Dressed in a lavishly appointed silk costume, this 19-inch French bisque Oriental bebe Jumeau is in totally original. The doll has a $4,000-$6,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Frasher’s Doll Auction.

Frasher’s Feb. 20 auction upholds reputation for fine-quality dolls

Dressed in a lavishly appointed silk costume, this 19-inch French bisque Oriental bebe Jumeau is in totally original. The doll has a $4,000-$6,000 estimate. Image courtesy of  Frasher’s Doll Auction.

Dressed in a lavishly appointed silk costume, this 19-inch French bisque Oriental bebe Jumeau is in totally original. The doll has a $4,000-$6,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Frasher’s Doll Auction.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Frasher’s auction Feb. 20 is a reflection of the deep and fascinating history of doll collecting.

LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

The 350-lot sale encompasses the immense scope of doll making from the early years through the golden years of the French and German bisques, continuing through the composition and hard plastic period to the modern creations of R. John Wright, said Barbara Frasher.

The sale offers numerous fine antique French bebes such as the Exhibition Model of the Bebe Jumeau in a lavish costume, and the fascinating one-of-a-kind portrait doll with “jewel” eyes and the most unique modeling, which is attributed to SFBJ.

German bisque dolls come in sizes 10 inches to 40 inches and include Simon Halbig ladies, German character toddlers and babies by Kestner, Kammer & Reinhardt and others.

The Door of Hope, Shanghai Mission dolls number more than 20 and are in excellent, original condition, said Frasher.

There is a great variety of more than 120 composition and hard plastic dolls, including 30 original Shirley Temples – some in original box or with trunk. There are three original Shirley Temple doll buggies, a fine group of more than 20 hard-to-find Effanbee Historical dolls in superb condition. Also by Effanbee are Skippy models of the rare Aviator, Soldier and Sailor. Two all-original sets of Alexander Dionne Quintuplets, one with an original teeter-totter, will be available.

The lineup will also include several Mary Hoyer hard plastic dolls, Terri and Jerri Lees, a set of cloth Ideal Snow White & Seven Dwarfs in mint condition and 15 R. John Wright dolls. Also available is an array of doll accessories such as shoes, hats and other ephemera.

The auction will begin at 9 a.m. Mountain. For details call 816-625-3786.

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 Frasher’s Doll Auction’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


The Door of Hope carved wooden Manchu Lady, right, is all original and in pristine conditions. The 12-inch doll has a $4,000-$5,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Frasher’s Doll Auction.

The Door of Hope carved wooden Manchu Lady, right, is all original and in pristine conditions. The 12-inch doll has a $4,000-$5,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Frasher’s Doll Auction.


Facial details on this beautiful Jumeau French bisque bebe are especially stunning. The 22 1/2-inch doll is expected to fetch $4,000-$5,000. Image courtesy of Frasher’s Doll Auction.

Facial details on this beautiful Jumeau French bisque bebe are especially stunning. The 22 1/2-inch doll is expected to fetch $4,000-$5,000. Image courtesy of Frasher’s Doll Auction.


The Effanbee doll in the center is the 1720 The Pioneer American Spirit. All original and in mint condition, it carries a $500-$600 estimate. Image courtesy of Frasher’s Doll Auction.

The Effanbee doll in the center is the 1720 The Pioneer American Spirit. All original and in mint condition, it carries a $500-$600 estimate. Image courtesy of Frasher’s Doll Auction.


Dressed in a blue pleated ‘Curly Top’ costume, the 16-inch Shirley Temple doll in the middle has the original pin and box. In mint condition, this Shirley has a $700-$1,200 estimate. Image courtesy of Frasher’s Doll Auction.

Dressed in a blue pleated ‘Curly Top’ costume, the 16-inch Shirley Temple doll in the middle has the original pin and box. In mint condition, this Shirley has a $700-$1,200 estimate. Image courtesy of Frasher’s Doll Auction.

Gallery Report: February 2010

A George II red lacquered English secretary, decorated with a pierce carved crest and Chinoiserie figures and motifs sold for $207,400 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Winter Sale conducted Jan. 24-25 in Chicago. Also, an important 19th-century silver and marble garniture brought $134,200; a Faberge gold, jade and diamond cigarette case rose to $36,600; a Louis XVI-style bronze and porcelain clock fetched $31,720; and a celadon jade brush pot carved with pastoral scenes made $34,160. Prices include a 22 percent buyer’s premium.

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Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, 1840-1882) shot this view of ancient ruins in the Canyon de Chelle. The albumen print is from the 'Geographical explorations and surveys west of the 100th meridian,' sponsored by the War Department, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, in the early 1870s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Smithsonian displays Timothy O’Sullivan’s American photos

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, 1840-1882) shot this view of ancient ruins in the Canyon de Chelle. The albumen print is from the 'Geographical explorations and surveys west of the 100th meridian,' sponsored by the War Department, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, in the early 1870s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Timothy H. O’Sullivan (American, 1840-1882) shot this view of ancient ruins in the Canyon de Chelle. The albumen print is from the ‘Geographical explorations and surveys west of the 100th meridian,’ sponsored by the War Department, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, in the early 1870s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON (AP) – A photographer who documented the Civil War and American West in the 19th century is the subject of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The exhibit is called Framing the West: The Survey Photographs of Timothy H. O’Sullivan, and it opened Friday. It’s the first major exhibit devoted to the photographer’s work in three decades and will be on view until May.

The museum collaborated with the Library of Congress on the exhibit. It features more than 120 photographs, some rarely seen on public display since 1876.

Born in New York City, O’Sullivan began his career as an apprentice to acclaimed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady. He later earned a position as photographer for the first governmental survey of the American West after the Civil War. He died in Staten Island of tuberculosis at age 42.

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

AP-ES-02-14-10 1209EST

Israel unearths large ancient wine press

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli archaeologists said Monday that they’ve discovered an unusually shaped 1,400-year-old wine press that was exceptionally large and advanced for its time.

The octagonal press measures 21 feet by 54 feet and was discovered in southern Israel, about 40 kilometers south of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

“What we have here seems to be an industrial and crafts area of a settlement from the sixth- to seventh century, which was situated in the middle of an agricultural region,” said excavation director Uzi Ad of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

During this period, the whole area was part of the Byzantine Empire – the eastern half of the old Roman Empire.

“The size of the wine press attests to the fact that the quantity of wine that was produced in it was exceptionally large and was not meant for local consumption,” Ad said in a release.

The wine was probably intended for export to Egypt, then a major export market, or to Europe, he said.

An identical wine press was previously uncovered 20 kilometers away, north of Ashkelon, he added.

The shape of the press’ collecting vats was impractical because sediment would collect in the corners, Ad noted. They must have been built in this manner, and not in the customary circular or square shape, for aesthetic reasons, he concluded.

“This is a complex wine press that reflects a very high level of technology for this period, which was acquired and improved on from generation to generation,” he said.

The entire apparatus originally measured 49 by 54 feet and included a central treading floor with a mosaic pavement where the grapes would be trod on. The juice produced from the grapes would flow from the treading floor to a distributing vat and from there through holes into two collecting vats located on either side, he said.

Rectangular surfaces originally paved with a mosaic floor were also discovered around the treading floor. The grapes were probably placed there before being trod on, and the initial fermentation of the grapes would sometimes begin there, he said.

Eli Eskozido, head of the Nahal Soreq Regional Council where the press was discovered, said the site would be conserved and opened to the public.

The excavation was carried out in an area that will be farmland for a new community that is to be built for settlers evacuated from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

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

AP-ES-02-15-10 0433EST

 

 

 

‘Em. Napoleon’ is marked on the base of this colorful Staffordshire figure, which dates to the mid-1800s. The 16-inch figures has a $300-$500 estimate. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.

Small treasures comprise big 1st day of Wiederseim auction, Feb. 26-27

‘Em. Napoleon’ is marked on the base of this colorful Staffordshire figure, which dates to the mid-1800s. The 16-inch figures has a $300-$500 estimate. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.

‘Em. Napoleon’ is marked on the base of this colorful Staffordshire figure, which dates to the mid-1800s. The 16-inch figures has a $300-$500 estimate. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.

GLENMOORE, PA. – The estate of Gladys M. Lowa of Schwenksville, Pa., provides the bulk of Wiederseim Associates’ auction Feb. 26-27, yet the little things that are attracting much of the attention. LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

“It’s a nice auction with a lot of quality smalls and we’re going to sell it,” said auctioneer Ted Wiederseim.

Most of the smalls will sell Friday beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern, while Saturday’s sale, which begins at 9 a.m. Eastern, consists of mostly antique furniture.

A small (5 1/4 inches by 6 3/4 inches) painting by highly regarded Bucks County, Pa., artist Walter Emerson Baum (1884-1965) is a hilltop view of a bend in a river, possibly Easton, Pa. It is signed “W.E. Baum” and verso with an annual exhibition label. It carries an estimate of $2,500-$3,500.

Numerous pieces of pottery will be sold, including redware and stoneware. A 7-inch mocha pitcher with an unusual black slip decoration carries a $600-$900 estimate.

A collection of Staffordshire figures and several pairs of Staffordshire spaniels will cross the auction block. A 16-inch figure labeled “Em. Napoleon” leads the collection with a $300-$500 estimate.

A rare 1763 Saur Bible printed in Germantown, Pa., and bound in leather has a $2,500-$3,000. The leather-bound volume measures 10 inches high by 8 3/4 inches wide by 4 3/4 inches thick. It has $2,500-$3,000 estimate.

Other items of interest are silver, clocks, belsnickles and other holiday collectibles.

Saturday’s session is headlined by a rare Pennsylvania Chippendale cherry tall case clock signed “Christian Bixler, 1795, Easton, No. 304.” The clock, which stands 90 inches high, has a $12,000-$14,000 estimate. Also selling Saturday will be a circa 1780 Queen Anne maple highboy, which has $5,500-$6,500 estimate.

The auction will be conducted in Griffith Hall, Ludwigs Corner Firehouse in Glenmoore, Pa.

For details call 610-827-1910.

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 Wiederseim Associates, Inc.’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Samuel Hester Crone (American, 1858-1913) painted this 8- by 14-inch oil on canvas of fishing boats on a beach. The frame appears to be original. The work has a $1,500-$2,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.

Samuel Hester Crone (American, 1858-1913) painted this 8- by 14-inch oil on canvas of fishing boats on a beach. The frame appears to be original. The work has a $1,500-$2,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.


This 1763 Saur Bible is considered rare and valuable to Pennsylvania Germans. It has a $2,500-$3,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.

This 1763 Saur Bible is considered rare and valuable to Pennsylvania Germans. It has a $2,500-$3,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.


This small oil painting is signed ‘W.E. Baum’ and carries an exhibition label. It is expected to climb to $2,500-$3,500. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.

This small oil painting is signed ‘W.E. Baum’ and carries an exhibition label. It is expected to climb to $2,500-$3,500. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.


Among a representative selection of pottery at the auction is the blue and white barrel-form mocha pitcher with engine-turned black slip decoration. The 7-inch-tall pitcher, circa 1800, has a $600-$900 estimate. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.

Among a representative selection of pottery at the auction is the blue and white barrel-form mocha pitcher with engine-turned black slip decoration. The 7-inch-tall pitcher, circa 1800, has a $600-$900 estimate. Image courtesy of Wiederseim Associates Inc.

Roman, bronze statuette of the god Mercury, circa 100-300 AD, $5,800-$7,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

Malter Galleries to auction ancient art, artifacts on Feb. 21

Roman, bronze statuette of the god Mercury, circa 100-300 AD, $5,800-$7,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

Roman, bronze statuette of the god Mercury, circa 100-300 AD, $5,800-$7,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

ENCINO, Calif. – Southern California’s Malter Galleries Inc. will conduct its Ancient Art from Around the World Auction on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010, commencing at noon Pacific Time (3 p.m. Eastern). The sale will take place at the company’s Los Angeles-area gallery, with Internet live bidding provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.

The auction will open with a fine array of ancient Egyptian artifacts and features a rare 4-headed small bronze ram that is estimated at $8,000-$10,000. Several nice faience ushabtis, scarabs and wood pieces, as well as several Egyptian bronzes, are also included in the section.

A selection of ancient Greek artifacts will follow and includes a desirable, small “geometric” bronze horse formerly the property of Royal Athena Galleries in New York. The equine figure is estimated at $3,600-$4,000. Also included is a small bronze goat with the same excellent provenance, estimated at $3,800-$4,500.

Hellenistic pieces will be offered next. A tall crème slip terra cotta figure of a standing lady from an old Florida collection is one of the highlights and is expected to make around $1,500.

Ancient Persian pieces include a good bronze dagger and axe head as well as an outstanding upper torso in terra cotta of a Parthian king. The Parthian piece is from the collection of Joel L. Malter.

The auction continues with many desirable pieces of Etruscan, Daunian and Apulian black ware pottery, all of which are very collectible; and some charming Roman pieces, including a small bronze statue of the god Mercury estimated at $5,800-$7,000.

Two fantastic carved stone miniatures from the Joel L. Malter collection are entered in the sale, each depicting a dolphin. One was crafted of carnelian and the other, of crystal. The latter example is depicted in the Robert K. Lui book titled A Universal Aesthetic, Collectible Beads.

Also to be auctioned are several ancient oil lamps, wearable ancient beaded necklaces and other jewelry pieces; and a featured collection of old Philippine head-hunting weapons. The collection includes axes, spears and wood shields.

Rounding out the sale are about a half dozen large and powerful pre-Columbian pieces from an old Florida collection. A hunchback from Jalisco, Mexico, fashioned from crème ceramic, is expected to make $2,500-$3,500, as is a “ball player” from the same culture and timeframe.

The auction concludes with a couple of fine Spanish swords, a Mercator map, wood netsukes, and some excellent Chinese and Indian pieces that were mostly consigned from an old San Francisco collection.

For additional information on any item in the sale, call Mike Malter at Malter Galleries, 818-784-7772, or e-mail mike@maltergalleries.com.

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

#   #   #

Click here to view Malter Galleries, Inc.’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Egypt, Late Period, rare 4-headed bronze ram, $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

Egypt, Late Period, rare 4-headed bronze ram, $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.


Greek, rare geometric miniature bronze horse, circa 8th century BC, $3,600-$4,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

Greek, rare geometric miniature bronze horse, circa 8th century BC, $3,600-$4,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.


Greek, rare solid cast-bronze running goat, circa 500 BC, $3,800-$4,500. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

Greek, rare solid cast-bronze running goat, circa 500 BC, $3,800-$4,500. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.


Roman, superb dolphin amulet, Joel L. Malter Collection, $4,000-$5,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

Roman, superb dolphin amulet, Joel L. Malter Collection, $4,000-$5,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.


Roman, rare small dark blue colored glass flask, circa 100-300 AD, $900-$1,200. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

Roman, rare small dark blue colored glass flask, circa 100-300 AD, $900-$1,200. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.


Jalisco, western Mexico, seated hunchback figure in creme ceramic, 12 inches, circa 250 BC - 350 AD, $2,500-$3,500. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

Jalisco, western Mexico, seated hunchback figure in creme ceramic, 12 inches, circa 250 BC – 350 AD, $2,500-$3,500. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.


Chinese, exquisite jade slipper of 3-color jadeite, late 20th century, $500-$600. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

Chinese, exquisite jade slipper of 3-color jadeite, late 20th century, $500-$600. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.


Chinese, ivory Guanjin, circa late 18th century, $1,500-$2,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

Chinese, ivory Guanjin, circa late 18th century, $1,500-$2,000. Image courtesy Malter Galleries.

An agate stone tool is used to burnish gold leaf to wood during the water gilding process. Photo courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

Furniture maker takes a shine to French polishing

An agate stone tool is used to burnish gold leaf to wood during the water gilding process. Photo courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

An agate stone tool is used to burnish gold leaf to wood during the water gilding process. Photo courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Bobby Franks, owner of Uptown Restoration, loves being his own boss. He got into the furniture crafting and restoration business, and has acquired a variety of specialty skills, such as woodturning, gilding, leatherworking and French polishing, because he likes to do things on his own terms, without having to rely on a boss or a subcontractor to get the job done.

“We don’t contract out for anything,” he said.

Franks, 60, studied biology in college. The son of a furniture maker who had grown up in the trade, Franks needed money, so he made cold calls to antique stores and drummed up business restoring antiques. The work appealed to him, and the jobs kept coming.

“It just kind of snowballed,” he said. “It was always something I liked doing.”

Not content to do only the basic woodworking of furniture design and repair, Franks began accumulating additional skills, working in gold leaf and various veneers and using a lathe to make turned posts and columns.

“There was no formal training – just a lot of time and energy,” Franks said of his expanded skill set. “I just picked it up.”

Some skills, such as leather inlay, were harder to acquire than others.

“There was a guy in New Orleans, in the Marigny,” he recalled. “He did all the French Quarter (leather) work, and he would never let me go into his studio and see how it worked.

“I’d go over to the studio and he’d see me and close the curtains in the back.”

Franks knew that leatherwork, such as the kind used on stately desks or fine bookbinding, involved gold-leaf embossing using patterned metal rolls. He tracked down the name of the New York company that designed and manufactured many of the rolls used in the country, and called there for information on the process.

Franks learned that the patterned rolls are attached to a heated instrument, which is rolled over a strip of gold leaf to emboss the design onto the leather. Franks experimented with the method, which he said often requires a second person to keep the gold leaf even and in place, and now he restores leather inlay in-house.

That kind of specialty work makes for a job that’s “never the boring, monotonous kind of work,” Franks said. “It’s always something different.”

His favorite skill, though, is French polishing, a time-consuming process that gives wood a silky smooth luster. It’s a common, high-gloss finish for dining room tables and other fine pieces of furniture.

The polish, really shellac, is made from the secretions of beetles. It comes as orange flakes, which are added to rubbing alcohol. A special piece of cloth, which must consantly be kept wet, is used to apply the shellac in thin coats.

“The trick is to know how much shellac to put on the (cloth), because if you use too much it sticks,” Franks said. “You have to put on a lot of thin coats, and sand each one in between. It’s very time-consuming.”

Time-consuming, yes, but not monotonous – at least not to Franks. The appeal, he said, is simple: “It’s just the satisfaction of a beautiful finish.”

___

Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

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

AP-CS-02-14-10 1143EST

London dealers Dickinson will offer this important painting by Paul Gauguin entitled 'Deux Femmes or La Chevelure Fleurie', a late Tahitian period work priced in the region of €18 million ($24.5 million). Its current owner, a London collector, acquired it at auction in 2006 for £12.3 million ($21.9 million).

London Eye: February 2010

London dealers Dickinson will offer this important painting by Paul Gauguin entitled 'Deux Femmes or La Chevelure Fleurie', a late Tahitian period work priced in the region of €18 million ($24.5 million). Its current owner, a London collector, acquired it at auction in 2006 for £12.3 million ($21.9 million).

London dealers Dickinson will offer this important painting by Paul Gauguin entitled ‘Deux Femmes or La Chevelure Fleurie’, a late Tahitian period work priced in the region of €18 million ($24.5 million). Its current owner, a London collector, acquired it at auction in 2006 for £12.3 million ($21.9 million).

With the so-called PIIGS nations of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain confronting the dread spectre of a double-dip recession, it may be some time yet before we see the recent tentative signs of economic recovery blossom into something more permanent within the Euro-zone.

Thus far, the art market seems to have weathered the storm reasonably well, with high-end auction consignments beginning to grow and confidence gradually returning. Sotheby’s recent London sale of Giacometti’s 1961 L’Homme qui marche I (Walking Man I) for a world auction record of £65,001,250 ($104,327,006) caught the media’s imagination, but one swallow does not make a spring. The middle of the market still seems to be languishing in the doldrums.

It will therefore be fascinating to see how the market responds to two significant March fairs — the British Antique Dealers’ Association Fair (the BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair) taking place in a purpose-built pavilion at the Duke of York Square in London’s Chelsea district March 17-23, and the prestigious TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair) held March 12-21 in the Dutch town of Maastricht.

The Giacometti bronze has already shown that when a rare opportunity arises to acquire a historically important work of art there are still enough wealthy buyers with the wherewithal to do so, global recession notwithstanding. This year’s TEFAF event provides further opportunities of that nature.

Traditionally, TEFAF was most notable for its emphasis on Old Master paintings, but in recent years the Modern and Contemporary categories have come more to the fore, and this year one painting in particular is representative of that shift.

This is Deux Femmes or La Chevelure Fleurie, a late Tahitian period painting by the French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin. It is being offered by London dealers Dickinson at a price believed to be in the region of €18 million (£15.6 million or $24.5 million at current exchange rates). The work is being offered on behalf of a “leading British private collector” who bought it at Sotheby’s in London in February 2006. James Roundell, a Dickinson director and former head of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern department, said the collector in question has decided to switch the focus of his collecting onto pictures from later in the 20th century and is thus “rationalizing” his holdings.

The picture reportedly sold in 2006 at the height of the last boom for £12.3 million, including premium, ($21.9 million). Whether it will turn a profit after ownership costs and sales commissions have been levied remains to be seen.

Elsewhere, among the more typical Old Master objects on offer is a 15th-century domestic altarpiece by the Sienese artist Giovanni di Paolo depicting the Madonna and Child enthroned between saints. This superb example of late Gothic religious painting will be on the stand of Moretti Fine Art Ltd. of Florence, London and New York at a price of €2.2 million ($3 million), while one of the most notable museum-quality works on view in the modern art section is a 1982 abstract painting entitled Untitled XVI by the Dutch-born Abstract Expressionist master Willem de Kooning (1904-1997). This is to be offered by New York dealers L&M Arts at €3.7 million ($5 million).

This 15th-century century altarpiece by the Sienese artist Giovanni di Paolo depicting the Madonna and Child enthroned between saints will be on the stand of Moretti Fine Art Ltd. at the Eurropean Fine Art Fair in Maastricht in March priced at €2.2 million ($3 million).

This 15th-century century altarpiece by the Sienese artist Giovanni di Paolo depicting the Madonna and Child enthroned between saints will be on the stand of Moretti Fine Art Ltd. at the Eurropean Fine Art Fair in Maastricht in March priced at €2.2 million ($3 million).


At the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht in March New York dealers L&M Arts will offer this 1982 abstract painting, 'Untitled XVI,' by the Dutch-born Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning, priced at €3.7 million ($5 million).

At the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht in March New York dealers L&M Arts will offer this 1982 abstract painting, ‘Untitled XVI,’ by the Dutch-born Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning, priced at €3.7 million ($5 million).

The Oriental works of art section — an area of the art market benefiting from the attention of newly wealthy Chinese mainland collectors — includes a rare Chinese Kangxi period (1662-1722) Tianhuang seal. Carved in the form of a crouching lioness, it also has the name of one of the emperor’s sons inscribed on the side. This will be exhibited by London dealers Littleton & Hennessy Asian Art with an asking price of €550,000 ($750,000).

Last year’s fair saw the successful launch of a new Design section entitled TEAFAF Design, which proved to be a big attraction. This year’s innovation is TEFAF on Paper, a new section devoted to Old Master and modern drawings, limited edition prints, photography, antiquarian books and manuscripts, Japanese prints and watercolours. Around 18 dealers have signed up to exhibit in the new section which will occupy the upstairs hall in which TEFAF Design was located last year. TEFAF Design moves downstairs.

This rare Chinese Tianhuang seal from the Kangxi period (1662-1722), carved in the form of a crouching lioness, and with the name of one of the Emperor’s sons inscribed on the side, will be exhibited by Littleton & Hennessy Asian Art Ltd of London at the TEFAF fair in March with an asking price of €550,000 ($750,000).

This rare Chinese Tianhuang seal from the Kangxi period (1662-1722), carved in the form of a crouching lioness, and with the name of one of the Emperor’s sons inscribed on the side, will be exhibited by Littleton & Hennessy Asian Art Ltd of London at the TEFAF fair in March with an asking price of €550,000 ($750,000).

Back in London, the British Antique Dealers’ Association Fair will provide an indication of whether trading conditions are improving at all for traders operating in the middle of the market. Around 100 of the UK’s leading art and antiques dealers will be showing at the fair, which this year is most notable for an interesting loan exhibition entitled ‘Heroes or Villains?’ devoted to celebrity memorabilia.

A pocket watch, said to have been once owned by the infamous killer Dr. Crippen, which will be on view at the 'Heroes or Villains?' loan exhibition at the BADA Fair in London in March.

A pocket watch, said to have been once owned by the infamous killer Dr. Crippen, which will be on view at the ‘Heroes or Villains?’ loan exhibition at the BADA Fair in London in March.

The exhibition is an opportunity to view a selection of objects from what the fair’s organisers describe as “one of the world’s greatest private collections of celebrity memorabilia”. The collection, which includes such bizarre treasures as Mussolini’s fez and a pocket watch owned by convicted murderer Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, was assembled by Jersey-based collector David Gainsborough Roberts, a former actor and wrestling promoter whose collecting passion began when his grandmother gave him a piece of wood reputedly from Adm. Horacio Nelson’s flagship The Victory. Quite how she came upon such a thing remains unclear, but it was enough to ignite in Roberts a life-long passion for objects with connections to famous people.

Unlike collectors who focus their attention on one type of celebrity, such as pop singers or film stars, Roberts threw his net much wider. As a result, his 3,000-piece collection embraces not only objects once owned by respected public figures but also items that formerly belonged to murderers, gangsters and others of dubious renown.

So, if you fancy taking a closer look at, among other items, Al Capone’s cigarette case, Elvis Presley’s sapphire ring, Lawrence of Arabia’s robe or John Lennon’s cufflinks, then the BADA Fair is the place to visit from March 17 to 23.

Al Capone's cigarette case, suitably battered and bruised, which will be on view at the loan exhibition entitled 'Heros or Villlains?' at the British Antique Dealers' Association Fair in London in March.

Al Capone’s cigarette case, suitably battered and bruised, which will be on view at the loan exhibition entitled ‘Heros or Villlains?’ at the British Antique Dealers’ Association Fair in London in March.


Elvis Presley's sapphire ring which will be on view at the British Antique Dealers' Association Fair in March as part of a loan exhibition of celebrity memorabilia.

Elvis Presley’s sapphire ring which will be on view at the British Antique Dealers’ Association Fair in March as part of a loan exhibition of celebrity memorabilia.


The British Antique Dealers' Association will hold a loan exhibition of celebrity memorabilia at their March fair in London which will feature this robe reputedly once worn by T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia).

The British Antique Dealers’ Association will hold a loan exhibition of celebrity memorabilia at their March fair in London which will feature this robe reputedly once worn by T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia).

Famous historical figures may also be enough to lure the punters down to the Westonbirt Antiques and Fine Art Fair at Westonbirt School near Tetbury in Gloucestershire March 26- 28, where Somerset dealer Karen Jones, a specialist in historical portraiture, will be showing portraits of Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) and Henry VIII (1491-1547). The unsigned portrait of Cromwell dates from the late 18th century and shows him in heroic pose wearing the soldier’s uniform of the famous New Model Army rather than his usual garb of statesman and Lord Protector. Measuring 25 by 23 inches, the portrait will be offered with a price of £7,500 ($11,775).

Somerset historical portrait dealer Karen Jones will be offering this unsigned 18th-century portrait of Oliver Cromwell at the Westonbirt Antiques and Fine Art Fair in Gloucestershire in March priced at £7,500 ($11,775).

Somerset historical portrait dealer Karen Jones will be offering this unsigned 18th-century portrait of Oliver Cromwell at the Westonbirt Antiques and Fine Art Fair in Gloucestershire in March priced at £7,500 ($11,775).

The tiny 7 by 6 inch portrait of Henry VIII, painted in oil on copper and also dating from the 18th century, is a copy of Holbein’s famous portrait. This is priced at £4,800 ($7,500).

Around 45 dealers show at the Westonbirt Fair, which remains a classic example of the kind of provincial event that has just about survived the recent downturn. Like  many country fairs, it provides dealers at the lower and middle sections of the market with a more economically viable route to market than a shop. Founded in 1928, Westonbirt School, a former manor house just a few miles south of Tetbury in picturesque Gloucestershire, boasts sumptuous interiors and has become an ideal location for a mid-market fair.

Finally, one or two notable prices from the provincial auction circuit in recent weeks. Last month we mentioned the forthcoming sale of a fine pair of silver-gilt waiters by William Burwash, formerly owned by the illustrious 19th-century collector William Beckford at Fonthill Abbey. They were estimated at £15,000-20,000 ($24,400-$32,500) when they came under the Salisbury hammer of Woolley & Wallis on Jan. 27, but they eventually crept up to a hammer price of £36,000 ($56,500).

A few days later Woolley & Wallis offered a superb dragonfly pendant decorated in plique à jour enamels by famed French silversmith and jeweler René Lalique. This demonstrated the continuing strength of the market for fine quality jewellery of the early 20th century when the hammer fell at £42,000 ($65,935). Although the price didn’t quite top the £58,000 paid for a Lalique cicada brooch at the Salisbury rooms in July 2008, Woolley & Wallis’s jewelery specialist Jonathan Edwards was encouraged.

A plique à jour enameled brooch by French Art Nouveau designer René Lalique, which fetched £42,000 ($65,935) at Woolley & Wallis's Salisbury salerooms in late January.

A plique à jour enameled brooch by French Art Nouveau designer René Lalique, which fetched £42,000 ($65,935) at Woolley & Wallis’s Salisbury salerooms in late January.

“I’m delighted that we’re getting a reputation for selling good pieces of Lalique jewellery,” said Edwards. “The pendant in our sale on Thursday went to a New York dealer, which shows just how global the market is at the moment and, to my mind, demonstrates that the provincial salerooms are just as capable of attracting the right buyers as those in London.”

Painted zinc Indian brave tobacco figure cast in 1875 by Miller, Dubrul and Peters, 6 feet tall, featured in 1953 book Cigar Store Figures by Pendergast and Ware. Estimate $30,000-$50,000.

Dan Morphy’s Feb. 26-27 mega-sale features antique firearms, militaria, toys

Painted zinc Indian brave tobacco figure cast in 1875 by Miller, Dubrul and Peters, 6 feet tall, featured in 1953 book Cigar Store Figures by Pendergast and Ware. Estimate $30,000-$50,000.

Painted zinc Indian brave tobacco figure cast in 1875 by Miller, Dubrul and Peters, 6 feet tall, featured in 1953 book Cigar Store Figures by Pendergast and Ware. Estimate $30,000-$50,000.

DENVER, Pa. – Dan Morphy Auctions will pack 2,100 quality lots into a big two-day sale, Feb. 26 and 27, 2010, at the company’s state of the art gallery on the Adamstown antique strip. The main categories in the auction are historical antiques, firearms and militaria, jewelry, toys and antique advertising. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com.

The Friday session opens with more than 150 lots of fine jewelry and Bakelite from a single estate. All types of jewelry will be offered, including rings, necklaces, earrings, watches and brooches. Among the highlights are an 18K gold bracelet with turquoise stones, a 14K gold bracelet with diamonds, and many other gold Victorian-era fine jewelry designs.

Next up will be 100 general antique lots, featuring clocks, pottery, artwork and other Americana, followed by firearms primarily coming from two single-owner collections. The offering consists of 40 Kentucky rifles, a dozen early Springfield Civil War rifles known as “1903s,” an assortment of World War I and II M1 Girand rifles, and a collection of more than 60 double-barrel shotguns.

Standouts include a superb Kentucky rifle attributed to Charles Baum (upper Susquehanna region of Pennsylvania) that boasts 65 silver inlays. The buttstock is adorned by silver depictions of a flying eagle and Indian with a tomahawk. Another key gun lot is a scarce Winchester Model 1886 .45-.70 caliber bolt-action rifle. Estimate: $7,500-$12,000.

A 50-lot selection of modern guns includes eight Winchester pre-1964 Model 70s. “These guns are highly sought after by collectors and hunters alike, due to their flawless bolt-action design,” said Morphy’s general manager Kris Lee.

The 170-lot historical and political section of the sale incorporates buttons, banners, flags, and ribbons. Notable entries are a U.S. Presidential campaign flag for Benjamin Harrison, and a William Taft banner. Photographica includes tintypes, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes and photographs, including desirable Abraham Lincoln photos and a ferrotype.

Nearly 300 lots of antique advertising will be auctioned, with 25+ tobacco tins topped by an extremely rare Shogun vertical pocket tin estimated at $8,000-$12,000. A handsome, painted-zinc Indian brave tobacco store figure made by Miller, Dubrul & Peters Mfg. Co. (Cincinnati and New York) and featured in the 1953 book Cigar Store Figures (Pendergast and Ware) is expected to make $30,000-$50,000. Other lots expected to finish well in the money include a large, illuminating shoe-form trade sign advertising Wahr Shoes ($8,000-$12,000); and a large wooden shotgun shell display for Kynoch & Co. ($6,000-$8,000).

Saturday’s session will begin with more than 170 marble lots. “It’s one of the best marble offerings we’ve ever had, and comes from mainly two very nice collections,” said Morphy’s CEO Dan Morphy.

The grouping includes a handmade sulphide of two kissing lovebirds suspended in turquoise-colored glass ($3,000-$5,000), and two original wooden salesmen’s sample boxes from the Germany manufacturer Mueller & Sons, each filled with handmade sample marbles – swirls, micas, Lutzes, opaques and clambroths. Each box is entered in the sale with a $3,000-$4,000 estimate. Yet another coveted lot is a 2½-inch end of the day lobed onionskin marble in original condition ($2,000-$3,000). A sizable number of other large, lobed onionskins and ribbons swirls will be offered.

Topping the machine-made marbles is a Peltier No. 00 National Rainbow 100-count set in its original box ($4,000-$6,000). An extremely rare Akro No. 250 marble box set may attract a winning bid of $2,500-$3,000; and there will be no shortage of buyers, Morphy said, for the more than 20 Christensen agate flames, some of them unique examples.

The Saturday session also features part two of the Pat and Lowell Wagner steam toy collection. More than 350 lots of highly desirable steam engines, cars, boats and other playthings from the collection carry the brands of such prestigious manufacturers as Marklin, Weeden, Schonner, Bing, Plank, and Doll et Cie.

Nearly 200 general toy lots run the gamut of dolls, trains, Steiff and American tin. A Maggie Bessie cloth doll consigned by its original owner is estimated at $4,000-$6,000; while another excellent selection of Fisher-Price toys from collectors Pat and Lowell Wagner will also cross the block.

Nearly 100 pieces of cast iron range from horse-drawn through mechanical banks and other iron toys. Pristine examples of the Breadwinners and Boy Scout banks will be sold, as well as a very nice Merry-Go-Round bank.

Dan Morphy Auctions will hold its first sale of 2010 on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27, at the Adamstown Antique Gallery, 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517 (on the Adamstown antique strip). For additional information on any lot in the sale, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail dan@morphyauctions.com.

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

#   #   #

Click here to view Dan Morphy Auctions LLC’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


1835-1845 flintlock Kentucky rifle, curly maple with 65 silver inlays, attributed to Charles Baum. Estimate $7,500-$12,000.

1835-1845 flintlock Kentucky rifle, curly maple with 65 silver inlays, attributed to Charles Baum. Estimate $7,500-$12,000.


Cloth 39-star flag promoting 1888 Presidential campaign of Benjamin Harrison, grandson of the earlier U.S. President William Henry Harrison. Estimate $3,000-$4,000.

Cloth 39-star flag promoting 1888 Presidential campaign of Benjamin Harrison, grandson of the earlier U.S. President William Henry Harrison. Estimate $3,000-$4,000.


Rare Shogun vertical pocket tobacco tin, 4½ inches tall. Estimate $8,000-$12,000.

Rare Shogun vertical pocket tobacco tin, 4½ inches tall. Estimate $8,000-$12,000.


J. & E. Stevens 'Breadwinners' cast-iron mechanical bank, excellent to near-mint condition. Estimate $15,000-$20,000.

J. & E. Stevens ‘Breadwinners’ cast-iron mechanical bank, excellent to near-mint condition. Estimate $15,000-$20,000.


18K gold bracelet with turquoise stones, 40 pennyweights. Estimate $4,000-$5,000.

18K gold bracelet with turquoise stones, 40 pennyweights. Estimate $4,000-$5,000.


Marklin 1909-1924 traction No. 4152/6 Fahrbare Lokomobile steam engine with angled rear firebox. Estimate $4,000-$7,000.

Marklin 1909-1924 traction No. 4152/6 Fahrbare Lokomobile steam engine with angled rear firebox. Estimate $4,000-$7,000.


Excellent example of clown onionskin marble, 1-7/16 inches in diameter. Estimate $1,000-$2,000.

Excellent example of clown onionskin marble, 1-7/16 inches in diameter. Estimate $1,000-$2,000.

This is a carved walnut Savonarola chair made in Italy about 1875. It sold at New Orleans Auction Galleries for $1,100.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of Feb. 15, 2010

This is a carved walnut Savonarola chair made in Italy about 1875. It sold at New Orleans Auction Galleries for $1,100.

This is a carved walnut Savonarola chair made in Italy about 1875. It sold at New Orleans Auction Galleries for $1,100.

Furniture names often are confusing. A Martha Washington sewing table was made in the 1930s, more than 120 years after Mrs. Washington died, and in a style with no resemblance to the sewing tables of the 18th century. A Governor Winthrop desk had nothing to do with the Massachusetts Bay Colony governor who lived in the 17th century. It’s a drop-front desk designed by Chippendale in the 18th century, but named Winthrop by a furniture company in the 20th century. The Savonarola chair is another misnamed piece of furniture. The design comes from the ancient Roman X-shaped chair that was very popular in medieval Italy. It can be plain or carved, solid or made to fold. Some are inlaid with ivory or metal, and some have a cushioned seat. The chair was given the name Savonarola in the 19th century, after Girolamo Savonarola, an Italian priest in Florence from 1494 to 1498. He preached against the excesses of the people, predicted the Last Days and organized the Bonfire of the Vanities in 1497. Mirrors, cosmetics, immoral sculptures, gaming tables, musical instruments, fine clothes and artwork were burned in a huge fire in the main square. When the Last Days didn’t come, his followers revolted, he was excommunicated and then, in 1498, he was executed. None of this has anything to do with the X-shaped chair that was given his name. But even stranger, the chair is called a Dante chair in Italy and a Luther chair in Germany. The form is still popular. An example from the late-19th century could sell for $1,000; a chair made in the 1980s might bring $150.

Q: I have a ceramic figural head that’s wearing a World War II soldier’s hat and has grooves like a Chia Pet. It has a “Robinson-Ransbottom” mark on the bottom. Can you tell me anything about it?

A: Robinson-Ransbottom Pottery Co. made two grass-growing heads in 1941. “Elmer the Doughboy” wore a soldier’s hat, and “Barnacle Bill,” a sailor’s cap. Robinson-Ransbottom was in business in Roseville, Ohio, from 1900 to 2005. Its pottery was marked “R.R.P. Co., Roseville, O.” The heads were sold with seeds for 59 cents each. Chia Pets were first made in San Francisco in 1982. The “grass” is chia (Salvia hispanica), which grows in Mexico. Elmer the Doughboy is worth about $35.

Q: I’m a retired elementary schoolteacher. I used to spend time in the spring teaching about bird migration, so through the years I picked up four old Audubon bird charts. They were originally painted in watercolors by Louis Agassiz Fuertes for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. They’re in very good condition because I laminated them years ago to protect them from the students’ handling. Each one is 27 by 42 inches. What can you tell me about the artist and the charts?

A: Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874-1927) was an ornithologist and an artist who specialized in painting birds. Your charts were originally published in 1898, 1900, 1912 and 1924. The first two were published by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and the last two by Milton Bradley Co. Original 19th-century prints of John James Audubon’s portraits of single birds can sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Your charts are not as valuable, but the fact that you laminated them decreased their value even further. Still, a museum in your area might be interested in them.

Q: When I was metal-detecting a while ago, I found a 1934 North Carolina chauffeur’s badge. It’s metal with the embossed wording, “Licensed Motor Vehicle Driver Badge, Expires June 30, 1934.” What do you think it’s worth?

A: Starting around 1900, chauffeurs were specially licensed. Until the 1930s, a chauffeur was issued a paper certificate that was displayed in his car or a metal badge that he wore on his hat or jacket. Today, North Carolina does not require special licensing for chauffeurs. There are collectors who hunt for chauffeur badges. Most badges sell for about $20.

Q: My mother-in-law died unexpectedly, and I ended up with the job of cleaning out the house where she lived for 50 years. During that process, I found a pair of Mickey Mouse cufflinks about 2 inches long and 1 3/8 inches high. They’re cast in a silver-tone metal with an enameled Mickey in a running pose. His gloves and shoes are yellow, his shorts are red with yellow buttons, his face is silver and his eyes, ears, arms and legs are black. The back is marked with the copyright symbol and “Walt Disney Productions.” Are they old and valuable?

A: You have a pair of vintage Mickey Mouse cufflinks, probably made by the Dexter Manufacturing Co. of Providence, R.I. Dexter made Disney character jewelry, including cufflinks, starting in 1953 and continuing off and on into the mid-1980s. Your cufflinks would sell for about $10.

Tip: Beware of plastic jewelry. Some will change color, become brittle or even turn into a brown, sticky puddle. Any plastic that has an odor is deteriorating and should not be kept near other objects.

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 e-mail 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.

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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.

  • Britain guard and guardhouse toy soldier, hand-painted lead, guard’s right arm moves up and down with rifle, 1950s, 3 1/2 inches, $35.
  • Coca-Cola tip tray, 1916 calendar girl Elaine drinking a Coke, 6 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches, $143.
  • Steuben blown and applied crystal ship’s decanter, cut moon stopper, signed, circa 1942, 10 1/2 x 7 3/8 inches, $570.
  • Farmhouse Biscuit tin, figural, farm scene with animals, Huntley & Palmers, circa 1931, 4 1/4 x 6 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches, $605.
  • Redware pie plate, coggled rim with yellow slip bird in center, 19th century, 9 inches, $755.
  • Early American Windsor chair, painted maple, pine and hickory, sack back, continuous arms with scroll ends, turned supports, saddle seat, late 18th century, 37 inches, $1,920.
  • Coin silver pap boat, elongated body, C-scroll handles, stepped flange base, marked “J. Rafel N.O.,” New Orleans, 1810, 6 1/2 inches, $1,910.
  • Door of Hope policeman doll, wooden hands, carved face, blue uniform with appliqued collar, white hat with red fringe, 11 1/2 inches, $2,875.
  • Stevens & Williams cameo-cut vase, tall neck, white opal over russet-cut ground, embossed double-circles paper label, 1890s, 12 inches, $6,000.

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