Noel Barrett to auction museum founder’s dollhouses, Apr. 11-12

Extravagantly detailed Moorish Revival Christmas Garden House with stained, textured and etched window glazing. Est. $3,000-$5,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Extravagantly detailed Moorish Revival Christmas Garden House with stained, textured and etched window glazing. Est. $3,000-$5,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Extravagantly detailed Moorish Revival Christmas Garden House with stained, textured and etched window glazing. Est. $3,000-$5,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

NEW HOPE, Pa. – Visionary collector, author and founder of the revered Washington Dolls’ House & Toy Museum, Flora Gill Jacobs (1918-2006) was a potent and influential force in the hobby of dollhouse and miniature collecting. Her devotion to the famed Washington, D.C., museum that played host to the children of presidents and diplomats helped bolster the dollhouse and miniatures hobby during the last quarter of the 20th century.

Inside the museum, which attracted some 20,000 visitors annually, were breathtaking displays of miniature residences, each one painstakingly decorated with luxe furnishings and tiny accessories. In 2004, Noel Barrett auctioned the museum’s collection under instruction from Mrs. Jacobs. Now, on April 11 and 12, collectors will have the opportunity to bid on the items Flora Gill Jacobs chose for her personal collection that was displayed in her elegant suburban residence. As before, Noel Barrett Auctions has been chosen to conduct the sale, with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.

“What is different about the April auction is that we’re selling the dollhouses and furnishings separately. At the museum sale, we left the dollhouses intact,” said Noel Barrett, owner of Noel Barrett Auctions. “We’ve organized it so that the dollhouse is sold first, followed by 20 or so lots of furnishings that decorated that particular house. This gives the dollhouse buyer the freedom to put their own stamp on the décor.”

Three grand and well-documented dollhouses occupy the top tier of the sale, the first being the celebrated South Jersey House (est. $12,000-$18,000), which was one of the museum’s top showpieces. This house, which launched the Jacobs collection when it was purchased in 1945, acquired its name because it came from an antiques dealer in the southern New Jersey town of Malaga. Thirteen years later, the South Jersey House served as the focal point of Jacobs’ first self-published children’s book, “The Doll House Mystery.” It was referenced in all subsequent books Jacobs authored, as well.

The three sides of the stately South Jersey House are graced with several styles of windows and crowned with a checker-painted mansard roof. The interior is comprised of four deep rooms separated by a hall on the first and second floors. The staircase with landing and two fireplace mantels are original features. The ceilings in the four main rooms have elaborate medallions with hooks for chandeliers. The house is offered with painted cast-iron fencing, a circular wood base and two urns. The elaborate array of furnishings will be offered in 42 subsequent lots.

The early to mid-19th-century English Baby House is a classic British form with finely crafted architectural details, a painstakingly hand-painted faux-brick exterior and interior walls covered in early papers. This house is pictured and discussed on Pages 161-163 of Jacobs’ 2005 reference “The Small World of Antique Dolls’ Houses.” It is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.

The third featured house is known as the Somerville Mansion and replicates an American Victorian townhouse of the style seen in mid- to late-19th-century Somerville, Massachusetts. While very similar in form and construction to the famed Tiffany-Platt dollhouse, this imposing city dwelling has its own unique architectural features, with double doors, large glazed windows, and painted and stained wood fireplace mantels. It, too, was included in Jacobs’ 2005 book. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.

In all, the auction includes about 25 major dollhouses and buildings, plus 35 to 40 fully outfitted antique kitchens, shops and room boxes. A premier example among the shops is the charmingly accessorized German Toy Stall. A perennial favorite with museum visitors, it depicts a European-style vendor’s street stall with lockable fold-up doors to secure merchandise overnight. The shop displays a variety of goods made of painted wood or gum tragacanth – a substance early 19th-century cooks mixed together with meal and sugar, then molded into novelties with written mottos concealed inside. The stall comes with nearly 70 early wares, including musical instruments, tenpins, checkerboards, a boy on a hobby horse, papooses in cradleboards, fruit and other foods; plus topiary trees and a painted-wood lady shopkeeper. Featured in Jacobs’ 2005 book, it is estimated conservatively in the $6,000-$9,000 range.

One of Jacobs’ personal favorites was the early 19th-century Nuremberg Kitchen that she described as being even nicer than the kitchen in the museum’s collection. Its furnishings include fine pewters and other miniatures from the mid-18th century.

Approximately 600 lots are miniatures that cross a wide range of price points. “We’ve planned it so there’s something for everyone, from early 19th-century Rau productions to rare gilt-metal and silver examples by Erhard & Sohne, to early 20th-century pieces made by Schneegas” said Barrett. “While there are some wonderful houses in this sale, a lot of the collection’s strength lies in the rare miniatures of the type seldom available for purchase – for example, the exquisite 5-paneled screen by Gerhard Sohlke.”

Most of the miniatures are of wood, but there are also many exceptional ormolu, pewter and china pieces. An important set is the latter-19th-century Walterhausen Victorian parlor suite of High Gothic style, known as the “Monkey” series. It was so named because the gilt transfers on the furniture are of animals, including swans, frogs and monkeys. The suite is accompanied by what may be its original box.

Barrett said it has been “a privilege” to catalog the collection, and that his team has not stopped working since the collection was picked up in October of last year. “We stop to admire every single piece, because each is a reflection of the very special gift Flora Jacobs had for identifying artistic quality,” said Barrett.

Noel Barrett’s April 11-12 auction of the late Flora Gill Jacobs’ private collection of dollhouses and miniatures will commence at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday; and 10 a.m. on Saturday. Preview hours are Friday from 9-4 and Saturday from 8-10 a.m. For additional information, call 215-297-5109 or e-mail toys@noelbarrett.com.

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

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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


Extravagantly detailed Moorish Revival Christmas Garden House with stained, textured and etched window glazing. Est. $3,000-$5,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Extravagantly detailed Moorish Revival Christmas Garden House with stained, textured and etched window glazing. Est. $3,000-$5,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

German Toy Stall, formerly in the Washington Dolls’ House & Toy Museum, German, early 19th century, elaborately accessorized with antique miniatures (accessories to be auctioned separately). Est. $6,000-$9,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

German Toy Stall, formerly in the Washington Dolls’ House & Toy Museum, German, early 19th century, elaborately accessorized with antique miniatures (accessories to be auctioned separately). Est. $6,000-$9,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Gottschalk Delicatessen, late 19th century, painted wood and composition shop with miniature labeled tins and composition food items (accessories to be auctioned separately). Est. $2,500-$3,500. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Gottschalk Delicatessen, late 19th century, painted wood and composition shop with miniature labeled tins and composition food items (accessories to be auctioned separately). Est. $2,500-$3,500. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Louis XVI-style room furnishings, including parlor suite, upholstered sleigh bed, silk-paneled screen, silk and lace curtains, and many other pieces. Est. $900-$1,500. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Louis XVI-style room furnishings, including parlor suite, upholstered sleigh bed, silk-paneled screen, silk and lace curtains, and many other pieces. Est. $900-$1,500. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

English Baby House, early to mid 1800s, featuring double chimneys with capped pots, scrolled arches under side eaves, shutters and beveled lintels. Est. $8,000-$12,000.

English Baby House, early to mid 1800s, featuring double chimneys with capped pots, scrolled arches under side eaves, shutters and beveled lintels. Est. $8,000-$12,000.

Circa-1800 Nuremberg Kitchen with painted faux-brick stove, shelving for display of miniature pewter, brass and wood accessories, including many rare examples (accessories to be auctioned separately). Est. $5,000-$8,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Circa-1800 Nuremberg Kitchen with painted faux-brick stove, shelving for display of miniature pewter, brass and wood accessories, including many rare examples (accessories to be auctioned separately). Est. $5,000-$8,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

The Somerville (Mass.) Mansion, American Victorian, circa mid to latter-19th century, similar in form to the famed Tiffany-Platt House, described by auctioneer Noel Barrett as “one of the most celebrated houses in the Jacobs collection.” Est. $10,000-$15,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

The Somerville (Mass.) Mansion, American Victorian, circa mid to latter-19th century, similar in form to the famed Tiffany-Platt House, described by auctioneer Noel Barrett as “one of the most celebrated houses in the Jacobs collection.” Est. $10,000-$15,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Leonhardt Parlor Suite, early 20th century, white painted wood with floral silk upholstery and gilt edging. Est. $800-$1,200. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Leonhardt Parlor Suite, early 20th century, white painted wood with floral silk upholstery and gilt edging. Est. $800-$1,200. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Set of Victorian period rooms, German, richly detailed with oak paneling, brass-ornamented pilasters, dentilated crown molding. The lavish accessories will be auctioned separately. Est. $4,000-$6,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Set of Victorian period rooms, German, richly detailed with oak paneling, brass-ornamented pilasters, dentilated crown molding. The lavish accessories will be auctioned separately. Est. $4,000-$6,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Centerpiece of the auction: The South Jersey House, circa 1870, the first house acquired by Flora Gill Jacobs and one that she chose to keep for her personal collection when the Washington Dolls’ House & Toy Museum closed and its contents were sold. Est. $12,000-$18,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Centerpiece of the auction: The South Jersey House, circa 1870, the first house acquired by Flora Gill Jacobs and one that she chose to keep for her personal collection when the Washington Dolls’ House & Toy Museum closed and its contents were sold. Est. $12,000-$18,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

2004 photograph of Flora Gill Jacobs and Noel Barrett in front of the Washington Dolls’ House & Toy Museum. Photo was taken shortly before Barrett’s auction of the museum’s contents. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

2004 photograph of Flora Gill Jacobs and Noel Barrett in front of the Washington Dolls’ House & Toy Museum. Photo was taken shortly before Barrett’s auction of the museum’s contents. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Dedicated collector’s prize items in Showtime auction April 4-6

Die-cut flange tin DeLaval sign in excellent original condition. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Showtime Auction Services image.
Die-cut flange tin DeLaval sign in excellent original condition. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Showtime Auction Services image.
Die-cut flange tin DeLaval sign in excellent original condition. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Showtime Auction Services image.

SCOTTVILLE, Mich. (AP) – Antiques weren’t just a business for Neil J. Frick – collecting them was a passion, a lifestyle, a calling.

And Frick’s Old Country Store wasn’t just an antiques shop. It also was a community gathering spot, a home and a museum, with some pieces that Frick particularly liked not really for sale, according to those who are now handling upcoming sales of thousands of Frick’s treasures.

Frick, who died last July at age 87, had devoted more than 50 years of his life to collecting and preserving bits of history that he found throughout the country. He reveled in showing them off, telling stories about them and dickering over their sale.

“It was an unbelievable collection,” Michael Eckles, owner of Showtime Auction Services, which is holding a large auction of Frick’s antiques April 4-6, told The Muskegon Chronicle. “He liked antiques so much, he priced things a little too high so no one could buy them and he could keep them for himself.”

But now Frick’s collection of porcelain advertising signs, political memorabilia, lithographs, farm machinery, De Laval cream separators, oil lamps, cowboy artifacts and more is available for purchase. That includes the antiques that were crammed into Frick’s Old Country Store in Scottville as well as the really good stuff that Frick had kept in his apartment above the store.

Longtime friend and fellow antique dealer Sally Cole and her husband, Jerry, are handling an estate sale of a smaller portion of Frick’s collection than the one that will be auctioned. The estate sale, which began Thursday and lasts through Saturday, involves so many items that Cole couldn’t put a number on them.

“We often referred to his place as a museum,” Cole said. “The merchandise he had was top of the line. He had a lot of things that not only were unusual, but rare – hard to find.”

Frick grew up in Muskegon Heights, playing for its storied football teams coached by Okie Johnson that never lost a game in 1946 and 1947. He was tall for the times – an estimated 6 feet, 2 inches – and served as senior class president when he graduated from Heights High in 1947. He moved to Detroit, where he worked as an accountant for Chrysler before embarking on a long career in the insurance industry.

But his passion was collecting antiques. When his work recruiting agents and brokers for National Casualty Insurance took him to nearly every state in the union, he used the opportunity to feed his passion. He had particular fondness for Civil War and Abraham Lincoln memorabilia and for cowboy and Native American Indian artifacts.

Along the way, he befriended antique collectors from across the country, building a reputation that is expected to fuel interest in the upcoming sales.

Frick never married and never had children. The executor of his estate is Jack Frick Jr., the oldest of his nieces and nephews, who after eight months, still deeply mourns the loss of his “Uncle Bub.”

“You’ll never hear anyone say anything but kind things about him,” said Frick.

When Nationwide Insurance bought National Casualty, Neil Frick took a buyout, continued to dabble as an independent insurance agent for a bit and then dove into his hobby full-time. Though Frick had spent his adult life in Detroit, his family had spent time in Oceana County when he was a boy, Jack Frick Jr. said.

In 1986, he ended up buying an antique shop in Scottville, put his name on the shingle out front and settled into the apartment upstairs. He remained there for 27 years, building his impressive and varied collection that he would rather talk about than make money from.

“A lot of people would just go in his store and hang out and look at his merchandise,” Sally Cole said. “That’s what he loved more than anything else – to share and talk about where he got stuff.”

Frick could spend hours talking about the Civil War, showing off such items as the sword used by the North Carolina Cavalry during the war, or his mint condition Civil War Times magazines.

“He just really loved to discuss history, to talk to people about history,” Cole said. “That was so special to him – just sharing about the history of the things he had.”

The Coles have operated their own antiques business, Cole’s Antiques Villa, in Ludington since 1987. It was through the business that they met Frick, and developed over 30 years a relationship Cole said was “just like family.”

Once the sale is over, the Coles plan to move their business out of Ludington. They will move it into the former Frick’s Old Country Store in Scottville. And they will move themselves into the upstairs apartment once occupied by Neil Frick and his most prized possessions.

“We’ll live like he did,” Sally Cole said. “It’s very, very special.”

___

Information from: The Muskegon Chronicle, http://www.mlive.com/muskegon

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-03-19-14 1504GMT

 

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


Die-cut flange tin DeLaval sign in excellent original condition. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Showtime Auction Services image.
Die-cut flange tin DeLaval sign in excellent original condition. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Showtime Auction Services image.

Clars gets repeat high performance from Chinese furniture

Coming from the Gerber estate, this pair of Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets realized an astonishing $299,500. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Coming from the Gerber estate, this pair of Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets realized an astonishing $299,500. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Coming from the Gerber estate, this pair of Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets realized an astonishing $299,500. Clars Auction Gallery image.

OAKLAND, Calif. – On the heels of Clars’ February 2014 sale, their fine art, jewelry and decoratives sale March 15 and 16 once again saw the Asian category soar to over $1.5 million, fueling the $2.3 million realized for the entire auction, the third-largest grossing sale in the firm’s history.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

Bidders, once again, converged in force to bid by phone, Internet and from the saleroom floor. Due to the increasingly large quantity of property being consigned, Clars has extended their sales from two days to three days, with Monday being an offline (not open to Internet bidding) sale. Just three months into the 2014 calendar year, Clars has achieved both its highest sale and third-highest sale in their history. For the calendar year, and the first half of their fiscal year, sales are up 62 percent from the prior year.

Perhaps the most important factor has been the huge collection coming from the Gerber Estate in Reno, Nev., which has performed beyond expecation, particularly in the Asian offerings which are going out the door for over-the-top prices.

On Sunday, March 16, the top seller of the three-day event was a pair of Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets that realized an astonishing $299,500 against their high estimate of $50,000. Taking second place selling for $189,500, was a huanghuali round table and stools, executed in the drum form. Another pair of Chinese hardwood huanghuali rounded corner cabinets, also from the Gerber estate, soared past its $40,000 high estimate selling for $167,000. A single Chinese hardwood and huanghuali rounded corner cabinet and a hardwood and huanghuali side table sold for $96,000 each. Overall, in the Asian category, the just over 150 lots offered earned well over $1.5 million with the huanghuali furniture accounting for over $1.3 million.

The top seller in the fine art category was a signed etching and aquatint by Marcel Duchamp (French 1887-1968) titled Nine Malic Moulds. Expected to achieve a high of $6,000, this work sold for more than three times high estimate going out at $19,000.

Several offerings of the photography from the renowned Ruttenberg Collection once again brought worldwide bidder interest to the sale. By Helen Levitt (American, 1913-2009) the gelatin silver print titled Harlem Boy with a Black Cat, sold for $9,000, followed by the gelatin silver print Odalisque I, by Horst P. Horst (American/German, 1906-1999), which surpassed its estimate going for $8,000. Two more works by Horst, Lobster Salvador and Birthday Gloves, also sold strongly, achieving $7,000 and $5,000 respectively.

A 19th century Gold Rush-era Bowie knife by Will and Finck, San Francisco, sold for over estimate as serious collectors drove the final sale price to $6,500. The second offering of note achieved twice its high estimate. Selling for $13,000 was a 19th century Continental Renaissance-style figural clock executed in patinated metal with the figure of Atlas supporting the clock.

A stunning jadeite, diamond and 18K white gold ring ring centered by one oval jadeite cabachon surrounded full cut diamonds sold for $19,000. A platinum and princess cut diamond ring, 2.51 carats, sold for $10,000.

For more information email info@clars.com or call 510-480-0100.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Coming from the Gerber estate, this pair of Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets realized an astonishing $299,500. Clars Auction Gallery image.

 

Coming from the Gerber estate, this pair of Chinese hardwood and huanghuali compound cabinets realized an astonishing $299,500. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Taking second place in the Asian category and selling for $189,500, was this set of hardwood huanghuali round table and stools, executed in the drum form. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Taking second place in the Asian category and selling for $189,500, was this set of hardwood huanghuali round table and stools, executed in the drum form. Clars Auction Gallery image.

From the Ruttenberg Collection, by Helen Levitt (American, 1913-2009) this gelatin silver print titled ‘Harlem Boy with a Black Cat,’ sold for $9,000. Clars Auction Gallery image.

From the Ruttenberg Collection, by Helen Levitt (American, 1913-2009) this gelatin silver print titled ‘Harlem Boy with a Black Cat,’ sold for $9,000. Clars Auction Gallery image.

This 19th century Gold Rush-era Bowie knife by Will and Finck, San Francisco, sold over estimate as serious collectors drove the final sale price to $6,500. Clars Auction Gallery image.

The top seller in the Fine Art category was this signed etching and aquatint by Marcel Duchamp (French 1887-1968) titled ‘Nine Malic Moulds,’ which sold for over three times high estimate going out at $19,000. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Selling for $13,000, this 19th century Continental Renaissance-style figural clock was executed in patinated metal with the figure of Atlas supporting the clock. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Selling for $13,000, this 19th century Continental Renaissance-style figural clock was executed in patinated metal with the figure of Atlas supporting the clock. Clars Auction Gallery image.

This stunning jadeite ring, which was centered by one marquise jadeite cabachon surrounded by 18 old European cut diamonds, sold for $19,000. Clars Auction Gallery image.

This stunning jadeite ring, which was centered by one marquise jadeite cabachon surrounded by 18 old European cut diamonds, sold for $19,000. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Famed Lego chair may top $10,000 at Heritage Auctions

The LEGO® Chair from the collection of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, one of only eight such pieces in the world. Heritage Auctions image.

The LEGO® Chair from the collection of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, one of only eight such pieces in the world. Heritage Auctions image.
The LEGO® Chair from the collection of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, one of only eight such pieces in the world. Heritage Auctions image.
DALLAS – A life-size Droog design editions Red blue LEGO® Chair, which comes out of the collection of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and is one of just eight such pieces that exist – including examples on display in museums around the world – may bring more than $10,000 when it crosses the bock at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on April 23.

“This red blue LEGO Chair is number five of five production pieces and one of just eight total produced by the artist before copyright law brought production to a halt,” said Brandon Kennedy, consignment director of 20th and 21st Century Design at Heritage. “It’s a wonderful homage to a classic of early 20th century Modernism as well as being relevant to today’s pop consciousness with the popularity and accessibility of Legos.”

The chair – designed by artist Mario Minale – was designed in 2004 to pay homage to Gerrit Rietveld’s 1917 modern creation Red and Blue Chair. Minale’s intent was to make the design widely available. While that never happened, the surviving pieces have gained status in the world of modern design in the decade since their creation.

The chair is joined by a Rietveld LEGO Buffet, also estimated to bring more than $10,000, and made with approximately 26,000 bricks. The buffet was designed by Kuniko Maeda with Minale.

Both works were created in The Netherlands by Droog Design, founded in 1993 as a cutting-edge design source for products combining high design with practical functionality. The April 23 auction at Heritage features 38 Droog Design items, including Chest of Drawers, 1991, #100 by Dutch artist Tejo Remy.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The LEGO® Chair from the collection of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, one of only eight such pieces in the world. Heritage Auctions image.
The LEGO® Chair from the collection of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, one of only eight such pieces in the world. Heritage Auctions image.

Il mercato dell’arte in Italia: arte moderna da Minerva

Mirko Basaldella, ‘Composizione,’ 1954. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.
Mirko Basaldella, ‘Composizione,’ 1954. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.
Mirko Basaldella, ‘Composizione,’ 1954. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.

ROMA – Il 15 aprile si tiene da Minerva a Roma un’asta di arte moderna e contemporanea che include più di 300 lotti. Il catalogo è molto vario, con stime che vanno da poche centinaia di euro a 60.000-80.000 euro per il lotto di copertina, un’opera di Piero Dorazio del 1965 (lotto 249). “È un dipinto importante per le grandi dimensioni (85 x 245 cm), ma anche per la sua storia”, racconta la specialista del dipartimento Giorgia Bava. “L’opera è stata esposta nella retrospettiva del 1975 a Todi, ed è uno dei pochi dipinti inclusi nella biografia redatta da Marisa Volpi Orlandini, l’inizio di un catalogo ragionato che poi non è stato realizzato”.

Accanto a Dorazio, un’altra opera interessante in catalogo è quella di Mimmo Rotella: una composizione particolare del 1993 fatta con rullini fotografici dipinti di rosso che compongono la scritta “Developpe en Positif” (lotto 263, stima €20.000-30.000). Poi c’è Mirko Basaldella, fratello del più noto Afro (e di un terzo fratello artista di nome Dino), con una tela astratta del 1954 di grandi dimensioni (200 x 120 cm) che per la prima volta appare sul mercato dopo essere stata conservata per tanti anni in una collezione privata romana (lotto 272, stima €15.000-18.000).

Tra le sculture ci sono “Un anno d’amore” di Mario Ceroli, un artista ancora sottovalutato (lotto 192, stima €5.000-7.000); “Lettera del Cuore”, un bronzo dorato del 1976-77 di Arnaldo Pomodoro eseguito in soli tre esemplari più una prova d’artista (lotto 268, stima €15.000-20.000); e “Schönberg und Sonnenberg” di Gastone Novelli, una delle poche sculture dell’artista, realizzata in ottone nel 1964 in sole due copie (l’altra è in una collezione privata). Nel 1976, dopo la morte dell’autore, la Marlborough Gallery di Roma ha riproposto questa scultura in una serie di dodici bronzi realizzati in collaborazione con l’archivio dell’artista, ma l’esemplare offerto da Minerva appartiene alla prima serie (lotto 90, stima €2.000-3.000).

Tornando indietro, invece, al primo Novecento, troviamo tre opere di Filippo de Pisis che ripercorrono tutto il suo percorso artistico. Si parte dagli anni 20, con un paesaggio alpestre proveniente da una grande collezionista dell’artista, Giuseppina Ceretti Gussoni. L’opera porta una dichiarazione di autenticità di Demetrio Bonuglia, il quale firmava le autentiche di De Pisis ancora prima di Briganti; come nota Giorgia Bava, “già solo l’autentica è quasi un documento storico!” (lotto 257, stima €24.000-34.000). Poi si passa agli anni 30 con una tela del periodo parigino, il De Pisis più classico e riconoscibile. Si tratta di una rappresentazione del Jardin du Luxembourg con pennellate veloci del 1933, stimata €18.000-24.000 (lotto 236). Infine, degli anni 50 c’è una natura morta con aglio e cipolla (lotto 166, stima €12.000-18.000).

Il catalogo contiene anche un gruppo di opere del Futurismo. Tra queste c’è la matrice di Giacomo Balla utilizzata per il “Vestito bianco-rosso-verde del parolibero futurista Marinetti (Mattino)”, pubblicato nella seconda pagina del “Manifesto Futurista: Il Vestito Antineutrale” dell’11 settembre 1914. È stato acquisito direttamente da Casa Balla per l’attuale Collezione privata di Roma (lotto 209, stima €30.000-40.000).

Accanto ai dipinti e alle sculture, l’asta include una serie di opere su carta, sia disegni che stampe. Nel primo gruppo, uno dei più interessanti è quello di Osvaldo Licini (lotto 147, stima €2.500-3.500). “Licini è un autore raro sul mercato perché ha prodotto poco”, spiega Giorgia Bava, “per cui avere sue opere all’asta, che siano dipinti o disegni, è sempre un piacere”. Il disegno in questione proviene dalla collezione di Caterina Hellstromm Riccitelli, figlia adottiva della moglie di Licini.

Un altro disegno da segnalare è il “Paesaggio” a matita su carta di Giorgio Morandi del 1943 con una bella storia espositiva e di provenienza, molto importante per i collezionisti esigenti di oggi (lotto 148, stima €12.000-18.000), mentre nel dopoguerra troviamo un grande foglio di Giuseppe Capogrossi, un artista che in questi ultimi cinque anni è cresciuto sul mercato, che ha come curiosità quello di essere disegnato su fronte e retro (lotto 151, stima €10.000-15.000).

Tra i multipli troviamo, invece, un bel foglio di Joan Mirò di grandi dimensioni (90,7 x 63 cm) dedicato all’architetto catalano Gaudí; un’incisione ben conservata di cui ci sono solamente 50 esemplari (lotto 5, stima €7.500-10.000).

Nel dopoguerra, spiccano due fogli di Burri, un artista richiestissimo a livello internazionale, di cui un’acquaforte e litografia dalla serie delle “muffe” del 1957 (lotto 49, stima €1.000-1.500) e un multiplo di Victor Vasarely del 1967 (lotto 1, stima €1.500-2.000).


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Mirko Basaldella, ‘Composizione,’ 1954. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.
Mirko Basaldella, ‘Composizione,’ 1954. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.
Piero Dorazio, ‘Lungo e alterno,’ 1965. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.
Piero Dorazio, ‘Lungo e alterno,’ 1965. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.
Mimmo Rotella, ‘Senza titolo – Developpe en Positif,’ 1993. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.
Mimmo Rotella, ‘Senza titolo – Developpe en Positif,’ 1993. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.
Filippo de Pisis, ‘Jardin du Luxembourg,’ 1933. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.
Filippo de Pisis, ‘Jardin du Luxembourg,’ 1933. Courtesy Minerva Auctions, Rome.

Rome, Genoa museums unveil joint Frida Kahlo exhibitions

Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954) painting titled 'Autorretrato con Collar de Espinas y Colibri' ('Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Humming-bird') from the Nickolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. Fair use of low-resolution copyrighted image.

Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954) painting titled 'Autorretrato con Collar de Espinas y Colibri' ('Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Humming-bird') from the Nickolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. Fair use of low-resolution copyrighted image.
Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954) painting titled ‘Autorretrato con Collar de Espinas y Colibri’ (‘Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Humming-bird’) from the Nickolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. Fair use of low-resolution copyrighted image.
ROME – With an integrated project divided into two large exhibitions, the Scuderie del Quirinale and Palazzo Ducale di Genova will present the work of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo from March 20 to Aug. 31.

The exhibition in Rome will investigate the artist and her relationship with the cultural and artistic movements of her time, while the one in Genoa will regard the other great influence on Kahlo’s work: the one stemming from her private world, in which she experienced great physical and emotional suffering and where her husband, Diego Rivera, was the most prominent person.

The exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale is Italy’s first retrospective of the Mexican artist. Curated by Helga Prignitz-Poda, the author of the catalogue raisonné of the Kahlo’s works, and organized by the Azienda Speciale Palaexpo with Mondo Mostre, the exhibition will include about 170 paintings and drawings. It will cover her entire artistic career, bringing together masterpieces from the most important public and private collections in Mexico, Europe and the United States.

More than 40 extraordinary portraits and self-portraits, including the famous 1940 Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird – on display for the first time in Italy and the image of the exhibition – and the 1926 Self-portrait in a Velvet Dress, in which her elongated neck harks back to the aesthetics of Parmigianino and Modigliani. Her first self-portrait, the latter was painted when she was only 19 years old for her beloved Alejandro GòmezArias with the intention of winning him back.

The exhibition will also display a selection of drawings, including the 1932 pencil sketch for the painting Henry Ford Hospital (The Flying Bed); the famous plaster corset that imprisoned Kahlo right after the accident, which she painted before moving on to her portraits – a unique object until recently thought to be lost; and, finally, several exceptional photographic portraits of the artist, in particular those by Nickolas Muray, her lover for 10 years, including Frida on a White Bench, New York, 1939, which became a famous cover of Vogue magazine.

It is not possible to understand Kahlo’s works without knowing about her life. Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón said that she was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacán, then a small town on the outskirts of Mexico City. She liked to consider herself a daughter of the Mexican Revolution, which began in 1910 and ended in 1917: “I was born with a revolution. Let’s say so. It’s in that fire that I was born, carried by the impetus of the revolt until the moment I saw the light of day. The day was scorching. It inflamed me for the rest of my life. I was born in 1910. It was summer. Shortly after, Emiliano Zapata, el Gran Insurrecto, was to rouse the South. I had this good luck: 1910 is my date.”

There is no doubt that by now the legend created around the figure of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) has attained global proportions: an indisputable icon of 20th-century Mexican culture, a revered forerunner of the feminist movement, a cult brand of world-wide merchandising, the seductive subject of a Hollywood movie, and the first Hispanic woman portrayed on a United States postage stamp, Kahlo lends herself to contemporary culture through one of the most fascinating inextricable relationships between art and life in the entire 20th century.

Her paintings are not only the reflection of her biographical vicissitudes, which were marked by the physical and psychological damage inflicted by the terrible accident in which she was involved when she was 17 years old. Her art is fused with the history and the spirit of the world of her time, reflecting the social and cultural transformations that led to the Mexican Revolution and ensued from it. The revolutionary spirit drove her to reinterpret the native past and the traditions of its folklore, identity codes that generated an unprecedented fusion between self-expression, and the language, the imagination, and the colors and symbols of Mexican popular culture. At the same time, Kahlo is an expression of the artistic avant-garde and the cultural exuberance of her time, and study of her work enables us to understand the interweaving of the trajectories of all the international cultural movements that passed through Mexico at that time: from revolutionary Pauperism and Stridentism to Surrealism and what years later came to be called Magical Realism.

And yet her most important theme is self-portrayal, which Kahlo develops using the dominant artistic languages of the different periods in a process in which she forgets all sources. The numerical weight of the “self-portrait” genre in the artist’s total production conveys the very special significance that it has represented in transmitting the iconographic, psychological and cultural values inherent in the “Frida legend.”

The exhibition will display and investigate Frida Kahlo’s artistic production in its evolution from its beginnings under the influence of the New Objectivity and Magical Realism and her reinterpretation of ancestral and traditional native art to the reflections of the American Realism of the 1920s and ’30s and the ideological and political components modeled on Mexican Muralism, as well as account for such influences. Thus, by walking through a single and rare exhibition, it will be possible to admire Kahlo’s works next to a selection of works by the artists active in that period who “lived” physically and artistically near her, from her husband, Rivera – who will be present with several significant works, such as Portrait of Natasha Gelman from 1943, Nude (Frida Kahlo) from 1930, and Self-portrait from 1948 – to others such as José Clemente Orozco, José David Alfaro Siqueiros and Maria Izquierdo.

 

 

 

 

German panel rejects claim by heirs of Jewish collectors

Cross from the Guelph Treasure (Bode Museum, Berlin). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Cross from the Guelph Treasure (Bode Museum, Berlin). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Cross from the Guelph Treasure (Bode Museum, Berlin). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
BERLIN (AFP) – A German mediation panel on Nazi-era art claims on Thursday ruled against the heirs of Jewish collectors in a dispute over the 1935 sale of a trove of medieval church artifacts.

The fight centers on the Guelph Treasure or “Welfenschatz” of gold, silver and gem-studded relics believed to be worth hundreds of millions of euros in total.

The now 44-piece collection, the largest German church treasure in public hands, is kept in a Berlin museum overseen by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

The case comes at a sensitive time after news last year of a vast trove of long-lost art found in a Munich flat sparked complaints of German foot-dragging on returning Nazi loot.

The state-backed Limbach Commission found that the former Jewish owners did not sell the Welfenschatz treasure under duress and received a fair market price from the state of Prussia.

The body said it was “aware of the severe situation of the art dealers and their persecution in the Nazi era.”

But it added that it saw no evidence of “a persecution-induced forced sale” and that the price “corresponded to the situation on the art market after the world economic crisis” following the 1929 stock market crash.

The panel – whose rulings are nonbinding but are seen to carry moral weight – said “it can therefore not recommend the return of the Welfenschatz to the heirs of the four art dealers and any other former co-owners.”

State Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said that, although the German government in many cases favored restitution, in this case she “hopes that the Jewish heirs will accept the recommendation of the commission.”


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Cross from the Guelph Treasure (Bode Museum, Berlin). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Cross from the Guelph Treasure (Bode Museum, Berlin). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Veronese exhibition shows Renaissance in all its glory

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), Portrait of a Lady, known as the ‘Bella Nani’, about 1560-5, oil on canvas, 119 x 103 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris (R.F. 2111), © RMN (Musée du Louvre)/All rights reserved.

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), Portrait of a Lady, known as the ‘Bella Nani’, about 1560-5, oil on canvas, 119 x 103 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris (R.F. 2111), © RMN (Musée du Louvre)/All rights reserved.
Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), Portrait of a Lady, known as the ‘Bella Nani’, about 1560-5, oil on canvas, 119 x 103 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris (R.F. 2111), © RMN (Musée du Louvre)/All rights reserved.
LONDON (AFP) – A major exhibition of Renaissance master Veronese opened at London’s National Gallery on Wednesday, bringing together for the first time in centuries around 50 works from the world-revered painter.

It is Britain’s largest ever exhibition devoted to the artist, and is expected to enjoy similar success to the gallery’s blockbuster Leonardo da Vinci show in 2011.

The works, which largely comprise dramatic religious scenes and portraits of high-society gentlemen, have been brought in from France, Italy and Spain and will be on show until July 14.

The gallery promises an insight into the “magnificence in Renaissance Venice” as documented by one of its greatest ambassadors.

“We’ve reunited paintings that used to be together, but that haven’t been together for 300-400 years, and that have probably never been seen together since they were first painted in Veronese’s studio,” explained curator Xavier Salomon.

Paolo Caliari was born in Verona in 1528, and later took on the name of his birthplace.

Although not the most famous painter of the Italian Renaissance, he is, according to Salomon, “the most representative painter of Renaissance Venice.”

“He shows all the opulence and grandeur of that society, of how people would have liked to appear in front of the world, how they dressed and how they went about in their life,” he explained.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), Portrait of a Lady, known as the ‘Bella Nani’, about 1560-5, oil on canvas, 119 x 103 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris (R.F. 2111), © RMN (Musée du Louvre)/All rights reserved.
Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), Portrait of a Lady, known as the ‘Bella Nani’, about 1560-5, oil on canvas, 119 x 103 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris (R.F. 2111), © RMN (Musée du Louvre)/All rights reserved.
Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), ‘The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine,’ about 1565-70, oil on canvas, 337 x 241 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (1324), © Courtesy of the Ministero dei Beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo.
Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), ‘The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine,’ about 1565-70, oil on canvas, 337 x 241 cm, Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice (1324), © Courtesy of the Ministero dei Beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo.

Fender’s first production model Stratocaster for sale

Eric Clapton plays his signature model Fender Stratocaster at the Tsunami Relief concert, Jan. 22, 2005. Image by Yummifruitbat. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Eric Clapton plays his signature model Fender Stratocaster at the Tsunami Relief concert, Jan. 22, 2005. Image by Yummifruitbat. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Eric Clapton plays his signature model Fender Stratocaster at the Tsunami Relief concert, Jan. 22, 2005. Image by Yummifruitbat. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gruhn’s Guitars in Nashville is a kind of mecca for fine, vintage musical instruments, but even owner George Gruhn is blown away by the latest addition to his inventory. He says it’s the very first production model Fender Stratocaster ever made.

You can own it for a cool quarter million dollars.

“This is special,” Gruhn told The Associated Press. “It’s not special as memorabilia because it was owned by anybody special. But it is special because this is effectively like having the right Rembrandt or Van Gogh or Da Vinci. It’s special because of what it is and who did this. Not because of who owned it.”

The sunburst-finish Strat bears the serial number 0100. Although some Strats have lower numbers that begin with 0001, Gruhn says they actually were manufactured later in that first year of production. He says the no. 1 Strat was sold to an amateur who evidently took good care of it.

“This one didn’t go to a famous performer,” he said. “It actually went to Joe Blow Public. But it stayed in good condition, hardly used. And then, a bit over 30 years ago, Richard Smith, who is a curator today at the museum of the city of Fullerton, Calif., where this guitar was made, bought this guitar.”

Smith purchased the guitar from the original owner. Gruhn said the record-keeping on the guitar is superb because Smith is considered one of the foremost experts on Stratocasters. Smith is selling it on consignment through Gruhn’s Guitars.

The Fender Stratocaster, first produced in 1954, has been described as a guitar that changed the world. When it first arrived, its streamlined, space-age contours seemed strange and perplexing to some. But the kids knew what to do with it. Buddy Holly played one. So did Jimi Hendrix, when he transformed the psychedelic experience into sound a decade later. Bob Dylan chose a Stratocaster for his revolutionary electric set, when he fired a defiant shot at tradition during the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

And 60 years after it was created, the much-copied design of the Stratocaster has hardly changed.

According to Gruhn, Stratocasters are the single most popular, best-selling electric guitars on the planet.

Over the years, a fair number of vintage Strats have sold for $100,000-plus, with some approaching $1 million. Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” sold for $959,500 in 2004 and recently the Stratocaster that Dylan played at Newport sold for a record $965,000.

However, Gruhn says the very first production model Strat is something like a national treasure.

“I consider this to be one of the most important pieces of American, truly iconic industrial design, as well as musical instrument design, that we can find today,” he said. “It’s a piece of art, it’s a piece of industrial design, it’s a piece of musical history. And it’s part of our national heritage.”

He added, “I think it belongs in a museum ultimately. On the other hand, I don’t like to see them put in a museum setting where they will never again be touched without white gloves. Even for the Stradivari quartet at the Library of Congress, it does get played. They don’t play those instruments every day, but they are used for concerts. And this instrument is a wonderful sounding guitar. It plays great.”

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Follow Kristin Hall on Twitter at _http://twitter.com/kmhall

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Clark reported from Atlanta.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

AP-WF-03-18-14 1935GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Eric Clapton plays his signature model Fender Stratocaster at the Tsunami Relief concert, Jan. 22, 2005. Image by Yummifruitbat. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Eric Clapton plays his signature model Fender Stratocaster at the Tsunami Relief concert, Jan. 22, 2005. Image by Yummifruitbat. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.