Official logo for the James A. Ramage Civil War Museum, Fort Wright, Kentucky.

Civil War museum to celebrate 1862-style Christmas

Official logo for the James A. Ramage Civil War Museum, Fort Wright, Kentucky.

Official logo for the James A. Ramage Civil War Museum, Fort Wright, Kentucky.

FORT WRIGHT, Ky. (AP) – Visitors to a northern Kentucky museum next Sunday can experience Christmas as it was celebrated during the Civil War.

On Dec. 12 from noon till 5 p.m., the James A. Ramage Civil War Museum in Fort Wright is holding its sixth annual Civil War Christmas, and the 20,000th visitor is expected to pay a visit during the event, with prizes including books and posters from the gift shop.

Museum board Vice President Bob Clements told The Kentucky Enquirer that military records indicate the 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery was stationed on part of what is now the museum grounds and would have celebrated Christmas there.

Visitors will be able to tour the living history campsite to hear and see presentations showing how Civil War soldiers spent their Christmas. Civil War re-enactors and living history presenters will be on hand, and the museum will be decorated as if it were Christmas of 1862.

During the celebration, children are able to make ornaments from hardtack, a flour mixture resembling a large cracker and frequently the mainstay of Civil War soldiers’ diets. On display will be 15 to 20 letters soldiers sent their families during the holidays. A cut tree will be decorated with ornaments that would have been used in the mid-19th century, and the tree will be donated to a local nonprofit group.

The Hills of Kentucky Dulcimers will perform from 2-5 p.m. Also, Santa will make an appearance from 1-3 p.m. The museum’s gift shop will be open for those seeking unique holiday presents.

The Fifth Annual Civil War Christmas is sponsored by the City of Fort Wright and the James A. Ramage Civil War Museum. For additional details, visit www.fortwright.com.

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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com. Auction Central News International contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press and Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-12-06-10 0401EST

 

Circa-1870 pocket watch used by U.S. Marshal John E. Sherman of the New Mexico Territory. Sold at auction for $1,000 on May 17, 2007. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Engel Auction Co.

Update planned for US marshals museum in Arkansas

Circa-1870 pocket watch used by U.S. Marshal John E. Sherman of the New Mexico Territory. Sold at auction for $1,000 on May 17, 2007. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Engel Auction Co.

Circa-1870 pocket watch used by U.S. Marshal John E. Sherman of the New Mexico Territory. Sold at auction for $1,000 on May 17, 2007. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Engel Auction Co.

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) – Officials with a planned U.S. Marshals Museum in downtown Fort Smith are planning a meeting to update the public about the project’s progress.

The museum’s operations director, Jessica Hayes, tells the Southwest Times Record that the Dec. 14 meeting will include discussion about what’s been done during the past year and plans for the upcoming year for the $50 million project. Hayes will be joined by the museum’s executive director, Jim Dunn and its fundraising consultant, Jim Johnson, at the meeting.

Work on the museum has been underway for about 71/2 years and in June 2009, the museum board approved an abstract star-shaped design for the building.

Plans call for the 50,260-square-foot museum honoring the U.S. Marshals Service to be located along the Arkansas River, facing the Oklahoma border.

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Information from: Southwest Times Record, http://www.swtimes.com/

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

AP-CS-12-05-10 1436EST

A 19th-century photo of a Minnesota family in front of their log cabin. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

193-year-old log house offers peek at Ohio’s past

A 19th-century photo of a Minnesota family in front of their log cabin. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

A 19th-century photo of a Minnesota family in front of their log cabin. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Pairs of volunteers watched anxiously as a screen sifted archaeological treasures from cold, damp dirt.

The group of about 20 professional archaeologists, Ohio State University students and history buffs shared a quiet sense of excitement and urgency as each historical find was unearthed yesterday at the Deardurff House, a 193-year-old log house in Columbus.

The house is the oldest known structure in Franklin County still on its original foundation. It was built in 1807, just four years after Ohio achieved statehood.

Archaeologist Andrew Sewell, one of three principal investigators hired to lead the dig, scrutinized a brass plate about 5 inches in diameter.

He rubbed it and flipped it over and over, trying to discern the inscription on the dirt-covered find. Satisfied as to its historical value, he determined that the plate dates to at least the early 1800s.

This is rare. You don’t get many chances to do an archaeological dig like this within a city’s limits,” Sewell said.

The plate is one of many artifacts found in the dig, which continues today. Animal-bone fragments, pieces of pottery and brick, nails, plates and a clay marble were unearthed.

They were just the types of remnants that Walt Reiner, 67, a real-estate agent and property developer from Westerville, hoped to find.

Reiner, who bought the Deardurff House about 30 years ago, authorized the dig as part of his effort to restore the house and turn it into a museum by 2012, in time for Columbus’ bicentennial celebration.

The restoration will cost at least $400,000, most of which Reiner will pay. He owns several log buildings in central Ohio, including his realty office, which he converted from a 19th century log cabin. He said he hopes to turn the Deardurff house’s neighborhood into a replica of what the Franklinton neighborhood once looked like.

For the 39 volunteers, the dig was a rewarding opportunity to “get their hands on some old dirt and stuff,” said Anne Lee, an archaeologist and principal investigator on the dig.

People are generally interested in archaeology and the history of this area,” she said, noting that the two-day dig had a waiting list of at least 30 others who wanted to volunteer. “It’s important for a lot of people to have sort of a connection to their history.”

For Benjamin Keller, a fourth-year anthropology student at Ohio State University, participating in the dig not only added practical experience to his resume, but it also was fun.

You get to be outside digging holes,” he said as he tossed dirt onto the screen for his partner to sift. “Who doesn’t like to do that?”

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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

AP-CS-12-05-10 1640EST

 

 

Angel Zarraga, ‘Christ Bearing the Cross,’ circa 1936-37, a study of a fresco panel in the University of Paris Student Chapel, 44 x 44 inches. Estimate: $60,000-$80,000. Image courtesy of Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers.

Morton Kuehnert to celebrate Latin American Art at auction Dec. 12

Angel Zarraga, ‘Christ Bearing the Cross,’ circa 1936-37, a study of a fresco panel in the University of Paris Student Chapel, 44 x 44 inches. Estimate: $60,000-$80,000. Image courtesy of Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers.

Angel Zarraga, ‘Christ Bearing the Cross,’ circa 1936-37, a study of a fresco panel in the University of Paris Student Chapel, 44 x 44 inches. Estimate: $60,000-$80,000. Image courtesy of Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers.

HOUSTON – Approximately 120 lots of Latin American fine art and select antiques, with pieces from notable artists such as Francisco Zúñiga, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Ángel Zárraga, will be on the auction block at 1 p.m. Central on, Sunday, Dec. 12. On-line bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

“This auction brings to Houston a fine collection of art in a city already a formidable and pretigious force in the Latin American community,” said Lindsay Davis, Morton Kuehnert’s fine art specialist. “The auction can be experienced as a connoisseur of fine art or as a new collector,” she added.

Lots can be viewed on-line at www.mortonkuehnert.com and in the Morton Kuehnert showroom at 4901 Richmond Ave. in Houston 77027, beginning Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Prints, works on paper, sculpture and paintings will be included. Spanish Colonial paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries are also represented, and work from 19th-20th-century artists Norton Bush and Conrad Wise Chapman, and 20th-century artists Leonora Carrington, Roberto Matta, Gunther Gerzso and Raphael Coronel as well.

“This auction is our commitment to positioning Latin American art in an international context,” said Davis. “Houston is gaining worldwide attention from Latin American artists, dealers and collectors and as a strong regional auction house we are facilitating this paradigm,” she added.

Highlights include Lot 39, Rivera’s 1907 oil on canvas House of Vizcaya, with a pre-auction estimate of $750,000-$900,000. Lot 51, Matta’s 1971 Untitled oil on canvas is estimated at $275,000-$300,000. Lot 8, Chapman’s 1894 “Valle de Mexico oil on canvas is estimated at $175,000-$200,000. Lot 46, Zárraga’s The Annunciation, circa 1928 oil on canvas, is estimated at $180,000-$200,000.

Two interesting 18th-century Spanish Colonial pieces include Lot 15, an ivory and horn-inlaid ebony, mahogany and hardwood cabinet on a Colonial hardwood table, estimated to sell at auction between $200,000 and $225,000, and Lot 52, an inlaid “mueble enchonchado” cabinet-on-stand, circa late 17th century to early 18th century, is estimated at $220,000-$240,000.

Phone bids and absentee bids must be prearranged by calling 713-827-7835, or in-person at the gallery.

For more information, contact Lindsay Davis, fine art specialist, at 713-827-7835 or ldavis@mortonkuehnert.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.LiveAucvtioneers.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


Conrad Wise Chapman, ‘Valley of Mexico, 1894,’ 25 x 49 1/2 inches. Estimate: $175,000-$200,000. Image courtesy of Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers.

Conrad Wise Chapman, ‘Valley of Mexico, 1894,’ 25 x 49 1/2 inches. Estimate: $175,000-$200,000. Image courtesy of Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers.

Diego Rivera, ‘The House of Vizcaya, 1907.’ A young Rivera painted this masterpiece described as ‘the somber warmth of early 20th-century Spanish art’ while studying in Madrid under Eduardo Chicharro. Estimate: $750,000-$900,000. Image courtesy of Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers.

Diego Rivera, ‘The House of Vizcaya, 1907.’ A young Rivera painted this masterpiece described as ‘the somber warmth of early 20th-century Spanish art’ while studying in Madrid under Eduardo Chicharro. Estimate: $750,000-$900,000. Image courtesy of Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers.

Gunther Gertszo, ‘Agora, 1970.’ Gertszo is heralded as one of the greatest Latin American painters whose work evolved from Parisian surrealism to the abstracts for which he is most respected. Estimate: $100,000-$120,000. Image courtesy of Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers.

Gunther Gertszo, ‘Agora, 1970.’ Gertszo is heralded as one of the greatest Latin American painters whose work evolved from Parisian surrealism to the abstracts for which he is most respected. Estimate: $100,000-$120,000. Image courtesy of Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers.

The rustic, timber-framed cabin built by Friends of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, in memory of Dan Urbanski, the group's founding president. Known as Dan's Cabin, it houses the various artists chosen for the artist-in-residence program. Image courtesy of Friends of the Porkies.

Mich. state park seeks applicants for artist-in-residence program

The rustic, timber-framed cabin built by Friends of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, in memory of Dan Urbanski, the group's founding president. Known as Dan's Cabin, it houses the various artists chosen for the artist-in-residence program. Image courtesy of Friends of the Porkies.

The rustic, timber-framed cabin built by Friends of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, in memory of Dan Urbanski, the group’s founding president. Known as Dan’s Cabin, it houses the various artists chosen for the artist-in-residence program. Image courtesy of Friends of the Porkies.

SILVER CITY, Mich. (AP) – Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the western Upper Peninsula is seeking applicants for its artist-in-residence program.

The program is open to artists, composers, performers and artisans whose work can be influenced by the 65,000-acre park along Lake Superior. The residencies are for at least two weeks. Artists get the use of a rustic cabin on the Little Union River and if requested a three-night back country permit.

Applications must be received by March 31. They are for the spring, summer and fall of 2011 programs as well as the winter of 2012.

Details and applications are available on the website of the nonprofit group Friends of the Porkies, which sponsors the program along with the park.

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Online: Friends of the Porkies: http://www.porkies.org

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

AP-CS-12-03-10 0742EST


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Lake of the Clouds as viewed from the Escarpment Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan. Aug. 6, 2008 photo by Troy A. Heck.

Lake of the Clouds as viewed from the Escarpment Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan. Aug. 6, 2008 photo by Troy A. Heck.

Dozens of antique weapons stolen from Minn. armory

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) – Mankato police are investigating the theft of dozens of antique guns from the National Guard Armory.

The Minnesota National Guard says someone broke into the armory last Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. An employee discovered the burglary Thursday morning and notified police.

An inventory of the weapons is being conducted, but Guard spokesman Maj. Paul Rickert says about 100 rifles and pistols are missing.

Rickert says the antique weapons were part of a Blue Earth County collection on display at the armory. He says the weapons were in “fabulous” condition and could be worth a lot of money to a collector.

KARE-TV reports police have no suspects.

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Information from: KARE-TV, http://www.kare11.com

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

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This 12-inch-high Satsuma censer is decorated with flowers. The pierced lid that allows smoke from burning incense to escape is the clue to identifying its use.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of Dec. 6, 2010

This 12-inch-high Satsuma censer is decorated with flowers. The pierced lid that allows smoke from burning incense to escape is the clue to identifying its use.

This 12-inch-high Satsuma censer is decorated with flowers. The pierced lid that allows smoke from burning incense to escape is the clue to identifying its use.

A censer sometimes can be found at an antique shop, but the word can be confusing. It has nothing to do with a censor, the person who decides what is acceptable to be published in books or shown on television. A vintage censer is an old container used for burning incense. It can be made of pottery, porcelain, bronze, iron or another material that will not burn. Some censers were used at home. A home censer was heated with glowing charcoal that ignited the incense. The aromatic smoke fumigated clothes and other fabrics and killed insects. But a censer is most often used in a church or temple for religious ceremonies. The earliest censers date back to the second century B.C. Collectors can find censers in several traditional shapes — a mountain, a perforated box or cylinder or a bulbous vase. Many are suspended on chains. A Japanese censer with a mark used from 1868 to 1912 was offered for sale at a Leland Little auction this year. The decorations and pale yellow crackled glaze are typical of what collectors call Satsuma ware. The decorative 12-inch-high censer with a pierced lid, handles and feet was valued at $3,000 to $5,000.

Q: I bought an album of Victorian calling cards at a flea market. I would like to know more about the history and tradition of calling cards.

A: Long before people sent “friend requests” on Facebook, social contacts were made by leaving a calling card or visiting card at the home of the person you wanted to visit. Visiting cards were first used in China in the 15th century. They were used by French royalty in the 17th century and by the well-to-do in Europe in the early 19th century. Early cards were hand-lettered with just the name and title of the owner, and possibly the days or hours they were “at home.” Women’s cards were slightly larger than men’s cards. Special messages could be conveyed by folding down a corner of the card. Folding the top left meant the card was delivered by the person wanting to visit, not by a servant. A top-right fold meant “congratulations,” a bottom-right sent condolences and bottom-left signaled “farewell.” Calling cards were popular in the United States during Victorian times and often were collected and pasted into scrapbooks. They were larger than earlier cards and often featured colorful flowers, fancy borders, attached scraps and fringes. There were strict rules of etiquette concerning calling cards. If the person who received a card wanted to receive the visitor, he sent his own card back. If the person leaving the card didn’t get a card back, it meant the person called on didn’t want to see her. (Something like having your “friend request” ignored on Facebook.)

Q: We live in a rural area in Arizona and have found more than 200 Arizona license plates from 1930. Some have a “P” for pneumatic and “S” for solid tires. What are these worth?

A: Common license plates usually sell for about $10 apiece or less. Yours are old enough to have more value. Vanity plates, license plates with a series of letters or numbers that spell something, are also worth more. The Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, an organization for collectors, holds meets throughout the country and hosts an annual convention. For more information, check the association’s website, www.alpca.org.

Q: I have a Janssen Organo from the 1930s or ‘40s, I think. It has radio tubes for the organ controls, but also plays as a piano without them. I haven’t been able to find out anything about it. Can you help?

A: Webb Janssen founded the Janssen Piano Co. in 1901 in New York City. The company was bought by C.G. Conn in 1964. It was sold to Charles R. Walter in 1970, and the company’s name became Walter Piano Co. Pianos were made with the Janssen name until 1976. The Organo was made in the 1950s. One was offered for sale recently for $350.

Q: Can you give us some information on an old horse-drawn ice saw we acquired a few years back? We don’t know anything about it, how old it is or what it is worth. It has no markings on it that we can see. It has a wooden case that you can put the saw in when it’s not in use. The saw is about 65 inches long and 43 inches tall from the floor to the top of the handle. The blades are 11 inches long.

A: Ice harvesting was a big industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Blocks of ice were usually cut from local rivers and lakes in January and February when the ice was 10 to 12 inches thick. First the ice was scored with a horse-drawn marking plow, and then it was cut with a horse-drawn ice saw or ice plow like yours. The ice saw has larger teeth than the marking saw. After harvesting, blocks of ice were stored at an icehouse and covered with sawdust to keep them cool throughout the rest of the year. Ice harvesting declined with the development of refrigeration and ice-making in the 1920s. You might find a similar ice saw at a tool show or farm auction.

Tip: To get a glass stopper out of a decanter or perfume bottle, try pouring a little glycerin around the neck of the bottle. Wait a few hours, then try to remove it. Repeat until the stopper is loose. Glycerin can be found in drugstores.

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 also can 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.

  • Yves Saint Laurent silk scarf, white polka dots on red ground, square border of red, white, green and navy blue, 1960s, 31 x 31 inches, $75.
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, porcelain heads, hands and feet, stuffed cloth bodies, fabric outfits, yarn hair, Bobbs-Merrill copyright, Ideal, 1978, 16 inches, pair, box, $115.
  • Sanitary Hair Nets store display box, hinged lid, image of “The Kaybee Girl,” titled “Hair Nets 10 cents Each,” Kunstadter Bros., Chicago, 1890s, 7 x 9 x 2 inches, $120.
  • Sterling-silver berry spoon, shell bowl, Lily pattern, Whiting Mfg. Co., 1902, 9 1/8 inches, $130.
  • Ray-Ban Outdoorsman Sport sunglasses, aviator style, gold-plated frames, original leather pouch, 1960s, $175.
  • Marx Brothers “Love Happy” movie poster, Harpo, Groucho and Chico on cover with bathing beauties, 1949, 27 x 41 inches, $250.
  • Magic Bank building mechanical bank, cast iron, red, white and blue building, door opens, cashier appears with tray, coin is deposited, 1873 & 1876 patent dates, J.&E. Stevens, 5 x 5 1/2 inches, $505.
  • Chair-table, pine, red paint, cut nail construction, circular top with battens tilting over chair base, lidded seat, open interior, 1800s, 28 x 48 inches, $575.
  • Late Neoclassical mirror, rosewood, ogee frame surrounded by gilt moldings, circa 1830, 35 x 23 3/4 inches, $800.
  • Moser cameo glass vase, clear with lilac cameo design, elephant surrounded by palm trees, cut panels and notches around lip, circa 1912, 12 inches, $1,150.

Just published. The best book to own if you want to buy, sell or collect. The new Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2011, 43rd edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. This large-size paperback has more than 2,600 color photographs and 42,000 up-to-date prices for more than 775 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 800-303-1996; at your bookstore or send $27.95 plus $4.95 postage to Price Book, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2010 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

This photo of the Nanking skyline reflects China's current status as the world's fastest-growing economy. Photo by Godofnanjing. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Western art dealers hope to lure wealthy Chinese

This photo of the Nanking skyline reflects China's current status as the world's fastest-growing economy. Photo by Godofnanjing. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

This photo of the Nanking skyline reflects China’s current status as the world’s fastest-growing economy. Photo by Godofnanjing. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

HONG KONG (AP) – For newly minted Chinese billionaires looking to spend their money, a natural choice has been art and antiques from their own country, many costing millions of dollars.

Now art dealers and auction houses are trying to pitch them a harder sell: Western masterpieces by artists such as Picasso, whose paintings featured in three autumn shows in Hong Kong.

“They are the next big wave of buyers, and they could affect the market as much as the Japanese did in the ’80s,” said Jehan Chu, who runs consultancy Vermillion Art Collections.

China’s rapidly developing economy has churned out many wealthy businesspeople who have made their fortunes in industries from soft drinks to property development to the Internet.

The country is now home to the world’s largest number of dollar billionaires, according to the Hurun Rich List 2010, China’s version of the Forbes list.

China’s new rich have been snapping up Asian artwork, antiques and other collectables, pushing up prices to record levels. That was evident in November when an unnamed Chinese buyer paid $83 million at a London auction for a 19th century Qing dynasty vase found in a suburban house.

The rising number of wealthy Chinese buyers has also made Hong Kong the world’s third largest auction center after New York and London.

Chu says a lot of the buying “is largely driven by investment rather than a love or appreciation of art,” though that is changing.

In a sign of the hope that Chinese buyers are now turning their attention – and checkbooks – to Western art, Sotheby’s displayed 20 works at its Modern Masters exhibition of Impressionist and early 20th century art in Hong Kong last weekend, after holding a preview in Beijing in October.

It was the auction house’s first show held specifically for the Asian market and featured seven Picassos as well as works by Monet, Renoir, Chagall and Degas, priced from $2 million to $25 million.

Picassos are also on show at Ben Brown Fine Arts and Edouard Malingue Gallery, both opened by European art dealers in the past year in the former British colony to cash in on the growing wealth of Chinese collectors.

Pablo Picasso is widely considered to be the greatest artist of the 20th century and his works consistently fetch record prices. A 1932 painting of his mistress, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, sold for $106.5 million in May, setting a world record price for any work of art at auction.

Many in China can now afford his paintings. The Hurun report’s researcher, Rupert Hoogewerf, said in October that he knows of at least 189 dollar billionaires in China but the real number may be more like 400 to 500.

The report lists 1,363 people with wealth of at least one billion yuan ($150 million).

But do they want to buy a Picasso? The artist might seem a bit too challenging for buyers in China, who often prefer more literal and conventionally pretty scenes.

Art dealer Edouard Malingue said some of the Chinese visitors to his gallery’s debut show have shown an appreciation for the works, some of which depict sexually charged scenes, including brothels and men peeping at women.

“Some of them, I could feel it was very new so they need more time to get used to it,” Malingue said. “Others had a much more quick interest. Even for people not familiar with his work, they had a sharp eye for his craftsmanship, they were attracted to pieces that curators would pick.”

Malingue said he has sold two of 17 paintings on display at his show, the first for his gallery, which opened in September. Both were bought by European buyers.

The show also features 23 sketchbook drawings. After it ends in Hong Kong on Friday, it will travel to Taiwan for a week.

Ben Brown, who opened the Hong Kong branch of his London gallery a year ago, has 13 works spanning 70 years of Picasso’s career in a show that runs until Jan. 28.

He said that while he hopes to sell some paintings to Asian buyers, he also expects purchases to come from wealthy Europeans visiting the city. He would not discuss specific sales.

A Sotheby’s spokeswoman said only that “some” paintings from the Modern Masters show have been sold, declining to be more specific.

But there is plenty of potential if the results of Christie’s sale of Asian contemporary and Chinese 20th century art held last weekend is anything to go by.

Thirty seven lots were sold raising more than $36 million, with most buyers listed as Asian.

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

AP-CS-12-03-10 0020EST

 

Photo courtesy of the HISTORY Channel.

Reyne Gauge: Antiques take on Times Square

Photo courtesy of the HISTORY Channel.

Photo courtesy of the HISTORY Channel.

The antiques and collecting world seems finally to be gaining traction with the television world.  More and more television shows are popping up that pertain to collecting, and personally, I love it!

The popularity of new shows like Pawn Stars and American Pickers has spawned an interest in collecting like never before. People are digging through old boxes, their attics and basements (and those of friends and family) hoping to find hidden treasures that have been tucked away or long forgotten about.

The other day I received a press release from the HISTORY Channel about a new and exciting concept they are launching Dec. 6, just in time for the holiday shopping season. It’s a pop-up store in Times Square for fans of Pawn Stars and American Pickers.

Apparently the store is going to be erected at 1501 Broadway, New York City. On hand for the opening ceremony will be Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars, and Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz from American Pickers. All three HISTORY Channel stars will be on hand to meet their fans and sign autographs.

The Pop Store will offer show-theme merchandise, and there will be an interactive element for guests. The on-site games will allow you to guess the value of items from the shows on a screen, and to determine if a good deal was made.

The store will also have daily giveaways and a grand prize. I have no idea what the daily giveaways are, but wouldn’t it be great if they gave away a few of the finds the guys have discovered over the past few seasons?

If you happen to be in the New York area, make sure to visit the shop from Dec. 6-19, anytime from noon until 8 p.m., Monday to Friday, or on weekends from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Extended hours are planned the closer we get to Christmas, so guys – keep in mind the brownie points you’d score if you remembered to bring home a gift to place under the tree without waiting till the last minute.

Congrats, HISTORY Channel, for bringing these two shows to light and good luck with the Pop Shop!

P.S. – Just as I was about to upload this I heard back from the HISTORY Channel publicist who informed me that the Pop Shop WILL be selling items from past and future episodes of both shows. She told me what some of the items are that will be for sale, and I’d tell ya what they are, but that just takes all the fun out of it, doesn’t it now?

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Esther Julia Kapi'olani Napelakapuokaka'e (1834-1899), Queen consort of King Kalakaua, who reigned over the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1874 to 1891. Photo attributed to photographer A.A. Montano.

Queen Kapiolani sculpture gets makeover

Esther Julia Kapi'olani Napelakapuokaka'e (1834-1899), Queen consort of King Kalakaua, who reigned over the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1874 to 1891. Photo attributed to photographer A.A. Montano.

Esther Julia Kapi’olani Napelakapuokaka’e (1834-1899), Queen consort of King Kalakaua, who reigned over the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1874 to 1891. Photo attributed to photographer A.A. Montano.

HONOLULU (AP) – The Queen Kapiolani statue at Honolulu’s Kapiolani Park is getting a makeover.

Technicians from the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts are scheduled to conduct regular maintenance work on the nine-year-old bronze sculpture on Friday.

The statue is 6 feet 6 inches tall and is mounted on a black granite pedestal. The entire display is about 8 feet.

It shows Queen Kapiolani in “street costume” at about the age of 40. Her face has a warm, subtle smile and one of her arms is slightly extended, palm open, as if to welcome someone into her home.

The sculpture by artist Holly Young was dedicated on the queen’s birthday – Dec. 31 – in 2001.

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AP-WS-12-02-10 1409EST