Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978), 'White Washing The Fence,' Tom Sawyer series lithograph 20in x 15in (image), pencil signed lower right, artist's proof. Sold Jan. 27, 2013 by Fairfield Auction. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Fairfield Auction LLC.

Rising river no problem for Tom Sawyer Days in Hannibal

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978), 'White Washing The Fence,' Tom Sawyer series lithograph 20in x 15in (image), pencil signed lower right, artist's proof. Sold Jan. 27, 2013 by Fairfield Auction. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Fairfield Auction LLC.

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978), ‘White Washing The Fence,’ Tom Sawyer series lithograph 20in x 15in (image), pencil signed lower right, artist’s proof. Sold Jan. 27, 2013 by Fairfield Auction. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Fairfield Auction LLC.

HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) – Mark Twain’s Missouri hometown is dealing with flooding — again — but the high water should have no impact on National Tom Sawyer Days.

The annual Fourth of July week event draws tens of thousands to Hannibal every year for the fence-painting contest, frog jumping and other popular events.

Hannibal has had a flood wall for 20 years that protects the downtown area. The Mississippi River is several feet above flood stage at Hannibal. It’s the third round of flooding since April.

But the Hannibal Courier-Post reports that the Hannibal Jaycees host the Tom Sawyer Days events on the dry side of the wall.

Mark Twain grew up in Hannibal and based the characters of many of his most famous works on the people he knew there.

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Information from: Hannibal Courier-Post, http://www.hannibal.net

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978), 'White Washing The Fence,' Tom Sawyer series lithograph 20in x 15in (image), pencil signed lower right, artist's proof. Sold Jan. 27, 2013 by Fairfield Auction. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Fairfield Auction LLC.

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978), ‘White Washing The Fence,’ Tom Sawyer series lithograph 20in x 15in (image), pencil signed lower right, artist’s proof. Sold Jan. 27, 2013 by Fairfield Auction. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Fairfield Auction LLC.

Tiffany & Co. flagship store at 727 Fifth Ave., New York City. Photo taken in 2007 by Dmadeo, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Feds: Tiffany exec stole jewelry worth $1.3M

Tiffany & Co. flagship store at 727 Fifth Ave., New York City. Photo taken in 2007 by Dmadeo, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Tiffany & Co. flagship store at 727 Fifth Ave., New York City. Photo taken in 2007 by Dmadeo, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

NEW YORK (AP) – A former executive with Tiffany & Co. stole a little blue box bounty from the jeweler’s midtown Manhattan headquarters and resold it for more than $1.3 million, federal authorities said Tuesday.

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun was arrested Tuesday at her home in Darien, Conn. She was to appear later in the day in federal court in Manhattan to face charges of wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.

As vice president of product development, Lederhaas-Okun had authority to “check out” jewelry from Tiffany to provide to potential manufacturers to determine production costs. Authorities allege that after she left Tiffany in February, the company discovered she had checked out 164 items that were never returned.

According to a criminal complaint, the missing jewelry included numerous diamond bracelets in 18-carat gold, diamond drop and hoop earrings in platinum or 18-carat gold, diamond rings in platinum, rings with precious stones in 18-carat gold, and platinum and diamond pendants.

When confronted about the missing jewelry, Lederhaas-Okun claimed that she had left some of it behind at Tiffany and that some had been lost or damaged, the complaint said. But an investigation found that Lederhaas-Okun resold the goods to an unidentified international dealer for more than $1.3 million, it said.

Bank records showed that since January 2011, the dealer wrote 75 checks to her or her husband for amounts of up to $47,400, the complaint said. Investigators also recovered purchase forms signed by Lederhaas-Okun that said the items were her personal property.

Authorities allege Lederhaas-Okun purposely checked out items valued at under $10,000 apiece to avoid detection. The company takes a daily inventory of all checked-out items worth more than $25,000.

If convicted, Lederhaas-Okun faces up to 20 years in prison. The name of her attorney wasn’t immediately available.

Tiffany representatives declined to comment Tuesday.

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Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Tiffany & Co. flagship store at 727 Fifth Ave., New York City. Photo taken in 2007 by Dmadeo, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Tiffany & Co. flagship store at 727 Fifth Ave., New York City. Photo taken in 2007 by Dmadeo, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

1897 Red Revenue small 1 dollar stamp, Qing Dynasty era, sold for HK$6.9 million (US $890,000). Image courtesy of Interasia Auctions.

Rare Chinese stamp sells for $890,000

1897 Red Revenue small 1 dollar stamp, Qing Dynasty era, sold for HK$6.9 million (US $890,000). Image courtesy of Interasia Auctions.

1897 Red Revenue small 1 dollar stamp, Qing Dynasty era, sold for HK$6.9 million (US $890,000). Image courtesy of Interasia Auctions.

HONG KONG (AFP) – One of China’s rarest stamps sold for HK$6.9 million ($890,000) at an auction in Hong Kong, the auctioneers said Wednesday.

With just 32 recorded copies, the Qing Dynasty “1897 Red Revenue Small One Dollar” stamp is “China’s rarest regularly-issued stamp,” Interasia Auctions said in a press release.

The bright red stamp, symbolizing luck and good fortune in Chinese culture, is rare because the characters “Qing Dynasty postal service, one dollar” were considered too small, prompting the printing of a second version.

The stamp was part of a three-day auction of Chinese, Hong Kong and Asian stamps which ended Monday bringing in a total of HK$71.9 million, Interasia said.

“Philately has a special place in Chinese culture, with rare stamps regarded as important cultural icons and treasures, just like art,” auction house director Jeffrey Schneider said in the statement.

A pair of rare stamps bearing an accidentally inverted picture of Chinese nationalist leader Sun Yat-sen sold for more than $700,000 in Hong Kong last October.

Mainland Chinese are regular buyers of the top lots at sales of art, jewelry and wine as Hong Kong positions itself as an auction hub for Asia as well as the gateway to China’s vast market.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


1897 Red Revenue small 1 dollar stamp, Qing Dynasty era, sold for HK$6.9 million (US $890,000). Image courtesy of Interasia Auctions.

1897 Red Revenue small 1 dollar stamp, Qing Dynasty era, sold for HK$6.9 million (US $890,000). Image courtesy of Interasia Auctions.

Would you put five coats of raw linseed oil on this early 19th century banquet table, followed by fresh shellac? Neither would I.

Furniture Specific: No need to feed

Would you put five coats of raw linseed oil on this early 19th century banquet table, followed by fresh shellac? Neither would I.

Would you put five coats of raw linseed oil on this early 19th century banquet table, followed by fresh shellac? Neither would I.

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. A few weeks ago my public library board had their annual deaccession sale. They didn’t call it that but it was. We trekked over to the county seat to the fairgrounds auditorium for a quick stroll through thousands of volumes arranged on folding tables and sorted not by the arcane Dewey decimal system but by meaningful categories like Archaeology and Cooking. How refreshing from a library system.

After lusting over the 30-volume “boxed sets” about the Civil War, World War I and World War II, I wandered over to the “Antique Furniture” section. It had three forlorn orphaned books in a dusty cardboard box (I already had two of the titles). I am a sucker for orphaned books like some folks collect tools or puppies, and I’m also a real bargain hunter, driven more by price than value, I hate to admit. One slender bold yellow and black hardback edition caught my eye with the ambitious title of Care and Repair of Antiques. It was an especially ambitious undertaking to cover such a complicated subject in a mere 168 pages. The price was $1. For a buck I will save almost any volume from Fahrenheit 451, no mater how ambitious.

A few days later I had time to devote to my new acquisition and I was pleasantly surprised. The work was authored by Thomas H. Ormsbee, who authored a number of serious volumes on antique furniture in the 1940s and 1950s. This one was published in 1949 by Grammercy and each chapter was originally published as a freestanding article in The Magazine Antiques.

Since the book and I could be brothers given our dates of birth (not saying which came first) I thought it would be interesting to see how the current view of antiques in general and furniture in particular has changed in my lifetime. While some of the changes were striking and in many cases would be considered “sinful” by today’s standards, some of the basics, as in any field, never change, only the interpretation.

One of the most striking changes is pointed out before the book even begins. The inside fly written by the author says, “In a recent survey made at leading antique shows, the book most frequently called for by the public, and not hitherto available, is one on the subject of caring for and renovating antiques.” Remember, this was 1949, the war was just over and the world was just beginning again. It called for an entirely different mind set. In the last round of shows I attended I made it a point to ask book dealers what was selling, an obvious move of self-interest because many of them carry my book. I was only slightly surprised to hear that the top-selling books, as had been the case for the last few years, were the price guides. It didn’t matter by whom, the subject matter, the credibility or the price of the guide. If it was a price guide it sold. Apparently in today’s market “How do I take care of it?” has been replaced by “What’s it worth?”

But the single most striking example of a change in thought was in the renovation of antique furniture. For modern collectors and owners the Antiques Roadshow and the effervescent Keno brothers have beaten us about the head and shoulders so severely about disturbing an original finish that many people are fearful of wiping off the dust on a mid-century modern bookcase for fear of “losing the value.” That attitude is slowly changing regarding most 20th century pieces but it is still there. I get a reader’s question almost every day about losing the antique value by repairing the damaged finish on a Depression-era bedroom set. Ormsbee on the other hand had no qualms about stripping a piece.

Two thirds of the way through the book Ormsbee states, “The nearer a piece can be kept to its original condition, the better.” He then proceeds to tell you how to strip and refinish the piece, including his favorite method using a gasoline torch, while giving a short lesson on the rare cases when a finish can and should be preserved.

This is where the most startling difference in 60 years shows itself. He starts with a process he says museum curators call “feeding.” After cleaning a piece with carbon tetrachloride, which is no longer used because of greenhouse gasses (odorless mineral spirits or Vulpex soap is the modern preference), the piece is coated generously with heated raw linseed oil and left to stand three or four days while the oil is absorbed, feeding the old finish and the wood below. It is then wiped down and re-oiled at least two more times and as many as five more times. After the piece is wiped down the last time it can then be recoated with the original finish, shellac or oil-based varnish.

There is more than one problem in that process that has been exposed by modern research, thoroughly and eloquently explained by Robert Flexner in his excellent work on the subject Understanding Wood Finishing published by Reader’s Digest.

The first problem is that the oil is not absorbed by the old finish nor the wood. Some of it evaporates and the rest of it simply dries as a thin soft skin over the original finish. After wax the softest thing you can use as a finish is linseed oil. The original finish is designed to prevent such absorption of a liquid of any sort and even if the finish is not intact the oil will not penetrate much deeper than the first cellular layer. The capillary action of the wood will not conduct such a viscous liquid. The museum curator who thought he was feeding the finish or the wood has less than a complete understanding of the chemistry of film finishes or activity of dead wood since neither substance needs to be “fed.”

Another problem with that procedure, as we now know, is that linseed oil is in fact a drying oil. It is not absorbed into the wood. Some portion of it remains on the surface. It will eventually try to integrate itself into both the original finish below it and the additional finish on top of it. In the future it will start to “crawl” and create cracks in both layers of finish and then it will have to be stripped.

However, Ormsbee does follow modern thinking in the aftercare of cured finishes. He shuns the use of any kind of oil as a dressing for all the right reasons. He advocates the use of a paste wax and shows he is years ahead of his time in which wax to use. Eschewing the use of commercially prepared waxes that have a petroleum base, he makes his own by shaving a pound of solid beeswax into a wide-mouth jar and filled halfway with turpentine. It is then placed in the sun until the wax melts and the solution more or less solidifies. He claims a quart of this mixture will do many pieces of furniture. No doubt.

Despite these apparent differences with modern philosophy, it appears that the basic concepts remain the same. The same recognition factors in identifying antique furniture are discussed including the evolution of fasteners, the clues left by tool marks and the basics of joinery identification.

While the basics are the same however, the devil is in the details. The difference in the breadth and depth of knowledge between the collectors of the late 1940s and those of the early 21st century is remarkable, thanks in large part to the free flow of information afforded by trade publications such as this one and the ever-present 600-pound gorilla in the room, the Internet.

 

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 River, 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 IMAGE OF NOTE


Would you put five coats of raw linseed oil on this early 19th century banquet table, followed by fresh shellac? Neither would I.

Would you put five coats of raw linseed oil on this early 19th century banquet table, followed by fresh shellac? Neither would I.

This slender volume published in 1949 has lots of good, tried and true techniques for identification and care of antiques, but it also has a few old wives’ tales that no longer apply. Read with caution.

This slender volume published in 1949 has lots of good, tried and true techniques for identification and care of antiques, but it also has a few old wives’ tales that no longer apply. Read with caution.

Peter Orlovsky (right) with his partner Allen Ginsberg in 1978 at Frankfurt Airport in Germany. Photo by Herbert Rusche, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

UT’s Harry Ransom Center acquires archive of beat poet Orlovsky

Peter Orlovsky (right) with his partner Allen Ginsberg in 1978 at Frankfurt Airport in Germany. Photo by Herbert Rusche, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Peter Orlovsky (right) with his partner Allen Ginsberg in 1978 at Frankfurt Airport in Germany. Photo by Herbert Rusche, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

AUSTIN, Texas – The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin has acquired the archive of American poet Peter Orlovsky (1933–2010), an important figure of the Beat Generation.

Orlovsky was fellow poet Allen Ginsberg’s companion for more than 40 years, and his papers reflect significant aspects of their relationship. Orlovsky’s collection comprises manuscripts, journals and notebooks, correspondence, tape recordings, photographs, and other personal documents, including unpublished poetry and prose works.

Visit the Harry Ransom Center online at http://www.hrc.utexas.edu.

About the Harry Ransom Center:

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin advances the study of the arts and humanities by acquiring, preserving, and making accessible original cultural materials. With extensive collections of rare books, manuscripts, photography, film, art, and the performing arts, the Center supports research through symposia and fellowships and provides education and enrichment for scholars, students, and the public through exhibitions and programs.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Peter Orlovsky (right) with his partner Allen Ginsberg in 1978 at Frankfurt Airport in Germany. Photo by Herbert Rusche, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Peter Orlovsky (right) with his partner Allen Ginsberg in 1978 at Frankfurt Airport in Germany. Photo by Herbert Rusche, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Closeup of The Statue of Liberty's head and shoulders. National Park Services photo.

Statue of Liberty makes ‘full recovery,’ will reopen July 4th

Closeup of The Statue of Liberty's head and shoulders. National Park Services photo.

Closeup of The Statue of Liberty’s head and shoulders. National Park Services photo.

NEW YORK (AP) – Months after Superstorm Sandy swamped her little island, the Statue of Liberty will finally welcome visitors again on Independence Day.

Sandy made landfall one day after the statue’s 126th birthday, flooding most of the 12 acres that she stands upon with water that surged as high as 8 feet. Lady Liberty herself was spared, but the surrounding grounds on Liberty Island took a beating.

Railings broke, docks and paving stones were torn up and buildings were flooded. The storm destroyed boilers, sewage pumps and electrical systems.

Hundreds of National Park Service workers from as far away as California and Alaska spent weeks cleaning mud and debris. In recent months, all mechanical equipment was moved to higher ground as workers put the island back in order.

The damage to Liberty Island and neighboring Ellis Island cost an estimated $59 million. Some repairs to brick walkways and docks are still underway, but on July 4 visitors will arrive via ferry boats once again to tour the national landmark.

“People will have, more or less, the same access to Liberty Island that they had before,” said John Warren, a spokesman for the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

The ceremony Thursday will include remarks by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others. It will close with a ribbon-cutting and performance by singer and actor Dominic Chianese, best known as Corrado “Junior” Soprano on the HBO series “The Sopranos.”

A gift from France, the statue was conceived to symbolize the friendship between the two countries and their shared love of liberty. It was dedicated in 1886 and welcomes about 3.5 million visitors every year.

People who purchased tickets in advance can also look out over New York Harbor from the statue’s crown, which reopened after a long hiatus one day before Sandy hit and was forced to close again due to the storm. The crown had been off-limits for a year during a $30 million upgrade to fire alarms, sprinkler systems and exit routes.

Security screening for visitors will be held in lower Manhattan after city officials criticized an earlier plan to screen them at neighboring Ellis Island, which endured far worse damage to its infrastructure and won’t be open to the public anytime soon.

Home to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the island still doesn’t have working electricity, sewage systems or telephone lines, Warren said.

The museum showcases the stories of the millions of immigrants who disembarked there to start their lives as Americans. Its historical documents and artifacts survived the storm unscathed, but more than 1 million items were transported to storage facilities because it was impossible to maintain the climate-controlled environment needed for their preservation.

Park officials would not provide a projected reopening date for Ellis Island.

For tourists like Davide Fantinelli, an 18-year-old from Italy, the reopening comes a bit too late. Fantinelli will already be back home by July 4th, but he and his parents managed to catch a glimpse of the statue from the deck of a water taxi.

The sight of it was one he’ll never forget.

“Because it’s liberty,” Fantinelli said. “It means freedom — of this great nation.”

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Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Closeup of The Statue of Liberty's head and shoulders. National Park Services photo.

Closeup of The Statue of Liberty’s head and shoulders. National Park Services photo.

Full view of The Statue of Liberty, 2010 photo by Elcobbola, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Full view of The Statue of Liberty, 2010 photo by Elcobbola, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

An ancient coin from the cache returned to its country of origin, Romania. Photo source: National History Museum, Bucharest.

Looted ancient coins return to Romania from US

An ancient coin from the cache returned to its country of origin, Romania. Photo source: National History Museum, Bucharest.

An ancient coin from the cache returned to its country of origin, Romania. Photo source: National History Museum, Bucharest.

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Authorities have displayed 2,000-year-old silver coins that were looted a decade ago from an archeological site in Transylvania and smuggled to the United States.

The 49 coins were publicly exhibited at the National History Museum Monday for the first time since they were stolen in 2003 from Sarmizegetusa Regia, a UNESCO-recognized archaeological site recognized, with the aim of selling them on the international black market.

Police said the coins were identified at a Chicago auction house in 2011. It took two years for the coins to be returned to Romania, with the help of the FBI, Romanian anti-crime prosecutors and government officials.

In recent years, more than a dozen people have been sentenced or are being prosecuted for looting archeological sites and selling items abroad on the black market. The coins were minted between 29 and 44 BC; no value was given for them.

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Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

An ancient coin from the cache returned to its country of origin, Romania. Photo source: National History Museum, Bucharest.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


title=”An ancient coin from the cache returned to its country of origin, Romania. Photo source: National History Museum, Bucharest.” class=”caption” />

Ruth Asawa's (Japanese/American, b. 1926) fountain at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco, installed in 1973. Smithsonian Save Outdoor Sculptures project, US Federal Government.

SF wants fountain, historic style retained for Apple store

Ruth Asawa's (Japanese/American, b. 1926) fountain at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco, installed in 1973. Smithsonian Save Outdoor Sculptures project, US Federal Government.

Ruth Asawa’s (Japanese/American, b. 1926) fountain at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco, installed in 1973. Smithsonian Save Outdoor Sculptures project, US Federal Government.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – San Francisco planners want to keep a beloved city fountain in Union Square after plans submitted last month by Apple for a new store there showed no space for it.

Planners released an initial review of Apple Inc.’s design proposal Thursday, calling for the Cupertino-based company to better integrate the historical and architectural style of the square into its plans for the store and to keep the fountain at its current spot or find another spot for it in the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The absence of the circular bronze fountain designed by famed local sculptor Ruth Asawa in Apple’s plans prompted an outcry from residents.

Apple spokeswoman Michaela Wilkinson said the company and Hyatt Hotels Corp. have always intended to find the “best possible location where it can live on in the community when the city approves the project.” The fountain was installed in 1973 as part of what was then the new Hyatt complex.

“The Ruth Asawa fountain is a beloved local monument and an important part of Union Square,” Wilkinson said. She declined to say whether the fountain would stay in the plaza or be relocated.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said he thinks a decision on the fountain will likely be made “in a short period of time.”

Apple is envisioning one of its classic cube-style stores with a 115-foot glass wall at the front of the store and another wall composed entirely of steel panels. The city’s review asked for more color and texture on the glass and some windows on the steel-paneled wall.

“The bottom line is, a contemporary building can work,” John Rahaim, the city’s planning director, told the Chronicle. But he said planners were looking for a little more “texture” and architectural compatibility with the surrounding district, which includes dozens of masonry buildings from before World War II.

Also, if the planning department determines Union Square is an “urban bird refuge,” clear glass would be allowed on no more than 10 percent of the store’s glass wall.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Ruth Asawa's (Japanese/American, b. 1926) fountain at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco, installed in 1973. Smithsonian Save Outdoor Sculptures project, US Federal Government.

Ruth Asawa’s (Japanese/American, b. 1926) fountain at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco, installed in 1973. Smithsonian Save Outdoor Sculptures project, US Federal Government.

The original banner commemorating the Chicago Blackhawks' 1961 NHL championship sold at auction Tuesday for $37,500. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers image.

At auction: Blackhawks 1961 Stanley Cup Championship Banner

Chicago Blackhawks 1961 Stanley Cup Championship Banner to be auctioned in Chicago on July 16, 2013. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Chicago Blackhawks 1961 Stanley Cup Championship Banner to be auctioned in Chicago on July 16, 2013. Image courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

CHICAGO – Blackhawks fans, get a good grip on your hockey sticks — on Tuesday, July 16th, Leslie Hindman will auction the original 1961 Blackhawks championship banner that hung in the old Chicago Stadium. There couldn’t be a more opportune time for the iconic banner to come to auction, since excitement is at an all-time high in Chi-Town after the Blackhawks’ clinched the Stanley Cup, yet again, last week.

In 1961, Chicagoans witnessed their beloved Blackhawks, led by sports legends Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 29 years, beating the Detroit Red Wings 5-1. It was the first championship for the city since 1947, when the Chicago Cardinals won the National Football League title. It was also the last Stanley Cup title the ‘Hawks would win for another 49 years.

The 1961 win was commemorated by a stunning championship banner that hung in the old Chicago Stadium until 1994, when the stadium was torn down to make way for the United Center. A highly publicized auction of the stadium’s contents was held by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, with the banner being among the highlights drawing significant attention and competitive bidding. The winning bid of $15,000 came from restaurant owner, Gus Cappas, who proudly displayed the banner in his Glenview restaurant, McMahons Steakhouse.

The banner will be sold in a single item, online-only sale Tuesday, July 16, at 6 p.m. Central Time, and will be on view at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers during regular business hours up to the date of the sale. Interested parties may contact 312-280-1212 for more information.

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Imperial yellow embroidery, China, embroidered with five-clawed dragons among clouds and waves, 92 inches x 44 inches. Price realized: $11,000. Kaminski image.

Imperial embroidery sews up $12,000 bid at Kaminski

Imperial yellow embroidery, China, embroidered with five-clawed dragons among clouds and waves, 92 inches x 44 inches. Price realized: $11,000. Kaminski image.

Imperial yellow embroidery, China, embroidered with five-clawed dragons among clouds and waves, 92 inches x 44 inches. Price realized: $11,000. Kaminski image.

BEVERLY, Mass. – With over 600 lots, the Fine Asian Arts and Antiques Auction at Kaminski on June 22 saw the successful sale of a wide variety of Chinese objects, including ivory, jade, bronze, porcelain, silk and hardwood pieces—all selling with an 81 percent pass rate.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

While a few high selling lots became the clear stars of the auction, the sale performed very well overall. The majority of lots sold within or above estimate, indicating the high quality and desirability of the items selected for the sale by Kaminski’s Asian appraiser Bob Yang, with the aid of Asian department assistant Helen Eagles. Yang joined the Kaminski team in November 2012 and has since brought a deep knowledge of Chinese antiques as well as a wide variety of truly intriguing and valuable objects to each auction.

Of the standout lots of this sale, the highest grossing was a large carved hardwood screen that stood 73 inches tall. The screen featured figurative carving to both sides, broken into multiple panels. An online bidder purchased the piece for $14,000.

A large huanghuali armchair also commanded a high price for its beautiful carvings. Raised on a huanghuali platform, the chair featured carved dragons on the headrest, seat back and skirt. This impressive piece of furniture sold for $11,000, far above the $5,000 original high estimate.

A rare cloisonne plaque from the collection of a former Boston College professor also displayed impressive artistry as well as veritable age. The 18th century Chinese Qing Dynasty plaque depicted a range of azure mountains against a sky of the same color, and in the lower portion, elegantly bent trees shading a small building with a lone inhabitant. The scene also included an inscription in the top right hand corner. Many bidders competed to own the plaque, which ultimately sold for $12,000.

The sale additionally included a number of silk and embroidered pieces, the most impressive of which was a yellow Chinese imperial embroidery. The length of fabric, 92 inches by 44 inches, was filled with detailed and multicolored embroidery outlining the sinuous curves of five clawed dragons among billowing clouds and waves. Originally estimated at $4,000 to $6,000, the embroidery was hammered down at $11,000.

A decisive absentee bid outperformed a number of eager buyers on the floor and online for a bronze figure of Yama, 7 inches in height. The 18th or 19th century Tibetan figure of the wrathful god also sold for far above its estimate, fetching $9,000.

One of the most highly anticipated lots of auction was a red glazed vase from the Chinese Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty (1736-1795). The vase featured a bamboo shaped neck that opened into a wide bulbous body, and had been preserved in excellent condition. After intense bidding on the floor and online, the final hammer price of the vase came to $8,000. Other high selling porcelain lots included a pair of famille rose boy figures from the Qing Dynasty, also in very good condition, which sold for $4,250, and a pair of finely painted landscape plaques in rosewood frames for $4,750.

The smaller jewelry items included in the sale were equally impressive. Many bidders were especially drawn to a Chinese pearl necklace of the later 19th century. Sold for $11,000, the stately necklace consisted of a string of 106 large pearls rich with iridescent pinks and purples and accented by carved coral beads, turquoise, lapis, agate and cloisonne elements.

Equally impressive in quality was a white jade brush holder, carved in the form of a mountain range. The high quality piece of jade carried a carved Shiru mark, and rested upon a zitan wood stand. The lot sold for $5,500.

With the conclusion of this summer auction, the Asian Arts and Antiques Department at Kaminski looks forward to their fall Asian auction, to be held on Sept. 21.

 

View the fully illustrated catalog of the June Fine Asian Arts and Antiques Auction at Kaminski, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.

 


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Imperial yellow embroidery, China, embroidered with five-clawed dragons among clouds and waves, 92 inches x 44 inches. Price realized: $11,000. Kaminski image.

Imperial yellow embroidery, China, embroidered with five-clawed dragons among clouds and waves, 92 inches x 44 inches. Price realized: $11,000. Kaminski image.

Rare cloisonne plaque, China, Qing Dynasty, 18th century, depicting a landscape scene, 19 1/2 inches x 26 3/4 inches. Price realized: $12,000. Kaminski image.

Rare cloisonne plaque, China, Qing Dynasty, 18th century, depicting a landscape scene, 19 1/2 inches x 26 3/4 inches. Price realized: $12,000. Kaminski image.

Pearl necklace, China, later 19th century, with carved turquoise, lapis, and red coral beads, carved purple quartz and cloisonne hanging accent pendants, 60 inches long. Price realized: $11,000. Kaminski image.

Pearl necklace, China, later 19th century, with carved turquoise, lapis, and red coral beads, carved purple quartz and cloisonne hanging accent pendants, 60 inches long. Price realized: $11,000. Kaminski image.

White jade brush holder, China, with carved Shiru mark, carved in the form of a mountain range, on a zitan wood stand, 1 5/8 inches x 4 3/4 inches. Price realized: $5,000. Kaminski image.

White jade brush holder, China, with carved Shiru mark, carved in the form of a mountain range, on a zitan wood stand, 1 5/8 inches x 4 3/4 inches. Price realized: $5,000. Kaminski image.

Bronze figure of Yama, Tibet, 18th/19th century, 7 inches x 7 inches. Price realized: $9,000. Kaminski image.

Bronze figure of Yama, Tibet, 18th/19th century, 7 inches x 7 inches. Price realized: $9,000. Kaminski image.