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Auction Houses in the News

Harrisburg, Pa., to sell artifacts from museum project

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 23 January 2012 10:30

Mid-19th-century watercolor street scene of Harrisburg with the German Reform Church as its central subject. Signed 'J.F. Messick 1857.' Auctioned on Jan. 5, 2007 at Pook & Pook. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Pook & Pook.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania's financially troubled capital city is preparing to auction some 8,000 artifacts bought by a former mayor who had had a grand plan to transform Harrisburg into a historical tourism destination.

The mayor's office said Friday it has selected three finalists to appraise, market and auction the collection. Spokesman Robert Philbin said it spans three centuries of American history.

The artifacts cost millions of dollars in public money and were purchased by ex-Mayor Steve Reed as part of a failed plan to build museums dedicated to sports, the Wild West and African American history.

The three firms selected are Freeman's in Philadelphia, Guernsey's in New York and the Potomack Co., in Alexandria, Va.

Philbin says an auctioneer will be selected before the spring auction season.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-01-20-12 2233GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Mid-19th-century watercolor street scene of Harrisburg with the German Reform Church as its central subject. Signed 'J.F. Messick 1857.' Auctioned on Jan. 5, 2007 at Pook & Pook. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Pook & Pook. 

Last Updated on Monday, 23 January 2012 11:35
 

Alexander Graham Bell letter, sketch ring up $92,856

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 20 January 2012 10:19

A page from a letter from Alexander Graham Bell explaining how to avoid damage from lightning. RR Auction in Amherst, N.H., sold the signed seven-page letter for more than $92,000. Image courtesy of RR Auction.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – A New Hampshire auctioneer says an 1878 letter from Alexander Graham Bell to his parents that includes rare and elaborate drawings of the telephone he invented has sold for more than $92,000.

The seven-page letter instructs his parents on how to ground the telephone to avoid harm from lightning strikes.

Bell was responding to a letter from his parents telling him how a lightning strike had damaged their wiring.

The letter was written just two years after Bell obtained the patent on the telephone and made his first call to his assistant, Thomas Watson.

Bidding on the letter offered by Amherst-based RRAuction began in December and ended Wednesday, with the top bid coming in at $92,856.

RRAuction vice president Bobby Livingston expected bidding to top out at $80,000.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-01-19-12 1521GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

A page from a letter from Alexander Graham Bell explaining how to avoid damage from lightning. RR Auction in Amherst, N.H., sold the signed seven-page letter for more than $92,000. Image courtesy of RR Auction. 

Last Updated on Friday, 20 January 2012 10:33
 

NY auction of Brooke Astor's jewels, art moved to September

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 19 January 2012 10:11

Brooke Astor in 2002 in her duplex at 778 Park Ave., New York. Faithful digitized rendering of a unique historic image. Fair use of possibly copyrighted image under the guidelines of U.S. Copyright Law. Image used to illustrate the subject of the commentary; no free photo exists, subject is deceased.

NEW YORK (AP) - A New York auction of jewelry and artwork from the estate of philanthropist Brooke Astor is now scheduled for September.

Sotheby's said Tuesday that the auction has been pushed back from April due to its "wide range and volume.''

The sale now will be held over two days, sometime during the week of Sept. 24.

The proceeds will benefit Astor's favorite charities, including the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York City schools.

Astor died in 2007 at 105.

Anthony Marshall was found guilty in 2009 of exploiting his mother's dementia to help himself to millions of dollars. He's free pending appeal.

The auction will include property from Astor's Manhattan apartment and her country house in Westchester County.

___

Online: www.sothebys.com

#   #   #

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 January 2012 10:24
 

Clars to auction original C.M. Russell sketches Feb. 19

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 09:00

C.M. Russell signed each of the sketches made for Dr. John Louis Weitman while on a western camping trip in 1899. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery will offer three rare pencil drawings by Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926) as part of their Feb. 19 Antiques and Fine Art Auction. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Being offered as one lot, this series of three drawings is entitled The Camping Trip and was done by Russell is 1899 as a personal remembrance of the camping trip he took with life-long friend Dr. John Louis Weitman in the mountains of Montana. The sketches were given to Weitman as a gift from Russell and have descended through the Weitman family to his granddaughters who have consigned them to Clars.

These sketches were on exhibit in 1957 and 1985-1987 at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Mont., through the generosity of the Weitman family. Now, for the first time, they will be offered publicly along with many of Weitman’s personal items including a letter dated 1905, which mentions Russell. This important offering has been assigned an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.

Rick Unruh, director of Fine Arts at Clars Auction Gallery who is handling this consignment notes that Dr. John Weitman himself was a renowned physician in Montana until moving to Oakland, Calif., when he retired. His friendship with Russell is evidenced in a photo in which C.M. Russell and Weitman are pictured together.

For more information on this important lot and Clars Feb. 18-19 Antiques and Fine Art sale, call 510-428-0110 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit their website at www.clars.com Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609.

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

#   #   #



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

 The three C.M. Russell pencil sketches will be sold as one lot. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

A photo shows Charles M. Russell (second from left) with Dr. John Louis Weitman (far right). Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 12:23
 

Watches, American glass are unexpected gems in Keno sale

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 12 January 2012 16:23

The gilt brass drum-shape pendant watch appears to be an early case with a later (18th century style) custom-made movement. It has an engraved 24-hour dial with a single hand. The estimate is $2,000-$3,000. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

NEW YORK – Pocket watches and early American glass are not what made Leigh Keno famous, but unexpected finds helped propel him and his brother Leslie to the forefront of pop culture in the late 1990s.

As appraisers for the PBS series Antiques Roadshow, the twins spotted a card table and identified it as the work of 18th-century craftsmen John and Thomas Seymour of Boston. Purchased at an estate sale by an elementary schoolteacher for $25, this masterpiece of American furniture making, sold for $541,000 at auction in 1998.

Now Leigh has his own auction house in New York and has put together a sale of Important Americana, Paintings, Furniture and Decorative Arts on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at the start of Americana Week. While a Thomas Seymour card table is one of the headliners in the auction, the unexpected items are attracting many collectors.

A small but unique collection of 17th- to 19th-century pocket watches from the estate of Atlanta art patron George E. Missbach is drawing much attention to the auction, which will have Internet live bidding provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.

“Some of the watches that may appeal to collectors include lot 254, a handsome silver and tortoiseshell pair case pocket watch with sun and moon dial, circa 1700; lot 266, two pocket watches, a unique silver gilt pocket watch with three dials, circa 1860-1880, and a gilt and white enamel pocket watch with painted scene, circa 1880; and lot 268 consisting of two engraved silver pocket watches, the first a silver and engraved brass pair case pocket watch, early 18th century, and a silver quadruple case pocket watch with inner tortoiseshell case, circa 1820,” said Leigh Keno, president of Keno Auctions.

The pocket watches are grouped in lots 253-268.

Of the glassware, grouped in lots 164-174, much of the presale attention has been on the flasks.

A Colombia blown flask in clear with blue tint cornflower, 7 inches high by 4 inches wide, has 13 six-pointed stars in a semicircle above the bust on one side and a large American Eagle on the reverse. This rare flask from a Rhode Island family home has a $5,000-$10,000 estimate.

Colorful pieces include a pair of canary dolphin candlesticks (lot 167) made by the Boston and Sandwich Glass Co., 1845-1865 (est. $1,000-$1,500), and a Sandwich Star-pattern spoon holder/spill, which are paired with a covered sugar bowl in the Gothic Arch pattern, both blue, (est. $1,200-$1,800).



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

The gilt brass drum-shape pendant watch appears to be an early case with a later (18th century style) custom-made movement. It has an engraved 24-hour dial with a single hand. The estimate is $2,000-$3,000. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions. 

 This rare blown flask is clear glass having a blue tint and pictures a bust of Columbia on one side and an American Eagle on the reverse. The 7-inch-tall flask has a $5,000-$10,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

Dolphin candlesticks by Boston and Sandwich Glass Co. are favorites of early American glass collectors. These canary-colored candleholders are 10 1/2 inches high and have a $1,000-$1,500 estimate. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 January 2012 17:05
 

Welcoming Hong Kong Auction Gallery: Gateway to Chinese art

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Written by ACNI Staff   
Friday, 30 December 2011 11:11

The elegant entrance to Hong Kong Auction Gallery at the Lefcourt Colonial Building, 295 Madison Ave., in New York City. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Auction Gallery.

NEW YORK (ACNI) – The Year of the Dragon will sweep into Manhattan with an energetic roar in 2012, as LiveAuctioneers begins its marketing association with a prominent name in Asian art – Hong Kong Auction Gallery. As of Jan. 1, the New York auction house with deeply rooted ties to both Hong Kong and Mainland China will be joining the roster of 1,200+ clients who choose LiveAuctioneers for their Internet live-bidding services. The company’s auction debut on LiveAuctioneers is set for Sunday, March 18.

In 2012, Hong Kong Auction Gallery will celebrate its 10th anniversary, and with this milestone comes a name change. As of the New Year, Hong Kong Auction Gallery will be operating under the name “Gianguan Auctions.” While ownership and soft use of the original Hong Kong Auction Gallery name will be retained during the transition period, the “d/b/a” of Gianguan Auctions will be introduced as the firm’s primary identity.

As gallery associate Mary Ann Lum explained, the name “Hong Kong Auction Gallery” had caused confusion with some of their bidders in the past. “There have been winning bidders in Hong Kong who thought they could come over to the gallery to pick up their purchases,” she said. “We had to tell them that we are located on Madison Avenue in New York and that we would have to ship their purchases to them.” Eventually the decision was made to change the company’s name to prevent any further misunderstanding.

The name “Gianguan” refers to the reign of Emperor Taizong of Tang (Chinese Jan. 23, 599 – July 10, 649) – the Golden Period in Chinese history. It is a fitting new name for an auction house whose performance over the past decade has been "golden," with many world record prices to its credit.

Hong Kong Auction Gallery/Gianguan Auctions operates under the direction of Chinese-born Kwong Lum, who recently was named Chief Consultant to Beijing’s National Museum. This appointment is an acknowledgement of Lum’s reputation as one of the foremost experts in traditional and modern Chinese art and antiques.

In his own right, Lum is a renowned scholar and accomplished artist, calligrapher and poet. To honor his achievements in art and literature, and in recognition of his success in implementing cultural exchange between the East and West, the Chinese Government recently built a 5,500-square-meter art museum for Kwong Lum. Lum asked that the museum be built in his hometown of Jiangmen, in Guangdong Province, rather than in Beijing, where it would have assumed a higher public profile. The Kwong Lum Museum of Art is the first art institution ever built by the Chinese Government for a living artist.

As a boy, Kwong Lum was a painting prodigy. At the age of nine, under the guidance of his art teacher, he began collecting ancient Chinese artwork. His early Sai Yang Tang collection included a dozen 3,300-year-old jade and animal-bone seals of the Shang Dynasty’s King Wuding, a hand scroll of calligraphy by the Northern Song master Huang Tingjian, and paintings and albums of the early Qing Dynasty (1645-1911) artists Shi Tao and Ba Da Shan Ren. In 1957, he took his entire collection of priceless art treasures with him to Canada, where he studied at the Ontario College of Art.

In 1964, Kwong Lum moved to the United States. He has spent more than four decades in New York City, working, painting, writing, collecting and studying traditional artwork, as well as organizing cultural activities to present China’s traditional art legacy to a Western audience.

In 2001, Lum and a group of noted American art connoisseurs launched Hong Kong International Auction House in Hong Kong, conducting auctions of traditional Chinese art in Asia and America on a seasonal basis.

“We consider our auctions an inseparable part of our longterm goal of promoting the cultural and economic exchanges between China and the outside world,” Lum told interviewers from New York Chinese-Language Television and China’s CCTV.

In 2004, Lum opened a New York office in the Lefcourt Building on Madison Avenue and initiated a schedule of quarterly auctions. Now those auctions of premier-quality Chinese and Asian art and antiques will be accessible to art buyers worldwide via Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com, commencing March 18.

To contact Hong Kong Auction Gallery/Gianguan Auctions, call 212-867-7288. Visit the company’s website at www.gianguanauctions.com.

# # #

Copyright 2011 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

The elegant entrance to Hong Kong Auction Gallery at the Lefcourt Colonial Building, 295 Madison Ave., in New York City. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Auction Gallery.

Kwong Lum is not only Hong Kong Auction Gallery's auctioneer, he is also an artist, calligrapher, poet and advisor to the National Museum of China. He is the first living artist to be honored with a museum in his name in that country. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Auction Gallery.

A view of the serene interior of Kong Kong Auction Gallery. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Auction Gallery.

A highlight from one of Hong Kong Auction Gallery's past sales. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Auction Gallery.

A highlight from one of Hong Kong Auction Gallery's past sales. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Auction Gallery.

A highlight from one of Hong Kong Auction Gallery's past sales. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Auction Gallery.

A highlight from one of Hong Kong Auction Gallery's past sales. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Auction Gallery.

A highlight from one of Hong Kong Auction Gallery's past sales. Image courtesy of Hong Kong Auction Gallery.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 December 2011 12:11
 

Welcoming Keno Auctions: A modern approach to American antiques

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Written by ACNI Staff   
Friday, 30 December 2011 11:11

Leigh Keno is one of the most immediately recognizable figures in the antiques and fine art trade. He presides at the podium at all sales conducted by Keno Auctions. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

NEW YORK (ACNI) – Antiques were always an accepted part of life for Leigh Keno, the American fine and decorative arts expert who is president of Keno Auctions in New York City.

As a toddler, Leigh went everywhere with his antiques-dealing parents Norma and Ronald Keno – shows, flea markets, tag sales, garage sales – and by the time he was a pre-schooler, he, too, had the antiques “bug.”

Living on an idyllic 100-acre property in Mohawk, New York, Leigh spent much of his free time with his twin brother, Leslie, combing the area around the family home to see what “treasures” the earth might offer. “We even picked up dead bees to study and categorize for our insect collection,” Leigh recalled.

In time, the siblings would receive bicycles, which they used in their search for riverbed bottle dumps and dilapidated barns, from whose boards they would pull the old hinges and hardware that formed one of their first meaningful collections. But it was at shows that the enfants terribles of the antiques business learned their best lessons, by observing the experts and even testing the waters as fledgling dealers.

“By the time we were 11 or 12, we had our own blanket we would lay out at shows to sell our joint inventory of merchandise,” Leigh recalled. “That was our part of the booth. Sometimes we paid our parents part of the booth rent, and we kept records of every purchase and sale and always issued receipts.” In the diary of transactions kept by Leigh and his brother was written the prophetic notation “We are antique dealers.”

“I can remember us pulling on our L.L. Bean boots to comb the muddy turf at Brimfield after a rain, Leigh said. During the very early hours we’d walk around with our flashlights, shining them into vehicles to look for ‘sleepers.’ On plenty of occasions that’s just what we’d find – dealers trying to get some sleep. I remember one time seeing an arm raise up from inside a vehicle and someone saying, ‘Who the heck is that?’”

Not surprisingly, Leigh developed an early interest in folk art and Americana, since those were his parents’ specialties. His favorite category was stoneware, and while still a preteen, Leigh and his brother precociously amassed a collection of the distinctive pottery, including many rare examples. The boys’ collection remained in the Keno home until it was sold – with reluctance – to pay college expenses.

Leigh earned his stripes the proper way. He graduated with a B.A. in art history from Hamilton College and went on to become a graduate fellow at Historic Deerfield and visiting scholar at Wintherthur Museum.

He later worked as the Director of American Furniture Department at Doyle Galleries in New York City, and was Vice President of Appraisals and Specialist in the American Furniture Department at Christie's New York.

In 1986, Leigh opened a gallery specializing in 18th to 20th-century American furniture and decorative arts, which he continued to operate until founding Keno Auctions in 2009.

Leigh is a popular speaker on the lecture circuit and appears regularly on the PBS Television’s Antiques Roadshow. In 2000, Leigh co-authored Hidden Treasures: Searching for Masterpieces of American Furniture, which recounts some of his most memorable furniture discoveries. Since 2001, Leigh has written monthly furniture and design columns for House Beautiful and This Old House magazines and is currently editor-at-large for Traditional Home magazine. Leigh was the co-host of Buried Treasure, a primetime television series on the Fox Network.

Even Washington has taken notice of Keno’s accomplishments. In 2005, President George W. Bush awarded Leigh the prestigious National Humanities Medal, a distinction bestowed upon individuals or groups whose work has “deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened American citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities.” That description from the National Endowment for the Humanities might very well have been written expressly with the founder and hands-on president of Keno Auctions in mind.

Keno describes his Manhattan-based operation as “a modern auction house that knows the importance of legacy,” adding, “We are dynamic and creative, and have assembled a brilliant network of specialists involved in paintings, furniture, decorative arts and jewelry. We love luxury and inspiration, and offer all of the excitement and thrill associated with the auction process.” And as of the New Year, that excitement will include Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com.

The gallery’s next high-profile event – and the first to have an association with LiveAuctioneers – is a Jan. 17 auction of Americana, paintings and decorative arts, with an afternoon session featuring the Peter Brams Collection of Important Woodlands Indian Art.

Among the many extraordinary early American pieces in the auction is the Drake Family carved and painted joined chest attributed to the Deacon John Moore Shop (1614-1677, Windsor, Conn.) tradition. A quintessential New England production, it may sell in the vicinity of $80,000-$120,000.

Keno Auctions’ gallery is located at 127 E. 69th St., New York, NY 10021. Their contact telephone is 212-734-2381, and their e-mail address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit them online at http://www.kenoauctions.com.

To view the fully illustrated catalogs for both sessions of the Jan. 17 sale at Keno Auctions and to sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet, log on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

# # #

Session I:
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.
Session II:
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.

 

Copyright 2011 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Leigh Keno is one of the most immediately recognizable figures in the antiques and fine art trade. He presides at the podium at all sales conducted by Keno Auctions. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

The stylish entrance to Keno Auctions' Upper East Side gallery at 127 E. 69th St. in Manhattan. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

Keno Auctions will present the Peter Brams Collection of Important Woodlands Indian Art on Jan. 17, 2012, with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

Keno Auctions will present Important Americana, Paintings, Furniture and Decorative Arts on Jan. 17, 2012, with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

The Drake Family carved and painted joined chest with drawer, foliated vine group attributed to the Deacon John Moore (1614-1677, Windsor, Conn.) Shop tradition. Est. $80,000-$120,000. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

 Fancy painted and gilt card table, attributed to Homas Seymour (1771-1848) with decoration attributed to the school of John Ritto Penniman (1782-1841) probably executed by Joshua Holden, Boston, circa 1808-1812. Est. $40,000-$80,000. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

Prior-Hamblin school, ‘Baby in a Rocking Basket with Cherries,’ circa 1835, oil on canvas, 27 x 22 in. Est. $25,000-$35,000. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

Chippendale spiral and fluted and C-scrolled carved and inlaid candle stand with octagonal top, eastern New England, circa 1780. Est. $10,000-$20,000. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

Frederick Childe Hassam (American, 1859-1935), ‘Smelt Fishers, Cos Cob, 1902,’ signed and dated lower right ‘Childe Hassam/1902,’ pastel and charcoal over pencil on paper board, 9 5/8 x 10¾ in. Est. $30,000-$50,000. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

The Thompson Family Lenni Lenape Seated Human Effigy Feast Ladle, 18th century, probably first half. From the Peter Brams Collection of Important Woodland Indians Art. Est. $40,000-$60,000. Image courtesy of Keno Auctions.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 January 2012 15:16
 

Welcoming I.M. Chait: From Asian art to dinosaurs in Beverly Hills

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Written by ACNI Staff   
Friday, 30 December 2011 11:11

I.M. Chait displayed this giant saber-toothed cat skull at their New York showroom in 2011. Image courtesy of I.M. Chait.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (ACNI) – Among the distinguished auction houses that will be joining the LiveAuctioneers.com family in the New Year is a Beverly Hills-based firm that consistently represents the gold standard in Asian art, natural history specimens, gemology and several other fields of expertise: I.M. Chait.

As is the case with most highly successful auction houses, the Chait family's tight-knit operation is driven by passion. It all began back in the decade of peace, love and protest.

When a draft notice interrupted Isadore M. Chait’s college education in the early 1960s he didn’t flee to Canada to avoid the war in Vietnam. Instead he signed up with the U.S. Marine Corps to serve his country and get out and on his way in two years' time. It’s this innate “get it done” attitude that has guided Chait to the top of the field in Asian art.

Today I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers is a family-owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience.

While many American veterans stationed in Southeast Asia might have preferred to forget their time there, Isadore Chait embraced the experience.

“I fell in love with the people, the culture, the food, the music and the art,” he said.

Especially the art.

Returning to college, Chait completed course requirements in 2 1/2 years, graduating cum laude from the University of California at Los Angeles with a bachelor's degree in anthropology.

Selling several pieces that he had brought back from Asia—for a nice profit—made Chait realize a career as a teacher wasn’t his true calling.

“I was having fun buying and selling,” said Chait. “More fun than being back in school.”

Two years after he started selling Chinese antiques from his living room in 1967, Chait opened his first gallery specializing in Asian art.

Developing an eye for quality and authenticity, Chait became an expert in the field.

“I had the common sense to discern truth from fiction,” said Chait, who acknowledged making a few mistakes along the way but always learning from them.

Today, I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers guarantees everything they sell as authentic.

As a member of the Appraisers Association of America, Isadore Chait has served as a panel member regarding fakes and forgeries in Asian art and as a consultant specializing in Asian Art. He has also served as president of the Appraisers Association of America’s Southern California region.

Working with Isadore Chait are his wife, Mary Ann; and their sons Joshua, Joey and Jake.

The Chaits have expanded their scope to natural history, jewelry, European and American furniture, and fine art.

Their fifth annual New York Asia Week auction in March grossed $2 million.

I.M. Chait’s next big auction will be Jan. 15 in Beverly Hills, consisting of Asian and other collectibles, antiques and furnishings from a West Los Angeles Estate. I.M. Chait’s next major specialty auction will be Jan. 29, an Asian and International Fine Arts Auction, also at their Beverly Hills gallery, 9330 Civic Center Drive. These sales will feature Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com.

In his spare time Izzy Chait still enjoys his second calling as a jazz vocalist, which he has been doing since his college days. On a recent Friday evening when Auction Central News interviewed Chait he was on his way to a singing appearance at the Hollywood Studio Bar and Grill. That's what we call a passion for life.

To contact I.M. Chait phone toll-free 800-775-5020 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit the I.M. Chait website at www.chait.com.

Watch for the fully illustrated online catalog for I.M. Chait's Jan. 15 sale, which will publish on LiveAuctioneers.com in the New Year.

*  *  *

Copyright 2011 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

I.M. Chait displayed this giant saber-toothed cat skull at their New York showroom in 2011. Image courtesy of I.M. Chait.

The I.M. Chait family consists of (from left) Joshua, Mary Ann, Isadore ‘Izzy,’ Joey and Jake. Image courtesy of I.M. Chait.

Twelve-flanged Ming dynasty porcelain palace vase, 34 inches high, which sold for $183,000 during New York Asia Week in March 2011. Image courtesy of I.M. Chait.

Pair of carved rhinoceros horn vessels, each 19 1/4 inches high, sold well above estimate in 2011 for $271,000. Image courtesy of I.M. Chait.

Antique Chinese porcelain tile with mountainous landscape scene, 19th century, with inscription and seal mark, 15 inches tall, estimated at $600-$800, sold for $67,000 in 2011. Image courtesy of I.M. Chait.

Carved rhinoceros horn figure of Guanyin atop a lotus base, 6 3/4 inches, estimated at $30,000-$50,000, sold for $232,000 in 2011. Image courtesy of I.M. Chait.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 December 2011 12:42
 

Holsman motor buggy to sell at Kaminski auction Dec. 28-29

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:29

The Holsman Model 7 was classified as a Touring Runabout. Its high wheels aided in traveling bad roads. Image courtesy of Kaminski Auctions.

BEVERLY, Mass. – Kaminski Auctions will sell a 1906 horseless carriage at the auction company’s Pre-New Year’s Sale Dec. 28-29. The Holsman Model 7 high wheeler will be sold on Day Two of the auction, which begins at 5 p.m. Eastern both days.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Holsman Automobile Co. was an early automobile manufacturer in Chicago in business from 1901 to 1910. Founder Henry K. Holsman produced a high-wheeler motor buggy for several years. A two-cylinder air-cooled engine powered the Holsman. It used a double- roller chain drive to a lay shaft, with a rope drive to the rear wheels. It had no steering wheel; a single vertical tiller, or joystick, operated the controls.

The Holsman was advertised with the motto: “High Wheels Travel All Roads Because All Roads Are Made To Be Traveled By High Wheels.”

The body and motor of the Holsman Model 7 in Kaminski's auction are in remarkably good condition. The seat is in need of repair. The rope drive was upgraded with an automatic oiler at the time of manufacture. The paint appears to be original.

“These vehicles very rare and do not come to market often. You can imagine any classic car collector or car museum would love to have one of these remarkable vehicles in their collection,” said auctioneer Frank Kaminski.

The Holsman Model 7 high wheeler is estimated to bring $25,000-$35,000.

The auction will be conducted at Kaminski Auctions' gallery in Beverly, Mass.

For additional information call Kaminski's at 978-927-2223.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

The Holsman Model 7 was classified as a Touring Runabout. Its high wheels aided in traveling bad roads. Image courtesy of Kaminski Auctions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:30
 

Explorer Scott's farewell letter to be sold at Bonhams

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 10:47

Robert Falcon Scott, standing center, and his four companions took this photograph of themselves on Jan. 17, 1912, the day after they discovered Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole first. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

LONDON (AP) – A farewell letter written by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott when he realized he would not survive his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole is to be sold in London, Bonhams auction house said Tuesday.

Scott's letter to financier Edgar Speyer, who had helped raised funds for the trip, was found on his body in November 1912. It had been written on March 1912. In the letter Scott writes: “I fear we must go ... but we have been to the Pole and we shall die like gentlemen – I regret only for the women we leave behind.”

He went on to write: “We very nearly came through and it's a pity to have missed it but lately I have felt that we have overshot our mark – no one is to blame and I hope no attempt will be made to suggest that we lacked support.”

Scott is an icon of the heroic age of polar exploration who reached the South Pole in January 1912 only to discover that he'd been narrowly beaten by Norway's Roald Amundsen.

He perished with four companions on the trek back to base camp, but the discovery of his letters and expedition diary prompted a huge outpouring of public sympathy back in Britain and turned him into a national hero. Public fundraising also raised enough money to pay off the expedition costs, support the families of those who died and to create the Scott Polar Research Institute.

Bonhams said Tuesday that the letter would be auctioned in March 2012—on the centennial year of the expedition. Bonhams said it expects to raise around 150,000 pounds ($243,000).

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Robert Falcon Scott, standing center, and his four companions took this photograph of themselves on Jan. 17, 1912, the day after they discovered Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole first. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 December 2011 11:09
 

Christie's sale of Elizabeth Taylor Collection tops $156M

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 19 December 2011 14:29

Elizabeth Taylor's Taj Mahal heart-shaped table-cut diamond pendant necklace sold for $8.8 million, setting a world record for any Indian jewel. Image courtesy of Christie's.

NEW YORK – The landmark auctions of the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor at Christie’s New York from Dec. 3-17 realized a combined total of $156,756,576 with every item sold. The sale drew unprecedented interest from bidders throughout the world who competed for the 1,778 lots of jewelry, fashion, decorative arts and film memorabilia. The total far exceeded Christie’s expectations for the sale as a whole and for individual items, which were frequently hammered down for five, 10, or even 50 times their estimate in some cases.

As one of the most highly-anticipated sales in auction history, the Collection generated intense interest from bidders throughout the world, with 36 different countries represented during the four days of live auctions. This historic sale set a world record for the most valuable sale of jewelry in auction history, and set a new bar for the most valuable collection of fashion ever offered at auction. In total, 26 items sold for over the $1 million mark, and numerous new world auction records were achieved – a testament to Miss Taylor’s expert eye for craftsmanship, rarity and quality in all of the items she chose for her personal collection.

Of the sales, Chris Wilding, son of Elizabeth Taylor and member of the Elizabeth Taylor Trust said, “My mother always acknowledged that she was merely the temporary custodian of the incredible things she owned. Today, I think she would be happy to know that her collections will continue to enrich the lives of those who have acquired pieces. My family is proud that our mother’s legacy as a celebrated actress, tireless AIDS activist, and accomplished businesswoman touched so many people’s lives that they wanted to have a part of it for themselves."

All sales proceeds will be directed to the Elizabeth Taylor Trust. A portion of the profits generated by sales of exhibition tickets, event sponsorships and the ongoing sales of select publications will be donated to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. An estimated 58,000 visitors have viewed highlights from the Collection since September, when Christie’s launched an eight-city global exhibition and tour that reached Moscow, London, Los Angeles, Dubai, Paris, Geneva and Hong Kong. The grand finale of the tour was a spectacular 10-day museum-quality public display of the complete collection that drew thousands of collectors and fans to the company’s flagship galleries in Rockefeller Center and became the "can’t-miss" event of the holiday season.

Steven P. Murphy, CEO, Christie’s International, commented, “The exhibition and sales of the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor in New York have been the crowning achievement to a very strong year at Christie’s. The success of these sales, with bidders participating from all over the world, demonstrated not only a recognition of the taste and style of Miss Taylor, but also the convening power of Christie’s. I am very proud of our whole team, from all corners of our global operation. Their achievement was successfully bringing this event to fruition in a manner that paid homage to the panache and glamour of Elizabeth Taylor herself.”



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Elizabeth Taylor's Taj Mahal heart-shaped table-cut diamond pendant necklace sold for $8.8 million, setting a world record for any Indian jewel. Image courtesy of Christie's. 

Last Updated on Monday, 19 December 2011 14:56
 

Recently discovered Frith painting nets $782,680

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 19 December 2011 10:38

Photograph of William Powell Frith (1819-1909), English Royal Academy painter. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

LONDON (AP) – A long-lost Victorian painting by William Powell Frith sold for 505,250 pounds ($782,680) at a London auction, Christie's auction house said Thursday.

The Derby Day is an early version of one of the era's most famous pictures—Frith’s teeming, picaresque image of the crowds at an 1850s horse race, from a rich family in their carriage to gamblers, acrobats and prostitutes.

The finished painting hangs in the Tate Britain gallery in London. The 15-by-35 inch oil-on-canvas sketch sold by Christie's is Frith's first complete version of the scene.

Christie's said the sale—to an anonymous bidder over the phone—set a world record price for Frith at auction.

The painting had been expected to fetch between 300,000 and 500,000 pounds, Christie's added.

The piece had been hanging in a modest New England beach house for decades before a friend of the owner suggested it might be worth something.

Peter Brown, Christie's director of Victorian pictures, had said before the sale that the vendor, who is in his 60s and wished to remain anonymous, believes his parents bought the painting some time before World War II, when Victorian art was often dismissed as garish and sentimental.

Since the 1970s, critical opinion has changed, and works by the best Victorian artists are coveted by collectors.

Frith, one of the era's most successful painters, specialized in busy scenes of daily life, and his subjects ranged from beachgoers to railway stations to royal weddings.

The Derby Day was so popular when first exhibited in 1858 that a special rail was installed at the Royal Academy in London to hold back the crowds.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Photograph of William Powell Frith (1819-1909), English Royal Academy painter. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

Last Updated on Monday, 19 December 2011 10:53
 

Warhol painting of Liz Taylor fetches $662,000

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 16 December 2011 10:54
NEW YORK (AP) – An Andy Warhol painting of Elizabeth Taylor sold for over $662,000 at auction in New York.

The painting was included in Christie's auction house sale Wednesday of jewelry and other items from the collection of the late actress, who starred in National Velvet and Cleopatra. A wedding dress worn at her second marriage to Richard Burton sold for over $62,000.

The jewelry portion of the auction fetched over $137 million. Highlights were $11.8 million for a pearl necklace and more than $8.8 million for a diamond ring given to her by Burton. Prices include the buyer's premium.

Other sales of Taylor's art, clothing and memorabilia will be held through the week. An online-only sale of some items runs until Saturday.

Taylor died in Los Angeles in March at age 79.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-12-15-11 0448GMT

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 16 December 2011 11:07
 

Relics of Nevada’s notorious side sold at auction

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Written by MARTIN GRIFFITH, Associated Press   
Monday, 05 December 2011 08:59

Described as a unique Augustus Humbert gold slug, this 1851 California gold rush coin was bid to $205,000 at Holabird-Kagin Americana's auction last week. The price does not include the 15 percent buyer's premium charged on coins. Assayer Augustus Humbert's first name is inverted and the date is incomplete on the rare $50 coin. Image courtesy of Holabird-Kagin Americana.

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Rare items reflecting the shadier side of Nevada's past have been sold at an auction in Reno, with Mustang Ranch brothel memorabilia and a copy of the state's original “Black Book” fetching several thousand dollars.

The Mustang Ranch keepsakes included nude, autographed photos of the working women at the infamous bordello taken in the 1970s and 1980s and went for $3,000 Wednesday to a buyer that auction organizers would only identify as an “institution of higher learning.”

The Black Book, which features names, information and photos of the first dozen or so people barred from entering Nevada casinos, went for $5,250 to an unknown buyer.

The naughty nostalgia was among roughly 1,400 collectibles sold at the online auction staged last week by Reno-based Holabird-Kagin Americana. While the Mustang Ranch items and the Black Book sold for less than other pieces, they generated curiosity among those interested in Nevada history.

The top seller at the auction was a California Gold Rush coin that sold for $205,000 to a private collector, while an original, autographed drawing by Walt Disney garnered $36,000 from an unknown buyer.

Disney's whimsical drawing of a cigar-smoking man with a derby hat had an estimated value of $35,000 to $50,000. One of the earliest known signed Disney pieces, it's believed to predate his Mickey Mouse, which made its cartoon debut in 1928.

The Mustang Ranch collection was put up for sale by former Harrah's Reno hotel-casino maître de Gordon Churchward, who had an arrangement with former brothel owner Joe Conforte in the 1970s to send casino patrons to the bordello in return for free passes to it.

The collection includes calendars and more than 200 photos featuring the prostitutes, as well as menus, matchbooks and business cards from Nevada's first legal house of prostitution. Nevada is the only state with legalized prostitution.

“Nothing like this has ever been sold,” said Fred Holabird, president of Holabird-Kagin. “There were original photos taken of the working women inside the ranch rooms during activity. There were items signed by the girls with their phone numbers.”

He declined to identify the institution that bought the collection, and refused to say whether it was from Nevada or out of state. Other auction houses across the country also do not usually identify buyers.

The 11-page Black Book was billed as the “first and possibly only known copy” in private hands of the original, which was produced by the Nevada Gaming Commission about a year after it was formed in 1959.

It includes Chicago mobster Sam Giancana, whose presence at Frank Sinatra's Cal-Neva hotel-casino at Lake Tahoe prompted revocation of the singer's gambling license in the early 1960s.

The Black Book represents the state's first effort to keep criminals and others out of Nevada casinos in an effort to clean up the industry's image. The state still maintains what also is called the “list of excluded persons.”

“It's a big step in the way we did business in Nevada,” Holabird said, adding the copy of the book was from the gaming commission's first enforcement agent.

More than 500 bidders from around the world took part in the auction, which generated $1.2 million in sales.

On top of their bids, buyers also must pay a 15 percent commission on coins and a 17.5 percent commission on all other items.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-12-03-11 2251GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Described as a unique Augustus Humbert gold slug, this 1851 California gold rush coin was bid to $205,000 at Holabird-Kagin Americana's auction last week. The price does not include the 15 percent buyer's premium charged on coins. Assayer Augustus Humbert's first name is inverted and the date is incomplete on the rare $50 coin. Image courtesy of Holabird-Kagin Americana. 

Last Updated on Monday, 05 December 2011 09:33
 

Apollo 13 'one-chance' checklist sells for $388,000

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Friday, 02 December 2011 13:59

Apollo 13 flown checklist book directly from the personal collection of Mission Commander James Lovell, signed and certified. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

CHICAGO (AFP) – A checklist used to guide the wounded Apollo 13 spacecraft home after the explosion that led to the famed "Houston, we've had a problem" call sold at Heritage Auctions in Texas on Wednesday for just under $390,000.

The checklist booklet contains handwritten calculations by Commander James Lovell to determine the spacecraft's angle of descent back to Earth and other notes.

NASA transcripts show how Lovell asked Houston to "check my arithmetic to make sure we got a good course align." The three-man crew was running out of oxygen, water and heat and only had one chance to make it home safely.

The Apollo 13 Lunar Module Systems Activation Checklist fetched the highest price, at $388,375, for a piece of Apollo Space Program memorabilia that did not make it to the moon's surface, Heritage Auctions said.

"Without this (booklet) the Apollo 13 crew would not have known their position in space," said Michael Riley, senior historian at the Dallas-based auction house. "It helped create the greatest successful failure in the history of space exploration."

Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the U.S. space program and was supposed to be the third to land on the moon. But an oxygen tank exploded two days after its April 17, 1970 launch, badly damaging the spacecraft some 200,000 miles from Earth.

The booklet was sold to an anonymous collector who lives on the East Coast.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Apollo 13 flown checklist book directly from the personal collection of Mission Commander James Lovell, signed and certified. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive. 

Last Updated on Friday, 02 December 2011 14:27
 

Sotheby's to auction property of philanthropist Brooke Astor

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 09:08

 Aaron Shikler, 'Mrs. Vincent Astor, Seated,' 1983. Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

NEW YORK - Sotheby's has announced it will hold an auction of property from the estate of celebrated New York philanthropist and patron of the arts, Brooke Astor. The sale, which will take place on April 19, 2012, will comprise jewelry and fine and decorative art from Mrs. Astor's Park Avenue apartment and Westchester estate, Holly Hill, and is estimated in excess of $5 million.

In keeping with her unwavering commitment to numerous New York institutions and causes, Mrs. Astor selected several charitable organizations to benefit from her estate, including The New York Public Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Pierpont Morgan Library, The Animal Medical Center of New York, New York City schools, and various charities in Maine.

Further details are expected to be released in early 2012.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 Aaron Shikler, 'Mrs. Vincent Astor, Seated,' 1983. Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 November 2011 09:17
 
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