Kovels Antiques and Collecting: Week of Nov. 20, 2015

This pair of tin figures can dance across the floor when wound with a key. It was made about 1916, when the tango was the most popular dance. It sold at a June auction for $3,851.

This pair of tin figures can dance across the floor when wound with a key. It was made about 1916, when the tango was the most popular dance. It sold at a June auction for $3,851.

 

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – The tango was introduced in Argentina about 1902, but didn’t become the latest dance craze until about 1916. It spread to Paris, the United States and Europe, and remained a favorite until the 1920s. The tango was popular in upper-class dance parlors and has gone in and out of favor.

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Bidders at Jeffrey S. Evans auction rediscover Americana

Needlework sampler by Lennah Griffey, Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia), dated 1826, which sold for $21,850. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image

Needlework sampler by Lennah Griffey, Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia), dated 1826, which sold for $21,850. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image

 

MT. CRAWFORD, Va. – The Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates’ Americana and Fine Antiques Auction on Nov. 14 was a success by all accounts and generated strong prices in virtually every category.
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Roseberys auction Dec. 1-2 features Ken Howard winter scene

'From the Royal Exchange, Snow Effect' by British artist Ken Howard will be sold on the second day of the auction. Roseberys image

‘From the Royal Exchange, Snow Effect’ by British artist Ken Howard will be sold on the first day of the auction. Roseberys image

 

LONDON – Rosebery Fine Art auctioneers will present the painting titled From the Royal Exchange, Snow Effect by British artist Ken Howard, at their December Fine Art sale to be held Dec. 1-2.

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Tintin expert named Britain’s first professor of comic art

Benoit Peeters at the Paris Book Fair during the debate titled 'Does copyright have a future?' Photo by Georges Seguin, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Benoit Peeters at the Paris Book Fair during the debate titled ‘Does copyright have a future?’ Photo by Georges Seguin, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

 

LONDON  (AFP) – An expert in “The Adventures of Tintin” comic book series has been named as Britain’s first ever professor of “graphic fiction and comic art.”

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Donations save SS United States from scrapyard

The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Image by Mpftmead, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Image by Mpftmead, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A historic ocean liner that once carried princes and presidents has gotten a $600,000 lifeline that will save it from the scrap heap, for now.

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Ferrari hometown overwhelmed by roar of test-driving fans

1997 Ferrari F50. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers archive and Silverstone Auctions

1997 Ferrari F50. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers archive and Silverstone Auctions

 

MARANELLO, Italy (AP) – In the streets of Maranello, the hometown of Ferrari, the roar of the famed sports car is no longer the occasional bragging right of a proud new owner, but a constant backdrop as a number of test-drive businesses give would-be Schumachers the chance to rev up and peel out.

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De Kooning artwork still missing 30 years after museum heist

Willem de Kooning's 'Woman-Ochre.' FBI image

Willem de Kooning’s ‘Woman-Ochre.’ FBI image

 

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – An empty wooden frame once occupied by Willem de Kooning’s Woman-Ochre sits at the center of a gallery at the University of Arizona’s Museum of Art in Tucson.
Next to it are the composite drawings of two people police say stole the painting the day after Thanksgiving in 1985. The museum wants to remind visitors of the heist in hopes that a new lead in the 30-year unsolved mystery will appear.

“We have not given up hope about getting the painting back,” Gina Compitello-Moore, the museum’s marketing director, said. “By not having it, it’s almost as if a member of our family is missing.”

The painting by the abstract expressionist was stolen on Nov. 29, 1985 from the small museum that also has works by Jackson Pollock and Georgia O’Keeffe.

The museum had just opened when a man and a woman walked in. They were the sole visitors. The woman, described as being in her mid-50s with shoulder-length reddish and blond hair, distracted the a security guard by making small-talk while the man, who appeared to be in his 20s and wore a mustache and glasses, cut the painting from the large frame, leaving the edges of the canvass attached.

Within minutes, they were gone, taking with them one of the museum’s most important pieces. The painting was valued at about $600,000 when it was stolen.

“We have no idea why this particular painting was stolen. It could have been the size of the work. It could have been that this is probably his most recognized work,”
Compitello-Moore said.

Brian Seastone, the university’s police chief, was an officer back then who helped investigate the heist. He says the department, along with the FBI and other agencies working the theft, received a number of tips that led them nowhere.

“The gentleman pretty much knew what he wanted, it appeared, and went upstairs. And after a few minutes they both left very quickly and it drew the attention of the security officer who was there,” Seastone said. “Since then, it’s kind of become not a legend but one of those things that’s out there that people will talk about once in a while.”
Seastone says the man’s mustache and glasses may have been fake, an effort to disguise himself, and that the woman also may have been in costume.

Compitello-Moore said now is a good time to bring attention to the stolen painting because it could have changed hands by now, and its owner could not know they have a stolen piece.

“We’re happy to have to have the frame in there but we of course wish it were the painting,” she said.
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By ASTRID GALVAN, Associated Press

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-11-28-15 2207GMT

Egypt expects to find hidden rooms in Tut tomb

Bust of Nefertiti in Neues Museum, Berlin. Photo by Philip Pikart, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Bust of Nefertiti in Neues Museum, Berlin. Photo by Philip Pikart, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

 

CAIRO (AP) – Egypt on Saturday said there is a 90 percent chance that hidden chambers will be found within King Tutankhamun’s tomb, based on the preliminary results of a new exploration of the 3,300-year-old mausoleum.

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Alderfer to auction 1855 Singer sewing machine patent Dec. 9

The 1855 U.S. Patent for improvements to Singer's sewing machine. Alderfer Auction Co. image

The 1855 U.S. Patent for improvements to Singer’s sewing machine. Alderfer Auction Co. image

 

HATFIELD, Pa. – On Dec. 9 the Alderfer Auction Co. will offer at auction an original United States patent for improvements on the sewing machine designed by Isaac Singer as part of a “Legacy Auction – Rare & Important Autographs and Historical Documents” sale.

This rare document dated Nov. 6, 1855, detailed improvements to make double or compound seams using the sewing machine. Isaac Singer applied for this patent to protect his financial interests.

The early 19th century in America saw the growth and expanded use of the sewing machine. During this time many inventors and businessmen were vying for the financial success that selling and marketing a superior sewing machine could provide. Patents could protect an inventor’s investment.

Singer was born in Pittstown, New York, in 1811 and spent some of his early adult life as an actor and an inventor. Singer did not invent the sewing machine, but he developed many important and significant improvements in the design of the sewing machine and how they were manufactured. His improvements made the sewing machine more affordable and easier to produce. He also instituted a payment plan to get it into as many homes as possible. Singer’s foot-powered treadle sewing machine could sew over 800 stitches per minute, a huge improvement over hand stitching.

The patent that is being offered is an important document to sewing machine collectors, patent collectors, technology students and collectors of important ephemera. Patents of this importance rarely come to the market.

The two-page document holds a presale estimate of $3,000 to $4,000. For additional information contact Alderfer Auction Co. at 800-577-8846 or info@alderferauction.com.

Meijer Gardens makes additions to Railway Garden display

Meijer Gardens' model of the Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan, Zapopan, Mexico. Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Meijer Gardens’ model of the Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan, Zapopan, Mexico. Image courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has some new additions to its Railway Garden display. The Grand Rapids cultural attraction on Monday unveiled five new intricately crafted models as part of the “Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World” exhibition.

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