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Collectibles Worldwide

Police recover rare Superman comic stolen from Nicolas Cage

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Written by ANTHONY McCARTNEY, AP Entertainment Writer   
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 16:38
Action Comics No. 1 features the first appearance of Superman. Very few examples are known to exist. This one sold for $1 million in a private transaction brokered by ComicConnect.com on Feb. 22, 2010. Image courtesy ComicConnect.com

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A valuable comic featuring the debut of Superman has re-surfaced in a storage locker, and police said Monday that it appears to be the same one stolen from Nicolas Cage more than a decade ago.

The mint copy of Action Comics No. 1 was in police custody after being found last week in a San Fernando Valley storage locker. An investigation into its theft and recovery is under way.

The comic was authenticated and appears to be the one stolen from Cage in 2000, said Detective Don Hrycyk with the Los Angeles Police Department's Art Theft Detail.

It is unclear whether the 1938 comic will be returned to the Oscar-winning actor. Hrycyk said Cage accepted an insurance payout after its theft and will have to work out the details with the company.

The actor made clear in a statement that he would like it back. "It is divine providence that the comic was found and I am hopeful that the heirloom will be returned to my family," Cage said in a statement released by his publicist.

Cage is an avid comic collector, and the Action Comics issue is one of the highest-coveted books in superhero history. A copy of the issue was sold in March 2010 for $1.5 million. It was originally sold for 10 cents.

The recovery of Cage's comic was first reported Sunday by the Ventura County Star. The paper said it was found in a storage locker in the San Fernando Valley last week and that a comic collector who originally sold the book to Cage verified its authenticity.

Hrycyk said his investigation is in its early stages and he is checking out all the stories about how the comic was found.

The detective said a number of false leads on the comic were generated over the years, including a tip in 2002 that the issue was in a safe deposit box in Tennessee. Police searched the box, but found a replica of the comic's cover, which depicts Superman hoisting a car over his head, wrapped around a woman's lingerie catalog.

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

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 April 2011 16:42
 

Pacific nation's William and Kate stamps raise eyebrows

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 08 April 2011 17:33
The commemorative postage stamps from the Pacific-island nation of Niue that have WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - The Pacific nation of Niue has printed unusual commemorative stamps for Britain's royal wedding: an image of Prince William and Kate Middleton with perforations that split the couple down the middle.

The general manager of stamps and coins at New Zealand Post, which designed and printed the stamps, told TV3 on Tuesday that the design had been approved Queen Elizabeth II.

Ivor Masters described the design as innovative. He said the stamps were collectors items so it was very unlikely they would be torn apart for postage.

The item features a single image of Kate and William standing side by side on two stamps of different values. Ripping along the stamps' perforations would tear the royal couple apart.

New Zealand and Niue are Commonwealth nations.

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

AP-WF-04-05-11 1026GMT

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 April 2011 08:10
 

Ex-hockey stars cashing in on private troves

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 04 April 2011 12:00
Formerly with the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins, the now-retired NHL center Bryan Trottier played with the All-Star Legends 2008 in Toronto. Image taken by Horge, Nov. 9, 2008. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. MONTREAL (AP) - Stained clothing, chipped vulcanized rubber and even false teeth.

Whatever the item, if it comes from the personal trove of a retired hockey star it can mean big money. Former pros are reaping cash returns by auctioning gear from their private collections.

Collectors and fans are shelling out more and more for pieces of hockey history - stirring up excitement that has ex-players digging into their own stashes to get in on the action.

This week, dozens of items belonging to Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier, including a pair of Stanley Cup rings, sold for a total of more than $60,000 through a Montreal-area auction house.

In the same sale, Classic Auctions also unloaded personal articles for former NHL all-star Vincent Damphousse and Czech hockey legend Vaclav Nedomansky - earning them around $25,000 each.

But what exactly inspires old pros to unload so much stuff? Some insist it's simply about reclaiming their homes from the mountains of mementoes.

"I had a freaking garage full - I'm talking like a three-car garage,'' Hall of Fame winger Luc Robitaille told The Canadian Press, referring to sports items he's accumulated over the years. "So it was crazy.''

Robitaille hopes to sell part of his personal collection - including jerseys, pucks and a full-size hockey net - in June with the help of Classic Auctions.

He said he will put the money he raises into his foundation for troubled youth in Los Angeles.

Three-time Stanley Cup winner Rogie Vachon, who recently made about $75,000 for selling more than 30 items, had a similar storage dilemma.

"The problem is we have so many things that we keep over the years and every time you move to another house . . . things (the mementos) get broken or you lose stuff,'' Vachon said in an interview from his home in Los Angeles.

Vachon, who sold the Stanley Cup ring he won in 1967-68 with the Montreal Canadiens, figures he'll probably keep the cash for his grandchildren.

He said he was no longer attached to the artifacts and hopes someone else will get some use out of them.

"After a while, it's just sitting there and you figure 'Well, maybe somebody will enjoy having it in their little trophy room,''' he said.

Classic Auctions president Marc Juteau said former players often have the financial returns in mind, whether it's for themselves, their families or charity.

"They've had (the items) with them for their entire careers, so for them it probably doesn't mean as much as to some of the collectors,'' said Juteau, whose packed warehouse holds everything from a vintage Bobby Orr doll to graffiti-covered wooden doors from Muhammad Ali's old gym.

"If you won seven Stanley Cups, to sell two (rings) is not the end of the world - you still have five.''

And these days aficionados will snap up the strangest things.

In November, the auctioneer sold game-worn, fake teeth from Canadiens great Yvan Cournoyer for nearly $1,400.

"I don't want to say that more players want to sell their stuff, but I think the memorabilia market is definitely picking up,'' said Juteau, who's been selling sports collectibles since the 1980s. "I think it's a hot trend right now and there's more people looking to invest.''

Business has also been good for collectors looking to sell high on hockey treasures they picked up years ago. This week, the auction house brought in more than $55,000 for the puck Wayne Gretzky used in 1989 to notch career point No. 1,851 and pass Gordie Howe as the all-time NHL points leader.

Juteau's company made nearly $1.3 million last year for the jersey Paul Henderson wore when he scored the 1972 Summit Series winner.

But it's the personal collections of retired hockey players that have drawn much interest in recent years, particularly Stanley Cup rings. Trottier's two rings sold this week for about $20,000 each, while Vachon's made him about $15,000.

"It's very special for some people to own an actual Stanley Cup ring that once belonged to an NHL player,'' Juteau said.

In 2005, Habs great Jean Beliveau was one of the first hockey legends to auction pieces from his private vault. He made nearly $1 million for nearly 200 items, including the $69,045 he received for his 1958-59 Stanley Cup ring.

At the time, Beliveau said he would share the money with his family, including his daughter and two granddaughters.

But the 45-year-old Robitaille, who played in the era of multimillion-dollar salaries, doubts that former players from the days of lower wages are selling their stuff because they're short of cash.

"I don't think there's that much money in it,'' said Robitaille, who retired after the 2005-06 season and sits 10th all-time in NHL goals scored with 668. "I don't think it's something for guys where it makes a difference in their lives, to tell you the truth.''

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

AP-WF-04-01-11 1820GMT

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Formerly with the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins, the now-retired NHL center Bryan Trottier played with the All-Star Legends 2008 in Toronto. Image taken by Horge, Nov. 9, 2008. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 April 2011 12:35
 

Wills and Kate Royal Wedding stamps available soon

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 16:50
The British Royal Mail's new stamps featuring the official engagement portraits taken by world-renowned photographer Mario Testino.

LONDON (AP) - Britain's Royal Mail is celebrating Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding with a new set of stamps that feature their official engagement portraits.

Two pictures of the couple taken by fashion and celebrity photographer Mario Testino will be printed on the set of commemorative stamps, which can be ordered beginning April 7.

The Royal Mail said Tuesday the collectibles have been approved by William and will be released on April 21, the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.

William has been featured on stamps twice before - to mark the Queen Mother's 100th birthday on August 4, 2000, and three years later to mark his 21st birthday.

Meanwhile, Transport for London said Tuesday that William and his bride-to-be will also grace special commemorative transit cards.

____

Online: www.royalmail.com

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

AP-WF-03-29-11 1038GMT

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 March 2011 09:01
 

Vivid World War II posters stir up deep emotions 70 years later

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Written by CLIFF RADEL, The Cincinnati Enquirer   
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 09:11
Dec. 7, 1941, was the day Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, plunging the United States into World War II. The Office of War Information issued this poster in 1942. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. CINCINNATI (AP) – The war has long been over. GIs who fought it are a vanishing breed.

Somehow, 346 flimsy World War II propaganda posters that sat in a box for 66 years still look brand new.

“They've never seen the light of day,” said Vernon Rader. The posters from the 86-year-old retired Procter & Gamble art director's recently downsized collection are on display, for sale and up for auction at Humler & Nolan auction house in Cincinnati.

“These posters were folded before they left the printing plant, laid flat in a box and never displayed,” Rader added. “That's why their colors look so vivid.”

The word “vivid” also describes the posters' graphic images and messages. They contain:

Warnings about loose lips sinking ships. A sailor's lifeless body washes up on shore as a ship sinks on the horizon on a poster declaring: “a careless word . . . A NEEDLESS LOSS.”

Subtle sales pitches to buy war bonds. A Renoir-esque rendering of a farmer in a field of wheat near the words: “Our Good Earth . . . Keep It Ours, BUY WAR BONDS.”

Recycling hints. The mantra “use it up – wear it out – make it do'' headlines a scene of a woman patching a pair of pants.

Reminders of revenge. A huge fist shakes above “Avenge December 7” as the words loom over the outline of the battleship USS Arizona exploding at Pearl Harbor.

Demonic depictions of the enemy, which in today's sensitive light appear politically incorrect. Beneath the words, “Factory FIRES help the JAPS,” a burning plant sends up fiendish flames bearing a strong resemblance to the face of Japan's vile Prime Minister Hideki Tojo.

Scenes of war's aftermath. A sailor leans on his crutches to say: “Take it from me, brother – WE'VE STILL GOT A BIG JOB TO DO!” The sailor has but one leg.

“The government made these posters to be hung in public places,” Rader said. “I remember seeing them in post offices and barber shops and on factory bulletin boards in my little home town in North Carolina before I went off to war.”

Rader, of Mount Auburn, served during World War II in the Army's Transportation Corps. He saw action during “20 overseas crossings.” He made it back in one piece, enrolled in the University of Cincinnati's industrial design department and spent 40 years at P&G.

He came across the posters early in his career with the hometown industrial giant. A salesman, Rader recalled, came into his office and “noticed the stuff I had collected on my shelves.”

The salesman told the art director he knew someone “back East” with a huge collection of old World War II posters. Was he interested?

Rader was. A deal was struck. The posters, all 346 of them, arrived in one box. Rader initially offered to pay $30. But when he saw how much postage the guy had spent to ship the box, he wrote a check for $45.

“That was good money for those kind of posters in the early ’60s,” Rader said.

Today, these posters are garnering even better money.

“World War II posters in good shape can be priced from $200 to $3,000,” said Carol Leadenham, an archivist at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. The institution possesses 100,000 propaganda posters, the largest holding of its kind in the world.

“Finding these kind of posters in good condition is not common,” she said. “Finding this many posters in good condition is rare.”

Fifty years ago, when Rader bought 346 posters for $45, “not many people were collecting these old things,” Leadenham noted.

“Museums were throwing them out. They were printed on thin, cheap paper, a cut above newsprint. They weren't designed to last more than a month and then they were supposed to be thrown away, replaced by the next poster. Many institutions considered these works to be beneath them.”

One institution's trash, however, is the Hoover's treasure. “We've been holding onto paper ephemera since 1919,” Leadenham said.

Most of Rader's 346 posters were produced by the Office of War Information. All of them were printed between 1942 and 1945.

“The office commissioned many of the most famous commercial artists of the day,” Leadenham said. Names on the posters have lost much of their fame, except for Norman Rockwell.

“These posters were designed to have an effect on people,” Leadenham said, “to make them do something – Buy War Bonds! – or think bad thoughts about the enemy or remember our values.”

The Office of War Information placed its posters into five categories, the five Ns: The nature of our Allies. The nature of our enemy. The need to work. The need to sacrifice. The need to fight.

All five categories are represented in the holdings of the Hoover Institution and Rader's collection.

Both have Rockwell's famous Four Freedoms – “Freedom of Speech,” “Freedom of Worship,” “Freedom from Fear” and, the much-parodied Thanksgiving dinner table scene accompanying “Freedom from Want.” A set of four, original, 28-by-40-inch posters can be had on eBay for $3,000.

At Humler & Nolan's June 4 auction, other Rockwells are estimated to fetch as much as $1,800 each.

Examples from the Office of War Information's “This is the Enemy” series cross the line of political correctness.

One dark-toned and dark-themed “This is the Enemy” poster features a Nazi's hand clutching a dagger stabbing a Bible. Others feature Japanese soldiers “whose features make them look like bugs,” Leadenham said.

“You have to put these posters into context,” she added.

“This is not to say the images are nice. But you have to understand what was going on back then. We were at war. American troops were being tortured. And killed. These posters reflected emotions the country felt.”

Rader recalled the emotions the posters stirred in him.

“They got you worked up,” he said. “Those posters reminded you what we were fighting for. They made you want to buy war bonds.”

He paused.

“I wonder why we don't have posters like this today,” he said. “They might help us pay for those wars we are waging overseas.”

___

Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer,

http://www.enquirer.com

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

AP-ES-03-26-11 1704EDT

 

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Dec. 7, 1941, was the day Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, plunging the United States into World War II. The Office of War Information issued this poster in 1942. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.v Anton Otto Fischer created this poster for the U.S. Office of War Information in 1943. It warned against the inadvertent disclosure of war-related information. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 16:22
 

Davenport, Iowa, was once cigar capital of the Midwest

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Written by ALMA GAUL, Quad-City Times   
Monday, 28 March 2011 11:32
Made in Germany, this chromolithographed cigar tip tray advertised the Markert Cigar Co. in Davenport, Iowa. It is 4 1/4 inches in diameter. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Cowan’s Auctions Inc. DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – If you listed your occupation as “stripper” in the early 1900s, it didn't necessarily mean you peeled your clothes off for pay.

In Davenport anyway, it likely meant that you were employed by one of the city's various cigar manufacturers and that your job was to strip out the center stem from the big tobacco leaves and tear the leaf into smaller pieces that would then be used to roll cigars.

That's one of the interesting bits of information inveterate collector and Davenport history buff Merle Vastine has learned in gathering memorabilia related to the city's cigar industry.

A portion of his collection, including 90 cigar boxes, plus various box openers, lighters and trimmers, is on display now through May at the German American Heritage Center in Davenport.

At one time, Davenport was a cigar capital of the Midwest; at its high watermark in 1910, there were 34 manufacturers easily employing more than 1,000 people, Vastine said.

Cigars got their start here before the Civil War with entrepreneurs – mostly German immigrants – bringing tobacco in by rail in bales, boxes and barrels from southern Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky, he said.

Once here, the big leaves were torn into strips that were wrapped around other pieces of tobacco and placed moist into molds that were pressed and dried to give the cigar its uniform shape. The cigars were then packed into colorful boxes and shipped across the country.

The early boxes were wood, usually covered in paper with lithograph pictures along with the manufacturer's name. Among the pictures in Vastine's collection are one for WOC, the communications company, and another for the I&I, a trolley that ran between Clinton, Davenport and Muscatine, Iowa.

“Anything to personalize it,” Vastine explained.

By 1945, there were just two manufacturers left, and the last one, F.C. Gremmel Co. at 908 W. Second St., closed in 1961, he said.

“They couldn't compete with the big national cigar manufacturers,” Vastine said. Also, as cigarettes became more popular, demand for cigars decreased.

Two of the bigger manufacturers were the Ferd Haak Co., located in what is now Tri-City Equipment, a big redstone building at 527 W. Fourth St., and the Peter N. Jacobsen Cigar Co., located in a building at the southwest corner of Fourth and Harrison streets.

Another manufacturer whose building still stands was M. Raphael & Sons., now the site of Raphael's Emporium antiques, 628 Harrison St.

In addition to boxes, openers, lighters and trimmers, the display includes carriers, clippers, sample pipes (so you could test your tobacco before buying), ashtrays and advertising giveaways such as calendars and a ruler.

Vastine has been amassing his collection for years, buying mostly at flea markets and from other collectors who, knowing of his interest, give him a call when they find something.

At one point, Vastine sold his collection of boxes to the late Dan Nagle, who put them on display at Pioneer Village in Scott County Park, Long Grove, Iowa. “But I have a passion for it and I got into it again,” Vastine said.

He is a Davenport native who retired from the former Iowa-Illinois Gas & Electric Co. and now works part-time as an auction clerk – and as a collector, of course.

___

Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

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

AP-CS-03-25-11 2228EDT

Captions:

2967 …



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Made in Germany, this chromolithographed cigar tip tray advertised the Markert Cigar Co. in Davenport, Iowa. It is 4 1/4 inches in diameter. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Cowan’s Auctions Inc. The cigar box on the right is held Speckled Trout brand cigars made by Ferd Hack Co. in Davenport, Iowa. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Rich Penn Auctions.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 March 2011 11:54
 

Wisconsin family makes bumper crop of parts for antique tractors

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Written by MOLLY NEWMAN, Marshfield News-Herald   
Monday, 28 March 2011 10:29
Detwiler Tractor Parts supplies many John Deere parts including steel spoke wheels like those mounted on this Model A tractor. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Dennis Polk & Associates. MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) – Tom Detwiler turned his hobby into a career with his Spencer business, Detwiler Tractor Parts.

“We make new parts for old tractors,” he said. “These tractors are so old that a lot of the parts have not been available for many years.”

Detwiler started making and supplying parts to antique tractor restoration hobbyists in 1985. Now, with more than 400 parts available online and by catalog, Detwiler's son Robert has expanded the business to W9450 Apple Ave. in Medford. Tom still sells some parts at the original store, S3266 Highway 13, in Spencer.

The Detwilers specialize in John Deere tractors made before 1960. The style of the company's tractors changed in 1961 and all machinery used to make them was scrapped, Robert said.

As a result, the Detwilers must build their own equipment to produce old parts such as fenders and hoods themselves or have them made by local machine shops and foundries.

“You've got to start from scratch again – there's no original tooling left over from John Deere,” he said.

Detwiler is probably the only antique parts supplier that makes new steel spoked wheels, because it's an expensive process, Robert said.

“There's several salvage yards around the country that specialize in John Deere parts, but nobody goes after the new stuff like we do,” Robert said.

Detwiler focuses on the John Deere brand because the antique varieties often are rare and unusual, sometimes selling for more than $100,000. The company also still allows hobbyists to archive their historical tractors.

“There's a unique sound to them because they only have two cylinders (in the engine),'' Robert said.

Tom attends several tractor shows during the summer months to display the company's products.

“If you attend shows, the John Deere people seem to take a lot more pride in ownership and restoration of old farm equipment,” he said.

___

Information from: Marshfield News-Herald,

http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com

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

AP-CS-03-26-11 0101EDT

 



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Detwiler Tractor Parts supplies many John Deere parts including steel spoke wheels like those mounted on this Model A tractor. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Dennis Polk & Associates.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 March 2011 11:18
 

Matchbooks spark Massachusetts man's love of collectibles

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Written by BRONISLAUS B. KUSH, The Telegram & Gazette   
Monday, 28 March 2011 09:24
Buick sponsored the radio broadcast of the Joe Lewis vs. Max Schmeling heavyweight championship boxing match on June 18, 1936. This matchbook promoting the fight sold at auction for $25 in 2005. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Clars Auction Gallery WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – Paul Vigneault is not, and has never been, a smoker.

So, it would be logical to think there are not many, if any, matchbooks squirreled away in his kitchen drawer. Well, maybe one or two to fire up the barbecue grill for a couple of steaks or to light a candle during a blackout.

Not so.

Walk into his modest Cape-style home and you'll find them everywhere.

They hang in neatly framed displays on the walls of almost every room, and they meticulously sit in dust-free arrangements on pieces of furniture.

There are also about 5,000 of them jammed into large paper leaf collection bags in the basement.

“What can I say? I'm a collector,” the 65-year-old retiree said.

And matchbooks aren't the only things Vigneault collects. The former Kom Tek Inc. employee has doll, baseball card, stamp, coin, magazine, die-cast car, movie memorabilia and other collections.

“I like to collect a lot of things, but I'd say matchbooks are my favorite,” he said.

The matchbook, or matchbook cover, was patented in the 1890s by John Pusey, a Pennsylvania lawyer. It was a tremendous advertising and marketing tool, especially used by hotels, restaurants and bars. Historically, matchbooks reflected the artistic and cultural sensibilities of the day, and many people soon began collecting them.

There are collecting clubs around the country and the hobby is popular enough to sustain websites, magazines and other periodicals for interested individuals.

The Boston Public Library even has a collection that features matchbooks from Hub hotels.

Matchbooks were produced in tremendous quantities until the introduction of inexpensive, disposable lighters. The demand dipped further in the 1960s, as more people stopped smoking because of health concerns.

Vigneault said he began collecting matchbooks when he was about 19 years old. He was walking down a street in Main South – the neighborhood he grew up in – when he spotted an unusual one discarded in the roadway. Vigneault said he doesn't remember what particularly struck him about the matchbook, but he took it home and showed it to his mother, Rita Vigneault, who encouraged him to begin collecting them.

Some of his sets have won prizes at conventions. His favorites include a series on the 1964-65 World Fair in New York City, and a rare collection of Navy, Army and Marine Corps matchbooks issued at the close of World War II.

Vigneault said he picks up his collectibles at yard and estate sales, secondhand stores and conventions, among other places.

Some people who know about his collection very often send him matchbooks. During a recent visit by a Telegram & Gazette reporter, Vigneault received in the mail some matchbooks recently issued by a Las Vegas hotel.

"Well, will you look at these," he said, while going through the envelope.

Vigneault said he used to inventory his treasures, but stopped doing so years ago.

“That's not to say that I don't know where everything is,” he added, with a chuckle.

After years of collecting, he said, he's beginning to give away some of his cherished possessions.

“It's time. I'm not getting any younger,” he said.

___

Information from: http://www.telegram.com/

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

AP-ES-03-27-11 0004EDT

 



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Buick sponsored the radio broadcast of the Joe Lewis vs. Max Schmeling heavyweight championship boxing match on June 18, 1936. This matchbook promoting the fight sold at auction for $25 in 2005. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Clars Auction Gallery
Last Updated on Monday, 28 March 2011 11:22
 

License plate barn remains unofficial southern Indiana landmark

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Written by GARRET MATHEWS, Evansville Courier & Press   
Friday, 25 March 2011 10:03
None of the license plates on Adams' barn is as old as this set of 1913 Indiana porcelain-enameled plates. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Cowan's Auctions Inc. MIDWAY, Ind. (AP) – Mark Adams looks up and down at the “license plate barn,” as it's known, which serves as the reckoning point for directions in this tiny Spencer County community on Indiana 161, about 20 miles east of Evansville.

“You just say, ‘Go to the place with all the auto tags, and make a left or a right or a whatever.’ Everybody knows,” says the 56-year-old man who has lived in Midway most of his life.

Louie “Doc”'' Magee, a former county commissioner, decorated the barn, his mechanics' shed and two corn cribs with more than 8,000 unsold license plates, many dated 1961 and 1962.

“Doc was known as an off-the-wall individual who worked as a self-employed carpenter,” Adams says. “He had access to the plates that didn't sell and used them to put Midway on the map. He banged them in with roofing nails.”

Adams' parents, Mari Lena and Alvin, moved here in 1960 and bought the barn after Magee died in the early 1970s.

“The shop and corn cribs on the other side of the road got bulldozed down,” says Adams, “and with that went a ton of old tags. What's left now is only a drop in the bucket.”

Mark Adams has boxes of unused license plates, courtesy of his brother, Gary, who also served a multi-year stint on the Spencer County Commission.

“I want to carry on the tradition with the barn, but it's tough. When I screw one new plate in, lots of times three old ones fall off.”

It's commonplace for Adams to see strangers pull up next to the beat-up barn and take pictures.

“I come out and answer their questions because I always want to be neighborly. A lot of them want to know how old the barn is. I tell them 100 years doesn't begin to cut it.”

Never, Adams says, has the place been vandalized.

“The license plate barn is definitely a rural thing. People around here treasure the memories that the building represents. In a city, the old tags would get destroyed.”

Adams pulls regular maintenance.

“I don't want the thing to fall down on my watch. I've jacked it up and put in concrete pillars. I even put in a garage door. It's as stable now as it's ever been.”

Adams keeps two vintage trucks inside the barn, including one he bought in 1975.

“Rumor has it that the license plate barn was once a post office, but I don't know about that. It's definitely home base for a bunch of cats, though. They make themselves home in the hay and the stalls where the animals used to be.”

He's never considering having the place declared a landmark.

“To me, it's just a thing to talk about. Yeah, the license plates are on the outside, but mules used to live inside the stable. There's nothing historical about that.”

___

Information from: Evansville Courier & Press,

http://www.courierpress.com

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

AP-CS-03-20-11 0103EDT

 

Last Updated on Friday, 25 March 2011 10:25
 

$125,871 paid for Kate Middleton's see-through dress

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Written by AARON EDWARDS, Associated Press   
Friday, 18 March 2011 14:59

LONDON (AP) - A revealing piece of royal history was sold Thursday for 78,000 pounds ($125,871) when an unidentified buyer bought the infamous see-through dress Kate Middleton wore back in 2002 when she and Prince William were university friends.

Some reports maintain that the sight of Middleton in the transparent dress as she walked down the catwalk at a charity fashion show helped convince William that she was someone he wanted to get to know better.

Whether or not the see-through black dress was a major factor, they soon became boyfriend and girlfriend, starting a long-term romance that will bring them to the altar of Westminster Abbey on April 29.

The dress was supposed to be a skirt, but Middleton wore it as a dress showing her black underwear beneath.

It was bought by an unidentified male British buyer at a London auction Thursday for 65,000 pounds ($104,948) and an additional 13,000 pounds ($20,989) of buyer's premium.

"He thinks it's an iconic piece,'' said an unnamed man who represented the buyer at the auction. "He's very happy.''

About three to four bidders competed for the dress in the packed room, while some also bid by phone. Gasps rang around the room when the bidding drove the price up to 65,000 pounds ($104,948).

No one would mistake the dress for high fashion. It was put up for sale by designer Charlotte Todd, who did not go into fashion but works in an aquarium.

"I'm completely shocked, I need to sit down and get my head round it,'' Todd, 31, said. "I didn't like to get my hopes up, I was thinking it might not sell. I wasn't thinking of a sum of money in my head.''

Bidder Carole Lieberman said the garment shows that Middleton was willing to use hardball tactics in pursuit of the University of St. Andrew's' most eligible bachelor.

Lieberman, a U.S. talk show host and psychiatrist, said before the auction that she had planned to bid aggressively on the dress after buying other items, including nightdresses that belonged to Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee who lured King Edward VIII from the throne. Lieberman was outbid by the mystery buyer.

She said she wanted to purchase Middleton's dress because Middleton was ``the quintessential good girl who used bad girl secrets to catch her prince."

Earlier Thursday, an item of lingerie from Simpson's wardrobe - a scarlet chiffon nightdress with a cape - sold for more than 6,500 pounds ($10,500) at auction. Also under the hammer were garments worn by Princess Diana, including a Catherine Walker white lace evening gown worn during a visit to France in 1988 that sold for 36,000 pounds.

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

AP-CS-03-17-11 1706EDT

 

 

Alum selling T206 baseball card to raise money for his old school

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Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 15 March 2011 07:47
Vive Lindaman’s photograph is on this 1909 Ramly baseball card, which is not the card being sold. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa school district is raising money by auctioning a 105-year-old baseball card featuring alumnus Vive Lindaman.

Charles City school superintendent Andy Pattee told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that the 1906 card was put up for sale on eBay. The 10-day auction closes Thursday. As of Tuesday, the T206 card had 40 bids and was going for at least $305.

Lindaman graduated from the Charles City school system in 1895. He played major league baseball for the Boston Beaneaters and the Boston Doves, teams that evolved into the Atlanta Braves. Lindaman was a left-handed pitcher, who posted a 36-59 record in four season in the majors. He reportedly kept in shape by walking 17 miles a day working as a mail carriers. Lindaman died in 1927 at the age of 49.

The card is currently owned by another Charles City alum, Bill Burge of St. Louis. He says a similar card auction last year raised $230.

___

Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier,

http://www.wcfcourier.com

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

AP-CS-03-13-11 1850EDT

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 13:13
 
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