Catskill Creek by Thomas Cole. Image courtesy of Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers' Museum.

Fenimore Art Museum exhibit studies Hudson River School

Catskill Creek by Thomas Cole. Image courtesy of Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers' Museum.

Catskill Creek by Thomas Cole. Image courtesy of Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers’ Museum.

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) – Some of America’s best-loved artwork is on display in a new exhibit opening in Cooperstown.

The exhibit, which opened Saturday at the Fenimore Art Museum, showcases more than 45 19th-century landscape paintings by prominent artists of the period.

The paintings on display include masterpieces by Thomas Cole, considered the founder of the art movement known as the Hudson River School. Others were created by Frederic Edwin Church, a student of Cole’s.

The exhibition is part of a collaborative project with the Glimmerglass Festival and Hyde Hall State Historic Site near Cooperstown, and Olana State Historic Site, Church’s Hudson Valley home.

The exhibit, titled “The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision,” was organized by the New-York Historical Society in Manhattan. It runs through Sept. 29.

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http://www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-06-29-13 2025GMT


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Catskill Creek by Thomas Cole. Image courtesy of Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers' Museum.

Catskill Creek by Thomas Cole. Image courtesy of Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers’ Museum.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions cites many standouts in June 14-15 sale

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

PHILADELPHIA – Buyers at Kamelot Auctions’ two-day Town & Country Estate Sale on June 14 and 15 competed for treasures of 20th century and antique designer furniture, lighting, garden antiques, Orientalia, and quality fine art and decorative art. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

Friday’s portion of the sale included decorative arts, fine art and Orientalia and saw a strong opening with a carved Asian antique ivory goddess, circa 1900, that brought $3,600 (lot 1) and a set of four signed watercolors of koi that brought $11,000 (lot 17). Other highlight’s of Friday’s sale include a collection of Herend porcelain Rothschild Bird dinner service that grossed over $14,000 (lots 230, 231, 232, 234), a Rene-Paul Marquet ivory and gilt bronze figure that earned $6,000 (lot 141) and an oil painting by Guatemalan-born artist Rodolfo Mishaan titled La Bandera Serie Quetzel that brought $3,800 (lot 299).

Saturday continued with strong sales with a diverse array of antique and mid-century furniture, lighting and garden antiques. Lot 501, a Pedro Friedeberg carved hand-form chair, circa 1970, grossed an impressive $9,000 along with a rare pair of Murano teardrop floor lamps circa 1940 that brought $7,500 (lot 633). Other highlights include a pair of Syrian mother of pearl settees that earned $6,000 (lot 750), a pair of Napoleon III Turkish style club chairs circa 1880 that brought $7,200 (lot 726) and a labeled J.W. Fiske cast-iron fountain with three tiers that grossed $6,300 (lot 937).

The June sale at Philadelphia’s Kamelot Auctions exhibited many such successful results throughout the two-day run of over 1,000 lots. The next three sales at Kamelot Auctions will take place in September, October and November. For more information, visit kamelotauctions.com or call 215-438-6990.

View the fully illustrated catalog of Kamelot Auctions’ sale held June 14-15, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.


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Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Kamelot Auctions image.

Devon Akmon. © copyright Gilles Perrin/Courtesy AANM.

Arab national museum taps deputy for top job

Devon Akmon. © copyright Gilles Perrin/Courtesy AANM.

Devon Akmon. © copyright Gilles Perrin/Courtesy AANM.

DETROIT (AP) – The Arab American National Museum conducted a countrywide search for a director but found its top candidate was already on the job.

The museum in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn announced Friday that it selected Devon Akmon as director. The former deputy director has overseen daily operations for the past year and succeeds founding director Anan Ameri, who retired in May.

Akmon, 37, has been with the museum since its beginnings in 2005. He was hired as curator of community history and became deputy director in 2009.

Manal Saab, the museum’s national advisory board chair, said Akmon’s experience, vision and understanding of Arab-American culture make him “uniquely qualified” to lead the museum based in one of the nation’s largest and best-known Arab communities. The 38,500-square-foot museum is in a Middle Eastern-style building across from Dearborn’s City Hall.

Akmon said he feels “tremendously honored” to be selected and looks forward to expanding outreach efforts locally as well as nationally. He’s also eager to physically expand the museum into adjacent buildings the museum owns and use the renovated space for more art-, food- and music-based events and programming.

Akmon, who is half-Lebanese and a grandson of Arab and Greek immigrants, said he also recognizes the role the museum can play for people of varying experiences and ethnicities.

“The museum means different things to different people,” he said. “(Some) are reconnecting, reaffirming who they are and where they come from—reconnecting with their roots. That’s something I’ve experienced.”

Museum officials credit Akmon for helping securing the museum’s role as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution two years after it opened. That allows it to borrow artifacts from the Smithsonian’s collection of 36 million pieces and access its education and performing arts programs, speakers, workshops and technical help.

Akmon earned his master’s degree in historic preservation at Eastern Michigan University and studied art history and psychology while working toward his bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University.

The museum is part of ACCESS, formerly the Arab Community Center for Economic Social Services.

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Follow Jeff Karoub on Twitter: twitter.com/jeffkaroub

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

AP-WF-06-28-13 2327GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Devon Akmon. © copyright Gilles Perrin/Courtesy AANM.

Devon Akmon. © copyright Gilles Perrin/Courtesy AANM.

A display at the Gettysburg Museum gift shop. Image by Sallicio. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Gettysburg vendors hope to cash in on 150th anniversary

A display at the Gettysburg Museum gift shop. Image by Sallicio. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

A display at the Gettysburg Museum gift shop. Image by Sallicio. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – As re-enacted war raged several miles away, tourists strolled a commercial strip of Gettysburg to survey T-shirts, hats and other trinkets to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s pivotal battle.

More than 200,000 people—including thousands of re-enactors—are expected to visit this small south-central Pennsylvania town through Fourth of July weekend to mark the milestone.

And it’s a prime opportunity for vendors to make some money.

Sightseers can pick up one of the many incarnations of “150th Anniversary” T-shirts at stores along about a two-block stretch of one of the main drags in town, Steinwehr Avenue, less than a quarter-mile from the Gettysburg National Military Park. One store, in between two shops that promote ghost tours, had “Army of the Potomac” and “Army of Northern Virginia” athletic department shirts among offerings hanging on its porch.

A few visitors said they aren’t comfortable with the consumerism in town.

“I don’t like the commercialism. I think they can do a lot less of it,” said Richard Gow, 65, of Binghamton, N.Y. Dressed sharply in a gray uniform, Gow was portraying noted Confederate Gen. Lewis Armistead outside the American Civil War Wax Museum.

Then Gow—himself a U.S. Army veteran who served during Vietnam—looked toward the battlefield, just down the road. That is where the self-proclaimed Civil War buff, who said his family ties trace back to Confederate Maj. Gen. John Gordon, said visitors can find what’s really important.

“It’s the grounds,” he said reverentially, referring to the fields and hills where up to 10,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died in the Civil War’s pivotal conflict. “It’s an honor to be here.”

Federal forces turned away the Confederates during fierce fighting on July 1-3, 1863, ending with the South’s ill-fated Pickett’s Charge across an open field against Union soldiers.

But making money on Gettysburg isn’t new. In fact, profiteers went out to scour the battlefield, after the fighting was over, to search for relics to sell, said Peter Carmichael, professor of history at Gettysburg College.

Soon after the war, a brothel was established on Little Round Top, the hill that was the sight of key fighting later made famous in the 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Killer Angels, and the 1993 movie Gettysburg. That’s long gone, too, with the National Park Service overseeing the land now.

“The battlefield in many ways is much less commercialized than it once was,” Carmichael said Saturday.

George Lomas, owner of The Regimental Quartermaster store on the busy commercial strip said he’s been gearing up for this week for months. His business primarily attracts re-enactors looking to buy period military jackets, shirts and belts along with bayonets and muskets.

Smaller tables near the front door carried 150th anniversary T-shirts and more kitschy items like a pen shaped like a mini-drumstick inscribed with “Civil War.”

Re-enactors have been streaming in this week, Lomas said, but he also sells items for tourists.

When asked about people who may think Gettysburg is too commercialized, Lomas said, “That happens. That’s business. I don’t think it’s over-commercialized. Of course, I’m prejudiced.”

He noted how a stretch of road along the actual battlefield actually became less commercialized. He was referring to the Park Service’s efforts in recent years to rehabilitate major areas of the battlefield to make it better resemble the territory soldiers encountered 150 years ago.

One of the changes involved removing a motel that that once stood across the street from a monument for Ohio soldiers. The rehabilitation process grew out of a master plan in 1999 that didn’t set the 150th anniversary as a deadline—though park officials say it was a welcome and timely coincidence.

The Killer Angels, written by Michael Shaara, and the Gettysburg movie have been credited with increasing interest in the war in recent decades. Shaara died in 1988.

His son, Jeff, himself a bestselling author whose Gods and Generals was the 1996 prequel to his father’s classic, was signing books at the wax museum Saturday morning. He said he saw commercialism as a way to help the community pay for the taxes that in turn paid for infrastructure.

Shaara said other scenes in and around Gettysburg this anniversary week had to be taken into account, like lines of Boy Scouts eagerly going through the National Park Visitors Center; or dedicated history buffs wearing wool uniforms on a sunny summer afternoon marching in detailed formations to recreate the fighting.

“There are a myriad of draws of why people come here. The commercialism? We’re a capitalist society. You’re free to open a store and sell whatever it is you want to sell,” he said. “But to me, it doesn’t destroy what’s here. It’s sort of a necessary part of it.”

Many other visitors said modern Gettysburg strikes the appropriate balance between capitalizing on its notoriety and paying reverence to the conflict: No amusement parks, no roller coasters.

“This kind of brings history alive,” said Dave Gish, 54, a pastor from Wilton, Conn., who took photos of a re-enactment between Union and Confederate cavalry featuring hundreds of horses. “It’s the kind of thing where this is pretty much what you’re coming for.”

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

AP-WF-06-30-13 0110GMT


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A display at the Gettysburg Museum gift shop. Image by Sallicio. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

A display at the Gettysburg Museum gift shop. Image by Sallicio. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. July 25, 2012 photo by Kadellar, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Art lovers can now visit New York’s Met every day

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. July 25, 2012 photo by Kadellar, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. July 25, 2012 photo by Kadellar, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

NEW YORK (AFP) – Art lovers can now visit New York’s fame Metropolitan museum every day of the week after the management dropped a policy of being closed on Mondays.

The Met, which welcomed a record-breaking 6.28 million visitors last year, had closed its doors on Mondays for more than 40 years.

“Art is a 7-day-a-week passion, and we want the Met to be accessible whenever visitors have the urge to experience this great museum,” Met director Thomas Campbell said in a statement.

The change announced in March was implemented this week, just in time for the summer holidays.

It will be open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm on Friday and Saturday and from 10:00 am until 5:30 pm Sunday through Thursday.

Inaugurated in 1872, the Met houses more than two million pieces of art from around the world.

It is the second major New York museum to expand its hours in recent months.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) — which welcomes three million visitors a year — dropped its policy of being closed on Tuesdays in May.

A record 52 million tourists, of whom 41 million were Americans, visited New York in 2012.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. July 25, 2012 photo by Kadellar, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. July 25, 2012 photo by Kadellar, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Irina Antonova, retiring director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, 2011 photo by A. Savin, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Veteran curator of Russia’s Pushkin Museum quits at 91

Irina Antonova, retiring director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, 2011 photo by A. Savin, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Irina Antonova, retiring director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, 2011 photo by A. Savin, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

MOSCOW (AFP) – The tireless 91-year-old matriarch of the renowned Pushkin Art Museum in Moscow is leaving her post after steering theinstitution for 52 years, Russia’s cultural minister said Monday.

The announcement came as a surprise but follows a protracted battle Pushkin director Irina Antonova has waged to return to Moscow a collection of Impressionist art from Saint Petersburg, where it was sent on orders of Joseph Stalin in the 1940s.

“Irina Antonova is a living legend, and she is a person who made the Pushkin Museum into a legend. We are infinitely thankful to Irina Antonova,” said culture minister Vladimir Medinsky.

Antonova will now serve as the museum’s president, a position that has been created especially for her.

“I thank the museum for my life in the museum, for these years, and I thank all of you, with whom I have worked for many years with, I think, some success,” Antonova responded, speaking at a special museum meeting that was shown on television, as the institution’s numerous staff stood up and applauded.

She then proceeded on a tour of the galleries, irritably waving cameramen away from the Titian paintings the museum is currently exhibiting.

The person replacing Antonova is Marina Loshak, curator of various Moscow galleries that Medinsky said will “give a new push and fresh breath to our wonderful and adored Pushkin Museum.”

Speaking to Channel One, Loshak said she will first have to “understand the mechanism” of the museum and not rush through any changes.

Antonova meanwhile exuded confidence that she is still very much in charge.

“You know we have big plans, including creating a museum city, to continue our epic construction,” she said, referring to her project of the museum’s expansion.

Antonova sent a shockwave through Russia’s museum world earlier this year when she bluntly told President Vladimir Putin during his annual nationwide question-and-answer session that Moscow should reopen the Museum of New Western Art closed by Stalin in 1948.

Doing so would mean taking prized exhibits out of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, where they have been for more than 60 years.

Fluent in French, Italian and German, Antonova commands huge respect among colleagues abroad and has managed to organise shows of works by the likes of Picasso, Modigliani and Caravaggio which rarely leave their home museums.

In an interview with AFP in June, Antonova gave no indication that she was giving up the fight, saying that “no one else is going to do this” but herself.

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Irina Antonova, retiring director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, 2011 photo by A. Savin, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Irina Antonova, retiring director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, 2011 photo by A. Savin, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

The U.S. Gold Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Despite funding cuts, Fort Knox’s iconic status endures

The U.S. Gold Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The U.S. Gold Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

FORT KNOX, Ky. (AP) – Few military posts have a place in pop culture as rock solid as Kentucky’s Fort Knox, thanks to its mysterious gold vault.

The name of the historic base is practically synonymous with impenetrability. In addition to housing the Treasury Department’s U.S. Bullion Depository and its stacks of gold, the Army’s tank training school was started at Fort Knox. And the sprawling central Kentucky Army post has been the setting for blockbuster Hollywood films.

But Knox’s days as a war-fighting post may be over with the Pentagon’s decision last week to strip its only combat brigade, which follows the loss of its famed armor school and thousands of tank personnel just a few years ago. The base will remain the site of the gold vault, but otherwise it could be destined to function less as a tip-of-the-spear military facility and more as a home to office and support workers.

Many of those workers file into a nearly million-square-foot structure on post that was completed a few years ago, but the massive building doesn’t seem destined to unseat the vault as the symbol of Fort Knox.

“It is kind of an icon. Most people when they see the outline of the depository, they know what it is,” said Harry Berry, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who is now judge-executive in Hardin County. “When you think about Fort Knox, if you don’t have a military background, you instantly think about gold or Goldfinger,  the 1960s James Bond film.

The Pentagon announced last week that it was eliminating Knox’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division as part of a major restructuring that will reduce the Army’s active duty combat brigades to 33 from 45. The cuts will reduce the size of the Army from about 570,000 in the midst of the Iraq war down to 490,000, which includes personnel in units that support the brigades.

For some posts, that means the loss of a few hundred soldiers, but in Knox’s case it’s a cut of more than 40 percent to its active duty force and nearly a total elimination of its fighting personnel. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear puts the figure at about 10,000 lost troops and their families leaving Knox and the surrounding area.

Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, said the military was not moving toward closing Knox: He pointed out that the Army’s recruiting and human resource commands have relocated there since a major Army realignment almost a decade ago.

Baldy Carder, who owns a tattoo parlor in nearby Radcliff, said he’s not worried about the post closing—a “because of the gold reserve.” But he said his business could take a hit since about half his customers come from the post.

“When you’re talking about 10,000 people leaving, that’s quite a chunk of change that we’re going to be losing,” he said.

Fort Knox’s own estimates project that its annual economic impact will shrink from about $2.8 billion a year to $2.62 billion upon the brigade’s departure, said Ryan Brus with the post’s public affairs office. That’s a decrease of more than 6 percent.

Much of Knox’s future is invested in the home for the Army’s Human Resources Command, which opened in 2010. The gleaming structure is the largest office building in Kentucky and one of the biggest in the military.

The work going on inside is a far cry from the military post’s heyday when tanks and infantrymen roamed the grassy hills. Knox was known as the home of the Army’s tank and armored vehicle training for more than seven decades, before the Pentagon completed the move of the school to Fort Benning, Ga., in 2011.

Lonnie Davis hated to see the tanks go. Aside from the lost business for his Radcliff barber shop, the Kut Zone, he had a 20-year career in the Armored Division at Knox.

“That’s why I went into Armor, to stay close to home,” Davis said.

Today, the Gen. George S. Patton Museum and a scattering of aging tanks and armored vehicles sprinkled around the post are only remnants of that past.

Inside the museum, which just finished a $5 million renovation, visitors learn about the post’s history, and tucked away in a small corner is a tribute to its Hollywood past. That started with The Tanks Are Coming, a 1951 film about a tank crew fighting its way into German territory. Bill Murray’s comedy Stripes was released in 1981, with Knox doubling as the fictional Fort Arnold where Murray goes through basic training.

But the most iconic film shot at the post was 1964’s Goldfinger, with Sean Connery in the role as 007, tasked to stop a madman from destroying the country’s gold reserves.

The movie helped spur curiosity about Knox’s gold vault, which opened in 1937. Its seemingly impregnable walls ushered Fort Knox into the American lexicon as a way to describe a safe and secure location.

During World War II, the gray stone fortress housed documents including the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The U.S. Treasury Department says on its website that there are now 147 million ounces of gold inside, with an estimated worth of more than $160 billion at today’s prices.

But the gold stays inside, and the bullion depository is not a tourist attraction: No visitors are allowed in.

Berry and Davis said Knox’s future success could depend on adding staff to Human Resources Command along with other administrative-oriented missions. The post’s total workforce now is about 20,000, including active duty and civilians.

“We’ll gain from that as opposed to the green-suit side, if you will,” Berry said.

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

AP-WF-06-30-13 1519GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The U.S. Gold Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The U.S. Gold Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Brandon Plantation was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, and was declared a U.S. Historic Landmark in 1985.

6 bidders remain in historic Brandon Plantation auction

Brandon Plantation was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, and was declared a U.S. Historic Landmark in 1985.

Brandon Plantation was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, and was declared a U.S. Historic Landmark in 1985.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Six bidders remain in the running for the historic Brandon Plantation in Prince George County.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the six highest bidders who moved on to the second round of the auction have until July 10 to name their best offer. Should all six come in before then, owner Linda Daniel can go ahead and choose the highest one.

The nearly 5,000-acre property along the James River includes a nearly 7,800-square-foot, seven-bedroom main house with two wings, including the one built around 1765. The original owner was Capt. John Martin, one of the settlers of Jamestown. The property has 11 other houses and 14 farm structures.

Los Angeles-based Premiere Estates declined to release information about bidders, the total number of bidders or the prices offered. The new owner will not be announced until after the transaction closes in August.

“The Daniel family and all the selling parties are very pleased with the interest level that has been generated and the interest level moving into the next round,” said Todd Wohl, a partner at Premiere Estates.

The first round of the auction, or the qualification round, lasted nearly nine weeks and ended Wednesday. Only bidders in the top 33 percent were allowed to move on to the second round.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com

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

AP-WF-06-28-13 1951GMT


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Brandon Plantation was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, and was declared a U.S. Historic Landmark in 1985.

Brandon Plantation was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, and was declared a U.S. Historic Landmark in 1985.

These urns were thought to be Chinese export pieces made in the 1700s, but they were made by Jacob Petit in France. Raised white lines are found on his 19th-century pieces.

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of July 1, 2013

These urns were thought to be Chinese export pieces made in the 1700s, but they were made by Jacob Petit in France. Raised white lines are found on his 19th-century pieces.

These urns were thought to be Chinese export pieces made in the 1700s, but they were made by Jacob Petit in France. Raised white lines are found on his 19th-century pieces.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – The names of antiques sometimes change as research corrects old errors. In the 1930s, an auction house sold a pair of what were called “Lowestoft” vases that were large enough to put on a fireplace mantel. They were named after the English town where they were thought to have been made in the 18th century. The vases had a traditional Chinese shape and were made of bluish-white porcelain decorated with a blue, green and orange coat of arms and slightly raised white scrolls.

When the same vases were sold again in the 1950s, they were described as “Chinese export porcelain” because experts had learned that in the mid-1700s the Lowestoft factory was making early blue-and-white English Delft souvenirs of regional interest, not porcelain like the vases. Researchers also had learned that porcelain made in China in the 18th century was being exported to England and that some had made its way to Lowestoft. But the Chinese porcelain exported to the West back then, although very good, was not the top-quality porcelain made in China for wealthy Chinese families.

Some of the export pieces were plain, Chinese porcelain with added new decorations like coats-of-arms or pictures of ships. But there were also other problems with the pair of vases. The vases were not Chinese at all; they actually were copies made by Jacob Petit (1796-1868), who opened a shop in Paris in 1863. Painted raised white scrolls are the clue to identifying Petit’s copies of Chinese export porcelain. Petit also made copies of Sevres, Meissen, English dinnerware and more.

So be careful when looking for information about Chinese export or Lowestoft porcelain. Information in old books is not accurate. And often, information online is from old books. Present-day auction-house descriptions and information in recent publications usually is accurate. Jacob Petit copies of Chinese export porcelain are collected today. A single one of his vases is worth about $800.

Q: My mother would like to know what her bound volume of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper is worth. The spine is marked “Vol. 1,” and the book includes issues dated from Dec. 15, 1855, to May 31, 1856. The newspaper pages are large, about 12 by 16 inches.

A: Bound volumes of Frank Leslie’s illustrated weekly, the first one published in the United States, often show up at shows and can be found for sale online. Leslie (1821-1880) was born in England and immigrated to the United States in 1848. He was an engraver and illustrator before he became a publisher, and his many publications are wanted by collectors not only for their historical value, but also for their wood engravings and early photographs. The price your volume could sell for depends on condition of the binding and of the newspapers themselves. We have seen early volumes sell for $50 to $200.

Q: I have had an old table cigarette lighter for about 30 years. It was old when I got it. It appears to be silver plate, but it’s heavy. It’s in the shape of a cornucopia, with the lighter at the top of the basket. There’s no mark on it. Can you identify and price it?

A: The Evans Case Co. of North Attleborough, Mass., made an unmarked silver-plated cornucopia table lighter like the one you describe. Evans was in business from 1922 to 1960, but table lighters were at their height of popularity in the 1930s and ’40s. That’s probably when yours was made. Other silver-tone cornucopia table lighters were made in Japan after World War II, but they’re marked “Made in Occupied Japan.” The irony is that both the Evans and Occupied Japan lighters sell for about $50 today.

Q: My grandmother gave me her antique water basin, a very large pitcher and a smaller, matching water pitcher. She said the smaller pitcher was for hot water. The wash-basin set was given to her as a wedding gift in 1907. All three pieces are plain white. On the bottom, each piece is marked “Yale” in gold on a banner. Since this set is a family heirloom, it will not be sold, but I would like to know the history of the company.

A: Wash sets like yours were used in the days before indoor plumbing. The large pitcher was used to pour water into the basin for washing, and the smaller pitcher was used when brushing teeth. The “Yale” mark was one of several marks used between 1882 and 1925 by the Potters Co-Operative Co. of East Liverpool, Ohio. The company made hotel ware, white ware and some decorated ware. The name of the company became Dresden Pottery Co. in 1925. It went out of business in 1927. Your set was made between 1882 and 1907.

Q: I have a pitcher marked “Lefton China, Hand Painted, Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.” The number “1773” is hand-painted on the bottom. It’s 10 inches high and decorated with applied pink roses, pale blue forget-me-nots and green leaves. Is it old and valuable?

A: George Zoltan Lefton emigrated from Hungary in 1939 and founded Lefton Co. in Chicago in 1941. The company imported pottery, porcelain, glass and other wares. George Lefton died in 1996, and the company was sold in 2001. The mark on your pitcher was used from 1949 until about 1955. The number 1773 may indicate that the pitcher was part of a limited edition. Value of your pitcher: about $20 to $25.

Tip: If you have stored a quilt, take it out twice a year and refold it – in half, if you had it in thirds before. This practice will prevent crease lines.

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.

  • Piggy bank, sitting, cast iron, c. 1910, 5 x 34 inches, $25.
  • Hummel figurine, no. 53/2, Joyful, 4 inches, $30.
  • Roseville water lily vase, handles, marked, 7 1/4 inches, $40.
  • Garden figure, dog, seating, flower basket in mouth, painted, concrete, 22 inches, $160.
  • Barrel back chair, mahogany, closed arms, serpentine seat rail, porcelain casters, c. 1890, 35 inches, $245.
  • Sewing basket, double lid, handle, Pa., c. 1890, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, $505.
  • Wooden barber pole, red, white and blue stripes, canonball finial, turned base, iron ring stand c. 1910, 67 inches, $590.
  • Shooting gallery target game, kicking mule, hind leg moves, painted cast iron, A.J. Smith, c. 1810, 18 x 21 inches, $1,645.
  • Egyptian Revival Paris plate, gilt bands, marbleized borders, crossed swords mark, c. 1800, 9 1/4 in., pair, $5,080.
  • Satsuma vase, figural scenes, gilt and moriage highlights, oval body, dragon and ring handles, c. 1890, 41 inches, $7,070.

Special offer. Free gift bag when you buy The Label Made Me Buy It by Ralph and Terry Kovel. It’s a picture history of labels that once decorated products from cigar boxes to orange crates. The 320 full-color labels picture Indians, famous people, buildings and symbols. Learn how to identify and date labels or just enjoy the rare pictured labels (hardcover, 224 pages). Out-of-print but available at KovelsOnlineStore.com. By mail, send $40 plus $5.95 shipping to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122. Or call 800-303-1996.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


These urns were thought to be Chinese export pieces made in the 1700s, but they were made by Jacob Petit in France. Raised white lines are found on his 19th-century pieces.

These urns were thought to be Chinese export pieces made in the 1700s, but they were made by Jacob Petit in France. Raised white lines are found on his 19th-century pieces.