Former NH lawyer stops payments for art thefts

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – New Hampshire authorities say a former state assistant attorney general who spent three years in prison for stealing valuable artwork has stopped paying restitution.

Jeffrey Lyons, spokesman for the Department of Corrections, says William McCallum still owes the state $1,290 and last made a $50 payment in September 2007. He said McCallum likely will be ordered to appear in court to explain why he has stopped making the payments.

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Original lightsaber prop: $240,000. Image courtesy Profiles in History.

Luke Skywalker lightsaber auctioned for $240,000 by Profiles in History

Original lightsaber prop: $240,000. Image courtesy Profiles in History.

Original lightsaber prop: $240,000. Image courtesy Profiles in History.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber has been on Star Wars fans’ Christmas lists for more than 30 years.

On Thursday, one fan spent $240,000 to get the real thing: the prop that Mark Hamill used in the first two movies in the original Star Wars trilogy.

The light saber highlighted several Hollywood memorabilia sold at an auction in Los Angeles by Profiles in History. The auction house said it sold about $3.5 million in memorabilia.

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Sotheby’s removes MLK papers from NY auction after challenge from Estate

NEW YORK (AP) – Sotheby’s has withdrawn from auction three papers related to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after his estate claimed the documents being sold by Harry Belafonte are estate property. [See related earlier article on Auction Central News]

Belafonte himself asked that the papers be withdrawn from the Dec. 11 sale, said Lauren Gioia, a Sotheby’s spokeswoman. The auction house did not comment further.

The documents, including a handwritten draft of King’s first anti-Vietnam war speech in 1967, had a collective pre-sale estimate of $750,000 to $1.3 million.

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$20 million Lincoln collection to stay in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A collection of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia valued at more than $20 million has been donated to the state of Indiana and will be housed in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Gov. Mitch Daniels said Friday.

The collection including photographs, signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and thousands of other documents is considered the world’s largest private collection of memorabilia from Abraham Lincoln’s personal and presidential life.

The items formerly housed at the defunct Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Ind go to the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis and the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne. They are being donated by the Lincoln Financial Foundation, which relocated from Fort Wayne to Philadelphia in 1999.

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West Palm Beach Antiques Festival

dmg sells West Palm Beach Antiques & Collectibles Show

West Palm Beach Antiques Festival

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The long-running West Palm Beach Antiques & Collectibles Show has been sold by dmg world media, according to an announcement issued on Friday, Dec. 12 by dmg Senior Vice President Richard Lewis. The show’s new owners are veteran show promoters Kay and Bill Puchstein, and Yvonne and Jim Tucker.

The name of the show will be changed to the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival. Both the ownership and name change will take effect with the next edition of the show, which is scheduled for Jan. 2-4.

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Profiles in History's Joe Maddalena shows TV Guide's 411 the Luke Skywalker light sabre that recently sold in their December 11 auction.

LiveAuctioneers PR push gets national exposure for Profiles in History

Profiles in History's Joe Maddalena shows TV Guide's 411 the Luke Skywalker light sabre that recently sold in their December 11 auction.

Profiles in History’s Joe Maddalena shows TV Guide’s 411 the Luke Skywalker light sabre that recently sold in their December 11 auction.

LiveAuctioneers’ public relations company recently arranged for the TV Guide Channel’s Hollywood 411 show to visit Profiles in History, a gallery in Calabasas, Calif., that specializes in blue-chip entertainment memorabilia. As tape rolled, Profiles in History’s owner, Joe Maddalena, provided a personal preview of several unique and desirable items offered in their Dec. 11 auction.

Maddalena chose several important items for special attention on camera: Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones fedora, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine costume from the X-Men movie, Heath Ledger’s Joker card from Batman: The Dark Knight, and Marlon Brando’s Jor-El costume worn in the 1978 film Superman.

The jewel in the auction’s crown, and the top-estimated lot, was the lightsaber wielded by Mark Hamill in the Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back. Maddalena stressed its importance as an icon in sci-fi cinema history.

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Adolphe Fraenkel, some of whose bequeathed assets are the subject of a Holocaust restitution claim being brought against the Musée Carnavalet in Paris. Image courtesy Régine Elkan.

London Eye: December 2008

Adolphe Fraenkel, some of whose bequeathed assets are the subject of a Holocaust restitution claim being brought against the Musée Carnavalet in Paris. Image courtesy Régine Elkan.

Adolphe Fraenkel, some of whose bequeathed assets are the subject of a Holocaust restitution claim being brought against the Musée Carnavalet in Paris. Image courtesy Régine Elkan.

Carnavalet Museum in Paris accused of retaining Holocaust looted assets In recent years museums all over the world have come under increasing pressure to conduct and publish exhaustive research into the provenance of any material in their collections that might qualify as Holocaust-related assets – objects looted by the Nazis. The vexed issue of restitution generally tends to focus on looted paintings, but one of the most high-profile of current cases concerns an important suite of 18th-century French furniture in the collection of the Carnavalet Museum in Paris.

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Possibly a unique example, this Merriam 20-inch stenciled and painted-tin express wagon with cast-iron wheels was patented in 1873. It trotted off to a new owner for $7,150. Image courtesy Noel Barrett Auctions.

Noel Barrett finishes year at $2.3 million; November sale exceeds high estimate by $200K

Possibly a unique example, this Merriam 20-inch stenciled and painted-tin express wagon with cast-iron wheels was patented in 1873. It trotted off to a new owner for $7,150. Image courtesy Noel Barrett Auctions.

Possibly a unique example, this Merriam 20-inch stenciled and painted-tin express wagon with cast-iron wheels was patented in 1873. It trotted off to a new owner for $7,150. Image courtesy Noel Barrett Auctions.

NEW HOPE, Pa. – Noel Barrett wrapped up a year of estimate-topping auction results with $2.3 million in combined sales from his spring and autumn auction events. Several distinguished private collections had contributed to the $1.54 million gross in Barrett’s April 11-13 Antique Toy & Americana sale, in which a superb carved-wood cigar store Indian earned $77,000 (all prices inclusive of 10 percent buyer’s premium). The company’s Nov. 15-16 auction titled Toys & Other Things included approximately 600 premium lots from the late Stan and Priscilla Cypher, and grossed $770,000 – a full $200,000 more than the total high estimate.

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These Old Paris porcelain apothecary jars sold for $835 at a Neal Auction in New Orleans a few months ago.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of Dec. 15, 2008

These Old Paris porcelain apothecary jars sold for $835 at a Neal Auction in New Orleans a few months ago.

These Old Paris porcelain apothecary jars sold for $835 at a Neal Auction in New Orleans a few months ago.

In past centuries, medicine was very different than it is today. There was little knowledge about the causes of illness until Louis Pasteur reported in 1864 that germs cause disease. Even the idea of washing your hands to avoid germs was a 20th-century idea.

Most medicines were herbs and potions that had been found to help, although no one knew why. Sometimes parts of snakes, insects, roots, crushed minerals and other strange materials were used. Alcohol and drugs like cocaine and marijuana were effective painkillers. An apothecary shop sold all sorts of dried mixtures, cures and medicines, usually made from alcohol and herbs. The shops kept some of the dry medicines in large jars decorated with the appropriate name and a fancy border. Other medicines were kept in glass jars, drawers or small-folded paper packets. Today’s medicines in sterile containers and pill form have helped raise the average life expectancy from about 37 in the 1800s to about 66 today. Medical tools, medicine and medicine containers all are collected. Old medical tools bring high prices.

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Though Syracuse China also made fine china, these plates marked Old Ivory are representative of the company's widely recognized restaurant ware. Image courtesy TW Conroy LLC and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

Syracuse China to close factory after 137 years

Though Syracuse China also made fine china, these plates marked Old Ivory are representative of the company's widely recognized restaurant ware. Image courtesy TW Conroy LLC and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

Though Syracuse China also made fine china, these plates marked Old Ivory are representative of the company’s widely recognized restaurant ware. Image courtesy TW Conroy LLC and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – To this day, Mark Nicotra carries forward a family tradition, inspecting the bottoms of plates for the “Syracuse China” stamp when he’s out to eat at a restaurant.

“It was a game we played when we traveled. I think everyone in Syracuse could identify with them … it’s given us a great sense of pride,” said Nicotra, the town of Salina supervisor.

After 137 years in business, a slumping economy is forcing the shutdown of Syracuse China’s suburban factory, one of the last in the United States making dinnerware products.

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