Former Seaboard Coast Line Railroad class M-6 caboose on display at the Mulberry Phosphate Museum in Mulberry, Fla. Image by Harvey Henkelmann, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Mich. museum adds restored caboose to its collection

Former Seaboard Coast Line Railroad class M-6 caboose on display at the Mulberry Phosphate Museum in Mulberry, Fla. Image by Harvey Henkelmann, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Former Seaboard Coast Line Railroad class M-6 caboose on display at the Mulberry Phosphate Museum in Mulberry, Fla. Image by Harvey Henkelmann, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

ST. CHARLES, Mich. (AP) – Nearly 30 years ago, a James Township family made an unusual purchase: a full-sized train caboose.

Today, after extensive renovation, the caboose has been sold and moved to the St. Charles Area Museum for public display.

Carol Bray purchased the caboose in 1986 after a suggestion by her father, Ralph Garlick, who used to work at Railway Express delivering mail.

Bray told The Saginaw News that she went to Flint, Mich., to check out the caboose a couple times before purchasing it, bringing Garlick along once to inspect it, who said it was a good deal because of the potbellied stove inside it.

Garlick never got a chance to see it in Bray’s backyard, as he passed away before the caboose was moved to their home.

Bray continued to renovate the caboose, sandblasting and staining it to look like its original condition when it was built in 1941.

The renovations were finished in either 2001 or 2002, and Bray said she would use it at Christmastime and light it up with decorations.

Bray said she was approached by Jim Palmer, owner of the St. Charles Area Museum, about two years ago to see if she was interested in selling it.

“I had no (plans) of selling it until … Joe came knocking at the door,” she said.

Palmer said he casually mentioned to a friend he was thinking about buying a caboose, when he was told that Bray owned one.

What decided that she was going to sell the caboose, Bray said, was that St. Charles was going to keep it in its original condition and make it something people can come and learn about its history.

“My fear was always having it made into a popcorn stand or an ice cream (stand) or something like that,” she said.

“My intention of restoring the caboose was always to keep it in its original condition. So it could be… appreciated by the younger generations.”

The caboose was lifted off its wheels and put on the flatbed of a semi-truck, while the wheels were moved separately and placed on the train tracks at the museum for the caboose to be placed.

Palmer said all the money used to purchase the caboose was raised through grants and donations, including a $10,000 donation from the estate of Josie Manzoni, who died earlier this year, which helped get them to the $25,000 needed to purchase the caboose.

“We’re looking to show people what it was,” he said. “It’s going to be well taken care of.

“For what the trains were back in the ’40s … they were an important entity at one time.”

___

Information from: The Saginaw News, http://www.mlive.com/saginaw

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

AP-WF-12-29-14 0911GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Former Seaboard Coast Line Railroad class M-6 caboose on display at the Mulberry Phosphate Museum in Mulberry, Fla. Image by Harvey Henkelmann, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Former Seaboard Coast Line Railroad class M-6 caboose on display at the Mulberry Phosphate Museum in Mulberry, Fla. Image by Harvey Henkelmann, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The exterior of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Image by Winonave. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

2015 marks Lincoln museum’s 10th anniversary

The exterior of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Image by Winonave. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

The exterior of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Image by Winonave. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will celebrate 10 years in 2015 with activities and events.

The celebration falls during the year that also marks the 150th anniversaries of Lincoln’s assassination and the Civil War’s end.

The museum’s major exhibit will be “Undying Words: Lincoln 1858-1865.” With the Chicago History Museum, it explores Lincoln’s changing views through five key speeches with unique artifacts.

The museum will become digitally connected. Visitors will be able to see digital content on their mobile devices during tours.

In the spring, “The Battle Hymn Story” will premier in the theater explaining the origins of July Ward Howe’s singular anthem, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

There will be a special summer “under the stars” event outdoors in Union Square Park.

___

Online: http://www.illinois.gov/alplm

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

AP-WF-12-29-14 1309GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The exterior of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Image by Winonave. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

The exterior of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Image by Winonave. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

A good rock crystal glass decanter engraved with a Wisteria design by Stevens and Williams. The silver mount is hallmarked for London 1904. Sold for £340. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

Miscellaneana: Glassware and Accessories

A good rock crystal glass decanter engraved with a Wisteria design by Stevens and Williams. The silver mount is hallmarked for London 1904. Sold for £340. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

A good rock crystal glass decanter engraved with a Wisteria design by Stevens and Williams. The silver mount is hallmarked for London 1904. Sold for £340. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

LONDON – If you’ve kept up these last couple of weeks, you’ve shunned the supermarket and purchased your vintage wine at your local saleroom; you’ve tracked down an appropriately elaborate corkscrew to flourish when you uncork your next bottle and you’re all set for a new year of dinner parties that will make friends and family green with envy. Hang on, what about the antique wine glasses, decanters and claret jugs, coasters, monteiths and not forgetting wine labels?

Nothing sets off a table better than a suite of fine drinking glasses, especially when accompanied by good decanters and here the choice is bewilderingly large. Surprisingly, decanters from about 1750 have survived in fairly large numbers. The earliest resemble wine bottles in shape and have tall pyramid-shaped, usually diamond cut, stoppers. Later ones became slightly dumpier with flat, plain stoppers. After about 1800, barrel shapes with “mushroom” stoppers and three rings around their necks for easy handling became popular.

The Irish were probably the finest decanter makers, these latter types often bearing heavy, ornate but nonetheless fine cutting. Rarities to look out for include the wide-bottomed ship’s decanter, so designed to keep an even keel in rough seas and claret jugs with graceful handles, often embellished with silver or plate.

And before you pass the port, another collectible you may care to add to the gift list is a wine coaster, which, when you do, will prevent the bottle or decanter from scratching the table. These small, highly decorative trays with their green baize covered bases, became popular in the late 18th century when it was fashionable to lay the table without a cloth.

Collecting antique drinking glasses is a good place to begin a collection of wine-related antiques, particularly since many good, useful examples can be found for less than £30. Most were free-blown and often retain a primitive quality that includes bubbles and other small imperfections that are appreciated as part of the experience of collecting early blown glass.

The earliest glasses have what is generally referred to as a folded-foot, meaning the base of the glass is turned under to a double thickness, providing both strength and lighter weight. The most common form has a cylindrical bowl with canted sides, often called a bucket shape.

Round and ovoid-shaped bowls have single or double knops on their stems, while the tulip-shaped glass, usually with a straight stem, was most popular from around 1790 to 1800. Glasses decorated with engraved designs are more desirable, while figural or dated designs tend to be scarcer and expensive.

The monteith is often mistaken for a punch bowl. The difference is the ornamental scalloped rim around the top of the vessel which permitted wine glasses to be held by their feet and suspended upside down in ice water to cool them before serving. Some had a detachable rim allowing the vessel to double as a punch bowl.

Back in the days of exotic tipples with such names as Calcavella, Rhenish, Malaga and Marsalah came in bottles mostly lacking paper labels to tell you which was which, households had their own sets of nametags for use every time new supplies arrived from the vinter.

Usually in silver and with delicate chains to hold them in place around the necks of bottles, the labels were fashioned in highly decorative styles. Surprisingly large numbers are still around today and would make a charming collection.

They first appeared in the 1720s, when they were known as bottle tickets. Made entirely by hand, rectangular and crescent shapes were popular in the 1730s, while those shaped like the escutcheons around key holes on furniture were favourites in the late 1740s.

Ornament such as feather edging (1740s); piecing and cresting (1770s) and embossing (1790s) were finishing touches to beautiful hand-crafted objects. By about 1790, however, die-stamping machines had been adopted, which meant production could be stepped up and costs kept down.

Although lighter than labels made by hand, die-stamped labels have more intricate and detailed decoration. Stylish cut-glass decanters also became popular at about the same time, which, by necessity, meant larger labels became fashionable.

Die-stamping was superseded by casting in the 1820s, these labels being heavier with extremely wide decorative borders, Sadly, they are not of the same quality of their predecessors.

Decoration on wine labels is as varied as the imaginations of the silversmiths who crafted them. Shield-shaped labels were plain in their earliest forms, but later examples were embellished with vine leaves, grapes and decorative edges.

Shell designs were common, while those shaped like vine or acanthus leaves with pierced lettering naming the spirits to which they relate date from about 1824.

However, putting precise dates on wine labels is a difficult task, even for the experts. Those dating from before 1790 often do not carry hallmarks and, to add to the confusion, designers who introduced a particular fashion in a particular period were often happy to carry it on for many years thereafter.

Part of the charm of a collection of labels is the insight they give to the scores of wines and intoxicating cordials that existed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many are now long forgotten and lengthy detective work is often the only way of discovering their true nature.

Wine labels were also made in countless materials other than silver. Perhaps those most sought after are in Battersea enamels, while others can be found in porcelain, bone, silver plate, silver gilt, even silver mounted boar’s tusks and tiger claws.

The end of this most elegant way of identifying a bottle’s contents was the Licensing Act of 1860. Parliament decreed, among other things, that bottles of wine and spirits sold to the public should be identifiable by printed paper labels firmly attached around the outside. Trust HM Government to spoil things.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


A good rock crystal glass decanter engraved with a Wisteria design by Stevens and Williams. The silver mount is hallmarked for London 1904. Sold for £340. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

A good rock crystal glass decanter engraved with a Wisteria design by Stevens and Williams. The silver mount is hallmarked for London 1904. Sold for £340. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

Pass the bottle: a good Stuart Crystal suite of glass comprising everything required for a well-stocked table. It sold for £240. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

Pass the bottle: a good Stuart Crystal suite of glass comprising everything required for a well-stocked table. It sold for £240. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

Wine by the label. This selection of early 19th century silver and silver gilt labels includes some rarities such as the shell for Bordeaux, worth £400-£500; the elephant for claret (£3,000-£3,500) and the wonderful bat for whisky (£1,200-£1,500). Photo Woolley & Wallis Auctioneers

Wine by the label. This selection of early 19th century silver and silver gilt labels includes some rarities such as the shell for Bordeaux, worth £400-£500; the elephant for claret (£3,000-£3,500) and the wonderful bat for whisky (£1,200-£1,500). Photo Woolley & Wallis Auctioneers

This rare George III mother of pearl wine is incised ‘Calcavella,’ a sweet amber Portuguese wine from Carcavelos, near Lisbon. Auction estimate: £100-£150. Photo Woolley & Wallis Auctioneers

This rare George III mother of pearl wine is incised ‘Calcavella,’ a sweet amber Portuguese wine from Carcavelos, near Lisbon. Auction estimate: £100-£150. Photo Woolley & Wallis Auctioneers

A George III mother of pearl label for the lethal-sounding brandy-based ‘Milk Punch.’ Auction estimate: £80-£100. Photo Woolley & Wallis Auctioneers

A George III mother of pearl label for the lethal-sounding brandy-based ‘Milk Punch.’ Auction estimate: £80-£100. Photo Woolley & Wallis Auctioneers

A pair of George V cut glass decanters with silver mounts, assayed in London in 1910, sold for £190. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

A pair of George V cut glass decanters with silver mounts, assayed in London in 1910, sold for £190. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

A good pair of rock crystal glass silver mounted decanters by Stevens and Williams engraved with water lily design, the mounts hallmarked London 1903. Sold for £1,200. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

A good pair of rock crystal glass silver mounted decanters by Stevens and Williams engraved with water lily design, the mounts hallmarked London 1903. Sold for £1,200. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

A handsome William IV silver gadrooned coaster with wood base (Sheffield 1831) sold for £280. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

A handsome William IV silver gadrooned coaster with wood base (Sheffield 1831) sold for £280. Photo Ewbank’s Auctioneers

An imposing monteith, or wine glass cooler, assayed in 1890. The name is said to derive from a ‘fantastical Scott called Monsieur Monteigh who wore the bottome of his cloake or coate so notched.’ Auction estimate: £1,000-1,500. Photo Matthew Barton Ltd Auctioneers

An imposing monteith, or wine glass cooler, assayed in 1890. The name is said to derive from a ‘fantastical Scott called Monsieur Monteigh who wore the bottome of his cloake or coate so notched.’ Auction estimate: £1,000-1,500. Photo Matthew Barton Ltd Auctioneers

Cartier 18K yellow gold and fancy yellow diamonds, onyx and emerald two-headed tiger bangle. Image courtesy Los Angeles Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show

Benefit preview launches LA Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show

Cartier 18K yellow gold and fancy yellow diamonds, onyx and emerald two-headed tiger bangle. Image courtesy Los Angeles Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show

Cartier 18K yellow gold and fancy yellow diamonds, onyx and emerald two-headed tiger bangle. Image courtesy Los Angeles Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show will launch with an opening night premiere party benefitting the FIDM Museum Fashion Council on Wednesday, Jan. 14, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall.

Proceeds from the party will benefit the FIDM Museum Fashion Council. A volunteer group dedicated to supporting the museum’s educational goals, as well as the acquisition of important objects, their current focus is fundraising to support the purchase of the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection—1,400 pieces of clothing and accessories dating from the 1600s to the 1930s, assembled by Southern Californian Helen Larson between 1946 and 1996.

Highlights include a circa 1610 Italian jerkin, 18th-century cloth-of-silver and gold garments, 19th-century haute couture, and many ensembles with royal provenance, including over 30 objects worn by Queen Victoria. The collection includes Helen Larson’s personal correspondence with eminent fashion curators and dealers, and purchase records.

The opening will debut a special exhibit of wearable art curated by Kevin Jones, curator of the FIDM Museum. The exhibit will feature exceptional examples of world-class fashion.

The evening’s host committee includes Alana Banner and Devin Peters, Donna Bunce, Gabrielle and Christophe Choo, Tsion Chudnovsky Esq., Lily Collins, Jill Tavelman Collins, Beatriz Hyp, Zee Allred and Drago Gligic, Randy Harding and Ana Launes, Linda and Robert Knoth, Eleni V. Lambros, Mona Lee Nesseth, Roberto Pellecchia, Mariel Pinkman, Linda Plochocki, Mima and Dale Ranson, George Rozsahegyi, Boyd S. Smith, Eileen Talebi, Deborah Veady, Valaree Wahler, Ruth and Hutton Wilkinson, and Adele Yashioka and Bruce Collins.

The Los Angeles Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show is attended by collectors, philanthropists and celebrities such as Barbra Streisand, James Brolin, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jerry Bruckheimer, Henry Winkler, Kevan Hall, Patricia Arquette, Lauren Graham, Lily Collins, Michelle Monaghan, Debra Wilson, Princess Anita Theodora of Orange-Nassau, Gabrielle, Duchess of Schoeneberg, Hill Harper, Robert LaSardo, Domingo Zapata, Bria Murphy, James DuMont, Alex Lombard, Sue Wong, Consul General for the U.A.E. Abdulla Ali Saboosi.

The Los Angeles Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show will take place on Jan. 14-18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015. The 2015 opening night premiere party will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 14, from 8 p.m.-11 p.m., with a Vanguard Preview beginning at 7 p.m. Vanguard tickets are $200 and Friend tickets are $125. To purchase tickets and see related benefits, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/e/los-angeles-jewelry-antique-show-january-15-19-2014-tickets-1816558375.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Cartier 18K yellow gold and fancy yellow diamonds, onyx and emerald two-headed tiger bangle. Image courtesy Los Angeles Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show

Cartier 18K yellow gold and fancy yellow diamonds, onyx and emerald two-headed tiger bangle. Image courtesy Los Angeles Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show

Cartier 18K white gold diamond, emerald and black onyx Windsor Panthere earrings. Image courtesy Los Angeles Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show

Cartier 18K white gold diamond, emerald and black onyx Windsor Panthere earrings. Image courtesy Los Angeles Jewelry, Antiques & Design Show

This elaborate mahogany tall case clock with nine tubes and two different chimes dates from about 1890. It auctioned recently for $13,743 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans.

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Dec. 29, 2014

This elaborate mahogany tall case clock with nine tubes and two different chimes dates from about 1890. It auctioned recently for $13,743 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans.

This elaborate mahogany tall case clock with nine tubes and two different chimes dates from about 1890. It auctioned recently for $13,743 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – The sound of chimes ringing 12 times at midnight blends with the “10, 9, 8 …” chant that ushers in the new year on Jan. 1. Today we may watch the year change on a television screen, but in years past the celebration was timed by a chiming grandfather clock. Even earlier, New Year’s were timed by a clock in the church steeple or the city hall tower. Before that, time was judged by daylight and darkness, and summer and winter climates.

Today the cell phone is always handy to let you know exactly what time it is. The grandfather clock was originally known as a tall case, longcase or floor clock. The 6- to 8-foot-tall clock has a weight-driven pendulum. It was invented in 1670 or so. In the early 20th century, it was the most accurate timepiece available. There are two types: the expensive eight-day clock that has to be wound once a week, and the less-expensive 30-hour clock that has to be wound once a day.

An unusually large 1880 carved mahogany clock, 107 inches high and made by J.J. Elliott of London, sold in September at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans. The clock has elaborate carving, fretwork, rosewood panels with inlay, chimes, and a brass-and-silvered dial. It brought $13,743. To tell the accurate time for New Year’s Eve, it must be placed in a room with a high ceiling – over 9 feet – and leveled.

Q: My four-piece bedroom suite includes a headboard, dresser, chest of drawers and nightstand. Each piece is marked with a triangle, a large letter “K” and “Korn Industries, Incorporated, Sumter Cabinet Company.” It’s solid oak and in excellent condition. What price could I ask for this set?

A: Sumter Cabinet Co. was a division of Korn Industries. Chester Korn started a timber company and sawmill in Cincinnati in 1889 to make buggy parts and other wood products. The company moved to Sumter, S.C., in 1921. Bedroom furniture was first made in the 1930s and dining room furniture in 1989. The company was sold in 2000 to Chromecraft Revington, which continued to use the Sumter brand name until late 2006. The price of used bedroom furniture depends on style, quality, condition and age. It probably can only be sold locally, because shipping is expensive. It should be priced as a bargain, about half the cost of a new set.

Q: How much is a bottle of Dom Perignon vintage champagne worth? I have a 1995 bottle, 750 ml, in its original box.

A: An unopened bottle of Dom Perignon vintage 1995 in its box is worth about $175 to $200. Empty, the bottle could sell for about $12 and the box for less than $10. Remember that in some states, you need a special license to sell bottled alcohol.

Q: Every time I used to visit my aunt, she asked me to polish her fancy silver tea-and-coffee service. When she died, she left the set to me. It includes a teapot, coffeepot, creamer, sugar bowl and waste bowl. Each piece is elaborately decorated, and each lid is topped by a pheasant finial. My aunt said she bought the set, which she thought was sterling, from an antiques dealer. The hallmark on the bottom is a circle surrounding the words “Meriden B Company.” Also inside the circle is an image of a balance scale between two stars. Who is the maker, and what is the set worth?

A: Meriden Britannia Co. was organized in 1852 in Meriden, Connecticut, by brothers Horace (1824-1890) and Dennis (1828-1886) Wilcox and several other partners. Although its first products were made of Britannia metal (pewter), the company was making silver-plated hollowware by 1855. Your silver-plated (not sterling) set probably dates from the 1860s or ’70s. In excellent condition, it could sell for over $1,000.

Q: I have a plastic clown bank in its original box. It must be at least 25 years old. The clown is 11 1/2 inches tall and is wearing a red-and-white polka-dot cloth shirt, yellow pants and orange shoes and hat. When you put a coin in his right hand and lift his left arm, the coin falls into his mouth. The box reads, “The more coins he eats, the bigger his belly gets.” It’s marked “J.S.N.Y.” How much is it worth?

A: The initials stand for “Jeffrey Snyder New York,” a company that made and imported giftware, housewares and toys. It was founded in New York in 1975, but its products were made in several Asian countries. It was part of Etna Products Co., a New York firm founded in 1945. The clown bank shows up online for about $15 without the box and for $30 with the original box.

Q: I have two souvenir paper needle books in fairly decent shape with all the needles still inside. One is from the 1939 New York World’s Fair and pictures the Trylon and Perisphere. The other needle book reads “Ambassador of Good Will” on one side and pictures flags from several countries. It says “Lone Eagle” on the other side and pictures a plane flying over the globe, a ship and a train. Are they worth anything?

A: “The Lone Eagle” was a nickname for Charles Lindbergh, who flew a goodwill tour of Latin America in 1927 and 1928. Vintage needle books usually sell for $5 to $10. Needle cases that are Lindbergh souvenirs or mementos from a World’s Fair are collectible. Each one might sell for about $15.

Tip: Clocks should be cleaned and lubricated every five years.

Take advantage of a free listing for your group to announce events or to find antique shows, national meetings and other events. Go to the Calendar at Kovels.com to find, publicize and plan your antiquing trips.

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

CURRENT PRICES

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

  • Soda bottle, stoneware, cobalt-blue spout, shouldered, stamped “J.E. Ferris,” c. 1870, 10 inches, $85.
  • Betty Boop doll, wood, string-jointed, painted red dress and shoes, 1930s, 4 1/2 inches, $110.
  • Cupboard, step-back, two glass doors, two panel doors, two drawers, yellow paint, c. 1900, 48 x 82 inches, $205.
  • Dopey, walker, tin lithograph, clockwork, Walt Disney Enterprises, Louis Marx, 8 inches, $235.
  • Meissen porcelain plate, turquoise ground, center courting scene, gilt rim, 7 1/4 inch pair, $240.
  • Aviation medal, “Feriam Sidera” (Strike the Stars), bronze, Art Nouveau nude attaching wings to her ankles, storks taking flight on reverse, engraved by Paul-Marcel Dammann, 1920, 3 1/2 inches, $545.
  • Alabaster bust, girl wearing bonnet, mourning dead bird in her basket, Italy, 16 1/2 inches, $625.
  • Blackamoor, turban, striped rolled-up pants, papier-mache, 68 inches, $1,000.
  • Silver-plated epergne, Georgian, six arms, crystal bowls, armorial engraving, England, c. 1900, 26 x 24 inches, $1,375.
  • Art glass vase, black silhouettes, dancing nudes in forest, turquoise, oval, c. 1950, 22 inches, $1,500.

Ralph and Terry Kovel, syndicated newspaper columnists, best-selling authors, avid collectors and national authorities on antiques, hosted the HGTV series “Flea Market Finds With the Kovels.” Enjoy the shows all over again, and explore some of the most exciting flea markets in the United States. In each episode, Ralph and Terry share their secrets about when and where to shop, what to look for at shops and flea markets, and how to make a good buy. The DVDs of Season 3 include three DVDs, 12 episodes in total. Available online at KovelsOnlineStore.com for $29.95, plus $4.95 postage; by phone at 800-303-1996; or mail a check to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


This elaborate mahogany tall case clock with nine tubes and two different chimes dates from about 1890. It auctioned recently for $13,743 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans.

This elaborate mahogany tall case clock with nine tubes and two different chimes dates from about 1890. It auctioned recently for $13,743 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans.

'Marriage' (1893) by American artist Gari Melchers (1860–1932). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

State budget cuts impacting Virginia museums

'Marriage' (1893) by American artist Gari Melchers (1860–1932). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

‘Marriage’ (1893) by American artist Gari Melchers (1860–1932). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) – State budget cuts are impacting two museums owned by the University of Mary Washington.

The James Monroe Museum and Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont are facing budget reductions tied to state funding for higher education.

The Free Lance-Star reports that both museums have four funding sources: state allocations, sales, membership programs and the University of Mary Washington’s budget.

Officials with the James Monroe Museum say increased visitation and sales in its store are making up part of those cuts and the museum is increasing the price of admission $1 in the new year.

But Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont is seeking donations to avert a shutdown early next year instead of increasing fees because officials there said raising rates would drive patrons away.

___

Information from: The Free Lance-Star, http://www.fredericksburg.com/

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

AP-WF-12-26-14 1525GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


'Marriage' (1893) by American artist Gari Melchers (1860–1932). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

‘Marriage’ (1893) by American artist Gari Melchers (1860–1932). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Pietro da Cortona's 'Virgin and Child with Saints.' Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons

17th-century Italian painting restoration reveals mysteries

Pietro da Cortona's 'Virgin and Child with Saints.' Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons

Pietro da Cortona’s ‘Virgin and Child with Saints.’ Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) – The Triumph of David was a mess.

Old, original paint on the 17th-century canvas was faded and flaking in many spots. Newer paint from several inexpert restoration attempts had become discolored.

Standing before the massive painting at Villanova University, art conservator Kristin deGhetaldi could tell all this with her experienced eye. But in order to bring the painting back to life, how could she tell where the old paint ended and the new paint began?

The answer: a mix of art and science.

The 12-by-19-foot painting, thought to be the work of Italian artist Pietro da Cortona or one of his close associates, is in the midst of a two-year, $100,000 conservation effort.

Researchers have used an array of advanced scanning techniques to determine the chemical composition of various layers of pigment to help deGhetaldi and her team decide which layers to remove and which to stabilize or leave alone.

In September, university officials brought in technicians to X-ray the painting and were surprised to find a mystery figure hidden beneath the surface.

It all began in 2006 with chemistry professor Anthony Lagalante, who teaches a science course for non-majors on the chemistry of painting. He was looking for artwork on campus that his students could see in person.

The Rev. Richard Cannuli, curator of the school collection, told him about the painting attributed to Cortona – an architect and artist probably best known for his ceiling fresco in the Barberini Palace in Rome.

Largely forgotten by the outside world and in grave disrepair, the school’s purported Cortona hung in an old wing of Villanova’s Falvey Memorial Library that was used to store boxes of microfiche.

Lagalante, himself an avid painter, was stunned.

“You look up on the wall, and there’s this giant painting that is clearly suffering,” he said. “How did this painting come here? Why is this here in this media room?”

He learned it had been given to the university in 1950 by Eugenia Ruspoli, the American-born wife of an Italian nobleman. Other faculty members, including art historian Tim McCall, agreed with him that the biblical scene, which depicts David’s triumph after slaying Goliath, was worth saving. Experts from the Philadelphia Museum of Art also were consulted.

The university eventually hired deGhetaldi, an independent conservator who also is a doctoral candidate in preservation studies at the University of Delaware. She and a team of interns got started in fall 2013.

The work has involved a heavy dose of science, with assistance from Lagalante and others in the university chemistry department. Team members used a handheld device that measures how different regions fluoresced in response to X-rays – a technique that gives a snapshot of the elements in the paint.

Among other findings, the device indicated the presence of a zinc-based varnish, a kind not used in the 17th century. It was clearly applied in a restoration attempt, so deGhetaldi and her crew had to take it off, with the judicious use of solvents, in order to work on the original surface beneath.

The device also revealed chromium and barium in the yellow shirt of a soldier at the left of the painting. Those two elements were not used to make paint until the 1800s. They were clearly applied during an imperfect attempt at restoration and had to be removed.

But X-ray fluorescence gives only an overall reading; it does not indicate which layers of the paint contain the elements in question.

So in some cases, the conservation team removed tiny flecks of paint from areas that already were flaking. These were studied with a scanning electron microscope – which can magnify its target many thousands of times – and special software that revealed the elemental composition of each layer.

Guided by these findings, deGhetaldi and her team have removed about 90 percent of the unoriginal varnish and discolored, unstable paint from restoration attempts – as much as they could without harming the original layers beneath.

They now are using modern conservation paints to fill in damaged areas and match the artwork’s surrounding original hues. These special resin-based paints are stable yet easily removable, if better techniques emerge in the future.

In September, with money from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the university hired a team from General Electric to take X-rays of the vast canvas.

Among other surprises, the X-ray films showed that beneath a soldier’s shield was the hidden image of a man holding a fasces – a bundle of wooden rods with an ax blade that was a symbol of power in ancient Rome.

The paint used in the shield appears to be from the 17th century, so as near as the team can tell, the man was covered up soon after the painting was completed.

“Clearly, they decided they had to get rid of this figure,” said McCall, the art historian.

But why? Did the artist change his mind about the composition? Did a wealthy patron want the figure blacked out?

That and other mysteries remain, such as who painted the wall-size canvas, when, and for whom. McCall, Lagalante, and deGhetaldi will go to Rome in March to meet with experts who may be able to help.

But in the meantime, the conservation effort has already sent a jolt through the world of those who study 17th-century Italian art.

David Stone, a University of Delaware art historian who has visited the project several times, said the progress so far was exciting. A specialist in the Italian painter Caravaggio, he also is well acquainted with the work of Cortona.

But not this one.

“I had never heard of it,” Stone said, “because if I had, I would have been there the next day.”

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Online:

http://bit.ly/1xgCWx8

___

Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

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

AP-WF-12-26-14 1627GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Pietro da Cortona's 'Virgin and Child with Saints.' Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons

Pietro da Cortona’s ‘Virgin and Child with Saints.’ Image courtesy of Wikemedia Commons

Passport photograph of the British author D.H. Lawrence. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

D.H. Lawrence’s New Mexico ranch in need of preservation

Passport photograph of the British author D.H. Lawrence. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Passport photograph of the British author D.H. Lawrence. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

TAOS, N.M. (AP) – A northern New Mexico ranch where novelist D.H. Lawrence once sought spiritual renewal is in need of its own renewal.

The University of New Mexico, which owns the picturesque mountain ranch north of Taos, is seeking ways to preserve the property, officials said Friday. The school has formed the D.H. Lawrence Ranch Initiatives to strategize how to fund developing the site into a place for educational and cultural activities, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

English professor Sharon Oard Warner and R. Gary Smith, associate director of the UNM Physical Plant Department, are co-chairing. They plan to put together an advisory board that will include representatives from the D.H. Lawrence Ranch Alliance and Friends of D.H. Lawrence.

According to preservation advocates, Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, made summer visits in 1924 and 1925. Even after Lawrence’s 1930 death, the ranch still hosted many famous visitors. Among them was Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, author Willa Cather and artist Georgia O’Keeffe.

Frieda Lawrence, who died in 1956, left the property to the school in her will.

The 160-acre ranch has fallen into decline, especially after the death of a longtime caretaker in 2008. The water and electrical systems, as well as the bathrooms, need to be upgraded. But the property is open to the public at various times throughout the year.

The ranch is made up of a homesteader’s cabin and a smaller building. The main cabin was where the Lawrences worked and lived. The smaller structure was once occupied by Lady Dorothy Brett, a painter, and now houses a memorial to Lawrence. A pine tree outside the homesteader’s cabin was the subject of O’Keeffe’s 1929 oil painting, The Lawrence Tree.

Initiative organizers plan to apply for a grant with the state Historic Preservation Division and talk to potential donors. A Santa Fe architecture firm has already devised a possible preservation plan.

Warner said she would like to see the ranch become home for an artist colony.

“It was the place he hoped to bring young people to learn writing, art, music, and I, for one, feel quite compelled to try to help that vision stay alive,” Warner said.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com

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

AP-WF-12-27-14 2046GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Passport photograph of the British author D.H. Lawrence. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Passport photograph of the British author D.H. Lawrence. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

1940s Duncan Miller parking meter that accepts pennies and nickles. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Manor Auctions.

Penny parking meters popular in small Illinois city

1940s Duncan Miller parking meter that accepts pennies and nickles. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Manor Auctions.

1940s Duncan Miller parking meter that accepts pennies and nickles. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Manor Auctions.

SYCAMORE, Ill. (AP) – Mike Stolarski didn’t need but a few minutes to grab a cup of coffee. But, being in a generous mood, he fed a parking meter enough for whomever pulled into his soon-to-be-empty parking spot.

So, instead of costing him a penny, it cost him two.

In a time of strained city budgets, this community of 18,000 residents an hour west of Chicago is one of a handful still holding onto meters that accept pennies, nickels and dimes around its town square. A penny gets you 12 minutes, a nickel buys an hour and a dime is worth two hours.

Don’t fret if bills or a credit card is all you have – sometimes people leave a few extra pennies stacked on the meters. And the guy whose job it is to write tickets when he spots expired meters? He’s been known to feed them.

The City Council quadrupled the fine for parking tickets a few years ago. “The fines went from a quarter to a dollar,” Mayor Ken Mundy said, adding out-of-towners often ask for a copy of the ticket as a keepsake.

While it seems like a scene straight out of It’s a Wonderful Life, there’s purpose in the parking strategy.

Mundy and others are well aware that meters translate into big money – and sometimes scandal – in places like Chicago, where parking costs as much as $6.50 an hour and a ticket is $65. But unlike many other communities, where downtowns are littered with boarded-up storefronts, theirs is thriving. And they think the penny parking meters’ message – that Sycamore is welcoming but not trying to gouge visitors – is one of the reasons why.

“The meters encourage people to come downtown,” City Manager Brian Gregory said, which to him is more valuable than the “few thousand dollars” in revenue Sycamore would realize if it raised parking rates. Right now, he said, the city basically breaks even.

So, why charge at all? Mundy and Gregory say the meters do exactly what the city and business owners want: Encourage motorists to park and shop without lingering too long so someone else can do the same.

“Even though it’s just a little money, it gives you a little more incentive to watch the time,” Stolarski said.

Merchants love the meters. “We use it as a marketing tool on Facebook,”’ Sycamore Antiques co-owner Ann Tucker said.

Shoppers do, too. “It keeps the quaintness of the town,” said Kathy Tornberg, who planned on using the whole two hours her dime bought recently. “Don’t tell them, but I’d be willing to pay a quarter for two hours.”

People who follow parking trends are hard-pressed to find another community with anywhere near the 316 parking meters still operating in Sycamore.

“There is no other one because it serves no purpose,” opined Larry Berman, a former New York City parking commissioner. “It is just amazing.”

There are a dozen in Silverton, Oregon. Just seven remain in Somerville, New Jersey, which once had 1,100.

“I used to have one of the first ones (on display) in my office,” Somerville’s Clerk-Administrator Kevin Sluka said. “One day they took it for the parts.”

In Sycamore, the penny meter’s survival is also a tribute to parking enforcement officer Giovanni Serra’s ability to fix them when they break down – and hunt down parts for those he can’t. Mundy knows what that means.

“There’s no doubt the supply is diminishing,” he said. “We will eventually be out of the penny parking business.”

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

AP-WF-12-26-14 1727GMT

 

 

 

Child's sled decorated with hand-painted flowers and original red paint. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Rich Penn Auctions.

No snow in the forecast for collector’s antique sleds

Child's sled decorated with hand-painted flowers and original red paint. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Rich Penn Auctions.

Child’s sled decorated with hand-painted flowers and original red paint. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Rich Penn Auctions.

RED LION, Pa. (AP) – There was no fresh snow to wipe off at Skip Palmer’s Red Lion doorstep on Christmas Eve, but there was a sled-shaped welcome mat nonetheless.

A hand-stitched sign – a gift from a neighbor – on a door just off the sitting room announces “Skip’s Toys.” Inside are “approximately 150” sleds, although there are “maybe a little more than that right now,” Palmer guesses – with more in the basement.

The grandfather of six and great-grandfather of “six with two more on the way” has been collecting sleds for the last 10 or 12 years.

“Two companies in York make them,” he said, heading straight to the back of the room to show off a Royal Plane Big Speedster from 1924. It came from the American Twin Novelty Co., which later combined with Acme Wheel and Wagon Co. to become the American Acme Co., he explained.

Walking around the room there were sleds from all over. He said the Northeast was the best place for sled-making, although there were good ones from as far west as Indiana. Most of the sleds had a card describing their origin and type.

Collecting seems to be in his blood. His kitchen is outfitted with rows and rows of McCormick brand spice tins from long ago. Above that rack and all around are eggbeaters and he happily demonstrated some of the more unusual ones. The eggbeaters are joined by a row of antique ice-cream scoops.

“A friend of mine, he started collecting sleds and he had a couple hanging on his wall and I thought that was pretty neat,” Palmer said. “So I ran into some really nice-sized hand-painted sleds.”

The collection grew from there.

“It kind of overtook the rocking horses and the baby carriages and all that other stuff,” he said.

A few Victorian-era baby carriages have already been moved out of the showroom to the sitting room. The rocking horses still take up space in the prime sled area but his enthusiasm for them is waning.

As Missy the kitten gently rocks a horse upholstered in burlap he said he’d like to get rid of the horses – even the ones dating to the mid-1800s – to make room for more sleds.

He does admit it’s an expensive hobby. He buys primarily from eBay and from friends who stumble upon old sleds in their travels. He still sometimes buys from antique stores if he finds a decent price.

Sleds sell across the price spectrum. Some, like the miniature doll sleds hanging from a post at the front of the room, have sold at unexpectedly high prices if they’re in good shape.

“I’ve seen these go anywhere from $1,000 to $1,300,” he said, tracing a place where the paint has faded on one of them with his finger.

But at least one famous sled sells for much higher: Rosebud from Citizen Kane.

Most of those sleds – specially made for the movie – were burned, Palmer said. But the one that’s still out there somewhere has sold for “big bucks.”

Compared to the painted or plain, handcrafted sleds made of hardwoods and metal surrounding him, Palmer said that modern sleds “got junky.”

“They wouldn’t last, I mean not like the older ones. Especially the steering sleds,” he said. “Kids had to take care of these because it was probably the only one they got.”

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Online:

http://bit.ly/1xNdWAr

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Information from: York Daily Record, http://www.ydr.com

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

AP-WF-12-26-14 2149GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Child's sled decorated with hand-painted flowers and original red paint. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Rich Penn Auctions.

Child’s sled decorated with hand-painted flowers and original red paint. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Rich Penn Auctions.