The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Group taking survey of items from SS United States

The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The SS United States Conservancy is planning to compile an inventory of the furnishings, equipment, ephemera and other artifacts of the legendary ocean liner that still exist.

The conservancy made the announcement Monday on its website, which has a survey for owners of items such as light fixtures, dishes, advertisements and souvenirs, ship models, log books, lifejackets and menus.

The nonprofit group owns the historic ship and is working to redevelop it. The conservancy stressed that the survey doesn’t mean it’s looking for collectors to donate their treasures. It said the goal is to eventually make the information available for researchers and historians, connect fans of the ship and identify potential sources of future loans for exhibitions and displays.

“At this stage, we are simply trying to create a comprehensive record of how the SS United States’ legacy endures in material culture and memory,” the conservancy said in a statement.

After decades of false starts and shifting owners, the SS United States Conservancy last year bought the five-block-long ship, known to fans as “Big U,” from Norwegian Cruise Lines and its parent for $3 million.

The estimated $200 million cost to renovate the ship will come from for-profit entities. The conservancy is exploring possible partnerships with as yet unnamed investors in New York and Miami to redevelop the liner as a stationary entertainment complex with a hotel, restaurants, retail, educational and museum components.

Also Monday, the conservancy announced a new partnership with real estate advisory firm New Canaan Advisors LLC to assist in advancing its development plans.

Decommissioned in 1969, towed from port to port for decades, the largest passenger vessel ever constructed in the U.S. has been moored since 1996 at a Delaware River pier in South Philadelphia.

On its 1952 maiden voyage from New York to Le Havre, France, the liner’s 268,000 shaft horsepower engines set a trans-Atlantic speed record: 3 days, 10 hours, 42 minutes. That beat the previous pace by about four hours, setting a record that still stands for a conventional passenger ocean liner.

Built as a joint venture between the Navy and ship designer Gibbs & Cox, the $78 million liner was never called to battle, but could have been converted in a single day to transport 14,000 soldiers.

Instead, it carried heads of state, royalty and celebrities in its 400 round trips. Passengers included Presidents John F. Kennedy, actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco, and England’s King Edward VIII. Then-Rhodes scholar Bill Clinton traveled tourist class—one step above the crew—on his way to Oxford University in 1968.

___

Online:

SS United States Conservancy: http://www.ssusc.org

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

AP-WF-03-26-12 1957GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

‘Survival,’ a watercolor and crayon on paper work signed and dated 1993, brought $1,300 last fall. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

Thornton Dial: Transcending the boundaries of self-taught art

‘Survival,’ a watercolor and crayon on paper work signed and dated 1993, brought $1,300 last fall. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

‘Survival,’ a watercolor and crayon on paper work signed and dated 1993, brought $1,300 last fall. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

The art world has divided its creative cast into artists with academic training in their craft and what might be called spontaneous artists, who paint or sculpt or fashion works just because they feel compelled to do so. The latter are often labeled as outsider, visionary, folk, or simply self-taught artists, and at times they have been judged by slightly different standards from their formally schooled counterparts.

Thornton Dial can be accurately defined as “self-taught,” but his work has transcended such limiting categories. His drawings, paintings and constructions have crossed over into the broader contemporary art field, while retaining the emotional resonance of his historical and cultural influences.

“Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial” is a traveling exhibition organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which presents 70 of the artist’s best works, including 25 on view for the first time. The show will be on display at the New Orleans Museum of Art through May 20; at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., June 30 to Sept. 30; and at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Nov. 3 to Jan. 13.

In an interview before the opening in New Orleans, Joanne Cubbs, the IMA’s adjunct curator of American Art, addressed the pluses and minuses of the “self-taught” pigeonhole: “Like a wide assortment of other artists who work outside the familiar conventions of the established art world, Dial found himself characterized as a ‘folk’ or ‘outsider’ artist.

“Accepted and understood through the lens of these categories, Dial’s work gained important recognition. But at the same time, he has fallen prey to the problematic notions that frequently accompany these terms, to their fetishizing of difference and to their often false characterizations of his art as naïve, innocent or insular.

“Because Dial’s complex and large-scale paintings and sculpture so closely resemble forms of mainstream contemporary art, there has been even further confusion, and he has experienced some extreme highs and lows in the art world’s critical reception and understanding of his work over the years.”

Now in his early 80s, Thornton Dial was born in Emelle, Ala., in 1928 and lived through the cultural changes experienced by blacks living in the South during the 20th century. Cubbs said, “Dial’s art is filled with a vocabulary of repeating symbols that provides clues to the work’s richly layered meanings. He uses the tiger as an avatar of African American struggle and the ability to land on one’s feet despite the imbalances of injustice in a racist world.”

Dial was employed for almost 33 years as a welder for the railway carmaker Pullman Standard Co. and labored at other jobs in the construction field, in the course of which he gained physical skills that have been utilized in his artistic compositions. He always made things, but little survives from his early years. Cubbs explained, “It is true that, until the mid 1980s, Dial maintained a certain amount of secrecy about his work. Fearing reprisals from whites and even fellow blacks who might resent or misunderstand his social commentary, he reportedly hid, recycled or buried many of his earlier creations.”

As folk and “outsider” art emerged as a collecting field in the 1980s and 1990s, Dial’s work gained institutional attention. He was one of the artists included in “Self-Taught Artists of the 20th Century,” a 1998-1999 touring exhibition with a comprehensive catalog organized by the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City.

Dial has produced much new work in the intervening years, as can be seen in the current “Hard Truths” exhibition. Ranging from sensitive charcoal drawings on paper to elaborate assemblages of found materials, these works have helped him break out of the constrictive “self-taught” label and attracted the attention of the broader art market.

Folk art expert Steve Slotin presents two annual auctions in his special field. Next up is The Spring Masterpiece Sale on April 21-22 in Buford, Ga. He is also the director and founder of Atlanta’s Folk Fest, Aug. 17-19, which will include 100 galleries and dealers from around the country.

Slotin has strong opinions about his specialty area: “For a long time this art has been kept out of the mainstream art community. Self-taught art is the most important visual culture America has ever produced.” He particularly cherishes the freedom of American folk art from European academic influence.

He continues, “There are probably about 10 folk art exhibitions traveling the country right now. This is the one true American art form—being shown at museums and being sold at auctions—that’s still affordable to collect. Now a lot of these pieces have gone way up in value, but this is a from-the-ground-up art field where the prices are not set by the artist but by the market.”

In addition to “Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial” in New Orleans, “Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts” is on view in Atlanta through May 13. Another touring exhibition, “Stranger in Paradise: the Work of Reverend Howard Finster,” will be at the Akron (Ohio) Art Museum through June 3.

“We always have examples of Thornton Dial’s work in our auctions,” Slotin points out. “Since we focus on folk art masters, he’s always been one of the artists included. We’ve tried to seek out some of the best pieces available. Some of the smaller pieces are affordable for any collector, even those just getting into folk art. But we occasionally get in large constructions and more important pieces, and they will go to the high-end folk art collector.”

Slotin has observed the growing appeal of Dial and other folk artists to mainstream collectors: “We’ve always had the self-taught art collectors collecting Thornton Dial—always. Because Thornton Dial and a lot of material in the self-taught art field is in the midst of crossing over into the contemporary art field and the mainstream art field, I’ve seen people who don’t typically buy self-taught art from us, buy a piece by Thornton Dial or Bill Traylor or other artists in this area.”

He added, “Dial does have a recurring theme in his work involving tigers and other animals with a lady, particularly in his work over the last two decades. It’s very attractive, and there’s symbolic meaning behind it all. Each piece is always a little different. We will have quite a few works in the April auction. There should be a whole page of the catalog dedicated to him.”

On a concluding note, Joanne Cubbs, curator of the current exhibition said of the artist: “Although his work can be dark, it also expresses the hope that we will somehow find our way through that darkness. Every image of social injustice is actually a call for our betterment. Within each evocation of struggle and ruin, there is always the underlying possibility of human transcendence, moral striving and spiritual regeneration. A unique merging of aesthetics, history, social conscience and metaphysics, Dial’s work moves the discourse of contemporary art into remarkable new territory.”


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


‘Survival,’ a watercolor and crayon on paper work signed and dated 1993, brought $1,300 last fall. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

‘Survival,’ a watercolor and crayon on paper work signed and dated 1993, brought $1,300 last fall. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

This Dial construction titled ‘The Comfort of Moses & Ten Commandments,’ circa 1988, brought $5,000 at a Slotin Folk Art auction in November. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

This Dial construction titled ‘The Comfort of Moses & Ten Commandments,’ circa 1988, brought $5,000 at a Slotin Folk Art auction in November. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

Organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, ‘Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial’ is on view through May 20 at the New Orleans Museum of Art before traveling to the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., and the High Museum in Atlanta. This 2004 work, ‘Stars of Everything,’ is composed of paint with fiber, wood, metal and plastic scraps. Collection of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Photo by Stephen Pitkin.

Organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, ‘Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial’ is on view through May 20 at the New Orleans Museum of Art before traveling to the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., and the High Museum in Atlanta. This 2004 work, ‘Stars of Everything,’ is composed of paint with fiber, wood, metal and plastic scraps. Collection of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Photo by Stephen Pitkin.

Tigers are a favorite subject in Thornton Dial’s work. This ‘Tiger Pouncing on Nude Lady,’ a paint on paper work, sold for $7,000 in April 2012. All results quoted are hammer prices; buyers pay an additional 15 percent premium. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

Tigers are a favorite subject in Thornton Dial’s work. This ‘Tiger Pouncing on Nude Lady,’ a paint on paper work, sold for $7,000 in April 2012. All results quoted are hammer prices; buyers pay an additional 15 percent premium. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

Thornton Dial’s work is filled with images of women. ‘Driving for Safety,’ a pastel and graphite image on paper, sold for $4,000 at auction in November. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

Thornton Dial’s work is filled with images of women. ‘Driving for Safety,’ a pastel and graphite image on paper, sold for $4,000 at auction in November. Courtesy Slotin Folk Art, Gainesville, Ga.

Dial’s sculptural constructions can dominate a room. ‘A Man & His Gator’—paint on plywood and found stump—measures 66 inches by 65 inches. The work sold for $1,050 last year.

Dial’s sculptural constructions can dominate a room. ‘A Man & His Gator’—paint on plywood and found stump—measures 66 inches by 65 inches. The work sold for $1,050 last year.

Another work in the current traveling exhibition, ‘Construction of the Victory,’ 1997, is a composition of found objects and paint on canvas on wood. Collection of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Photo by Stephen Pitkin

Another work in the current traveling exhibition, ‘Construction of the Victory,’ 1997, is a composition of found objects and paint on canvas on wood. Collection of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Photo by Stephen Pitkin

Thornton Dial, 2002. Photograph by David Raccuglia.

Thornton Dial, 2002. Photograph by David Raccuglia.

Bookman's Alley, Evanston, Illinois

Bookman’s Alley autographs lead off Hindman sale Apr. 4

Bookman's Alley, Evanston, Illinois

Bookman’s Alley, Evanston, Illinois

CHICAGO – There is no doubt about it—Chicago is going to miss Bookman’s Alley. When Roger Carlson, owner of the beloved Evanston rare bookstore, he would be quietly closing shop this spring, it made the national news.

Bookman’s Alley is one of the few rare bookstores in the country that has managed to remain open without the aid of Internet sales, making it, also, one of the only rare bookstores where one can still get lost in the stacks and find a hidden treasure.

Carlson’s devoted regulars would spend hours settled into one of the comfy couches surrounded by his knickknacks, listening to jazz or perhaps a live performance on the upright piano.

Gracing the walls of Bookman’s Alley for the last three decades were numerous autographed quotations, letters and postcards from some of history’s most celebrated authors, musicians and historical figures. On Wednesday, April 4, the public will have the opportunity to bid on the autographs, which will be offered at auction by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers as the first 25 lots of the Spring Fine Books and Manuscripts Auction.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Hand-picked by Carlson, for their content, rarity and wittiness, the collection boasts a number of impressive items, such as a rare postcard sent from F. Scott Fitzgerald while in “The Sahara,” stating: “‘The Sahara’ will reach me—or ‘Sheik Fitzgerald—Africa,’” with an original photograph of Scott and Zelda atop camels; a rare photograph of Joseph Conrad taken by Malcolm Arbuthnot signed by both photographer and author; a pension document signed by Napoleon granting the wife of a former general 200 francs; a hand-written letter from Nathaniel Hawthorne to a magazine stating he wishes to repay his $3 debt to them prior to leaving the country; and a handwritten note from John Philip Sousa to a young musician, giving advice as to which instrument he should pursue and, regardless of the choice, “stick to it.”

Together with the autographs are two high spots of literature, specifically the first Latin edition Systema cosmicum, Galileo’s advancement of the Copernican system that was notoriously placed on the Vatican’s list of outlawed books, and a fine first edition, first issue, of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

An exhibition will be open to the public on Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday, April 1, noon-5 p.m., Monday, April 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Tuesday, April 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For further information regarding the sale, contact Mary Williams Kohnke at 312-334-4236 or visit the Leslie Hindman Auctioneers 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


Fitzgerald F. Scott, Autographed Postcard signed ('Scott Fitzgerald') $3/5,000

 

Fitzgerald F. Scott, Autographed Postcard signed (‘Scott Fitzgerald’) $3/5,000

Galilei Galileo, Systema cosmicum, $8/12,000

 

Galilei Galileo, Systema cosmicum, $8/12,000

A pair of Chinese Qing Qianlong cloisonne vases depicting dragons and scrolling lotus, raised on original rosewood stands sold for $147,000. The estimate was $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

Asian antiques power Dallas Auction Gallery sale to $1.7M

A pair of Chinese Qing Qianlong cloisonne vases depicting dragons and scrolling lotus, raised on original rosewood stands sold for $147,000. The estimate was $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

A pair of Chinese Qing Qianlong cloisonne vases depicting dragons and scrolling lotus, raised on original rosewood stands sold for $147,000. The estimate was $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

DALLAS – More than 700 bidders from around the world bid on an incredible collection of over 390 lots of Asian art, porcelains, ivory and jade at Dallas Auction Gallery on March 14. Porcelains were the highlight of the evening, led by a pair of Chinese Qing Qianlong cloisonne vases, which sold on the auction house floor, for $147,000. Prices include the buyer’s premium unless otherwise noted.

Other highlights included two impressive Chinese Republic revolving and reticulated porcelain vases from an estate in Oklahoma City that sold for an impressive $110,250, and a Chinese late Ming or early Qing carved rhinoceros horn libation cup that went to a bidder on liveauctioneers.com  for $91,875.

Dallas Auction Gallery continues to prove themselves as a major player in the Asian antique and fine art market, conducting two Asian antiques auctions each year producing over $5 million.

“We are pleased with the number of bidders and the results that we achieved. I appreciate the relationships we have built over the past 10 years with both our buyers and consignors, and I look forward to the rest of our 2012 auction schedule,” said Scott Shuford, president of Dallas Auction Gallery.

Other standouts were a Chinese Qing carved GIA translucent jadeite pendant that sold for $45,937; a Chinese Qing large porcelain Tianqiu vase depicting fish, shrimp and crabs, $26,250; a pair of Chinese carved ivory wrist rests, $22,050; and a pair of large Chinese Qing Da Ya Zhai-style porcelain ginger jars, $19,600.

Bidding was available through liveauctioneers.com, dallasauctiongallery.com, in person and by phone. Dallas Auction Gallery will be selling more Asian antiques and fine art May 23.

Dallas Auction Gallery welcomes quality consignments. For more information visit www.dallasauctiongallery.com or call 214-653-3900.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


A pair of Chinese Qing Qianlong cloisonne vases depicting dragons and scrolling lotus, raised on original rosewood stands sold for $147,000. The estimate was $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

A pair of Chinese Qing Qianlong cloisonne vases depicting dragons and scrolling lotus, raised on original rosewood stands sold for $147,000. The estimate was $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

A Chinese late Ming or early Qing carved rhinoceros horn libation cup sold for $91,875, with an estimate of $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

 

A Chinese late Ming or early Qing carved rhinoceros horn libation cup sold for $91,875, with an estimate of $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

This 12-inch-tall Chinese Republic revolving and reticulated porcelain vase within a vase had openwork finely painted to depict peaches and scrolling lotus. It sold for $55,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Image courtesy Dallas Auction  Gallery.

This 12-inch-tall Chinese Republic revolving and reticulated porcelain vase within a vase had openwork finely painted to depict peaches and scrolling lotus. It sold for $55,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

The smaller Chinese Republic revolving and reticulated porcelain vase within a vase, which had an interior depicting figures reading scrolls and playing games, hammered for $35,000. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

The smaller Chinese Republic revolving and reticulated porcelain vase within a vase, which had an interior depicting figures reading scrolls and playing games, hammered for $35,000. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

The Chinese Xuande imperial gilt bronze green Tara sold at mid-estimate for $61,250. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

The Chinese Xuande imperial gilt bronze green Tara sold at mid-estimate for $61,250. Image courtesy Dallas Auction Gallery.

The top lot of the sale was this rare and masterfully carved rhino horn libation cup, which sold for $318,600 to a bidder in Shanghai. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Horn libation cup soars to $318,600 at Elite Decorative Arts

The top lot of the sale was this rare and masterfully carved rhino horn libation cup, which sold for $318,600 to a bidder in Shanghai. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

The top lot of the sale was this rare and masterfully carved rhino horn libation cup, which sold for $318,600 to a bidder in Shanghai. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A rare and masterfully carved Chinese rhinoceros horn libation cup from the 17th or 18th century, just 4 inches tall and fitted to a reticulated teakwood base, sold for $318,600—$68,000 more than the high estimate—at a sale of Asian antiques held March 17-18 by Elite Decorative Arts, at the firm’s gallery.

“We expected the rhino horn cup to be the centerpiece lot of the auction, and we were not disappointed,” said Scott Cieckiewicz of Elite Decorative Arts. “The object sparked a spirited bidding war before an Internet bidder in Shanghai finally emerged the winner.” Cieckiewicz added that the two-day sale grossed about $1.1 million. “It was an excellent auction,” he said.

The rhinoceros horn was of a gently flaring form. It was finely relief carved as a wooded jungle and rendered in high relief to depict a village scene with trees and people working and resting. One side showed scholars climbing the side of a rock mountain, with many types of trees. The other side depicted a family at the base and a tall peony tree growing alongside a rock.

The auction literally attracted worldwide attention. Of the estimated 1,000 registered bidders (the vast majority of whom participated online, through LiveAuctioneers.com), more than 100 were from Asia, about 65 were from Europe and a smattering hailed from Australia, South America and Africa. Phone and absentee bids were also accepted.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a buyer’s premium of 15 percent for in-house and phone bids and 18 percent for Internet bids.

Two other lots topped the $100,000 mark. The first was a large, five-panel, 18th century Chinese throne screen made from Zitan wood and possibly given as a wedding present for someone of high imperial status. It brought $153,400. The use of Zitan for furniture was favored especially by the Ming and Qing imperial courts and its use was restricted to palace workshops.

The other lot was a large genuine rhinoceros horn from the 18th or 19th century, with no carving at all. The antique horn measured 26 inches in length and was 18 1/4 inches in girth at its widest point, with a total weight of 3,666 grams. The horn realized $109,250. Its provenance was quite intriguing: Hoover Vacuum owned it, having acquired it from the Lord Montague Museum.

The auction featured many examples of imperial quality Chinese hand-carved red coral group figures, which were stunning in their attention to detail. Dating to the Ch’ing dynasty, the beautifully carved figures varied in size from 7 to about 17 inches in height. They were perched on handsome fitted wooden bases, and some even boasted gorgeous silver inlay.

A palatial Chinese hand-carved red coral maiden group figure, impressive and large (17 1/2 inches tall), depicting two maidens with flowers and birds, incredibly carved throughout, with high attention to detail, hammered for $36,800; and a fine Chinese red coral immortals figure group depicting immortals, servants, pine trees, leaves a stork and flowers, finished at $31,050.

An exquisite Chinese hand-carved red coral figure from the late Qing dynasty, depicting a mother holding flowers with her two daughters playing at her side, masterfully carved and with incredible detail throughout, breezed to $31,050; and a massive (19 inches tall, 10 inches wide) carved Chinese red coral figure depicting Guan Yin with four birds, changed hands for $31,050.

A superb Chinese hand-carved red coral figure depicting a seated happy Buddha holding a sack to his right hand with a beaded necklace and coins and a flowing robe, from the Late Qing period, fetched $28,750, and a Chinese relief carved coral group depicting a mother with a young child climbing a tree, also depicting peaches and a paradise bird, circa 20th century, hit $27,600.

A finely carved Chinese red coral group figure depicting three children holding up a fourth child who is riding them like a horse, finely detailed throughout and signed at the bottom “Zhu Yun,” from the Cultural Revolution period, rose to $19,550; and a 20th century Chinese relief carved coral group figure of seven children playing around a tree and table made $14,160.

Rounding out just some of the auction’s top lots, a pair of stunning antique Chinese enameled pottery four-panel plaque table screens, each screen having four porcelain panels with a raised horses design, went for $13,570. The 19th century screens also had trees, people, fences and rock formations. Each plaque was 17 inches tall, 5 1/2 inches wide.

Elite Decorative Arts has two auctions planned for the immediate future. The first will be a general decorative arts sale, plus about 100 Chinese works of art, slated for Saturday, March 31. The second, scheduled for Saturday, April 28, will feature decorative arts, artwork and estate jewelry. Both will be held in the firm’s gallery at Quantum Town Center in Boynton Beach, Fla.

Elite Decorative Arts is always accepting quality items. To consign an item, estate or a collection call them at 561-200-0893 or toll-free 800-991-3340 or email info@eliteauction.com. To learn more about Elite Decorative Arts and the March 31 and April 28 auctions, log on to www.eliteauction.com. Updates are posted often.

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


The top lot of the sale was this rare and masterfully carved rhino horn libation cup, which sold for $318,600 to a bidder in Shanghai. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

The top lot of the sale was this rare and masterfully carved rhino horn libation cup, which sold for $318,600 to a bidder in Shanghai. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Large five-panel imperial throne screen made from zitan wood, 133 inches long. It sold  for $153,400. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Large five-panel imperial throne screen made from zitan wood, 133 inches long. It sold for $153,400. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Antique 17th or 18th century genuine rhinoceros horn, uncarved, 26 inches long. Price realized: $109,250. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Antique 17th or 18th century genuine rhinoceros horn, uncarved, 26 inches long. Price realized: $109,250. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Impressive large imperial quality Chinese hand-carved red coral group figure. Price realized: $36,800. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Impressive large imperial quality Chinese hand-carved red coral group figure. Price realized: $36,800. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Superb Chinese hand-carved red coral figure depicting a seated happy Buddha. Price realized: $28,750. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Superb Chinese hand-carved red coral figure depicting a seated happy Buddha. Price realized: $28,750. Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Chinese relief carved coral group figure of children playing around a tree and table. Price realized $14,160). Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Chinese relief carved coral group figure of children playing around a tree and table. Price realized $14,160). Image courtesy Elite Decorative Auctions.

Fenway Park, Boston, as seen from Legends' box. Photo by UCinternational, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Mass. quilt museum preparing Fenway tribute

Fenway Park, Boston, as seen from Legends' box. Photo by UCinternational, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Fenway Park, Boston, as seen from Legends’ box. Photo by UCinternational, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) – The New England Quilt Museum is preparing a tribute to the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park to mark the 100th anniversary of the ballpark’s opening.

On Thursday, March 29, the Lowell museum opens an exhibit of about 30 quilts that portray the players, the park or the game that’s been played at Fenway since it opened in April 1912.

The museum’s Maureen Smith says the quiltmakers are all Red Sox fanatics who wanted to capture some of what’s made Fenway special over the last century.

The quilts are modern art, and they’re made as wall hangings, not bed covers. Some of the larger quilts would measure about four feet wide by four feet long.

The exhibit opens Thursday, but the official opening reception is Saturday, March 31.

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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


Fenway Park, Boston, as seen from Legends' box. Photo by UCinternational, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Fenway Park, Boston, as seen from Legends’ box. Photo by UCinternational, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Illustration of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, from 'The Photographic History of The Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume Four, The Cavalry.' The Review of Reviews Co., New York. published 1911. p. 278.

Bust of Confederate general, Klan leader missing in Selma

Illustration of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, from 'The Photographic History of The Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume Four, The Cavalry.' The Review of Reviews Co., New York. published 1911. p. 278.

Illustration of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, from ‘The Photographic History of The Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume Four, The Cavalry.’ The Review of Reviews Co., New York. published 1911. p. 278.

SELMA, Ala. — Who’s got the general’s head?

It’s a question making the rounds in Selma since earlier this month, when a bronze bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest vanished from atop a 7-foot-tall granite monument at Live Oak Cemetery.

Sons of Confederate Veterans members were outraged when it happened and have been busy raising reward money to see if loose lips just might sink the culprit’s ship.

Attorney Faya Rose Toure, the most vocal Forrest critic in Selma, said she didn’t have anything to do with the disappearance, but she is happy it happened and even volunteered to defend the guilty party or parties — if caught — “free of charge.”

“(Forrest) was a domestic terrorist, and I think the man who took (the bust) did us all a favor,” said Toure, formerly known as Rose Sanders, the wife of state Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma.

Selma Police Chief William Riley said an investigation is continuing into the theft, but no arrests have been made.

The bust, kept in the cemetery’s Confederate Circle, apparently was taken on the night of March 9, but no one noticed it was missing for a few days.

Copper and bronze have frequently been stolen from houses and businesses in Selma and taken to junk yards for cash. The swiping of the bust may not have been done for monetary reasons, however.

That’s because of the way it was stolen. No sledgehammer was used to knock it off the granite monument. It had been carefully removed from the top, leaving behind eight holes where it had been bolted to the base.

The Forrest memorial had a history in Selma long before the bust was removed from the cemetery.

Attorney Faya Rose Toure, the most vocal Forrest critic in Selma , said she didn’t have anything to do with the disappearance, but she is happy it happened and even volunteered to defend the guilty party or parties — if caught — “free of charge.”

In October 2000, the monument was erected in front of the Smitherman Building, formerly a Confederate hospital and now a museum. It didn’t take long for angry black residents to begin calling for the monument’s removal. Protesters dumped garbage on it, and demonstrators tried to yank it off the heavy base.

“Jews would not tolerate a statue of Hitler in their neighborhood and what they put up in our neighborhood back then was pretty much the same thing,” Toure said. “Descendants of those who enslaved us insist on honoring someone with Klan connections.”

The City Council voted to move the monument from outside the building to the city cemetery in 2001, but Toure said the bust still has “no place” on public property.

A group called “The Friends of Forrest” raised the $25,000 to pay for the monument, saying it represents a man of honor, gallantry and military leadership. In Ken Burns’ acclaimed TV documentary, “The Civil War,” historian Shelby Foote noted that America’s bloodiest war produced “two authentic geniuses — Abraham Lincoln and Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.”

Forrest and his weary troops arrived in Selma in the waning days of the Civil War, knowing they didn’t have a chance as they were outnumbered by Union cavalry bent on punishing the city, one of only two arms manufacturing centers in the Confederacy. The city bore the brunt of a punitive Union raid on April 2, 1865.

After losing the Battle of Selma, Forrest returned to Tennessee and resumed his successful business activities. Along the way he also helped to organize the Ku Klux Klan.

Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans view Forrest as a hero of the first order, a brave leader known as the “Wizard of the Saddle.” Critics say “wizard” was an apt description, as in Grand Wizard of the Klan.

Forrest resigned from the Klan when he felt it had become too violent and disbanded it at the same time. That didn’t erase the fact that he had been a Klan leader.

The Battle of Selma is commemorated every April in an event held not far from the actual site of the clash. Re-enactors from across the country come to town to re-create one of the last battles of the Civil War.

James Hammonds, who has helped direct the re-enactment each year and supplies his own artillery unit, said Forrest has been acknowledged “as one of the best fighting generals to come out of the Civil War on either side.” Hammonds said he has told the police chief the “re-enacting community” has had a “keen interest” in the investigation “and I think he sees this as an economic crime.”

“I have personal knowledge that material salvage crime is rampant in this area of town,” Hammonds said. “We should do more to interpret and protect our great resource at Live Oak Cemetery. I hope the bust is recovered or replaced.”

Forrest devotees are expected to raise as much as $20,000 in reward money and announce it soon.

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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


Illustration of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, from 'The Photographic History of The Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume Four, The Cavalry.' The Review of Reviews Co., New York. published 1911. p. 278.

Illustration of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, from ‘The Photographic History of The Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume Four, The Cavalry.’ The Review of Reviews Co., New York. published 1911. p. 278.

Opening day at Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, Texas. Ginny and Ben Smith, Maison de France Antiques. Image courtesy Marburger Farm Antique Show.

Brian Brandt named marketing director at Marburger Farm

Opening day at Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, Texas. Ginny and Ben Smith, Maison de France Antiques. Image courtesy Marburger Farm Antique Show.

Opening day at Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, Texas. Ginny and Ben Smith, Maison de France Antiques. Image courtesy Marburger Farm Antique Show.

ROUND TOP, Texas – Brian Brandt of Tyler, Texas, has been named marketing director of the Marburger Farm Antique Show.

He replaces Rick McConn, who has left the show to pursue other business interests, said Jay Ferguson, owner of Marburger Operating Co.

Brandt’s contact information is 407 W. Seventh St., Tyler TX 75701. E-mail brian@marburgershow.com and phone 903-316-2540.

Marburger Farm Antique Show’s spring event in Round Top is April 3-7. The fall show is Oct. 2-6.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Opening day at Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, Texas. Ginny and Ben Smith, Maison de France Antiques. Image courtesy Marburger Farm Antique Show.

Opening day at Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, Texas. Ginny and Ben Smith, Maison de France Antiques. Image courtesy Marburger Farm Antique Show.

'Relection (Self-portrait),' 1985, Copyright: Private Collection, Ireland. The Lucian Freud Archive. Photo: The Lucian Freud Archive.

Annual attendance tops 2M at England’s National Portrait Gallery

'Relection (Self-portrait),' 1985, Copyright: Private Collection, Ireland. The Lucian Freud Archive. Photo: The Lucian Freud Archive.

‘Relection (Self-portrait),’ 1985, Copyright: Private Collection, Ireland. The Lucian Freud Archive. Photo: The Lucian Freud Archive.

LONDON – The National Portrait Gallery this week welcomed its 2 millionth visitor—a milestone that sets up the highest annual figures in the gallery’s history when they are published at the end of the month.

The group of visitors through the door when the figure of 2 million was reached was given a surprise welcome by the gallery’s director, Sandy Nairne.

The Cara family from Northampton—Melanie, 45, Dave, 44, both doctors, and Josh, 14—were presented with a year’s membership to the gallery (offering them special previews, discounts and free admission to all paying exhibitions), a £100 voucher for the Portrait Restaurant and copies of the Gallery Guide and Highlights book.

“This is wonderful. I’m a regular visitor to the National Portrait Gallery and most of my knowledge of the history of British monarchs was learnt from my visits here over the years, “ said Dave Cara.

The Caras were the 2 millionth visitors recorded since the 2011-12 financial year started last April (the full figures will be published at the end of this month).

Last year’s figure was 1.8 million while the gallery’s previous highest ever figure in 2009-10 was 1.96 million visits.

The period included the three most-visited months in the gallery’s history: February 2012 and July and August 2011.

One-hundred thousand people have already visited the hugely popular “Lucian Freud Portraits,” and last year’s “BP Portrait Award 2011” exhibition—free entry made possible by BP’s sponsorship—received the largest number of visitors for any National Portrait Gallery exhibition (341,050).

“The growing popularity of the National Portrait Gallery is made possible by having creative and hardworking staff, dedicated volunteers and great trustees, supported through an enterprising combination of public and private sector funding,” said Nairne, gallery director .


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


'Relection (Self-portrait),' 1985, Copyright: Private Collection, Ireland. The Lucian Freud Archive. Photo: The Lucian Freud Archive.

‘Relection (Self-portrait),’ 1985, Copyright: Private Collection, Ireland. The Lucian Freud Archive. Photo: The Lucian Freud Archive.

Courtesy of ComicConnect.com

DC Comics’ check that paid for Superman character off to auction

Courtesy of ComicConnect.com

Courtesy of ComicConnect.com

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seven decades after it was issued by DC Comics, the check sent to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster for their creation of Superman is up for auction.

Made out to the duo for $412, the check includes a line item for $130 showing that DC paid for full ownership and rights to the man from Krypton and paved the way for comic books, TV, radio and films. But, a legal dispute over creator’s rights to the character is still far from settled.

Stephen Fishler, CEO of ComicConnect.com and Metropolis Collectibles, said the check went up for auction Monday through April 16. By late Monday night, bidding had jumped from $1 to $20,500.

He said the check is a touchstone for the comic book industry because it represents the launching of the Golden Age of superheroes.

“It is an important historic document … related to comic books,” he said. “There is a quality to it that talks about the American dream, to create something and be successful. Obviously, in this case, there are two parties, both feeling that they are right.”

Siegel and Shuster created Superman together while teenagers in Cleveland, Ohio, in the early 1930s. The character’s first appearance was in “Action Comics” No. 1 in April 1938.

The check was saved by a staffer at DC Comics in the 1970s whose heirs consigned it to ComicConnect, Fishler said, adding that it sat undisturbed in a drawer for 38 years.

“That $130 check essentially created a billion dollar industry,” said Vincent Zurzolo, who co-owns ComicConnect with Fishler. “Without this check being written out by DC Comics, there would be no Superman, and thereby no Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, X-Men, or any of the other characters that came into existence after the concept of the superhero was born with Superman.”

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Follow Matt Moore at www.twitter.com/mattmooreap

On the Net:

http://bit.ly/GSNYCt

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


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Courtesy of ComicConnect.com

Courtesy of ComicConnect.com

Cover of Action Comics #1 (June 1938, DC Comics) featuring Superman's debut. Art by Joe Shuster, color by Jack Adler. Source: Grand Comics Database. Fair use of copyrighted image under US Copyright Law. All DC Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are Trademarks & Copyright 1938 DC Comics, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Cover of Action Comics #1 (June 1938, DC Comics) featuring Superman’s debut. Art by Joe Shuster, color by Jack Adler. Source: Grand Comics Database. Fair use of copyrighted image under US Copyright Law. All DC Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are Trademarks & Copyright 1938 DC Comics, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.