The first Confederate national flag with 7 stars (March 4, 1861 – May 21, 1861). Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Museum of the Confederacy to present flag program

The first Confederate national flag with 7 stars (March 4, 1861 – May 21, 1861). Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The first Confederate national flag with 7 stars (March 4, 1861 – May 21, 1861). Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

RICHMOND, Va. – “The Confederate Flags of 1861: From Secession To War” is the topic of a program to be presented by former associate editor of Blue and Gray Magazine and well-known flag expert Greg Biggs. The program takes place Saturday, June 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. EDT at the Museum of the Confederacy.

From the fall of 1860 through November 1861, the Southern states created a number of banners to reflect their feelings and thoughts on the issues of the day. Often using old Revolutionary War symbols, the flags made in this time were some of the most diverse that would be created during the war. State flags came into use as well as distinctive company level colors as those units were raised. New regiments carried a variety of flags that become more standardized when the Confederate States of America created its first national flag. That banner often caused some identity confusion on the battlefield so the desire to create a “war flag” led to the adoption of the first specific battle flag for a confederate army.

Cost is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Guests will also be treated to tours of the museum’s flag vault. Hors d’oeuvres and spirits will be provided. Register online at www.moc.org or contact Will Glasco at 855-649-1861 ext. 143 or email at wglasco@moc.org.

The Museum of the Confederacy is a private, nonprofit educational institution. The museum and White House are located in downtown Richmond in the historic Court End neighborhood, in addition to its new location in Appomattox. The museum owns the world’s largest collection of artifacts and documents related to the Confederate States of America. The museum is at 1201 E. Clay St.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The first Confederate national flag with 7 stars (March 4, 1861 – May 21, 1861). Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The first Confederate national flag with 7 stars (March 4, 1861 – May 21, 1861). Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Pietenpol Air Camper is a simple homebuilt aircraft, which was designed and flown by Bernard H. Pietenpol in 1928. Image courtesy Air Zoo, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Its pilot grounded, homemade plane held aloft at museum

 The Pietenpol Air Camper is a simple homebuilt aircraft, which was designed and flown by Bernard H. Pietenpol in 1928. Image courtesy Air Zoo, Kalamazoo, Mich.

The Pietenpol Air Camper is a simple homebuilt aircraft, which was designed and flown by Bernard H. Pietenpol in 1928. Image courtesy Air Zoo, Kalamazoo, Mich.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) – It took 38 years before Bob Humbert took off in his homebuilt airplane.

Now the plane will never touch down again.

“It looks great,” Humbert said last week, looking up to see the aircraft suspended from the ceiling of the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.

Humbert, 74, recently had his first look after donating the single-engine Pietenpol Air Camper to the aeronautical museum, just south of the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport.

“To have it there means a whole lot,” Humbert said. “It’s like a life’s dream come true.”

A microbiologist who retired from the Kellogg Co. in 1997, Humbert has a love of flying.

He started planning the plane in the mid-1960s and constructing it on his dining room table. He expected to build the plane in a couple of years.

Instead, work and family interfered and he soloed the plane on June 22, 2007.

Federal regulations require that the pilot of a homebuilt plane fly it 40 hours before taking passengers or flying farther than 25 miles from the airport.

He had planned to take his wife, Dortha, as his first passenger but just as he reached the 40-hour mark he developed positional vertigo. He never flew the plane again and his wife’s only ride was to taxi on the runway.

The plane is a single-engine, open cockpit monoplane designed to be powered by a Ford Model A engine. The first ones were flown in 1929.

“It was a real novelty at the time,” he said. “People didn’t believe that an aircraft could be powered by an automobile engine.”

He once described the plane as low and slow and said he chose to build it “because it can land on a grass strip and you can feel the wind. It’s a different kind of adventure than getting up and going 200 miles an hour.”

He modified the plane by installing an aircraft engine but otherwise the design of a wood structure covered with fabric was original.

“The design goes back so far and has been in use for so long,” he said. “The planes are still being built today.”

But by last year Humbert said he knew because of the vertigo, he would not be able to fly anymore and began thinking about what to

For the last eight years he has volunteered at the Air Zoo.

“I started volunteering just because of my love of aviation,” Humbert said, “and my love of aircraft and the opportunity to be around airplanes and learning more about them and talking to people on a regular basis who love them and have knowledge of them.”

So the Air Zoo was his first choice for the plane.

“It is probably one of the finest non-governmental aviation museums in the Midwest,” he said.

“It is unusual for them to take a homebuilt unless there is a special interest. But I think the age and the uniqueness of the design is part of why the Air Zoo accepted it.”

Humbert talked to Bob Ellis, president and CEO and Ellis came to Battle Creek to look at the plane late last year.

In December it was dismantled and placed on a trailer and hauled to the Air Zoo. It was reassembled and is now hanging in the former East Campus and what will become the Restoration Center. That portion of the Air Zoo should be open to the public this summer and will contain several planes and will allow people to watch work on restoring aircraft.

Humbert, now battling cancer, recently visited the building and saw the plane for the first time since it left Battle Creek.

The visit was a time for him to see staff and other volunteers and for Ellis to explain that the display was as much about Humbert as the plane.

“All the planes have a story,” he said. “This one is an example of an early home-built aircraft and shows innovation.”

But more than that, he said the plane is also about Humbert and flying.

“This is all about the dreams and the passions that are the stories of flight,” Ellis said. “And you have to know the story that Bob had a dream 40 years ago and that dream came true.

“It is a story about dreaming,” he said. “And this plane will always be flying.”

___

Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com

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

AP-WF-05-28-12 0807GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


 The Pietenpol Air Camper is a simple homebuilt aircraft, which was designed and flown by Bernard H. Pietenpol in 1928. Image courtesy Air Zoo, Kalamazoo, Mich.

The Pietenpol Air Camper is a simple homebuilt aircraft, which was designed and flown by Bernard H. Pietenpol in 1928. Image courtesy Air Zoo, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Would your father like this? It's shaped like a guillotine and works like one when cutting off the end of a cigar. It auctioned in November for $1,464 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans. It should be kept out of the reach of children.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of May 28, 2012

Would your father like this? It's shaped like a guillotine and works like one when cutting off the end of a cigar. It auctioned in November for $1,464 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans. It should be kept out of the reach of children.

Would your father like this? It’s shaped like a guillotine and works like one when cutting off the end of a cigar. It auctioned in November for $1,464 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans. It should be kept out of the reach of children.

Father’s Day is coming in June, so think ahead and try to find a unique gift for your father. Shop at a flea market or antiques shop.

Some of today’s movies and TV series have made the “look” of the 1950s and ’60s popular. Shirts with buttonholes, not buttons, on sleeve cuffs need cufflinks. Most dealers who sell jewelry also sell inexpensive and unusual vintage cufflinks—costume jewelry links more than 50 years old—for $10 to $30. Expensive silver and gold cufflinks with precious stones can sell for $750 to $1,000.

The breast pocket handkerchief also has come back. These often are seen at flea markets, carefully folded and stacked, at prices from $2 to $15. Old toy trains, cars and games are easy to find, and so are bookends, duck decoys and tools. The list is almost endless.

Smoking is out of style, but all the collectibles associated with smoking are easy to find. Ashtrays, old lithographed tin boxes that held tobacco, bargain-priced carved Meershaum pipes with amber mouthpieces, advertising signs and cigarette lighters are interesting gifts even if your father doesn’t smoke.

The most unusual find this year originally was used by a cigar smoker, but it probably is displayed on a library shelf today, useless but fun. It is a French walnut and ivory cigar cutter shaped like a small guillotine. The 19th-century oddity, called a “Guillotube,” is 17 3/4 inches high and has a working blade. Keep it locked away from children. It’s a macabre reminder of the French Revolution and of the danger of smoking cigars. It sold for $1,464 at a 2011 auction in New Orleans.

Q: I own an Eames lounge chair and ottoman I purchased in the 1970s. I have had offers from dealers who want to purchase the set even though the leather on the ottoman is heavily worn. If I have the ottoman re-covered, would I increase the set’s value?

A: The famous Eames lounge chair and ottoman have been in continuous production since 1956. In the United States, the manufacturer since the beginning has been Herman Miller Inc., of Zeeland, Mich. We suspect that your chair interests dealers because of the plywood frame’s finish. Chairs that have plywood frames with Brazilian rosewood veneer sell for high prices because an embargo on Brazilian rosewood has been in place since 1992. Don’t bother re-covering the ottoman.

Q: I have a color woodcut print by Paul Jacoulet called Joaquina et sa mere. It is signed and numbered “163.” My mother-in-law wrote on the back that the first print in the series was given to Pope Pius XII. I’m interested in learning the value of this print.

A: Paul Jacoulet (1902-1960) was born in France and spent most of his life in Japan. He made Japanese woodblock prints that were issued in series and sold by subscription. Each series had a distinctive seal, such as a sparrow or butterfly. The complete title of your print is Joaquina et sa mere au Sermon du Pere Pon. That roughly translates to “Joaquina and her mother to the sermon of Father Pon,” so perhaps that was why it was given to the Pope. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago sold this print for $620 in 2011.

Q: I have an old Winchester poster advertising hunting rifles. At the bottom of the poster are the words, “Winchester Western, copyright 1908 by Winchester Repeating Arms Co., American Lithograph Co., N.Y.” The poster, 15 5/8 by 20 1/2 inches, pictures two black men and a dog running away from a skunk emerging from a hollow log. I paid $45 for it. Is it worth more than that?

A: We don’t know if your poster is a copy of the original or a trimmed original. We do know that the originals were larger, 25 1/4 by 33 1/2 inches, and that they were printed with a title along the bottom: Shoot Them and Avoid Trouble. It is believed that Winchester recalled many of the posters because of the title’s racist overtones and trimmed the posters (to cut the title off) for redistribution to Winchester dealers. If you had an uncut original in excellent condition, it could sell for more than $3,000. If you have a trimmed original, it might be worth $500. Copies sell for about $35-$40.

Q: In a house we were cleaning out after a death in our family, we found a round collector’s plate that pictures the Madonna and Child. The picture is signed “Jessie Willcox Smith.” What can you tell me about the plate and the artist?

A: Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935) was a famous American illustrator whose work was used extensively in magazines and children’s books. She was born in Philadelphia and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts there before taking classes from Howard Pyle, another well-known illustrator. Collector plates using Smith’s images were first made well after her death. They don’t sell for more than about $20. Check the back of your plate to see if there is a mark that may help you date the plate and identify the company that made it.

Tip: Allergic to dust and dust mites? Put old stuffed animals in a sealed plastic bag, then put the bag in your freezer for 24 hours. The temperature will kill dust mites and their eggs.

Take advantage of a free listing for your group to announce events or to find antique shows and other events. Go to Kovels.com/calendar to find and plan your antiquing trips.

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.

  • Olympic banner, 1984 Summer Olympics, Los Angeles, white, purple “L,” pink “A,” red “8,” turquoise “4,” 22 x 48 inches, $20.
  • Mechanical bank, “Old Time Uncle Sam,” plastic, place coin in Uncle Sam’s hand, push button, coin drops in bag, copyright J.S.N.Y., Hong Kong, 1974, 8 3/4 x 4 1/4 inches, $40.
  • Stamp holder, celluloid envelope, ad for Parke’s coffee on one side, ad for Gold Camel Tea on other, insert for stamps, Meek Co., Coshocton, Ohio, circa 1910, 2 1/4 x 1 3/4 inches, $45.
  • Boy Scouts booklet, The Boy Scout Plan, celluloid cover, image of American flag, circa 1915, 3 3/4 x 2 3/4 in., four pages, $60.
  • Prohibition pennant, felt, “Make Ohio Dry” on one side, “Ohio Is Going Dry” on other, black, white letters, orange trim, 1915, 17 inches, $85.
  • American flag, 46 stars, silk, black pole, 1908, custom-made wooden case, 17 x 12 inches, $125.
  • Red Wing pottery flower frog, seahorse on coral base, glossy ivory glaze, circa 1942, 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches, $150.
  • Man’s linen suit, white, mother-of-pearl buttons, cuffed pants with button fly, “Tailored by Goodall” label, 1930s, size 30 pants, $295.
  • Coca-Cola carton topper, image of Eddie Fisher, die-cut cardboard, “On Radio, KRHD-Radio,” 1954, 20 x 12 inches, $475.
  • Serving table, William IV, carved mahogany, backsplash with scroll terminals, stretcher shelf, turned vase-shape supports, turned feet, circa 1840, 36 1/2 x 53 inches, $1,075.

Contemporary, modern and mid-century ceramics made since 1950 are among the hottest collectibles today. Our special report, “Kovels’ Buyers’ Guide to Modern Ceramics, Mid-Century to Contemporary” identifies important pottery by American and European makers. Includes more than 65 factories and 70 studio artists, each with a mark and dates. Works by major makers, including Claude Conover, Guido Gambone and Lucie Rie, as well as potteries like Gustavsberg, Metlox and Sascha Brastoff, are shown in color photos. Find the “sleepers” at house sales and flea markets. Special Report, 2010, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in., 64 pages. Available only from Kovels. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at Kovels.com; or send $25 plus $4.95 postage and handling to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2012 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Would your father like this? It's shaped like a guillotine and works like one when cutting off the end of a cigar. It auctioned in November for $1,464 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans. It should be kept out of the reach of children.

Would your father like this? It’s shaped like a guillotine and works like one when cutting off the end of a cigar. It auctioned in November for $1,464 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans. It should be kept out of the reach of children.

Pair of 19th-century, Louis XVI-style ormolu and patinated-bronze chenets modeled as a poodle and a cat, est. $4,000-$6,000. Quinn’s image.

Circa-1870 horse weathervane, Hale Woodruff art at Quinn’s, June 9

Pair of 19th-century, Louis XVI-style ormolu and patinated-bronze chenets modeled as a poodle and a cat, est. $4,000-$6,000. Quinn’s image.

Pair of 19th-century, Louis XVI-style ormolu and patinated-bronze chenets modeled as a poodle and a cat, est. $4,000-$6,000. Quinn’s image.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – On June 9, Washington, D.C.-area estate specialists Quinn’s will present at auction — with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com — an outstanding selection of fine and decorative art with an international flavor. Most of the articles to be sold are of exceptional quality and have come from Mid-Atlantic estates and residences.

American art is led by a Hale Aspacio Woodruff (1900-1980) oil-on-canvas landscape, a painting considered important not only on the basis of its own aesthetic merit but also because of the artist’s distinguished history. Woodruff played an instrumental role in the development of African-American art, both as an artist and art educator. In 1931, following a five-year period spent studying and traveling in France, Woodruff joined the art faculty at Atlanta University. He subsequently served as an art instructor at NYU, eventually retiring with the title of professor emeritus. Throughout his career, Woodruff was an active and influential artist and teacher who furthered recognition of African-American art while winning numerous prestigious awards.

The 26- by 33¾-inch Woodruff landscape painting to be auctioned by Quinn’s is artist-signed at lower right. It is expected to make $15,000-$25,000.

Having both a Native-American and equine theme, William S. Seltzer’s (California/Montana, b. 1955-) signed oil-on-canvas depiction of an American Indian on horseback will be offered with a $1,500-$2,500 estimate. It is one of four artworks by the noted Western artist that will be up for bid on June 9 at Quinn’s.

Already attracting interest from folk art aficionados, an American cast-iron horse-form weathervane dates to around 1870 and is attributed to the Rochester Ironworks in Rochester, New Hampshire. The 36-inch-long vane depicting a high-stepper with plumed tail was previously held in a private collection. It is conservatively estimated at $10,000-$15,000.

From the estate of a Virginia family comes a handsome mid-19th-century American corner cabinet of tiger maple with poplar secondary woods. Beautifully crafted, it carries an auction estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

Decorative-art adornments include a quartet of late-18th-century Italian giltwood mirrors carved in the late Baroque style. The mirrors were previously part of a private collection and have been entered in the auction with an estimate of $8,000-$10,000.

Another lot that would add grace and elegance to any home is the pair of Louis XVI-style ormolu and patinated-bronze chenets. The 19th-century figures exhibit a high standard of artistry and are modeled as a poodle and cat resting on tasseled cushions. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.

Superior-quality carving is showcased in a French prisoner of war model ship replicating the “Achilles.” The intricately detailed 18-inch-long model dates to the first half of the 19th century and could sail to a $3,000-$5,000 destination at auction.

More than 60 Chinese snuff bottles from the collection of Southern Californian John W. Sinclair add delicacy and fine artistry to the sale. It is the third and final grouping from the collection to be offered at Quinn’s and is highlighted by a Daoguang porcelain bottle with enamel crickets. The circa 1821-1850 bottle has a rounded-square form, green jadeite stopper and a 4-character seal script reign mark on the bottom.

Quinn’s vice president Matthew Quinn said that snuff bottles from the Sinclair collection had drawn widespread interest in sales held last March and in December of 2011. “The bottles are from an old and prestigious collection, which is exactly what buyers are going for these days in many different categories,” he said.

Those who collect high-quality art and furnishings usually follow that same approach with other items they purchase, either for their homes or themselves, Quinn said. “That’s why jewelry buyers watch our sales very carefully. They know good things come out of Washington-area jewelry boxes.”

A perfect example of just such a piece of jewelry is a chic Italian 18K gold bracelet set with sapphires and rubies. Having a total weight of 2.66 ozt, it is entered in the June 9 sale with a $5,000-$6,000 estimate.

The auction will commence at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. For information on any item, call 703-532-5632 or e-mail info@quinnsauction.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

# # #

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Pair of 19th-century, Louis XVI-style ormolu and patinated-bronze chenets modeled as a poodle and a cat, est. $4,000-$6,000. Quinn’s image.

 

Pair of 19th-century, Louis XVI-style ormolu and patinated-bronze chenets modeled as a poodle and a cat, est. $4,000-$6,000. Quinn’s image.

Set of four late-18th-century Italian carved giltwood mirrors, est. $8,000-$10,000. Quinn’s image.

Set of four late-18th-century Italian carved giltwood mirrors, est. $8,000-$10,000. Quinn’s image.

Mid-19th-century American tiger maple corner cabinet from Virginia estate, est. $2,000-$3,000. Quinn’s image.

Mid-19th-century American tiger maple corner cabinet from Virginia estate, est. $2,000-$3,000. Quinn’s image.

French prisoner of war carved-bone model ship ‘Achilles,’ first half of 19th century, 18 inches long, est. $3,000-$5,000. Quinn’s image.

French prisoner of war carved-bone model ship ‘Achilles,’ first half of 19th century, 18 inches long, est. $3,000-$5,000. Quinn’s image.

Italian 18K gold bracelet set with sapphires and rubies, 2.66 ozt., est. $5,000-$6,000.

Italian 18K gold bracelet set with sapphires and rubies, 2.66 ozt., est. $5,000-$6,000.

William S. Seltzer (California/Montana, b. 1955-), Native American on horseback, oil on canvas, est. $1,500-$2,500. Quinn’s image.

William S. Seltzer (California/Montana, b. 1955-), Native American on horseback, oil on canvas, est. $1,500-$2,500. Quinn’s image.

High-stepping horse weathervane, cast iron, circa 1870, attributed to Rochester Ironworks, Rochester, N.H., est. $10,000-$15,000. Quinn’s image.

High-stepping horse weathervane, cast iron, circa 1870, attributed to Rochester Ironworks, Rochester, N.H., est. $10,000-$15,000. Quinn’s image.

Hale Aspacio Woodruff (African-American, 1900-1980), oil-on-canvas landscape, est. $15,000-$25,000. Quinn’s image.

Hale Aspacio Woodruff (African-American, 1900-1980), oil-on-canvas landscape, est. $15,000-$25,000. Quinn’s image.

Circa 1821-1850 Chinese Daoguang porcelain snuff bottle with enamel crickets, one of more than 60 snuff bottles consigned from the collection of John W. Sinclair. Quinn’s image.

Circa 1821-1850 Chinese Daoguang porcelain snuff bottle with enamel crickets, one of more than 60 snuff bottles consigned from the collection of John W. Sinclair. Quinn’s image.

Beverly Pepper with a recent work of Cor-ten steel titled 'Curvae.' Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Meijer Gardens opens sculptor Beverly Pepper retrospective

Beverly Pepper with a recent work of Cor-ten steel titled 'Curvae.' Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Beverly Pepper with a recent work of Cor-ten steel titled ‘Curvae.’ Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., — Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is the exclusive venue for the landmark exhibition “Beverly Pepper: Palingenesis 1962-2012,” which opened to the public May 25. This retrospective traces Pepper’s work in metal throughout her prolific five-decade career. The exhibition will be on display until Aug. 26.

Born in Brooklyn in 1922, Pepper studied at Pratt Institute and the Arts Student League in New York. She painted from 1949-1960, then turned to sculpture. In 1962, Pepper emerged on the arts scene when she, along with legendary figures Alexander Calder and David Smith, was invited to create outdoor sculptures for the famed exhibition “Festival of Two Worlds” in Spoleto, Italy. She was the only woman invited. She is among America’s greatest living sculptors.

The exhibition features more than 20 works in a variety of metals including steel, aluminum, iron, stainless steel and Cor-ten steel. It is Pepper’s largest museum presentation in recent years, with loans from Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Walker Art Center, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Marlborough Gallery and private collections.

“Although Pepper has been innovative and proficient in a variety of media, her endeavors in metal have been a constant source of inspiration and art historical merit” said Joseph Becherer, vice president and chief curator of horticulture and sculpture.

The exhibition traces the progression of Pepper’s work, from early influences in Abstract Expressionism to the clean lines and highly polished surfaces of a minimalist aesthetic. Her experimental work in the early 1980s blended the opposing ideas of the ancient age of iron with modern and contemporary sculpture, which was innovative and new. Pepper’s more current work, abstract and totemic forms, have been created in both steel and industrially rich Cor-ten steel. One such monumental form, Galileo’s Wedge became part of Meijer Gardens’ permanent collection in 2009. A new, bold emergence of twisted rectilinear and upright forms proves that the 89-year-old sculptor remains a powerful and prolific artist.

Meijer Gardens has published a fully illustrated catalog to accompany the exhibition. Excerpts from more than 32 hours of interviews and images from Pepper’s archives in Todi, Italy, and New York describe the development of Pepper’s remarkable career.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Beverly Pepper with a recent work of Cor-ten steel titled 'Curvae.' Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Beverly Pepper with a recent work of Cor-ten steel titled ‘Curvae.’ Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Beverly Pepper in her studio. Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Beverly Pepper in her studio. Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Beverly Pepper, 'Homage to Piet.' Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Beverly Pepper, ‘Homage to Piet.’ Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Beverly Pepper, 'Untitled Steel 1.' Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Beverly Pepper, ‘Untitled Steel 1.’ Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

A Fenton Art Glass advertising piece. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Harrison Auctions Inc.

Debt-ridden Fenton Art Glass courts potential buyer

A Fenton Art Glass advertising piece. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Harrison Auctions Inc.

A Fenton Art Glass advertising piece. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Harrison Auctions Inc.

WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – A New York company is working with the owners of Fenton Art Glass on a deal that could restart production.

Gene Bem, chief executive of U.S. Glass, says he hopes to offer Fenton specialty glass to retailers including Macy’s and Neiman Marcus.

Bem says he believes the brand can be refreshed, and he could restart the factory as soon as August. The goal is to be in full production next year.

“We see the Williamstown plant as a special place because you have labor and expertise in the glass making process you don’t find other places,” Bem said.

Family-owned Fenton was built in Williamstown in 1906 and has struggled in recent years with rising costs, slowing sales and growing debt.

Last summer, it laid off most workers and now produces only decorative beads.

President George Fenton tells The Parkersburg News and Sentinel (http://bit.ly/KPyHTk) that no final agreement has been reached yet, but he hopes it works out.

On Thursday, the president of Fenton Gift Shop—a separate business entity—bought all the factory’s molds, tools and other assets at a private auction. Randy Fenton paid $200,000 for the deal, including legal rights to logos, names, colors, styles and glass formulas.

Randy Fenton said he’s negotiating with Bem about becoming a shareholder in U.S. Glass.

“We’re optimistic something really nice can come out of those discussions,” he said.

Fenton Art Glass owes more than $600,000 in back taxes on its 300,000-square-foot factory. George Fenton said that the company must still address its debt.

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

AP-WF-05-25-12 1901GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


A Fenton Art Glass advertising piece. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Harrison Auctions Inc.

A Fenton Art Glass advertising piece. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Harrison Auctions Inc.

National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. Image by Christopher Lancaster. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Havana Biennial unlocks cache of Cuban contemporary art

National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. Image by Christopher Lancaster. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. Image by Christopher Lancaster. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

HAVANA (AP) – Ruben Alpizar never met the American collector who fell in love with his painting of a plummeting Icarus against a starry background, hanging on the wall of a Spanish colonial-era fortress across the bay from Havana. Nor did he get a name or a hometown, or even learn whether the buyer was a man or a woman.

It all happened quickly, starting with a phone call from a broker. “How much for the painting? Look, I think somebody wants it. I’ll call you right back.” Soon after, the phone rang again: “Sold.”

“We need more people coming from Gringoland,” Alpizar said with a smile, not a hint of derision in his voice as he employed a term that can be either affectionate or pejorative depending on the context. “They pay the price you ask.”

The streets of the Cuban capital are, in fact, awash with American art pilgrims during the monthlong Havana Biennial, a showcase connecting local contemporary artists with well-heeled foreign collectors—key clients in a country whose citizens have little real purchasing power.

Alpizar, for one, would not say how much his painting sold for, but offered that his work normally goes for between $3,000 and $15,000, a windfall in a country where most people earn the equivalent of $20 a month.

The Americans are arriving in larger numbers because of the Obama administration’s relaxation of U.S. embargo travel rules. They say they see a chance to explore the unknown and look for the ultimate conversation piece to hang on the living room wall.

“I think there is a mystique and the association with the ‘time-capsule island’ and all that’s inaccessible,” said Rachel Weingeist, an adviser to Shelley and Donald Rubin on their Cuban art collection. The couple’s New York-based Rubin Foundation promotes the arts and humanitarian causes.

“Frankly we haven’t had much access until recently,” Weingeist said.

The Americans say they’re impressed by the island’s sophisticated fine arts scene compared to those in other countries in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Auctions by Christie’s and Sotheby’s have firmly cemented Cuban art in the U.S. consciousness, such as this week’s sale of a painting by the late surrealist Wilfredo Lam for $4.56 million.

“There’s so much heart. It’s very intense. It’s about a sense of place,” said Jennifer Jacobs of Portland, Ore., who led a private group of 15 collectors from Seattle to the Biennial. “It really spoke to me personally.”

Terry Hall, an art collector and accountant from Gurnee, Ill., just south of the Wisconsin border, said she was surprised by the variety she saw.

Cuban art embraces diverse themes and styles, and even ventures into the political. One piece on display at the Biennial, shaped like a mailbox, has a slot with large, sharp bloody fangs and an invitation for “Complaints and Suggestions.”

“I came down here expecting art that was more colorful, more Caribbean in flavor and what I found is more international, more cutting-edge, more ambitious art,” said Hall. “I’ve really been very excited about it. I think it rivals anything I’ve seen anywhere else as far as the execution, the expertise and the ambitious ideas.”

More than 1,300 American artists, curators, collectors and fans have been accredited for the Biennial, organizers say, an unusually large delegation from what some say is the most important market for Cuban art. Unlike with other island goods, it’s perfectly legal for Americans to buy Cuban art, which is covered under an exemption to the 50-year-old U.S. embargo allowing the purchase of “informational materials.”

“They’re coming by the busload,” said Alpizar, who just two weeks into the Biennial had sold a half-dozen works including the piece featuring Icarus, titled Home. Another painting that was snapped up by an American collector, My Ark, was a whimsical cross between a stern of a boat and a religious tableau, with famous historical figures peeking out from the windows: Ernest Hemingway, Karl Marx, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Pope John Paul II.

While Cuban emigrant artists living in Miami sometimes struggle to be noticed, artists who remain on the island enjoy the cachet of providing a kind of forbidden fruit for U.S. collectors. People on both sides of the exchange say the mutual affinity exists not despite but because of the five decades of geographical proximity and political animosity.

Many collectors are Cuban-Americans, perhaps eager to acquire a link to their lost homeland. Others are patrons from big cities such as New York, San Francisco and Seattle that are more open to detente.

“There’s a very easy connection between us. The American public … has a very special sensitivity to Cuban art,” said Carlos Rene Aguilera, who exhibited a dozen paintings inspired by black holes, string theory and other scientific mysteries, hauled all the way from the eastern city of Santiago. “Maybe it’s because of curiosity about each other’s history. Maybe it’s because we are neighbors and there is a messy relationship between our countries, so this creates interest.”

So great is that interest that Americans are often willing to shell out the asking price with little background research, and with a little luck, even junior artists can command eye-popping prices. Tales abound about fourth-year university students selling pieces for $15,000, equal to the prices commanded by Alpizar, an established artist whose work has been shown in dozens of individual and collective exhibitions over a 23-year career.

“It’s what the market will bear, and why not shoot for the moon?” Weingeist said. “All it takes is somebody feeling giddy who’s got the money for something they like.”

The transactions are usually handshake agreements to wire money to bank accounts holding international currencies that many artists prefer to keep in Spain, the Netherlands or Canada, rather than the local bank accounts for Cuban pesos used only on the island. The seller then ships carefully wrapped paintings to overseas addresses.

Galleries are cut out of their traditional middleman role, giving collectors the sense that they’re getting a better deal. The arrangement also brings buyers in direct contact with the artists as they go knocking on the doors of home studios.

Artists say the Biennial is a crucial time to build their names and establish those contacts.

“I’ve collected a ton of business cards,” said artist Tamara Campo, whose ode to the world financial crisis is installed in a bunker of La Cabana fortress. It features a wave of some 650 banknotes fashioned from fragrant cedar cascading from the ceiling into a jumbled pile on the floor.

“A lot of people want to talk to me,” Campo said. “I have to check my email, because it’s been days.”

___

Follow Peter Orsi on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Peter_Orsi.

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

AP-WF-05-26-12 1856GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. Image by Christopher Lancaster. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. Image by Christopher Lancaster. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Three of the Kincaid mounds in Massac Co. Ill. Image by Herb Roe. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Ancient burial mounds in Ill. damaged, possibly looted

Three of the Kincaid mounds in Massac Co. Ill. Image by Herb Roe. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Three of the Kincaid mounds in Massac Co. Ill. Image by Herb Roe. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Ancient American Indian burial mounds in southern Illinois have been damaged and possibly looted, prompting the state’s historical agency to call for the public’s help in identifying the culprits.

Last month, someone dug several holes in a portion of Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site, a town and religious center of the Mississippian culture of 1,000 years ago in what is now rural Massac and Pope counties, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency said Friday.

The culprits were probably searching for “grave goods” that Native Americans buried with their dead, although it’s unclear if any artifacts or human remains were taken, the agency said. More damage was done to the site recently when an all-terrain vehicle or truck was driven on one of the mounds, where “No Trespassing” signs are posted and ATVs are prohibited, the agency said.

“The criminal disturbance of these human burials in Kincaid Mounds is unconscionable,” said Amy Martin, the agency’s director. “We hope to apprehend those who are responsible, which will serve as a deterrent to others who may be considering the desecration of our state’s heritage.”

The site, about 170 miles southeast of St. Louis, has been targeted before. In 2008, three holes several feet wide and deep appeared in the side of one of the nine mounds, with two of the holes in spots looters had struck the previous year.

The disturbance of archaeological sites or skeletal remains on state-owned property can be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a $10,000 fine, reparations and forfeiture of any vehicles or equipment used in the misdeed. Unsettling of burial sites on public land also may be a felony carrying a three-year prison term and $25,000 fine.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Kincaid Mounds is significant as one of two major political centers of the Mississippian period in the lower Ohio River Valley and was one of the first areas in southern Illinois where intensive, large-scale agriculture was developed.

“These mounds are a unique, irreplaceable part of our heritage, and to destroy them for the sake of amusement or profit is a despicable act,” Martin said.

Such cases have produced federal charges. In 2010, Leslie Jones pleaded guilty to excavation, removal or damage of archaeological resources without a permit after investigators found more than 13,000 artifacts from southern Illinois’ Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge at his home in Creal Springs, Ill. The collection included pottery, clay figures, stone weapons, tools and more than 200 pieces of human skeletal remains dating from roughly 6000 B.C. to A.D. 400.

Jones was sentenced to a month in jail, five years of probation, 500 hours of community service and ordered to pay more than $150,000 in restitution. He had faced up to two years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Jones admitted he had sold some of the artifacts he unearthed at the refuge from 2004 through February 2007, having done extensive research that enabled him to identify pieces of artifacts and their time periods.

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

AP-WF-05-25-12 1748GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Three of the Kincaid mounds in Massac Co. Ill. Image by Herb Roe. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Three of the Kincaid mounds in Massac Co. Ill. Image by Herb Roe. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

The Soldiers National Monument at the center of Gettysburg National Cemetery. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Asbestos content may doom Gettysburg battlefield map

The Soldiers National Monument at the center of Gettysburg National Cemetery. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Soldiers National Monument at the center of Gettysburg National Cemetery. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – Officials say they plan to try to auction off a large electric battlefield map at Gettysburg that for decades helped visitors understand the crucial Civil War battle, but they may be forced to destroy it.

The National Park Service pulled the plug on the 1960s-era device at Gettysburg National Military Park in 2008 after opening a new museum and visitor center. The map, which had been used for 70 years, has been in storage ever since.

Park officials last month asked the federal government to let it auction the map to the highest bidder, The Philadelphia Inquirer said. But they must first get a waiver from the General Services Administration because the map contains asbestos—and without such a waiver, officials say, the map will be destroyed.

Some fans who thought the map was already history were surprised to hear that it might be resurrected.

“I thought it was dead and buried,” said John Dekeles, of Post Falls, Idaho, who filmed one of the last map shows.

He and others launched efforts to save the device, drawing up plans to move it to a nearby site and petitioning the Smithsonian, West Point and the Naval Academy to adopt it. Despite their efforts, the map sits in four pieces in an airtight shipping container at an undisclosed location.

The map was created by Joseph Rosensteel, who grew up on the battlefield and whose family founded the park’s original museum. His grandfather collected artifacts as a teenager days after the battle while helping to bury bodies, and the thousands of items were the basis for the museum opened in the family farmhouse in 1921.

His grandson spent five years researching troop movements over the 6,000 acres and laying out his map with topographic features such as roads, waterways and orchards before the first electric map show opened in 1938. The current map was constructed in 1963 out of plaster and concrete and the shows were performed in an auditorium built to house it for the battle’s 100th anniversary commemoration.

Park officials were divided over whether there should be a new place for the map in the new museum a mile away.

“We finally came to the conclusion that it was outdated as an interpretive device,” park spokeswoman Katie Lawhon said.

Fans, however, say the new Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center doesn’t provide visitors with the same comprehensive overview that the old-fashioned map did, despite its galleries, interactive exhibits, the restored Cyclorama painting and a triple-screen movie narrated by actor Morgan Freeman.

“It concisely interprets and orients people; it’s always been good at that,” said Curt Musselman, president of the Historic Gettysburg-Adams County group, who now makes maps for the park service and credits with the map in part for his decision to become a cartographer. “And for all the millions, the museum does not have such a concise or effective orientation.”

Park officials, however, want the map auctioned off quickly so they can concentrate on preparing for events for the battle’s 150th anniversary next year, Lawhon said.

“We want to move forward and focus on 2013,” she said.

Dekeles, who saw the map on trips to the battlefield when he and his family made annual trips to a train show in nearby York, bought the domain name www.savetheelectricmap.com when he found the map was to be retired and filmed the show with night vision equipment.

“I was shocked,” Dekeles said. “I couldn’t believe it would be gone. I learned so much from it.”

He said he’d like to see the map restored as it was in a new location modeled on the old one.

“Like a phoenix rising from the ashes and presented in a way that shows the respect it deserves,” he said. “The ideal thing would be to put it back as close as it was to protect the dignity and history, like you are walking into 1963.”

___

Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.philly.com

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

AP-WF-05-27-12 1625GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Soldiers National Monument at the center of Gettysburg National Cemetery. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Soldiers National Monument at the center of Gettysburg National Cemetery. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Marklin three-tiered castle, circa 1895, parade ground moves when connected to steam engine. Est. $14,000-$20,000. RSL Auction Co.

RSL offers antique toys, train stations, banks, Americana July 1

Marklin three-tiered castle, circa 1895, parade ground moves when connected to steam engine. Est. $14,000-$20,000. RSL Auction Co.

Marklin three-tiered castle, circa 1895, parade ground moves when connected to steam engine. Est. $14,000-$20,000. RSL Auction Co.

TIMONIUM, Md. – Fine European antique toys and train stations, plus a fabulous array of still and mechanical banks are at the heart of RSL’s 621-lot auction to be held July 1, 2012 at Richard Opfer’s gallery in Timonium (suburban Baltimore), Maryland. Internet live bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.

Titled “Toys, Train Stations, Banks & Americana,” the auction’s wonderfully varied selections include the John Jirofsky architectural still bank collection, the late Dr. James Laster’s collection of train stations, and other carefully chosen additional consignments.

A longtime collector, Jirofsky is a member of both the MBCA and SBCCA, a reflection of his penchant for both mechanical and still banks. “We sold John’s mechanical banks in June of last year; now we have his still banks, which were his true collecting passion,” said RSL partner Ray Haradin. “There’s great diversity in his collection, especially among the painted buildings. It contains the only known example of the ‘1905 Bank.’” Having an almost mosque-like appearance with its tall spires, the 1905 Bank could cash out at $12,000-$18,000.

Another highlight is a red Palace Bank with exceptionally fine detailing and a smooth, lustrous patina. It is expected to make $10,000-$15,000.

From a different consignor comes a rare and exceptional 1890s polychrome-painted Ives Santa bank, complete with a removable wire Christmas tree accessory. The bank’s gilt-edged trail of provenance includes the distinguished Leon Perelman and Donal Markey collections. The presale estimate is $8,000-$12,000.

RSL is honored to have been chosen to handle the European train station collection of the late Dr. James Laster, whose specialty was German 1 gauge. Fifteen train stations from the Laster collection will be lined up to meet their new owners on auction day, including a large, circa-1905 Marklin Café station (1 Gauge) ex Ward Kimball collection. It could bring $18,000-$25,000, Haradin said.

A circa-1910 Bing station with patio, in excellent condition, is entered with hopes of realizing $4,000-$6,000. There will also be a host of other, smaller Bing, Marklin and J. Krauss stations from the early 1900s.

The magical Marklin name will also be represented by a circa-1895 three-tiered castle. “It’s a pristine example from the Lutz /Marklin era and should sell for $14,000-$20,000,” Haradin said. Other Marklin prizes include a horse-drawn stagecoach with driver, est. $6,500-$9,500; and a large Marklin Jolanda riverboat, est. $12,000-$18,000.

A first-rate assortment of American tin toys is highlighted by a circa-1885 Ives “Giant” locomotive. Measuring an impressive 17½ inches long, the Giant was the largest locomotive of the American clockwork-toy era. One of only four known, the entry in RSL’s sale is estimated at $12,000-$18,000.

Two other clockwork treasures to be sold are a circa-1875 Ives Stump Speaker in pristine condition, est. $5,000-$7,000; and one of only about 6 extant examples of an Ives Nursemaid, also known as “Old Aunt Chloe.” The toy is meant to depict a black nanny caring for a white infant. Estimate: $7,000-$9,000.

Cast-iron American toys exhibiting particularly fine condition include a “super-mint” circa-1905 Uncle Sam Chariot, made by Kenton Hardware and retaining an unbelievable 99.5% of its original paint. The 12-inch-long patriotic toy, whose chariot replicates an American eagle, is expected to achieve $15,000-$25,000 at auction. Right alongside it is one of the rarest of all Hubley toys, a Gondola Amusement Park Ride, with intricately cast ironwork on its wheels. The 19-inch-long toy, whose condition is rated “excellent,” is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

A featured section of the sale is devoted to antique European character and automotive toys by such makers as Lehmann, Nifty, Schuco and the coveted French brand Fernand Martin, whose “Orange Vendor” and “Gendarme,” est. $3,000-$4,000, are rarely seen. European automotive toys will follow their category’s leader, a deluxe model Fisher Taxi with rare leather canopy and two female passengers, est. $3,500-$5,500.

A grouping of 18 character toys and other items with a black theme will be led by a circa-1895 papier-mache and cardboard Dandy Ball Toss. German made and displaying bright, appealing colors, the toy is designed so the “dandy” nods his head when a ball is successfully tossed into an opening in his midsection. Est. $5,000-$7,000.

It wouldn’t be an RSL auction without high-end cast-iron mechanical banks. The July 1 sale includes around 175 mechanicals, many in near-mint condition. Among the top lots is a circa-1886 J. & E. Stevens Bread Winners bank designed by Charles Bailey. With pristine paint, it has the potential to realize $26,000-$32,000.

Other coveted classics include a superior circa-1905 J. & E. Stevens Calamity bank, est. $35,000-$55,000; and a near-mint circa-1888 Kyser & Rex Butting Buffalo, $20,000-$30,000.

The perfect “go with” for a mechanical bank is an illustrated trade card. RSL’s sale will include approximately 10 trade cards advertising mechanical banks, including a relatively rare “Bad Accident.” Some of the cards are ex Bob Brady collection.

All forms of bidding will be available in RSL’s Sunday, July 1 auction, including Internet live bidding through www.LiveAuctioneers.com. The sale will begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with a preview from Tuesday, May 26 commencing at 12 noon through Sunday morning prior to the auction. A complimentary cocktail party preview will be held at the gallery on Thursday, May 28 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

For additional information, call Ray Haradin at 412-343-8733, Leon Weiss at 917-991-7352, or Steven Weiss at 212-729-0011. E-mail raytoys@aol.com or geminitoys@earthlink.net. Visit RSL Auction Co. online at www.rslauctions.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOT OF NOTE


Marklin three-tiered castle, circa 1895, parade ground moves when connected to steam engine. Est. $14,000-$20,000. RSL Auction Co.

Marklin three-tiered castle, circa 1895, parade ground moves when connected to steam engine. Est. $14,000-$20,000. RSL Auction Co.