Holman auction sets record price for Sparks oil

CINCINNATI --- Stuart Holman's Annual Spring Select Auction was especially abuzz this year, with items from the trust of legendary television pioneer, Frederic W. Ziv. Considered the "Father of Syndication," Mr. Ziv produced such classics as The Cisco Kid, Sea Hunt and Highway Patrol. The quality and quantity of early furniture and fine art from the Ziv Trust helped produce soaring prices at Holman's auction. Prices listed below include a 10% buyer's premium.

Topping Holman's offering was "The Mill at Carversville," a signed oil by American Impressionist Arthur W. Sparks. The $12,100 final price set an auction record for the Pittsburgh artist. Three other works by Sparks were sold: "The Rocks at Boothbay" at $4,950, "Martiques, Bright Day" at $2,200, and "Martiques, Gray Day" at $2,310.

Above: At $12,100, "The Mill at Carversville" by Arthur W. Sparks set an auction record for this Pittsburgh artist.

Cincinnati auctioneer Stuart Holman hammered the cherry low boy at $8,250, and the 18th century tea table fetched $2,310.

The quantity and quality of period furniture Holman offered generated spirited bidding throughout the day. Tremendous interest was shown in an American cherry low boy during preview. The early Connecticut example sold to a phone bidder for $8,250. A fine Federal mahogany chest, with inlaid detail, rose rapidly to $6,600, and a c.1820 pine & hickory quad-back "bamboo" settee sold absentee at $4,400. An ornate c.1790 painted Adam console table with wonderful color and detail made $5,500, followed by a papier mache tole tray at $1,650. Ornate 26" high Charles II design bronze andirons brought $1,650. The outstanding offering of period furniture continued with an early inlaid secretary desk at $3,300 and an oak 17th Century William & Mary chest going to a happy bidder at $3,630. An 18th century American tea table made $2,310 and a c.1730 drop front desk landed at $2,200.

Strong furniture prices continued as a set of twelve c.1840 American painted chairs sold over the phone at $4,950 and a grouping of five Queen Ann chairs soared to $3,850. An early trestle table made $2,200 and a Chippendale wing chair, in green leather, went absentee at $2,860. A pair of yewwood Windsors brought $1,980, and a handsome pair of c.1720 Queen Ann chairs reached $1,540.

The mahogany secretary which sold for $3,300
sits atop an Oushak carpet which sold for $8,250.

This circa 1790 painted Adam table brought $5,500
at Holman's Spring Select Auction.

Rounding out the furniture offering was a Cherry Chippendale chest at $1,705, a 17th Century French Provincial oak cabinet at $1,760, an Italian Provincial commode in original red paint at $2,530, and a 19th Century baker's rack at $1,925. A heavily carved, c.1920's walnut ten-piece dining set in original finish reached $4,950.

Kentucky artist William Faulkner's whimsical paintings continue to attract bidders. There was lively competition on the floor and by phone for five of his works. They fetched $2,530, $2,320, $1,375, $1,265 and $1,155. A watercolor by Rookwood artist Elizabeth Nourse made $1,650, and a Charles Meuer still life was hammered at $1,320. A folk drawing of a bird on a branch, d. 1823 and initialed "M.L.," sold for $1,870. Paintings by Haitian artists Moray and Seneca Obin went for $990 each.

Among the fine lamps sold, the standout at $5,390 was a Pairpoint reverse painted "Bird of Paradise." A 36" bronze Art Nouveau example in the form of a young woman was hammered at $1,760.

Holman sold a tall majolica walking stick stand, with ostrich, for $3,300. Among the fine porcelain sold was a Russian Imperial portrait mug with saucer at $880. An offering of 52 pieces of Tiffany sterling flatware in the English King pattern landed at $3,300. Two more Tiffany lots were sold: a bronze charger reached $385 and a lidded box in the Grapevine pattern was hammered at $440.

Holman's Spring Select auction also featured an outstanding offering of Oushak carpets. A room-sized carpet with a medallion center sold to a phone bidder for $8,250. Eight more Oushaks were sold, achieving prices from $385 to $3,575.

For more information about this or any upcoming auctions, contact Stuart Holman in Cincinnati at (513) 531-5100 or Complete listings and color photos on past and current auctions can be found at

This article originally appeared in Antique Week on June 3, 2002.