'Vitruvian Man' by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria dell' Accademia, Venice (1485-90). Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Venice gallery presents rare Leonardo da Vinci drawings

'Vitruvian Man' by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria dell' Accademia, Venice (1485-90). Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

‘Vitruvian Man’ by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria dell’ Accademia, Venice (1485-90). Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

VENICE, Italy (AFP) – Fifty-two drawings by Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci are going on show in Venice from Thursday, including the famous but rarely seen Vitruvian Man charting the ideal proportions of the human body.

The show in the city’s Galleria dell’Academia displays works from the museum’s own archives as well as from the collections of the British Royal Family, the Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum and the Louvre.

“Leonardo da Vinci: The Universal Man” charts his artistic and scientific research, including drawings on botany, mechanics, optics and warfare as well as preparatory sketches for some of his most famous works.

The Vitruvian Man, from the museum’s collection, has not been seen in public in 30 years but is an iconic image seen on T-shirts and posters around the world.

It was based on the writings of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, who sought the same proportions of the human body in nature and used them in building.

The exhibition runs from Aug. 29 to Dec. 1.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a polymath who embodied the humanist values of the Renaissance.

Exhibition curator Annalisa Perissa Torriani said the display was intended to give visitors an insight into the inner workings of Leonardo’s mind.

It “shows Leonardo reasoning and translating from his brain to his hand but always retracing his steps to add corrections and additions,” she said.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


'Vitruvian Man' by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria dell' Accademia, Venice (1485-90). Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

‘Vitruvian Man’ by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria dell’ Accademia, Venice (1485-90). Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Tabby cast-iron mechanical bank, embossed ‘Tabby Bank’ with nodding chick, original paint, by J. & E. Stevens & Co., fourth quarter 19th century, 4 1/2 inches high. Price realized: $5,750 against $300-$500 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Variety auction by Jeffrey S. Evans evokes magical results

Tabby cast-iron mechanical bank, embossed ‘Tabby Bank’ with nodding chick, original paint, by J. & E. Stevens & Co., fourth quarter 19th century, 4 1/2 inches high. Price realized: $5,750 against $300-$500 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Tabby cast-iron mechanical bank, embossed ‘Tabby Bank’ with nodding chick, original paint, by J. & E. Stevens & Co., fourth quarter 19th century, 4 1/2 inches high. Price realized: $5,750 against $300-$500 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

MT. CRAWFORD, Va. – In the company’s largest Variety sale to date, an Aug. 24 auction of 1,149 lots, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates sold a Chinese carved jade buckle in the form of a dragon for $7,475. The buckle (lot 785), which dated to the late 19th or early 20th century, was estimated at $100-$200. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

Other Asian artifacts brought strong bidding and high prices. A lot of 18 assorted Asian beads in amber and glass court beads (lot 792) realized $4,312.50. The original estimate of $100-$200 was exceeded by Internet bidders, enthusiastic for several different objects in the lot. A lot of three snuff bottles sold for $2,990, against a $100-$200 estimate. The bottles were made of Peking glass and rare stonewares. A Chinese yellow silk altar cloth, which depicted a five-clawed dragon amid chrysanthemums and dated from the late 19th century, sold for $2,070, also against an estimate in the hundreds.

A wooden box made to hold a Magician mechanical bank (lot 167), embossed on one end “J. & E. Stevens,” and dating to the end of the 19th century, sold for $6,900. Such boxes are rare survivors, and the buyer, a New York-area collector, has the bank that fits within the box. Originally estimated at $200-$300, the box became a focus for collectors, with bids on the phone, via absentee bidders and in the room.

The bank box was part of the massive collection of the late Betty Jane Renn of Sunbury, Pa., which included over 375 banks of all types. Of these, a rare “Tabby Bank” by J. & E. Stevens & Co. (lot 178) sold for $5,750 over the $300-$500 estimate. This set a new auction record price for this bank. Bidding was between a phone bidder and a bidder in the house. Another bank, the Black Americana specimen of the “Bad Accident,” (lot 163), sold for $4,025, nearly four times the estimate.

The daylong sale included a selection of occupational shaving mugs. Of these, a rare example painted with a male gymnast on a horizontal bar (lot 1083), marked for Limoges, France, sold for $4,312.50

In a small but strong section of fine art, an 1846 Philadelphia Circus lithograph print of “Madame Macarte, In Some of Her Favorite Acts,” (lot 66), dated 1847, sold for $2,645 against a $200-$300 estimate. Another print, Georges Rouault’s “Circus of the Flying Stars: The Ballerinas,” (lot 701), dated 1934, sold for $1,725 against an $800-$1,200 estimate. Hisao Domoto’s abstract watercolor/gouache, (lot 656), dated 1966, realized $1,265, nearly three times the $300-$500 estimate.

These are highlights but the entire sale was very strong, and included such collectible areas as dolls, toys, knives, silver, and costume and fine jewelry. In each of these categories bidding was very aggressive and prices were strong. More than 7,000 live and absentee bids came in from Internet bidders in addition to those entered by more 150 phone and in-house bidders at the Evans gallery. The sale realized $281,307 including the 15 percent buyer’s premium, with participating bidders from 18 countries.

After the auction, Jeffrey S. Evans noted, “This was our highest grossing variety auction to date with all categories performing well, especially the banks, knives and silver. Bidders responded very positively to the fresh, quality merchandise that we were able to offer with no reserves and with attractive estimates. In addition, our detailed catalog descriptions including accurate condition reports, instills confidence and draws repeat buyers to our auctions.”

For further information phone 540-434-3939.

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

 

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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Tabby cast-iron mechanical bank, embossed ‘Tabby Bank’ with nodding chick, original paint, by J. & E. Stevens & Co., fourth quarter 19th century, 4 1/2 inches high. Price realized: $5,750 against $300-$500 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Tabby cast-iron mechanical bank, embossed ‘Tabby Bank’ with nodding chick, original paint, by J. & E. Stevens & Co., fourth quarter 19th century, 4 1/2 inches high. Price realized: $5,750 against $300-$500 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Jade buckle, in the form of a dragon, late 19th or 20th century, 5 1/2 inches long. Sold for $7,475 against $100-$200 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Jade buckle, in the form of a dragon, late 19th or 20th century, 5 1/2 inches long. Sold for $7,475 against $100-$200 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Gymnast occupational shaving mug, lettered ‘Joe Hensley’ above, marked under base for ‘W.G. & Co, Limoges, France’ and ‘E. Berninghaus, Cincinnati, Ohio’ retailer. Price realized: $4,312.50 against the $300-$500 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Gymnast occupational shaving mug, lettered ‘Joe Hensley’ above, marked under base for ‘W.G. & Co, Limoges, France’ and ‘E. Berninghaus, Cincinnati, Ohio’ retailer. Price realized: $4,312.50 against the $300-$500 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Hisao Domoto (Japanese, b. 1928), abstract painting, watercolor/gouche, verso dated 1966, framed, 30 inches x 20 inches. Price realized: $1,265 against the $300-$500 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Hisao Domoto (Japanese, b. 1928), abstract painting, watercolor/gouche, verso dated 1966, framed, 30 inches x 20 inches. Price realized: $1,265 against the $300-$500 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Blane David Nordahl, 51. Image courtesy of Nassau County (Florida) Sheriff's Department.

Florida police arrest notorious ‘burglar to the stars’

Blane David Nordahl, 51. Image courtesy of Nassau County (Florida) Sheriff's Department.

Blane David Nordahl, 51. Image courtesy of Nassau County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department.

HILLIARD, Fla. (ACNI) – A skillful cat burglar known for targeting celebrities and outsmarting even the most sophisticated security systems is once again in police custody.

On Monday, police detectives in Hilliard, a town outside Jacksonville, Florida, arrested Blane David Nordahl, 51, the notorious “burglar to the stars.” Nordahl was wanted for two outstanding warrants from Atlanta, authorities said – one for burglary with intent to commit a first-degree felony, and another for conspiracy to commit a felony.

Police across the South are interested in interviewing Nordahl about a rash of silver robberies from stately homes in seven states. Antiques taken in those robberies include a silverware set crafted by Paul Revere and a stein that originally belonged to King George II.

Nordahl allegedly has netted $3 million in goods – mostly silver – from about 150 burglaries during his 30-year criminal career. Nordahl’s high-profile victims have included Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and the late sportscaster Curt Gowdy.

Nordahl has been prosecuted and sentenced to prison several times for his serial offenses. Charges have included burglary and conspiracy to transport stolen goods across state lines. In one of his more widely publicized criminal escapades, Nordahl made off with 120 pairs of silver salt and pepper shakers from the Greenwich, Connecticut home of Ivana Trump.

Nordahl’s burglaries follow a distinct and predictable pattern. He targets the homes of wealthy families after conducting research at local libraries or studying the pages of glossy society magazines.

His usual method of home entry is to cut through or remove panes of glass from a home’s French doors or windows and crawl through the opening, thus avoiding alarms that would trigger if a door or window were opened. This meticulous process can take more than an hour. Reportedly, Nordahl can also disable home alarm systems and sneak past sleeping dogs without awakening them.

Nordahl is known to be very particular about the items he takes. He is only interested in hallmarked silver – preferably antique – and will even test pieces using a silver-testing kit before absconding with them. Any pieces that aren’t sterling silver are left behind. This selective approach has earned Nordahl a second nickname: “the silver thief.” When arrested in 1996, police found in his possession a copy of an up-to-date antiques and collectibles price guide, and a directory of wealthy Americans.

Over the years, Nordahl has made it his mission to learn from mistakes and adjust his methods to stay one step ahead of the law. For example, after police used a shoe print to connect him with a New Jersey burglary, Nordahl started throwing away his clothes and shoes after each heist. He became so adept at covering his tracks, many victims did not even realize they had been robbed until months later when they attempted to lay out their fine silver for special occasions.

Nordahl is expected to be extradited to Georgia from Florida in the next few weeks.

# # #

Copyright 2013 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Blane David Nordahl, 51. Image courtesy of Nassau County (Florida) Sheriff's Department.

Blane David Nordahl, 51. Image courtesy of Nassau County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department.

Other bronze sculptures by Walker K. Hancock include the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Monument at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Mo. man apologizes for ’87 theft from Wichita State

Other bronze sculptures by Walker K. Hancock include the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Monument at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Other bronze sculptures by Walker K. Hancock include the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Monument at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – A southwest Missouri man has been sentenced to probation for stealing a statue from Wichita State University more than 25 years ago.

Mitchel R. Potter of Lamar, Mo., has pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property in connection with the 1987 theft of a bronze bust of poet Robert Frost from WSU. Potter, who was not a student at Wichita State, was sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

Potter says he stole the statue when he was a 19-year-old fraternity pledge and that he should have left the sculpture alone. The Frost piece was acquired in 1983 and is one of two sculptures of the poet by Massachusetts artist Walker Hancock.

“It’s embarrassing to have something come back after years,” said Potter, 45.

He was arrested last year after a tip led authorities to the bust at Potter’s home. The piece has since been returned to WSU, where it’s in storage.

Potter contacted The Wichita Eagle to apologize to WSU and explain why he stole the bust. He has declined to say where he was a student at the time of the theft or which fraternity he belonged to.

“I just wanted to let the university and Wichita know that I am truly apologetic for my actions as a youth, and I just didn’t want people to think that I’d come up there and took it maliciously,” he said.

He said he and friends were running around the WSU campus that day and ran into the statue, which teetered and shook. Potter said the bolts securing it to its concrete pedestal loosened, and the statue fell to the ground.

“It was like, ‘Wow! Look at that. That’s cool,’” Potter said. So they picked it up and fled, Potter said.

He said the statue sat in his basement in Lamar for more than 25 years.

Martin Bush, who worked for WSU from 1971 to 1989, reported it missing 25 years ago. Bush said he always thought the statue disappeared as part of a prank.

“I think he’s paid his penalty, as far as I’m concerned,” bush said. “I’m delighted that the university has it back.”

___

Copyright 2013 Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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

AP-WF-08-26-13 1649GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Other bronze sculptures by Walker K. Hancock include the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Monument at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Other bronze sculptures by Walker K. Hancock include the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Monument at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Robert Indiana AMOR, conceived 1998, executed 2006 National Gallery of Art, Washington Gift of Simon and Gillian Salama-Caro in Memory of Ruth Klausner © 2012 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Robert Indiana’s ‘AMOR’ installed in National Gallery of Art

Robert Indiana AMOR, conceived 1998, executed 2006 National Gallery of Art, Washington Gift of Simon and Gillian Salama-Caro in Memory of Ruth Klausner © 2012 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Robert Indiana AMOR, conceived 1998, executed 2006 National Gallery of Art, Washington Gift of Simon and Gillian Salama-Caro in Memory of Ruth Klausner © 2012 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

WASHINGTON –Robert Indiana’s sculpture AMOR, conceived 1998 and executed 2006, is now on view in the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden. A play on his own famed LOVE sculpture, AMOR is constructed from red and yellow polychrome aluminum.

The first sculpture by Indiana (American, born 1928) to enter the gallery’s collection, the work significantly advances the gallery’s holdings of monumental modern sculpture. The sculpture was given to the gallery in May 2012 by Simon and Gillian Salama-Caro in memory of Ruth Klausner.

Indiana originally conceived the familier “Love” graphic in drawings, paintings and sculptures between 1964 and 1966. The first sculptural version was displayed at an exhibition at the Stable Gallery in Manhattan in 1966, and the artist has continued working with the motif since.

The image became most widely known through a commission for a Museum of Modern Art card in 1965 and the 8-cent “Love” stamp issued in 1973 by the U.S. Postal Service. The graphic became an emblem of the 1970s in the U.S., associated with the relaxation of social strictures. The monumental AMOR made its first appearance in the center of Madrid in 2006. With its inclinded “O” and vibrant colors, it extends the spirit of “Love” into several languages and cultures.

 

The National Gallery of Art and its 6.1-acre Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between Third and Ninth streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. With the exception of the atrium and library, the galleries in the East Building will be closing gradually beginning in July 2013 and will remain closed for approximately three years for Master Facilities Plan and renovations. For specific updates on gallery closings, visit www.nga.gov/renovation.

For information call 202-737-4215 or visit the gallery’s website at www.nga.gov.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Robert Indiana AMOR, conceived 1998, executed 2006 National Gallery of Art, Washington Gift of Simon and Gillian Salama-Caro in Memory of Ruth Klausner © 2012 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Robert Indiana AMOR, conceived 1998, executed 2006 National Gallery of Art, Washington Gift of Simon and Gillian Salama-Caro in Memory of Ruth Klausner © 2012 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Edward Hopper, ‘Blackwell’s Island,’ oil on canvas.

Crystal Bridges offers view of Hopper’s ‘Blackwell’s Island’

Edward Hopper, ‘Blackwell’s Island,’ oil on canvas.

Edward Hopper, ‘Blackwell’s Island,’ oil on canvas.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will soon display its newly acquired painting of a New York scene by modernist Edward Hopper.

The museum in Bentonville on Monday didn’t disclose a purchase a price but said it recently acquired the work from a private collection. Crystal Bridges says the work should be on exhibit by mid-September in its Early 20th Century Art Gallery.

The painting is titled Blackwell’s Island and depicts what’s now known as Roosevelt Island, which is off Manhattan in the East River.

Blackwell’s Island is among the largest of Hopper’s oil paintings and incorporates sky, water and a skyline. Crystal Bridges President Don Bacigalupi says the painting is considered one of Hopper’s most ambitious compositions.

There is no admission charge to view the museum’s permanent collection.

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

AP-WF-08-26-13 1928GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Edward Hopper, ‘Blackwell’s Island,’ oil on canvas.

Edward Hopper, ‘Blackwell’s Island,’ oil on canvas.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988), ‘Last Rights/AM Nightime,’ acrylic, oil paint stick and spray paint on canvas, 1981. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Works by Remington, Basquiat, Voulkos at Clars, Sept. 7-8

Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988), ‘Last Rights/AM Nightime,’ acrylic, oil paint stick and spray paint on canvas, 1981. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988), ‘Last Rights/AM Nightime,’ acrylic, oil paint stick and spray paint on canvas, 1981. Clars Auction Gallery image.

OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery’s Sept. 7- 8 Fine Art and Antiques Auction will likely surpass all previous sales in the firm’s rich history. Highly prominent works in fine art, decorative arts, jewelry and Asian art will fuel spirited bidding at this important two-day sale. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Headlining the fine art category will be a rare sculpture by Frederic Remington (American, 1861-1909). Titled The Cheyenne (1901), this work captures the dramatic moment of an Indian, with spear clutched in hand, on horseback at full gallop. Edition number 14, this sculpture was created at the renowned Roman Bronze Works foundry. This impressive bronze is estimated at $70,000-90,0000.

Another highlight is a monumental bronze by renowned abstract expressionist Peter Voulkos (1924-2002). This 1968 work, Untitled Stack (CR486.S18-AP1-B), stands 29 inches tall and is estimated to achieve $20,000 to $40,000.

Clars will also be featuring some brilliant California paintings one of which is Vista, an oil on canvas landscape by William Wendt (1865-1946), which is estimated at $25,000-$35,000. Maynard Dixon’s California landscape titled Hills Through the Oak (1915) has been estimated at $10,000 to $15,000, and an oil on canvas by San Francisco area artist Joseph Raphael (1869-1950) titled, Still Life with Green Vase and Flowers, will be offered for $20,000-40,000. All three important paintings come from impressive private collections in Piedmont, Belvedere and San Francisco.

Highlighting the American Modern pieces offered in Clars’ September sale is a Richard Pettibone (American, b. 1938), Andy Warhol, ‘Marilyn Monroe,’ 1962 (silver), 1973, silkscreen and acrylic on canvas. This piece depicting the American icon comes with great provenance originating from the artist to his ex-wife, and will certainly reach its expected estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

From a prominent Tiburon, California collection, comes two spectacular etchings by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973); Sculpteur, Modèle accroupi et Tête sculptée (from La Suite Vollard), for $18,000-22,000 and 347 Series: Plate 18 for $15,000-20,000. Furthering etchings to be offered will be 11 color drypoints from Salvador Dali’s important “La Venus aux Fourrures” (1969) suite. Coming from a prominent San Francisco Gallery, these carry an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.

Clars’ sale will also include numerous 19th and 20th century, Italian paintings from the Property of the Marquis C. Landrum Trust (donated to The Montclair Foundation for support of the Van Vleck House and Gardens and The Montclair Art Museum). One of which is an abstract still life painting by Fausto Pirandello (Italian, 1899-1975), Natura Morta con Girasole, 1950, will be offered at $15,000-$20,000. Another one of the highlights from this collection is a mesmerizing oil on linen composition by Julio Larraz (American/French, b. 1944), titled Study for Conclave, which will have an estimate of $20,000-40,000. Also featured, a poignant oil on canvas by Italian artist, Gaetano Previati (1852-1920) titled Christ Fallen Along One of the Stations of the Cross estimated at $8,000-12,000. Lastly, two paintings by Felice Carena (Italian, 1879-1966), one of which is Ritratto di Marzia con il Ventaglio, will be for sale at $10,000-$15,000 each.

From the Far East, will be contemporary Chinese artworks by renowned artists including Li Guanglin (Chinese, b. 1962) and Shang Ding (Chinese, b. 1954). Li’s colossal oil on canvas, Pious Back, 2010, of an elder monk praying should reach the heights with an estimate of $30,000-$40,000, while his painting Holy Kid, 2011-2012, of a young girl praying will be offered at $20,000-$30,000. Rounding out the Chinese offerings with an estimate of $15,000-$20,000 is Shang Ding’s Contemplation, an oil on canvas of a young Chinese ballerina caught contemplating her next move.

Also to be offered will be an “attributed to” Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988), acrylic, oil paint stick and spray paint on canvas titled Last Rights/AM Nightime, 1981. This important work bears signature and date in the lower right, bears initials and date verso, title inscribed verso with former title crossed out and measures 66 1/4 inches high by 114 inches wide. Provenance: Property of a San Juan Bautista, Calif., collector; purchased from the estate of Charles Teller (Beverly Hills, Calif.); estate of John Wallace (Los Angeles, Calif.). Wallace purchased the painting from the artist in 1981/1982. This work is being offered for $100,000 to $200,000.

Exciting decorative arts and furnishings range from the finest in historic Tiffany to classic cars. A Tiffany & Co. Civil War presentation sword inscribed “Presented/To/Lt/Col/ James J. Walsh/ By The / Enlisted Men of Co. E / 13th Artillery / N.Y.S.V” is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000.

From the master of studio art glass, Richard Marquis (American b. 1945), will be three of his works. To be offered will be two stunning teapot goblets and a Kylix vessel. Each of these offerings will be offered for $6,000 to $8,000. Turning back several centuries, a possibly 16th century Italian Urbino majolica vase attributed to the Fontana workshop is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000. Crossing the Pacific to Hawaii, of particular note will be the offering of a selection of Hawaiian koa wood poi bowls, one of which dates to the18th century. Estimates for these works range from $2,000 to $8,000. Stepping back even further, this sale will feature an impressive selection of pre-Columbian vessels and figures from a prominent San Francisco Bay area private collection with estimates ranging from $2,000 to $7,000. Turning back to America, an exquisite Simon Willard tall-case clock, Boston, circa 1800, executed in the Federal taste, is being offered for $8,000 to $12,000.

In sterling, a beautiful George III covered tureen suite by Robert Sharp, London, 1800, is expected to achieve $35,000 to $45,000. A pair of American sterling silver three-light candelabra by Howard & Co., New York, 1866-1922, each Renaissance Revival form inspired by Tiffany & Co., 15 inches high by 12 inches wide, 85.08 troy ounces, will be offered for $25,000 to $30,000 estimate.

And finally, for lovers of muscle cars, a 1968 Camaro convertible from a single California owner is expected to bring $16,000 to $25,000.

Topping the Asian art and antiques category will be a pair of Chinese huali official’s hat-form armchairs that are being offered for $15,000 to $25,000. A pair of Chinese monumental cloisonne enameled covered urns measuring 50 1/2 inches high, with a yellow ground enameled with lotus tendrils, bats and shou emblems, is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.

A Chinese Longquan celadon glazed tea bowl, Southern Song dynasty, of conical form raised on a small foot, is expected to earn $3,000 to $5,000 and a Ming dynasty large Longquan celadon bowl incised with flowers, carries an estimate of $2,000 to $4,000. A pair of Chinese stone inlaid lacquer wood plaques, featuring flowering magnolia tree with jade petals and peonies with amethyst inlay within a carved red lacquer frame, is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000 and a group of Chinese textile and robes, including a Qing dynasty brocade hanging featuring meandering dragons executed in gilt wrapped threads on a blue ground, is being offered for $3,000 to $5,000.

Highlights of the incredible offerings on the jewelry category will be a Burmese ruby, diamond, 18K yellow gold and silver ring, highlighting one oval cabochon cut ruby weighing 12.84 carats and 12 old mine cut diamonds totaling 4.01 carat. (estimate: $10,000 to $15,000); a man’s Patek Philippe 18K yellow gold rectangular and curved wristwatch, 1950s (estimate: $4,000 to $6,000); a Victorian gold-in-quartz, 14K rose gold pocket watch chain and fob (estimate: $4,000 to $6,000); an Ancient Revival micro mosaic and 18K yellow gold demi parure fringe brooch and earring suite, circa 1870 (estimate: $4,000 to $6,000); and a stunning fine star sapphire, diamond and 18K yellow gold ring, star sapphire weighing approximately 7.60 carats (estimate: $5,000 to $7,000).

For details on Clars’ Sept. 7- 8 Fine Arts Sale, call 510-428-0100 or email: info@clars.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988), ‘Last Rights/AM Nightime,’ acrylic, oil paint stick and spray paint on canvas, 1981. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988), ‘Last Rights/AM Nightime,’ acrylic, oil paint stick and spray paint on canvas, 1981. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Charles Remington bronze, ‘The Cheyenne.’ Clars Auction Gallery image.

 

Charles Remington bronze, ‘The Cheyenne.’ Clars Auction Gallery image.

Peter Voulkos, ‘Untitled Stack.’ Clars Auction Gallery image.

Peter Voulkos, ‘Untitled Stack.’ Clars Auction Gallery image.

Pablo Picasso etching. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Pablo Picasso etching. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Li Guanglin (Chinese, b.1962), ‘Pious Back,’ 2010, colossal oil on canvas. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Li Guanglin (Chinese, b.1962), ‘Pious Back,’ 2010, colossal oil on canvas. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Presentation sword by Tiffany. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Presentation sword by Tiffany. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Richard Marquis studio glass teapot goblets. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Richard Marquis studio glass teapot goblets. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Simon Willard tall-case clock. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Simon Willard tall-case clock. Clars Auction Gallery image.

The Illinois Capitol in downtown Springfield. Image by Daniel Schwen. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Illinois ready to unveil $50M Capitol renovation

The Illinois Capitol in downtown Springfield. Image by Daniel Schwen. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Illinois Capitol in downtown Springfield. Image by Daniel Schwen. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Two years ago, plywood walls went up inside the Capitol sealing the west wing from the rest of the building while a massive renovation project was undertaken.

The walls are about to come down and when they do, people may not recognize the place.

Gone is the institutional beige paint scheme, replaced with stenciling and colors that were there when the building first opened.

Longtime fixtures like the first floor newsstand and the basement cafeteria are also gone, as is the mezzanine that once housed offices for news outlets that covered the Statehouse.

The maidens have returned, light fixtures originally designed for the building but deemed too risqué for 19th century Illinois sensibilities and never installed.

The period flavor extends right down to the exit signs, specially designed for the project to convey a turn-of-the-century feel as much as an electric exit sign can.

The work has come at a cost. The project price tag has grown to about $50 million from the $43.3 million when bids were awarded. The project includes not only historic restoration of the west wing, but replacement of the outdated heating, air-conditioning and ventilation system, and bringing the area up to modern life safety and disability access standards.

“This project is on budget,” said Capitol architect Richard Alsop. “We had money in the budget for contingencies, so we are still within our budget range.”

Money for the project is coming from bonds issued by the state to pay for public works projects. Alsop acknowledged the price tag would have been lower had the work been limited to upgrading mechanical, electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems as well as required public safety and disability access improvements. More than half the cost was for “work we needed to do,” Alsop said.

However, he said it would have been a mistake to ignore historical renovations while the wing was undergoing the extensive repairs.

“If we’re not going to touch this wing for 50 to 75 years, let’s try to bring it back to what we call its period of significance, 1867-1908,” Alsop said. “It wasn’t all for life safety, but as long as we are going through that step and doing renovations that are going to last 100 years, you should really take advantage of it. Having a building like this is a jewel, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the state Capitol being a building that draws the public in.”

One thing that might draw in the public are the new doors on the Capitol’s west entrance. They are wood clad with copper on the exterior. Right now the copper is as shiny as a new penny, but Alsop said they will lose their shine over the next four to five months and become a deep brown.

“The original doors were oak on the outside and black walnut on the inside, but they had a lot of bronze ornamentation,” Alsop said. “Bronze is 90 percent copper.”

Metal-clad wooden doors are not new, he said, and without the copper the doors would probably have to be replaced in 20 to 30 years. Alsop could not provide a price for the doors.

“We didn’t create the palace, the palace was already here,” Alsop said. “We just short of shined it up a little bit.”

Alsop also said he could not provide a cost for the elaborate light fixtures installed through most of the wing to replicate fixtures in place during the late 19th century and early 20th century. Two of the fixtures are in offices that will be occupied by state senators that once were the offices of the attorney general. The medieval-looking fixtures each have a number of small lamps that now contain bulbs, but once would have held oil to burn for light.

St. Louis Antique Lighting fabricated the fixtures relying on historical photos and its own archives of lighting fixtures, Alsop said.

Restoring the decorative painting was a similar process. In many areas, layers of paint were scraped away until the plaster was exposed. Then restorers took a step back to the first layer of paint to uncover stenciling and colors that were part of the original building. Evergreene Painting Studios did much of the work, both repainting and creating the original designs on canvas that were then installed on walls and ceilings.

If old photographs and paint samples didn’t provide enough information, the state could always turn to Iowa. Its Capitol is identical to Illinois’, only it is about three-fourths the size. Both were designed by Alfred Piquenard. There was a limit to Iowa’s cooperation, however.

As part of the Illinois renovation, the maidens bronze light fixtures have been installed at the bottom of the staircase leading to the third floor. The maidens were designed by Piquenard and were supposed to be installed in the original building, but they were deemed too risqué for Illinois.

“There was an Iowa delegation in town who said we’ll take them. They’re not too risqué for us,” Alsop said. “Illinois let them have them because the same architect designed both Capitols.”

They are in the Iowa Capitol to this day.

No longer thought to be too risqué, Illinois approached Iowa about getting back the maidens that were originally meant for Illinois.

“We said, hey, can we have these back. They said no,” Alsop said.

Illinois then asked to make molds of the maidens. Again, no. In the end, St. Louis Lighting scanned the Iowa maidens in 3-D, allowing the company to make replicas.

Some of the restorations will seldom be seen by the public. Third floor offices to be used by Senate Republicans and their staffs had the elaborate ceiling restored. The office area itself resembles a library, appropriate for a space that once housed the state library. The offices include an elevator that goes just from the third floor to a fourth floor section that will be occupied by state senators, something required by ADA codes, Alsop said.

ADA codes are indirectly responsible for the end of the cafeteria in the Capitol basement. The basement floor had to be made level, which meant lowering in some places by as much as 18 inches. That exposed the massive limestone footings that support the building. The footings weren’t spaced far enough apart to accommodate a commercial kitchen, hence no cafeteria. Much of the space will now be used by the news media displaced when the mezzanine was removed.

“The mezzanines weren’t done for any other reason than space,” Alsop said. “That’s not always the best reason to do something, just for more space.”

Workers are still putting some finishing touches on parts of the west wing. Alsop said he expects lawmakers, staff and others will be moving back in by late September and the west wing reopened to the public.

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Source: The (Springfield) State Journal-Register, http://bit.ly/18WcNqx

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

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

AP-WF-08-26-13 1902GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Illinois Capitol in downtown Springfield. Image by Daniel Schwen. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Illinois Capitol in downtown Springfield. Image by Daniel Schwen. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Image by the Russian Presidential Press and Information Office, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Russian police seize painting of Putin wearing lingerie

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Image by the Russian Presidential Press and Information Office, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Image by the Russian Presidential Press and Information Office, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AFP) – Russian police said Wednesday they had raided an exhibition and confiscated a painting that portrayed President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev lounging together in women’s lingerie.

Police said they confiscated four paintings by artist Konstantin Altunin and closed down the exhibition of his work in Russia’s second city of Saint Petersburg, which is set to host world leaders for the G20 summit next month.

One of the paintings confiscated shows Putin playing with Medvedev’s hair.

He is wearing a strappy nightie, while Medvedev has cleavage bursting out of a bra and is wearing skimpy knickers.

“We received information from a citizen that the images in the museum broke the law. Police confiscated four paintings and currently experts are examining them,” said police spokesman Vyacheslav Stepchenko.

The exhibition made explicit references to a controversial law recently passed by Putin banning promotion of homosexuality among minors, although police did not specify the legal grounds for its closure.

The law, which critics says can be used to shut down any gay rights event, has prompted a chorus of international protest, and British actor Stephen Fry this month called for Russia to be deprived of the right to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi next year.

Police carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles arrived at the small privately owned Museum of Power, which opened this summer, its owner Alexander Donskoi told AFP.

Police accused its creators of extremism, a criminal offence that carries more serious charges than the anti-gay law, Donskoi said.

“We are accused of extremism. Police recommended us not to make a noise about this incident ahead of the G20, but it is scandalous, art has nothing to do with politics,” Donskoi said.

The artist Altunin left Russia in fear of being arrested after the show’s closure, Donskoi said.

“After hearing that police were waiting at his home, Konstantin bought a ticket for Denmark and as of Wednesday he is in France,” Donskoi said.

One of the other paintings that was confiscated showed one of the anti-gay law’s most outspoken backers, St. Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, in front of the rainbow flag of the international Gay Pride movement.

Milonov accompanied the police who raided the exhibition on the city’s central shopping street Nevsky Prospekt, Donskoi said.

“After visiting the exhibition a few days ago, Milonov came yesterday evening with the police. He is behind the ban on the exhibition,” he said.

Milonov on Petersburg Echo radio dismissed the works of art as “tasteless, at the same level as a “yob” from a vocational college who scribbles in a toilet at a bus stop.”

But the curator for contemporary art at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg said Milonov was overstepping his powers in comments to AFP.

“Lawmaker Milonov has the right to criticize the exhibition as a visitor, but he should not express himself as if he was a prosecutor,” Alexander Borovsky said. The exhibition, which was titled “Leaders,” also included images of Soviet leaders Stalin and Lenin, as well as a painting showing Putin with a halo.

Donskoi has also opened private museums of erotic art in Moscow and St.

Petersburg.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Russian President Vladimir Putin. Image by the Russian Presidential Press and Information Office, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Image by the Russian Presidential Press and Information Office, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana was the scene of a notorious theft in April. Image by Anakin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Rural Bolivian churches plagued by wave of art theft

The Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana was the scene of a notorious theft in April. Image by Anakin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana was the scene of a notorious theft in April. Image by Anakin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) – The thieves tunneled under the thick walls of the colonial-era Roman Catholic church in the tiny southern Bolivian town of San Miguel de Tomave, emerged through the floor and made off with five 18th-century oil paintings of inestimable value.

It was the third time the highlands church had been plundered of sacred art since 2007. Most of the finely etched silver that once graced its altar was already gone.

“Who would have thought they would take the canvases, too?” the Rev. Francisco Dubert, the parish priest, asked of the 2-meter-by-1.75-meter oils depicting the Virgin Mary.

Increasingly bold thefts plague colonial churches in remote Andean towns in Bolivia and Peru, where authorities say cultural treasures are disappearing at an alarming rate. At least 10 churches have been hit so far this year in the two culturally rich but economically poor countries.

“We think the thefts are being done on behalf of collectors,” said the Rev. Salvador Piniero, archbishop of Peru’s highlands Ayacucho province. Religious and cultural authorities say criminal bands are stealing “to order” for foreigners.

Bolivian churches have been robbed 38 times of 447 objects since 2009—of highly stylized decorative silverwork, canvases, polished gold and silver altar pieces and gem-encrusted jewelry, said the country’s cultural patrimony chief, Lupe Meneses.

In Peru, at least 30 thefts from churches and chapels have been reported since January 2012, including two this month: Churches in Ayacucho and Puno provinces were robbed of ornamental silver laminate, or gold and silver crowns, earrings and necklaces.

In Tomave, other canvases were left behind, Dubert said, indicating the thieves knew exactly what they wanted. “These churches are being robbed because terrible people want to own beautiful things.” Donna Yates, a University of Glasgow archaeologist blogged afterward.

Yates, who is studying the Andes thefts for a global, European Union-funded project, said the hemorrhaging of priceless ecclesiastical art in the region has continued at a steady pace “but it’s getting more brazen.”

“Who is behind it? I can’t say,” Yates added. “The market for these goods is in Europe and the United States,” she says, with Santa Fe, New Mexico, one destination as a magnet for collectors of Latin American art.

Cultural officials in the Andes have long struggled to protect Incan and pre-Columbian cultural treasures. Now, colonial sacred art has become a similar worry. By law, it is all national patrimony, its export illegal.

Where possible, churches are being fortified. Video cameras were installed and nighttime guards posted last year at Ayacucho’s main cathedral in Huamanga, host to Peru’s biggest annual religious pilgrimage.

But poor, rural parishes are on their own, particularly along the highlands plateau where Spanish colonial missionaries built isolated settlements.

In January, church thieves stole 12 gold crowns and a pair of silver shoes of a baby Jesus statue in the isolated Ayacucho town of Santo Domingo de Chungui, said regional culture director Mario Cueto.

He appealed afterward “for greater monitoring on highways and at international airports.” But the thefts almost always go unsolved.

In one of the most audacious thefts, national treasures disappeared in April from the Church of the Virgin of Copacabana on Lake Titicaca.

A wooden 16th-century statue of Bolivia’s patron saint was stripped of 18 precious jewels worth an estimated $1 million by thieves who poisoned two mastiffs and laced the parish workers’ evening meal with tranquilizers. While everyone slept, the thieves broke a window and gained entry with a ladder.

A visiting priest and the female owner of a hostel where he was staying were arrested in the theft. Prosecutors say they are suspected of assisting a criminal gang.

Most targets are more like the Tomave church, unprotected by anything more than a lock and chain on the door when last burgled in December. Most are built above 13,100 feet and at least 60 miles from the nearest police station. As for burglar alarms, electricity is unreliable when it exists at all.

“Security is impossible,” said Yates. “You are left with the kind of situation where you could either try to take all the goods out of these rural churches, which is ethnically questionable because you are taking people’s heritage away from them.”

Even if the art were removed, there is no place to safely store it.

Not even the La Merced church in Bolivia’s southern regional capital of Potosi, whose silver mine was once the Spanish empire’s economic engine, was immune from one of the year’s biggest heists.

Among loot stolen after an alarm was deactivated: An 18th-century scapular shield encrusted with pearls, diamonds, rubies and emeralds worth an estimated $1 million. Also taken: part of a huge silver archway laminate.

Peru’s cultural patrimony director, Blanca Alva, says much of the stolen silver is simply melted down. If it were merely stolen, she said, “at least it would be conserved and I’d hope it could be recovered.”

Yet authorities have had little luck recovering colonial art. Officials at Bolivia’s Culture Ministry were reluctant to share details of stolen items, fearing it could boost their black-market value.

A rare victory came in 2005 when 18th-century paintings of St. Francis of Assisi and Jesus Christ stolen from the San Pedro de la Paz church in Bolivia were recovered in Lima, Peru, where someone had tried to sell them to foreigners for $100,000.

“That’s why this country should have a specialized (antiquities) police, like Italy,” said Carlos Rua, the ministry’s chief of artistic restoration.

No country in the region has more than a handful of police working regularly on antiquities thefts.

The rare times that plunderers are caught, consequences can be dire.

Police held up by a swollen river arrived too late in Quila Quila, a Quechua-speaking village in Bolivia’s southern highlands, to save the thieves whom villagers caught the previous day absconding from their church with canvases and jewels.

Local journalist Henry Ayra said the men were caught, beaten and buried in the churchyard on March 5, 2012.

Local police Maj. Bismark Pereira told the AP his men unearthed and carted away the handcuffed corpses. He could not confirm reports the men were buried alive.

“The community,” said Pereira, “had entered into a pact of silence.”

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Bajak reported from Lima, Peru. Associated Press writer Carla Salazar also contributed from Lima.

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Follow Bajak on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fbajak, and Flores at http://twitter.com/mpaolaflores

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

AP-WF-08-26-13 2001GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana was the scene of a notorious theft in April. Image by Anakin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana was the scene of a notorious theft in April. Image by Anakin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.