Former Virginia museum worker sentenced for artifacts thefts

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) – A former archivist who admitted stealing Titanic items and other artifacts from the Mariners’ Museum will spend four years in a federal prison.

Lester F. Weber had pleaded guilty in June to mail fraud, theft from the Newport News attraction and filing a false tax return. The 46-year-old Weber was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Newport News.

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Alderfer’s hires Jason Cutts to expand services into New Jersey

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HATFIELD, Pa. – Alderfer Auction Companies in Montgomery County, Pa., are expanding their business into southern and central New Jersey with the appointment of their new sales associate, New Jersey-based Jason Cutts.

Within his new role, Cutts will spearhead a focused campaign for consignments and offer Alderfer’s appraisal and auction services to the residents of New Jersey.

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So much for a bear market as this 75-inch-long Black Forest carved bench sold for $8,400. Image courtesy Kamelot Auctions.

Architectural antiques, Victoriana achieve strong results at Kamelot

So much for a bear market as this 75-inch-long Black Forest carved bench sold for $8,400. Image courtesy Kamelot Auctions.

So much for a bear market as this 75-inch-long Black Forest carved bench sold for $8,400. Image courtesy Kamelot Auctions.

PHILADELPHIA – Thirty-two running feet of antique commercial oak and glass display cabinetry sold to a New York publisher and fine art dealer for $52,800 at Kamelot Auctions’ signature architectural sale Nov. 22. Carefully removed from a Victorian-era pharmacy, the trio of 10-foot-tall cases will house the winning bidder’s collection of books and objets d’art. All prices include the buyer’s premium.

Other architectural highlights in the 700-lot event included an antique carved walnut staircase set into chamfered squares with an ornate newel post, circa 1900, that brought $5,520 and a stunning hand-painted, leaded and stained glass oval dome ceiling from the 1930s that sold for more than $7,000.

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This 6-carat diamond is one of four unmounted diamonds in the sale. Color is L or M, clarity is I1. Replacement value is $60,847 and its presale estimate is $16,000-$24,000 with a $15,000 reserve. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

Brunk’s Jan. 3-4 sale features art and antiques with a Charleston connection

This 6-carat diamond is one of four unmounted diamonds in the sale. Color is L or M, clarity is I1. Replacement value is $60,847 and its presale estimate is $16,000-$24,000 with a $15,000 reserve. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

This 6-carat diamond is one of four unmounted diamonds in the sale. Color is L or M, clarity is I1. Replacement value is $60,847 and its presale estimate is $16,000-$24,000 with a $15,000 reserve. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The scenic oceanfront city of Charleston, S.C., commands center stage in Brunk Auctions Jan. 3-4 sale. For starters there is Louis Rémy Mignot’s 1854 luminist painting with the poetic title Solitude or Sunset. Mignot, one of Charleston’s most celebrated artists of the 19th century, was only 23 when he completed Solitude or Sunset. It was one of the most important paintings of his career. 

The painting has remained for generations in the possession of the Chazal family, French Catholic entrepreneurs originally from Santo Domingo. The 30 inch by 41 7/8 inch painting is in its original Barbizon gilt-wood frame and is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000, with an $80,000 reserve. 

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Marilyn Monroe photos sell for $150,000 at auction

NEW YORK (AP) – A collection of photographs of Marilyn Monroe taken for Vogue magazine the year she died has been auctioned in New York for nearly $150,000.

A spokeswoman for Christie’s auction house says the 36 photos taken by Bert Stern sold for $146,500 on Tuesday. The presale estimate was $100,000 to $150,000.

 

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Furniture Specific: Depression Era

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One of the most interesting and important times in American history is quickly fading from living memory. The Depression Era, as it is commonly called, encompassed the better part of three decades early in the 20th century and it had a profound effect on the course of the country, the conduct of the World War that followed and even on our life today.

While the Great Depression did not officially start until 1929 and was not truly over until the early 1950s, the general term for the period covers most of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The survivors of that time are fast leaving us and with them will go a firsthand familiarity with an era that gave us a number of important words, phrases and concepts that many of us use today without really knowing the original context of the usage or the impact of them in their heyday.

Lifestyle words like Prohibition, speakeasy, bathtub gin, flapper and zoot suit come to mind as do governmentally generated ideas like the NRA (National Recovery Act), the WPA (Works Project Administration), the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and the New Deal. And of course there were darker words like breadline, soup kitchen, Apple Annie and the match girl that reflect the desperation of the times.

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Gallery Report: December 2008

E. Howard #61 clock, $189,750, Fontaine’s

An E. Howard & Co. #61 astronomical floor regulator clock sold for $189,750 at a Fall Clock Auction held Nov. 8 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass. The second top lot was also an E. Howard clock, a #60 astronomical hanging regulator that soared to $46,000. A rare U.S. Clock Co. astronomical floor clock with regulator went for $37,375, a 30-day period Biedermeier lantern clock made $25,875, and a Brocot French figural three-piece clock set changed hands for $20,700. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

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Elvis’ jet and Pam Anderson’s glam trailer lounge in Dec. 20 auction

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LAS VEGAS – On Dec. 20, Kruse International will present the opportunity to bid on four celebrity-owned automobiles and aircraft in the auction portion of their 35th Las Vegas Car Collector Auction & Show, at the South Point Hotel and Casino. Those who cannot attend in person can preview the auction catalog and bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.com. 

Headlining the celebrity section of the sale are Elvis Presley’s Lockheed Jetstar, Pamela Anderson’s customized “LoveStream” Trailer Lounge and two of Wayne Newton’s personal vehicles: a 1982 Mercedes Benz and a 2001 Jaguar. 

Starting today and continuing till Dec. 20, bidders can log on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com to place absentee bids. When the sale begins, bidders may then participate in the auction in real time via the Internet. 

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Landscape of haystacks by John Leslie Breck (American, 1860-1899), estimate $10,000-$20,000. Image courtesy Kaminski Auctions.

Diverse consignments featured in Kaminski’s Holiday Estates Auction

Landscape of haystacks by John Leslie Breck (American, 1860-1899), estimate $10,000-$20,000. Image courtesy Kaminski Auctions.

Landscape of haystacks by John Leslie Breck (American, 1860-1899), estimate $10,000-$20,000. Image courtesy Kaminski Auctions.

BEVERLY, Mass. – Kaminski Auctions, one of Massachusetts’ premier antiques and fine art auction houses, has announced details of its Holiday Estates Auction. The sale features a diverse array of fine art, antiques, collectibles and fine 18th- and 19th-century Italian furnishings from descendants of Conte Gennaro Balamo. Furnishings from early settlers of the Massachusetts towns of Salem, Hamilton and Wenham are also to be offered.

The auction will take place Saturday and Sunday Dec. 27 and 28 at Woodman’s Function Hall, 122 Main St., Essex, Mass. Bidding commences at 10am each day, and preview periods are scheduled Friday, Dec. 26, 4-8pm; and 8-10am on the days of the auction. A complete catalog will soon be available online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com, and the auction will feature live online bidding through eBay Live Auctions.

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This Limoges champleve enamel gilt-copper tabernacle, circa 1250 and measuring 10 inches in height, drew worldwide interest and sold for $295,000. It was the top-finishing lot in Jackson's International's sale. Image courtesy Jackson's International.

13th-century Limoges tabernacle soars to $295K at Jackson’s International

This Limoges champleve enamel gilt-copper tabernacle, circa 1250 and measuring 10 inches in height, drew worldwide interest and sold for $295,000. It was the top-finishing lot in Jackson's International's sale. Image courtesy Jackson's International.

This Limoges champleve enamel gilt-copper tabernacle, circa 1250 and measuring 10 inches in height, drew worldwide interest and sold for $295,000. It was the top-finishing lot in Jackson’s International’s sale. Image courtesy Jackson’s International.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Neither rain, snow, ice or a faltering economy thwarted buyers from participating in Jackson’s International’s auction of Dec. 2 and 3. The two-session 1,000-lot sale featured American and European fine art together with Russian works. A total of 465 registered bidders from 27 countries participated, producing sales of $2.3 million.

The highlight of the auction was an early 13th-century Limoges enamel tabernacle that had been featured on the front cover of the auction catalog. The 10-inch four-sided container with pyramidal top drew interest from museums, collectors and dealers far and wide. Conservatively estimated at $40,000-$70,000, it opened at $75,000 and slowly wound its way upward as bidder after bidder dropped out. It reached its bidding pinnacle at $295,000 (all prices quoted inclusive of 18% buyer’s premium).

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