Edwardian polychrome-decorated satinwood Carlton House desk, early 20th century. Estimate $2,000-$4,000.

Wedgwood, Carlton House desk add British accent to Skinner’s July 11 sale

Edwardian polychrome-decorated satinwood Carlton House desk, early 20th century. Estimate $2,000-$4,000.

Edwardian polychrome-decorated satinwood Carlton House desk, early 20th century. Estimate $2,000-$4,000.

BOSTON – Skinner Inc. will conduct its European Furniture & Decorative Arts sale with a bonus selection of fine ceramics on Saturday, July 11, with real-time Internet bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com. The sale boasts more than 800 lots including English and Continental decorative works of art, statuary, textiles and furniture from the 18th through 20th centuries. Real-time Internet bidding will be provided through www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

A special highlight is the Elizabeth Chellis Wedgwood Collection. The late Elizabeth Chellis was, among other things, a founder of the Wedgwood International Seminar, and founder and president of the Wedgwood Society of Boston. She was a scholar and collector, and her library relating to Wedgwood, which is housed at the Birmingham Museum of Art, is believed to be the largest in the world.

Ms. Chellis’ collection of ceramics spans a wide variety of Wedgwood wares and includes a Queen’s Ware “Frog Service” platter (estimate $10/15,000), 18th-century English pottery highlighted by an enamel decorated salt-glazed stoneware landscape teapot (est. $2/4,000), and interesting Wedgwood-related ephemera.

Also included in the sale are two additional private collections of Wedgwood. Among the offerings are encaustic decorated black basalts, a nice assortment of Fairyland Lustre, queen’s ware, Carrara ware, Lessore decorated items, majolica, and a variety of jasper wares including a most unusual full-size Portland vase (est, $1,000/1,500).

Other English pottery and porcelain includes early white salt-glazed stoneware, agate and lead-glazed creamwares. A pair of Minton Christopher Dresser design Pilgrim vases (est. $8/1,200), Sunderland lustre, and a large collection of parian busts and figures help round out the sale.

Of note in the decorative arts offerings are 18 lots of Royal Worcester porcelain models of birds by Dorothy Doughty (estimates ranging from $300 at the low to $1,500 at the high); an interesting German wood and ivory figural group titled “The Fortune Teller,” signed C.L. Haebler, Baden Baden (est. $5/700); a French Aesthetic Movement charger (est. $2/4,000), and a large bronze figure of a maiden by Mathurin Moreau (est. $5/7,000).

Also of interest is an unusually extensive collection of 44 Italian crèche figures (est. $4/6,000). Rarely do such extensive sets of crèche figures appear in the auction market.

The sale also features an extensive selection of clocks and timepieces including a Meissen porcelain mantel clock (est. $2,5/3,500), a Turkish market clock (est. $700/1,000), a carriage-style enamel timepiece (est. $3/500), a Louis XIV-style Boulle clock (est. $1,2/1,500), and a Georgian-style case clock (est. $8/10,000).

Offerings from Britain and the Continent, spanning the centuries, include interesting forms such as a cellarette – a wine bottle storage box for dining rooms (est. $1,5/1,800) – a pair of Louis XV rafraichissoirs – French wine glass and wine bottle cooler (est. $2/3,000); a jardinière table signed by the cabinetmaker, Bernard Molitor (est. $12/18,000); and a Carlton House desk (est. $2/4,000), which is a writing table of a style introduced by Gillow’s in their pattern book of 1796, and believed to derive its name from the Prince Regent’s palace.

Other nice furniture offerings include a mid-Georgian side table (est. $1,2/1,800), a
George III sideboard (est. $3/4,000), a Renaissance Revival jewelry box on a stand (est. $3/5,000), a large Venetian carved wood hall figure (est. $4/6,000), and a pair of George III giltwood mirrors (est. $12/18,000).

For additional information on any lot in the sale, call 508-970-3000. View the fully illustrated auction catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet on auction day at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Wedgwood Queen's Ware "Frog Service" platter, England, circa 1774. Estimate $10,000-$15,000.

Wedgwood Queen’s Ware "Frog Service" platter, England, circa 1774. Estimate $10,000-$15,000.

Large Venetian painted and parcel gilt carved wood and gesso blackamoor hall figure, late 19th century, 86¼ inches tall. Estimate $4,000-$6,000.

Large Venetian painted and parcel gilt carved wood and gesso blackamoor hall figure, late 19th century, 86¼ inches tall. Estimate $4,000-$6,000.

Meissen porcelain mantel clock, late 19th century, 16½ inches tall. Estimate $2,500-$3,500.

Meissen porcelain mantel clock, late 19th century, 16½ inches tall. Estimate $2,500-$3,500.

Old Reservation Era Indian doctor's bag fully quill-decorated on both sides. One side features Indian coup ponies; the other depicts a chief and warrior Indians on horseback. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

Indian artifacts from Dickinson collection highlight Old Barn’s July 11 auction

Old Reservation Era Indian doctor's bag fully quill-decorated on both sides. One side features Indian coup ponies; the other depicts a chief and warrior Indians on horseback. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

Old Reservation Era Indian doctor’s bag fully quill-decorated on both sides. One side features Indian coup ponies; the other depicts a chief and warrior Indians on horseback. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

FINDLAY, Ohio – A banded Huronian-slate birdstone from Fond du Lac, Wis., will be offered on Saturday, July 11, as one of the highlights in Old Barn Auction’s 628-lot sale of prehistoric and historic Indian artifacts, with real-time Internet bidding will be provided throughout the sale by www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

Measuring 5 1/8 inches long, the hand-carved Native-American bird amulet comes from a region that, through the first third of the 19th century, was part of the Winnebago Indian nation. Small but very desirable to collectors of early American Indian material, the relic is expected to make as much as $500 in the sale.

The auction inventory comes from two sources, said Old Barn Auction’s owner, Jan Sorgenfrei. “Part of it is from the collection formerly belonging to Sam Dickinson, who worked for the University of Arkansas and is known as the father of Arkansas archaeology,” he said. “Mr. Dickinson assembled a fine collection and sold it last year. He’s now in his 90s. The buyer of the collection is now selling it through us. We’ve put it together with a large selection of stone material and pottery deaccessioned by a Midwest institution.”

A long list of Native-American tribes is represented in the July 11 sale by such objects as arrowheads, blades, knives, tomahawks, axeheads and other weapons. Additionally, the auction will feature bracelets and pendants; effigies, pipes, tools and many other desirable tribal artifacts.

Pottery vessels include bowls, jars, platters, bottles and other vessels, some of them coming from Central America. A small selection of books and other literature pertaining to North American Indians rounds out the sale.

A colorful selection of beaded garments and accessories includes a man’s fully beaded vest (Sioux), leggings, pipe bags and knife sheaths. A beaded cradle cover features beautiful multicolored geometric designs accented with trade cloth decorations. It is estimated at $40-$500.

An eye-catching Indian doctor’s bag from the Old Reservation era is quill-decorated with primitive images of Indian coup ponies on one side and a chief and warrior Indians on horseback on the other side. The lot carries a $40-$500 estimate.

Previews will be held daily at Old Barn Auction, 10040 U.S. Route 224 on the west side of Findlay. For information on any lot in the sale, call 419-422-8531 or email auction@oldbarn.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.

About Old Barn Auction: In operation since 1955, Old Barn conducts more than 40 auctions each year, offering prehistoric and historic Indian artifacts, Civil War military items, candy containers, toys, trains, antique furniture, dolls, marbles, coins, cast iron banks, fishing items, tools and many other type of antiques.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Banded slate birdstone from Fond Du Lac, Wis., 5 1/8 inches. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

Banded slate birdstone from Fond Du Lac, Wis., 5 1/8 inches. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

8½-inch by 2¼-inch bowl with red and black stripes on exterior and a highly conventionalized, plumed serpent on the inside. Origin Costa Rica. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

8½-inch by 2¼-inch bowl with red and black stripes on exterior and a highly conventionalized, plumed serpent on the inside. Origin Costa Rica. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

\
9¼-inch by 4 inch bowl with linked scroll design. Origin Costa Rica. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

9¼-inch by 4 inch bowl with linked scroll design. Origin Costa Rica. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

8½-inch by 3¼-inch bowl purchased at an antique shop in Jerusalem. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

8½-inch by 3¼-inch bowl purchased at an antique shop in Jerusalem. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

5 3/8-inch by 5-inch pot with incised triangle designs. From the Hays Place near Blue Lake, Arkansas. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

5 3/8-inch by 5-inch pot with incised triangle designs. From the Hays Place near Blue Lake, Arkansas. Estimate $40-$500. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Old Barn Auction.

This jasperware dish with fern and cattail decoration sold for $153 at Jackson's Auctioneers of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of June 29, 2009

This jasperware dish with fern and cattail decoration sold for $153 at Jackson's Auctioneers of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

This jasperware dish with fern and cattail decoration sold for $153 at Jackson’s Auctioneers of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Several museums have “What is it?” exhibits that display unusual items in the hope that someone will recognize a rarely used specialized tool or a pot for an ethnic dish unfamiliar to us today. Recently we saw a 12 1/2-inch-diameter jasperware dish with an 8-inch-high cover sold at auction as a “pancake server.” It looks very much like a 19th-century English dish made to hold a round of Stilton cheese. Or it could be a pottery cake dish and cover similar to the plastic cake carrying dishes made today. Research in books and online and conversations with experts have not provided a definitive answer. We are still not sure how the dish was used, but perhaps it was used in several ways. Large ceramic covered cheese dishes that hold a full wheel of cheese are not popular for household use today. But they were produced in the 1800s by many English firms, including Wedgwood, Spode and Minton, as well as Dudson Pottery, which made a large number of cheese dishes. The dishes were called cheese stands in 19th-century ads. The cheese was kept covered on the table to control its strong odor, stave off mold and keep insects away. A pancake server is similar in size and shape, but it has a small hole in the cover to let steam from the stack of hot pancakes escape. A cake might be kept under the cover of a similar dish, but cakes were usually kept on open pedestal-style cake stands. The covered jasperware dish we saw identified as a pancake server auctioned for $153. It’s the same size and shape as a cheese dish.
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There's little doubt that this is a genuine R. J. Horner & Co. label. The question is who put it on the back of the china cabinet.

Furniture Specific: Looking beyond labels

There's little doubt that this is a genuine R. J. Horner & Co. label. The question is who put it on the back of the china cabinet.

There’s little doubt that this is a genuine R. J. Horner & Co. label. The question is who put it on the back of the china cabinet.

Isn’t it exciting to go to an auction or a show and see a piece of furniture that actually has its maker’s name on it? I don’t mean Ethan Allen or Sears or Drexel. I mean somebody important – like one of the Stickleys or Hunzinger or Roux. Granted Roux’s marks are a little hard to find, but they do exist in the form of stencils in the beginning all the way to fancy engraved paper labels after 1850. In fact, contrary to common opinion a great many individual cabinetmakers and turners marked their work in one way or another. Over 1,500 have been identified and classified, many in recent years. At one point it was thought that Duncan Phyfe had marked as few as 12 of his works and as many as 16. There may be room for doubt on that subject because Phyfe used a greater variety of marks than most of his contemporaries and it seems unlikely he would have gone to so much trouble to mark so few pieces.
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One of several versions of the painting The Scream, by Edvard Munch. The National Gallery, Oslo, Norway.

Norwegian convicted in theft of Munch paintings

One of several versions of the painting The Scream, by Edvard Munch. The National Gallery, Oslo, Norway.

One of several versions of the painting The Scream, by Edvard Munch. The National Gallery, Oslo, Norway.

OSLO (AP) – A Norwegian court has convicted a man of involvement in the 2004 theft of Edvard Munch masterpieces The Scream and Madonna.

The Oslo Court of Appeals sentenced Bjoren Hoen to two and a half years in prison.

Prosecutors say Hoen did not participate in the heist but helped obtain the vehicle that the thieves used when stealing the paintings from an Oslo museum.

He had previously been convicted in the case, but Norway’s Supreme Court ordered a retrial, saying testimony may have been tainted.

Hoen told judges Monday he was unsure whether he would appeal the new verdict.

Two other men have been imprisoned and ordered to pay restoration costs for the paintings, which had to undergo repairs after they were recovered in 2006.

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

AP-CS-06-29-09 0907EDT

 

Examples of Charley Harper's style may be seen in the posters he created for the United States National Park Service.

Ford Motor finds cache of paintings by noted Cincinnati artist

 Examples of Charley Harper's style may be seen in the posters he created for the United States National Park Service.

Examples of Charley Harper’s style may be seen in the posters he created for the United States National Park Service.

CINCINNATI (AP) – The Ford Motor Co. says it has found more than 100 original paintings by Cincinnati artist Charley Harper while cleaning out its vaults.

About 50 of the paintings are being prepared for an exhibit next month in suburban Montgomery.

Harper had a long career creating wildlife illustrations that appeared on calendars, dinnerware, toys and in travel articles in magazines distributed by the automaker.

Ford located the paintings in a company vault in Dearborn, Mich., while trying to downsize its art collection earlier this year.

Harper’s son, 56-year-old Brett Harper of Lebanon, Ohio, says he had never seen the paintings until a Ford art consultant told him about the find.

Charley Harper contributed close to 500 pieces to Ford Times from 1948 to 1982. The designer Todd Oldham wrote of Harper, “Charley’s inspired yet accurate color sense is undeniable, and when combined with the precision he exacts on rendering only the most important details, one is always left with a sense of awe.”
___

Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer,
http://www.enquirer.com

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

AP-CS-06-29-09 0801EDT


ADDITIONAL CHARLEY HARPER IMAGES OF NOTE


Examples of Charley Harper's style may be seen in the posters he created for the United States National Park Service.

Examples of Charley Harper’s style may be seen in the posters he created for the United States National Park Service.

Photo by Jeffrey Dunn for WGBH. Courtesy Antiques Roadshow.

$1.07 million jade appraisal sets new Antiques Roadshow record

Photo by Jeffrey Dunn for WGBH. Courtesy Antiques Roadshow.

Photo by Jeffrey Dunn for WGBH. Courtesy Antiques Roadshow.

RALEIGH, N.C. – On Saturday, June 27, 2009, Antiques Roadshow taped the highest-value appraisal in its 13-year history. Four pieces of Chinese carved jade and celadon from the Chien Lung Dynasty (1736-1795), including a large bowl crafted for the Emperor, was given a conservative auction estimate of as much as $1.07M.

The owner inherited the collection from her father, who bought the objects in the 1930s and 1940s, while stationed in China as a military liaison. Asian arts appraiser James Callahan of Skinner Inc., noted the fine quality of the pieces, evidence that they were not made simply for the tourist trade. It was determined that a mark on the bottom of the jade bowl translates as “by Imperial order.”

This appraisal, and others taped at the Raleigh Convention Center on the 27th, will be considered for broadcast in Antiques Roadshow‘s 2010 season (its 14th), premiering Monday, Jan. 4 on PBS Television.

The jade collection now tops the list of high-value Antiques Roadshow appraisals. Moving to second place is a 1937 painting by American Abstract Expressionist artist Clyfford Still, evaluated in Palm Springs, Calif., in 2008. The painting had been given a retail estimate of $500,000.

“For thirteen years, we’ve been hoping to feature a million-dollar appraisal on Antiques Roadshow; it’s been our ‘Great White Whale,'” said Roadshow Executive Producer Marsha Bemko. “We’re thrilled that, despite this year’s slow economy, Roadshow finally captured this elusive trophy.”

Raleigh was the second stop in Antiques Roadshow‘s 2009 production tour, after Atlantic City on June 6. PBS’s most-watched series continues on to Madison, Wis.; Denver, Phoenix, and San Jose, California. The 2009 tour features a series of local events at which top appraisers offer the public free evaluations of antiques and collectibles, revealing the often surprising history and value of these items.


ADDITIONAL ANTIQUES ROADSHOW IMAGE OF NOTE


Photo by Jeffrey Dunn for WGBH. Courtesy Antiques Roadshow.

Photo by Jeffrey Dunn for WGBH. Courtesy Antiques Roadshow.

Atop a white onyx base this Art Nouveau figure by Fugere of bronze and carved ivory is 16 1/2 inches high. It has a $30,000-$40,000 estimate. Image courtesy Antique Place.

Antique Place’s July 5 auction features Art Deco bronze/ivory figures

Atop a white onyx base this Art Nouveau figure by Fugere of bronze and carved ivory is 16 1/2 inches high. It has a $30,000-$40,000 estimate. Image courtesy Antique Place.

Atop a white onyx base this Art Nouveau figure by Fugere of bronze and carved ivory is 16 1/2 inches high. It has a $30,000-$40,000 estimate. Image courtesy Antique Place.

HALLANDALE, Fla. – Great estates have provided fine antiques from around the world for Antique Place’s online auction July 5. Bronze and ivory figures, KPM painted plaques, art glass and sterling silver make up many of the 234 lots to be sold beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Among the the top items is a bronze and carved ivory Art Nouveau figure of a woman by French artist Henry Fugere (1872-1944). The 12 1/2-inch beauty is signed “FUGERE” and numbered “1540” in the bronze. On a white onyx base the figure stands 16 1/2 inches tall. It carries a $30,000-$40,000 estimate.

Also from France, a signed “G. Argy Rousseau” vase, 9 3/4 inches high and made circa 1920, is a scarce and desirable work of art glass. It has a $12,000-$18,000 estimate.

The prolific Demetre Chiparus (Russian, 1886-1947) is represented by a metal figure of a seminude woman reclining with a champagne glass. Covered in a greenish patina, the 28-inch-long figure is displayed on a marble base. It too has a $12,000-$18,000 estimate.

Sonny Boy is a cold painted bronze and ivory carved figure that is a mate to Hoop Girl. The pair was created by Fritz Ferdinand Preiss (German, 1882-1943). The boy measures 8 3/8 inches tall with its black marble vase. The girl is also 8 3/8 inches overall. Each is signed “F. Preiss” on their bases. The pair is expected to sell for $10,000-15,000.

A 9 1/2-inch Rene Lalique Ronces vase in cased yellow glass is expected to bring, $6,000-$8,000.

Previews will be held through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Antique Place, 201 Ansin Blvd., in Hallandale.

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet during the sale at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


‘F. Preiss' is signed on the base of this cold painted bronze and ivory figure. It is paired with a girl figure of the same size by the same artist. It has a $10,000-$15,000 estimate. Image courtesy Antique Place.

‘F. Preiss’ is signed on the base of this cold painted bronze and ivory figure. It is paired with a girl figure of the same size by the same artist. It has a $10,000-$15,000 estimate. Image courtesy Antique Place.

This signed Lalique Ronces vase in cased yellow glass was made circa 1920. It has a $6,000-$8,000 estimate. Image courtesy Antique Place.

This signed Lalique Ronces vase in cased yellow glass was made circa 1920. It has a $6,000-$8,000 estimate. Image courtesy Antique Place.

An impressed 'G. Argy Rousseau' signature is on this French art glass vase of the 1920s. It has a $12,000-$18,000 estimate. Image courtesy Antique Place.

An impressed ‘G. Argy Rousseau’ signature is on this French art glass vase of the 1920s. It has a $12,000-$18,000 estimate. Image courtesy Antique Place.

Ivory and bronze entitled "Memphiso" by Roland Paris. Circa 1920. Signature in bronze. It has a $3,500-$5,500 estimate.  Image courtesy of Antique Place.

Ivory and Bronze entitled "Memphiso" by Roland Paris. Circa 1920. Signature in bronze. It has a $3,500-$5,500 estimate. Image courtesy of Antique Place.

Twelve bottles of 1989 Petrus topped prices realized in Bloomsbury's New York Fine Wine debut, selling to a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $26,290. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Bloomsbury Auctions.

Bloomsbury Auctions’ NYC Fine Wine debut totals $1.365 million

Twelve bottles of 1989 Petrus topped prices realized in Bloomsbury's New York Fine Wine debut, selling to a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $26,290. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Bloomsbury Auctions.

Twelve bottles of 1989 Petrus topped prices realized in Bloomsbury’s New York Fine Wine debut, selling to a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $26,290. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Bloomsbury Auctions.

NEW YORK – Bloomsbury Auctions successfully entered the fast-growing wine auction market on June 19 with a competitive 17 percent buyer’s premium and a set of guarantees unmatched by any other wine auction house. The sale concluded with a solid 67 percent sell-through rate overall, with 100 percent of the champagne lots sold. Additionally, the sell-through rate for Bordeaux was 83 percent. The top lot, and 124 others, sold through LiveAuctioneers.com.

In keeping with Bloomsbury Auctions’ company mission to sell at every level of the market, auction buyers were attracted by an incredible selection of prized Bordeaux and Burgundy along with an eclectic mix of wines from single bottles to regions not typically found at auction.

LiveAuctioneers helped pop the virtual cork to initiate Bloomsbury’s exciting new department, with 125 lots selling online during the high-profile event. To no one’s surprise, the lot comprised of 12 bottles of 1989 Petrus, the Bordeaux blend described by wine connoisseur Robert Parker as “stunningly opulent, rich, full-bodied…exotic…remarkably youthful,” was in strong demand. A LiveAuctioneers bidder ultimately prevailed with a $28,680 bid.

Six 1.5-liter bottles of 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild – regarded as the modern-day equivalent of the vintner’s immortal 1959 vintage – were headed to another LiveAuctioneers bidder’s wine cellar, after a successful bid of $26,290 was lodged against the presale estimate of $15,000-$19,200.

Other top selling lots included:

• 12 bottles of 1995 Petrus which sold for $13,145 (Estimate: $10,800-$12,900)
• 12 bottles of 2003 Ausone which sold for $12,870 (Estimate: $10,800-$14,400)

“We are delighted with the results of our inaugural wine auction and believe we have made significant headway in changing the game in this market,” said Bernard Frelat, CEO Bloomsbury Auctions, New York. “With our attractive buyer’s premium, unique money-back guarantees and a broad choice of wines, auction buyers can truly build their cellars with confidence.”

“Only through Bloomsbury Auctions, do buyers have a full-cellar solution for both investment and consumption along with an unprecedented level of protection on their purchases,” added Dave Sokolin, president of Sokolin LLC, who handled the wine expertise and logistics for Bloomsbury Auctions.

Bloomsbury Auctions plans on holding several wine auctions per year, with its next specialty wine event scheduled for October 2009. Consignments will be accepted until July 31, 2009.

Click here to visit the online catalog, with prices realized, for Bloomsbury’s June 19 sale.

“Napoléon at Fontainebleau” Paul Hippolyte Delaroche c.1848. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

National Constitution Center mounts Napoleon exhibition

“Napoléon at Fontainebleau” Paul Hippolyte Delaroche c.1848.  All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

“Napoléon at Fontainebleau” Paul Hippolyte Delaroche c.1848. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

PHILADELPHIA – The seller behind the greatest real estate deal in American history – the Louisiana Purchase – which doubled the size of the country at a cost of $15 million, or approximately four cents per acre – was Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821). The French leader remains an undeniably powerful and enigmatic figure in world history. Through Sept. 7, 2009, the National Constitution Center will host NAPOLÉON, an exhibition offering visitors a rare opportunity to explore the private life of the Emperor of France and to see beyond the legend to gain an understanding of this complex political leader whose actions reshaped the landscape of Europe and America.

Created from the extraordinary collection of First Empire authority and author Pierre-Jean Chalençon, NAPOLÉON showcases rare, personal belongings of Napoléon I, as well as some of the most famous depictions of him by important artists of the time. NAPOLÉON is a 6,000 square foot international traveling exhibition distributed by Exhibits Development Group in cooperation with Cultural Arts Entertainment Group. The Constitution Center is the sixth stop on the NAPOLÉON exhibition’s first North American Tour. The exhibition marks the first time a number of items from the Chalençon Collection have ever been on display to the general public.

“Napoléon is one of history’s most iconic political figures; this exhibition sheds light on his fascinating life,” said National Constitution Center President and Chief Executive Officer, Linda E. Johnson. “It also conveys how the destinies of France and America intersected from the time of the American Revolution to Napoléon’s reign.”

NAPOLÉON features more than 300 objects from the First Empire of Napoléon Bonaparte, including original framed paintings, sculptures, personal effects, prints, and documents, as well as furniture from the Imperial palaces. The exhibition is organized into 12 sections that trace Napoléon’s life: The Rise to Power, The Egyptian Campaign, First Consul, The Coronation, The Emperor’s Family, The Imperial Court, Art and the Emperor, Napoléon at War, The Road to Defeat, The Final Exile, Death of the Emperor, and Legend.

Highlights include:

* The earliest known letter in Napoléon’s hand, written at age 14

* A lock of hair from Napoléon’s wife, Empress Josephine Bonaparte

* The sword that proclaimed Napoléon Emperor in the Coronation Ceremony at Notre Dame

* One of Napoléon’s signature hats worn during the battle at Essling in 1809

* Napoléon’s camp bed from the Battle of Wagram

* Napoléon’s personal map of the French Empire at its zenith in 1812

* In his own hand, the first will Napoléon wrote during his final exile on the island of St. Helena

* Napoléon’s monogrammed shirt and long johns worn shortly before his death

The exhibition also showcases connections between Napoléon and the United States. The correlations are highlighted in artifact displays, such as the valise that contained the signed Louisiana Purchase documents from America and a book on the American Revolution from Napoléon’s exile on the island of St. Helena. Additionally, text panels chronicle the influence of the American Revolution on the French Revolution, Napoléon’s admiration for George Washington, the impact of the Louisiana Purchase on America, how President James Monroe used First Empire style to redecorate the White House, and the time Napoléon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte, spent living in Philadelphia and Bordentown, N.J., among other connections.

To further augment the exhibition, the Center’s public programming staff in the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach is developing a variety of special programs and family activities. Also in keeping with the Center’s mission to foster discussion and citizen engagement, evening programs about current and historical topics related to the exhibition are planned.

In addition, the Center is offering a special iPod audio tour in conjunction with the NAPOLÉON exhibition. Guests can learn more about the man behind the legend during this extensive tour, which is offered in English, French, and Spanish.

Visitors to the exhibition will receive exclusive offers and discounts from French restaurants, boutiques, and galleries throughout the Greater Philadelphia area when they present their NAPOLÉON ticket stub at participating businesses.

The Center has also partnered with the Alliance Française de Philadelphie and the French-American Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia to promote the exhibition throughout the region.

Admission to NAPOLÉON is $17.50 for adults, $16.50 for seniors ages 65 and up, and $13.50 for children ages 4-12. Active military personnel and children ages 3 and under are free. Group rates are also available. Admission to the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People, including the award-winning theater production “Freedom Rising,” is included. iPod audio tours cost an additional $4. For ticket information, call 215.409.6700 or visit www.constitutioncenter.org.


ADDITIONAL NAPOLÉON IMAGES OF NOTE


Portrait bust of Napoléon I Bisque with gilded bronze After Antoine-Denis Chaudet c. 1810. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

Portrait bust of Napoléon I Bisque with gilded bronze After Antoine-Denis Chaudet c. 1810. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

“Bonaparte Crossing the Alps by the Great Saint Bernard Pass” Jean-Baptiste Mauzaisse after Jacques-Louis David c. 1807. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

“Bonaparte Crossing the Alps by the Great Saint Bernard Pass” Jean-Baptiste Mauzaisse after Jacques-Louis David c. 1807. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

The Emperor’s Hat, summer model seen with Napoléon’s Legion of Honour Sash Poupard Chapelier c. 1805. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

The Emperor’s Hat, summer model seen with Napoléon’s Legion of Honour Sash Poupard Chapelier c. 1805. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

Napoléon’s signet ring Etienne Nitot (today: Chaumet) c. 1809. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

Napoléon’s signet ring Etienne Nitot (today: Chaumet) c. 1809. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

Sword of the Chief of Heralds, used to proclaim Napoléon emperor Designed by Jacques-Louis David and Jean Baptist Isabey. Manufactured by Nicolas Noel Boutet at the Versailles imperial armory. c. 1804. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.

Sword of the Chief of Heralds, used to proclaim Napoléon emperor Designed by Jacques-Louis David and Jean Baptist Isabey. Manufactured by Nicolas Noel Boutet at the Versailles imperial armory. c. 1804. All photos © Photo12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon. All rights reserved.