Top quality items in Jeffrey S. Evans variety auction Aug. 24

Furniture and decorations include Arts & Crafts Stickley and Limbert. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Furniture and decorations include Arts & Crafts Stickley and Limbert. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Furniture and decorations include Arts & Crafts Stickley and Limbert. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

MT. CRAWFORD, VA. – The Aug. 24 variety auction at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates includes some very strong material, such as the second half of the collection of the late Richard and Betty Robertson of Waynesboro, Va.; part two of the collection of the late Betty Jane Renn of Sunbury, Pa.; the Elizabeth P. Croft estate of Staunton, Va.; plus items from collections and estates from New York City, Connecticut, Illinois and California. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Items of interest include Arts and Crafts furniture signed by Stickley and Limbert, Chinese and Japanese material including robes and kimonos from the collection of Beate Gordon, Asian carvings, and a large selection of 19th and 20th century silver, including Tiffany.

Fine art includes bronze and other statuary, a selection of modern art including a Walter Thrift (N.C./Va., 1922-1969) 49-by-57-inch oil and collage on canvas, and antique paintings and prints.

Numerous thematic collections encompass mechanical and still penny banks, occupational and other shaving mugs, pocket and sheath knives, antique dolls and vintage toys.

For those interested in local to regional Americana, there is a large amount of country store, advertising and ephemera; Shenandoah Valley and other country accessories; vintage postcards and photographs; as well as political and historical Americana.

The wide ranging auction also includes a collection of 1939 New York World’s Fair items, antique clothing and other textiles, vintage sewing accouterments, beaded and mesh women’s bags, vintage Christmas decorations, vintage fine and costume jewelry, 19th and 20th century ceramics, glass including Steuben, plus more.

For further details please email info@jeffreysevans.com or call 540-434-3939.

 

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

 


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Furniture and decorations include Arts & Crafts Stickley and Limbert. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Furniture and decorations include Arts & Crafts Stickley and Limbert. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Dolls and toys from the Robertson, Croft and Scannell collections. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Dolls and toys from the Robertson, Croft and Scannell collections. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Occupational shaving mugs; 1939 World’s Fair ephemera; artistic bronzes and one of a pair of nautilus shells made for the Crystal Palace Exhibition 1851. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Occupational shaving mugs; 1939 World’s Fair ephemera; artistic bronzes and one of a pair of nautilus shells made for the Crystal Palace Exhibition 1851. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Selection of pocket and sheath knives from the Renn collection. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Selection of pocket and sheath knives from the Renn collection. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Reading the Streets: Groundswell brightens underpass

Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.
Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.
Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.

NEW YORK – Underpasses are not the most likely candidates for an art destination. The stretch of Atlantic Avenue under the BQE between Hicks Street and Columbia Place in Cobble Hill, was dark and dreary, at least until Groundswell, the nonprofit organization that works with teens, community partners and artists to create public art, got involved.

This summer, a group of Brooklyn teens has a great summer job-working with Groundswell and local artists to transform the underpass’s wall into a mural depicting the underpass as a safe, vibrant connection point for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike between the businesses on Atlantic Avenue and the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park, on the other side of the underpass.

The mural, which is almost finished, is a nice mix of scenic, straightforward streetscapes, and some more playful, surrealist touches juxtaposing the river, the bridges and the buildings. A kayaker uses a paddle to leap over a wave while the Manhattan Bridge looks on. On another panel, neighborhood workers walk briskly toward the subway. The people and the street signs are in shades of cerulean, turquoise, green and hot pink.

The mural’s dimensions pose certain challenges for the budding artists. The wall is 120 feet long and 19 feet tall. To make the job less daunting, the professional muralists made the wall into a grid system, on to which they transfer a drawing. Then, the painting, the fun part, comes. While the mural will be in progress until a dedication on Aug. 30, seeing it before is a rare opportunity to see the artistic process come to life, to look behind the curtain, even have a reason to walk by the underpass to check on its progress.

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.
Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.
Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.
Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.
Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.
Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.
Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.
Groundswell Mural on Atlantic Avenue, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.

Outdoor Paris poster exhibit pokes fun at Parisians

The Eiffel Tower at sunrise, taken from the Place du Trocadero. Image by Tristan Nitot. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
The Eiffel Tower at sunrise, taken from the Place du Trocadero. Image by Tristan Nitot. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
The Eiffel Tower at sunrise, taken from the Place du Trocadero. Image by Tristan Nitot. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

PARIS (AFP) – A loving couple queues in front of a Parisian cafe. “For the brunch, I’ve got one table at 6 p.m.,” a waiter tells them.

That scene is depicted in one of 48 posters put up across the French capital in an outdoor exhibition that casts a tender and amused eye on the quirks of Paris and its inhabitants, whose reputation as grumpy complainers has almost become a badge of honor.

A woman on the phone running to her meditation class, a never-ending queue to get in a restaurant, a chock-a-block cafe terrace as a ray of sunshine appears—all these feature in the exhibition that ends on Aug. 28.

“Yes, that’s Parisian life,” laughs Iverlene Worrell, a British tourist staring at a poster on the Champs-Elysees depicting the queueing couple.

“It gives a light, friendly kind of vibe,” adds her friend Nicole Broomes, who is discovering Paris for the first time.

The illustrator of the posters is Kanako, a Parisian by adoption who has for years been drawing for mylittleparis.com, a popular blog that reveals all the latest trendy happenings in the capital.

Far from targeting just Parisians, the posters are translated into English so that tourists too can have a little chuckle at the expense of the French capital’s inhabitants.

Dee Hyde, an American teacher, stares at one drawing that depicts a man standing in front of a gigantic stall full of bread of every shape and size.

“Would you have any squash-sesame-coconut country bread left?” the man asks the baker.

“She (the baker) looks a little mad. She doesn’t look so happy. If I was speaking English to her, she might look like that,” Hyde says.

Paris has long been a subject of endless fascination for foreigners, who view it as a city full of beautiful, elegant women, delicious eateries and quaint cafes.

As such, the French capital—the most visited city in the world—has been a source of inspiration for many authors.

Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris and The Sweet Life in Paris are just some of the books available on the capital.

But the city has also gained a reputation for unfriendliness and rudeness—so much so that tourists are often taken aback and sometimes even need psychological help.

One Japanese psychiatrist practicing in the French capital has coined a condition called the “Paris syndrome” for compatriots new to the city who arrive with a romantic, overblown image out of sync with reality—and suffer.

“Many Parisians take themselves a little too seriously,” says a suited-up Frenchman, gazing at one of the posters that depicts a crowd massed around an incomprehensible work of art.

“A bit of self-mockery does no harm.”

The exhibition is organized by the Paris city hall and the drawings have been put up on advertising billboards at a time when most of the capital—and its businesses—is on holiday.

“It’s a display that has no aim, other than to make people smile,” said Lionel Bordeaux, a spokesman for Paris city hall.

“It’s nice to be able to have some lightness, an amused and critical look at the lives we lead.”


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Eiffel Tower at sunrise, taken from the Place du Trocadero. Image by Tristan Nitot. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
The Eiffel Tower at sunrise, taken from the Place du Trocadero. Image by Tristan Nitot. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Scientists attempt to sequence genetic code from Lennon’s tooth

Dr. Michael Zuk with John Lennon's molar purchased at a UK auction in 2010. Wire service photo.
Dr. Michael Zuk with John Lennon's molar purchased at a UK auction in 2010. Wire service photo.
Dr. Michael Zuk with John Lennon’s molar purchased at a UK auction in 2010. Wire service photo.

EDMONTON, Canada – John Lennon’s tooth is going under the microscope in a US lab with scientists considering ways to extract the genetic code from the fragile specimen owned by Canadian dentist-tooth collector Dr. Michael Zuk.

“I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon’s DNA, very soon I hope. With researchers working on ways to clone mammoths, the same technology certainly could make human cloning a reality,” said Dr. Zuk.

The dentist attracted attention from skeptics for purchasing the rotten molar for over $30,000 at a UK auction in 2011, with commentary from Bill O’Reilly and Anderson Cooper (making the Ridiculist). Dr. Zuk is standing firm with his conviction that the investment could be one of the best decisions of his life. Zuk says “to potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing.

The prospect of sequencing Lennon’s DNA from the molar in Dr. Zuk’s possession raising several other interesting issues:

*How future human cloning of the ultra-rich and famous could become the rage

*New challenges to the laws that could need to recognize the legal rights of human clones

*A unique Beatle DNA sculpture of Lennon & McCartney which may be donated to the John Lennon Art School in Liverpool

The molar has been busy since being sold by the Beatle’s former housekeeper. It has been the focus of a number of charitable ventures, including a tour of the UK to raise awareness of mouth cancer, a line of John Lennon DNA pendants, a number of television appearances and a celebrity DNA documentary.

The exact details of the scientific research is being kept confidential, but if sequencing is possible, the dentist has approved tests to be conducted to gain insight into Lennon’s genes for a UK documentary on celebrity genetics.

Dr. Zuk’s website dedicated to the John Lennon DNA project may be found at JohnLennonDNA.com.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Dr. Michael Zuk with John Lennon's molar purchased at a UK auction in 2010. Wire service photo.
Dr. Michael Zuk with John Lennon’s molar purchased at a UK auction in 2010. Wire service photo.

Art personalities to select grant winners for Clark Hulings Fund

Clark Hulings (American, 1922-2011), Barcelona Produce Still Life, 2004, 25 x 27in, Spain. Courtesy of the Clark Hulings Fund for Burgeoning Visual Artists.
Clark Hulings (American, 1922-2011), Barcelona Produce Still Life, 2004, 25 x 27in, Spain. Courtesy of the Clark Hulings Fund for Burgeoning Visual Artists.
Clark Hulings (American, 1922-2011), Barcelona Produce Still Life, 2004, 25 x 27in, Spain. Courtesy of the Clark Hulings Fund for Burgeoning Visual Artists.

NEW YORK – Seven prominent professionals have been chosen as judges to select the first two grants winners for the Clark Hulings Fund for Burgeoning Visual Artists. They include Meredith Bergmann, Peter Falk, Thomas R. Kellaway, Philip Koch, Dan Ostermiller, Jennie Ottinger, and Bart Walter.

“I am honored to have this distinguished group of art professionals on the Fund’s inaugural judging panel,” said Elizabeth Hulings, the late Clark Hulings’ daughter. “Because they are from different parts of the country, work in a variety of media to produce different kinds of art, and themselves are at different stages of their careers, I think each of them brings a unique perspective to the judging process.”

From September 1 through 30, 2013, the fund, which was established to aid emerging artists from all genres, will accept applications from working painters and sculptors to pursue the same course of success that Clark Hulings enjoyed. According to Ms. Huligs, the grant winners, who will each receive up to $5,000, will be announced in November 2013. To apply visit: www.clarkhulings.com/the-fund.com.

Meredith Bergmann, a sculptor for over 35 years, has been making work that deals with complex themes in an accessible, beautiful and stimulating way. She works both on public monuments and on a private scale. Her largest public commission, unveiled in 2003, was for the Boston Women’s Memorial on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay. She recently unveiled a September 11th memorial for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City and is currently sculpting the FDR Hope Memorial for Roosevelt Island, NY.

Best known as a pioneer in the publishing of art reference books, Peter Falk has become best known for the award-winning three-volume biographical dictionary, Who Was Who in American Art. In the 1990s he published the leading art auction price records and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of ArtNet. Since 2000 he has been Editor of Artprice. He is also well known as an art appraiser, consultant, and manager of artist estate collections. As an art historian he has written dozens of critical monographs on artists and is founder of RediscoveredMasters.com.

Thomas R. Kellaway is the founding editor and publisher of American Art Review, the premier publication for articles on American art and artists from the colonial period to 1970, with a primary focus on exhibitions of representational art in regional museums. With a broad interest in the arts, Kellaway served in the 1980s as a Trustee of the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Theatre and President of the Regional Center for the Performing Arts (both in New London, Connecticut), and as Secretary of the Connecticut Association of Historic Theatres. More recently, he has been a member of the Governor’s Council on the Arts for the State of Kansas, and Chairman of the Arts Commission for the city of Leawood, Kansas.

The former abstract artist, Phillip Koch, was inspired in his early 20s to turn to painting realist landscapes after viewing the work of the famous American artist Edward Hopper. Since 1983 Koch has enjoyed twelve residencies in Hopper’s former studio on Cape Cod. Koch has had his work spotlighted in 14 solo exhibitions in American art museums including the Butler Institute of American Art, the Saginaw Art Museum, and the Swope Art Museum. Koch’s paintings are in the Permanent Collections of twelve American art museums. Koch is a Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

Dan Ostermiller is a sculptor of animals and has enlarged the scope of his knowledge of wildlife with expeditions to Alaska, Africa and all corners of the West. In 2003, he became president of the National Sculpture Society. His sculpture has won numerous awards and honors and has been included in exhibitions and one-person shows around the country. Included in the noteworthy list is the annual Society of Animal Artists exhibition; the annual National Sculpture Society exhibition; the Eiteljorg Invitational at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art in Indianapolis, Indiana; and the Fleischer Museum’s 1994 retrospective exhibition in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Jennie Ottinger earned her BFA from California College of the Arts and her MFA from Mills College. Her paintings are exhibited extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in New York, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles and London. She was awarded a fellowship at the Kala Art Institute, the Sara Lewis Scholarship Award from Mills College and was a 2010 finalist for the SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) award.

A full-time sculptor for three decades, Bart Walter ‘s work can be found in notable public and private collections worldwide: be it in the museum, gallery, or zoo, his art is exhibited in myriad locations. Walter travels extensively to pursue honest interpretations of his subjects, from lions and chimpanzees to more local North American wildlife. Sculpting and drawing directly from life allows him to infuse vitality and spontaneity into his work. His bronze sculptures are sought- after by international collectors and cultural institutions.

About Clark Hulings:

The late Clark Hulings’ ascendency in the art realm began in 1945 with a one-man show in Santa Fe, N.M., the first of two-dozen gallery presentations he would have over the course of a peripatetic 65-year career. The capstone show took place at New York City’s esteemed Forbes Gallery in 2011, just seven weeks after his death. Writing about this solo exhibition, “Clark Hulings: An American Master,” in a lengthy article about it in the March/April 2011 Fine Art Connoisseur, Peter Trippi called Hulings’ vividly realistic tableaux of village and farm life in Europe, Mexico and the United States “superb.”

Even though Hulings’ representational works stand in stark contradistinction to the Expressionistic, Pop and Minimalist creations of his peers, Trippi noted that he relished “enormous success among private collectors and commercial galleries, yet never became familiar to [the] mainstream,” a circumstance that produced no resentment on Hulings’ part. “I enjoyed what I was doing so much that there was no point in trying to be somebody else,” he said genially. “I decided to be the best I could be in painting conventional subjects in a traditional style.”

Hulings took a keen interest in colleagues who appreciated his self-assured approach, sharing his expertise with them at institutions like the New York City’s venerable Art Students League. Following Hulings’ death, at age 88, his wife Mary and daughter Elizabeth considered ways for them to carry on his collaborative spirit, leading them to establish The Clark Hulings Fund for Burgeoning Visual Artists.

All contributions to the Clark Hulings Fund, a 501(c)3, are tax-deductible. For more information, visit www.clarkhulings.com.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Clark Hulings (American, 1922-2011), Barcelona Produce Still Life, 2004, 25 x 27in, Spain. Courtesy of the Clark Hulings Fund for Burgeoning Visual Artists.
Clark Hulings (American, 1922-2011), Barcelona Produce Still Life, 2004, 25 x 27in, Spain. Courtesy of the Clark Hulings Fund for Burgeoning Visual Artists.
Elizabeth Hulings with her father, Clark Hulings (American, 1922-2011). Courtesy of the Clark Hulings Fund for Burgeoning Visual Artists.
Elizabeth Hulings with her father, Clark Hulings (American, 1922-2011). Courtesy of the Clark Hulings Fund for Burgeoning Visual Artists.

U.S. presidents subjects of AP photographs exhibit

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gives her husband a tap under the chin moments after he was sworn in as president. Henry Burroughs/AP. Washington, D.C./January 1961.
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gives her husband a tap under the chin moments after he was sworn in as president. Henry Burroughs/AP. Washington, D.C./January 1961.
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gives her husband a tap under the chin moments after he was sworn in as president. Henry Burroughs/AP. Washington, D.C./January 1961.

DALLAS (AP) – More than 70 Associated Press photographs of presidents taken over a 100-year span are part of a new exhibit at The Sixth Floor Museum.

The “The American President: Photographs from the Archives of The Associated Press” opened Sunday and runs through Oct. 27.

The downtown Dallas museum is dedicated to the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy and his legacy. It’s located along the route traveled by JFK before he was fatally shot.

The exhibit, meant to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death, has an introduction with comments by former President George H.W. Bush of Houston.

“Through their lenses, succeeding generations of AP ‘photodogs’ have captured both the ecstasy and agony of the American Presidency, and contributed in important ways to the historical record of each administration,” according to Bush.

The exhibit has been touring museums, universities and libraries since early 2012. Previous stops included the Federal Hall National Memorial in New York and the library and museum of former President Jimmy Carter in Atlanta.

___

Online:

http://www.jfk.org/

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

AP-WF-08-18-13 1558GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gives her husband a tap under the chin moments after he was sworn in as president. Henry Burroughs/AP. Washington, D.C./January 1961.
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gives her husband a tap under the chin moments after he was sworn in as president. Henry Burroughs/AP. Washington, D.C./January 1961.

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Aug. 19, 2013

Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) created this life-size bronze foot to be used as an ornament. It sold for $393 at Humler & Nolan, an auction gallery in Cincinnati.
Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) created this life-size bronze foot to be used as an ornament. It sold for $393 at Humler & Nolan, an auction gallery in Cincinnati.
Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) created this life-size bronze foot to be used as an ornament. It sold for $393 at Humler & Nolan, an auction gallery in Cincinnati.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – A realistic replica of a full-size foot in a sandal seems like a strange choice of ornament for the average home. But feet and shoes have been popular ornaments for centuries.

The foot of an ancient black man wearing a two-strap gold sandal was made by the modern artist Piero Fornasetti to be placed on a table in a modern house. The 3 1/2-by-9-inch foot is life-size. A 19th-century bronze candleholder was made in the shape of a foot in a sandal with an extended large toe topped by a cup to hold a candle. One 20th-century advertisement for a foot powder was a plaster replica of an oversized bare foot. A wooden bare foot, a little smaller than life-size, was carved by a 1920s folk artist as a gift for his podiatrist; it was to be used as a paperweight. A sleek modern bronze bare foot paired with a bronze hand was made by a 1970s Danish artist.

Victorians seem to have preferred feet wearing shoes as ornaments. Some shoes were padded to be pincushions, and pressed glass shoes with no special use are easy to find at antiques shows. A podiatrist we know has a famous collection of shoe-shaped objects in his office—more than 100 items.

Collecting by shape is just one way to organize a hobby. Most popular are cats, dogs, lady’s heads, angels, buildings and, of course, hands and feet.

Q: We have four Hitchcock-style chairs made by the Boling Chair Co. of Siler City, N.C. We have been unable to find any information about this company. Can you help?

A: Boling Chair Co. started out in 1901 as Siler City Bending Co. One of the company’s founders, Mal Boling, rounded up new investors in 1904 and reorganized the company as High Point Bending and Chair Co. It made bentwood parts for other companies before producing its own bentwood furniture. It later expanded its furniture lines. The company’s name became Boling Chair Co. in 1956 or ’57, and then Boling Co. in 1979. Today it’s based in Mount Olive, N.C., and is called Boling Furniture Co. If your chairs are marked “Boling Chair Co.,” they were made between 1956 and 1979. Chairs like it sell online for about $50 apiece.

Q: I have a solid-brass Batman belt buckle I think is from the 1940s. It’s marked “National Periodical Publications, Inc.” and has the number 0016 on the back. Can you tell me what year it was made?

A: Your Batman belt buckle was made in the early 1940s. National Periodical Publications published the first comic books that included original material, not reprints of comic strips. The company started out in 1934 as National Allied Publications. It has operated under various names, including Detective Comics and DC Comics. The company published the first Batman comic in 1939. Your Batman belt buckle probably is worth less than $100.

Q: I have an antique grip machine that was used in my grandparents’ tavern a century ago. The machine is red metal and works with a penny. It was manufactured by D. Gottlieb & Co. of Chicago. A bell rings when you get the meter so high. There is a chart on the front that has different ages and grip numbers for men and women. How much is it worth?

A: Your grip machine is not quite as old as you think. D. Gottlieb & Co. was founded by David Gottlieb in 1927. Originally the company made pinball machines. Gottlieb’s countertop grip tester was first made in 1928. The machine tested grip and arm strength and was a moneymaker for stores, taverns, barbershops and other retail businesses. Keys were needed to open up the back and get the money out. The grip tester was in and out of production until at least the late 1940s. Gottlieb made hundreds of different games. A couple of years ago, a D. Gottlieb & Co. grip tester with keys sold for $480.

Q: Several years ago, I received a six-piece set of little antique crystal bowls and matching tiny shovels. The set probably dates from the late 19th or early 20th century. Each little bowl is about 2 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter. What were the bowls and shovels used for? And what is the set worth?

A: Your little bowls were used to hold salt. They’re called “open salts,” “standing salts” or “salt cellars.” An open salt with a shovel-like spoon and a little pepper shaker were set next to each place-setting at the dining table. Instead of shaking salt, diners used the shovel to sprinkle salt on their food. Sets like yours don’t sell for high prices today. We have seen six-piece sets sell online for $25 to $50.

Q: Years ago I donated many valuable toys and games to various charities. Is there any way to get these sentimental items back?

A: Once things are given away, you can’t get them back. Charities usually sell the items at resale shops and use the money to support their programs. Toys in good condition also may have been distributed to children in need. You could have taken a tax deduction for the value of the toys at the time you donated them, but now you can be happy that your donation helped the charities you chose.

Tip: When repairing antique jewelry, never eliminate any marks or inscriptions. For example, when sizing a ring, keep the carat marks and hallmarks. If the shank can’t be cut, use a ring guard instead.

Take advantage of a free listing for your group to announce events or to find antique shows and other events. Go to Kovels.com/calendar to find and plan your antiquing trips.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

Cracker Jack toy, magnifier, round, red, $5.

Blenko bookends, cobalt glass, shell shape, 6 1/2 inches, $25.

Pressed glass vase, Thousand Eye pattern, fan shape, octagonal pedestal, 7 3/4 x 10 x 3 1/2 inches, $50.

Pewter chocolate pot, cover, sailboat, church, red and gilt paint, brass stand, Dutch, 17 1/2 inches, $175.

1920 calendar, two children, spinning wheel, multicolor, full pad, 21 1/2 x 12 inches, $230.

Chippendale mirror, tiger maple, carved crest, c. 1800, 33 x 18 inches, $235.

Cane, fruitwood, boar’s tusk handle, sterling collar, embossed design, tapered shaft, steel ferrule, 34 3/4 inches, $345.

Tiffany silver bowl, chrysanthemum pattern, 2 x 9 inches, $425.

Currier & Ives print, “Husking,” lithograph, hand-colored, oak frame, 1861, large folio, 26 x 31 1/4 inches, $1,440.

Gasolier lamp, two-light, cut and etched glass shade, ruby-cut to clear glass globe, gilt bronze, 1800s, 30 x 24 inches, $5,080.

Contemporary, modern and mid-century ceramics made since 1950 are among the hottest collectibles today. Our special report, “Kovels’ Buyers’ Guide to Modern Ceramics, Mid-Century to Contemporary” identifies important pottery by American and European makers. Includes more than 65 factories and 70 studio artists, each with a mark and dates. Works by major makers, including Claude Conover, Guido Gambone and Lucie Rie, as well as potteries like Gustavsberg, Metlox and Sascha Brastoff, are shown in color photos. Find the sleepers at house sales and flea markets. Special Report, 2010, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, 64 pages. Available only from Kovels. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at Kovels.com; or send $19.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) created this life-size bronze foot to be used as an ornament. It sold for $393 at Humler & Nolan, an auction gallery in Cincinnati.
Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) created this life-size bronze foot to be used as an ornament. It sold for $393 at Humler & Nolan, an auction gallery in Cincinnati.

Beauty of Japanese calligraphy at Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chōbunsai Eishi (Japanese, 1756–1829). 'Hanaōgi of the Ōgiya,' from the series Beauties of the Yoshiwara as Six Floral Immortals (Seirō bijin rokkasen), ca. 1794. Edo period (1615–1868). Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1919 (JP1124).
Chōbunsai Eishi (Japanese, 1756–1829). 'Hanaōgi of the Ōgiya,' from the series Beauties of the Yoshiwara as Six Floral Immortals (Seirō bijin rokkasen), ca. 1794. Edo period (1615–1868). Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1919 (JP1124).
Chōbunsai Eishi (Japanese, 1756–1829). ‘Hanaōgi of the Ōgiya,’ from the series Beauties of the Yoshiwara as Six Floral Immortals (Seirō bijin rokkasen), ca. 1794. Edo period (1615–1868). Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1919 (JP1124).

NEW YORK – The expressive art of Japanese calligraphy is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through Jan. 12. Showcasing more than 80 masterworks of brush-inscribed Japanese characters—some serving as independent works of art and others enhanced by decorated papers or by paintings—the exhibition “Brush Writing in the Arts of Japan” takes a close look at the original gestural movement marked in each work, by analyzing the applied pressure, speed, and rhythm that are said to be the reflection of the artist’s state of mind.

The works on view, dating from the 11th century to the present, demonstrates that beauty was often the supreme motive in the rendering of Japanese religious or literary texts, even at the expense of legibility. These works are complemented by some 100 ceramics, textiles, lacquers, woodblock prints and illustrated books that are closely related to the art of brush writing.

Handwriting was thought to reflect one’s personality in the East Asian tradition, but not in the sense of Western graphology or “handwriting analysis.” Rather, through copying of revered models and through creative innovation, handwriting style conveyed one’s literary education, cultural refinement, and carefully nurtured aesthetic sensibilities.

The art of brush writing in the East Asian tradition both encompasses and transcends the Western aesthetic concept of “calligraphy,” a word derived from Greek that literally means “beautiful handwriting.” Japan inherited from China a fascination with the artistic potential of inscribing characters with flexible animal-hair brushes, while developing a distinctive system of inscription for rendering poetry and prose written in the vernacular. In the case of East Asian brush writing, the original gestural movement—the speed, rhythm, and pressure—of the inked brush across paper or silk can be transmitted across centuries to the contemporary viewer.

Integrated with the permanent installation of ancient Buddhist and Shinto sculpture in the Arts of Japan galleries, the opening section of the exhibition introduces a splendid array of religious narrative paintings and mandalas that juxtapose text and image to convey sacred messages. It was believed that copying such narratives, or sutras, or having them copied would bestow religious merit; therefore, no expense was spared in creating editions of sutras. The magical efficacy ascribed to the transcription of Buddhist teachings in ancient Japan laid the foundation for the reverence of the written word. Works on view in this section includes essential Buddhist scriptures—transcribed in glittering gold and silver pigments on indigo dyed papers and accompanied by shimmering frontispieces—that attest to the importance placed on the brush-written word.

Reflecting a radically different attitude toward spiritual practice, the inscriptions of Chinese poems and religious sayings by Zen monks are rendered in an idiosyncratic manner compared to sacred texts transmitted by other sects of Buddhism. The calligraphy of Zen monks of medieval Japan is characterized by boldly brushed characters that break the rules of conventional handwriting. What they lose in legibility they gain in sheer visual potency that transcends the meaning of the phrases inscribed. The exhibition highlights a number of superb examples of calligraphy by Zen monks that have been donated or promised to the museum recently by Sylvan Barnet and William Burto.

Chinese poetry informed Japanese court culture from the earliest times and served as an inspiration for painters and calligraphers through the ages. Ink paintings of Chinese-style landscapes were cherished by court and warrior elites in premodern times and often were accompanied by poetic inscriptions. The exhibition displays an exquisite ink painting Splashed Ink Landscape by Josui Sōen, a monk-painter active in the late 1490s, that was acquired recently by John C. Weber; this is its first public showing in the West.

Drawing inspiration from the ancient court culture that flourished during the Heian period (794-1185), the central section of the exhibition highlights the flowering of women’s literary salon culture that produced such masterpieces of waka (31-syllable court poetry) and prose as the Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki and the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon by Sei Shonagon, both authored in the early 11th century. This section presents a calligraphy masterpiece by the high-ranking courtier Fujiwara no Yukinari, one of the few brush writing examples in the West by this master calligrapher, who was a close friend of Sei Shonagon. Brilliantly colored 17th century screen paintings—nostalgically representing an idyllic vision of ancient court culture—boldly complement the elegant 11th-century calligraphy, which was executed on subtly decorated papers.

Other highlights of the exhibition include deluxe lacquerware and textiles inspired by traditional Japanese literature. An exquisite kimono with a poem brilliantly embroidered in silk and a warrior’s campaign jacket with brushed ink characters demonstrate how the arts of textiles could be used to present some calligraphy as decorative art. The Metropolitan Museum’s recently acquired Life’s Symphony by Maio Motoko (b. 1948) plays on the idea of the expressiveness of calligraphy by creating a composition consisting of nothing but ink-soaked washi (Japanese paper) arranged in the form of an undulating line across the wide expanse of a pair of gold-leaf screens.

A room of prints features rare privately published prints (surimono) from the Havemeyer Collection, as well as masterworks of ukiyo-e prints and illustrated books on poetic themes. The exhibition concludes with a selection of contemporary prints and calligraphy; among them is a work by Shinoda Toko (b. 1913), who is celebrating her 100th birthday this year.

“Brush Writing in the Arts of Japan” is organized by John Carpenter, curator in the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum.

A variety of education programs will take place in conjunction with the exhibition. These include exhibition tours, a bookmaking studio workshop, and a “How Did They Do That?” weekend program for all ages.

It will be featured on the museum’s website at www.metmuseum.org.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Chōbunsai Eishi (Japanese, 1756–1829). 'Hanaōgi of the Ōgiya,' from the series Beauties of the Yoshiwara as Six Floral Immortals (Seirō bijin rokkasen), ca. 1794. Edo period (1615–1868). Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1919 (JP1124).
Chōbunsai Eishi (Japanese, 1756–1829). ‘Hanaōgi of the Ōgiya,’ from the series Beauties of the Yoshiwara as Six Floral Immortals (Seirō bijin rokkasen), ca. 1794. Edo period (1615–1868). Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1919 (JP1124).

Rioters loot, smash antiquities in Egypt’s Malawi National Museum

MINYA, Egypt (ACNI) – The ongoing civil unrest in Egypt has taken another ugly turn. The world-famous collection of the Malawi National Museum in Egypt lie in ruins after vandals broke in, ransacked priceless objects and left other antiquities smashed and stewn on the institution’s floor.

Glass showcases were shattered, their contents grabbed or destroyed. Larger objects, including a gilt-face sarcophagus, were toppled over and damaged. A list of missing objects has been compiled for authorities in hopes of preventing smugglers from making off with any of the loot.

A statement from the Ministry of Antiquities says the break-in occurred on Thursday evening and blames Muslim Brotherhood supporters for the crimes.

Minister of State of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim commented, “It is a great loss, and I am really saddened by what has happened to such a museum.”

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Civil War relics preserved at obscure G.A.R. museum

1905 ribbon of the Grand Army of the Republic. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Early American History Auctions.
1905 ribbon of the Grand Army of the Republic. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Early American History Auctions.
1905 ribbon of the Grand Army of the Republic. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Early American History Auctions.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Tucked away on the corner of Seventh and Cook streets, the sign on the building says Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum. People may not know that the Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization of Union veterans of the Civil War. The group disbanded in 1949, but the museum—with its collection of artifacts—lives on.

“Most people find it on the Internet,” said Mary Phelps, the museum’s volunteer caretaker. She’s there almost every day, educating visitors about the Civil War and pointing out the museum’s treasures.

There’s a portion of a flag that was hanging in Ford’s Theatre the night that Abraham Lincoln was shot. There are tintypes of soldiers, taken by celebrated 19th century photographer Mathew Brady. And there is a series of original pencil drawings of battlefield scenes by noted landscape artist Edwin Austin Forbes.

“It’s Springfield’s hidden gem,” said Michael Naylor, co-owner of Abe’s Old Hat Antiques, 111 N. Sixth St. He recommends the museum to many of his customers.

“If you’re looking for guns and swords and anything Civil War-related, it’s one of the most deserving places to visit,” he said.

Artifacts in the display cases were once part of the lives of the men who fought in the war. There’s a knife and fork, a wooden flute, a canteen, a powder horn, a sword, a sewing kit, a wooden cane, a pair of steel-rimmed glasses and a Bible. And there are letters written home from the front, plus the military ribbons, badges and medals awarded to the soldiers for their valiant service.

Items in the 1,000-square-foot museum have all been donated, many by families of Union soldiers.

“Donations have slowed down. Over the last four years, we’ve gotten 10 or 12 donations,” said Phelps, a former two-term president of the National Woman’s Relief Corps, auxiliary to the G.A.R. and the group that keeps the museum going. It’s funded by members of the relief corps and by volunteer donations from museum visitors.

‘Goober Peas’

“There’s not enough patriotism in the world anymore,” said Phelps, 69, who often wears red, white and blue. “Everyone in my family has been in the service somewhere along the line. It’s my job to keep it going.”

When a visitor enters the museum, she often starts up recorded 1800s-era music loaded into a CD player—songs like Goober Peas and When Johnny Comes Marching Home.

“It gets people more in the mood,” she explained.

Phelps joined the Woman’s Relief Corps as a young wife, after her mother-in-law urged her to join.

“She said I needed a night out,” said Phelps, who has since held just about every local and national office in the organization. In fact, she and her late husband sold their house in the Ogle County community of Byron to move to Springfield—site of the group’s national headquarters—because of Mary’s involvement with the relief corps.

The twice-widowed great-grandmother, avid camper and NASCAR fan lives in an apartment attached to the museum she cares for.

“Once you get something started, you like to keep it going,” she said.

History of the G.A.R.

The Grand Army of the Republic was founded by Benjamin F. Stephenson of Springfield in 1866, and its first post was in Decatur. Membership was limited to honorably discharged Union veterans who served between 1861 and 1865.

Fellowship was one reason the group was founded; the other was to advocate for federal pensions for war widows and orphans. Promoting the principles of “Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty,” the group became more political over the years. It supported voting rights for black veterans, established soldiers’ homes and worked for Republican political candidates. Membership peaked in 1890 at 490,000.

But as veterans of the Civil War aged and then died, the organization dwindled. It officially ended in 1949. The last member, Albert Woolson, died in 1956 at the age of 109. A large portrait of Woolson hangs in the museum.

The National Woman’s Relief Corps was organized in 1883 as the auxiliary to the G.A.R. The group—which numbers about 500 nationwide—promotes patriotism and honors all who have served in any American war; members do not need to be related to Civil War soldiers.

In addition to maintaining the museum in Springfield, its national headquarters, relief corps members volunteer in facilities that assist veterans, donate flags to schools and lodges, sponsor essay contests and place flags on the graves of soldiers.

Schoolchildren who visit the G.A.R. Memorial Museum each get a copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the Pledge of Allegiance and the American’s Creed—a pledge of national loyalty written by William Tyler Page and adopted in 1918 by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Learning to love history

Wanting to establish a Civil War museum, the Woman’s Relief Corps in 1941 spent $9,194 on a house at 629 S. Seventh St., where the museum now stands. It had 11 rooms, a full basement, attic, garage and barn.

But in the late 1950s, members deemed the wooden structure unsuitable for housing the historic papers and memorabilia that had been donated over the years. So the house was razed and the current building was constructed in 1963.

The boxy, flat-topped, gray stone building—some say it resembles a mausoleum—turns 50 this year.

Phelps estimates the museum gets 75 to 100 visitors a month in the summer, many fewer than in past years.

“It’s a smaller venue and, because it’s run by volunteers, not open all the time, but they have a nice collection,” said Kim Rosendahl, director of tourism for the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau. “What they have there, you won’t find anywhere else in the city.”

Last week, the Carpenter family—Don, Denise, 15-year-old Alex and 14-year-old Hunter —stopped by the museum. They traveled to Springfield from Rippey, Iowa, to see the Lincoln sites for the first time. The staff at Abe’s Old Hat Antiques told the family about the museum.

“We were planning to see the house, the tomb and the Lincoln Museum. We weren’t aware of this museum,” Don Carpenter said.

Mary Phelps never thought she would be educating people about history.

In junior high school, her history teacher reprimanded her for not paying attention in class.

“I will never have anything to do with history,” she declared. She went on to have a successful career as an insurance agent.

Now, after 13 years at the G.A.R. Memorial Museum and many more with the relief corps, she has these words for advice for her grandchildren.

“You never know what life has in store for you. Never say ‘never.’”

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Source: The (Springfield) State Journal-Register, http://bit.ly/13gSqUH

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

AP-WF-08-16-13 0159GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


1905 ribbon of the Grand Army of the Republic. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Early American History Auctions.
1905 ribbon of the Grand Army of the Republic. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Early American History Auctions.