Image courtesy I.M. Chait.

Complete dinosaur skeleton a no-sale at NYC auction

Image courtesy I.M. Chait.

Image courtesy I.M. Chait.

NEW YORK (AP) – A rare full skeleton of a 150 million-year-old dinosaur languished on an auction block Saturday, failing to sell despite interest from two museums, the auctioneers said.

Neither museum could meet the less than $300,000 minimum price for the 9-foot-long fossil of a dryosaurus, said Josh Chait, operations director of I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers.

The stumbling block “was a lack of funding, more than the price,” he said.

He said the gallery was still trying to broker a deal and had agreed to waive its commission if the fossil sold to a museum. He declined to identify the institutions that were interested.

The dryosaurus was a long-necked, plant-eating reptile that lived in the Jurassic Period.

The skeleton, unearthed at a private quarry in southern Wyoming in 1993, was being sold by Western Paleontological Laboratories Inc. The Lehi, Utah-based company searches for fossils and keeps some for display and scientific research.

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Cigars stood in the holes in the center of this sterling silver cigar accessory. The urn at the top is a lighter. The piece was made by Edward Moore for Tiffany & Co. and sold for $13,750 at a Sotheby's auction in New York.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 23, 2009

Cigars stood in the holes in the center of this sterling silver cigar accessory. The urn at the top is a lighter. The piece was made by Edward Moore for Tiffany & Co. and sold for $13,750 at a Sotheby's auction in New York.

Cigars stood in the holes in the center of this sterling silver cigar accessory. The urn at the top is a lighter. The piece was made by Edward Moore for Tiffany & Co. and sold for $13,750 at a Sotheby’s auction in New York.

Smoking was an important part of the life of a well-to-do gentleman in the 19th century. A cigar after dinner was routine. Smoking paraphernalia was created not only to be useful but also to show off wealth. Collectors today still search for all kinds of tobacco-related items, although smoking has lost favor. Pipes, ashtrays, cigar holders, lighters, cigarette or cigar cases, cigarette or cigar boxes, cigarette dispensers and smoking stands are collected. Some collectors want commercial packaging and advertising, including cigar box labels and wooden boxes, packs of matches, cigar bands, cigarettes packs, trade cards for tobacco products, cutout newspaper and magazine ads, posters and other store ads, and store cigar lighters and cabinets. Many items sell for under $50, but some “tobacciana” collectibles are very expensive. Chrome, plastic, glass or porcelain match and cigarette urns, jewel-studded gold or silver cigarette cases, sterling cigarette boxes for the table and bronze ashtrays by famous makers sell to collectors of fine arts. One unusual piece from about 1860 is a silver cigar lighter and holder made by Tiffany & Co. The top part is an urn-shaped cigar lighter held by two figures of Hercules. Below that is a pierced tray made to hold cigars. Chains, embossed heads and other decorations make the 10 1/2-inch-high lighter an impressive table ornament. It was a gift to New York banker Charles Christmas from his partner, August Belmont, who became chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1860. Probably because it is a crossover collectible wanted by buyers of four types of collections – tobacco, political, unusual silver and work by Tiffany & Co. – it sold for $13,750 at a Sotheby’s auction. Read more

The first of a fleet of Gordon Bennet racers to be offered from the Kaufman collection sold for $25,300. Image courtesy Bertoia Auctions.

“Toyriffic” day-1 results at Bertoia’s sale of Kaufman collection

The first of a fleet of Gordon Bennet racers to be offered from the   Kaufman collection sold for $25,300. Image courtesy Bertoia Auctions.

The first of a fleet of Gordon Bennet racers to be offered from the Kaufman collection sold for $25,300. Image courtesy Bertoia Auctions.

VINELAND, N.J. – The toy-collecting community came together with international force Thursday evening as Bertoia Auctions hosted the opening session of its sale of the Donald Kaufman antique toy collection.

The March 19 event attracted bidders from all over the United States, as well as France, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, and such exotic ports of call as Curacao and Tortola.

Structured as a sampler of what would follow on Friday and Saturday, the 283-lot first-session offering gave bidders a taste of American cast iron, European tin character and automotive, TootsieToys and games – and they didn’t hold back, either in the room or on the Internet, which played a significant role in underbidding. Early reports were that the session clocked out at somewhere between $700K-$800K.

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Ellsworth Woodward was head of the art department at Tulane University's H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial School in the early 1900s. His oil on canvas titled 'Bay St. Louis' measures 12 by 9 1/4 inches. Image courtesy Neal Auction Co. and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

Ellsworth Woodward paintings discovered in high school library

Ellsworth Woodward was head of the art department at Tulane University's H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial School in the early 1900s.   His oil on canvas titled 'Bay St. Louis' measures 12 by 9 1/4 inches. Image courtesy Neal Auction Co. and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

Ellsworth Woodward was head of the art department at Tulane University’s H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial School in the early 1900s. His oil on canvas titled ‘Bay St. Louis’ measures 12 by 9 1/4 inches. Image courtesy Neal Auction Co. and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) – Books in a library might contain priceless knowledge, but the decor can sometimes also carry a hefty price tag.

That’s what Bolton High School officials found after discovering two paintings that had been in the school library for decades are worth about $150,000 each.

The paintings – two nature scenes by Ellsworth Woodward (American/New Orleans, 1861-1939) – were given to the school by its 1917 graduating class, according to a plaque on one of the paintings.

“They’re excellent works,” said Sara Fuhrer, a member of the school’s alumni association. “They’re very rare works.”

The alumni group helped get the pieces appraised by Robert H. McHarg, director of the fine Arts Gallery of New Orleans and a member of the International Society of Appraisers. He valued each at $150,000.

The Rapides Parish School District gave care of the paintings to the Alexandria Museum of Art on Tuesday.

“We needed to secure them until we have a facility (at Bolton) to hold them,” said Gary Jones, superintendent of Rapides Parish Schools.

The museum will house and display the pieces until the school can build a facility to protect them from theft and environmental damage.

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Image courtesy Leonard Auction.

Leonard Auction to sell store’s entire inventory April 4-5

Image courtesy Leonard Auction.

Image courtesy Leonard Auction.

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. – The entire inventory of KD3 Decorative Arts will be sold at auction April 4-5. Leonard Auction will conduct the auction, which will consist of more than 1,000 lots of quality antiques, furniture and fine art.

The sale will be conducted at KD3 Decorative Arts, 6704 Pingree Road in Crystal Lake.

“We are thrilled to offer this wonderful inventory of quality art, furniture and decorative arts. With something for every style and budget, this is a sale not to be missed,” said John Leonard, president of Leonard Auction, Addison Ill.

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Louisiana-born Lynda Benglis painted ‘Gestural Study' in 2005 in egg tempera on off-white wove paper. Photo by Lyle Peterzell, courtesy Speed Art Museum.

Speed Art Museum unveils 50 contemporary works

Louisiana-born Lynda Benglis painted ‘Gestural Study' in 2005 in egg tempera on off-white wove paper. Photo by Lyle Peterzell, courtesy Speed Art Museum.

Louisiana-born Lynda Benglis painted ‘Gestural Study’ in 2005 in egg tempera on off-white wove paper. Photo by Lyle Peterzell, courtesy Speed Art Museum.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Speed Art Museum is a recipient of 50 works of art from one of the most impressive contemporary collections ever assembled. In celebration of this gift, the museum is proud to present the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States on view through May 17.

Having built one of the largest collections of contemporary art in America, New Yorkers Dorothy and Herbert Vogel gave more than 1,000 artworks to the National Gallery of Art in Washington. However, with 2,500 pieces remaining the couple, assisted by the National Gallery, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, launched a national gift program to distribute works of art from their collection to every state in the union.

Entitled the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, this program has honored the Commonwealth of Kentucky by selecting the Speed Art Museum as the recipient of 50 works by contemporary artists with a strong emphasis on Minimalism and Conceptual Art, including works by artists Robert Barry, Lynda Benglis, Peter Halley, Robert Mangold, Richard Nonas, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Pat Steir and Richard Tuttle.

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Eight casters are attached to the legs of Paul Rudolph's tubular chrome and acrylic armchair. It has a $6,000-$9,000 estimate. Photo courtesy Rago Arts & Auction Center.

Montoya consigns to Sollo Rago Modern Auction, April 25-26

Eight casters are attached to the legs of Paul Rudolph's tubular chrome and acrylic armchair. It has a $6,000-$9,000 estimate. Photo courtesy Rago Arts & Auction Center.

Eight casters are attached to the legs of Paul Rudolph’s tubular chrome and acrylic armchair. It has a $6,000-$9,000 estimate. Photo courtesy Rago Arts & Auction Center.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Juan Montoya, the internationally acclaimed interior designer recognized for his bold modernist interiors, will sell select property from his modern furniture and decorative art collections at Rago Arts & Auction Center on April 25-26. Montoya’s collection is part of Sollo Rago’s two-day modern sale.

“We are thrilled that Juan Montoya has selected Rago as the auction house to sell his collection,” said John Sollo, of Sollo Rago Modern. “The objects in this sale attest to his taste for interesting, important furniture and decorative arts and to Juan’s exceptional eye for the best material, often mixed in unexpected ways.”

Montoya has been a loyal patron of Rago for many years. “I’ve purchased major pieces of 20th century design from them,” he said. “They have great depth knowledge in their fields of expertise and are very easy to work with.”

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Hall China Co. produced this teapot exclusively for sale at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The decoration represents the fair's Perisphere and Trylon. Image courtesy Kaminski Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

Illinois couple devoted to World’s Fair memorabilia

Hall China Co. produced this teapot exclusively for sale at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The decoration represents the fair's   Perisphere and Trylon. Image courtesy Kaminski Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

Hall China Co. produced this teapot exclusively for sale at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The decoration represents the fair’s Perisphere and Trylon. Image courtesy Kaminski Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) – The popular 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland, portrayed the world’s fair of yesteryear as an exciting and dressy extravaganza, filled with romance and intrigue. People traveled for miles by train and automobile to see all the new and
fascinating discoveries exhibited at these highly anticipated events.

This is the image of a world’s fair that Bob and Sherri Hous of Danville want to recreate through their extensive collection of world’s fair items.

“It’s the romance that surrounded world’s fairs through the years that fascinates me,” Sherri said. “That’s why we’re not interested in attending
a present-day fair. There would be so much emphasis on technology that it would spoil the fantasy that we’ve built up surrounding those spectacular events from years ago.”

The first world’s fair was the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. The next world’s expo is scheduled for 2010 in Shanghai, China. Both San Francisco and Houston may submit bids to host a world expo in 2020.

“It’s surprising how many world’s fairs that were scheduled had to be canceled for one reason or another,” Bob said. “Usually it was because a
war broke out or they couldn’t get the funding.”

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Rose family protests ‘plundering’ of Brandeis museum

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) – The family whose name adorns the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University has demanded that the facility remain a public art museum and that the school refrain from selling off its works.

Fifty members of the Rose family issued a statement on Monday protesting what they called the “plundering” of the museum.

“The art has been put on the auction block. The museum has been put on the chopping block. We object,” said the statement, which was issued before a symposium on the issue held on the Brandeis campus.

A news release from the school in January said it would “close the museum” and “publicly sell the art collection.” But university president Jehuda Reinharz later clarified the statement, saying that, while the Rose may no longer be a public museum, offering exhibits and paid admission to people who want to browse its galleries, it would remain open with a focus on serving the school’s educational needs, with more exhibits by students and faculty.

The family urged Reinharz and trustees to restore the budget, staffing and activities of the facility.

“Repurposing the museum is closing by another name,” it said. “It would not be the Rose.”

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More than 100 years old, this fine hand-painted Bing 2 Gauge clockwork passenger set still runs. Image courtesy New England Toy Train Exchange.

New England Toy Train Exchange sale arrives March 20-21

More than 100 years old, this fine hand-painted Bing 2 Gauge clockwork passenger set still runs. Image courtesy New England Toy Train Exchange.

More than 100 years old, this fine hand-painted Bing 2 Gauge clockwork passenger set still runs. Image courtesy New England Toy Train Exchange.

DANBURY, Conn. – New England Toy Train Exchange’s March 20-21 auction will roar in like a Lion(el) with 200 standard gauge lots and a fine selection of European trains. Live Internet bidding will be available on both days through www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

“It’s been a long time since there’s been an event along this line, which has a huge market. Collectors we know have done some thinning and we’ve come up with some great items,” said Mark Tobias, a partner in New England Toy Train Exchange.   

Among a number of scarce sets being offered is a standard gauge Ives Northern Limited passenger set, produced only in 1928. In C6+ condition, this set has a $5,000-$15,000 estimate. “We’re hoping it breaks $15,000,” said Tobias.

Comparable in Lionel is a nice 1928 version of the 381E State Set composed of a bi-polar locomotive, 412 California Pullman, 413 Colorado Pullman, 414 Illinois Pullman; and a 416 New York observation car. It has a $5,000-$12,000 estimate.

Rare rolling stock includes an early Lionel 3 trolley in C5+-C6 condition, which carries a high estimate of $10,000.

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