Long-lost Caravaggio painting makes public debut in Tokyo

Caravaggio's 'Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy .' Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Caravaggio’s ‘Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy .’ Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

TOKYO (AP) – A long-lost painting by Italian master Caravaggio is being shown to the public for the first time at an exhibition in Tokyo.

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University of Kansas to house original ‘Basket Ball’ rules

Statue of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, at the Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum in Springfield, Mass. Image by Randomduck. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Statue of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, at the Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum in Springfield, Mass. Image by Randomduck. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

 

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – James Naismith’s original rules of “Basket Ball” now have a home at Kansas University – right down to the nook they’ll rest in – but there’s a lot of finishing touches yet to complete.

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Michaan’s March 12 auction looking rosy with Bartens & Rice watch

Lot 100 - Bartens & Rice 18K yellow gold, platinum minute repeater open face pocket watch. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Michaan’s Auctions image

Lot 100 – Bartens & Rice 18K yellow gold, platinum minute repeater open face pocket watch. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Michaan’s Auctions image

 

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Michaan’s Auctions will conduct an auction March 12 that will feature a fine Barten & Rice 18k yellow gold minute repeater pocket watch. The auction will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific.

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$15M vase, newly discovered painting lead Gianguan Auctions’ March 10 sale

Lot 155 – Qing Dynasty yellow-ground famille vase decorated with masterful enameling and sgraffito. Value: $15 million. Gianguan Auctions image

Lot 155 – Qing Dynasty yellow-ground famille vase decorated with masterful enameling and sgraffito. Value: $15 million. Gianguan Auctions image

 

NEW YORK – When Asian art collectors and museum curators visit New York for Asia Week, Gianguan Auctions will greet them with collections of headline-making Chinese ceramics, ancient and modern scroll paintings and works of art by court scholars, artisans and monks whose vision and craftsmanship inspired emperors and influenced style for generations. The Gianguan Auctions sale is Saturday, March 19, at 39 W. 56th St. and online.

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PBA Galleries’ auction March 10 maps the way west

1849 Jacob De Cordova map of Texas. Estimate: $60,000-$90,000. PBA Galleries image

1849 Jacob De Cordova map of Texas. Estimate: $60,000-$90,000. PBA Galleries image

 

SAN FRANCISCO – On March 10, PBA Galleries will host the third installment of the Warren Heckrotte Collection of rare cartography, exploration and voyages. This sale contains 203 lots of rare and significant books, maps and atlases revealing the geographic and cartographic evolution of the United States and North America from the late 18th to early 20th centuries. There is much on the mapping of Texas and of the West, but also important maps of the eastern United States, large maps of all of the U.S., significant maps of Mexico and Canada, and even geographic games and puzzles.

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I.M. Chait’s Mar. 20 auction of Chinese ceramics & art is auspicious West Coast finale for Asia Week visitors

Chinese Ming Dynasty, Xuande Mark and Period, blue and white porcelain ice chest, 18 inches wide. Provenance: Wolch Collection, Los Angeles. Est. $600,000-$800,000

Chinese Ming Dynasty, Xuande Mark and Period, blue and white porcelain ice chest, 18 inches wide. Provenance: Wolch Collection, Los Angeles. Est. $600,000-$800,000

 

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – I.M. Chait’s annual end-of-March auction is an event held in highest regard by Chinese art connoisseurs returning home to the Far East after Asia Week New York. Those who visit the United States in pursuit of the finest Chinese antiques with prestigious provenance know they will find exactly that at the family-owned Chait gallery in Beverly Hills. The company’s highly anticipated post-Asia-Week auction is slated this year for Sunday, March 20 at the I.M. Chait gallery. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available via LiveAuctioneers.

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Chinese antiques push Clars auction over $2M mark

This Chinese Longquan type ice-crackled brush washer was estimated to sell for $800 - $1,200 but an intense battle of Internet bidders drove the final sale price to an amazing $89,250. Clars Auction Gallery image

This Chinese Longquan type ice-crackled brush washer was estimated to sell for $800 – $1,200 but an intense battle of Internet bidders drove the final sale price to an amazing $89,250. Clars Auction Gallery image

 

OAKLAND, Calif. – Asian art and antiques produced great surprises during Clars Auction Gallery’s sale on Feb. 20 and 21. Overall, the sale was a success, achieving $2.1 million.

The Asian category is always offered in the final session of Clars’ Sunday sales and, in perhaps the spirit of saving the most exciting for last, online bidders queued up for a fight to the finish on three lots in particular – all of which sold to bidders utilizing LiveAuctioneers.com’s Internet bidding platform.

Among the first lots that were offered in this session was a Chinese Longquan type ice-crackled brush washer estimated to sell for $800-$1,200. The bidding opened at $900 and the exhaustive battle of Internet bidders began driving the final sale price to an amazing $89,250.

Just six lots later, it happened again. A Chinese celadon wall vase (below) with an apocryphal Qianlong mark was expected to achieve $1,000 – $1,500. The bidding opened at $500 and this time, it was competitive bidding from the floor, phones and Internet that drove the final price on this piece to $77,350.

 

This Chinese celadon wall opened at $500 but competitive bidding from the floor, phones and Internet drove the final price on this piece to $77,350. Clars Auction Gallery image

This Chinese celadon wall opened at $500 but competitive bidding from the floor, phones and Internet drove the final price on this piece to $77,350. Clars Auction Gallery image

 

Fast forward 20 lots and a Chinese turquoise gauze Jifu dragon robe (below), late 19th/early 20th century, blows past its presale estimate of $3,000 – $5,000 selling for $45,750. This Jifu robe and the celadon wall vase came to the sale from a private Oakland estate.

 

This Chinese turquoise gauze Jifu dragon robe, blew past its presale estimate of $3,000 - $5,000 selling for $45,750. Clars Auction Gallery image

This Chinese turquoise gauze Jifu dragon robe, blew past its presale estimate of $3,000 – $5,000 selling for $45,750. Clars Auction Gallery image

Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAucitoneers.com.

 

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

Illinois man works to save whistle history

This rare triple steam whistle made by Lunkenheimer of Cincinnati stands 58 inches high. It sold at auction for $3,600 in 2013. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Rich Penn Auctions.

This rare triple steam whistle made by Lunkenheimer of Cincinnati stands 58 inches high. It sold at auction for $3,600 in 2013. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Rich Penn Auctions.

 

ILLIOPOLIS, Ill. (AP) – Billy Irvin can’t whistle-up the wind, but he knows how to sound out yesterday.

He is a collector and restorer of factory whistles, those steam-powered rooftop instruments that called the faithful to work for generations when reliable watches weren’t always within reach of everyone.

From the late Victorian period up through the 1950s, the brass and bronze whistles provided the soundtrack of working class lives: They signaled shift changes and lunch and, mercifully, time to go home.

“They were your worst enemy in the morning and your best friend in the afternoon, you know?” says Irvin, 35, who lives in the country near Illiopolis.

But often running on 150 pounds-per-square-inch of steam pressure and generating more than 100 decibels easily, it wasn’t just the workers who took notice.

Friends, Romans and countrymen outside the factory gates couldn’t help but lend them their ears, too, which is why whistles became the tweets and emails of their age, able to signal major events instantly.

Irvin has just finished a month-long project to restore the former Mueller Water Products Inc. Decatur factory whistle to its bronze glory. It now stands a gleaming but silent sentinel at the front entrance of the Hieronymus Mueller Museum and holds the memory of having been blasted to mark the end of World War I at 11 a.m on Nov. 11, 1918.

Decatur’s Review newspaper was entrusted with the job of actually confirming that the mass bloodbath in the war to end all wars had finally ceased.

“The Review will notify the Mueller factory, and the whistle will be sounded. All the other whistles in the city will then fall in the chorus,” according to a news clipping from the time anticipating the grand event.

Now, many of those factories of a century ago lie buried in the sound garden of history, along with their whistles. Irvin, a maintenance welder at Decatur’s Caterpillar Inc. plant, is part of a small, nationwide fraternity of whistle fans who hunt their quarry amid abandoned buildings and Internet sales.

“Before the personal computer, searching was kind of a crapshoot,” Irvin says. “The Internet has made it a thousand times easier.”

The master of a home workshop armed with a vast 1927 engine lathe, Irvin has the means and the skills to manufacture parts from raw brass and metal to save the whistles he finds. He had to make parts to fix the Mueller whistle and did it all for free, an intense labor of love.

“I appreciate what the Mueller Museum is doing for the community by preserving the past,” he says. “I think that is pretty important.”

What are the chances of a whistle expert walking into the museum one day, as Irvin did, and just happening to ask if they had the old factory whistle (it was stored in the basement) and then offering to fix it?

Laura Jahr, assistant museum director, is a big believer in the soundness of fate.

“It’s serendipity. We seem to get lucky over here in ways that we often can’t believe,” she says. “And, oh, what an amazing job Mr. Irvin did with our whistle, which would have been installed at the factory before 1900. You really need to come see it.”

Irvin’s own collection runs to 27 gleaming items, ranging from 21/2-inch-tall train cab whistles to 2-foot-long factory monsters in gleaming brass and bronze.

One circa 1918 specimen was saved from an old Pennsylvania Railroad workshop in Mingo Junction, Pa. This whistle sits outside his home and is connected to a compressed air supply and lets rip with a seven-second blast every day at 5 p.m. There are no neighbors nearby, which is just as well, as Irvin says he’s tested out the system and “can still hear it pretty plain from four miles away.”

Another of his whistles used to crown a psychiatric hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., and is a 24-inch column of bronze with a gaping red-painted mouth.

“It would signal shift changes but also had a darker use: if would be blown if there was an escape,” Irvin says.

The whistle resurrection specialist worries that what’s escaped us now is the whole bustling industrial era when factory whistles blasted forth their confident notes that told of lots of middle-class jobs chasing the American Dream.

“For such an simple item, there was so much behind whistles, and what they kind of represented,” he says. “An entire town could take pride in a busy factory.”

But not every whistle story has to end on a sad note. Irvin tells of a steam whistle that graced a former International Harvester plant in Canton that had been part of the soundscape of daily life there for generations. The remains of the hulking factory, which died in the 1980s, caught fire in 1997, but the then-mayor ordered that the whistle, known as “Big Toot,” be salvaged.

And when a company called Cook Polymer Technology came along to build its new plant on the old Harvester site, a working Big Toot was enshrined on the roof to thunderous applause on March 2, 2015. It now sounds daily at 8 a.m., noon and 5 p.m., and March 2 is known, by official proclamation, as “Big Toot Day” in honor of the generations that labored in the Harvester factory.

“A whistle that got to go home again,” Irvin says. “That’s neat.”
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By TONY REID, (Decatur) Herald & Review
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Source: (Decatur) Herald & Review, http://bit.ly/1QisM5G
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Information from: Herald & Review, http://www.herald-review.com

Copyright 2016 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-02-25-16 2318GMT