Kovels Antiques and Collecting: Week of Aug. 3, 2015

The wooden office chair of the 19th century has changed with technology. The base became iron, the chair could tilt and swivel, and the back could lean. But it all was replaced when the mesh-backed chair was introduced in 1994. This antique wooden chair is priced $695 at Harp Gallery (Harpgallery.com) in Appleton, Wisconsin.

The wooden office chair of the 19th century has changed with technology. The base became iron, the chair could tilt and swivel, and the back could lean. But it all was replaced when the mesh-backed chair was introduced in 1994. This antique wooden chair is priced $695 at Harp Gallery (Harpgallery.com) in Appleton, Wisconsin.

BEACHWOOD, OHIO – Chairs have one main purpose, but they are made in multiple shapes, sizes and types of material. Pictures show chairs in ancient Egypt, but they were not in common use until the 16th century. A king or religious leader had a very large chair (throne), often with arms that had elaborate decoration. Other people sat on stools. But by the 18th century, chairs were part of everyday life for the rich. The standard shape included a high back, wooden seat, four legs, and perhaps arms. But the largest chair in the house, the seat of power, was for the husband. That tradition still remains.

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Whimsical, luxury items commingle at Roland auction Aug. 8

Willy Rizzo for Jean Charles, mid-century modern travertine dining table with bronze trim, stamped ‘Jean Charles’ on base, 79in wide x 43 1/4in wide x 29 1/2in high. Estimate $3,500 to $4,500. Roland Auctions image

Willy Rizzo for Jean Charles, mid-century modern travertine dining table with bronze trim, stamped ‘Jean Charles’ on base, 79in wide x 43 1/4in wide x 29 1/2in high. Estimate $3,500 to $4,500. Roland Auctions image

NEW YORK – Roland Auctions NY will hold its August 2015 Auction on Saturday, Aug. 8, commencing at 10 a.m. Eastern. The second of three summer sessions, hosted by Manhattan’s only family-owned and operated auction house, this mammoth sale will contain a group of specially selected items of whimsy alongside choice luxury items of the first order. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.

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Australian museum to display opal regarded as best ever found

The multicolored 'Virgin Rainbow Opal' valued at Aus$1 million (US $730,000) will go on display in September at The South Australian Museum. Image courtesy of The South Australian Museum, www.samuseum.so.gov.au. Image appears under terms of Creative Commons Australia Attribution 3.0 Licence.

The multicolored ‘Virgin Rainbow Opal’ valued at Aus$1 million (US $730,000) will go on display in September at The South Australian Museum. Image courtesy of The South Australian Museum, www.samuseum.so.gov.au. Image appears under terms of Creative Commons Australia Attribution 3.0 Licence.

SYDNEY (AFP) – An Australian museum said Monday it would exhibit what it believes is the best opal stone ever found — a 6.0-centimeter (2.4 inch) multicolored gem unearthed in the Outback and named the ‘Virgin Rainbow.’

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Boise restoring home of outsider artist James Castle

James Castle, double-sided drawing of Farm House with Connected Barn, soot drawing on found cardboard. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Slotin Folk Art.

James Castle, double-sided drawing of Farm House with Connected Barn, soot drawing on found cardboard. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Slotin Folk Art.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Plans for a Boise home where artist James Castle lived include restoring an old bunkhouse where he worked and creating an artist-in-residence program at the site, officials said. Read more

Louis Armstrong exhibit plays on at Old U.S. Mint museum

Louis Armstrong with his trumpet, 1953. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.

Louis Armstrong with his trumpet, 1953. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A century after the teenage Louis Armstrong’s first pro gig at a honky-tonk, an exhibit about the jazz singer and trumpeter’s complicated relationship with his hometown is opening in a state museum in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Read more

Kaminski cruisin’ with a Mercury at Aug. 9 auction

Collection of vintage automotive and petroleum signs. Kaminski Auction image.

Collection of vintage automotive and petroleum signs. Kaminski Auction image.

BEVERLY, Mass. – A 1956 Mercury Montclair Phaeton previously shown by Bob Leslie of Lexington, Massachusetts, along with his extensive collection of vintage signs, oil cans, gas pumps and hood ornaments will feature at Kaminski’s Aug. 9 auction. The sale will also showcase two other important collections, to include decorative porcelain and celebrity ephemera from the estate of Jess Rand of Santa Barbara, California. Read more

Netsukes, art, old American Indian jewelry lead Aug. 10-11 estate auction in W. Palm Beach

Three examples of fine Japanese netsukes from the Estate of John Homes, Delray Beach, Fla., to be offered by Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches in their Aug. 10-11 sale. AGOPB image

Three examples of fine Japanese netsukes from the Estate of John Homes, Delray Beach, Fla., to be offered by Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches in their Aug. 10-11 sale. AGOPB image

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Fine-quality art, antiques and specialty collections from South Florida headline Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches’ (AGOPB) August 10-11 Summer Estates Auction. Both the Monday and Tuesday sessions will start at 6 p.m. Eastern time, and absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Bruhns Auction Gallery rolls out Victorian grandeur at Aug. 8 sale

American Renaissance Victorian rosewood marquetry inlaid parlor table with bronze mounts, turned legs, carved stretcher and finials. Attributed to Herter Bros., New York, 31in high x 32in wide x 47 long. Estimate: $4,000-$7,000. Bruhns Auction Gallery image

American Renaissance Victorian rosewood marquetry inlaid parlor table with bronze mounts, turned legs, carved stretcher and finials. Attributed to Herter Bros., New York, 31in high x 32in wide x 47 long. Estimate: $4,000-$7,000. Bruhns Auction Gallery image

DENVER – High Victorian furniture reigns as Bruhns Auction Gallery prepares to conduct its Summer Antiques Estates Auction on Saturday, Aug. 8, beginning at 11 a.m. Mountain time. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding. Read more