$25K reward offered for antique clock stolen at Chicago antique show

The front of the jewel-encrusted Asprey Mystery Clock. Image courtesy of M.S. Rau Antiques


CHICAGO — A $25,000 reward is being offered for the return of an antique clock stolen last month from an antique show at the Merchandise Mart.

Read more

Looted statues, pottery returned to Italy after probe in NYC

An Apulian Xenon kantharos, a drinking cup (left) decorated with the image of two goats butting heads, dating to the late fourth century B.C. and valued at $8,500; a Proto-Corinthian oenochoe, a wine jug decorated with rams and panthers (center), dating to 650 B.C. and valued at $22,500; and a Paestan red-figure lekythos, an oil flask depicting a man holding a plate of fruit, dating to 340 B.C. and valued at $9,500. Manhattan District Attorney’s Office image


NEW YORK (AP) – Seven ancient statues and pottery vessels are headed back to their homeland in Italy after authorities said they tracked down the stolen items in New York City.

Read more

Rare $425K clock stolen from Chicago antique show

M.S. Rau Antiques is asking that anyone with information regarding this Asprey Mystery Clock valued at $425,000, which was taken from their display at a Chicago antiques show, please contact authorities. Image provided by M.S. Rau Antiques


CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police say three people stole a rare, diamond-encrusted clock worth more than $400,000 from an antique show at the city’s Merchandise Mart.

Read more

California bookseller announces lawsuit challenging state’s ‘business-killing’ autograph law

Flag of California. Art by Devin Cook


SAN FRANCISCO (ACNI) — Book store owner Bill Petrocelli and Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Anastasia Boden have announced a lawsuit challenging the 2016 legislation known as AB 1570. The bill, which originated in the California Assembly, requires sellers of autographed items with a value of more than $5 to issue a certificate of authenticity to the purchaser affirming the signature. In the case of antique books or manuscripts, or other memorabilia signed years or even centuries ago, dealers argue that it is literally impossible to obtain a witness’s affidavit retrospectively.

The bill is burdensome even in cases that are current, dealers argue. “Even when an author signs a book in the presence of the store owner, the certificate must specify the date and place of the signing and identify a witness to it,” the plaintiff said.

Petrocelli and Boden claim the law violates equal protection standards because it “exempt[s]” Internet dealers and pawn shops from the requirements. It should be noted that, in this particular application, “Internet dealers” refers specifically to dealers who sell directly to customers via the Internet, e.g., through a business website they maintain. It does not apply to online-auction facilitators, for example, who are not the actual owners/sellers of merchandise in question.

California auctioneers and other affected parties have joined forces to protest the bill’s restrictions, which are viewed by many in the trade as heavy-handed business-killers that inevitably would lead to a loss of business to competitors in other states where no such legislation applies.

A news conference is scheduled today for 10:30 a.m. Pacific time at the Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, #42, in San Francisco.

#   #   #

By Catherine Saunders-Watson, Auction Central News International

Pissarro painting stolen by Nazis to rotate between Paris and US

‘Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep,’ Camille Pissaro, oil on canvas, 1886. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – An 1886 painting that was stolen as part of a Nazi looting campaign that stretched across Europe during World War II has been transferred to Paris from the University of Oklahoma.

Read more

15 indicted in eagle trafficking case; more charges expected

American eagle flying over the Alsek River. Image by AMWE83, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license


RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Federal officials in South Dakota said Monday that 15 people have been indicted for illegally trafficking eagles and other migratory birds after a two-year undercover operation potentially involving hundreds of birds.

Read more

Casino still holding Elvis Presley items sought by estate


Film screenshot of Elvis Presley wearing his unique “American Eagle” stage costume, from 1973 TV broadcast “Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii.” Fair use of copyrighted image for which no similar free image is known. Copyright 1973 Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and RCA Records. Note: Costume is not part of the Westgate archive discussed in this article.


LAS VEGAS (AP) – Hundreds of Elvis Presley artifacts and memorabilia are still being held by a Las Vegas casino, a year after the King’s estate filed a lawsuit to get those valuables back from a short-lived exhibit.

Read more

FBI recovers Rockwell painting stolen in New Jersey in 1976

Norman Rockwell painting ‘Lazybones.’ FBI image


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The FBI has recovered a 1919 Norman Rockwell painting stolen more than 40 years ago from a New Jersey home.

Read more

Henry Moore sculpture is returning to London’s East End

Henry Moore’s ‘Draped Seated Woman’ at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Image by David Sands. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license


LONDON (AP) – Old Flo is on her way home.

The London borough of Tower Hamlets says in a statement Tuesday that the Henry Moore bronze that was the center of a heated legal dispute will be returning to the east London this fall.

Read more

Stolen Van Gogh paintings return to Amsterdam after 14 years

‘Seascape at Scheveningen’ (1882) is one of two Van Gogh paintings stolen from the Amsterdam museum in 2002. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


AMSTERDAM (AP) – Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen in a smash-and-grab heist more than 14 years ago went back on display Tuesday at the Amsterdam museum dedicated to the Dutch master.

Read more