Bronze sculpture In the Cart, by Evgeni Alexanderovitch Lanceray (Russia, 1848-1886), $15,000. Courtesy Gray's Auctioneers.

Lanceray sculpture takes top honors in Gray’s last sale of 2008

Bronze sculpture In the Cart, by Evgeni Alexanderovitch Lanceray (Russia, 1848-1886), $15,000. Courtesy Gray's Auctioneers.

Bronze sculpture In the Cart, by Evgeni Alexanderovitch Lanceray (Russia, 1848-1886), $15,000. Courtesy Gray’s Auctioneers.

CLEVELAND – A superb late-19th century Russian bronze sculpture was the most coveted lot in Gray’s Auctioneers’ Holiday Fine Arts & Antiques auction held Dec. 13. Created by Evgeni Alexanderovitch Lanceray (Russia, 1848-1886), the 44 lbs. and 14 oz. sculpture titled In the Cart, depicting peasants from the province of Riazan returning from the fields, was signed in Cyrillic and dated 1872, and carried a Chopin foundry mark. The piece sold for $15,000.

Fine art performed very well throughout the sale, with an exemplary painting by Jules Chapoval (French, 1919-1951) leading the category. Titled Abstract, the oil on canvas sold for $5,500.

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Former employee of Skinner’s indicted, charged with alleged theft of $724K

WORCESTER, Mass. – (ACNI) A former accounts receivable clerk at Skinner Inc.’s Bolton, Mass., auction gallery was indicted on Dec. 17 in Worcester and charged with the theft of more than $724,000 in cash and goods. Joanne Shea, 72, of Hudson, Mass., faces charges of larceny over $250 and making false entries in corporate books, according to the Office of State Attorney General Martha Coakley.

A well-respected company whose blue-chip sales have achieved several world auction records, Skinner Inc. first contacted Coakley’s office in October 2006, telling them they suspected Shea had been stealing money and merchandise from them over a 13-year period beginning in 1993. A Skinner representative told the State Attorney General’s office that they believed Shea had used a “lapping” scheme that utilized incoming cash payments to cover funds she had previously taken out. An investigation was launched, and details soon began to surface regarding how Shea had engineered the alleged crimes.
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Louvre: Sketches found on back of da Vinci painting

PARIS (AP) – Researchers have found three previously unknown sketches on the back of a painting Leonardo da Vinci that may have been drawn by the Renaissance master.

Paris’ Louvre Museum says the sketches feature a horse head, part of a skull and baby Jesus with a lamb. Researchers using infrared cameras found them on the back of the painting titled The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne.

In a statement issued on Dec. 18, the Louvre said the style was reminiscent of Leonardo’s. Researchers are working to determine whether he drew them.

The sketches are barely visible to the eye. They were discovered during an in-depth examination using an infrared camera that picks up traces of carbon-based pigments often used for sketches.

The painting is in the Louvre’s collection.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-ES-12-23-08 1019EST

1770 German walnut parquetry bureau cabinet or schreibshrank, 89 inches tall, made expressly for Gernyeszeg, the Teleki family's baroque castle in Transylvania. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Image courtesy Quinn's Auction Galleries.

Fine art, furnishings of Hungarian nobility in Quinn’s Feb. 7 sale

1770 German walnut parquetry bureau cabinet or schreibshrank, 89 inches tall, made expressly for Gernyeszeg, the Teleki family's baroque castle in Transylvania. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Image courtesy Quinn's Auction Galleries.

1770 German walnut parquetry bureau cabinet or schreibshrank, 89 inches tall, made expressly for Gernyeszeg, the Teleki family’s baroque castle in Transylvania. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Image courtesy Quinn’s Auction Galleries.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Heirlooms, important artworks and historical jewelry from one of Europe’s most distinguished noble families will be auctioned on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church, Va. While many high-profile estates and collections have been entrusted to the suburban Washington, D.C., auction house in the past, Quinn’s gallery director Matthew Quinn says the consignment of fine artworks, furnishings, decorative art and jewels from the combined Teleki and Mikes (pronounced Me-KESH) families is without precedent.

“This will be a tremendous sale,” said Quinn. “The 300 to 400 items to be auctioned are from old Hungarian aristocracy, whose combined family tree could be compared to a merger of the Kennedys and European royalty. The consignor, who now lives in suburban Washington, is the son of the late Countess Johanna Mikes Teleki and Geza Teleki, and grandson of two-time Hungarian Prime Minister Pal Teleki (1879-1941).”
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LiveAuctioneers debuts independent online live-bidding platform

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NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2008 (Globe Newswire) – LiveAuctioneers LLC (www.liveauctioneers.com) announced today the completion and launch of its independent online-bidding platform in advance of the
discontinuation of eBay’s (Nasdaq:EBAY) Live Auctions service on Dec. 31, 2008. Fully illustrated catalogs are currently available for preview and pre-sale bids are being accepted for auctions commencing Jan. 1, 2009.

As part of the platform launch, the company unveiled its industry leading, credit based fee structure, allowing auction house clients to customize their account according to auction size, frequency and sales volume.

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This sampler signed Mary Elizabeth Collins, Franklin, Tennessee and dated 1836, set a record for a Tennessee sampler at auction, selling for $28,125. Image courtesy Case Antiques Auction.

John Case sets auction record for Tennessee sampler

This sampler signed Mary Elizabeth Collins, Franklin, Tennessee and dated 1836, set a record for a Tennessee sampler at auction, selling for $28,125. Image courtesy Case Antiques Auction.

This sampler signed Mary Elizabeth Collins, Franklin, Tennessee and dated 1836, set a record for a Tennessee sampler at auction, selling for $28,125. Image courtesy Case Antiques Auction.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – An 1836 house sampler set a record price for a Tennessee sampler at auction, selling for $28,125 at the Dec. 6 Case Antiques Auction. Signed “Mary Elizabeth Collins’ work/Franklin Tennessee April 1836,” the sampler sold to a collector in the room, underbid by two other live bidders and three phone bidders, including a major East Coast sampler dealer. The price is among the highest ever paid at auction for a Southern sampler, said gallery owner John Case. Prices include the 12.5 percent buyer’s premium.

Case said the sampler relates to a group of four from Middle Tennessee that have been documented by the Tennessee Sampler Survey, an ongoing research project spearheaded by needlework authorities Janet Hasson and Jennifer Core to collect data and images on Tennessee samplers (www.tennesseesamplers.com).

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Wisconsin man accused of eBay scamming

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) – A Baraboo man is accused of trying to scam people with a vintage electric guitar offered for sale on the eBay auction site.

According to court records, 28-year-old David Waldrop put the 1961 Gibson ES-355 guitar up for sale in early October.

A buyer in Pennsylvania and another in Munich, Germany, told police each received a less expensive Epiphone guitar after making deals to send Waldrop $4,500 and $5,800, respectively. Records show two others offered $7,500 and $7,000, but Waldrop wouldn’t complete the deals when they wanted to inspect the guitar.

 

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A rare and exceptional Marblehead vase incised and painted with stylized brown and yellow blossoms on a polychrome band, against an olive green ground. Glazed-over firing line to bottom. Ship stamp and paper label. 6 inches by 7 1/2 inches. Estimate $5,000-$8,000. Image courtesy Rago.

Rago moves up to five auctions of Arts & Crafts/early 20th-century design

A rare and exceptional Marblehead vase incised and painted with stylized brown and yellow blossoms on a polychrome band, against an olive green ground. Glazed-over firing line to bottom. Ship stamp and paper label.  6 inches by 7 1/2 inches. Estimate $5,000-$8,000. Image courtesy Rago.

A rare and exceptional Marblehead vase incised and painted with stylized brown and yellow blossoms on a polychrome band, against an olive green ground. Glazed-over firing line to bottom. Ship stamp and paper label. 6 inches by 7 1/2 inches. Estimate $5,000-$8,000. Image courtesy Rago.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Rago’s has announced plans for its 2009 Arts & Crafts auction season, outlining three different types of sales with prices at all levels of collecting. While showcasing the top-notch Arts & Crafts and other early 20th-century design in a single, major sale in June, Rago’s will also offer Arts & Crafts period furniture, ceramics, glass, metal and accessories in January, February, August and September events in 2009.

The most important of these sales, in June, will be a two-day, 1,000-lot auction featuring the best material accumulated over the course of the year. Already secured for that auction is Tiffany lighting (including a Venetian table lamp from a private estate), a collection of early Moorcroft ceramics, an important and large Marblehead vase with roses, and a fine assortment of Gustav Stickley furniture including a rare grouping of high-back spindle chairs. This sale is aimed at collectors and dealers looking for high-end property and rarities.

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A crowd of more than 500 people filled the Fubon National Conference Center in Taipei for Ravenel Art's auction. Image courtesy Ravenel.

Cai Guo Qiang’s ‘Descending Wolves’ tops Ravenel Art auction

A crowd of more than 500 people filled the Fubon National Conference Center in Taipei for Ravenel Art's auction. Image courtesy Ravenel.

A crowd of more than 500 people filled the Fubon National Conference Center in Taipei for Ravenel Art’s auction. Image courtesy Ravenel.

TAIPEI, Taiwan – More than 500 people packed the auditorium in the Fubon National Conference Center on Dec. 7 for Ravenel Art’s autumn auction, which had total sales in excess of $7.2 million.

Nearly 70 percent of the 147 lots sold, which the auctioneers considered a respectable figure considering economic challenges to the market.

The top selling lot was Cai Guo Qiang’s Descending Wolves for the Guggenheim International Gala, which realized $903,995 among intense bidding. All prices include buyer’s premium. Considered one of the best of Cai’s “explosion pictures,” this masterpiece was created on five paper panels. It depicts a pack of wolves descending a rocky mountain. Cai captured the full power, beauty and energy of the wolves through his use of explosives and created a magnificent picture where the tones and hues evoke the greatness of traditional Chinese ink and brush painting.

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Courtesy LiveAuctioneers Archive, from Profiles in History’s July 31, 2008 auction.

Sinatra memorabilia secured for Steve Wynn’s new Vegas resort

Courtesy LiveAuctioneers Archive, from Profiles in History’s July 31, 2008 auction.

Courtesy LiveAuctioneers Archive, from Profiles in History’s July 31, 2008 auction.

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Steve Wynn is having a ball as he prepares to open his newest joint, mostly because it’s bringing back memories of Frank Sinatra that date back 30 years when the Chairman of the Board and the young entrepreneur forged a friendship out of a business relationship.

Track by track, song by song, the casino billionaire shows himself to be a formidable historian as he talks about a former vocal coach who trained Ol’ Blue Eyes to sing lower notes, and rattles off names of songwriters, arrangers and musicians who composed the details of the entertainer’s career.

The singer’s name and much of his personal memorabilia will grace a Sinatra-themed Italian restaurant when Wynn’s latest resort-casino, Encore, next week in Las Vegas.

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