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Auction Houses in the News

Morphy's chosen to auction Adolf Grenke breweriana collection

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 07 May 2012 12:56

 From the Adolf Grenke collection, an early 1940s Gibbons Bock Beer can, considered the nicer of two known examples. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – Dan Morphy, CEO of Morphy Auctions, has confirmed that the renowned Adolf Grenke breweriana collection will be auctioned in its entirety at Morphy’s gallery on Sept. 21-22, 2012. Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.com.

“No other consignments will be added. The entire two-day sale will be devoted exclusively to this outstanding single-owner collection, which we anticipate will bring well over a million dollars,” said Morphy.

Amassed over a period of more than 40 years, the Grenke collection includes as many as 500 highly collectible vintage beer cans. The can collection is regarded as one of the finest collections of its kind ever assembled, with some of the cans expected to sell for $20,000 to $60,000 each.”

The collection also includes over 400 beer taps – with many expected to realize more than $1,000 each – and a bevy of colorful advertising signs. Highlights include over 50 Gillco glass light-up signs, and two examples of late-19th-century Anheuser-Busch signs of such rarity that they are not even represented in the famed St. Louis brewery’s archive.

“What makes the Grenke collection so exciting as a whole is its condition. Mr. Grenke always adhered to very strict buying guidelines. He bought only items that were in near-mint-plus condition or better. Even when something extremely rare was offered to him, he would pass if it did not satisfy his standards for condition,” said Morphy.

Because of the importance of the Grenke collection, Morphy has enlisted the services of two noted specialists to handle the grading and description of its contents. Dan Morean of Breweriana.com will catalog the beer cans, while dealer/collector Les Jones will be in charge of the breweriana and advertising section of the sale.

Morphy Auctions will display highlights of the Adolf Grenke breweriana collection Aug. 1-4 at the 41st Annual National Assn. of Breweriana Advertising Convention, at the Springfield Hilton, Springfield, Ill.; and the Brewery Collectibles Club of America’s 42nd “CANvention,” Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at the Sheraton Springfield in Springfield, Mass.

Further details about the auction will be released in the near future.

# # #



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 From the Adolf Grenke collection, an early 1940s Gibbons Bock Beer can, considered the nicer of two known examples. Morphy Auctions image.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 May 2012 11:18
 

Rago to auction rare Schreckengost Jazz Bowl June 17

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 13 April 2012 13:47

 The original Jazz Bowls are 11 1/2 inches by 16 inches. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – One of the few original Jazz Bowls extant will be sold in Rago's June 17 auction of Modern and Contemporary design. Signed by Schreckengost and stamped Cowan, the large bowl carries an estimate of $40,000-$60,000.

"This could be the last of the original Jazz Bowls in private hands," said David Rago.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding for the two-day auction.

The first Jazz Bowl was commissioned by Eleanor Roosevelt in celebration of her husband's reelection as governor of New York in 1931. Ceramicist Viktor Schreckengost was only in his mid-20s when he created it, a worker at Cowan Pottery in Rocky River, Ohio, and the youngest faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

A saxophonist as well as an artist, Schreckengost saw jazz as the perfect expression of the New York City's excitement and drive. He caught its spirit in three-dimensions: tilting skyscrapers, Radio City Music Hall, the Cotton Club, cocktails, signage, stars, a drum head with the word "Jazz."

He built it large, in a simple shape he called "parabolic." To evoke the light of a New York night, he covered the bowl with black engobe (watery clay mixed with glaze), scratched his design in a pattern of black and white, fired it, covered it with a glaze he called Egyptian Blue, and fired it again.

Mrs. Roosevelt was so taken with the bowl that she commissioned two more. Immediately after, a New York City gallery placed an order for approximately 50. The handcraft was arduous, taking Cowan's artisans an entire day to incise one bowl. A second version was made with a flared lip and then a third. The third version, known today as "the poor man's Jazz Bowl," was a production line. It is slightly smaller than the original, with a flared lip and raised, not sgrafitto, decoration. Bowls with other themes were also designed, as well as decorative plates.

The Jazz Bowls were something less than a footnote in the history of design until the mid-1980s. With the resurgence of appreciation for Art Deco, the bowls began to be featured in museum exhibitions. Within a decade, the Jazz Series was widely recognized as an icon of American design. The highest selling price to date is from a Sotheby's auction in December 2002, when a bowl of equal size from a private collection sold for $254,400.

No one knows with certainty how many hand-incised Jazz Bowls were made before Cowan folded at the end of 1931. Estimates range from 20 to 50. Fewer than 20 are known, and which of these were made for Eleanor Roosevelt seems to be something of a mystery. The one to be sold at Rago's in June is the latest to emerge. It may be the last.

The auction will begin at noon Saturday, June 16, with Early 20th Century Design and continue at noon Sunday, June 17, with Modern/Contemporary Design.

Previews will be at Rago Arts and Auction Center from Saturday, June 9, though Thursday, June 13, from noon to 5 p.m., Friday, June 15, noon to 7 p.m. and by appointment. Doors open at 9 a.m. the days of the sale.

For details visit www.ragoarts.com or phone 609-397-9374.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 The original Jazz Bowls are 11 1/2 inches by 16 inches. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 12:50
 

Christie’s London to sell Jeff Koons’ giant Easter egg

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 11:31

 Jeff Koons, 'Baroque Egg with Bow (Blue/Turquoise),' high-chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating, 78 3/8 x 76 3/4 x 64 1/8in. (199 x 195 x 163cm.). Executed in 1994-2008. This work is one of five versions, each uniquely colored. Estimate: £2.5 million to £3.5 million. Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd. 2012.

LONDON – Christie's Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction on June 27 will be highlighted by Baroque Egg with Bow (Blue/Turquoise), a large sculpture by Jeff Koons.

Constructed of high-chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating, the giant Easter egg measures 78 3/8 inches by 76 3/4 inches by 64 1/8 inches. The work was executed in 1994-2008 and is one of five versions, each uniquely colored. The estimate is £2,500,000-3,500,000 ($3.97 million-$5.56 million).

Standing almost 2 meters tall, Baroque Egg with Bow (Blue/Turquoise) forms part of Jeff Koons’s iconic Celebration series.

Rendered in gleaming stainless steel, it is the only work of its kind to exist in brilliant blue/turquoise.

With its shimmering, mirrored surface the work recalls a monumental Easter egg from a confectionary store window.

It is this playful, childhood quality combined with the symbolically charged image of the egg: giver of new life and sign of the Christian resurrection, that makes this heroic sculpture so captivating.

Carried out throughout the 1990s, the Celebration series became a source of almost quixotic fascination for Koons.

Recording life’s milestones throughout the calendar year, the artist created monumental sculptures such as Baroque Egg with Bow (Blue/Turquoise) and others depicting balloon flowers and diamond rings to almost mouth-watering perfection.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 Jeff Koons, 'Baroque Egg with Bow (Blue/Turquoise),' high-chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating, 78 3/8 x 76 3/4 x 64 1/8in. (199 x 195 x 163cm.). Executed in 1994-2008. This work is one of five versions, each uniquely colored. Estimate: £2.5 million to £3.5 million. Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd. 2012.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 April 2012 12:46
 

Sotheby’s to open new Hong Kong gallery next month

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 09:50

Works on exhibition to be unveiled at Sotheby’s Hong Kong gallery opening on May 19 (from left) Yayoi Kusama, ‘Watermelon,’ 2008, acrylic on canvas; ‘Nets No. 3,’ 1997, oil on canvas; ‘Nets No. 50,’ 1997, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts; copyright of Yayoi Kusama.

HONG KONG – Sotheby’s will unveil its newly constructed state-of-the art gallery space in Hong Kong on May 19 with opening exhibitions running through the end of the month. The 15,000-square-foot gallery encompass the entire fifth floor of One Pacific Place.

This facility will allow Sotheby’s to significantly expand its business in Asia beyond its traditional twice-annual series of auctions in April and October. This expansion is a response to the exponential growth in the Asian art market over the past few years, and is testament to Sotheby’s commitment to Asia.

This unique, flexible space will afford Sotheby’s the opportunity to regularly host auctions, exhibitions, lectures, special events and other cultural programs throughout the year. The new gallery will also incorporate a permanent salon for Sotheby’s Diamonds, a partnership between Sotheby’s and the Steinmetz Diamond Group, allowing clients to purchase from the collection throughout the year. The project architects for this new gallery are Richards Basmajian whose numerous achievements include the recent Hong Kong Club refurbishment, The Maritime Museum and many Louis Vuitton stores in Hong Kong.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Works on exhibition to be unveiled at Sotheby’s Hong Kong gallery opening on May 19 (from left) Yayoi Kusama, ‘Watermelon,’ 2008, acrylic on canvas; ‘Nets No. 3,’ 1997, oil on canvas; ‘Nets No. 50,’ 1997, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts; copyright of Yayoi Kusama.

Architectural interior rendering of Sotheby’s new Hong Kong gallery. Image courtesy Southeby’s. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 10:20
 

South African auctions: allegations of sweetheart deals, shill bidding

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Written by CATHERINE SAUNDERS-WATSON, Auction Central News International   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 17:35
South Africa, a land of great natural and monetary wealth, shown in green on this map of the African continent. Image by Keepscases, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. CAPE TOWN, South Africa - (ACNI) South Africa is a nation of breathtaking beaches, exotic animals and a mind-boggling trove of natural resources, from diamonds and gold to platinum and palladium. It is also a country whose real estate opportunities have captured the attention of investors worldwide, only recently to be rocked by allegations of collusion and kickbacks in its go-go auction sector.

A central figure in an ongoing investigation is Rael Levitt, the founder and CEO of Auction Alliance, an auction services group whose asset divisions include commercial and luxury residential properties, wineries, game farms, motor vehicles, airplanes, and fine art and antiques, among many other types of tangible goods.

According to the Cape Times of Cape Town, Levitt has stepped down from his post so an independent investigation can determine if there has been any wrongdoing and if Levitt played any role in it. The probe was launched by officers of Auction Alliance after businesswoman Wendy Appelbaum lodged a 500-page complaint with the Consumer Protection Commission about “irregularities” that allegedly occurred in a wine estate auction last December.

In its Feb. 21 issue, the Cape Times wrote: “In the last week Levitt and the auction house have been the focus of investigations by the commission, the Estate Agencies Affairs Board and the South African Institute of Auctioneers, each of which are to probe allegations of hefty financial kickbacks to liquidators, attorneys and bank staff as well as bogus bidding on the auction floor on the instructions of Levitt himself.”

Reportedly, three banks are investigating claims that some of their employees had colluded with Auction Alliance, attorneys and liquidators to steer business their way. Four banks cut ties with Auction Alliance the day after Levitt stepped down.

Levitt denies allegations that he wrote in e-mails that kickbacks were to be paid in cash, and says such allegations are defamatory. After Appelbaum filed her complaint, in which she stated she believes she was bidding against a nonexistent [i.e., shill] underbidder in the December auction, Levitt sued Appelbaum for defamation of his company and his character. He later dropped the suit.

On March 3, the Board of Auction Alliance issued a statement signed by Bruce Sneddon, the company’s CFO and acting CEO; and Peter Moyo, a well-known businessman and CEO of the investment firm Amabubesi Group. This is the statement in its entirety:

“The last three weeks have seen unprecedented media coverage about Auction Alliance with a number of very serious allegations. We do not believe we have handled this as well as we might have and in some cases, we have failed to communicate properly with our clients, employees and the public. We’d like to apologize to you for not communicating directly with you.

Suffice to say that we are enormously embarrassed by the allegations that have been made and our reputation has been seriously compromised. The embarrassment has extended to our employees, our clients, partners, suppliers and others, for which we also apologie. We have built a substantial business over the last 20 years with 180 employees throughout South Africa, and many more dependents. We have achieved much success and an enviable reputation for our efficiency and for providing the best possible outcomes for our clients.

The last three weeks have clearly been traumatic for all our employees, Directors and all our business partners and a deeply humbling period for us. It has resulted in our initiating, mindful and respectful of the microscope of public scrutiny, a very comprehensive, robust and uncompromising look at our practices, our people and our history. This independent investigation, being conducted by highly regarded Accountants @ Law under Allan Greyling, has already started. While we hope that it will be concluded in the next month, we will not compromise on the quality of the investigation and as such, this period may be extended until such time as we are completely satisfied that it has been as robust as we have set out. As part of the process, we have invited all our staff to tell us of any practice that they may have experienced internally which they are unhappy about. We undertake to communicate what action will be taken. We have already made changes to our internal governance procedures and these will characterise our business going forward, particularly the level of transparency with which we conduct certain practices.

That said, we are working very hard to sustain our business. Our business cannot survive without the support of our clients. We have a trusted relationship with our clients, with some going back over a decade. We value these relationships enormously and understand just how important they are to us. We would consider it a privilege to continue to work closely with you as a client.”

Auction Central News will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.

# # #

Copyright 2012 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
South Africa, a land of great natural and monetary wealth, shown in green on this map of the African continent. Image by Keepscases, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 March 2012 15:45
 

Cowan's to launch new Decorative Art auction series March 13

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 13:52

CINCINNATI  – Cowan's Auctions, Inc. will host the first of a new series of monthly online Decorative Art auctions on March 13, 2012. The auctions will include a broad range of decorative arts in the areas of folk art, Americana, fine art, ceramics, glass and furniture. Cowan’s monthly online auctions will be timed and are exclusively designed for absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com.

“Cowan’s monthly online Decorative Art auctions will serve as an online bidding platform that everyone can participate in from the comfort of their own home,” noted Cowan's Fine and Decorative Arts Specialist Janet Rogers. “These sales will exhibit a great selection of affordable merchandise in all areas of decorative arts.”

The first auction on March 13  will feature a selection of Americana decorative items and will begin at 6:00 p.m. EST. The sale will include a varied selection of Ohio and Kentucky coverlets, late 19th century stoneware jugs, hand-carved whimsies, early furniture, advertising, paintings and other Americana items. Absentee bids can be left on cowans.com or patrons may bid live online the day of the sale through LiveAuctioneers.com.

Highlights of the sale comprise a handsome selection of early American furniture, including a pair of late 20th century pine corner cupboards, estimated to bring $1,000/1,500. A Chippendale-style Pennsylvania cherry secretary bookcase is expected to sell for $900/1,200. A Kentucky cherry corner cupboard, circa 1840, is expected to fetch $600/800.

The auction will also feature folk art paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. A folk art oil portrait of a boy, dated first quarter 19th century, is expected to bring anywhere between $2,000/4,000. A carved wood artwork titled Farm Scene by Minnie Adkins is estimated at $1,000/2,000. A folk art railroad oil painting by Tella Kitchen from Adelphi, Ohio, is estimated at $600/800.

Dates for future online Decorative Art auctions at Cowan's are:

April 11 – Continental and Asian Decorative Arts

May 10 – American Decorative Arts including Dolls & Toys

June 12 – 19th and 20th Century Decorative Arts

#   #   #

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 March 2012 14:00
 

Neal Auction Co. to gavel La. antebellum plantation March 10

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Written by STACEY PLAISANCE, Associated Press   
Monday, 05 March 2012 17:08

Built in the late 1700s, the plantation house was expanded in 1827. Image courtesy Neal Auction Co.

BRAITHWAITE, La. (AP) – A grand white-pillared plantation house built on historic River Road near the Mississippi nearly 200 years ago will be sold in a March 10 auction that could provide a new twist in its colorful history.

Over the centuries, the yellow home with its green shutters overlooking exotic gardens survived a British invasion, the Civil War and the ravages of hurricanes Betsy, Camille and Katrina.

The home offers a glimpse into Louisiana's past, with original horsehair plaster walls, red brick floors and upstairs French doors that open to a wraparound gallery ushering in breezes.

Auctioneers are hopeful the romanticism of River Road and the beauty of the relic-filled home will fetch a hefty price for the property, called Mary Plantation. The plantation had been listed for traditional real estate sale by its owners, historic preservationist and noted antiquarian Blaine Murrell McBurney and his wife, Stephanie, since 2010 with listing prices in the $1 million range, albeit in a slumped real estate market.

Neal Alford, president of Neal Auction Co., said the plantation will be offered at absolute auction, which means there is no minimum or reserve price and the property will go to the highest bidder.

“It's a compelling, rare opportunity, to acquire a historic property at a potential bargain,” said Alford, whose company specializes in antiques and exotic properties. “The property will sell regardless of price.”

Neal has sold some of Louisiana's grandest old homes at absolute auction, including Bocage Plantation in Darrow, La., and the Spanish Custom House in New Orleans. Both of those homes sold for more than $1 million, but Mary Plantation's more isolated location miles from the heavily-traveled stretch of River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge may make it harder to land that high a bid.

Bocage Plantation is among the dozens of historic homes that are now tourist attractions. It offers tours daily and serves as a bed and breakfast. Other historic River Road homes open for public tours include Houmas House, also in Darrow, Oak Alley and Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Destrehan Plantation in Destrehan and Nottoway Plantation in White Castle

So tourism might be the next stage in the life of Mary Plantation, where fields of indigo, rice and citrus once flourished at the hands of slaves forced into labor before the Civil War. Over the years much of the original site was sold and the property now has 7 acres.

Few early land records exist, but Mary Plantation was built by slaves on land owned by French planter Francois Delery in the late 1700s and expanded to its current state on tall white pillars with a raised red brick foundation around 1827. The plantation was presumably named for Delery's wife, Marie Marthe Victoire Bienvenu.

Tour companies don't regularly pass through Braithwaite, but the potential is there, Alford said. The drive from New Orleans to Brathwaite passes through the city's Lower 9th Ward, the area where actor Brad Pitt's Make It Right rebuilding effort is taking place, and the battlefield where Andrew Jackson defeated an invading British army in 1815.

River Road is dotted with citrus orchards and oak trees, and other historic buildings are to the south along the Mississippi.

“People who are looking for historic properties are interested in that romanticism that comes with owning an old home and sharing it with others,” Alford said. “Certainly, the possibility for a crossover into tourism is there.”

Foster Creppel, owner of Woodland Plantation in West Pointe a la Hache, said most of his business comes from tours and fishing charter services needing accommodations. He thinks Mary Plantation has potential.

“It could be a very nice business,” Creppel said. “It just may take some time.”

Creppel said it has taken years to build his business, which includes the 1834 Woodland Plantation home on roughly 50 acres, an old church he uses for special events and a restaurant that serves Louisiana cuisine.

Susanne Romig, marketing director for Nottoway Plantation, said a big obstacle to the plantation tour business has been Mother Nature. But high gas prices and the bad economy have hurt, too, she said.

Hurricane Gustav in 2008 ripped off a section of Nottoway's roof and collapsed several chimneys. While closed for repairs, the owners expanded the property by adding a carriage house, ballroom and nine Acadian-style cottages modeled after the property's original slave quarters.

“Hospitality anywhere in the world is tough, but here in Louisiana there are so many factors,” Romig said. “Weather is one of the biggest things that can affect business.”

For months after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, local tourism was all but dead.

Norman Marmillion, owner of Laura Plantation, which offers tours in French and English, said 95 percent of his business comes from New Orleans. After Katrina—with New Orleans abandoned for a time—he had no business and was forced to let most employees go.

Marmillion said business is back to about 85 percent of pre-Katrina levels. He's looking forward to the return of steamboat cruises along the Mississippi River in April after a four-year hiatus. “That's been the missing link in our business,” Marmillion said. Two riverboats are expected to resume service in April, and two more in 2013, Marmillion said.

Mary Plantation may lend itself nicely to tours, Creppel said. The home, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, is one of the oldest surviving structures in Plaquemines Parish. It has a formal dining room and bath downstairs and three bedrooms with two bathrooms upstairs. Some of its hardware dates from the 18th century.

A stable has been converted into an air-conditioned guest house and captures the character of the main house with red brick floors, cypress wall paneling and a fan-shaped stained glass window above French doors.

Behind the house is a building likely used as a dairy and livestock shed. It resembles a raised log cabin and reflects early Louisiana construction methods.

The plantation's contents, including some of the earliest-known fine Louisiana furnishings, will be sold immediately after the March 10 property auction. Included is furniture from the collection of McBurney, who purchased the home in 2003. The McBurneys have holdings across the nation and are selling Mary Plantation to devote more attention to interests in Europe, Alford said.

The original home was expanded in 1827. But it fell into neglect over the years until the 1940s when biologist Elmer “Eric” Knobloch and his wife, Marguerite, bought it and added modern amenities and rare tropical greenery to the gardens.

For decades, the Knoblochs hosted tours, picnics and parties at Mary, and it became a magnet for preservationists and naturalists. The house suffered only minor damage during Katrina in 2005 and was quickly repaired.

Alford thinks the plantation's charm will draw interest, whether as a primary residence or tourism venue.

“An auction is the way to go with a property like this,” Alford said. “It's unique. It's one moment, and you have to act in that moment or you lose it.”

___

Online:

Neal Auction: http://www.nealauction.com/indexnet.html

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

 

AP-WF-03-02-12 2050GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Built in the late 1700s, the plantation house was expanded in 1827. Image courtesy Neal Auction Co.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 08:57
 

Quinn’s Auction Galleries moves to larger suburban D.C. premises

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 16:57

A view of the new premises of Quinn’s Auction Galleries and Waverly Rare Books. Quinn’s & Waverly’s image.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – In order to meet the demands of Washington, D.C.’s booming market for art and antiques, Quinn’s Auction Galleries has relocated to a more spacious venue in the heart of suburban Falls Church. The new 14,400-sq.-ft. premises at 360 S. Washington St. encompass three floors, with the gallery and reception area at street level, the Fine Arts department on the second floor, and executive/administrative offices on floor three. Goods to be offered in future sales are stored at a secure offsite warehouse.

“Having dedicated areas available for each aspect of the business has streamlined our operation. We really need the extra room, because we’ve never been this busy before,” said Quinn’s Vice President Matthew Quinn. In addition to cataloged auctions of fine and decorative art and antiques, Quinn’s conducts regular Wednesday night auctions. Its sister auction company, Waverly Rare Books, is also headquartered at the new location.

The South Washington Street gallery is technically Quinn’s third address since opening for business in 1995. Co-founded by Matthew’s father, antique dealer Paul Quinn, and elder brother David, Quinn’s was originally based in a building on Maple Street in Falls Church. Father and son #1 started out hosting monthly auctions but soon progressed to holding weekly sales that attracted both collectors and the trade.

Matthew had joined the family business, which was on an upswing when, in 2001, tragedy struck. A 6-alarm electrical fire swept through Quinn’s warehouse premises, leaving the business in total ruin and with losses approaching $3 million.

“We refused to be disheartened,” Matthew Quinn said. “We agreed that we had to rebuild, and immediately started drawing up plans for how the new layout should look.”

The community of Falls Church loved the local auction house that sold world-class antiques, and supported the reconstruction effort. “Thanks to the understanding people at Jennings – who owned our burned-out building – the City of Falls Church, and Marriott, who allowed us to continue doing business under a tent on a piece of land they owned, Quinn’s Auction Galleries soldiered on,” Quinn said.

Six months and three days after the fire, the Quinns returned to their newly rebuilt facility to conduct a grand re-opening and fundraiser benefiting the city’s firefighters and the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

With a new space, a new look and a renewed sense of confidence, the Quinn triumvirate acquired Waverly’s, a respected auction company specializing in books, maps and manuscripts; and adopted new technology – Internet live bidding – which multiplied their annual revenues to a peak figure of $4 million. At around the same time, Washington lost its century-old auction house Sloan’s, which left a sizable market share open to Quinn’s. Thus began Quinn’s ascent to the next level: national recognition.

“Since then, we’ve more than doubled our annual revenue and expanded our very loyal following. The move to the new venue is the next step forward for us and will enable us to keep up with Washington’s demand for an estate-oriented fine art and antiques auction house,” said Quinn. “The nation’s capital is a sweet spot for ‘old money’ estates, diplomats’ residences and the homes of other people with very good taste who are now at a stage of their lives where it makes sense to downsize. The treasures just keep on coming, and we’re ready for them.”

Quinn’s Auction Galleries and Waverly Rare Books are located at 360 S. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. Tel. 532-5632, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Online: www.quinnsauction.com. Quinn's and Waverly choose LiveAuctioneers.com as their Internet live-bidding provider.

View the fully illustrated catalogs and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet in Waverly's March 1 and Quinn's March 3 auctions at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

# # #

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
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.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 17:08
 

I.M. Chait commences Beverly Hills preview for Asia Week NY sale

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 15:50

Yuan Dynasty blue and white porcelain bowl, est. $120,000-$150,000. I.M. Chait image.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Today I.M. Chait Gallery & Auctioneers commenced the West Coast preview for its their sixth annual Important Chinese Ceramics & Asian Works of Art Auction. The sale will be held March 21 during Asia Week New York, but the company always hosts a preview at their flagship gallery in Beverly Hills to accommodate their local clientele who may not be able to travel to New York. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live-bidding services during the sale.

The auction features several stunning and highly valuable Chinese pieces. Highlights include a Yuan Dynasty large blue and white bowl previously in the T.T. Tsui Museum; an important carved spinach jade brush pot originally purchased from Spink London, and a Qianlong Imperial lapis lazuli table screen.

The Beverly Hills preview is on now through March 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, or by appointment. Gallery address: 9330 Civic Center Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

The New York preview will be held from Marcy 16-20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on auction day from 10 a.m. until the sale commences. Gallery address: Fuller Building, 6th Floor, 595 Madison Ave. at 57th St., New York, NY 10022

For additional information, call tollfree 800-775-5020 or 310-285-0182; or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Yuan Dynasty blue and white porcelain bowl, est. $120,000-$150,000. I.M. Chait image.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 17:05
 

Harrisburg, Pa., picks Guernsey’s to disperse collection

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 24 February 2012 10:21
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) – Officials in Harrisburg have selected a New York City auction house to sell artifacts purchased in a failed bid to build a Wild West museum.

Mayor Linda Thompson announced last week the selection of Guernsey's to sell the city's collection.

On Wednesday the authority that controls the city's water system and trash incinerator announced plans to explore selling its part of the collection at the same time.

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 Harrisburg Authority says items purchased after 2004 belong to it, not the city. But authority officials say they don't know exactly what those items are.

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

AP-WF-02-23-12 1229GMT



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 Friday, 24 February 2012 10:36
 

Leslie Hindman expands to Denver; first sale March 11

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 24 February 2012 09:04
Annie McLagan (left) and Maron Hindman. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. CHICAGO – Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, one of the nation’s leading fine art auction firms, announced today the opening of a new auction facility in Denver. The office is located in Denver’s Golden Triangle, 960 Cherokee St., just blocks away from the Denver Art Museum and the new Clyfford Still Museum. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has opened salerooms in Naples, Palm Beach, Milwaukee, Denver and will be coming soon to New Orleans.

“The current market is creating the perfect environment for the expansion of our firm,” says Leslie Hindman, CEO/president of the firm bearing her name. “People are interested in selling their valuable personal property in an effort to raise capital or retire debt. Additionally, the influence of the global art market and strong prices realized have resulted in consecutive record years for our company.”

The Anne S. and Robert E. Clay Collection of Native American Art is scheduled to go on the block at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Denver saleroom on March 11. The sale will include over 300 lots of Pueblo pottery, Navajo rugs and Southwestern jewelry. Mr. and Mrs. Clay were active members of the Douglas Society at the Denver Art Museum. Over the years the Clays made donations from their collection to the Denver Art Museum, The Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe and made loans to other institutions in the area.

The Denver office representatives, Maron Hindman and Annie McLagan, both worked previously with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago. McLagan was a director of Salvage One in 1984-1995, then the largest antique architectural salvage company in America and owned by Leslie Hindman. McLagan relocated to Denver with her family. She has been involved as the representative for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers since then. Maron Hindman was the director of marketing at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago from 1988-1996 before relocating to Denver in 2010.

The Denver facility will be fully supported by Hindman’s specialists in each department including: fine art, jewelry and timepieces, books and manuscripts, Asian works of art, furniture and decorative arts and vintage couture and accessories. The saleroom will hold three auctions a year and regular appraisal appointments. To view information on the forthcoming auction and appraisal schedule, please visit www.lesliehindman.com.

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 24 February 2012 09:33
 

RM Auctions to sell historic Ferrari-powered hydroplane

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 17 February 2012 14:15

Ferrari-engined 1953 ARNO XI Hydroplane, image courtesy of RM Auctions.

LONDON – RM Auctions has announced the consignment of the world-famous Ferrari-engined Hydroplane racing boat, ARNO XI, to its highly anticipated Monaco auction, May, 11-12.

A unique piece of history, ARNO XI joins an elite roster of blue-chip automobiles and motorcycles slated for the two-day sale at the Grimaldi Forum. The auction is on the same weekend as the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique.

“We are thrilled to be offering the historic ARNO XI at our Monaco sale. This awe-inspiring racing boat has beauty, history, provenance and performance; it simply ticks every box for any serious collector,” says Peter Wallman, specialist at RM Europe.

ARNO XI was the brainchild of Achille Castoldi, who, wanting to establish a world water speed record, set about developing the ultimate powerboat. During 1952 and 1953, Castoldi, a friend of the famous Ferrari Grand Prix drivers Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi, succeeded in convincing Enzo Ferrari to provide knowledge and technical assistance to develop the boat. The result was horsepower provided by a 12-cylinder, 4,500 cc V-12 Ferrari engine, the same as that installed in the Type 375 Grand Prix car that gave José Froilán González Ferrari’s first ever World Championship Grand Prix Victory at Silverstone in 1951. The only addition was twin superchargers that developed in excess of 502bhp at 6000rpm.

On Oct. 15, 1953, ARNO XI achieved 241.70 km/h (150.19 mph) on Lake Iseo in northern Italy, establishing a world speed record for an 800kg boat. The record, incredibly, still stands today.

When Castoldi was finished with ARNO XI, it was sold to Nando dell'Orto, who went on to race it with great success for more than 10 years, securing numerous wins. The boat went through various aerodynamic improvements during that time, including a modified nose and the addition of a fin, finishing its competitive racing career in 1960 with a European championship victory and numerous fastest laps, many of which still exist.

The current owner acquired the racing boat over 20 years ago, restoring it to concours condition. ARNO XI has been in the water many times since and is not only an impressive sight when seen in action but also sounds magnificent. Well-documented, its sale is accompanied by an extensive history file including numerous period photographs and hand-written notes from the great Ferrari engineer, Colombo, during tests on Lake Iseo and during bench testing at Ferrari’s Maranello factory. This remarkable and unique machine is estimated to achieve between 1 million and 1.5 million euro when it crosses the auction podium in May.

“It’s an exceptional piece of history, made even more famous by the countless models one sees of it in important collectors’ libraries and is likely to appeal to serious car collectors as much as it will to traditional boat collectors,” adds Wallman. “It has that alluring mix of ’50s Ferrari grand prix car with the sheer beauty and simplicity of the hydroplanes of the period. We are honored to have been entrusted with its sale.”

Ahead of the auction, ARNO XI will be displayed at the Milano Autoclassica, Feb. 17-19.

For further information on the upcoming Monaco auction or to discuss consignment opportunities for RM’s Monaco sale, visit www.rmauctions.com or call + 44 (0) 20 7851 7070.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Ferrari-engined 1953 ARNO XI Hydroplane, image courtesy of RM Auctions.

 Vintage image of 1953 ARNO XI Hydroplane courtesy of RM Auctions.

Click to view a YouTube video of the ARNO XI Hydroplane on the waters near Geneva.

VIDEO:
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:10
 

Christie's 2011 sales total $5.7 billion; online bidding jumps

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 13:46
Christie's New York gallery at Rockefeller Center. Photo by David Shankbone, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license. LONDON – Christie’s has announced 2011 sales of £3.6 billion / $5.7 billion, up 9% by £ (14% by $) compared with 2010 (figures include buyer’s premium). This includes private sales of £502 million / $808.6 million, an increase of 44% by £ (50% by $) on 2010.

“Christie’s ability to curate and offer sales of art to a growing audience has led to continued demand across geographies, collecting categories and at all levels. This is a very encouraging set of results,” said Steven P. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s. “While we are seeing more investors collecting, there are many more collectors who are increasing their investment in their collections as the explosion of interest in art, fueled by globalization, facilitated by the technology that increases access to information and images, meets the art that is coming to the market.”

Post-War and Contemporary led the art categories with auction sales of £735.7 million / $1.2 billion – an increase of 22% by £ (27% by $). The second strongest category was Asian Art which increased 13% by £ (17% by $) and totaled record annual sales of £552.9 million / $890.1 million. The highest price of the year was paid for Roy Lichtenstein’s (1923-1997), I Can See the Whole Room!...and There's Nobody in it!, 1961, on 8 November in New York for $43,202,500 / £26,785,550, a world record price for the artist at auction. In 2011, Christie’s sold 719 works at auction for over $1 million (607 in 2010). Average sold rates (by lot) stayed at 79%, on a par with the previous year. Results also illustrate solid demand at every price level, not just for the most expensive works, with the highest selling rate for works sold between £250,000 and £1 million at 87%. The market at the lower price levels also performed strongly with Christie’s in South Kensington saleroom, offering works of art from £1,000, recording its highest annual total for the second successive year (£115.9 million / $186.6 million).

The international appetite for collecting is also reflected in increased buyer activity in 2011. US and European clients accounted for 77% of sale registrations, with 13% from Greater China, an increase of 2% on 2010. Registered clients from Russia and the CIS increased 15% over the year. New clients represented 12% of the value of global sales.

Christie’s continues to invest in online initiatives making the art market increasingly accessible. In 2011, the auction house's website continued to attract new clients and prompt greater interactive engagement. It welcomed 77% more unique visitors than the previous year. In total 29% of Christie’s bidders transacted online (not including the online-only auction of the Elizabeth Taylor Collection). As part of the sales series dedicated to the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor, Christie’s held the company’s first ever Online-Only sale which ran in parallel to the live auctions at Christie’s New York. The two-week time-based auction was hugely successful with over $9.5 million in total sales and bidders from 25 countries around the world who competed for 973 additional items from Taylor’s personal collection. In total, more than 57,000 online bids were received, as collectors rapidly drove prices from the $50 starting point up into the thousands.

“We are operating in an informed market with pricing, curation and presentation key to success,” continued Steven P. Murphy. “Christie’s goal is to serve its clients. As we continue to see strong auction sales, we are also responding to the wishes of our clients with Private sales growing and accounting for £502 million of our sales total. Collectors also continue to be inspired by the great collections. We saw intense interest in the Gourdon Collection in Paris, the Norton Collection in New York and the Cowdray Collection in London in particular, all attracting a broad audience. The crescendo of the year was the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor which was seen by 58,000 people in an eight-city tour before being sold at auction in New York in December. With bidders from 36 countries, every one of the 1,778 lots found a buyer contributing to total sales of $157 million.

“As we approach the sales over the next fortnight in London, we are optimistic about the market in 2012. We also remain committed to our role as cultural stewards through our auctions, private sales and exhibitions. Christie’s is a unique place where commerce and connoisseurship is the hallmark of the Christie’s team and we look forward to an exciting series of upcoming sales, exhibitions and partnerships.”

Visit Christie's online at www.christies.com.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Christie's New York gallery at Rockefeller Center. Photo by David Shankbone, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 14:23
 

Cole Porter items to sell at Hindman Auctioneers Feb. 12-14

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 27 January 2012 15:31

Cole Porter at the piano. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

CHICAGO – Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has announced that property from the estate of Cole Porter will be included in their Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts auction on Feb. 12-14. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The 41 lots include Continental and Asian furniture, Chinese ceramics, English silver, Baccarat and Steuben stemware, and other fine tablewares.

A pair of Italian bergères come from Porter’s Manhattan library, which the decorator Billy Baldwin famously outfitted with brass étagères fabricated by P.E. Guerin. The property comes to the auction house from the living trust of Porter’s first cousin’s daughter, Louise Cole Schmitt.

Cole Porter was born on June 9, 1891 in Peru, Ind., the only child of a well-established family. Porter’s talent and affinity for music became evident at a young age and was central to his studies at Worcester Academy and Yale University. After his education at Yale, he moved to Paris where he kept a luxurious apartment. It was there that he met his wife, Linda Lee Thomas, and received his first commission for music.

Cole Porter’s brilliance as a composer and songwriter, in particular for Broadway musicals, made an indelible impression in the history of American popular music.

The sophistication evident in his musical compositions carries over to his masterfully cultivated collection of furnishings.

Cole Porter died in 1964. He is buried with his wife in his hometown of Peru, Ind., and his property has withstood descent through the family for more than 45 years.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is honored to conduct the sale of these objects in memory of one of 20th-century music’s greatest luminaries. Preview exhibition for the sale begins Feb. 8. For more information contact Corbin Horn at 312-280-1212.

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


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Interior of Cole Porter's residence. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 January 2012 16:01
 

Hearse used to transport JFK’s body sells for $176,000

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Written by JAMIE STENGLE, Associated Press   
Friday, 27 January 2012 10:38

The 1964 Cadillac hearse that transported the body of President John F. Kennedy from the hospital in Dallas to Air Force One sold for $176,000 at the 41st annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction last weekend. Image courtesy of Barrett-Jackson Auction Co.

DALLAS (AP) – The man who paid $176,000 for the white hearse used to transport President John F. Kennedy's body following his assassination in Dallas plans to include it in his collection of about 400 cars in Colorado.

Stephen Tebo, a collector and real estate developer from Boulder, bought the hearse Saturday that was being offered by Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. of Scottsdale, Ariz. It sold for a bid of $160,000, plus a $16,000 buyer's premium.

The 1964 Cadillac hearse carried Kennedy's body as well as first lady Jacqueline Kennedy from Parkland Memorial Hospital to Air Force One at Dallas' Love Field for the flight back to Washington on Nov. 22, 1963, according to the auction company.

“It was a solemn duty that it had taking him from the hospital where he was pronounced dead to Air Force One,” said Craig Jackson, CEO and chairman of the auction company. “I think everybody in the world remembers watching the hearse leave the hospital, heading toward Air Force One. It just sort of sunk into everybody that he's gone.”

The hearse had been on display at a funeral home directors' convention in Dallas in October 1963, the auction company said. After the convention, O'Neal Funeral Home of Dallas bought the hearse. It was that funeral home that was called upon to transport the president's body.

In the late 1960s, the hearse was bought by Arrdeen Vaughan, a Texas man who owns funeral homes and a funeral vehicle business. He kept it in a private collection for more than four decades before selling it to the person who eventually put it up for auction.

Tebo said he plans to turn his car collection into a museum, hopefully in five to 10 years. The collection in Longmont, just outside of Boulder, is not currently open to the public, but Tebo does open it up four times a year to different nonprofit groups to help them raise money.

Other cars in his collection include a 1965 Rolls Royce custom made for John Lennon, a taxi used in the TV show Seinfeld and a jeep Frank Sinatra used on his ranch.

Tebo said he had expected the hearse would sell for anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million, so he wasn't planning on bidding. But he jumped it when he saw the bids weren't likely to go that high. As a collector, he said he tries to buy significant vehicles when possible.

Tebo said he wanted the hearse because of its historical significance.

“We remember specifically seeing the hearse leaving the hospital and driving very, very slowing to Air Force One and loading the casket on Air Force One. It was just an incredibly dramatic time in our lives,” Tebo said.

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

AP-WF-01-24-12 2336GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 The 1964 Cadillac hearse that transported the body of President John F. Kennedy from the hospital in Dallas to Air Force One sold for $176,000 at the 41st annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction last weekend. Image courtesy of Barrett-Jackson Auction Co.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 January 2012 11:31
 

Bronze death mask of Stalin to be auctioned in Britain

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 09:09

Russian dictator Joseph Stalin photographed in Berlin in August 1945. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

LONDON (AFP) – A bronze cast from Joseph Stalin's death mask goes on sale in London today. It is one of only 12 made after the Soviet dictator's death in 1953, Mullock's auctioneers said.

It is being put up for sale along with bronze casts of his hands—the left one withered—for a guide price of between £3,000 and £5,000 ($4,660 and $7,760, 3,580 euros and 5,970 euros).

Bought by art dealer James Birch in Moscow in 1990 and now being sold by a private collector, the bronze shows Stalin's hair swept back from his forehead and his famous mustache is clearly evident.

Ten of the death mask bronzes are thought to be in Russia, with the 11th held in a private collection in London following its sale at Sotheby's auction house in the early 1990s, Mullock's expert Richard Westwood-Brookes said.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Russian dictator Joseph Stalin photographed in Berlin in August 1945. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 January 2012 10:48
 
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