Nineteenth-century gold coins of various denominations were found in the suitcases. An 1899 $10 gold piece (lower right) sold for $660. Stephenson’s Auctions image.

Gold, silver coins found in suitcases top Stephenson’s Aug. 20 auction

Nineteenth-century gold coins of various denominations were found in the suitcases. An 1899 $10 gold piece (lower right) sold for $660. Stephenson’s Auctions image.

Nineteenth-century gold coins of various denominations were found in the suitcases. An 1899 $10 gold piece (lower right) sold for $660. Stephenson’s Auctions image.

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – It was a story that might easily have been written for television – but in this instance, it was strictly nonfiction. While assessing her late father’s possessions prior to sending a consignment off to auction, a Philadelphia woman made a fortuitous discovery in the garage of the family home. There, amongst the garden tools and bric-a-brac, she came across several weighty suitcases that had long been stashed out of sight. Thinking they might contain old clothes or discarded household articles, the woman was taken completely by surprise when she opened the cases to find a hoard of valuable old coins, many of them silver and gold.

“Nobody knew about the collection. Her father had never told anyone about it,” said Tom Wakeley, general manager of Stephenson’s, the company that auctioned the coins on Aug. 20 at their suburban Philadelphia gallery.

The collection ended up being “a tremendous success” at auction, Wakeley said, garnering $88,000 inclusive of 10% buyer’s premium.

“At this sale we had more live bidding than we did absentee and phone bidding because there were a number of nice pieces of gold in the collection. Buyers of gold coins like to inspect them and judge the condition for themselves,” Wakeley explained. Ninety-five percent of the 417 lots offered were purchased by in-house bidders.

Top-selling specimens included a 1907 $2.50 gold piece that realized $632.50 and an 1899 $10 gold piece that made $660.

A wealth of silver was available to bidders, as well. Seven Morgan half dollars from the early 20th century were sold as one lot for $1,430; while a book containing 27 silver commemorative half dollars from the mid-20th century finished its bidding run at $2,640 – quite an impressive result for coins whose total face value was a mere $13.50. Wakeley commented that condition was what drove the price on the grouping. “The half dollars were in uncirculated or even brilliant uncirculated condition, and that’s what collectors are looking for,” he said. “With money being so tight, collectors won’t spend a lot for average-condition coins, but if a coin is pristine, the money will come out.”

Other highlights of the Aug. 20 sale at Stephenson’s included an 1849 Seated Liberty silver dollar, $715; a book of 21 early 19th-century half cents, $1,017.50; and an exceptionally nice, unopened proof set containing each U.S. coin minted in 1950, which sold for $660.

Wakeley commented that, compared to buyers of other types of antiques, collectors who purchase coins at auction will cut to the chase. “At some auctions, bidders will hold out in hopes that the auctioneer will open a lot at a lower price, but at a coin auction, if the auctioneer asks for $25 and the coin is worth $500, they’ll just yell it out,” Wakeley said. “They already have the value figured out according to the price of silver or gold. That helps the auction go a little more quickly, too.”

Stephenson’s will conduct its next coin auction on Oct. 1, 2010, and will offer part II of the same collection featured in the Aug. 20 sale. For additional information, call Stephenson’s Auctioneers at 215-322-6182 or e-mail info@stephensonsauction.com. Visit Stephenson’s online at www.stephensonsauction.com.

# # #


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


A grouping of Barber dimes from the late 19th century/early 20th centuries sold as one lot for  $1,210. Stephenson’s Auctions image.

A grouping of Barber dimes from the late 19th century/early 20th centuries sold as one lot for $1,210. Stephenson’s Auctions image.

Karl Bodmer engraving titled ‘Mato-Tope’ (est. $12,000-$15,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Rare Western photo archive rounded up for Cowan’s sale Sept. 10

Karl Bodmer engraving titled ‘Mato-Tope’ (est. $12,000-$15,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Karl Bodmer engraving titled ‘Mato-Tope’ (est. $12,000-$15,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

CINCINNATI – A rare collection of important Sharp/Hauser Western photograph albums will be offered in Cowan’s Sept. 10 American Indian and Western Art Auction. The 514-lot sale will feature works by Western artists such as Carl Bodmer and Eanger Couse and will include consignments from the Fraser-Douglass collection of American Indian Art. LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

The leather-bound Sharp/Hauser albums titled Sioux and Apache and Pueblos of New Mexico, estimated to sell for $15,000-$25,000, is the first substantial group of visual material to help shed light on the life of Cincinnati artist John Hauser, a prolific artist of the American West. Until recently, Hauser has been an obscure figure in the Western Art genre, often in the shadow of Joseph Henry Sharp and Henry Farny – powerhouses within the field.

“From the little documentation we have regarding Sharp and Hauser’s journey to the Southwest in 1893, the evidence is compelling that the albums presented here document a part, or all, of this trip, at least from John Hauser’s perspective,” said Wes Cowan.

Cowan’s will offer a collection of engravings by Karl Bodmer that are expected to inspire competitive bidding. The first, titled Noapeh and Psihdja-Sahpa is estimated to sell for $3,000-$5,000. Two others, titled Missouri Indianer, Oto Indianer and Chef der Puncas, are also both estimated to sell for $3,000-$5,000. Even more rare, an engraving with its original coloring, titled Mato-Tope is expected to bring $12,000-$15,000.

Graydon Sikes, director of Paintings at Cowan’s said, “Bodmer was Swiss, and he was the first person along with an American artist named George Catlin to travel up the Missouri river. During the 1830s journey, he painted pictures of American Indian tribes, many whose numbers were diminishing. Bodmer and Catlin’s works were later made into etchings and prints.”

A painting by Eanger Irving Couse, titled Whitman Massacre is estimated to sell for $20,000-$30,000.

“Couse was one of the foremost painters of the Taos society of artists in the early 20th century,” Sikes said.

A pair of Kiowa beaded hide boot moccasins and a Sioux beaded hide cradle, both fourth-quarter 19th century, from the Fraser-Douglass collection, are estimated to sell for $6,000-$8,000 respectively. Fraser-Douglass had a lifetime interest in American Indian Art and taught classes on Native American art and design at the University of Cincinnati. His knowledge on the material allowed him to appraise the collections at the Cincinnati Art Museum and Museum of Natural History.

Eastern Woodlands carved burl pieces are also highlights of the auction. Effigy ladles are a core element in the Woodlands woodworking tradition and exemplify the quiet sophistication that defines their most successful works. An Iroquois figural burl feast ladle is estimated to bring $15,000-$25,000. Personal ladles exhibiting representational and abstract effigies are relatively scarce; feast ladles are exceptionally so.

Danica Farnand, director of American Indian Art at Cowan’s noted, “The burl pieces are early and the ladle is extremely large. They are ethnographic pieces and the woodworking tradition of the Eastern Woodlands style is a true art form in itself.”

A monumental Western mono basket, 12 inches in height and 28 inches in diameter, is estimated to sell for $40,000-$60,000. This impressive basket, woven of deer grass, sedge root and bracken fern root was published in Otis Tufton Mason’s Aboriginal Indian Basketry, Bureau of American Ethnology Report for the year 1902 and George Wharton James’ Indian Basketry, 1903.

“This basket has great provenance. It is fairly rare to have that kind of documented history with an item like this,” said Farnand.

An early Navajo classic serape with great color is expected to bring anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000. The serape is handspun from woven wool in natural white and indigo blue.

Three Sioux carved smoking pipes should also gather interest in the auction. A Sioux catlinite pipe with Sitting Bull provenance is estimated to sell for $1,500-$2,000. A Sioux pipe stem and catlinite bowl is expected to bring $5,000-$7,000 and a Sioux carved puzzle pipe with catlinite bowl is also estimated to sell for $1,500-$2,000.

An Eastern Plains gunstock club is estimated to bring $20,000-$25,000. The club is delicately carved with a serrated butt and a gracefully carved stock.

To learn more about Cowan’s visit the Web site www.cowans.com or call 513-871-1670.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Sioux pipe stem and catlinite bowl (est. $5,000-$7,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Sioux pipe stem and catlinite bowl (est. $5,000-$7,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.


Iroquois figural burl feast ladle (est. $15,000-$20,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Iroquois figural burl feast ladle (est. $15,000-$20,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.


Monumental Western mono basket (est. $40,000-$60,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Monumental Western mono basket (est. $40,000-$60,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.


Sioux beaded hide cradle (est. $6,000-$8,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Sioux beaded hide cradle (est. $6,000-$8,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.


Eanger Irving Couse, ‘Whitman Massacre,’ oil on panel (est. $20,000-$30,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Eanger Irving Couse, ‘Whitman Massacre,’ oil on panel (est. $20,000-$30,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.


Eastern Plains gunstock club (est. $20,000-$25,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Eastern Plains gunstock club (est. $20,000-$25,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.


Navajo classic serape (est. $10,000-$12,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Navajo classic serape (est. $10,000-$12,000). Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Popeye Reed sandstone Indian bust, sold for $823 at Cowan’s Auctions in May. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Cowan’s Corner: Inside track for Outsider Art

Popeye Reed sandstone Indian bust, sold for $823 at Cowan’s Auctions in May. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Popeye Reed sandstone Indian bust, sold for $823 at Cowan’s Auctions in May. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

If you are looking for an attention-grabbing, unusual and unique field to collect, Outsider Art might be just what you are seeking. First coined after World War II, Art Brut or “rough art” was the term used to define art created by those with mental disorders, in solitude and from pure creative impulses, with no interference of social concerns. Over time the definition has broadened, with artists who are outside the tradition of academic art falling under the umbrella of Outsider Art. The genre is characterized by highly original works made by individuals whose inspiration comes from personal experiences rather than formal training. Outsider Art is also referred to as 20th-century folk art, contemporary folk art or self-taught art.

Outsider Art is almost exclusively comprised of sculpture and paintings. Though traditional art mediums such as oil paint, watercolor, canvas, wood and stone are used, much of this art is not created in traditional ways. Artists use found or easily accessible materials such as plastic, cardboard, discarded wood or metal, organic materials such as tree roots and mud, combined with house paint, plaster, or colored marker pens. All can be sources of inspiration and tools for the artists’ creations.

The genre has grown in popularity over the last 40 years, with the works of recognized masters such as William Edmondson, Martin Ramirez, Howard Finster, Sam Doyle and Bill Traylor commanding prices in the thousands. Important public and private collections house pieces by these artists and others, and as such, collectors should be prepared to pay accordingly. Sources known to handle these works, such as collectors, dealers and auction houses, should be consulted when pieces become available for sale. However, this is an exciting field in that despite its popularity, Outsider Art is still available and affordable for just a few hundred dollars.

The key to collecting is study and patience. “Honing the eye,” by viewing works first-hand in museum collections, exhibitions and galleries, is just as important as reading one of the many books written about the field. Having a passion for what you buy and buying the best quality you can afford make collecting a fulfilling experience. Many of these works can be colorful, textural, bold, interesting and mysterious; in some cases this can describe a single piece. Outsider Art will show you many one-of-a-kind perspectives on the world, and the adventures you have while seeking pieces and learning about artists will produce priceless memories.

altWes Cowan is founder and owner of Cowan’s Auctions Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio. An internationally recognized expert in historic Americana, Wes stars in the PBS television series History Detectives and is a featured appraiser on Antiques Roadshow. He can be reached via email at info@cowans.com. Research by Roxanne Argenbright.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Charlie Willeto rare animal carving, estimated to sell for $2,300-$2,500 in October. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Charlie Willeto rare animal carving, estimated to sell for $2,300-$2,500 in October. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.


Painting by Richard Burnside, estimated to sell for $100-$200 in October. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Painting by Richard Burnside, estimated to sell for $100-$200 in October. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.


‘Timberwolf’ by Levant Isik, estimated to bring $100-$200 in October. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

‘Timberwolf’ by Levant Isik, estimated to bring $100-$200 in October. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.


‘Find the Missing Man’ diorama in a bottle, sold for $1,725 at Cowan’s in March 2008. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

‘Find the Missing Man’ diorama in a bottle, sold for $1,725 at Cowan’s in March 2008. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

The Balaur bondoc is similar to the Velociraptor mongoliensis, shown in this artwork by Nobu Tamura. Copyright Arthur Weasley. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Remains of deadly European dinosaur discovered

 The Balaur bondoc is similar to the Velociraptor mongoliensis, shown in this artwork by Nobu Tamura. Copyright Arthur Weasley. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

The Balaur bondoc is similar to the Velociraptor mongoliensis, shown in this artwork by Nobu Tamura. Copyright Arthur Weasley. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Around 70 million years ago a stocky dragon stalked what is now Romania.

A new type of dinosaur similar to the frightening Velociraptor – but with two sharp claws on each foot instead of just one – has been discovered by Romanian and American researchers.

Balaur bondoc,” which means “stocky dragon,” was discovered in Romania by geologist Matyas Vremir of the Transylvanian Museum Society. The find is reported in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Balaur might be one of the largest predators in this ecosystem,” explained co-author Zoltan Csiki of the University of Bucharest, who noted that higher sea level at the time made the region an island archipelago.

Csiki said that while Balaur is extremely unusual, it is closely related to animals like Velociraptor and the feathered dinosaurs in China.

The researchers said the fossils show an animal 6 to 7 feet long with a stockier build than similarly sized Velociraptors that lived elsewhere on the globe. There are numerous similarities between the two predators, though.

While we would expect that there were carnivorous animals in these faunas, finding one as unusual as Balaur is thrilling,” said co-author Mark Norell of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Matthew T. Carrano, curator of dinosauria at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, said the discovery is “one of those bizarre things that keeps reminding us not to expect that we’ve found everything there is to find.” Carrano was not part of the research team.

In the same region researchers have also uncovered fossils of tiny duckbilled dinosaurs and dwarf plant-eating dinosaurs that were the size of cows.

The new Balaur fossil is a partial skeleton that includes leg, hip, backbone, arms, hand, rib, and tail bones.

It had a big toe with a large claw that can be hyperextended, presumably used to slash prey, as well as a large claw on the second toe. It had short and stocky feet and legs, with bones fused together, and the pelvis has enormous muscle attachment areas, indicating that it was adapted for strength rather than speed.

In addition, the hand is atrophied and some of the bones are fused, features that would have made grasping difficult.

Stephen Brusatte, a graduate student at Columbia University who is affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History, said: “Compared to Velociraptor, Balaur was probably more of a kickboxer than a sprinter, and it might have been able to take down larger animals than itself, as many carnivores do today.”

Norell said it is hard to tell how it hunted or what it ate.

But he noted that Balaur had very strong pelvic muscles could have helped it use a great deal of force. It was a small, stocky, very strong animal.

The research was funded by the Romanian National University Research Council, American Museum of Natural History and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

___

Online: http://www.pnas.org

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

AP-ES-08-30-10 1500EDT

 

Currier & Ives lithograph of The Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1-3, 1863. Library of Congress image.

Casino proposed near battlefield splits Gettysburg

Currier & Ives lithograph of The Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1-3, 1863. Library of Congress image.

Currier & Ives lithograph of The Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1-3, 1863. Library of Congress image.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – The town where the Civil War’s tide-turning battle was waged is fighting dissension in its own ranks, with even hard-core preservationists split over a proposed casino that would rise near the historic battlefield and be named for the line that divided North and South.

It’s the second time in five years that Gettysburg has fought over a plan to build a casino. This time it’s the Mason Dixon Resort & Casino, proposed on a hotel and conference center site within a mile of the southern boundary of Gettysburg National Military Park.

No Casino” and “Pro Casino” signs pepper shop windows in the quaint streets of Gettysburg, where more than a million tourists shop, dine or sleep each year.

Supporters say the casino plan doesn’t tread on hallowed ground and will bring jobs, more tourists and tax relief to the area. But the potential that a casino will cheapen the wholesome reputation that draws tourists to Gettysburg, where 160,000 Union and Confederate soldiers fought a three-day battle in the summer of 1863, is what worries many.

It seems like a lot of people, they just want more business, they want more money to flow in the community at any cost, and that’s really upsetting,” said Barbara Schultz, a Gettysburg native and casino opponent who owns a bed and breakfast and art gallery.

Casino principals, supporters and opponents will speak at a public meeting Tuesday with state regulators who are considering the license application to build the casino.

The developer, David LeVan, is a noted local philanthropist and former Conrail Inc. chairman who lives across the street from the park’s museum and visitors center. He has helped renovate the town’s historic Majestic theater and donated family land to help preservation efforts.

He declined to comment Tuesday through a spokesman, David La Torre, who pointed out that the area around the nearly 6,000-acre park is already saturated with hotels, fast-food restaurants and big-box stores.

You’ve got to really keep it in its proper context,” La Torre said. “You’ve got to realize how big this place is. It’s humongous, and people are fighting us and we’re not even located on it.”

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board rejected LeVan’s first plan in 2006 amid an outcry that gambling would sully the character of the battlefield where Union soldiers stopped the Confederate advance.

LeVan and supporters contend the new casino plan is much smaller than the first _ they are seeking a license that allows up to 600 slot machines and 50 table games _ and would pump new life into a struggling hotel and conference center.

The county is supporting the plan in exchange for a $1 million annual contribution to its treasury. A local group, the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association, endorses the plan, saying the potential to strengthen the local economy could boost preservation efforts. Park officials say they have determined that the casino does not directly affect park resources.

Still, the Civil War Preservation Trust put the Gettysburg National Military Park on its endangered list because of the casino plan.

In April, Ronald Maxwell, who made the epic 1993 movie “Gettysburg,” came to town to deliver an impassioned speech to casino opponents.

The French would not allow a casino to be built on famous battlefields along the Somme River or in the Ardennes, and the Polish would not allow a casino a half-mile of the site of the Katyn massacre or the Auschwitz concentration camp, he said.

Why stop at Gettysburg? Maybe we should build some casinos at the site of the World Trade Center,” he said. “That would create some jobs right? Heck, that would help the tax base, right?”

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

AP-CS-08-30-10 1444EDT

 

Room-size Navajo rug, wool, 80 inches by 144 inches. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Michaan’s closes 3rd quarter with art and antiques for all Sept. 5

Room-size Navajo rug, wool, 80 inches by 144 inches. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Room-size Navajo rug, wool, 80 inches by 144 inches. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Michaan’s Sept. 5 auction will offer over 800 lots of fine property from a myriad of estates and private collections throughout the United States. LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding. The auction will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific.

This sale will feature diamond and colored gemstones from the early 20th century; Chinese and Japanese works, including a strong selection of jade carvings; a collection of Baroque and Renaissance Revival furniture; contemporary art glass, including Baccarat and Lalique; hand-woven Navajo rugs; fine paintings and works on paper.

Highlights include lot 103: an Oromalia diamond 18K yellow gold bracelet, (estimate: $4,000-$7,000); lot 118: a carved green beryl, diamond, ruby, 18K yellow gold bird brooch, (estimate: $1,500-$2,000); lot 217: ladies Tiffany & Co. 18K yellow gold wristwatch, (estimate: $1,800-$2,500); lot 288: four jade figural carvings, (Estimate: $300-$500); lot 353: a Satsuma bowl with sterling base, (estimate: $300-$400); lot 417: Louis XV-style gilt bronze zebrawood two-tiered side table, (estimate: $3,000-$4,000); lot 419: Louis XV-style gilt bronze marble oval coffee table with goat masks, early 20th century, (estimate: $2,500-$3,500); lot 484: 10 Baccarat France crystal Montaigne Optic wine glasses, (estimate: $300-$400); lot 707, Dutch School (16th-17th century) winter scene, (estimate: $500-$800); lot 754: and a Carl Everton Moon (American, 1879-1948), sepia tone photo, Lolita, with Fred Harvey stamp, 1908, (estimate: $500-$800).

Michaan’s monthly estate auctions are mid-range sales offering affordable quality art and antiques. These exciting auctions have been a resource for beginning and established collectors, interior designers, dealers and savvy buyers in search of unique property to decorate a room or an entire home.

For details call Michaan’s Auctions at 800-380-9822 or 510-740-0220.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Amethyst, 14K yellow gold necklace. Estimate: $375-$500. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Amethyst, 14K yellow gold necklace. Estimate: $375-$500. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.


Art Deco Frank Whiting sterling wedding basket, #9363. Estimate: $800-$1,200. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Art Deco Frank Whiting sterling wedding basket, #9363. Estimate: $800-$1,200. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.


Two Lalique France perfume bottles: Tresor and L’Air du Temps. Estimate: $600-$800. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Two Lalique France perfume bottles: Tresor and L’Air du Temps. Estimate: $600-$800. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.


Hal Bayard Runyon (American, 1907 – 1933) lifetime portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hollywood. Oil on board, circa 1930. Estimate: $500-$1,000. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Hal Bayard Runyon (American, 1907 – 1933) lifetime portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hollywood. Oil on board, circa 1930. Estimate: $500-$1,000. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), Poppy Flowers, also known as Vase with Flowers, stolen from Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo.

Egyptian minister questioned in van Gogh theft

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), Poppy Flowers, also known as Vase with Flowers, stolen from Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo.

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), Poppy Flowers, also known as Vase with Flowers, stolen from Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo.

CAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s culture minister says he was questioned by prosecutors for three hours over last week’s theft of a Vincent van Gogh painting.

Farouk Hosni told reporters Monday he volunteered for the interrogation to dispel accusations of negligence in the robbery.

Thieves made off with the canvas, known by the titles of Poppy Flowers and Vase with Flowers, from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo.

The prosecutor general ordered the detention of Deputy Culture Minister Mohsen Shalaan and four of the museum’s security guards while they are investigated on suspicion of neglect and professional delinquency.

During the late night questioning Sunday, Hosni said he told prosecutors that he had delegated full responsibility for the museum to Shalaan.

No charges have been filed.

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

AP-ES-08-30-10 0809EDT

 

Tiziano Vecelli (better known as Titian, c. 1488/90-1576) painted David and Goliath between 1542-1544.

Titian masterpiece suffers water damage after fire

Tiziano Vecelli (better known as Titian, c. 1488/90-1576) painted David and Goliath between 1542-1544.

Tiziano Vecelli (better known as Titian, c. 1488/90-1576) painted David and Goliath between 1542-1544.

VENICE, Italy (AP) – A painting by Renaissance master Titian in one of Venice’s most picturesque basilicas has suffered water damage after firefighters doused the basilica while battling a nearby blaze.

Venice’s museum superintendent, Vittorio Sgarbi, says the damage isn’t serious.

The fire broke out Sunday night at the seminary next to the Santa Maria della Salute basilica, a 17th century octagonal-shaped church that dominates the view of the Grand Canal.

Sgarbi said firefighters doused the basilica as well and that water seeped through the roof, damaging Titian’s David and Goliath.

The masterpiece is one of three Titians that line the ceiling of the sacristy. The other two weren’t damaged; Sgarbi ordered David and Goliath removed for repairs.

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

AP-ES-08-30-10 0809EDT

Gun-shape and other novelty cigarette lighters made before 1970, like this Alfred Dunhill tinder pistol example, patented 1897, will not be affected by the pending law in Massachusetts. This lighter sold for $700 plus b.p. at New Orleans Auction Galleries' Nov. 20, 2005 sale. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and NOAG.

Massachusetts bans novelty cigarette lighters

Gun-shape and other novelty cigarette lighters made before 1970, like this Alfred Dunhill tinder pistol example, patented 1897, will not be affected by the pending law in Massachusetts. This lighter sold for $700 plus b.p. at New Orleans Auction Galleries' Nov. 20, 2005 sale. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and NOAG.

Gun-shape and other novelty cigarette lighters made before 1970, like this Alfred Dunhill tinder pistol example, patented 1897, will not be affected by the pending law in Massachusetts. This lighter sold for $700 plus b.p. at New Orleans Auction Galleries’ Nov. 20, 2005 sale. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and NOAG.

BOSTON (AP) – Massachusetts has banned cigarette lighters that look like guns, pens, lobster claws and other objects in an effort to cut down on accidental fires started by children.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said the lighters are attractive to children because they look like toys.

Officials say children using matches and lighters sparked 158 fires in Massachusetts last year, causing nearly $1 million in damages. Fires set by children killed four people in 2008.

The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Geraldo Alicea. The Charlton Democrat tells The Boston Globe he was urged by fire chiefs in his district to raise the issue.

The law takes effect in November, and includes exemptions for collectible lighters made before 1980.

___

Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe

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

AP-ES-08-30-10 0812EDT

Abraham Lincoln, signed diplomatic treaty between the United States and Salvador, which will sell Sunday. Image courtesy of Signature House.

Solidarity banner to be sold at Signature House auction Sept. 4-5

Abraham Lincoln, signed diplomatic treaty between the United States and Salvador, which will sell Sunday. Image courtesy of Signature House.

Abraham Lincoln, signed diplomatic treaty between the United States and Salvador, which will sell Sunday. Image courtesy of Signature House.

UPLAND, Calif. – Signature House will launch its fall offering of over 1,300 lots in 16 main categories of autographs, documents, books, art and related collectibles on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 4-5. Live Auctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

“We have a wide-ranging and exciting offering this season with a number of highly desirable notables, as well as more specialized selections for those looking for that special piece to enhance their personal collection,” said auctioneer Gil Griggs.

The Judeo-Christian & Antiquities section begins the first day and features signatures from Mother Teresa, Pius XIII, Pope Paul VI and Cardinal Richard Cushing; signed documents from Pope Clement XI, Pope Leo XII and Charles Spurgeon; plus artifacts from St. Vincent De Paul and a sterling Torah pointer.

Samuel Adam’s signature is in the Colonial section, as well as documents from other signers of the Declaration of Independence including Elbridge Gerry, William Heath, Samuel Huntington and an early printing from Benjamin Franklin. The Americana section includes a wide variety of autographs from Geronimo, Red Jacket, Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley and a complete set of Lewis & Clark journals – a scarce and desirable collection. Signature House will also offer a number of items from both sides of the Civil War: Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, James Longstreet, George McClellan, Philip Sheridan and William Tecumseh Sherman. Also offered are rare medals, photographs and an identified Confederate Remington revolver.

A large Military category is marked by numerous photos, paintings, posters, books, models, documents and relics starting with a rare personal wax seal impression from Napolean. Also included is a secret military conference pass signed by Hap Arnold, a letter from Douglas MacArthur, and heartwarming personal mail from World War II soldiers. Also offered is a large assortment of Axis and Vietnam collectibles.

One of our premier pieces in this auction is the original historic Solidarity Banner from Gdansk, which can be found in Signature House’s Heads of State category. This banner represents the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, and has been signed by world leaders at the time, including Lech Walesa, Mikhail Gorbachev, George H.W. Bush and Pope John Paul II, and is accompanied by photos and documentation.

Concluding the first session on Saturday will be items from Jurists & Politicians, Science & Technology, and Aviators & Explorers categories. Featured collectibles from these groups include Albert Einstein’s autograph, Thomas Edison letters, Kennedy family memorabilia, Orville Wright’s signature, and a large collection of Charles Lindbergh’s letters, books and photos.

Session 2 on Sunday commences with a superb George Washington financial document, a document with a short note signed by John Adams, a beautifully framed Abraham Lincoln signed document and rare campaign tintype pin and Ronald Reagan’s last public letter while suffering the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

A beautiful autographed book plate from Pablo Picasso starts the Artists section, which also includes items from Maxfield Parrish, Walt Disney and Gutzon Borglum, the sculpor of Mount Rushmore. Enrico Caruso and John Philip Sousa highlight the Composers & Classical Perfomers category, while the Literature section includes such notables as Ernest Hemingway, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, Harper Lee and Oscar Wilde.

The Celebrities collection runs the gamot from business leaders to scoundrels, and includes notables such as Walter Chrysler, William and James Fargo, Jay Cooke, as well as Dr. Jack Kevorkian and O.J.Simpson. They will be followed closely by a larger assortment of Entertainment stars of stage and screen – featuring autographs by James Dean, John Lennon, Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley, and the Three Stooges.

The auction will conclude with items from the Sports category, including autographs from players such as Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali.

The sale begins at 9 a.m. Pacific on Saturday, Sept. 4, (lots 1-531) and Sunday, Sept. 5 (lots 532-1332).

For details call Signature House at (909) 243-9541 or email editor@SignatureHouse.net. View the full- color illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Solidarity banner, marking the end of Communism and signed by world leaders involved. Image courtesy of Signature House.

Solidarity banner, marking the end of Communism and signed by world leaders involved. Image courtesy of Signature House.


Francis II, King of France, document urging speedy justice and accord in Metz. Image courtesy of Signature House.

Francis II, King of France, document urging speedy justice and accord in Metz. Image courtesy of Signature House.


George Washington, endorsed receipt for gunpowder dated May 21, 1787. Image courtesy of Signature House.

George Washington, endorsed receipt for gunpowder dated May 21, 1787. Image courtesy of Signature House.


Ronald Reagan, last public letter announcing the onset of Alzheimer's. Image courtesy of Signature House.

Ronald Reagan, last public letter announcing the onset of Alzheimer’s. Image courtesy of Signature House.


Ernest Hemingway, signed copy of ‘A Farewell To Arms,’ circa 1937. Image courtesy of Signature House.

Ernest Hemingway, signed copy of ‘A Farewell To Arms,’ circa 1937. Image courtesy of Signature House.


John Lennon, signed Beatles fan club photograph from 1971. Image courtesy of Signature House.

John Lennon, signed Beatles fan club photograph from 1971. Image courtesy of Signature House.


Babe Ruth, darkly penciled signature, circa 1939. Image courtesy of Signature House.

Babe Ruth, darkly penciled signature, circa 1939. Image courtesy of Signature House.