Birds flock to The Hot Bid. Several featured lots and records have an avian theme. You don’t need binoculars to enjoy this roundup.
Sotheby’s offered a rare double elephant folio of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America in a single-lot auction in December 2019. Selby Kiffer, senior vice president and international senior books specialist for Sotheby’s New York, spoke in depth about what makes the book legendary.
A flock of paintings by Pennsylvania artist Ben Austrian appeared at Freeman’s in June 2019. White Hen with Chickens led the group.
A tall, snarky-looking Wally Bird offered at Rago in January 2019. Initially created as tobacco jars, collectors have long loved these British ceramics.
An Ira Hudson flying black duck graced the February 2019 sale at Copley Fine Art Auctions.
A spectacular Civil War-era quilt that showcased an eagle and featured several other colorful birds appeared at Skinner in March 2019.
In March 2019, Bonhams Los Angeles offered a stunning 2007 opaque ruby carving of an eagle in flight, done by Peruvian artist Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio.
18th century natural history painter Sarah Stone depicted a charming foursome of parrots that could never happen in the wild. It sold at Dreweatts in November 2018.
Chris Barber of Skinner spoke about a robin carved by the late New Hampshire artist Jess Blackstone ahead of an October 2018 sale.
A ridiculously scarce 1834 French first edition of a magnificent ornithological book came up at Heritage Auctions in September, 2018. Pictured above is its plate on the red curlew.
A circa 1912 Elmer Crowell preening black duck decoy swam away with a startling sum at Copley Fine Art Auctions in July 2018.
An Earnest-Gregory dovetailed goose decoy, also offered at Copley Fine Art Auctions in July 2018, set several records.
An original comic panel from The Far Side by Gary Larson, featuring a human trying to talk to a duck, appeared at Heritage Auctions in May 2018. The human succeeded, and so did the auction house, which set a new record for original art from The Far Side.
A late 19th century Russian silver rooster-form presentation cup came up at Freeman’s in October 2017.
In June 2017, the late Australian artist Brett Whiteley’s Hummingbird and Frangipani appeared at Bonhams Sydney.
An absurdly rare near-complete Dodo skeleton sold for a record sum at Summers Place in November 2016.
A Gus Wilson red-breasted merganser duck decoy sold for a record sum at Copley Fine Art Auctions in July 2014.
A unique, large, four-panel Frederick Hurten Rhead tile featuring a splendid peacock set a record at Rago in 2012.
Images of White Hen with Chickens by Ben Austrian and the Russian rooster-form silver presentation cup are courtesy of Freeman’s.
Images of the Wally bird and the Frederick Hurten Rhead peacock panel are courtesy of Rago.
Images of the red curlew plate from the ornithological book and the original Gary Larson comic art are courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
Images of the Ira Hudson flying black duck, the Earnest-Gregory dovetailed goose, the Elmer Crowell preening black duck, and the Gus Wilson red-breasted merganser are courtesy of Copley Fine Art Auctions.
The image of the near-complete Dodo skeleton is courtesy of Summers Place Auctions.
Images of the Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio ruby eagle carving and the Brett Whiteley painting are courtesy of Bonhams.
Images of the Civil War-era quilt and the Jess Blackstone robin are courtesy of Skinner, Inc.
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