Actress Cindy Pickett is also an accomplished gardener and photographer.

Celebrity Collector: Cindy Pickett’s stereo view cards

Actress Cindy Pickett is also an accomplished gardener and photographer.

Actress Cindy Pickett is also an accomplished gardener and photographer.

Actress Cindy Pickett is a 35-year veteran of film and television, having played Jackie Marler-Spaulding on the popular soap opera The Guiding Light (1976-1980), Vanessa Sarnac on the ABC weekly series Call to Glory (1984-1985), and Dr. Carol Novino on the hit hospital drama St. Elsewhere (1986-1988). But she’s probably best known as the actress who played Matthew Broderick’s sweet but unsuspecting mother in the classic coming-of-age comedy movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), written and directed by John Hughes.

Pickett is a collector of stereo cards, which owners of stereoscope devices around the turn of the century needed to view images in 3-D. For those who don’t know, stereoscopes were the high-tech entertainment devices of their time (from around 1850-1940). By inserting a card that had two pictures of the same scene or object – one for each eye – into the stereoscope, viewers could see photographs in 3-D. Stereoscopes were wooden contraptions with metal trim, and they were costly in their time. But they were so popular they could be found in most parlors of the Victorian era. The stereoscope that became wildly popular in this country was co-invented by the famous U.S. Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

“I grew up on a farm in rural Oklahoma, and was always surrounded by wonderful old antiques,” Pickett said from her home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., just outside Los Angeles. “I remember my grandmother had an old wood-burning stove, and I just loved the feeling that came from being around objects from another time. She also had a stereoscope, which for us was our television. This was in the early ’50s—there was no TV yet, at least not where we were—so when other kids came over or we had company we’d all look at the cards in the stereoscope. It was a way to look at places in the world or scenes, in 3-D, that we otherwise would never get to see.”

Later on, in her 20s, while living in New York, Cindy bought a stereoscope for herself and began collecting the cards, most of which were made in the late 1800s and early 1900s. “I guess I’ve got around 30 cards,” she said. “They are getting harder and harder to find. Only one of mine is in color. It’s from 1904 and shows a bowlful of pansies, but believe it or not it’s not as vivid as the ones in black and white. I’d say my favorite one of all is from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, or the St. Louis World’s Fair, from 1904. It’s just beautiful.”

Other cards feature the famous Flatiron building in New York City, a fish market in Finland, a roulette room in Monte Carlo, a giant Sequoia tree in Yosemite National Park, the city hall building in Capetown, South Africa, a scene from Kroll’s Garden (the renowned beer garden in Berlin, Germany, 1902), a full moon, a Civil war scene of a Union soldier writing a letter on top of a drum, one of bullock skins used as ferry boats in Punjab, India (in which gutted and bloated animals are ridden as water rides, 1902), and various other depictions of travel, nature, landmarks, buildings and whatever other images makers thought would sell. Some were even naughty, for their time.

Some are priceless slivers of time from another age. In one card, for example, a little boy and girl are pictured in a room in a kind of let’s-play-doctor theatrical pose, with the boy saying, “She has symptoms of smallpox” (1898). In another, a woman is shown talking on a wall-mounted crank telephone, above the tag line, “The quicker way to spread the news—the telephone!” One of the cards tells a story in a four-image sequence. Titled “Halloween Party – Ducking For Apples,” the series first shows four women in long white gowns at a Halloween party. A man is then shown asking if he can join them, and they agree, but end up playing a joke on him.

Cindy keeps her stereoscope on a bookshelf in her home, and gladly shares it with guests when they ask about it. The cards are what she would consider a true collection of vintage objects, but the fact is she’s loved antiques for years and has decorated her house in an eclectic blend of old and new.

“When I used to live in New York City,” she said, “I had a boyfriend who had a house in Vermont and we’d go there on weekends to shop for antiques there and back. I still have many pieces from those days. I even worked in an antique shop at one time. I’d spend all my time arranging and rearranging the pieces when no one was there. I just loved it.”

Cindy Lou Pickett was born April 18, 1947 in Norman, Okla. Her grandparents were Dust Bowl sharecroppers in the Depression era, at a time when a Christmas gift was often nothing more than an apple or an orange in a stocking. But her father, Cecil, went on to become a high school teacher and moved the family, when Cindy was 9, to Bellaire, Texas, just outside Houston. By then, Cindy was already a stage veteran, her father having put her in a production of the play Our Town, at age 6, as a flower girl (“After that, I was hooked,” she said). Her father went on to teach dramatic arts at the University of Houston, where Cindy went and studied under him. Cecil Pickett became renowned as something of a star-maker: not only did he have his daughter as a pupil, but also both Quaid brothers (Randy and Dennis), Brent Spiner, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl and others. Each summer, Cecil Pickett directed young talent such as this in the annual Houston Shakespeare Festival.

Cindy remained in Texas throughout most of her 20s, studying under her father and performing in various local productions. But after getting her Equity card, she decided to give New York City a try. Within a month of her arrival, she had landed the soap opera gig on The Guiding Light, plus a role on Broadway, in the musical revue Sunset, in which she played Mary Travers of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary. In 1980, she landed her first movie role, in Roger Vadim’s erotic thriller Night Games. The following year she scored a part in another movie, the mystery/crime drama Margin for Murder, in which she played Mike Hammer’s (Kevin Dobson) devoted secretary. By that time, she was an established, working actress.

Pickett has guest-starred in a slew of television shows, including Simon & Simon, Magnum P.I., L.A. Law, Murder, She Wrote, The Pretender, NYPD Blue, CSI: Miami, Without a Trace, Crossing Jordan and Burn Notice. Other notable credits include her critically acclaimed performance as the real-life Kay Stayner, the mother of a boy who was kidnapped for several years, in the dramatic TV movie I Know My First Name is Steven (1989); her role as the tough and heroic Dr. Jane Norris in the sci-fi horror film DeepStar Six (1989); and a well-received turn in Crooked Hearts (1991), with Vincent D’Onofrio and Juliette Lewis. She continues to act, having just concluded a part in an independent film titled Mother Country. Other projects are in the works. Pickett is an acting teacher, a master gardener and an accomplished photographer. She is also writing a screenplay, actually begun by her father (now deceased), and based on small-town life in Dust Bowl Oklahoma. Pickett has three children, a college-age son and daughter by her former husband, the actor Lyman Ward (who played her husband in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), and a grown son from a prior relationship who lives in New York City.

Pickett is available for celebrity guest appearances for a fee. For more information, log on to www.livinglegendsltd.com.

 

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Cindy portrayed Dr. Carol Novino on the hit hospital drama ‘St. Elsewhere’ from 1986-88.

Cindy portrayed Dr. Carol Novino on the hit hospital drama ‘St. Elsewhere’ from 1986-88.

Cindy guest-starred in a slew of television shows, including ‘Magnum P.I.’ with Tom Selleck.

Cindy guest-starred in a slew of television shows, including ‘Magnum P.I.’ with Tom Selleck.

Cindy's breakout role was as Vanessa Sarnac on the ABC weekly series ‘Call to Glory’ (1984-85).

Cindy’s breakout role was as Vanessa Sarnac on the ABC weekly series ‘Call to Glory’ (1984-85).

Cindy in a scene from ‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off,’ the classic coming-of-age comedy from 1986.

Cindy in a scene from ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ the classic coming-of-age comedy from 1986.

Cindy's personally owned stereoscope, with a card promoting a new invention—the telephone.

Cindy’s personally owned stereoscope, with a card promoting a new invention—the telephone.

Each stereo card has two almost identical images—one for each eye—that combine to create a 3-D effect.

Each stereo card has two almost identical images—one for each eye—that combine to create a 3-D effect.

Cindy's favorite card of all is this one for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition , which opened in St. Louis in 1904.

Cindy’s favorite card of all is this one for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition , which opened in St. Louis in 1904.

An 1898 stereo card with two children playing doctor. It reads: “She has symptoms of smallpox.”

An 1898 stereo card with two children playing doctor. It reads: “She has symptoms of smallpox.”

Stereo card showing Kroll's Garden, the renowned beer garden in Berlin (1902).

Stereo card showing Kroll’s Garden, the renowned beer garden in Berlin (1902).

Known as 'Nina,' this doll used for smuggling quinine to Confederate troops during the Civil War will be featured on PBS Television's History Detectives. It belongs to the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va. Image courtesy of the museum.

Confederate smuggling doll featured on History Detectives

Known as 'Nina,' this doll used for smuggling quinine to Confederate troops during the Civil War will be featured on PBS Television's History Detectives. It belongs to the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va. Image courtesy of the museum.

Known as ‘Nina,’ this doll used for smuggling quinine to Confederate troops during the Civil War will be featured on PBS Television’s History Detectives. It belongs to the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va. Image courtesy of the museum.

RICHMOND, Va. – Her name is “Nina” and she lives at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. She is a redhead and wears red shoes; her white dress has silk thread embroidery on the skirt. Nina is a doll that was donated to the museum by the surviving son and daughter of Confederate Maj. Gen. James Patton Anderson. They reported that during the Civil War, quinine for the sick soldiers was hidden inside the doll’s head and smuggled through the Union blockade.

Nina is one of two such dolls owned by the museum. Both were X-rayed at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in October, 2010. The results showed that each of the dolls was capable of holding a respectable amount of quinine powder.

A story about the dolls written by Associated Press reporter Steve Szkotak caught the eye of researchers from the popular PBS series History Detectives and they took the story further by having the dolls examined at a forensics laboratory. The results of the tests will be revealed for the first time during an episode of History Detectives, airing on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time/7 p.m. Central Time. Check your local listings for the channel and time in your area.

The Museum of the Confederacy is a private, nonprofit educational institution located at 1201 E. Clay St. in downtown Richmond’s historic Court End neighborhood. Free parking is available in the MCV/VCU Hospitals Visitor/Patient parking deck adjacent to the Museum.

To contact the museum, call 804-649-1861. Visit their website at http://www.moc.org.

# # #

 

(Left to Right) Startling Comics, All Star Comics and The Big All-American Comic Book - examples from a fresh-to-market collection consigned by the family of the man who bought the comic books straight off the newsstand in the 1940s. In all, 300 lots of comics will be auctioned. Morphy Auctions image.

Fresh cache of 1940s comic books in Morphy’s Aug. 12-13 sale

(Left to Right) Startling Comics, All Star Comics and The Big All-American Comic Book - examples from a fresh-to-market collection consigned by the family of the man who bought the comic books straight off the newsstand in the 1940s. In all, 300 lots of comics will be auctioned. Morphy Auctions image.

(Left to Right) Startling Comics, All Star Comics and The Big All-American Comic Book – examples from a fresh-to-market collection consigned by the family of the man who bought the comic books straight off the newsstand in the 1940s. In all, 300 lots of comics will be auctioned. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – Mickey Mouse, a formidable legion of comic book Superheroes, and a classic 1950s Lavender Robot will all be on board when Morphy Auctions presents an Aug. 12-13 auction of antique and vintage toys, banks, marbles and comics. More than 1,100 lots will be offered in the mid-summer sale, with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com.

The fun begins with a selection of 80 cast-iron mechanical and still banks. The mechanical group is led by a coveted Kyser & Rex Mammy with Spoon (red-dress version) estimated at $4,000-$7,000, and a J. & E. Stevens football-theme Calamity bank, $4,000-$6,000. The “stills,” on the other hand, will be following a whimsical leader – a French cast-iron Standing Mickey embossed with the words “J. Manil Vieier Au Court.” Estimate: $1,000-$2,000.

The bus stops at Morphy’s on Aug. 12 for the sale of one of the most comprehensive toy bus collections known. The Wayne Mathias collection includes more than 100 toy depictions of Greyhound, Continental Trailways and other buses. A scarce plastic mold of a Greyhound Scenicruiser – one of several that were sent to Greyhound’s top 50 sales offices in the late 1950s – is expected to make $1,000-$3,000.

American and European trains – both prewar and postwar – will be next across the auction block, with highlights including a standard gauge 400 series loco and tender ($1,500-$2,500) exemplifying the largest steam engine ever made by Lionel. A one of a kind, museum-quality motor coach train made in 1932 by Russel Nord of Quincy, Mass., was modeled after one of the first known passenger trains, the DeWitt Clinton. Estimate: $1,000-$3,000.

Displaying unmistakable Continental style, an array of 25 European tin toys includes such favorites as a Lehmann Zig-Zag ($800-$1,200) and a menagerie of fabric-over-tin Schuco wind-up toys. Two German-made Carette cars – one with a roof rack for luggage; the other an open tourer – come with figures of drivers and passengers. Their estimates range from $1,200 at the low end to $2,500 at the top.

Japanese old-store-stock tin friction toys and wind-up vehicles will motor past the podium, with premium lots to include an 18-inch 1961 Yonezawa Cadillac Fleetwood and an 11-inch red Cadillac convertible by Alps. Both are accompanied by beautiful pictorial boxes and carry individual estimates of $800-$1,200.

More than a dozen robots await their day at auction, with the premier entry being a boxed 15-inch Masudaya Non-Stop (a k a “Lavender”) Robot. This striking member of the Japanese large-bodied, postwar robots known collectively as the “Gang of Five” could realize $4,000-$8,000.

Saturday morning starts off with 150+ lots of marbles, including sulphides, swirls and lutzes. A very rare sulphide with the suspended figure of a flying bat could reach $2,000-$3,000.

An exceptional and complete Lionel Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Circus Train has its original tin wind-up train, colorfully decorated circus tent, gas station and other accessory pieces, including the all-important composition figure of circus barker Mickey. Described in the catalog as “one of the nicer sets we have ever offered for sale,” the factory-boxed set comes to auction with a $4,000-$8,000 estimate.

The Saturday session concludes with more than 300 lots of 1940s comic books, all from the family of the original owner who purchased the comics brand new. All are fresh and ungraded, but there are several good candidates for grading, including 1948 Phantom Lady #17 ($600-$800), 1947 All Star Comics #33 ($700-$1,000), and 1941 Startling Comics #49, whose cover art features an Alex Schomburg image of a robot wading through water with a frightened woman in his arms ($800-$1,200).

For further information call 717-335-3435 or email serena@morphyauctions.com. View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

# # #

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


ADDITIONAL LOT OF NOTE


(Left to Right) Startling Comics, All Star Comics and The Big All-American Comic Book - examples from a fresh-to-market collection consigned by the family of the man who bought the comic books straight off the newsstand in the 1940s. In all, 300 lots of comics will be auctioned. Morphy Auctions image.

(Left to Right) Startling Comics, All Star Comics and The Big All-American Comic Book – examples from a fresh-to-market collection consigned by the family of the man who bought the comic books straight off the newsstand in the 1940s. In all, 300 lots of comics will be auctioned. Morphy Auctions image.

Fort William Henry was rebuilt in the mid-1950s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Archaeologists return to site of historic N.Y. fort

Fort William Henry was rebuilt in the mid-1950s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Fort William Henry was rebuilt in the mid-1950s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (AP) – Even after years of excavations at the 18th-century military outpost that inspired James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, archaeologist David Starbuck says there’s still plenty of history waiting to be unearthed.

Starbuck is overseeing an archaeological field project at Fort William Henry in the southern Adirondack tourist village of Lake George. It’s his fifth summertime dig at the reconstructed French and Indian War fort and 21st overall under the auspices of Adirondack Community College.

Starbuck-led teams conducted excavations at Fort William Henry from 1997 to 2000, turning up, among other things, the charred wooden foundations of the fort the British built here in 1755 and the French captured and burned after a weeklong siege in August 1757. Scores of the fort’s soldiers and civilians were killed by Indian allies of the French in what became known as the massacre at Fort William Henry. The siege and its aftermath were retold in Cooper’s novel and several film versions of his book, including the 1991 adaptation starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

All of which makes the fort, in Starbuck’s estimation, the most famous of the nation’s French and Indian War sites, most of which are concentrated in the Northeast.

Visitors to the fort are encouraged to watch the archaeology work unfold and question the diggers about what they’re doing. Hopefully, such interactions will give people a better understanding of the fort’s role in a little-known yet vital part of American history, Starbuck said.

“Schools don’t teach it, so sites like this have to tell the story,” he said. “We need to convey to people why people did what they did, that it’s not just a good guy versus a bad guy thing.”

Archaeology buff Lauren Sheridan took a break from her job as a nanny for a Long Island family to volunteer as one of Starbuck’s crew chiefs. Growing up near Lake George, she had visited the fort but didn’t delve into its back story until recently. Standing in a shallow trench dug into the fort’s parade ground, Sheridan points to the animal bones and charred wood and bricks they’ve uncovered, remnants of the original fort and its fiery destruction.

“That whole story comes alive again,” Sheridan, 32, said from under the white tarps strung up to protect the crew from the blazing summer sun. “It can be tedious, but it’s all worth it.”

Across the parade ground, two other volunteers are uncovering artifacts from the Native Americans who hunted and fished along the lakeshore for centuries before Europeans arrived.

“The fort was built on thousands of years of Native American settlements, and that’s the story we’d like to tell here more clearly in the exhibits,” said Starbuck, who teaches archaeology at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.

Nearby, just outside the fort’s eastern wall, another crew dug 5 feet down to uncover items dumped in what was believed to have been the garrison’s trash heap. Here amid the overgrowth covering a sloping hill, Chelsey Cook, one of Starbuck’s students, keeps turning up artifacts such as colonial-era buttons, musket balls and pottery shards.

“I never had been big into American history until I took classes” with Starbuck, said Cook, a 20-year-old anthropology major from Meredith, N.H.

The reconstructed fort opened in 1955 on the low bluff on the lake’s southern end where the original log and earthen fortification was built 200 years earlier. Archaeologists uncovered numerous artifacts prior to the 1950s reconstruction, but many objects, along with records detailing the digs, were lost in an arson fire at the fort in 1967.

Starbuck believes the modern builders were off by a few feet, causing sections of the rebuilt fort to be slightly misaligned with the original fort’s footprint. Part of his year’s goal is to find remnants of the original fort’s corners, which would help the archaeologists determine the next sections of ground to excavate, he said.

“There are foundations we can still find and learn from,” Starbuck said.

___

Online:

Fort William Henry: http://www.fwhmuseum.com

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

AP-WF-07-29-11 1753GMT


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Fort William Henry was rebuilt in the mid-1950s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Fort William Henry was rebuilt in the mid-1950s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In Memoriam: Frank Bender, forensic sculptor, 70

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Frank Bender, a Philadelphia artist whose forensic sculptures helped capture criminals and identify victims of violent crime, has died at age 70.

Bender had been diagnosed with cancer last year and died at home Thursday, according to longtime friend and colleague William Fleisher.

Bender used skulls from decomposed bodies as the basis for re-creating faces of unknown victims.

Among his successes was the case of 18-year-old Rosella Atkinson, whose then-unidentified remains were found behind a city ball field in 1988. Police asked for Bender’s help, and his bust led Atkinson’s aunt to put a name to the face. Atkinson’s killer confessed in 2005.

“This is my art, representing these people that can’t represent themselves anymore,” Bender told The Associated Press in a 2001 interview.

At that time, he estimated he had created about 40 busts of victims.

Bender got his start in 1976 while taking classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. A friend gave him access to the city morgue to study anatomy and, as Bender looked over one badly decomposed body, he told his friend that he knew what she looked like. A coroner overheard the conversation and challenged Bender to prove it.

Bender’s sculpture of the woman helped identify her as Anna Duval, a 62-year-old from Phoenix whose body had been found near the Philadelphia airport. Years later, a man was convicted of killing Duval after stealing her profits from a house sale.

Bender also made busts envisioning how fugitives might age.

His sculpture of John List, accused of killing five family members in New Jersey in 1971, was featured on America’s Most Wanted in 1989. The artwork led to List’s arrest 11 days later in Virginia, where he had been living under an alias. List was later convicted and died in prison.

Bender also helped start the Vidocq Society, a Philadelphia group that tries to solve cold cases. Society co-founder William Fleisher, a former city police officer and U.S. Customs agent, told the AP on Friday that Bender was a free spirit and a Renaissance man with a “God-given talent.”

“On a professional level, there’s nobody that does what he did,” Fleisher said.

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

AP-WF-07-29-11 1947GMT

 

 

 

Rosa Parks with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1955. Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

Truth or fiction: Rosa Parks essay describes rape attempt

Rosa Parks with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1955. Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

Rosa Parks with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1955. Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

NEW YORK (AP) – A first-person essay written by civil rights icon Rosa Parks presents a detailed and harrowing account of a young black housekeeper who is nearly raped by a white neighbor.

Looking like a remembrance from Parks’ own life, an expert called it an exciting find that might help explain her lifelong advocacy. But on Friday an institute created by Parks disputed that, saying it was hers but a work of fiction.

The six-page document is among thousands of the activist’s personal items currently residing in the Manhattan warehouse and offices of Guernsey’s Auctioneers, which has been selected by a Michigan court to find an institution to buy and preserve the complete archive.

The Associated Press was provided with some samples of the documents in the archive, including portions of the essay. Archivists who reviewed the documents for Guernsey’s provided descriptions of their contents and characterized the encounter as a “near-rape.”

Steven G. Cohen, a lawyer for the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development in Detroit, said people who knew Parks well were aware that she liked to write fictional essays for herself. Parks’ friend of 45 years, Elaine Steele, never heard Parks speak of the encounter and was not aware of the document, Cohen said.

“This six-page essay we believe is a work of fiction,” said Cohen. “We believe that Mrs. Parks meant for the story to be private. It never should have been part of the memorabilia collection.”

Civil rights historian Danielle McGuire, however, called the essay an astounding find. “Rosa Parks was very likely to have encountered this kind of proposition,” she said.

It helps explain what triggered Parks’ lifelong campaign against the ritualistic rape of black women by white men, said McGuire, whose book At the Dark End of the Street examines how economic intimidation and sexual violence were used to derail the freedom movement and how it went unpunished during the Jim Crow era.

“I thought it was because of the stories that she had heard. But this gives a much more personal context to that,” said McGuire, an assistant professor of history at Wayne State University in Detroit. Her book recounts Parks’ role in investigating for the NAACP the case of Recy Taylor, a young sharecropper raped by a group of white men in 1944.

McGuire said she had never heard that Parks wrote fictional essays.

“It would be nice to see evidence of that. She never talks about that in any of her work out there,” said McGuire. “It would be more likely that the protectors of her legacy are trying to protect her respectability.”

Parks writes in the essay: “He offered me a drink of whiskey, which I promptly and vehemently refused. … He moved nearer to me and put his hand on my waist. I was very frightened by now.”

“He liked me … he didn’t want me to be lonely and would I be sweet to him. He had money to give me for accepting his attentions,” she wrote.

“I was ready to die but give my consent never. Never, never.”

Most people know the story of Parks—a middle-aged seamstress who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955.

Guernsey’s President Arlan Ettinger said her personal papers reveal a much more complex individual, one who spent a lifetime fighting for racial equality and against sexual violence targeting black women.

Parks is credited with inspiring the civil rights movement with her solitary act of defiance on Dec. 1, 1955, that led to the Supreme Court outlawing segregation on buses. She received the nation’s two highest honors in her lifetime, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

She died in 2005 at age 92, leaving the trove of personal correspondence, papers relating to her work for the Montgomery branch of the NAACP, tributes from presidents and world leaders, school books, family bibles, clothing, furniture and more—about 8,000 items in all.

Guernsey’s sale is a component of a resolution to a dispute over her estate among her relatives and the institute she created in 1987.

Guernsey’s, known for its sale of iconic and celebrity collections, took an inventory of Parks’ homes in Detroit soon after she died and is looking for an institution to buy her archive.

Parks worked on many cases with the NAACP, including the Scottsboro defense of nine black teenage boys accused of rape in Alabama in 1931. She was involved in the black power conventions in the 1970s and the anti-apartheid movement in the 1990s.

Parks wrote on anything she could get her hands on.

There are detailed notes on how African-American citizens should comport themselves during the 382-day bus boycott following her arrest and about the organization that led it, the Montgomery Improvement Association, headed by a young pastor named the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Parks’ memoirs include one with author Jim Haskins and another with one of her attorneys in the early 1990s, but by then said McGuire, “her story was pretty much well-rehearsed, and limited to her time in Montgomery and the bus incident.”

“Her story had become mythic and iconic … I can’t imagine what that felt like for her to have a whole history of activism and political work erased and turned almost into a cartoon character,” said McGuire.

Guernsey’s has talked to about 20 museums, libraries, university and churches about buying the archive over the past three years.

“There hasn’t been a group that didn’t desperately want it but had to face the reality whether they could afford it,” Ettinger said, adding that he was currently in discussions with three separate entities—an institution and two individuals who could buy the archive with the intention of donating it to a museum or other cultural institution.

He declined to give an exact figure but said $8 million to $10 million was in the “ballpark.”

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

AP-WF-07-29-11 2021GMT

Fine Art Auction Group acquires Bloomsbury Auctions’ business

TUNBRIDGE WELLS, England – The Fine Art Auction Group, holding company for the Dreweatts and BCVA auction businesses, has acquired the London-based Bloomsbury Auctions business from Bloomsbury Auctions Ltd, consolidating the co-marketing alliance that has been in place between the two firms since October 2009.  The acquisition of the Bloomsbury business is being effected through a newly formed subsidiary which assumes all the current trade of the Bloomsbury Auctions business.  Bloomsbury Auctions will continue to operate in tandem with  Dreweatts  and, working together, both will further expand their now integrated portfolio of services to the UK and European fine art and collectors markets. Bloomsbury Auctions Italia is not being acquired in the transaction and will continue to trade as Bloomsbury Auctions in Italy under a franchise arrangement.

The Fine Art Auction Group expects combined 2011 sales to approach £30,000,000 as a result of the acquisition, representing a 50% increase from 2010. Both businesses have a broad spectrum of specialist and general sales and are focused on increasing their share of the “single-owner collections” market. E-commerce is high on the development agenda for the enlarged business, which uses LiveAuctioneers.com for its Internet live bidding.

“The merging of Bloomsbury’s London activities into the Dreweatts network of salerooms reinforces our position as the fourth-largest auction group in the United Kingdom.  We will continue to develop our already diverse calendar of sales both regionally as well as in the key London market. Dreweatts’ 250-year-old heritage marries well with Bloomsbury’s pre-eminent position in the market for rare books and works on paper and the two businesses will continue to capitalize on the numerous synergies underlying their respective operations,” commented Stephan Ludwig, Dreweatts’ executive chairman. There are not anticipated to be any significant changes in the management structure of the two businesses and all current Bloomsbury staff are being transferred under the acquisition.

“We have been exploring options for the future growth of the Bloomsbury business for some time and, in Dreweatts, have found a very complementary fit. Working together increasingly closely over the past year has demonstrated to us the undoubted advantages that a generalist auctioneer with Dreweatts’ excellent reputation can offer the narrower market for our expertise in works on paper. It has been particularly pleasing to witness the growing number of mixed consignments that we have successfully competed for during the run-up to this transaction,” stated Rupert Powell, Bloomsbury Auctions Ltd.’s managing director, who will become a deputy chairman of the enlarged business and joins the Dreweatts management board.

“I have been working increasingly closely with our colleagues at Bloomsbury over the past 18 months, and have been very impressed by the quality of introductions of new business for Dreweatts that this alliance has already produced. Rupert Powell and I have known each other for many years as presenters on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow and I warmly welcome him and his team into our fold,” said Clive Stewart-Lockhart, Dreweatts’ deputy chairman.

“In selling the Bloomsbury business to The Fine Art Auction Group we have realized a long-held objective of transferring the business to a growing company that can best leverage the international developments that Bloomsbury Auctions has achieved over the 10 years in Stocklight’s ownership. We look forward to seeing Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions working together to further enhance the client service capabilities that have set Bloomsbury apart as the world’s leading auctioneer of works on paper,” said Tommaso Zanzotto, chairman of both Bloomsbury Auctions Ltd. and Stocklight Ltd.

Dreweatts has enjoyed a 10% increase in turnover for the first six months of 2011 to over £9,000,000. Bloomsbury Auctions has continued to diversify its business alongside its rare books and manuscripts core competency, realizing sales in excess of £1,000,000 in its June 30 auction of 20th Century Prints that included a world auction record of £219,600 for Warhol’s Madonna and Self-Portrait with Skeleton’s Arm, after Munch.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Members of the Global Lottery Collector's Society look primarily for scratch-off tickets, like this 2002 ticket from Connecticut. The used $7 ticket—not a winner—resold sold for $1. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Block’s Marble Auctions.

Among lottery ticket collectors everyone’s a winner

Members of the Global Lottery Collector's Society look primarily for scratch-off tickets, like this 2002 ticket from Connecticut. The used $7 ticket—not a winner—resold sold for $1. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Block’s Marble Auctions.

Members of the Global Lottery Collector’s Society look primarily for scratch-off tickets, like this 2002 ticket from Connecticut. The used $7 ticket—not a winner—resold sold for $1. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Block’s Marble Auctions.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Amid mountains of losing lottery tickets piled high in a hotel conference room, someone may yet hit a jackpot.

But it won’t be money that makes the winner. For members of the Global Lottery Collector’s Society, the scratch-off cards themselves are worth keeping because of their quirky themes and colorful designs.

From a $3 Montana lottery ticket based on the game Uno to a series of $2 Star Trek stubs from Virginia, the game themes run the gamut from movies and TV shows to sports teams and holiday cheer. The cards come in different sizes, shapes and denominations.

“The whole purpose of collecting is not to get rich, or to get lucky, but to get the tickets,” said club co-founder Bill Pasquino. “But if I happen to hit a jackpot along the way, I’d be very happy.”

This weekend, Pasquino is joining about two dozen other club members at the group’s annual Lotovention. Held this year in Philadelphia, the gathering is an opportunity to meet other self-described “lotologists,” trade tickets and take a gander at the never-ending multitude of collectible material.

Pasquino, 64, a retired teacher from Lancaster, Pa., said that when the club started in the late 1980s, only about a dozen states had lotteries—and none would issue more than six tickets per year.

Today, 43 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have lotteries, as do countries across the world.

Pennsylvania alone issues between 55 and 65 new instant games a year, according to state lottery spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell. Recent scratch-offs include the $10 “Stacks of Cash” ticket—top prize $200,000—and the cheaper $1 “Dice Doubler,” with a jackpot of merely $2,000.

While the club focuses on modern scratch-off tickets, lotteries in the United States date to Colonial times. Princeton University’s library boasts a collection of tickets from 1761-1826, noting that lotteries were common sources of public financing because there were relatively few banks.

Benjamin Franklin financed cannons for the Revolutionary War through lotteries, while Thomas Jefferson disposed of most of his estate through such tickets, according to Princeton archives.

Modern lottery stub collectors get their goods through buying or trading, and occasionally through friendly vendors or distributors who save voided sample tickets for them, Pasquino said.

Most collectors actually scratch the tickets to see if they win—Pasquino’s biggest prize so far is $500—though some leave them untouched, forgoing a possible jackpot to keep them pristine. The club does not take a stance on gambling.

At the convention on Friday, club vice president Steve Gilbert hoped to find a set of eight Pennsylvania lottery tickets from the late 1970s—the only state-issued stubs he doesn’t have in a trove of thousands. The “Multi-Million Sweepstakes” were sold only at Penn National racetrack, he said.

“The older tickets are very difficult to find,” said Gilbert, of Philadelphia.

That’s partly because there were fewer collectors back then. But despite the proliferation in scratch-offs, the club has seen its membership wane in recent years—from about 550 at its peak to 150 or 200 today, according to Pasquino.

Pierre and Anne-Marie Lasnier, who are in their 60s, traveled to Lotovention from the small town of Le Plessis Dorn, France. They came to see what they could add to a collection that includes French national lottery tickets dating back to 1933.

They brought with them hundreds of sample tickets from France: 3 euros for a Valentine’s Day-themed ticket; 5 euros for one offering a chance at “Vacances a vie”—vacation for life.

The couple posted a note at their table to let people know they’re seeking lottery tickets featuring images of M&Ms candy, Betty Boop, Pink Panther, Elvis and the zodiac. They had no luck in the first few hours of the gathering on Friday.

“Not yet,” Anne-Marie Lasnier said. “But we have time.”

___

Online:

www.lotterycollectors.com

___

Kathy Matheson can be reached at www.twitter.com/kmatheson

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

AP-WF-07-29-11 2339GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Members of the Global Lottery Collector's Society look primarily for scratch-off tickets, like this 2002 ticket from Connecticut. The used $7 ticket—not a winner—resold sold for $1. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Block’s Marble Auctions.

Members of the Global Lottery Collector’s Society look primarily for scratch-off tickets, like this 2002 ticket from Connecticut. The used $7 ticket—not a winner—resold sold for $1. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Block’s Marble Auctions.

Photo of the forged ‘Reformed Egyptian’ document, which Hofmann claimed he found the document folded inside a 17th-century King James Bible. He proposed it was handwritten by Joseph Smith, Morman Church founder. Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

Audio recording documents infamous Mormon forger at work

Photo of the forged ‘Reformed Egyptian’ document, which Hofmann claimed he found the document folded inside a 17th-century King James Bible. He proposed it was handwritten by Joseph Smith, Morman Church founder. Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

Photo of the forged ‘Reformed Egyptian’ document, which Hofmann claimed he found the document folded inside a 17th-century King James Bible. He proposed it was handwritten by Joseph Smith, Morman Church founder. Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Decades after Mark Hofmann pleaded guilty to murder and the Mormon documents he had pitched as historic were exposed as forgeries, an audiotape has surfaced that gives a glimpse of the swindler at work.

The 1981 recording details Hofmann’s attempt to negotiate or trade for a supposed original copy of a blessing written by Mormon church founder Joseph Smith Jr. to leaders of what was then known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Missouri.

On the recording, Hofmann tells a church archivist the document is dated Jan. 17, 1844, and lays out a plan of succession in the Mormon church that hands the presidency of the church to Smith’s son.

“Well for heaven’s sake,” the archivist, Madeline Brunson, says with surprise.

A genuine document would be valuable to the RLDS church because Joseph Smith III became the faith’s first president.

“I’m not sure really how much something like this is worth here,” Hofmann says on the recording. “But I know if it’s worth anything to anybody, it must be the reorganized church.”

The entire recording will be played for the first time publicly at the annual Sunstone Symposium on Aug. 4 at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. It was previewed at a news conference on Friday by Sunstone organizers.

It’s not known if the tape, which includes four telephone calls, is the only one of its kind in existence.

“I’m pretty sure that if he did one, he did others, but whether he kept them or destroyed them we really don’t know,” said Steve Mayfield, a collector with more than 100 scrapbooks of Hofmann memorabilia who will lead the Sunstone presentation.

The tape was discovered by Provo attorney and collector Brent Ashworth in a trove of Hofmann memorabilia that he purchased from another collector.

Ashworth, who also owns a small store that sells rare books, estimates that he purchased nearly a $500,000 in forgeries from Hofmann back in the 1980s and said he was surprised to hear the bumbling, folksy sales pitch when he finally listened to the tape.

“He had a great act,” Ashworth told The Associated Press. “He was very methodical, very low key, very country bumpkin, acting like he didn’t really realize the important of the document.”

Ashworth donated the original recording to the Mormon Church archives in 2007. He said he’d had the tape for nearly 20 years, but never listened to it until 2009.

The Hofmann forgeries and bombings are considered by many to be one of the most significant events in modern Mormon church history.

“They were the first known bombing deaths in Utah,” said Ashworth, a former prosecutor. “It had us all on the edge of our seats for a while.”

Historians and law enforcement believe Hofmann crafted and sold false documents bearing at least 81 famous signatures, including Abraham Lincoln, Billy the Kid, Emily Dickinson and George Washington.

In 1987, Hofmann pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and remains in Utah State Prison after he made and detonated three pipe bombs in Salt Lake City to cover his tracks

Two people were killed by bombs delivered to homes and businesses. Hofmann injured himself when a third bomb went off in his car.

Most of his money came from recreating works of figures from the early history of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Over a seven-year period, Hofmann, himself a Mormon, used his meticulous artistic skills to go from a struggling college student in 1978 to a 30-year-old document dealer making millions from collectors nationwide.

Among his clients were renowned historians and church leaders, including former Mormon president Gordon B. Hinckley.

Hofmann’s schemes and deceptions began to go wrong in 1985, however, after some collectors became suspicious and banks that lent him large sums of money began to press for repayment.

Mayfield, who has worked for the Salt Lake City Police Department crime lab for nearly 20 years, said he was fascinated by the tape and hopes others will be too.

“This is history actually happening before you,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield and Ashworth have already played the tape for state and federal law enforcement agencies in Utah.

“I thought it would be of interest,” Ashworth said. “This guy was one of the super con men of Utah history and this is him, doing his con, doing his thing.

 

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

AP-WF-07-29-11 2356GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Photo of the forged ‘Reformed Egyptian’ document, which Hofmann claimed he found the document folded inside a 17th-century King James Bible. He proposed it was handwritten by Joseph Smith, Morman Church founder. Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

Photo of the forged ‘Reformed Egyptian’ document, which Hofmann claimed he found the document folded inside a 17th-century King James Bible. He proposed it was handwritten by Joseph Smith, Morman Church founder. Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons.

Little Red Riding Hood is standing near a vase meant to hold 'spills' (thin wooden sticks or rolled paper) used to transfer a flame from a fireplace or stove to a candle or lamp. The 10 1/2-inch-high figure made in the Staffordshire district of England in about 1850 sold for $110 at Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of Aug. 1, 2011

Little Red Riding Hood is standing near a vase meant to hold 'spills' (thin wooden sticks or rolled paper) used to transfer a flame from a fireplace or stove to a candle or lamp. The 10 1/2-inch-high figure made in the Staffordshire district of England in about 1850 sold for $110 at  Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati.

Little Red Riding Hood is standing near a vase meant to hold ‘spills’ (thin wooden sticks or rolled paper) used to transfer a flame from a fireplace or stove to a candle or lamp. The 10 1/2-inch-high figure made in the Staffordshire district of England in about 1850 sold for $110 at Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati.

Folk tales like Little Red Riding Hood have been part of everyone’s childhood since the 14th century. The stories taught lessons. Red Riding Hood originally was the story of a young girl going into dark woods filled with dangers. In these early tales, the girl met an ogre or a werewolf who eats the grandmother and lures the girl into bed. But she escapes using her wits—no huntsman was there to save her. By the 17th century, the many versions of the story told of a young country girl meeting a wolf and telling him about her grandmother’s house. The wolf is then able to eat Grandma and the girl. The tale reminds young girls of the dangers of following the advice of strangers. Through the years, the story became a morality tale warning about strange men. But by the 1800s, the story had Grandma and Red Riding Hood outwitting the fox and being saved by a hunter. Still later, the tale represented the views of Freud and feminists. Today the tale is often reworked as satire or comedy. Through all the years, pictures and figurines depicting Red Riding Hood have remained popular. In the 19th century, Staffordshire potters made dozens of figures of the girl with or without Grandma or the wolf. Try collecting things related to a single folk tale or nursery rhyme. Books, prints, fabrics, jewelry, dishes and even furniture can be found expressing both old and new versions of the stories.

Q: An aunt handed down a vanity that was made by Stickley Brothers between 1926 and 1928. There’s a sticker inside the top drawer that says “Quaint Furniture of Character.” What can you tell me about the vanity and its value?

A: Quaint Furniture was one of the lines made by Stickley Brothers Co. of Grand Rapids, Mich. The company was founded in 1891 by John George and Albert Stickley. Their Quaint Line of furniture was introduced in 1902. Quaint Mission was made first. Other Quaint lines included Quaint Arts & Crafts (1904), Quaint Tudor (1914), Quaint Manor (1914), Quaint American (1920s) and Quaint Colonial (1920s). John George left the firm in 1902 and Albert retired in 1927. The company remained in business until about 1947. Your vanity in good condition is worth about $300.

Q: I have two 1936 booklets titled Kellogg’s Singing Lady Party Kit published by the Kellogg Co. I understand The Singing Lady was an NBC radio show. The books come with pop-out invitations, games, place cards, favors, masks, verses, recipes and cake decorations. Are they worth much?

A: The Singing Lady, the first network radio program for children, was broadcast from 1931 to 1941. Ireene Wicker, the Singing Lady, sang and told stories for children. The show was sponsored by Kellogg’s. A Singing Lady songbook was offered as a Kellogg’s premium in 1932. The Singing Lady Party Kit was published in 1936 and 1937. It sells for about $15 to $20. Other Kellogg’s premiums sell for more.

Q: I recently bought a box full of stuff at a garage sale. In the box I found a Beatles souvenir spoon. The heads of the four Beatles are pictured on the insert at the top of the spoon handle. The spoon is 4 1/4 inches long. What is it worth?

A: Your stainless-steel spoon is one of a set of five. The other four picture each Beatle individually. A set recently auctioned online for $90, but an individual spoon like yours sold for just $6.50.

Q: I have four small plates, about 4 1/2 inches in diameter, each decorated with a picture of a Greek god. The plates are white with gold-leaf trim. The backs are stamped “Mitologia” over a picture of a hand holding a paintbrush. Below that it says, “Fornasette-Milano, Made in Italy, Exclusive for Bonwit Teller.” Are they old or valuable?

A: Your small plates or coasters were designed in the 1960s by Piero Fornasetti for Bonwit Teller, a high-end New York department store. The complete set included eight different designs of mythological figures. Fornasetti (1913-1988) made several other coaster sets with different themes for Bonwit Teller. The department store was founded in New York City in 1895 and eventually opened branches in several other cities. After the chain declared bankruptcy in 1989, most of the stores closed. The name was sold and attempts have been made to revive the famous brand. Fornasetti was a painter, sculptor and designer who lived in Milan, Italy. His furniture and other products are popular collectibles today. New Fornasetti pieces are being made today by Piero’s son, Barnaba, in both old and new designs. The value of a set of four coasters is about $50.

Tip: Don’t soak dishes in chlorine bleach to remove stains. Bleach damages the glaze. This treatment was recommended years ago. And never use other bathroom cleaners, either. They, too, ruin the glaze.

Need prices for collectibles? Find them at Kovels.com, our website for collectors. More than 84,000 prices and 5,000 color pictures have just been added. Now you can find more than 900,000 prices that can help you determine the value of your collectibles. Access to the prices is free at Kovels.com/priceguide.

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 email 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.

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.

  • Cracker Jack bird whistle toy, tin lithograph, shades of red, blue and green, 1930s, 1 3/4 x 1 1/2 inches, $40.
  • Victorian swan’s-down powder puff, fluffy white, pink silk ribbon on top, circa 1900, 3 1/2 inches, $45.
  • Fuller Brush 1941-42 calendar, ad for “Bristlecomb Brush,” girl sitting by dolls & brushing one doll’s hair, complete pad, November 1941 through December 1942, 7 x 12 inches, $50.
  • Sawyer’s View-Master, black, round, silver latch, 20 reels, 1940, 4 x 2 3/4 inches, $60.
  • Art Nouveau ceramic vanity tray, blue enameled woman holding skirt wide to form tray, shoes with bows, marked “Pemco,” 7 x 6 1/4 inches, $85.
  • Normandy needlerun lace bedspread, central design of lace and embroidery, cream color, 1920s, queen, $240.
  • Simon & Halbig doll, No. 1079, composition body, brown sleep eyes, strawberry blond wig, pink dotted Swiss cotton hat, 11 inches, $475.
  • Li’l Abner and Lonesome Polecat windup canoe toy, molded plastic, jug in boat is windup mechanism, United Features Syndicate, Ideal, circa 1951, 11 1/2 inches, $515.
  • Loetz cameo glass vase, footed, cylindrical, pink with cascading crimson leafy branches and five red apples, signed, 8 1/2 inches, $700.
  • Blond mahogany bedroom suite, full-size headboard, low dresser with mirror, tall dresser, two nightstands, Cavalier Furniture Co., 1960s, $2,495.

New! A quick, easy guide to identifying valuable costume jewelry made since the 1920s. “Kovels’ Buyer’s Guide to Costume Jewelry, Part Two” is a report on the most popular styles, makers and designers of costume jewelry. The report makes you an informed collector and may get you a great buy. Photos, marks, histories and bibliography. Special Report, 2010, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, 36 pages. Available only from Kovels. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at Kovels.com; or send $19.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2011 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.