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Bid, Dick, bid: 'Dick and Jane' artworks to be auctioned

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Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 09:26
Robert Childress watercolor portrait of the 'Dick' character with five photographs of the model. Image courtesy of Brookline Auction Gallery LLC.

BROOKLINE, N.H. (AP) – In the portrait, the little boy's blue eyes twinkle as he looks straight ahead. His apple cheeks shine. There's a gap in his teeth, and his reddish-brown hair is just slightly tousled. He's an All-American boy.

He's Dick, of the illustrated “Dick and Jane” series that helped teach generations of American schoolchildren to read from the 1930s to the 1970s.

He's also Nancy Childress' childhood neighbor and the model for the drawing by her father, Robert Childress, that along with Jane, Sally, Spot the dog and others brought the pages of the reader to life.

Nancy Childress is selling her father's artwork at auction in New Hampshire at the end of April. Along with Dick, there are other portraits, black-and-white drawings of John F. and Jackie Kennedy and offerings from his collection of pastel paintings of college buildings around the country.

“As an artist, there were many illustrators during the time my father was working,” said Nancy Childress, who lives in Gilmanton, N.H. “This was the day of the illustrator. What's different about my father's illustrations is that most could either do landscape or people, and he had the uncanny ability to do both equally well.”

Childress' realism will remind the viewer immediately of Norman Rockwell's illustrations and that's not a complete coincidence: The two were friends.

Nancy Childress said her father, who retired to Warner, N.H., and died in 1983, never took an art class, learning to paint with a set given to him as a gift from an aunt and uncle before he was 10. And he didn't just use the neighbor boy as a model for the series that he illustrated during the 1950s and ’60s: Nancy was Sally, her sister Susan became Jane and their mother was also one of Robert Childress' inspirations.

“We loved it,” she said. “My sister and I loved getting into costumes. And he would always include us. He would ask us, ‘What do you think of this? Is it too green? Is it too blue?’ But the opinion that mattered was my mother's.”

Born in South Carolina, Childress was living in Ithaca, N.Y., when he was commissioned to paint a portrait of H.E. Babcock, a former chairman of the board for Cornell University. Through his connection with Babcock, he met Duncan Hines, the home food entrepreneur whose cakes and other products still stock grocery shelves. Childress painted the portrait of Hines that would adorn his product packaging and Childress launched a career in advertising.

He moved the family to Old Saybrook, Conn., where Childress painted ads for Coca-Cola, Mobil, Wonder Bread and the Campbell Soup Co., among others. Some of the ads are included in the auction.

Auctioneer Ronald Pelletier of Brookline Auction Gallery said estimates for the roughly 50 lots of Childress art run from $100 to $2,000 and because it is an “absolute auction” there is no reserve bid, meaning the lowest bid wins. He said there is a market for original art, but he couldn't predict how the Childress collections would fare.

He is most struck by how multidisciplined Childress was.

“I mean, the man could work in any medium,” he said.

The live online auction will be held April 30.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-20-14 2101GMT

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOT OF NOTE
Robert Childress watercolor portrait of the 'Dick' character with five photographs of the model. Image courtesy of Brookline Auction Gallery LLC.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 09:53
 

Sotheby's plans to auction huge yellow diamond in May

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Written by AFP wire service   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 12:05

Graff Vivid Yellow, 100.09 carats, mounted as a ring. Estimate: CHF 13,250,000–22,250,000 (HK$ 116,500,000-194,000,000; US$15,000,000–25,000,000). Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

GENEVA – One of the world's largest yellow diamonds will go under the hammer in Geneva next month, with the Sotheby's auction house hoping to rake in up to $25 million for the gem.

The Graff Vivid Yellow, the color of a daffodil and weighing 100.09 carats, figures among a wide range of pieces for sale at Sotheby's spring Magnificent Jewels and Nobel Jewels auction in the Swiss city on May 13.

The rock, one of the world's largest cut diamonds of any color, is mounted as a ring and sparkles with "extraordinary fire and brilliance," the auction house said Wednesday.

The asking price for the privately owned gem is $15-25 million (11-18 million euros), but if recent auctions are any guide it could fetch more.

When the world's largest orange diamond went under the hammer last November at Christie's in Geneva, it raked in $35.5 million compared to its $17-20 million price tag.

And a Sotheby's auction the next day saw the world's largest pink diamond, known as the Pink Star, fetch $83 million – $23 million above the asking price.

The auction house was, however, forced last month to take back the Pink Star after the buyer defaulted on the payment.

Sotheby's still holds the world record price for a diamond sale, even after the default. In November 2010 it sold another pink diamond – the 24.78-carat "Graff Pink" – for $46 million in another auction in Geneva.

Among other jewels going on sale at next month's auction is a 31.34-carat D colored white gemstone called the Victory Diamond.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Graff Vivid Yellow, 100.09 carats, mounted as a ring. Estimate: CHF 13,250,000–22,250,000 (HK$ 116,500,000-194,000,000; US$15,000,000–25,000,000). Image courtesy of Sotheby's. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 12:24
 

Malala portrait by Jonathan Yeo up for auction at Christie’s

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Written by AFP wire service   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:54

Jonathan Yeo (b. 1970-), 'Girl Reading (Malala Yousafzai),' 2013, oil on canvas, 89cm x 89cm. Estimate: $60,000-$80,000. Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd. 2014.

NEW YORK (AFP) – A portrait of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, is expected to fetch up to $80,000 for her charity when it is auctioned in New York next month.

By Jonathan Yeo, one of Britain's leading portrait painters, the oil on canvas has been on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London since September.

The picture, which shows the 16-year-old doing her homework and which measures nearly one meter by one meter, goes under the hammer at Christie's on May 14.

The auction house estimates the value at $60,000 to $80,000.

"The funds raised will support the work of the Malala Fund, including helping young Syrian refugees in Jordan and girls freed from child labor now attending school in Pakistan," said Malala, who was badly wounded but survived the October 2012 attack.

"I hope that whoever buys the painting knows that their generosity will directly help children in some of the most challenging environments in the world."

Yeo, who donated the painting, met Malala in April 2013 when she was recovering from the severe head injury inflicted by a Taliban gunman as she sat on a school bus in northwest Pakistan.

She was targeted for her outspoken views on education for girls.

Yeo painted Malala in Britain, where she has settled since the attack, and he said it had been a "privilege."

"I hope the painting reflects the slight paradox of someone with enormous power yet vulnerability and youth at the same time," he said.

Malala last year was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Jonathan Yeo (b. 1970-), 'Girl Reading (Malala Yousafzai),' 2013, oil on canvas, 89cm x 89cm. Estimate: $60,000-$80,000. Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd. 2014. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:08
 

French auction of Hitler box, Nazi items canceled

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Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 08:46
Nazi defendants seated in the dock during the Nuremberg Trials include Hermann Göring (first row, far left), considered to be the most important surviving official in the Third Reich after Hitler's death. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. PARIS (AP) – A French auction house is abandoning plans to sell dozens of items from Nazi Germany including a small wooden box bearing three swastikas that was once owned by Adolf Hitler.

The Vermot de Pas house says about 40 items including passports of Nazi leader Hermann Goering, silverware and a German aviator's watch will not be sold as planned on April 26.

House co-manager Laudine de Pas said Monday that the house faced “political pressure” including “insulting e-mails and phone calls.”

She said the sale was conceived to remember history, and some proceeds were to go to an association linked to Auschwitz deportees.

The office of French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said she sent a letter Monday to France's auctions authority asking for the sale to be stopped.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-14-14 1247GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Nazi defendants seated in the dock during the Nuremberg Trials include Hermann Göring (first row, far left), considered to be the most important surviving official in the Third Reich after Hitler's death. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:00
 

Gianguan Auctions launches Singapore division, global sales offices

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 14 April 2014 12:03

From left: Robert Tan, managing director of Gianguan Auctions New York (Singapore) Pte Ltd, and Kwong Lum, founder and CEO of Gianguan Auctions New York.

NEW YORK - Kwong Lum, founder and CEO of Gianguan Auctions in New York, recently announced plans for the company’s global expansion. The programs begins with the launch of a new operating company in Singapore. This will be followed by sales offices in England, Poland, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Nepal, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Richard Tan has been appointed managing director of Gianguan Auctions New York (Singapore) Pte Ltd. Tan is a respected specialist in the field of security.

Kwong Lum commented,"Richard Tan and I have been friends for many years, and we have always had a mutual professional respect for each other. Our philosophies on the auction business, future trends in the Asia auction industry, quality standards and account relationships, and an enduring passion for the unique and one of a kind artifacts...have always been similar. It was therefore a logical decision that as Gianguan Auctions began its long-cherished goal to open its own operations in Singapore and Asia, that Richard and I [should] formally advance our friendship into a business partnership. I take great pride in announcing Richard’s role as the managing director of the Asia operating offices in Singapore and around the region."

The Singapore office is set to open on April 17 with a concurrent exhibition of museum artifacts at Singapore's Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel. The exhibition will be open April 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The public is invited.

Founded in 2002, Gianguan Auctions is New York’s singular Chinese-owned and operated auction house. Regarding its expansion, Lum stated that the Gianguan companies and sales offices will be operated by shareholders of their respective countries and there will be no outside shareholders. This, in keeping with Gianguan’s philosophy of "total independence," provides the organization with a strong network. Lum said the policy allows the company to to"keep abreast of antique auctions, dealers and collectors from around the world to ensure that we offer buyers the ability to preview and purchase many unique and desirable pieces."

For additional information, log on to www.GianguanAuctions.com or contact the gallery director at 1-212-867-7288. Gianguan Auctions New York is located at 295 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017.

Background:

Founded in 2002, Gianguan Auctions is New York’s only Chinese-owned and operated auction house. It was founded Kwong Lum, who also serves as CEO. The gallery director is Mary Ann Lum.

Kwong Lum, who is both a respected artist and businessman, has been honored with the construction of The Kwong Lum Museum of Art in the Xinhui district in the city of Jiangmen, China. Construction was funded by the local government, and its collections were contributed by Kwong Lum. The Kwong Lum Museum of Art opened in September, 2014.

#   #   #



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

From left: Robert Tan, managing director of Gianguan Auctions New York (Singapore) Pte Ltd, and Kwong Lum, founder and CEO of Gianguan Auctions New York. 

Waterfall by Zhang Daqian. From the museum exhibition.

A fine and rare enameled famille rose ground jue with saucer, Qing, Qianlong. From the museum exhibition.

A rare and fine enameled famille rose quail with rose plate. From the museum exhibition.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 April 2014 12:34
 

Apollo 11 checklist soars to $68,000 at Bonhams space auction

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 11 April 2014 09:37
America's Mercury Project astronauts wearing spacesuits like the one sold in the Bonhams auction. NASA image, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. NEW YORK (AP) _ An Apollo 11 lunar surface checklist sheet was among the coveted items sold at a New York City auction of space exploration artifacts.

The checklist contained annotations by astronaut Buzz Aldrin while he was on the moon. It sold at Bonhams on Tuesday for more than $68,000. It had a presale estimate of up to $45,000.

Other highlights included a 6-inch cloth emblem depicting an eagle landing on the moon. Bonhams said the Apollo 11 emblem did not travel with the crew during the mission but was signed by Aldrin, Armstrong and Michael Collins. It sold for more than $62,000.

A U.S. flag carried by Aldrin on Apollo 11 fetched $47,500, double its presale estimate, and a Mercury-era spacesuit garnered over $43,000, more than five times its estimate.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-10-14 0247GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
America's Mercury Project astronauts wearing spacesuits like the one sold in the Bonhams auction. NASA image, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 09:52
 

Photographer George Tice to talk at Rago open house April 22

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 07 April 2014 12:42

'Seldom Seen,' a new book by photographer George Tice. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – The Rago Arts and Auction Center will have an open house on Tuesday, April 22, which will feature American photographer George Tice speaking at 6 p.m. on his career and latest publication, Seldom Seen: Photographs, 1968-2011. The talk takes place during the preview week for Rago's Unreserved auctions.

George Tice has received international acclaim for his landscape work and is considered one of the great photographers of the 20th century. Seldom Seen is a 128-page legacy piece, reproduced in Quadtone. The book features 100 images that, until now, have never appeared in any of his previous books.

Tice's interest in photography arose when he joined a camera club at the age of 14. Edward Steichen first recognized Tice's work in his role as director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1959, Steichen chose Tice's photograph of an explosion aboard the U.S.S. Wasp for the museum's collection. Tice worked as a portrait photographer for ten years, and then began photographing Amish and Shaker communities and fishermen of Maine. In the late ’60s, he turned his eye to his home state of New Jersey when he began working with an 8x10 view camera. In 1972, he was honored with a one-man show "Paterson, New Jersey" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2002, he had another major exhibition, "Urban Landscapes" at the International Center of Photography. Today, Tice's work is included in major museum collections around the world.

His books include Fields of Peace: A Pennsylvania German Album (1970-98), Paterson (1972), Lincoln (1984), Hometowns: An American Pilgrimage (1988), Urban Landscapes (2002), Paterson II (2006), and Seacoast Maine (2009).

A book signing will follow Tice's presentation. Seldom Seen, his 18th book, published by Brilliant Press and Seacoast Maine, published by David R. Godine and printed by Brilliant Graphics, will be available for sale. So will a recent documentary film by Bruce Wodder, of New Street Productions titled, George Tice: Seeing Beyond the Moment.

The auction house opens on Tuesday, April 22 at noon. A reception begins at 5 p.m.

RSVP to 609-397-9374 ext. 119 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If unable to RSVP in advance, please attend anyway; all are welcome.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

'Seldom Seen,' a new book by photographer George Tice. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center. 

Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2014 12:55
 

Kerry Taylor Auctions to sell rare Diana Dors outfits April 8

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 04 April 2014 12:48
The Darnell baby-doll dress and matching coat, worn by British actress Diana Dors in the 1964 comedy 'Allez France.' Kerry Taylor Auctions image.

LONDON – A Kerry Taylor Auctions, the UK’s leading specialist fashion auctioneer is known for selling the clothes belonging to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. However, in the April 8 auction a group belonging to a very different Diana will come up for sale – those of the late Diana Dors.

LiveAuctioneers.com will facilitate Internet live bidding.

Dors (Oct. 23, 1931 – May 4, 1984) was dubbed “the English Marilyn Monroe.” Admired for her curvaceous body, suggestive smile and warm humor – the pieces from her wardrobe reflect her glamorous lifestyle.

A Darnell pale green chiffon baby-doll cocktail dress with jeweled droplet bodice and matching coat was worn in the 1964 comedy Allez France (The Countefeit Constable), an anglo-French comedy in which Diana played herself.

Also included in the lot is a sequined and crystal studded blue lace jacket with a Xerox copy of Diana wearing it and a flowing bejeweled kaftan, which one might imagine her wearing to one of her famous libidinous parties recently mentioned in the British press.

After her death at age 52 in 1984, most of her clothes were burned by her huband, Alan Lake, and so these garments are rare. Diana had given them to her housekeeper’s teenage daughter in the 1970s, but they were a little to glam for the young girl to wear. It is lot 194 in the auction and the estimate is £400-£600 ($663-$995).

Approximately 430 lots of vintage fashions comprise the two-session auction, which begins Tuesday at 10 a.m. GMT, 2 a.m. Pacific.

For details phone Kerry Taylor Auctions at 0208 676 4600 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
The Darnell baby-doll dress and matching coat, worn by British actress Diana Dors in the 1964 comedy 'Allez France.' Kerry Taylor Auctions image.
Last Updated on Friday, 04 April 2014 13:08
 

RR Auction to sell 'unsinkable' Titanic memorabilia

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Written by AFP wire service   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 14:20
Original sterling silver loving cup presented to Capt. Arthur Rostron of the Carpathia by Titanic survivor Margaret 'Molly' Brown. Bidding is expected to exceed $200,000. RR Auction image.

BOSTON (AFP) – Hundreds of artifacts linked to the doomed luxury liner Titanic will be sold this month and could fetch as much as a million dollars, RR Auction said on Thursday.

RR Auction, specializing in documents, manuscripts and historic artifacts, said it will put some 240 objects from the famous vessel on sale online, amid enduring fascination with the doomed luxury liner more than a century after it sank.

The online sale will be held from April 17 to 24.

Once thought to be unsinkable, the Titanic struck an iceberg and went down in the North Atlantic in 1912, killing more than 1,500 people.

The objects to be sold include letters, photos, objects from the vessel and items which once belonged to survivors.

The object with the highest starting price is a silver cup presented on May 29, 1912 by a survivor, Margaret "Molly" Brown, to Arthur Rostron, the captain of the ship that plucked survivors from the frigid ocean.

Brown, a wealthy socialite, became famous for surviving the disaster, and was known after her death as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," celebrated in the 1960 Broadway musical of the same name.

Another item of interest is an April 2, 1912 letter, on stationery bearing the famous ship's letterhead, written by a crew member who did not survive the disaster. Bidding for the letter starts at $1,000.

Other items to be sold include a fragment from the Titanic's grand staircase, and copies of newspapers which published front page reports about the catastrophe, including the New York Times, The Illustrated London News and The New York Evening Post.

RR Auction said it expects the auction to earn between $700,000 and $1 million dollars.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Original sterling silver loving cup presented to Capt. Arthur Rostron of the Carpathia by Titanic survivor Margaret 'Molly' Brown. Bidding is expected to exceed $200,000. RR Auction image.
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 15:59
 

Angolan-born movie mogul bids for 85 works by Joan Miro

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Written by AFP wire service   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 09:43
A well-know work by Joan Miro in the collection of the Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain, and not one of Portugal's paintings. Fair use of low-resolution image in accordance with the terms of U.S. Copyright Law. Image courtesy of Wikipaintings.org. LISBON (AFP) – An Angolan-born Hollywood movie financier has reportedly offered to buy 85 paintings by Catalan artist Joan Miro from the cash-strapped Portuguese government.

Rui Costa Reis, 46-year-old Angolan-born son of Portuguese emigrants who made his fortune in cereals and expanded into the movie business, has offered 44 million euros ($60 million) for the collection owned by the Portuguese state, the Diario business daily said.

The entrepreneur promised to place the Spanish artists' works on exhibition for 50 years in the northern Portuguese port city of Porto, his mother's birthplace, the paper said.

The Portuguese government did not offer an immediate reaction to the report.

The Joan Miro collection is scheduled to be placed on auction by Christie's in June after an earlier sale on Feb. 4 was cancelled at the last minute because of a legal dispute.

Christie's backed out because of a legal spat in Portugal, where the opposition Socialists had lodged a challenge to the Miro auction.

Although a Portuguese court rejected the Socialists' challenge, Christie's decided to not go ahead after the court pointed out "irregularities" in the export of the paintings.

The collection was then returned to Portugal and placed in the vaults of the state-owned banking group Caixa Geral de Depositos.

The Miro works became Portuguese state property following the nationalization of the indebted BPN bank in 2008.

Their proposed sale has been met with outrage by art lovers in Portugal.

Christie's says it is one of the largest and most impressive Miro collections ever put up for sale.

It includes one of Miro's most notable works, Women and Birds, which Christie's has valued at between £4 million and £7 million (4.9 million and 8.5 million euros).

Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has said the government is determined to sell the paintings, however, because it cannot afford to maintain and secure the collection.

In May 2011, the country agreed to a program of strict fiscal discipline in exchange for an international bailout package worth 78 billion euros.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
A well-know work by Joan Miro in the collection of the Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain, and not one of Portugal's paintings. Fair use of low-resolution image in accordance with the terms of U.S. Copyright Law. Image courtesy of Wikipaintings.org.
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 09:57
 

Sotheby’s sells Indiana group’s Audubon works for $3.7M

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 09:13
Audubon, John James, 'The Birds of America,' from original drawings by John James Audubon. London: Published by the Author, 1827–1838. Est. $3/5 million. Sold for $3,525,000. Image courtesy of Sotheby's. INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Two sets of rare artwork by John James Audubon that spent decades in the Indiana Historical Society's collection sold at auction Tuesday for more than $3.7 million.

John A. Herbst, the historical society's president and CEO, said he was nervous when bidding started low at Sotheby's auction house in New York. But then the bids started going higher on the two sets, which the Indianapolis-based society had purchased for $4,900 several decades ago.

After about 30 minutes, the volumes had sold for $3.77 million, exceeding Sotheby's $3.2 million original estimate. After fees, the Indianapolis-based society will pocket $3.2 million.

“It's a great day,’ Herbst told The Indianapolis Star.

He said the society will use the auction's proceeds to buy more ‘Indiana-specific’ collections and add space for their storage at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center in Indianapolis.

The society had owned The Birds of America for 81 years. That set features 435 hand-painted plates of eagles, owls, great blue herons and other birds that were initially sold by subscription. Those images were bound together in a four-volume set.

The $3.525 million winning bid for The Birds was a record for an online purchase in a live Sotheby's auction, said Amy Lamb, a spokeswoman for the historical society. It was also the biggest return the historical society has ever received for an item it put up for sale.

The other set of images, Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, had been part of the group's collection for 63 years. It is a three-volume collection of 150 vivid color stone lithographed images of squirrels and raccoons, otters and buffalo and other four-legged creatures.

The new owners of the items weren't identified by Sotheby's, but Herbst said the buyer of The Birds was a husband and wife with the means to do the restoration needed for that set, which Sotheby's had described as “a very good set, somewhat heedlessly handled prior to acquisition” by the historical society.

___

Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-01-14 2342GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Audubon, John James, 'The Birds of America,' from original drawings by John James Audubon. London: Published by the Author, 1827–1838. Est. $3/5 million. Sold for $3,525,000. Image courtesy of Sotheby's.
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 09:25
 

Cambridge buys images of Scott’s Antarctic expedition

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Written by JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 09:59
Robert Falcon Scott's Pole party of his ill-fated expedition, from the left: Oates (standing), Bowers (sitting), Scott (standing in front of Union Jack flag on pole), Wilson (sitting), Evans (standing). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. LONDON (AP) – Cambridge University has purchased a photographic record of one of Britain's great heroic failures – Capt. Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated Antarctic expedition.

The university's Scott Polar Research Institute said Monday it had raised 275,000 pounds ($458,000) to buy 113 photographic negatives from the journey, which were at risk of being sold abroad.

Scott, an icon of the heroic age of polar exploration, reached the South Pole in January 1912, only to discover that he'd been beaten by Norway's Roald Amundsen. Scott and four companions died of hunger and exhaustion on the trek back to base camp. The discovery of their bodies, alongside letters and diaries recording their stoicism in the face of doom, turned them into national heroes.

The negatives, taken by Scott, show the expedition members and their ponies camping and hauling sleds laden with provisions as they made their way toward the Pole in 1911.

The negatives were believed lost until they were discovered in 2012 in a private collection. The owner offered Cambridge the first chance to buy them, but said they would be sold at auction if the money could not be found.

The Scott institute said it had raised the money through a 233,000-pound grant from the government-funded National Heritage Memorial Fund, as well as private donations.

Explorer Ranulph Fiennes, who had backed the campaign to keep the pictures for the public, said the images “speak so powerfully to us of the courage and sacrifice of those on the British Antarctic Expedition.”

The museum said it intended to put the negatives on public display, alongside prints of some of the images and the camera on which they were taken.

___

Online:

Scott Polar Research Institute: http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-03-31-14 1327GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Robert Falcon Scott's Pole party of his ill-fated expedition, from the left: Oates (standing), Bowers (sitting), Scott (standing in front of Union Jack flag on pole), Wilson (sitting), Evans (standing). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 10:13
 

Australia's first banknote earns $310,000 at auction

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Written by AFP wire service   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:04
Australia's first banknote. Image courtesy of Noble Numismatics. SYDNEY (AFP) – The only surviving example of Australia's first official banknote exceeded expectations when it was auctioned for Aus$334,000 ($310,000), officials said Thursday.

The 10 shilling note – one of 100 issued in 1817 by the Bank of New South Wales (now called Westpac) on the day it opened – attracted bids from around the world, said Jim Noble of Noble Numismatics, which handled the sale.

"It's a record for a colonial banknote," he told AFP. "It will stay in Australia (but) I've no idea what the gentleman who bought it plans to do; he's a high up executive in a big organization.”

The auction price easily exceeded its Aus$250,000 estimate, with Noble attributing the interest to its unique historical value.

"It's the only one of its kind, even Westpac does not have one," Noble said.

Noble said the note was discovered in a private collection in Scotland in 2005, with Scots-born former New South Wales governor Lachlan Macquarie or one of his staff thought to have taken it there.

It was later bought by a private collector who sold it at Wednesday night's auction.

Macquarie arrived in Sydney at the end of 1809 to be confronted by a colony in crisis with no stable monetary system since the First Fleet landed in 1788.

As the new governor, he was given extensive powers to reshape the colony, but despite this his first request to London to establish a bank was rejected.

In 1812, to alleviate the shortage of currency, he imported Ł10,000 in Spanish coins from India and in 1813 manufactured and issued the "Holey Dollar" – one of which sold at auction for a world-record Aus$495,000 last year.

But it was not sufficient and in 1816 he revived his plan for a bank, this time getting London's approval, and on April 8, 1817 the Bank of New South Wales opened for business.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Australia's first banknote. Image courtesy of Noble Numismatics.
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:25
 

Sotheby’s expects record price for rare Stradivari viola

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Written by AFP wire service   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 16:33
Stradivari 'Macdonald' viola. Image courtesy Sotheby's. NEW YORK (AFP) – The world's greatest viola, the "Macdonald" made by Antonio Stradivari in 1719, went on auction in New York Wednesday in a closed sale expected to fetch more than $45 million.

Sotheby's says the exquisitely preserved and extremely rare instrument is one of only 10 complete Stradivari violas left in the world and the only one from the Italian master's prime.

"Antonio Stradivari is universally acknowledged as the greatest violin maker of all time," said Tim Ingles, director of Ingles and Hayday, which is organizing the sale with Sotheby's.

"Around 600 instruments by Stradivari survive today but only 10 complete violas. The finest of all the violas is generally considered to be the Macdonald of 1719," he added.

"No Stradivari viola has been on the market for the last 50 years so this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Sotheby's opened a sealed bid process for the viola on Wednesday with bids expected in excess of $45 million, it said. The bidding process will close in June.

The viola is being sold by the family of the late Austrian-British violist Peter Schidlof, who was a member of the acclaimed Amadeus Quartet. He bought the instrument in 1964.

Its name derives from Godfrey Bosville, the third Baron Macdonald, who bought it in the 1820s.

The only other Stradivari viola which remains in private hands is held in the Library of Congress in Washington.

Sotheby's said a $45 million price tag would mark a world record for a musical instrument. The current auction record for a musical instrument is the Lady Blunt Stradivarius violin, which was sold online for $15.9 million in 2011.

Violist David Aaron Carpenter described the viola as "the best preserved and probably the most beautiful of them all."



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Stradivari 'Macdonald' viola. Image courtesy Sotheby's.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 16:48
 

Thomas Del Mar, Profiles in History join LiveAuctioneers client list

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Written by ACNI Staff   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 15:08
Catalogs from two memorable auctions (left to right): Thomas Del Mar Ltd. in association with Sotheby's, June 24, 2009 'Antique Arms, Armour & Militaria'; and Profiles in History June 18, 2011 'Debbie Reynolds The Auction.' Images courtesy of Thomas Del Mar Ltd./Sotheby's and Profiles in History, respectively. NEW YORK – Two of the world’s most respected auction houses – Profiles in History and Thomas Del Mar Ltd. – have joined the roster of 2,220 auction houses worldwide whose Internet live bidding is facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.

LiveAuctioneers CEO Julian R. Ellison made the announcement today, noting that although the two companies have very different specialties, each will be well served by LiveAuctioneers’ global presence.

“Thomas Del Mar and Profiles in History are dominant in their own distinct areas of the collecting spectrum. Thomas Del Mar specializes in antique arms, armor and militaria, and in association with Sotheby’s, has auctioned some of Europe’s most important and aristocratic collections. On the other hand, Profiles in History is a respected name in pop culture, especially Hollywood and entertainment memorabilia, animation art and historical document auctions. We have the Internet bidders and online traffic to suit each and every one of these categories,” Ellison said.

Based in London, Thomas Del Mar Ltd. has been a potent force in its field since 2005, the year it was launched. Its founder, Thomas Del Mar, was formerly Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Department of Arms, Armour and Militaria. Thomas Del Mar’s sale of works of art from the Royal House of Hanover included arms and armor that realized $8.4 million, which still stands as a world auction record for an ancestral collection within this category. Thomas Del Mar’s first sale utilizing LiveAuctioneers’ online-bidding services is scheduled for May 7, 2014.

Profiles in History is headquartered in Calabasas, California, and operates under the experienced eye of Joe Maddalena, known to many from his starring role in Syfy’s 2010 hit show “Hollywood Treasure.” Profiles in History has been in business since 1985 and holds scores of Guinness Book auction records for the sale of original, screen-used memorabilia. A few of their past auctions highlights include the “Cowardly Lion” costume from “The Wizard of Oz” ($805,000); the iconic Marilyn Monroe “Subway” dress from “The Seven Year Itch” ($5.52 million), and the Audrey Hepburn Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady” ($4.44 million). LiveAuctioneers will provide the Internet live bidding services for Profiles in History’s May 17-18 Debbie Reynolds Auction Finale.

“We are delighted to welcome Profiles in History and Thomas Del Mar to LiveAuctioneers. Their sales are world class, and the items they sell are perfect for the demographic we attract,” said Ellison.

Online: www.thomasdelmar.com, www.profilesinhistory.com, www.liveauctioneers.com

# # #



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Catalogs from two memorable auctions (left to right): Thomas Del Mar Ltd. in association with Sotheby's, June 24, 2009 'Antique Arms, Armour & Militaria'; and Profiles in History June 18, 2011 'Debbie Reynolds The Auction.' Images courtesy of Thomas Del Mar Ltd./Sotheby's and Profiles in History, respectively.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 March 2014 15:21
 

Unique stamp recertified prior to Sotheby’s auction June 17

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 12:49
The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, the world’s most famous stamp. Estimate $10/20 million. Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

LONDON – On March 17, the Royal Philatelic Society London, the oldest and most distinguished society of stamp scholars in the world, convened a special meeting with the singular purpose of reauthenticating the unique British Guiana One-Cent Magenta. Sotheby’s will offer the stamp in a dedicated auction in New York on June17, with an estimate of $10/20 million.

After close examination, including spectrometer analysis, the society’s Expert Committee has once again certified the British Guiana as genuine. The last time the group examined and certified the world’s most famous stamp was in 1935, marking a new generation of experts that have confirmed its place at the apex of the philatelic world.

“We deeply appreciate the Expert Committee at the Royal Philatelic Society convening a special meeting to review this extraordinary stamp,” said David Redden, vice chairman of Sotheby’s. "In the philatelic world, certification is considered best practice, as is modern day recertification using up-to-date connoisseurship and scientific techniques – a fascinating process that was an honor to witness with the British Guiana.”

Christopher Harman, past president of the Royal Philatelic Society and chairman of the Expert Committee, said: “It was a privilege to see in the flesh one of the great icons that every collector has heard about, returning nearly 80 years since the British Guiana's last visit with us. With more experience and advanced technology, the Expert Committee undertook a thorough examination and I am very pleased to say that the ‘patient’ passed with flying colors. We thank Sotheby's for bringing back to us this celebrated piece of philatelic history.”

The British Guiana has not been on view publicly since 1987, when it was exhibited at Cupex 87 in Perth, Australia. Sotheby’s is pleased to share its public exhibition dates for The British Guiana this spring across the globe: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center, April 3–7; Sotheby’s London, June 1–5; and Sotheby’s New York, June 7–17.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, the world’s most famous stamp. Estimate $10/20 million. Image courtesy of Sotheby's.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 March 2014 13:01
 
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