Bruneau & Co. rings up impressive prices for historic phones

The Bell and Watson prototype phone, accompanied by original 1881 patent paperwork and a tag with Watson’s handwritten name and the date Aug. 2, 1881, sold for $40,000. Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

CRANSTON, R.I. – An original model of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson’s very first telephone from 1881 sold for $40,000 and a rare circa 1876 Bell Butter Stamp magneto telephone originally installed at a residence in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1891 brought $27,500 at an historical telephone auction held Aug. 4 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Garden furniture highlighted in Rago auctions Aug. 24-26

Limestone obelisk, 5½ft tall on a double ogee plinth, 20th century. Estimate: $500-$700. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – As millennials take their first steps into the realm of home ownership, they face their next big challenge – creating an outdoor living space where they can relax or entertain. Enter Rago’s Arts and Auction Center August Unreserved Auctions on Aug. 24-26, a three-day auction series of antique, vintage and modern art and design, including a bumper crop of garden furniture, planters, benches, and architectural elements from a local estate that run the gamut from French Deco to Egyptian Revival to modern designs. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Fine art, antiques abound in Blackwell Auctions’ Aug. 11 sale

Pierre Villain (French, 1880-1950), oil on canvas painting of a couple relaxing on a beach, 19¾in x 25¾in in a 25in x 30½in frame, signed ‘P. Villain’ at lower right. Estimate: $200-$400. Blackwell Auctions image

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Blackwell Auctions has lined up nearly 450 lots of fine art, antiques and collectibles for their next sale on Saturday, Aug. 11, which will begin a noon Eastern Time. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Photo exhibit documents revival of Polish Jewish life

Poster advertising the Chuck Fishman photo exhibition at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – American photographer Chuck Fishman was just 21 when he began traveling behind the Iron Curtain in 1975 to document a Jewish community on the verge of dying out after centuries of existence in Poland. He couldn’t have foreseen a Jewish revival that came after the fall of communism in 1989.

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Dallas Museum of Art to survey Cult of the Machine, starting Sept. 16

Gerald Murphy, Watch, 1925, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artists, 1963.75.FA, © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly, Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

DALLAS – The Dallas Museum of Art will present the first large-scale traveling exhibition in over 20 years to look at early 20th-century American culture’s love affair with technology and mechanization that influenced architecture, design, and the visual arts. Hailed as “illuminating” upon its opening at The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art “captures that other era when Americans were obsessed with new technology.” The DMA is the only other venue to present this exhibition that includes 14 superb examples of Precisionist painting, photography, and silver work from its permanent collection by such well-known masters as Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth, Gerald Murphy, Paul Strand, Walter Dorwin Teague, and William Waldo Dodge, Jr.

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Jasper52 auction unlocks cabinet of curiosities Aug. 14

Life-size hyper-realism sculpture by Evan Penny for FXSMITH studio, circa 2008. Estimate: $35,000-$75,000. Jasper52 image

NEW YORK – Cabinets of curiosities were encyclopedic collections of macabre and bizarre objects gathered from around world. Many of these obscure curiosities are found in an online auction to be conducted by Jasper52 on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

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