Massachusetts artist May S. Clinedinst (1887-1960) painting of a Florida sugar cane mill. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Meyers' Antiques Auction Gallery.

Baton Rouge dig turns up bits of history at old sugar mill

Massachusetts artist May S. Clinedinst (1887-1960) painting of a Florida sugar cane mill. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Meyers' Antiques Auction Gallery.

Massachusetts artist May S. Clinedinst (1887-1960) painting of a Florida sugar cane mill. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Meyers’ Antiques Auction Gallery.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Archaeologists got a glimpse into what life was like in Louisiana in centuries past through the recent excavation of the old sugar mill at the 575-acre Chatsworth Plantation in south Baton Rouge.

Searching through and around the base of the caved-in brick building that once housed a steam-powered sugar mill near Louisiana Highway 30 and Gardere Lane, the team found items such as a Gay-Ola Cola bottle from the early 1900s, a human tooth and more than 200 French gun flints believed to have been used by slaves and workers to build fires.

Now they are working to catalog the items for an exhibit at the LSU Rural Life Museum to paint a broad picture of the time period.

Dennis Jones, the LSU Rural Life Museum’s principal archaeological investigator for the excavation, detailed the finds and plans for a future exhibit in a recent presentation to the Baton Rouge Genealogical and Historical Society.

Jones said researchers hope to finish cataloging all the items they found – including ceramic marbles, porcelain dolls, brass boot heel plates, ginger beer bottles, different coins and items belonging to American Indian tribes who lived in the area until the 1780s – in the next few months.

Jones also said he will probably write a book at some point about the excavation and what they learned along the way.

Initial work began in 2010 by local business Coastal Environments after Pinnacle Entertainment, the parent company of L’Auberge Hotel and Casino, tried to acquire a permit to build on the Mississippi River levee, Jones said. The Army Corps of Engineers told the company they first had to make sure there were no historical sites on the property, he said.

In the first dig, more than 20,000 items, including broken farm equipment and pottery shards, were recovered and cataloged.

Archaeologists from the Rural Life Center began working in October 2012 to clear vegetation around the base of the sugar mill, even bringing in a backhoe to help. They finished in December 2013.

“Most folks think a backhoe has no place in archaeology, but I’m here to tell you it does, especially for this place,” Jones said.

Once they cleared away the vegetation and dead trees, researchers found tunnels running underneath the base of the mill, Jones said.

There were alcoves in the tunnels where workers would tighten the screws holding the mill’s grinder in place so the vibrations did not cause the grinder to shake free, Jones said.

“These whole plantations, you just don’t throw these things together. There’s an engineer’s design to this and this is just one of the features in that engineer’s design,” Jones said.

They also found areas where double-pen slave and worker cabins sat as well as privies and trash sites.

In his presentation, Jones explained how sugar was at one time one of the more sought after commodities in the world and industrial innovations made it easier, though still risky, to harvest the cash crop in southern Louisiana. Transporting the sugar cane via steamboat was also dangerous because of the dangers in riverboat travel.

Steam grinders had replaced the animal-powered grinders that had limited the amount of sugar cane farmers could harvest at one time, Jones said. Soon, more than 1,000 large mills popped up all over Louisiana, as plantation owners realized the windfall of a successful sugar cane crop.

The history of the Chatsworth Plantation goes back to Fergus Duplantier, son of Magnolia Mound owner Armand Duplantier, who bought about 2,000 acres near the Mississippi River around 1830 to plant sugar cane, Jones said. The first crop was harvested in 1844, the same year Fergus Duplantier died.

One of his adopted sons took over running the sugar cane operation and built the plantation in 1859, Jones said. The plantation went through several owners, including Francois Gardere, until the federal government ordered the by then dilapidated home torn down in 1930 to build new levees following the flood of 1927.

Years passed and the vegetation took over, growing back where sprawling sugar cane fields once sat and erasing most of the existence of the Chatsworth Plantation.

“By 1992, you would have never known anything was ever there,” Jones said.

___

Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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

AP-WF-05-24-14 1602GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Massachusetts artist May S. Clinedinst (1887-1960) painting of a Florida sugar cane mill. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Meyers' Antiques Auction Gallery.

Massachusetts artist May S. Clinedinst (1887-1960) painting of a Florida sugar cane mill. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Meyers’ Antiques Auction Gallery.

Eisenhower’s boyhood home is located on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kan. Image courtesy of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

Eisenhower center to mark 70th D-Day anniversary

Eisenhower’s boyhood home is located on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kan. Image courtesy of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

Eisenhower’s boyhood home is located on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kan. Image courtesy of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

ABILENE, Kan. (AP) – Staff members at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene are gearing up for two days of activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing in France.

The events June 6-7 are an extension of a three-year exhibit at the complex to tell the story of World War II.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the supreme Allied commander of Europe in World War II who led the invasion in 1944 that would lead to Germany’s surrender less than a year later. Eisenhower also served as the first military governor in postwar Germany.

Karl Weissenbach, director of the Eisenhower library, said Friday the events were meant to thank veterans for their service and to explain the significance of World War II to younger generations.

“I worry that the current generations don’t have an understanding about World War II and the aftermath. It’s amazing how few can answer simple questions about World War II,” Weissenbach said. “They should be well-grounded in that period of time.”

Events to mark D-Day include a panel discussion, a symphony concert, military re-enactors, static vehicle displays and a flyover by six C-47 transport planes similar to those used during the invasion to drop paratroopers over the French coast. The invasion involved nearly 133,000 American, British and Canadian soldiers landing on five beaches, backed by 7,000 ships and landing craft in the English Channel.

Weissenbach said the exhibit launched in 2013 has drawn interest from veterans who often share stories about where they were during the war and tell him more about particular battles or events.

“It’s a great feeling and it makes this exercise worthwhile,” he said.

The World War II exhibit has also allowed the staff to use the library for displays. Typically, activities are confined to special gatherings in the atrium or researchers poring over Eisenhower’s millions of pages of records from his military and presidential careers.

‘It’s such a large story that we are utilizing as much space as we can,’ Weissenbach said.

A current exhibit from Poland features art created by prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Weissenbach said the art expresses the pain felt by prisoners, who risked being killed for creating the works.

The museum and library are located near Eisenhower’s boyhood home in Abilene, a town of about 6,800 residents in north-central Kansas. Eisenhower established the museum on the grounds to display military equipment and his war records in 1962. He died in 1969 and is buried with his wife and first son on the grounds.

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

AP-WF-05-26-14 1633GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Eisenhower’s boyhood home is located on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kan. Image courtesy of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

Eisenhower’s boyhood home is located on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kan. Image courtesy of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

Michael Schmidt, 'Berlin Kreuzberg,' 1981, vintage gelatin silver print. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Bassenge, Berlin, Germany.

In Memoriam: German photographer Michael Schmidt, 68

Michael Schmidt, 'Berlin Kreuzberg,' 1981, vintage gelatin silver print. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Bassenge, Berlin, Germany.

Michael Schmidt, ‘Berlin Kreuzberg,’ 1981, vintage gelatin silver print. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Bassenge, Berlin, Germany.

BERLIN (AP) – German photographer Michael Schmidt, who documented postwar Berlin, has died at age 68.

Stephen Barber, founder of the Prix Pictet, said Schmidt died Saturday, three days after learning that he had won the 100,000 Swiss franc photography prize.

Schmidt’s death was first reported by German art magazine Monopol, citing unnamed relatives.

Born in Berlin months after the end of World War II, Schmidt was known for capturing the city’s inhabitants and its concrete landscapes in stark black and white images.

Schmidt’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and is currently on display in an exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum until June 14.

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

AP-WF-05-24-14 2103GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Michael Schmidt, 'Berlin Kreuzberg,' 1981, vintage gelatin silver print. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Bassenge, Berlin, Germany.

Michael Schmidt, ‘Berlin Kreuzberg,’ 1981, vintage gelatin silver print. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Bassenge, Berlin, Germany.

Bunny Yeager, American photographer and former pin-up model, at the Miami Book Fair International 2012. Image by Guillermo Ramos Flamerich. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

In Memoriam: pin-up photographer Bunny Yeager, 85

Bunny Yeager, American photographer and former pin-up model, at the Miami Book Fair International 2012. Image by Guillermo Ramos Flamerich. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Bunny Yeager, American photographer and former pin-up model, at the Miami Book Fair International 2012. Image by Guillermo Ramos Flamerich. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Bunny Yeager, a model turned pin-up photographer who helped jump-start the career of the then-unknown Bettie Page, died Sunday, her agent said. She was 85 years old.

Yeager died at a North Miami hospice where she had been for about a week, her agent, Ed Christin said.

Yeager’s legacy is her cultural impact, from pin-up photography and fashion, helping to popularize the bikini, and influencing other artists such as Cindy Sherman, who read Yeager’s guides on photographing nudes and making self-portraits, Christin said.

“Anyone in Miami in the 1950s who wanted a bikini would come to her, and she’d make one,” he said.

Yeager became famous for making everyday women, from stay-at-home mothers to airline attendants, feel comfortable enough to bare it all. Her photos of Page in a leopard-print bathing suit standing next to a real cheetah are still well-known today.

“They all wanted to model for me because they knew that I wouldn’t take advantage of them,” Yeager told The Associated Press during a 2013 interview. “And I wouldn’t push them to do nude if they didn’t want to do nudes. It wasn’t a day when nude photography was prevalent.”

Linnea Eleanor Yeager was born in Wilkinsburg, Pa., on March 13, 1929, and in the 1940s became one of the most photographed models in Miami during her early career. She later turned the camera on herself, posing in bathing suits she handmade for her 5-foot-9 frame. Her self-portraits were turned into a book, How I Photograph Myself, in 1964.

She began taking photos of Page in 1954 as she began her career behind the camera.

She published about a dozen books and her work has been displayed in art galleries across the world. Besides the iconic Page photo, Yeager also shot stills of the Swedish actress Ursula Andress, who starred in the 1962 James Bond film Dr. No in a white bikini, a knife sheathed at her side.

Yeager said she had few requests when several magazines began to struggle or went out of business over the last decade, but her career returned to the spotlight in 2010 when the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh held an exhibition of her work. There was also an exhibition in Miami in 2013.

“And I still get that little tingle when I see the photos on the wall,” she said of the latter-day attention.

In her studio, Yeager kept a stash of photos no one had seen in cabinets. They will be included in a new book Yeager was finishing, scheduled for publication in September, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Yeager’s first photo shoots with Page, Christin said.

“I’m still feeling like a little child and excited over everything new that comes along in my life,” Yeager said in 2013. “I don’t know where it will lead to yet, but it sounds good to me.”

____

Laboy contributed to this report from Miami.

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

AP-WF-05-25-14 1832GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Bunny Yeager, American photographer and former pin-up model, at the Miami Book Fair International 2012. Image by Guillermo Ramos Flamerich. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Bunny Yeager, American photographer and former pin-up model, at the Miami Book Fair International 2012. Image by Guillermo Ramos Flamerich. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Brass sculpture of a mythical ‘Liver Bird.’ Estimate: £1,000-£1,500. Sworders image.

Rare menagerie rounded up for Sworders auction June 3

Brass sculpture of a mythical ‘Liver Bird.’ Estimate: £1,000-£1,500. Sworders image.

Brass sculpture of a mythical ‘Liver Bird.’ Estimate: £1,000-£1,500. Sworders image.

ESSEX COUNTY, UK – With a collection of exotic taxidermy in the Summer Country House Sale on Tuesday, June 3, Sworders auction undoubtedly has an intriguing feel. The catalog also includes the usual ceramics, paintings, furniture and other works of art associated with Country House Sales. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

While the 45-lot collection of taxidermy may not be to everyone’s taste, it will attract interest from around the world. Most examples were initially used for scientific and educational purposes. This particular collection includes some of the more exotic animals including a skeleton of a cheetah. Mounted in a running position, the skeleton offers a rare insight into the inner mechanisms of the fastest animal on the planet. Fully licensed and set in a McCleay-style case, the rare specimen is estimated at £2,000-£3,000.

Following the theme of the unusual, the collection includes a number of albino animals such as an albino badger, which is set at an appealing estimate of £250-£350.

Delving further into the sale, a 1-meter-tall brass sculpture of a “Liver Bird” is on offer at £1,000-£1,500. The Liver Bird is a mythical symbol of Liverpool and the emblem of the famous Liverpool FC (football club), which is believed to be in the form of cormorant with a laver frond in its beak. This particular example probably stood at the entrance of the old Liverpool Zoological Gardens, in the Walton district of Liverpool. Unfortunately, the area was heavily bombed during the World War II and only the ticket booths remain.

Heading back toward the more traditional Country House theme, there is an unusual eight-day wall clock, which is, according to Managing Director Guy Schooling, “as good as it gets for a provincial clock maker.” Continental in style, the clock was made by a relatively unknown maker in Romsey on the South coast of England around the late 18th/early 19th century. The mix of quality and rarity ensures the clock carries an estimate of £2,500-£3,500.

The Summer Country House sale is always an exciting sale for Sworders, with many regular buyers returning each time to compete with bidders from around the globe, said Schooling.

For details on this auction phone Sworders at 01279 817778 or email: auctions@sworder.co.uk.

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


Brass sculpture of a mythical ‘Liver Bird.’ Estimate: £1,000-£1,500. Sworders image.

Brass sculpture of a mythical ‘Liver Bird.’ Estimate: £1,000-£1,500. Sworders image.

Skeleton of a cheetah mounted in a McCleay-style case. Estimate: £2,000-£3,000. Sworders image.

Skeleton of a cheetah mounted in a McCleay-style case. Estimate: £2,000-£3,000. Sworders image.

A young Hippopotamus mounted on a wooden base. Estimate: £2,400-£3,000. Sworders image.

A young Hippopotamus mounted on a wooden base. Estimate: £2,400-£3,000. Sworders image.

English, eight-day wall clock, late 18th/early 19th century. Estimate: £2,500-£3,500. Sworders image.

English, eight-day wall clock, late 18th/early 19th century. Estimate: £2,500-£3,500. Sworders image.

The skull of a lythronax, a recently discovered species of tyranosaur, which lived during the late Cretaceous Period, 95-70 million years ago. Copyright 2012, Natural HIstory Museum of Utah.

Volunteers help dig up dinosaurs for Utah museum

The skull of a lythronax, a recently discovered species of tyranosaur, which lived during the late  Cretaceous Period, 95-70 million years ago. Copyright 2012, Natural HIstory Museum of Utah.

The skull of a lythronax, a recently discovered species of tyranosaur, which lived during the late Cretaceous Period, 95-70 million years ago. Copyright 2012, Natural HIstory Museum of Utah.

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah (AP) – Jeanette Bonnell likes to play in the dirt. The 62-year-old retired human resources specialist is also pretty handy with a dentist’s drill.

Those two qualities, combined with fine attention to detail and a little detective work, make her the perfect volunteer for the Natural History Museum of Utah’s paleontology department.

“I worked for 30 years behind a desk and when I retired, I said no more,” Bonnell said while whisking away layers of dirt deposited in an ancient pond 300 million years ago in a remote location just outside what is now Canyonlands National Park. “The experience of finding your first fossil is indescribable.”

Paleontologists come from around the world to a Utah landscape rich with bones of ancient creatures, but not everybody doing the digging, cleaning the fossils and even making the discoveries has a fancy title in front of their name.

“We have amazing volunteers. They discover fossils, they excavate fossils and back in the lab they prep them out,” said Carrie Levitt, paleontology collections manager at the Utah museum. “We would not be able to do the work we do as paleontologists without the volunteers.”

As a kid, Erin Finney loved visiting the museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. He was particularly fascinated with the dinosaurs. So it is no surprise Finney ended up being the one who kids visiting the Natural History Museum of Utah now dream of becoming when they grow up.

“What kid doesn’t love fossils?” said Finney, a seasoned volunteer in both the prep lab and on field trips with the museum’s paleontology department.

Last year while scouting possible dig sites in San Juan County, Finney found an important discovery on a steep slope: several fish fossils. With so many fossils in the same area the team refocused its efforts like crime scene detectives.

Their efforts paid off when what appears to be the snout of a phytosaur – a crocodile-like creature – was discovered sticking out of the cliff.

On the same trip Finney stumbled upon half of a limb bone of a hadrosaur, a duckbill dinosaur. He then spent hours looking for, and eventually finding, the other half of the bone.

“I didn’t know exactly what it was at the time, but I knew it was good,” he said.

The Beehive State provides a plethora of fossils and is well known among paleontologists.

“Utah is the best place in North America to find fossils of almost any age,” Randy Irmis, paleontology curator at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

Sometimes finding dinosaurs only requires paying a little bit of attention while exploring Utah. But taking them home is against the law. People who discover fossils on public lands should report their findings to the BLM or a museum, said ReBecca Hunt-Foster, a Utah Canyon Country District paleontologist for the Bureau of Land Management.

The Natural History Museum of Utah collects fossils from public lands, but don’t own them.

“They hold them for everyone; they belong to us as Americans,” she said.

Discoveries don’t only happen in tucked away locations. Fossils found in the field are collected – in many cases, wrapped in a plaster cast still surrounded by dirt and rock called matrix – and sent to the museum.

In the prep lab, volunteers and museum staffers wear lab coats and use dental tools such as drills and picks to clean off the fossilized bones.

Bonnell started as a gallery interpreter at the Natural History Museum of Utah, earned her way into the lab.

“We slowly take the layers of matrix down and you start seeing little bits of bone,” Bonnell said. “It’s an awakening process. All of a sudden you have this fossil. There is some sort of connection you can’t describe, but it is there.”

Finney, who has spent the last nine months working on the same ichthyosaur skull, admits the lab work can be tedious, but he also likens it to art.

“I look at it like subtractive sculpture,” he said. “They say rock will dictate the sculpture. In the case of fossil prep it is quite literally what the bone will look like when you take the matrix off of it.”

Finney says getting a new plaster cast is like “getting a Christmas present that takes a really long time to open.”

Finney and Bonnell both like to take breaks from the lab and walk around the museum. They are constantly rewarded by seeing young people, and those not so young, staring at the bones of ancient animals they helped reconstruct.

Visitors will notice little plastic replicas of dinosaurs resting on or near many of the items being worked on in the prep lab. It’s a way of reminding the volunteers about the unique animal they are working to reveal.

It is a custom Finney has incorporated on a shelf at his home.

“Every time I work on a different taxon of different species I buy a plastic toy of that genus,” he said. “So far I have seven little plastic dinosaur toys. Hopefully, I will add an eighth sometime soon.”

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

AP-WF-05-23-14 2334GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The skull of a lythronax, a recently discovered species of tyranosaur, which lived during the late  Cretaceous Period, 95-70 million years ago. Copyright 2012, Natural HIstory Museum of Utah.

The skull of a lythronax, a recently discovered species of tyranosaur, which lived during the late Cretaceous Period, 95-70 million years ago. Copyright 2012, Natural HIstory Museum of Utah.

Rare cameo Fuchsia Glory and Leaf pattern art glass, probably Thomas Webb and Sons. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

Jeffrey S. Evans presents round 2 of miniature lamps May 31

Rare cameo Fuchsia Glory and Leaf pattern art glass, probably Thomas Webb and Sons. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

Rare cameo Fuchsia Glory and Leaf pattern art glass, probably Thomas Webb and Sons. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

MT. CRAWFORD, Va. – Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates will auction the second group of rare miniature lamps from the esteemed collection of Marge Hulsebus of Redlands, Calif., on Saturday, May 31. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Hulsebus collected over 1,200 miniature lamps of all categories, including examples of unusual form, such as a white and pink skull, a Santa Claus blown in yellow and brown glass, and a grinning dwarf.

Other miniature lamps from the Hulsebus collection being sold are blown and molded in rare hues, such as a quilted air-trap lamp in teal blue, as well as cameo glass examples in yellow and pink.

Many of the Hulsebus lamps were featured in her two reference volumes, Miniature Victorian Lamps published in 1994 and Miniature Lamps of the Victorian Era published in 2004.

This sale features more than 300 lots comprising selections for the beginning to advanced collector. Yvonne Lynch is serving as agent for the Hulsebus estate and providing the primary catalog entries and photography of the collection. Part I of the Hulsebus Collection sold on Oct. 26, 2013 to much acclaim, and Part III will sell on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014.

For further information regarding this auction, call 540-434-3939 or email info@jeffreysevans.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Rare cameo Fuchsia Glory and Leaf pattern art glass, probably Thomas Webb and Sons. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

 

Rare cameo Fuchsia Glory and Leaf pattern art glass, probably Thomas Webb and Sons. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

Santa figural miniature lamp, rare yellow and brown coloration. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

Santa figural miniature lamp, rare yellow and brown coloration. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

Rare bisque elf, head serves as shade with green glass eyes. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

Rare bisque elf, head serves as shade with green glass eyes. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

Rainbow Diamond-Quilt pattern mother-of-pearl satin art glass miniature lamp. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

Rainbow Diamond-Quilt pattern mother-of-pearl satin art glass miniature lamp. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

Swan figural miniature lamp, rare blue milk glass with matching shade. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

Swan figural miniature lamp, rare blue milk glass with matching shade. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates images.

For a 1963 self-portrait, Lucas Samaras impaled his visage — with the exception of his eyes — with hundreds of pins. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Metropolitan Museum extends run of Lucas Samaras exhibit

For a 1963 self-portrait, Lucas Samaras impaled his visage — with the exception of his eyes — with hundreds of pins. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For a 1963 self-portrait, Lucas Samaras impaled his visage — with the exception of his eyes — with hundreds of pins. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

NEW YORK – Previously set to close on June 1, “Lucas Samaras: Offerings from a Restless Soul” has been extended to remain on view through Sept. 1 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The installation features more than 60 works drawn from the museum’s collection of the highly idiosyncratic body of work made by Lucas Samaras.

The installation includes the 2014 gift of 17 objects ranging from Samaras’ abstract work of the 1960s to his recent digitally based pieces. Designed with the input of the artist, the exhibition is installed in both the north and south mezzanine galleries in the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing for modern and contemporary art.

Born in 1936 in Greece, Samaras grew up amidst the traumas of World War II and the Greek Civil War. He moved to the United States as an adolescent, settling first in New Jersey before moving to New York City. He was a key participant in many of the early “Happenings” staged by Claes Oldenburg, Allan Kaprow and Jim Dine. He was among the first artists to exploit the Polaroid photograph when it was introduced. Moreover, he is a skilled draftsman, painter, sculptor, filmmaker and, most recently, a creator of brilliantly colored, phantasmagoric photographs that he has manipulated digitally.

Samaras studied at New York’s famed Stella Adler Conservatory for Acting in the late 1950s. Although he never became a professional actor, the black-and-white headshot he had taken for promotional purposes became fodder for his art. For a 1963 self-portrait, using one of his favorite implements, he impaled his visage in the headshot—with the exception of his eyes—with hundreds of pins. Between 1962 and 1989, Samaras made 135 highly complex box constructions. One early example, Box #10 (1963), is covered with pins, tiny springs, and colored yarn. Characteristic of his box constructions, Box #10 opens to reveal fantastic, sparkling objects in its many hidden compartments; additionally, when the tiny button on the underside of the lid is pulled, the familiar head shot is revealed—this time framed by rainbows of yarn.

The artist is well-known for imaginatively exploiting the medium of the Polaroid. When Samaras was given an SX-70 camera by Polaroid in 1973, he said it was “one of the greatest gifts anyone could give an artist.” Photo-Transformation (1973) is one of his early so-called Photo-Transformations, each of which is a self-portrait in some way. Anticipating Photoshop by some 15 years, the artist is seen with his fist before his face in a haunting image created entirely by hand-manipulating the emulsions of the photo surface before it dries. In the 1980s Samaras made a series called “Panoramas,” again using Polaroid film but to very different effect, as he pieced together slices of many photographs to create an 84-inch-wide view of his home—his tiny kitchen and his study filled with the ingredients of his life and implements of his art.

“Lucas Samaras: Offerings from a Restless Soul” is organized by Marla Prather, Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in collaboration with the artist.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


For a 1963 self-portrait, Lucas Samaras impaled his visage — with the exception of his eyes — with hundreds of pins. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For a 1963 self-portrait, Lucas Samaras impaled his visage — with the exception of his eyes — with hundreds of pins. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Did the auction bidder want this toy because it was made by an American Indian, or made from a collectible blanket, or just because it was a colorful toy? Whatever the reason, it sold for $115 at an Allard auction held last month in Mesa, Ariz.

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of May 26, 2014

Did the auction bidder want this toy because it was made by an American Indian, or made from a collectible blanket, or just because it was a colorful toy? Whatever the reason, it sold for $115 at an Allard auction held last month in Mesa, Ariz.

Did the auction bidder want this toy because it was made by an American Indian, or made from a collectible blanket, or just because it was a colorful toy? Whatever the reason, it sold for $115 at an Allard auction held last month in Mesa, Ariz.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – One-of-a-kind collectibles are interesting and often not expensive. In the 1980s, a Navaho Indian decided to make a stuffed toy from a Pendleton wool blanket. Today, a vintage Pendleton wool blanket in good condition can sell for hundreds of dollars. But 30 years ago, a worn Pendleton blanket had a lower value, so it was cut up and turned into a toy. The result was a plush toucan bird that looks like the Toucan Sam logo for Froot Loops cereal. The finished bird measures 16 by 11 inches. Allard Auctions of St. Ignatius, Mont., sold it for $115 at a March 2014 auction held in Mesa, Ariz. There were 11 bids.

Q: I have a glass quart jar that’s embossed “1776” above the Liberty Bell and “1976” below it. The other side of the jar is embossed “Mason’s.” Is it worth anything?

A: Canning jars like yours were made by Anchor Hocking of Lancaster, Ohio, to celebrate the 1976 Bicentennial of the United States. The jars often are found today and sell for $5 to $10.

Q: My husband was a cartoonist and sometimes corresponded with Charles Schulz, famous for his Peanuts comic strip. When my husband had heart surgery, Schulz sent him two of his original Peanuts strips. Each one is about 30 inches long and 6 inches high and is signed “Schulz.” My husband has since died and the strips now belong to me and our children. One strip features Charlie Brown and Snoopy, and the other Lucy and Schroeder. Please tell me what the strips are worth.

A: If the strips are indeed original works by Charles Schulz, they’re valuable. Some have sold at auction for $15,000. The first thing you want to do is make sure you are storing them safely by using archival papers and boxes. Keep them away from direct light. Insure them. If the strips are not marked with a date, try to find out when they first ran. If you want to sell, contact a reputable auction house that deals in comic art.

Q: I am thinking about selling a set of Sascha Brastoff dishes. The dishes are pink and gold and include service for eight. I think the dishes date from 1949. What is the set worth?

A: Sascha Brastoff (1918-1993), born Samuel Brostofsky, was raised in Cleveland but moved to New York City when he was 17. After serving in the armed forces during World War II, he settled in Los Angeles and worked as a costume designer for 20th Century Fox before starting his own small ceramic business in 1947. His company, Sascha Brastoff Products, opened in 1952. Brastoff’s earliest china and earthenware dinner services date from 1954, so your set is not as old as you think. His best-known pink-and-gold pattern is “Surf Ballet.” Check the mark on the bottom of your dishes; it can help determine when they were made. Brastoff’s earliest mark was his first name, hand-painted. When a new Brastoff factory opened in 1953, a stamped mark was used that includes a rooster and Brastoff’s full name. After 1963, the year Brastoff retired, the circled-R registration number was added to the mark. An early complete set of Sascha Brastoff dishes could sell for several hundred dollars.

Q: My grandmother gave us a silver bowl that she got as a gift in the 1950s or ’60s. It’s 8 1/2 inches in diameter. The bottom is marked with the lion, anchor and old English letter “G” mark used by Gorham. The sides of the bowl are engraved with three initials and the years 1854 and 1904. We’re thinking of selling it or recycling it for scrap value. Can you tell us what it’s worth?

A: The dates and monogrammed initials on your bowl indicate it probably was made to mark some event, perhaps a 50th anniversary. Silver is always worth at least its meltdown value. If a piece of silver also has sentimental value, families often keep it regardless of the meltdown value. Take the bowl to a jeweler or dealer in gold and silver to find out its minimum value. The price of silver fluctuates, and the value will depend upon the current price of silver, the weight of the bowl, and whether it’s solid silver or silver plate. You should get at least meltdown price from an antiques dealer or auction.

Q: I have a complete set of six Gorham silver-plated bronze figural bells. They date from the late 1970s and were sold as limited editions by the Hamilton Collection. The series is titled “Women Who Changed the Course of History.” The set includes Catherine the Great, Marie de Medici, Marie Antoinette, Isabella I, Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. Please tell me the current value of the set.

A: Your bells were part of the fad of limited edition plates, figurines and bells so popular in the 1970s. Each bell sold back then for $75, and 5,000 sets were made. Today you would be lucky to get $200 for the set.

Tip: Put a piece of plastic jewelry under hot water. When the plastic gets warm, smell it. Bakelite smells like formaldehyde, celluloid smells like camphor (mothballs), and Galalith, a 1920s plastic, smells like burnt milk. Lucite does not smell.

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

CURRENT PRICES

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

  • Radicon toy bus, antenna, bronze green, remote control, Modern Toys, Japan, box, 1950s, 16 x 9 inches, $210.
  • Donald Duck creamer, lid, ceramic, painted, arms form handle, sailor hat, long-bill spout, c. 1930, 4 inches, 230.
  • Octant, bronze frame, brass scales, triangular, wood case, c. 1865, $355.
  • Trunk, wooden, grain painted, dovetail construction, domed lid, hinged, wrought-iron lock plate, 1800s, 11 x 24 inches, $370.
  • North Dakota School of Mines vase, pottery, green glaze, wheat stalks, incised, Frieda L. Hammers, 1927, 6 x 3 inches, $530.
  • Odd Fellows staff, owl terminal, carved, c. 1830, 71 1/2 inches, $652.
  • Bronze sculpture, Cheyenne warrior charging on horseback, marble base, 22 x 24 inches, $690.
  • Staffordshire platter, America and Independence, castle in center, state banners border, blue transfer, 14 x 16 inches, $1,560.
  • World War I photo album, aviators, planes, barracks, squadrons, 120 photographs, c. 1918, $1,650.
  • Hepplewhite sideboard, mahogany, string inlay, five drawers, three doors, raised legs, c. 1790, 41 x 73 inches, $15,340.

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

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Did the auction bidder want this toy because it was made by an American Indian, or made from a collectible blanket, or just because it was a colorful toy? Whatever the reason, it sold for $115 at an Allard auction held last month in Mesa, Ariz.

Did the auction bidder want this toy because it was made by an American Indian, or made from a collectible blanket, or just because it was a colorful toy? Whatever the reason, it sold for $115 at an Allard auction held last month in Mesa, Ariz.

The U.S. Capitol at night. Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Utah company to help restore US Capitol dome

The U.S. Capitol at night. Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The U.S. Capitol at night. Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A Utah company will play a major role in a two-year, $60 million renovation of the U.S. Capitol dome.

Historical Arts & Casting Inc. of West Jordan has finalized a contract to replace much of the cast iron that makes up the dome.

While much of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., is made of stone, the dome itself is made of cast iron painted to look like masonry.

“Over the years the cast iron has started to crack and break as waterproofing has failed,” Robert Baird, vice president of Historical Arts & Casting, told the Deseret News.

The dome has more than 1,000 cracks and flaws that need to be fixed, and cast iron pieces in the worst shape will be shipped to Utah.

“We’ll use those original parts as models to create new components that will be the exact size and shape that will go back into that building,” Baird said.

Helping with the Capitol dome restoration is an honor, Baird said, but it’s one that comes with some pressure. The repair job has to hold up for at least another century.

Time has let water seep through hundreds of cracks in the 150-year-old dome. The water attacks cast iron, which “continues to rust and rust and rust,” said Stephen T. Ayers, Architect of the Capitol.

The aging cast iron is low-quality by today’s standards, and a dome today probably would be built with glass and steel, said Kevin Hildebrand of the Capitol architect’s office.

During the project, curved rows of scaffolds will encircle the dome to allow contractors to strip paint and repair the cracks and broken cast-iron pieces.

The last major renovation was in 1960.

___

Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com

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

AP-WF-05-25-14 2102GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The U.S. Capitol at night. Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The U.S. Capitol at night. Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.