‘Barbara, 1930' by Leon Kroll is estimated at $100,000-$110,000. Image courtesy Case Antiques Auction.

Case to auction Leon Kroll painting May 16

‘Barbara, 1930' by Leon Kroll is estimated at $100,000-$110,000. Image courtesy Case Antiques Auction.

‘Barbara, 1930′ by Leon Kroll is estimated at $100,000-$110,000. Image courtesy Case Antiques Auction.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- A monumental portrait by Leon Kroll and important drawings of a Western copper mine by Jonas Lie are among the fine art highlights at the Spring Case Antiques Auction, to be held Saturday, May 16, at the company’s gallery in Knoxville. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Also offered are several pieces of Southern regional art and a variety of fine antiques.

The sale, which includes nearly 400 cataloged lots, is the company’s largest one-day offering of art and antiques to date. Leading the art is a 48-by-36-inch oil on canvas portrait of a woman lounging in an armchair by Leon Kroll (American, 1884-1974). Kroll, a realist painter, studied at the National Academy of Design and the Academie Julien in Paris, where he won the Grand Prix for painting the nude. He went on to participate in the famed Armory Show of 1913 and frequently exhibited with friends Robert Henri and George Bellows, and other members of The Eight.

“The female form was a constant theme throughout Kroll’s acclaimed career, and this is an exceptional example of his work,” said gallery president John Case. The painting bears the stamp of the Leon Kroll estate.

The four pencil and charcoal drawings by Jonas Lie (American, 1880-1940) depict a copper mine in Bingham, Utah. They date from 1917, a year when Lie produced a series of paintings of the mine. While the Phoenix Art Museum owns a Lie oil painting with a view identical to one of the drawings, the current whereabouts of most of his other mine paintings are unknown. Read more

She got the Blues for Christmas. Painter Stanley William Hayter dedicated this painting to his love, Desiree Moorhead. Image courtesy Susanin's.

Hayter’s ‘Blues’ expected to be a top hit at Susanin’s sale May 9

She got the Blues for Christmas. Painter Stanley William Hayter dedicated this painting to his love, Desiree Moorhead. Image courtesy Susanin's.

She got the Blues for Christmas. Painter Stanley William Hayter dedicated this painting to his love, Desiree Moorhead. Image courtesy Susanin’s.

CHICAGO – Susanin’s Auctions, now in their 15th year, will conduct Premiere Auction 72 on Saturday, May 9. The sale will include more than 300 cataloged lots including European and American fine art. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

One of the featured paintings is an abstract work by Stanley William Hayter (British 1901-1988) titled Blues. The acrylic on canvas, 51 1/4 by 38 1/4 inches, is signed and dated on the lower right and on the stretcher. It also has a dedication inscription on the stretcher: “For Desiree Moorhead Happy Xmas 1968 From Bill with love.” Moorhead, an Irish poet and writer, later became Hayter’s third wife and they were living together in Paris at the time of his death in 1988. The painting has a $20,000-$40,000 estimate.

Two landscapes by Jean Metzinger (French 1883-1965) have $15,000-$20,000 estimates. Metziner became a leading exponent of Cubism, but early in his career he painted in Neo-Impressionist and Fauvist styles. Both paintings at Susanin’s are oil on wood panel and both have gallery labels from Coleman Art Gallery, Philadelphia. Poppy Fields measures 8 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches, 15 1/2 by 17 1/2 inches framed. “Road With Trees and Town in Background” is nearly the same size. Read more

Skinner auctioned this late version Hammond Model I typewriter for $1,645. With patent dates to 1888, the machine has a two-row open keyboard with ebony keys. Image courtesy Skinner Inc. and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

13-year-old boy not a typecast collector

Skinner auctioned this late version Hammond Model I typewriter for $1,645. With patent dates to 1888, the machine has a two-row open keyboard with ebony keys. Image courtesy Skinner Inc. and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

Skinner auctioned this late version Hammond Model I typewriter for $1,645. With patent dates to 1888, the machine has a two-row open keyboard with ebony keys. Image courtesy Skinner Inc. and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – Jett Morton stands among his Olivers, gesturing instructively toward this one or that as he tells their stories.

“Well, these are your ’30s,” he says. “And this one was patented in 1898 but, actually, it was made in the 1900s. This one right here … ” He bends down to read an old inscription dulled by time. “This one was Nov. 5, 1912.”

You nod and peer closely at a few old machines. “So these are the Oliver Standard Visible Writer No. 3?” you say.

“Yeah,” says Jett.

And this one?

“That’s the same typewriter actually, just a different model. It’s mainly referred to as an Oliver Number 9.”

An old label is prominently placed on the front of the machine, so you read it aloud: “Oliver Typewriter Company. Chicago, USA. Keep machine cleaned and oiled.”

“Yeah, and this one definitely was not,” Jett says, and you detect just a dollop of indignation. Read more

Image courtesy Ketterer Kunst.

So weit, So gut, trotz Krise

Image courtesy Ketterer Kunst.

Image courtesy Ketterer Kunst.

Man bräuchte eine Kristallkugel um vorherzusagen, wie die Wirtschaftskrise den deutsch-sprachigen Kunst- und Antikmarkt beeinflussen könnte. Der Frühöling ist eine sehr aktive Zeit für Auktionshäuser. Die glänzenden, farbigen Kataloge sind so dick wie immer. Ein volles Programm an Sommerantiquitätenshows and Trödelmärkten ist geplant. Die Museen sind nicht “deascessioning,” kaufen aber sehr wählerisch, um ihre Sammlungen aufzubessern.

Es ist nicht, dass uns die schlechten Nachrichten noch nicht erreicht haben. Die deutsche Wirtschaft ist iin einem schlechten Zustand, wie seit 60 Jahren nicht mehr. Die Exportrate ist gefallen. Das Land hat z.Z. eine durchschnittliche Arbeitslosenquote von 8,6 Prozent. Und doch …

Ketterer Kunst GmbH & Co, KG, München, bezeichnet den Kunstmarkt in Deutschland als stabil. Laut deren Sprecherin Michaela Derra, haben sich die deutschen Auktionshäuser im Gegensatz zu den internationalen Häusern kaum an den Preistreibereien beteiligt. Sie bieten auch heute fast nur Kunst langfristig gewachsener Märkte an und wenden sich damit an echte Kunstliebhaber, nicht an Spekulanten.

Read more

The title at the top of one of the pages in the ledger book reads, 'D Peppers Pepsin Bitters.' Image courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries.

Dr Pepper artifact may reveal soft drink’s origin

The title at the top of one of the pages in the ledger book reads, 'D Peppers Pepsin Bitters.' Image courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries.

The title at the top of one of the pages in the ledger book reads, ‘D Peppers Pepsin Bitters.’ Image courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries.

DALLAS (AP) – Poking through antiques stores while traveling through the Texas Panhandle, Bill Waters stumbled across a tattered old ledger book filled with formulas.

He bought it for $200, suspecting he could resell it for five times that. Turns out, his inkling about the book’s value was more spot on than he knew. The Tulsa, Okla., man eventually discovered the book came from the Waco, Texas, drugstore where Dr Pepper was invented and includes a recipe titled D Peppers Pepsin Bitters.

“I began feeling like I had a national treasure,” said Waters, 59.

Dr Pepper’s manufacturer says the recipe is not the secret formula for the modern day soft drink, but the 8 1/2-by-15 1/2-inch book is expected to sell between $50,000 to $75,000 when it goes up for auction at Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries on May 13.

“It probably has specks of the original concoction on its pages,” Waters said.

Waters discovered the book, its yellowed pages stained brown on the edges, underneath a wooden medicine bottle crate in a Shamrock, Texas, antiques store last summer. A couple months after buying it, he took a closer look as he prepared to sell it on eBay.

He noticed there were several sheets with letterheads hinting at its past, like a page from a prescription pad from a Waco store titled “W.B. Morrison & Co. Old Corner Drug Store.” An Internet search revealed Dr Pepper, first served in 1885, was invented at the Old Corner Drug Store in Waco by a pharmacist named Charles Alderton. Wade Morrison was a storeowner.

Faded letters on the book’s fraying brown cover say “Castles Formulas.” John Castles was a partner of Morrison’s for a time and was a druggist at that location as early as 1880, said Mary Beth Webster, collections manager at the Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute in Waco.

As he gathered more information, Waters took a slower turn through the book’s more than 360 pages, which are filled with formulas for everything from piano polish to a hair restorer to a cough syrup. He eventually spotted the “D Peppers Pepsin Bitters” formula.

“It took three or four days before I actually realized what I had there,” Waters said.

The recipe written in cursive in the ledger book is hard to make out, but ingredients seem to include mandrake root, sweet flag root and syrup.

It isn’t a recipe for a soft drink, said Greg Artkop, a spokesman for the Plano-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group. He said it’s likely instead a recipe for a bitter digestive that bears the Dr Pepper name.

He said the recipe certainly bears no resemblance to any Dr Pepper recipes the company knows of. The drink’s 23-flavor blend is a closely guarded secret, only known by three Dr Pepper employees, he said.

Michael Riley, chief cataloger and historian for Heritage Auction Galleries, said they think it’s an early recipe for Dr Pepper.

“We just feel like it’s the earliest version of it,” he said.

He hasn’t, however, tested that theory by trying to mix up a batch. Neither has Waters; he’s thought about it but would need to find someone to decipher all the handwriting.

Jack McKinney, executive director of the Waco museum, surmised that Alderton might have been giving customers something for their stomachs and added some Dr Pepper syrup to make it taste better.

“I don’t guess there’s any definitive answer. It’s got to be the only one of its kind,” Riley said.

McKinney said the ledger book was bound to be popular with Dr Pepper collectors because it’s from the time the drink was invented.

Riley said the book was probably started around 1880 and used through the 1890s. It’s not known who wrote the Dr Pepper recipe in the book, but they don’t think it was the handwriting of Alderton or Morrison. Some of the formulas have Alderton’s name after them.

At first, Alderton’s drink inspired by the smells in the drugstore was called “a Waco.” “People would come in and say, ‘Shoot me a Waco,'” Riley said.

Soon renamed Dr Pepper, the drink caught on and other stores in town began selling it. Eventually, Alderton got out of the Dr Pepper business and Morrison and a man named Robert Lazenby started a bottling company in 1891.

Flipping through the pages of the ledger book takes one back to a time when drugstores were neighborhood hubs, selling everything from health remedies to beauty products mixed up by the stores’ chemists. And among the formulas being mixed up in drugstores were treats for the soda fountain. A two-page spread in Waters’ book has recipes for “Soda Water Syrups,” including pineapple, lemon and strawberry.

“There were very few national brands,” Riley said. “Their lifeblood was all their formulas.”

___

On the Net:

Dr Pepper Museum, http://www.drpeppermuseum.com

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-ES-05-04-09 0751EDT

Image courtesy Ketterer Kunst.

So Far, So Good, in Spite of Crisis

Ketterer Kunst sold Emil Nolde's 'Landscape' last summer for 900,000 Euro ($1.2 million). Image courtesy Ketterer Kunst.

Ketterer Kunst sold Emil Nolde’s ‘Landscape’ last summer for 900,000 Euro ($1.2 million). Image courtesy Ketterer Kunst.

One needs a crystal ball to predict how the world economic crisis will affect the German-language art and antique markets. Spring has been a flurry of activity for the auction houses. The glossy, color catalogs are just as thick. A full program of summer antique shows and trodel markets is planned. The museums are not deaccessioning, but selectively buying and restoring to improve their collections.

It’s not that the bad news hasn’t reached us yet. The German economy is reported to be in the worst condition it has been in for 60 years. Export levels are down. The country is facing a growing average unemployment rate of 8.6 percent. And yet …

Ketterer Kunst GmbH & Co, KG, Munich, reports that the position of the art market in Germany is stable. According to spokesperson Michaela Derra, contrary to the price beating some international auction houses are taking, the German auction houses have not experienced this. She credits this to selling to an exclusive, established and growing market of art lovers, not investors.

Read more

Three puzzles were included in this box of Superman Puzzles, which has a 1940 copright. Image courtesy auctionbug and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

Outside of the box: Old puzzles bring enjoyment again

Three puzzles were included in this box of Superman Puzzles, which has a 1940 copright. Image courtesy auctionbug and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

Three puzzles were included in this box of Superman Puzzles, which has a 1940 copright. Image courtesy auctionbug and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive.

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) – Jane Phillips would no doubt be smiling to see her beloved jigsaw puzzles entertaining people visiting her home on Cherokee Avenue. The wife of oil giant Frank Phillips loved puzzles and was known to have one under assembly nearly all of the time on a bridge table in her library.

The puzzles she so enjoyed are back in circulation after more than two years of work by staff and volunteers at the Frank Phillips Home, which today is an Oklahoma Historical Society museum.

“I would drop by to see Granny almost every day after school,” said Marcus Low Jr., the Phillips’ grandson. “It seemed like she always had a puzzle she was working on.”

The 26 jigsaw puzzles, most of which are Parker Brothers Pastime Puzzles, had been stored away at the home for decades until now. Packaged in plain white boxes that provide no clue to the picture the combined jigsaw pieces ultimately will make, the puzzles were and are true challenges.

It took staff and volunteers 150 to 200 hours to put together the larger puzzles and about 30 hours to put together the smaller ones. The puzzle workers, who donned white gloves to protect the delicate pieces, worked two years to complete all the jigsaw projects.

Once the puzzles were assembled, Pat Krebs of Bartlesville framed them carefully using protective glass to shield the historic creations from sun damage.

Dating from the 1920s and 1930s, the wooden puzzles have elaborately shaped pieces. Many of the pieces are cut in the shapes of roosters, cats, alphabet letters and scrolling. The specially shaped pieces add another layer of artistry to the finished product.

“The puzzles are not only beautiful, but also record the events and attitudes of their time,” Frank Phillips Home director Jim Goss said.

Jigsaw puzzles for adults were first seen in the early 1900s and were quite a challenge. Puzzles were cut along color lines and were not interlocking. Not only were there no pictures on the boxes, the titles of the puzzles were very nonspecific. Puzzle enthusiasts might order jigsaws and bring them home without having any idea what the picture would be until all the pieces were assembled.

At the time the Phillips home was built, in 1908-09, Parker Brothers introduced their Pastime Puzzles, which featured pieces with recognizable shapes. These were so popular that Parker Brothers stopped making games and devoted its entire factory to puzzle production in 1909. Following this craze, puzzles continued as a regular adult diversion for the next two decades.

“They would have puzzle parties – especially among high society,” exhibit designer Karen Smith Woods said. “This is part of how they spent their time then. They would pick up puzzles in the fall and spend all winter working on them.”

The puzzles had not been seen since the Phillips family left the mansion. Exhibit organizers unveiled them now because the home is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The exhibit is also timely considering the current national economic woes. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the popularity of jigsaw puzzles grew to staggering levels. Anne Williams, a leading historian of the American jigsaw puzzle, reports that in 1933, puzzle sales reached 10 million per week.

Psychologists explain their appeal as a way to escape the chaos of hard times and the opportunity to create something beautiful from a disordered array of individual pieces. During the 1930s, puzzle enthusiasts could rent a puzzle from their local store, just as DVDs are rented today.

It is not known when “Aunt Jane” became interested in jigsaw puzzles or how many she had. She was known to give puzzles away to friends and employees. Most of the puzzles she kept were of the Pastime Puzzle brand and their themes reflect her interests and the current events of the time.

Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WS-05-03-09 1345EDT

Game programs and autographs comprise the baseball collection scheduled to sell Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Rawlings bat is signed by Hall of Famer Al Kaline. Image courtesy John McInnis Auctioneers.

Americana vs. American League at McInnis auction May 9

Game programs and autographs comprise the baseball collection scheduled to sell Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Rawlings bat is signed by Hall of Famer Al Kaline. Image courtesy John McInnis Auctioneers.

Game programs and autographs comprise the baseball collection scheduled to sell Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Rawlings bat is signed by Hall of Famer Al Kaline. Image courtesy John McInnis Auctioneers.

AMESBURY, Mass. – The baseball collection of a former Boston Braves batboy will be featured at John McInnis Auctioneers’ annual spring sale on Saturday, May 9. The gallery will also present a wide selection of Americana, custom traditional bench-made furniture, folk art, silver, paintings, porcelain, Orientalia, clocks, early bottles and much more. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The late Sammy Howard was a batboy during the 1940s for the Boston Braves. His baseball collection consists of programs and scorecards, including a program from the 1948 World Series between the Braves and the Cleveland Indians. The cover of that program bears the autograph of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Lewis. Many of the lots in this collection are signed by the players of that era. Read more

Many of American realist John Koch's paintings are set in his spacious New York City apartment and picture antiques. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

Brunk to auction prized John Koch painting

Many of American realist John Koch's paintings are set in his spacious New York City apartment and picture antiques. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

Many of American realist John Koch’s paintings are set in his spacious New York City apartment and picture antiques. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – One might expect a large painting by New York artist John Koch (1909-1978) to be offered in an art gallery in Manhattan, but the honor of selling his work titled The Plasterers goes to Brunk Auctions on Saturday, May 9. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The Plasterers (1967) is an oil on canvas measuring 40 inches by 49 7/8 inches. It depicts two men in white coveralls spackling the walls of Koch’s apartment overlooking Central Park. The 14-room apartment in the famed El Dorado building was home to Koch (pronounced Coke) and his wife, piano coach Dora Zaslavsky (1905-1987), beginning in 1954. The painting comes to Brunk Auctions from a private collection in Tennessee. Included with it will be six preparatory sketches by Koch. The artwork carries a $175,000-$250,000 estimate.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, Koch was a largely self-taught figurative painter, who was dismissed by the modernist establishment when he was alive. In 2002-2003 the New-York Historical Society presented a memorable retrospective of his work titled John Koch: Painting a New York Life.

“His works don’t come on the market very often and this one has great provenance,” said auctioneer Robert S. Brunk. “He’s a highly respected and sought after artist.”

A choice piece of furniture to sell on the opening day of the auction is a circa 1730s English Queen Anne burlwood secretary, which is expected to bring $10,000-15,000. The secretary features an arched pediment centering a carved and gilt floral basket, arched mirrored doors and a slant front.

Early maps will be featured on the first day of the auction. Among the earliest will be a 16th-century map of Virginia and North Carolina by John White, who accompanied Sir Walter Raleigh on his 1585 expedition into Virginia. The map is a copper engraving on laid paper and was published by Theodore De Bry, Frankfurt, in 1590. It measures 11-7/8 by 16-1/4 inches and has an $8,000-$12,000 estimate.

A pair of Continental majolica blackamoors standing 34 1/2 inches high will sell on the second day of the auction, Sunday, May 10. The figures date to the turn of the 20th century and are expected to bring $1,000-2,000. They are said to have been owned by the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain.

For more information about the sale contact Brunk Auctions at 828-254-6846 or go to the Web site www.brunkauctions.com. View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

Click here to view Brunk Auction’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Published in 1590, John White's map shows Virginia and what is now North Carolina. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

Published in 1590, John White’s map shows Virginia and what is now North Carolina. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

This 18th-century English Queen Anne secretary stands nearly 8 feet 5 inches high. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

This 18th-century English Queen Anne secretary stands nearly 8 feet 5 inches high. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

A large hand-painted porcelain plaque depicting Napoleon's coronation forms the center of the tabletop on this Napoleon III style Sevres table, which has an estimate of $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

A large hand-painted porcelain plaque depicting Napoleon’s coronation forms the center of the tabletop on this Napoleon III style Sevres table, which has an estimate of $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

An arm has been repaired on this pair of Continental majolica blackamoors, said to have been owned by a U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

An arm has been repaired on this pair of Continental majolica blackamoors, said to have been owned by a U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. Image courtesy Brunk Auctions.

This bisque wedding cake topper is 7 inches high, taller than most. It was made about 1920 by Hertwig and Co., a German firm that also made dolls and dishes. Theriault's of Annapolis, Md., auctioned it last summer for $504.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of May 4, 2009

This bisque wedding cake topper is 7 inches high, taller than most. It was made about 1920 by Hertwig and Co., a German firm that also made dolls and dishes. Theriault's of Annapolis, Md., auctioned it last summer for $504.

This bisque wedding cake topper is 7 inches high, taller than most. It was made about 1920 by Hertwig and Co., a German firm that also made dolls and dishes. Theriault’s of Annapolis, Md., auctioned it last summer for $504.

At most American weddings, you can expect to see a wedding cake, usually covered in white frosting and often topped by bride and groom figures made of china, plastic, composition or even molded sugar. When dinner ends, the cake is cut and the bride and groom feed a slice to each other. A 2009 wedding might have a pile of cupcakes instead of a cake – the start of a new tradition. The custom of a wedding cake began in ancient Rome as a loaf of wheat or barley cake (bread). The bride and groom ate a bite of the cake, then the groom broke the cake over the bride’s head. By the 1700s, a sweet cake with soft white icing was popular. In 1840, Queen Victoria’s wedding cake was covered with a stiff white icing that’s still called “royal icing.” The queen’s cake was made in layers, so that became the fashion. By the 1890s, the “cake topper” had also become fashionable for elaborate weddings. It could be a bell or initials or a cupid or a bride and groom. In the 1920s, cake toppers became more common, and the Sears catalog included a page of toppers. During World War II, wedding cakes often had grooms dressed in uniform as toppers. But it was the 1950s that made a topper almost a requirement on a wedding cake. Grooms might be in top hat and tails, and brides followed the wedding-dress fashions of the day. Today you can find humorous toppers, like a groom carrying golf clubs. The figures represent all races. Collectors began to buy all sorts of wedding-related pieces in the 1970s. There were dealers who specialized in old wedding pictures, dresses, veils, cake toppers, invitations and other memorabilia. Many brides use vintage toppers, but few toppers are found that are more than 100 years old. Read more