Aston Martin driven by Sean Connery in the role of James Bond in the film Goldfinger, sold for $4.1 million in RM Auctions' Oct. 27 sale in London. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and RM Auctions.

007’s Aston Martin sells for $4.1M in London

Aston Martin driven by Sean Connery in the role of James Bond in the film Goldfinger, sold for $4.1 million in RM Auctions' Oct. 27 sale in London. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and RM Auctions.

Aston Martin driven by Sean Connery in the role of James Bond in the film Goldfinger, sold for $4.1 million in RM Auctions’ Oct. 27 sale in London. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and RM Auctions.

LONDON (AP) – One of the world’s most famous James Bond cars – the specially equipped silver Aston Martin first driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger – was auctioned off Wednesday in London for 2.6 million pounds ($4.1 million.)

The unique car, which boasts an ejector seat, machine guns, rotating license plates and other spy gear, was initially expected to go for more than 3.5 million pounds ($5.5 million).

“This is the only genuine, 007 James Bond car,” said Mick Walsh, Editor-in-Chief of Classic and Sports Car Magazine.

It was bought by Harry Yeaggy, an American classic cars collector who has a small private museum in Ohio.

“We’d ride it around the streets of London tonight,” he told the BBC.

He said the fact the iconic Aston Martin has never been auctioned before meant it had tremendous appeal to collectors.

“It’s never been on the market before, and with the classic car scene it’s very important to see something new,” he said.

He said it was likely the car would end up on public display, perhaps as the centerpiece of an upscale office complex in a city like Los Angeles or Moscow.

Bond’s creator, newspaperman and novelist Ian Fleming, had originally placed Bond in a Bentley, which was his own personal car of choice. But the filmmakers put him in the Aston Martin, which then competed mainly with the Jaguar E-type for the lucrative British and American sports car market.

Aston Martin was seen as a heady mix of Italian design and British engineering.

The silver Aston Martin DB5 coupe auctioned Wednesday was used by Connery to elude various villains in both Goldfinger and Thunderball – generally regarded as early classics in Hollywood’s longest running and most successful film franchise.

It is closely associated with the Connery-era Bond films, which are often preferred by aficionados, who rate him above George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and the current 007, Daniel Craig.

The use of the Aston Martin, with a rear bulletproof shield that could be activated with the push of a dashboard button, provided a major boost for the British carmaker, which received worldwide publicity when the car was featured in Goldfinger in 1964.

It was the Bond movies that made Aston Martin a household name, even though its handmade cars remained far too expensive for most.

The street version of the Aston Martin DB5 was released in 1963 and had a top speed of 145 miles (233 kilometers) per hour.

The car auctioned by RM Auctions Automobiles of London, with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com, is one of two Aston Martins factory-modified for use in the early Bond films, and it is the only surviving example.

The car, which contains an early version of the modern-day navigation system, is described as being in excellent condition. The other 007-modified Aston Martin was reported stolen in 1997 and has never been recovered. Many believe it has been destroyed.

The buyer also gets extra perks: A signed photograph of Connery standing with the Aston Martin on location in Switzerland during the filming of Goldfinger, and several other bits of film memorabilia.

_________

Benjamin Timmins of Associated Press contributed to this report.

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

AP-ES-10-27-10 1848EDT

 

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


Jadeite, 14K yellow gold necklace. Estimate: $1,200 / 1,600. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

Michaan’s leads with vintage jewelry at Estate Auction, Nov. 7

Jadeite, 14K yellow gold necklace. Estimate:  $1,200 / 1,600. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

Jadeite, 14K yellow gold necklace. Estimate: $1,200 / 1,600. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

ALAMEDA, Calif – Michaan’s Nov. 7 Estate Auction features over 850 lots of property from a myriad of estates and private collections throughout the United States. This sale opens with a selection of vintage and estate jewelry with cameos, Mexican sterling silver, mid-century pieces, gemstones and a collection of highly desirable lots from Ming’s of Honolulu.

LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

The Asian art portion will offer Chinese and Japanese arts. Chinese highlights include porcelains, jade and hardstone carvings, textiles, scholar’s objects, paintings and calligraphy. Japanese ceramics, metalwork, and Ikebana baskets are also offered.

Furniture and decorative arts will offer several very collectible vintage sterling hollow ware pieces by Shreve, Whiting and Gorham; several large sterling flatware sets by Gorham, Wallace and others; collection of decorative portrait miniatures; French and German mantel and wall clocks as well as an English sterling and tortoiseshell carriage clock and a nice Art Deco travel clock; several Longwy faience plates; numerous large dinner services including five Royal Doulton services; a collection of taxidermy heads; a barber’s pole, Renaissance Revival, French and Victorian furniture; and a group of Sarouk and Kashan carpets.

This fine art section is remarkable for the number of high quality rare lithographs and other graphic arts by artists such as Erte, Whistler, Daumier, Henry Moore, Karel Appel, Sam Francis and Joseph Goldyne. Other Fine Art favorites include a selection of 19th-century European genre paintings led by an especially evocative painting of young and old soldiers meditating on a group of toy soldiers.

The ethnographic section has a fine selection of lots from the estate California painter, graphic designer, collage artist Emerson Woelffer who was an avid and scholarly collector African and Oceanic art.

Samples of highlights to be offered:

  • Lot 007, lot of celluloid rhinestone sparkle combs. Estimate: $150 / 250.
  • Lot 008, Mexican sterling silver flower belt. Estimate: $100 / 200.
  • Lot 031, shell cameo, synthetic emerald, 14K white gold pendant / brooch. Estimate: $200 / 300.
  • Lot 099, vintage Robert Lee Morris, 24K vermeil large beta bracelet. Estimate: $500 / 800.
  • Lot 303, Archaistic hardstone blade with dragon design. Estimate: $400 / 600.
  • Lot 347, embroidered Sil lady’s robe, Republic Period. Estimate: $300 / 400.
  • Lot 372, couplet of calligraphy in regular script. Estimate: $500 / 700.
  • Lot 429, sterling four pints pitcher, with monogram. Estimate: $500 / 700.
  • Lot 441, English sterling mounted tortoiseshell veneered carriage clock. Estimate: $500 / 700.
  • Lot 538, Royal Doulton partial dinner service in the Monmouth pattern. Estimate: $400 / 600.
  • Lot 618, Victorian walnut mirrored-back buffet. Estimate: $1,000 / 1,500.
  • Lot 635, Sarouk carpet. Estimate: $2,000 / 3,000.
  • Lot 711, James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903), The Smithy lithographon paper. Estimate: $300 / 500.
  • Lot 748, Karel Appel (Dutch, 1921-2006), Figural Composition. Estimate: $400 / 600.
  • Lot 787, two Navajo rugs. Estimate: $400 / 600.
  • Lot 788, three Native American Indian baskets. Estimate: $200 /300.
  • Lot 807, Mongolian covered wagon with cloth top. Estimate: $800 / 1,000.

Established in 2002, Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd St. in Alameda, CA 94501.

For details visit www.michaans.com or call 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


Diamond, 14K yellow, rose gold lavalier necklace. Estimate: $900 / 1,200. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

Diamond, 14K yellow, rose gold lavalier necklace. Estimate: $900 / 1,200. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

Blue and white porcelain basin, Chenghua Mark. Estimate: $600 / 800. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

Blue and white porcelain basin, Chenghua Mark. Estimate: $600 / 800. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

Gray stone seated Lohan. Estimate:  $900 / 1,200. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

Gray stone seated Lohan. Estimate: $900 / 1,200. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

Gorham sterling partial flatware service. Estimate:  $1,200 / 1,500. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

Gorham sterling partial flatware service. Estimate: $1,200 / 1,500. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

European School, 19th century, ‘The Toy Solders,’ oil on board. Estimate:  $800 / 1,200. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

European School, 19th century, ‘The Toy Solders,’ oil on board. Estimate: $800 / 1,200. Image courtesy Michaan’s Auctions.

The bronze sculpture ‘The Outlaw’ by Frederic Remington is estimated to achieve $100,000-$200,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

Works by Remington, Rivera, Kahlo highlight Clars’ Nov. 6-7 sale

The bronze sculpture ‘The Outlaw’ by Frederic Remington is estimated to achieve $100,000-$200,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

The bronze sculpture ‘The Outlaw’ by Frederic Remington is estimated to achieve $100,000-$200,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Clars Auction Gallery’s sale Nov. 6-7 will bring works by Frederic Remington, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera to the market along with other exceptional and important works in the categories of fine art, sculpture and Asian antiques.

LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding both days.

Turning first to the grand offerings in the bronze sculpture category is an important work by Frederic Remington (American, 1861-1909). His bronze sculpture entitled The Outlaw measures 23 inches high and is estimated to sell in the $100,000 to $200,000 range. A similar estimate will apply to a massive English aluminum replica of Eros on pedestal, cast from the model by Alfred Gilbert, approximately 17 feet high.

Furthering the important works in this category will be a bronze sculpture entitled Cuatro Mujeres con Mantones by Francisco Zuniga (Mexican, 1912-1998) and a patinated bronze box and cover, circa 1960, by Arnoldo Pomodoro (Italian, b.1926).

Combining sculpture and art will be a most dramatic mixed media (wood and metal) wall sculpture by Costas Tsoclis (Greek, b. 1930). This work entitled Twelve Tabourets, measures 3 feet by 17 feet and comes to the sale from the Johns Hopkin University.

Works from several of Mexico’s most renowned fine artists will highlight the fine art category. A pair of miniature mixed media dioramas inside painted walnut shells entitled Wedding and Honeymoon is the work of Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954). From Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886-1957) comes a framed pastel entitled Portrait of a Young Mexican Boy and from Miguel Covarrubias (Mexican, 1904-1957) is a wonderful framed ink wash and pencil on paper entitled On the Town.

American artist Grandma Moses (1860-1961) will be represented by a framed oil on board entitled What is a Pal. From Russia will be Leaf Children an unframed black ink wash by Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957).

The Asian category is impressive with many of the lots consigned from the Carmen M. and Allen D. Christensen Collection of Atherton, Calif.

Among the highlights in this category is a large selection of Chinese ivories, both 19th and 20th century, including figures, scholar’s items and table decorations. One ivory of particular note is a 20th-century Chinese sectional ivory model inspired by the None-Dragon Wall (Jiu Long Bil) in Beijing. There will also be a group of Tang ceramic figures together with an archaic Western Zhou period vessel.

Highlighting the Japanese offerings will be a pair of Japanese cloisonné enamel decorated imperial presentation vases from the Meiji Period (1903).

The antique and fine furnishing offering will be exceptional highlighted by a Renaissance Revival Standard Grade Wooton desk complemented by an impressive selection of both period English and American furniture.

In decoratives, an amazing collection of German ivories including a Baroque tankard is estimated to earn $10,000-$15,000 followed closely by an Otto and Gertrud Natzler earthenware vase executed in Blue Crystalline and a Lucie Rie vase. A trumpet vase, signed LCT on a dore bronze base from Tiffany Studios will be offered, and in sterling a William Gale, Son & Co., New York, six-piece coffee and tea service (1850-1853) is one of the many important highlights.

The jewelry category will definitely dazzle bidders and buyers. A 14K white gold ring is centered by a 5.01-carat marquise cut diamond (GIA stating E color). A tortoise shell brooch pin of a hand is important for both design and provenance. Coming from the Mary Schapiro and Solomon Sklar Collection, this pin was a gift to Mary from Frida Kahlo.

Clars’ November Fine Estates sale will offer over 2,000 lots of the most exceptional art, furnishings and decoratives over two days. The sale will be held Saturday, Nov. 6 at 9:30 a.m. Pacific and Sunday, Nov. 7 beginning at 10 a.m. Preview for this important sale will be Friday, Nov. 5 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., 9 a.m. each auction day and by appointment.

Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94609.

Bidding for this sale is available in person, by phone, absentee and live online. For details visit www.clars.com or call Clars Auction Gallery at (888) 339-7600.

 

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


Combining sculpture and art is this dramatic mixed media (wood and metal) wall sculpture by Costas Tsoclis (Greek, b. 1930). This work, titled ‘Twelve Tabourets,’ measures 3 feet by 17. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

Combining sculpture and art is this dramatic mixed media (wood and metal) wall sculpture by Costas Tsoclis (Greek, b. 1930). This work, titled ‘Twelve Tabourets,’ measures 3 feet by 17. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

This pair of miniature mixed media dioramas inside painted walnut shells is the work of famed artist Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954). It is titled ‘Wedding and Honeymoon.’ Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

This pair of miniature mixed media dioramas inside painted walnut shells is the work of famed artist Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954). It is titled ‘Wedding and Honeymoon.’ Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

This spectacular ivory is a 20th-century Chinese model inspired by the None-Dragon Wall (Jiu Long Bil) in Beijing. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

This spectacular ivory is a 20th-century Chinese model inspired by the None-Dragon Wall (Jiu Long Bil) in Beijing. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

Highlighting the Japanese offerings will be this pair of Japanese cloisonné enamel decorated Imperial presentation vases from the Meiji Period (1903). Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

Highlighting the Japanese offerings will be this pair of Japanese cloisonné enamel decorated Imperial presentation vases from the Meiji Period (1903). Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

This amazing collection of German ivories including a Baroque tankard is estimated to earn $10,000 to $15,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

This amazing collection of German ivories including a Baroque tankard is estimated to earn $10,000 to $15,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

This tortoiseshell brooch pin of a hand came from the Mary Schapiro and Solomon Sklar Collection, and was a gift to Mary from artist Frida Kahlo. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

This tortoiseshell brooch pin of a hand came from the Mary Schapiro and Solomon Sklar Collection, and was a gift to Mary from artist Frida Kahlo. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

Clockwork cloth-dressed rabbit nodder with three baby nodders, 21 inches tall, estimate $15,000-$20,000; rabbit chauffeur and lady duck passenger in loofah touring car with wood wheels, 12½ inches long, estimate $8,000-$10,000. Both toys formerly in the collection of the Mary Merritt Doll Museum. Noel Barrett image.

Old Salem Toy Museum collection in Nov. 19-20 Noel Barrett auction

Clockwork cloth-dressed rabbit nodder with three baby nodders, 21 inches tall, estimate $15,000-$20,000; rabbit chauffeur and lady duck passenger in loofah touring car with wood wheels, 12½ inches long, estimate $8,000-$10,000. Both toys formerly in the collection of the Mary Merritt Doll Museum. Noel Barrett image.

Clockwork cloth-dressed rabbit nodder with three baby nodders, 21 inches tall, estimate $15,000-$20,000; rabbit chauffeur and lady duck passenger in loofah touring car with wood wheels, 12½ inches long, estimate $8,000-$10,000. Both toys formerly in the collection of the Mary Merritt Doll Museum. Noel Barrett image.

NEW HOPE, Pa. – Last May the Old Salem Toy Museum in Old Salem, N.C., closed its doors for the last time on a spectacular collection of antique toys, holiday items, dollhouses, miniatures and other children’s playthings, some dating to as early as 225 A.D. The collection was built over many years by businessman Thomas A. Gray and his mother Anne P. Gray, members of a highly respected family of North Carolina philanthropists. Both Tom Gray’s grandfather, James A. Gray, and his great-uncle, Bowman Gray Sr., held the position of chairman of the board of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. One would presume correctly that the museum’s toy collection ranked among the very finest of its type.

While the museum is now part of antique toy history after eight years of operation, the collection has one last public appearance to fulfill, which it will do when it is auctioned by Noel Barrett on Nov. 19-20 in New Hope, Pa., with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com. Auction proceeds will be used to acquire and conserve Moravian and Southern decorative art objects for the Old Salem Museum & Gardens, a restored 18th-/19th-century North Carolina Moravian community that is part of a National Historic Landmark district.

More than 900 lots will be offered in the Friday evening/Saturday auction sessions, with the main categories including early European and American toys, Erzgebirge carved-wood figures and sets, beautifully outfitted rooms and shops, Christmas and other holiday antiques, desirable German-made miniatures, and doll’s houses.

Noel Barrett explained that when the museum was in its formulative stages, Tom Gray was actively buying American toys. One of the great treasures he acquired was George Brown’s Monitor. “Any aficionado would agree, this ship is an American toy masterpiece,” Barrett said. “It’s one of the most highly prized pieces in the collection and will be auctioned together with an illustration from the George Brown Sketchbook.”

German toys of tin and other metals are highlighted by an incredible 33-inch-long Marklin child-size fire-pumper wagon large enough for two small children to pump simultaneously. It is the only known example, Barrett said. Additional key lots include a lovely clockwork airplane roundabout with Wright Brothers-style bi-planes and a lithographed American flag; and an oversize Fischer Bleriot-style airplane. Among the Marklin boats to be auctioned is a large-size Battleship New York.

At least 10 sets of German painted-wood figures in bentwood boxes reside in the collection, with Barrett’s favorite being a 19th-century Erzgebirge hunting set comprised of a hunter on his horse, a dog, eight trees with tightly curled wood shavings to replicate leafy branches, four deer and a wild boar. Described as being similar to sets depicted in an 1850 book, it is expected to make $8,000-$10,000 at auction. Also noteworthy in the section devoted to wood toys are: one of the most complete Schoenhut Humpty Dumpty Circuses ever to be displayed publicly, at least four different German-made menageries containing a wide array of miniature animals (mostly painted wood), and two rare hand-colored sample catalogs issued by German manufacturers.

“One of the great strengths of the collection is the Erzkebirge and other miniatures made by premier European makers,” said Noel Barrett. “There’s a huge variety of miniatures by Rock & Graner, Evans & Cartwright, and many pieces of what are generically called ‘ormolu’ but recently were determined to have been made by Ehrhardt & Sohne for Marklin.” Within the auction inventory’s many delightful miniatures by Rock & Graner are a jardinière with lithophane and serpentine front legs, and a squirrel cage that Barrett says is “even more elaborate than the one Flora Gill Jacobs had in the Washington Dolls’ House and Toy Museum.”

The collection contains the only known cigar shop/tobacconist room box. Previously, it was thought to have been the work of Rock & Graner, but thanks to the recent publication of a scrupulously researched book on Christian Hacker, it is now almost certain that the tobacco shop was a Hacker design. “It has all the earmarkings of Hacker’s style, which is very distinctive,” Barrett said.

Its interior fittings are “simply magnificent,” Barrett continued. “It has a zinc humidor with marbleized top built into the wall, a Rock & Graner display table full of cigars, and all sorts of tobacco products arranged on the shelves. It’s exactly how a late-19th-century tobacconist’s emporium would have looked. It has marbleized support columns, faux-wood fixtures and cabinetry with numerous opening doors, embossed gold trim, glazed doors, a velvet valance – no detail was overlooked. It even has a Schweitzer chandelier.”

Other room boxes to be auctioned include a millinery shop, multiple Nuremburg kitchens, and a butcher shop previously in the collection of the Mary Merritt Doll & Toy Museum. “When Mr. Gray bought the butcher shop at the Merritt Museum auction, it had a white-painted case. He managed to remove the paint so the case could be returned to its original finish. It’s luscious looking, now.”

One of the grandest of Rock & Graner’s many superlative designs is the museum collection’s circa-1890 oversize tin landau coach measuring 30 inches in length. It features such deluxe realistic details as a folding oilcloth roof, opening doors, plated lamps and spoke wheels.

German-made holiday antiques will be in plentiful supply, including Santa figures and colorful Halloween and Easter rarities. “It’s very difficult to pick a favorite from this collection,” said Barrett, “but the top ten would certainly include the 23-inch-tall hollow Santa with faux-ermine trim and one of the greatest painted faces I’ve ever seen. It’s a very unusual size and simply beautiful.”

Nominated by Barrett as “possibly the best of the Easter lots” is a standing rabbit with three baby rabbits that was formerly in the Mary Merritt Doll Museum collection. “It’s surely one of the most charming Easter toys ever made,” Barrett said.

Those who appreciate the incomparable quality of late-19th and early 20th-century German lithography are sure to be tempted by the two exquisite pop-up books with a circus theme. One of them, made by Meggendorfer, is titled Grand Circus; while the other is a rare Nister book featuring early European-style circus characters.

Uptown real estate to be auctioned includes two lovely Spanish dollhouses. One of them is a duplex house with five sliding panels on the front; the other is a Second Empire townhouse with mansard roof.

Barrett said the Old Salem Toy Museum and Thomas A. Gray collection will attract the buyer who goes for quality and European artistry. “Toys of this type just don’t come to the auction market,” he observed.

For additional information, call 215-297-5109 or e-mail toys@noelbarrett.com. View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

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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


Circa-1870 Erzgebirge (Germany) ark with painted-straw marquetry designs, more than 200 passengers including six people and 61 pairs of animals, 23 pairs of birds; 22 inches long, estimate $4,000-$6,000. Noel Barrett image.

Circa-1870 Erzgebirge (Germany) ark with painted-straw marquetry designs, more than 200 passengers including six people and 61 pairs of animals, 23 pairs of birds; 22 inches long, estimate $4,000-$6,000. Noel Barrett image.

Marklin child-size fire pumper, possibly the only surviving example, heavy sheet steel and cast iron, 32½ inches long, 16 inches wide, estimate $15,000-$20,000. Noel Barrett image.

Marklin child-size fire pumper, possibly the only surviving example, heavy sheet steel and cast iron, 32½ inches long, 16 inches wide, estimate $15,000-$20,000. Noel Barrett image.

(Left) Exceptional German Santa candy container with finely painted face, 28 inches tall, estimate $3,000-$4,000; late-19th-century chalkware belsnickle, 23 inches tall, pictured in Schiffer’s 1995 book Christmas Ornaments, estimate $15,000-$20,000. Noel Barrett image.

(Left) Exceptional German Santa candy container with finely painted face, 28 inches tall, estimate $3,000-$4,000; late-19th-century chalkware belsnickle, 23 inches tall, pictured in Schiffer’s 1995 book Christmas Ornaments, estimate $15,000-$20,000. Noel Barrett image.

Circa-1870 George Brown "Monitor" clockwork boat, 13½ inches long, painted and stenciled tin with cast-iron wheels, offered together with the original hand-painted page depicting the toy in the famed &guot;George Brown Toy Sketchbook," estimate $25,000-$50,000. Noel Barrett image.

Circa-1870 George Brown "Monitor" clockwork boat, 13½ inches long, painted and stenciled tin with cast-iron wheels, offered together with the original hand-painted page depicting the toy in the famed "George Brown Toy Sketchbook," estimate $25,000-$50,000. Noel Barrett image.

Early to mid-19th-century Erzgebirge (Germany) ship with paper sails, pennants and flag; carved-wood horse figurehead, 12 painted-wood sailors, 7¾ inches long, estimate $8,000-$10,000. Noel Barrett image.

Early to mid-19th-century Erzgebirge (Germany) ship with paper sails, pennants and flag; carved-wood horse figurehead, 12 painted-wood sailors, 7¾ inches long, estimate $8,000-$10,000. Noel Barrett image.

Extraordinary late-19th-century English butcher shop comprised of a pair of two-story Georgian buildings, outdoor stands manned by three stout butchers and stocked with carved and painted replicas of various meats, poultry and sausages, estimate $30,000-$50,000. Noel Barrett image.

Extraordinary late-19th-century English butcher shop comprised of a pair of two-story Georgian buildings, outdoor stands manned by three stout butchers and stocked with carved and painted replicas of various meats, poultry and sausages, estimate $30,000-$50,000. Noel Barrett image.

German tobacco shop room box, late-19th century and almost certainly a Christian Hacker, featuring deluxe appointments such as faux-marble columns, a Schweitzer chandelier, glass-topped cigar display box full of miniature faux cigars, two finely dressed circa-1880 Simon & Halbig gentlemen dolls, 21¼ inches long by 15½ inches tall by 15½ inches deep, estimate $8,000-$12,000. Noel Barrett image.

German tobacco shop room box, late-19th century and almost certainly a Christian Hacker, featuring deluxe appointments such as faux-marble columns, a Schweitzer chandelier, glass-topped cigar display box full of miniature faux cigars, two finely dressed circa-1880 Simon & Halbig gentlemen dolls, 21¼ inches long by 15½ inches tall by 15½ inches deep, estimate $8,000-$12,000. Noel Barrett image.

Spanish Second Empire doll’s house with 1888 date and maker’s name “Pintor Rafael” on back of façade. Magnificently restored, pictured in 1980 book Dollhouses Past and Present. Three-story townhouse features quoining and mansard roof simulating slate, estimate $10,000-$15,000. Noel Barrett image.

Spanish Second Empire doll’s house with 1888 date and maker’s name “Pintor Rafael” on back of façade. Magnificently restored, pictured in 1980 book Dollhouses Past and Present. Three-story townhouse features quoining and mansard roof simulating slate, estimate $10,000-$15,000. Noel Barrett image.

Auction house owner and expert appraiser David Rago. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center.

David Rago to address American Appraisal Assn. on Dec. 13

Auction house owner and expert appraiser David Rago. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Auction house owner and expert appraiser David Rago. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – On Monday, Dec.13 at 6 p.m., David Rago will address the American Appraisal Association at the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan as part of its series of Freeman’s Lectures. He has chosen art pottery as his topic, in a talk titled “Bulletproof: Why Some Art Pottery Flies and Some Dies.”

At the age of sixteen, David Rago began dealing in American decorative ceramics at a flea market in his home state of New Jersey. Today, he oversees the auction house that bears his name, sells privately in the field of Arts and Crafts and publishes two quarterly magazines about 20th century decorative arts and furnishings. He is an author who lectures nationally and an expert appraiser for the hit PBS Television series Antiques Roadshow, where he specializes in decorative ceramics and porcelain.

David Rago entered the world of auctions in 1984. He was the first to introduce the New York’s landmark Puck Building as a venue for the sale of art, antiques and design. In 1994, he relocated to Lambertville, New Jersey, midway between Philadelphia and New York City and established the Rago Arts and Auction Center, now known best as Rago’s.

Today the Rago Arts and Auction Center is New Jersey’s largest auction house, offering both sellers and buyers a singular blend of global reach and personal service. It holds multimillion-dollar sales of 20th century decorative arts and furnishings, fine art, jewelry, American, Asian and European estate property for an international clientele, with LiveAuctioneers.com providing their Internet live-bidding service. It also conducts appraisals and arranges private-treaty sales. Rago’s is a destination for those who seek to learn and share knowledge about art, antiques and collecting, with free valuations for personal property and auction exhibitions in house and online.

The Appraisers Association of America is committed to ongoing education for appraisers and each season organizes a six-part slide lecture series at the Salmagundi Club in New York City, given by specialists in the fine and decorative arts and focusing on specific areas in depth. Within the context of the talk the expert provides historical background, an overview of the field, establishes current values and trends, addresses problems of copies and forgeries and often considers a variety of issues including conservation, as well as insuring the appraised property.

With each talk, members of the audience receive bibliographies and current reference material prepared by the speaker. Following the lecture there is a reception providing networking and social opportunities for members of the audience of appraisers, dealers, collectors, and curators.

The Salmagundi Club is located at Fifth Avenue at 12th Street, New York City. Seating is limited, and reservations are recommended. General admission: $20 (AAA/ISA/ASA/Salmagundi Club members free).

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Darin Lawson, image courtesy of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.

Darin Lawson becomes owner, president of Wickliff Auctioneers

Darin Lawson, image courtesy of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.

Darin Lawson, image courtesy of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.

CARMEL, Ind. – Darin Lawson is the new owner and president of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.

An ownership buyout that began four years ago has culminated in a seamless transfer of all shares of company stock to Lawson, who for the past six years has been vice president and senior auctioneer.

Sue Wickliff, who founded the company in 1989, remains on the board as chair emeritus, and beginning in 2011, will be a full-time employee, continuing in the daily operations of the enterprise. Darin’s wife Angie, is auction administrator – managing inventory, consulting with clients and supporting seller settlement.

“Angie and I are pleased to continue the tradition of service for which Wickliff Auctioneers has become known,” said Lawson. “The words in our company logo, ‘expertise, quality and integrity,’ aren’t just a slogan for us, and we’re mindful of the foundation that was laid for this company based on that mantra. We are charged to continue to operate with the same attention to detail and quality upon which the company’s reputation has been created.”

Sue Wickliff has continued in certain roles with the company during the transition, including client consultations and working at the auctions.

“I am enthusiastic to return to the auction business in a full-time position,” said Sue Wickliff, “and continue to utilize the expertise I have gained in a vocation that has been my passion for many years.”

Lawson acknowledges that the current economic situation, combined with changing buyer tastes and demographics, has created some challenges along the way, but says that the company is meeting those challenges head-on. “This company has always been a leader in the auction community, and we’re always thinking of effective, new ideas and changes that will meet the needs of both buyers and sellers,” he said.

Lawson points to Wickliff’s recent first-ever, Friday evening auction of fine art, stating that the response was very positive, resulting in a large crowd at the gallery, including many new faces, and a record number of bidders-per-lot online registrations. “We’ll still have auctions on Saturdays, of course, but for certain specialty auctions, attracting as many buyers as possible and reducing their options for alternate activities are motivation for changing the Saturday model on occasion.”

The company’s international reputation is now more established, based on their increasing sales of items to bidders worldwide over the last two years. Lawson says antiques and art have been sold to buyers in such places as Russia, England, Spain, Taiwan, China, Canada, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates, among others.

“We’re seeing more and more aggressive international bidding on certain items, particularly if the item is indigenous to that area,” he said, noting that a recent painting by an Italian artist had bidding from two, competing Italian bidders, one of whom eventually won the item.

Previously of Columbus, Ind., Lawson has been working with Wickliff since 1996, and relocated to Carmel, an Indianapolis suburb, in 2004. Lawson has a B.S. in journalism from Ball State University, and is a second-generation auctioneer who has been licensed since 1989. Prior to his full-time position at Wickliff, he conducted auctions for individuals, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies across the United States and in Europe. In addition to operations at Wickliff, Lawson consults with charitable organizations, and conducts live auctions for high-profile fund-raising events, primarily in central Indiana.

Wickliff Auctioneers specializes in the sale of fine art and fine jewelry at auction, conducting cataloged sessions that include decorative arts, period and period-style antiques, fine contemporary furnishings and more at their Carmel gallery, located at 12232 Hancock St.

Auction items can be previewed online well in advance of the auction events, and the entire catalog is broadcast live via www.liveauctioneers.com for remote, online bidding. More information about upcoming auctions and information on buying or selling at auction, is available by visiting www.wickliffauctioneers.com or by calling 317-844-7253.

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Sue Wickliff, image courtesy of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.

Sue Wickliff, image courtesy of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.

Detroit Institute of Arts gets $440,000 in grants

DETROIT (AP) – The Detroit Institute of Arts is getting about $440,000 to help pay for improvements to its American Wing galleries and support a future exhibition of works by the American artist Frederic Edwin Church.

The museum says it recently was awarded $190,000 for repair and maintenance of the American Wing galleries from The Henry Luce Foundation. It also is getting $250,000 from the Terra Foundation for American Art for the Church exhibition.

Museum Director Graham W.J. Beal says in a statement that the grants come “during a difficult economic time.”

The Henry Luce Foundation grant mostly will be used to support replacement of the DIA’s perimeter heating system in the American Wing. The museum began work on the project in June and completed it earlier this month.

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Online: Detroit Institute of Arts: http://www.dia.org

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

AP-CS-10-27-10 0400EDT

 

Logo of the Oregon Historical Society. Fair use of low-resolution image.

Oregon Historical Society faces grim future

Logo of the Oregon Historical Society. Fair use of low-resolution image.

Logo of the Oregon Historical Society. Fair use of low-resolution image.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon is in danger of losing its history.

When Oregonians want to touch a covered wagon from the Oregon Trail, see an exquisite Native American basket or look at a photograph taken decades ago that puts them face to face with the state’s wild and woolly history, there’s one place to go: the Oregon Historical Society. But this 111-year-old caretaker of Oregon’s past might not have a future.

Executive Director George Vogt says the society will tear through its dwindling cash reserves by the end of 2011. That, he says, is why the society is asking Multnomah County residents to rescue it through a proposed five-year levy.

While no one interviewed disputes the society’s value to the state or the importance of documenting Oregon history for future generations, many question how the society has used its money – for example, the society has paid a lobbyist $77,000 since 2008 – when individuals, businesses, nonprofits and other state programs have to live with less.

Though it serves and covers the entire state, Vogt says the society is asking Multnomah County residents to pay for the levy because the society’s library and museum facility is downtown and most people who use it are Portlanders. If it passes, the levy will tax county residents a nickel per $1,000 of assessed valued. For a $200,000 home, that means $10 a year.

Vogt, who became director in late 2006, says the financial problems predate his tenure. But the tension, he says, is simple: The state has broken its commitment based on a 1979 Oregon statute to fund the society, whose website claims a 78 percent loss in state support.

“When I came here, we got lucky,” Vogt says, about funding levels after he arrived. “But who could predict the economy falling off the cliff? It’s been a confluence of accidents and best hopes and wishes of the board and our dogged determination to try to provide the state with the best we could give.”

While the statute doesn’t offer specific requirements of state support or caveats for a recession, an examination of state appropriations since the society’s founding in 1898 reveals the state has consistently funded the society. In the past 20 years, the society has averaged $510,109 a year in state appropriations, or about 14 percent of its current $3.7 million budget. This year, it received $492,000, about 13 percent of its budget.

Other figures and records indicate Gov. Ted Kulongoski has been an aggressive champion of the society, even during recessions. In the 2007-08 biennium, the society received $2.8 million, its largest state appropriation ever. In the 2009-10 biennium, it was awarded $625,000, a huge drop from the previous biennium but still the largest award from the state to any arts, culture or heritage program in the two recession-strapped years.

All told, the $3.4 million given to the society for those four years amounts to 27 percent of all state funding to arts, culture and heritage programs for that period. The figures don’t include separate donations from the Oregon Cultural Trust and the city of Portland.

Vogt argues the figures are deceptive. He says Oregon compares unfavorably with other states in terms of funding its heritage institution. Moreover, from 2003-06, the society received nothing from the state because of another recession, neutralizing the gains of subsequent years and forcing layoffs and budget cuts that have gutted staff and programs.

Financial documents provided by the society and other sources back up the claim that it is in crisis mode. The society’s $3.7 million budget is down from $7 million for 2005.

But many wonder why the society was reeling on the financial ropes in the first place.

Separate reviews of the society’s finances were conducted this year by the offices of Secretary of State Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Sam Adams, and the American Association of Museums conducted a re-accreditation assessment. The reports examined financial and other aspects of the institution. While the tone and specificity of the reviews varied, each had the same conclusion: The society needs to create long-term strategic and budgeting models that address changes in state funding.

The reviews by the city and state agencies likely won’t affect the society — they’re not audits — but the association’s review could have consequences. The association sets standards of good practices in the museum world, and because the society hasn’t developed “an adequate overall institutional plan that will help address the museum’s financial reality,” the association deferred the society’s re-accreditation until it solves the current crisis.

“The past decade has been a downward spiral of eliminating programs to the point where we’ve lost almost all of our intellectual capital,” says board member Jackie Peterson. “And we have to get it back.”

“The state doesn’t have funding,” says Chet Orloff, the society’s director from 1991-2001. “Where do you come up with it? That’s when you have to get creative.”

Brown’s review also noted that by 2015, the society will have a $2.6 million balloon mortgage payment due on its Gresham property, where it stores most of its collection. It’s not clear how the society will make that payment.

“It’s easy, retrospectively, to say we should have done this or that,” says Vogt, who will earn $164,800 this year and received a $16,000 bonus in 2008. “But, realistically, in 2003, the board felt that the zero funding from the state wouldn’t last. And that, in 2005, funding would come back. That didn’t happen.”

Vogt says that’s why the society has spent so much time chasing public-funding sources, including the proposed levy, and why the society hired its own lobbyist more than two years ago. Since September 2008, the society has used money from its budget to pay Mark Nelson $3,500 a month for each of the 22 months he lobbied for the society. Nelson, who previously campaigned on behalf of the tobacco industry, is currently not working on the levy campaign or any other project for the society.

Still, hiring Nelson was an unusual step for a cash-strapped institution, especially since Oregon cultural institutions, including the society, already are represented by a lobbying group in Salem, the Cultural Advocacy Coalition.

To run the campaign for the proposed levy, the society formed a separate political action committee and hired political consultant Liz Kaufman to run it. The campaign is expected to cost a few hundred thousand dollars, Vogt says, and is being funded by contributions, like all political campaigns.

Vogt says it’s not clear what voters will do on Nov. 2. But if the levy is successful, Vogt believes Oregonians will be rewarded – the extra money will be used to expand core services, including service hours at a library that has been an invaluable resource to scholars and curious history lovers.

Should the levy fail, Vogt says, the society likely will begin a phased shutdown. Very few options are left, he says, even with $20 million in assets, including outright ownership of an entire block on the South Park Blocks.

“We can’t continue with business as usual beyond 2011,” Vogt says.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

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

 

View of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Photo by William J. Hebert.

Michigan’s Meijer Gardens’ attendance, membership at new high

View of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Photo by William J. Hebert.

View of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Photo by William J. Hebert.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is reporting all-time high attendance and membership during the year of its 15th anniversary.

The Grand Rapids attraction said Wednesday that it attracted a record 643,031 visitors during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The park says its members membership base grew to a record 20,653 households.

The 132-acre Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park says the number of visitors is 17 percent higher than its previous best year of 2005. It says attendance previously has averaged about 500,000 visitors annually.

Meijer Gardens in May celebrated reaching the 6 million visitor mark. It previously had about 17,000 member households.

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Online: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: http://www.meijergardens.org

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

AP-CS-10-27-10 0001EDT

 

Observation room of the Abraham Lincoln Pullman car. Photograph owned and provided by Curtis Andrews. Licensed under the Creative commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

New Orleans luxury railcars likely to be sold

Observation room of the Abraham Lincoln Pullman car. Photograph owned and provided by Curtis Andrews. Licensed under the Creative commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

Observation room of the Abraham Lincoln Pullman car. Photograph owned and provided by Curtis Andrews. Licensed under the Creative commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The vintage Pullman cars that have emerged as a symbol of runaway spending at the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad appear to be headed for the auction block.

The Times-Picayune reports a decision to solicit bids for the three antique railcars could come as early as Thursday when a new slate of Public Belt commissioners appointed recently by Mayor Mitch Landrieu meets for the second time.

The board’s new finance committee, which convened for the first time Tuesday, will recommend that the full commission seek buyers for the cars, which were acquired and restored by former General Manager James Bridger.

Bridger, whose freewheeling spending habits were the focus of a scathing report by the state legislative auditor, resigned under pressure last month.

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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-WS-10-27-10 1041EDT

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Exterior view of the first Pullman sleeping car, second half of 19th century. Photographer unknown.

Exterior view of the first Pullman sleeping car, second half of 19th century. Photographer unknown.

Pullman kitchen car "Sappho, " photo from Birmingham City Archives (Metro Cammell Collection Album 108 Folio 23).

Pullman kitchen car "Sappho," photo from Birmingham City Archives (Metro Cammell Collection Album 108 Folio 23).