Original color lithograph by Marc Chagall (circa 1963), titled The Red Angel (13 in. by 9.5 in.).

Baterbys splits Feb. 20, Feb. 27 auctions between Delray Beach, Orlando

Original color lithograph by Marc Chagall (circa 1963), titled The Red Angel (13 in. by 9.5 in.).

Original color lithograph by Marc Chagall (circa 1963), titled The Red Angel (13 in. by 9.5 in.).

ORLANDO, Fla. – More than 300 original and reprographic works of art by some of the greatest and most recognizable names in 20th-century fine art and contemporary art will be sold at a live and Internet auction scheduled for Feb. 27 by Baterbys Art Auction Gallery, beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern.

The auction will be conducted live at Baterbys’ spacious Pointe Orlando gallery, located at 9101 International Drive, Unit 1008, in Orlando, and on Feb. 20 at the West Palm Gallery, located at 13900 S. Jog Road in Delray Beach.

The entire auctioneers’ premium will be donated to UCP of Central Fla., an organization serving children with disabilities and developmental delays in the Orlando area.

Online bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.

It is the first auction of the year for Baterbys, named Best Art Gallery in Orlando for 2009 by Orlando Style Magazine. Bidders will have the opportunity to win free works of art and other giveaways during spontaneous raffles throughout the auction. Everyone will receive a free print just for attending.

Between 1951 and 1960, Salvador Dali created 101 watercolor drawings to interpret The Divine Comedy, a poem by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Dali’s Divine Comedy series, circa 1960, will be sold Feb. 27 and comprises six signed, framed prints. All are in excellent condition. Each is an original wood engraving in color on Rives paper, about 10 inches by 7 inches, and signed in the block by Dali. Sold will be the Paternoster Suite (est. $700-$800 each) and the Aaliyah Suite (est. $3,000-$4,000 each).

Several pieces from various suites by Pablo Picasso (Spanish/French, 1881-1973) will also be sold. Picasso, probably best known for his Cubist paintings and printmaking, single-handedly revolutionized Western art. He was born in Spain and lived there until age 19, when he moved to Paris to study the Old Masters and Classical sculpture. Baterbys has featured his works in previous auctions.

Other names from 20th century fine art will include Joan Miro and Marc Chagall. Miro (Spanish, 1893-1893) was born in Barcelona and earned international acclaim for his abstract, curvilinear design paintings, collages and murals. Miro disdained conventional painting methods and once declared an “assassination of painting.” His work has been featured in past Baterbys sales, too.

Several pieces from suites by Chagall (Russian/French, 1887-1985) are sure to get paddles waving. The artist is best known for his village peasant theme paintings. Chagall was born Moishe Shagal and adopted the French spelling of his name when he became a member of the Ecole de Paris. He was a shrewd observer of the contemporary scene and had great sympathy for human suffering.

Original oil paintings and hand-embellished giclee prints by the supremely gifted artist Elena Bond will also be offered, as will works by Guillaume Azoulay (California, b. 1949) and Isaac Maimon (Israeli, b. 1951). Azoulay’s Le Lion, a 26- by 17-inch gicleee on canvas, 2009, no. 28 of 300, with the title and year in gold pen, lower left, is a wonderful display of cool colors, in excellent condition.

Isaac Maimon is renowned for his iconic paintings of Parisian café society. The work to be sold, La Vie Francais, is a surprising mix of colors, created with masterful lines and inspired strokes on a serigraph on paper, framed at 29 inches by 35 inches, and hand-signed in pencil, lower right, from an edition of just 125. The piece portrays the women of Paris as cultured, stylish, sensual and beautiful.

Peter Max’s work is a protean display of unabashed freedom. His paintings are visual time machines that transport viewers to the heydays of the Beatles, Woodstock and Jimi Hendrix. But some of his work resembles modern concepts, such as the mixed media on paper piece Liberty and Justice For All, which will be offered, along with six original mixed media interpretations of Lady Liberty.

Nicola Simbari (Italian, b. 1929) effortlessly launched his painting career while still in his 20s, with a one-man show in London. His brilliant, impressionistic style and vivid, dramatic interpretations of the Mediterranean have established Simbari as one of today’s most sought-after artists. Several of his works will be included in the Baterbys Feb. 27 sale. All will be serigraphs, executed around 1990.

Baterbys offers its clients something that is unique in the industry: a lifetime money-back guarantee of authenticity for each work of art it sells. This is important to buyers looking to build a collection of art, since provenance is everything.

Baterbys has over 25 years’ experience in the art world and auctioneering. The firm specializes in Internet and live auctions of world-class, authentic artwork, especially 20th-century masters, from Dali through Chagall, Picasso, Fini and numerous post-Impressionists. Baterbys’ main concentration is in rare graphic works.

For details call (866) 537-0265.

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 Baterbys Auction Gallery’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Original signed color lithograph by Salvador Dali (circa 1968), titled The Land of Milk and Honey.

Original signed color lithograph by Salvador Dali (circa 1968), titled The Land of Milk and Honey.


Original signed and dated lithograph by Pablo Picasso (1964), titled Pour Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler.

Original signed and dated lithograph by Pablo Picasso (1964), titled Pour Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler.


Original signed oil on canvas by Elena Bond, done in 2009, titled Ballerina Dream (36 in. by 36 in.).

Original signed oil on canvas by Elena Bond, done in 2009, titled Ballerina Dream (36 in. by 36 in.).

Front view of uniform worn by Yogi Berra as catcher in 1956 World Series perfect game pitched by Don Larsen, to be offered in Grey Flannel's April 14 Summer Games Auction. Image courtesy Grey Flannel Auctions.

Grey Flannel to auction Yogi Berra uniform from 1956 World Series

Front view of uniform worn by Yogi Berra as catcher in 1956 World Series perfect game pitched by Don Larsen, to be offered in Grey Flannel's April 14 Summer Games Auction. Image courtesy Grey Flannel Auctions.

Front view of uniform worn by Yogi Berra as catcher in 1956 World Series perfect game pitched by Don Larsen, to be offered in Grey Flannel’s April 14 Summer Games Auction. Image courtesy Grey Flannel Auctions.

WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. – When you think of legendary sports photos, few tell a story quite as graphically as the 1956 shot of a euphoric Yogi Berra in a leaping bear hug with teammate Don Larsen, who’d just pitched a perfect World Series game. The rarity of such a moment is borne out by the very definition of a “perfect game” – it must be both a no-hitter and a shutout, with no hits, walks, batters struck or bases reached for any reason. This feat has been achieved only 18 times in the history of Major League Baseball – 16 times since the modern era began in 1900.

Fast forward to 2010, 54 years after that rapturous moment in New York Yankees history, and there’s a new postscript to add to the story: the uniform Yogi wore on that unforgettable day has surfaced and will be auctioned by Grey Flannel in a mid-April sale.

The owner of the uniform, former New York Yankees prospect Ron Stevenot, was given the uniform at age 17, on the day he reported to Yankee Stadium to begin the most memorable year of his life.

“It was 1959, and I had just graduated from Port Jefferson High School in Long Island (N.Y.), where I had been the catcher on the school’s team,” Stevenot recalled. “Our team had won the county championship, and after graduation, the Yankees sent me a letter asking if I’d like to try out for the New York Yankees Rookie Team, which I did. When they selected me for the team, I felt like I was walking on air… Along with other promising high school prospects from the New York metro area who had been chosen, I reported to the Yankees locker room, where we were issued our uniforms.”

Each of the new prospects was given a uniform that had been worn by a Major League Yankee in a prior season. “I remember that I wanted Mickey Mantle’s uniform, but someone else had claimed it, so I took Yogi Berra’s old uniform. Those uniforms we were given were the ones we were going to wear for the whole summer as we toured New England.”

As it turns out, the Berra uniform Stevenot received was from 1956, the year the Yankees won the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. The year “1956” was sewn onto the jersey’s shirttail along with Yogi Berra’s name, and on the jersey’s back was the number “8.” The letters “N Y” appeared on the front, indicating it to be a home jersey.

“I went home to try on the uniform, although if it didn’t fit, it didn’t matter to me,” Stevenot said. “My mother took in the pants a bit, but she didn’t cut them. The jersey wasn’t touched at all.”

Stevenot went on to sign a contract with the Yankees to play in the Minor Leagues and spent half a year with the team in St. Petersburg, Florida. Eventually he was released and went on to pursue a successful career as a land surveyor. But throughout his life, he kept the memories and the Berra uniform.

“My greatest memory is that I was allowed to work out with the Major League Yankee team at Yankee Stadium before their game against the White Sox,” Stevenot said. “They asked me if I wanted to give Yogi and Elston Howard a night off, and I got to be the catcher during batting practice that Mickey Mantle threw. It was the thrill of a lifetime to be able to play on the same field as all of those greats.”

As for the uniform itself, when Richard Russek, president of Grey Flannel Auctions, had the opportunity to examine it, he had an immediate hunch it might be the very one Yogi Berra had worn on the night Don Larsen pitched that perfect World Series game in 1956. The uniform was first compared to blow-ups of the famous photo of Yogi bear-hugging Don Larsen. To the naked eye, it was clearly a match, but further verification was required. The uniform was taken to Grey Flannel’s headquarters where it was painstakingly compared to DVD “stills” of the perfect game.

“Every Yankee pinstripe is like a fingerprint to when the jersey was worn,” Russek said. “We compared the way the pinstripes matched up to the ‘N’ and ‘Y’ on the front, how they matched up to the collar and the sleeves, and it was an exact match. It is the uniform Berra wore as catcher during the perfect game.”

The New York Yankees home uniform worn by Yogi Berra during the 1956 World Series perfect game will be offered with a $50,000 reserve in Grey Flannel’s Summer Games Auction, with bids closing on April 14, 2010. For additional information, call 631-288-7800, ext. 223; or email gfcsports@aol.com.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Rear view of uniform worn by Yogi Berra as catcher in 1956 World Series perfect game pitched by Don Larsen, to be offered in Grey Flannel's April 14 Summer Games Auction. Image courtesy Grey Flannel Auctions.

Rear view of uniform worn by Yogi Berra as catcher in 1956 World Series perfect game pitched by Don Larsen, to be offered in Grey Flannel’s April 14 Summer Games Auction. Image courtesy Grey Flannel Auctions.


Copyrighted image of New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra embracing teammate Don Larsen after Larsen pitched a perfect game in the 1956 World Series. From the Diamond Images Collection, licensed through Getty Images. All rights reserved.

Copyrighted image of New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra embracing teammate Don Larsen after Larsen pitched a perfect game in the 1956 World Series. From the Diamond Images Collection, licensed through Getty Images. All rights reserved.

The Getty Museum will present an exhibit focusing on the Greek colonial settlement called Selinunte and its temples. This ruin is the Temple of Hera at Selinunte in Sicily. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Getty, Sicilian officials launch art collaboration

The Getty Museum will present an exhibit focusing on the Greek colonial settlement called Selinunte and its temples. This ruin is the Temple of Hera at Selinunte in Sicily. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Getty Museum will present an exhibit focusing on the Greek colonial settlement called Selinunte and its temples. This ruin is the Temple of Hera at Selinunte in Sicily. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Sicilian cultural ministry will collaborate to conserve art objects, stage exhibitions and conduct scholarly research.The agreement with the Sicilian Ministry of Culture and Sicilian Identity was announced Wednesday in Palermo and Los Angeles.

Sicilian museums will lend marble statues and ancient vases to the Getty Museum and the museum’s preservation staff will use their expertise in creating displays that protect the artwork from earthquakes, said Getty spokeswoman Rebecca Taylor.

Many pieces that go on display at the hilltop museum in Los Angeles will be sent back to its home institution with a custom-built seismic isolator base, she said.

The collaboration is an extension of the Getty’s 2007 agreement with the Italian Ministry of Culture, said the Getty’s acting director, Daniel Bomford.

“I am delighted that the Getty Museum has reached a mutually beneficial agreement with our colleagues in Sicily that allows us to expand our relationship with Italy to this very important region for the study of the ancient Mediterranean,” Bomford said.

The Getty will also organize a conference in Sicily on protecting museum collections from earthquakes.

Taylor said the curators and preservationists sought out two important and unique marble statues, The Marble Youth from Agrigento and Youth from Motya, which they want to evaluate for preservation and put on display in California.

The Getty Museum will present two exhibits with art borrowed from Sicilian cultural institutions. One will examine Sicily’s founding Greek colonies, which were some of the wealthiest and most powerful metropolises in the Mediterranean world. Another will focus on an important Greek colonial settlement called Selinunte and its temples.

Since 2007, Italy has secured the return of dozens of Roman, Greek and Etruscan artifacts in deals with museums, including the Getty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Italy claimed artifacts were dug up and smuggled out of the country and sold to top museums worldwide.

Getty’s deal included no admission of guilt and the museum returned 39 ancient treasures. Italian art officials, in exchange, agreed to give long-term loans of other artifacts.

The museum launched a similar partnership with Italy’s National Archaeological Museum of Florence that has allowed it to show the Chimaera of Arezzo at the Getty Villa in Malibu. The life-size sculpture of a triple-headed monster that is part lion, part fire-breathing goat and part serpent is a rare example of Etruscan bronzework from the fourth century B.C.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-WS-02-17-10 2123EST

Macklowe Gallery brought this Peony table lamp by Tiffany Studios to the Winter Antiques Show. The 22-inch leaded glass shade sits atop a patinated bronze ‘9th Century’ base. Image courtesy of the Winter Antiques Show

Dealers unveil their best to light up Winter Antiques Show

Macklowe Gallery brought this Peony table lamp by Tiffany Studios to the Winter Antiques Show. The 22-inch leaded glass shade sits atop a patinated bronze ‘9th Century’ base. Image courtesy of the Winter Antiques Show

Macklowe Gallery brought this Peony table lamp by Tiffany Studios to the Winter Antiques Show. The 22-inch leaded glass shade sits atop a patinated bronze ‘9th Century’ base. Image courtesy of the Winter Antiques Show

NEW YORK (AP) – It’s the Holy Grail of Tiffany lamps, a sublime stained-glass shade of lilies in soft hues of pink and green, cascading down in an oblong bell to a bronze base molded to resemble the delicate pads in the water.

There’s only one left in the world for sale – the other seven variations are in museums or private collections – and it can be yours from the Macklowe Gallery in New York for a mere $3.5 million.

The lamp was among the most opulent of antiques and antiquities on display at this year’s Winter Antiques show. Regarded as the premiere antiques event in America, 75 dealers were at the annual bazaar, where New York socialites were the main clientele and museum curators perused works as large as 7 tons and as teeny as a dime.

And priced accordingly. Of course, most of these items will be bought by museums or other public institutions with galleries. But if you have the money, anything’s possible.

Benjamin Macklowe, of the Macklowe Gallery, said they waited for the show to reveal the lamp, which would’ve cost $400 in 1906. (About a year’s salary for a well-employed person.)

“My father has been chasing this lamp for 25 years,” he said. “He would hear whispers of its existence and just fly off to someplace searching for it. It was a dream come true when he found it.”

And speaking of lilies, Adam Patrick of the New York gallery A La Vielle Russie Inc. showed off a diamond-encrusted lily pin so bright it hurt to stare. It was the size of an actual flower you’d fasten to a groom’s lapel, and was made from at least 500 tiny, near-perfect gems. The cost? $110,000.

The brooch was English, dating from around 1840, in the days before platinum when silver and gold were both used to create jewelry.

“Such a delicate setting, and it’s so big, it must’ve been so involved to make,” Patrick said.

Dealers wait decades for a booth at the show, which benefits the East Side Settlement. They view it as a prime chance to show off their best and most fabulous pieces.

James Elkind of Lost City Arts brought his best find for his maiden trip to the show: an Art Deco eagle that was the model for those on the Empire State Building. Created in glazed plaster, it’s in remarkable condition and was designed by Shreve Lam & Harmon Architects. It sold for $60,000.

“I mean, that is what I got into the business for,” he said. “To rescue art, and to come with this to the show … well, it was amazing.”

But for size, a 7-ton, 9-foot-high, solid marble urn designed by Paul Manship, the sculptor who created Rockefeller Center’s Prometheus, was hard to beat. The urn was a private commission by a wealthy industrialist who installed it in his estate in a Cleveland suburb.

It was made by Manship’s crew in the Bronx, and looks like it should be from ancient Greece, except the images on the urn are those of Native Americans chasing bison. And it rotates on its pedestal.

“Made in the South Bronx, you couldn’t have more American if you tried,” said Alice Duncan, director of Manhattan’s Gerald Peters Gallery, offering the urn for $6 million.

A statue of Aphrodite, though, really was ancient: from the first century, in fact. The statue, being sold by Rupert Wace Ancient Art Limited of London, depicts the goddess of love standing on her right leg, left bent at the knee, with her drapery falling in elegant folds around her hips. Her arms and head are missing. The asking price is $650,000.

“We’ve seen fragments before, but nothing this complete,” said Wace, who travels the world looking for ancient works of art. “You won’t find another one like it on the market.”

Among the first photographs ever made are also on sale. When Jacques Daguerre was creating his daguerreotypes in France, William Henry Fox Talbot was doing the same in England. And Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographers has several Talbots, including one of the first negatives, known as the Roofline of Lacock Abbey, from 1839. It’s $400,000 for the image, which measures about 4 inches by 5 inches.

Talbot worked with paper, while Daguerre worked on a metal plate. The result is a similarly eerie-looking image of intense clarity. The Lacock Abbey negative has a creepy sort of horror-film look to it, like something out of The Exorcist.

“These are in the finest condition for sale,” Kraus said. “And it’s the largest assemblage I’ve ever displayed.”

The Tiffany lamp and many of the other opulent pieces are on display in shows around the country. Macklowe said he’ll be a bit sad when the lamp sells – and he hopes it goes to a museum where anyone can see it.

“Could you imagine having this in your home? I’d just stare at it all day. I’d never get anything done.”

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-ES-02-16-10 1143EST


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


James Elkind of Lost City Arts sold this Empire State Building eagle macquette for $60,000. The circa plaster of paris figure is 41 inches high. Image courtesy of the Winter Antiques Show.

James Elkind of Lost City Arts sold this Empire State Building eagle macquette for $60,000. The circa plaster of paris figure is 41 inches high. Image courtesy of the Winter Antiques Show.


William Henry Fox Talbot (British, 1800-1877) made this salt print from a calotype negative around September 1843. It pictures ‘High Street & St. Mary’s Church.’ It and other early photographic prints are offered by Hans P. Kraus Jr. Inc., Fine Photographs. Oxford. Image courtesy of the Winter Antiques Show.

William Henry Fox Talbot (British, 1800-1877) made this salt print from a calotype negative around September 1843. It pictures ‘High Street & St. Mary’s Church.’ It and other early photographic prints are offered by Hans P. Kraus Jr. Inc., Fine Photographs. Oxford. Image courtesy of the Winter Antiques Show.

Marsden Brothers of Sheffield, England, made skates similar to these for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.

Clubmembers’ figure skates are stylish collectibles

Marsden Brothers of Sheffield, England, made skates similar to these for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.

Marsden Brothers of Sheffield, England, made skates similar to these for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) – Karen Cameron ice-skated as a child growing up in Wisconsin, but the sport never had a big effect on her until years later.

Cameron, a Meriden resident for the past 30 years, sculpted Victorian dolls in the early 1990s with oven-baked clay. She researched the elaborate costumes and fell in love with the ice skates that were worn during the 19th century, especially the skates with curled blades.

“I just wanted one pair of skates, just one pair with the curls,” Cameron said.

She bought her first pair of antique ice skates in 1995. Today, Cameron owns between 250 and 300 skates. Some of the skates were bought on eBay, but the majority of Cameron’s skates were bought at antique shows or auctions all over New England.

To share her love of antique skates with others, Cameron co-founded the Antique Ice Skate Club in 2000 with Ann Bates, a resident of Land O’ Lakes, Wis., and avid antique ice skate collector.

Cameron found Bates through an advertisement in an antiques magazine in which Bates was looking for others who had an interest in antique skates. The club, which has about 70 members, has had three gatherings in the last 10 years.

“It’s hard to get people together. We’re all spread out,” said Cameron, a Medicare reimbursement specialist for Yale-New Haven Hospital’s graduate medical education program.

Two of the gatherings were in Lake Placid, N.Y.; the other was at Bates’ Wisconsin home.

Bates has been collecting antique skates for more than 35 years. She has about 280 pairs and has written several articles on the skates.

Bates said the recent development of the club’s Web site, antiqueiceskateclub.com, will make her job a lot easier since members can get information and pay dues through the site.

Before the club went online, Cameron wrote and compiled an eight-page newsletter that was mailed out to all of the members every three to four months. Cameron said the Internet makes it easier to get the newsletter out to the club’s members.

“I’m hoping the Web site will bring us all closer together,” Cameron said. “It’s an elite group of us. Not many of us are out there.”

Lyndell Betzner of Hamden is one of the elite. Betzner has been collecting skates for the past 30 years. She and her husband, a hockey fan, started attending antique shows and looking for old skates. Betzner has amassed about 100 pairs. She said she is amazed by Cameron’s vast collection.

Both Bates and Cameron are impressed with a pair of skates Betzner found in Massachusetts 20 years ago. The skates are made out of ebony and have brass blades. Betzner said there is a heart made out of mother of pearl near the ball of the foot. The skates are inscribed with the name Julia.

“Someone had the talent to make them. They’re beautiful, and they feel so lovingly made,” Betzner said.

“It just boggles the mind,” Cameron said, “how many different ice skates are out there.”

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-ES-02-15-10 0000EST


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Cutout hearts decorate the brass blades of these unmarked skates dating to 1850-1870. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.

Cutout hearts decorate the brass blades of these unmarked skates dating to 1850-1870. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.


Barney & Berry of Springfield, Mass., manufactured these silver-plated ice skates in the 1870s for J.B. Styles, which is marked on the blades. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.

Barney & Berry of Springfield, Mass., manufactured these silver-plated ice skates in the 1870s for J.B. Styles, which is marked on the blades. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.


Barclay & Bontgen of Newark, N.J., made one of the first all-metal ice skates in the mid-1800s. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.

Barclay & Bontgen of Newark, N.J., made one of the first all-metal ice skates in the mid-1800s. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.


These unmarked skates from the mid-1800s have a wooden footplate. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.

These unmarked skates from the mid-1800s have a wooden footplate. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.


The engraved blades on these skates are enhanced with a blued finish. They were made in Germany by Blechman in the mid-1800s. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.

The engraved blades on these skates are enhanced with a blued finish. They were made in Germany by Blechman in the mid-1800s. Image courtesy of Karen Cameron, Antique Ice Skate Club.

This Old Copper Culture socketed spear, 6 3/8 inches long, was made from rolled copper around 800 B.C. Wisconsin is known for this type of artifact. Image courtesy of Bennett’s Artifact Auctions and Live Auctioneers Archive.

Ancient copper workshop found in southwest Illinois

This Old Copper Culture socketed spear, 6 3/8 inches long, was made from rolled copper around 800 B.C. Wisconsin is known for this type of artifact. Image courtesy of Bennett’s Artifact Auctions and LiveAuctioneers Archive.

This Old Copper Culture socketed spear, 6 3/8 inches long, was made from rolled copper around 800 B.C. Wisconsin is known for this type of artifact. Image courtesy of Bennett’s Artifact Auctions and LiveAuctioneers Archive.

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) – About 800 years ago, in a large room lit by a wood fire, fierce-looking men bedecked in bright feathers and polished copper ornaments gathered to smoke and talk.

Their intricate jewelry – fanciful objects hammered from chunks of naturally occurring raw copper – reflected the firelight. A variety of these ancient Mississippian-era copper decorations have turned up throughout Illinois and the Southeast United States, including triangular, 8-inch long-earrings embossed at the ends with a human face, headdress ornaments depicting stylized birds, even diminutive but carefully crafted copper ovals that may have been applied to a ritualistic leather belt or cape. When they are unearthed, these antiquities are covered with a green or gray patina.

Today, traffic on Collinsville Road passes a short distance from the collection of over more than 80 mounds where, archaeologists say, this American Stone Age scene is thought to have regularly occurred.

But there is something unique about a particular excavated area beside a rather plain looking mound – Mound 34 – that lies about 200 yards east of the world famous and huge Monk’s Mound at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. The carefully sifted soil at this excavation has revealed evidence of the only known copper workshop from the Mississippian-era, a culture that peaked about 1250 A.D. throughout the middle and southern portions of America. The overall Illinois state site was the location of a large, prehistoric city of perhaps 20,000 that archaeologists call Cahokia.

“It’s the only one (copper workshop) that’s been discovered,” said James A. Brown, professor of archaeology at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Brown and his research partner John Kelly, a lecturer in archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis, have for eight years led an investigation into finding the workshop and then carefully excavating the often minute particles and bits of copper that were left behind.

Brown said that the copper workshop was purely for religious purposes, to produce ornaments for those who participated in significant ceremonies that probably occurred atop the mounds.

“They are all depictions of other worldly beings,” he said of the symbols and figures found in copper as well as on pieces of pottery and decorated shells.

The irony is that a self-taught archaeologist, Greg Perino, who grew up in Belleville and pioneered a sometimes heavy handed excavation style that featured bulldozing, actually discovered the copper workshop and another nearby nearly 60 years ago. Perino died in 2005 at age 91. However, his mapping was rudimentary and it took years to relocate his find.

“Perino left us something, even with the bulldozing,” said Brown.

“You had to remember when he was working, in the ’50s, there weren’t the refined techniques we use today. He knew it was a copper workshop and he was very interested in it, but he regarded it as something that had been found elsewhere. What he didn’t know or didn’t realize or think about was there never has been one located elsewhere. Not that there couldn’t be. It’s just that no one has ever found one.”

The rediscovery of the copper workshop has gained national attention. The National Geographic Society is helping to fund the research.

However, there isn’t much left to see unless you’re a trained researcher. Dark, circular stains in the soil of the 3- by 6-foot area where copper remnants have been found may be the remains of tree stumps that were used as anvils by ancient craftsmen. It’s theorized that a flat stone was placed on a leveled off stump, and a palm-sized piece of very hard basalt, a volcanic rock, was used to pound raw copper flat.

A graduate student in metallurgy analyzed pieces of flat copper sheets found at Mound 34 and elsewhere using an electron microscope, and discovered from their molecular structure that they had been annealed, or repeatedly heated and cooled, like a blacksmith works iron.

Another graduate student, Lori Belknap, a mother of two from Mascoutah, Ill., is working on a master’s degree in geology but has shown an intense interest in Mound 34. She cut a stump and got a flat rock and a chunk of rounded basalt. After first heating a piece of raw copper to about 600 degrees, she tried to pound the relatively soft metal to the thinness obtained by the Mississippians.

“I didn’t have much luck,” she said, but the copper did flatten out enough to show the technique was possible.

The overall purpose of most excavations at the mounds site, according to Kelly and Brown, is to determine the true role of Cahokia in the Southeast Ceremonial Complex, the string of ancient cities and mounds that stretched from Wisconsin through Illinois and on into Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia.

Brown said that the bits and pieces of the copper workshop have been studied in relation to peculiar fragments of an engraved drinking cup made from a conch shell found at the top of the about 10 foot high Mound 34. The shell, which probably came from the Gulf of Mexico, contains a very distinctive symbol, kind of an arrow-like logo with a circle in the arrowhead, that first turned up in excavations of rock shelters in Wisconsin and east central Missouri and dated from about 1000 A.D, more than two centuries before the peak of Cahokia.

Symbols found on the walls of the shelters are very similar to the shell fragments found atop Mound 34. The engraved arrows, like the Coca-Cola logo and other advertising of today, tied this ancient civilization to a symbol that all may have recognized.

Brown and Kelly theorize that religious leaders lived atop the mound, drank from the ceremonial cups and were supplied with decorative copper items to show their high rank from the workshop at the base of the mound.

And in turn, the workshop and the shell cup fragments hint that Cahokia may have been the center and not just an outlying fringe of the ancient Mississippian culture. The true role of Cahokia undoubtedly still lies buried. Unlike many other Mississippian sites that have been heavily excavated, less than 1 percent of the mounds site has been dug. While many artifacts have turned up, scientists working the site say what is left buried may greatly change current views of the civilization, and reinforce the theory that Cahokia may have been the center of it all.

“We’ve focused the last couple of years on the workshop,” said Kelly, “But up above, on the top of the mound in remains of a building long since gone, we found those pieces of the engraved cups. … In terms of the roots of the overall iconography (symbolism) of the area, it appears to be taking place at Cahokia.”

Brown has theorized that the people of Cahokia may have gone as far as the Great Lakes to find raw copper and perhaps learned from people there how to work it.

“As we learn more will be able to see all of this in a very different, non-primitive storyline,” Brown said, “We will see this as the run-up to civilization.”

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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A gilded wood frame with a carved oval line holds ‘Peaches and Grapes’ by Charles Baum (American, 1812-1877). The relined oil on canvas measures 29 inches by 24 inches and has a $3,000-$5,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.

Concept Art Gallery to sell curator’s personal collection Feb. 20

A gilded wood frame with a carved oval line holds ‘Peaches and Grapes’ by Charles Baum (American, 1812-1877). The relined oil on canvas measures 29 inches by 24 inches and has a $3,000-$5,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.

A gilded wood frame with a carved oval line holds ‘Peaches and Grapes’ by Charles Baum (American, 1812-1877). The relined oil on canvas measures 29 inches by 24 inches and has a $3,000-$5,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.

PITTSBURGH – Concept Art Gallery will auction the James J. White Collection on Feb. 20, an important sale that is highlighted by botanical illustrations and prints by internationally recognized artists and exceptional 19th-century American still life paintings.

LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

For 30 years White was Curator of Art and Senior Research Scholar at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, a research division of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He was recently diagnosed with a debilitating neurological disease and the collection is being sold to raise funds for his long-term care.

“It’s a bittersweet experience. I hope his collection generates the interest it deserves,” said Sam Berkovitz, owner of Concept Art Gallery.

The collection is guided by White’s scholarly interests and incomparable taste, said Berkovitz. “There are a lot of beautiful America still life paintings from the 19th century,”

Representative of the collection is an unsigned close-up of a peach and pear in a landscape setting. The 19th-century American Still Life School painting, oil on academy board, has a $150-$300 estimate.

A Charles Baum (American, 1812-1877) still life titled Peaches and Grapes has a $3,000-$5,000 estimate. The oil on canvas painting is 29 inches by 24 inches and is framed in gilded wood with a carved oval liner.

Bryant Chapin, (Massachusetts, 1859-1927) painted Strawberries and Basket, a 12 1/2- by 16 1/2-inch oil on canvas, which also has a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.

Among the botanicals is a pair of 1830s color engravings of amaryllis by Mrs. Edward (Priscilla Susan) Bury and colored by Robert Havell, who was the principal engraver of Audubon’s Birds of America. The color aquatints, 19 inches by 14 1/2 inches, are in matching gold leaf frames with hand-painted French mat. The pair has a $300-$600 estimate.

Other botanicals are by contemporary international artists. One such work is from the Studio of Mahaveer Swami, which created a pair of Mughal-style paintings using natural pigments on antique paper. Dating to the mid-1980s, the pair has a $50-$150 estimate.

The collection also includes Inuit sculpture, contemporary Indian art and natural history, maps and Civil War memorabilia.

The auction will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern.

For details call 412-242-9200.

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 Concept Art Gallery’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


The Studio of Mahaveer Swami created these Mughal-style botanical paintings on antique paper circa 1985. The pair has a $50-$150 estimate. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.

The Studio of Mahaveer Swami created these Mughal-style botanical paintings on antique paper circa 1985. The pair has a $50-$150 estimate. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.


Fall River, Mass., still-life artist Bryant Chapin (1859-1927) dated ‘Strawberries and Basket’ ‘12.’ The oil on canvas measures 12 1/2 inches by 16 1/2 inches and has a $3,000-$5,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.

Fall River, Mass., still-life artist Bryant Chapin (1859-1927) dated ‘Strawberries and Basket’ ‘12.’ The oil on canvas measures 12 1/2 inches by 16 1/2 inches and has a $3,000-$5,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.


Apparently unsigned, this oil on academy board painting is of the 19th-centery American Still Life School. The 6- by 9-inch painting has a $150-$300 estimate. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.

Apparently unsigned, this oil on academy board painting is of the 19th-centery American Still Life School. The 6- by 9-inch painting has a $150-$300 estimate. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.


A pair of Mrs. Edward Bury amaryllis color engravings date to the early 1830s. The 32 1/2- by 24-inch prints are in matching gold leaf frames with hand-painted French mats. The estimate is $300-$600. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.

A pair of Mrs. Edward Bury amaryllis color engravings date to the early 1830s. The 32 1/2- by 24-inch prints are in matching gold leaf frames with hand-painted French mats. The estimate is $300-$600. Image courtesy of Concept Art Gallery.

In Memoriam: Hystercine Rankin, master quilter, artist, 80

LORMAN, Miss. (AP) – Funeral services are Saturday for Hystercine Rankin, a nationally master quilter whose artwork carried her to the White House.

Rankin died last week at River Region Medical Center in Vicksburg. She was 80.

Services are 11 a.m. Saturday at Rose Hill Christian Church in Lorman, officials at Thompson Funeral Home Chapel in Port Gibson told the Associated Press.

Rankin, of Lorman, was among 11 musicians and artists named 1997 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellows, the NEA’s most prestigious honor in folk and traditional crafts. A White House ceremony with then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton honored the fellows.

Her quilts were part of exhibitions at museums, galleries and events across the state and nation.

Rankin, an African American, created bed covers and artwork from scraps, and materialized events from her own life. She had been quilting since the age of 12.

Survivors include seven children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

___

Some information from: The Clarion-Ledger,

http://www.clarionledger.com

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Tuthankamen's famous burial mask, on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, in a photo taken on Dec. 7, 2003. Image appears by permission of the author, Bjorn Christian Torrissen. Creative Commons License.

Tests reveal likely, and surprising, cause of King Tut’s death

Tuthankamen's famous burial mask, on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, in a photo taken on Dec. 7, 2003. Image appears by permission of the author, Bjorn Christian Torrissen. Creative Commons License.

Tuthankamen’s famous burial mask, on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, in a photo taken on Dec. 7, 2003. Image appears by permission of the author, Bjorn Christian Torrissen. Creative Commons License.

CAIRO, EGYPT (AP) – Scientists and researchers now know much more about Egypt’s most famous pharaoh, King Tutankhamun, including how he died. Evidence indicates Tut was a frail boy who suffered from a cleft palate and clubfoot. He died of complications from a broken leg exacerbated by malaria. In terms of lineage, his parents were most likely brother and sister.

Two years of DNA testing and CT scans on Tut’s 3,300-year-old mummy and 15 others are helping end many of the myths surrounding the boy king. While a comparatively minor ruler, he has captivated the public since the 1922 discovery of his tomb, which was filled with a stunning array of jewels and artifacts, including a golden funeral mask.

The study, which will be published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, provides the firmest family tree yet for Tut. The tests pointed to Pharaoh Akhenaten, who tried to revolutionize ancient Egyptian religion to worship one god, as Tut’s father. His mother was one of Akhenaten’s sisters, it said.

Tut, who became pharaoh at age 10 in 1333 B.C., ruled for just nine years at a pivotal time in Egypt’s history. Speculation has long swirled over his death at 19. A hole in his skull fueled speculation he was murdered, until a 2005 CT scan ruled that out, finding the hole was likely from the mummification process. The scan also uncovered the broken leg.

The newest tests paint a picture of a pharaoh whose immune system was likely weakened by congenital diseases. His death came from complications from the broken leg — along with a new discovery: severe malaria.

The team said it found DNA of the malaria parasite in several of the mummies, some of the oldest ever isolated.

“A sudden leg fracture possibly introduced by a fall might have resulted in a life threatening condition when a malaria infection occurred,” the JAMA article said.

“Tutankhamun had multiple disorders … He might be envisioned as a young but frail king who needed canes to walk,” it said.

The revelations are in stark contrast to the popular image of a graceful boy-king as portrayed by the dazzling funerary artifacts in his tomb that later introduced much of the world to the glory of ancient Egypt.

They also highlighted the role genetics play in some diseases. The members of the 18th dynasty were closely inbred and the DNA studies found several genetic disorders in the mummies tested such as scoliosis, curvature of the spine, and clubfeet.

Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan, said some of King Tut’s ailments including his bone disease likely were the result of his parents’ incestuous marriage. Children born to parents who are so closely related to each other would be prone to genetic problems, he said.

Like his father, Tutankhamun had a cleft palate. Like his grandfather, he had a clubfoot and suffered from Kohler’s disease, which inhibits the supply of blood to the bones of the foot.

In Tut’s case it was slowly destroying the bones in his left foot — an often painful condition, the study said. It noted that 130 walking sticks and canes were discovered in Tut’s tomb, some of them appeared to have been used.

Egypt’s top archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, who co-authored the study, noted that more than 80 years after Tutankhamun’s discovery, technology was revealing secrets about the pharaoh.

The study is part of a wider program to test the DNA of hundreds of mummies to determine their identities and their family relations. To conduct the tests, Egypt built two DNA labs to follow international protocols for genetic testing.

Hawass, who had long opposed DNA testing on Egypt’s mummies because it would have been performed outside the country, acknowledged his original skepticism. “I never thought that we would really reach a great important discovery,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The new study answered long-standing questions about Tutankhamun’s family, tracing his grandfather to Pharaoh Amenhotep III. While some archaeologists have speculated that Tut’s father was a little-known figure, Smenkhkare, it now appears that it was Akhenaten, who attempted to change millennia of religious tradition by forcing the country to worship the sun god Aten, instead of a multiplicity of deities.

DNA tests pinpointed the mummy of Tut’s mother — and confirmed she was a sister of his father — but the mummy has not yet been firmly identified. Brother-sister marriages were common among Egypt’s pharaohs.

“There is a lot fuzziness about the succession and that’s why knowing Tutankhamun was the son or direct blood descendant would make a difference,” said Salima Ikram, an Egyptologist at the American University in Cairo and an expert on mummies.

The tests also disproved speculation that Tutankhamun and members of his family suffered from rare disorders that gave them feminine attributes and misshapen bones, including Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that can result in elongated limbs.

The theories arose from the artistic style and statues of the period, which showed the royal men with prominent breasts, elongated heads and flared hips.

“It is unlikely that either Tutankhamun or Akhenaten actually displayed a significantly bizarre or feminine physique,” the article said.

Hawass’ first high profile discovery involving DNA tests, the identification of the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut, came under criticism because it didn’t follow accepted scientific protocols and was not published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The tests were also not confirmed by a second, independent DNA lab.

This time the work by the Supreme Council of Antiquities DNA lab was replicated by a second DNA lab set up at Cairo University and the results were then published in the American medical journal.

Angelique Corthals, an assistant professor of forensic science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York helped set up the first Egyptian lab and said the work is being conducted according to international standards.

Hawass predicted that many more discoveries were in the works for King Tutankhamun and the mummy project.

“It will never be revealed completely, still we need more research,” he said. “We finished the first great part of the mystery and the second one is coming soon in one year.”

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


X-rays of Tutankhamun's mummy taken in 1968 revealed a dense spot at the lower back of the skull interpreted as a subdural hematoma. Such an injury could have been the result of an accident, but it has long been speculated that the young pharaoh might have been murdered.

X-rays of Tutankhamun’s mummy taken in 1968 revealed a dense spot at the lower back of the skull interpreted as a subdural hematoma. Such an injury could have been the result of an accident, but it has long been speculated that the young pharaoh might have been murdered.

Official Flag of Haiti.

Official: Save, don’t bulldoze, Haiti’s heritage

Official Flag of Haiti.

Official Flag of Haiti.

PARIS (AP) – Haiti’s historical heritage risks being bulldozed in the push to rebuild towns and cities flattened by last month’s earthquake, a leading cultural official warned Monday.

“There is a temptation to demolish everything. When the bulldozers come, it’s fatal,” Daniel Elie, director of Haiti’s governmental Institute for the Preservation of National Heritage, told The Associated Press at the Paris headquarters of the U.N. cultural agency.

Keeping survivors alive and building solid shelter for the 1.2 million made homeless by the Jan. 12 quake are the most immediate priorities. But U.N. officials say preserving the country’s churches, artwork and mementos from its slave revolt will be crucial for Haitians’ long-term emotional recovery.

Cathedrals and other buildings dating to the 17th century were among those damaged, some reduced to their foundations or a lone crumbling wall. In that state, Elie said, their cultural value isn’t obvious to demolition teams sent to raze neighborhoods, he said.

His agency is compiling lists of buildings that should be protected to send around to other government agencies.

Despite the country’s current administrative disarray, “We must make everyone, everywhere sensitive to this,” he said.

Elie is joining Haiti’s culture and communications minister, Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, and UNESCO officials for talks this week to determine the most urgent needs for restoring damaged historical and cultural sites.

Irina Bokova, director of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said the agency has contacted “quite a few donors who have expressed their availability to finance” restoration projects. She would not name them but said it could involve European governments or private donors.

Elie said “the priority of priorities” is restoring the historical center of Jacmel, a 17th- century coastal town once home to wealthy coffee merchants, with a turquoise bay and a serene reputation that attracted tourists and expatriates. About three-quarters of the homes in Jacmel’s downtown were damaged.

“The historical center is the basis of tourism development” as the country tries to recover some semblance of a tourism sector, he said. Haiti wants UNESCO to make Jacmel a World Heritage site.

Lassegue argued that Haitians and their international backers must respect history and culture as they rebuild the nation. “Heritage is so closely linked to national identity,” she said.

UNESCO is also pushing for a ban on international trade in Haitian cultural treasures to prevent pillaging of the nation’s museums in the aftermath of the quake, and international security forces to protect cultural sites.

In one example of global efforts to protect Haitian artworks, French restoration experts will repair an 1822 painting found in the rubble of the Caribbean country’s presidential palace. French firefighters discovered the damaged, ripped painting.

The painting, Serment des Ancetres (Oath of the Ancestors), by Guillaume Guillon Lethiere, depicts a meeting between two of the fathers of Haitian independence. Haiti won its independence in an 1804 slave revolt against France, defeating Napoleon’s forces.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to travel to Haiti on Wednesday – the first ever trip by a French leader to the country.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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