Gallery Report: March 2012

An archaistic jadeite lidded wine vessel sold for $132,000 at an Asian Art Auction held Jan. 27 by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati, Ohio. Also, a white jade Hu-form lidded vase went for $119,850 to a bidder from outside the United States; a Chinese rosewood chair hammered down at $36,000; and a group of Chinese mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture from a private collection, previously owned by the noted Scottish playwright and literary figure James Morrison, brought $87,000. In all, the sale grossed over $1.2 million. Prices include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

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From a superb selection of extensively chased and embossed Tiffany & Co. silver, a pair of circa-1882 nine-light candelabra with triton, seahorse and mermaid motif, $111,600; and a pair of circa-1882 center bowls, $134,400. Morphy Auctions image.

Stellar prices for Tiffany silver, Ky. rifle, antique armor at Morphy’s

From a superb selection of extensively chased and embossed Tiffany & Co. silver, a pair of circa-1882 nine-light candelabra with triton, seahorse and mermaid motif, $111,600; and a pair of circa-1882 center bowls, $134,400. Morphy Auctions image.

From a superb selection of extensively chased and embossed Tiffany & Co. silver, a pair of circa-1882 nine-light candelabra with triton, seahorse and mermaid motif, $111,600; and a pair of circa-1882 center bowls, $134,400. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – The hammer came down decisively on several prized auction lots at Morphy’s Feb. 24-25, 2012 sale of antiques, art and vintage collectibles, which drew 1,800 unique bidders in the gallery, over the phones and via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. The 1,404-lot offering grossed $1,620,000 (inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium), with two consecutively auctioned lots of Tiffany silver ringing the register at $246,000.

“We knew the silver was special and of fantastic quality. There was great interest in all of the antique silver prior to and during the auction,” said Morphy’s CEO Dan Morphy. “Even when the bidding on each of the Tiffany lots reached $80,000, there were still four active players, and at $90,000, there were three.”

A New York bidder prevailed on both of the Tiffany headliners – a pair of circa-1882 sterling center bowls with wavy rims and footed, domed bases, which sold for $134,400 (est. $40,000-$60,000); and a pair of nine-arm candelabra that garnered $111,600 (est. $60,000-$80,000). All four pieces were richly chased and embossed with rocaille work and a marine motif that included seaweed, tritons, seahorses and mermaids.

After the auction, Morphy received several calls from silver aficionados who told him that the candlesticks had outperformed an identical single example that had appeared in a high-profile auction last year. “Apparently one candelabrum exactly like those in our auction sold for around $20,000 at one of the big New York auction houses several months ago. They’re obviously much more desirable as a pair.”

Another outstanding lot in the silver section was the 1899 Gorham silver martele (hammered) water pitcher with chased, embossed finish. The baluster-form vessel had been created for the Chicago firm Spaulding & Co., and was extensively hallmarked and identified in a cartouche under the base. Estimated at $10,000-$15,000, it made $27,000.

Morphy said the silver results did not go unnoticed by collectors who monitor silver prices through auctions. “In fact, we’ve already received phone calls from other people who want to consign their silver to one of our future sales,” Morphy said.

An admitted white-knuckler for Morphy was the lifetime antique armor collection consigned by renowned Hollywood animator and film director Frank Andrina. “Armor is very much a European-based collectible, and we were anxious to show that Morphy Auctions could tap into a European-based market. As it turned out, our targeted marketing was very successful. Remote bidders – many of them from European countries – kept our staff very busy throughout the armor section of the sale.”

A circa-1580 German two-handed sword, 75 inches long with a flambé edge and embossed markings, handily surpassed expectations at $21,600; while a circa-16th-century mace constructed entirely of hand-forged steel more than doubled its high estimate at $16,800. An Italian or German Savoyard-style helmet made to cover the warrior’s entire head and neck, with cut-out holes for the eyes, was expected to reach $4,000-$8,000 but went the extra mile to $15,600.

Frank Andrina’s wife, Barbee, was present at the sale, along with daughter Michelle, son-in-law Jim and grandson Jimmy. Although it was a bittersweet experience to see her husband’s collection move on to new homes, Mrs. Andrina was heartened to discover that two of the pieces had been purchased by a collector who visited the Andrina home in the Hollywood Hills years ago. “She was pleased to know that this particular collector now owned the very pieces he had so admired during his visit,” said Morphy.

Clearly, Feb. 25 was a day in which antique metals put Wall Street’s commodities market to shame. “During both the silver and armor sections of the sale, there were sometimes 14 and 15 phone lines in use,” said Morphy.

Antique and vintage guns attracted so many potential bidders to the sale that both parking lots at Morphy’s recently expanded facility were filled to capacity. “I think many had come to see the Leonard Reedy rifle sell,” said Morphy, referring to the spectacular Kentucky rifle made by a master Pennsylvania gunsmith who was active in the first and second quarters of the 19th century.

Morphy’s Rifles & Firearms specialist Stephen D. Hench described the Reedy gun as “immaculate from end to end, with a million-dollar finish that’s absolutely original and untouched. No one had ever cleaned it, and it oxidized perfectly.”

The Reedy rifle deserved special attention, so Morphy’s created a special brochure about it that circulated far and wide within the antique gun-collecting community. It paid off on auction day, Hench said.

The entire phone bank buzzed as the coveted firearm was introduced with a $20,000-$40,000 estimate. Heated bidding pushed the final price to a staggering $76,800.

Other firearms highlights included a Slotter Philadelphia-style ivory-handled and trimmed Derringer, $31,200 (est. $3,500-$5,000); and a Colt Lightning Model 1877 accompanied by an original factory letter, $24,000 (est. $7,500-$15,000).

The most surprising firearms-related lot was a 14-inch-long powder horn dated “1758” and inscribed with a fish symbol and the name “Zephaniah Butler.” According to Hench, the horn was decorated by a mulatto carver named John Bush. “Bush powder horns from the French & Indian War period are, to collectors, what Rembrandts or Picassos are to the art world,” Hench said. Estimated at $400-$800, it was bid aggressively to $21,600.

Many other categories hit impressive heights at Morphy’s Feb. 24-25 sale. A heavily decorated 14K gold bridal belt weighing 578 grams earned $19,200; while a circa-1878 walnut “coffin” phone from the William A. Daniels collection rang up a $12,000 winning bid. The selection of exquisite Victorian calling card cases was topped by an enameled sterling silver case adorned with flowers, bees and dragonflies. It reached $4,200 – four times its low estimate.

LiveAuctioneers.com was responsible for delivering an average of 28.7% of the successful buyers over the two-day sale. In total through LiveAuctioneers, 2,551 bids were lodged and 369 lots were purchased.

To contact Morphy’s, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail dan@morphyauctions. View the fully illustrated catalog for the Feb. 24-25 auction, complete with prices realized, online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

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Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


From a superb selection of extensively chased and embossed Tiffany & Co. silver, a pair of circa-1882 nine-light candelabra with triton, seahorse and mermaid motif, $111,600; and a pair of circa-1882 center bowls, $134,400. Morphy Auctions image.

From a superb selection of extensively chased and embossed Tiffany & Co. silver, a pair of circa-1882 nine-light candelabra with triton, seahorse and mermaid motif, $111,600; and a pair of circa-1882 center bowls, $134,400. Morphy Auctions image.

1899 Gorham silver martele water pitcher with chased, embossed finish, created for the Chicago firm Spaulding & Co., $27,000.

1899 Gorham silver martele water pitcher with chased, embossed finish, created for the Chicago firm Spaulding & Co., $27,000.

Extremely rare Roseville 8-color Della Robbia vase designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead (1880-1942), 20 in. tall, $10,800. Morphy Auctions image.

Extremely rare Roseville 8-color Della Robbia vase designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead (1880-1942), 20 in. tall, $10,800. Morphy Auctions image.

14K gold bridal belt, 578 grams, 373 dwt., $19,200. Morphy Auctions image.

14K gold bridal belt, 578 grams, 373 dwt., $19,200. Morphy Auctions image.

From the Bill Daniels collection, circa-1878 walnut ‘coffin’ phone, $12,000. Morphy Auctions image.

From the Bill Daniels collection, circa-1878 walnut ‘coffin’ phone, $12,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Leonard Reedy Kentucky rifle made in the first or second quarter of the 19th century, untouched and all original, $76,800. Morphy Auctions image.

Leonard Reedy Kentucky rifle made in the first or second quarter of the 19th century, untouched and all original, $76,800. Morphy Auctions image.

Colt Lightning Model 1877 gun with original papers, $24,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Colt Lightning Model 1877 gun with original papers, $24,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Circa-16th-century mace constructed entirely of hand-forged steel, $16,800. Morphy Auctions image.

Circa-16th-century mace constructed entirely of hand-forged steel, $16,800. Morphy Auctions image.

Circa-1630 Italian or German Savoyard-style helmet with two-piece skull, low comb and two-piece visor. Estimate $4,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Circa-1630 Italian or German Savoyard-style helmet with two-piece skull, low comb and two-piece visor. Estimate $4,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image.

14-inch-long powder horn dated ‘1768,’ inscribed with fish and the name “Zephaniah Butler, $21,600. Morphy Auctions image.

14-inch-long powder horn dated ‘1768,’ inscribed with fish and the name “Zephaniah Butler, $21,600. Morphy Auctions image.

San IIdefonso Pueblo plate by Tony Da. Estimate: $12,000-$15,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

American Indian art at Hindman’s Denver debut March 11

San IIdefonso Pueblo plate by Tony Da. Estimate: $12,000-$15,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

San IIdefonso Pueblo plate by Tony Da. Estimate: $12,000-$15,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

DENVER – The Anne S. and Robert E. Clay Collection of Native American Art will comprise Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ inaugural auction in the company’s Denver saleroom on March 11, beginning at noon Mountain time. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding for the nearly 350-lot auction.

The auction house is located in Denver’s Golden Triangle, 960 Cherokee St., situated just blocks away from the Denver Art Museum and the new Clyfford Still Museum. The collection includes over 300 lots of Pueblo pottery, Navajo weavings and Southwestern jewelry. Mr. and Mrs. Clay were active members of the Douglas Society at the Denver Art Museum. Over the years the Clays made donations from their collection to the Denver Art Museum and the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe and loans to other institutions in the area.

Mr. and Mrs. Clay began collecting on a trip to New Mexico where they gained a lifelong appreciation of Native American Art. They emerged as enthusiastic collectors with a devotion to the modern masters of Pueblo pottery, Navajo weavings and Southwestern jewelry. As their collection became more sophisticated, they developed strong relationships with respected curators, dealers and artists in the Southwest. The couple faithfully attended and volunteered at the Indian Market in Santa Fe for 30 years. Several of the items in the collection are works commissioned directly from artists they met personally and have never been seen by the public.

The Clay Collection includes pottery by acknowledged 20th century master potters such as Tony Da, Margaret Tafoya, Helen Cordera, Helen Shupla, Grace Medicine Flower, Helen Naha and Nathan Youngblood to name a few. Among the highlights of the pottery grouping is a San Ildefonso Pueblo plate, buff ground having heart line deer in sgraffito with three turquoise inlay cabochon stones, by Tony Da, 10 inches diameter ($12,000-$15,000), and a Santa Clara, undecorated olla storage jar, signed Margaret Tafoya ($8,000-$10,000). Also included in this single-owner sale is a nice selection of works by artists such as Rose Mike, Julia Jumbo, Clara Sherman, Ruby Manuelito, Daisy Taugleche and Elsie Jim.

Examples of available weavings are a Two Grey Hills, in geometric design with butterflies on brown ground, two shades of grey, black, white and tan, by Clara Sherman, measuring 35 inches by 62 nches ($2,000-$2,500) and a sand painting depicting Whirling Log design with four sacred plants and Yei figure in natural and analine dyes, by Ruby Manuelito measuring 42 inches by 41 inches ($4,000-$6,000).

Featured among the over 100 lots of fine Southwestern jewelry being offered are works by Charles Loloma, Harvey Begay, Mark Chee, Julian Lavato, Marie Lovato, Jimmy King Jr. and many more. Highlighting the jewelry are several works by famed Hopi spiritual leader, jeweler and artist Charles Loloma (1921-1991). Among these important offerings are a Hopi, sterling silver bolo tie, inlaid with gold accents, coral, ivory, turquoise, wood and lapis, signed “Loloma” ($6,000-$8,000), a Hopi sterling silver bolo tie, in a Kachina mask design, inlaid with wood, turquoise, coral, lapis, ivory and silver accents with silver tips signed “Loloma” ($5,000-$7,000), a Hopi sterling silver belt buckle inlaid with ironwood, turquoise, coral, lapis and ivory, signed “Loloma” ($6,000-$8,000), and a Hopi, lady’s 18-karat gold sand cast ring, with large turquoise stone in a prong setting, signed “Loloma.” Also of note is a Navajo, 14K gold tufa cast bracelet, with undulating edges, set with oval shaped cabochon turquoise, signed HB for Harvey Begay ($5,000-$7,000).

The exhibition will open be to the public on Wednesday, March 7, noon-4 p.m., Thursday, March 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, March 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, March 10, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For details regarding this sale, call 303-825-1855 or visit Hindman’s website at www.lesliehindman.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


San IIdefonso Pueblo plate by Tony Da. Estimate: $12,000-$15,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

 

San IIdefonso Pueblo plate by Tony Da. Estimate: $12,000-$15,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Santa Clara undecorated olla storage jar. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

 

Santa Clara undecorated olla storage jar. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Navajo weaving, sandpiping. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Navajo weaving, sandpiping. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Hopi sterling silver bolo tie, Charles Loloma. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Hopi sterling silver bolo tie, Charles Loloma. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Hopi 18-karat gold lady’s sand cast ring, Charles Loloma. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Hopi 18-karat gold lady’s sand cast ring, Charles Loloma. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Hopi sterling silver belt buckle, Charles Loloma. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Hopi sterling silver belt buckle, Charles Loloma. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Image courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Davy Jones, far left, in a circa-1966 publicity photo of the musical group the Monkees. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and The Written Word Autographs.

In Memoriam: Monkees singer Davy Jones, 66

Davy Jones, far left, in a circa-1966 publicity photo of the musical group the Monkees. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and The Written Word Autographs.

Davy Jones, far left, in a circa-1966 publicity photo of the musical group the Monkees. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and The Written Word Autographs.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Davy Jones, the lead singer of the 1960s group The Monkees, died of a massive heart attack Wednesday in Florida, his spokeswoman said. He was 66.

His publicist, Helen Kensick, confirmed that he died in Indiantown, where he lived.

Jones rose to fame in 1965 when he joined The Monkees, a British popular rock group formed for a U.S. television show. Jones sang lead vocals on songs like “I Wanna Be Free” and “Daydream Believer.”

Jones was born Dec. 30, 1945, in Manchester, England. His long hair and British accent helped Jones achieve heartthrob status in the United States.

According to The Monkees website, Monkees.com, he left the band in late 1970. In the summer of 1971, he recorded a solo hit “Rainy Jane” and made a series of appearances on American variety and television shows, including “Love American Style” and “The Brady Bunch.”

Jones played himself in a widely popular Brady Bunch episode, which aired in late 1971. In the episode, Marcia Brady, president of her school’s Davy Jones fan club, promised she could get him to sing at a school dance.

By the mid-1980s, Jones teamed up with former Monkee Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and promoter David Fishof for a reunion tour. Their popularity prompted MTV to re-air The Monkees series, introducing the group to a new audience.

In 1987, Jones, Tork and Micky Dolenz recorded a new album, “Pool It.” Two years later, the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In the late 1990s, the group filmed a special called “Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees.”

He is survived by his wife, Jessica.

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


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Davy Jones, far left, in a circa-1966 publicity photo of the musical group the Monkees. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and The Written Word Autographs.

Davy Jones, far left, in a circa-1966 publicity photo of the musical group the Monkees. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and The Written Word Autographs.

New York silversmith William Adams created this coin silver pitcher for the Kentucky State Agricultural Society in 1859. It sold at Cowan's for $41,125. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Cowan’s Fine & Decorative Art Auction tops $925,000

New York silversmith William Adams created this coin silver pitcher for the Kentucky State Agricultural Society in 1859. It sold at Cowan's for $41,125. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

New York silversmith William Adams created this coin silver pitcher for the Kentucky State Agricultural Society in 1859. It sold at Cowan’s for $41,125. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions’ Fine and Decorative Art Auction realized $925,000 in sales on Feb. 25. With nearly 1,200 bidders from 30 different countries on the telephone, online and in attendance, the salesroom was alive with competitive bidding for the 470 lots.

The highest selling lot in the sale was a coin silver Kentucky State Agricultural Society Award Pitcher, which realized $41,125. The pitcher, dated circa 1859, is a coin silver pitcher by William Adams (New York). Adams is well-known for the mace he made for the House of Representatives in 1841-42 as well as, a presentation urn he crafted for his friend, Henry Clay, a senator and representative from the state of Kentucky. The piece offered in the sale was a presentation pitcher bearing the inscription, “Presented by the Kentucky State agricultural Society and Spratt & Bourn Co. at their Tobacco Exhibition, May 25, 1859.” The pitcher was property of the late Caswell and Sara Lane, who were consummate Kentucky collectors, and was estimated to bring $8,000-$10,000 The Lanes specialized in silver from the Bluegrass state.

Fine art from the 19th and 20 century was also among the top-selling lots offered in the sale. A painting by well-known Cincinnati artist, Frank Duveneck, titled Venetian Interior, hammered down at $18,800. A painting by Polish artist Jan Van Chelminski, titled Polish Sleighing Party, realized $27,025. A Kentucky portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette by Asa Park sold for $21,150.

A Tonalist landscape by Antanas Zemaitis far surpassed its estimate of $500-$700 and realized $16,800 in the auction.

A number of contemporary pieces of art exceeded their original estimates and did particularly well in the sale. A painting by Robert Rauschenberg, titled Mixed Media, sold for $15,275. An abstract work by Guatemalan artist Carlos Merida realized $15,600. A lithograph by American contemporary artist Jasper Johns, signed and titled Bent Blue, hammered down at $7,200.

“The fine art portion of the sale had some very strong offerings and the response was significant in all categories of 19th and 20th century works,” Graydon Sikes, director of paintings and prints notes, “The tremendous crowd at the auction certainly played a hand in driving many of the more important pieces.”

Miniature furniture from the Caswell and Sara Lane collection also brought higher than estimated prices at the sale. A set of three American miniature blanket chests was estimated at $400-$600 and hammered down at $1,528. An Ohio miniature chest of drawers, circa 1825-1835, also estimated at $400-$600, realized $2,233. A Kentucky miniature chest of drawers from the early 19th century, with the pencil inscription “Mary Polly Howard, Spencer, Kentucky,” was estimated at $1,000-$1,500 and hammered down at $2,703.

An additional noteworthy lot in the sale was an American, early 20th century Tiffany Studios counterbalance table lamp, marked “Tiffany Studios, N.Y., No. 415” on bottom. The lamp was estimated at $5,000-$7,000 and realized $7,344.

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


New York silversmith William Adams created this coin silver pitcher for the Kentucky State Agricultural Society in 1859. It sold at Cowan's for $41,125. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

New York silversmith William Adams created this coin silver pitcher for the Kentucky State Agricultural Society in 1859. It sold at Cowan’s for $41,125. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Asa Park portrait of Lafayette realized $21,150. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Asa Park portrait of Lafayette realized $21,150. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Cincinnati painter Frank Duveneck's 'Venetian Interior' made $18,800. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Cincinnati painter Frank Duveneck’s ‘Venetian Interior’ made $18,800. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Robert Rauschenberg painting, $15,275. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Robert Rauschenberg painting, $15,275. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Jan Van Chelminski, 'Polish Sleighing Party,' $27,025. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Jan Van Chelminski, ‘Polish Sleighing Party,’ $27,025. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Tonalist landscape by Antanas Zemaitis, $16,800. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Tonalist landscape by Antanas Zemaitis, $16,800. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Tiffany Studios counterbalance lamp, marked, $7,344. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Tiffany Studios counterbalance lamp, marked, $7,344. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic was designed by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and built between the years 1928-1930 for Fritz Tugendhat and his wife, Greta. Photo by Mr. Hyde.

Czech Bauhaus villa reopens after major renovation

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic was designed by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and built between the years 1928-1930 for Fritz Tugendhat and his wife, Greta. Photo by Mr. Hyde.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic was designed by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and built between the years 1928-1930 for Fritz Tugendhat and his wife, Greta. Photo by Mr. Hyde.

BRNO, Czech Republic (AFP) – The UNESCO-listed Tugendhatvilla, a Bauhaus-style architectural gem in the southern Czech city of Brno, reopened Wednesday, following a complete renovation.

The clean-lined 20th-century villa nestled in a vast sloping garden is the work of German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), head of the celebrated Bauhaus school that sought to accentuate architecture as an art.

“The radical ideas used by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe here influenced to a great extent the entire evolution of 20th-century architecture,” Pavel Ciprian, head of the Brno municipal museum, said at the reopening ceremony.

In the design, the architect abandoned the idea of separate rooms, opting instead for a vast open space of 250 square metres (2,691 square feet), from which giant windows frame views of the sprawling gardens and the city.

The villa was built in 1929-1930 for Jewish entrepreneur Fritz Tugendhat and his wife Greta.

In 1938, the family fled for Switzerland and then Venezuela to escape Nazi Germany’s occupation of the country during World War II.

“A house built for a family has become a work of art,” said Daniela Hammer Tugendhat, one of the four children of the builders.

Since the start of the war, the villa’s fate echoed that of the country—it was seized by the Nazis to serve as a studio for the German Messerschmitt aviation factory, and then it was confiscated by the Soviet army.

After the war, the villa became the property of the Czechoslovak state in 1955. It was modified to serve as a re-education center for children before being revamped for representative purposes in the 1980s.

The villa was the setting for key talks between the Czech and Slovak prime ministers, Vaclav Klaus and Vladimir Meciar, in 1992 in the run-up to the peaceful split of the former Czechoslovakia into two countries a year later.

UNESCO put the villa on its world heritage list in December 2001.

“The renovation was carried out by a Czech company but under the supervision of the whole world,” said Roman Onderka, the mayor of Brno, which lies 200 kilometres (125 miles) southeast of the Czech capital Prague.

He said that the renovation had cost 170 million Czech koruna (6.8 million euros, $9.2 million).


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


A UNESCO World Heritage site, Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic was designed by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and built between the years 1928-1930 for Fritz Tugendhat and his wife, Greta. Photo by Mr. Hyde.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic was designed by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and built between the years 1928-1930 for Fritz Tugendhat and his wife, Greta. Photo by Mr. Hyde.

Rhoda Nyberg hand-colored 'Grace,' a photography taken by her father, Eric Enstrom in 1918. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

In Memoriam: Rhoda Nyberg, artist, 95

Rhoda Nyberg hand-colored 'Grace,' a photography taken by her father, Eric Enstrom in 1918. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Rhoda Nyberg hand-colored ‘Grace,’ a photography taken by her father, Eric Enstrom in 1918. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

BOVEY, Minn. (AP) – The artist who hand-colored Grace, a photo showing a white-bearded man bowed in prayer before a simple meal, has died at age 95.

Eric Enstrom took the photo, displayed in homes and churches nationwide, at his studio in Bovey, Minn., in 1918. Enstrom’s daughter, Rhoda Nyberg, brought the photo to life and widespread distribution with her colorization.

Nyberg died Tuesday at a nursing home near Proctor.

She was born above her father’s photography studio a year before he took Grace. After college and a stint working at Minnesota Woolen, Nyberg returned to her father’s photo studio and began coloring black and white photos with heavy oil.

Nyberg’s daughter, Kris Mayerle, said her mother’s painting preceded the introduction of color photography.

“She brought color into the photos before there was color photography,” said Mayerle, who remembers her mother having photos strewn across the dining room table during her childhood.

Nyberg didn’t just color her father’s photography and graduation and wedding photos. She painted originals of flowers, landscapes and other subjects in watercolor and oil at her Bass Lake home near Bovey.

“I thought all mothers painted all day,” Mayerle said.

Nyberg’s coloring was used on the prints by Augsburg Publishing, which bought the rights to Grace in the early 1950s, according to her son, Kent Nyberg.

The colored version of the photo was designated the official picture of the state of Minnesota in 2002.

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

AP-WF-02-27-12 2119GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Rhoda Nyberg hand-colored 'Grace,' a photography taken by her father, Eric Enstrom in 1918. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Rhoda Nyberg hand-colored ‘Grace,’ a photography taken by her father, Eric Enstrom in 1918. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

John Ford's 'How Green Was My Valley' won five Academy Awards in 1941, including Best Picture and Director. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Heritage Auctions.

15 Oscar statuettes rake in $3M amid controversy

John Ford's 'How Green Was My Valley' won five Academy Awards in 1941, including Best Picture and Director. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Heritage Auctions.

John Ford’s ‘How Green Was My Valley’ won five Academy Awards in 1941, including Best Picture and Director. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Heritage Auctions.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A Los Angeles auction house sold a collection of 15 Oscar statuettes for more than $3 million on Tuesday, two days after this year’s Academy Awards show, organizers said.

The gold-plated prizes, sold despite an official protest by Oscars organizers, included a Best Screenplay Academy Award for the iconic movie Citizen Kane, given to Herman Mankiewicz in 1941.

Los Angeles auction house Nate D. Sanders sold the Oscar, which went for $588,455, the highest price for a single statuette. In all the sale earned $3,060,089, including the buyer’s premium.

The 1933 Best Picture Oscar, awarded to Cavalcade, went for the second highest total, selling for $332,165, while the 1931 Best Picture Oscar for Skippy, the oldest sold, went for $301,973.

The 1941 Best Picture Oscar for How Green Was My Valley went for $274,520.

“People continue to be drawn to the magic of the movies and were extremely enthusiastic bidding on the Oscars, which accounted for the high demand and sales prices,” said auctioneer Sanders.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, had condemned the sale.

“The Academy, its members and the many film artists and craftspeople who’ve won Academy Awards believe strongly that Oscars should be won, not purchased,” said an Academy statement cited by the Los Angeles Times.

“Unfortunately, because our winners agreement wasn’t instituted until 1950, we don’t have any legal means of stopping the commoditization of these particular statuettes,” it added.

In December the same auction house sold the Oscar statuette given to Orson Welles, who shared the honor with Mankiewicz, for nearly $900,000.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


John Ford's 'How Green Was My Valley' won five Academy Awards in 1941, including Best Picture and Director. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Heritage Auctions.

John Ford’s ‘How Green Was My Valley’ won five Academy Awards in 1941, including Best Picture and Director. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Heritage Auctions.

The mural in need of restoration is in Cedar Rapids City Hall. Image by Iowahwyman. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, wants to restore City Hall mural

 The mural in need of restoration is in Cedar Rapids City Hall. Image by Iowahwyman. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The mural in need of restoration is in Cedar Rapids City Hall. Image by Iowahwyman. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – The city of Cedar Rapids wants to restore a Depression-era mural that has been hidden under old paint on a wall in what is now the City Hall council chamber.

The Gazette reports the mural had been painted by an artist or artists supported by the Works Progress Administration, a back-to-work construct of the Franklin Roosevelt administration in the 1930s.

The council chamber was once a courtroom in the former federal courthouse.

A mural on the room’s north wall was uncovered a year ago. A $50,000 grant being sought from the National Endowment for the Arts would be spent on restoring the mural on the room’s south wall.

The murals were painted over, uncovered, and then painted over again in the 1960s.

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Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/

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

AP-WF-02-28-12 1236GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


 The mural in need of restoration is in Cedar Rapids City Hall. Image by Iowahwyman. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The mural in need of restoration is in Cedar Rapids City Hall. Image by Iowahwyman. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Modified pear double rose cut diamond, 3.98 carats. Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Historic royal diamond to fetch millions at auction

Modified pear double rose cut diamond, 3.98 carats. Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Modified pear double rose cut diamond, 3.98 carats. Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

GENEVA (AFP) – The 35-carat pear-shaped diamond Marie de Medici wore at her coronation in 1610, one of the world’s most famous gems, is to be auctioned on May 15, Sotheby’s announced Tuesday.

Passed down through the royal families of France, England, Prussia and the Netherlands, the Beau de Sancy has witnessed 400 years of European history.

“The Beau Sancy is one of the most fascinating and romantic gems ever to appear at auction,” David Bennett, from the auction house’s jewelery department, said in a statement.

The stone—which is expected to fetch up to $4 million—gets its name from diamond collector Nicolas Harley de Sancy, who bought it in Constantinople, now Istanbul, in the late 16th century.

It is believed to have come from the city of Golconda, in central India, where other famous diamonds such as the Kohinoor and the Regent originated.

The 34.98-carat diamond measures 2.3 centimetres in height, is 1.9 cm wide and 1.1 cm deep.

Marie de Medici wore it mounted atop her crown for her coronation on May 13, 1610, the day before her husband, France’s King Henry IV, was assassinated.

The Beau Sancy, which has rarely been shown to the public in recent decades, will go on a world tour from March and will be exhibited in Hong Kong, New York, Rome, Paris, London and Zurich before being sold in Geneva.

According to Sotheby’s, when the last German Emperor and King of Prussia fled to exile in Holland in 1918, the crown jewels—including the Beau Sancy—remained at the Kaiser’s palace in Berlin.

At the end of World War II, the collection was transferred to a bricked-up crypt in Bueckeburg, where it was later found by British troops. It was returned to the House of Prussia, which is now selling it.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Modified pear double rose cut diamond, 3.98 carats. Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Modified pear double rose cut diamond, 3.98 carats. Image courtesy Sotheby’s.