One of the joints in this tabletop opened, requiring gluing and clamping.

Furniture Specific: Exorcising wooden demons

One of the joints in this tabletop opened, requiring gluing and clamping.

One of the joints in this tabletop opened, requiring gluing and clamping.

Most people have the occasional personal demon hidden away deep in their substorage folder. For some it is a past indiscretion or a fondness for a particular concoction. For others it is a matter of faith or the lack thereof or perhaps an obsession with career, hobby or pursuit. It probably comes as no surprise that for me it deals with furniture.

I have a storage room full of personal furniture demons, some are mere ghosts of furniture items from my past, both personal and professional, that have mostly been expunged and a few others that have not. Here are a couple of my personal demons, one from the distant past and one from the recent future.

The first one from the distant past involves a nice mahogany Colonial Revival rocker that arrived at my shop in a box, a charity drop-off by a frustrated customer who could no longer deal with his demons about the chair, especially since he broke it to start with and royally messed up the repair. He consigned it to me to dispose of as I saw fit. I liked the chair and decided to take it on as a personal project.

The original phase of strip, reassembly and refinish went well enough until I got to the carved splat. This nicely done piece had an urn with a depiction of some leaves on each side of three acorns. The problem was that at one time there had been two more leaves behind the acorns, one on each side of the central figure. But one of the leaves was broken off leaving its mate sticking up forlornly by itself behind the acorn.

Had this been on a frieze panel that I could work on only from the front it wouldn’t have been a problem. Simply install a precut piece of wood and carve the new leaf. No big deal. But this had to be invisible from the back also since the chair could be seen from many angles.

I let this demon grow to the point that it delayed the restoration of the chair for about a year while I thought about it. Finally Gail said, “Just remove the extra leaf.” Brilliant. I removed the odd leaf, restored the chair and today nobody would ever know that the orphan leaf ever existed. Demon expunged.

Another more recent demon involved my dining room table. I know that it is an assembled piece from at least two tables but parts of it are old, 18th century English, so I am still partial to it. The problem is that each half of the tilting top surface is made of two boards, a very large piece of mahogany and a smaller piece added to the original piece. The construction appears to be old and is perfectly matched on each side of the table.

The demon first appeared about seven years ago in the form of a small crack at the joint of the two pieces of mahogany on one end of the table. It wasn’t broken and it wasn’t a check. The glue joint just started to open up. I have done this repair hundreds of times for customers without hesitation. If the table is rectangular there is no problem, just glue it and clamp it and done. But my table has a rounded end. This makes clamping a little more awkward since there were no parallel sides to clamp to. To complicate matters, the joint was not only open, one of the boards had warped slightly and was above the plane of the other board.

This problem, too, I had encountered many times for customers. It is no great feat to create the parallel sides needed for clamping. The problem was that usually when I did this for a customer, the table was also being refinished so I had lots of leeway and the repair was never done onsite in the customer’s dining room.

In my case the problem was I had to work around the existing finish on this table, I had to do the work onsite in my dining room and this was MY table! That demon haunted me every time we used the table – rarely but usually with company or family for holidays. I always worried about the table falling apart but I just wasn’t ready to attack that demon yet.

Then one day, out of the blue, after seven years, I decided today was the day, no matter what. In this instance I decided I couldn’t use hide glue because of the requirement of bringing the warped piece back into the correct plane. I needed more open time so I decided to use my old friend Franklin’s Tite-Bond, a yellow aliphatic resin wood glue with a decent open time. Since I had to work both horizontally, to close the gap, and vertically to align the warped piece, I had to work in stages to set the clamps and the bring pressure on the entire assembly gradually and evenly.

First, I opened the crack slightly by inserting a small wooden wedge. Then I cleaned out the old glue as well as I could using a small razor knife. This was important since glue doesn’t stick to glue. Then working from both the top and underneath I squeezed glue into the crack and spread it evenly using a thin blade glue knife, wiping off the excess with a damp rag.

Then I had to create the parallel clamping sides. Clamping an oak table runner to the center of the round end using a pipe clamp was the start, being careful to cushion the oak with a rag so as not to mar the table. Then clamps were applied snugly, but not too tight, from each end of the oak piece to outer edges of the center section of the table, using wood blocks to cushion the wood from the clamp faces. Rags under each pipe clamp guarded against any damage from a slipping clamp. The slight pressure of the pipe clamps squeezed out glue from the joint, which had to be cleaned up before bringing the joint into level. Using a C-clamp, a block of wood with a smooth face was positioned over the crack at the edge of the table. Another block was used below with wax paper under each block to prevent the blocks from adhering to the table. Moderate pressure brought the joint to level. A deep-throated Jorgensen-style wooden clamp was used toward the center of the table at the other end of the joint to assure its level state.

Slowly all the clamps were tightened evenly in succession until the open joint was tight and level. The joint had to checked by feel to make sure it was level at all points along it. Then any excess glue squeezed from the joint was cleaned up with a damp rag both underneath and on top of the table.

The next day the clamps were removed, excess dried glue was removed and the demons were sent home, leaving a tight level joint and a relieved owner.

 

Send comments, questions and pictures to Fred Taylor at P.O. Box 215, Crystal River, FL 34423 or email them to him at info@furnituredetective.com.

Visit Fred’s website at www.furnituredetective.com. His book How To Be a Furniture Detective is available for $18.95 plus $3 shipping. Send check or money order for $21.95 to Fred Taylor, P.O. Box 215, Crystal Fiver, FL, 34423.

Fred and Gail Taylor’s DVD, Identification of Older & Antique Furniture ($17 + $3 S&H) is also available at the same address. For more information call 800-387-6377, fax 352-563-2916, or info@furnituredetective.com. All items are also available directly from his website.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


One of the joints in this tabletop opened, requiring gluing and clamping.

One of the joints in this tabletop opened, requiring gluing and clamping.

After opening up the crack wide enough to clean out the old glue, fresh yellow glues was applied liberally to the area of the open joint.

After opening up the crack wide enough to clean out the old glue, fresh yellow glues was applied liberally to the area of the open joint.

Clasping a long straight piece to the top of the curve at the end of the table gave a straight edge to clamp to on the outside edge of the curve.

Clasping a long straight piece to the top of the curve at the end of the table gave a straight edge to clamp to on the outside edge of the curve.

A large C-clamp and wooden blocks surfaced with wax paper made sure the joint was level before applying pressure on the long clamps.

A large C-clamp and wooden blocks surfaced with wax paper made sure the joint was level before applying pressure on the long clamps.

A deep-throated Jorgensen clamp was used in the middle of the table to keep the joint level.

A deep-throated Jorgensen clamp was used in the middle of the table to keep the joint level.

This is how the table looked with all clamps in place.

This is how the table looked with all clamps in place.

F. (Frederick) Schafer oil-on-canvas seascape ‘North Heads on the Pacific Coast, California,’ Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Stephenson’s Sept. 7 sale brings best of Mid-Atlantic estates to auction

F. (Frederick) Schafer oil-on-canvas seascape ‘North Heads on the Pacific Coast, California,’ Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

F. (Frederick) Schafer oil-on-canvas seascape ‘North Heads on the Pacific Coast, California,’ Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Many regard the tri-state area surrounding Philadelphia as a hotspot for antiques and fine art in the Mid-Atlantic region. The pedigreed furniture, paintings, jewelry and silver so frequently found in homes from Philadelphia’s Main Line to suburban New Jersey and Maryland are sought after from coast to coast. For this reason, Stephenson’s Auctioneers’ annual September Antiques & Decorative Arts Auction is an event that unfailingly attracts a large and loyal following.

Scheduled this year for Friday, Sept. 7, Stephenson’s fall sale will feature approximately 600 lots of quality antiques, artworks and vintage collectibles from private residences and collections sourced in and around Greater Philadelphia. Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.com.

The selling will begin with 100 smalls and decorative objects, including crystal and glass; china, pottery and porcelains. A striking highlight of the opening section is a Northwood carnival glass punchbowl set comprised of more than a dozen pieces in the Grapes and Cable pattern. Additionally, the sale includes a Northwood Wishbone water set, Waterford crystal and a large set of Fostoria “Navarre” stemware that has been kept in the original wrappers since 1950. With the holiday season just around the corner, the timing will be right to purchase Wedgwood dinnerware, which also will be offered.

The decorative arts category is rounded out by Oggetti (Italy) art glass signed by L. (Luigi) Onesto, a glass paperweight collection, and several exceptionally large Lladro porcelains (Valencia, Spain) from a Delaware County estate. “These Lladros are not the type you normally see. They are very impressively sized,” said Cindy Stephenson, owner of Stephenson’s Auctioneers. “The piece titled ‘In the Gondola’ is 17¾ inches high by 31 inches wide, and the one titled ‘A Rickshaw Ride’ is 11 inches tall by 15 inches wide, exclusive of its base, which is included.”

The unmistakable soft glow of old silver is evident in the nine sets of American sterling flatware, led by a Wallace “Grand Baroque” 105-piece service for twelve. The suite is stored in its proper chest and includes many desirable serving pieces. Estimate: $2,600-$3,200. Among the other notable silver lots are five sterling tea and coffee services, including a heavy and ornate Durgin set; a pair of silver hollowware table pheasants, and various English and Russian silver pieces.

“In particular, there has been a lot of interest in the Russian silver spoons in this sale,” said Stephenson. “There are five spoons, each with niello and gilding, made by the 19th-century silversmith and assay master Viktor Savinsky.”

Fine jewelry and watches will be offered next, starting with more than 30 pocket watches, most of which came from a single Bucks County collection. One of the watches is 18K gold with enameling, while many others are coveted railroad watches by Ball, Waltham, Hamilton and Burlington. The best of the railroad timepieces is a Ball official standard Cleveland model estimated at $800-$1,200.

An exceptional circa-1960 Mikimoto collar-style pearl necklace is the personal choice of Stephenson’s jewelry specialist Theresa Zaengle. “It’s not just a strand of pearls; the structure of the necklace is finely woven, like filament,” Zaengle said. Accompanied by its original box with “K. Mikimoto, Ginza, Tokyo” card, the lot is expected to make $1,000-$1,500.

A sparkling selection of rings will follow, including an 18K white gold design with a 10-carat aquamarine surrounded by round diamonds, est. $600-$800; and several Art Deco white gold filigree diamond rings that Zaengle says are of a type that “always sell well in our auctions.” Other significant jewelry lots include ladies’ gold chains of various weights and an 18K gold men’s fraternal ring enameled with the Masonic square-and-compass emblem.

A collection of approximately two dozen vintage cast-iron doorstops incorporates many desirable forms. Among them are a Taylor Cook penguin, dogs of various breeds, flower baskets, ladies in long dresses, a horse-drawn coach, Conestoga wagon, two windmills and a clipper ship. Bronze figures and a handsome double inkwell with signed bronze bust of Louis Pasteur complete the metals group.

Around 50 artworks will be offered, some having prestigious gallery provenance. One of the better paintings is a late-19th-century Frederick Schafer (German/American, 1839-1927) oil-on-canvas seascape titled “North Heads on the Pacific Coast, California.” Originally purchased at Schwarz’s, a well-known Chestnut Street gallery in Philadelphia, it comes to auction from a Main Line Philadelphia consignor. The painting is a fine representation of Schafer’s work. It is signed on verso, measures 40 x 59 inches (framed) and is expected to make $15,000-$22,000 at auction.

From the same Main Line consignor comes a lovely winter landscape and canal scene by Georges Robin (French, 1873-1943). Titled “Hiver a Bougival,” the 32 x 37-inch (framed) artwork has a Newman Galleries, Philadelphia, label on verso and is estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Additional artworks include two Michel Robin oil-on-canvas landscapes with water, each with a Newman Galleries label; and around a dozen well-executed modern serigraphs.

Furniture in the sale is highlighted by a stately Joseph Wills Philadelphia tall-case clock with the maker’s name – “Jos. Wills” – shown on the brass face. A Queen Anne-style 30-hour clock produced by Welch Mfg. Co., it carries a presale estimate of $2,000-$4,000.”

Other key furniture lots include a Hepplewhite mahogany chair-back settee, a Louis XV-style sideboard with mirrored back and bent glass; and a Louis XVI-style banquette that came from a stylish home in New Hope, Pa. A Heywood-Wakefield champagne bedroom suite of quintessential mid-century design and furniture by Baker and Kittinger are also entered in the sale.

Stephenson’s Friday, Sept. 7 Antiques & Decorative Arts Auction will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time. For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail info@stephensonsauction.com.

View the fully illustrated online 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 LOTS OF NOTE


F. (Frederick) Schafer oil-on-canvas seascape ‘North Heads on the Pacific Coast, California,’ Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

F. (Frederick) Schafer oil-on-canvas seascape ‘North Heads on the Pacific Coast, California,’ Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Joseph Wills Philadelphis tall-case clock, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Joseph Wills Philadelphis tall-case clock, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Lladro porcelain ‘In the Gondola,’ Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Lladro porcelain ‘In the Gondola,’ Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Northwood ‘Wishbone’ water set, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Northwood ‘Wishbone’ water set, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Durgin sterling silver tea and coffee service, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Durgin sterling silver tea and coffee service, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Mikimoto pearl necklace, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Mikimoto pearl necklace, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

10-carat aquamarine and diamond ring, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

10-carat aquamarine and diamond ring, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Georges Robin oil-on-canvas landscape ‘Hiver a Bougival,’ Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Georges Robin oil-on-canvas landscape ‘Hiver a Bougival,’ Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Hepplewhite chair-back settee, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Hepplewhite chair-back settee, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Bronze double inkwell with bust of Louis Pasteur, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Bronze double inkwell with bust of Louis Pasteur, Stephenson’s Auctioneers image.

Rare copper-red ‘Meiping of Gui Guzi.’ Gianguan Auctions image.

Gianguan Auctions marks 10th anniversary with sale Sept. 9

Rare copper-red ‘Meiping of Gui Guzi.’ Gianguan Auctions image.

Rare copper-red ‘Meiping of Gui Guzi.’ Gianguan Auctions image.

NEW YORK – Gianguan Auctions of New York City celebrates its 10th anniversary on Sept. 9 with a sale of Fine Chinese Paintings, Ceramics, Bronzes and Works of Arts. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Painting highlights include Lot 24, Jiang Tingi’s Qing Dynasty work, Mandarin Duck in Lotus Pond. With two ducks below, a bird above the lotus blossoms and a poem in the upper right, the inscribed ink and color on paper is an excellent example of the romanticism and balance inherent in fine Chinese paintings. Interestingly, the artist is known as more than a painter or scholar. He was also editor of the Gujin Tushu Jincheng encyclopedia, published in 1726. Mandarin Ducks in Lotus Pond is expected to fetch upward of $250,000.

Similarly, Lot 37, Voice in the Pine Valley, by Tang Yin (1470-1523), is evocative of the loneliness of a barely discernable rider atop an outcropping of rock set against distant mountains. The painting bearing the artist’s seal, seven Emperors’ and three collectors’ seals. It illustrates his artistic skills and profound insight. Tang is one of the elite Four Masters of Ming Dynasty.

One of the most instantly appealing paintings is Lot 27, Zhong Kui Drawing Bat for Good Fortune, by Gong Kai (1222-1304). With few of the artist’s works remaining – celebrated examples can be seen at the Osaka Museum and the Freer Gallery – this ink and color on paper depicts the mythological Zhong Kui, pigtails flying and robes askew, chasing bats. Meanwhile, calligraphy inserted in the negative spacerecounts the legend. The painting’s estimate can be obtained by calling Gianguan Auctions.

Several paintings by the enormously popular Qi Baishi show the range of the painter’s work. Lot 59, Portrait of Zhong Kui, The Exorcist from Nam Sam, takes another look at the eccentric ghost-chasing figure. Lotus, on the other hand, is a prime example of Qi Baishi’s fluid, naturalistic style. Lotus leaves are rendered in flourishes of gray and black splashed by magenta blossoms. Another treatment of the auspicious Lotus is Lot 28, by Liu Haisu. Also in tones of black and gray, it is lusciously splashed with gold. Estimate, $8,000 or above.

When it comes to depicting reality within a romantic setting, Li Keran (1907-1989) did it with aplomb in Admiring Mountain Scene. Here a sparely rendered peasant in simple clothing and triangular hat strains atop a water buffalo to take in the beauty of a majestic mountain range. The painting is valued at a minimum of $150,000. Lot 62, is another of Li’s Buffalo Herders in Shade, depicting boys frolicking in pond with their buffalos.

The afternoon session of fine Chinese ceramics and decorative art leads with Lot 198, a rare red meiping telling the story of Gui Guzi. The noted Warring States period philosopher is depicted in a cart drawn by a tiger and leopard. It follows two foot soldiers preceded by an equestrian with banner. The tribute is anchored by a lotus lappet band and topped by a continuous floral scroll. The baluster form vase is covered overall with a translucent bubble-suffused glaze of bluish green tone with bright crimson splashes. Again, estimate is by request.

Lot 205 is a rare Blue and White fish vase with strong visual appeal. Ten inches tall, the gently sloping vase is decorated with four scaly fish making their way through aquatic plants. The main scene sits above a band of lotus lappet and below a band of floral spray. It is of the Ming Dynasty period and bears the Hongwu Six Character mark. Estimate is $60,000-$80,000.

Lot 266, a rare yellow ground vase with green dragon is a standout in the $5,000-$6,000 range. The delicately formed baluster body with long neck and flared rim is wrapped with a lively dragon chasing a flaming pearl. Of the Qing Dynasty, It bears the Kangxi Six Character mark.

Other highlights in the moderate price range include Lot 133, a carved spinach-green jade circular box with cover. On either side, two conforming dragons chase a flaming pearly. On the cover, the dragon clutches the flaming pearl. Supported on three tab feet, the Qing Dynasty box with Qianlong four character mark, and of the period, is estimated $8,000 and above.

Another charming decorative item is Lot 140, a hetian jade carving of the Monkey King trapped in Buddha’s five-pillar mountain ($3,000-$4,000). Meanwhile, a massive shoushan stone boulder, Lot 134, depicts a mountainside on which scholars walk across a wood bridge near a waterfall ($6,000-$8,000).

Contact Gianguan Auctions at 212-867-7288 or 212-226-2660.

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


Rare copper-red ‘Meiping of Gui Guzi.’ Gianguan Auctions image.

 

Rare copper-red ‘Meiping of Gui Guzi.’ Gianguan Auctions image.

‘Mandarin Duck in Lotus Pond’ by Jiang Tingxi, Qing Dynasty. Gianguan Auctions image.

‘Mandarin Duck in Lotus Pond’ by Jiang Tingxi, Qing Dynasty. Gianguan Auctions image.

‘Zhong Kui Drawing Bat for Good Fortune’ by Gong Kai, Southern Song Dynasty. Gianguan Auctions image.

 

‘Zhong Kui Drawing Bat for Good Fortune’ by Gong Kai, Southern Song Dynasty. Gianguan Auctions image.

Liu Haisu's ‘Lotus.’ Gianguan Auctions image.

Liu Haisu’s ‘Lotus.’ Gianguan Auctions image.

Qi Baishi's ‘Portrait of Zhong Kui, the Exorcist from Nan Shan.’ Gianguan Auctions image.

Qi Baishi’s ‘Portrait of Zhong Kui, the Exorcist from Nan Shan.’ Gianguan Auctions image.

‘Buffalo Herders in Shade’ by Li Keran. Gianguan Auctions image.

‘Buffalo Herders in Shade’ by Li Keran. Gianguan Auctions image.

Finely carved spinach-green jade box with cover. Gianguan Auctions image.
Rare blue and white fish vase. Gianguan Auctions image.

 

Rare blue and white fish vase. Gianguan Auctions image.

Crocheted and knitted tree hugger by Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers, Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo by Kelsey Savage.

Reading the Streets: Yarnbombing in Reykjavik

Crocheted and knitted tree hugger by Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers, Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo by Kelsey Savage.

Crocheted and knitted tree hugger by Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers, Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo by Kelsey Savage.

REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Yarnbombing takes more than just the skill of finding a perfect location – it also requires top knitting expertise and a wide selection of wool. It makes sense then that Iceland would showcase some of the best yarnbombing in the world with the culture’s focus on wool (sheep outnumber people in the country) and all those crocheting and knitting specialists who are experts in their natural resource.

The Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers are dedicated to making the city “more interesting and beautiful” with their “yarngoodies.” And they are incredibly successful at doing so, as proven by the incredible construction wrapping a tree in Reykjavik. It would be hard to find a better example of yarnbombing anywhere in the world than this colorful piece that manages to snugly fit the tree trunk and branches. As a knitter and crocheter myself, I marveled at the time and effort that went into creating the magical piece.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t in Iceland to see another of the Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers’ missions – a project to celebrate culture night in Reykjavik. They took over a bus, reworking the seats with their own handmade crocheted upholstery. The group did the craftwork ahead of time and then applied it to the seats one night earlier in August.

You can see pictures of their amazing work here: http://reykjavikundergroundyarnstormers.wordpress.com/.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Crocheted and knitted tree hugger by Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers, Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo by Kelsey Savage.

Crocheted and knitted tree hugger by Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers, Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo by Kelsey Savage.

Crocheted and knitted tree hugger by Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers, Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo by Kelsey Savage.

Crocheted and knitted tree hugger by Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers, Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo by Kelsey Savage.

The bust of Nefertiti is part of the Egyptian Museum of Berlin collection. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Berlin to mark 100th anniversary of Nefertiti discovery

The bust of Nefertiti is part of the Egyptian Museum of Berlin collection. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The bust of Nefertiti is part of the Egyptian Museum of Berlin collection. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

BERLIN (AFP) – Berlin’s Egyptian Museum said Monday it will celebrate the centenary of the discovery of the 3,400-year-old fabled bust of Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti amid an ongoing feud with Cairo over its ownership.

The museum said it would open an exhibition on Dec. 6 honoring the famous sculpture and other jewels of the Amarna period in its collection on the German capital’s Museum Island.

On the same day in 1912, the bust was unearthed by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt.

“The exhibition focuses on never-before-seen discoveries from the collections of the Berlin museum, supplemented by loans from other museums abroad,” it said, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris and London’s British Museum.

Nefertiti, renowned as one of history’s great beauties, was the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton, remembered for having converted his kingdom to monotheism with the worship of one sun god, Aton.

The bust is at the top of a “wish list” of five major artifacts exhibited abroad that Egypt wants returned as part of its cultural heritage.

Germany says the sculpture was bought legally by the Prussian state, and that there are documents to prove it.

Amarna refers to the ruins of an ancient city founded by Akhenaton, where Borchardt and his team excavated up to 7,000 archaeological objects, about 5,500 of which made their way to Berlin, according to the museum.

The Berlin exhibition, entitled “In the Light of Amarna,” will run until April 13 and feature about 600 of these objects including Akhenaton and Nefertiti’s restored thrones with carved floral garlands.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The bust of Nefertiti is part of the Egyptian Museum of Berlin collection. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The bust of Nefertiti is part of the Egyptian Museum of Berlin collection. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Award-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is expected to attend the Venice Biennale. Photograph by Rodrigo Fernandez. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Venice Biennale to promote architecture for crisis times

Award-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is expected to attend the Venice Biennale. Photograph by Rodrigo Fernandez. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Award-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is expected to attend the Venice Biennale. Photograph by Rodrigo Fernandez. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

VENICE, Italy, (AFP) – Global architects like Renzo Piano, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster are flying in to Venice for the Biennale show starting on Wednesday where new designs are in tune with the mood of economic crisis.

The theme of the world’s largest architecture festival is “Common Ground” and director David Chipperfield from Britain said it was important that today’s architects reflect social concerns and not just go for glory projects.

The exhibition aims to “reassert the existence of an architectural culture, made up not just of singular talents but a rich continuity of diverse ideas,” said Chipperfield, who redesigned Museum Island in the center of Berlin.

Among the other star attendees will be Peter Eisenman from the United States, Kazuyo Sejima from Japan, Jose Rafael Moneo from Spain and Alvaro Siza Vieira from Portugal, who will receive a lifetime achievement award.

The award’s last winner, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, is also expected.

“We began by asking a limited group of architects to develop ideas that might lead to further invitations. Everyone was asked to propose a project along with a dialogue that reacted to theme,” Chipperfield said.

“The final list of contributors demonstrates a rich culture of difference rather than a selection of edited and promoted positions,” he said.

Chipperfield said it was important for architectural design to be in sync with society, saying this relationship “concerns the very meaning of our work.”

“There seems to be little dialogue” between commercial demands of development and the desire for a more humane environment, he said.

The 13th edition of the Biennale, which is held every two years, will run until Nov. 25 and will present a total of 66 projects from 55 countries including several newcomers like Angola, Kosovo, Kuwait and Peru.

The festival is spread out across the 32,290 square feet of Venice’s ex-military Arsenal and several national pavilions stand in the Giardini park on the southeastern tip of the island city.

Many of the designs will focus on urban architecture that is more attuned to the needs of city residents as growing rates of urbanisation around the world put increasing strains on infrastructure and generate new conurbations.

“Our cities can be interpreted as the physical form of a dynamic struggle between the individual and the collective,” Chipperfield said.

“The radical visions proposed and realised by the modern movement never replaced the conventional images we use to represent our idea of public and private: the street, the square, the arcade, the boulevard.”

Among the highlights will be an American installation called “Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good” – the design of a futuristic city built for the maximum comfort of its inhabitants.

Russia will also present its design for “an intelligent city” – Skolkovo Innocity outside Moscow, which is being planned to house a Russian version of Silicon Valley to bring together new technology pioneers and business.

“It is a space between the physical and the virtual,” said Grigory Revzin, curator of the Russian pavilion and a member of Skolkovo’s Urban Council.

The French pavilion, which will be inaugurated by Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti, will explore the idea of how to fit grand architectural complexes into existing cities using the eastern side of Paris as an example.

The Italian pavilion will showcase “Made in Italy” products starting with the first-ever Italian computer built by Olivetti in 1959.

Among the most startling exhibitions will be the Chilean pavilion, which has been decked out to look like the inside of a salt mine.

Eleven tons of salt from the Tarapaca mine were imported for the show.

Chipperfield, whose designs include the Figge Art Museum in Iowa and the Turner Contemporary gallery in Britain, is “a personality who cultivates an intense vision of pragmatic architecture”, said Biennale head Paolo Baratta.

“We felt it was important to look at architecture with a focus deep inside the discipline itself, to highlight the rich pattern of connections and associations, the intense dialogue between the architects of present and past.”


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Award-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is expected to attend the Venice Biennale. Photograph by Rodrigo Fernandez. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Award-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is expected to attend the Venice Biennale. Photograph by Rodrigo Fernandez. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Architect Frank Gehry, who has been tabbed to design Facebook's campus expansion. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Facebook picks Frank Gehry to design campus expansion

Architect Frank Gehry, who has been tabbed to design Facebook's campus expansion. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Architect Frank Gehry, who has been tabbed to design Facebook’s campus expansion. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Facebook said Friday it had hired renowned architect Frank Gehry to design the company’s campus expansion, which includes a new building with a rooftop garden.

“When it’s completed, we hope it will provide a paradise workspace for the 3,400 engineers who will one day fill it,” a company statement said.

The expansion to the campus in Menlo Park, Calif., will be designed by the Canadian-born Gehry, known for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, among others.

Gehry, known for his deconstructive style and buildings that sometimes appear unfinished, also designed the Stata Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris.

“At every step of planning the new building, Frank has taken into account our engineering culture,” Facebook said.

“It will be a large, one-room building that somewhat resembles a warehouse. Just like we do now, everyone will sit out in the open with desks that can be quickly shuffled around as teams form and break apart around projects.”

The new building will include “cafes and lots of micro-kitchens with snacks so that you never have to go hungry,” the statement said.

“And we’ll fill the building with break-away spaces with couches and whiteboards to make getting away from your desk easy.”

Facebook last year took over the headquarters of Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park, moving from cramped headquarters in nearby Palo Alto.

The company seeks to break ground on the new building in early 2013, with hopes for “a quick construction.”

It said the exterior also “takes into account the local architecture” and that “a ton” of trees would be planted on the grounds and on the rooftop garden.

“The raw, unfinished look of our buildings means we can construct them quickly and with a big emphasis on being eco-friendly,” Facebook added.

Facebook will maintain its current campus and use an underground tunnel to connect the two areas.

The former Sun campus in the city of Menlo Park, which borders Palo Alto, has nine buildings with a total of a million square feet of office space set on 57 acres of land.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Architect Frank Gehry, who has been tabbed to design Facebook's campus expansion. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Architect Frank Gehry, who has been tabbed to design Facebook’s campus expansion. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The 1900-type Kodak Brownie. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and WestLicht Photographica Auction.

Kodak attempts to sell imaging units, focus on printing

The 1900-type Kodak Brownie. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and WestLicht Photographica Auction.

The 1900-type Kodak Brownie. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and WestLicht Photographica Auction.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) – Kodak wants to sell its document imaging and personalized imaging businesses to better focus on printing and business services as it tries to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Eastman Kodak Co. said Thursday that the sale of the units, along with cost-cutting measures and the auction of its patent portfolio, will help it emerge from bankruptcy sometime in 2013.

Kodak’s document-imaging division makes scanners and offers related software and services. The personalized imaging business includes photo paper and still-camera film products. It also offers souvenir photo products at theme parks and other venues.

Antonio Perez, Kodak’s chairman and CEO, said the planned sale is “an important step in our company’s reorganization to focus our business on the commercial markets.”

The storied photography pioneer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. It has kept operating while it tries to sell its digital imaging patents. So far, it has not found buyers.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak was founded in 1880. Kodak introduced the iconic Brownie camera in 1900. Selling for $1 and using film that cost just 15 cents a roll, it made hobby photography affordable for many people. Its Kodachrome film, introduced in 1935, became the first commercially successful amateur color film.

Kodak’s workforce peaked in 1988 at nearly 150,000 employees. But the company couldn’t keep up with the shift from digital photo technology over the past decade and with competition from Japanese companies such as Canon.

It said earlier this year that it would stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames as it tries to reshape its business.

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

AP-WF-08-24-12 0141GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The 1900-type Kodak Brownie. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and WestLicht Photographica Auction.

The 1900-type Kodak Brownie. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and WestLicht Photographica Auction.

New director takes over at struggling Cape Cod museum

DENNIS, Mass. (AP) – The Cape Cod Museum of Art is welcoming a new interim director as it tries to recover from persistent money woes.

Cindy Nickerson assumes the job Monday. She tells the Cape Cod Times that her marketing, budgeting and writing experience will help as the museum tries to regain its footing.

The museum, with seven galleries and an annual $1 million budget, was hit hard by the economic downturn and continued to struggle with fundraising this year.

It had a reported $400,000 in debt by summer of 2011, leading to a failed effort to oust the last director. Adding to the turmoil, a dozen museum trustees have resigned in the past year. It also recently cut back hours and postponed exhibits.

Now, supporters say a new director and new procedures will mean a fresh start.

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

AP-WF-08-25-12 1409GMT

 

 

 

Heywood-Wakefield Co. made this wicker stool at the end of the 1890s. It is 9 3/4 by 14 1/2 by 11 1/2 inches. It matches other wicker furniture the company made. The stool sold for $48 at a Gray's Auctioneers sale in Cleveland.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of Aug. 27, 2012

Heywood-Wakefield Co. made this wicker stool at the end of the 1890s. It is 9 3/4 by 14 1/2 by 11 1/2 inches. It matches other wicker furniture the company made. The stool sold for $48 at a Gray's Auctioneers sale in Cleveland.

Heywood-Wakefield Co. made this wicker stool at the end of the 1890s. It is 9 3/4 by 14 1/2 by 11 1/2 inches. It matches other wicker furniture the company made. The stool sold for $48 at a Gray’s Auctioneers sale in Cleveland.

A cricket is an insect, but it also may also be a footstool. The cricket (footstool) was usually no more than l2 inches high. It was used as a seat for young children in school or as a footrest. Larger stools, 12 to 18 inches high, were used for seating teenage children and adults. A few stools were used like steps to help short people get into bed, and some very tall stools were made for standup desks. Taverns often used stools as seats. Chairs were made only for kings and very important people until the early 1700s.

Chair-makers made stools in popular chair styles. Upholstered stools were billed as chairs were: one charge for the frame, an added one for the upholstery. Fabrics were expensive before the end of the 1800s, so the frame usually cost less than the fabric.

Footstools are still popular as pull-up seating, low tables and footrests, and for small children. They have been made in all styles and all sizes.

Q: I have an old 9-inch figurine with “Chas Chaplin” engraved into the front of the base. The mark printed on the bottom is “Mark Hampton Co. Inc., 1328 Broadway, New York City, Copyrighted 1915-1910.” What is it worth?

A: Charlie Chaplin was the most famous film star in the world by the end of World War I. His legacy and star power carry on to the present day. Early 20th-century figurines like yours are collectible. A Mark Hampton Co. Charlie Chaplin figurine in good condition with the original box recently sold at auction for $275.

Q: My coffeepot is marked “D.W. Haber & Son, pat. 3994044, N.Y.” I have been unable to find out anything about it. It’s heavy and polishes up like silver. I bought it for $1 at a yard sale.

A: D.W. Haber & Son was founded in 1902 in New York and is still in business. It began as a silver repair business and then began making heavy silver-plated hollowware for hotels, cruise lines and other commercial uses. Since 2001, manufacturing has been done outside the United States. The company holds several patents, which include improvements to chafing dishes, coffeepots, compotes and urns. The patent on your coffeepot is for a heavy-duty hinge for restaurant and commercial ware. It was filed on Dec. 15, 1975, and issued on Nov. 30, 1976.

Q: I have a 27-inch-tall bronze sculpture stamped with the name Bouret. It is of a young woman adjusting the skirt layers of her dress. My wife and I inherited the figure years ago. Do you know the history of this sculpture?

A: Eutrope Bouret (1833-1906) was a French sculptor. He made many bronze figures, including sculptures of Joan of Arc, classical maidens and Roman gods. Most of his work dates from the late 19th century. His sculptures are collectible, and one of his statues recently sold for $3,256 at auction. But price depends on size, subject and condition.

Q: I have some Jaru ceramic accessories from the 1970s: three vases, a covered ginger jar and a stylized nude figurine. They are all covered with a brown glossy glaze. What value would you attach to these pieces?

A: Jaru Art Products was started in 1950 by Jack and Ruth Hirsh in Culver City, Calif. The name is a combination of the first two letters of their first names (“Ja” and “ru”). Jaru sold artwares and figurines by different artists. The company later created its own lines. Most pieces were marked with a simple paper sticker, although some have an impressed mark. Jaru changed hands in 1968 and stayed in business until the 1990s by diversifying and importing products. Collectors prefer pieces made before 1980. Your vases and ginger jar could sell for $20 to $75 each; the figurine is worth about $100.

Q: I have a Salvador Dali etching of El Cid. There is a certificate of authenticity glued to the back that states it is an original etching. The certificate is from the Collectors Guild of New York City. I’m curious about the value.

A: Salvador Dali was a famous 20th-century Spanish surrealist painter. Besides painting, he also experimented with sculpture, film and photography. In the early 1960s, he was commissioned to make a print series titled “Five Spanish Immortals” and based on historic Spaniards. The five included El Cid. The original etchings were printed in a total edition of 180 on two types of paper, one in black ink and one in sepia ink. Each example of this edition was hand-signed by Dali in pencil on the lower right corner. Many were marketed by the Collectors Guild. In 1968 the Collectors Guild published a new edition of the “Immortals.” For this edition, Dali etched his name into the printing plate instead of hand-signing the prints. Thousands were printed. A rare hand-signed edition sold at auction in 2012 for $250. An etched-signature edition recently sold for $40.

Tip: Fishing line is strong and almost invisible and can be used to tie fragile items to a base or wall. This will help prevent damage from earthquakes, toddlers and dogs with wagging tails.

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.

  • Harlequin dinner plate, yellow, Homer Laughlin, 1936-1964, 10 inches, $50.
  • Figural pig tape measure, silvered brass, wire-tail crank retracts tape, impressed “Pan-American 1901,” souvenir of Buffalo, N.Y., World’s Fair, 2 3/8 inches, $160.
  • Gorham sterling-silver salad spoon, Chantilly pattern, light gold wash on bowl, marked, circa 1895, 8 3/4 inches, $165.
  • Old Gold cigarettes store display, cardboard, truck with billboard sides, image of woman, two wolfhounds and Old Gold packs, “Not a Cough in a Car Load,” 1930s, 4 x 11 x 5 3/4 inches, $175.
  • Cambridge Glass candlestick, Crown Tuscan line, nude woman lifting candleholder above her head, 9 1/2 in., pair, $275.
  • Howdy Dowdy’s Clarabell music box, die-cut clown’s head, laminated cardboard, Howdy Doody characters revolve in mouth, F.B.A. Industries, New York, 1950s, 7 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches, $385.
  • Hooked rug, floral and log cabin pattern, wool fabric and yarn, various flowers on lavender-gray ground, brown and black border, New Hampshire, circa 1900, 45 x 24 inches, $525.
  • Arts & Crafts smoking stand, hand-hammered steel with bronzed finish, dome top, movable handle, storage compartments, ring handles, circa 1910, 38 x 20 x 8 1/2 inches, $875.
  • Stump Speaker mechanical bank, cast iron, black man standing next to carpetbag, coin in man’s hand drops into bag, Shepard Hardware Co., 1886 patent, 4 x 9 7/8 inches, $1,020.
  • Armand Marseilles character doll, No. 400, bisque head, blue sleep eyes, closed mouth, composition and wood flapper body, folklore costume, black velvet vest, red wool skirt, white pantaloons, 13 inches, $1,750.

Prepublication offer. The best book to own if you want to buy or sell or collect-and if you order now, you’ll receive a copy with the author’s autograph. The new Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2013, 45th edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and 40,000 up-to-date prices for more than 775 categories of antiques and collectibles. You’ll also find hundreds of factory histories and marks, a report on the record prices of the year, plus helpful sidebars and tips about buying, selling, collecting and preserving your treasures. Available online at Kovelsonlinestore.com; by phone at 800-303-1996; at your bookstore or send $27.95 plus $4.95 postage to Price Book, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2012 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Heywood-Wakefield Co. made this wicker stool at the end of the 1890s. It is 9 3/4 by 14 1/2 by 11 1/2 inches. It matches other wicker furniture the company made. The stool sold for $48 at a Gray's Auctioneers sale in Cleveland.

Heywood-Wakefield Co. made this wicker stool at the end of the 1890s. It is 9 3/4 by 14 1/2 by 11 1/2 inches. It matches other wicker furniture the company made. The stool sold for $48 at a Gray’s Auctioneers sale in Cleveland.