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Collectibles Worldwide

Watson's Nobel medal for DNA discovery sells for $4.75M

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Thursday, 04 December 2014 16:00

'Practically all the scientific disciplines in the life sciences have felt the great impact of your discovery,' said Professor A. Engström upon presenting the 1962 Nobel Prize to James D. Watson (pictured left, Photo: Science Source ). Image provided by Christie's.

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Nobel Prize medal of celebrated American geneticist James Watson sold for $4.75 million in just minutes at auction on Thursday in New York.

The sale, the first of a Nobel Prize by a living laureate, was considerably more than the $2.5-$3.5 million estimate, the auction house Christie's said.

Watson was awarded the prize in 1962 for discovering the double-helix structure of DNA nine years earlier -- one of the 20th century's most important scientific findings.

Made of 23K gold, the medal features the profile of Swedish chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel.

Christie's also sold Watson's handwritten notes for his speech during the Nobel banquet on December 10, 1962. Valued at $300,000-$400,000, the fives pages went under the hammer for $365,000.

Watson had also participated in the Nobel conference. A corrected, 46-page manuscript valued at $200,000-$300,000 sold for $245,000.

The author of numerous scientific volumes, Watson intends to donate a portion of the proceeds to the University of Chicago, where he studied, Clare College at the University of Cambridge, where he worked, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he served as president for many years.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

'Practically all the scientific disciplines in the life sciences have felt the great impact of your discovery,' said Professor A. Engström upon presenting the 1962 Nobel Prize to James D. Watson (pictured left, Photo: Science Source ). Image provided by Christie's.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 16:10
 

Magicians stage effort to restore Houdini's grave

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Written by COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 11:03

Color lithograph poster, ‘Harry Houdini King of Cards,’ Chicago, National Printing and Engraving, circa 1898, half-sheet, 19 3/4 inches by 27 3/4 inches, $20,400. Photo courtesy of Potter & Potter.

NEW YORK (AP) – Nestled next to the late Lewins, Blums and Levys in a spooky old cemetery in New York City lies the final resting place of America's most legendary magician, interred under a granite monument that bears his stage name in bold letters: Houdini.

It is an impressive tribute to the man who grew up as Ehrich Weiss and died on Halloween of 1926 of complications from appendicitis. Over the years, the site has been venerated, vandalized, thieved and forsaken, but a group of magicians now wants to officially end the mystery of who will care for the grave.

“Houdini was a visionary. He was an inventor, an escape artist, and he gave back to society in so many ways,” said Dorothy Dietrich, a magician who runs a Houdini museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania. “It's the least we can do to give back in some small way for all he's given to us.”

Dietrich serves on a national Society of American Magicians committee working to raise money to restore Houdini's gravesite and allow for the permanent care of the monument at Machpelah Cemetery in Queens. It will cost about $1,200 annually to maintain the grounds, plus thousands more for restoration.

Houdini, the son of a rabbi, was at the height of his fame when he purchased 24 plots at the 6-acre graveyard located in a swath of open space crowded with cemeteries. His parents and siblings are buried there and his grandmother was exhumed in Hungary and brought to New York. The only person not beside him is his wife, Bess – Machpelah is a Jewish cemetery, and she was buried at a Catholic graveyard in Westchester.

The gravesite features an undulating bench known as an exedra, plus a Houdini bust, a vase, two benches and markers for each person buried. A mosaic emblem of the magician society adorns the site; Houdini was president when he died. Cemetery managers say thanks to a steady stream of gawkers, the grave is usually stuffed with wands and other trinkets – plus refuse.

They have done their part over the years to keep up the gravesite, but it's their job to look out for all the dead – not just the famous dead.

“I must respect all of the families there,” said manager David Jacobson. “It's a sacred place for everyone there.”

Most of Houdini's relatives have long since died and those left don't have extra money to fund the upkeep, Dietrich said. The plot has been cared for over the years by fans like Dietrich, who used her own money to mold and replace a broken bust and who travels to the cemetery to prune and clean.

Dietrich took up the mantle after the local magician society chapter had a dispute with the cemetery and stopped paying annual fees. Depending on who tells it, spiteful cemetery managers were unwilling to work with Houdini fans and shuttered the site on the anniversary of his death. Or, magicians drumming up publicity for an annual Halloween gravesite ritual known as a “broken wand” ceremony also unwittingly brought vandals who trashed the site until Machpelah managers started locking the gates on Oct. 31 somewhere in the mid-1990s. Over the years, the bust was smashed or stolen at least twice. Benches at the plot perimeter were broken and markers for Houdini's siblings Leopold and Gladys were damaged.

The bad blood was captured in articles where cemetery managers were falsely accused of grave robbing and magicians were falsely accused of pilfering funds donated by David Copperfield to fix the gravesite benches.

But that's all over now, says David Bowers, head of the Houdini gravesite restoration committee. He said the national magician society – not the local chapter – is working with Dietrich and the cemetery to pay for the upkeep and plans to clean and recaulk the granite, give the mosaic a face lift and fix the damaged markers. He doesn't have a cost estimate yet but says repairs will take two years.

Anyone interested in donating can go to the society's website to learn more, said Bowers of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, who will become the society's next president in July. After the group raises funds for Houdini's grave, it will move on to other dearly departed magicians whose eternal resting places may need some sprucing.

“I'm very passionate about what we're doing with Houdini's grave site,” he said. “There are so many misstatements about Houdini's life and death. I think it's important that we get out the truth.”

___

Online:

www.houdini.org

http://magicsam.com

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

AP-WF-11-29-14 0252GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
The Harry Houdini gravesite in Machpelah Cemetery in Queens. Image by Anthony 22. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 11:21
 

G.I. Joe action figures honored for 50 years of service

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Written by M. SCOTT MORRIS, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal   
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 10:11
Rare Hasbro talking G.I. Joe Action Pilot, 1967. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Morphy Auctions. TUPELO, Miss. (AP) – Years ago, Barbie was queen of the dolls, and toy makers wanted to do something similar for boys.

“No daddy would let his boy play with a doll,” said Joey Tutor, a 51-year-old Pontotoc resident. “They came up with the name ‘action figure.’ If anybody called it a doll, they lost their job.”

The action figure in question is G.I. Joe, a toy Hasbro released upon American boys in 1964.

“This is the 50th anniversary,” Tutor said. “Fifty years ago, the first G.I. Joes were wrapped under Christmas trees for the first time.”

Tutor has a more than passing acquaintance with the character. He played with G.I. Joes as a kid, and now he collects them as an adult. He's got more than 200, as well as Jeeps, helicopters, boats, space capsules, trucks and so much more to go with them.

“At one time, I had a room in my house that I kept them all in,” he said. “I moved and lost that room, so I keep a lot of them in storage. I have some of my vintage ones on display at home.”

He recently spent quality time with his collection while preparing for an exhibit at the Oren Dunn City Museum at Ballard Park. The exhibit will run through January.

Tutor gave most of his childhood Joes away to his cousin many years ago. When his son, Joseph, was born, Tutor decided to introduce him to the toy that had provided so much fun.

“We started collecting the new stuff that was coming out,” he said, “and I wondered if we could find any old stuff, the kind I had when I grew up.”

He went to garage sales and flea markets, and then something unexpected happened.

“A couple of years ago, I found this great thing I'd never heard of called eBay,” he said. “It's made things a lot easier, but I still like going to antique stores. The search is part of the fun. ‘Wow. Found one.’”

One of his favorites is also a fine example of American manufacturing.

“He's not the oldest in my collection. He's a 1967 talker, which was my first G.I. Joe,” Tutor said. “He said seven phrases.”

He didn't hesitate to pull the Joe's string, and then translated the slightly garbled response: “G.I. Joe, U.S. Army, reporting for duty.”

“It still works, all these years later,” Tutor said. “That's amazing, when you think about it.”

As the Vietnam War progressed, mothers didn't want their boys playing with war toys, so Hasbro introduced policemen, firefighters and adventurers.

“Instead of fighting wars, they started going after tigers and pygmy gorillas and sharks,” Tutor said.

A character with a mechanical arm and leg called “Mike Power” was introduced to compete with “The Six Million Dollar Man.” Another Joe, “Eagle Eye,” has become known as “Creepy Eye” in the collector community.

“His eyes move,” Tutor said. “He watches you.”

Hasbro has created female characters that appeared in the G.I. Joe cartoon, but Tutor's collection remains mostly male-centric.

“They made a G.I. Joe nurse. I wish I could afford one of those. It was only made one year, in 1967,” he said. “It flopped. It was a terrible seller. No girl wanted someone with G.I. Joe on it and no boy wanted a girl. Now, I think it's the most sought-after G.I. Joe.”

Visitors to the exhibit will be able to spot one G.I. Jane, a Vietnam nurse released in the 1990s.

There's also a doll mixed among the action figures. Tutor's wife, Denise, noticed one of his adventure Joes was dressed in similar colors to one of her old toys.

“It's her Midge doll,” Tutor said. “She put it in the set. She said that's so he doesn't have to be alone in the jungle now.”

___

Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com

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

AP-WF-12-02-14 1434GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Rare Hasbro talking G.I. Joe Action Pilot, 1967. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Morphy Auctions.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 10:26
 

Swiss firm to put Napoleon's hair in 500 watches

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 15:11
Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l'Armee. GENEVA (AFP) - Napoleon's admirers will be able to carry his DNA on their wrists after a Swiss company announced Tuesday its plans to sellwatches containing a fragment of the emperor's hair.

Half-millimeter slices of his locks will be placed inside a limited series of some 500 watches that are to bear the likeness of Napoleon, said Viviane de Witt, CEO of De Witt watchmakers, told AFP.

They will sell for the price of around 8,000 euros ($10,000).

The first surgery-like operation to slice up the hair happened Tuesday in the presence of a bailiff at the De Witt factory in Geneva.

"Napoleon was already quite idolized while he was alive, when he got his hair cut people picked it up and kept it," De Witt said.

In this case the hair was part of a 1,000-piece trove of Napoleon memorabilia belonging to the royal family of Monaco, which fetched jaw-dropping prices during an auction in mid-November near Paris.

One of the most incredible sale prices was the 1.9 million euros ($2.4 million) a South Korean chicken mogul paid for a hat worn by Napoleon.

De Witt spent a whopping 29,600 euros ($36,900) for items containing Napoleon's hair at the sale, which had been expected to go for up to 7,000 euros ($8,700).

Viviane de Witt's husband, the company founder, is a direct descendant of Jerome Napoleon, the youngest brother of the early 19th-century French emperor.

De Witt makes about 1,500 watches per year with a staff of 60.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l'Armee.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 15:20
 

Hats off to DiMaggio & Ruth, whose super-rare caps are headed to auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 24 November 2014 12:41
Baseball cap game-used by Babe Ruth during the 1934 Tour of Japan. $50,000 reserve. Grey Flannel Auctions image WESTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The VIP hat rack is full at Grey Flannel Auctions’ December 17th Holiday Auction, and you won’t believe whose caps are displayed side by side – none other than New York Yankee immortals Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio.

“It’s totally coincidental that two of the rarest and most coveted baseball caps of all time found their way to the same auction, but it’s our good fortune that they did. We’re tremendously proud to be offering these unique items to collectors,” said Richard E. Russek, president of Grey Flannel Auctions.

The game-used Babe Ruth cap, which was sourced from the Ruth family more than 30 years ago, is the only example known to have been worn by the Bambino during his 1934 Tour of Japan, which took place only weeks after his departure from the Yankees. The December 17 Grey Flannel event marks the first time the Ruth cap from the historic Tour of Japan has ever come to auction.

“The 1934 tour made headlines around the world,” said Russek. “Nearly half a million Japanese fans lined the streets of Tokyo to welcome the great former-Yankee ballplayer, who rode through the Ginza district an open-top limousine. He and his teammates stayed in Japan for a month and played 18 exhibition games against Japanese players in 12 cities. That tour was a chapter in baseball history all on its own.”

The cap has “US” embroidered on the front, and inside the sweatband, the name “Babe Ruth” is embroidered in chain stitching. The cap is accompanied by an LOA from the consignor, who was close friends with a prominent person in the Babe Ruth Baseball Little League organization, who in turn had obtained it directly from the Ruth family. The minimum bid on the cap, which will also open the auction as Lot 1, is $50,000.

A circa-1937 rookie-era Yankees cap that was game-used by the great Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio, is entered as Lot 635. The extremely rare navy blue wool cap with NY logo is in beautiful, all-original condition. Embroidered inside the sweatband is “7 J. DiMaggio.” The consignor’s family has owned and treasured the DiMaggio cap since the day the legendary slugger took it off his head and handed it to them. The auction reserve on this item is $25,000.

Bidding in Grey Flannel’s Holiday Auction will close on December 17, 2014. For additional information, call 631-288-7800, ext. 223; or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Visit them online at www.greyflannelauctions.com .

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
(Left to right) Baseball cap game-used by Babe Ruth during the 1934 Tour of Japan, $50,000 reserve; baseball signed by 10 of the 1932 New York Yankees, including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, $5,000 reserve; Joe Dimaggio game-used circa-1937 rookie-era Yankees cap with stitching inside sweatband that says ‘7 J. DiMaggio.’ $25,000 reserve. Grey Flannel Auctions image
Last Updated on Monday, 24 November 2014 13:39
 

Atari games, consoles buried in landfill net $37,000 for city

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Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 10:15
The third version of the Atari Video Computer System, with 'wood veneer' and standard joy stick, sold from 1980 to 1982. Image by Evan-Amos, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) – What some have called the worst video game ever made has fetched thousands of dollars for a city in New Mexico.

An old “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” game cartridge drew the highest bid among 100 Atari games auctioned on eBay by Alamogordo officials.

The games were part of a cache of some 800 Atari video games buried more than 30 years ago in a landfill and dug up in April.

Joe Lewandowski, a consultant for the film companies that documented the dig, says the online auction, which ended Thursday, generated $37,000.

“It's really gratifying to see that happening because again to everybody it was a bunch of garbage in the landfill. You're kind of nutty to go dig it up,” Lewandowski told KRQE-TV.

The “E.T.” game, still in its original box, sold for $1,537 to a buyer in Canada. The interest in the games has gone global. According to Lewandowski, online bidders from other countries including Germany and Sweden, snapped up items. Earlier this month, a museum in Rome opened an exhibit on the dig that includes dirt from the landfill.

“I keep getting messages from people around the world asking me if there's any more left, it's crazy,” Lewandowski told the Alamogordo Daily News. “The people that lost the bids are demanding more but I keep telling them they have to keep checking.”

Reports that truckloads of the game were buried in the landfill have been legend since the early’80s. The “E.T.” game's poor reception when it came out in 1982 was seen as a factor in Atari's demise.

City documents show that Atari consoles and more than 1,300 games were found, including “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” Some of the other discovered titles include “Centipedes,” “Warlords” and “Asteroids.”

After months of planning with state and local regulators, crews discovered numerous game cartridges on April 26. The dig cost more than $50,000, Lewandowski said.

LightBox Entertainment and Fuel Entertainment pursued the dig for a documentary that is due to come out Thursday.

Alamogordo owns the cartridges because they came from the city's landfill. The revenue will go to the city and the Tularosa Basin Historical Society. Both groups will meet Dec. 1 to discuss how to spend the money.

The remaining game cartridges will be sold on eBay over the next few weeks.

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

AP-WF-11-17-14 0207GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
The third version of the Atari Video Computer System, with 'wood veneer' and standard joy stick, sold from 1980 to 1982. Image by Evan-Amos, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 November 2014 10:57
 

Architectural relic from Pittsburgh's historic Forbes Field in Nov 12 auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 07 November 2014 14:28
Terracotta façade haunch that survived the 1971 demolition of Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, to be auctioned Nov 12. Image provided by Hake’s Americana & Collectibles YORK, Pa. – How important is Forbes Field to Pittsburgh’s sports legacy? Let us count the ways.

A baseball park in the city’s Oakland neighborhood from 1909 to 1971, Forbes Field was the third home of the MLB Pittsburgh Pirates and the first home of the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers. The stadium also served as the home football field for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers from 1909 to 1924. Baseball legend and Pirates Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente played 15 seasons at Forbes Field. The Pirates won three World Series there, and the other original tenant, the Panthers, chalked up five undefeated seasons at Forbes Field before moving in 1924.

Forbes Field was also the site of the only World Series Game 7 (1960) to end with a home run. Bill Mazeroski’s homer that clinched the game 10-9 over the Yankees and gave the Pirates their third World Series win is still the stuff of local legend in the ’Burgh. By any city’s standards, Forbes Field amassed a mighty track record during its 61 fan-bolstered years of operation (1909-1970).

In 1971, Forbes Field was demolished as plans evolved to build Three Rivers Stadium, but some elements of the old building survived. One artful example is an 80-lb terracotta haunch from the stadium’s façade, which will be auctioned on Nov 12 by Hake’s Americana of York, Pa.

Highly decorative, the haunch includes depictions of foliage and a florette, with a wreath encircling the insignia “PAC,” for Pittsburgh Athletic Company.

“We know of only one other example, and it resides in a museum,” said Hake’s Americana’s president, Alex Winter. “We believe it is the only one of its type available to the collecting community, so our hope is that it will be displayed in Pittsburgh, perhaps someplace where the city’s sports fans can enjoy it. It would make quite a conversation starter in a sports bar.”

To view the auction description and additional images, visit http://www.hakes.com/item.asp?AuctionID=97&ItemNo=137986.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Terracotta façade haunch that survived the 1971 demolition of Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, to be auctioned Nov 12. Image provided by Hake’s Americana & Collectibles
Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2014 15:21
 

Famed concert poster artist to auction complete 11-year series

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Written by Outside Media Source   
Thursday, 30 October 2014 10:33
Poster by Mark Arminski. Image courtesy of Hake's. YORK, Pa. – A master of color, Detroit native Mark Arminski is regarded as one of the all-time great concert poster artists. In creating his unforgettable, in-your-face rock posters of decades past, he bridged the gap between old-school psychedelic artists and the new school of artists who are adding to the ongoing evolution of concert-poster art. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Arminski grabbed the torch R. Crumb lit in the ’60s and helped lead the gonzo genre into a new era.

Although it’s an exciting pursuit, collecting the complete run of concert posters from the 11 different series Arminski created between 1994 through 2005 would be challenging, at best. Maybe that’s why there’s so much excitement over Lot 213 in Hake’s Americana & Collectibles’ auction session closing November 13. This group lot, which will be sold in its entirety for a single winning bid, contains all 243 rock posters Arminski created over an 11-year timeframe.

Most of the posters are high-quality silkscreen productions, while a few others are offset lithos. All are “first and only” printings. Seventeen of the posters are now either sold out or otherwise no longer available.

Primarily, the posters promote live performances – from those held in small venues to major concerts staged in mega-arenas – but there are also some that advertise award shows, art shows and other events.

Arminski’s imagery is, in a word, sensational. Each poster is explosively colorful and has a powerful way of hurtling the observer back in time. You wouldn’t be alone if you looked at an Arminski poster and mused to yourself, ‘Wow, that’s exactly the way I remember that band,’ or, ‘Oh yeah, I skipped my cousin’s wedding for that concert.’ With pinpoint accuracy, Arminski’s art zeroes in on the heart of personalities and musical trends that defined the 1990s and early 2000s. From Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins to Courtney Love and the Beastie Boys, if they made their mark on contemporary music, it’s quite likely that Mark Arminski immortalized them on a poster at one time or another.

As a unique added bonus, the posters will convey to their new owner with a certificate of authenticity that was specially designed, signed and remarqued by Mark Arminski. It’s a work of art on its own.

To view all of the posters in the group lot, visit http://www.hakes.com/item.asp?AuctionID=98&ItemNo=138020

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Poster by Mark Arminski. Image courtesy of Hake's. Poster by Mark Arminski. Image courtesy of Hake's. Poster by Mark Arminski. Image courtesy of Hake's. Poster by Mark Arminski. Image courtesy of Hake's. Poster by Mark Arminski. Image courtesy of Hake's.
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 October 2014 11:09
 

Lennon's heartfelt letter supporting Yoko Ono's music sells for $28K

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 24 October 2014 13:28
John Lennon letter in support of Yoko Ono's music, handwritten to New York broadcast legend Joe Franklin, auctioned for $28,171 on Oct. 23, 2014. Image courtesy of RR Auction

BOSTON - A John Lennon letter handwritten to New York broadcast legend Joe Franklin in which a passionate case is made for acceptance of Yoko Ono's music sold for $28,171 on Thursday evening, October 23rd. Massachusetts-based RR Auction conducted the sale.

The two-page handwritten letter, 8.5 by 11 inches, on Apple memorandum letterhead, is dated December 13, 1971.

Lennon writes in part: "I know you're a musician at heart! and especially I know you dig jazz.—Well, Yoko's music ain't quite jazz but to help you get off on it, or understand it, please listen to a track on the 'Yoko/Ono/Plastic Ono Band,' called 'AOS,' which was recorded in 1968 (pre Lennon/Beatles!) with Ornette Coleman at Albert Hall London, you could call it free form, anyway Yoko sits in the middle of avante-garde, classic, jazz—and now through me and my music—rock 'n' roll!"

He continues: "On the new album 'Fly' the experiment goes a step 'further'—free form music—with robot musicians! (not computer—electronic—)—check the inside of Fly double-album for info and photo of the 'musicians,' of course Yoko can explain her music better in person, this is a kind of introduction."

"This letter shows how proud John was of Yoko and how he believed in her as a multi-talented artist,” said Bobby Livingston, executive VP at RR Auction."The letter is one of the finest Lennon letters we have ever offered, and it was not a surprise that it brought in such an impressive figure."

Visit RR Auction online at www.rrauction.com .

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
John Lennon letter in support of Yoko Ono's music, handwritten to New York broadcast legend Joe Franklin, auctioned for $28,171 on Oct. 23, 2014. Image courtesy of RR Auction John Lennon letter in support of Yoko Ono's music, handwritten to New York broadcast legend Joe Franklin, auctioned for $28,171 on Oct. 23, 2014. Image courtesy of RR Auction
Last Updated on Friday, 24 October 2014 16:18
 

USPS tips hat to Caped Crusader with release of Batman stamps

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Written by ACNI Staff   
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 17:21
Image courtesy of USPS WASHINGTON – If you’re a fan of DC Comics superheroes – and who isn’t – you might want to plan a trip to the post office to pick up the recently issued stamps honoring Batman. Or, if you can stand the wait, order them online at www.usps.com .

This month the USPS released the new sheet of 20 Forever stamps featuring depictions of Batman from four different comic-book eras. In addition to images of Batman in action, each sheet includes four versions of circular Bat-Signal stamps. Be careful -- they could easily be mistaken for thumb-size stickers.

A sheet of 20 Batman Forever stamps costs $9.80. It’s a small price for such amazing art.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Image courtesy of USPS
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 08:08
 

Wolfman meets Picasso in Nov. 11-13 pop culture auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 20 October 2014 16:42

‘Werewolf of London’ 1935 lobby card, rarest of six different Werewolf lobby cards entered in the auction, est. $5,000-$10,000. Hake’s image

YORK, Pa. – From Mickey Mouse to Picasso, Spider-Man to JFK, Hake’s will make a stop at nearly every popular collecting corner during its November 11-13, 2014 auction, with a few unexpected surprises along the way. A trusted source for entertainment memorabilia and historical Americana since 1967, Hake’s consistently lives up to its reputation as a knowledgeable, trustworthy source for authentic pop-culture collectibles. Their November absentee-auction event includes a number of antique and vintage items that even Hake’s own experts have never handled before.

The political memorabilia category is summarized by a statement from none other than Hake’s founder, Ted Hake, who described it as “…the overall best political section we have cataloged in 47 years of operation.”

“That’s saying something, when you consider that political items have been the cornerstone of almost every catalog we’ve produced since the beginning,” commented Hake’s president, Alex Winter. “Also, Ted is the author of several definitive price guides for political items. He doesn’t use the term ‘rare’ unless it’s deserved.”

On the subject of rare politicals, a prime example would be the card Abraham Lincoln autographed and dated Sept. 24, 1863 with an inscription to “A.R. Walker.” Was Walker an associate, friend or constituent? “We don’t know the answer to that,” Hake said, “but what we do know is that Lincoln had many other things on his mind that day, including sending a telegram to his wife in New York City to notify her that her brother-in-law had been among those killed in a Civil War battle at Chattanooga.” Accompanied by a JSA letter of authenticity and Hake’s COA, the card is estimated at $5,000-$10,000.

Thanks to Ken Burns’ recently released TV documentary The Roosevelts, a sharper focus has been cast on the political career of Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as the Progressive Party’s Presidential candidate in 1912 together with VP hopeful Hiram Johnson. An extremely scarce, sepia real-photo jugate button of the running mates with a bull moose logo is entered in Hake’s sale with a $2,000-$5,000 estimate. A visually appealing button in the classic 1.25-inch size, it comes with provenance from the prestigious Don and Mildred Wright collection.

Within the political memorabilia hobby, probably fewer than six examples are known of a “Jack Once More in ’64” 4-inch button produced in anticipation of John F. Kennedy’s 1964 campaign. “Buttons of this type rarely come to auction. The only other one we could document from the last five years or so was severely spotted,” said Hake. Estimate: $2,000-$5,000.

Representing a unique buying opportunity for art collectors, a 23- by 24-inch (framed) original artwork by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) is titled Soleil de Mediterranee (Mediterranean Sunshine). The work depicts the shining sun of the French Riviera above the Mediterranean Sea. Clearly, it was created for someone Picasso knew well. In addition to being signed and dated “le 7.8.56 Cannes A.M.” beneath the words “La Californie,” referring to the town’s most exclusive neighborhood, it has an added personal inscription from the artist. Translated, it says, “My dear friend / my telephone here 901-82” and “My best to you / Picasso.” The wax pastel comes with extensive provenance that includes, on verso, the embossed seal and inked thumbprint of the artist’s daughter, Maya Widmaier-Picasso. The vibrant original artwork is estimated at $35,000-$50,000.

Many auction lots contain prized original comic strip art and cels. Among the highlights are three pen-and-ink daily strips by premier Mickey Mouse artist Floyd Gottfredson. One of them, dated Aug. 14, 1934, contains an installment of the “Bobo the Elephant” storyline in which Mickey and Minnie Mouse harbor the pachyderm and protect him from others who want to take him away. Annotated by the artist in blue pencil, this artwork was obtained by the consignor as a child in the 1950s and is fresh to the collecting community. Its estimate, like the estimate for the original art from a second “Bobo the Elephant” strip – dated Sept. 28, 1934 – is $10,000-$20,000.

Original art for a third Gottfredson strip – dated March 9, 1934 and also fresh to the market – illustrates an installment of “The Captive Castaways” storyline. In this adventure, Mickey and Minnie Mouse are taken aboard a smugglers’ ship by the evil Pegleg Pete. Estimate: $5,000-$10,000. Cels include two rare black and white cels of different scenes from the animated short Two-Gun Mickey, released Dec. 15, 1934. Each is estimated at $5,000-$10,000.

Peter Parker, a k a The Amazing Spider-Man, made his debut appearance in the 1962 Marvel comic book Amazing Fantasy #15. A key Silver Age comic, AF #15 is pursued by collectors in any condition; a 9.6 copy has sold for as much as one million dollars. Hake’s will offer an issue that was CGC-certified 5.0 VG/Fine with a presale estimate of $10,000-$20,000.

From the horror movie realm, few classics eclipse the 1935 film Werewolf of London when it comes to lobby cards. Hake’s will present at auction not one, but six, original Werewolf lobby cards from the series of eight issued by Universal Pictures. “Usually the title card is the most valuable in a set of lobby cards, but one particular Wolfman card in our sale is, by far, the hardest one to obtain. It could be the one that a lot of collectors need in order to complete their set,” said Winter. “It came from one of our earliest customers, who worked in a bookstore and started collecting ephemera many years ago.” Bidding will start at $2,000 and is expected to reach $5,000-$10,000.

Toy collectors can always count on a Hake’s to bring fresh collections to the open market. The November auction includes a superb private collection of toys of all types, including prototypes, vehicles, wind-ups and more. The collection will be on display at the Nov. 1 Allentown (Pa.) Antique Toy Show and Sale.

For information on any item in the sale, call tollfree: 866-404-9800 or 717-434-1600. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit Hake's online at www.hakes.com.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

 ‘Werewolf of London’ 1935 lobby card, rarest of six different Werewolf lobby cards entered in the auction, est. $5,000-$10,000. Hake’s image

 Abraham Lincoln Civil War-era autographed, inscribed card from Sept. 24, 1863. Est. $5,000-$10,000. Hake’s image

 1912 Theodore Roosevelt & Hiram Johnson real-photo jugate button, sepia, 1.25 inches dia., ex Don and Mildred Wright collection, est. $2,000-$5,000. Hake’s image

 4-inch button produced in anticipation of John F. Kennedy’s 1964 campaign, one of fewer than six known, est. $2,000-$5,000. Hake’s image

 Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), ‘Soleil de Mediterranee,’ original wax pastel artwork, 23 x 24in framed, 8 x 8¼in matted, provenance from the artist’s daughter, Maya Widmaier-Picasso, est. $35,000-$50,000. Hake’s image

 ‘Amazing Fantasy’ #15, Marvel Comics, featuring the debut appearance of The Amazing Spider-Man, August 1962, CGC graded 5.0 VG/Fine, est. $10,000-$20,000. Hake’s image

 Mickey Mouse ‘Two-Gun Mickey’ (1934) original black & white nitrate production cel, est. $5,000-$10,000. Hake’s image

 Original March 9, 1934 daily comic strip art for ‘Mickey Mouse – The Captive Castaways,’ by Floyd Gottfredson, est. $5,000-$10,000. Hake’s image

Last Updated on Monday, 20 October 2014 16:55
 
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