Lee Harvey Oswald, 1959. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Brother disputes sale of Lee Harvey Oswald coffin

Lee Harvey Oswald, 1959. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Lee Harvey Oswald, 1959. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The brother of Lee Harvey Oswald said Monday a coffin that once held the body of the presidential assassin should have been destroyed years ago rather then being auctioned off and allowed to exist as a ghoulish keepsake.

Robert L. Oswald said he didn’t know the coffin still existed until he read in a Texas newspaper this month that it had been put up for sale.

Oswald, 76, said he attempted to contact a funeral home owner to halt the sale, but his call was not returned. He said a similar request was ignored by the Santa Monica auction house that handled the sale.

“This is not about money on my part,”Oswald said. “The coffin should have been destroyed years ago, and that is what I desire now.”

Lee Harvey Oswald was shot to death at a Dallas police station two days after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in an open convertible. Although Oswald was never put on trial, authorities concluded he was the killer.

An anonymous bidder on Dec. 16 bought the water-damaged coffin that held the body of Oswald until it was exhumed in 1981.

The bidder agreed to pay $87,469 after a spirited round of bidding that Nate D. Sanders Auctions of Santa Monica, Calif., said continued two hours past the original closing deadline.

Robert Oswald said he bought the original coffin in 1963 and believes that makes him its rightful owner. He has no plans to sell it and no immediate intent to file a lawsuit, he said.

“We’re going to evaluate all the legal options and see what needs to be done,” he said.

The retired salesman who lives in Wichita Falls, Texas, said he never gave anyone the authority to do anything with the coffin.

Sanders was out of the office and unavailable for comment, but auction house spokesman Sam Heller said he was unaware of any ownership dispute.

Texas funeral home owner Allen Baumgardner, who put the coffin up for sale, did not return calls. He previously said he swapped the coffin with Oswald’s family for a new one when the body was dug up then reburied in 1981.

Robert Oswald said he never heard from Baumgardner at that time and didn’t believe anyone else in the family had, although he couldn’t say for sure if his brother’s widow had been contacted. He noted his mother had died a few months before her son’s body was exhumed.

Baumgardner kept the coffin in a storage room at the Baumgardner Funeral Home, saying he hoped someone interested in its historical significance would buy it.

The body had been dug up to lay to rest conspiracy theories that Oswald wasn’t buried in the grave. The body was identified through dental records then returned to Rose Hill Memorial Burial Park in Fort Worth, Texas.

Baumgardner said he put the body in a new coffin after it was discovered Oswald’s burial vault had cracked, allowing moisture to damage the original coffin.

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

AP-WF-12-20-10 2129GMT

 

Michigan woman auctions autographed baseballs for charity

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – Jane Bell has spent years fighting crowds and slipping into dugouts to expand her prized collection of autographed baseballs.

Now the 83-year-old suburban Detroit woman is letting charity benefit from all her hard work. On Saturday, 136 of her baseballs were auctioned off for more than $6,000, which will benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Recalling the hard work she put into collecting the balls, Bell decided to hang onto one last remnant of her hobby – a personalized gift from Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Morris in 1986.

Morris wrote: “To Jane Bell, my best to you, to a loyal Tiger fan.”

The resident of Wayne County’s Canton Township started accumulating the baseballs in the early 1980s.

Over the years, she has fought crowds, negotiated hotel lobbies and maneuvered her way into dugouts and stadium press boxes to persuade baseball’s elite to sign memorabilia for her.

“People don’t understand the hard work that’s involved, and (everything) you have to deal with,” she told The Detroit News.

Bell said she hoped to bring in $3,000-$5,000 through the charity auction.

Randall Paul, an appraiser and auctioneer, said that’s a reasonable goal. He said he is impressed by Bell’s generosity.

“It’s really a wonderful thing,” Paul said. “To me it’s overwhelming.”

The most expensive autographed balls sold were ones with autographs of Mickey Mantle ($500), Joe DiMaggio ($400), Al Kaline ($350), and Yogi Berra ($200).

Bell’s collection was more valuable than others Paul dealt with in the past because it had each autograph on an official Major League Baseball ball.

Bell said she doesn’t collect autographed balls with the same fervor she once did. Her last autographs were of Miguel Cabrera and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez about three years ago.

She said she has been a Tigers season-ticket holder since 1984, attending all 81 home games each year. She said she expects to be in Lakeland, Fla., in a few months for her 26th consecutive spring training.

Bell said her loyalty has nothing to do with how the Tigers are doing any particular year.

“Listen, if I can sit through when they lost 119 games (in 2003), I can sit through anything,” she said.

___

Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

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

AP-CS-12-17-10 1353EST

 

 

 

Fischer Father Christmas in auto, circa 1912, one of very few known, $25,875. Bertoia Auctions image.

Bertoia’s November toy auction chalks up $1.6M in sales

Fischer Father Christmas in auto, circa 1912, one of very few known, $25,875. Bertoia Auctions image.

Fischer Father Christmas in auto, circa 1912, one of very few known, $25,875. Bertoia Auctions image.

VINELAND, N.J. – An exceptional circa-1909 Marklin tinplate steam-powered boat known as the Priscilla sailed to the top-lot position at Bertoia Auctions’ $1.6 million Toys for the Mantle sale held Nov. 12-14, realizing $63,250 against an estimate of $35,000-$45,000. The imposing 19-inch vessel exhibited fine original paint and intact original lifeboats, sailor figures and masts.

The toy had been discovered many years ago in a Chicago attic and subsequently passed through the hands of several owners before being acquired by the late Bill Bertoia, co-founder of Bertoia Auctions.

“My brother held on to it for many years before selling it to the consignor,” said Bertoia Auctions associate Rich Bertoia. “It’s one of those great toys that was never shopped around. Collectors knew about it, but it never came up for sale. Finally it did, and now it’s the property of a private collector in Europe.”

Bertoia noted that it is rare to find large tin boats from the early 20th century that are as pristine as the Priscilla. “So many were put into water for play, and nothing ruins tin and paint like water. The Priscilla, with its incredible detail, almost certainly would have been sold to a wealthy person to put on the mantel for display.”

Another superior example of Marklin’s mastery was the early 20th century steam-powered horse-drawn fire pumper with a vertical copper-finish burner, cast-iron spoke wheels and two seated firemen figures. A charming, well-detailed toy – also formerly in the Bill Bertoia collection – it blazed to $17,250.

The seemingly unquenchable desire for antique German-made toys extended to other manufacturers, as well. A Bing 1 gauge train set with components including a 4-4-0 “Express” electric locomotive and tender, Wagon-Lits sleeping car and hand-painted Speisewagon dining car achieved more than four times its high estimate at $12,650.

The first-class rails were shared by a circa-1927 American Flyer President’s Special boxed train set, complete with 4-4-4 NYC-style locomotive, West Point Pullman, Annapolis observation car and baggage car. Each of the cars retained its original individual box with wax-paper wrapping. In near-mint condition, the set sped to an $11,500 finish, against an estimate of $2,000-$2,500.

“The American Flyer set was found in a basement in Brooklyn and was in gorgeous condition,” Bertoia said. “Of all the lots in the sale, that was the one that generated the most interest. In fact, there were more calls about that train than any other auction lot I can remember for quite some time.”

The same Brooklyn basement produced a Fischer (Germany) Toonerville Trolley train, copyright 1922, with original box. The three train tracks that accompanied the toy solved a long-time mystery, Bertoia said. “There are other examples of this toy with tracks, but the tracks have not been marked. Before now, no one knew who the toy’s manufacturer was. The tracks that came with the set we auctioned were stamped with the fish symbol that was the company logo for Fischer. Even a small discovery of this type is exciting to collectors.” The 7-inch Toonerville Trolley elicited a winning bid of $4,025.

Rich Bertoia remarked that because it was a three-day sale with more than 2,000 lots, there were peaks and valleys noted in the Toys for the Mantle sale. “But there were more peaks than valleys because we made sure there was a really fun mix of toys,” Bertoia said. “For the past two years we’ve been offering collectors the very best of automotive toys with the Donald Kaufman collection – you can’t add a postscript to a collection like that. We felt the time was right to offer a variety of toys, and it seems the collectors agreed.”

A circa-1892 J. & E. Stevens “Fowler” cast-iron mechanical bank depicting a sportsman taking aim and “firing” at a bird was in the sights of many collectors at the auction. Against an $8,000-$10,000 estimate, it secured a top bid of $17,250.

Another scarce American toy from the 19th century, an Ives “Peek-A-Boo” clockwork cat that lifts its furry head from under a pot lid, peers out, and sticks out its tongue in an amusing action, was actually depicted in the company’s 1893 catalog. It sold for an above-estimate price of $8,050.

Once again, the Christmas collectors turned out in force for a session brimming with ornaments, store displays, belsnickles, candy containers and diecuts. There were many unusual pieces available, like a handcrafted, polychrome-painted Erzgebirge chandelier laden with folk art charms, birds, floral decorations and religious figures, which sold for $10,350. Another highlight was the rare, 26-inch-tall painted chalk Father Christmas store figure carrying a switch for naughty children and toys for their well-behaved siblings. It earned $10,925. The star of the holiday section, however, was a Fischer tinplate clockwork toy with Father Christmas driver and teddy bear passenger that oozed charm and attracted bids from across the collecting spectrum.

“The Fischer Santa car is rare to begin with, and it crosses over into many categories – automotive, European tin, teddy bears, and of course, Christmas,” said Bertoia. “Pricewise, it did exactly what we guessed it would do.” The festive auto exceeded its high estimate to ring the register at $25,875.

Jeanne Bertoia, owner of Bertoia Auctions, said she was “extremely pleased” with the turnout for the sale, which drew strong participation in the gallery as well as on the phones and online. Nearly 27% of the lots – 233 in total – sold via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com.

Jeanne said exact dates will soon be confirmed for all sales to be conducted in the first half of 2011: “On March 25th and 26th, we will be offering the toy collection of the late Donal Markey, who was a very well-respected dealer and collector. Everything he acquired over his many years of collecting was in beautiful condition; he bought only from the top tier. On April 15 and 16, we will auction the last of the Donald Kaufman automotive toys in a sale we’ve nicknamed ‘the final lap.’ And for June we’re planning a mixed sale of toys, trains and banks. It looks like another very busy and exciting year is on the horizon for Bertoia’s.”

To contact Bertoia Auctions, call 856-692-1881 or e-mail toys@bertoiaauctions.com. Visit the company’s website at www.bertoiaauctions.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog, complete with prices realized, 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


 J. & E. Stevens “Fowler” cast-iron mechanical bank, circa 1892, $17,250. Bertoia Auctions image.

J. & E. Stevens “Fowler” cast-iron mechanical bank, circa 1892, $17,250. Bertoia Auctions image.

 Vindex Packard Club Sedan, circa 1929, formerly in the collections of Dick Ford and Donald Kaufman, $8,625. Bertoia Auctions image.

Vindex Packard Club Sedan, circa 1929, formerly in the collections of Dick Ford and Donald Kaufman, $8,625. Bertoia Auctions image.

Circa-1909 Marklin “Priscilla” steamboat, 19 inches long, formerly in the Bill Bertoia collection, $63,250. Bertoia Auctions image.

Circa-1909 Marklin “Priscilla” steamboat, 19 inches long, formerly in the Bill Bertoia collection, $63,250. Bertoia Auctions image.

Marklin steam-powered horse-drawn fire pumper, early 1900s, $17,250. Bertoia Auctions image.

Marklin steam-powered horse-drawn fire pumper, early 1900s, $17,250. Bertoia Auctions image.

Bing 1 gauge train set with “Express” electric locomotive and tender, Speisewagon dining car, Wagons-Lits sleeping car, $12,650. Bertoia Auctions image.

Bing 1 gauge train set with “Express” electric locomotive and tender, Speisewagon dining car, Wagons-Lits sleeping car, $12,650. Bertoia Auctions image.

Circa-1927 American Flyer President’s Special boxed train set, $11,500. Bertoia Auctions image.

Circa-1927 American Flyer President’s Special boxed train set, $11,500. Bertoia Auctions image.

Copyright 1922 Toonerville Trolley train with track, boxed, embossed Fisher (Germany) logos, $4,025.

Copyright 1922 Toonerville Trolley train with track, boxed, embossed Fisher (Germany) logos, $4,025.

Mechanical “Peek-a-Boo” Cat in pot, pictured in 1893 Ives catalog, $8,050. Bertoia Auctions image.

Mechanical “Peek-a-Boo” Cat in pot, pictured in 1893 Ives catalog, $8,050. Bertoia Auctions image.

Rare 26-inch chalkware Father Christmas figure, $10,925. Bertoia Auctions image.

Rare 26-inch chalkware Father Christmas figure, $10,925. Bertoia Auctions image.

French 19th-century gilt bronze and cut glass vase, 29 7/8 inches high. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches to sell Rubinsteins’ property Jan. 10-11

French 19th-century gilt bronze and cut glass vase, 29 7/8 inches high. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

French 19th-century gilt bronze and cut glass vase, 29 7/8 inches high. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches will conduct a single owner, two-session auction on Jan. 10 and 11, offering the personal property of Florence Rubinstein and the late Irving Rubinstein. The Rubinsteins were the owners of the renowned Madison Galleries in New York City before retiring to Delray Beach. The auction will feature over 600 lots of antiques, fine art, and objets d’art that were previously in their home at 20 Sutton Place South in Manhattan.

LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

This collection was amassed over 70 years of dealing and collecting by the Rubinsteins. Their eye for antiques is clearly evident in the fine selection of items offered. Each object has a quality in execution and detail that is a testament to the Rubinsteins’ discerning taste.

Some of the highlights are a group of Russian bronzes including a large selection by Lanceray, a collection of Russian enamels, over 75 lots of silver, a collection of fine Japanese and Chinese ivories and bronzes, 19th-century figural bronze and Baccarat crystal vases, a Satsuma collection, a fine collection of 17 Pietra Dura plaques, three paintings by Johann Berthelsen (1873-1972 American), a 19th-century Pietra Dura inlaid cabinet on stand, a collection of fine English porcelain service plates, a fabulously large Meissen dog, 273 pieces of Tiffany sterling flatware set in the Castilian pattern and an amazing Tiffany glass vase 14 inches high, pair of Royal Sevres vases, 18th- and 19th-century Chinese porcelain and jade objects including an impressive 18th-century covered vase, coral carvings, a collection of European bronzes, European paintings and much more.

This auction will be an excellent opportunity for collectors and dealers to bid on an array of fine quality antiques and art that are fresh to the market, after seventy years of collecting.

Madison Galleries was founded by Florence’s father, Abe Ash, in the 1930s and its first location was on Madison Avenue in Midtown. As the gallery became more successful in the 1950s, Ash branched out and opened two locations in Atlantic City and expanded the Manhattan gallery to 45th and Fifth Avenue. As Madison Galleries continued to grow with new connections in Europe, the gallery became too small and relocated to 56th Street and Second Avenue.

By the time Irving and Florence Rubinstein took over the running of Madison Galleries from Abe Ash, Madison Galleries had become recognized as one of the major retailers in the antique industry. Their business was expanding and their reputation as a leading supplier of antiques to the retail and antique auction trade was flourishing. Madison Galleries became a recognized destination for collectors, designers, and decorators. In the 1980s, the gallery re-located to 840 Broadway and operated there until 1995 when the Rubinsteins retired to South Florida. Mr. Rubinstein passed away in 2004 and Mrs. Rubinstein now in her 90s has chosen to auction her extensive collection with Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches Inc.

For more information, condition reports, and images of this outstanding collection please see the auction company’s website at www.AGOPB.com or call 561-805-7115 and ask for Mr. Leslie Baker or Mr. Brian Kogan. Preview will begin in the gallery Jan. 6. The gallery is at 1609 S. Dixie Highway, Suite 5, in West Palm Beach, FL 33401.

 

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


Evgeni Lanceray, ‘The Capture,’ bronze group, F. Chopin mark, 16 3/4 inches high x 25 1/8 inches long. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

Evgeni Lanceray, ‘The Capture,’ bronze group, F. Chopin mark, 16 3/4 inches high x 25 1/8 inches long. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

Russian silver gilt and enamel pedestal bowl by Anton Kuzmichev, 1899, 5 3/4 inches high, 9 7/8 inches long. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

Russian silver gilt and enamel pedestal bowl by Anton Kuzmichev, 1899, 5 3/4 inches high, 9 7/8 inches long. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

English silver Monteith bowl, London 1891, 75 ounces, 8 3/4 inches high, 12 1/2 inches diameter. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

English silver Monteith bowl, London 1891, 75 ounces, 8 3/4 inches high, 12 1/2 inches diameter. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

Massive Chinese 18th-century Famille Rose vase and cover, 32 inches high. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

Massive Chinese 18th-century Famille Rose vase and cover, 32 inches high. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

Northern Italian 19th-century Pietra Dura and gilt bronze cabinet on stand. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

Northern Italian 19th-century Pietra Dura and gilt bronze cabinet on stand. Image courtesy of Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches.

Chinese carved white jade screen, 19th century, unmarked, 18 1/4 inches high x 13 3/8 inches wide x 5 1/2 inches deep. Estimate: $13,000-$15,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

Showplace Antique & Design Center to hold online auction Dec. 29

Chinese carved white jade screen, 19th century, unmarked, 18 1/4 inches high x 13 3/8 inches wide x 5 1/2 inches deep. Estimate: $13,000-$15,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

Chinese carved white jade screen, 19th century, unmarked, 18 1/4 inches high x 13 3/8 inches wide x 5 1/2 inches deep. Estimate: $13,000-$15,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

NEW YORK – Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center will present a wide variety of fine paintings, drawings, prints, Asian antiques, American and European decorative objects, 20-century design and vintage furniture at its monthly on-line auction on Wednesday, Dec. 29.

LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding. The 655-lot auction will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern.

A featured lot consists of Chinese Qing cloisonné censers of brass and enamel. Standing about 19 inches high, the censers have Qianlong marks and carry an estimate of $35,000-$40,000.

A 19th-century Chinese carved white jade screen is another highlight. The jade has a finely carved figural scene and rests in a lacquer wood frame that stands 18 1/4 inches high. It bears a $13,000-$15,000 estimate.

Nearly 2,000 years old, a Tang Dynasty gild bronze mirror adorned with semiprecious stones is expected to sell for $12,000-$14,000. The mirror measures 8 inches in diameter.

In furniture an all-original 19th-century Korean chest of zelkova root and mixed woods is expected to sell for $8,000-$9,000.

A pair of mid-century armchairs designed by Finn Juhl and manufactured by France & Son has an estimate of $9,500-$10,500. The teak and leather armchairs retain factory tags that read, “FF France and Son, Denmark.”

Previews are by appointment only. In addition to bidding through LiveAuctioneers, bids may also be placed absentee or by phone. For information contact Martina Paonita at 212-633-6063 or go to Showplace Antique & Design’s website at www.

 

 

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


Large teapot or ewer with gilding and raised and incised embellishment, bronze, 19th century, unmarked, approximately 15 inches high x 14 1/2 inches wide x 5 1/4 deep. Estimate:  $5,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

Large teapot or ewer with gilding and raised and incised embellishment, bronze, 19th century, unmarked, approximately 15 inches high x 14 1/2 inches wide x 5 1/4 deep. Estimate: $5,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

Pair of cloisonné covered censers, enamel and brass, China, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Qianlong mark on bottom, one of two, about 19 inches high. Estimate: $35,000-$40,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

Pair of cloisonné covered censers, enamel and brass, China, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Qianlong mark on bottom, one of two, about 19 inches high. Estimate: $35,000-$40,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

French onyx mantel clock, circa 1890, marked ‘Francois / Fiacre Clement Paris’ on the interior, 24 1/2 inches high, x 21 1/8 inches wide x 8 3/4 deep. Estimate: $20,000-$25,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

French onyx mantel clock, circa 1890, marked ‘Francois / Fiacre Clement Paris’ on the interior, 24 1/2 inches high, x 21 1/8 inches wide x 8 3/4 deep. Estimate: $20,000-$25,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

Chinese Tang Dynasty gilt bronze mirror with semiprecious stones, unmarked, 8 inches diameter. Estimate:  $12,000-$14,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

Chinese Tang Dynasty gilt bronze mirror with semiprecious stones, unmarked, 8 inches diameter. Estimate: $12,000-$14,000. Image courtesy of Auctions by Showplace Antique & Design Center.

1968 'The Whole Country is Red' 8f Chinese stamp, auctioned for $47,700 at a Dec. 15 Stanley Gibbons auction in London. Image courtesy of Stanley Gibbons.

Stanley Gibbons auction reveals demand for Chinese stamps

1968 'The Whole Country is Red' 8f Chinese stamp, auctioned for $47,700 at a Dec. 15 Stanley Gibbons auction in London. Image courtesy of Stanley Gibbons.

1968 ‘The Whole Country is Red’ 8f Chinese stamp, auctioned for $47,700 at a Dec. 15 Stanley Gibbons auction in London. Image courtesy of Stanley Gibbons.

LONDON – Stanley Gibbons’ public auction held on Dec. 15 in London showed that Asian material is proving very popular with bidders, with the China section of the sale more than doubling its lower pre-auction estimate of just over £56,000 ($78,000). All prices quoted are inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium unless otherwise noted.

Room bidders were competing against determined telephone bidders and a strong log book, which resulted in Lot 58, the 1962 Stage Art of Mei Lan-fang 3y miniature sheet (SG MS2044a), realizing £12,650 ($19,435). The top lot, a 1968 “The Whole Country is Red” 8f, achieved £31,050 ($47,700), in spite of its condition report stating it had been repaired, was re-gummed and had tone spots.

Collections of China were also keenly contested, with Lot 87, a general collection in three volumes from 1949 to mid 1980s, making £20,700 ($31,800). What was described as an “interesting accumulation of Postal History loose in carton” (Lot 86) was bid to £13,800 ($21,200).

Hong Kong continued the trend with Lot 384, a 1904-06 $10 slate and orange/blue (SG 90) lightly used, reaching £1,035 ($1,590). Lot 549, a complete sheet of Trengganu 1942 $5 green and red/yellow (SG J115), settled at £10,925 ($16,785).

The afternoon’s Great Britain section saw strong competition, pushing the prices for most of the 1840 1d black lots well above estimates. “Better” booklets again showing strength with Lot 1196, a 1934 5s black/buff (SG BB35) edition 8, garnering £1,610 ($2,475) and Lot 1204, a 1940 5s black/buff (SG BD25) edition 8, changing hands at £1,495 ($2,295).

The Penny Black has proved popular among Chinese collectors, with Stanley Gibbons selling out of stock at an event in Beijing in November. Stanley Gibbons CEO, Mike Hall advised that, with Chinese collectors prepared to pay well over catalog prices, the value of this relic of British philately would surely increase. Buyers of the 1d black at this month’s auction may well have secured themselves a great deal if the trend continues, Gibbons noted.

The auction also raised more than £4,600 on the hammer ($7,065) for the Jersey-based “Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.” All 39 lots auctioned specifically to benefit the cause found new homes.

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Gallery Report: December 2010

An untitled mixed media on canvas work by Robert Rauschenberg, signed and inscribed and mounted on linen, sold for $366,000 at the auction of The Collection of Bernarda and Ben Shahn held Nov. 14 by Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J. Also, a George Nakashima walnut platform bed with Mr. Shahn’s name written on the bottom brought $34,160; a watercolor on paper by Rufino Tamayo, untitled (1926), made $26,840; and a lithograph on paper by Louis Lozowick (1923) hit $28,060. Prices include a 22 percent buyer’s premium.

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art, shown in this photo shot at night, is one of the city's most-visited attractions. Photo by Nfutvol, taken April 30, 2010. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Report: Philly ahead of nation in creative sector

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, shown in this photo shot at night, is one of the city's most-visited attractions. Photo by Nfutvol, taken April 30, 2010. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, shown in this photo shot at night, is one of the city’s most-visited attractions. Photo by Nfutvol, taken April 30, 2010. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A new report says Philadelphia’s creative sector is growing at a rate above national averages.

The “Creative Vitality in Philadelphia” report was released Monday and funded by a William Penn Foundation grant. It looked at arts-related jobs and community participation from 2006 to 2008.

It found that Philadelphia’s creative sector employs more than 17,000 people and has weathered the economic downturn better than other sectors of the economy.

Much of the report’s conclusions were based on a so-called Creative Vitality Index. That’s a numerical value based on data including employment and revenues of nonprofit and for-profit businesses, from museums to book stores.

The report said arts and culture are good for the economy and improve everyone’s quality of life.

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

AP-WF-12-20-10 1939GMT

 

Artist's conception of how Ark Encounter will look when finished. Image courtesy of Ark Encounter.

Ky. gives initial OK to tax breaks for Noah’s Ark replica

Artist's conception of how Ark Encounter will look when finished. Image courtesy of Ark Encounter.

Artist’s conception of how Ark Encounter will look when finished. Image courtesy of Ark Encounter.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A group of investors looking to build a replica of Noah’s Ark as part of a proposed $172 million theme park cleared its first bureaucratic hurdle on Monday.

The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority granted preliminary approval for state tax incentives for the project. An economic analysis must be done before being considered for final approval.

Actually, all we’re doing is saying ‘go do your study and bring it back to us,”’ said Darrel BeShears, a member of the financing panel.

Mike Zovath, co-founder of the Answers in Genesis ministry that opened the Creation Museum in Kentucky three years ago, said investors are looking to build a full-scale replica of the ark in what would be an expansive theme park that could draw some 1.6 million visitors a year.

Investors, attracted by Kentucky’s tourism tax incentives, are considering an 800-acre site near Williamstown, just off Interstate 75.

Gov. Steve Beshear, who gave the proposal in a Capitol press conference earlier this month, has said he favors tax incentives for the ark park that is projected to create about 900 permanent jobs and have a $214 million economic impact in its first year of operation.

Some detractors, including Americans United for the Separation of Church and State executive director Barry Lynn, have objected to the state providing tax incentives for a project with a religious theme. Lynn said religious projects should be supported by voluntary donations, not the government.

The newest project would include an ancient walled city, a petting zoo, live animal shows featuring giraffes and elephants and a replica of the biblical Tower of Babel.

The Tourism Development Finance Authority also gave final approval Monday to tourism tax breaks to Kentucky Speedway, which will host its first Sprint Cup race later this year.

Kentucky Speedway is undergoing an $82 million expansion to accommodate the Sprint Cup. That includes expanding seating from 60,000 to 102,000.

 

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Online:

Ark Encounter: http://www.arkencounter.com

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

AP-WF-12-20-10 2227GMT

 

DC wax museum to open Presidents Gallery in 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) – A new Presidents Gallery is slated to open at the Madame Tussauds wax museum in Washington just before President’s Day.

The museum announced Monday that its revamped $2 million-plus attraction will open Feb. 17 as the only place visitors can see and touch all 44 U.S. Presidents.

The museum is pushing Chief Executives over pop stars after the attraction hadn’t drawn as many paying visitors as planned. The Presidents Gallery was originally slated to open by November but was delayed.

Artists are creating new wax figures of 28 U.S. Presidents for the museum.

Some have already debuted at other locations. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln recently took a road trip to Mount Rushmore for the monument’s 69th anniversary.

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