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Collectibles Worldwide

Dose of reality: comic book publisher kills off adult Archie

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Written by DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Writer   
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 09:45
 'Archie Annual Yearbook, Fourth Edition.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Burns Auction and Appraisal. LOS ANGELES (AP) – For most of Archie Andrew's life, the red-headed comic book icon's biggest quandary was whether he liked Veronica or Betty.

The character's impending death comes in Wednesday's installment of Life with Archie, a spin-off series that centers on grown-up renditions of Archie and his Riverdale pals. It brings a bold conclusion to Archie Comics' four-year-old modern makeover of the squeaky-clean, all-American character.

Freckle-faced Archie will meet his demise when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Sen. Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character, who's pushing for more gun control in Riverdale. Archie's death, which was first announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the Life with Archie series.

“I think Archie Comics has taken a lot of risks in recent years, and this is the biggest risk they've taken yet,” said Jonathan Merrifield, a longtime Archie fan who hosts the Riverdale Podcast about all things Archie. “If it shakes things up a little bit, and people end up checking it out and seeing what's going on in Archie Comics, it will be a risk that was smartly taken.”

While casual fans likely still associate Archie with soda shops and sock hops – and that's still holds true for the very much alive teenage character in the original Archie' series – Archie was thrust into adulthood with the launch of Life with Archie in 2010. The series kicked off after alternate futures were envisioned where the love-struck do-gooder married both Veronica and Betty.

Over the past four years, storylines in the more socially relevant series aimed at adult Archie fans have included Kevin's marriage to his husband, the death of longtime teacher Ms. Grundy, Archie love interest Cheryl Blossom tackling breast cancer and Jughead and friends dealing with financial struggles.

It's been a shift not unlike other changes in the modern comic book landscape, where Spider-Man's alter-ego is a multi-racial teenager and Wonder Woman wears pants.

“Every few years, we see a comic book tackling an issue that could be considered provocative,” said Dave Luebke, owner of Dave's Comics in Richmond, Va. “It's interesting that the ending of Life with Archie involves multiple social issues, but it's not surprising.” (Luebke sold his rare 1942 Archie No. 1 comic book in 2009 for $38,837 at a Dallas auction.)

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and several Archie fans praised Archie Comics' decision to have the character sacrifice himself to save Kevin, who is depicted in Life with Archie as a married military veteran turned senator.

“In recent years, Life with Archie has become one of the most unique books on the shelves by using its characters to address real world issues – from marriage equality to gun control – in a smart but accessible way,” said Matt Kane, GLAAD's director of entertainment media. “Though the story is coming to a close, we look forward to seeing Kevin and Archie's stories continue in their remaining titles.”

Others have voiced their concern on Archie Comics' Facebook page and other online forums that the character's death was unnecessary or too politicized.

Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO, defended Archie's demise being a lesson about gun violence and diversity.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don't agree,” said Goldwater. “I think Riverdale is a place where everyone should feel welcome and safe. From my point of view, I'm proud of the stance we've taken here, and I don't think it's overtly political on any level.”

Depending on the success of the final installments of Life with Archie, Riverdale Podcast host Merrifield won't be surprised if Archie Comics takes on other topical issues in the near future.

“I'm sure there will be a tearful moment for me,” he said of the character's death. “But this isn't goodbye. He'll be back in a couple of weeks in a book of reprints and the teenage Archie will continue. Archie will still be around. He's always around.”

___

Online:

http://www.archiecomics.com

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang .

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

AP-WF-07-15-14 0521GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
 'Archie Annual Yearbook, Fourth Edition.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Burns Auction and Appraisal.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 10:02
 

Lone Ranger actor's outfit sells for $195K at auction

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 14 July 2014 11:29

Clayton Moore, famed for his TV depiction of The Lone Ranger, wore this outfit to public appearances after his retirement from the TV role that brought him fame. The outfit sold to a Texas bidder for $195,000 at A & S Auctions on July 12, 2014. Image courtesy of A & S Auctions

WACO, Texas (AP) — The outfit Lone Ranger actor Clayton Moore wore when making appearances as the character after retiring from television has sold for $195,000 at a Texas auction.

Waco-based A & S Auction Co. said the outfit was sold Saturday.

Moore, who died in 1999, played the masked lawman on the ABC television series "The Lone Ranger" from 1949 to 1957.

The auction house says that after retiring from television, Moore made appearances in character at events including fairs. His outfit included a powder-blue shirt and pants, red kerchief, Stetson hat, boots, gun belt and Colt pistols.

The outfit spent more than a decade in the collection of a late Texas businessman whose family offered it at auction.

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



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Clayton Moore, famed for his TV depiction of The Lone Ranger, wore this outfit to public appearances after his retirement from the TV role that brought him fame. The outfit sold to a Texas bidder for $195,000 at A & S Auctions on July 12, 2014. Image courtesy of A & S Auctions

Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 11:45
 

Elvis' jets 'Hound Dog II' and 'Lisa Marie' may exit Graceland

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Written by ADRIAN SAINZ, Associated Press   
Thursday, 03 July 2014 11:05
Elvis Presley's jet the 'Lisa Marie' was named for his daughter and is currently on display at Graceland. Photo by T.A.F.K.A.S., licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - For 30 years, tourists from around the world have paid money to get a look at two airplanes once owned by Elvis Presley at Graceland in Memphis. Fans enjoy touring the planes for their direct connection to Presley and his jet-setting lifestyle, a sort of touchstone to the life of the King of Rock and Roll and his family.

By April of next year, the planes named Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II could be gone.

Elvis Presley Enterprises, which operates the Graceland tourist attraction, has written to the planes' owners saying they should prepare to remove the jets from Graceland by next spring.

The planes have been a tourist attraction since the mid-1980s. They had been sold after Presley's death, and were eventually purchased by OKC Partnership in Memphis.

OKC Partnership and Graceland agreed to bring the two jets to Graceland. The agreement called for OKC Partnership to receive a cut of ticket sales in return for keeping the planes there.

In an April 7 letter to OKC Partnership's K.G. Coker, Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden says the company is exercising its option to end the agreement and asks Coker "to make arrangements for the removal of the airplanes and the restoration of the site on or shortly after April 26, 2015.''

Their removal could cause an uproar among fans, especially those who visit Graceland every year as part of an annual pilgrimage to events such as Elvis Week and the candlelight vigil commemorating Presley's death.

Dedicated Elvis fan Paul Fivelson of Algonquin, Illinois, says he expects many fans will be upset to hear the planes may be leaving.

"The people who come to Memphis for Elvis Week like seeing those planes there because it's just part of the whole aura of what Elvis was about,'' Fivelson said Tuesday. "It would be kind of blasphemous to take them away, and I think there are probably a lot of fans who will feel the same way.''

The disclosure also raises questions about the future use of the site where the airplanes now sit, across the street from Presley's longtime home.

Elvis Presley Enterprises declined immediate comment.

In November, New York-based Authentic Brands Group bought Elvis Presley Enterprises and the licensing and merchandising rights for Presley's music and image from CORE Media Group. As part of the deal, Joel Weinshanker, founder of the National Entertainment Collectibles Association, acquired the operating rights to Graceland, which attracts about 500,000 visitors each year.

After the sale, Authentic Brands said upgrades to the tourist attraction were planned. Earlier this year, Elvis Presley Enterprises announced plans to build a 450-room hotel, theater and restaurant, with a projected opening date of August 2015. Their plan was approved Tuesday by the Memphis City Council.

Today, Graceland visitors can buy a ticket that includes a tour of Presley's home-turned-museum and the two airplanes. Fans climb into the airplanes for an up-close look at their interiors.

The larger plane, a Convair 880 named after Presley's daughter Lisa Marie, is like a customized flying limousine, complete with a large bed, a stereo system, conference room and gold-plated bathroom fixtures. It was renovated after Presley bought it from Delta Air Lines. Presley took his first flight on it in November 1975.

When Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977, Presley's pilot flew the Lisa Marie to California to pick up Presley's ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, to bring her back to Memphis.

The smaller jet, a JetStar named the Hound Dog II, was also used by Presley.

At one point, after the planes were sold following the singer's death, the Lisa Marie was owned by Raymond Zimmerman, owner of the Service Merchandise chain, according to Coker. The Hound Dog II was in the hands of Hustler head Larry Flynt for a time, Coker said.

OKC Partnership eventually bought the planes and the Lisa Marie was installed at Graceland in 1984. The Hound Dog II came later.

Coker, 76, says OKC may sell the planes if they're removed from Graceland, but he still hopes to negotiate a deal that would keep the planes there. Coker acknowledges that he and his partners would lose money from ticket sales if the planes were removed.

"I would love to see the airplanes stay where they are forever,'' Coker said. "Millions of fans have toured those airplanes and there's a real connection between fans and those airplanes. Those airplanes are part of the Elvis experience.''

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



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Elvis Presley's jet the 'Lisa Marie' was named for his daughter and is currently on display at Graceland. Photo by T.A.F.K.A.S., licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 July 2014 11:22
 

Signed ticket from Gehrig retirement to hit auction block

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 14:26
1933 Goudey baseball card of Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees #92. NEW YORK (AP) - A ticket stub signed by Lou Gehrig on July 4, 1939 -- the day he retired from baseball -- is going on the auction block.

Heritage Auctions says more than 60,000 tickets to the game at Yankee Stadium were sold. Only two are known to have survived.

Of the two, only the mezzanine box ticket was signed by Gehrig. It is estimated to bring over $100,000 at the Aug. 1 sale in Cleveland.

The owner is an unidentified collector.

Gehrig retired after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, now known as Lou Gehrig's disease. In his farewell speech that day, he said, "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.''

Heritage's director of sports memorabilia, Chris Ivy, calls it "the most significant baseball ticket in the world.''

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

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 14:34
 

Sale of rare Disney toys to benefit Maurice Sendak Foundation

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 10:09

Saalheimer & Strauss (made in Germany for British market) Mickey Mouse with Moving Mouth, tin, circa 1930, one of few known examples. Provenance: Maurice Sendak collection. Estimate: $20,000-$35,000. Image courtesy of Hake’s

YORK, Pa. – They shared the same birth year, became lifelong friends and lived happily ever after – that was the story of celebrated Where The Wild Things Are author/illustrator Maurice Sendak and cartoon icon Mickey Mouse. Both made their “debuts” in 1928. And almost as though they shared the same DNA, Sendak and his comical kindred spirit went on to entertain multiple generations of children.

In a book that accompanied the 2005 Jewish Museum of New York art exhibition titled Wild Things: The Art of Maurice Sendak, the author is quoted as saying that Mickey Mouse was “a source of joy and pleasure while growing up.”

In later years, Sendak would create an inspiring work and leisure environment for himself that was filled with early Disney toys. Many of his most treasured pieces were acquired over a 40-year period from Hake’s auctions and through private purchases organized by the company’s founder, Ted Hake. An intuitive buyer, Sendak followed the golden rule of collecting: buy what you like – and Sendak liked Mickey Mouse toys.

Because of the long personal friendship and bond of trust that developed between Sendak and Hake, the author’s estate entrusted Hake’s with auctioning his prized toy collection. So far, two successive Hake’s auctions have featured Disney rarities with Sendak provenance. The third will take place July 15-17, and it includes two of the most elusive and desirable Mickey Mouse toys ever made.

Lot 1737, a 9-inch wind-up of a five-fingered Mickey, was made for the British market around 1930 by the German manufacturer Saalheimer & Strauss. When its built-in key is wound, the toy waddles side to side and the character’s mouth widens to flash a toothy smile. One of very few known examples, its auction estimate is $20,000-$35,000.

A similar price is expected for Lot 1738, a Mickey Mouse Double Slate Dancers crank toy made by Wilhelm Krauss. The German-made toy depicts a pair of smiling five-fingered Mickeys with loosely riveted arms and legs that render the illusion of dancing when the toy is activated.

“Only two Double Slate Dancers are known to exist, and this marks the first time in our 47 years that Hake’s has ever been able to offer this fabulous toy in one of our auctions,” said Ted Hake.

To request a free printed catalog or 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 website and view the catalog for the July 15-17 auction at www.hakes.com.

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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Saalheimer & Strauss (made in Germany for British market) Mickey Mouse with Moving Mouth, tin, circa 1930, one of few known examples. Provenance: Maurice Sendak collection. Estimate: $20,000-$35,000. Image courtesy of Hake’s 

Wilhelm Krauss (Germany) Mickey Mouse Double Slate Dancers, tin, one of two known. Provenance: Maurice Sendak collection. Estimate: $20,000-$35,000. Image courtesy of Hake’s 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 10:42
 

Expert relates little-known history of breweries in Joliet, Ill.

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 30 June 2014 10:02

Serving tray for Fred Sehring Brewing Co., Joliet, Ill., advertising 'Standard Pale and Muenchener bottle Beer.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Victorian Casino Antiques

JOLIET, Ill. — Like many people in a 1970s, John Bittermann of Joliet collected splash cans.

But when a crony offering Bittermann a mop that a Fred Sehring Brewing Company in Joliet expelled in 1906, a dumbfounded Bittermann asked, “There were breweries in Joliet?”

Bittermann afterwards embarked on a decades-long mindfulness with Joliet’s brewery history, one that has constructed an endless collection of beer-related outfit and a extensive demeanour during an attention that helped figure Joliet, as good as a whole country, he said.

“Everyone can describe to beer. Unlike wine, it’s a common man’s drink, a operative man’s drink,” Bittermann said. “Adams was a brewer; Washington was a brewer; Jefferson was a brewer. It goes behind to a Mayflower; we can demeanour it adult – ‘our spread being many spent, generally a beere.’ The Pilgrims headed toward a seashore given they were out of food and beer.”

On Jul 17, Bittermann will conduct a presentation at the Joliet Area Historical Museum on “The Architectural History of Joliet Brewery Buildings.” Bittermann will plead a layouts and skeleton of a brewery buildings; a expansion of a brewery buildings via a years; when a breweries were built, by who, and during what cost; what happened to a brewery buildings after they closed; and what exists during a locations today.

Why was beer so appealing to Joliet residents of a 19th and early 20th? Generally fascinating as a beverage, it was also used to forestall disease and cholera, consequences of infested water, Bittermann said.

“It was served during cooking to children,” Bittermann said. “People had complicated stouts during breakfast to uphold them. Nursing mothers were speedy to splash it. Breweries were among a initial industries to be set up, not only in Joliet, though in a nation. Just about any place we had H2O and could grow grain, we could make beer.”

And in Joliet, people did. Porter’s ale, stouts and porters were favored by the Irish, Bittermann said, while Joliet’s German and Slavic populations were fans of Fred Sehring beer. Prohibition was indeed profitable to Joliet breweries.

“We were only distant adequate of out Chicago to be ignored,” Bittermann said, “but not so distant that we could send things and not be noticed.”

Most of Bittermann’s information about Joliet’s brewing story came from aged internal newspapers archived during a Joliet Public Library, he said.

“I would go there any Monday night for 3 to 4 hours, only scrolling by microfilm,” Bittermann said. “I have review by 70 percent of them.”

An 1862 announcement for Porter Ale promotes a thought that his batch ale – delivered in two, 3 and 5 gallon demijohns – is specifically for family use and guaranteed to be kept “fresh and nice.”

In a second announcement – from Aug. 30, 1862 – Porter betrothed to compensate a top cost for primary barley delivered to his Bluff Street Brewery. One poser brewer, famous as G. Simpson Phoenix, has no residence solely a Joliet P.O. box, Bittermann said.

Yet, Bittermann deduced, that association advertised home smoothness in a Joliet newspaper, so it apparently was a Joliet brewery. In a days before refrigeration and pasteurization, splash was a rarely perishable product, so many brewers were located within a few blocks of their business and delivered their splash uninformed any day, he said.

“All we know is a name, a P.O. box and a fact he done deliveries in Joliet,” Bittermann said. “The rest is mislaid to time.”

Like many of today’s businesses, Joliet brewers promoted their business by giveaway merchandise. Bittermann’s Joliet brewery collection is full with these items: mugs, eyeglasses with etched logos, calendars, signs, tappers, cigar cutters, change purses, matchboxes with grooves for distinguished matches, and timber cases that hold both pencils and combs. Bittermann also collects splash barrels, timber boxes for shipping beer.

“They’re cool, aged pieces that paint a time and an attention that is prolonged given gone,” Bittermann said.

When celebration beer, Bittermann prefers heavy, dim beer. With a assistance of friends, Bittermann has done splash as a home brewer. He attends beer-related uncover and events, as good as beer-tasting festivals.

Bittermann pronounced a vendors he meets during those events are a friendliest people in a world, peaceful to speak to anybody, anytime. Of course, Bittermann mostly is one of those vendors.

“I move things to sell,” Bittermann pronounced with a smile, “so we have income to buy some-more stuff.”

Source: The (Joliet) Herald-News

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



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Serving tray for Fred Sehring Brewing Co., Joliet, Ill., advertising 'Standard Pale and Muenchener bottle Beer.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Victorian Casino Antiques

Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 10:27
 

Sinatra's first license fetches $15K at auction

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 30 June 2014 09:11
Image courtesy of RR Auction TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Frank Sinatra's first New Jersey driver's license has sold for $15,757 at auction.

The yellowed, text-only 1934 license was issued, typo and all, to Francis Sintra, 841 Garden Street, Hoboken, New Jersey.

The license was signed by the then-19-year-old a year before Sinatra got his first big break in the music industry.

His eyes, of course, are recorded as blue. His weight was 130 pounds.

Boston-based RR Auction didn't disclose the buyer.

The deal also included a 1940 letter to the state Commissioner of Motor Vehicles from the lawyer of a man who'd been involved in a car crash with Sinatra, insisting Sinatra's driving privileges be revoked until he paid up.

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



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Image courtesy of RR Auction Image courtesy of RR Auction Image courtesy of RR Auction
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 11:11
 

Hi-yo, Silver! Clayton Moore's Lone Ranger outfit heads to auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 23 June 2014 16:41

The Lone Ranger outfit that Clayton Moore wore to public appearances after retiring from his acting career. A & S Auctions image

WACO, Texas – “From out of the west with the speed of light and a hearty ‘Hi-yo, Silver!” was a phrase that captivated youngsters of the 1950s and could spur them into furious action. Each week, those words were the verbal cue for kids to adjust the rabbit ears, huddle in front of the family TV and wait anxiously for the next big adventure starring their favorite hero on horseback, The Lone Ranger.

Since The Lone Ranger’s radio introduction to American audiences in 1933, many actors have voiced or played the lead role, across various media. None, however, captured the public’s imagination quite like Clayton Moore, who portrayed the masked lawman of the Old West on the ABC-TV series The Lone Ranger, which ran from 1949 through 1957.

For many years after retiring from television, Moore made public appearances “in character” as The Lone Ranger. He was a striking figure in his powder-blue shirt and pants, red kerchief and Stetson hat. The outfit – designed by the famed Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors of North Hollywood, California – came to life with the addition of black Nudie’s cowboy boots, a hand-tooled and studded buscadero gun rig made by Hollywood’s “silversmith to the stars” Edward H. Bohlin; and custom-made Colt pistols factory-engraved with the serial numbers “LR-1” and “LR-2,” and “Clayton Moore – The Lone Ranger.” The guns are accompanied by an original Colt factory letter certifying they were a special order made specifically for Clayton Moore.

Moore passed away in 1999, but a head-turning Lone Ranger costume he wore to countless state fairs, parades and even mall openings, is back in the spotlight. After more than a decade in the private collection of Texas businessman the late Bob Davis, the outfit will be offered to bidders in four separate lots on July 12th at A & S Auction Co., in Waco, Texas.

In a method known as “sold on the whole bid,” each of the four lots will be hammered individually and in consecutive order. Then, the auctioneer will reopen bidding for the entire outfit with a starting bid that equals the total of the four previous “winning” bids plus 10 percent.

“If there are no bids at that point, then each of the four individual lots will be considered sold to the four bidders for whatever the hammer prices were. Otherwise, the bidding will continue in normal auction fashion for the whole kit and caboodle. It’s a way of enabling the outfit to remain intact, if possible,” said Scott Franks, owner and auctioneer at A & S Auction.

Visit www.asauctions.com for additional information. Tel. 254-799-6004.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

The Lone Ranger outfit that Clayton Moore wore to public appearances after retiring from his acting career. A & S Auctions image

The inside liner of the ornately hand-tooled leather gun belt is marked ‘Bohlin’ in four places and bears an inscription to Clayton Moore from Bohlin’s then-owner Danny Lang Jr and Moore’s good friend Jim Hoiby. A & S Auctions image

One of a pair of Colt single-action revolvers made especially for Clayton Moore/The Lone Ranger, shown in its holster. The hand-tooled black leather buscadero gun rig was made by Hollywood’s ‘silversmith to the stars,’ Edward H. Bohlin. A & S Auctions image

Closeup of ‘silver’ bullets in cartridge loops, each impressed with the words: ‘Lone Ranger 45.’ A & S Auctions image

Engraved on the back strap on both of the Colt gun handles is the personalization: ‘Clayton Moore The Lone Ranger.’ A & S Auctions image

The Lone Ranger guns are engraved with the distinctive factory-engraved Colt serial numbers ‘LR-1’ and ‘LR-2,’ offered with an original Colt factory letter showing them as a special order for Clayton Moore. A & S Auctions image

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 09:19
 

Fight over money puts Woody Guthrie project in jeopardy

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Written by JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press   
Monday, 23 June 2014 09:50

Singer-songwriter Woodie Guthrie (1912-1967). Image Al Aumuller 'New York World-Telegram and the Sun,' courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) – A dispute over the finances and control of a planned rebuild of folk legend Woody Guthrie's boyhood home in Oklahoma could put the project in jeopardy.

The spat, an ironic turn considering Guthrie's songs that railed against greed, began after two Gibson guitars crafted with wood salvaged from the iconic singer's home in Okemah failed to sell last month on eBay.

Profits from Gibson's donated guitars were to go toward reconstruction of the 1860s-era property, called London House, using piles of lumber rescued from the site when the dilapidated structure was torn down in the late 1970s.

The builders had grand plans for the property: Restoration of the home from its sandstone foundation on up, then construction of a museum to house all things Woody.

They also envisioned picnic areas, gardens and RV parking to accommodate the throngs of tourists and musicians who flock to town of 3,000, about 75 miles east of Oklahoma City, each July for the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival.

It would all cost around $600,000. The home was to be finished in time for this year's festival.

The contractor, Dan Riedemann, and the man he hired last year to raise funds for the undertaking, Johnny Buschardt, banked on the guitars to sell fast so they could start building in the spring.

Riedemann and Buschardt hoped each guitar would fetch around six figures and only offered on eBay the first two of the eight made. Buschardt hoped the other six would be snapped up by museums or A-list musicians eager to own a piece of Woody history.

When neither guitar sold, the finger-pointing began. Riedemann accused Buschardt of not doing enough to publicize the sale. Buschardt accused Riedemann of being greedy.

Both men insisted they were still attached to the project in interviews this week with The Associated Press.

“When the guitars didn't sell and the money wasn't there, that's when we started going from strained to downright acrimonious,” Buschardt said. “We're hoping Dan comes to his senses.”

Buschardt said he was still working with Gibson to auction off the guitars – with the first guitar planned to go on the block in September.

A representative from Gibson, who said in an email that he hadn't heard of the dispute, did not respond as of Thursday to questions about who has rights to the guitars.

Riedemann disputed Buschardt's comments and said Buschardt was booted from the project because he “screwed up auctioning off the guitars.”

“Johnny has nothing to do with this thing,” Riedemann said. “When Johnny talks, I don't think he realizes people are going to hold him to his word. His reality is different.”

News of the dispute has upset Guthrie's granddaughter, Annie Hays Guthrie, who had praised the plan to rebuild Woody's boyhood home.

“It's unfortunate,” Hays Guthrie said. “Maybe we're not ready for the house right now.”

But she said that won't stop her or the thousands of other Woody fans from coming to the festival to honor a man revered as one of the best songwriters in American history.

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

AP-WF-06-19-14 2108GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Singer-songwriter Woodie Guthrie (1912-1967). Image Al Aumuller 'New York World-Telegram and the Sun,' courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

Last Updated on Monday, 23 June 2014 10:01
 

‘My Gal Sal’ color art direction Oscar to be auctioned

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 23 June 2014 09:31
Movie poster for the 1942 musical 'My Gal Sal.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Heritage Auctions. PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A 1942 Oscar statuette is being sold an auction in Rhode Island.

The Providence Journal reports the statuette will be sold Monday by Briarbrook Auctions in East Greenwich. Art director Joseph C. Wright won the Oscar in 1942 for color art direction on the film My Gal Sal.

The Oscar belongs to Wright's nephew, who lives in Cranston and wishes to remain anonymous.

Oscars rarely come onto the market. Since 1950, Oscar winners are required to sign a contract agreeing that if they or their heirs ever want to sell an Oscar, it must first be offered to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for $1.

Wright died in California at the age of 92.

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

AP-WF-06-20-14 1046GMT

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 23 June 2014 09:43
 

St. Louis police to auction gangland-era Tommy guns

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Written by JOEL CURRIER, St. Louis Post-Dispatch   
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 09:21
Thompson Model 1921 with Type C drum magazine. Image by Hmaag. This file is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. ST. LOUIS (AP) – Thompson submachine guns are as much a legend as the bad – and good – guys who fired them.

With as many colorful nicknames as the gangsters whose rat-a-tat-tats roared through the 1920s, the weapon remains an icon of American criminal, military and pop culture history.

No matter what you call it – the “Chicago Typewriter,” the “trench broom,” the “chopper,” the “annihilator” – the Tommy gun is a vintage Hollywood favorite. It was used not only by desperados such as John Dillinger to rob banks and Al Capone's mobsters in the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre, but also various lawmen and soldiers.

In 1939, Time Magazine declared it “the deadliest weapon, pound for pound, ever devised by man.”

St. Louis police took them out of service perhaps 60 years ago, but 29 are still stored in a basement bunker at the Police Academy downtown, with a 30th in the crime lab. Chief Sam Dotson and some collectors think it may be the biggest police-owned stock of Thompsons in the United States.

And it is about to go on sale.

With the police budget ever-stretched, Dotson said the department is planning to auction off what could approach $1 million worth of the guns in the next six months, and put the proceeds toward new sidearms for the whole force.

It's necessary, the chief explained, since $1.4 million earmarked for new pistols was slashed from this year's budget.

“That's the fiscal reality,” Dotson said.

The sale, if a little bittersweet, is welcomed by the St. Louis Police Officers Association. It has long lobbied for larger and more powerful .40-caliber pistols to replace the 9mm Berettas that officers have carried for about two decades.

Choosing a new handgun has been part of contract talks with the police union in recent months.

Jeff Roorda, the union's business manager, understands the lure of the Thompsons. “It'd be nice for nostalgia to have those in the police department forever,” he said. “But the more pressing need now is that officers have firepower that matches the firepower in the hands of the bad guys.”

The department plans to keep at least one of the Tommy guns as a historical piece.

The collection, which includes rare 1921 and 1927 Colts and a model made in 1942, was appraised by a local dealer in May 2012 at $770,000. Police and some collectors, however, think the stash could fetch far more. It is not clear how or when the department acquired the one newer Tommy gun.

The .45-caliber Thompson, classified as a submachine gun because it fires pistol ammunition, was designed by Gen. John T. Thompson, who served during the Spanish-American War and later helped develop weapons for the Army. It gained a reputation as a powerful and reliable weapon that could shoot 1,000 rounds or more per minute.

Thompson was looking for a lightweight weapon for advantage in World War I's stalemated trench warfare. It became known as the “trench broom” even though it wasn't ready for the market until the war had ended.

“The Tommy gun has a deep-seated connection to American history from the ’20s to today,” said Bill Troy, president of the Thompson Collectors Association, based in Ellicott City, Md. “It's a work of art. Among collectors, it's one of the Cadillac pieces – they're expensive, they're rare and they're well-made.”

The number left in the world is unclear, but Troy said collectors generally believe there may be as few as 25,000 in the U.S.

Daniel Waugh, 36, a St. Louis author who has written two books on St. Louis gangsters and a third about a Detroit gang, said in an interview that police of the 1920s in many cities found themselves in an “arms race” against gangsters.

“St. Louis was one of the few cities in America where the cops beat the hoods to the punch” by getting Tommy guns, he said.

Police here bought at least 75 in the 1920s for use by the “Night Riders,” an overnight motor squad that targeted bank robbers and gangsters by raiding saloons and crime hangouts. It's unclear what happened to 45 of the guns. Police say records of the original purchases were either not kept or disappeared.

Fifty Tommy guns arrived for the Night Riders in October 1921, according to the Post-Dispatch, which characterized the squad's hunt for criminals during Prohibition as “red hot.” The department bought 25 more in 1927.

Whether the guns ever killed anyone – or if they were even used on duty – is a matter of debate. The guns have been used in training sessions over the years.

The department wants to make sure the guns don't take any more souls. “We want to be selective and make sure these aren't going into the wrong hands,” Tucker said.

High prices and federal restrictions should help see to that.

The cheapest of the collection, an Auto-Ordinance/Savage M1 from 1942, is appraised at $14,000. The stars are two 1921 Colts, each valued at $31,000. (The department also has two World War I-era Lewis machine guns, believed to have been lent by the FBI, which are not for sale.)

Private possession of a fully automatic weapon requires a federal license. Obtaining the permit can take up to year. An applicant must pass a background check, pay a $200 federal tax and obtain approval of the local police chief.

Despite the obstacles, St. Louis police are optimistic that collectors will respond to the opportunity.

“Like a Bel Air, or a Duesenberg, or a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, or any number of truly classic American machines, the Thompson is easy on the eye, familiar, and comfortable,” wrote Bill Yenne, author of Tommy Gun, How General Thompson's Submachine Gun Wrote History. “Like these machines, it is part of our culture, part of our heritage, and an important part of our history.”

___

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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

AP-WF-06-07-14 1502GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Thompson Model 1921 with Type C drum magazine. Image by Hmaag. This file is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 09:40
 
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