Queen Elizabeth I among big names in Clars’ ‘Super’ auction Feb. 6

This Chinese coral figural carving of a celestial maiden and children will be among the many highlights of the Asian category at Clars’ February auction. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

This Chinese coral figural carving of a celestial maiden and children will be among the many highlights of the Asian category at Clars’ February auction. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.
This Chinese coral figural carving of a celestial maiden and children will be among the many highlights of the Asian category at Clars’ February auction. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.
OAKLAND, Calif. – Super Bowl Sunday holds a bit of magic in Clars’ history, and expectations for this year’s Super Bowl Sunday at Clars are anticipated to carry on this tradition. It was their February 2007 sale when, in the heat of the third quarter, Clars sold the “mysterious” old master painting for $620,000. This year, on Sunday, Feb. 6, millions of eyes might be on Cowboys Stadium, but serious art and antiques collectors will have at least one eye on Clars Auction house, watching, bidding and buying some of the most important works to come to market in a very long time.

LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

A look at the fine art to be offered reveals an extensive and impressive list of works by American and international artists. Among the numerous highlights in this category is an unframed oil on paper laid on artist’s mount by Paul Klee (Swiss, 1879-1940). Entitled Landhaus im Norden, 1925, this work is estimated to achieve $400,000 to $600,000. From Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (Filipino, 1892-1972) will be his framed oil on canvas entitled Under the Mango Tree estimated to $35,000 to $45,000, and a framed color pencil on paper entitled Tete de Profil by Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884-1920) will draw international bidding. Its estimate is $80,000 to $120,000.

Turning to American works, a beautifully executed oil on canvas by William Keith (California, 1838-1911) entitled View of San Anslemo Valley with Mount Tam is expected to earn $30,000 to $50,000. This work was purchased directly from Keith and comes to auction through family descent. Vaughn Flannery (American, 1898-1955) will be represented with his framed oil on canvas entitles Heaton Park Races, 1944. One of four to be offered, this work is estimated at $30,000 to $50,000. An important work by Milton Avery (America, 1885-1965) entitled Afternoon Landscape will also draw national attention. It has an $80,000 to $120,000 estimate.

Fine art comes in many forms and Edward H. Bohlin was truly the master of art in leather and sterling. His saddles are revered worldwide, and Clars is very pleased to offer a circa 1940 Bohlin saddle with extensive sterling mounts. It is expected to bring $15,000 to $20,000.

This auction will feature a number of offerings of particular historic significance. First is a rare and important document from the “Golden Age of England — the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.” Coming to the auction with an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000 will be a framed indenture from Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) dated 1563 and with the Royal Great Seal. The indenture states the terms of a loan Queen Elizabeth I is taking out through her financier Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579). The indenture is signed on the reverse by the privy council, Robert Dudley (1532-1588), Lord Keeper of the Great Seal Sir William Cecil (1520-1598), Sir Nicholas Bacon (1510-1579), William Howard of Effingham (1510-1573) and Sir Francis Knollys (1514-1596). It was in 1563, the same year as this signed indenture, that Elizabeth I moved the Royal Court to Windsor Castle to avoid the bubonic plague. Clars is honored to be able to represent this piece on behalf of a major San Francisco Area estate and anticipates brisk international bidding on this historic document.

Also of historic importance is a presentation bronze medal inscribed to the captain, officers and crew of the RMS Carpathia in recognition of services from the survivors of the Titanic, April 15, 1912. Estimated at $2,000 to $4,000, this piece comes from the Marcollo Collection. Also from this collection will be a selection of period steam ship lithographs.

Another collection of historic documents will be offered including a signed Abraham Lincoln appointment dated 1861, a letter signed by Teddy Roosevelt and another signed by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Important book offerings will also be a highlight of this sale. First is a collection of prints in two volumes from the rare book Pictures for the Purpose of Illustrating the Dramatic Works of Shakespeare by the Artists of Great Britain, published in London by John Josiah Boydell, 1803 followed by a first edition of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Published in 1939, this lot also includes the first state dust jacket.

Among the important antique furnishings to be offered will be a German Black Forest hall tree estimated to earn $4,000 to $6,000. Fine furniture will include an American Eastlake walnut secretary bookcase, circa 1880, and a Continental Renaissance-style marble-top sideboard, circa 1870. The Arts and Crafts Movement will be represented with a large selection of tile-top tables and classic style wood pieces.

Classic car aficionados will have the opportunity to bid and buy a wonderful 1940 Packard 120 sedan, which expected to earn $30,000 to $40,000, and antique gun collectors will be interested in a William Golcher .52-caliber rifle, circa 1850, made by Golcher himself at the age of 17. The rifle is engraved with an American eagle at the charred maple stock and the barrel is marked “James Golcher Maker Philadelphia.” This rifle is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.

Decorative arts will include a framed Berlin porcelain hand-painted plaque signed “J.X. Tallmaier Munchen” and a Daum Nancy table lamp with hand-wrought mounts. On a larger scale will be a selection of American carousel animals including a Carmel “jumper” horse, and a Herschell Spillman zebra. Two music boxes will be offered. The first is a Regina player with 23 discs, the second an M.J. Paillard interchangeable cylinder music box, circa 1879 complete with two extra cased cylinders and an original play list.

Clars is traditionally strong in fine Asian antiques and art. In their February sale, they will be offering a pair of large Southeast Asian patinated bronzes chinthe/leogryph, circa 19th century. Also to be offered is a Chinese coral figural carving of a celestial maiden and children and a selection of Chinese scholar’s objects.

Sterling offerings will be exceptional at this sale including a Wallace sterling silver flatware service in the Sappho pattern, and another extensive Wallace flatware service in the Violet pattern estimated at $10,000 to $15,000. A Georgian cruet set, circa 1740, by Samuel Woods will be offered and a Rebecca Eames and Edward Barnard I, London 1847 four-piece tea service is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000.

And, as always, jewelry offerings will be spectacular. A diamond solitaire pendant and neck chain set in platinum is set with a 10.09 carats (GIA, L color, VS2 clarity) pear-cut diamond and a stunning diamond solitaire ring set in platinum sports a 3.25-carat round brilliant cut diamond.

The sale will be held Saturday, Feb. 5, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Pacific and Sunday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. Previews will be Friday, Feb. 4, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. each auction day and by special appointment.

Bidding for this sale is available in person, by phone, absentee and live online at www.clars.com and through www.liveauctioneers.com.

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

For details e-mail: info@clars.com or call 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


‘Landhaus im Norden’ by Paul Klee (Swiss, 1879-1940). is estimated to achieve $400,000 to $600,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.
‘Landhaus im Norden’ by Paul Klee (Swiss, 1879-1940). is estimated to achieve $400,000 to $600,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.
This beautifully executed oil on canvas by William Keith (California, 1838-1911) entitled ‘View of San Anslemo Valley with Mount Tam’ is expected to earn $30,000 to $50,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.
This beautifully executed oil on canvas by William Keith (California, 1838-1911) entitled ‘View of San Anslemo Valley with Mount Tam’ is expected to earn $30,000 to $50,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.
This fine circa 1940 Bohlin saddle with extensive sterling mounts is expected to earn $15,000 to $20,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.
This fine circa 1940 Bohlin saddle with extensive sterling mounts is expected to earn $15,000 to $20,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.
Dated 1563, this historic signed indenture by Queen Elizabeth I is estimated to achieve $30,000 to $50,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.
Dated 1563, this historic signed indenture by Queen Elizabeth I is estimated to achieve $30,000 to $50,000. Image courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery.

Revered pipe organ maker brings mystique back to church music

The Tabernacle Christian Church in Franklin, Ind., has a 1997 Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ with three manuals, or keyboards, and 26 sets of pipes, called ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.

The Tabernacle Christian Church in Franklin, Ind., has a 1997 Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ with three manuals, or keyboards, and 26 sets of pipes, called ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
The Tabernacle Christian Church in Franklin, Ind., has a 1997 Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ with three manuals, or keyboards, and 26 sets of pipes, called ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) –Later this year, someone at a church in Charlotte, N.C., will press the keys on a brand-new pipe organ, and a rich sound will fill the room.

That moment is on the minds of everyone at Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organs. The instrument is taking shape in the main assembly room of the operation in the Harrison West neighborhood in Columbus. In that two-story space, every detail will come together before the components are disassembled and delivered to their ultimate home.

The 20 or so employees do a special kind of manufacturing, in which a few projects take up an entire year and the workers are artisans as much as they are laborers.

The company’s work can be seen in eight states, including new or restored organs at several churches in central Ohio and at the Ohio Theatre in downtown Columbus.

“We’re an arts organization trying to make money,” said Philip D. Minnick, president and co-founder.

Seated in a second-floor conference room, Minnick and fellow co-founder Robert W. Bunn Jr. explained how this so-called king of instruments produces sound. The tones come from the push of air through the pipes, controlled by pressing keys on the console. In ancient times, the air pressure often came from bellows. Today, an electric motor does the work.

Prices can range from about $50,000 for a small reconditioned organ to more than $1 million for a large new one, Minnick said. A typical new organ ranges from $250,000 to $450,000.

Bunn=Minnick began in 1969 with a small commission from a church. The initial work took place in Bunn’s basement. Together, the two men gathered about $1,000 to get started, they said.

Minnick was a classically trained organist, and Bunn was a repairman who had taken an interest in the mechanics of pipe organs. They met while working at A.W. Brandt Co., the largest organ company in Columbus at the time.

The new venture was a part-time job, Minnick said. After a few years, though, both men had quit their day jobs and bought a building at First and Harrison avenues.

Bunn holds the title of vice president. A third co-owner, Leo J. Klise Jr., joined the business in the mid-1980s and handles much of the financial management.

Since 1992, Bunn=Minnick has been housed on Michigan Avenue in a three-story brick building. The space was once the headquarters of a company that makes oil derricks, but had been abandoned and required redevelopment inside and out.

Today, employees look out the windows at new condominium complexes and businesses.

Bunn=Minnick’s building is large enough that the company can produce almost every part in-house and keep a supply of used parts.

Nearly the entire basement is devoted to woodworking. The third floor has several rooms for pipemaking, with a casting area where employees melt metals and shape the mixture into cylinders. And there’s a “voicing room” where the pipes are adjusted to meet precise tonal qualities.

Front-office functions are on the ground floor, which is also the domain of Elsa, a gray terrier mix who saunters from room to room.

The co-founders’ lives are intertwined with the business to a point that there is little separation. Both live nearby and spend much of their spare time at the office.

Bunn, 71, has an almost perpetual smile and looks much younger than his age. He keeps a workshop on the third floor, where he tinkers with old electronics. For him, no device is obsolete, and anything can be repaired.

“It’s like the guy who has a neat garage, only our garage is this whole building,” he said.

Minnick, 61, is the more buttoned-down of the two. His office has a plaque with the quote: “When two people in a business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.”

One of his few flights of fancy is his collection of antique light bulbs, with many shapes and sizes stored in two display cases. The grouping ties into his fascination with electricity and the work of Thomas Edison, an inventor who also dabbled in building organs.

“My mother liked to joke that she must have gotten shocked when she was carrying me,” Minnick said.

One of the company’s finished products can be found at First Presbyterian Church in London, Ohio, in Madison County. The organ takes up almost the entire back wall, with 42 sets of pipes built to conform with the cathedral ceiling.

“The installation in our sanctuary fits so well that newcomers – and I dare say some old members – think that the organ has always been there,” said Thomas Lloyd, church music director. “The Bunn=Minnick sound is exactly what we wanted and is great for hymn-singing.”

Although pipe organs have been around for more than 2,000 years, the modern organ industry reached its peak after World War I. The instrument became an essential draw for movie theaters in the days of silent films in addition to its traditional role in churches.

Demand was high enough that several organ-makers became large-scale manufacturers. One of the largest was Wurlitzer, with roots in Cincinnati. The boom was followed by a bust, hastened by the arrival of movies with sound.

“When the talkies arrived, the theater-organ industry dried up almost overnight,” said Robert R. Ebert, an organist and a retired economics professor at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.

The decline continued, and craftsmen and companies got out of the business, he said. The 1970s recession was particularly difficult for organ-makers because it coincided with the rise of “modern worship.” Many churches were being built without organs; the musical accompaniment was handled by guitar and piano. Other churches used smaller, less-expensive electronic organs.

Today’s industry includes about 50 organ-makers in the United States and Canada and about 200 smaller shops that do mostly tuning, repairs and restoration, according to the most-recent annual report that Ebert completed for the American Institute of Organ Builders. Annual sales are around $100 million, including about 70 organs built in 2009.

Among the other local firms is Peebles-Herzog, also in Columbus, which has 10 employees.

Ohio also is home to one of the country’s largest and oldest organ-makers, Schantz Organ Co. in Orrville, about 25 miles southwest of Akron. It started in 1873. Victor Schantz, its president, is the grandson of the founder. He oversees a staff of about 60.

Like most businesses, organ-makers were hit hard by the recent recession. Churches scaled back on building plans, and the number of major projects dwindled.

And yet, the leaders of Bunn=Minnick are optimistic. Some churches have rediscovered organ music, part of a desire to “bring the mystique back” to services, Minnick said. This has inspired several restorations of old organs and new construction, which might be the seeds of a trend.

Ebert is waiting for a trend to show up in sales figures.

That doesn’t diminish the enthusiasm at Bunn=Minnick.

“I think this is one of the most exciting times ever,” Minnick said.

Such sentiment is one of the reasons that neither of the co-founders plans to retire soon.

The men view the business as their ministry, their way to spread their belief that religious services should be as grand as a major chord played on a pipe organ.

___

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

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-01-12-11 1257EST

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


The Tabernacle Christian Church in Franklin, Ind., has a 1997 Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ with three manuals, or keyboards, and 26 sets of pipes, called ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
The Tabernacle Christian Church in Franklin, Ind., has a 1997 Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ with three manuals, or keyboards, and 26 sets of pipes, called ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1973 Bunn=Minnick restoration and enlargement to three manuals, 38 ranks, of an original 1895 A. B. Felgemaker organ. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1973 Bunn=Minnick restoration and enlargement to three manuals, 38 ranks, of an original 1895 A. B. Felgemaker organ. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
First Moravian Church, Dover, Ohio, 1996 Bunn=Minnick pipe organ having three manuals and 41 ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
First Moravian Church, Dover, Ohio, 1996 Bunn=Minnick pipe organ having three manuals and 41 ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
First Presbyterian Church, London, Ohio, 2003 Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ, three manual, 42 ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
First Presbyterian Church, London, Ohio, 2003 Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ, three manual, 42 ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
Broad Street United Methodist Church, Columbus, Ohio, 1981-2008 Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ, four manuals, 60 ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.
Broad Street United Methodist Church, Columbus, Ohio, 1981-2008 Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ, four manuals, 60 ranks. Image courtesy of Bunn=Minnick Pipe Organ Co.

Prominent estates add luster to Leslie Hindman auction Feb. 6-7

Tiffany Studios paneled Favrile glass and bronze table lamp, Grapevine pattern, the hexagonal shade stamped Tiffany Studios New York, the base stamped Tiffany Studios New York 531, width of shade 16 inches, height overall 21 inches, estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
Tiffany Studios paneled Favrile glass and bronze table lamp, Grapevine pattern, the hexagonal shade stamped Tiffany Studios New York, the base stamped Tiffany Studios New York 531, width of shade 16 inches, height overall 21 inches, estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
Tiffany Studios paneled Favrile glass and bronze table lamp, Grapevine pattern, the hexagonal shade stamped Tiffany Studios New York, the base stamped Tiffany Studios New York 531, width of shade 16 inches, height overall 21 inches, estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

CHICAGO – Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will conduct a Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts Auction Feb. 6-7 that comes primarily from two prominent estates.

LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding for both the Sunday session, which will begin at 11 a.m. Central, and the Monday session, which will begin at noon Central.

Medard C. Lange was a Chicago florist known nationally for his extraordinary floral arrangements and parties. He organized innumerable events at many of the city’s cultural institutions. Popular with many of Chicago’s prominent citizens, a highlight of his work was the Sharon Percy and Jay Rockefeller wedding in 1965. Lange also designed many weddings, debuts and parties for the Ford families of Grosse Pointe, Mich.

Lange’s collection of English and Continental decorative objects reveals his appreciation for fine art and entertaining. His estate includes a variety of early Wedgwood and other English basalt wares, as well as the furniture, paintings and decorative arts from Lange’s 1881 Victorian townhouse in Chicago’s Lincoln Park.

The other prominent estate contributing to the auction is that of William H. Moore, whose grandfather orchestrated the 1898 merger of more than 100 bakeries into what would eventually become Nabisco. Moore later served on the board of directors at Nabisco as well as American Can Co., Republic Aviation, Lockheed and IBM. For 17 years, until his retirement in 1975, he was chairman of Bankers Trust Co.

The diverse collection assembled by Moore and his wife of 69 years, Edith McKnight, represents a lifetime of enjoyment. Included in the estate are many fine examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, silver and Asian works of art.

Furniture highlights include a pair of Queen Anne gilt and gessoed console tables, a Queen Anne gilt gesso mirror, an 18th-century English tall-case clock and an 1870s American ebonized and ivory inset credenza by Herter Brothers. Also featured are a Danish sterling silver coffee service by Georg Jensen and a Russian bronze figural group by Vasilii Grachev (1831-1905), which depicts a three-horse troika passing a peasant’s sled being pulled by a single horse headed in the opposite direction.

For details visit Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ website at www.lesliehindman.com.

 

 

 

View the fully illustrated catalogs 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


Russian bronze figural group by Vasilii Grachev (1831-1905), signed in Cyrillic with Woerffel foundry mark in Cyrillic, width of base 19 3/4 inches, estimate: $20,000-$40,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
Russian bronze figural group by Vasilii Grachev (1831-1905), signed in Cyrillic with Woerffel foundry mark in Cyrillic, width of base 19 3/4 inches, estimate: $20,000-$40,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
Italian marble sculpture, Raffaelo Romanelli (1856-1928), in the Art Nouveau style, signed ‘Proff R. Romanelli Larcdessi Firenza,’ set on an octagonal black marble base, height of sculpture 37 1/2 inches, estimate: $20,000-$40,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
Italian marble sculpture, Raffaelo Romanelli (1856-1928), in the Art Nouveau style, signed ‘Proff R. Romanelli Larcdessi Firenza,’ set on an octagonal black marble base, height of sculpture 37 1/2 inches, estimate: $20,000-$40,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
Pair of Queen Anne giltwood and gesso console tables, circa 1710, height 28 1/2 inches x width 33 1/2 inches x depth 17 3/4 inches, estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
Pair of Queen Anne giltwood and gesso console tables, circa 1710, height 28 1/2 inches x width 33 1/2 inches x depth 17 3/4 inches, estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
Queen Anne gilt gesso mirror, height 39 3/4 inches x width 21 1/2 inches, estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
Queen Anne gilt gesso mirror, height 39 3/4 inches x width 21 1/2 inches, estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
A George III mahogany secretaire bookcase, height 90 inches x width 51 inches, estimate: $10,000-$20,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
A George III mahogany secretaire bookcase, height 90 inches x width 51 inches, estimate: $10,000-$20,000. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Beatles memorabilia display opens early in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A collection of Beatles memorabilia has gone on display earlier than expected at a Topeka museum.

The free exhibit is called Remember My Name. It features Beatles posters, photographs, albums, singles, covers, magazines, prints, toys and other items.

Initially, it was supposed to open Feb. 5 at Washburn University’s Mulvane Art Museum. But crews put in some extra work, and it opened this past weekend.

The Beatles items will remain on display through March 20.

On March 5, there will be a free family event at the museum’s Art Lab. Participants will be able to listen to Beatles music and design and paint their own album covers, records and posters.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-01-24-11 1801EST

 

 

 

Jersey City Museum facing closure over lack of funds

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) – The Jersey City Museum, one of New Jersey’s most valued art institutions, may be permanently closing its doors.

The museum is facing steep cuts in city and state funding and a lack of donations, as well as debt still owed on prior renovations.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reported Monday that the museum is behind on mortgage payments on nearly $3 million it still owes for a multimillion dollar, decade-old renovation.

Deep cuts in state and city funding, as well as previous cost-saving attempts such as cutbacks in staff and public museum hours, and an anticipated partnership with Jersey City University that never materialized mean the museum may never reopen.

Board Chairman Benjamin Dineen III did not return a phone message left by The Associated Press seeking comment. E-mail messages sent by the AP to several staffers listed on the museum’s staff directory also were not returned.

Board member Ofelia Garcia told the Star-Ledger in an email; “These are hard times for the museum,” and that a working group from the museum’s board would be planning programs in line with its reduced budget.

The museum’s 10,000 pieces are secured and professionally cared for, Garcia told the newspaper, despite the institution’s uncertainty.

An offsite exhibition of works by African-American artists from the museum’s permanent collection will be on display at the Hudson County Courthouse in commemoration of Black History Month, Garcia said.

City funds, which accounted for nearly half of the museum’s $1.3 million revenue in 2009, were scaled back and then eliminated altogether this year, the newspaper said. Federal tax returns showed the $625,000 in annual funding given by Jersey City to the museum between 2007 and 2009 still left the institution with a $243,000 budget gap by the end of 2009, the paper said.

Money from a state grant has yet to be released because of several restrictions. Among them: a proposed memorandum of understanding with Jersey City University that was never realized due to lack of funds.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-ES-01-24-11 1327EST

 

 

 

N.Y. lawmakers call for 9/11 commemorative coin crackdown

March 2001 aerial view of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers, New York City, site of the 9/11 terrorist attack of 2001. Photo by Jeffmock. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

March 2001 aerial view of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers, New York City, site of the 9/11 terrorist attack of 2001. Photo by Jeffmock. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
March 2001 aerial view of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, New York City, site of the 9/11 terrorist attack of 2001. Photo by Jeffmock. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
NEW YORK (AP) – Two New York lawmakers called Monday for a crackdown on a company that is selling Sept. 11 commemorative coins supposedly containing silver from ground zero.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, both Democrats, said Port Chester, N.Y.-based National Collector’s Mint is “profiteering off a national tragedy” by advertising its coins as an authorized memento of the World Trade Center attacks.

“With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, we should unfortunately expect more scams, as criminals and snake oil salesmen seek to profit from the deep emotional connection that millions of Americans have to that terrible tragedy,” Nadler said.

Schumer and Nadler called on the Federal Trade Commission to stop National Collector’s Mint from selling the Sept. 11 coins and to investigate the company’s marketing practices.

National Collector’s Mint President Avram Freedberg said in a statement that the company has donated over $2 million to various Sept. 11 charities. “We are proud of our contributions,” he said.

The company website says, as did Freedberg, that the coins are clad in silver “recovered from the vaults beneath the ashes of Ground Zero,” a claim that Schumer and Nadler said cannot be substantiated. In addition, the website says, the coins are “Liberian government authorized legal tender coin.”

A law passed in July creates an official Sept. 11 medal that benefits the National September 11 Memorial & Museum being built at the World Trade Center site.

Schumer and Nadler said the sale of National Collector’s Mint’s $29.95 coins could deprive the museum of millions of dollars in funds raised from the sale of the official medals.

Memorial spokesman Michael Frazier said the National Collector’s Mint’s coin “will in no way help maintain a national tribute to the 9/11 victims and heroes.”

National Collector’s Mint ran afoul of the law in 2004 when it issued a “Freedom Tower Silver Dollar” that it asserted was “legally authorized government issue.” The company was charged with fraud and forced to pay more than $2 million in refunds and cancellations.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-01-24-11 2022EST