English school portrait from 1862 – $14,000 (£10,220) at Neal Auction Company.

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An English school portrait from 1862 of a young cricket player with his bat, cap and ball was one of the highlights from the estate of a prolific journalist and author.

It featured in the first part of Neal Auction Company’s (25% buyer’s premium) February 5 winter estates sale comprising just under 200 lots from this collection. On offer were furniture, works of art, a large selection of silver, tablewares and paintings.

Julia Reed (1960-2020), born in Mississippi, was a writer on life and food in the American South. With her husband, she renovated a house in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She also had homes in New York and her hometown of Greenville, Mississippi. Her magazine work included Vogue, Elle and Newsweek, and she wrote articles for the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler and the Wall Street Journal.

The large 4ft 8in x 3ft 7in (1.4 x1.2m) oil on canvas of the cricket player, which was signed S West and dated lower left, had hung in the Nashville home of Reed’s great-grandmother for many years.

At the Neal sale, the painting came with an estimate of $2500-3500, a level that was surpassed with the bidding reaching $14,000 (£10,220).

A pair of Old Sheffield plate three-light candelabra by Matthew Boulton from the silver in Reed’s collection, previewed in ATG No 2478, also improved on their $800-1200 guide to take $5500 (£4015).

Fur flies


Portrait of a pet dog by Edouard Manet – €420,000 (£365,220) at Drouot Estimations.

In Paris, a small, signed portrait of a pet dog by Edouard Manet (1832-83) came up for auction on February 26 at a sale held by Drouot Estimations (24% buyer’s premium).

The oil on canvas, which measures 13 x 10in (33 x 25cm) and dates from c.1879, depicts Minnay and was given by the artist to the dog’s owner, Marguerite Gauthier-Lathuille.

It had remained in the family ever since. Estimated to make €220,000-280,000, the hammer finally fell at €420,000 (£365,220).

Two sounds for price of one


Double Violano-Virtuoso made by the Mills Novelty Co. of Chicago – $47,000 (£34,305) at Fontaine’s.

Mechanical musical instruments was a category in plentiful supply at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery’s (21% buyer’s premium) January 23 sale in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Items ranged from phonographs and cylinder music boxes to large disc-playing cabinets.

One of the more sizeable offerings was a double Violano-Virtuoso made by the Mills Novelty Co of Chicago, c.1913-15.

Contained in a cabinet measuring 5ft 9in x 4ft 1in x 2ft 11in (1.75 x1.24m x 89cm) this coin-operated machine, which can play both violin and piano music for an hour on one nickel.

It sold for $47,000 (£34,305), towards the upper end of the $30,000-50,000 estimate.

£1= $1.37/€1.15