Circa-1912 Marklin steam fire truck, German, 18 inches long, sold for $149,500, top lot at Bertoia's Sept. 25-26 sale of the Donald Kaufman collection, part II. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Bertoia Auctions.

$149,500 fire truck is no. 1 at Bertoia’s sale of Kaufman toys, part II

Circa-1912 Marklin steam fire truck, German, 18 inches long, sold for $149,500, top lot at Bertoia's Sept. 25-26 sale of the Donald Kaufman collection, part II. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Bertoia Auctions.

Circa-1912 Marklin steam fire truck, German, 18 inches long, sold for $149,500, top lot at Bertoia’s Sept. 25-26 sale of the Donald Kaufman collection, part II. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Bertoia Auctions.

VINELAND, N.J. – Exhibiting all the “bells and whistles” collectors yearn for, a circa-1912 Marklin live-steam fire pumper blazed to the top of prices realized in Bertoia Auctions’ Sept. 25-26 sale of the Donald Kaufman antique toy collection, part II, achieving $149,500 (inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $40,000-$50,000. An exciting event that drew scores of overseas buyers, the 1,129-lot auction concluded with a gross that brushed the $3 million mark.

The top lot, considered by many German toy experts to be the ultimate in Marklin craftsmanship, was a masterpiece in detail, from its bright, hand-painted open frame with exposed boiler to its intricate gear work. Fewer than five examples of the 18-inch-long prize are known to exist. The one offered at Bertoia’s will now reside in Europe.

Online bidding through LiveAuctioneers was busy throughout the two days of the sale, with 155 lots selling online. Among them was a circa-1930s cast-iron Hubley Flower Shoppe Indian motorcycle delivery van. Attributed as a private-commission example, it retained its custom “Flower Shoppe Inc.” paper label, seated driver in brown uniform, rubber tires and nickel spoke wheels. Formerly in the L.C. Hegarty collection, the 10½-inch-long rarity cruised to an online price of $38,560.

Estimated at $4,000-$6,000, a futuristic 1950s Yonezawa (Japan) Atom Jet Racer, 26½ inches long, with colorful original box, was claimed by a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $22,895.

Bertoia Auctions’ owner, Jeanne Bertoia, commented on the outstanding result: “Bridging the $3 million mark and topping the high catalog estimate, the Sept. 25-26 sale proved that great collections and great presentations trump any economic forecasting,” she said.

Part III of the ongoing series of auctions exclusively featuring the Donald Kaufman collection will take place on April 9-10, 2010. The series of semiannual sales is expected to span two years or more.

View the fully illustrated catalog for the Sept. 25-26 auction, with prices realized, online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

# # #


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Circa-1930s Hubley Indian cast-iron motorcycle delivery van, 10 1/2 inches long, sold through LiveAuctioneers for $38,560. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Bertoia Auctions.

Circa-1930s Hubley Indian cast-iron motorcycle delivery van, 10 1/2 inches long, sold through LiveAuctioneers for $38,560. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Bertoia Auctions.


Boxed futuristic Atom Jet tin racer by Yonezawa, 1950s, 26 1/2 inches long, sold through LiveAuctioneers.com for $22,895 against an estimate of $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Bertoia Auctions.

Boxed futuristic Atom Jet tin racer by Yonezawa, 1950s, 26 1/2 inches long, sold through LiveAuctioneers.com for $22,895 against an estimate of $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Bertoia Auctions.

Bidding is anticipated to range from $3,000 to $5,000 for this fine George II carved mahogany armchair. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.

Woodbury Auction to sell longtime California cache on Oct. 3

Bidding is anticipated to range from $3,000 to $5,000 for this fine George II carved mahogany armchair. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.

Bidding is anticipated to range from $3,000 to $5,000 for this fine George II carved mahogany armchair. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.

WOODBURY, Conn. – A large collection of period furniture, porcelain and Asian textiles consigned by a West Coast collector make up the bulk of a major auction that Woodbury Auction will sell Oct 3. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding. The 498-lot auction will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern

“It’s a very nice sale, broadly based and highlighted by English, Irish and American Classical furniture,” said Thomas G. Schwenke, director of operations at Woodbury Auction. “The seller is an astute collector, someone I’ve known for some time. He has selectively bought all over California for 35 years.”

Schwenke traveled to Los Angeles to view the collection this past summer and arranged to have it shipped to Connecticut, he said.

Supplementing the sale will be small collections of folk art and Asian art.

Topping the list of furniture is a fine George II carved mahogany armchair made in Ireland during the 18th century. It features a serpentine carved crest above a ribbon and tassel carved pierced splat, shaped arms and acanthus carved cabriole front legs ending in scrolled French feet. The stately chair has a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.

Another Irish or English piece is a George III carved mahogany fold-over game table with a shaped top and crotch veneer top surface and four arched cabriole legs. The front legs have acanthus carved knees and claw-and-ball feet. It also features a figured mahogany veneer apron with a drawer in the front. The estimate is $5,000-$7,000.

A Classical figured mahogany swivel-top card table attributed to Duncan Phyfe, circa 1820, stands to make $4,000-$6,000.

Two Civil War-era drums will be available. One made of maple and labeled “George Kilbourne Bass and Snare Drums … Albany, NY” has a $1,000-$1,500 estimate. It is 17 1/2 inches in diameter by 14 1/2 inches high.

Asian textiles will include an imperial dragon robe embroidered with silk and gold metallic thread. With some embroidery loss noted, the estimate is $2,000-$4,000.

A folk art carved Indian bust, 16 inches high by 27 inches wide, was used on the counter of a cigar store in the early 1900s. It has a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.

For details on these and other lots phone 203-266-0323.

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

Click here to view Woodbury Auction LLC’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Embroidered with silk and gold metallic thread, this imperial dragon robe has a $3,000-$4,000 estimate. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.

Embroidered with silk and gold metallic thread, this imperial dragon robe has a $3,000-$4,000 estimate. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.


Four arched cabriole legs enhance this fine George III carved mahogany game table, which carries a $5,000-$7,000 estimate. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.

Four arched cabriole legs enhance this fine George III carved mahogany game table, which carries a $5,000-$7,000 estimate. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.


‘George Kilbourne Base and Snare Drums, 119 Orange St., Albany N.Y.' is printed on a label of this Civil War-era drum. It could approach $1,000-$1,500 on Saturday at Woodbury Auction. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.

‘George Kilbourne Base and Snare Drums, 119 Orange St., Albany N.Y.’ is printed on a label of this Civil War-era drum. It could approach $1,000-$1,500 on Saturday at Woodbury Auction. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.


Attributed to Duncan Phyfe, New York, circa 1820, this classical figured mahogany card table features carved and inlaid sabre legs ending in foliate brass casters. It has a $4,000-$6,000 estimate. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.

Attributed to Duncan Phyfe, New York, circa 1820, this classical figured mahogany card table features carved and inlaid sabre legs ending in foliate brass casters. It has a $4,000-$6,000 estimate. Image courtesy Woodbury Auction LLC.

The RMS Titanic, photographed before departing on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England on April 5, 1912.

Titanic exhibit being prepared in Louisville

The RMS Titanic, photographed before departing on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England on April 5, 1912.

The RMS Titanic, photographed before departing on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England on April 5, 1912.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The Titanic exhibit being set up at the Louisville Science Center may be the most significant attraction ever to be displayed at the West Main Street museum, said Joanna Haas, the center’s executive director.
Haas declined to say how much the center had to pay to get “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” scheduled to run Oct. 3 to Feb. 15. But, she said “it was a negotiation that required a lot of work” and took almost a year to wrap up. She wouldn’t speculate on whether the center would make a profit, but she predicted about 50,000 people will see it during its local run.

Every deal, Haas said, poses “risks and opportunities, and we’re hoping the exhibit elevates the prominence” of the Louisville center and “puts us on the radar screen of more folks. It is a big deal for us, and a great thing for the region. I can’t underscore that enough.”

Haas said Louisville is one of the first cities to land a scaled-down version of the Titanic exhibit that has been specifically developed for midsize markets.

Seven touring versions of the Titanic exhibit have been developed by Premier Exhibitions Inc. of Atlanta. They have been viewed by more than 22 million people worldwide since 1994. Besides the one being set up in Louisville, Titanic exhibits are currently being shown in Rochester, N.Y.; New York City; St. Paul, Minn.; Las Vegas; Montreal; and Lisbon, Portugal.

Becky Parker, a curator for the Titanic exhibit at the science center, said the 150 artifacts to go on display in Louisville were trucked in from Atlanta. Most of the items had been recently exhibited at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

A Premier subsidiary, RMS Titanic Inc., is the only entity permitted under a federal court ruling to recover objects from the wreck of the ill-fated ocean liner.

Parker said the company’s representatives have made seven expeditions to the wreck and recovered more than 5,500 artifacts. She said her company is the caretaker of the items, not the owner. The ownership of the wreck is uncertain and has never been settled by a court ruling.

The Titanic sank in April 1912 about 250 miles northeast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic. It broke in half when it sank after striking an iceberg and the two halves lie about a mile apart about 21/2 miles down on the ocean floor. Parker said the vessel will never be raised.

The last survivor of the sinking, Millvina Dean, died this year. She was nine months old when the ship sank.

The exhibit will be divided into seven galleries. The first shows how the ship was designed, including early photographs. Subsequent galleries focus on the launch, the passengers, the third-class accommodations and the iceberg. A sixth gallery explores how the wreckage was discovered in 1985 and the last is a memorial gallery that lists each passenger.

When they enter the exhibit, visitors will be given a boarding pass with the name of one of the 2,228 passengers on the maiden voyage of the ship that many considered to be unsinkable. In the last gallery visitors can check the passenger list to see if the passenger named on the boarding pass survived the sinking.

The exhibit features a large replica of an iceberg, developed with the help of refrigeration equipment that allows layers of ice to build up on metal sheets.

Among the 150 items on display will be a wrench, a porthole, British and American coins, floor tiles, furniture, china, fuses, a toothpaste container, a sauce pan, bathtub fixtures, perfume vials, cooking pots, dishes and personal items.
Six items in the exhibit were recently conserved and have never been on display before, Parker said. They are a gold braided chain, two postcards, a marriage certificate, a metal hairpin and a small gold-plated cosmetic canister.

Throughout its run at the science center, the basic adult admission, usually $12, will be $18. Tours of the exhibit will be self-guided, but audio tours are available for an additional $5.
___

Information from: The Courier-Journal,
http://www.courier-journal.com

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

AP-CS-09-25-09 1411EDT

This huge example of recycling, a chair made with old, used wooden thread spools, sold for $490 at Thomaston Auction in Thomaston, Me. It is 53 1/2 inches high by 23 inches wide.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of Sept. 28, 2009

 This huge example of recycling, a chair made with old, used wooden thread spools, sold for $490 at Thomaston Auction in Thomaston, Me. It is 53 1/2 inches high by 23 inches wide.

This huge example of recycling, a chair made with old, used wooden thread spools, sold for $490 at Thomaston Auction in Thomaston, Me. It is 53 1/2 inches high by 23 inches wide.

Recycling isn’t a new idea. Our ancestors reused bits of cloth for quilts, made clothing out of flour bags, and used old cigar boxes to make chip-carved picture frames and boxes. Their rule was “waste not, want not,” so it’s not surprising that the bare wooden spools left after thread was used seemed too practical to ignore. Sewing machines were introduced to the general public in the 1840s, and a machine needed commercial thread on a spool. A lathe developed about 1815 made turnings that were probably cut apart to use as wooden spools for thread. Until about 1900, uncut turnings were used to make spool furniture. But another type of spool furniture was made from the empty thread spools that were saved by sewers. A chair or table was constructed of straight pieces of wood, then decorated with dozens of applied spools either left round or cut in half lengthwise. The finished furniture looked like traditional Victorian pieces with elaborate jigsaw decoration. Today “sewing spool” furniture is considered folk art. A very large high-back spool chair made about 1900-10 recently sold for $490.

Q: I hope you can settle an argument for us. Was Coors pottery made by the same company that makes Coors beer?

A: Coors pottery was made by Coors Porcelain Co., not the brewery, but there is a connection between the two companies. John Herold, a German immigrant, founded the Herold China and Pottery Co. in Golden, Colo., in 1910. Herold made oven-safe porcelain dishes at his factory, which was leased from Adolph Coors, founder of the brewery. Coors was a Herold China and Pottery Co. stockholder and board member. John Herold left the company in 1914. In 1920 the name of the pottery was changed to Coors Porcelain Co. Ovenware and tableware was made until 1980, and custom orders were made after that. The company now makes industrial porcelain under the name CoorsTek.

Q: I have had a 16-inch Morton Salt advertising thermometer for a long time and would like to know what it’s worth. It’s blue and yellow with a white image of the Morton “Umbrella Girl” and the words “Morton Free Running Salt, When It Rains It Pours.” It also says “Never Cakes or Hardens” at the top and “Morton Salt Co., Chicago” at the bottom. The thermometer measures degrees from 40 below 0 to 120 degrees above.

A: Advertising thermometers were popular from the 1920s until the 1970s. They were given to stores that sold the product being advertised. Morton Salt Co. dates back to 1848, but was incorporated with that name in 1910. The Umbrella Girl was introduced in Morton ads the following year and was first used on boxes of salt in 1914. The girl’s image has been updated over the years. You can buy a new Morton advertising thermometer for $18 on the company’s Web site. Old ones sell for more or even less, depending on condition.

Q: I would like to know the difference between hatpins, stickpins and lapel pins.

A: A hatpin is practical as well as decorative, and is used to hold a woman’s hat on her head. Hatpins were especially popular during the Victorian era. A stickpin is a long, straight pin with a decorative head that’s worn to hold a necktie or scarf in place. Stickpins became fashionable when men started wearing cravats in the late 18th century. Today, women sometimes wear a stickpin on a collar or lapel as a piece of jewelry. A lapel pin is usually small and has a short pin on the back. It’s meant to be worn on the lapel of a jacket or coat, but may also be pinned onto a hat, dress or collar. A lapel pin may be a badge or company insignia, or it may be just a piece of jewelry. A small American flag is a popular lapel pin today.

Q: I have a vintage Girl Scout mess kit and canteen. They’re in mint condition. Would they be of interest to a collector? How much are they worth?

A: Girl Scout collectors search for anything pertaining to the Girl Scouts. The Girl Scout movement started in 1912 under the leadership of Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Ga. Many Girl Scout mess kits were made in the 1950s and ’60s. Your kit should have an aluminum fry pan with a swing handle, a cooking pot with a cover, a plate, a plastic cup and stainless-steel utensils. All of the pieces fit inside the cooking pot and cover and are held together with a screw handle. The kit originally came in a green plaid carrying case labeled with the Girl Scout insignia. The canteen, with its carrying case, was sold separately. Vintage Girl Scout mess kits sell for $5 to $10. A mint canteen with its original box can sell for up to $35.

Tip: A miniature painting should not be washed. Most miniatures are painted on ivory, and the paint will wash off.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

Need more information about collectibles? Find it at Kovels.com, our Web site for collectors. Check prices there, too. More than 700,000 are listed and viewing them is free. You can also sign up to read our weekly “Kovels Komments.” It includes the latest news, tips and questions, and is delivered by e-mail, free, if you register. Kovels.com offers lots of collecting information and lists of publications, clubs, appraisers, auction houses, people who sell parts or repair antiques and much more. You can also subscribe to Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles, our monthly newsletter filled with prices, facts and color photos. Kovels.com adds to the information in our newspaper column and helps you find useful sources needed by collectors.

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

  • Hawaiian-themed restaurant menu, 1950s, Sunshine Room, St. Petersburg, Fla., cardboard, Hawaiian flowers and palm trees, gold braided cord, 12 x 9 inches, $25.
  • Golden Gate International Exposition belt buckle, brass, “1939 San Francisco Bay,” blue enamel paint, $50.
  • McCoy Locomotive cookie jar, yellow and pumpkin, black wheels, red smokestack, 1960s, 11 x 6 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, $95.
  • Black evening bag, rhinestone clasp, black satin lining with two slit pockets, beaded strap, marked “Handbags by Josef,” 10 x 6 inches, $175.
  • Webb glass vase, bulbous, long neck, blue and white, enameled pink apple blossoms, 15 3/4 inches, $230.
  • Uneeda Biscuit boy doll, by Ideal, composition flange head, painted eyes, closed mouth, molded blond hair, stuffed body, yellow sateen raincoat and hat, 1914, 15 inches, $325.
  • Rookwood tray, rook perched on oak leaves and acorns, brown and red matte glaze, circa 1912, 11 x 2 1/2 inches, $645.
  • Stickley Brothers plant stand, square top, peg construction, old refinish, metal Quaint Furniture tag, 12 1/2 x 32 inches, $780.
  • Kendall’s Spavin Cure poster, “Cures for Horses & Humans,” hunting dogs, horse, woman in riding dress, circa 1900, 22 x 28 inches, $1,175.
  • Navajo rug, Storm pattern, gray, white & black wool, 1930s, 32 x 52 inches, $1,300.

Be a smarter, more successful collector. Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles, our monthly newsletter, and archives of its back issues are now available on our Web site, Kovels.com. The searchable archives include hundreds of helpful “Kovels” articles, plus hard-to-find information about trends, prices, caring for collectibles and how to buy and sell. Every issue of our concise, fact-filled newsletter is chockfull of news, sale reports, prices, moneymaking tips, questions from collectors and dozens of color photos. The 12-page completely searchable newsletter is available 24/7 at Kovels.com. Subscribers are sent a courtesy e-mail every month when the latest issue is posted. Subscribers, like all Kovels.com registered users, also receive a free weekly e-mail update with the latest news from the collecting world, access to 700,000 prices, a directory of companies that help collectors and more. Visit Kovels.com for all the details.
© 2009 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

Caption:

This huge example of recycling, a chair made with old wooden thread spools, sold for $490 at Thomaston Auction in Thomaston, Maine. It is 53 1/2 inches high by 23 inches wide.

Armed robbers steal Magritte painting worth $1.1 million

BRUSSELS (AP) – Two armed robbers made off with a $1.1 million painting by Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte in a morning heist at a small museum in the Belgian capital on Thursday.

Brussels city police spokesman Johan Berckmans said the two men escaped with the 1948 Olympia oil painting by car on Thursday after holding museum staff and tourists at gunpoint.

He said the thieves had planned their heist at the appointment-only exhibit well.

“It is likely an ordered job,” Berckmans said. “It (the painting) has a street value of 750,000 euros ($1.1 million).”

One thief had entered the building first “and as soon as he came in he threatened personnel with a weapon,” Berckmans said. The first thief then let in his accomplice who moved the people in the museum, which included several tourists, to another room, while the other removed the painting.

The canvas portrays a woman with a shell at the seaside, and is believed to be a portrait of Magritte’s wife, Georgette, Berckmans said.

The painting hung at Magritte’s former house, which has been turned into a small museum, which includes various keepsakes, furniture and a small collection of works by the famous artist who died in 1967.

It is separate from a larger Magritte museum, home to 200 of his works, that opened in June.

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

AP-ES-09-24-09 0953EDT

These antique enameled buttons are pierced and embellished with cut steel. The lot of four sold for $40 at a button auction in March. Photo courtesy Bella Button Auctions and LiveAuctioneers archive.

Vintage buttons add special touch to new threads

These antique enameled buttons are pierced and embellished with cut steel. The lot of four sold for $40 at a button auction in March. Photo courtesy Bella Button Auctions and LiveAuctioneers archive.

These antique enameled buttons are pierced and embellished with cut steel. The lot of four sold for $40 at a button auction in March. Photo courtesy Bella Button Auctions and LiveAuctioneers archive.

For a certain kind of crafter, nothing pushes their buttons like, well, buttons.

And among button collectors, vintage buttons appear to be a favorite find. While a few button stores still exist – Tender Buttons in New York City is notable – the Internet now provides a plethora of online stores for button shopping.

Still, many button aficionados prefer the hunt: chasing down buttons the old-fashioned way – at flea markets and garage sales.

“Most of the people who know me know that if there’s a scent of buttons in the air, I will follow it,” said Carol Schneider, a publishing executive in New York City.

In her spare time, Schneider crafts scarves, children’s wear, and purses from old kimonos and vintage fabric. Her handmade goods often require accenting, which is where the perfect button comes in.

“That’s one of the most pleasurable parts of (my designs). It’s the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae,” said Schneider. “It’s the last part of the project.”

Schneider keeps to the lower-cost vintage buttons, scouring East Coast flea markets and visiting shops like Tender Buttons. “The fun of it for me is going somewhere and not caring if it’s a valuable, old button or if I just love it,” she said.

On the other coast, Carol Cienna sells buttons online when she’s not working the parking entrance at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home baseball games. She’s been at it about a dozen years, and she knows buttons: antique, vintage and new.

Dealers generally agree that antique buttons are those made before 1917, when more buttons began to be mass-produced, Cienna says. Those that date after 1917 are considered vintage up to about 20 years ago – but this is hotly debated. Some dealers think vintage needs to be older than 20 years, while others maintain that construction and quality decide the classification, Cienna said.

Most new buttons are of an entirely different quality, and nearly all are plastic or glass.

“If you sit them side by side you’ll see the difference,” she said.

Vintage buttons can be difficult to date, she said.

A good one can cost as little as $4.

Cathie Filian uses a lot of buttons in the crafts she shares on her DIY Network show, Creative Juice. Her fondness for buttons began as a child when older relatives would give them to her by the handful. Women such as Filian’s grandmother would clip beautiful buttons from worn-out garments and store them in metal tins or glass jars, much to the elation of crafters and collectors who find them at garage sales today.

“That preservation nature … we have so many fabulous buttons with us today as a result,” Filian said.

Both Cienna and Filian caution against using a vintage button in a way that would destroy its integrity.

“Think about crafts that don’t have to be glued, so they can be reused,” said Filian.

Some suggestions: in a bridal bouquet, mixed with new buttons, as the toggle on a purse, added to dishtowels or quilts, or sewn into a shadow box for displaying. Filian also suggests clipping boring buttons off a new sweater and sewing on vintage ones.

“They just don’t make the buttons the way they used to,” she said. “Vintage buttons have such grace and elegance and spunky humor … they were shaped like tools, or animals. They were button mad.”

Cienna thinks vintage buttons are cheaper than the newer imitations sold in fabric stores. She recommends snooping among the dealers’ “poke boxes” at button shows; these jumbles of buttons usually sell for $1 apiece.

“You graduate very quickly in button collecting,” Cienna said. “At first you’re happy with bags of cheap buttons, but pretty soon the rare ones catch your eye … before you know it, a collector is specializing.”

___

On the Web:

http://www.diynetwork.com

http://www.carolschneiderdesigns.com

http://www.vintagebuttons.net

http://www.bellabuttonauctions.com

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

AP-ES-09-23-09 1329EDT

 

Huge hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure uncovered in UK

LONDON – It’s an unprecedented find that could revolutionize ideas about medieval England’s Germanic rulers: An amateur treasure-hunter searching a farmer’s field with a metal detector unearthed a huge collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver artifacts.

The discovery sent a thrill through Britain’s archaeological community, which said Thursday that it offers new insight into the world of the Anglo-Saxons, who ruled England from the fifth century until the 1066 Norman invasion and whose cultural influence is still felt throughout the English-speaking world.

“This is just a fantastic find completely out of the blue,” Roger Bland, who managed the cache’s excavation, told The Associated Press. “It will make us rethink the Dark Ages.”

The treasure trove includes intricately designed helmet crests embossed with a frieze of running animals, enamel-studded sword fittings and a checkerboard piece inlaid with garnets and gold. One gold band bore a biblical inscription in Latin calling on God to drive away the bearer’s enemies.

The Anglo-Saxons were a group of Germanic tribes who invaded England starting in the wake of the collapse of the Roman Empire. Their artisans made striking objects out of gold and enamel, and their language, Old English, is a precursor of modern English.

The cache of gold and silver pieces was discovered in what was once Mercia, one of five main Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, and is thought to date to between 675 and 725.

For Terry Herbert, the unemployed metal-detecting enthusiast who made the discovery on July 5 while scouring a friend’s farm in the western region of Staffordshire, it was “more fun than winning the lottery.”

The 55-year-old spent five days searching the field alone before he realized he needed help and notified authorities. Professional archaeologists then took over the find.

“I was going to bed and in my sleep I was seeing gold items,” Herbert said of the experience.

The gold alone in the collection weighs 11 pounds and suggests that early medieval England was a far wealthier place than previously believed, according to Leslie Webster, the former curator of Anglo-Saxon archaeology at the British Museum.
She said the crosses and other religious artifacts mixed in with the military items might shed new light on the relationship between Christianity and warfare among the Anglo-Saxons – in particular a large cross she said may have been carried into battle.

The hoard was officially declared treasure by a coroner on Thursday, which means it will be valued by experts and offered up for sale to a museum in Britain. Proceeds will be split 50-50 between Herbert and his farmer friend, who has not been identified. The find’s exact location is being kept secret to deter looters.

Bland said he could not give a precise figure for the value of the collection, but said the two could each be in line for a “seven-figure sum.”

Kevin Leahy, the archaeologist who catalogued the find, said the stash includes dozens of pommel caps – decorative elements attached to the knobs of swords – and appeared to be war loot. He noted that “Beowulf,” the Anglo-Saxon epic poem, contains a reference to warriors stripping the pommels of their enemies’ weapons as mementoes.

“It looks like a collection of trophies, but it is impossible to say if the hoard was the spoils from a single battle or a long and highly successful military career,” he said.

“We also cannot say who the original, or the final, owners were, who took it from them, why they buried it or when? It will be debated for decades.”

Experts said they’ve so far examined a total of 1,345 items. But they’ve also recovered 56 pieces of earth that X-ray analysis suggests contain more artifacts – meaning the total could rise to about 1,500.

The craftsmanship was some of the highest-quality ever seen in finds of this kind, Leahy said, and many British archaeologists clearly shared his enthusiasm.

Bland, who has documented discoveries across Britain, called it “completely unique.” Martin Welch, a specialist in Anglo-Saxon archaeology at University College London, said no one had found “anything like this in this country before.”

Herbert said one expert likened his discovery to finding Egyptian Pharoah Tutankhamen’s tomb, adding: “I just flushed all over when he said that. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up.”

The collection is in storage at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, where some of the items are to go on display starting Friday.

It’s unclear how the gold ended up in the field, although archaeologists suggested it may have been buried to hide the loot from roving enemies, a common practice at the time. The site’s location is unusual as well – Anglo-Saxon remains have tended to cluster in the country’s south and east, while the so-called “Staffordshire hoard” was found in the west.

In the meantime, archaeologists say they’re likely to be busy for years puzzling out the meaning of some of the collection’s more unusual pieces – like five enigmatic gold snakes or a strip of gold bearing a crudely written and misspelled Biblical inscription in Latin.

“Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face,” reads the inscription, believed to be from the Book of Numbers.

Also of interest is the largest of the crosses, which experts say may have been an altar or processional piece. It had been folded, possibly to make it fit into a small space prior to burial, and the apparent lack of respect shown to such a Christian symbol may point to the hoard being buried by pagans.

“The things that we can’t identify are the ones that are going to teach us something new,” Leahy said.

For England, a country at the edge of Europe whose history owes an enormous debt to the Anglo-Saxons, the find has the potential to become one of its top national treasures, according to Webster.

Caroline Barton, assistant treasure registrar at the British Museum, said objects over 300 years old and made up of more that 10 percent precious metal are only offered for sale to accredited museums in Britain, so the collection will not be leaving the country.
___

Associated Press writer Karolina Tagaris in London contributed to this report.
___

On the Net:
http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/

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

Pablo Picasso titled this portrait of his young lover ‘Visage.' The image on the unframed lithograph is 8 by 5 1/2 inches. It has a $20,000-$30,000 estimate. Image courtesy Fuller's Fine Art Ltd.

Fuller’s Fine Art to sell estate collection Oct. 3

Pablo Picasso titled this portrait of his young lover ‘Visage.' The image on the unframed lithograph is 8 by 5 1/2 inches. It has a $20,000-$30,000 estimate. Image courtesy Fuller's Fine Art Ltd.

Pablo Picasso titled this portrait of his young lover ‘Visage.’ The image on the unframed lithograph is 8 by 5 1/2 inches. It has a $20,000-$30,000 estimate. Image courtesy Fuller’s Fine Art Ltd.

PHILADELPHIA – A 1928 Pablo Picasso lithograph will be among the important works when Fuller’s Fine Art Ltd. sells art from the estate of Betty Gordon of Chadds Ford, Pa., on Oct. 3. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Gordon’s eclectic collection reflects her passion for superior art, literature, travel and fine furnishings. “Betty’s commitment to the cause of helping persons with emotional, developmental and educational disabilities through her support of the Devereux Foundation was paramount,” noted Fuller’s publicist Marie E. Woodward. Proceeds from the sale of Gordon’s art will support Devereux Foundation’s mission to nurture human potential.

The Picasso lithograph titled Visage underscores the prints section of Fuller’s auction. This pencil-signed and numbered print depicts Picasso’s infamous young lover, Marie-Therese Walter, whom he met in 1927.

Important paintings include an oil on canvas by American Impressionist Theodore Earl Butler entitled Environs de Giverny from 1921. The signed and dated landscape measuring 23 1/4 by 28 3/4 inches has an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

Three spectacular landscapes in oil by Claude Monet’s protégée Blanche Hoschedé-Monet will be available. Hoschedé-Monet painted side by side with T.E. Butler and Claude Monet, whose style, palette and subject matter she emulated, as in Poplars au bord de l’Epte a Giverny.

Max Kuehne is represented by a seascape painting in his handmade frame as well as a magnificent incised and gilt corner cabinet.

Other outstanding art objects available are a Picasso glazed ceramic pitcher, a small Sound Sculpture by Harry Bertoia, and Puppy figure by Jeff Koons.

Drawings by André Derain and Walter Gay and photographs by Richard Misrach will also be offered.

Discerning folk art collectors will compete for a selection of carvings from legendary folk artists John Scholl, Edgar Tolson, Elijah Pierce and William Edmondson.

President and principal auctioneer Jeffrey P. Fuller invites the public to a preview reception Thursday, Oct. 1, 5-8 p.m., at Fuller’s, 730 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119. Previews will be Saturday, Sept. 26, noon-6 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 28 through Friday, Oct. 2, noon-6 p.m.

The auction will begin at noon Eastern, Oct. 3. For details phone 215-991-0100.

View the fully illustrated catalogs and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet during the sale at www.LiveAuctioneers.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 Fuller’s LLC’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Walter Launt Palmer (American, 1854-1932) is highly regarded for his snow-covered landscapes. This scene, watercolor and gouache on paper, measures 12 1/2 by 16 1/2 inches. It has a $4,000-$6,000 estimate. Image courtesy Fuller's Fine Art Ltd.

Walter Launt Palmer (American, 1854-1932) is highly regarded for his snow-covered landscapes. This scene, watercolor and gouache on paper, measures 12 1/2 by 16 1/2 inches. It has a $4,000-$6,000 estimate. Image courtesy Fuller’s Fine Art Ltd.

Blanche Hoschedé-Monet (French, 1865-1947) pointed ‘Poplars au bord de l'Epte a Giverny' circa 1900. The oil on canvas painting, 18 1/4 by 22 inches, is in a hand-carved frame by Frederick William Harer (American, 1879-1948). Image courtesy Fuller's Fine Art Ltd.

Blanche Hoschedé-Monet (French, 1865-1947) pointed ‘Poplars au bord de l’Epte a Giverny’ circa 1900. The oil on canvas painting, 18 1/4 by 22 inches, is in a hand-carved frame by Frederick William Harer (American, 1879-1948). Image courtesy Fuller’s Fine Art Ltd.

William Edmondson (American, 1874-1951) sculpted ‘Two Doves' out of limestone. The work measures 9 1/2 by 6 3/4 by 5 1/2 inches. It has a $15,000-$20,000 estimate. Image courtesy Fuller's Fine Art Ltd.

William Edmondson (American, 1874-1951) sculpted ‘Two Doves’ out of limestone. The work measures 9 1/2 by 6 3/4 by 5 1/2 inches. It has a $15,000-$20,000 estimate. Image courtesy Fuller’s Fine Art Ltd.

‘Sunflowers II' is signed ‘33/34 Joan Mitchell 1992' with a blind stamp. The lithograph is under Plexiglas in a wood frame, 62 by 88 by 3 inches. Its estimate is $6,000-$9,000. Image courtesy Fuller's Fine Art Ltd.

‘Sunflowers II’ is signed ‘33/34 Joan Mitchell 1992′ with a blind stamp. The lithograph is under Plexiglas in a wood frame, 62 by 88 by 3 inches. Its estimate is $6,000-$9,000. Image courtesy Fuller’s Fine Art Ltd.

Once partners, Russell Museum and Ad Federation plan separate auctions

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) – Western artists and supporters of the annual Russell Art Auction in Great Falls are torn over the C.M. Russell Museum’s plan to hold a separate auction the same weekend as the Great Falls Advertising Federation holds its auction.

“I’m sick about this,” said Ginger Renner of Paradise Valley, Ariz., an expert on artist Charlie Russell and a booster of the Russell Auction since its early days. “I just want to knock their heads together, to tell the truth. Without each other, neither will succeed.”

Darrell Beauchamp, the new director of the C.M. Russell Museum, announced in August that the museum wanted to directly manage its own fund-raising auction.

The Ad Club, which has donated about $5.7 million to the museum from proceeds of its Western art auctions over the past four decades, said it plans to continue holding its own auction.

Artist Tom Gilleon of Cascade said the split is like learning your parents are divorcing. “You hate to take sides and only wish you could make it better, but you can’t.”

Now the museum has provided details for its planned Western Art Week, including a Friday night “wall sale” that competes directly with the Ad Club’s Russell Art Auction.

“If we could bring in a couple hundred well-heeled buyers, everyone would gain,” said Wayne Thares, vice president of the museum board. “We see this as a win-win situation in which the whole community benefits.”

Ad Club Executive Director Sara Becker was disappointed the museum planned to conduct a sale Friday evening, the first night of the Ad Club auction, but said the museum’s plans for a high-end auction on Saturday afternoon could draw more buyers to the city.

At the museum’s Saturday auction, works will begin at about $10,000, with the emphasis on high-end pieces, Beauchamp said.

Museum spokeswoman Kate Swartz said the museum hopes to have its Saturday afternoon auction over before the Ad Club’s Quick Draw begins Saturday evening.

Artists are left in the middle.

“They’ve put a lot of artists between a rock and a hard place,” said artist Bob Morgan of Clancy. “I used to think the Ad Club was supporting the Russell Museum, but now they’re fighting each other and splitting the city right in half. As for me, I don’t know what to do.”

Artist Frank Hagel of Kalispell charged that the Ad Club auction had gone from being a fund-raiser for the museum to a fund-raiser for the Ad Club, with a smaller percentage going to the museum.

He also notes the Ad Club’s annual donation to the museum is misleading, because it includes revenue from the Quick Draw, in which the artists donate their work.

“The Quick Draw is a 100-percent artist contribution, and the Ad club shouldn’t be pretending its their contribution to the museum,” Hagel said.

Last year’s $120,000 donation included about $80,000 in Quick Draw proceeds.

Becker said the auction has always been an Ad Club fund-raiser and a community event with an ongoing tradition of donating money to the museum.

Gilleon is trying to stay above the fray.

“This is like dumping six new horses in the herd,” he said. “Now all the pecking order stuff is going on full bore. There’s kicking and ear biting and barbwire cuts everywhere. I’m just trying to stay out of the corral.”

The museum plans to call its weekend events The Russell: The Sale to Benefit the C.M. Russell Museum. Last year, the Ad Club called its auction the C.M. Russell Art Auction and Exhibitors Show.

___

Information from: Great Falls Tribune,
http://www.greatfallstribune.com

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

AP-WS-09-23-09 1438EDT

Fang Lijun's painting of an infant is a departure from the aggressive bald figures he often paints. The large acrylic on canvas painting has a $162,000-$243,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.

Phillips de Pury launches 21st Century art auctions Sept. 26

Fang Lijun's painting of an infant is a departure from the aggressive bald figures he often paints. The large acrylic on canvas painting has a $162,000-$243,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.

Fang Lijun’s painting of an infant is a departure from the aggressive bald figures he often paints. The large acrylic on canvas painting has a $162,000-$243,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.

LONDON – Phillips de Pury & Co. will launch a new series of themed auctions of contemporary art and culture Sept 26 with Now: Art of the 21st Century. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Each sale, alternating between London and New York, will be a considered selection of quality property in a range of values to reflect the chosen theme and will draw upon the expertise of the company’s Contemporary Art, Photographs, Design and Editions departments.

“Phillips de Pury & Co. has consistently been staging the most pioneering sales of contemporary art, design and photography and this new dynamic platform will enable each department to interpret a given theme and express their curatorial strengths. These sales will be ground-breaking and taste-making and be a great complement to our core auction program,” said Simon de Pury, chairman of Phillips de Pury & Co.

Paintings by two of China’s top young artists will be presented at the auction Saturday. One of Zeng Chuanxing’s Paper Bride series paintings, Blue Paper Bride – Dream, is oil on linen and measures 67 by 43 3/8 inches. The painting, which reflects the artist’s roots in classical realism, has a $65,000-$96,000 estimate.

Fang Lijun, founder of Cynical Realist style in China, is represented by an acrylic on canvas painting of an infant held in the palm of a giant hand. The 2002 painting measures 51 1/4 by 35 1/2 inches and carries a $162,000-$243,000 estimate.

Several works by British artist Damien Hirst will be presented. One from his Second Series Biopsy is a 2008 diptych done in UV inks and household gloss on canvas with glass. The work measures 23 3/4 by 64 inches overall and has a $97,000-$130,000 estimate.

Pakistani artist Rashid Rana’s Lambda print flush-mounted to aluminum is an imposing image at 46 3/4 by 110 inches. The print of twin commandos in action has a $65,000-$97,000 estimate. It is from an edition of five.

Even bigger is Napoleon’s Tierchen by German artist Jonathan Meese. He used oil, photo collage and a U.S. $20 bill on the three-part composition measuring 82 1/2 by 165 3/4 inches. The 2006 abstract work has a $97,000-$130,000 estimate.

Saturday’s lineup will start with photographs (lots 1-82) at 2 p.m. followed by design (lots 83-99) at 3:30 p.m. and finally contemporary art (lots 100-291) at 4 p.m.

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

Click here to view Phillips de Pury & Company’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Damien Hirst signed and titled this diptych ‘M865/303, M865/304' and dated it 2008. The painting measures 23 3/4 by 64 inches and carries a $97,000-$130,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.

Damien Hirst signed and titled this diptych ‘M865/303, M865/304′ and dated it 2008. The painting measures 23 3/4 by 64 inches and carries a $97,000-$130,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.


Zeng Chuanxing's ‘Blue Paper Bride - Dreams' is oil on linen. It has a $65,000-$96,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.

Zeng Chuanxing’s ‘Blue Paper Bride – Dreams’ is oil on linen. It has a $65,000-$96,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.


Rashid Rana titled this panoramic print ‘When He Said I Do, He Did Not Say What He Did.' It has a $65,000-$97,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.

Rashid Rana titled this panoramic print ‘When He Said I Do, He Did Not Say What He Did.’ It has a $65,000-$97,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.


German artist Jonathan Meese's ‘Napoleon's Tierchen' is painted on canvas in three parts. It has a $97,000-$130,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.

German artist Jonathan Meese’s ‘Napoleon’s Tierchen’ is painted on canvas in three parts. It has a $97,000-$130,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.