn and painted 240 intimate images of an attractive woman named Helga. Since no one had known about them, they – and the artist – immediately attracted international attention.

Soon afterward, Wyeth’s wife disclosed that his discretion was not unusual. Through their 46-year marriage, he had habitually left to paint without telling her where he would be. Furthermore, she suggested that his secret work imbued his ongoing, public work with visual and emotional power.

‘Braids [Helga],’ color offset lithograph, 1979, signed and initialed, 9 5/8in x 12 3/16in, edition unknown. Realized $900 + buyer’s premium in 2018. Image courtesy of Stanford Auctioneers and LiveAuctioneers

“Wyeth’s Helga pictures resonate with viewers on two levels,” Fraser explained. “They are fascinating in a gossipy sense; but then viewers can place themselves in the landscape or relate it to their experiences and build their own narratives around the scene.”

Wyeth also drew and painted numerous scenes of Cushing, Maine, the site of his summer home. Christina’s World (1948), one of his best-known works, portrays a handicapped woman from the neighboring Olson Farm, dragging herself across a field “like a crab on a New England shore.” To some, its dark imagery suggests abandonment, loneliness or hopelessness. To others, it symbolizes courage in the face of adversity. Wyeth continued depicting the Olson Farm until Christina’s death in 1968.

Andrew Wyeth painted this watercolor titled ‘Empty Basket on a Sloping Hill’ on the title page of the book ‘Christina’s World,’ by Betsy James Wyeth, published 1982. The work is pencil-signed and inscribed, ‘Painted for Larry Webster with warmest thanks for the great design on this book, Andrew Wyeth.’ Realized: $24,000 + buyer’s premium in 2010. Image courtesy Clars and LiveAuctioneers

Although Wyeth is often deemed a rural realist, he considered himself an abstractionist. “Most artists just look at an object, and there it sits, ” he explained to Meryman. “My struggle is to preserve that abstract flash – like something you caught out of the corner of your eye, but in the picture you can look at it directly.” To many, his spare images, worked in subdued watercolor, grainy drybrush or egg tempera, reflect not only deep emotion, but also the essence of life itself. In Wyeth’s timeless world, flimsy curtains flutter in the breeze, a sun streak illumines a half-opened door, potted geraniums peek out from a window, and snow flurries caress dry-bone boughs.

As the artist often remarked, “I paint my life.” Today, it touches others.

Psychedelic rock posters online auction rolls on March 28

“My my, hey hey. Rock and roll is here to stay.” The opening lines to the Neil Young song Out of the Blue echo the theme of the Vintage Psychedelic Music Posters Auction to be held online by Jasper52 on Saturday, March 28. Bands featured in the sale range from San Francisco-based groups such as Big Brother & the Holding Company and Quicksilver Messenger Service to British stalwarts Led Led Zeppelin and the Who.

Original BG-199 Led Zeppelin lithograph poster, 13¾in x 21½in, designed by Randy Tuten, published by Bill Graham, 1969. Estimate: $500-$1,000. Jasper52 image

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Fabulous jewelry featured in online auction March 25

Jasper52 will conduct a spectacular jewelry auction on Wednesday, March 25, that showcases fine jewelry from a variety of designers, eras and mediums. The age of these precious objects ranges from the 20th century to contemporary. Many of the diamonds offered are multi-carats and come in a variety of colors.

GIA certified 4.64 carat natural fancy canary yellow cushion-cut diamond ring. Estimate: $55,000-$66,000. Jasper52 image

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Diamonds: In Living Color

While most are familiar with the fiery sparkle of clear, colorless diamonds, the coveted gemstones actually occur in all colors of the rainbow.

Diamonds are the product of time and nature. It took an average of two billion years for highly compressed carbon, 90 to 500 miles underground, to form hardened crystals known as allotropes. Then, sometime within the last 100 million years or so, volcanic eruptions deep within the Earth deposited the highly structured crystals in vertical “pipes” of igneous kimberlite. Commercial miners have been extracting diamonds from kimberlite ever since the first major diamond discoveries in South Africa, in the mid-19th century. 

Your diamond ring or pendant tells a great story of creation from stone to symbol of love as it dazzles and throws off light in every direction. But pass a light through a clear, colorless diamond just right and you’ll discover that it reflects all the colors of the rainbow.

Pick a color, any color, and it can probably be seen in a diamond. From the colorless to the darkest black, with variations of color in between, diamonds are hued according to the impurity of chemicals found in the Earth itself.

Colorless diamonds, for example, have no visible impurity apart from small specks of black carbon called inclusions. However, an additional natural chemical impurity and how the atoms are distributed (called “lattices”) can change the colorless into a palette of colorful options. According to the diamond industry, there are 27 different official variations of diamond colors.

A GIA-certified fancy yellow diamond weighing 4.17 carats in a cushion-modified brilliant cut fluoresces a gentle yellow hue. It sold for $50,000 in September 2019. 
Image courtesy Kissing Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

What is a diamond color?

In 1953, the Gemological Institute of America (http://www.gia.com) classified the rarity of polished diamonds based on the now iconic four ‘C’s: carat (weight), how it’s cut, and its clarity. Most diamonds made into pendants, rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and brooches are clear. But even colorless diamonds usually display some subtle shade of color. The more colorless, the more valuable a diamond is per carat. 

To determine a diamond color, a standard grading system was developed that classified an individual polished diamond according to the shade of color ranging from D (colorless) to Z (light color). The closer to grade D, the more colorless it is and the more valuable. How is the color measured? A loose, cut diamond is exposed to ultraviolet light, which measures its “fluorescence,” or the light a diamond gives off. A yellow fluorescence is less desirable than a blue fluorescence, for example, which affects the final value of the cut diamond.

So with all that in mind, here’s a primer on diamond colors, based on information from the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association (http://www.dmia.net). 

Red diamonds certified as a “D,” the highest color standard, would be worth millions per carat as they are the rarest diamonds mined. This fancy red 2-carat example is at the far end of the color standard near the “S” range and sold for $37,500 in March 2014. 
Image courtesy Vancouver Island Art Auction and LiveAuctioneers

The fancy color diamonds


These are not actually clear or translucent, according to the diamond industry. They are classified as white diamonds, usually free of additional impurities other than pure carbon called inclusions, which determine its final value. 


Curiously enough, brown diamonds are the most common color of diamonds overall. The lattices reflect the darker brown color. They don’t have the brilliance of the more pastel varieties and were mostly intended for industrial use. However, these ‘chocolate’ diamonds are gaining gaining interest beyond their industrial applications and are being set as a distinctive counterpoint to the more reflective diamonds in jewelry. 


An orange diamond gets its appearance from its high concentration of isolated nitrogen. While pure orange color is very rare, those that have secondary colors such as yellow, brown or even pink are more commonly seen. 


Like orange diamonds, yellow diamonds contain more of the nitrogen atom that fluorescences yellow than other diamonds. The brighter the shade, the more valuable the stone. Lighter shades of yellow that also show shades of green, yellow or even brown are more readily available.

According to diamond sites, values for diamonds in fancy colors can range from thousands of dollars a carat to nearly $50,000 a carat for the very intense color range. 


One of the rarer diamond colors, this 3.5 carat fancy blue, marquis-cut diamond whose “…clarity may be potentially internally flawless…,” according to the auction-catalog description, is set off by a platinum band and baguette diamonds along the band. The ring sold for $1.4 million (hammer price) in April 2013.


The rarest diamonds

Blue and pink are among the rarest diamond colors. Such stones can sell at auction for millions of dollars per carat, depending on the vibrancy of its color.

Other diamonds that rarely appear at auction are gray, purple and green. Green diamonds, for example, are formed from natural exposure to radiation and the formation of lattices. Once found, these diamonds are usually professionally cut and retained as an investment rather than being set into jewelry. 

Black diamonds have an overabundance of graphite that makes the stone rather opaque and particularly rare in a completely dark black color. 

These color diamonds can range in value from $10,000 to several times that per carat depending on the vibrancy or absence of other colors when placed under UV light. 

The most rare of any diamond shade is the red diamond. A pure-red diamond can auction for millions of dollars per carat. Like brown diamonds, the red diamond’s color comes from its lattice construction and not necessarily from a chemical impurity, but is very difficult to find a diamond that is pure red.  

This more-standard “white” diamond shows brilliantly when cut into a heart shape and set in white gold. Its total weight is 1.65 carats. Sold for $4,600 in March 2019.
Image courtesy Great Deal Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

An investment that sparkles

Diamonds are considered a great addition to an investment portfolio. They hold their value, even during inflationary periods, don’t take up a lot of room, and are portable. Yet, diamonds are one of the few investments that can be appreciated aesthetically, as jewelry, rings, pendants, brooches or watch adornments. And they make a lasting personal connection when given as gifts on special occasions. That’s hard to do with stocks and bonds.

Diamonds and ethics

Diamonds are mined in different ways. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is the international standard for overseeing the import and export of diamonds to severely restrict “conflict” or “blood” diamonds from reaching the end consumer. This terminology refers to diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army’s war efforts, or a warlord’s activity. While the KPCS isn’t always successful, diamonds exported to the United States, the largest diamond market, it has strengthened the diamond trade’s efforts to keep “blood diamonds” out of the marketplace. A retailer should have the certification available to prove a diamond’s source, if asked.

From millions of years as pressurized carbon to a dazzling accessory, diamonds really are “forever.”

Fine jewelry, couture offered in Jasper52 sale March 18

From classic Hermes Birkin bags and Versace jackets to trendy Chanel bracelets and Tiffany rings, the Jasper52 online auction inspired by the Las Vegas Show on March 18 features the best of the best in luxury jewelry and fashion. All items are sourced from trusted dealers that exhibit at shows in Las Vegas.

There are only two sapphires in the world like this 26.14-carat blue Ceylon sapphire and diamond ring in 18K white gold. Estimate: $260,000-$312,000. Jasper52 image

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Superheroes will prevail in online auction March 14

Jasper52 will sell more than 300 lots of superhero comic books – no Sad Sacks or Archies – in a no-reserve online auction on Sunday, March 14. Many of the titles are Silver Age comic books from the 1960s. Popular characters from both DC and Marvel are represented. Because this is a no-reserve auction, each lot will sell to the high bidder, no matter how low the winning bid may be.

Action Comics #335. Jasper52 image

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Go green for St. Patrick’s Day

NEW YORK — On March 17, everyone gets to be Irish for one day. Created to mark the traditional death date of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. While it has its roots in religion, today the festival is largely secular and celebratory.

The holiday honors the saint who brought Christianity to Ireland, but it has grown to celebrate the Irish heritage and culture overall. St. Patrick’s Day usually falls during Lent, a period when alcohol historically has been frowned upon, and sometimes it occurs on a Friday, when orthodox Catholics abstain from meat. But often a special dispensation by Catholic dioceses allows drinking and the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day.

This Irish Belleek 5 o’clock tea set achieved $5,000 in January 2015 at Burchard Galleries Inc. Photo courtesy of Burchard Galleries Inc. and LiveAuctioneers.

Holiday celebrations are marked by carnival-like parades and festivals and the wearing of the green from shamrock accessories to green clothing. Today, some of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades are not even in Ireland but in the United States and the holiday has become a global phenomenon. The largest parade is in New York City, which has been held continually every year since 1762, more than a decade before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Given the surge of Irish citizens who settled in New York City, especially after the Great Famine in Ireland, this is perhaps not surprising. Today, New York’s parade has over 150,000 participants.

St. Patricks Day is ripe with traditions, myths and legends. One of the most surprising facts was that Saint Patrick was not Irish but born in Norman Britain to a well-to-do Christian family around the year 385 A.D. He was kidnapped at age 16 and forced to tend sheep in Ireland for seven years. According to the lore, he became highly religious during this time and even after he returned home, he felt a calling to return to Ireland and convert people to Christianity.

A rare Vichy “Paddy and the Pig” mechanical bank sold for $9,000 in September 2018 at Bertoia Auctions. Photo courtesy of Bertoia Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

St. Patrick’s feast day became a celebration for Irish people in Europe by about the 9th to 10th centuries. It was officially added to the liturgical calendar in the early 1600s and became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. It wasn’t until 1903, however, that St. Patrick’s Day was named an official public holiday in Ireland, largely due to the Bank Holiday (Ireland) Act that year.

Customs associated with the holiday include “drowning the shamrock.” According to the Good Food Ireland website, the shamrock, which comes from the Gaelic word, “seamrog” (summer plant), is actually a common weed but was adopted as a national symbol of Ireland. Both its three-leaf and rarer four-leaf shamrock version are said to represent the “luck of the Irish.”

Candy containers are popular holiday collectibles. This composition St. Patrick’s Day figure smoking a pipe made $800 in September 2013 at Pook & Pook, Inc. Photo courtesy of Pook & Pook, Inc. and LiveAuctioneers.

“There’s no doubt everyone will be wearing a fresh shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s synonymous with the Saint and his feast day,” a blog on the website explains. The shamrock has its roots in the church, with three leaves signifying the Holy Trinity. Drowning the shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day is a historical custom with legend saying that St. Patrick once ordered a whiskey in a bar that came up short. He allegedly told the bartender he had a devil in the cellar that thrived on the bar’s cheating ways and urged him to not cheat his customers. St. Patrick is said to have come back later, only to get a whiskey filled to the brim and proclaiming that henceforth whiskey shall be consumed on his feast day. People would drink the whisky to toast St. Patrick and then either drink the shamrock or throw it over their shoulders for luck.

A large collection of St. Patrick’s Day postcards netted $250 in November 2019 at Merrill’s Auctioneers and Appraisers. Photo courtesy of Merrill’s Auctioneers and Appraisers and LiveAuctioneers.

Green ribbons/hats/pins and shamrocks have been donned on St Patrick’s Day since the late 17th century, and the color has been synonymous with Ireland from the 11th century. The use of the color green even extends to waters and buildings. In 1962, Chicago officials put green dye in the Chicago River green for the holiday. Other cities have lit up skyscrapers and iconic buildings in shamrock green, like The Empire State Building in New York, the Sydney Opera House and Niagara Falls.

Another legend involving St. Patrick, holds that the saint stood on a hill, wearing green clothing, and commanded that all snakes be gone. In reality, given that Ireland is surrounded by cold ocean waters, snakes would never have migrated here.

St. Patrick’s Day would not be complete with a leprechaun. This figural brass nutcracker made $2,750 in June 2016 at Dutch Auction Sales. Photo courtesy of Dutch Auction Sales
and LiveAuctioneers.

Besides corned beef and cabbage, traditional holiday foods include shepherd’s pie and Irish soda bread. McDonald’s even gets in the act, celebrating in 2020 the 50th anniversary of its green-colored Shamrock Shake, which likely has as many fans as haters.

Whether you were born in Ireland or you aren’t but happily put on your “Kiss Me I’m Irish” T-shirt once a year, St. Patrick’s Day offers many traditions to celebrate. If you have the opportunity to visit Ireland, make your way to Blarney Castle near County Cork and smooch to the Blarney Stone (Cloch na Blarnan in Irish), where legend says you will be bestowed with the gift of gab.

Pour some Guinness or a minty shake and, as the Irish toast goes, Slainte!

Jasper52 to conduct NHADA Americana auction March 12

Jasper52 will host an auction of Americana and folk art from members of the
prestigious New Hampshire Antique Dealers Association on Thursday, March 12. Nearly 200 lots are offered including cast-iron doorstops and banks, Native American baskets, gameboards, weathervanes and tramp art.

Quill weathervane, circa 1880-1900, copper, 16¼in x 24 5/8in x 2 1/8in deep. Custom iron wall mount bracket included (est. $1,700-$2,400). Jasper52 image

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.