Batman reigns at Heritage Auctions’ $6.7M comic auction

'Batman' #1 (DC, 1940) CGC NM- 9.2 off-white pages. Heritage Auctions image.
'Batman' #1 (DC, 1940) CGC NM- 9.2 off-white pages. Heritage Auctions image.
‘Batman’ #1 (DC, 1940) CGC NM- 9.2 off-white pages. Heritage Auctions image.

DALLAS – Frank Miller’s original cover art for the second issue of his landmark 1986 masterwork, The Dark Knight Returns, brought $478,000 and the highest-graded copy of Batman #1 ever certified—a 9.2 grade by CGC Near Mint Minus—brought $567,625 to lead Heritage Auctions’ $6.7+ million Comic and Comic Art event on Aug 1.

The image of Batman, aged, gnarled and boiling with rage, on the cover of the second issue of Frank Miller’s 1986 masterwork, The Dark Knight Returns, set fire to the imagination of generations of collectors and was the key moment in the revival and reinvention of an historic franchise. It is the only cover in the landmark series to feature Batman—the other three are all silhouette images.

“When the smoke cleared, this ended up as one of the best comic auctions we have ever had,” said Barry Sandoval, director of operations for comics and comic art at Heritage. “Four comic books and three comic art lots topped $100,000 and a number of lots sold for multiples of what we had anticipated. Also, the strongest selection of vintage comic strip art we had offered in a while was rewarded with strong prices.”

For fans of classic paper, the highest-graded copy of Batman #1 ever certified—a 9.2 grade by CGC Near Mint Minus—represents the pinnacle of collecting, save only a handful of comics (Action Comics #1, Detective Comics #27, the first appearances of Superman and Batman, respectively, among them), and its sale for more than a half million dollars solidifies its place in the pantheon of American pop culture.

Fans of original art didn’t stop with Dark Knight #2 as Frank Frazetta’s 1970 cover painting for Vampirella #5 sold for $286,800. Original cover art for The Avengers #134, a raucous meet up of the Human Torch and Mad Thinker plus the Origin of the Vision storyline with art by Silver and Bronze Age legend Gil Kane and Joltin’ Joe Sinnott, fetched $41,825

Multiple bidders completed to own high-grade examples of the most coveted comic books ever produced, including a 3.0-grade copy of Auction Comics #1 which sold for $388,375, and an 8.0-grade copy of All-American Comics #16, which changed hands for $203,150. One of two known copies of a 9.2-grade copy of Fantastic Four #1, with a White Mountain pedigree, sold for $191,200 and a near pristine copy of an increasingly popular comic book, Avengers #1—in stunning 9.4 grade—sold for $95,600.

A rare, 9.0 grade copy of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #1 may fetch $35,850 as the finest copy in a remarkable run that also includes a 9.4 grade of issue #2, a which fetched $26,290 and a 9.2 grade of issue #3, which sold for $14,340.

Robert Crumb’s complete 1968 original art for a five-page story titled City of the Future, initially stolen from Crumb and slated for Zap Comix #1, realized $101,575. Fresh-to-market original cover art from titans Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella from The Flash #117, from 1960, crossed the block for $71,700 in its first appearance at auction.

Perhaps two of the most anticipated original comic art lots to cross the block link Jack “King” Kirby to a covert Iranian rescue operation as depicted in the Academy Award-wining film Argo. The film tells the story of how the CIA used a fake movie production crew to conceal a daring rescue mission of six Americans held in Iran. The “movie within a movie” was at one time a genuine project titled Lord of Light, based on the novel by Roger Zelazny. Producer Barry Geller commissioned Jack Kirby to create a set of concept drawings for the film, but the project stalled and was mostly forgotten, until the CIA used it in their top-secret mission. Two of Kirby’s original oversized concept scene drawings for the project—Pavilions of Joy, sold for $16,730, and Planetary Control Room (Interior), sold for $23,900.

Additional highlights include:

A 9.4-grade copy of X-Men #1 realized $83,650;

A 3.5-grade copy of Captain America Comics #1, sporting the famous image of Cap socking Adolph Hitler into next Tuesday, and signed by co-creator Joe Simon himself, sold for an impressive $32,265;

The original art from a Peanuts Sunday comic strip dated March 15, 1953, sold for $65,725;

Dan Clowes’ original cover art for Lloyd Llewellyn #3 from 1986 sold for $47,800;

The eye-popping title page from the Double Life of Private Strong #1 by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, is expected to cross the block for $20,315.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


'Batman' #1 (DC, 1940) CGC NM- 9.2 off-white pages. Heritage Auctions image.
‘Batman’ #1 (DC, 1940) CGC NM- 9.2 off-white pages. Heritage Auctions image.
Frank Miller 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns' #2 cover original art (DC, 1986). Heritage Auctions image.
Frank Miller ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns’ #2 cover original art (DC, 1986). Heritage Auctions image.

Parade of dolls, toys & trains in Stephenson’s Aug. 16 auction

Hubley die-cast P-40 fighter jet plane in camouflage, from the Capt. GR Webster collection. Stephenson’s image.
Hubley die-cast P-40 fighter jet plane in camouflage, from the Capt. GR Webster collection. Stephenson’s image.

Hubley die-cast P-40 fighter jet plane in camouflage, from the Capt. GR Webster collection. Stephenson’s image.

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – If antique and vintage toy collectors could keep one source a secret to themselves, it would be Stephenson’s Auctioneers’ Doll, Toy & Train Auctions. Estate specialists who cover the Greater Philadelphia tri-state area, Stephenson’s experts have access to many long-held collections that aren’t even known to the collecting hobby. The next Stephenson’s toy auction to watch for is a 300-lot event slated for Friday, August 16th. The start time is 10 a.m. Eastern, and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

A prime candidate for top-lot status is a choice Lionel Freight Train Set No. 2293W. The circa-1961 set is complete with Pennsylvania GG-1 electric locomotive, milk car, transformer car, caboose, signal posts and even the four factory vehicles toted on the auto transport car. The set is in mint condition with outstanding paint and retains both its set box and individual boxes for storing the loco, tender and freight cars.

The railway yard is brimming with other desirable toy trains, including two boxed Marx sets: an O gauge remote control set No. 4640 and an Allstate set No. 9625. Additionally there are K-Line O gauge trains and accessories; Marklin HO train cars, accessories and track; a Mantua HO set including Santa Fe engine and tender; MTH Union Pacific No. 3977 steam engine and tender; and other Lionel productions, including a boxed No. 460 Piggy Back transportation set and ZW transformer.

Some real gems await collectors in Stephenson’s final offering of vintage aviation toys from the collection of highly decorated Vietnam War pilot Captain GR Webster. Among the highlights are a tin WWI biplane with hand-painted lead pilot, probably by Soldats d’Antan Paris; a Japanese tin-litho Fury Jet wind-up flying plane, West German PN-240 tin friction Skyray jet, boxed Wilson’s of Cleveland remote control F-84 Thunderjet, and boxed ASC Japan tin-litho friction-powered F-86 Jet Fighter. The selection also includes airplane ashtrays, British and US government recognition training model aircraft, trench art model aircraft and boxed Testors BD-5 gas-engine-powered aircraft.

A wealth of other toys will be offered, with the list sounding like the window display of an early to mid-20th-century New York toy store. There are die-cast racecars from all leading manufacturers, tin-litho windups including Lehmanns, Britains circus figurines, pressed-steel trucks, boxed 1960s GI Joes, a boxed Revell Gran Turismo Racing Set and ultra-desirable Aurora monster models.

A large portion of the sale is dedicated to fresh-to-the-market dolls, led by a beautiful collection of 1950s Vogue strung Ginny walkers. Many are in their original outfits, and some retain their wardrobe trunks. Standout doll lots include a 1948-49 Ginny Cinderella, 1950s Nancy Ann-style 18-inch “Lemon Froth” show doll, 1960s Barbies, German bisque-head dolls, including examples by Armand Marseille, Bergmann, Heubach, Simon & Halbig and many other prestigious names. Madame Alexander creations include a rare Susie Q cloth doll, 1930s-40s composition Eskimo and Hawaiian dolls; a 1950s “Godey Lady” in tagged, original outfit; an all-original 1930s composition McGuffey Ana, and a 14-inch Cinderella. Other 1930s composition dolls by Madame Alexander include Snow White and Princess Elizabeth.

Ideal composition and vinyl Shirley Temple dolls offered in the sale span the 1930s to 1950s. Other coveted dolls set to cross the auction block include a Norah Wellings “Mountie,” Horsman Elizabeth Taylor in original packaging with outfits, a vintage Horsman Style 30 Mouseketeer in original box, Vogue Jill dolls, Mary Hoyer hard plastic dolls, Kewpies, Effanbee Patsy-Ann and Anne-Shirley composition dolls, Ideal Little Miss Revlon dolls and a 1950s Royal Revlon-type fashion doll.

“There are many unusual dolls in our upcoming auction, as well as many lots of doll clothing, doll parts, and doll house furniture by Schoenhut, Strombecker and Renwal. These types of items are very popular with collectors who come to our sales,” said Stephenson’s Auctioneers owner Cindy Stephenson.

Where dolls go, teddy bears and soft toys often follow. The August 16th auction is no exception and includes a US Zone Germany jointed mohair Yes/No bear and an array of 1950s Steiff animals.

A grouping of vintage Halloween collectibles adds whimsy and a festive feel to the sale selection. There are Halloween decorations and die-cuts (some by Beistle), early German Halloween streamers, and a 1925 Dennison’s crepe paper salesman’s sample book decorated with bats and witches. Glass ornaments – both boxed and loose – recall the special memories of Christmases past that every family can relate to.

Stephenson’s Friday, August 16 Dolls, Toys & Trains Auction will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern time. The company’s gallery is located at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton, PA 18966. Inspection is on Thursday, August 15, from 3-6 p.m., and on auction day from 9-10 a.m.

For additional information on any auction lot, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail info@stephensonsauction.com.

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

 

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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Hubley die-cast P-40 fighter jet plane in camouflage, from the Capt. GR Webster collection. Stephenson’s image.

Hubley die-cast P-40 fighter jet plane in camouflage, from the Capt. GR Webster collection. Stephenson’s image.

Lionel Freight Set No. 2293W, mint in original set box and individual boxes. Stephenson’s image.

Lionel Freight Set No. 2293W, mint in original set box and individual boxes. Stephenson’s image.

1930s Madame Alexander Princess Elizabeth composition doll. Stephenson’s image.

1930s Madame Alexander Princess Elizabeth composition doll. Stephenson’s image.

Simon & Halbig 1078 bisque socket-head doll. Stephenson’s image.

Simon & Halbig 1078 bisque socket-head doll. Stephenson’s image.

1950s Steiff poodles in Steiff box, and Steiff ‘Floppy Zotty.’ Stephenson’s image.

1950s Steiff poodles in Steiff box, and Steiff ‘Floppy Zotty.’ Stephenson’s image.

Revell Gran Turismo Racing set in original box. Stephenson’s image.

Revell Gran Turismo Racing set in original box. Stephenson’s image.

Grouping of vintage Halloween paper collectibles. Stephenson’s image.

Grouping of vintage Halloween paper collectibles. Stephenson’s image.

Assortment of vintage Christmas decorations including glass ornaments, garlands, etc. Stephenson’s image.

Assortment of vintage Christmas decorations including glass ornaments, garlands, etc. Stephenson’s image.

Louis Marx 'Marx-A-Copter' with original box (not shown). Stephenson’s image.

Louis Marx ‘Marx-A-Copter’ with original box (not shown). Stephenson’s image.

 

Woody Auction selling Native American artifacts Sept. 7

Rare Ripley pattern glass double kerosene wedding lamp with milk glass base, with original lid. Woody Auction image.

Rare Ripley pattern glass double kerosene wedding lamp with milk glass base, with original lid. Woody Auction image.

Rare Ripley pattern glass double kerosene wedding lamp with milk glass base, with original lid. Woody Auction image.

WICHITA, Kan. – The single-owner lifetime collection of Richard and Linda Popp of Hutchinson, Kan., — serious collectors of Native American artifacts and antiques in many other categories—will be sold on Saturday, Sept. 7, by Woody Auction starting at 9:30 a.m. Central. Over 500 lots will be offered.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

“The Popps have collected a wide variety of antiques over the years and have decided to now offer their entire collection at public auction without reserve,” said Jason Woody of Woody Auction, based in Douglass, Kan. “Everything will sell, regardless of price. Since the 1960s, Richard has personally gone out on numerous outings and found many of the items featured in this auction.”

In addition to the numerous Native American artifacts, there will also be an outstanding selection of quality lamps, art glass, smoking memorabilia, furniture items and more.

“This auction includes the largest Native American collection we have sold in over 25 years,” Woody remarked. “There are nearly 50 prehistoric effigy pipes (pipes made in the likeness of an animal), as well as ceremonial axes, beaded boots and moccasins, baskets, blankets and more. There is also a lamp collection, smoking memorabilia and advertising items.”

The prehistoric stone effigy platform pipes—enormously popular with collectors—are certain to attract keen bidder interest. Examples include one of a bear figure, made from highly polished white stone (Scioto Cty., Ohio); another bear, crafted from polished green and brown stone (origin unknown); and a frog and fish from highly polished red stone (origin unknown).

Additional effigy pipes will include one of an owl clutching a kill in its talons, made from highly polished gray stone (origin unknown); one of a bird figure made from highly polished red stone (origin unknown); one of a crouching human figure, made from polished red stone (origin unknown); and one of a turtle (Sullivan Cty., Tenn.). All the pipes are 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches in length.

Other Native American artifacts will feature a prehistoric Elko Corner notched black obsidian arrow head, with certificate of authenticity from Tom Davis; an authentic 20 1/2 inch North American Indian octopus bag with finely detailed beaded design, circa 1890s; and a prehistoric Mimbres Indian pottery bowl with original fish design and probe hole on the bottom.

Also offered will be a prehistoric corner tang stone knife of gray stone in fine condition, 5 1/2 inches in length (Texas Cty., Okla.); a 3 1/2 inch prehistoric clovis stone point (Scotts Bluff), white with orange mottling and showing a flute on the reverse side, a nice example; and a 2 1/2 inch prehistoric stone point made from brown stone with heavy oxidation (no location indicated).

Items not related to Native American artifacts will be plentiful as well. A lot to watch is an original five-piece Copeland “Spodes Tower” lazy susan featuring four 14-inch sectional covered casserole dishes, which together make up the circular form around a 9 1/2-inch covered two-handled tureen. The set, in red and white tones, is on a 20-inch-diameter wooden turntable.

Lamps worth noting are a Ripley pattern glass double kerosene wedding lamp with milk glass base, having a clear pattern glass font with center match holder that still has the original glass lid; and a figural metal Art Deco lamp with two unmarked Czechoslovakian orange mottled water basket shades set over lights, showing a nude woman wearing a yoke and carrying baskets.

Woody Auction is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at 316-747-2694. Email them at info@woodyauction.com.

 

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

 


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Rare Ripley pattern glass double kerosene wedding lamp with milk glass base, with original lid. Woody Auction image.

Rare Ripley pattern glass double kerosene wedding lamp with milk glass base, with original lid. Woody Auction image.

Large steatite effigy pipe in the form of a rabbit (Bartow County, Ga.), 9 1/4 inches by 3 3/4 inches. Woody Auction image.

Large steatite effigy pipe in the form of a rabbit (Bartow County, Ga.), 9 1/4 inches by 3 3/4 inches. Woody Auction image.

Pair of 12-inch-tall Indian beaded leather boots, in overall nice condition, some bead damage. Woody Auction image.

Pair of 12-inch-tall Indian beaded leather boots, in overall nice condition, some bead damage. Woody Auction image.

Prehistoric smooth stone ceremonial ax (found in Hale Cty., Ala., 1936), 11 inches by 7 inches. Woody Auction image.

Prehistoric smooth stone ceremonial ax (found in Hale Cty., Ala., 1936), 11 inches by 7 inches. Woody Auction image.

Prehistoric Mimbres Indian pottery bowl with probe hole on the bottom and original fish design. Woody Auction image.

Prehistoric Mimbres Indian pottery bowl with probe hole on the bottom and original fish design. Woody Auction image.

Rare figural metal Art Deco lamp with two unmarked Czechoslovakian orange mottled shades. Woody Auction image.

Rare figural metal Art Deco lamp with two unmarked Czechoslovakian orange mottled shades. Woody Auction image.

 

Debora Hunter’s Taos photos to be exhibited at SMU

Debora Hunter, 'Land Marked: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico.' Inkjet print, 20 inches x 24 inches. Image courtesy of Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.
Debora Hunter, 'Land Marked: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico.' Inkjet print, 20 inches x 24 inches. Image courtesy of Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.
Debora Hunter, ‘Land Marked: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico.’ Inkjet print, 20 inches x 24 inches. Image courtesy of Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.

DALLAS – The Pollock Gallery of the Division of Art at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present “Consuming (Interests): Photographs from Taos, New Mexico by Debora Hunter” from Sept. 3 through Oct. 12.

Hunter, an associate professor of photography at SMU Meadows, has photographed the cultural landscape of Taos, N.M., for the past 10 years. Through careful recording of domestic and commercial architecture within the majestic sweep of sky and land, she reframes the question of man versus nature. Hunter believes this inquiry is increasingly urgent as consumer culture bumps hard against diminishing natural resources. Edited from her large archive of photographs, the exhibit includes images of “abandoned gas stations, drought-blighted gardens, self-storage rental units, ramshackle manufactured modular homes, landfilled garbage dumps, foreclosed faux adobe luxury houses and litter-strewn mesas.” Hunter says the exhibit examines Americans’ “drive to consume amid an ever less bountiful landscape.”

A reception with the artist will be held Friday, Sept. 6, from 5-8 p.m., and gallery talks will be presented at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 18, and at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The Pollock Gallery is located on the first floor of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer St. on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 1-5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. For more information, call 214-768-4439 or visit www.smu.edu/Meadows/AreasOfStudy/Art/PollockGallery.

Hunter was born in Chicago in 1950 and grew up in Oak Park, Ill. She received a B.A. in English literature from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in photography from Rhode Island School of Design, where she worked with Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind and the visiting faculty of Minor White and Lisette Model. She has been on the faculty at SMU Meadows School of the Arts since 1976.

Her photographic work includes documentary projects made in Newfoundland and Labrador, “Waiting: Portraits of the Terminally Ill,” “Raw Material: Portraits of Babies” and “Family Landscapes.” In 2002 she completed a permanent public installation of eight art panels for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s light rail station at Skillman and LBJ Freeway.

She has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y., and participated in group exhibitions at museums throughout the country, including the Hirshhorn Museum and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth and the Dallas Museum of Art. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Corcoran Gallery, Houston Museum of Fine Art, Dallas Museum of Art and other notable museums.

She is represented by James Kelly Contemporary Art Gallery in Santa Fe.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Debora Hunter, 'Land Marked: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico.' Inkjet print, 20 inches x 24 inches. Image courtesy of Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.
Debora Hunter, ‘Land Marked: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico.’ Inkjet print, 20 inches x 24 inches. Image courtesy of Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.
Deborah Hunter, 'Land Marked: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico.' Inkjet print, 20 inches x 24 inches. Image courtesy of Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.
Debora Hunter, ‘Land Marked: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico.’ Inkjet print, 20 inches x 24 inches. Image courtesy of Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.
Debora Hunter, 'Land Marked: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico.' Inkjet print, 20 inches x 24 inches. Image courtesy of Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.
Debora Hunter, ‘Land Marked: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico.’ Inkjet print, 20 inches x 24 inches. Image courtesy of Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.

Historic C-5A makes final landing at Dover Air Force Base

A C-5A Galaxy at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. U.S. Air Force photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
A C-5A Galaxy at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. U.S. Air Force photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
A C-5A Galaxy at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. U.S. Air Force photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

DOVER, Del. (AP) – A historic military plane will made its final landing at Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday.

The Tennessee Air National Guard’s 164th Airlift Wing delivered the massive jet aircraft

The Air Mobility Command Museum says the aircraft will be part of the organization’s collection. The museum says it’s the only plane to successfully launch an intercontinental ballistic missile in flight. While the test over the Pacific Ocean was a success, the tactic was not pursued.

During the next few months, the functioning military plane will be transformed into a museum piece. It will be officially retired in October and after a public ceremony in November, the plane will become the only C-5 in the world accessible to the public.

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

AP-WF-08-07-13 1127GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


A C-5A Galaxy at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. U.S. Air Force photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
A C-5A Galaxy at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. U.S. Air Force photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

$5M in art, jewelry taken from San Diego-area home

Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept.

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Authorities say burglars have stolen jewelry and artwork worth more than $5 million including prints by Monet and Pissarro from a San Diego County home.

The Encinitas Sheriff’s Department sent a statement asking for the public’s help Tuesday in finding sculptures, jewel-encrusted necklaces, bracelets and 11 paintings that were stolen the night of June 17 or early on June 18 from a couple’s home in Rancho Santa Fe.

The Sherriff’s Department did not release the names of the victims.

Some of the jewelry is described as “very elaborate gold, tourmaline, cabochon, citrine necklaces and bracelets.” The loot also included a timepiece by Andreas von Zadora Gerlof and a painting by Mexican artist José María Velasco Gómez.

Authorities offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information on this case should call the Sheriff’s Department’s Encinitas Station at 858-966‐3500 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous, tollfree tip line at 888-580‐8477. Anonymous email and text messages can be sent in via www.sdcrimestoppers.com.

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

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
Police in Encinitas, California are seeking tips on the June 17 or 18 home robbery that included this item. Image courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept.

Long-lost Orson Welles silent film discovered in Italy

Film director Orson Welles. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Profiles in History.
Film director Orson Welles. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Profiles in History.
Film director Orson Welles. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Profiles in History.

NEW YORK (AFP) – A long-lost silent film directed by Orson Welles in 1938 has been recovered from a warehouse in northeastern Italy, where it will be screened in public for the first time in October.

Too Much Johnson was originally intended to be shown as a prologue to a slapstick comedy at the Mercury repertory theatre in New York, but it was never finished.

Until staff at the Cinemazero art house cinema in Pordenone, Italy found the work print in a warehouse earlier this year, it was thought the only known copy was lost in a fire that gutted Welles’ home near Madrid in 1970.

How it wound up in Italy “is still a mystery,” said Kellie Fraver, spokeswoman for the George Eastman House museum of film and photography in Rochester, N.Y., which announced its recovery on Wednesday.

What is known is that all but one of the reels were in relatively good shape, and the exception was brought back to life by experts in the Netherlands, without resorting to digital help.

The restored copy of Too Much Johnson will get its world premiere on Oct. 9 at the Giornate del Cinema Muto silent-film festival in Pordenone, with a U.S. premiere to follow a week later at George Eastman House.

“Holding in one’s hands the very same print that had been personally edited by Orson Welles 75 years ago provokes an emotion that’s just impossible to describe,” said George Eastman House film curator Paolo Cherci Usai.

Best known for the 1941 classic Citizen Kane and, in 1938, the science fiction radio drama The War of the Worlds, Welles was a co-founder of the Mercury Theatre. He died in Los Angeles in 1985 at the age of 70.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Film director Orson Welles. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Profiles in History.
Film director Orson Welles. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Profiles in History.

Experts find artwork remains in Dutch heist probe

Monet's 'Waterloo Bridge, London' was one of the paintings stolen in October from the Kunsthal museum. Rotterdam police photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Monet's 'Waterloo Bridge, London' was one of the paintings stolen in October from the Kunsthal museum. Rotterdam police photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Monet’s ‘Waterloo Bridge, London’ was one of the paintings stolen in October from the Kunsthal museum. Rotterdam police photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

BUCHAREST, Romania (AFP) – Experts investigating the theft of seven masterpieces said Thursday they had found the burned remains of at least three oil paintings at the Romanian home of the chief suspect’s mother.

Olga Dogaru admitted torching the stolen artworks, including two Monets and a Picasso, to destroy evidence against her son.

Prosecutors say the seven paintings were worth 18 million euros ($24 million), although experts have put their collective value at over 100 million euros.

She later retracted her statement, but Romanian art experts say they have discovered traces of three or four paintings in ashes taken from a wood-burning stove in her home.

Ernest Oberlaender-Tarnoveanu, head of Romania’s National History Museum which analyzed the ashes, said he could not be sure the paintings were those swiped from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum last October.

“The number and the type of nails we found (in the ashes) indicate that we have at least three paintings there. There are also tacks that could belong to a fourth one,” he told a press conference.

“We found remains of burned oil paintings, but whether they are the ones that were stolen is a separate question, to be determined by prosecutors and judges.”

Olga Dogaru, her son Radu and four other Romanians go on trial on Tuesday in Bucharest over the audacious heist, which has been called the “theft of the century.”

It took the thieves just a pair of pliers and less than three minutes and to break into the museum and snatch the masterpieces, according to the indictment.

Four of the stolen canvases were oil paintings, while the other three—including Monet’s Waterloo Bridge and Picasso’s Tête d’Arlequin—would be impossible to identify if burned as they were either pastel or colored ink on paper, Oberlaender-Tarnoveanu said.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Monet's 'Waterloo Bridge, London' was one of the paintings stolen in October from the Kunsthal museum. Rotterdam police photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Monet’s ‘Waterloo Bridge, London’ was one of the paintings stolen in October from the Kunsthal museum. Rotterdam police photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Trust your instincts when choosing an Oriental carpet

A Serapi carpet, Persia, circa 1880, approximately 19 feet 7inches x 13 feet 7 inches, in excellent condition. This carpet will be sold Sept. 21 by Austria Auction Co. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Austria Auction Co.

A Serapi carpet, Persia, circa 1880, approximately 19 feet 7inches x 13 feet 7 inches, in excellent condition. This carpet will be sold Sept. 21 by Austria Auction Co. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Austria Auction Co.

A Serapi carpet, Persia, circa 1880, approximately 19 feet 7inches x 13 feet 7 inches, in excellent condition. This carpet will be sold Sept. 21 by Austria Auction Co. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Austria Auction Co.

NEW YORK (AP) – The stunned crowd at Sotheby’s burst into a rare round of applause when a museum-quality Persian carpet sold for a record-setting $33.76 million in June.

“It was extraordinary and wonderful and the carpet deserved it,” said the auctioneer, Mary Jo Otsea, Sotheby’s senior consultant for rugs and carpets. The hand-knotted, 17th century Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet, with a red ground and dark blue border, is “still dazzling to the eye,” she said.

While few of us can fathom spending so much money on a showpiece, Oriental carpets, made in countries from Turkey to China, are available at various prices and have long been a popular part of home decor.

“Older carpets look great with everything,” Otsea said. “They add great warmth by their color and design. Older carpets have a wonderful patina and character that you can’t capture in a new piece. Each one is different. You’re not going to see the same thing when you go into everyone’s house.”

Doris Athineos, the arts and antiques editor for Traditional Home magazine, said the sale of the Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet may inspire people to look at the carpets with a new eye, mindful that an eight-figure sum was just shelled out for one of the finest examples.

“It gives them confidence to pull the trigger on something they may be eying, and confidence if they’ve inherited them from a great aunt or have them rolled up and stored. They might think, ‘Hey maybe I should put that out,’” Athineos said.

Whether antiques or reproductions, the carpets work well in any kind of house or with any kind of decor, she said.

“I can’t imagine where a beautiful antique carpet wouldn’t work,” Athineos said. “I have seen them in every kind of home from minimalist to maximalist, where there’s lot of decoration in the house. They add warmth to very pristine, minimalist spaces.”

Try one in any room except the kitchen, Athineos recommends, especially the space where people spend the most time, perhaps the media room.

“That’s the kind of wear those carpets can take,” she said. “They’re meant to be walked on.”

With so many styles of design—florals, geometrics, abstracts—Otsea recommends browsing through as many carpets as possible to find out what you like. A great carpet, she said, is the right combination of color, design, technique and tradition.

“The more you look, the more you realize what you like,” she said. “There’s a whole world of patterns to choose from and color palettes as well.”

Athineos advised going to a reputable store, not one that’s constantly promoting a going-out-of-business sale. Ask about the return policy, as some stores allow you to buy and try, and return it if it doesn’t work.

“Sometimes you don’t know until it’s laid out, the way the light falls on the carpet,” she said.

If you are shopping for a machine-made reproduction carpet, Athineos suggests bringing a damp, white cloth. Part the pile and rub the cloth against the carpet to make sure no color comes off; that bleeding is the sign of a cheap carpet, she said, that won’t last two years.

“Reproductions can be great, but this is a carpet you do not want,” she said.

Don’t get too hung up on a carpet’s size, Athineos said; buy what you love and find a way to work it into your home. Try the layered look, she suggests, with one carpet overlapping another.

“You should take the size equation out of it,” she said. “Persian carpets aren’t about an exact size to fit the room.”

With 61,000 carpets to choose from at New York’s ABC Home & Carpet, the company’s vice chairman, Graham Head, advises people to buy pieces they feel emotionally attached to, much as they would a painting.

“It’s got to speak to you, otherwise don’t bother,” he said.

Carpet buying is an art, not a science, he said, and shouldn’t be over-analyzed.

“If it makes you smile and you come home at night and open the door with a little bounce in your step, and you’re happy to be home with the rug, then that’s a good buy,” he said. “If you’ve done it by some mathematical equation, it doesn’t have the same soul to it. It should be predictably unpredictable.”

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

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


A Serapi carpet, Persia, circa 1880, approximately 19 feet 7inches x 13 feet 7 inches, in excellent condition. This carpet will be sold Sept. 21 by Austria Auction Co. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Austria Auction Co.

A Serapi carpet, Persia, circa 1880, approximately 19 feet 7inches x 13 feet 7 inches, in excellent condition. This carpet will be sold Sept. 21 by Austria Auction Co. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Austria Auction Co.