‘I read the news today oh boy’ – Lennon’s lyrics top $1.2M

John Lennon rehearses Give Peace a Chance, 1969, copyrighted photo by Roy Kerwood licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License.

John Lennon rehearses Give Peace a Chance, 1969, copyrighted photo by Roy Kerwood licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License.
John Lennon rehearses Give Peace a Chance, 1969, copyrighted photo by Roy Kerwood licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License.
NEW YORK – John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for A Day In The Life sold to a private American collector for $1,202,500 at Sotheby’s Fine Books & Manuscripts sale Friday. An intense bidding battle that lasted almost 6 minutes resulted in a sale of almost double the high estimate, which was $700,000.

Bidding rapidly became a contest between two telephone bidders who competed tenaciously to acquire the celebrated Beatles’ autograph lyrics for A Day In The Life – the final track of the legendary 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The landmark album spent 27 weeks at the top of the UK’s charts and 15 weeks at no. 1 on the American Billboard 200. The revolutionary album marked the Beatles’ transformation from pop icons to artists.

“The outstanding price achieved for these handwritten lyrics is testament to the iconic status of the Beatles, John Lennon and especially this song. We are thrilled that these renowned lyrics were so well-received today,” said David Redden, international chairman Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts Department.

The double-sided sheet of paper in Lennon’s hand is complete with cross-outs, corrections, reworkings and chronicles the evolution of one of the most famous pop masterpieces from conception to the lyrics presumably used in the recording studio.

From the first time it was aired on June 1, 1967, A Day In The Life was recognized as one of the towering achievements of popular music, that elevated not only the Beatles to a new level but allowed pop music to take its place as one of the 20th-century’s defining artistic movements, said Redden.

 

 

 

Univ. of Mich. art museum hosts Corita Kent prints

Corita Kent, custodiat,1957, silkscreen print on paper, Collection Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles, California. Part of the University of Michigan Museum of Art exhibition of Corita Kent prints.

Corita Kent, custodiat,1957, silkscreen print on paper, Collection Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles, California. Part of the University of Michigan Museum of Art exhibition of Corita Kent prints.
Corita Kent, custodiat,1957, silkscreen print on paper, Collection Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles, California. Part of the University of Michigan Museum of Art exhibition of Corita Kent prints.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – The University of Michigan Museum of Art is hosting an exhibition of prints from artist Corita Kent, whose works include the “Love” stamp that she designed for the U.S. Postal Service.

The traveling exhibit “Sister Corita: The Joyous Revolutionary” opened over the weekend and runs through Aug. 15 at the museum in Ann Arbor. The exhibit includes 44 prints, from early religious pieces to the popular stamp.

She was born Frances Kent in Fort Dodge, Iowa, was educated in Los Angeles and joined the sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1936, taking the name Sister Mary Corita. She left the order of nuns in 1968 and moved to Boston.

She died in 1986.

The exhibit is from Mid-America Arts Alliance’s ExhibitsUSA division and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Online: Corita Art Center: http://www.corita.org

University of Michigan Museum of Art: http://www.umma.umich.edu

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

AP-CS-06-20-10 0400EDT

 

Illinois student finds ancient treasure in excavation

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) – A 27-year-old student has found what appears to be an ancient pottery fragment during an excavation at the Edwardsville campus of Southern Illinois University.

Bryan Clemons found a palm-sized piece of pottery this week believed to be about 2,000 years old.

Clemons is one of several anthropology students excavating two acres at the university.

He says being able to touch a piece of pottery someone made so many years ago is a connection to the past.

The region around Edwardsville is rich with ancient history.

In nearby Collinsville is the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. It’s believed to have been inhabited from roughly 700 to 1400 A.D. Experts say it was among the most complex societies of prehistoric North America.

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

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

AP-CS-06-20-10 0400EDT

 

 

Ojibwa woman learns ancient craft of making black ash baskets

This Great Lakes Indian basket black is made of black ash. Image coutesy of DuMouchelles and Live Auctioneers archive.

This Great Lakes Indian basket black is made of black ash. Image coutesy of DuMouchelles and LiveAuctioneers archive.
This Great Lakes Indian basket black is made of black ash. Image coutesy of DuMouchelles and LiveAuctioneers archive.
ASHLAND, Wis. (AP) – Among the Anishnabe people, there is a legend of how a man named Black Elk was concerned for his people. Nearing the end of his life, he was worried about the restlessness of his people and wanted to give them something that would not only help them provide for their families, but teach them the patience they needed.

Black Elk asked the Creator what could be done to help his people and the Creator instructed him to have his people cremate his remains after he died and out of the ashes a sacred tree would grow.

That tree was the black ash; the people protected the tree until it was fully-grown.

Then, cutting the mature tree down with appropriate equipment thanks to the Creator, they stripped the bark, and taking heavy mallets, pounded the trunk until the soft summer growth was crushed and only the harder spring and winter growth remained. This they cut away in strips, and with great skill and workmanship they created baskets of great beauty, and learned patience from waiting for the trees to mature, preparing the wood and weaving the strips into all manner of useful baskets, which could be traded for the things the people needed.

For thousands of years, the Anishnabe, the Ojibwa people, have used the bounty of nature and the black ash to create baskets for every conceivable purpose, from the drying of herbs, to the storage of foodstuffs, from the harvesting of garden vegetables to the hauling of beaver traps and pelts. However, like many traditional crafts, the making of baskets is an art that is engaged in by relatively few these days.

One of those is April Stone-Dahl, who learned the basics of the craft from her husband, Jarrod, who went to a folk school in Grand Marais in 1998. She saw his basket-making efforts and proceeded to teach herself the intricacies of making beautiful and functional baskets from trees.

Stone-Dahl, a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, said she has long been intrigued by black ash baskets, once so common in Native American culture.

“I have searched for stories, I’ve asked elders if they remember anything about them from when they were young,” she said.

Her interest in the baskets has led her to make a career out of creating the baskets, in many sizes, and for all kinds of purposes.

Stone-Dahl is not just interested in creating baskets; she wants to teach others the art.

In June of 2009, Stone-Dahl was awarded a yearlong Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant by the Wisconsin Arts Board to pass on the knowledge and skills of traditional black ash basketry. Taking on fellow Bad River tribal member Jenny Morris as an apprentice, Stone-Dahl has spent the last year working with Morris, teaching her the skills needed to turn a raw tree into an exquisite handcrafted basket.

The art of black ash basket-making has become rare because cheap, easily available substitutes for the versatile black ash baskets came on the scene and required none of the painstaking labor required to make a traditional basket.

“First you have to find a good straight black ash tree, from a swampy area,” Stone Dahl said. “We look for a tree that has no knots, no limbs, no visible scars for the first 20 feet or so, with a healthy crown. We will make our offering and then cut the tree.”

The tree needs to come from a wet area in the spring of the year, she said. The swampy area ensures that the wood will be properly moist, and cutting it in the spring means the bark can be easily removed in a single piece. “Otherwise you have to do a lot of work with a drawknife, Stone-Dahl said.

The second and most laborious part of the process is to beat the log. A truncheon-like mallet, tightly fitted with a steel sleeve is used to beat the debarked log for hours on end, rolling the log on a pair of V-notched stumps. Pounding the log crushes the soft summer growth rings and delaminates the log so that the harder late winter and early spring growth rings can be stripped lengthwise off the log in strips called “splints.”

The splints are trimmed evenly, and rolled up in coils and stored in a dry, mold-free location until needed. Then they are soaked in a kettle of hot water until they are flexible enough to be folded in half without breaking, and woven into the final product.

“One elder told me that he remembered pounding a log for his aunt when he was 14, but that was the last time he ever did it because the labor was so hard.”

However, for Stone-Dahl, it’s a labor of love.

“I was so impressed with my husband’s basket after watching it for a year that I thought it would be an honor to learn how to work with that kind of material, because it was growing all around us,” she said. “He showed me how to weave my first basket, and I have just been kind of weaving ever since.”

Stone-Dahl said she wished that she could say she had been taught to weave by her grandmother, but that part of the Native American culture, with a few exceptions, has been all but lost for many years.

“I was sad about it because it just seems that there are a lot of things that have been left on the side of the path,” she said.

However, she said her efforts are directed at reversing that trend, teaching basket-making at Northland College and at the Treehaven natural resources education facility operated by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in Tomahawk.

She has also done demonstrations for several tribes in the region, including the Bad River, Red Cliff, and St. Croix reservations. She and her husband also operate a crafts business called Wood Spirit, specializing in crafts made in the traditional manner.

“I like to share what I know,” that’s important,” said Stone-Dahl.

Over the past year, the beneficiary of much of that sharing has been Morris, who recently graduated from Ashland High School and plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Morris as a music major.

“I really thought it was cool that the Wisconsin Arts Board would offer something like this,” she said. “It’s a traditional art, and it’s super useful. It’s also really hard.”

Morris said it gave her an incredible sense of pride to be learning the skills that had served her ancestors for millennia.

“It’s kind of a lost art, and it’s nice to be part of a program that keeps it alive.”

It is without a doubt, an art worth keeping alive. The delicacy of form and even the tactile pleasure the baskets give must be experienced to be believed. It almost seems wrong to use something so beautiful for mundane tasks.

“But they are supposed to be used,” smiles Stone-Dahl.

“It’s amazing how durable they are, because they look so delicate,” said Morris.

The weaving is the easy part, Morris said, noting that the preparation included felling whole trees, hauling them out of the swamp, removing the bark and pounding on the logs, seemingly without end.

“Having music definitely helps,” she said.

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Information from: The Daily Press, http://www.ashlandwi.com

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

AP-CS-06-18-10 0047EDT

Herb & Helen Haydock: the couple that made beer collecting famous

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer was brewed for many years in Milwaukee. This tin advertising sign measures 24 inches by 20 inches. Image courtesy of Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers archive.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer was brewed for many years in Milwaukee. This tin advertising sign measures 24 inches by 20 inches. Image courtesy of Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers archive.
Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer was brewed for many years in Milwaukee. This tin advertising sign measures 24 inches by 20 inches. Image courtesy of Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers archive.
MONROE, Wis. (AP) – Among collectors of beer and brewery memorabilia, the names of Herb and Helen Haydock pop up all over the world.

Wintering for six months in Costa Rica and returning to their hometown of Wisconsin Rapids for two to three months, the couple will now make frequent summer visits to Monroe for the express purpose to taking care of their extensive collection, now on display at the Minhas Craft Brewery Tour Center and Museum.

“Oh, this is only half of it,” said Helen. “They didn’t realize how much we had.”

Foremost collectors of breweriana, Herb and Helen were busy recently at the museum, putting some finishing touches on the new microbrewery display room, before the grand opening.

The collection includes hundreds of brewery advertising artifacts. A gallery room holds lithographs and prints from the mid-1800 era to the 1950s and ’60s. A lower-floor room holds collections of model cars, trucks and trains, tap handles and growlers from around the world.

Herb wouldn’t say which collectible was his favorite. A favorite collectable is like a favorite beer, he said. “Everyone has their own.”

But Helen was quick to point out advertising posters and calendars with the children depicted. “Those are my favorites,” she admitted.

Herb and Helen have authored two books on beer memorabilia. The World of Beer and Beer Advertising Memorabilia offer a brief history of breweries, along with full-color pictures of individual items in their collection.

Helen pulled one of the books out as she explained “The Best Tonic” advertising campaign poster. Just above the poster on display in the gallery sets the real bottle of The Best Tonic, now empty.

The book’s photo looks very similar the large poster in its unique frame, but devoid of the advertising.

“If you saved the coupons (from the bottle label), they sent you a picture, like this, of Mrs. Grover Cleveland,” Helen said pointing at the book.

Herb started collecting beer memorabilia in 1951, with eight beer glasses he bought while stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Munich, Germany. Helen, a teetotaler, married him in 1954.

Herb said she has tasted beer only once, when she accidentally took a drink from her water bottle, which he had filled with some leftover beer to save.

“Well, I didn’t drink it, I spit that out,” she said.

The Haydocks belong to numerous beer memorabilia associations, located in and outside the United States, such as Canada, Germany, England, Belgium, Italy, Lithuania, Australia and Argentina.

Herb was one of the co-founders, and now serves as a director emeritus on the board, of the National Association of Breweriana Advertising. The term “breweriana” first appeared with the 1972 formation of NABA.

“Breweriana was coined by one of the NABA members,” said Helen.

The Haydocks held the largest private collection of beer memorabilia, which was eventually purchased by the Miller Brewing Co. in 1996. In that collection were 150,000 beer labels.

Their second collection, assembled between 1987 and 1996, is housed at the Oldenberg Brewery, a microbrewery and entertainment complex in Fort Michell, Ky., near Cincinnati.

Their third beer and brewery antiques collection is now on display, perhaps appropriately, at the second-oldest brewery in America, Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe.

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Information from: The Monroe Times,

http://www.themonroetimes.com

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

AP-CS-06-20-10 0102EDT

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of June 21, 2010

Chase Brass & Copper Co. made this pair of lamps, the Colonel and the Colonel's Lady, in about 1935. This pair sold recently for $300 at a Jackson's auction in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Chase Brass & Copper Co. made this pair of lamps, the Colonel and the Colonel's Lady, in about 1935. This pair sold recently for $300 at a Jackson's auction in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Chase Brass & Copper Co. made this pair of lamps, the Colonel and the Colonel’s Lady, in about 1935. This pair sold recently for $300 at a Jackson’s auction in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Many companies today are looking at their sales figures and deciding how to change their products to attract more customers. The same thing was true in the 1930s when Chase Brass & Copper Co. decided to make Art Deco pieces for the home, along with the buttons, nails and thousands of other brass products it had manufactured since the company’s founding in 1876. Chase’s Art Deco designs were a little more expensive than pieces by its competitors, but they were attractive, novel and in the latest fashion. The company made cigarette boxes, candlesticks, tea sets, hors d’oeuvres trays, lamps, bowls, bookends, newspaper stands, planters and more. In the 1934-35 catalogs, the company offered the Colonel Light. It was a lamp that looked like a soldier. The light bulb was the head, and the hat its shade. There was also a Colonel’s Lady light. Each lamp is 9 3/8 inches high on a 4-inch-diameter base. Lurelle Guild was the famous industrial designer who created these lamps for Chase. Collectors search for these lamps because they are amusing and useful and were made by a famous company and a famous designer.

Q: I have a sterling-silver cigar case that was a wedding gift given to my grandfather by my grandmother in 1916. It has his initials, “FW,” on the front. I treasure it as a family heirloom, but is it very valuable?

A: Cigar cases were made to keep cigars fresh and also to keep them from getting crushed. Cigar smoking was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although smoking is now banned in many places, cigar cases are still made. The value of your silver cigar case is about $125.

Q: I have a beer poster that seems quite old. It pictures a nymph sitting next to a bottle of Schlitz beer. The label on the bottle says it is less than 1/2 percent alcohol. How old is this poster?

A: Your poster was probably made during Prohibition, between 1919 and 1933. A picture of a nymph might indicate it was made during the early years of Prohibition. The Volstead Act, or National Prohibition Act, was passed on Oct. 28, 1919, and prohibited the sale of intoxicating beverages. Beer that had less than 1/2 percent alcohol by weight was considered nonalcoholic and was allowed. Schlitz was one of the brewing companies that made “near beer” or nonalcoholic beer. The legal limit of alcohol content was raised to 3.2 percent on April 7, 1933, when the Cullen-Harrison Act was passed. Prohibition was repealed on Dec. 5, 1933. This poster has been reproduced in the past 20 years. If yours is old and large, it’s worth hundreds of dollars.

Q: Can you tell me if a pack of cigarettes made in the USSR that commemorates the Apollo-Soyuz flight is a collector’s item?

A: The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was the first joint space mission between two countries. Apollo docked with the Russian spacecraft Soyuz in July 1975. Many souvenir items were issued to commemorate the historic event, including cigarettes in a special Apollo-Soyuz pack with the mission emblem on it. The cigarettes were a joint venture between Philip Morris, which provided the tobacco, and Tava, a Russian company that manufactured them. The cigarettes went on sale in Russia on July 15, 1975, the day the Soyuz launched, and later in the United States. They were popular in Russia, where commemorative cigarettes were common, but didn’t sell well in the United States. Value of your pack of cigarettes: $5 to $10.

Q: I have a set of 12 dinner plates, never used, with scenes of the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass. Each one is signed by S.W. Stratton and dated 1930. There is an impression on the back that says “Wedgwood, made in England.” I would appreciate knowing the value of these plates.

A: Wedgwood made plates with scenes from colleges and universities from 1927 until the 1950s. The colleges commissioned the plates and sold them to alumni and in college bookstores. The plates were made of Queen’s Ware, a cream-colored earthenware, and marked with the name of the building pictured on the plate. S.W. Stratton was president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1923 until 1930. Wedgwood was established in England in 1759. It is part of WWRD Holdings today. The value of the plates vary, but it’s about $50 to $65 per plate.

Q: While cleaning out the garage, we found a brass 100-pound-capacity Forschner hanging scale. There’s a round seal embossed on it that says, “Approved Type 34 Serial 1 New York City.” We’re hoping you can shed some light on its history and value.

A: You have a hanging butcher scale made by the Forschner Butcher Scale Co. of New Britain, Conn. It’s a commercial scale made for a butcher shop and probably dates from the late 1800s. The company was founded by Charles Forschner in 1855. Eventually, it made other types of scales and imported knives, including Swiss Army knives. The company was bought and sold a few times before it became Swiss Army Brands Inc. in the mid-1990s. We have seen scales like yours sell for $5 to $50.

Tip: Spray a glass flower vase with nonstick food spray. It will keep the water from staining the glass.

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.

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

CURRENT PRICES

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

  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad coffee cup, Centenary pattern, shows 1830 horse-drawn car and first stone of the B&O, laid July 4, 1828, Scammell’s Lamberton China, Trenton, N.J., circa 1930, 3 inches, $95.
  • Babe Ruth baseball bat figural knife, two blades, red and cream celluloid, blade with maker’s name “Camillus,” 2 5/8 inches, $140.
  • Bakelite ivory and amber cigarette holder, carved pair of wild galloping horses on top, original base embossed “Consolidated Pipe Factory,” circa 1910, 11 x 3 inches, $260.
  • Dick Tracy Detective Club hat and belt, pressed wool, Miller Bros. hat, profile of Dick Tracy and Junior on patch, Detective Club premium, 1940s, size 30 belt, $275.
  • Madame Alexander groom doll, black felt jacket, gray trousers, silver tie, velvet vest, black shoes, painted face, open/close eyes, molded hair, 1950s, 8 inches, $445.
  • George Nelson Action Office desk, walnut rolltop over laminated writing surface, chromed steel base, two plastic pencil drawers, by Herman Miller, 54 x 30 x 34 inches, $660.
  • Camel Cigarettes transparent door sign, brown camel on front, gold ground, blue lettering, lithograph on paper, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., circa 1915, 9 3/4 x 7 7/8 inches, $710.
  • Bill Graham concert poster, featuring the Yardbirds and the Doors, psychedelic bird design with woman’s face, BG-75, July 25-30, 1967, 14 x 21 inches, $1,012.
  • Engraved horn cup, farming scene, barn, animals, peafowls, figures, well and carriages, dated 1768, 3 3/4 inches, $1,535.
  • Delft puzzle jug, globular, blue design, reads “Fill me with ale, wine or water/Any of the three it makes no matter,” pierced floral neck, marked, 7 3/4 inches, $2,125.

The best book to own if you want to buy or sell or collect: the full-color Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2010, 42nd edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and 47,000 up-to-date prices for more than 700 categories of antiques and collectibles. You’ll also find hundreds of factory histories and marks and a report on the record prices of the year, plus helpful sidebars and tips about buying, selling, collecting and preserving your treasures. Available online at Kovelsonlinestore.com; by phone at 800-571-1555; at your bookstore; or send $27.95 plus $4.95 postage to Price Book, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2010 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.