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Auction Houses in the News

Forgotten painting brings $750,000 to school district

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 10 May 2013 09:14
Henri Le Sidaner, 'Intérieur, Lumière de la Fenêtre,' oil on canvas, painted in Versailles in 1931. Sold for $905,000 inclusive of the buyer's premium. Image courtesy of Sotheby's. PITTSBURGH (AP) – A painting that the art world considered lost for 80 years has brought $750,000 to the cash-strapped Pittsburgh Public Schools district.

The painting by Impressionist Henri Le Sidaner (French, 1862-1939) was donated to the district in 1933, but officials didn't realize how special it was until January.

On Wednesday the 40- by 32-inch painting titled Interior brought $750,000 at an auction in New York's famed Sotheby's, plus a 20 percent buyer's premium. The painting was expected to bring $350,000 to $450,000.

The district opted to sell the painting because most of the artists in its collection are from the Pittsburgh area, and because the painting is too valuable to display in a school.

“We're all pleased it went as high as it did,” said Superintendent Linda Lane.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-05-08-13 2240GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Henri Le Sidaner, 'Intérieur, Lumière de la Fenêtre,' oil on canvas, painted in Versailles in 1931. Sold for $905,000 inclusive of the buyer's premium. Image courtesy of Sotheby's.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 May 2013 09:24
 

Bonhams letting ‘Jeannie’ out of the bottle with Larry Hagman sale

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 03 May 2013 15:18

Larry Hagman's  Bohlin 'JR' belt buckle by Edward H. Bohlin, sterling silver and 10K yellow gold. Worn by Hagman on the original 'Dallas' series. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Bonhams image.

LOS ANGELES – Bonhams will present a selection of items from the estate of actor Larry Hagman, best known for portraying J.R. Ewing on the TV series Dallas, in its May 5 Entertainment Memorabilia auction and May 12 Period Art and Design auction, both to be held in Los Angeles.

Hagman began his career in the 1950s on the New York stage, but his breakthrough role was as Maj. Anthony Nelson, Jeannie's "master" on I Dream of Jeannie. Items related to the show include several replica "Jeannie" bottles, including one designed by Hagman himself (est. $1,000-1,500 each), as well as a photograph of Hagman with Barbara Eden, lovingly inscribed by the actress to her former co-star (est. $200-300).

Items on offer from Dallas include a complete set of Hagman's scripts from season 7 of the show (est. $600-800); a portrait of him by Oenone Acheson, featured in season 13 (est. $1,500-2,000); a group of photographs of him with his Dallas co-stars Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy (est. $300-500); a pair of Hagman's Dallas cast jackets (est. $300-500); and a group of awards Hagman received for his role on the show (est. $500-700).

Sunday’s auction will also feature a large collection of custom leatherwork by Edward Bohlin, leather maker to the stars, including a saddlebag (est. $1,000-1,500), Hagman's Dallas script binder (est. $600-800), his briefcase (est. $600-800) and his director's chair (est. $2,500-3,500), plus a custom Bohlin "J.R." belt buckle, made of silver and 10K gold and decorated with rubies (est. $3,000-5,000), recently featured on the 2013 season finale of TNT's Dallas.

The estate also includes Stetson hats, a Southfork Ranch belt buckle, a cartridge belt with holsters, hunting clothing and accessories, photographs, posters and other memorabilia of varying estimates. Additionally, it features memorabilia relating to Hagman's mother, Broadway legend Mary Martin, including a book inscribed to her by Truman Capote (est. $400-600), a sterling silver picture frame gifted to her by Carol Channing (est. $300-500) and a sterling silver salver gifted to her by Fieldcrest, for whom Martin served as a spokesperson (est. $800-1,200).

Complementing the Hagman memorabilia is a selection of furniture, decorative accessories and art to be offered in Bonhams Period Art and Design auction on May 12. Hagman was known for his eclectic personal taste, and the selection includes both traditional European antiques, such as a pair of Louis XV- style paint-decorated wood fauteuils (est. $700-900) and a George III yew wood secretary bookcase (est. $1,000-1,500), as well as more unexpected items, such as a group of antique fireman's helmets (est. $800-1,200), a brass telescope with stand (est. $500-700) and a Moorish-style brass brazier (est. $400-600).



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Larry Hagman's  Bohlin 'JR' belt buckle by Edward H. Bohlin, sterling silver and 10K yellow gold. Worn by Hagman on the original 'Dallas' series. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Bonhams image.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 15:42
 

Leslie Hindman to sell Grant Wood sketchbook May 12

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 15:52

Artist Grant Wood signed the front of this 48-page sketchbook. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

CHICAGO – Grant Wood’s artworks have always held a special place in the hearts of Midwesterners—they capture the land and the people Wood knew best, hardworking men and women of 20th century rural America. We see his visions as a memorial to the American working class and generations of collectors have established a strong market for his iconic views of rolling hills and hearty farmhands.

The Veterans Memorial Building in Grant Wood’s hometown, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, boasts a towering landmark to his artistic achievement, a 24-foot-tall stained glass window—the largest in the United States in 1929 at the time of its inception. The window features a central figure of a Lady in Mourning, modeled after the artist’s sister and sitter for the iconic painting, American Gothic, Nan Wood. The figure is flanked by life-size soldiers from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and World War I. It is the only known stained-glass window designed by Wood.

On May 12, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will offer Grant Wood’s personal 48-page sketchbook embellished with over 70 preparatory drawings and studies for the Memorial Window. Wood has signed the cover of the small journal and an inscription from the artist’s sister, signed and dated May 1, 1946, confirms: “This book was the property of Grant Wood. It contains sketches and ideas for the stained glass memorial window he designed for the memorial building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The sketches were made in 1929.”

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

There are no known sketchbooks attributed to Wood in institutional or private collections, and the auction house is confident it will exceed its $40,000-$60,000 presale estimate.

The sketchbook outlines Wood’s progression of ideas for the central female figure, the four soldiers, and the layout as a whole. One discarded idea shows a Madonna-like figure in the form of a pieta, holding a dead soldier and filling the entire window like an altarpiece. Another shows the figure of Justice holding scales, and another Victory with her winged cap. Other drawings echo papal tombs and Greek architecture.

“The sketchbook is unprecedented,” says Mary Kohnke, director of books and manuscripts. “It shows the artist struggling with issues of perspective, draping, the female and male forms, and even the use of Roman numerals, which he rearranged to fit in the allotted space. We are very excited to have the opportunity to present this exciting item to the public.”

For additional information, contact Kohnke at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, 312-334-4236.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Artist Grant Wood signed the front of this 48-page sketchbook. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. 

A drawing of a Civil War soldier is contained in the Grand Wood sketchbook. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. 

Veterans Memorial Building window designed by Grant Wood. Veterans Memorial Commission, photo courtesy of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.  

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 16:29
 

Austrian emperor’s lock of hair highlights auction

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Written by GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press   
Monday, 29 April 2013 09:34

Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria (1830-1916). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

VIENNA (AP) – Bidders looking for a pair of mended underwear worn by a former emperor came away disappointed Thursday from an auction of Austrian imperial memorabilia. But a lock of his hair was on offer, and went under the hammer for nearly 14,000 euros (around $18,000)—more than 20 times its listed worth.

The Vienna auction house had said Emperor Franz-Josef's linen would be put on the block, suggesting there was a least a chance that one of the parsimonious ruler's patched undergarments would be put on sale.

But the only intimate apparel being sold off Thursday was a pair of silk long johns made for his wife, Elizabeth. She was assassinated in 1898 before ever wearing them, and that appeared to lower their attraction. The garment went for 2,000 euros, 500 euros below its estimated value.

Not so the hair. Bedded in a worn purple velvet case, the silvery strands fetched 13,720 euros. Hushed murmurs rippled through the room as the winning bid was announced on behalf of Austrian restaurateur Mario Plachutta, who was said to own of the world's largest collections of items from the imperial Habsburg dynasty.

“We've been concentrating on expanding the collection with special objects and the ringlet fits in very well,” said Katrin Unterreiner, who bid for Plachutta.

As might have a pair of patched undies. Journalist and author Georg Markus, who has chronicled the Hapsburg era like few others, said even Franz-Josef, who ruled from 1848 to 1916, poked fun at himself for his reluctance to replace his worn out shorts—or move up from plain cotton to silk.

“He would sometimes wear the same pair for decades,” Markus said.

Like the hair, most of other pricey objects—a portraits, tableware, statues—were also snapped up behalf of collectors or museums with fat wallets.

A picture of Elisabeth by Franx Xaver Winterhalter sold for 70,000 euros. That was more than three times its estimated value and reflected the growing scarcity of Austrian imperial memorabilia nearly a century after the end of World War I, the conflict that doomed more than 700 years of Habsburg rule.

“It's becoming increasingly difficult to get objects,” said Georg Ludwigstorfer, who has organized previous Habsburg auctions and helped stage Thursday's event.

But many articles—lithographs, a copper can from the imperial kitchens—changed ownership for only a few hundred euros, with ordinary Austrians placing the winning bid. Their efforts to secure a small piece of the greatness that was Austria suggested a longing for a time before the reputation of their country was tarred by the birth of another leader—Adolf Hitler.

The most recent manifestation of that nostalgia was provided two years ago.

Then, an estimated 10,000 spectators packed the 2.4-kilometer (1.5-mile) route from the Gothic cathedral where Otto von Habsburg, the oldest son of Austria's last ruling emperor, was eulogized, to the imperial crypt where he was entombed after his death in 2011 at age 98.

“Austrians are happy to look back on their times of glory,” Markus said.

He called Franz-Josef an “unfortunate figure” who “lost all battles and wars” and who was responsible for the loss of the empire by actions that led to World War—a conflict Austria also lost. Franz-Josef's son Charles I—Otto's father—was Austria's last emperor.

At the same time, Markus said, the mustachioed Franz-Josef was “honest and not disgusting” like Hitler, adding, “We naturally all like to remember people more pleasant” than the Nazi dictator.

__

Associated Press video journalist Philipp Jenne contributed.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-25-13 2131GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria (1830-1916). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 12:17
 

Heritage Auctions sells famous 1913 'lost' nickel for $3.17M

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 26 April 2013 16:18
1913 Liberty Head nickel, sold for $3,172,500 on April 25, 2013. Heritage Auctions image. DALLAS – A fabled, century-old rare U.S. nickel, recovered from a fatal car crash and then unsuspectingly kept in a closet for 41 years because it was mistakenly declared to be a fake, sold for $3,172,500 on Thursday, as part of Heritage Auctions’ Central States Numismatic Society U.S. Coins Signature Auction in Schaumburg, Ill. The preauction estimate on the coin was $2.5 million or more.

Jeff Garrett of Lexington, Ky., and Larry Lee of Panama City, Fla., purchased the coin in partnership.

“This particular example of one of the world's most famous rare coins is perhaps the most special of them all given its amazing story," said Todd Imhof, executive vice president of Heritage Auctions. “Not only is it just one of only five known, genuine 1913-dated Liberty Head design nickels, this particular one was off the radar for decades until it literally came out of the closet after a nationwide search and was authenticated by experts in a secret midnight meeting Baltimore in 2003.”

This 1913 Liberty nickel was consigned by the heirs of George O. Walton, a North Carolina collector who acquired the coin in the mid-1940s for a reported $3,750. He had it with him when he was killed in a car crash on March 9, 1962.

Melva Givens of Salem, Va., one of Walton’s heirs, eventually received the coin after being told it was suspected of being an altered date fake.

“She kept the nickel in a box with family items in the closet, and it stayed there for four decades,” said Ryan Givens of Salem, Va., one of Walton's nephews who, with his two sisters and his brother, consigned the 1913 Liberty Head nickel to Heritage.

According to the family, Melva Givens believed the 1962 evaluation that it was an altered date coin, but she also adamantly believed her brother had a real 1913 Liberty Head nickel and continued to look for it. She kept the “fake” coin, likely out of sentiment for her late brother and likely because of the date on the coin, 1913, her birth year.

A minimum $1 million reward for the accounted for fifth 1913 Liberty Head nickel prompted Walton's heirs to take the coin to Baltimore in July 2003 to the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money. The four other surviving 1913 Liberty nickels were scheduled to be exhibited at the convention. In a secret midnight meeting in a security room at the Baltimore Convention Center, a team of rare coin experts unanimously agreed the Walton nickel was the long-missing fifth coin.

“This is one of the greatest coins at that price range,” said Garrett after placing the successful bid.

The winning bid of $3,172,500 includes the 17.5percent percent buyer's premium and represents the total price paid by the winning bidder.

The 1913 Liberty Head nickel was one of the highlights of a $40-million auction of rare coins and historic paper money offered by Heritage Auctions, April 24-28, in conjunction with the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS.com) convention in the Schaumburg Convention Center, April 24-27.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
1913 Liberty Head nickel, sold for $3,172,500 on April 25, 2013. Heritage Auctions image.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 12:13
 

3 generations of Wyeths coming to Christie’s auction

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Written by ULA ILNYTZKY, Associated Press   
Friday, 26 April 2013 10:16
N.C. Wyeth, ‘Norry Seavey Hauling Traps Off Blubber Island,’ oil on Masonite, 25 x 30 in., painted in 1938. Estimate: $300,000-$500,000. Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2013. NEW YORK (AP) – American realist painter Andrew Wyeth left an indelible impression on Eric Sambol after a museum class trip in the 1970s.

Many years later, the New Jersey businessman was able to acquire a work by Wyeth. It was the beginning of a collection that gradually expanded to include Wyeth's equally famous father, the great classic novel illustrator N.C. Wyeth, and his son, Jamie Wyeth.

Sambol is now parting with 13 of his Wyeths—six by Andrew, six by Jamie, and one by N.C.

Christie's auction house, which is selling the works May 23, says it is one of the largest collections of Wyeths it has ever sold.

Sambol, a 53-year-old nature photographer and owner of a construction company in Toms River, N.J., said he fell in love with Andrew Wyeth's work while on a high school trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1976 to see “Two Worlds of Andrew Wyeth: Kuerners and Olsons.”

“It solidified my fascination with the Wyeth family's work, an enthrallment that remained with me for decades. ... no one could compare,” he said in an interview this week.

Sambol and his wife, Cynthia, a landscape designer, acquired their first Wyeth in 2000 with the purchase of Flat Boat by Andrew Wyeth. Later came N.C. Wyeth's Norry Seavey Hauling Lobster Traps Off Blubber Island and Jamie Wyeth's Lighthouse Dandelions.

All three works, which hung throughout the Sambols' home, will be offered in the May auction.

Flat Boat, a 1988 watercolor of a winter scene showing a rowboat tied up near the shore by a bare tree, is estimated to sell for $250,000 to $350,000.

Lighthouse Dandelions, an oil painting of a luminous Maine lighthouse set against a dramatic night sky, has the same presale estimate. Norry Seavey, a 1938 oil in hues of blue depicting a fisherman off the coast of Port Clyde, Maine, could fetch as much as $500,000.

Sambol said he met Andrew Wyeth and his frequent model, Helga Testorf, for the first time in 2004 at Wyeth's home and studio in Chadds Ford, Pa., and again in Eight Bells, Wyeth's home in Maine, where the artist showed him a painting he was working on. He has also on several occasions met Jamie, whose works includes landscapes, animal paintings and portraits of the Kennedy clan.

But the relationship with Andrew Wyeth began with a correspondence in 2002 when Sambol wrote to ask about one of his works, Wyeth replied: “As for any thoughts I may have. ... you will have to listen very carefully, for it to speak, my brush does the speaking for me, not my pen.”

One of the most expensive pieces in the auction is Andrew Wyeth's Rocky Hill, a watercolor of the artist's beloved dog, Nell, seated in the woods—a frequent subject of the artist's paintings. It's estimated to sell for $1.8 million to $2.4 million.

The Sambols said it took them seven years to acquire Rocky Hill but when they got a call that it was for sale on Jan. 16, 2009, they “immediately decided to buy.”

“Sadly, 10 hours later we were informed Andrew had passed,” Sambol said.

Sambol said they were selling the 13 works because their children were all grown and he and his wife loved to travel.

But he said that throughout the years, the works had inspired him and his wife in their own creative expression.

“Both our practices (photography and landscape design) require a patient, curious eye,” Sambol said. “Our collection of Wyeth works are filled with hidden metaphors that explore common themes of memory, nostalgia and loss—you can feel an intimate moodiness the moment you look into the work, it draws you in.''

___

Online:

http://www.christies.com

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-25-13 1455GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
N.C. Wyeth, ‘Norry Seavey Hauling Traps Off Blubber Island,’ oil on Masonite, 25 x 30 in., painted in 1938. Estimate: $300,000-$500,000. Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2013. Jamie Wyeth, ‘Lighthouse Dandelions,’ oil on panel, 30 x 48 in. Estimate: $250,000-$350,000. © Jamie Wyeth.
Last Updated on Friday, 26 April 2013 10:32
 

Huge elephant bird egg gets $101,813 at UK auction

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 26 April 2013 08:59
This sub-fossilized pre-17th century elephant bird egg was auctioned at Christie's South Kensington gallery on Wednesday for 66,675 pounds ($101,813). Image courtesy of Christie's Images Ltd. 2013. LONDON (AP) – A massive, partly fossilized egg laid by a now-extinct elephant bird has sold for more than double its estimate at a London auction.

Christie's auction house said Wednesday that the foot-long, nearly 9-inches in diameter egg fetched 66,675 pounds ($101,813). It had been valued at 20,000 to 30,000 pounds presale, and was sold to an anonymous buyer over the telephone after about 10 minutes of competitive bidding.

Elephant birds were wiped out several hundred years ago. The oversized ovum, laid on the island of Madagascar, is believed to date back before the 17th century.

Flightless, fruit-gobbling elephant birds resembled giant ostriches and could grow to be 11 feet high.

Christie's says their eggs are 100 times the size of an average chicken's egg.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-24-13 1438GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This sub-fossilized pre-17th century elephant bird egg was auctioned at Christie's South Kensington gallery on Wednesday for 66,675 pounds ($101,813). Image courtesy of Christie's Images Ltd. 2013.
Last Updated on Friday, 26 April 2013 09:14
 

Beach Boys cache being auctioned off by Fame Bureau

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Written by GREGORY KATZ, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 16:44
Image courtesy of Fame Bureau. LONDON (AP) – The material sat in a Florida storage facility for many years, apparently forgotten, until the storage company finally sold it off in bulk because payments had not been made.

Only then did a buyer open the boxes and discover what is being dubbed “the lost archive” of the Beach Boys, one of America's greatest and most commercially successful bands.

The collection of thousands of documents included what seems to be the band's first royalty check, for $990, dozens of signed contracts, and handwritten and copied scores to Good Vibrations, California Girls and many other hits from their heyday in the 1960s.

Collectors dream of finding neglected treasure—that unblemished Ford Mustang convertible sitting in a garage since 1965—and the Beach Boys memorabilia certainly qualifies. It's now in the hands of a group of investors seeking to sell the entire collection as one unit with the expectation that it will bring several million dollars.

“We thought it would be a crime to break it up,” said Ted Owen, who heads the Fame Bureau, the London-based firm handling the sealed-bid auction, which ends on May 15.

The collection is unique, he said, in part because the handwritten musical scores and lyrics showcase the arranging skills of Brian Wilson, widely recognized as the creative force behind the band's success.

“What's striking is just how creative and detailed it is,” Owen said. “You get the notes, then you move into the music sheets, he does the horn construction, the violin construction, you see the song development. This is right from the beginning—well thought out melodies, well thought out harmonies. It's an inside view of the construction of songs, and his genius, really.”

There is no firm reserve price, but Owen said the “single sale” approach may be scrapped if bids don't meet expectations.

The story of the collection's provenance is somewhat convoluted. Owen said the material was apparently put in storage in the mid-1970s by a relative of a band member who felt it needed to be in a safe place. The cache included one box of about 15 Stetson hats the Beach Boys wore on stage during their hippie period.

When the storage payment bills went unpaid for a long stretch, the material was sold unopened to a buyer who apparently didn't know what was inside, Owen said. That person eventually approached Owen for an estimate of its worth on the burgeoning rock memorabilia market. The material was then sold to the investors that own it now, he said.

The Beach Boys tried and failed to establish legal ownership of the archives, Owen said.

“It was ruled a fair find,” he said. “I'm selling it for a group that made an investment. The rights are 100 percent clear now.”

The Beach Boys are, understandably, less than enthusiastic about the sale of the material, which includes personal photos and letters, including an unusual shot of the late George Harrison with Mike Love, both sporting the long beards popular in the early 1970s.

“I can confirm that the band is aware of the auction,” Beach Boys representative Jay Jones said in an email. “The band will not be available for interviews in regards to this matter.”

The band is a shadow of its former self. Founding members Carl and Dennis Wilson are dead, and Brian Wilson, the sole survivor of the three brothers, has been embroiled in a series of divisive lawsuits with Love, another founder.

Brian Wilson suffered a prolonged mental collapse at the height of the band's glory years, but has re-emerged as a successful solo performer in the last 20 years, although he often appears fragile in public.

There is little in the “lost archive” to foreshadow these legal problems and personal tragedies. While some lyrics in Brian Wilson's handwriting are drenched in melancholia, most convey the band's signature, sunny optimism.

“He wrote some of the best pop songs of all time,” said Neil Warnock, chief executive of The Agency Group Worldwide, a leading concert organizer.

“They were absolutely riveting two- and three-minute pop songs. The more serious stuff, Pet Sounds, resonates with every single generation as being a classic piece of music. He's written a canon of music that is absolutely essential. He just thinks in five-part harmony.”

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-19-13 1117GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Image courtesy of Fame Bureau.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 16:57
 

Fudge family opens new auction company in Fla.

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 19 April 2013 09:42

Charles Fudge and his daughter Amy Stalker, owner of ATM Antiques and Auctions LLC.

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. – Charles Fudge, formerly of Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC, is passing the auction gavel to his eldest daughter, Amy Stalker, owner of ATM Antiques & Auctions LLC.

Fudge has been in the antique business for the last 40 years and says he is ready to slow down, not wanting to see the family business close. Stalker decided to open her own auction house, so under the supervision of her father, she will apprentice for the next year. ATM is an acronym keeping this a family business: A—Amy Stalker, T—Tammy Fudge and M—Melissa Fudge.

Amy, is the owner, Tammy is Amy’s mother and Melissa is Amy’s younger sister and daughter to Charlie and Tammy.

ATM’s first auction is April 27 at 6 p.m. EDT and features a nice selection of antiques, collectibles, art glass, bronzes, furniture, jewelry and more. Items of interest are a J.W. Fiske fountain, Remington bronzes, a large selection of Cambridge and Fenton art glass along with pieces of jewelry.

The auction will be featured live online via www.liveauctioneers.com.

ATM Antiques & Auctions LLC is accepting quality consignments for future auctions as well as buying. Complete terms of sale can be found on the company’s website at www.charliefudge.com. For more information phone 352-795-2061 or 1-800-542-3877.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Charles Fudge and his daughter Amy Stalker, owner of ATM Antiques and Auctions LLC. 

From left to right: Amy Stalker, Tammy Fudge and Melissa Fudge of ATM Antiques and Auctions LLC. 

Last Updated on Friday, 19 April 2013 12:27
 

Skinner closes Boston gallery in accordance with lockdown order

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 19 April 2013 08:34

BOSTON - Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers will not open for business today, April 19, in accordance with Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick's orders following the Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent crimes of the past 24 hours. The governor has instructed Boston residents to remain in their homes and for businesses to remain closed for the day.

In an announcement issued by Skinner, CEO Karen Keane says the company is "monitoring the situation" and urges customers to consult Skinner's website for updates.

"If you are in the Boston area, we hope you stay safe and secure during this difficult time," Keane said.

Visit Skinner online at www.skinnerinc.com.

#   #   #

Last Updated on Friday, 19 April 2013 11:24
 

DNA discoverer's letter sells for record-setting $5.3M

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Written by ULA ILNYTZKY, Associated Press   
Friday, 12 April 2013 13:06

Francis Crick. Image by Marc Lieberman. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

NEW YORK (AP) – A letter that scientist Francis Crick wrote to his son about his Nobel Prize-winning DNA discovery was sold to anonymous buyer at a New York City auction on Wednesday for a record-breaking $5.3 million.

The price, which far exceeded the $1 million presale estimate, topped $6 million when the commission is included, according to Christie's. The price was a record for a letter sold at auction, Christie's said, eclipsing an Abraham Lincoln letter that sold in April 2008 for $3.4 million including commission.

The items are among a dozen artifacts Crick's heirs are selling to benefit scientific research.

In the March 19, 1953, handwritten letter to his 12-year-old son, Michael, Crick describes his discovery of the structure of DNA as something “beautiful.” The note tells his son how he and James Watson found the copying mechanism “by which life comes from life.” It includes a simple sketch of DNA's double helix structure, which Crick concedes he can't draw very well.

The seven-page letter, written to his son in boarding school, concludes: “Read this carefully so that you will understand it. When you come home we will show you the model. Lots of love, Daddy.”

Crick, who died in 2004 at age 88, was awarded the Nobel Prize along with Watson and Maurice Wilkins. He spent the latter decades of his career doing brain research at the Salk Institute, where he became a professor in 1977.

Michael Crick's daughter Kindra said the family decided to sell the medal and other items because they had been in storage for 50 years, first locked up in a room of her grandfather's La Jolla, Calif., home and later in a safe deposit box.

They chose to sell them now because it “coincides with the 60th anniversary of the historic discovery and 50 years since he received the award,” she said.

Half the proceeds from the Christie's sale will benefit the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, the granddaughter said. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the Heritage Auctions sale will go to the new Francis Crick Institute in London, a medical research institute slated to open in 2015.

Michael Crick, who was in New York to attend the auctions with his daughter, told The Associated Press that the family hoped the prospective buyers “will give people the opportunity to look at them and that they will be an inspiration for future scientists.”

The Nobel Prize won by Crick in 1962 for his discovery of DNA was sold Thursday at auction for more than $2 million.

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions said it is only the second time that a Nobel medal has been offered at a public auction. The first was Niels Bohr's 1922 Nobel in Physics that sold in November for about $50,000, said Sandra Palomino, director of its historical manuscripts.

The late William Faulkner's 1950 Nobel Prize for Literature is heading for auction at Sotheby's in June.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-11-13 0332GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Francis Crick. Image by Marc Lieberman. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.  

Last Updated on Friday, 12 April 2013 13:39
 

1962 Nobel Prize brings $2.27 million at Heritage Auctions

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 11 April 2013 13:15

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

NEW YORK – The 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine awarded to Dr. Francis Harry Compton Crick, along with Drs. James Dewey Watson and Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins, for “... their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material,” or what would become known as DNA, sold today, for $2.27 million (including buyer’s premium) as the highlight of Heritage Auctions’ Historical Manuscripts Signature Auction.

“This auction, given the international attention is received, showed the continuing importance of Crick’s, Watson’s and Franklin’s discovery 60 years after they made it,” said Sandra Palomino, director of historic manuscripts at Heritage Auctions. “This medal is the physical embodiment of the importance that discovery represented and, as such, worth every bit of the final $2.27-plus million price realized.”

The medal sold to Jack Wang, the CEO of Biomobie, a Shanghai, China, biomedical firm, who had flown in for the auction.

“Dr. Crick’s Nobel Prize medal and diploma will be used to encourage scientists unraveling the mysteries of the Bioboosti, a bio electrical signal that may control and enable the regeneration of damaged human organs,” he said. “The discovery of the Bioboosti may launch a biomedical revolution like the discovery of the structure of DNA. It may recover damaged human organs and retard the aging process, achieving the goal of self-recovering from disease and poor health conditions. “

Crick’s Nobel Prize has been kept in a safe deposit box in California since Crick’s widow died, and was consigned to auction by his heirs. It is one of 10 lots consigned by the family, including Crick’s endorsed Nobel Prize check, dated Dec. 10, 1962, which realized $77,675.

In addition, the Prize's proceeds will again be used to promote ground-breaking scientific research, as a portion of the sale will be awarded to the new Francis Crick Institute in London set to be completed in 2015.

“The discovery of the structure of DNA launched a scientific revolution and forever changed human understanding of life,” said Palomino.

Crick’s initials are engraved on the reverse of the medal, along with the year of the prize, 1962, presented in Roman numerals: “F. H. C. Crick/MCMLXII.” The second piece of the Prize, the Nobel diploma – two beautifully handwritten, vellum pages, 9.5" x 13.5", in Swedish, dated Stockholm, October 18, 1962 – is also included.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 13:48
 

Christie's to sell Basquiat masterpiece 'Dustheads' May 15

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 11 April 2013 08:24

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), 'Dustheads,' acrylic, oilstick, spray enamel and metallic paint on canvas 72 x 84 in. (182.8 x 213.3 cm.). Painted in 1982. Estimate: $25-35 million. Christie's image.

NEW YORK – On May 15, Christie's Evening Auction of Postwar & Contemporary Art will present a major painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Executed in 1982 at the height of his creative development and fame, Dustheads can be seen in both its scale and ambition as its epitome of his signature style.

Painted with a combustive palette, Dustheads becomes an intuitive, gestural whirlwind made during the pinnacle of the artist’s practice. With an estimate of $25-35 million, the painting will likely break Basquiat’s record of $26.4 million, which was just achieved last November in New York.

Set against a backdrop of intense, inky blackness, the brightly colored figures in Basquiat’s Dustheads represent the ultimate tour-de-force of expressive line, color and form that has come to embody Basquiat’s iconic painterly oeuvre. An acknowledged masterpiece from a pivotal year in the artist’s career, this painting demonstrates Basquiat’s unique ability to combine raw, unabashed expressive emotion while displaying a draftsmanship that was unrivalled in modern painting.

Housed in the same private collection for almost 20 years, Dustheads was included in the seminal exhibition of the artist’s work organized by the Fondation Beyeler, Basel in 2010 (and which later traveled to the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris) and is widely referenced in the artist’s monographs, including the cover of the catalog to the 2006 Basquiat retrospective organized by the Fondazione La Triennale di Milano. This painting displays the full force of Basquiat’s emotive power as an artist and provides ample evidence of his unique painterly language—a language that came to define a generation and one that is still heard loudly today.

“Basquiat had always been considered an outsider by the art world establishment, yet the everlasting power, relevance and integrity of his work have gradually identified him as the creative leader of his generation. Only since Pollock has a painter come to personify such artistic freedom and irreverence. Dustheads, a portrait of two figures doped up on "angel dust," exemplifies Basquiat's artistic creation with "no strings attached.” The work is undoubtedly one of his best paintings and perhaps the last great masterpiece to come to auction” declared Loic Gouzer, international specialist of postwar and contemporary art.

Monumental, yet intensely personal, Dustheads succinctly captures the vitality and vivacity of Basquiat’s artistic practice during this key period of the artist’s career. The pair of ghost-like figures portrayed in Dustheads is composed of a rich symphony of brushstrokes and marks that Basquiat draws together into an opus of line, color and form. Composed of broad brushstrokes of acrylic paint, entwined with expressive scrawls of oilstick plus accents of spray enamel and metallic paint, the resulting marks vary greatly in their variety, depth and rhythmic clarity. Expressionist in its exuberance, the frenetic brushwork acts as the framework for the rest of the composition, built up methodically through layers of drips, scrawls and passages of pigment massaged with the artists own fingers.

The robust figure on the right, fully rendered in a pigment of blood red and silhouetted with a crisp white outline, aggressively dominates the composition, with its arms raised in dramatic fashion. The restrained execution of the body is contrasted with the amazing richness of the figure’s mask-like face. This sumptuous figure is the latest in a lineage that Basquiat began with the loosely drawn simplistic stickmen of his early days as the graffiti artist SAMO, and by 1982 had morphed into more fully developed and executed figures yet with his use of spray paint and rapid execution, still bearing all the hallmarks from his days as a street artist tagging his work all over New York. In contrast, the second—more rudimental—figure becomes almost a mirror image or alter-ego of the first. The head, bathed in golden hues of yellow, pink and orange is much simpler and dominated by a pair of hypnotic eyes that draw the viewer in by staring out with its myriad of multi-colored concentric circles. The complex layers that are visible in the first figure are transformed into much more lyrical aspects in the second, soft tones gently merging into one another giving the appearance of radiant skin. The features are defined by Basquiat’s simple movement of the hand, outlining the contours of the face, chin, teeth and cheeks in oilstick and the fragments of a body, such as it is, consists merely of a few select lines of white paint drawn across the blackness of the background, delineating the merest notion of a figure. The sheer power and expressive quality of these energetic gestures marks out Dustheads as an outstanding example of the art being produced during the early 1980s, one of the most exciting and innovative periods of New Yorks’ art historical supremacy.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), 'Dustheads,' acrylic, oilstick, spray enamel and metallic paint on canvas 72 x 84 in. (182.8 x 213.3 cm.). Painted in 1982. Estimate: $25-35 million. Christie's image.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 08:52
 

Christie’s to hold auction in Shanghai in autumn 2013

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 14:45

Lujiazui, the financial district in Shanghai. Image by J. Patrick Fischer. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

SHANGHAI – Christie’s has announced that it will hold auctions in Shanghai beginning autumn 2013, having become the first international fine art auction company to be granted a license to operate independently in mainland China.

Christie’s has cultivated long-term relationships with the art community in China since becoming the first international auction house to open a representative office in Shanghai in 1994, during which time China has become one of the largest and fastest-growing art markets in the world. The number of clients from mainland China bidding at Christie’s global auctions has doubled since 2008. This growing client base participates increasingly in Christie’s auction centers in London, New York, Hong Kong and Paris.

“This development makes Christie’s the first international auction house able to directly conduct auctions in China under its own brand, and will offer collectors a more direct access to our global network and expertise. The art market continues to grow at a tremendous rate due to the burgeoning interest in art particularly in Asia and China; now Christie’s will be able to engage with our clients in Shanghai in the same way that we have done over many years in London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong,” said Steven P. Murphy, chief executive officer of Christie's.

Further details of the auction will be announced at a later date.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Lujiazui, the financial district in Shanghai. Image by J. Patrick Fischer. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 15:14
 

Rago Auctions to host talk on Jersey Shore painters Apr. 17

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 08 April 2013 10:13

Mildred Miller, 'South Jersey Dock,' ca. 1935. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Join Rago Auctions on Wednesday, April 17, for an open house featuring a talk by Roy Pedersen titled “Coastal Impressions: Painters of the Jersey Shore.” Rago Arts and Auction Center will open at noon that day. A reception begins at 5 p.m. The lecture begins at 6 p.m. The open house is part of the preview to Rago Auctions’ No Reserve and Estates Auction.

"Coastal Impressions: Painters of the Jersey Shore, 1879-1940" illustrates the history of artists who lived, worked and drew inspiration from Jersey's resplendent shores.

Roy Pedersen, author and gallerist, owns the Pedersen Gallery in Lambertville. The exhibition "Coastal Impressions: Painters of the Jersey Shore, 1879-1940" is on view at Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton, N.J., from April 26 to Sept. 8, sponsored by Rago's.

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 if you can. All are welcome.

Rago Arts and Auction Center is located at 333 N. Main St., Lambertville, NJ 08530.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

 Mildred Miller, 'South Jersey Dock,' ca. 1935. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

Charles Freeman, 'October Meadow,' 1916. Rago Arts and Auction Center image. 

Ida Wells Stroud, 'Clara Eating Strawberries,' 1916. Rago Arts and Auction Center image. 

Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2013 10:33
 

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers to sell gold-clad Steinway

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 08 April 2013 09:16

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

CHICAGO – Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will offer a Steinway & Sons Louis XV-style giltwood grand piano in their upcoming Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts auction on April 28-29. The piano will sell the first day of the auction.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The 1904 Model B piano was designed in commemoration of the renowned piano company’s 50th anniversary. Joseph Burr Tiffany, a relative of Tiffany & Co.’s founder and lead artist for Steinway’s art case department commissioned top talent from his team to design several giltwood grand pianos. This particular example, serial number 108815, was designed by Tiffany himself, carved by Juan Ayuso from solid mahogany and clad in 24-karat gold. The piano has had several prominent owners including William Stafford, a New York banker who kept the piano in his Plaza Hotel residence; Benjamin Sawtelle Hanchett and his family, who kept the piano for nearly 65 yeas; George Michalski; and most recently Mark Fritz. The piano was part of Frit’s collection from 2004 until his death in 2012.

Following the recommendation of Steinway chairman John H. Steinway, the piano was restored in 1985 by distinguished piano conservationist Lloyd Meyer of Camilleri Pianoworks. Celebrated concert artists and leading institutions like the Julliard School of Music and the Peabody Conservatory have also relied on Camilleri to restore their cherished instruments.

In addition to the giltwood grand piano, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will offer a Steinway & Sons marquetry decorated baby grand piano. Both Steinway pianos are from the estate of Mark Fritz of West Bloomfield, Mich. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers recently sold other items from the Fritz estate, including over 500 opera glasses, monoculars and other ophthalmic antiques, in their Feb. 12-14 Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts auction.

For inquiries phone 312-280-1212.

View the fully illustrated auction catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

 Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2013 09:30
 
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