Forrest J Ackerman. Photo by Alan Light.

‘Sci-fi’ originator, literary agent, editor Forrest J. Ackerman, 92

Forrest J Ackerman. Photo by Alan Light.

Forrest J Ackerman. Photo by Alan Light.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Forrest J Ackerman, the sometime actor, literary agent and magazine editor and full-time bon vivant who discovered author Ray Bradbury and was widely credited with coining the term “sci-fi,” has died. He was 92.

Ackerman died Dec. 4 of heart failure at his Los Angeles home, said Kevin Burns, head of Prometheus Entertainment and a trustee of Ackerman’s estate.

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This 1950s International Harvester sales brochure pictures a Farmall tractor plowing corn. Photo courtesy G.W. McGraw Auction Co. and Live Auctioneers.com.

Farmer rescues antique implements from rusty oblivion

This 1950s International Harvester sales brochure pictures a Farmall tractor plowing corn. Photo courtesy G.W. McGraw Auction Co. and LiveAuctioneers.com.

This 1950s International Harvester sales brochure pictures a Farmall tractor plowing corn. Photo courtesy G.W. McGraw Auction Co. and LiveAuctioneers.com.

DEAVER, Wyo. (AP) – It’s not old junk sitting fallow in fields or farm yards. Robin Murdock, 61, of Deaver has rescued forgotten farm equipment and put it back to work.

A 1900s-vintage hay loader, possibly a John Deere, waits in Murdock’s hay field while a dozen or so Black Angus cattle eye the hay wistfully from behind a fence.

The machine is beautiful in its simplicity. Pulled by a team of horses or a tractor, it lifts raked hay off the ground, conveys it up a sloped bed and drops it in a trailer. Iron wheels, like those on an old freight wagon, stand ready to roll, just as they have for more than 100 years.

Murdock paid a Lovell-area farmer $50 for the hay loader, greased the wheels and replaced a few teeth on the ramp, and the machine was ripe to harvest.  It scoops the hay up quickly. Read more

Victorian 14K gold, amethyst and pearl pendant necklace. Courtesy Estate Road Show.

Estate Road Show sets new Dec. 14 date for auction of Louise Graham jewelry collection

Victorian 14K gold, amethyst and pearl pendant necklace. Courtesy Estate Road Show.

Victorian 14K gold, amethyst and pearl pendant necklace. Courtesy Estate Road Show.

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Due to difficulties associated with eBay Live’s applet problem of last weekend, the principals of Estate Road Show Auctions have rescheduled their auction of fine and costume jewelry from the Estate of Louise Mondani Graham. The sale originally scheduled for Dec. 7, will now take place on Sunday, Dec. 14.

“Many enthusiastic bidders are looking forward to having a second chance at this incredible collection. It’s going to be an exciting event,” said Estate Road Show’s IT Director, Michael Whelchel.

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Harry Belafonte to auction unknown papers of MLK

NEW YORK (AP) – An original handwritten outline for Martin Luther King Jr.’s first speech condemning the Vietnam War is going on the auction block tomorrow, Dec. 11.

Sotheby’s will offer the previously unknown document, along with two others: the scribbled notes for a speech King planned to deliver in Memphis, Tenn., three days after he was assassinated; and a letter of condolence from President Lyndon B. Johnson to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King.

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Bertoia associate Rich Bertoia commented that still banks with a painted or japanned finish, like this late 19th-century Boston State House made by Smith & Egge, are in great demand with collectors. This example, in the desirable small version at 5 1/8 inches, cashed in at $12,650 against an estimate of $7,000-$9,000. Image courtesy Bertoia Auctions.

‘Great prices for great toys’ at Bertoia’s $1.8M November auction

Bertoia associate Rich Bertoia commented that still banks with a painted or japanned finish, like this late 19th-century Boston State House made by Smith & Egge, are in great demand with collectors. This example, in the desirable small version at 5 1/8 inches, cashed in at $12,650 against an estimate of $7,000-$9,000. Image courtesy Bertoia Auctions.

Bertoia associate Rich Bertoia commented that still banks with a painted or japanned finish, like this late 19th-century Boston State House made by Smith & Egge, are in great demand with collectors. This example, in the desirable small version at 5 1/8 inches, cashed in at $12,650 against an estimate of $7,000-$9,000. Image courtesy Bertoia Auctions.

VINELAND, N.J. – Teddy Roosevelt’s aim was true in Bertoia Auctions’ $1.8 millon Toys for All Seasons sale, as an early Schoenhut boxed set titled Teddy’s Adventures in Africa swept top-lot honors in the $1.8 million event (all prices quoted inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium). The Nov. 7-9 auction featured 2,516 antique toys, banks, dolls, dollhouse furniture, automata and Christmas antiques, with several prestigious private collections anchoring the bountiful array.

The Roosevelt set, dating to the early 20th century and featuring painted-wood figures, a lithographed scenic backdrop and a multitude of safari-theme accessories, was numbered 20/84. The early playset from Schoenhut’s Humpty Dumpty Circus Toys range was in immaculate condition, an added enticement that carried the lot to a winning bid of $34,500.

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Image courtesy ABC News Now.

LiveAuctioneers.com on ABC News Now

Image courtesy ABC News Now.

Image courtesy ABC News Now.

How hot is pop culture? ABC News’ digital news arm, ABC News Now, wanted to know, and invited LiveAuctioneers’ CEO, Julian Ellison, to discuss the topic. Julian appeared on the network’s What’s the Buzz program and provided the answers to a number of compelling questions about “Hollywood’s most iconic artifacts.”

Julian spoke about collectors who buy pieces as investments and stressed the value of provenance, noting that enthusiasts research items through past auction prices realized. Several important objects soon to be offered through LiveAuctioneers were featured in the segment, including Indiana Jones’ fedora from Temple of Doom, Christian Bale’s Batman cowl, and the late Heath Ledger’s suit of armor worn in A Knight’s Tale.

Julian also plugged his personal favorite item from the upcoming sale: a vintage Mercedes-Benz automobile from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Click here to view the interview video on ABC News Now.

Francis Gay’s Winter Scene in Brooklyn now in Arkansas museum

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has acquired a 19th century Francis Gay painting showing the landscape of one of New York’s boroughs in the grip of winter.

Winter Scene in Brooklyn
shows a snowy view of Front Street between Main and Fulton streets, an area now under the Brooklyn Bridge. The painting has a large pile of wood sitting in its center, as men in top hats and women in shawls walk along a snowy street under a gray winter sky.

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Historian identifies waterfalls depicted in Jasper Cropsey painting

WEST MILFORD, N.J. (AP) – Mystery solved in Passaic County.

A historian believes he has found the source of inspiration for an 1846 painting titled Janetta Falls, Passaic County. The site is likely Clinton Falls in West Milford.

Artist Jasper Cropsey was known for paintings which depicted the natural beauty of Passaic County and the Highlands. But he also got the names of places wrong.

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Image courtesy Swann Galleries.

Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha designs in Swann Galleries’ Dec. 17 Art Nouveau Posters sale

Image courtesy Swann Galleries.

Image courtesy Swann Galleries.

NEW YORK – On Wednesday, Dec. 17 Swann Galleries will offer an outstanding private collection of 11 posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and seven by Alphonse Mucha as part of their annual auction of Rare & Important Art Nouveau Posters. The posters are from the collection of Bob and Peggy Marcus, who assembled their collection over the course of 30 years. They continually sought out the finest examples, always with an eye on condition.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire these extraordinarily rare and important works in exceptional condition, ” said Nicholas Lowry, Swann president and poster specialist.

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Hector Aguilar designed a group of floral brooches. This silver blossom pin on arched stem signed with initials “HA,” “Taxco,” and “990,” circa 1940,realized $200. Courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Mexican Silver