This 8½-inch-tall Chinese moon flask with Qianlong mark was acquired by a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $76,700 in Marchant’s August 31 sale. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and Marchant Auction & Estate Sales.

LiveAuctioneers’ Q3 results show mobile use jumped nearly 50%

This 8½-inch-tall Chinese moon flask with Qianlong mark was acquired by a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $76,700 in Marchant’s August 31 sale. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and Marchant Auction & Estate Sales.

This 8½-inch-tall Chinese moon flask with Qianlong mark was acquired by a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $76,700 in Marchant’s August 31 sale. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and Marchant Auction & Estate Sales.

NEW YORK (LAPRS) – Mobile was the big story during Q3 for Manhattan-based LiveAuctioneers, the world’s leading marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of antiques, fine art and collectibles. The company reported a substantial increase in mobile visitors during the third quarter and a notable spike in tablet use via LiveAuctioneers’ mobile app.

“Browsing and bidding via mobile devices is fast becoming a preferred method for people on the go who can’t always access their desktops or laptops but don’t want to miss out on bidding in a sale,” said LiveAuctioneers CEO Julian R. Ellison. “In particular, the popularity of tablets, with their larger screens, has been a key contributing factor to the increase in mobile bidding on LiveAuctioneers.”

During the third quarter of 2013, visits to LiveAuctioneers from all mobile devices was up 49.63% over the comparable quarter of 2012, while visits from tablets, alone, rose by 48.26%. The average amount of time mobile visitors spent on the site was 42.5% higher than in Q3 2012. Also, more than 44,000 bids were placed via mobile devices during the quarter. The average time spent on the site through any and all methods, including mobile devices, was up 40.80% over the comparable quarter of 2012.

The number of auctions listed in Q3 increased significantly to 1,729. During the quarter, those sales attracted 358,561 auction signups and 335,013 absentee bids.

“No one should underestimate the significance of absentee bids,” said Ellison. “Last quarter, absentee bids lodged on LiveAuctioneers totaled over one hundred and sixteen million dollars. Those bids had an enormous impact on the final selling prices of goods auctioned by our clients, whether the winning bids were received in a saleroom, over the phone or online.” On average, absentee bids totaled $127,587 per third-quarter auction.

Ellison said the number of sellers on LiveAuctioneers is growing rapidly. “We now have well over 2,000 sellers on the site from 47 countries on five continents. Our team is busier now than at any other time I can remember in our ten-year history.”

On the buying side, LiveAuctioneers has the largest audience of bidders of all online-auction sites catering specifically to the fine art, antiques and collectibles sector. Presently, LiveAuctioneers’ bidder database includes users in 181 countries and 60 territories.

Online-buying trends during the months of July, August and September reflected a continued global preference for Asian art in its many forms, as well as a strong interest in contemporary art and fine jewelry.

A 25¼-inch Chinese Qing Dynasty carved rhinoceros horn was purchased by a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $211,900 in California Asian Art Auction Gallery’s September 14 sale. Also, a Chinese moon flask with Qianlong mark, estimated at a relatively modest $8,000-$10,000, surprised bidders at Marchant Auction & Estate Sales’ August 31 event when it was bid to $76,700 through LiveAuctioneers.

Other headline-making Q3 online results included the $80,500 price paid for a pair of 5.40-dwts platinum and diamond dangle earrings in Leslie Hindman’s September 8 auction; and the $75,000 winning bid on a suite of three circa-1949 Alexander Calder wall sculptures offered by Neal Auction Company on September 14. An identical price was achieved online in the same Neal sale by a Louisiana landscape painted by New Orleans artist Marshall Joseph Smith Jr.

LiveAuctioneers made a number of visual and practical changes to its website and user dashboard in the third quarter. Most of those changes came about as a result of suggestions from LiveAuctioneers users.

“Our focus is on aggregating activity on the individual’s dashboard so it’s a time-saving, one-stop experience,” said Ellison. “LiveAuctioneers’ dashboard tools enable our users to communicate with sellers, set alerts, monitor upcoming-auction approvals, view saved items, manage their profiles, and more. The list of functions and new features is quite impressive, and the feedback from users has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Click to view a video that shows an auction in progress through the LiveAuctioneers bidding platform: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD7aSvcHjxw

To contact LiveAuctioneers, email info@liveauctioneers.com.

Online: www.LiveAuctioneers.com

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


This 8½-inch-tall Chinese moon flask with Qianlong mark was acquired by a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $76,700 in Marchant’s August 31 sale. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and Marchant Auction & Estate Sales.

This 8½-inch-tall Chinese moon flask with Qianlong mark was acquired by a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $76,700 in Marchant’s August 31 sale. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and Marchant Auction & Estate Sales.

A Chinese Qing Dynasty carved rhinoceros horn, 25¼ inches tall, was purchased by a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $211,900 in California Asian Art Auction Gallery’s September 14, 2013 sale. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and California Asian Art Auction Gallery.

A Chinese Qing Dynasty carved rhinoceros horn, 25¼ inches tall, was purchased by a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $211,900 in California Asian Art Auction Gallery’s September 14, 2013 sale. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and California Asian Art Auction Gallery.

This 14K white gold necklace featuring 14 oval jadeite cabochons of natural color has a gross weight of 17.1dwts. It sold via LiveAuctioneers for $46,125 in Michaan’s September 1, 2013 auction. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and Michaan’s Auctions.

This 14K white gold necklace featuring 14 oval jadeite cabochons of natural color has a gross weight of 17.1dwts. It sold via LiveAuctioneers for $46,125 in Michaan’s September 1, 2013 auction. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and Michaan’s Auctions.

Alexander Calder’s (American, 1898-1976) suite of three wall sculptures, circa 1949, was commissioned by Curtis & Davis Architects for the interior of the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. An online bidder using LiveAuctioneers purchased the suite for $75,000 in Neal Auction Company’s September 14 sale. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and Neal Auction Co.

Alexander Calder’s (American, 1898-1976) suite of three wall sculptures, circa 1949, was commissioned by Curtis & Davis Architects for the interior of the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. An online bidder using LiveAuctioneers purchased the suite for $75,000 in Neal Auction Company’s September 14 sale. Image: LiveAuctioneers Archive and Neal Auction Co.

Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

Reading the Streets: Icy and Sot

Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

NEW YORK – A team of children stenciled in black and white look up in awe at a sky that is raining candy colored drops, their mouths open in wonder. They’re painted on the side of South Williamsburg club TBA. When I first observed the children, on a walk across the Williamsburg Bridge, I thought they were scared, or even just confused by the colorful rain. On closer inspection, however, their faces seemed filled with joy. Their smiles are contagious, enough to convince passersby that perhaps there is candy falling from the sky.

My glimpse of the work came at a bittersweet time. The creators of the mural, Icy and Sot, are stencil artists and brothers from Iran. They’re part of the same wave of immigration that brought their hometown friends the bands Yellow Dogs and Free Keys to New York City in search of creative and personal freedom. The Yellow Dogs and Free Keys have sadly made headlines recently with the murder of three band members by a fellow Iranian immigrant.

Much of Icy and Sot’s work features subjects with their eyes closed or covered in some way. In this mural, even though many of the children are looking up, you can see their eyes for the first time, which I’d like to think means they are no longer afraid.

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

Icy and Sot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N,Y. Photo by Ilana Novick

Lincoln & Hamlin ‘Wide Awake’ portrait campaign flag sold for $44,650. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Lincoln & Hamlin campaign flag tops Cowan’s auction at $44,650

Lincoln & Hamlin ‘Wide Awake’ portrait campaign flag sold for $44,650. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Lincoln & Hamlin ‘Wide Awake’ portrait campaign flag sold for $44,650. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions American History auction on Nov. 15 realized $652,000. Bidders battled competitively on the floor, phone and Internet for many of the exceptional items in the sale. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding. The 462-lot auction included scarce daguerreotypes, photographs of the American West, 19th century photography, manuscripts, books, maps, political campaign ephemera and flags.

Cowan’s offered one of the most important photographs of the 20th century in the sale. Mary Ann Moorman’s photograph of John F. Kennedy’s assassination hit the auction block on Nov. 15, but it failed to meet its reserved value.

“From the Civil War-era photographs of camp life and cased images of Union and Confederate soldier, which commanded incredibly strong prices, to the early American and political flags, Cowan’s Nov. 15th American History Auction was a great success,” notes Katie Horstman, Cowan’s director of American History.

A Lincoln & Hamlin “Wide Awake” portrait campaign flag was the auction’s frontrunner, selling for $44,650.

Other flags also brought high prices in the auction. A 13-star American flag, accompanied by the daguerreotype of the flag’s maker and related items hammered down at $11,750, a Civil War period 34-star silk flag sold for $4,993, and a 38-star gold fringe American parade flag realized $4,112.

Civil war photography had a strong performance in the auction. A scarce Gen. Robert E. Lee and staff photograph brought $9,400, a Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson large format albumen photograph by Brady sold for $7,637, a set of Civil War CDVs of CSA Col. John J. Mosby, the “Gray Ghost,” with related period newspapers sold above its estimate of $2,000-$3,000 and realized $7,050, and a collection of Civil War CDVs of the Indiana 16th Battery Light Artillery realized $3,172.

Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes did well in the Nov. 15 auction. An attributed pair of superlative 9th Indiana Cavalry half plate tintypes sold for $8,812, a half plate daguerreotype of a Parker & Elder storefront in Grass Valley, Calif., realized $7,050, and a half plate outdoor ambrotype of a gold mining scene featuring a water wheel brought $7,050.

Maps had a strong showing in the sale last Friday. A Disturnell Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Mejico dating to 1846 tripled its estimate of $6,000-$8,000 and sold for $23,500, a scarce 1863 Gettysburg Battlefield Map by T. Ditterline hammered down at $5,875, and a Nova Totius Terrarum map dated to 1630 realized $4,112.

Additional notable lots included a spectacular Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad broadside reading “500,000 Acres of the Best Prairie, Timber and Coal Lands in the West,” sold for $19,975; a book by George Wilkins Kendall, titled The War Between the United States and Mexico, sold for $8,225; and a unique group of Civil War artifacts described as a temporary burial marking for Confederate Col. Henry B. Strong of the 6th Louisiana realized $7,637.

For more information about the auction or to consign an item to an upcoming Cowan’s auction sale, call Katie Horstman at 513-871-1670 ext. 236.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Lincoln & Hamlin ‘Wide Awake’ portrait campaign flag sold for $44,650. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

 

Lincoln & Hamlin ‘Wide Awake’ portrait campaign flag sold for $44,650. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, ‘500,000 Acres of the Best Prairie, Timber and Coal Lands in the West,’ spectacular broadside. Price realized: $19,975. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

 

Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, ‘500,000 Acres of the Best Prairie, Timber and Coal Lands in the West,’ spectacular broadside. Price realized: $19,975. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Scarce Gen. Robert E. Lee and staff photograph by Brady. Price realized: $9,400. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

 

Scarce Gen. Robert E. Lee and staff photograph by Brady. Price realized: $9,400. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Attributed pair of superlative 9th Indiana Cavalry half plate tintypes. Price realized: $8,812. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

 

Attributed pair of superlative 9th Indiana Cavalry half plate tintypes. Price realized: $8,812. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

One of the finest works by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian/Italian, 1843-1932), ‘The Proposal’ sold for $166,600. Clars Auction Gallery image.

De Blaas painting tops $2.1M Clars auction Nov. 9-10

One of the finest works by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian/Italian, 1843-1932), ‘The Proposal’ sold for $166,600. Clars Auction Gallery image.

One of the finest works by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian/Italian, 1843-1932), ‘The Proposal’ sold for $166,600. Clars Auction Gallery image.

OAKLAND, Calif. – On Nov. 9-10 Clars Auction Gallery hosted what was anticipated to be a very strong sale and indeed it was. Realizing $2.1 million for the two-day event, this was the strongest November auction in the firm’s history and the second largest overall.

“Everything did very well, across the board and, currently, for 2013, we are up 23 percent over 2012,” said Redge Martin, president of Clars.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

All categories of fine art sold extremely well with numerous bidders from around the globe participating. Out of the many spectacular American, European and Chinese paintings, prints, and sculpture that were offered, the highest selling painting of the sale was The Proposal by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian, 1843-1932) which faired exceptionally well selling for $166,600. Rick Unruh, vice president and director of fine art at Clars, commented, “We were quite pleased with the outcome of the De Blaas painting selling 40 percent better than the most recent auction results for the artist held in New York two weeks ago.”

Among the other European highlights were a charming oil on canvas titled Kittens Playing with a Pocket Watch (1898) by Charles H. van den Eycken (Belgian, 1859-1923), which fetched $23,800, and two vibrantly beautiful paintings by Emilio Grau Sala (Spanish, 1911-1975) that sold for $17,850 and $11,900. An impressive color etching and aquatint by Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983) titled La Femme Arborescente sold for $11,900, which was the highlight of the numerous modern and contemporary prints that were offered. Rounding out the top performing European lots was a lovely oil on paper by Jean Jansem (French, 1920-2013) titled Village au Matin, which made $9,520.

American art was equally as successful. A large and important portrait titled The Black Kimono, by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) topped the list, fetching $47,600. Close behind the Chase painting was Joseph Rusling Meeker’s (1827-1889) stoically beautiful painting titled Near the Atachafalaya, selling for $38,675. Sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012), African American Lady, soared past its $5,000 to $7,000 estimate settling at $11,900, while Frederick William MacMonnies’ (1863-1937) bronze Venus and Adonis, 1895 sold for $14,280.

California artists held their own with equally impressive results such as James Weeks’ (1922-1998) grand acrylic on canvas titled Bocce Ball #1, selling for $17,850, followed by a classic painting by Thomas Hill (1829-1908) titled Yosemite, fetching $15,470. Passing Clouds, an oil on board by Percy Gray (1869-1952) flew past its $6,000-8,000 estimate to reach $10,710. Lastly, a rare set of 18 photographs, Pageant of History in Northern California, by Ansel Adams (1902-1984), made $16,660.

Contemporary Chinese art found global attention with two watercolors by Chen Chi (Chinese/American, 1939-2005) selling for $20,230 and $14,280, ending up well past their $3,000-$5,000 estimates. A lovely painting by Shang Ding (Chinese, b. 1954) titled, Contemplation, also surprised the crowd by fetching $10,700.

The furniture and decorative arts department “performed very well with strong prices realized from the start to the conclusion of the sale,” commented Deric Tores, vice president and director of decorative arts and furnishings. Two important special collections were offered, the first being a collection of French cameo glass that realized over $50,000. The second was a collection of Native American textiles, basketry, pottery and 19th century totem poles. This collection sold very strong, realizing $60,000 overall.

In the individual lots offered, topping this category and soaring past estimate was a monumental 19th century Royal Vienna urn, executed in hand-painted porcelain with a reserve depicting the portrait of Unschuld (Innocence). Measuring 24 inches high by 16 inches wide by 6 inches deep, it sold for $19,040, a new gallery record for Royal Vienna. A Meissen figural group brought an impressive $10,755.

Lighting was particularly strong. The top lamp, a Tiffany Studios example deaccessioned from the Honolulu Museum of Art, brought $14,340. A rare Tiffany Studios Mermaid lamp base sold for $15,535 against its high estimate of $5,000.

Also from the Honolulu Museum was an important circa 1760 Chippendale slant-front desk. Expected to achieve a high of $6,000, this historic piece went for over three times that amount, selling for $19,040.

A fabulously finned 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville with only 38,000 original miles on the odometer cruised to $32,725.

Two exquisite pieces of jewelry placed in the top 15 lots of the sale. A fancy brownish-yellow diamond and near colorless diamond ring sold for $28,560. Just a few lots later, an 18K yellow gold ring centered with a bezel set oval jadeite cabachon earned an impressive $19,040.

Taking the no. 3 spot in the sale overall was a Chinese hardwood side table. Coming from the Honolulu museum, this table was Qing dynasty (17th/18th century) and reputed to be huanghuali and achieved $41,650.

Also contributing the highly successful November sale was a Chinese daye zitan hardwood table en suite that brought $28,560.

For further information about Clars’ November Fine Art and Antiques Sale call 510-428-0100 or email: info@clars.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


One of the finest works by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian/Italian, 1843-1932), ‘The Proposal’ sold for $166,600. Clars Auction Gallery image.

One of the finest works by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian/Italian, 1843-1932), ‘The Proposal’ sold for $166,600. Clars Auction Gallery image.

This signed oil on canvas titled ‘Black Kimono,’ circa 1903, by William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916), topped the American works offered, achieving $47,600. Clars Auction Gallery image.

This signed oil on canvas titled ‘Black Kimono,’ circa 1903, by William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916), topped the American works offered, achieving $47,600. Clars Auction Gallery image.

This spectacular painting by Louisiana artist Joseph Rusling Meeker (American, 1827-1889) titled ‘Near the Atchafalaya,’ 1853, sold for $38,675. Clars Auction Gallery image.

 

This spectacular painting by Louisiana artist Joseph Rusling Meeker (American, 1827-1889) titled ‘Near the Atchafalaya,’ 1853, sold for $38,675. Clars Auction Gallery image.

This monumental 19th century Royal Vienna urn sold for $19,040. Clars Auction Gallery image.

 

This monumental 19th century Royal Vienna urn sold for $19,040. Clars Auction Gallery image.

From the Honolulu Museum of Art was this Chippendale desk that achieved $19,040. Clars Auction Gallery image.

 

From the Honolulu Museum of Art was this Chippendale desk that achieved $19,040. Clars Auction Gallery image.

With only 38,000 miles on the odometer, this 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville sold for $32,725. Clars Auction Gallery image.

 

With only 38,000 miles on the odometer, this 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville sold for $32,725. Clars Auction Gallery image.

This stunning ring that featured a fancy brownish yellow diamond surrounded by near colorless diamonds topped the jewelry offerings, selling for $28,560. Clars Auction Gallery image.

 

This stunning ring that featured a fancy brownish yellow diamond surrounded by near colorless diamonds topped the jewelry offerings, selling for $28,560. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Achieving the third-highest price in the auction was this Chinese Qing dynasty hardwood side table that sold for $41,650. Clars Auction Gallery image.

 

Achieving the third-highest price in the auction was this Chinese Qing dynasty hardwood side table that sold for $41,650. Clars Auction Gallery image.

 

Chinese hand-carved red coral figural group depicting two Guan Yin with flowers throughout. Price realized: $66,550. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Coral sculptures sell for $66,550 at Elite Decorative Arts

Chinese hand-carved red coral figural group depicting two Guan Yin with flowers throughout. Price realized: $66,550. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Chinese hand-carved red coral figural group depicting two Guan Yin with flowers throughout. Price realized: $66,550. Elite Decorative Arts image.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A Chinese hand-carved red coral sculpture of four Guan Yin – Buddhist deities of mercy and compassion – from the Qing Dynasty, and a Chinese hand-carved red coral group figure depicting two Guan Yin with flowers throughout, each knocked down for $66,550 to share top lot honors at Elite Decorative Arts’ Nov. 2 auction.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The sale featured Chinese works, fine decorative arts and fine artworks. Three hundred of the 370 lots met or exceeded their reserves.

By the time the final hammer came down, the sale had grossed $735,000. “It was one of our better auctions,” said Scott Cieckiewicz of Elite Decorative Arts.

The red coral sculpture grouping of the four Guan Yin stood just shy of 11 inches tall and was estimated to be from the Tongzhi reign (circa 1862-1874) of the Qing Dynasty. The lot included a certificate of antiquity from the Hong Kong Art Craft Merchants Association from 1985. It was appraised then for $50,000. Each figure was beautifully and meticulously hand-carved.

The same bidder who purchased that lot also bought the one immediately following it: a 14 1/2-inch-tall Chinese hand-carved red coral group depicting two maidens holding sheng and pipe instruments. A phoenix and crane can also be seen. A rock formed the base with high relief flowers. The piece sold for $41,140, so the two purchases combined topped $100,000.

The other Chinese carved red coral group that realized $66,550 was larger than either of the two just described (19 inches tall). A fitted wooden base was included in the total height. One other Chinese carved red coral group that did well was a finely carved sculpture depicting a standing Guan Yin holding a platter with flowers, 7 1/2 inches tall, circa 19th century. It sold for $15,125.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premiums.

Fine artworks were abundant and did exceptionally well. An oil on canvas still life of a cup with fruit by the Mexican artist Pedro Coronel (1923-1985), titled Naturaleza Muerta, 31 1/2 inches by 44 1/2 inches, fetched $33,880. Coronel was a painter, sculptor, engraver and draftsman. In 1946 he went to Paris, were he studied under artists Victor Brauner and Constantin Brancusi.

Five paintings by German-born American artist Wolf Kahn (b. 1927) did well. These included the works Tree Dance ($16,520), Forest Murmurs ($29,500), Red Shed, Blue Sky ($13,570), Ruisdale, New Hampshire ($25,960) and an untitled impressionist work ($13,570). All were recently valued by Christie’s for between $12,000-$30,000 each.

A collage on metal by Victor Vasarely (French, 1906-1997), depicting a monochrome violet design, 39 3/4 inches square, signed and mounted in a chrome tone metal frame, rose to $15,730; a still life of flowers in a vase by Nell Blaine (American, 1922-1996), signed and mounted in a gold and white painted wooden frame, went for $13,730; and a bonded acrylic on canvas of a majestic stallion by Judith Dazzio (b. 1942), titled Wild Passion, 30 inches by 40 inches, made $13,915.

Returning to Chinese objects, a Qing Dynasty, circa 19th century, palace-size hand-carved figural jadeite scholar’s brush washer of slightly tapered oval form, 8 1/2 inches tall by 27 inches in length, with the exterior carved to depict nine raised Chih lung dragons amid lingzhi-form clouds atop crashing waves, weighing a total of 92 pounds, topped out at $23,600.

A Chinese hand-carved white jade boulder depicting a mountain city scene and depicting what is called “Kong Cheng Ji” (or the “Stratagem of the Empty City” where occupants open the gates of a nonfortified city to confuse and frighten approaching armies) hammered for $21,830. The 9 3/4-inch-tall translucent jade specimen featured russet suffusions and a fitted wooden base.

A pair of fine Chinese relief-carved and pierced pale green translucent hetian jade incense holders in a fitted presentation box – each one having a continuous scholar’s mountain landscape scene depicting pagodas, rock formations, trees, waterfalls and bridges – breezed to $21,240. Each holder stood just under 10 inches tall (including covers and spinach jade bases).

Rounding out just some of the auction’s top lots, a rare Chinese antique hand-painted enameled Grisailles planter, with a flower and leaf design over yellow ground, from the Qing Dynasty (Tongzhi to Guangzu, circa 1862-1908) realized $12,980; and a stunning Bensabbot of Chicago sterling silver and jade hook desk set with a gold wash magnifying glass and letter opener, made circa 18th or 19th century – and decorated by Bensabbot later on – garnered $11,798.

For further information contact Elite Decorative Auctions by phone: 561-200-0893 or email an inquiry to info@eliteauction.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Chinese hand-carved red coral figural group depicting two Guan Yin with flowers throughout. Price realized: $66,550. Elite Decorative Arts image.

 

Chinese hand-carved red coral figural group depicting two Guan Yin with flowers throughout. Price realized: $66,550. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Antique Qing Dynasty period Chinese hand-carved red coral sculpture depicting four Guan Yin. Price realized: $66,550. Elite Decorative Arts image.

 

Antique Qing Dynasty period Chinese hand-carved red coral sculpture depicting four Guan Yin. Price realized: $66,550. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Oil on canvas by Wolf Kahn (American/German, b. 1927), titled ‘Forest Murmurs,’ done circa 1991. Price realized: $29,500. Elite Decorative Arts image.

 

Oil on canvas by Wolf Kahn (American/German, b. 1927), titled ‘Forest Murmurs,’ done circa 1991. Price realized: $29,500. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Oil on canvas by Pedro Coronel (Mexican, 1923-1985), titled ‘Naturaleza Muerta,’ 31 3/4 inches by 44 1/2 inches. Price realized: $33,880. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Oil on canvas by Pedro Coronel (Mexican, 1923-1985), titled ‘Naturaleza Muerta,’ 31 3/4 inches by 44 1/2 inches. Price realized: $33,880. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Bonded acrylic on canvas by Judith Dazzio (b. 1942), titled ‘Wild Passion,’ 30 inches by 40 inches. Price realized: $13,915. Elite Decorative Arts image.

 

Bonded acrylic on canvas by Judith Dazzio (b. 1942), titled ‘Wild Passion,’ 30 inches by 40 inches. Price realized: $13,915. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Chinese hand-carved white jade boulder depicting a mountain city scene, 9 3/4 inches tall. Price realized: $21,830. Elite Decorative Arts image.

 

Chinese hand-carved white jade boulder depicting a mountain city scene, 9 3/4 inches tall. Price realized: $21,830. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Rare antique Chinese hand-painted enameled Grisailles-decorated yellow ground planter, 14 inches tall. Price realized: $12,980. Elite Decorative Arts image.

 

Rare antique Chinese hand-painted enameled Grisailles-decorated yellow ground planter, 14 inches tall. Price realized: $12,980. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Grat Dalton's (1871-1892) WW Greener model #8167 sawed-off double-barrel shotgun. Estimate: $25,000-$35,000. California Auctioneers image.

California Auctioneers to sell Dalton gang shotgun Nov. 24

Grat Dalton's (1871-1892) WW Greener model #8167 sawed-off double-barrel shotgun. Estimate: $25,000-$35,000. California Auctioneers image.

Grat Dalton’s (1871-1892) WW Greener model #8167 sawed-off double-barrel shotgun. Estimate: $25,000-$35,000. California Auctioneers image.

VENTURA, Calif. – Outlaw Grat Dalton’s shotgun and several additional lots of Dalton Gang items are being auctioned Nov 24 at California Auctioneers in Ventura, California. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide the Internet live-bidding services for the sale, which will begin Sunday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

After the Daltons first attempted train robbery on Feb. 6, 1891, of a Southern Pacific train in Alila, Calif., Grat Dalton was captured by Sheriff Eugene Kay. While Dalton was jailed his WW Greener Model 8167 double-barrel sawed-off muzzle loading shotgun was placed in the hands of a gunsmith in Bakersfield, Calif.

Grat Dalton later made one of the most memorable prison escapes in California history. His brother Littleton, who had hid the gang at his farm, claimed the weapon from the gunsmith. It remained in his hands until the 1930s, when Littleton presented it to collector and California historian Frank F. Latta, with whom he had spent days being interviewed for Latta’s book on the gang.

Upon Latta’s death, the gun passed to his daughter, whose notarized letter of provenance describes the shotgun and its ownership. The shotgun is on the cover of the second edition and pictured on page 132 of Frank Latta’s book Dalton Gang Days published by Bear State Books.

The stock is sawn off, as is the muzzle end, making this another example of how the Dalton brothers smithed their weapons. Bill Dalton reportedly removed the safeties on his Winchesters to shoot them half cocked.

A number of historic pieces from Frank Latta Collection has been released from the Bear State Books Archives for auction, including the handcuffs Sheriff Eugene Kay used to arrest both Bill and Grat Dalton and Joaquin Murreta gang items, verified by Latta, Kay and Littleton Dalton.

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


Grat Dalton's (1871-1892) WW Greener model #8167 sawed-off double-barrel shotgun. Estimate: $25,000-$35,000. California Auctioneers image.

Grat Dalton’s (1871-1892) WW Greener model #8167 sawed-off double-barrel shotgun. Estimate: $25,000-$35,000. California Auctioneers image.

Sheriff Eugene W. Kay's Stetson and blackjack. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. California Auctioneers image.

Sheriff Eugene W. Kay’s Stetson and blackjack. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. California Auctioneers image.

Littleton Dalton's Stetson hat, purchased for $20 in 1890. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. California Auctioneers image.

Littleton Dalton’s Stetson hat, purchased for $20 in 1890. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. California Auctioneers image.

Sheriff Eugene Kay's handcuffs used to restrain Grat Dalton following his capture after the Alila train robbery in 1891. Estimate: $2,000-$3,500. California Auctioneers image.

Sheriff Eugene Kay’s handcuffs used to restrain Grat Dalton following his capture after the Alila train robbery in 1891. Estimate: $2,000-$3,500. California Auctioneers image.

Sheriff Eugene Kay's leg irons used on Grat Dalton following the Feb. 6, 1891, train robbery in Alila, Calif. Estimate: $2,000-$3,500. California Auctioneers image.

Sheriff Eugene Kay’s leg irons used on Grat Dalton following the Feb. 6, 1891, train robbery in Alila, Calif. Estimate: $2,000-$3,500. California Auctioneers image.

The world's oldest-known image of Mary depicts her nursing the infant Jesus. Third century, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Vatican unveils restored frescoes in ancient catacomb

The world's oldest-known image of Mary depicts her nursing the infant Jesus. Third century, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The world’s oldest-known image of Mary depicts her nursing the infant Jesus. Third century, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

ROME (AP) – The Vatican on Tuesday unveiled newly restored frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla, known for housing the earliest known image of the Madonna with Child – and frescoes said by some to show women priests in the early Christian church.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s culture minister, presided over the opening of the “Cubicle of Lazzaro,” a tiny burial chamber featuring fourth century images of biblical scenes, the Apostles Peter and Paul, and one of the early Romans buried there in bunk-bed-like stacks as was common in antiquity.

The labyrinthine cemetery complex stretching for miles underneath northern Rome is known as the “Queen of the catacombs” because it features burial chambers of popes and a tiny, delicate fresco of the Madonna nursing Jesus dating from around A.D. 230-240, the earliest known image of the Madonna and Child.

More controversially, the catacomb tour features two scenes said by proponents of the women’s ordination movement to show women priests: One in the ochre-hued Greek Chapel features a group of women celebrating a banquet, said to be the banquet of the Eucharist. Another fresco in a richly decorated burial chamber features a woman, dressed in a dalmatic – a cassock-like robe – with her hands up in the position used by priests for public worship.

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, which includes women who have been excommunicated by the Vatican for participating in purported ordination ceremonies, holds the images up as evidence that there were women priests in the early Christian church – and that therefore there should be women priests today.

But Fabrizio Bisconti, the superintendent of the Vatican’s sacred archaeology commission, said such a reading of the frescoes was pure “fable, a legend.” Even though the catacombs’ official guide says there is “a clear reference to the banquet of the Holy Eucharist’ in the fresco, Bisconti said the scene of the banquet wasn’t a Eucharistic banquet but a funeral banquet. He said that even though women were present they weren’t celebrating Mass.

Bisconti said the other fresco of the woman with her hands up in prayer was just that – a woman praying.

“These are readings of the past that are a bit sensationalistic but aren’t trustworthy,” he said.

Asked about the scenes, Ravasi professed ignorance and referred comment to Bisconti.

The Vatican has restricted the priesthood for men, arguing that Jesus chose only men as his apostles.

The Priscilla catacombs are being featured in a novel blending of antiquity and modern-technology: For the first time, Google Maps has gone into the Roman catacombs, providing a virtual tour of the Priscilla complex available to anyone who can’t visit the real thing.

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Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfield

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

AP-WF-11-19-13 2236GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The world's oldest-known image of Mary depicts her nursing the infant Jesus. Third century, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The world’s oldest-known image of Mary depicts her nursing the infant Jesus. Third century, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park, New York. April 28, 2013 photo by Ingfbruno, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Met exhibition celebrates Central Park obelisk ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’

Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park, New York. April 28, 2013 photo by Ingfbruno, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Cleopatra’s Needle in Central Park, New York. April 28, 2013 photo by Ingfbruno, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

NEW YORK – Since 1881, an ancient Egyptian monument—the obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmose III, popularly known as “Cleopatra’s Needle”—has stood in New York’s Central Park, a gift to the City of New York from the khedives of Egypt. It is the only monumental obelisk from ancient Egypt in the United States. The obelisk can be seen from several vantage points within The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is located nearby. As the Central Park Conservancy begins to develop a plan to conserve the monument, the Metropolitan Museum will present an exhibition about the construction and evolving symbolism of obelisks from antiquity to the present day. The exhibition Cleopatra’s Needle opens December 3.

The exhibition is made possible by Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman.

The exhibition will feature objects from the Museum’s Egyptian Art Department and a selection of prints, textiles, and other works of art from the departments of Drawings and Prints, European Paintings, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Photographs, and The American Wing. Nine additional works from the Brooklyn Museum, American Numismatic Society, Chancellor Robert R Livingston Masonic Library of Grand Lodge, Museum of the City of New York, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and private collections, most of which are seldom on display, will also be included. A highlight of the installation will be a dramatic time-lapse video of the obelisk in Central Park taken during the course of a day.

Obelisks originated in ancient Egypt and—like statues—were intended to house divine powers, even the spirit of a king or god. They were placed at the entrance of temples and tombs, where their presence was believed to radiate protection. The obelisk was a solar symbol and its soaring form connected the earth to the sky. Its tip, often sheathed in gold to suggest the sun, was a pyramidion, a shape sacred to Re, the sun god. The exhibition will include a five-foot-high obelisk from the entrance to an ancient Egyptian mortuary chapel devoted to sacred rams.

The obelisk in Central Park is one of a pair—each of which has come to be called “Cleopatra’s Needle”—originally installed by Thutmose III (r. ca. 1479–1425 B.C.) in front of the sun temple in Heliopolis, the ancient Egyptian city dedicated to the sun god Re. Over time, both obelisks toppled. Discoloration indicates that they may have also been burned in antiquity, and that exposure to the elements eroded some of the hieroglyphs. Augustus Caesar (63 B.C.–14 A.D.) took the two obelisks to Alexandria and installed them at the Caesareum, the temple built by Cleopatra VII to honor the deified Julius Caesar. (This episode may explain how the name of Cleopatra became attached to these two obelisks.) The Romans recognized the solar imagery of obelisks and connected them to their own sun god, Sol. For Augustus, the link may have been personal as well, since Apollo, another Roman sun god, was his patron deity. Included in the exhibition will be a late 16th-century map and a late 17th-century Dutch watercolor, both showing the obelisk standing in Alexandria.

Egypt became a province of Rome under Augustus Caesar, and many artifacts—including numerous obelisks—were taken from Egypt to Rome. Some four centuries later, when Rome was sacked and the Roman Empire fell, all but one of the obelisks toppled, victims of vandalism or earthquakes, and were buried and forgotten.

The rediscovery of these objects during the Renaissance renewed popular interest in antiquities. Several popes organized new building projects in Rome around the ancient Egyptian monuments. There, obelisks were often placed at the center of public squares, such as the one in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. Domenico Fontana (1543–1607), an engineer in the service of Pope Sixtus V, raised at least four obelisks in public places. Through this connection with the Vatican, the obelisk became a symbol of eternal papal power. The exhibition will include drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) that show obelisks in the Piazza della Rotonda and Piazza del Popolo.

Obelisks continued to be regarded as powerful symbols of an ancient civilization, and scholars in Europe began to study their inscriptions in the 16th and 17th centuries to understand the secret knowledge they believed obelisks held. The monuments were used in drawings and paintings to indicate a connection to antiquity, establish a harmonious landscape, or communicate the concept of eternity. Not only were obelisks used in landscape scenes—as in the drawings of Rembrandt or Francesco Guardi on view in the exhibition—but also in actual funerary monuments where the connection to eternity was most important. An example is the catafalque designs of the Italian theatrical designer Giuseppe Galli Bibiena (1696–1757).

The association between obelisks and eternity remained widely accepted, and obelisk forms began to be used as tomb markers in the early 18th century in America. A silk painting by a Connecticut schoolgirl shows such a tomb marker. The obelisk form also became a popular for war memorials, as recorded in a photograph of the General William Jenkins Worth Monument located on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

In the late 19th century, after Khedive Ismail offered the United States the obelisk of Thutmose III as a gift, U.S. Navy engineer Lieutenant-Commander Henry Honeychurch Gorringe (1841–1885) was charged with the task of transporting the monument to New York and installing it in Central Park. He studied drawings made of Fontana’s earlier work—one of which will be on display—to learn how the feat had been accomplished in earlier times. Gorringe successfully lowered the obelisk in Alexandria, Egypt, and loaded it after some difficulty into the hold of his ship the S.S. Dessoug.

Unloading the monument in New York was no easy task. It took nearly six months to move the obelisk from the dock in Staten Island to the East River at 96th Street, and finally to Central Park. On October 9, 1880, a crowd of 9,000 Freemasons led a parade to Central Park for a cornerstone ceremony for the foundation platform of the obelisk, which had also been brought from Egypt. The baton carried in that parade by the Grand Secretary of the New York Grand Lodge Edward M. L. Ehlers will be on view in the exhibition. On January 22, 1881, after months of effort, the obelisk reached its destination, Greywacke Knoll in Central Park. Gorringe carried out his task perfectly and the obelisk rose into position. He received a gold medal to commemorate his amazing feat.

Exhibition Credits and Related Programs:

The exhibition was organized by Diana Craig Patch, Lila Acheson Wallace Curator in Charge, with Dieter Arnold, Curator, and Janice Kamrin, Associate Curator, of the Museum’s Egyptian Art Department. Exhibition design is by Brian Cha, Exhibition Design Associate; graphics are by Constance Norkin, Graphic Design Manager, with James Vetterlein, Associate Graphic Designer; lighting is by Clint Ross Coller and Richard Lichte, Lighting Design Managers, all of the Museum’s Design Department.

Education programs include a Sunday at the Met, exhibition tours, and a program for audiences with special needs.

The exhibition will be featured on the website of the Metropolitan Museum www.metmuseum.org.

About the Central Park Conservancy:

The mission of the Central Park Conservancy is to restore, manage and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public, for the enjoyment of present and future generations. A private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1980, the Conservancy provides 75 percent of Central Park’s $58 million park-wide expense budget and is responsible for all basic care of the Park. More information on the Conservancy is available at www.centralparknyc.org.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park, New York. April 28, 2013 photo by Ingfbruno, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Cleopatra’s Needle in Central Park, New York. April 28, 2013 photo by Ingfbruno, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

This rare poster promoting Elvis Presley's 'It Happened at the World's Fair' (MGM, 1963), 40

Elvis Presley’s intellectual property rights sold

This rare poster promoting Elvis Presley's 'It Happened at the World's Fair' (MGM, 1963), 40

This rare poster promoting Elvis Presley’s ‘It Happened at the World’s Fair’ (MGM, 1963), 40

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The money-making enterprise called Elvis Presley has been sold.

Authentic Brands Group said Tuesday it has bought Elvis Presley’s intellectual property from CORE Media Group and is partnering with the founder of another company to operate the Graceland tourist attraction.

The purchase gives Authentic Brands control of Elvis Presley Enterprises, which manages the licensing and merchandising rights to Presley’s image, name and likeness, in addition to a massive collection of music, photos, movies, television appearances and performance specials featuring the King of Rock ’n’ Roll.

As part of the deal, National Entertainment Collectibles Association founder Joel Weinshanker acquires Graceland’s operating rights, according to a statement announcing the sale. Weinshanker, Authentic Brands and the Presley family will partner in operating Graceland, it added.

A purchase price wasn’t disclosed. Also known as ABG, Authentic Brands Group is a New York-based intellectual property corporation that manages brands including Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali.

“This is an exciting day for Elvis and his fans,” Priscilla Presley, the singer’s former wife, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the ABG team to further promote the legacy of Elvis. This is the opportunity the family has been envisioning to expand the Graceland experience and enhance Elvis’ image all over the world.”

Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, says she will continue to own the Graceland home and the original items inside it.

“The licensing and merchandising aspect of this business is not to be confused with the fact that the property will always remain with me and my family,” Lisa Marie Presley said.

Elvis Presley died at age 42 in Memphis on Aug. 16, 1977.

The Graceland home opened for tours on June 7, 1982. Presley-related exhibits, restaurants and gift shops selling clothing and memorabilia are located across the street from the home. More than 500,000 people visit Graceland each year, bringing in millions in tourist revenue for its owner and the city.

Elvis Presley Enterprises runs a worldwide merchandising and licensing business that keeps Elvis’ legend strong. In 2012, Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden said the licensing business generated about $32 million a year in revenue.

Plans to refurbish and modernize the tourist attraction had been put on hold, but they could be renewed now that the sale is complete. Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley both mentioned a possible expansion of Graceland in their statements Tuesday.

CORE Media Group was bought by private equity firm Apollo Global Management in 2011 for $511 million. Formerly known as CKx Inc., CORE Media owns rights to American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.

National Entertainment Collectibles Association is a media and entertainment distribution company operating in the United States and internationally.

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

AP-WF-11-19-13 2314GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


This rare poster promoting Elvis Presley's 'It Happened at the World's Fair' (MGM, 1963), 40

This rare poster promoting Elvis Presley’s ‘It Happened at the World’s Fair’ (MGM, 1963), 40

Stanley Gibbons Group acquires Noble Investments

LONDON – British rare stamp and collectibles merchant, The Stanley Gibbons Group plc, has successfully completed its acquisition of Noble Investments (UK) PLC today; putting it in the top 100 of London’s AIM listed companies with a market value in excess of £130 million ($209.6 million).

The acquisition brings together four heritage brands which, when combined, sees the group become a leading global collectibles auction brand, dwarfed only by Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

Noble Investments comprises: Baldwin’s, the globally respected brand in coins, established in 1872; Dreweatts, an auctioneer of antiques and collectibles such as watches, fine wine and jewelry, established in 1759; and Bloomsbury, a leading UK auctioneer of books, manuscripts and art; together with the Stanley Gibbons Group plc, founded in 1856 and holders of the Royal Warrant as philatelists since 1914.

With more than 250 staff and offices in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, US and the Channel Islands, the company aims to deliver a truly global service by bringing the world’s collecting community into one place.

“Our online development plans to create a global online hub for buying and selling collectibles will be enhanced by the wider range in which we now have authority and expertise.” said Mike Hall, CEO of the Stanley Gibbons Group.

“This acquisition means that sellers can expect to achieve the best realisation possible by virtue of our international reach, the size of our combined databases and superior specialist expertise; whilst buyers can be assured by the Stanley Gibbons guarantee of authenticity and standards of service.”

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