Sports memorabilia expert appraiser Leila 'Lee' Dunbar.

Sports memorabilia expert Leila Dunbar to speak in NYC Monday

Sports memorabilia expert appraiser Leila 'Lee' Dunbar.

Sports memorabilia expert appraiser Leila ‘Lee’ Dunbar.

NEW YORK – Leila “Lee” Dunbar, former head of Sotheby’s Collectibles department and longtime Antiques Roadshow sports memorabilia appraiser, will speak on the subject of valuing sports collectibles on Monday evening, Oct. 1, at the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan.

A Certified Member of the Appraisers Association, Dunbar will demystify the process of reviewing and valuing sports memorabilia and offer specific resources for authentication and valuation. The lecture will benefit both collectors and general antiques dealers who want to know how to value sports items that may turn up in estates and consignments.

Those who’ve watched Dunbar in action through her television appearances know they can expect an entertaining, highly informative lecture on Monday evening. The start time for the two-hour talk is 6 p.m., and the cost of admission is $25 ($15 to Appraisers Association members).

The Salmagundi Club is located at 47 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10003. For additional information log on to www.appraisersassoc.org or call 212-889-5404.

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Cindy Sherman photograph, untitled. Roland Auctions image.

NYC estates comprise Roland anniversary auction Oct. 6

Cindy Sherman photograph, untitled. Roland Auctions image.

Cindy Sherman photograph, untitled. Roland Auctions image.

NEW YORK – Roland Auctions’ October Anniversary Auction will be held Saturday, Oct. 6, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT. This sale marks Roland’s two-year anniversary and, with over 600 exciting lots, is expected to be fast-paced and well attended. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide the Internet live bidding during the sale.

Twentieth century design remains a strong focus at Roland, with this sale’s highlights including a polychrome-decorated hall bench by Peter Hunt from the Doris Duke Collection, an outstanding Italian desk attributed to Gio Ponti (purchased from well-known modern pioneer Fred Silberman), and an early Isamu Noguchi Akari standing lamp. Earlier examples include a finely carved easel by Lockwood de Forest, an important Greuby vase and an early Gustav Stickley dining table.

Along with this excellent offering of modern design, there are many extraordinary works of modern art for the collector. A Cindy Sherman photograph, an early Andy Warhol silkscreen, Robert Neffson and Robert Birmelin paintings all offer excellent opportunities to invest in the modern art market while claiming an impressive work of art for your collection.

Included in the auction is the property from a most intriguing Beekman Place estate, which showcased a collection of antique Georgian furniture, fine 18th and 19th century porcelains, a substantial group of table silver and some fine pieces of estate jewelry. Many of these pieces descended through the family, members of whom served as Secretary of the Navy and highly regarded journalists and close friends of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. With an array of fine silver, 18k gold Tiffany and Cartier jewels, fine watches and well-cared for English and American antiques, Sevres, Meissen and other porcelain, this is a collection that will be fought over at auction.

One of the highlights of the Oct. 6 sale is the impressive group of old master paintings. With a multitude of genres and countries of origin, there is sure to be something to appeal to every taste. A few highlights from this selection of paintings and sculpture include H. Moreau, J. Staples, J. Clayton, J. Groth, T.B. Pitman, (after) F.H. Drouais and N. Bedrossian.

There are many treasures in this auction. Magnificent bronze sconces, a collection of antique barometers, a Steinway grand piano, diamonds and much more await to be sold.

For details phone 212-260-2000.

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


Cindy Sherman photograph, untitled. Roland Auctions image.

 

Cindy Sherman photograph, untitled. Roland Auctions image.

Monumental Japanese bronze palace urn. Roland Auctions image.

 

Monumental Japanese bronze palace urn. Roland Auctions image.

Francois Linke (attrib.) ladies desk. Roland Auctions image.

 

Francois Linke (attrib.) ladies desk. Roland Auctions image.

The Isleworth Mona Lisa. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Doubts linger over authenticity of ‘earlier’ Mona Lisa

The Isleworth Mona Lisa. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Isleworth Mona Lisa. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

GENEVA (AP) – A Zurich-based foundation attempted to prove to the world Thursday that Leonardo Da Vinci painted an earlier version of the Mona Lisa – a claim doubted by at least one expert on the multifaceted Renaissance artist.

The Mona Lisa Foundation, which has been working with the anonymous owners of the “Isleworth Mona Lisa,” says that after 35 years of research, experts believe it predates the famed 16th-century masterpiece by some 11 or 12 years based on regression tests, mathematical comparisons and historical and archival records.

“So far, not one scientific test has been able to disprove that the painting is by Leonardo,” said art historian Stanley Feldman, a foundation member and principal author of a foundation book titled Mona Lisa: Leonardo’s Earlier Version released Thursday. “We have used methods that were not available to Leonardo 500 years ago.”

“When we do a very elementary mathematical test, we have discovered that all of the elements of the two bodies – the two people, the two sitters – are in exactly the same place,” Feldman told The Associated Press by phone. “It strikes us that in order for that to be so accurate, so meticulously exact, only the person who did one did the other … It’s an extraordinary revelation in itself, and we think it’s valid.”

The Isleworth painting – likewise a portrait of a young woman with an enigmatic smile – is slightly larger, was painted on canvas and has brighter colors than the famed Louvre Museum masterpiece painted on wood. The posture, folded hand positions, faces, expressions and clothing are similar, while the landscape in the background is different.

The foundation says the painting turned up in the home of an English nobleman in the late 1800s – thus the connection to Isleworth – and was shipped to the United States for safekeeping during World War I. After the war, it was analyzed in Italy, and eventually taken to Switzerland where it remained in a bank vault for the last 40 years, the group said.

The Isleworth Mona Lisa has been known publicly for generations – if forgotten by the broader public – and the book excerpts numerous news headlines about the painting and the possibility of its Da Vinci connection in the early 20th century.

Martin Kemp, an Oxford University professor and Leonardo expert, wrote in an e-mail that “the reliable primary evidence provides no basis for thinking that there was ‘an earlier’ portrait of Lisa del Giocondo” – referring to the subject of the painting that’s known as the Mona Lisa in English and La Joconde in French.

Kemp questioned the “debatable interpretations” of source material about the Isleworth painting, and said that scientific analysis cannot categorically deny that Da Vinci didn’t paint it. However, he added: “The infrared reflectography and X-ray points very strongly to its not being by Leonardo.”

“The Isleworth Mona Lisa miss-translates subtle details of the original, including the sitter’s veil, her hair, the translucent layer of her dress, the structure of the hands … ” Kemp wrote. “The landscape is devoid of atmospheric subtlety. The head, like all other copies, does not capture the profound elusiveness of the original.”

The Louvre Museum declined to comment.

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

AP-WF-09-26-12 2310GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Isleworth Mona Lisa. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Isleworth Mona Lisa. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919), 'Paysage Bords de Seine.' Image source: Wikicollecting.org.

Flea market Renoir pulled from auction after theft claim

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919), 'Paysage Bords de Seine.' Image source: Wikicollecting.org.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919), ‘Paysage Bords de Seine.’ Image source: Wikicollecting.org.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, bought for $7 at a flea market, is no longer up for auction this weekend after a US museum alleged it was stolen more than 60 years ago.

In a statement Thursday, auctioneers Potomack said it had checked the respected FBI and Art Lost Register lists of stolen art when “Paysage Bords de Seine” was consigned for sale last year.

The 19th century landscape had been acquired by an anonymous Virginia resident for $7 at a Shenandoah Valley flea market as part of a box lot that also included a plastic cow and a Paul Bunyan doll.

Potomack, based in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, planned to auction the painting — with an estimated value of $75,000 to $100,000 — on Saturday. But then the Baltimore Museum of Art stepped into the picture, alerting the auctioneers Wednesday it had evidence that the small but vibrant painting had been stolen in 1951, although there is no police record of the theft.

The landscape had been loaned to the museum by Baltimore heiress Saidie May in 1937, 11 years after its acquisition by its last documented buyer, her former husband Henry May, from a Parisian art dealer.

“Potomack is relieved this came to light in a timely manner as we do not want to sell any item without clear title,” said Potomack’s proprietor Elizabeth Wainstein, who has alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Our objective in conducting a sale is always to ensure fairness and finality both for the consignor and for the buying public. Postponing the sale of the Renoir painting is the best way of achieving that objective.”

Renoir, who died in 1919 at the age of 78, was a giant of the French Impressionist movement, and his paintings remain highly coveted by art collectors — and art thieves — worldwide.

Earlier this month the FBI added another Renoir, “Madeleine Leaning on Her Elbow with Flowers in Her Hair,” to its Top Ten Art Crimes list. Stolen from a Houston, Texas home in 2011, it is thought to be worth $1 million.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919), 'Paysage Bords de Seine.' Image source: Wikicollecting.org.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919), ‘Paysage Bords de Seine.’ Image source: Wikicollecting.org.

Won Ju Lim’s installation from the Honolulu Museum of Art titled 'In Many Things to Come,' will be offered at Clars Oct. 7, Auction of Fine Art and Antiques. (Estimate $10,000 to $20,000). Clars Auction Gallery image.

Clars to sell installation by artist Won Ju Lim on Oct. 7

Won Ju Lim’s installation from the Honolulu Museum of Art titled 'In Many Things to Come,' will be offered at Clars Oct. 7, Auction of Fine Art and Antiques. (Estimate $10,000 to $20,000). Clars Auction Gallery image.

Won Ju Lim’s installation from the Honolulu Museum of Art titled ‘In Many Things to Come,’ will be offered at Clars Oct. 7, Auction of Fine Art and Antiques. (Estimate $10,000 to $20,000). Clars Auction Gallery image.

OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery has been selected by the Honolulu Museum of Art to represent the sale of the installation In Many Things To Come by contemporary artist Won Ju Lim (American/Korean, b. 1968). Won Ju Lim’s installation, which was on exhibit at the Clare Luce Booth Gallery at the Honolulu Museum of Art in 2006, was specially commissioned by the museum as part of their series of exhibitions of the works of international contemporary artists.

Clars will offer this work for bidding as part of the Oct. 7 auction of fine art and antiques. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Won Ju Lim has quickly gained international acclaim for her creation of evocative architectural forms that are illuminated by projected moving and still images, using cinematic spectacle to create animated monuments and landscapes. Through her use of color, shadows and light, she takes viewers on an imaginative journey evoking both fantasy and nostalgia.

In In Many Things to Come, Lim chose to focus on Hawaii with the premise that a visitors experience of Hawaii is, in part, a packaged commodity manufactured by a powerful tourism-industrial complex. The recognition of this aspect of Hawaii raises questions about the process of conveying, representing and remembering the essence of Hawaii. The materials used to create this work include aluminum foil and Plexiglass, papier-mache and colored glue sticks – the combination of which gives activity and vibrancy to this piece.

In all of Won Ju Lim’s work, her inspiration comes from pop culture, films and worldwide urban experiences mixing them all together to create her “haunting” installations.

Public preview will be available Friday, Oct. 5, from 1 to 6 p.m. PDT and beginning at 9 a.m. on both Saturday, Oct. 6, and Sunday, Oct. 7. To schedule a private preview, call the offices of Clars Auction Gallery at 510-428-0100 or email info@clars.com.

Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Won Ju Lim’s installation from the Honolulu Museum of Art titled 'In Many Things to Come,' will be offered at Clars Oct. 7, Auction of Fine Art and Antiques. (Estimate $10,000 to $20,000). Clars Auction Gallery image.

Won Ju Lim’s installation from the Honolulu Museum of Art titled ‘In Many Things to Come,’ will be offered at Clars Oct. 7, Auction of Fine Art and Antiques. (Estimate $10,000 to $20,000). Clars Auction Gallery image.

The Rev. Albert Wagner (1924 - 2006), ‘City Beneath the Sea,’ assembled sculpture composed of found objects on a tabletop. Gray’s Auctioneers image.

Record prices for Cleveland artist at Gray’s Auctioneers

The Rev. Albert Wagner (1924 - 2006), ‘City Beneath the Sea,’ assembled sculpture composed of found objects on a tabletop. Gray’s Auctioneers image.

The Rev. Albert Wagner (1924 – 2006), ‘City Beneath the Sea,’ assembled sculpture composed of found objects on a tabletop. Gray’s Auctioneers image.

CLEVELAND – Records were set at Gray’s Auctioneers on Sept. 20 for the assembled artworks of the visionary outsider artist the Rev. Albert Wagner. The sale included 819 artworks grouped into 322 lots, with over 80 percent of these pieces selling at auction – the most ever sold for one artist at Gray’s.

Wagner’s sale results are noteworthy for a contemporary artist, not just in Cleveland but also throughout the U.S. The auction house’s extensive outreach campaign for the sale was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from potential buyers, with over 300 art lovers attending preview and a large number of those returning for the sale itself, which was held live in Gray’s showroom. Bids came in from all over the world, with a significant number of lots heading nationwide and overseas. The sale was a true triumph for Wagner, Gray’s and Cleveland art.

To learn more about Gray’s Auctioneers visit www.graysauctioneers.com.

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


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Rev. Albert Wagner (1924 - 2006), ‘City Beneath the Sea,’ assembled sculpture composed of found objects on a tabletop. Gray’s Auctioneers image.

The Rev. Albert Wagner (1924 – 2006), ‘City Beneath the Sea,’ assembled sculpture composed of found objects on a tabletop. Gray’s Auctioneers image.

Bronze figure by Francisco Zuniga (1912-1998), depicting a female seated on a chair. Estimate: $200,000-$250,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Elite Decorative Arts sale Oct. 13 boasts Zuniga bronze

Bronze figure by Francisco Zuniga (1912-1998), depicting a female seated on a chair. Estimate: $200,000-$250,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Bronze figure by Francisco Zuniga (1912-1998), depicting a female seated on a chair. Estimate: $200,000-$250,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A large bronze rendering of a woman seated on a chair by the renowned Mexican-Costa Rican artist Francisco Zuniga (1912-1998) is expected to realize $200,000-$250,000 at an estates sale planned for Saturday, Oct. 13, by Elite Decorative Arts. LiveAuctoneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The figural bronze was crafted in 1981 and is titled Rosa en una Silla (or Rosa Sentata). It is quite large – 49 inches tall by 29 3/4 inches wide by 27 inches deep – and is marked and dated “Mexico 1981.” It is also inscribed by the artist, who is equally well known for his paintings as well as his sculptures. His father, Manuel Maria Zuniga, was also a noted sculptor.

Francisco Zuniga was once described as “one of the 100 most notable Mexicans of the 20th century,” and the Encyclopedia Britannica called him “perhaps the best sculptor of the Mexican political modern style.” Museums holding his works in their permanent collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The Zuniga bronze is the expected top lot of the 300 or so items set to cross the auction block. The sale will feature fine decorative arts and artwork, estate jewelry, porcelain, silver, bronze, clocks, art glass, furniture, Chinese works and more.

The artwork titled Tactile Tableaux by the Israeli artist Yaacov Agam (b. 1928) has painted metal elements attached to a panel with springs (est. $30,000-$50,000). It was executed in 1965 and measures 56 1/4 inches tall by 42 1/2 inches wide. The work was purchased by the consignor from a gallery in France. Agam is a sculptor and experimental artist best known for his contributions to optical and kinetic art. He has lived in Paris since 1951.

A suite of three bronze figures collectively titled Three Hurdlers by Canadian-American artist Artis Lane (b. 1927) is expected to fetch $20,000-$30,000. Each figure is 10 inches tall. Lane is an award-winning black sculptor and painter. She was born and raised in Ontario, in a community of descendants of slaves who came to Canada by way of the Underground Railroad.

Original works by the famed French and Russian artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985) are always in demand, and this sale has a great ink and paper illustration by Chagall depicting dancers and doves (est. $20,000-$30,000). Artist signed lower right, the rendering measures 11 inches by 7 1/2 inches, with a 4-inch mat.

An abstract acrylic on canvas by Richmond Burton (American, b. 1960), titled USA Morphing Fields, should realize $12,000-$18,000. The work, executed in 1999, measures 75 inches by 84 inches and is signed by the artist. It was purchased from the Cheim & Read Gallery in New York. Burton is an abstract painter and printmaker. His paintings are colorful and harmonious, and his background in architecture lends a visual order to his works.

Also selling will be an untitled acrylic on paper by Sam Francis (American, 1923-1994). The painting, executed in 1998, measures 50 inches in height by 11inches wide, with a 6-inch mat frame. It was acquired by the estate consignor from the Robert Sandelson Gallery in London and should climb to $20,000-$30,000. An Abstract Impressionist painter known for his brilliant coloration and splotch-like shapes, Francis became one of the better known modernist artists of the second half of the 20th century.

Rounding out the fine art category is a mixed media collage made with paint and various other materials and attributed to the German artist Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948).The work is initialed “KS” and dated (1924) to the lower right, but authentication has been difficult to obtain so it is being offered for sale as an attribution. It carries an estimate of $60,000-$80,000.

Moving to decorative accessories, a sterling silver fruit bowl with a grape motif, designed by the Danish artisan Georg Jensen in 1918, is expected to bring $7,000-$10,000. It is a stunning piece of work, among the most popular of Jensen’s hollowware designs. The compote/fruit bowl has a meticulous figural grapevine design and the foot and bowl have a solid, hammered finish.

A striking 20th century Elmer Osborne Stennes “Aurora” girandole banjo clock, with a domed hinged screen to the face and white enameled face with black Arabic numerals and gold highlights, should breeze to $3,000-$5,000. The clock features black hour and minute hands and domed reverse-painted screens to the neck and body. It is 46 inches tall and 12 1/2 inches wide.

A pair of 18th century French Sevres mounted porcelain sconce chargers, mounted in dore bronze sconce mounts, is also expected to make $3,000-$5,000. The piece depicts a man trying to court a young maiden who is standing next to her mother looking on, in a forest setting. Each charger is signed “A. Harrel” and each one holds the Sevres double L mark with A to the center.

Fine estate jewelry will feature a dazzling men’s 18kt yellow gold Piaget dial wristwatch with a jadeite face design, gold hour and minute hands, a textured band design and the original presentation box, with cover (est. $6,000-$8,000); and an exquisite ladies’ 900 platinum and diamond emerald cabochon ring, size 6 1/2 with a total weight of 7.3 dtw (est. $4,000-$5,000).

The auction will begin at 1 p.m. EDT.

Contact Elite Decorative Arts call 800-991-3340 or e-mail them at info@eliteauction.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


Bronze figure by Francisco Zuniga (1912-1998), depicting a female seated on a chair. Estimate: $200,000-$250,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Bronze figure by Francisco Zuniga (1912-1998), depicting a female seated on a chair. Estimate: $200,000-$250,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Striking 20th century Elmer O. Stennes ‘Aurora’ girandole banjo clock. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Striking 20th century Elmer O. Stennes ‘Aurora’ girandole banjo clock. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Pair of 18th century French Sevres bronze mounted chargers, 25 1/2 inches tall. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Pair of 18th century French Sevres bronze mounted chargers, 25 1/2 inches tall. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Sterling silver fruit bowl with grape motif, designed by Georg Jensen in Denmark in 1918. Estimate: $7,000-$10,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Sterling silver fruit bowl with grape motif, designed by Georg Jensen in Denmark in 1918. Estimate: $7,000-$10,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Stunning gentleman's 18kt yellow gold Piaget watch with jadeite face design. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Stunning gentleman’s 18kt yellow gold Piaget watch with jadeite face design. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Ink on paper depiction of dancers and doves by Marc Chagall. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Ink on paper depiction of dancers and doves by Marc Chagall. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

The 'Best Actress' Oscar awarded to Joan Crawford for her lead role in the 1945 film 'Mildred Pierce' was auctioned for $426,732 at Nate D. Sanders' Sept. 25 auction in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of Nate D. Sanders.

Nate D. Sanders auctions Joan Crawford Oscar for $426K

The 'Best Actress' Oscar awarded to Joan Crawford for her lead role in the 1945 film 'Mildred Pierce' was auctioned for $426,732 at Nate D. Sanders' Sept. 25 auction in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of Nate D. Sanders.

The ‘Best Actress’ Oscar awarded to Joan Crawford for her lead role in the 1945 film ‘Mildred Pierce’ was auctioned for $426,732 at Nate D. Sanders’ Sept. 25 auction in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of Nate D. Sanders.

LOS ANGELES (ACNI and AFP) – Nate D. Sanders, a Los Angeles-based auctioneer and expert authenticator of autographs and celebrity memorabilia, hit a career milestone on Sept. 25th. His company auctioned the “Best Actress” Oscar won by Joan Crawford for her role in the classic film noir Mildred Pierce for an astounding $426,732. The price includes a 20% buyer’s premium.

“There were many bidders vying for the Oscar. It sold to a private collector,” Sanders told Auction Central News.

The selling price is especially remarkable when compared to the previous price realized at auction. In 1993, Christie’s East offered the Crawford Oscar in one of its sales with an estimate of $8,000-$12,000. It surprised even Christie’s then-Director of Collectibles Joshua Arfer when it knocked down $60,000. “I didn’t expect it to go that high,” Arfer remarked at the time.

But $60,000 is chump change compared to last Tuesday’s result at Sanders’ gallery. A 700% return over 19 years is not bad…not bad at all.

The Joan Crawford Oscar symbolizes not only Crawford’s finest onscreen performance but also a well-documented Hollywood story.

Crawford, who died in 1977, won the award in 1945 for her portrayal of a middle-class housewife struggling during the Great Depression, beating out the frontrunner, Ingrid Bergman.

Crawford thought she wouldn’t win the Oscar, so she didn’t attend the Academy Awards ceremony, pretending to be ill. The coveted statuette was accepted on her behalf by her director, Michael Curtiz.

Later, Crawford invited reporters to her hotel bedroom to receive it herself, famously saying: “Whether the Academy voters were giving the Oscar to me, sentimentally, for Mildred, or for 200 years of effort, the hell with it – I deserved it.”

“This Oscar carries with it a fascinating story and represents Joan Crawford’s gutsy comeback in the industry that labeled her ‘box-office poison’ several years earlier,” said Sanders. “It’s really one of the most spectacular Oscars in existence.”

Sanders said the market for celebrity memorabilia – which he likens to a microeconomy that answers only to itself – is “super hot” at the moment. As the economy falters, collectible memorabilia and movie awards are spiking dramatically,” he said. “Don’t forget, during the Great Depression, fine art was selling as people were starving and in breadlines.”

While most of Sanders’ regular buyers are in the USA, he said interest is strong in other countries, as well.

“There are many collectors in the Middle East, the South Pacific – all over the place. We try to have a mixture of items in our auctions to appeal to all of our clientele,” Sanders said.

Based on auction results and his own observations, Sanders said the current top three celebrity icons in terms of collectibility are Marilyn Monroe, Babe Ruth and James Dean, in that order. Elvis and Star Wars are right up there, as well.

“With Marilyn memorabilia, her most famous dresses are the items of greatest value,” said Sanders. “A dress from an iconic movie scene could sell for up to $5 million. A dress she wore in a film before she was an established star might be worth half as much.”

Sanders places Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney at top of the list of “most collectible” currently active entertainers. In particular, Dylan is known for keeping a low profile and not signing many autographs, which adds to the marketability of Dylan-signed goods but also makes authentication critical. This is where Sanders holds a trump card, since he’s a trusted expert in the field of celebrity autographs and can separate the real from the unreal.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a kid, and I’ve had more than 10 years’ experience in seeing and handling celebrity contracts. I’ve become very good with authentication,” he said.

Oscar statuettes will continue to be on Sanders’ most-wanted list, he said. Less than a year ago, he auctioned Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane Oscar for $860,000. Add to that the recent triumph with the Crawford Oscar, and it seems clear that there are plenty of deep-pocketed collectors following Sanders’ sales who will shell out the big bucks to own one of Hollywood’s ultimate status symbols.

Oscar’s appearance at auction has not been without its controversy, however. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes Hollywood’s top awards show, has criticized sales of Oscar statuettes in the past, contending that they should be won, not bought.

An Academy spokeswoman did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Visit Nate D. Sanders online at www.natedsanders.com.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The 'Best Actress' Oscar awarded to Joan Crawford for her lead role in the 1945 film 'Mildred Pierce' was auctioned for $426,732 at Nate D. Sanders' Sept. 25 auction in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of Nate D. Sanders.

The ‘Best Actress’ Oscar awarded to Joan Crawford for her lead role in the 1945 film ‘Mildred Pierce’ was auctioned for $426,732 at Nate D. Sanders’ Sept. 25 auction in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of Nate D. Sanders.

 

Paul Cezanne, 'The Boy in the Red Vest,' 1889. Image courtesy Wikipaintings.org.

4 charged in theft of Cezanne’s ‘Boy in the Red Vest’

Paul Cezanne, 'The Boy in the Red Vest,' 1889. Image courtesy Wikipaintings.org.

Paul Cezanne, ‘The Boy in the Red Vest,’ 1889. Image courtesy Wikipaintings.org.

BELGRADE, Serbia (AFP) – Four men have been charged with stealing Paul Cezanne’s painting The Boy in the Red Vest, which was stolen in Switzerland in 2008, Serbia’s prosecutor for organized crime said Thursday.

The four were all arrested in April, when the post-Impressionist painting was uncovered in Belgrade.

They are accused of theft and creating a joint criminal enterprise, prosecutor Miljko Radisavljevic said in a statement.

The painting was stolen from the E.G. Buehrle collection in Zurich in February 2008, along with works by Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet.

At the time, the theft was the biggest art heist ever in Europe.

Police recovered the other three masterpieces, but the Cezanne had remained missing until April 11, when Serbian police found it hidden in the back of a car after chasing down a suspect in Belgrade.

The authenticity of the painting was confirmed by a Swiss expert and its value was estimated at about 100 million euros ($129 million), Radisavljevic said.

The four accused were identified as Drasko Mladenovic, the alleged organizer of the theft and his accomplices in Serbia Ivan Pekovic, Goran Radojevic and Bobe Nedeljkovski.

Serbian authorities said the suspects had been paid 1.4 million euros for the painting and they were arrested as they tried to organize its handover.

If found guilty, the four face up to 10 years in prison.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Paul Cezanne, 'The Boy in the Red Vest,' 1889. Image courtesy Wikipaintings.org.

Paul Cezanne, ‘The Boy in the Red Vest,’ 1889. Image courtesy Wikipaintings.org.

‘Tavolo Pesce (viso),’ 198x125x74 cm. Estimate: €20.000-26.000. Starting price: €12.500. Courtesy San Carlo Aste.

Art Market Italy: A new auction house in Turin

‘Tavolo Pesce (viso),’ 198x125x74 cm. Estimate: €20.000-26.000. Starting price: €12.500. Courtesy San Carlo Aste.

‘Tavolo Pesce (viso),’ 198x125x74 cm. Estimate: €20.000-26.000. Starting price: €12.500. Courtesy San Carlo Aste.

Interview with Patrik Launo, artistic director at San Carlo Aste.

Q: When did you found auction house San Carlo Aste?

A: It was founded in July 2011 by three experts from the art sector. The first sale was in December 2011.

Q: Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

A: Pasquale Chianello, Patrik Launo and Giovanni Marocco Carena. All three are very passionate about art and antique. Chianello comes from a long and successful experience in the sector of tourism. Launo and Marocco Carena have both worked at international auction houses and in the field of high-end collecting.

Q: What does San Carlo Aste offer clients? What are your strategies?

A: We hold auctions every month, thus reducing the time between delivery, sale and payment. Starting next year we would like to hold even two sales a month. For the most important lots we offer to our consignors the starting price in advance – which is a very attractive offer to monetize quickly an artwork or collectible. Turin and Piedmont are gold mines for artworks and collections and we offer a channel that was missing before. Above all, for sectors such as wines (we are the first ones in Piedmont), or cars (in this sector we are the first ones in Italy. The first auction in this sector will be held in February 2013). We try to diversify the offer in relation both to the sector and to the price range. We present lots that are interesting also on the international level. And we do private sales, as well. In our houses there are always exhibitions and we have a gallery with 7,000 buy-it-now items, which one can buy directly here or on our website.

Q: How was the first year of activity? What were the results and which departments gave the best results?

A: In the first year we sold 1,200 lots, which were 70 percent of the total amount of presented lots. The total result was more than €2.5 million/$3.2 million.

We had great satisfactions from the sectors of wristwatches. The top lot was a Rolex Daytona Paul Newman with a starting price of €15,000/$19,000 that was sold for €75,000/$97,000. Offers came from Singapore, Israel and the United States. The sector of watches is growing steadily, above all on the Asiatic market (Hong Kong in the first place). Also Italian design gave us great satisfactions. The top lot until now was a marble woodshed by Carlo Mollino coming from Minola House in Biella. It was a unique piece and it was sold in Germany for €56,000/$72,000 (the starting price was €25,000/$32,000). Mollino is very recognized on the international market. In the Old Masters sector the top lots were a couple of Roman landscapes coming from a castle in Piedmont. They were sold for €80,000/$103,000 and went back to Rome, which means that also the Italian market is ready to spend when there is quality. Even if the antique sector is suffering a difficult period.

Q: How many artworks and design objects are you offering at the next auction on Oct. 4?

A: More than 300 lots of design and contemporary art.

Q: Who are the represented artists and designers?

A: Kounellis, Pistoletto, Sottsass, Fornasetti, Mendini, Arman, Worhol, Gufram, etc.

Q: Why have you chosen to put together contemporary art and design?

A: Because the clients who acquire contemporary art are the same who acquire design. We do the same with antiques and old masters. In these times of crisis, the tendency is to broaden the catalogs instead of splitting into different sectors. In this way we try to encounter the taste of our customers and we can reduce costs, as well – for example for the catalogs.

Q: What are the highlights among the works of contemporary art on sale on Oct. 4?

A: Among the works of contemporary art there is an accumulation by Arman from the year 1971, Frozen Garbage # (Civilitazion). It is important because it is rare on the Italian market. It comes from a New York gallery, namely Lauwrence Rubin. Usually Arman is well represented on the American and French market. The starting price is €60,000/$78,000. It is part of the well-known series of accumulations, on which Arman worked in the 1960s and 1970s using different objects such as violins and paint tubes. This is an accumulation of garbage, a provocative work which was born in a period when artists looked for stupefaction. … Another rare and important work is the self-portrait with fur hat by Michelangelo Pistoletto, with a starting price of €12,000/$16,000. It is a work from the mirror series, on which Pistoletto started working in the 1960s using different subjects, but the self-portrait is rare. Pistoletto is very strong on the international market. In October the Italian Sale in London will offer various works by Pistoletto, but no self-portraits.

Q: And what are the highlights among the objects of design?

A: Among the works of design, the Tavolo Pesce (viso) by Gaetano Pesce (Memphis production) with a starting price of €12,500/$16,000. It comes from a private collection for which it was expressly realized. The material is hot cast resin. The tricolor is an homage to Italy.

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Gaetano Pesce (1939), ‘Tavolo Pesce (viso),’ 198x125x74 cm. Estimate: €20.000-26.000. Starting price: €12.500. Courtesy San Carlo Aste.

Gaetano Pesce (1939), ‘Tavolo Pesce (viso),’ 198x125x74 cm. Estimate: €20.000-26.000. Starting price: €12.500. Courtesy San Carlo Aste.

Arman (1928-2005), ‘Frozen Garbage # (Civilitazion) 1971,’ plastic and objects, 46x46x25,50 cm. Provenience: Lawrence Rubin, 49 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019; Galleria il Fauno Due, Torino. Estimate: €90.000-120.000. Starting price: €60.000. Courtesy San Carlo Aste.

Arman (1928-2005), ‘Frozen Garbage # (Civilitazion) 1971,’ plastic and objects, 46x46x25,50 cm. Provenience: Lawrence Rubin, 49 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019; Galleria il Fauno Due, Torino. Estimate: €90.000-120.000. Starting price: €60.000. Courtesy San Carlo Aste.

Michelangelo Pistoletto (1933), ‘Autoritratto col colbacco,’ silkscreen on steel, 100x70 cm, ed. III/25. Estimate: €18.000-24.000. Starting price: €12.000. Courtesy San Carlo Aste.

Michelangelo Pistoletto (1933), ‘Autoritratto col colbacco,’ silkscreen on steel, 100×70 cm, ed. III/25. Estimate: €18.000-24.000. Starting price: €12.000. Courtesy San Carlo Aste.