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Auction Houses in the News

Blackhawks' 1961 Stanley Cup banner sells for $37,500

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 18 July 2013 10:55
The original banner commemorating the Chicago Blackhawks' 1961 NHL championship sold at auction Tuesday for $37,500. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

CHICAGO (AP) – A 52-year-old original Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup championship banner has sold at an auction for $37,500.

The Southtown Star reports the 12-foot-long banner fetched more than expected during Tuesday night's five-minute-long auction at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

The banner from 1961 once hung from the rafters at the old Chicago Stadium, before the owner of a suburban Chicago sports bar bought it an auction in 1994 for $15,000. It's been in hanging in the bar ever since.

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 1961, beating the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 in Game 6 of the best of seven series. The team was led by Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. Today a replica of the banner hangs in the United Center.

The auction house says the 12-foot-long banner is in good shape, with only a few stains.

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-07-17-13 1147GMT

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 11:09
 

Crescent City holds July 13 auction fundraiser to benefit artist

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 15:11
Large polychrome-painted, carved wood figure of Pegasus, sold for $2,488.50. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Crescent City Auction Gallery. NEW ORLEANS – Crescent City Auction Gallery has announced that the special section of their July 13th auction from the living estate of George Valentine Dureau (American/Louisiana, b. 1930-) raised more than $32,000 to benefit the artist.

Dureau, who suffers from Alzheimer's, has been admitted to a nursing home and needs money to offset the costs. A group called Friends of George partnered with CCAG to hold this auction.

Auctioneers Adam Lambert and Ruthie Winston sold to over 200 live, phone and Internet bidders using LiveAuctioneers, with bidding exceeding the overall expected high estimate.

Crescent City Auction Gallery achieved a total hammer price of $31,100 and donated an additional $1,555 to help pay for George Dureau’s medical care.

"We were very pleased with the results," said Crescent City Auction Gallery’s president, Adam Lambert. "It was important to us to know that all of the money raised would be directly benefiting Dureau."

View the fully illustrated catalog for Crescent City’s July 13, 2013 auction, complete with prices realized, online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

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Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE
Large polychrome-painted, carved wood figure of Pegasus, sold for $2,488.50. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Crescent City Auction Gallery. George Valentine Dureau (b. 1930-), 'Earl,' 1977 black & white photograph, artist signed, sold for $1,185. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Crescent City Auction Gallery. George Valentine Dureau (b. 1930-), 'Woman and Satyr,' 20th century, charcoal on rolled canvas, marked 'Unfinished,' sold for $2,962.50. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Crescent City Auction Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 11:06
 

Increased demand for art drives record sales at Christie’s

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 10:12
Roy Lichtenstein's 'Woman with Flowered Hat,' 1963, goes under the hammer at Christie's New York, May 13, 2013. It sold for $56,123,750, a world auction record for the artist. Courtesy Christie's Images Limited. LONDON – For the first six months of 2013 Christie’s realized worldwide sales of £2.4 billion ($3.68 billion), up 9 percent on the same period last year (figures include buyer’s premium). This includes private sales of £465.2 million ($711.8 million), an increase of 13 percent on the same period last year, and for the third successive year represents the highest total for the period in both company and art market history.

Fueled by a global demand for art, and aided by Christie’s online initiatives and investment in growth markets, auctions continued to attract new collectors at every price level and from all around the world. Bidders in the first six months came from 128 countries and 10 percent of those were new clients.

This period witnessed significant growth in the activity of both new and established Asian clients, including a 15 percent growth of registered bidders from the region. Christie’s announced in April that they had become the first international auction house to be granted a license to operate independently in China, and will host an auction in Shanghai in September.

In addition, Christie’s are pleased to announce an auction in Mumbai in December, as the only international auction house to host sales in India. (See separate article on Auction Central News.)

“The art market is expanding at all levels. The first half of this year saw Christie’s hold the most successful art auction in history with the $495 million sale of Post War and Contemporary Art, while also seeing that 45 percent of all buyers at our E-commerce auctions were entirely new clients” said Steven P. Murphy, chief executive officer, Christie’s.

“The hallmark of Christie’s strategy is to build the capability to serve both new and existing clients wherever they are, from auction to private sales to online. Our first half results are proof of concept that Christie’s is successfully connecting in new markets and with new clients. We are building on our continuing leadership in auction as we expand into China and India, as well as on the Internet, and we continue to connect with new collectors who hold an already-established desire for art. At the end of the day, the biggest attraction to clients is of course the art we offer, and from the Modigliani to the Lichtenstein and the 101-carat diamond, we are most pleased that Christie’s clients have chosen to showcase their works with us,” he added.

In total, Christie’s sold 422 works at auction for over $1 million (399 in the same period 2012) and 34 for over $10 million (30 in the same period 2012). The global selling rate (by lot) was 80 percent, up 1 percent on 2012. The strongest increase in selling rates was seen for works between $5,000 and $30,000, and works over $1 million, both of which increased 4 percent. Clients from continental Europe and the Americas accounted for 76 percent of sale registrations. The number of clients from Asia increased 15 percent, representing 23 percent of all registrations (+4 percent). There was increased participation of collectors from Greater China at global sale sites, including a 32 percent increase in Hong Kong and a 21 percent increase at London sales.

Post-War & Contemporary art led the categories with record auction sales of £665.4 million ($1.02 billion) – a 16 percent increase on the same period last year. The category saw increased demand at every level, with a 52 percent increase in new clients bidding for works of art under £100,000. The Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York on 15 May realized $495 million (£326.7 million) becoming the most valuable art auction ever held. Notable increases were also seen for Asian Art, which realized auction sales of £284.5 million ($435.3 million) (+28 percent); and Old Masters & 19th Century Art which totaled £78.4 million ($120 million) (+9 percent). The highest auction price for the first half of the year at Christie’s was paid for Jackson Pollock’s Number 19, which sold on May 15 in New York for $58,363,750 (£38,520,075). Private sales continue to represent a growing market realizing £465.2 million ($711.8 million), an increase of 13 percent on the same period last year.

Looking ahead – Shanghai and Mumbai:

Building on the growing demand for art in Asia, the second half of the year will see Christie’s host inaugural auctions in Shanghai in September and Mumbai in December.

Christie’s will host an auction in Shanghai in late September 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.

In addition, Christie’s announce the inaugural auction in Mumbai in December, becoming the only international auction house to conduct sales in India. Christie’s has had a presence in India for almost 20 years through its office in Mumbai. More recently, it has supported the India Art Fair in Delhi this January and partnered with the British Council for “Homelands,” a touring exhibition of contemporary art, to New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. The decision to hold auctions at this time is a reflection of the strong momentum in the domestic art marketplace, the increased international appeal of Indian art and the growing participation of Indian collectors across international sale categories. The auction will offer Indian art.

Early highlights for the second half of 2013:

South Kensington – Building on the success of “The London Sale” in 2012, “Out of the Ordinary” is a unique auction that will be preceded by an extended public exhibition for five weeks from Aug. 5 until the auction on Sept. 5. The exhibition and auction will feature an eclectic selection of fascinating items, spanning all eras from the prehistoric natural world to the surreal realm of science fiction. “Out of the Ordinary” will be composed of over 150 lots ranging from £1,000 to around £200,000 and will entice collectors with all budgets. Highlights include a rare Triceratops skull (£150,000 to £200,000) and Cygan, a giant robot made in 1957. The 8-foot giant is a monumental relic of the atomic age and was a great celebrity of the 1950s and 1960s (estimate: £6,000 – 8,000).

London – On Sept. 25, Christie’s will present “Kate Moss – The Collection – Curated by Gert Elfering,” an auction that will present a selection of works in various media celebrating the great modern muse Kate Moss. Curated by renowned collector Gert Elfering, the sale will offer the opportunity to acquire works otherwise unavailable to the market, representations – either unique or from very limited editions – of the most celebrated global icon of fashion and style.

Paris – On Oct. 16 Christie’s will present an extraordinary cabinet of curiosities amassed during the second half of the 20th century by renowned collectors Jacques and Galila Hollander. Several hundred paintings, drawings, furniture and works of art, spanning periods from Antiquity to the 17th century, embrace all the fields of connoisseurship traditionally associated with this kind of collection.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 10:54
 

Rare poster could create monstrous bidding at Heritage sale July 27

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 08:37
'The Adventures of Robin Hood' (Warner Brothers, 1938), six sheet (81 DALLAS – When the 1931 Frankenstein insert movie poster that Keith Johnson bought when he was a teenager comes up for bid at Heritage Auctions on July 27, it may well yield a more than $100,000 payday for its nearly 60-year-old owner.

Internet bidding will be provided by LiveAucitoneers.com.

It will also mark the first time that this legendary bit of cinematic history—known to have existed in 1931 when the landmark horror film was released, but only the stuff of collecting lore since—will have ever crossed the auction block.

Little could Johnson, a lifelong fan of the classic Universal horror classics, have known what his purchase would mean to cinematic history, or his family’s financial well-being, when he bought the poster at an antique shop for just a few dollars in the 1960s.

“It was a long time ago, so I certainly don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it,” he said. “It couldn’t have been more than $5, though it was a lot of money to come up with at the time. I got it framed when I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 19. I had no idea of the value.”

The poster then traveled with Johnson through his life, as he married and raised a family, eventually being relegated to a closet as the poster no longer suited the décor of the homes he and his family moved into. It wasn’t until recently, when a friend—a collector of comics—went into the closet to get a bottle of wine, saw the poster and suggested Johnson get it appraised

Johnson—himself a collector of stamps and artwork—quickly contacted Grey Smith, the director of movie posters at Heritage Auctions.

“Collectors have been searching for the lost poster sizes on this immortal and legendary horror classic for decades,” said Smith. “Only a few one sheets, a single six sheet, a partial half sheet and lobby cards have surfaced. This is the only confirmed insert poster for the film. In collecting terms, it simply doesn’t get any better. After 82 years of lying dormant, the Monster has finally arrived in the form of this stunning insert.”

While Johnson may have caught the collecting bug as an adult, he truly had no idea that he was holding onto such a valuable treasure. It was, after all, bought purely out of love for the film and nothing else.

“Like many kids in the late 1950s, I became fascinated with old horror films, especially the classic Universal monster movies of the 1930s and 1940s,” Johnson said. “The funny thing is that I learned about the films mostly from two of my cousins and from Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine, as the films were generally unavailable. In fact, the first time I saw Frankenstein was at 1 a.m. on a school night, on WGN out of Chicago. Since it was so late, the station often left the middle reels out to leave more room for commercials. Years later I was amazed when I first saw Universal’s remastered releases at how beautifully nuanced these films really were.”

Johnson bought two or three other posters at the same time, though they are now lost in time and he cannot remember what films they were from. The Frankenstein insert, however, was not going anywhere.

“It was my pride and joy,” he said.

Now, as Johnson and his wife have decided that the time is right to find a new steward for such a rare and valuable poster, it will become the centerpiece of someone else’s collection.

“This is an extreme rarity, a real Holy Grail piece for advanced collectors,” said Smith. “There may never be another chance to acquire this poster again, so I imagine the top buyers are going to be very interested in this.”

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE
'The Adventures of Robin Hood' (Warner Brothers, 1938), six sheet (81 'Gold Diggers of 1933,' (Warner Brothers, 1933), ones sheet (27 'The Thin Man' (MGM, 1934), one sheet (27 'Frankenstein' (Universal, 1931). Insert (14
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 11:24
 

Samuel Beckett manuscript sells for $1.5 million at Sotheby's

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 11 July 2013 10:34
Samuel Beckett. Image by Riger pic, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. LONDON (AP) – Sotheby's says the manuscript of Irish writer Samuel Beckett's first novel has sold at auction for almost 1 million pounds ($1.5 million).

Britain's University of Reading bought Murphy, written in 1935-36, for 962,500 pounds ($1.4 million) at Wednesday's sale.

Six exercise books contain the heavily reworked text of the novel as well as notes, doodles and sketches of figures including James Joyce and Charlie Chaplin.

Its many revisions give insights into Beckett's creative process. There are eight rejected versions of the novel's opening line—“The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.”

The university's vice chancellor, David Bell, said acquiring the manuscript “will provide unparalleled opportunities to learn more about one of the greatest writers in living memory, if not all time.”

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

AP-WF-07-10-13 1205GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Samuel Beckett. Image by Riger pic, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 10:58
 

Rago to auction collection of renowned Pa. dealer Dec. 6-8

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 12:56
The massive Viennese silver 'Triumph of Flora' centerpiece is expected to bring $200,000-$300,000.  Rago Auctions image.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Rago Auctions has been chosen to handle the collection of Tony Tenaglia—the finest pieces acquired over decades of buying and selling by this dealer and auctioneer. The auction is scheduled for Dec. 6-8.

Tony Tenaglia, who died last November at 55, was legendary in the Bucks County, Pa., area for his acumen and his passion for antiques. Everyone who followed him at Bristol Auctions, Estate Treasures of Bucks County and the Golden Nugget flea market admired his eye and his ability to source fresh and valuable property.

His family has decided to sell the finest of his treasures in a dedicated sale at Rago Arts and Auction Center. Rago has just begun the work of removing and cataloging the property for auction. With fewer than 600 lots in house as of May, the low estimate already approaches $1 million.

Among the highlights:

– Viennese silver "Triumph of Flora" centerpiece, which features the Goddess of Spring upon a gilded and jeweled chariot, drawn by angels and a team of four horses, led by Mercury and accompanied by frolicking putti, 1877-1890. With parcel gilt 800 standard, jeweled and enameled highlights, the centerpiece (38" x 16 3/4" x 19") is estimated at $200,000-$300,000. This extremely large and highly complicated Viennese silver figural group bears an English sponsor mark indicating that it may have been made for an international exhibition.

– Tiffany & Co. Japanesque mixed metal centerpiece designed by Edward C. Moore, 1880. It is masterfully spot-hammered undulating silver bowl on four puddled bracket feet designed as a rippling stream of water with floating maple leaves and seed pod. Composed of silver, copper and brass alloys, shades of gold and sentoku, forged and inlaid with niello, the centerpiece has an estimate of $80,000-$120,000.

– Victorian brass eagle lectern with bookstand, on lion feet, signed Gorham, circa 1890. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000.

– Sir William Hamo Thornycroft (English, 1850-1925), bronze sculpture, Teucer, 1881, signed Hamo Thornycroft and dated, 30 inches. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000.

– Pair of rose medallion palace vases, Republic Period, 36 inches. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.

– Poseidon bronze table lamp with shell shades. Bronze figure of Poseidon with sea creatures and waves at his feet on a base of sea blue glass tiles with two nautilus shell shades, electrified, early 20th century, 34 inches. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500.

– Myochin School iron articulated snake, Meiji period/late 19th century, signed Muneyoshi, 39 inches. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000.

– Evgeny Alexandrovich Lanceray (Russian, 1848-1886) bronze sculpture of two cossacks on horseback, signed in Cyrillic, stamped foundry mark, 13" x 11" x 6 1/2". Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.

Rago Auctions expects to have catalogs available by mid-November.

For more information call Rago Arts and Auction Center at 609-397-9374.

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 10:38
 

Dr. Martin Eidelberg to speak at Rago open house

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 31 May 2013 16:45

Dr. Martin Eidelberg. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Dr. Martin Eidelberg, professor emeritus of art history at Rutgers University and an expert on art pottery and Tiffany glass, will be the speaker at Rago Arts and Auction Center on Thursday, June 6, at 6 p.m. Eastern. His talk is titled “The Men of Modern Design.”

Rago Arts and Auction Center, 333 N. Main St., will host an open house beginning at 5 p.m. The auction house will open at noon during the preview for Rago's 20th Century Design Auctions.

About 1930, the history of modern design in the United States took a decisive turn when a small group of young men (almost all under 30) became aware of modern Dutch and German architecture, and they brought that functionalist, Bauhaus-oriented style to New York. Many of them, including Alfred Barr and Philip Johnson, worked at the newly founded Museum of Modern Art, and this institution became a center of advocacy for what they christened the "International Style."

Eidelberg has two principal fields of research. He has published widely on the drawings and paintings of Antoine Watteau, as well as on many of the artists associated with him. His second field of specialization is modern decorative arts. In addition to publishing extensively on the American Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau, with particular emphasis on American ceramics and the work of Louis C. Tiffany, he has also written widely about mid-20th century design.

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, please attend anyway. All are welcome.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Dr. Martin Eidelberg. Rago Arts and Auction Center image. 

Last Updated on Friday, 31 May 2013 16:54
 

Wright presents Bertoia’s Standard Oil ‘Sonambients’ June 6

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 31 May 2013 16:20

Harry Bertoia, Untitled (Monumental Sonambient) from the Standard Oil Commission. Estimate: $500,000-700,000. Wright image.

CHICAGO – Wright will present “Harry Bertoia: Masterworks from the Standard Oil Commission” on Thursday, June 6. These works have never before been presented at auction. Internet live bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com

In 1974, Harry Bertoia was commissioned by the Standard Oil Co. to create sculptures for the plaza of their building, a modern skyscraper designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone.

Bertoia designed 11 Sonambients for the 4,000-square-foot reflecting pool at the building’s base, each sculpture ranging from 4 to 16 feet in height. The verticality of the Somabients’ brass and copper rods echoed the height and rhythm of the Standard Oil Building itself, and their sound resonated throughout the plaza. The kinetic sculptures he designed for the Standard Oil Co. were installed on June 24, 1975 and the installation is one of the most important public commissions of Bertoia’s career.

The plaza of the Standard Oil Building became among the most beloved public spaces in the city of Chicago. This commission was among the four major public sculptures in Chicago’s Loop, the other three by Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and Marc Chagall.

Estimates on the three large-scale Somabients original to the Standard Oil commission range from $300,000-500,000 to $500,000-700,000 each. Six maquettes from the presentation Bertoia created for the project, as well as eight unique sounding sculptures, which he presented to the executives of the Standard Oil Co. as examples of his work are also included in this auction.

Harry Bertoia: Masterworks from the Standard Oil Commission is the second Wright auction dedicated exclusively to the works of this outstanding sculptor. Comprised of 17 lots, the auction will take place on June 6, beginning at noon Central Daylight Time. Gallery preview runs through June 5. All lots will be illustrated in a stand-alone catalog as well as online at www.wright20.com.

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

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Harry Bertoia, Untitled (Monumental Sonambient) from the Standard Oil Commission. Estimate: $500,000-700,000. Wright image. 

Harry Bertoia, Maquette from the Standard Oil Commission. Estimate: $20,000-30,000. Wright image. 

 Harry Bertoia, Untitled (Sonambient). Estimate: $7,000-9,000. Wright image.

 Harry Bertoia, Untitled (Sonambient). Estimate: $20,000-30,000. Wright image.

Last Updated on Friday, 31 May 2013 16:41
 

Gatling gun could top $100,000 at Heritage Auctions, June 8

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 30 May 2013 07:47

Rare U.S. Model 1875 Colt Gatling gun on original Naval boarding carriage delivered to U.S. Navy Feb. 24, 1881. Serial no. 293. Heritage Auctions image.

DALLAS – A Model 1875 Colt Gatling gun that was delivered to the U.S. Navy on Feb. 24, 1881, is expected to sell for more than $100,000 on June 8 as part of Heritage Auctions’ Civil War and Militaria Signature Auction. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The rare Gatling gun, serial no. 293, is on its original steel boarding carriage, is from the collection of renowned Michigan Civil War re-enactor and firearms expert Mke Yeck, who died last year.

“To call the Gatling gun one of the most spectacular and evocative weapons ever made understates its impact on the American psyche,” said Cliff Chappelle, consignment director for Arms & Armor at Heritage Auctions. “The chance to acquire one of these spectacular guns, let alone one as well-preserved, as sizable and from such an impeccable source, does not come around very often, I can assure you that.”

“He bought the guns primarily to promote himself and his business and to have a good time,” said Matthew Hand, Yeck’s grandson and the executor of his grandfather’s estate. “In the 1960s and 1970s he was the largest black powder muzzle loading weapon supplier in the Midwest. In fact, there are still a number of Civil War re-enactment weapons out there made by him and with his equipment on them.”

Yeck, a World War II veteran of the Normandy Invasion, was told by his doctor in the early 1960s that he was getting an ulcer and needed to find a hobby to help him relax. Yeck soon found himself drawn into the world of black powder muzzle loading weapons, acquiring a flintlock pistol. Intrigued, and never one to do anything halfway, Yeck soon started acquiring a wide variety of powder and ball weapons, learning about their make and manufacturing them himself.

“He kinda went all out,” said Hand, “and decided to start his own antique firearms business, which kept growing and growing through the 1960s, 1970s and in to the early 1980s, when he finally had to slow down.”

Yeck became very well known in collecting circles for his extensive militaria, artillery, machine gun, World War I and II rifles and uniforms collections, as well as his impressive grouping of classic and antique cars. Along the way, as he participated in more Civil War re-enactments, he and his business, Michael Yeck Antique Firearms, became a fixture on the scene at any gathering or demonstrations.

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

View the Heritage Auctions website: HA.com.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Rare U.S. Model 1875 Colt Gatling gun on original Naval boarding carriage delivered to U.S. Navy Feb. 24, 1881. Serial no. 293. Heritage Auctions image. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013 08:05
 

Vintage Apple computer auctioned off for $668,000

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Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:01

Original Apple 1 computer, 1976. Auction Team Breker image.

BERLIN (AP) – An auctioneer says one of Apple's first computers—a functioning 1976 model—has been sold for a record 516,000 euros ($668,000). LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

German auction house Auction Team Breker said Saturday an Asian client, who asked not to be named, bought the so-called Apple 1, which the tech company's founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built in a family garage.

Breker claims it is one of only six known remaining functioning models in the world. Breker already sold one last year for 492,000 euros.

It says the computer bears Wozniak's signature. An old business transaction letter from the late Jobs also was included.

The Apple 1, which was sold for $666 in 1976, consisted of only the circuit board. A case, a keyboard and a screen had to be bought separately.

View the fully illustrated catalog for Aution Team Breker's sale May 25, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.

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

AP-WF-05-25-13 1536GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Original Apple 1 computer, 1976. Auction Team Breker image. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:22
 

Heritage Auctions sells Chihuly chandelier for $158,500

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 23 May 2013 10:52

This Dale Chihuly glass chandelier is 7 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It sold at auction Wednesday for $158,500. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and the Chihuly Foundation.

DALLAS (AP) – A chandelier by glass artist Dale Chihuly that once belonged to former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford sold for $158,500 Wednesday at an auction to raise money to help compensate victims of his Ponzi scheme. The price includes the buyer's premium.

The 7-foot tall, 6-foot wide chandelier of cascading blue glass was estimated to fetch more than $60,000. Dallas-based Heritage Auctions conducted the auction.

Stanford was convicted last year on 13 fraud-related counts and sentenced to 110 years in prison.

The chandelier was offered through the federal court-appointed receivership overseeing the sale of assets previously owned by Stanford. The receivership also offered a 42-foot-long sculpture by Terence Main called Terrestrial Tale. It was expected to fetch more than $20,000, but did not sell.

Stanford's assets have been sold at several auctions over the last few years.

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

AP-WF-05-22-13 0807GMT


Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

This Dale Chihuly glass chandelier is 7 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It sold at auction Wednesday for $158,500. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and the Chihuly Foundation.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2013 08:19
 

Annotated Harry Potter first edition sold for $228,000

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 23 May 2013 09:18

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Image by Daniel Ogren. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

LONDON (AP) – For fans of the boy wizard, this could be the most coveted copy of all the “Harry Potter” books in the world.

A first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone that contains author J.K. Rowling's notes and original illustrations fetched 150,000 pounds ($228,000) at a London auction on Tuesday.

Sotheby's said the work, offered as part of a charity book sale jointly organized with the English PEN writers' association, was sold to an anonymous bidder by telephone.

Rowling peppered the book with many personal annotations, including editorial decisions, comments on the process of writing and a note on how she came to create the game of Quidditch.

She also drew about two dozen illustrations in the copy, including a sleeping baby Harry on a doorstep and an Albus Dumbledore Chocolate Frog card.

As part of the fundraising event, Rowling and dozens of other best-selling authors were asked to “scribble second thoughts, marginalia or drawings” on a first-edition copy of one of their books.

A copy of Roald Dahl's best-selling children's book Matilda containing new drawings by illustrator Quentin Blake fetched 30,000 pounds ($45,500), while an annotated copy of Kazuo Ishiguro's acclaimed novel The Remains of the Day was sold for 18,000 pounds ($27,300).

Other participating authors in the charity sale included Ian McEwan, Seamus Heaney, Lionel Shriver and Yann Martel.

In all, the sale raised a total of 439,200 pounds ($666,310).

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

AP-WF-05-21-13 2126GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Image by Daniel Ogren. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:14
 

Gandhi's 'blood sample' fails to sell at auction

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 23 May 2013 08:29

Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) in a photo taken sometime before 1942. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

LONDON (AP) – Dozens of Mohandas Gandhi's personal items have been sold at an auction, but a sample of blood purportedly from the Indian independence leader didn't draw high enough bids.

The memorabilia offered by British auction house Mullock's in Ludlow, England, included a handwritten will, a shawl, a pair of worn leather sandals and a rice bowl said to come from the house in India where Gandhi lived from 1917 to 1934.

One item was described as a bit of Gandhi's blood on two glass microscope slides, said to be provided by the leader when he was recovering from an operation for appendicitis in 1924.

Spokesman Richard Westwood-Brookes said bidding for the blood didn't meet the 10,000-pound ($15,155) reserve price. He said about 50 other items took in 287,000 pounds ($435,000) Tuesday.

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

AP-WF-05-21-13 1846GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) in a photo taken sometime before 1942. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 May 2013 10:04
 

Basquiat painting fetches record $48.8M at Christie’s

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 17 May 2013 10:16

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 (AP) – A Jean-Michel Basquiat painting has set a new auction record for the graffiti artist at a sale of postwar and contemporary art in New York.

Christie's says Dustheads sold for $48.8 million on Wednesday.

His Untitled, a painting of a black fisherman, held the previous record when it sold for $26.4 million last November.

Also breaking world auction prices for artists were works by Roy Lichtenstein and Jackson Pollock.

Lichtenstein's Woman With Flowered Hat fetched $56 million. A classic example of pop art, the 1963 painting is based on Pablo Picasso's portrait of his lover Dora Maar.

An important drip painting by Pollock, Number 19, realized a record $58.3 million.

Christie's says Wednesday's auction brought in $495 million, the highest total at any art auction.

___

Online: www.christies.com

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AP-WF-05-16-13 1240GMT



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 Friday, 17 May 2013 10:29
 

Sticker shock: Feds probe canceled sale of $1.7M Chinese vase

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Written by CATHERINE SAUNDERS-WATSON, Auction Central News International   
Monday, 13 May 2013 16:06
Left, the Chinese vase that was bid to $1.7 million in Altair Auctions' May 12, 2013 auction; right, the Chinese vase that sold at Jackson's International on May 23, 2012 for $3,840. Images courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and the auction houses. NORWOOD, Mass. (ACNI) – Real or unreal, a purported antique Chinese famille rose vase that hammered $1.7 million at Altair Auctions & Appraisers on March 30th is attracting far more attention than the seven-figure bid it garnered. Its origin and provenance may have been embellished, says the Boston Globe, whose reporters Sean P. Murphy and Andrea Estes wrote an extensive article on the piece in the daily newspaper’s May 12, 2013 edition.

Acting on a tip, Murphy and Estes looked into the background of the double-gourd Chinese vase described in Altair’s auction catalog as “18th century” with a “Qianlong six-character mark” and concluded it bears striking similarities to a possible repro vase that sold last year for a mere $3,840.

The vase said to be a modern iteration of an antique design was auctioned on May 23, 2012 in a Russian, Asian, European & American Fine Art sale conducted by Jackson’s International Auctioneers & Appraisers of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Jackson’s, a highly reputable, long-established specialist in fine art and antiques, had identified the vase in its catalog description as being Chinese famille rose porcelain with a “Qianlong archaic mark on the base.” The description made no mention of the vase being an antique, which was borne out by the modest auction estimate of $5,000-$7,000.

The main differences between the 6¾in modern copy sold at Jackson’s and the line-for-line twin auctioned recently by Altair had to do with representation. The vase in Altair’s sale was identified as having “Provenance From Christie’s Sale 2/23/1989. Lot 297.” A further reference noted: “See ‘Palace Museum Collection of ancient ceramics data Clippings (Volume II)’ page 180, Figure 204 Forbidden City Publishing House, 2005.”

The vase even bore a Christie’s sticker under its base suggesting it has been entered as Lot 297 in the aforementioned 1989 sale at the company’s South Kensington gallery in London. But there was one problem with that. Lot 297 in that particular sale was not even a vase; it was a blanc-de-chine statuette of Guanyin estimated to be worth around $100.

The vase sold by Jackson’s had on its base an aged partial sticker, also from Christie’s, with an illegible lot number on it. If, indeed, it was the same vase that appeared a year later in Altair’s auction, then logic would suggest that someone may have tampered with it subsequent to its sale at Jackson’s by adding a newer Christie’s sticker that had no connection to the vessel whatsoever.

Jackson’s president and CEO James Jackson spoke extensively with Auction Central News about the two vase transactions. Jackson stated that it “did not require an expert” to see that the vase in their May 2012 sale was not an antique. “You can put a Mercedes-Benz hood ornament on a VW Beetle, but that doesn’t make the car a Mercedes. Likewise, you can put a Christie’s sticker on a vase, but that doesn’t warrant that it’s an antique or that it even sold at Christie’s. We place no validity in auction house stickers unless research proves the sticker to be authentic and/or indigenous to the piece. This is the type of research we do on a regular basis and which often takes very little time and energy. Stickers have no bearing on value."

"In this supercharged Asian art market, it’s not unusual for things with questionable stickers to come through any auction house’s doors," Jackson continued. "You’ll notice that in our catalog description we made no mention of provenance from Christie’s, even though the vase had a Christie’s sticker. Our pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$7,000 told bidders our opinion of what the vase’s value was. I have four kids to put through college. If we had even sniffed the possibility that it might be a $1.7-million-dollar vase, we would have sought out an independent expert’s opinion. I’ve spent 25 years building up our company’s reputation. Does anyone really think we would have let it go for $3,840?” he asked rhetorically.

Jackson explained that the inclusion of “Qianlong archaic mark” in the auction-catalog description for the vase was in line with standard protocol used throughout the auction industry.

“It did have a Qianlong archaic mark on it, which any expert in Asian art will tell you is in no way a representation of a piece’s age. A ceramic made today in a village in China could have that mark on it. When the famille rose vase first came in to us, we thought it was probably a copy of an archaic prototype.” Jackson said.

“Not just in Chinese art, but in all Asian art, it’s not uncommon for contemporary makers to apply a mark to pay homage to their forefathers or to the artist who they apprenticed under,” Jackson explained. “For example, a Japanese woodblock print might be signed ‘Hiroshige,’ but does that mean it was created by Ando Hiroshige [born in the late 18th century] or one of a long line of artists whose work is ‘in the manner of’ and signed in the same way as original Hiroshiges were?”

Jackson said that he and his staff “look suspiciously” at everything that is brought in to them for potential consignment to auction. “Every item has to stand on its own merits. Its value can’t be assessed on the basis of an auction-house sticker or marking,” he said.

Altair Auctions & Appraisers is owned and operated by Benjamin Wang, who studied Asian art and antiques at the Institute of Mongolian History. He opened the doors to his auction business in September 2012.

Wang spoke at length with Auction Central News and confirmed that the $1.7 million sale of the vase has been canceled, not due to any sort of revelation that the vase was a copy, but because of nonpayment on the part of the winning bidder, who had participated by phone.

“After the auction we contacted the winning phone bidder in Italy, but he failed to pay for the vase or any of the other items he had won in the sale,” Wang said. “Instead, he asked to see the provenance for the vase. He asked if we had the consignor’s receipt from its prior sale, and my office sent it to him along with the invoice for all of the other pieces. We never heard from him again. Unfortunately that is not an uncommon occurrence in Asian art sales.”

Wang said the buyer had provided Altair with a copy of his passport as well as credit card details, which were used to charge a $3,000 deposit prior to bidding in the sale. Asked why he did not charge the same credit card after the sale for the amount shown as due on the invoice, Wang responded, “because the provenance – the receipt we had sent to him – turned out to be a fake.”

According to Wang, the vase was consigned to Altair’s sale by someone well known to him. “He’s a customer and a friend of mine. I trusted his judgment because he is a longtime collector of Chinese art,” Wang said. “My mistake was trusting him and not having the vase checked in depth. [The consignor] did not admit it to me openly, but the sticker turned out to be a fake. This has damaged my company.”

Wang denies any wrongdoing with respect to the now-aborted sale of the vase and says he still believes the piece to be a genuine Qianlong production. “The fact that the bidding went so high shows it’s real,” Wang told Auction Central News. “People weren’t bidding just because of the Christie’s sticker, which did not belong on the vase.”

However, in light of the controversy, the Department of Justice has taken an interest and is investigating parties involved in the Altair vase transaction to determine if any misrepresentation or fraud might have occurred.

In the Boston Globe article, Attorney Orestes Brown, who represents Benjamin Wang, said that his client plans to send the vase to China for independent authentication. “We don’t want the reputation of the vase to be tainted because of the opinion of some guy with no credibility,” Brown reportedly told the Globe in reference to James Jackson.

Jackson told Auction Central News he found Attorney Brown’s comment to be “extremely offensive,” adding, “If [Wang] is so sure the vase is of the Qianlong period, why doesn’t he stand up for his guns? With the sale canceled, presumably he has lost a very large commission. Why doesn’t he have a mutually agreeable expert here in the United States examine it?”

Wang told Auction Central News he “fully intend(s)” to have the vase authenticated, not in China but in the United States.

“I’m not a god. I could have gotten that piece wrong or I could have gotten it right, but I sincerely believe it’s real. If I had thought it was a fake, I would have had it checked out,” he said.

Auction Central News will continue to report on this story as it develops.

# # #

Copyright 2013 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Left, the Chinese vase that was bid to $1.7 million in Altair Auctions' May 12, 2013 auction; right, the Chinese vase that sold at Jackson's International on May 23, 2012 for $3,840. Images courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and the auction houses. Left, base of vase sold by Altair Auctions, with a Christie's sticker that was either a fake or was removed from a piece that legitimately sold at Christie's and applied to the vase; right, base of vase sold by Jackson's International with the remnant of what appears to be an old Christie's sticker. Images courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and the auction houses.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 09:10
 

Handwritten poem by Philip Larkin sells for $11,650

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 10 May 2013 09:57
This portrait of British poet Philip Larkin by Christopher Barker will be sold at Bloomsbury Auctions on May 30, 2013. Internet live bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com. LONDON (AP) – A handwritten poem by Philip Larkin has sold for 7,500 pounds (US$11,650) in London.

Titled Love, it was written in 1962 on a sheet of paper apparently torn from a notebook.

Its first lines read: “The difficult part of love/ Is being selfish enough,/ Is having the blind persistence/ To upset an existence/ Just for your own sake.”

The poem was published in Critical Quarterly in 1966.

According to auctioneer Bonhams, Larkin said in a letter that he had forgotten he wrote the poem, but that he “thought it rather good.”

Bonhams called it the first autographed manuscript by the English poet to be auctioned.

It said Wednesday's sale price almost doubled the initial estimate of up to 4,000 pounds.

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

AP-WF-05-08-13 1751GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This portrait of British poet Philip Larkin by Christopher Barker will be sold at Bloomsbury Auctions on May 30, 2013. Internet live bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 May 2013 10:18
 
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