Miscellaneana: British artist Charles Spencelayh

Spencelayh-1“Antiques”, an oil on board by Charles Spencelayh, estimated at £20,000-30,000. Photo Peter Wilson auctioneers

‘Antiques,’ an oil on board by Charles Spencelayh, estimated at £20,000-30,000. Photo Peter Wilson auctioneers

 

LONDON – When a painting sells for a world record £280,000, it’s time to take notice. When you learn that the artist painted it while he was living and working under he patronage of a rich cotton merchant, you just have to learn more about the man whose name is spelled in such a strange way.

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Actor Federico Castelluccio to pen book on Guercino discovery

 

Federico Castelluccio with Guercino’s ‘St. Sebastian,’ painted circa 1632-1634.

Federico Castelluccio with Guercino’s ‘St. Sebastian,’ painted circa 1632-1634.

PRINCETON, N.J. – Actor/art collector/artist Federico Castelluccio, whose discovery of a 17th century Baroque masterpiece of St. Sebastian by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as “Guercino,” gained world-wide attention last fall, is writing a book about the experience.

Since that time, this painting, one of only three half-length St. Sebastians by Guercino in the world, has been on exhibit at the Miradolo Castle near Torino, Italy and is currently on public view for the first time in North America at Princeton University Art Museum through January.

Castelluccio visited the campus recently to film an on-camera video interview to discuss his discovery of the painting and its lineage, for use at the university.

And now, Federico Castelluccio is writing his book The Master’s Piece: Uncovering the Secrets of a Lost Baroque Treasure, about the discovery of the Guercino painting, taking readers through his more than three-years of extensive research tracing its fascinating origin and history over the last 350 years, along with the various stages of testing, authentication and working with top conservators in the restoration process.

Having signed on with top New York literary agent Matt Bialer at Greenburger Associates, the firm behind The Da Vinci Code and other best sellers, Castelluccio will also delve into how he developed his connoisseurship of Baroque art collecting, ultimately leading to the discovery of the Guercino masterpiece.

Previous to his well-documented discovery of the Guercino at a small auction house in Germany, Castelluccio, known to many for his role on the HBO television series The Sopranos, had already amassed a museum quality collection of Old Master Baroque paintings and drawings from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries from his various travels all over Europe, auctions and private dealers. His private collection includes works by Luca Giordano, Francesco Solimena, Francesco De Mura, Palma il Giovane and Giovanni Andrea Sirani.

Picasso painting recovered in New Jersey back in Paris museum

The century-old cubist painting by Pablo Picasso known as ‘La Coiffeuse,’ or in English, ‘The Hairdresser.’ U.S. Department of Justice image

The century-old cubist painting by Pablo Picasso known as ‘La Coiffeuse,’ or in English, ‘The Hairdresser.’ U.S. Department of Justice image

PARIS (AP) – A $15 million Pablo Picasso painting is back on display in a Paris museum after a long and unusual journey.

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Magnificent 1929 Duesenberg J convertible could top $2M at Morphy’s Oct. 11 Automobile Auction

Star of the auction: 1929 Duesenberg J Convertible Coupe with rumbleseat, offered with no reserve, estimate $1,800,000-$2,500,000

Star of the auction: 1929 Duesenberg J Convertible Coupe with rumbleseat, offered with no reserve, estimate $1,800,000-$2,500,000

DENVER, Pa. – Many classic car experts say the Duesenberg was the finest automobile ever built. A favorite of Hollywood’s early millionaires, its sumptuous Art Deco styling, peerless performance and uncompromising quality from bumper to bumper made the Duesenberg an American motoring legend in its own time, even spawning the expression, “It’s a Duesie!” – a part of the American lexicon to this day.

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Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Guide reports real prices

The 652-page 'Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2016' contains 32,000 prices and 2,500 pictures.

The 652-page ‘Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2016′ contains 32,000 prices and 2,500 pictures.

NEW YORK – Antiques collectors have turned to the Kovels for their peerless annual guide since the first edition appeared in 1968. In the past four decades, Americans have become much savvier, and collecting has become much more popular. What has remained the same is the anticipation need each year for the publication of the newest Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibes Price Guide by Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel. Read more

Silver and gold: Rare US coins await bidders at Michaan’s sale Oct. 8

Lot 1051, a U.S. 1907 gold $20 Staint-Gaudens high relief double eagle is expected to sell for $9,000-$10,000. Michaan’s Auctions image

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Michaan’s second stand-alone coin sale, on Oct. 8, will present the rarest coin the auction company has ever offered to bidders. A U.S. 1839 Gobrecht pure silver dollar is one of only 10 of its known in existence, minted as an original government prototype proof piece and never put into circulation.

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Fellows auction Oct. 5 taps motherlode of Blue John mineral

A fine Blue John pedestal tazza. Estimate: £1,500 – £2,000. Fellows image

A fine Blue John pedestal tazza. Estimate: £1,500 – £2,000. Fellows image

BIRMINGHAM, UK – The catalog has been released online for one of Britain’s largest auctions of rare Derbyshire Blue John pieces, being held at Fellows Auctioneers on Monday, Oct. 5. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.

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First Ladies’ handbags highlight Judith Leiber designs at Heritage Auctions, Oct. 9

Multicolored crystal Foo Dog Minaudiere. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000. Heritage Auctions image

Multicolored crystal Foo Dog Minaudiere. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000. Heritage Auctions image

DALLAS – An exclusive collection of designer Judith Leiber’s most iconic luxury handbags – including custom creations for presidential First Ladies – will be offered to the public for the first time in Heritage Auctions’ special presentation of The Art of Judith Leiber Luxury Collection™ Oct. 9. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.

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Russian billionaire gives up Picasso watercolors in art dealer feud

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who reportedly paid $31 million for two Picasso masterpieces and 58 drawings. Earlier this year, Rybolovlev sued Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier for fraud. Photo by Francknataf, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who reportedly paid $31 million for two Picasso masterpieces and 58 drawings. Earlier this year, Rybolovlev sued Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier for fraud. Photo by Francknataf, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

 

PARIS (AFP) – A billionaire Russian art collector has handed over two Picasso watercolors to French authorities investigating whether they were stolen, in the latest twist of a feud with his Swiss art dealer that has gripped the high-end art world.

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Dutch still aim to buy two Rembrandts despite massive French bid

Rembrandt (Dutch, 1606-1669) portrait of a man identified as Maerten Soolmans, oak on panel, painted in 1634

Rembrandt (Dutch, 1606-1669) portrait of a man identified as Maerten Soolmans, oak on panel, painted in 1634

 

THE HAGUE (AFP) – The Dutch government is still counting on bringing two rare Rembrandts back to the Netherlands despite a substantial offer by France to buy one of them, officials said Friday.

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