As part of Operation Crash, federal agents raided a New York apartment and seized four black rhinoceros mounts, three of which did not have horns and one that had fake horns attached. Photo courtesy of United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York.

Texas appraiser pleads guilty to rhino and ivory smuggling conspiracy

As part of Operation Crash, federal agents raided a New York apartment and seized four black rhinoceros mounts, three of which did not have horns and one that had fake horns attached. Photo courtesy of United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York.

As part of Operation Crash, federal agents raided a New York apartment and seized four black rhinoceros mounts, three of which did not have horns and one that had fake horns attached. Photo courtesy of United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York.

PLANO, Texas – Ning Qiu, a resident of Frisco, Texas, and an appraiser of Asian art, pleaded guilty on June 24 in federal court to participating in an illegal wildlife smuggling conspiracy in which rhinoceros horns and objects made from rhino horn and elephant ivory worth nearly $1 million were smuggled from the United States to China.

The guilty plea was announced by Sam Hirsch, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice, John Malcolm Bales, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, and Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Qiu, 43, who has worked as an Asian antique appraiser for seven years, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Don D. Bush in Plano, Texas, to a one count information charging him with conspiracy to smuggle and violate the Lacey Act.

Qiu was identified as part of “Operation Crash” – a nationwide effort led by the USFWS and the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute those involved in the black market trade of rhinoceros horns and other protected species.

According to documents filed in federal court, Qiu admitted to acting as one of the three antique dealers in the United States paid by Zhifei Li, the admitted “boss” of the conspiracy, to help obtain wildlife items and smuggle them to Li via Hong Kong. Li was sentenced on May 27, 2014, in federal district court in Newark, New Jersey, to serve 70 months in prison for his leadership role in the smuggling conspiracy. Li arranged financing, negotiated the price and paid for rhino horn and elephant ivory. He also gave instructions on how to smuggle the items out of the United States and obtained the assistance of additional collaborators in Hong Kong to receive the smuggled goods and then smuggle them to him in mainland China.

“This is yet another step toward dismantling a sophisticated and global network of criminals whose greed is driving endangered animals to extinction,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Hirsch. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those involved in the illicit trade of the world’s wildlife and will work with our international partners to battle the poaching, corruption, and transnational crime that goes along with it.”

“I am pleased that the Eastern District of Texas could be a part of the ‘Operation Crash’ investigation as well as the guilty plea today, and I congratulate the investigative team for a job well done,” said U.S. Attorney Bales. “The criminal activity undertaken by the defendant in this case is a stark reminder that this matter is not about serving Asian cultural and medicinal practices; it’s about greed, organized crime and the depletion of a species that – without our focused efforts to fight this trade – may not be around for our children to see.”

“This guilty plea by another participant in one of the largest criminal trafficking rings we’ve ever investigated – as well as the unprecedented jail time given to the rings’ leader last month – serves notice to other poachers and smugglers that we are clamping down hard on those who break international wildlife laws,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Ashe. “Working with the Department of Justice and other federal and international law enforcement agencies, we will continue to relentlessly pursue criminals whose greed and indifference to life are fueling the continued slaughter of rhinos and other vulnerable species in the wild.”

The rhinoceros is an herbivorous species of prehistoric origin and one of the largest remaining mega-fauna on earth. They have no known predators other than humans. All species of rhinoceros are protected under U.S. and international law. Since 1976, trade in rhinoceros horn has been regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a treaty signed by more than 170 countries around the world to protect fish, wildlife and plants that are or may become imperiled due to the demands of international markets.

In pleading guilty, Qiu admitted that he worked at an auction house in Dallas as an appraiser of Asian artwork and antiques, specializing in carvings made from rhinoceros horn and elephant ivory. Qiu admitted to meeting Li in 2009 through his work at the auction house, and then entering into a conspiracy with Li whereby Qiu traveled throughout the U.S. to purchase raw and carved rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory for Li, often receiving specific instructions from Li on which items to buy and how much to pay. Upon purchasing the items, Li transferred funds directly into Qiu’s bank accounts in the U.S. and China. After acquiring the items for Li, Qiu arranged for them to be smuggled to a location in Hong Kong, which was provided by Li.

As part of his plea, Li admitted that he sold raw rhinoceros horns worth approximately $3 million – approximately $17,500 per pound – to factories in China where the horns are carved into fake antiques known as zuo jiu (which means “to make it as old” in Mandarin). In China, there is a centuries-old tradition of drinking from intricately carved “libation cups” made from rhinoceros horn. Owning or drinking from such a cup is believed by some to bring good health, and true antiques are highly prized by collectors. The escalating value of such items has resulted in an increased demand for rhinoceros horn that has helped fuel a thriving black market, including recently carved fake antiques. The leftover pieces from the carving process were sold for alleged “medicinal” purposes even though rhino horn is made of compressed keratin, the same material in human hair and nails and has no proven medical value.

Between 2009 and 2013, Qiu purchased and smuggled to Hong Kong at least five raw rhinoceros horns weighing at least 20 pounds. Qiu smuggled the raw rhino horns by first wrapping them in duct tape, hiding them in porcelain vases and falsely describing them on customs and shipping documents, including by labeling them as porcelain vases or handicrafts.

As part of the plea agreement, having considered Qiu’s cooperation and assistance in securing a conviction for Li, the government agrees to recommend to the sentencing judge that Qiu serve a 25-month prison sentence and pay a $150,000 fine. Sentencing will be before District Court Judge Richard Schell on a date to be determined by the court.

The investigation is continuing and is being handled by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas and the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Noble of the Eastern District of Texas and Trial Attorney Gary N. Donner of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


As part of Operation Crash, federal agents raided a New York apartment and seized four black rhinoceros mounts, three of which did not have horns and one that had fake horns attached. Photo courtesy of United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York.

As part of Operation Crash, federal agents raided a New York apartment and seized four black rhinoceros mounts, three of which did not have horns and one that had fake horns attached. Photo courtesy of United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York.

Doorway to the Smithsonian 'castle,' the institution's headquarters and first building. Photo by David Bjorgen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Visitor numbers down at Smithsonian due to closures

Doorway to the Smithsonian 'castle,' the institution's headquarters and first building. Photo by David Bjorgen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Doorway to the Smithsonian ‘castle,’ the institution’s headquarters and first building. Photo by David Bjorgen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Smithsonian officials say visitation is down at the museum complex this year due to the government shutdown and closures due to winter weather.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough said Monday that visitation is down by about 2 million visitors since the fiscal year began Oct. 1, 2013. He says about half of the decline is due to the federal government shutdown last October.

Clough says visitor numbers are also down for the 2014 calendar year. He says that’s because there were fewer visitors during the winter months. The federal government was closed several days due to snow.

Clough says visitor numbers have rebounded to normal levels in the spring and early summer tourism season this year.

Last year, the Smithsonian counted about 30 million visits to its museums.

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

AP-WF-06-24-14 1249GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Doorway to the Smithsonian 'castle,' the institution's headquarters and first building. Photo by David Bjorgen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Doorway to the Smithsonian ‘castle,’ the institution’s headquarters and first building. Photo by David Bjorgen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Joseph C. Wright also won an Oscar for the 1942 wartime film 'This Above All.' Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com archive.

1942 Oscar sells for $79,200 at Rhode Island auction

Joseph C. Wright also won an Oscar for the 1942 wartime film 'This Above All.' Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com archive.

Joseph C. Wright also won an Oscar for the 1942 wartime film ‘This Above All.’ Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com archive.

EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (AP) – A rare auction of an Oscar statuette brought a total of $79,200, well more than expected, at its sale Monday by a Rhode Island auction house.

Nanci Thompson of Briarbrook Auctions said the total included a 20 percent buyer’s premium for the 1942 Oscar. She declined to disclose the name of the buyer, but said “you would recognize the name.”

The auctioneer had estimated the golden statuette would sell for $5,000 to $30,000.

The statue was awarded to Joseph C. Wright at the 15th Academy Awards for color art direction for his work on My Gal Sal, starring Rita Hayworth and Victor Mature.

Prior to the auction, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was investigating the sale of the statuette. Since 1950, the academy has prohibited Oscar recipients and their heirs from selling the statues without first offering them back to the academy for $1. But the auction house said the restriction does not apply because the Oscar was awarded before 1950.

Wright died in 1985, and his nephew inherited the statue. It weighs around 6 pounds and is 13 inches high. The auctioneer said it is in good condition, with just a little wear at the back.

Wright received 12 Academy Award nominations and won twice, both in 1942 and both shared with Richard Day. The other award was for black-and-white art direction for This Above All, starring Tyrone Power and Joan Fontaine.

Wright also was nominated for his work on movies including Days of Wine and Roses, Guys and Dolls and the Man With the Golden Arm.

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

AP-WF-06-24-14 0353GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Joseph C. Wright also won an Oscar for the 1942 wartime film 'This Above All.' Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com archive.

Joseph C. Wright also won an Oscar for the 1942 wartime film ‘This Above All.’ Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com archive.

19th-century Meissen ewer depicting 'Air.' 26in high. Estimate $13,000-$15,000. Starting bid $10. No reserve. Don Presley Auctions image

Don Presley to auction contents of Beverly Hills antique store, June 29

19th-century Meissen ewer depicting 'Air.' 26in high. Estimate $13,000-$15,000. Starting bid $10. No reserve. Don Presley Auctions image

19th-century Meissen ewer depicting ‘Air.’ 26in high. Estimate $13,000-$15,000. Starting bid $10. No reserve. Don Presley Auctions image

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Don Presley Auction has been commissioned to liquidate the entire contents of an elite antique store in Beverly Hills. Everything will be auctioned on Sunday, June 29th at Presley’s Santa Ana gallery, with a 12 noon PST (3 p.m. Eastern) start time. There will be no minimums or reserves on the approximately 500 lots of store antiques, and Internet live bidding will be available worldwide through LiveAuctioneers.

“This will be a true no-reserve auction, with no cherry-picking ahead of time,” said Don Presley, who will preside over the event. “We will be selling the million-dollar, wall-to-wall inventory of one of Beverly Hills’ finest antique shops, and each item will sell to the highest bidder, regardless of the amount. If the highest bid is $10, then that’s what the item will sell for.”

Presley said the owner of the store, who is his personal friend, is shutting the doors to his business “so he can retire and enjoy life.” He stressed that the auction has not been precipitated by a bankruptcy or forced liquidation.

“It’s quite the opposite. This is simply a case where an owner who has had a wonderful time in the high-end antiques business has decided it’s time to call it a day. The store will not reopen. He is shutting the doors forever.”

Presley said the auction presents a very rare opportunity to bid on premier antiques and collectibles with the final price determined solely by the bidders, regardless of cost or loss to the consignor.

“Never in my 47 years in the auction world have I had the pleasure of selling this kind of inventory without reserve prices, nor have I even heard of an auction such as this one. For example, there’s a $10,000 KPM plaque in the auction inventory. The owner told me, “Don, if it only brings a dollar, sell it! If it doesn’t sell, don’t bring it back.”

Also included in this auction are beautiful estate pieces from some of Southern California’s most exclusive neighborhoods, including Newport Beach. The goods include: quality furniture, clocks, fine artwork, a monumental Baccarat chandelier, bronzes, sterling, Tiffany, enameled silver objects, KPM, Sevres, Galle, Lalique, Meissen, Limoges, Dresden, Daum Nancy, Amphora, a 19th-century Tiffany grandfather clock, porcelains, pottery, crystal, china, Asian items, jade, coins, jewelry and watches; and much more (Note: a few items from this auxiliary 150-lot grouping will have a reserve.)

Bid live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any item in the sale, call Don Presley Auction at 714-633-2430 or email info@donpresley.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


19th-century Meissen ewer depicting 'Air.' 26in high. Estimate $13,000-$15,000. Starting bid $10. No reserve. Don Presley Auctions image

19th-century Meissen ewer depicting ‘Air.’ 26in high. Estimate $13,000-$15,000. Starting bid $10. No reserve. Don Presley Auctions image

19th-century Berlin KPM plaque, 6 1/2 x 9 1/2in (sight). Estimate $10,000-$15,000. Starting bid $10. No reserve. Don Presley Auctions image

19th-century Berlin KPM plaque, 6 1/2 x 9 1/2in (sight). Estimate $10,000-$15,000. Starting bid $10. No reserve. Don Presley Auctions image

Magnificent monumental 24-light turn of the 20th century Baccarat crystal chandelier. Measures 55in high, 36in diameter. Estimate $20,000-$30,000. No reserve. Don Presley Auctions image

Magnificent monumental 24-light turn of the 20th century Baccarat crystal chandelier. Measures 55in high, 36in diameter. Estimate $20,000-$30,000. No reserve. Don Presley Auctions image

 

Midland County Courthouse in downtown, Midland, Mich. Built in 1925, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Image by Calvin Beale, courtesy of Wikimedia, Commons.

Public artwork vandalized, stolen in Midland, Mich.

Midland County Courthouse in downtown, Midland, Mich. Built in 1925, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Image by Calvin Beale, courtesy of Wikimedia, Commons.

Midland County Courthouse in downtown, Midland, Mich. Built in 1925, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Image by Calvin Beale, courtesy of Wikimedia, Commons.

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) – Officials say some artwork on display in downtown Midland as part of an annual sculpture series has been vandalized.

The Midland Daily News reports police are seeking tips after damage to the works for the 2014 Pondering Downtown Summer Sculpture Series.

Surveillance images also are expected to help police.

A piece called Below the Surface, showing a sailboat on water, was vandalized June 17 to 18. The sailboat was torn from its base. Meanwhile, a portion of a sculpture called Loon Magic on Golden Pond featuring mother and baby loons was stolen between Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

The city’s Community Affairs Director Selina Tisdale says it’s “disappointing that a few senseless acts can ruin a fun community event for everyone.”

___

Information from: Midland Daily News, http://www.ourmidland.com

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

AP-WF-06-24-14 1129GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Midland County Courthouse in downtown, Midland, Mich. Built in 1925, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Image by Calvin Beale, courtesy of Wikimedia, Commons.

Midland County Courthouse in downtown, Midland, Mich. Built in 1925, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Image by Calvin Beale, courtesy of Wikimedia, Commons.

Jeff Koons, 'Tulips,' 1995–98. Oil on canvas; 111 3⁄8 × 131 in. (282.9 × 332.7cm). Private collection. © Jeff Koons. Image courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Jeff Koons’ whimsy takes over Whitney Museum of American Art

Jeff Koons, 'Tulips,' 1995–98. Oil on canvas; 111 3⁄8 × 131 in. (282.9 × 332.7cm). Private collection. © Jeff Koons. Image courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Jeff Koons, ‘Tulips,’ 1995–98. Oil on canvas; 111 3⁄8 × 131 in. (282.9 × 332.7cm). Private collection. © Jeff Koons. Image courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

NEW YORK (AP) – Jeff Koons is taking over the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The contemporary artist’s oversized toylike sculptures of a dog, gorilla, Popeye and other works spanning a three-decade career will fill nearly the entire museum from June 27 through Oct. 19.

“Jeff Koons: A Retrospective” is the most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work – and the Whitney’s final show at its Madison Avenue location before moving downtown to a Renzo Piano-designed building in 2015.

Koons is arguably one of the most popular living artists today. Last year, he became the most expensive living artist, too, when his Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58.4 million at auction.

“From tchotchkes and kitsch objects to working with pop stars like Lady Gaga on her recent album cover, he’s a rare artist who’s managed to find a broad audience,” said Scott Rothkopf, a Koons expert and curator of the exhibit.

The show’s planning and installation, four years in the making, has been a herculean task for the museum. For the first time, it had to remove the front doors and find creative ways for getting the monumental pieces to upper galleries.

His objects “are quite complicated to install in terms of their rigging and how they can be handled,” Rothkopf said. “They’re heavy, they’re big. They have very fragile surfaces that can crack or chip.”

He added: “In terms of weight, size and delicacy, all together they create a trifecta.”

The museum created full-scale models of some objects to test how they would fit in the elevators. It made videos, 3-D renderings and small models to test clearances. It worked with engineering firms, riggers, Koons’ own team and the objects’ fabricators. The sculpture court pavers were re-enforced to take the weight of two never-before-seen black granite pieces: a woman reclining in a tub and Popeye planted with live flowers.

“It seems like an appropriate age to have a retrospective on this scale,” Koons, 59, said in an interview. “I was able to develop more work and execute ideas that I wanted to realize.”

His eight children have been an inspiration, he said, adding that his work is about “embracing the things that we love and enjoy” and bringing “a time and memory” from youth “when we were open to everything.”

The exhibition is a survey of his work from 1978 to the present, with the aluminum-cast 10-foot-high Play-Doh and a re-creation of the Liberty Bell among several new works completed just days before the show’s opening.

Among the exhibition’s 120 works are a Mylar-like balloon dog of polished steel and a gold ceramic Michael Jackson with his pet chimpanzee Bubbles. Early works include vitrine-encased vacuum cleaners and basketballs suspended in water tanks.

But his work is not without controversy. In 1990, he created a stir with his “Made in Heaven” series of paintings and sculptures depicting explicit sexual poses with his then-wife, the Italian porn star and politician Ilona Staller, aka La Cicciolina. They’re being shown in a gallery with a parental warning.

The exhibition will travel to the Pompidou Centre in Paris in November and to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain, in summer 2015.

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

AP-WF-06-24-14 1250GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Jeff Koons, 'Tulips,' 1995–98. Oil on canvas; 111 3⁄8 × 131 in. (282.9 × 332.7cm). Private collection. © Jeff Koons. Image courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Jeff Koons, ‘Tulips,’ 1995–98. Oil on canvas; 111 3⁄8 × 131 in. (282.9 × 332.7cm). Private collection. © Jeff Koons. Image courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The top lot of the auction was this American mid-18th century fine Queen Anne carved highboy, which sold for $32,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

Queen Anne highboy reigns at Ahlers & Ogletree auction

The top lot of the auction was this American mid-18th century fine Queen Anne carved highboy, which sold for $32,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

The top lot of the auction was this American mid-18th century fine Queen Anne carved highboy, which sold for $32,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

ATLANTA – A mahogany carved and figured Queen Anne highboy, likely originating from Massachusetts and dating between 1730 and 1750, sold for $32,500 at a huge, high-end estates auction held June 6-8 by Ahlers & Ogletree. The highboy was one of the outstanding pieces in the private collection of Dorothy Edwards of Atlanta and proved to be the top lot of the auction.

LiveAuctioneers.com facilitated Internet live bidding.

Close behind was an English, mid-18th century George II mahogany wood tilt-top table with a round top having a floral carved border raised on a beaded and gadrooned shaft on a tripod base with acanthus leaf motif, and an early 19th century ebonized and gilt carved Empire table with white square marble top, made by noted cabinetmaker and craftsman Charles-Honore Lannuier (French/American, 1779-1819) of New York City. Both tables brought hammer prices of $30,000 each.

“Period furniture did particularly well in this auction, a category that has been somewhat soft in past years, and I attribute the success of our sale to strong British participation, both among phone bidders and online bidders,” said Robert Ahlers of Ahlers & Ogletree. “However, we had strong bidding in other categories which did perform well, too. These included fine sterling silver, Art Nouveau furniture and decorative art, musical devices and even Greek pottery.”

The auction was originally planned as a two-day event, but so much great merchandise poured in during the days leading up to the sale, there was no choice but to add a third day (June 6). Just over 1,100 lots of fresh estate items came up for bid in all, including a large number of Asian objects and artifacts, estate jewelry, fine artwork, Persian rugs, mirrors, antique clocks and more.

The following are additional highlights from Ahlers & Ogletree’s June auction. All prices quoted below and noted above are hammer prices, exclusive of a sliding scale buyer’s premium.

Of the clocks in the sale, the top performer was a Federal eagle-inlaid and figured mahogany tall case clock, attributed to the New Jersey clock maker Matthew Egerton (active 1785-1837), 97 1/2 inches tall, which rose to $23,500. Its upper portion showed a hand-painted hot air balloon, possibly documenting the first hot air balloon flight in the States. A 19th century French Aiguilles brass carriage clock with beveled glass paneled sides and maker-inscribed movement, hammered for $6,500.

From the fine art category, an original oil on canvas by the Dutch painter Charles Sayers (1901-1943), titled Bali Market Scene (1938), signed and dated and depicting people buying and selling wares at market, brought $17,000. Also, a hand-woven and palace-size Persian serapi carpet with floral design, 11 feet by 17 feet 8 inches, finished at $12,000.

A late 19th century Regina “Corona” Model 34 oak-cased upright double-combed nickelodeon music player, with a glass front and frosted accents to showcase 12 large-toothed music discs within the changer, reached $14,000. A circa-1900 French Galle Art Nouveau marquetry inlaid music cabinet with ornate floral and butterfly motif, Galle signed, hit $12,000.

From lamps and lighting, an American, circa-1910 Duffner & Kimberly leaded glass and gilt bronze table lamp, 30 inches tall, with a 20 1/2 inch shade composed of burgundy, cobalt blue and opalescent glass tiles, lit up the room for $9,000. A pair of 18th century matching George III ebonized and parcel gilt wood torcheres with pierced woven motif, wowed the crowd for $8,500.

Among the numerous pieces of fine sterling silver, one of the best items, a George III sterling silver lidded soup tureen made by Rebecca Eames and Edward Barnard I  (London, circa 1809) with facial mounts and leap tip motif and weighing 112.1 troy ounces, garnered $9,000; and a pair of George III sterling silver covered round vegetable dishes, made by Robert Garrard (London, circa 1811) with beaded, shell, leaf and gadrooned motif hit $8,000.

A hand-colored map engraving of London on four sheets laid down by Georg Balthasar Probst (German, 1673-1748), with a view of the Thames River and identifying over 200 locations and geographic sites, fetched $7,000; and a third quarter 18th century map of Paris by Johann Georg Hertel, also a hand-colored map engraving, with 48 locations identified, commanded $6,500.

Two pieces of ancient pottery from the Edwards Collection sold for $6,500 each. One was a Greek double-handled Pelike vase with red figures on each side (women and winged figures) accented in cream and black, 13 1/2 inches tall. The other was an Italian Campanian fish pottery plate with a squid and two fish on top and the sides decorated with a wave motif, 7 1/2 inches in diameter.

Rounding out the sale’s top lots were a matched pair of English two-tiered side tables composed of ebonized wood with a bone spindle gallery on each level, raised on brass wheeled casters, went for $12,500; and a third quarter 18th century pair of finely executed George III period gilt wood wall mirrors with scrolled foliate and floral decoration on the sides, 43 inches tall, sold for $9,500. A pair of 18th century matching George III ebonized and parcel gilt wood torcheres with pierced woven motif brought $8,500.

Ahlers & Ogletree is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, call 404-869-2478 or email consignments@AandOauctions.com.

To learn more about Ahlers & Ogletree and the Aug. 9-10 Summer Estates Auction, please visit www.AandOauctions.com.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


The top lot of the auction was this American mid-18th century fine Queen Anne carved highboy, which sold for $32,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

 

The top lot of the auction was this American mid-18th century fine Queen Anne carved highboy, which sold for $32,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

Federal eagle-inlaid and figured mahogany tall case clock, circa 1800, attributed to Matthew Egerton. Price realized: $23,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

 

Federal eagle-inlaid and figured mahogany tall case clock, circa 1800, attributed to Matthew Egerton. Price realized: $23,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

Hand-woven, palace-size (11 feet by 17 feet 8 inches) Persian serapi carpet, floral on a cream background. Price realized: $12,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

 

Hand-woven, palace-size (11 feet by 17 feet 8 inches) Persian serapi carpet, floral on a cream background. Price realized: $12,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

Early 19th century Empire table by New York furniture maker Charles H. Lannuier, with white square marble top. Price realized: $30,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

 

Early 19th century Empire table by New York furniture maker Charles H. Lannuier, with white square marble top. Price realized: $30,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

Regina ‘Corona’ Model No. 34 oak cased upright double combed nickelodeon music player, circa 1899. Price realized: $14,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

Regina ‘Corona’ Model No. 34 oak cased upright double combed nickelodeon music player, circa 1899. Price realized: $14,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

Duffner & Kimberly leaded glass and gilt bronze table lamp, circa 1910, 30 1/4 inches tall with 20 1/2 inch square shade. Price realized: $9,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

 

Duffner & Kimberly leaded glass and gilt bronze table lamp, circa 1910, 30 1/4 inches tall with 20 1/2 inch square shade. Price realized: $9,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

Greek double-handled Pelike vase with red figures on each side, accented in cream and black, 13 1/2 inches tall. Price realized: $6,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

Greek double-handled Pelike vase with red figures on each side, accented in cream and black, 13 1/2 inches tall. Price realized: $6,500. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

George III sterling silver lidded tureen made circa 1809 by Rebecca Eames and Edward Barnard I of London. Price realized: $9,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

 

George III sterling silver lidded tureen made circa 1809 by Rebecca Eames and Edward Barnard I of London. Price realized: $9,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image.

Antique trade card advertising Trick Dog mechanical bank. Est. $100-$200. Morphy Auctions image

Morphy’s June 29 auction strong on ephemera, including comic books

Antique trade card advertising Trick Dog mechanical bank. Est. $100-$200. Morphy Auctions image

Antique trade card advertising Trick Dog mechanical bank. Est. $100-$200. Morphy Auctions image

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s Sunday, June 29, 2014 General Auction, with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers, is a treasure trove of buying opportunities, especially for those who like ephemera.

By definition, “ephemera” are items that were expected to have only a brief shelf life – things made specifically for the consumer to use, enjoy, then discard. The term incorporate posters, calendars, handbills, pulp magazines, postcards, and anything else made of paper and deemed disposable after its purpose had been fulfilled.

Because paper goods weren’t meant to last, those items that have survived the test of time in fine condition are no longer regarded as throwaways. Far from it. They’re today’s collectibles and form a popular category in Morphy’s sales.

The June 29 General Auction taking place at Morphy’s contains 700+ lots of quality ephemera, plus a bonus section of more than 200 lots of stamps. The list of buying opportunities is long and diversified. The offering includes:

• Over 100 advertising pieces

• Over 50 pinup calendars and calendar tops by such artists as Alberto Vargas, Gil Elvgren and Earl MacPherson

• Over 100 great die-cuts

• Trade cards

• 19th-century atlases from Midwestern states

• Posters for St. Louis Air Races

• A massive selection of more than 50,000 Silver, Copper and Modern Age comic books

• 200+ “Tijuana bibles”

• Many early catalogs

• Over 300 1930s to 1950s science fiction pulp magazines, with titles including Weird Tales, Astounding Stories, Startling Stories, etc.

Featured items in the sale include Lot 65, a great-looking trade card that advertises the Trick Dog mechanical bank. Imprinted below a colorful image of the bank – whose design replicates a clown holding a hoop for his little dog to jump through – is the name of retailer “Rector & Wilhelmy Co., Omaha, Neb.” Cards of this type appeal not only to ephemera and antique advertising collectors, but also mechanical bank enthusiasts. In very good condition, it is expected to sell for $100-$200.

A fine grouping of Silver Age Marvel comic books entered as Lot 25 includes many desirable titles, including Daredevil, X-Men and Captain America. In overall very good condition, the group is estimated at $100-$200. Lot 405 consists of three excellent-condition examples of Amazing Spider-Man No. 300, also estimated at $100-$200.

Within the selection of atlases is Lot 149, “Colton’s Map of the United States and The Canadas.” A hand-colored, folding sectional map of North America, it includes railroads, canals and stagecoach roads. A very nice, early map, it is estimated at $300-$500.

Lot 733 is comprised of a large selection of American hunting, fishing, quail and duck stamps from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. They have a total face value of $785 and will be offered as a single lot with a $800-$1,200 estimate.

Morphy’s Sunday, June 29, 2014 General & Ephemera Auction will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. For additional information on any item in the auction, call 717-335-3435 or email serena@morphyauctions.com.

Preview the fully illustrated online 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


Antique trade card advertising Trick Dog mechanical bank. Est. $100-$200. Morphy Auctions image

Antique trade card advertising Trick Dog mechanical bank. Est. $100-$200. Morphy Auctions image

Colton’s Map of the United States and The Canada,’ hand-colored, shows railroads, canals, stagecoach routes, etc. Est. $300-$500. Morphy Auctions image

 

Colton’s Map of the United States and The Canada,’ hand-colored, shows railroads, canals, stagecoach routes, etc. Est. $300-$500. Morphy Auctions image

Selection of Silver Age Marvel comic books, including such titles as Daredevil, X-Men and Captain America. Est. $100-$200. Morphy Auctions image

 

Selection of Silver Age Marvel comic books, including such titles as Daredevil, X-Men and Captain America. Est. $100-$200. Morphy Auctions image

Three issues of Amazing Spider-Man No. 300. Est. $100-$200. Morphy Auctions image

 

Three issues of Amazing Spider-Man No. 300. Est. $100-$200. Morphy Auctions image

Collection of American hunting, fishing, quail and duck stamps from the 1960s, 70s, 80s; total face value of $785. Est. $800-$1,200. Morphy Auctions image

 

Collection of American hunting, fishing, quail and duck stamps from the 1960s, 70s, 80s; total face value of $785. Est. $800-$1,200. Morphy Auctions image

Rare California gold quartz pocket watch. Price realized: $37,600. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

Calif. gold quartz pocket watch tops $37,000 at Cowan’s sale

Rare California gold quartz pocket watch. Price realized: $37,600. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

Rare California gold quartz pocket watch. Price realized: $37,600. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions American History: Live Salesroom Auction on June 13 totaled $986,772 in sales. The 608-lot auction included scarce daguerreotypes, manuscripts, books, maps, political campaign ephemera, flags, photographs of the American West and fresh-to-the-market 19th century photography. Also featured in the June 13 auction was the Paul DeHaan Collection of items related to Adm. David Glasgow Farragut and his flagship, the USS Hartford. Strong phone bidding drove the prices of many of the lots well past their estimates.

LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

“Friday the 13th proved to be a day of great success for Cowan’s Auctions. From the Civil War to the American West and beyond, Cowan’s achieved incredibly strong prices for a wide range of photographs, documents, manuscripts and other ephemera in our June 13 American History sale,” noted Katie Horstman, director, American history. “We were delighted with the enthusiastic response we received for the historic collectibles that were offered in the auction.”

Two items shared the top selling lot position in the June 13 sale. Over 10 phone bidders battled back and forth for a rare California gold quartz pocket watch, which eventually sold to a phone bidder for $37,600. A flute owned by African American musical prodigy Blind Tom also sold for $37,600. Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins was born a slave on a Georgia plantation, where he eventually encountered his first instrument, the piano. General James N. Bethune caught word of the boy and began to exhibit him around the South, eventually securing an audience with President James Buchanan at the White House in 1860, which was possibly the first featured performance of an African American musician in that venue.

Items from the Paul DeHaan Adm. Farragut Collection also achieved strong results. An oil on canvas attributed to William Stubbs and depicting the Battle of Mobile Bay nearly doubled its estimate of $5,000-$7,000 and sold for $10,575, a handwritten draft signed by Rear Adm. D.G. Farragut of the victory at Mobile Bay garnered $8,225, and a sheet iron weather vane of a ship’s captain, modeled after Adm. Farragut brought $5,875.

Documents and manuscripts performed well in the auction, with many pieces exceeding their estimates. A CSA Lt. William M. Owen Washington artillery manuscript archive quadrupled its estimate of $4,000-$6,000 and sold for $18,800. An Austin & Cyril Hawkins archive with a focus on the California Gold Rush also realized $18,800. A Louisiana Purchase Exposition / St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904 archive involving Thomas Cridler, the European commissioner for the fair, sold at $12,925. A collection of criminal photographs from Montana Old West Prison Outlaws realized $11,162. An 1863 Abraham Lincoln commission signed as president, for Thomas H. Ruger, brigadier general, realized $8,225.

Historical photography was featured in the auction. A rare CDV of the escaped slave “Gordon” displaying scars on his back trumped its estimate of $2,500-$3,500 and hammered down at $13,200. A salt print by Vannerson of the freed Richmond slave Gilbert Hunt realized $7,800, and a cabinet card photograph of “Comanche Jack” Stilwell realized $7,050.

Additional notable lots in the June 13 auction included a remarkable table constructed of relic wood from famous naval ships by Cmdr. Joseph P. Mickley, which sold for $17,625. An Oxford Lectern Edition of the Holy Bible realized $10,575, a New York Draft Riots broadside titled “Don’t Unchain the Tiger” sold for $8,225, and a scarce William Henry Harrison campaign flag banner hammered down at $7,637.

For more information about the auction call Horstman at 513-871-1670 ext. 236.

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Rare California gold quartz pocket watch. Price realized: $37,600. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

Rare California gold quartz pocket watch. Price realized: $37,600. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

Cmdr.  Joseph P. Mickley, USN, remarkable table constructed of relic wood from famous naval ships. Price realized: $17,625. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

 

Cmdr. Joseph P. Mickley, USN, remarkable table constructed of relic wood from famous naval ships. Price realized: $17,625. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

Rare CDV of the Escaped Slave ‘Gordon’ displaying his scars. Price realized: $13,200. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

 

Rare CDV of the Escaped Slave ‘Gordon’ displaying his scars. Price realized: $13,200. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

Scarce William Henry Harrison campaign flag banner.  Price realized: $7,637. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

 

Scarce William Henry Harrison campaign flag banner. Price realized: $7,637. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

‘Battle of Mobile Bay,’ oil on canvas, attributed to William Stubbs (1842-1909). Price realized: $10,575. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

 

‘Battle of Mobile Bay,’ oil on canvas, attributed to William Stubbs (1842-1909). Price realized: $10,575. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

Jesse James full plate, hand-colored tintype, circa 1869-1870s. Price realized: $9,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

 

Jesse James full plate, hand-colored tintype, circa 1869-1870s. Price realized: $9,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

Richard W. Lange for Rosenthal und Maeder, 'Parachute Lady' Art Deco table lamp. Estimate: £6,000-£8,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury presents decorative ‘Interiors’ sale July 1-2

Richard W. Lange for Rosenthal und Maeder, 'Parachute Lady' Art Deco table lamp. Estimate: £6,000-£8,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Richard W. Lange for Rosenthal und Maeder, ‘Parachute Lady’ Art Deco table lamp. Estimate: £6,000-£8,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

BERKSHIRE, UK – An Art Deco ivory table lamp of a parachuting female aviator by Richard W. Lange for Rosenthal und Maeder will be lighting up Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ two-day Interiors sale on July 1-2. Covering a multitude of specialties from Asian works of art, British and Continental ceramics and glass, decorative arts and paintings to furniture, clocks, rugs and garden furniture, the sale will features Interiors for all tastes.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Addition highlights include:

– Chinese Famille Rose baluster jar and cover painted with scrolling lotuses and foliage on a dark blue, yellow, turquoise and pink background, the shoulders with four applied lion masks, 19th century, 61cm high, on a gilded wood stand. It was acquired by the current owner for £2,300 hammer from the Christie’s sale, “Venon House, Somerset,” held at Christie’s King Street on June 21, 1999, Lot 349. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury’s estimate is £2,000-£3,000.

– Pierre Le Faguays (French, 1892-1935), Dancer with Thrysus, an Art Deco bronze figure, gilt, painted and patinated, on a stepped marble base, signed on the base top, 55cm high overall [Lot 182]. Estimate. £2,000-£3,000.

– Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co., an English pewter and enamel clock, model no. 0629, with a Lenzkirch timepiece movement no. 879237, 19cm high. Estimate: £1,500-£2,000.

– Satinwood breakfront bookcase in George III style, 20th century, with a molded cornice with crossbanding and garlands of flowers [Lot 568]. Estimate: £2,500-£3,000.

– A Victorian black japanned and parcel gilt metal table service, circa 1860, consisting of a pair of twin-handle chestnut urns, each with a pagoda cover and ball finial, 28cm high; a pair of oval trays with scalloped edging, 43cm wide; a pedestal cake basket, 10cm high excluding swing handle; a conforming tazza; and a pair of dishes, 29cm wide, all decorated with peacocks among flowers and foliage [Lot 597]. Estimate: £2,500-£3,000

– A carved giltwood framed wall mirror in George III style, 19th century, in the manner of Thomas Chippendale, the mirror surmounted by a carved eagle with wings outspread, above an elaborate pierced frame decorated with trailing flowers and fruiting vine and rocaille work, with a shaped carved pierced apron, 175cm high, 120cm wide [Lot 531]. Estimate: £2,000-£3,000.

The two-day sale will be held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Donnington Priory saleroom in Berkshire on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 1-2.

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


Richard W. Lange for Rosenthal und Maeder, 'Parachute Lady' Art Deco table lamp. Estimate: £6,000-£8,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Richard W. Lange for Rosenthal und Maeder, ‘Parachute Lady’ Art Deco table lamp. Estimate: £6,000-£8,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Chinese Famille Rose baluster jar and cover painted, 19th century, 61cm high, on a gilded wood stand, 40.6cm high. Estimate: £2,000-3,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Chinese Famille Rose baluster jar and cover painted, 19th century, 61cm high, on a gilded wood stand, 40.6cm high. Estimate: £2,000-3,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co., an English Pewter and enamel clock, model no. 0629. Estimate: £1,500-£2,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co., an English Pewter and enamel clock, model no. 0629. Estimate: £1,500-£2,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Pierre Le Faguays (French, 1892-1935), 'Dancer with Thrysus,' an Art Deco bronze figure. Estimate: £2,000-£3,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Pierre Le Faguays (French, 1892-1935), ‘Dancer with Thrysus,’ an Art Deco bronze figure. Estimate: £2,000-£3,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Carved giltwood framed wall mirror in George III style, 19th century, in the manner of Thomas Chippendale. Estimate: £2,000-£3,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Carved giltwood framed wall mirror in George III style, 19th century, in the manner of Thomas Chippendale. Estimate: £2,000-£3,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Victorian black japanned and parcel gilt metal table service, circa 1860. Estimate: £2,500-£3,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Victorian black japanned and parcel gilt metal table service, circa 1860. Estimate: £2,500-£3,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Pair of Victorian cast-iron figural lamps, 19th century, each 144cm high, 40cm wide. Estimate: £4,000-£6,000.  Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Pair of Victorian cast-iron figural lamps, 19th century, each 144cm high, 40cm wide. Estimate: £4,000-£6,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.