A historically important painted wood ship’s gaucho figurehead from the Brazilian slaver Piratenim, which brought £50,000 ($77,760) from an American private collector at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchett on Dec. 9. Image courtesy of Sworders

London Eye: December 2014

A historically important painted wood ship’s gaucho figurehead from the Brazilian slaver Piratenim, which brought £50,000 ($77,760) from an American private collector at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchett on Dec. 9. Image courtesy of Sworders

A historically important painted wood ship’s gaucho figurehead from the Brazilian slaver Piratenim, which brought £50,000 ($77,760) from an American private collector at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchett on Dec. 9. Image courtesy of Sworders

LONDON – Happy New Year from London, once the center of the global art market but now in third place behind the USA and China. A recent report compiled by the British Art Market Federation (BAMF) attributed this fall in the UK’s status in part to the negative impact of the Artists’ Resale Rights Levy. However, few doubt that globalization has also played a part, shifting the wealth-generation from west to east, so to speak.

On a more holistic level there is a broad consensus that 2014 represented something of a bumper year for the art market, with billion-dollar auction sales in the blue-chip sector affirming a return to the pre-crash levels of 2005-2008. Yet it was also a year that saw an inordinate number of high-profile fakes and forgeries scandals rocking the market. Whether this can be taken as evidence that rising prices encourage the criminal fraternity would be hard to prove. However, there is little doubt that the apparent proliferation of fakes and forgeries is starting to have a knock-on effect on professional practice. Auctioneers and dealers are sharpening up their due diligence and installing that little extra caution into their appraisals and cataloging procedures.

Such awareness appears to have guided the hand of the auctioneers at Dee Atkinson & Harrison in East Yorkshire at the end of November. Their general auction of antiques and fine art included an interesting pen and ink sketch of a young man reclining on a sofa.

This pen and ink drawing, catalogued as ‘20th Century School’ and estimated at £300-500, sold for £2,800 ($4,350) at Dee Atkinson & Harrison in East Yorkshire on Nov. 28. Was it a work by David Hockney, as the winning bid suggests? Image courtesy of Dee Atkinson & Harrison

This pen and ink drawing, catalogued as ‘20th Century School’ and estimated at £300-500, sold for £2,800 ($4,350) at Dee Atkinson & Harrison in East Yorkshire on Nov. 28. Was it a work by David Hockney, as the winning bid suggests? Image courtesy of Dee Atkinson & Harrison

Anyone familiar with the draughtsmanship of British artist David Hockney would surely have assumed this to have been from his hand. The fact that Hockney currently lives in the seaside town of Bridlington, just 15 miles from the Driffield auction rooms, may have encouraged some to assume it to have been one of the artist’s masterly portrait drawings of the early 1970s. In the event, the auctioneers played safe, cataloging it as “20th Century School … indistinctly monogrammed and titled Peter March 1973 and gave it an estimate of £300-500. The hammer price of £2,800 ($4,350) suggests that some bidders saw Hockney’s hand at work.

The regional salerooms saw quite a few good prices as the year drew to a close and none were more notable than that achieved by the Essex auctioneers Sworders at their Country House Sale on Dec. 9. The catalog included an historically important carved and painted wood ship’s figurehead from the Brazilian slave ship Piratenim, modeled as a South American gaucho. It had been acquired by the vendor’s grandfather from an antique dealer in Worcester in the 1940s, although sadly we don’t know what he paid for it on that occasion. It is safe to assume, however, that it would not have been a great deal of money, such folk art at that time lacking the academic importance that recently encouraged Tate Britain to mount a major exhibition devoted to such objects.

Sworders estimated it at what seemed like a perfectly justifiable £5,000-8,000 and even alerted the National Maritime Museum to its imminent sale. In the event it sailed up to £50,000 ($77,760) thanks to the determination of a U.S. private collector bidding on the telephone. Here was yet another sad instance of a national museum finding itself unable to compete with the ever-wealthier private sector.

Turning to the new year, there are a number of exhibitions on the immediate horizon with an alluring French theme. Norwich Castle Museum is to hold an important exhibition of works by the great French ‘modernist’ Édouard Manet from Jan. 31 to April 19.

An 1868 photograph of the French painter Édouard Manet by David Wilkie Winfield, to be included in ‘Homage to Manet’ at Norwich Castle Museum from Jan. 31 to April 19. Image courtesy ©Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photograph: Prudence Cuming Associates Limited

An 1868 photograph of the French painter Édouard Manet by David Wilkie Winfield, to be included in ‘Homage to Manet’ at Norwich Castle Museum from Jan. 31 to April 19. Image courtesy ©Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photograph: Prudence Cuming Associates Limited

The artist is reasonably well represented in UK collections, with the Courtauld able to boast his famous Bar at the Folies Bergères and the Ashmolean in 2012 acquiring his Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus of 1868 after an export bar and a successful campaign raised almost £8 million saved it for the nation. (Fig. 4) The Norwich show, titled “Homage to Manet,” will doubtless draw huge crowds, not least because it will include the Claus portrait as well as works revealing Manet’s influence on British artists working in the broadly Impressionist style.

Norwich Castle Museum’s spring exhibition ‘Homage to Manet’ will feature the artist’s oil on canvas ‘Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus’ of 1868. Image courtesy ©Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Norwich Castle Museum’s spring exhibition ‘Homage to Manet’ will feature the artist’s oil on canvas ‘Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus’ of 1868. Image courtesy ©Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Gwen John (1876-1939), ‘Girl in a Blue Dress Holding a Piece of Sewing’, oil on canvas, included in ‘Homage to Manet’ at Norwich Castle Museum. Image courtesy ©Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery.

Gwen John (1876-1939), ‘Girl in a Blue Dress Holding a Piece of Sewing’, oil on canvas, included in ‘Homage to Manet’ at Norwich Castle Museum. Image courtesy ©Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery.

The Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery from Jan. 31 to April 19 will include this work by Sir William Orpen (1878-1931) entitled ‘Homage to Manet’ of 1909. Image courtesy ©Manchester City Galleries.

The Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery from Jan. 31 to April 19 will include this work by Sir William Orpen (1878-1931) entitled ‘Homage to Manet’ of 1909. Image courtesy ©Manchester City Galleries

Manet remains connected in the public mind with the Impressionist movement (despite the artist’s own protestations otherwise) which always gets the turnstiles spinning.

London sculpture specialist Robert Bowman continues to stage exhibitions at his new Duke Street gallery that manage to be both academically interesting and market-friendly, embracing contemporary and 19th-century categories. His current exhibition is devoted to the work of the great French 19th-century realist sculptor Aimé-Jumes Dalou (1838-1902). Following the fall of the Paris Commune in 1871, Dalou spent the remainder of the 1870s in England where he exerted a profound influence on British artists of the so-called “New Sculpture” tendency. The works on show at Bowman Sculpture typify his small-scale bronze work before his return to Paris and the public monuments for which he became rightly famous.

‘La Sagesse Soutenant La Liberté’ (Wisdom Supporting Freedom) by Aimé-Jules Dalou (1838-1902), bronze, included in Bowman Sculpture’s show devoted to the great French artist running until Jan. 31. Image courtesy of Robert Bowman

‘La Sagesse Soutenant La Liberté’ (Wisdom Supporting Freedom) by Aimé-Jules Dalou (1838-1902), bronze, included in Bowman Sculpture’s show devoted to the great French artist running until Jan. 31. Image courtesy of Robert Bowman

This bronze by French artist Aimé-Jules Dalou, titled ’Grand Paysan’ (Large Peasant) will be on show at Robert Bowman’s exhibition of the artist’s work at his Duke Street gallery until Jan. 31. Image courtesy Robert Bowman

This bronze by French artist Aimé-Jules Dalou, titled ’Grand Paysan’ (Large Peasant) will be on show at Robert Bowman’s exhibition of the artist’s work at his Duke Street gallery until Jan. 31. Image courtesy Robert Bowman

Robert Bowman’s current exhibition of sculptures by French artist Aimé-Jules Dalou includes this work titled ‘Désespoir’ (Despair). On display at Bowman Sculpture, Duke Street, St. James’s until Jan. 31. Image courtesy Robert Bowman

Robert Bowman’s current exhibition of sculptures by French artist Aimé-Jules Dalou includes this work titled ‘Désespoir’ (Despair). On display at Bowman Sculpture, Duke Street, St. James’s until Jan. 31. Image courtesy Robert Bowman

The show comprises both loans and some works for sale, which start at around £7,000 ($10,900).

Coincidentally, Robert Bowman was also the guiding force behind a most enjoyable private view in early December at Leighton House Museum in Kensington of a small selection of 50 important Victorian paintings from the collection of the Mexico-based Spanish businessman Juan Antonio Pérez Simón. Frederick Lord Leighton was one of the most illustrious artists of the Victorian era and the house’s exotically tiled interior was the ideal environment in which to view some of the finest Victorian paintings in private hands. (Champagne somehow tastes better in a room clad with Islamic tiles.)

The atrium of Leighton House Museum in Kensington where Robert Bowman organized a privileged private viewing of the collection of Victorian paintings owned by Brazilian collector Juan Antonio Pérez Simón on Dec. 1. Image courtesy Leighton House Museum.

The atrium of Leighton House Museum in Kensington where Robert Bowman organized a privileged private viewing of the collection of Victorian paintings owned by Brazilian collector Juan Antonio Pérez Simón on Dec. 1. Image courtesy Leighton House Museum. 

The collection is said to be the world’s finest after that owned by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and features superb works by most of the greatest artists of the period, including Alma-Tadema, Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Millais, Waterhouse, and Godward. The show is open to the public until March 29.

As January dawns, the big question on everyone’s lips is what 2015 might hold for the art and antiques trade. One thing we can be fairly sure about is that the market will continue to move ever closer to the Internet. It is now 15 years since the web really began to make its presence felt in the industry. Some of us can remember UK dealers and auctioneers bluntly refusing to embrace the new-fangled technology, insisting that computers had no place in such a traditional marketplace. How times have changed.

This year is also likely to see the rich get even richer. The most recent market survey from The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) reported that there were 32 million millionaires worldwide in 2013 and 42 percent of those were based in the U.S. The research also found that at least 600,000 of this global group are mid-to-high level art collectors. That augurs well for the top end of the trade. London soldiers on.

Gaetano Pesce, bronze foot, Superego edition of five. Estimate: €100,000-€110,000. Nova Ars image

Gaetano Pesce bronze will have big footprint on Nova Ars sale Jan. 5

Gaetano Pesce, bronze foot, Superego edition of five. Estimate: €100,000-€110,000. Nova Ars image

Gaetano Pesce, bronze foot, Superego edition of five. Estimate: €100,000-€110,000. Nova Ars image

ASTI, Italy – Nova Arts will conduct an auction Jan. 5 composed of an interesting design collection of contemporary art and design of 20th and 21st century. Included will be ceramics, furniture, lamps, chandeliers and glass works, with many objects made in Italy – from Angelo Mangiarotti to Alessandro Mendini, from Ettore Sottsass to Ugo La Pietra, without forgetting other talents from different countries (Niemeyer, Kuramata and Norguet).

Live Auctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Highlight pieces:

  • Gaetano Pesce, bronze foot, Superego edition of five. Estimate: €100,000-€110,000.
  • Alessandro Mendini, Proust armchair. Estimate: €25,000-€30,000.
  • Giuseppe Rivadossi, Media Dolmen. Estimate: €30,000-€35,000.
  • Ferruccio Laviani, dresser. Estimate: €30,000-€35,000.
  • Alessandro Guerriero, cabinet. Estimate €25,000-€30,000.

For information contact Valeria Vallese. Email valeria@novaars.net or e.art.auctions@gmail.com or phone +39 328 9667353.

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


Gaetano Pesce, bronze foot, Superego edition of five. Estimate: €100,000-€110,000. Nova Ars image

Gaetano Pesce, bronze foot, Superego edition of five. Estimate: €100,000-€110,000. Nova Ars image

Alessandro Mendini, Proust armchair. Estimate: €25,000-30,000. Nova Ars image

Alessandro Mendini, Proust armchair. Estimate: €25,000-30,000. Nova Ars image

Giuseppe Rivadossi, Media Dolmen. Estimate: €30,000-35,000. Nova Ars image

Giuseppe Rivadossi, Media Dolmen. Estimate: €30,000-35,000. Nova Ars image

Ferruccio Laviani, dresser. Estimate: €30,000-35,000. Nova Ars image

Ferruccio Laviani, dresser. Estimate: €30,000-35,000. Nova Ars image

Alessandro Guerriero, Alchimia cabinet. Estimate €25,000-30,000. Nova Ars image

Alessandro Guerriero, Alchimia cabinet. Estimate €25,000-30,000. Nova Ars image

An example of a California-style bungalow in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. Image by Deling. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Living in and decorating a 100-year-old Craftsman home

An example of a California-style bungalow in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. Image by Deling. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

An example of a California-style bungalow in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. Image by Deling. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – My love of 100-year-old California Craftsman bungalows – those low-slung, early 20th century Arts and Crafts-era homes known for their clean, horizontal lines and sturdy woodwork – runs long and deep.

I grew up in one in Hollywood, outfitted with dark, wooden, built-in cabinets and exposed beams, and my family lives in one in South Pasadena, northeast of downtown Los Angeles, with a swooping Japanese-style roof. My fiancé, Dave, and I rent a small, century-old Craftsman house here in Pasadena’s landmark district Bungalow Heaven, home to more than 1,000 historic bungalows, most of them Craftsmans.

Why do I appreciate them? One word: uniqueness. Each traditional Craftsman house is different, with its own personality (in our rental, the toilet is in a separate room from the bathroom sink and bathtub) and an emphasis on natural materials and colors, from slate gray to clay brown. Architectural twists such as sleeping porches, wide-open entrances, and pillars made out of stone were built as a minimalist reaction against industrial design and as an ode to warmer weather and (then) fresher air. Decorating a Craftsman is also a labor of love.

“The whole Craftsman movement was about rediscovering handmade things,” says Sue Mossman, executive director of the preservation non-profit Pasadena Heritage. “There’s a natural ‘form follows function’ approach. Everything has a purpose to it as well as a beauty.”

Gustav Stickley, who started making Arts and Crafts-style furniture and accessories in the late 19th century, has long represented the pinnacle of Craftsman design. Antique Stickley hand-finished, solid-wood armchairs, tables and couches, defined by a sleek vertical-lined “mission” style, can run upwards of $5,500 today. Mossman, who lives in a traditional Craftsman and says she owns a couple of “fine Stickley pieces,” views the furniture, like Craftsmans themselves, as having lasting appeal.

“In the 1980s and ’90s, the value of these antique pieces went through the roof,” she says. “It has dropped off since then, but the value of original pieces is still very high.”

Since Dave and I, like many, can’t afford the prized brand, we searched for much less pricey, though not necessarily handmade, furniture and decorations for our place. There are strong connections between the Craftsman and midcentury modern movements when it comes to simple functionalism, says Mossman. My Craftsman rental is a mixture of both.

We found a modestly priced, tan 1963 Lane Acclaim walnut wood coffee table with dovetail edges at an antique store to fit in with the earthy Craftsman color scheme in our living room. Our faux-Craftsman, geometric mica glass, wood and metal living room table lamp we snagged on sale for $150 at retailer Lamps Plus to perch on top of a Wildon Home mission-style, espresso-hued end table for not much more.

Bought at a nearby sofa store, our couch is made out of chocolate-brown wood and tweed, a midcentury modern reproduction called “The Draper.” Our vintage living room rug is a ’60s striped blend of warm orange, green, pink and white. We also picked up glass vases, Arts and Crafts-style wooden frames and dinnerware from flea markets and online through Etsy and eBay. Call it Craftsman flair with a dash of Mad Men thrown in.

“Even if it’s a reproduction, people who appreciate the character of their house will be able to pick things that suit that same personality,” notes Mossman.

Inspiration especially came in the form of a trip to the custom-furnished, three-story Gamble House, Pasadena’s premier example of California Craftsman architecture. It was designed by the architectural firm Greene & Greene in 1908 as a roomy winter home for David and Mary Gamble, of Procter & Gamble. Inside, we stood surrounded by curved stairway banisters, smooth surfaces, and wooden pegs all made out of soft mahogany, teak, oak, maple and cedar.

“Craftsman style has a casual but clean simplicity to it that can be dressed up or dressed down,” notes Alvin Huang, an architect and University of Southern California School of Architecture assistant professor.

Afterward, in the gift shop, Dave and I bought a clay tile, similar to those in the Gamble House, decorated with a light yellow and white frog. It sits on our end table, next to the lamp, with more Craftsman-worthy knickknacks to come.

____

Follow Solvej Schou at www.twitter.com/Solvej_Schou

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

AP-WF-12-30-14 1435GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


An example of a California-style bungalow in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. Image by Deling. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

An example of a California-style bungalow in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. Image by Deling. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

The historic Gamble House, Pasadena, Calif., by Charles and Henry Greene, 1908. Image by Mr. Exuberance. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

The historic Gamble House, Pasadena, Calif., by Charles and Henry Greene, 1908. Image by Mr. Exuberance. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Large French bronze balloon clock, signed Japy Freres. 27 inches high. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Fontaine's Auction Gallery.

Smithsonian acquires early hot air ballooning collection

Large French bronze balloon clock, signed Japy Freres. 27 inches high. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Fontaine's Auction Gallery.

Large French bronze balloon clock, signed Japy Freres. 27 inches high. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Fontaine’s Auction Gallery.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has acquired a collection of more than 1,000 works of art, prints, objects and other materials documenting early human flight, beginning with balloons.

The museum announced this month that it has acquired the Evelyn Way Kendall Ballooning and Early Aviation Collection.

The collection recalls the excitement at the first sights of colorful balloons rising into the air in Europe in 1783. At the time, many people sought out images of the balloons and the men and women who flew them.

Kendall began collecting memorabilia from the early days of flight in the 1920s and amassed a large collection. Highlights include paintings of balloon flights in Europe, America and Japan.

The collection was donated by the Norfolk Charitable Trust based in Sharon, Mass.

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

AP-WF-12-30-14 0916GMT

Pair of unique 19th century Imperial yellow cut glass Bohemian bonbonnieres that sold for $190,000 (hammer price). Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers

Bohemian bonbonnieres bid to $190,000 at Artingstall & Hind

Pair of unique 19th century Imperial yellow cut glass Bohemian bonbonnieres that sold for $190,000 (hammer price). Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers

Pair of unique 19th century Imperial yellow cut glass Bohemian bonbonnieres that sold for $190,000 (hammer price). Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers ended the 2014 calendar year with an outstanding and impressive sale on Dec. 7.

One of Great Britain’s oldest auction firms, established in Manchester, England in 1874 opened a showroom in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 2010. In less than half a decade the company became one of the fastest growing auction houses in Los Angeles. Artingstall specializes in rare Imperial and Export Chinese ceramics and art, fine Japanese works of art and European decorative arts and antiques from the 16th to 20th Century.

The Dec. 7 auction drew international attention for its large array of specialty fine arts and antiques, with bidders participating from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The predominant piece bringing vast amounts of attention was Lot 299, a pair of unique 19th century imperial yellow cut glass Bohemian bonbonnieres. The opaline glass, originally made for Persian and Turkish markets, was a truly distinguished feature. Its vibrant yellow color and enamel flowers painted on the lid, body and tray were exquisite. The lids were surmounted with French cast bronze clusters of grapes. It was a beautiful piece that deserved the soaring bids from across the globe. With aggressive phone bidders and online bidders the item sold at $190,000 hammer price.

Several other featured items brought a lot of attention and stellar prices. One was Lot 337, a bronze archaic–style gu vessel decorated with raised geometric patterns and marks on the interior. It sold for $110,000 hammer price.

In addition, Lot 1 was greatly admired by all. The antique bronze hexagonal handmade desk clock. The intricate details of the mechanics were visible through glass panels on each side of the body with the bottom opening up to show the magnificent cast bronze scrollwork. It sold for $5,500 hammer price.

This has been a remarkable year for Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers, especially given the expansion to furniture, jewelry and decorative arts. They are currently prepping for an even more successful year in 2015. To consign your fine arts and antiques with Artingstall & Hind, contact info@artingstall.com or call 310-424-5288.

 

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Pair of unique 19th century Imperial yellow cut glass Bohemian bonbonnieres that sold for $190,000 (hammer price). Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers

Pair of unique 19th century Imperial yellow cut glass Bohemian bonbonnieres that sold for $190,000 (hammer price). Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers

Bronze archaic–style gu vessel decorated with raised geometric patterns and marks on the interior. Price realized (excluding buyer’s premium): $110,000. Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers

Bronze archaic–style gu vessel decorated with raised geometric patterns and marks on the interior. Price realized (excluding buyer’s premium): $110,000. Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers

Handmade bronze desk clock. Price realized (excluding buyer’s premium): $5. Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers

Handmade bronze desk clock. Price realized (excluding buyer’s premium): $5. Artingstall & Hind Auctioneers

Pair of Meissen porcelain urns, each with a pair of snake-form handles. Sold for $7,800. Capo Auction image

Meissen urns among top sellers at Capo holiday auction Dec. 13

Pair of Meissen porcelain urns, each with a pair of snake-form handles. Sold for $7,800. Capo Auction image

Pair of Meissen porcelain urns, each with a pair of snake-form handles. Sold for $7,800. Capo Auction image

NEW YORK – New York’s Capo Auction Fine Art and Antiques recently conducted their holiday auction on Dec. 13 with numerous highlights throughout the sale in furniture, decorative items, fine art and jewelry. Getting much presale attention in the furniture arena, was a Chippendale-style mahogany chest of drawers.

The crowded auction house was packed with their regular customers, dealers and collectors from around New York and in town for the holidays, while much of the bidding came online and on the phones. LiveAuctioneers.com facilitated Internet live bidding.

The Chippendale-style chest, with a serpentine-fronted top over four drawers, 33 inches high, 47 inches wide and 24 inches deep, sold for $10,800, while a Continental marquetry bombe commode with a serpentine-fronted top over three drawers and a decoration of figures on horseback, sold for $4,200. It measured 34 inches high, 33 inches wide and 15 inches deep.

In other areas, a beautiful pair of Meissen porcelain urns, each with a pair of snake-form handles and classical scene decoration on a cobalt ground, height 15 1/2 inches, sold for $7,800, and an unusual Mughal filigree pendant necklace composed of eight pendants set with flat cut diamonds, emeralds, tourmaline, sapphires and rubies on a 23K gold chain, 68.70 grams, sold for $6,000.

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

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Pair of Meissen porcelain urns, each with a pair of snake-form handles. Sold for $7,800. Capo Auction image

Pair of Meissen porcelain urns, each with a pair of snake-form handles. Sold for $7,800. Capo Auction image

Chippendale-style mahogany chest of drawers, with a serpentine-fronted top over four drawers. Sold for $10,800. Capo Auction image

Chippendale-style mahogany chest of drawers, with a serpentine-fronted top over four drawers. Sold for $10,800. Capo Auction image

Continental marquetry bombe commode, with a serpentine-fronted top over three drawers. Sold for $4,200. Capo Auction image

Continental marquetry bombe commode, with a serpentine-fronted top over three drawers. Sold for $4,200. Capo Auction image

Mughal filigree pendant necklace composed of eight pendants set with flat cut diamonds, emeralds, tourmaline, sapphires and rubies. Sold for $6,000. Capo Auction image

Mughal filigree pendant necklace composed of eight pendants set with flat cut diamonds, emeralds, tourmaline, sapphires and rubies. Sold for $6,000. Capo Auction image

Russ Kodner auctions off the Frederick Arthur Bridgman painting titled ‘Reception of an Ambassador’ for $160,000. Kodner Galleries image

F.A. Bridgman painting boosts Kodner Galleries auction to $1.2M

Russ Kodner auctions off the Frederick Arthur Bridgman painting titled ‘Reception of an Ambassador’ for $160,000. Kodner Galleries image

Russ Kodner auctions off the Frederick Arthur Bridgman painting titled ‘Reception of an Ambassador’ for $160,000. Kodner Galleries image

DANIA, Fla. – Kodner Galleries sold a Frederick Arthur Bridgman (American, 1847-1928) oil on canvas painting titled Reception of an Ambassador (Palace of Constantine) for $160,000, ending the 2014 auction year with two-day event yielding sales of $1.2 million. The recently rediscovered circa 1880 Bridgman work, probably first purchased in 1902, had only two previous owners, both in South Florida. The fine orientalist work was in exceptional original condition and garnered attention from dealers and collectors from California, New York, London, Paris and South Florida. In the end it was hammered down to an enthusiastic European phone bidder.

Internet live bidding was provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.

The first of the year-end two day auction event was held Dec. 10 and in addition to the Bridgman featured a huge and varied collection of 19th-20th century Continental painted porcelain plaques, plates and furniture and included fine examples of KPM, Royal Vienna, Sevres, Doulton-Lambeth and Meissen. The Florida collection was consigned to Kodner Galleries following two years of negotiation. The collection, possibly the largest of its kind still in private hands was eagerly anticipated by Kodner Galleries’ regulars and nearly 1,000 new internet, phone and absentee bidders worldwide. Bidders scooped up nearly 90 percent of the auction lots offered.

The numerous porcelain highlights include Lot 61, a fine late 19th century French gilt bronze mounted onyx pedestal guéridon, the top mounted with Sevres porcelain portrait plaques depicting Louis XV and ladies of his court, selling for $17,700; Lot 67, circa 1875 KPM painted porcelain plaque, “Christ u. der reiche Fungling,” at $7,670; Lot 102, a fine late 19th century Continental carved and giltwood cabinet on stand mounted with 27 Vienna enamel plaques and Meissen porcelain, $11,800; Lot 133, a circa 1900 English Doulton-Lambeth painted porcelain plaque Picking Flowers, $7,670; Lots 63 and 64, two 19th-20th century Royal Vienna painted porcelain chargers Urtheil de Paris (Judgment of Paris) and Grazien U. Schlaftender Amor bringing a total of $16,520; and Lot 105, a late 19th century German KPM painted porcelain plaque Hercules and Admirers for $5,900. The porcelain collection brought in excess of $200,000.

Additional standout lots of the Dec. 10 auction included Lot 113, Anthony Redmile, (British, 20th century) monumental white metal mounted tortoise shell, fetching $10,030; Lot 110, a circa 1880s Karl Springer, (American, 1931-1981) chromed steel bench selling for $4,838; and Lot 96a, George Baxter, (British, 1804-1867) circa 1865 oil on canvas Two Sisters bringing $14,750.

Fine jewelry offerings included Lot 81a, an Art Deco diamond and platinum bracelet of approximately 12.0 carats of round, brilliant-cut diamonds bringing $8,850, and Lot 81f, a David Webb cabochon sapphire, ruby, emerald and diamond, 18K gold and platinum ring at $7,080.

The second of the two-day end of year auction was held Dec. 17 and was billed as a Holiday Jewelry and Gift sale. This sale has become a much anticipated event on the Kodner Galleries’ auction calendar and was preceded by a champagne preview party. This year’s sale included gold coins, silver bars, exceptional estate jewelry, Judith Leiber and Louis Vuitton purses, Cartier pens and watches, and much more. Fine offerings included Lot 51, a Patek Philippe Aquanaut stainless steel watch bringing $12,980; Lot 27, a fine quality Italian Bulgari-style handmade heavy 18K yellow gold, diamond, tourmaline and peridot necklace and ear clip suite commanding $24,780; and Lot 150a, a vintage 77.60 carat double cabochon sapphire and diamond ring selling for $23,600. Highlighting this sale was Lot 54, an EGL certified 6.05-carat fancy intense yellow diamond and platinum ring selling for $59,000.

The December two-day event ended a very upbeat 2014 for Kodner Galleries. The auction gallery founded in 1906 is optimistic about 2015 with 20 auctions currently scheduled starting Jan. 14 and running three weeks apart.

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

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Russ Kodner auctions off the Frederick Arthur Bridgman painting titled ‘Reception of an Ambassador’ for $160,000. Kodner Galleries image

Russ Kodner auctions off the Frederick Arthur Bridgman painting titled ‘Reception of an Ambassador’ for $160,000. Kodner Galleries image

Patek Philippe Aquanaut stainless steel watch. Price realized: $12,980. Kodner Galleries image.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut stainless steel watch. Price realized: $12,980. Kodner Galleries image.

Platinum ring with fancy intense yellow diamond, 6.05 carats. Price realized: $59,000. Kodner Galleries image.

Platinum ring with fancy intense yellow diamond, 6.05 carats. Price realized: $59,000. Kodner Galleries image.

Late 19th century French gilt bronze mounted onyx pedestal guéridon, the top mounted with Sevres porcelain portrait plaques depicting Louis XV and ladies of his court. Price realized: $17,700. Kodner Galleries image.

Late 19th century French gilt bronze mounted onyx pedestal guéridon, the top mounted with Sevres porcelain portrait plaques depicting Louis XV and ladies of his court. Price realized: $17,700. Kodner Galleries image.

Circa 1875 KPM painted porcelain plaque, ‘Christ u. der reiche Fungling.’ Price realized: $7,670. Kodner Galleries image.

Circa 1875 KPM painted porcelain plaque, ‘Christ u. der reiche Fungling.’ Price realized: $7,670. Kodner Galleries image.

Circa 1900 English Doulton-Lambeth painted porcelain plaque, ‘Picking Flowers.’ Price realized: $7,670. Kodner Galleries image.

Circa 1900 English Doulton-Lambeth painted porcelain plaque, ‘Picking Flowers.’ Price realized: $7,670. Kodner Galleries image.

Lots 63 and 64, two 19th-20th century Royal Vienna porcelain chargers, ‘Urtheil de Paris’ (Judgment of Paris) and ‘Grazien U. Schlaftender Amor,’ totaled $16,520. Kodner Galleries image.

Lots 63 and 64, two 19th-20th century Royal Vienna porcelain chargers, ‘Urtheil de Paris’ (Judgment of Paris) and ‘Grazien U. Schlaftender Amor,’ totaled $16,520. Kodner Galleries image.

A top lot was a bronze titled the 'Birth of Venus' which realized of $24,780. The unusual and striking work depicted a Daum glass female deity emerging from a deconstructed, four-piece bronze shell of her likeness. Michaan's image

Daum ‘Birth of Venus’ breakout star of Michaan’s auction

A top lot was a bronze titled the 'Birth of Venus' which realized of $24,780. The unusual and striking work depicted a Daum glass female deity emerging from a deconstructed, four-piece bronze shell of her likeness. Michaan's image

A top lot was a bronze titled the ‘Birth of Venus’ which realized of $24,780. The unusual and striking work depicted a Daum glass female deity emerging from a deconstructed, four-piece bronze shell of her likeness. Michaan’s image

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Michaan’s auction event Dec. 8, encompassing fine art, furnishings, decorative arts and jewelry, held some of the most outstanding property seen on their auction room floor all year. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

A top lot from the sale was seen in an astonishing bronze titled the Birth of Venus (lot 3284, est. $5,000-$7,000). The unusual and striking work depicted a Daum glass female deity emerging from a deconstructed, four-piece bronze shell of her likeness. A San Francisco collector, who attended the auction live, was the high bidder paying $24,780, well over three times the high estimate.

Elizabeth Dalton, Michaan’s department specialist, said, “Of the 12 Daum Nancy lots in the fine auction, this piece was undoubtedly the pinnacle of the collection. It is both timeless and modern in its artistic value; a wonderful piece that I was honored to have in my portion of the sale.”

Additional successes from the furnishing and decorative arts category were an Aaron Willard Federal mahogany tall case clock (lot 3124, est. $20,000-$30,000, sold for $23,600), a Russian icon of Saint George and the Dragon (lot 3102, $1,000-$1,500, sold for $14,160) and a Evgeni Alexandrovich Lanceray bronze group of oxen pulling a cart (lot 3157, $4,000-$6,000, realized $10,030).

Jewelry lots sparkled at auction, with a top seller evidenced in a circa 1940s House of Boucheron ruby and gold brick link bracelet (lot 3340, $2,500-5,000). Forty-two square cut rubies of a total weight of approximately 10 carats were cleverly mounted into the 18K gold piece, appearing as three-dimensional steps laying fluidly upon the wrist. A New York-based bidder battled it out for the bracelet, eventually securing it for $23,600. Rounding out jewelry’s top three lots were a diamond and platinum wedding ring set (lot 3383, $13,000-$18,000, sold for $21,240) and an Art Deco diamond and sapphire ring from a French aristocratic estate (lot 3360, $6,000-$9,000, sold for $10,030).

Honorable mentions were seen in highly anticipated fine art lots as well. Exceeding high estimates were a considerable oil painting by Mel Ramos titled Greek Architecture (lot 3059, $10,000-$12,000, sold for $15,340) and collectible woodblock prints by Gustave Baumann (lot 3028, $8,000-$10,000, sold for $12,980 and lot 3029, $6,000-$9,000, sold for $10,620).

For general information please call Michaan’s Auctions at 510-740-0220 ext. 0 or e-mail info@michaans.com. Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd St., Alameda, CA 94501.

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

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


A top lot was a bronze titled the 'Birth of Venus' which realized of $24,780. The unusual and striking work depicted a Daum glass female deity emerging from a deconstructed, four-piece bronze shell of her likeness. Michaan's image

A top lot was a bronze titled the ‘Birth of Venus’ which realized of $24,780. The unusual and striking work depicted a Daum glass female deity emerging from a deconstructed, four-piece bronze shell of her likeness. Michaan’s image

Estimated at $13,000-18,000, this diamond and platinum wedding ring set sold for $21,240. Michaan's image

Estimated at $13,000-18,000, this diamond and platinum wedding ring set sold for $21,240. Michaan’s image

This woodblock print by Gustave Baumann sold for $12,980. Michaan's image

This woodblock print by Gustave Baumann sold for $12,980. Michaan’s image

Rare 19th-century Tibetan filigreed votive plaque set with hundreds of semiprecious cabochon stones on gilt copper base. Overall 33¾ x 28 inches. Est. $50,000-$70,000. AGOPB image

Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches offers elegant antiques Jan. 12

Rare 19th-century Tibetan filigreed votive plaque set with hundreds of semiprecious cabochon stones on gilt copper base. Overall 33¾ x 28 inches. Est. $50,000-$70,000. AGOPB image

Rare 19th-century Tibetan filigreed votive plaque set with hundreds of semiprecious cabochon stones on gilt copper base. Overall 33¾ x 28 inches. Est. $50,000-$70,000. AGOPB image

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – South Florida’s winter antiques and auction season is known as a time of year when all eyes in the trade focus on Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches (AGOPB) and its first auction event of the year. To welcome 2015, AGOPB will host a Monday, Jan. 12, evening sale comprising 350 lots of exquisite antiques, decorative art and paintings from some of the region’s most elegant estates.

Internet live bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.

The auction’s centerpiece is the Estate of Robert W. Gottfried. Gottfried was a prominent Palm Beach real estate developer and home builder, who co-founded Martha A. Gottfried Inc., the premier luxury real estate firm on the island. The famed Gottfried mansion on Hi Mount Road in Palm Beach was magnificently appointed with antiques in the French and Italian taste, many of large scale.

Also featured in the auction are a superb collection of 18th/19th-century Italian and French furniture and antiques acquired over many years by J. Abbott of Ibis Isle, Palm Beach; and a small collection of very fine Faberge items from a Russian-born woman who lives in Delray Beach, Fla. Some of the Faberge in the latter collection was held privately for 50 years and therefore would be entirely new to the current marketplace. European bronzes and clocks from the Estate of Irving Karlbach, Boynton Beach, Fla, and a fine collection of Chinese and Tibetan jades and objets d’art combine to add a crowning note of excellence to the auction’s 350-lot selection.

Lot 265, a rare, 19th-century Tibetan jeweled votive plaque, is the largest and most accomplished work of Asian art in the Jan. 12 auction. Consigned locally by a gentleman whose family has retained the plaque for more than half a century, the precious religious object displays exquisite filigree work and a design set with hundreds of semiprecious stones (coral, turquoise, lapis) enhancing images of Vishnu and Immortals with demons and dragons. The plaque is mounted in a heavy, chased copper support frame.

“The workmanship on this piece is simply amazing,” said Brian Kogan, president of AGOPB. “This kind of Tibetan artwork is exceedingly rare, and similar examples are difficult to locate, either in museums or collections.” It is estimated at $40,000-$60,000. Another Asian artwork of particularly fine quality is Lot 263, a carved white jade boulder depicting the goddess Guanyin seated inside a shrine. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000.

The aforementioned collection of rare and important Faberge jewelry and other objets de vertu was brought to the United States in the 1970s, when the consignor emigrated from her native Russia. The Faberge pieces include two pieces by workmaster Henrik Wigstrom (1908-1917): Lot 210, a gold and guilloche enamel lozenge brooch centered with a round diamond point estimated at $15,000-$20,000; and Lot 126, a unique tie pin commemorating 300 years of Russian Imperialism. The pin bears the double-eagle crest and the dates 1619-1919 and is estimated at $10,000-$15,000. Lot 211, a Faberge silver and enamel Icon of the Mother and Child, St. Petersburg, dated 1895, by workmaster Anders Michelsson, is entered with an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

Lot 209 consists of a pair of extremely attractive gold, diamond and guilloche blue enamel cufflinks, 1908-1917, by workmaster Anton Kuzmichev. “While not a Faberge design, the quality and execution are simply exceptional. These cufflinks are going to catch the eyes of jewelry connoisseurs,” Kogan predicted.

The Estate of Robert Gottfried includes a broad selection of antiques and furnishings from the family’s Hi Mount Road mansion, including English, Italian, French, and large-scale custom furniture, bronzes, marble statuary, pedestals, carpets, lamps and paintings.

“Those who have had the great privilege of visiting the Gottfried mansion may recall being greeted by (Lot 45) a pair of 20th-century blackamoors on rockery bases, each holding a seven-light candelabrum. Each figure stands 78 inches high, and together they are estimated at $1,500-$2,000,” said Kogan.

The sale includes several particularly fascinating clocks, notably Lot 206, a French industrial lighthouse clock. Designed by Guilmet, a well-known maker of mystery clocks, the circa 1885 timekeeper stands 25½ inches high has has a movement stamped “GLT, Paris” and “Vincenti.” It has a rare oscillating vertical torsion pendulum and a case of silver and gilt metal “brickwork.” It is expected to reach $10,000-$15,000 at auction.

Lot 169 is a very large Tiffany & Co. white Carrera marble and ormolu lyre clock, standing 26½ inches high, with a crystal paste stone chapter ring. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Lot 83 is a copy of a Willard lighthouse clock, probably from the early 20th century, that was made as a presentation piece for the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey. The clock has been owned by the consignor’s father since the 1930s and is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

The auction will include a great variety of paintings and prints well-recognized and widely collected artists such as Emile Vernon, Le Pho, Salvador Dali, Andre Gisson, Marcel Dyf, Edmund Adler, Avinash Chandra, Filippo Indoni, Gustave Courtois, Francisco Zuniga, Paul Pascal and Louis Fabien. The list continues with Cherry J. Huldah, Norman Rockwell, Pascal Leroy, Eduardo Morales, Sadegh Tabrizi, Alfred Munnings, Henry Stull, Emil Adam, William Paskell, George Howell Gay, Robert Phillip, Bernard Karfiol and Johann Ridinger.

Top paintings include Lot 222, Emile Vernon’s (French, 1872-1919) signed oil-on-canvas titled Lady Tennis Players, est. $12,000-$18,000; and Le Pho’s (Vietnamese, 1907-2001) signed oil-on-canvas with calligraphy titled Girl with Vase of Flowers, est. $20,000-$30,000.

Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches’ Monday, Jan. 12, Major Winter Estates Auction will be held at the company’s 7,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style gallery located in the historic Gatsby Building, 1609 S. Dixie Hwy., #5, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, one-half block from the Norton Museum of Art. Start time: 6 p.m. Eastern, with a live audio/video stream available to view online. Preview 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Jan. 8, 9 and 10; as well as 10 to 6 p.m. on auction day. The gallery is closed on Sundays.

For information on any item in the auction, call 561-805-7115 or email company partners Leslie Baker at leslie@agopb.com or Brian Kogan at brian@agopb.com.

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

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


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Rare 19th-century Tibetan filigreed votive plaque set with hundreds of semiprecious cabochon stones on gilt copper base. Overall 33¾ x 28 inches. Est. $50,000-$70,000. AGOPB image

Rare 19th-century Tibetan filigreed votive plaque set with hundreds of semiprecious cabochon stones on gilt copper base. Overall 33¾ x 28 inches. Est. $50,000-$70,000. AGOPB image

Faberge silver and enamel icon, St. Petersburg, 7 x 5¾ inches, dated 1895. Workmaster: Anders Michelsson. Assayer: Aleksandr Sever. Est. $20,000-$30,000. AGOPB image

Faberge silver and enamel icon, St. Petersburg, 7 x 5¾ inches, dated 1895. Workmaster: Anders Michelsson. Assayer: Aleksandr Sever. Est. $20,000-$30,000. AGOPB image

Russian gold, diamond and guilloche blue enamel cufflinks, 1908-1917, .56 standard. Maker: Anton Kuzmichev. Est. $15,000-$20,000. AGOPB image

Russian gold, diamond and guilloche blue enamel cufflinks, 1908-1917, .56 standard. Maker: Anton Kuzmichev. Est. $15,000-$20,000. AGOPB image

Faberge gold, diamond and guilloche enamel tie pin overlaid with Imperial Eagle with diamond, 1908-1917, .56 standard. Workmaster: Henrik Wigstrom. Bears 1613-1913 dates to represent 300th anniversary of Russian Imperial rule. Est. $10,000-$15,000. AGOPB image

Faberge gold, diamond and guilloche enamel tie pin overlaid with Imperial Eagle with diamond, 1908-1917, .56 standard. Workmaster: Henrik Wigstrom. Bears 1613-1913 dates to represent 300th anniversary of Russian Imperial rule. Est. $10,000-$15,000. AGOPB image

Circa-1885 French industrial lighthouse clock with sterling silver weathervane, oscillating pendulum designed by Guilmet, movement stamped ‘GLT Paris’ and ‘Vincenti,’ 25¼ inches high. Est. $10,000-$15,000. AGOPB image

Circa-1885 French industrial lighthouse clock with sterling silver weathervane, oscillating pendulum designed by Guilmet, movement stamped ‘GLT Paris’ and ‘Vincenti,’ 25¼ inches high. Est. $10,000-$15,000. AGOPB image

Carved white jade boulder depicting the goddess Guanyin seated inside a shrine on double lotus base, 11½ inches high. Est. $30,000-$40,000. AGOPB image

Carved white jade boulder depicting the goddess Guanyin seated inside a shrine on double lotus base, 11½ inches high. Est. $30,000-$40,000. AGOPB image

Emile Vernon (1872-1919), ‘Lady Tennis Players,’ oil on canvas, signed, 35¾ x 26 inches. Est. $12,000-$18,000. AGOPB image

Emile Vernon (1872-1919), ‘Lady Tennis Players,’ oil on canvas, signed, 35¾ x 26 inches. Est. $12,000-$18,000. AGOPB image

Le Pho (Vietnamese, 1907-2001), ‘Girl with Vase of Flowers,” oil on canvas, signed, 36 x 28 inches. Est. $20,000-$30,000. AGOPB image

Le Pho (Vietnamese, 1907-2001), ‘Girl with Vase of Flowers,” oil on canvas, signed, 36 x 28 inches. Est. $20,000-$30,000. AGOPB image

Pair of polychrome blackamoors, each 78 inches high with a raised arm supporting a seven-light candelabrum. Est. for the pair $1,500-$2,000. Ex Estate of Robert Gottfried, Palm Beach, Florida. AGOPB image

Pair of polychrome blackamoors, each 78 inches high with a raised arm supporting a seven-light candelabrum. Est. for the pair $1,500-$2,000. Ex Estate of Robert Gottfried, Palm Beach, Florida. AGOPB image

'Banana Grove' flowstone in the Oregon Caves National Monument. Image by Roger Brandt, National Park Service, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Oregon Caves National Monument expanding tenfold

'Banana Grove' flowstone in the Oregon Caves National Monument. Image by Roger Brandt, National Park Service, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

‘Banana Grove’ flowstone in the Oregon Caves National Monument. Image by Roger Brandt, National Park Service, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – You won’t see a different cave or a new chateau at the Oregon Caves National Monument. But some are calling the expansion of the landmark, with legislation attached to a defense spending bill signed recently by President Obama, a monumental change.

The monument will be nearly 10 times its original 488-acre size, with 4,000 acres added. It will include the entire watershed above the caves, where scenic Bigelow Lakes lies below Mount Elijah – named after Elijah Davidson, who discovered the cave in 1874.

Roger Brandt, historian and Illinois Valley tourism promoter, said the larger square on the map will bring more tourists.

“A lot of people completely miss this monument,” Brandt said. “You look at pink spots on the Oregon map that show where parks are, and you don’t see it.

“There are bigger reasons for doing this than just getting a bigger spot on the map, but I think that’s going to be what gets more attention.”

Lee Webb, former biologist for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, used to lead evening trips in the shadow of Mount Elijah looking for long-eared owls. It pleases him to see that area part of the monument now.

“Bigelow Lakes is one of my favorite spots on the forest,” Webb said. “The National Park Service wanted to control the drainage, and that makes sense. Geographic boundaries make sense.”

Cattle are no longer grazing in the drainage because a buyout of a grazing right was negotiated, which should enhance the hike.

“Bigelow Lakes is one of the best loop trails in the valley,” added Brandt.

“With a monument like this, you get this inferred guarantee for a high-quality experience. If you go around the world, just about every country has national parks now, and that’s what people travel to see.”

“I think we’ll see increased visitation,” said Vicki Snitzler, superintendent at Oregon Caves since 2008. “There are a lot of folks out there interested whenever parks get new designations or expansions.”

Snitzler said now that the National Park Service has taken over management from the U.S. Forest Service of the land added to the monument, it has 14 to 16 more miles of trails and 25 more miles of roads to maintain.

“The legislation didn’t come with any new money or any new employees, so we’ll be using what we currently have in our budget to try to make it stretch,” Snitzler said.

One of the first tasks is dealing with hazard trees at a former Forest Service campground, now part of the park, that has been closed for two years. Snitzler said inclusion of the creek that flows through the cave – known as the River Styx – as the first underground Wild and Scenic river is another honor bestowed on the monument, along with the 80-year-old Chateau being named to the prestigious Historic Hotels of America program in 2014. It was already a National Historic Landmark.

Greg Walter, another Illinois Valley historian and businessman, was thankful to U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio for pushing the legislation through. It’s also timely, with the centennial of the National Park Service coming in 2016.

Brandt said the expansion is another tourist victory, joining the ever-growing visitor highlights in the valley, which include the Illinois Valley Smokejumper Base and Museum at the airport and the Forks State Park that is undergoing improvements.

“In my opinion, it’s not all about just the Illinois Valley,” he said. “It’s about Josephine County and southwest Oregon. This will increase the flow of traffic into the area.”

Expansion of the monument was previously proposed by the National Park Service in 1939, 1949 and 2000.

“It seemed like the planets aligned and it finally happened,” Snitzler said.

___

Information from: Daily Courier, http://www.thedailycourier.com

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

AP-WF-12-27-14 1952GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


'Banana Grove' flowstone in the Oregon Caves National Monument. Image by Roger Brandt, National Park Service, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

‘Banana Grove’ flowstone in the Oregon Caves National Monument. Image by Roger Brandt, National Park Service, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Visitors exploring the Oregon Caves in the 1940s. National Park Service photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Visitors exploring the Oregon Caves in the 1940s. National Park Service photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Oregon Caves Chateau at Oregon Caves National Monument. Image by Jess Stryker. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

The Oregon Caves Chateau at Oregon Caves National Monument. Image by Jess Stryker. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.