An interesting take on his usually expansive, sprawling landscapes, Granville Redmond’s view of the Flintridge Biltmore Hotel hails from the estate of Ernest A. Bryant III. Estimate: $50,000-$70,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

Calif. paintings loom large in John Moran auction Oct. 22

An interesting take on his usually expansive, sprawling landscapes, Granville Redmond’s view of the Flintridge Biltmore Hotel hails from the estate of Ernest A. Bryant III. Estimate: $50,000-$70,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

An interesting take on his usually expansive, sprawling landscapes, Granville Redmond’s view of the Flintridge Biltmore Hotel hails from the estate of Ernest A. Bryant III. Estimate: $50,000-$70,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

PASADENA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers will conduct their California and American Fine Art Auction on Oct. 22, replete with quality works by California’s most renowned artists. The 275-lot sale is an intriguing intersection of works culled from the collections of California art enthusiasts along the West Coast and beyond. Approximately one-third of the offerings are hand-picked highlights hailing from the estate of the Santa Barbara-based collector Ernest A. Bryant III.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The collection of Ernest A. Bryant III reflects his native California roots. A descendant through his father of the Bixby-Bryant family of landowners, he inherited from his mother’s family a history of generations of art collecting. His maternal grandfather was Joseph E. Tilt, who, with his wife Stella, opened the Tilt Galleries in Pasadena in 1928. In a happy coincidence, Tilt Galleries was located in the 300 block of E. Green St.– the exact spot where the Pasadena Convention Center now stands, and the current site of all John Moran California and American Fine Art Auctions. In fact, Guy Rose’s record-setting Early Morning, Summer Time, sold by Moran’s for $1.2 million in 2001, passed through the Tilt Galleries inventory in the 1920s, and was indeed sold at the same East Green Street location.

The Tilt family’s enthusiastic support and love for the arts and Southern California artists no doubt informed Bryant’s tastes, which took full bloom in the 1970s, when he began acquiring early California works at a rapid pace. Like his Grandfather Tilt, Bryant was also a supporter of local artists, including many members of Santa Barbara’s Oak Group, as well as Clyde Aspevig, Edward Fraughton and Ian White, who were fellow members of his beloved Bohemian Club, and many others.

The Bryant collection represents the best of late 19th and early 20th century California art, with an emphasis on the state’s unique brand of Impressionism. Western themes and horses in particular are a strong theme throughout the collection, unsurprising given that Ernest Bryant was a fourth-generation rancher and a prominent member of the Western riding groups El Viaje de Portola in Orange County and Rancheros Visitadores in Santa Barbara County.

A breathtaking oil by Thomas Hill, depicting Indians at a campfire near the base of Bridal Veil falls in Yosemite is a fine example of one of his larger studio works. It is estimated to realize between $30,000 and $50,000. A view of a humbler landscape, by California Impressionist Jack Wilkinson Smith, depicting gently rolling, golden hills sheltering horses tied near a homesteader’s cabin beneath a rising daytime moon, is yet endowed with grandeur through Smith’s deft mastery of atmosphere, light and shadow. It is expected to bring in the $30,000 to $50,000 range.

A scene by Granville Redmond depicts the landmark Flintridge Biltmore Hotel (currently the site of the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy) from an unexpected, upward-looking vantage point at the bottom of a steep hill, with only a thin slice of sky visible along the top edge of the foliage-filled canvas (estimate: $50,000-$70,000). Edgar Alwyn Payne’s French Tuna Boats, Concarneau, France, a becalming scene of sailboats with brick-red sails floating on glassy waters, is expected to earn between $30,000 and $50,000 at the block. A small plein air oil sketch of Morro Bay by William Wendt, in the artist’s characteristically rich, summery palette of browns and greens, carries an estimate of $12,000-$18,000. Point Loma by San Diego artist Maurice Braun is an effervescent composition in idealized color, with a brush-dappled, pink-infused hillside and skyline punctuated by contrasting eucalyptus trees. Painted in 1914, just one year prior to Braun’s capture of a gold medal at the San Francisco Panama Pacific International Exposition, Point Loma is expected to realize between $30,000 and $40,000.

Selections from the Estate of Ernest A. Bryant III will be denoted in the Oct. 22 California and American Fine Art catalog by a watermark of Bryant’s brand, for easy identification. (Highlights from the Bryant collection are similarly watermarked here, where illustrated.)

Selected works from other private collections and estates include:

– An oil by Arthur Grover Rider, titled La Entrada, depicting a fisherman and two oxen landing a boat on the Valencia shoreline. The canvas comes from a private Atlanta, Georgia collection (estimate: $80,000-$100,000).

– A still life of delphiniums in a green pottery vase by Joseph Henry Sharp illustrating the artist’s detailed and carefully rendered style, so well used in his depictions of Native American life and culture. The vividly hued composition carries an estimate of $25,000-$35,000.

– John Marshall Gamble’s September Evening (Wild Buckwheat), a large oil composition with distant mountains and a golden landscape bursting forth with wild orange blooms, spliced by a dry stream bed (estimate: $50,000-$70,000.)

A small oil on board by San Diego artist Alfred Mitchell, depicting the Cabrillo Bridge at Balboa Park, is offered from a private Ventura, Calif., collection. A wonderful example of the artist’s intense interest in the effects of light on color, the piece is executed with the stippled, dabbing technique to the foreground, which characterize his earlier works. The early morning depiction of Cabrillo Bridge under hazy conditions, most assuredly executed en plein air to quickly record the atmospheric effects, will speak to any collector familiar with Mitchell’s stylistic repertoire. The painting is estimated to bring $7,000-$9,000.

A striking contrast to the Mitchell is the 1950 oil on canvas by Millard Sheets, titled Pinto Herd. The dynamic composition, channeling Sheets’ interest in mural paintings with regard to size, energy, and emotional bounty, measures 30 inches by 70 inches. The horses in this work, while not an uncommon theme in themselves with regard to Sheets’ repertoire, are imbued with an uncommonly stunning intensity. Such emotional depth is indicative of the artist’s postwar works, especially those executed in the years shortly following his return from the China-Burma-India theater while on assignment with Life magazine. Pinto Herd, originally acquired directly from the artist by a friend of Sheets who had worked with him as a WPA muralist, carries an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.

For details contact John Moran Auctioneers, 626-793-1833.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


An interesting take on his usually expansive, sprawling landscapes, Granville Redmond’s view of the Flintridge Biltmore Hotel hails from the estate of Ernest A. Bryant III. Estimate: $50,000-$70,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

An interesting take on his usually expansive, sprawling landscapes, Granville Redmond’s view of the Flintridge Biltmore Hotel hails from the estate of Ernest A. Bryant III. Estimate: $50,000-$70,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

This early California painting by Jack Wilkinson Smith no doubt appealed to the rancher in its owner Ernest A. Bryant III. Depicting horses hitched near a homesteader’s cabin, the piece is estimated to find a buyer for $30,000-$50,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

This early California painting by Jack Wilkinson Smith no doubt appealed to the rancher in its owner Ernest A. Bryant III. Depicting horses hitched near a homesteader’s cabin, the piece is estimated to find a buyer for $30,000-$50,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

Also from the Bryant estate, ‘Morro Bay,’ by William Wendt, is estimated to sell for $12,000-$18,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

Also from the Bryant estate, ‘Morro Bay,’ by William Wendt, is estimated to sell for $12,000-$18,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

Estimated to bring $80,000-$100,000, this Valencia, Spain-set work by Arthur Grover Rider, titled ‘La Entrada,’ came to John Moran Auctioneers via a private collection from Atlanta. John Moran Auctioneers image.

Estimated to bring $80,000-$100,000, this Valencia, Spain-set work by Arthur Grover Rider, titled ‘La Entrada,’ came to John Moran Auctioneers via a private collection from Atlanta. John Moran Auctioneers image.

Fresh from a private Southern California collection, this vibrant still life by Pasadena artist Joseph Henry Sharp features delphiniums and California poppies. Estimate: $25,000-$35,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

Fresh from a private Southern California collection, this vibrant still life by Pasadena artist Joseph Henry Sharp features delphiniums and California poppies. Estimate: $25,000-$35,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

A prize winner in the San Diego Art Guild’s 1915 exhibition, Alfred Mitchell’s landscape featuring the Cabrillo Bridge at Balboa Park is estimated to hammer for $7,000-$9,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

A prize winner in the San Diego Art Guild’s 1915 exhibition, Alfred Mitchell’s landscape featuring the Cabrillo Bridge at Balboa Park is estimated to hammer for $7,000-$9,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

‘Pinto Herd,’ a large and energetic oil on canvas by Millard Sheets, has been turning heads since it was first consigned to Moran’s by a local Southern California collector. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

‘Pinto Herd,’ a large and energetic oil on canvas by Millard Sheets, has been turning heads since it was first consigned to Moran’s by a local Southern California collector. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. John Moran Auctioneers image.

Hermes matte Bougainvillea porosus crocodile Birkin bag with palladium hardware brought $106,250. Heritage Auctions image.

Hermès paces Heritage Auction $5M luxury accessories sale

Hermes matte Bougainvillea porosus crocodile Birkin bag with palladium hardware brought $106,250. Heritage Auctions image.

Hermes matte Bougainvillea porosus crocodile Birkin bag with palladium hardware brought $106,250. Heritage Auctions image.

LOS ANGELES – Hermès lead the day at Heritage Auctions’ inaugural, $5-plus million Beverly Hills Luxury Accessories event as a Matte Bougainvillea porosus crocodile Birkin with palladium hardware brought $106,250 and a shiny blue electric porosus crocodile Birkin bag with palladium hardware brought $87,500. The Sept. 23 event gives Heritage the distinction of having sold the Top 10 most valuable Hermès Birkins ever offered at auction.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The fresh auction concept combined the world’s most desirable bags and fine contemporary designer jewelry at Heritage’s Beverly Hills location.

“Our auction marked Heritage’s grand Beverly Hills luxury debut and it certainly surpassed our expectations,” said Matt Rubinger, director of luxury accessories at Heritage. “Judging by the results, it’s clear our clients were pleased as well over the opportunity to own these rare bags now rather than waiting for years through traditional outlets.”

Hermes rarities were in high demand as and a Hermès special order horseshoe 35cm shiny blue electric and indigo porosus crocodile Birkin bag with gold hardware fetched $81,250. A rare light Mimosa porosus crocodile skin Hermes 40cm Birkin bag with palladium hardware surpassed its estimate when it sold for $75,000.

Among the fine jewelry selection a Tiffany & Co. sapphire diamond platinum ring, sporting an 8.94-carat Burmese sapphire, realized $118,750 to take the auction’s top lot honor. Additional highlights include a stunning 5.04-carat diamond platinum ring, which brought $68,750, and the Helen Necklace, a diamond gold and silver work designed by Yossi Harari, which sold for $46,875. A Pomellato diamond gold bracelet crossed the block for $35,000.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Hermes matte Bougainvillea porosus crocodile Birkin bag with palladium hardware brought $106,250. Heritage Auctions image.

 

Hermes matte Bougainvillea porosus crocodile Birkin bag with palladium hardware brought $106,250. Heritage Auctions image.

Tiffany & Co. sapphire, diamond, platinum ring. Price realized: $118,750. Heritage Auctions image.

Tiffany & Co. sapphire, diamond, platinum ring. Price realized: $118,750. Heritage Auctions image.

‘The Apple’ by Stephan Weiss, New York. Photo by Garrett Ziegler via newyork.cbslocal.com.

Reading the Streets: Hudson River Park

‘The Apple’ by Stephan Weiss, New York. Photo by Garrett Ziegler via newyork.cbslocal.com.

‘The Apple’ by Stephan Weiss, New York. Photo by Garrett Ziegler via newyork.cbslocal.com.

NEW YORK – Hudson River Park is a work of art in itself, a transformation of an industrial waterfront into a beautiful city park, but it’s also home to a variety of public art installations. Some pieces play tribute to the neighborhood’s history, others to the city as a whole.

Stephan Weiss’s The Apple, nestled in the grass on Pier 46 near Charles Street, looks particularly inviting on the sunniest days, when its 3-ton, 9-foot-tall bronze body shimmers, setting a goal for the fields of sun bathers nearby. It’s center is hollow, which on one recent visit, allowed two kids to challenge each other to a race through it, like worms in an actual apple.

Another kid favorite is Twister, a section of the three part Serpentine Structures by Mark Gibian near Watts Street in Tribeca. Its winding, torqued steel was meant to mimic the gentle waves of the nearby river. It reminds me even more of the body of a roller coaster, which may explain the excitement of the kids who can often be seen climbing on it.

My personal favorite is not officially a sculpture at all, though there are plans to add artistic touches to it. The wooden pilings near Pier 40, once the supporters of a now vanished pier, sit half-submerged in the river looking out toward New Jersey, remnants of a grittier past. Though they look like a field that time forgot, they actually are key components of the park’s estuarine sanctuary, making the waters more inviting for various fish and other invertebrates.

Of course, I’m not the only one who thought the Pier 42 pilings were ripe for artistic intervention. The Hudson River Pilings Project is planning to bring sculptor Joan Benefiel’s colorful resin figures to the pilings, pending funding. Meanwhile, the sculptures have been traveling to art fairs and exhibitions around the country. Hopefully they’ll soon be in their intended home.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


‘The Apple’ by Stephan Weiss, New York. Photo by Garrett Ziegler via newyork.cbslocal.com.

‘The Apple’ by Stephan Weiss, New York. Photo by Garrett Ziegler via newyork.cbslocal.com.

Hudson River Pilings, New York. Photo by Ilana Novick.

Hudson River Pilings, New York. Photo by Ilana Novick.

AIDS Memorial, New York. Photo by Garrett Ziegler via newyork.cbslocal.com.

AIDS Memorial, New York. Photo by Garrett Ziegler via newyork.cbslocal.com.

‘Twister’ by Mark Gibian, New York. Photo by Malcolm Varon via http://www.markgibian.com/siteSpecificA.html.

‘Twister’ by Mark Gibian, New York. Photo by Malcolm Varon via http://www.markgibian.com/siteSpecificA.html.

Mount Vernon, eastern facade. Image by Martin Falbisoner. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Mount Vernon opens library dedicated to George Washington

Mount Vernon, eastern facade. Image by Martin Falbisoner. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Mount Vernon, eastern facade. Image by Martin Falbisoner. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

MOUNT VERNON, Va. (AP) – George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate on Friday formally opened a new $47 million library dedicated to the study of America’s first president, with plans to host a series of scholars who will examine the lives of Washington and the Founding Fathers.

And if those scholars occasionally knock Washington off his lofty perch as the flawless Father of Our Country, that’s OK by Mount Vernon.

Since 1853, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association has been dedicated to preserving and promoting Washington’s legacy. But with Friday’s opening of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, Mount Vernon is committing itself to sponsoring a formal level of scholarship about Washington, and Mount Vernon officials say they have no intention of insisting on a glossy interpretation.

“There is this vision of Washington as a man on a pedestal,” said Curt Viebranz, Mount Vernon’s president and CEO. “I actually think if you take him down off the pedestal, it’s an even more compelling story. We’re not going to try to control the message.”

The library’s director, Douglas Bradburn, said there is a neo-Progressive trend among historians now who may be more likely to look at the American Revolution through perhaps a more cynical lens, resurrecting arguments from a century ago that Washington and the other Founding Fathers were motivated more out of securing their own economic interests than by any lofty notions of liberty and self-governance.

Bradburn said the beauty of a library like Mount Vernon’s is that historians and researchers from different schools of interpretation can come together, collaborate and commiserate.

Sandra Moats, a history professor at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside who will be one of the first seven visiting scholars at the estate, will research Washington and the advent of American neutrality after the Revolution.

She said she is looking forward to delving “into the nitty-gritty policy in the way a historian would with any president.” She expects her work will be neither critical nor glowing, but more of a straightforward examination.

One reason he hasn’t been subjected to a lot of scholarly criticism, she said: Washington did a pretty good job.

“He’s not someone with a lot of scandals or problems. He’s not someone where I’m expecting to find a lot of skeletons,” she said.

The library also gives Mount Vernon an opportunity to host seminars and retreats for political and military leaders and others who want to understand Washington’s values. Mount Vernon has often hosted small gatherings like these, but it never had the facilities to accommodate such meetings as it would have liked until now.

At Friday’s dedication, historian David McCullough called Mount Vernon one of the most interesting and important historical sites in the world.

“While some people say he was very difficult to get to know, I do not feel that way whatsoever. I think that his autobiography is not on paper. His autobiography is in this place,” he said. “The more we come to this place, the more we look at this place, the more we read into this place the imprint of his achievement out of public life … the more we understand why he was the way he was.”

The estate highlights Washington’s abilities and interests as an architect, farmer and whiskey-maker, among other things. And Washington’s library, McCullough said, provides especially keen insights into the man. The books he read and kept, from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, to books on gardening, to Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man, shed light on how Washington viewed the world.

One of the library’s highlights is a climate-controlled, rare-book vault that stores papers of George and Martha Washington, and family like nephew Bushrod Washington. The innermost vault stores the books that Washington personally owned, including a copy of the first acts of Congress and the Constitution that features Washington’s own handwriting in the margins, highlighting portions he believed to be important. Mount Vernon bought the book last year at auction for $9.8 million.

More than 1,000 invitees attended Friday’s dedication ceremony, which included a performance of America the Beautiful by singers Amy Grant and Vince Gill.

The 45,000-square foot library cost $47 million to build, but is supported by a $100 million fundraising campaign that will endow its operation. More than 7,000 people contributed to the campaign, Viebranz said, including 15 who contributed $1 million or more.

In some ways the library will function like a modern presidential library. But unlike official presidential libraries, the Mount Vernon library receives no government funding.

Also, the library is intended to promote formal scholarship and is not generally open to tourists. In 2006, Mount Vernon opened new education and orientation centers and a museum that are designed to educate the general public about Washington.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-09-27-13 2027GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Mount Vernon, eastern facade. Image by Martin Falbisoner. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Mount Vernon, eastern facade. Image by Martin Falbisoner. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

One of the many Native Alaskan totem poles on display at Sitka National Historical Park. Photograph by Robert A. Estremo, copyright 2005. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Thank you.One of the many Native Alaskan totem poles on display at Sitka National Historical Park. Photograph by Robert A. Estremo, copyright 2005. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Thank you.

Laser scan project captures historic Sitka totem poles

One of the many Native Alaskan totem poles on display at Sitka National Historical Park. Photograph by Robert A. Estremo, copyright 2005. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Thank you.One of the many Native Alaskan totem poles on display at Sitka National Historical Park. Photograph by Robert A. Estremo, copyright 2005. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Thank you.

One of the many Native Alaskan totem poles on display at Sitka National Historical Park. Photograph by Robert A. Estremo, copyright 2005. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Thank you.

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A lens in a tiny box affixed atop a tripod spins while the box oscillates. A tiny beam of light flashes repeatedly from the lens. It pulsates. It creates a unique scan of 19 individual totem poles in the Sitka National Historical Park.

For two weeks this summer this little box completed this process three to four times around each of the poles from the ground level—and three to four times from the top of them.

These aging poles—most were crafted or restored in the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s and a few in the ’80s—are now being digitally preserved before they’ve decayed forever.

The park staff has been modifying its preservation methods since it started caring for the poles in the ’30s.

Michael Hess, park ranger in Sitka, said most of the poles are re-carvings. Those re-carvings were completed mostly in the 1930s-1950s.

“All of the originals were collected by John Brady to take to the St. Louis World’s Fair,” Hess said. “They went down there, they came back to Sitka. Nobody really knew what to do with them.”

Sitka had federal land available in 1906, and that’s where the totems made their new home. Except, many of them were laid down on the side of the trail and left to rot, Hess said. It wasn’t until the ’30s—during the New Deal era, when money became available for restoration.

“The preservation of the totem poles has been happening since the late 20th century,” Hess said. “This is kind of the newest in that process, to keep the cultural objects intact. The climate of Southeast Alaska does some pretty horrific things to wood.”

They’ve also used paraffin dips to slow the decaying process, as well as sealing, painting treating, and re-carving some pieces of the poles.

“The digital preservation of them is kind of the final snapshot,” Hess said. “The final snapshot to permanently preserve the totem poles. The digital renderings are actually going to be printed out on velum and included in a special collection in the Library of Congress. The minimum standard for this preservation is to have them preserved on line drawings for the next 500 years. They’re going to create what you would expect in a wire frame drawing.”

A specially trained architect team came out from the National Park Service’s Heritage Documentation Program, Hess said. They used the laser scanning, taking a team of two. The scanner looked like a box on a big tripod. The lens in the center spun on the X-axis with the top of the box oscillating in a 360-degree movement. The little beam of light shooting out doesn’t just illuminate, it pulsates.

“Every millimeter it’s shooting out a ray of light and hitting that sensor head,” Hess said. “It’s collecting all of those points, every single little scratch, every beak, everything on the totem pole, patches. If some kid had decided to carve his name on the totem pole it would capture that, too. Everything is important. The preservation of these things is just as important to the history of the park as the objects themselves.”

This scanning process is the same that’s used on United States National Monuments.

“This is the very first time they had decided to include wood objects into the collection (Library of Congress),” Hess said.

The Heritage Documentation Program architects will take software and map a data cloud with these digital scans. The technology, Hess said, has been around for about 10 years. Later the backgrounds will be erased to focus on the main object. The architects will complete the processing phase of the project in October.

“The digital preservation is to use the laser scanner to create that line drawing that’s going to the Library of Congress,” Hess said.

When they become public record after being submitted to the Library of Congress, anyone will be able to pull the files and view them.

“The other benefit of that is if we ever, God forbid, lose one of the totem poles, which has happened several times in our history, (they would be preserved),” Hess said.

One was lost due to flooding, and swept out to see. It was later retrieved by the U.S. Navy. In 1959, a memorial pole was accidentally burned down from a bonfire that a teacher had lit too close to it.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-09-29-13 1028GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


One of the many Native Alaskan totem poles on display at Sitka National Historical Park. Photograph by Robert A. Estremo, copyright 2005. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Thank you.

One of the many Native Alaskan totem poles on display at Sitka National Historical Park. Photograph by Robert A. Estremo, copyright 2005. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Thank you.

Torpedoes were signaling devices to alert the train crew that a work crew was working on the track or that there was some danger ahead. They would be strapped to the rails about a quarter to a half mile ahead of the work crew. Image by Ralph Mayer. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Cause for alarm: Explosives found in railroad collection

Torpedoes were signaling devices to alert the train crew that a work crew was working on the track  or that there was some danger ahead. They would be strapped to the rails about a quarter to a half mile ahead of the work crew. Image by Ralph Mayer. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Torpedoes were signaling devices to alert the train crew that a work crew was working on the track or that there was some danger ahead. They would be strapped to the rails about a quarter to a half mile ahead of the work crew. Image by Ralph Mayer. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) – An Eau Claire man who bought a few Soo Line railroad antiques got more than he bargained for when he popped open a can in the collection: about 50 railroad torpedoes.

Pat Thoney quickly called police and evacuated his family from his property. The explosives, which contain nitroglycerine, were used in the days before two-way radios to warn train crews of dangers ahead on the tracks. But over time, they can become unstable.

Police and firefighters responded and called in the Marathon-Oneida Bomb Squad, which arrived at Thoney’s house Thursday night. A bomb squad member, in a protective suit, retrieved the torpedoes and took them to a shooting range west of the city where they were detonated.

“It’s kind of scary, but it’s kind of cool because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this kind of stuff,” said Thoney’s 12-year-old son, Nick.

Thoney bought the collection—which also contained hundreds of harmless antiques such as lanterns, paperwork, rolltop desks, locks and keys—from the Chippewa Falls estate of Benny Bruhling, a longtime Soo Line employee. Bruhling’s daughter, Belinda Dressel is Thoney’s neighbor, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported.

Thoney said he has had fun researching the history of his collection, which he called “a museum in itself.”

“It just shows you don’t know what’s in your neighbor’s garage,” he said with a chuckle.

___

Information from: Leader-Telegram, http://www.leadertelegram.com/

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-09-27-13 2145GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Torpedoes were signaling devices to alert the train crew that a work crew was working on the track  or that there was some danger ahead. They would be strapped to the rails about a quarter to a half mile ahead of the work crew. Image by Ralph Mayer. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Torpedoes were signaling devices to alert the train crew that a work crew was working on the track or that there was some danger ahead. They would be strapped to the rails about a quarter to a half mile ahead of the work crew. Image by Ralph Mayer. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The stadium in Namea, Greece. Image by Michael F. Mehnert. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Budget cuts in Greece threaten ancient games site

The stadium in Namea, Greece. Image by Michael F. Mehnert. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

The stadium in Namea, Greece. Image by Michael F. Mehnert. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

NEMEA, Greece (AP) – While world leaders and top athletes lit the Olympic flame with pageantry drawn from antiquity, another important ancient site of athletic prowess sat overlooked and endangered.

Some 200 kilometers east of Ancient Olympia where the flame lighting for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi went off without a hitch Sunday, the Nemea stadium and its humbler games are in danger of closing to the public because of crisis-hit Greece’s harsh budget cuts, according to a renowned American archaeologist who led excavations there for decades.

Stephen G. Miller, professor emeritus of classical archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley, arrived at Nemea in 1973, when the ancient site still lay buried beneath a highway and vineyards used by raisin farmers. Excavations there unearthed the temple and stadium, one of the four major sites where Ancient Greek games were held: Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia and Nemea.

The 71-year-old has held a revival of the Nemean games every four years since 1996, a lower-key, more egalitarian affair than the Olympics, in which athletes sporting white tunics engage in a no-prize competition with a relatively small but dedicated following.

“The idea is that anyone can feel like an ancient Greek athlete for 10 minutes,” he said, in a midweek interview at Nemea, standing at the stadium’s entrance tunnel, where graffiti from ancient athletes is still visible. “The thing I’m worried about is that this place is going to have to be closed.”

Seven of the site’s 10-member staff at Nemea have not have their contracts renewed. If they lose their final challenge in court next month, Miller said, the site will close. Staff shortages last year forced Nemea to close on weekends for 10 weeks.

“It’s sad for me that it’s come to this. There should be people crawling all over this place.”

Greece is suffering through its sixth year of recession, a financial crisis that has seen a surge in unemployment and poverty. Forced to make deeper cuts, the government has launched a program of mass state job cuts and involuntary transfers that have already made an impact on services from Athens to rural Greece.

Nemea, near the southern city of Corinth, is steeped in ancient history. The 2,300-year-old Temple of Zeus stands next to the ancient track and a museum built at the site.

“The treasure of Greece is its antiquities and the young archaeologists trained to look after those antiquities. Instead of making the investments that would have yielded archaeology an income producing venture, it’s always been shoved off to the side,” Miller said. “There’s no hotel here, no restaurant, no shop.”

Miller, who lives in Nemea and is popular in the nearby town, greets friends in accented but precise Greek. The road leading to the ancient site at Nemea has his name on it.

“My life’s work is right here,” he said. “For me, this is very personal.”

___

Modern Nemean Games: http://nemeangames.org

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

AP-WF-09-29-13 1051GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The stadium in Namea, Greece. Image by Michael F. Mehnert. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

The stadium in Namea, Greece. Image by Michael F. Mehnert. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

An elephant that could ring a bell was the feature of this antique toy. The clever toy, rare and entertaining but with minor paint loss, sold for $1,230 at a Skinner auction in Boston last fall.

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Sept. 30, 2013

An elephant that could ring a bell was the feature of this antique toy. The clever toy, rare and entertaining but with minor paint loss, sold for $1,230 at a Skinner auction in Boston last fall.

An elephant that could ring a bell was the feature of this antique toy. The clever toy, rare and entertaining but with minor paint loss, sold for $1,230 at a Skinner auction in Boston last fall.

Old toys are very different from those made today. Toymakers of long ago did not try to encourage creativity. A toy was made to resemble a known part of life—a house, car or pet—or perhaps a fantasy—a rocket ship or robot. Or they were puzzles meant to teach the alphabet or arithmetic, or character dolls from stories that told of good behavior or gave lessons from the Bible.

In the late-19th century, a group of cast-iron bell-ringer toys became popular. These were pull toys with a platform and four wheels. The figures on the platform moved when the toy’s wheels turned. The “Trick Elephant Bell Ringer,” with its name in raised letters on the side, was made by the Gong Bell Manufacturing Co. of East Hampton, Conn. When the toy was pulled, the wheels moved and the elephant turned and hit the bell. The elephant stands on a pierced and painted platform, suggesting that he is a circus performer. The painted iron toy, about 5 inches high and 8 inches long, sold for $1,230 at a Skinner auction in Boston.

Q: My wife bought what our family refers to as our “dog chair” at a garage sale for $9. It was in a great deal of disrepair and we had it professionally redone. It’s made of walnut, upholstered in leather, and has carved dog’s heads at the end of each arm. The dogs’ faces and collars are slightly different from one another. We were told that one is a female and the other male. I’m not sure if that makes sense. What can you tell me about this chair?

A: Chairs with arms that end in animal heads were popular in Victorian times and later. Dog heads are the ones most often found. Your chair is unusual because the heads are slightly different, but whether or not they represent a male and female dog is something only the maker would know. It’s not possible to give an accurate value for your chair since the maker and age are unknown, but you can be sure that your wife got a good value for $9 and an interesting conversation piece after it was refurbished. Value: about $200.

Q: We have a Marx metal dollhouse, purchased in 1956 that’s still in its original, unopened carton. Please tell us what it’s worth today.

A: Louis Marx and Co. was founded in New York City in 1919 and closed in 1978. In the early 1950s, it was the largest toy company in the world. Marx introduced its first metal dollhouses in 1949 and continued to sell a variety of dollhouses into the 1970s. Most sets included plastic furniture and dollhouse-size plastic dolls. The value of your unopened dollhouse set depends on the house’s design and size. It could sell for $200 to $350. (A furnished house that has been played with would sell for only about $25 to $50.)

Q: I have a perfect set of dishes, marked “Monarch China, Made in Occupied Japan, Montana Rose.” The pieces are decorated with roses and trimmed in gold. There are 96 pieces in the set, which includes 12 place settings and various serving pieces. Can you tell me something about the dishes and how much they’re worth?

A: Your dishes were made between 1947 and 1952, when Allied forces occupied Japan after World War II. They were made specifically for export. Sets of Monarch China’s “Montana Rose” pattern dishes have sold recently for $120 to $250.

Q: My aunt gave me a silver tea set that includes a coffeepot, teapot, sugar, creamer and tray. The coffeepot has a mark on the bottom that says “1883” with a crown in the middle of the number. It also says “F.B. Rogers Silver Co.” I know it’s old, but I’d like to know if it’s considered an antique, if it’s real silver and if it has any value.

A: F.B. Rogers Silver Co. was founded in Shelburne Falls, Mass., in 1883. It moved to Taunton, Mass., in 1886 and became a division of National Silver in 1955. The mark on your coffeepot was used for several years after 1886. F.B. Rogers made silver-plated tea sets in different styles and sizes. The largest sets include a waste bowl with a lid and a coffee urn. The company also made silver-plated flatware and sterling-silver flatware. The value for your tea set depends on its condition, style and the total number of pieces in the set. A five-piece set that included a waste bowl sold for $175 earlier this year.

Q: My grandfather gave me a beautiful little cup about 50 years ago, when I was a little girl. I don’t remember ever hearing any history about it. It’s made of some type of metal and stands about 8 inches high. It’s embossed with birds and cattails, and is on a pedestal base that’s engraved “Third Swiss Festival N.Y., July 18th, 1875.” It is marked “Meriden Company.” Can you tell me anything about this curiosity?

A: The Third Swiss Festival was held at Jones’ Woods, a picnic grounds and resort in Manhattan, in 1875. The event included competitions in bowling, equestrian movements, gymnastics, marksmanship, wrestling, singing and dramatic presentations. A silver cup was awarded as first and second prizes in the singing competition. Meriden was a silver-plate manufacturer in Meriden, Conn. The silver plating may have worn off your cup, leaving the base metal exposed, or it may be a metal replica sold as a souvenir of the event.

Tip: Watercolors and sketches should be kept out of sunlight. Hang framed works on a wall that is shaded.

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.

  • Sioux pottery vase, bulbous, pinched neck, purple, yellow, blue, geometric designs, 6 inches, $20.
  • Coca-Cola ice pick, wood handle, red letters, 8 5/8 inches, pair, $25.
  • Insulator, Hemingray No. 16, dark-olive, amber tones, toll style, $30.
  • Pressed-glass cake stand, milk glass, Atterbury, $50.
  • Royal Doulton character mug, Albert Einstein, 1995, 7 inches, $85.
  • Bellows, Regency, brass, mahogany, England, 24 inches, $235.
  • Northwood carnival glass plate, Rose Show, amethyst, scalloped rim, c. 1925, 1 7/8 x 9 1/2 inches, $750.
  • hest, painted flowers, white ground, two drawers, 29 1/2 x 24 inches, pair, $1,065.
  • Lalique caviar bowl, frosted, 3 dolphin-shape feet, domed cover, dolphin knop, 10 x 8 inches, $1,230.
  • Tiffany bookends, cat, arched back, bronze, stamped, c. 1915, 6 inches, $1,770.

New! Kovels.com’s Premium Plus access to our website is up and running. In addition to 750,000 free prices for antiques and collectibles, many with photographs, Premium Plus subscribers will find a dictionary of marks for silver and another for ceramics, with pictured marks and company histories. Premium Plus membership also includes a subscription to the digital edition of our newsletter, “Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles,” and its archives, where you’ll find articles about almost anything you might collect. Up-to-date information for the savvy collector. Go to Kovels.com and click on “Subscriptions” for more information.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


An elephant that could ring a bell was the feature of this antique toy. The clever toy, rare and entertaining but with minor paint loss, sold for $1,230 at a Skinner auction in Boston last fall.

An elephant that could ring a bell was the feature of this antique toy. The clever toy, rare and entertaining but with minor paint loss, sold for $1,230 at a Skinner auction in Boston last fall.

This plate with a view of Mount Pleasant Classical Institute is one of only three known examples, 10 5/8 inches diameter. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Pook & Pook to sell landmark Historical Blue collection Oct. 10

This plate with a view of Mount Pleasant Classical Institute is one of only three known examples, 10 5/8 inches diameter. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

This plate with a view of Mount Pleasant Classical Institute is one of only three known examples, 10 5/8 inches diameter. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. – On Thursday, Oct. 10, Pook & Pook Inc. will auction the Hayden Goldberg and Curtis Brown collection of Historical Blue Staffordshire. This collection, compiled over 50 years, represents a monumental group with a wide variety of patterns, scenes and forms. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Hayden Goldberg was born in 1929 and raised in Gardiner, Maine. He achieved his doctorate degree in English literature from Cambridge University and began a lifelong career as a college professor along with his life partner Curtis Brown. Over the years, Hayden and Curtis collected antiques and decorative arts to furnish their brownstone in Brooklyn, N.Y. A quote from Hayden’s niece, Karen Montell, is as follows: “Whether you are an avid collector or this is your first piece, when you purchase an item from Hayden’s collection, you will have fulfilled his wishes of enjoying the hunt. It is our family’s wish to establish a legacy in our beloved uncle’s name.”

Another statement from Bill and Terry Kurau reads: “One summer, many years ago, we went to an auction in Bridgton, Maine, that had a collection of Historical Blue. All the usual suspects showed up, so we knew we would have competition. Shortly before the sale started, an all-white vintage Rolls Royce pulled up an out popped Hayden. He certainly knew how to make an entrance and I am sure something nice was added to his and Curtis’s collection that day.”

Nearly 600 lots will be sold. Scenes include Baltimore Court House, Capitol Washington, Baltimore, Boston State house, Fairmount near Philadelphia, Tappan Bay, Almshouse Boston, New York Hospital and more.

On Oct. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m., Pook & Pook Inc. will hold an extended preview for this collection including a lecture and reception. Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP to info@pookandpook.com.

For further information or to order the hardbound auction catalog for this sale call 610-269-4040.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

 

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


This plate with a view of Mount Pleasant Classical Institute is one of only three known examples, 10 5/8 inches diameter. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

This plate with a view of Mount Pleasant Classical Institute is one of only three known examples, 10 5/8 inches diameter. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Arms of Delaware platter with blue eagle mark on the underside. Estimate: $3,000- $4,000. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Arms of Delaware platter with blue eagle mark on the underside. Estimate: $3,000- $4,000. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Unusual Boston State House ladies spittoon, 4 inches high. Estimate: $1,200-$1,800. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Unusual Boston State House ladies spittoon, 4 inches high. Estimate: $1,200-$1,800. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Bellville on the Passaic River soup tureen with Hope Mill Catskill undertray. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Bellville on the Passaic River soup tureen with Hope Mill Catskill undertray. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Rare leaf form Arms of South Caroline dish, 5 1/2 inches long. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Rare leaf form Arms of South Caroline dish, 5 1/2 inches long. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Fort Gansevoort ladle, 9 1/2 inches long Estimate: $2,500-$3,500. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Fort Gansevoort ladle, 9 1/2 inches long Estimate: $2,500-$3,500. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Boston State House egg stand impressed Rogers. Estimate: $1,500-$2,000). Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Boston State House egg stand impressed Rogers. Estimate: $1,500-$2,000). Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Seal of the United States pitcher, 5 3/4 inches high. Estimate: $1,200-$1,800. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Seal of the United States pitcher, 5 3/4 inches high. Estimate: $1,200-$1,800. Pook & Pook Inc. image.

Robert Indiana (b. 1928), EAT/DIE, 1962. Oil on canvas, 2 panels, 72 × 60 in. (182.9 × 152.4 cm) each. Private Collection. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Robert Indiana retrospective: Addicted to LOVE

Robert Indiana (b. 1928), EAT/DIE, 1962. Oil on canvas, 2 panels, 72 × 60 in. (182.9 × 152.4 cm) each. Private Collection. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Robert Indiana (b. 1928), EAT/DIE, 1962. Oil on canvas, 2 panels, 72 × 60 in. (182.9 × 152.4 cm) each. Private Collection. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

NEW YORK (AP) – Artist Robert Indiana says love hurt him.

Love, as in his world-famous LOVE image—stacked letters with a tilted O—that became a symbol of the “make love, not war” 1960s counterculture revolution.

That one image eclipsed all his other work. But now the artist’s first major retrospective, titled “Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE” at the Whitney Museum of American Art that opened Thursday could change that.

“It’s a dream come true, a little late,” Indiana, who turned 85 this month, said in an interview at the museum this week surrounded by 95 works he created over the past five decades.

The image both “blessed and cursed” him, said Barbara Haskell, the exhibition’s curator. It’s so famous and so ubiquitous—reproduced on everything from coffee cups to T-shirts without Indiana’s permission—that “it has obscured the depth and breadth of everything else he did.”

His paintings and sculptures are filled with images of highway signs, roulette wheels, circles, stars within circles, numbers and simple words—Eat, Die, Hug.

“The subtext of what he does is very profound. He really touches on issues of survival, forgiveness love and racial injustice,” Haskell said.

Indiana, who sat in a wheelchair but mostly uses a cane, said a favorite piece in the show is his monumental diptych EAT/DIE, an homage to his mother whose dying words to him were “Have you had enough to eat?” he said.

Born Robert Clark in 1928, Indiana changed his name in 1958 in honor of his home state. He was closely associated with the leading pop artists of the 1960s and first received acclaim when Alfred Barr, director of the Museum of Modern Art, purchased his American Dream 1 in 1961.

But Haskell said Indiana’s work is more conceptually layered than that of a Roy Lichtenstein comic book image or an Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe silkscreen.

“There are myriad interpretations you can make on any one of his works.” she said.

Among his earliest works are anthropomorphic figures made from wood salvaged from warehouses that were being torn down in his lower Manhattan neighborhood in the early 1960s.

His themes are American. Some consist of stenciled lettering that reference words or phrases from classic American literature. Others address racism as in his powerful Confederacy Series—four paintings in which he uses stars to identify cities where violence occurred during the civil rights movement.

But there’s LOVE, too.

There are nine monumental LOVE sculptures, all original, in different colors and some slightly different in size. They are in New York, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Bentonville, Arkansas, Scottsdale, Arizona, New Orleans, Singapore, Tokyo and Taipei, Taiwan.

In the exhibition, there’s a LOVE painting in the form of a cross and a small aluminum model that served as a template for all his other LOVE pieces. And there’s Electric Love, a monumental sculpture with tiny electric lights that move up and down until the entire piece glows—a psychedelic throwback to the days where it all started.

“It’s quite staggering,” Indiana said of the exhibition, which will travel to the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, on Feb. 5. “I can’t believe I did all this work. I should be exhausted, and I am exhausted.”

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

AP-WF-09-26-13 1057GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Robert Indiana (b. 1928), EAT/DIE, 1962. Oil on canvas, 2 panels, 72 × 60 in. (182.9 × 152.4 cm) each. Private Collection. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Robert Indiana (b. 1928), EAT/DIE, 1962. Oil on canvas, 2 panels, 72 × 60 in. (182.9 × 152.4 cm) each. Private Collection. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers in Indianapolis will sell this vintage Robert Indiana exhibition poster, 'Indiana 3,' personalized and signed by the artist, dated '68, on Saturday, Sept. 28. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers.

Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers in Indianapolis will sell this vintage Robert Indiana exhibition poster, ‘Indiana 3,’ personalized and signed by the artist, dated ’68, on Saturday, Sept. 28. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers.