During its 5-day run, more than 6,000 people attended the inaugural edition of the Metro Show NYC. Image courtesy of the Metro Show.

Inaugural Metro Show NY draws over 6,000 people

During its 5-day run, more than 6,000 people attended the inaugural edition of the Metro Show NYC. Image courtesy of the Metro Show.

During its 5-day run, more than 6,000 people attended the inaugural edition of the Metro Show NYC. Image courtesy of the Metro Show.

NEW YORK – Despite the frigid temperature on the evening of Jan. 18, some 1,400 people streamed into the inaugural Metro Show opening at Chelsea’s Metropolitan Pavilion to preview the brand-new incarnation of the former American Antiques Show. Throughout the exhibition hall, superlatives for the event reverberated from the 35 participating dealers, and everyone else. Collectors, contemporary artists, curators, and interior designers all proclaimed the show a smashing success. In fact, the dealers declared the packed crowd to exceed any preview-show attendance they had witnessed in years. Over 6,000 people continued to flow into the Metro Show right up to its close on Jan. 22.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to establish a vibrant new fair like the Metro Show in this tight economy,” said Caroline Kerrigan Lerch, who worked with the original American Antiques Show for seven years. “Many exhibitors had exceptional sales, many to new clients. This highly upbeat development bodes well for the future.”

Among those spotted at the Metro Show were Jerry Lauren, Stephen and Wendy Lash; Mario Buatta, Mariette Himes Gomez, Jamie Drake, Ellie Cullman, Martin Wolf, Audrey Gruss, Christopher Boshears, Harry Heissmann, Jean Shafiroff, and Victoria Wyman. Also spotted in the crowd were Geoffrey Bradfield, Jack Lenor Larsen, artists Donald Sultan, Philip Pearlstein, Jene Highstein, Glen Goldberg, and John Newman; filmmaker Ken Burns; auctioneer Leigh Keno, Phillip Zea of Historic Deerfield, Lahikainen Dean of the Peabody Essex Museum, and Patricia Kane of Yale University.

“This show has taken on a new vibrancy,” said Jerry Lauren, the noted folk art collector.

Added interior designer Mario Buatta: “The opening had great energy. I haven’t seen crowds like this in years.”

“The opening night was sensational,” said Tim Hill. “It was an exciting mix of familiar and new faces interested in a wide range of things.”

“We never anticipated the amount of people who would attend this show,” said Frank Maresca of the Ricco Maresca Gallery, which sold seven objects, three of them to new clients. “The people were focused on buying and asking the right questions,” he said.

Arne Anton of American Primitive used the words “the best energy at a show in a very long time. The energy in the room was palpable.”

“This was the best opening I’ve had since the Nashville Show thirty years ago,” said Garthoeffner Gallery Antiques’ Pat Garthoeffner, who was back at 8:30 a.m. the next day to restock her stand.

“We were very pleased to see many new faces,” said Gary Sullivan, who also reported significant sales on opening night.

Arlie Sulka of Lillian Nassau had the most people she’s ever had in her booth. “It was amazing!” she said.

“The opening was beyond anything I could ever imagine,” said Jeff Noordsy of Jeff and Holly Noordsy Art and Antiques, comparing it to the crowded opening of the New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Show.

Native American specialist John Molloy thought the show had “fantastic vitality and a diverse mix of specialties that make it one of the most exciting in New York.”

Tramp art specialist Clifford Wallach reported that one of his biggest clients flew in from Los Angeles on his private plane to pick up a few important pieces of tramp art. “This was the best show preview I’ve experienced,” said Wallach. “I sold fifteen pieces on opening night, one of which was the most expensive in the stand.”

In addition to the dealer offerings, private evening receptions for members of the Whitney, Cooper-Hewitt, and American Folk Art Museum took place. Booth talks and book signings at the individual stands, where dealers discussed their specialties, were held throughout the duration of the Metro Show.

Next year’s Metro Show opens Wednesday evening, Jan. 23, and runs through Sunday, Jan, 27, 2013.

Visit the show’s website at www.metroshownyc.com.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


During its 5-day run, more than 6,000 people attended the inaugural edition of the Metro Show NYC. Image courtesy of the Metro Show.

During its 5-day run, more than 6,000 people attended the inaugural edition of the Metro Show NYC. Image courtesy of the Metro Show.

Among those who attended the Metro Show were (left to right) antique dealer Sy Rapaport, media consultant Sharon King Hoge, folk art collector Jerry Lauren, and internationally renowned interior designer Mario Buatta. Image courtesy of the Metro Show.

Among those who attended the Metro Show were (left to right) antique dealer Sy Rapaport, media consultant Sharon King Hoge, folk art collector Jerry Lauren, and internationally renowned interior designer Mario Buatta. Image courtesy of the Metro Show.

 

Iris, 1889. Vincent van Gogh, Dutch, 1853 1890. Oil on thinned cardboard, mounted on canvas, 24 1/2 x 19 inches (62.2 x 48.3 cm). National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

New exhibit in Philadelphia looks at van Gogh close up

Iris, 1889. Vincent van Gogh, Dutch, 1853   1890. Oil on thinned cardboard, mounted on canvas, 24 1/2 x 19 inches (62.2 x 48.3 cm). National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Iris, 1889. Vincent van Gogh, Dutch, 1853 1890. Oil on thinned cardboard, mounted on canvas, 24 1/2 x 19 inches (62.2 x 48.3 cm). National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A new blockbuster exhibition takes a close-up look at Vincent van Gogh’s groundbreaking shift during the personally tumultuous but artistically triumphant last four years of his life in France.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the only U.S. stop for “Van Gogh Up Close,” which opens Wednesday and will be on view until May 6.

The exhibit features 46 landscapes and still lifes painted by van Gogh from his 1886 arrival in Paris until his apparent 1890 suicide in Auvers at age 37. Many of the paintings, procured from museums and private collections, highlight the Dutch post-Impressionist’s radical shift in approach during this brief but artistically prolific period.

An extreme close-up painting of two sunflower heads van Gogh painted in 1887 at the beginning of the show illustrates the thesis of the exhibit, curator Joseph Rishel said.

“Here you have the theme for our show, which is … this sort of looking down between his toes, views from above, very theatrical, you’re not quite certain where this is in relationship to the space, it’s tightening in,” Rishel said. “This is a tour de force of painting (from) a guy who had not manipulated color much only a year before he painted this.”

It was after leaving Antwerp for Paris, and then the south of France, when van Gogh developed a unique language of heavy brushstrokes, thick layers of paint, swirling shapes and daring colors that make his art instantly recognizable today.

“Van Gogh comes to Paris and is completely overwhelmed, and he realizes very quickly that his dark and brooding images and pictures and palette is outdated and that he has to do something about that,” said curator Anabelle Kienle of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Philadelphia museum’s partner in organizing the show.

In Paris with his beloved brother Theo, who supported his artistic older sibling throughout much of his life, van Gogh began experimenting with his technique after seeing for the first time the works of Monet, Seurat and other French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists who were his contemporaries.

He also admired and collected Japanese woodblock prints, a collection of which are included in the exhibit and share the nature themes, high horizon lines and tilted perspectives van Gogh explored in his own work during his final years. His use of a single subject—a clump of irises, an emperor moth—allowed him to play with viewpoints and scale in a way unmatched by his peers.

“It’s not something other artists at the time did,” Kienle said. “He’s doing something that’s incredibly avant garde.”

The exhibit traces van Gogh’s artistic and physical journey from Paris to Arles, where he had hoped to establish an art colony; to Saint Remy, where he suffered a mental breakdown and committed himself to an asylum where he continued to paint; and to Auvers, where he lived for 70 days and made 70 paintings in a frenetic burst of creativity that ended with a gunshot to the chest.

A new book theorizes that van Gogh’s wound was not self-inflicted but he was shot by two boys. Before he succumbed to an infection from the bullet, van Gogh told others that he shot himself, but the book’s authors suggest he lied to protect the teens. Kienle said van Gogh scholars are not convinced, arguing that the theory comes from a small piece of his correspondence that could easily be misinterpreted.

The artist who famously sold just one painting during his lifetime and died penniless, but whose works now command among the art world’s highest prices, van Gogh posthumously influenced the Fauves and the German Expressionists and altered the course of art history in the process.

“In seeking to share the intensity of his emotional response to the world around him as directly as possible, van Gogh took the traditional methods (of) making pictures and changed the rules,” said Timothy Rub, director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

After its Philadelphia run, “Van Gogh Up Close” travels to the National Gallery of Canada.

___

Online:

Philadelphia Museum of Art: www.philamuseum.org

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-01-27-12 2120GMT

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Iris, 1889. Vincent van Gogh, Dutch, 1853   1890. Oil on thinned cardboard, mounted on canvas, 24 1/2 x 19 inches (62.2 x 48.3 cm). National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Iris, 1889. Vincent van Gogh, Dutch, 1853 1890. Oil on thinned cardboard, mounted on canvas, 24 1/2 x 19 inches (62.2 x 48.3 cm). National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Black leather jacket purported to have been worn by Ramones drummer Marky Ramone. The jacket was withdrawn from auction. Image courtesy of RR Auction.

Hey, ho, no go: Ramones jacket pulled from auction

Black leather jacket purported to have been worn by Ramones drummer Marky Ramone. The jacket was withdrawn from auction. Image courtesy of RR Auction.

Black leather jacket purported to have been worn by Ramones drummer Marky Ramone. The jacket was withdrawn from auction. Image courtesy of RR Auction.

AMHERST, N.H. (AP) – A black leather jacket up for auction and purported to have been worn by one of the drummers of the Ramones has been withdrawn from bidding after he questioned its authenticity.

It was one of a group of 700 rock memorabilia items up for bid through a firm in Amherst, N.H., specializing in online auctions. The jacket was advertised as worn by Marky Ramone, a drummer for the New York punk rock group from 1978-1983. It’s signed on back in gold ink, “Marky Ramone.”

Bobby Livingston, vice president of the 30-year-old RRAuction, said the item was withdrawn Tuesday after Marky Ramone, whose real name is Marc Bell, questioned whether it was his. Bidding had reached about $3,100.

Livingston said the collector offering the jacket bought it at a 2001 Ramones auction and as with other items, the jacket was shown to outside experts.

Livingston said Thursday the firm believes the jacket is authentic but is reviewing its history with the collector.

“My client bought it directly from the official Ramones resource,” he said.

Livingston added that band member Johnny Ramone had told the collector several times that he had taken the jacket back from Marky Ramone when the drummer was fired from the band in 1983. Johnny Ramone cited soldiers in the service having to return their uniforms when they’re dishonorably discharged. In this case, the black leather jacket was the official “uniform” of the band. Johnny Ramone died in 2004 at age 55 after battling cancer.

Livingston said Marky Ramone told the firm there were many jackets he wore during his Ramones career. “Authenticity for us is our whole reputation,” Livingston said. “We only sell things that come from impeccable sources .. we check everything.” He said the jacket has been part of official Ramones displays that Marky Ramone attended, but did not question its authenticity.

A spokesman for Marky Ramone said he was in Italy. “Jacket is not his. Period,” Harvey Leeds said in an email.

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


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Black leather jacket purported to have been worn by Ramones drummer Marky Ramone. The jacket was withdrawn from auction. Image courtesy of RR Auction.

Black leather jacket purported to have been worn by Ramones drummer Marky Ramone. The jacket was withdrawn from auction. Image courtesy of RR Auction.

Sitting Bull, the Lakota Sioux tribal chief who was a central figure in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Custer museum owner seeks return of seized artifacts

Sitting Bull, the Lakota Sioux tribal chief who was a central figure in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Sitting Bull, the Lakota Sioux tribal chief who was a central figure in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

GARRYOWEN, Mont. (AP) – A few miles from where George Custer made his infamous Last Stand against thousands of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians, artifacts dealer Christopher Kortlander is waging his own battle with authorities to reclaim a trove of war bonnets, medicine bags and other items seized during government raids on his privately operated Custer museum.

The raids came during a five-year investigation into Kortlander’s alleged dealings in fraudulent artifacts and eagle feathers in violation of federal law. No charges were ever filed. The government dropped its investigation in 2009, and most of the items seized during the raids—including 7th Cavalry memorabilia, other American Indian artifacts and thousands of pages of documents—have since been returned.

Yet the dispute between Kortlander and the government rages on. Sealed court filings obtained by The Associated Press show the government still holds 22 items, partly on the word of a convicted felon who claimed Kortlander acquired them illegally. Many contain eagle or migratory bird feathers, which government attorneys said in court documents renders the items “contraband” under the Bald Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull, who is overseeing the case, has cast doubt on the credibility of the government’s witnesses, but also said Kortlander must be cross-examined to prove the war bonnets and other items were lawfully acquired.

Kortlander, 53, is a one-time candidate for local sheriff who presides over a mini-fiefdom in the small community of Garryowen. The “privately owned town,” as he calls it, includes the Custer Battlefield Museum and an attached gas station-post office-convenience store-restaurant that Kortlander operates. Garryowen is on the Crow Indian Reservation, although Kortlander is not a member of the tribe.

He argues the government’s efforts to hold onto the seized items stem from a stubborn refusal to admit the raids against him were based on false assumptions and should never have occurred.

“In 1876 the federal government came to Garryowen and lost,” Kortlander said, referring to the Battle of Little Bighorn that led to the deaths of Custer and members of his 7th Cavalry. “Now they are in Garryowen again, and they are going to lose.”

Kortlander said the investigation and resulting litigation have cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, ruined many of his friendships and business relationships and derailed plans for a $30 million museum at Garryowen centered on his extensive collection of manuscripts from Custer’s wife, Elizabeth.

Federal officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Bureau of Land Management declined comment on the case because of pending lawsuits from Kortlander. Brian Cornell, the former BLM special agent who led the fraudulent artifacts investigation, said he was restricted from talking about the matter because of the lawsuits

Since the raids, Kortlander has waged an aggressive legal counter-attack, including motions for the return of the remaining items seized during the raids in 2005 and 2008. Through a separate tort claim he is seeking $188 million dollars in alleged damages from the government’s dropped investigation.

Several related cases already resolved yielded mixed results. Following an earlier lawsuit by Kortlander, federal courts ordered the government to release thousands of pages of materials related to the investigation. That included a decision from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that Kortlander was not restricted in his use of the investigative materials, overturning an earlier ruling from Judge Cebull.

Cebull struck down another lawsuit in which Kortlander claimed government law enforcement agents maliciously pursued him in order to advance their own careers.

In dismissing the claim, Cebull said the government had “rock-solid” probable cause to seek a search warrant in the 2008 raid.

But the affidavit from Cornell for the 2008 search of the Custer Battlefield Museum reveals that the government’s case relied in part on statements from a Montana appraiser, James Brubaker, who said he sold eagle parts and feathers to Kortlander.

Brubaker has since served a federal prison sentence for possession and interstate transportation of stolen property. Authorities said he traveled the country stealing rare and valuable books and maps from public libraries and then selling them on eBay.

Cebull appears to refer to Brubaker in a court order that set an evidentiary hearing in the case for Feb. 3. Saying that any witnesses in the case would need to be cross-examined, Cebull wrote “the government relies on hearsay from a convicted felon” to establish that many of the seized items had been illegally bought by Kortlander.

Kortlander contends he never fraudulently or illegally sold battlefield or Indian artifacts. The feathered artifacts classified by the government as contraband include items donated or loaned to the museum and personal family heirlooms, he said.

A former associate who said he was one of the government’s informants in the case disputed Kortlander’s claim to innocence. The informant, Jason Pitsch, has his own credibility issues: He is currently detained in a Yellowstone County, Mont., jail in on federal child pornography charges.

Pitsch’s family owns land at the Battle of Little Bighorn site. In a recent jailhouse interview, Pitsch alleged that prior to the first raid Kortlander sold a bullet cartridge casing on eBay claiming it was from the battlefield and attaching a copy of a certificate with Pitsch’s forged signature. He said he learned of the sale when the buyer later contacted him.

“He had legitimate stuff, but he also had illegitimate stuff,” Pitsch said.

Kortlander said the claim was “100 percent inaccurate” and provided a 2004 statement in which Pitsch acknowledged making fraudulent claims of his own about another artifact, a pair of boots that he sold to the museum. Kortlander added that he had once turned in Pitsch to authorities after seeing him view child pornography, possibly motivating Pitsch to now seek revenge.

Another former associate, James “Putt” Thompson, vouched for Kortlander, despite the fact that both men said their friendship and business relationship ended after the 2008 raid. Thompson was the curator of the Custer Battlefield Museum at the time of the raids and leased a trading post on the site.

“It was all legit and they made it look like we were criminals,” said Thompson, who now runs the unrelated Custer Battlefield Trading Post in nearby Crow Agency.

Friday’s hearing before Cebull could decide whether the government must return the seized war bonnets and other items.

Once the case is resolved, Kortlander said he intends to revive his efforts to build a new museum around the Elizabeth Custer manuscripts. He said he will either collaborate with a philanthropist to raise the needed $30 million—or use the proceeds from his tort claim if he prevails in his lawsuit seeking damages from the government.

For now, Kortlander says he is stuck in what he called a legal “gray area,” with his past activities still in question even though the government’s criminal probe has been dropped. Yet he’s hoping the tables have turned.

“I’m the plaintiff. They’re the defendants,” he said.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-01-29-12 1632GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Sitting Bull, the Lakota Sioux tribal chief who was a central figure in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Sitting Bull, the Lakota Sioux tribal chief who was a central figure in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Wilfred Spencer, a representative from the security company S.A.F.E. Management, places the NFL’s Vince Lombardi Trophy at center court of the 1922 Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, Indiana. The home of the Hickory Huskers in the 1986 movie ‘Hoosiers,’ the Hoosier Gym is a popular destination for sports fans. Image copyright Tom Hoepf.

NFL’s Lombardi Trophy stars at famous basketball court

Wilfred Spencer, a representative from the security company S.A.F.E. Management, places the NFL’s Vince Lombardi Trophy at center court of the 1922 Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, Indiana. The home of the Hickory Huskers in the 1986 movie ‘Hoosiers,’ the Hoosier Gym is a popular destination for sports fans. Image copyright Tom Hoepf.

Wilfred Spencer, a representative from the security company S.A.F.E. Management, places the NFL’s Vince Lombardi Trophy at center court of the 1922 Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, Indiana. The home of the Hickory Huskers in the 1986 movie ‘Hoosiers,’ the Hoosier Gym is a popular destination for sports fans. Image copyright Tom Hoepf.

KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. (ACNI) – The Indianapolis area is a flurry of activity in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLVI to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium on Feb. 5. With tickets selling on the street for more than $2,000 apiece, most fans will experience the thrill of the pro football championship from outside the stadium.

Residents of rural Knightstown, located 30 miles east of Indianapolis, had the opportunity to see NFL Football’s highest prize, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, displayed at their community center Friday afternoon. NFL Films brought the trophy to The Historic Hoosier Gym, home court of the Hickory Huskers in the 1986 basketball movie Hoosiers, for a photo shoot.

While the crew was on official business, locals wondered if the real motivation for the visit was to shoot baskets in the famous gym when work was done.

The handsome sterling silver trophy was designed and handcrafted by Tiffany & Co. It depicts a life-size football in the kicking position on a pedestal with three concave sides. The trophy stands 22 inches high and weighs 7 pounds. Unlike the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup, a new Lombardi Trophy is made every year for the NFL champions to keep.

The Lombardi Trophy brought to the Hoosier Gym was handled only by the cotton-gloved hands of a representative of S.A.F.E. Management, the primary security provider for Super Bowl XLVI. No one else was allowed to touch it.

That will all change Sunday night around 10 p.m. Eastern when the winner of Super Bowl XLVI is awarded the Lombardi Trophy and the champions hold it aloft for everyone to see.

Visit The Historic Hoosier Gym online at www.thehoosiergym.com

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Copyright 2011 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Wilfred Spencer, a representative from the security company S.A.F.E. Management, places the NFL’s Vince Lombardi Trophy at center court of the 1922 Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, Indiana. The home of the Hickory Huskers in the 1986 movie ‘Hoosiers,’ the Hoosier Gym is a popular destination for sports fans. Image copyright Tom Hoepf.

Wilfred Spencer, a representative from the security company S.A.F.E. Management, places the NFL’s Vince Lombardi Trophy at center court of the 1922 Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, Indiana. The home of the Hickory Huskers in the 1986 movie ‘Hoosiers,’ the Hoosier Gym is a popular destination for sports fans. Image copyright Tom Hoepf.

Detail of the 2002 Winter Games Olympic Torch. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Shop owner charged with Olympics memorabilia theft

Detail of the 2002 Winter Games Olympic Torch. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Detail of the 2002 Winter Games Olympic Torch. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Prosecutors have charged a consignment shop owner with forging documents to steal $1 million in property, including Olympic memorabilia, from a high-profile booster of Utah’s 2002 Winter Olympics.

Court papers filed Thursday in Salt Lake City charge Constance Lynn Millet with counts of theft by deception and forgery.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Millet owns My Finer Consigner in Pleasant Grove.

Court papers say Alma Welch and Millet had a limited consignment agreement, but contend Millet altered the documents to take all the property in Welch’s home and storage units.

Among the items taken was a 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games torch. Welch is the ex-wife 2002 Games bid chief Tom Welch.

Defense attorney Ron Yengich says the matter is a civil dispute, not a criminal one.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-01-27-12 1617GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Detail of the 2002 Winter Games Olympic Torch. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Detail of the 2002 Winter Games Olympic Torch. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This 1-inch-high octagonal teapot is a tea infuser, the inspiration for the teabag. It is sterling silver and would sell for about $100. It can be used every day. Just open the top and, because tea leaves expand, fill it less than halfway. Then dip it in a cup of hot water.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of Jan. 30, 2012

This 1-inch-high octagonal teapot is a tea infuser, the inspiration for the teabag. It is sterling silver and would sell for about $100. It can be used every day. Just open the top and, because tea leaves expand, fill it less than halfway. Then dip it in a cup of hot water.

This 1-inch-high octagonal teapot is a tea infuser, the inspiration for the teabag. It is sterling silver and would sell for about $100. It can be used every day. Just open the top and, because tea leaves expand, fill it less than halfway. Then dip it in a cup of hot water.

Tea, it is said, was first drunk by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung about 2737 B.C. Then someone in China invented a device that shredded tea leaves, making it easier to brew tea.

The idea of making tea in a cup instead of a pot seems to have begun in the 19th century when silver infusers were made to hold tea leaves. Infusers usually were small balls with many holes. The ball could open and close to hold the leaves. It was dipped into a cup of hot water a few times, then removed. Silver infusers became very popular in the late-19th century and silversmiths were soon making not just balls, but tiny silver teapots, eggs, lanterns, acorns and other shapes, some with elaborate embossed designs. These sterling tea balls with chains are collected today and cost from $100 to $1,000.

The teabag was invented in the United States in 1903. It was a hand-sewn silk bag. Soon a machine was invented to fill and close a teabag made of special paper. Eventually aluminum foil was also used for disposable bags. The familiar rectangular teabag was not invented until 1944. Today there are circular and pyramidal teabags, too.

All of this has led to a variety of collecting choices for tea lovers. Some save free teabag tags. Some belong to groups that make folded figures from dried teabag paper. Some collect the many types of tea infusers made today, like the Yellow Submarine, dinosaurs, robots, monkeys, a berry on a stem and more. Most sell for under $20. Another tea-related collectible is the spout strainer, a small hanging strainer kept in a teapot spout with a large hairpin-shaped wire. There are also tea sets, tea cups and saucers, tea caddies, tea strainers, tea-caddy spoons, bag squeezers, “spoon rests” for used teabags, drip bowls and even a plastic disk that folds to squeeze a teabag or cover a cup to keep tea warm.

At a 1970s tea collector’s auction, we bought tea balls and strainers, notebooks filled with postcards about tea, books, woodblock prints and advertising. We also have the original patent papers for the “teastir,” a perforated aluminum-foil rectangle filled with tea. One side becomes a handle to take it out of a cup. It was invented by Ralph Kovel, a tea drinker and collector.

Q: I have a bed made by Sligh Furniture Co. of Grand Rapids, Mich. What can you tell me about the company?

A: Sligh Furniture Co. was founded in 1880 by Charles Sligh, who had previously worked at Berkey & Gay, another Grand Rapids furniture manufacturer. The city was a major center of furniture-making from the late 1800s until about 1925. Most furniture companies at that time didn’t make complete bedroom sets but specialized in one category of furniture, such as beds, dressers or nightstands. Sligh was the first company to sell all the pieces needed to furnish a bedroom in matching styles and finishes. The company struggled during the Depression and by 1933 switched to making desks, which cost less to produce. The company is still in business, currently making home entertainment and home office furniture and accessories. Sligh bedroom sets were made in the 1920s and 1930s.

Q: Back in about 1955, a World War II veteran friend gave me a small bronze sculpture of a horse mounted on a marble base. It’s signed “K Mobius” near the horse’s rear legs. The sculpture, including the base, is 10 1/4 inches high and 9 inches from nose to tail. What can you tell me about the sculptor and my horse?

A: Your bronze was made by German sculptor Karl Mobius (1876-1953). Artists who create bronze sculptures actually work with clay or wax. Then the sculpture is taken to a foundry, where a complicated process begins. A rubber mold of the sculpture is made, then wax is poured into the mold to create a hollow wax model that matches the original sculpture. A ceramic coating is then applied to the wax and the model is fired so the wax melts. The ceramic shell that’s left is filled with molten bronze, cooled and removed. The resulting bronze sculpture is then ground and polished. The mold for a small bronze like your horse is usually used about 25 times before it wears out. In general, an original bronze sculpture the size and age of yours sells for about $500.

Q: We own a large wooden picture frame with extensive gold-colored metal embellishments. We were told the frame was “a Tiffany” and that it hung in the Arkansas governor’s mansion in Little Rock during the one year (1927-28) John Martineau was governor. What do you think the frame would be worth if the story is true?

A: We can find no reference that says Louis Comfort Tiffany ever made wooden frames. And everything he did make was marked in some way to identify it as “Tiffany.” It is possible that Tiffany & Co., the famous store, sold a frame like yours, but we think the store would also have marked the frame. The histories of some antiques and collectibles become garbled over the years. Still, a large, well-made and elaborately decorated period frame could sell for thousands of dollars.

Tip: Attach hanging wire to a picture two-thirds of the way up the back of the frame. Be sure the wire does not show above the top of the frame when the picture is hung.

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.

Mechanical pencil, cigar shape, paper cigar band, inscribed “Rothschild’s Tampa Style Smokers,” I. Rothschild Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., 1940s, 5 3/4 x 5 inches, $25.

Purse, black suede, box shape, gold-tone clasp, brass button feet, sateen lining, “Lennox Bags” tag, 1950s, 11 x 4 1/2 inches, $40.

Davy Crockett toothbrush, green, marked “Davy Crockett Jr.,” original carded package, 1950s, 3 x 7 inches, $50.

Madame Alexander doll, Little Southern Miss, pale pink frilly pants suit edged in white lace, blond hair, straw hat, 8 inches, $100.

Holt Howard ice cream sundae set, butterscotch creamer, chocolate creamer, strawberries container and nut container with lids, porcelain, Japan labels, 1959, 5 1/2 in., four pieces, $135.

Duck bank, “Save for a Rainy Day,” cast iron, white duck wearing hat, umbrella under wing, red half-barrel stand, Hubley, 1933, 5 3/8 x 3 1/8 inches, $185.

Bohemian art glass vase, resembles green onyx, white lining, circa 1910, 8 inches, $495.

Sterling silver cream pitcher and open sugar bowl, Howard & Co., $500.

Windsor armchair, high comb back, shaped crest rail, nine spindles, carved paddle hand holds, baluster-turned arm posts and legs, 45 x 25 inches, $530.

Tramp art trinket box, double case, multilayered, carved pyramid sides, two drawers, round knobs, 8 x 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches, $705.

Kovels’ American Collectibles, 1900 to 2000 is the best guide to your 20th-century treasures—everything from art pottery to kitchenware. It’s filled with hundreds of color photographs, marks, lists of designers and manufacturers and lots of information about collectibles. The collectibles of the 20th century are explained in an entertaining, informative style. Read tips on care and dating items and discover how to spot a good buy or avoid a bad one. And learn about hot new collectibles and what they’re worth so you can make wise, profitable decisions. The book covers pottery and porcelain, furniture, jewelry, silver, glass, toys, kitchen items, bottles, dolls, prints and more. It’s about the household furnishings of the past century—what they are, what they’re worth and how they were used. Out-of-print but available online at Kovels.com; by phone at 800-303-1996; or send $27.95 plus $4.95 postage to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2012 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

Nevada Supreme Court rules felons may not own antique guns

CARSON CITY, Nevada – The Nevada Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the law banning felons from owning firearms in that state also extends to antique and muzzle-loading replica guns.

The unanimous ruling written by Justice Kristina Pickering states that felons are prohibited from possessing any firearm – “loaded or unloaded, operable or inoperable.”

In her opinion, Pickering acknowledged the fact that federal law currently permits felons to possess black-powder rifles but noted that the law “does not mandate that Nevada follow suit.”

The decision upholds the conviction of Michael Pohlabel, an ex felon who was arrested in Elko County, Nevada, with a black-powder rifle in the back seat of his car. Pohlabel was sentenced to 12 to 34 months in prison after pleading guilty to possessing the gun. He had been out on bond, pending the Supreme Court’s decision.

In many parts of the United States, a convicted felon can face long-term legal consequences following their imprisonment. On a state-by-state basis, these consquences include:

1. Disenfranchisement (which the Supreme Court interpreted to be permitted by the Fourteenth Amendment)

2. Exclusion from obtaining a visa or certain professional licenses required in order to legally operate a business, making many vocations off limits to felons

3. Exclusion from purchase and possession of firearms, ammunition and body armor

4. Ineligibility to serve on a jury

5. Ineligibility for government assistance or welfare, including federally funded housing

Additionally, if the criminal is not a U.S. citizen, a felony conviction is grounds for deportation.

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Some of the information contained in this report was sourced from The Las Vegas Sun.

 

Selection of more than 100 postcards and photos to be auctioned by Martin Auction Co., on Feb. 4, 2012. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Martin Auction Co.

Antique Postcard & Paper Americana Show slated for Feb. 24-25

Selection of more than 100 postcards and photos to be auctioned by Martin Auction Co., on Feb. 4, 2012. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Martin Auction Co.

Selection of more than 100 postcards and photos to be auctioned by Martin Auction Co., on Feb. 4, 2012. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Martin Auction Co.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Organizers are anticipating hundreds of attendees over a two-day period when the Springfield, Spring Antique Postcard & Paper Americana Show and Sale hits Springfield, Mo., Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25. This is the 18th year for this semiannual event.

Antique postcard and paper buyers and sellers will enjoy two days of shopping, selling and trading. Thousands of pre-1940, original historic photos and postcards of towns and historical events are sorted alphabetically by town and priced individually, or in lots. Additionally rare, vintage Halloween, Santa, patriotic and more are available at this event.

Buyers and sellers from seven states bring nearly a million antique postcards for sale at the Postcard and Paper Americana show. They also buy collections and accumulations and give free appraisals of most all vintage postcards, old photographs, and paper ephemera.

Vendors are bringing original historical photographs of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Civil War, Western American, Route 66, mining, sports, political, maps, Native Americans, rodeo, movie, railroadiana, Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Victorian era, Kewpies, 101 Ranch and thousands of other topical and state view postcards. Other historical paper memorabilia and ephemera is also for sale.

“Early bird” admission cost, available at 9 a.m., Friday is $5 and covers both days. Regular admission is $3 per person, and is available at 10 a.m.; it too covers both days.

Show times are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday, February 24 and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, February 25. The show is scheduled for Lamplighter Inn & Conference Center, North, I-44 at Glenstone/Exit 80A.

Additional details and background available at http://www.courthousesquare.net

For more information contact Jim Taylor, 888.451.0340, jmtaylor(at)ipa(dot)net

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Selection of more than 100 postcards and photos to be auctioned by Martin Auction Co., on Feb. 4, 2012. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Martin Auction Co.

Selection of more than 100 postcards and photos to be auctioned by Martin Auction Co., on Feb. 4, 2012. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Martin Auction Co.

Indian artist assaulted over nude paintings

NEW DELHI (AFP) – An Indian artist said on Monday he had been beaten up at his gallery by five men over nude paintings of actresses and models that the attackers claimed were an insult to the country.

Pranava Prakash was assaulted by the gang who burst into the gallery in Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi, where he is exhibiting nudes of top Bollywood star Vidya Balan and other public figures.

“Five guys came in on Sunday and started yelling at me, saying ‘Your paintings are against Indian culture, we cannot tolerate them’,” he told AFP.

“They slapped me twice, threw me to the floor and then began pulling down the paintings, damaging three of my pictures,” he said.

Freedom of expression is a hot topic in India after Muslim activists forced British author Salman Rushdie to cancel an appearance at a literary festival in Jaipur 10 days ago, attracting headlines around the world.

Rushdie, whose 1988 novel The Satanic Verses is still banned in India for alleged blasphemy against Islam, said that India’s reputation for tolerance and free speech was under threat due to politicians bowing to religious extremists.

“India is an inclusive democracy, I just don’t understand how such things can happen,” said Prakash, 32, who had not yet reported the attack to police. “There is a certain section of people who think they alone are the custodians of Indian culture, and anyone who disagrees with them is the enemy.”

Also among Prakash’s work on display are nude paintings of Pakistani actress Veena Malik and Mumbai-based model Poonam Pandey.

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