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Stories for March '14

(MAD News)

Eric Caren Is Selling Again
by Lits Solis-Cohen

Addicted collectors sell periodically in order to continue their hunt. Eric Caren is one of them. He began collecting at age five and by age 11 discovered old newspapers and periodicals. After college he went to London to work for a book dealer and then came back to the U.S. ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Exhibitions
by M.A.D. staff

Maine Antique Digest includes, as space permits, brief announcements of exhibitions planned by galleries, museums, or other venues. We need all press materials at least six weeks in advance of opening. We need to know the hours and dates of the exhibit, admission charges, and phone number and Web site ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

The Antique and Vintage Jewelry Market, According to Schwind
by Mary Ann Brown

Bill Schwind told me this Art Deco bracelet in diamonds and platinum has a geometric centerpiece in each bar with a marquise diamond and open work on the wrist. “It’s quiet, which means it doesn’t scream at you. You’re not looking like Diamond Lil. It’s not too glitzy.” He said ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

American Folk Art at Edward Thorp Gallery
by Clayton Pennington

A view of the spacious Edward Thorp Gallery on the sixth floor in the Baron building at 210 Eleventh Avenue in New York City. This circa 1920 carved wood shelf with paint was from Maine and featured deer and birds. Measuring 18" x 28" x 7", it was priced at $19,500. ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

American Folk Art Museum Announces Acquisitions, a Touring Exhibition, and Staff Changes
by Lita Solis-Cohen

At Sotheby’s sale of the collection of Ralph Esmerian (see page 30-D), the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM), New York City, bought three lots. One is an early 19th-century copybook, 5" x 8¼", inscribed with the name Daniel Steele and with 40 pages of drawings and tune notations in ink ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Momentum
by Clayton Pennington

Editorial Will 2014 be the year of American folk art? It’s shaping up that way. One couldn’t ask for a better start. The Ralph Esmerian sale at Sotheby’s was a blowout, bringing in $12.9 million for a folk art collection that was well published and coveted. The bankruptcy trustee overseeing the dispersal ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Bellamy Project Receives Large Gift
by M.A.D. Staff

The work of Kittery Point, Maine, woodcarver John Haley Bellamy will come to life at Discover Portsmouth in 2014. The Portsmouth Historical Society has received a $55,000 grant from Mr. and Mrs. Pete Nicholas to support a new book and exhibit on Bellamy, famous for his iconic carvings of American ... (Read More)

(Young Collectors)

Taking Care of Business
by Andrew Richmond and Hollie Davis

The Young Collector Years ago, when we had our first Christmas together while we were in graduate school in Delaware, we put up a Christmas tree. It was by just about any standards a Charlie Brown tree. We didn’t have much money to spend, so when we needed a tree topper, ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Antique City Show Adopts Express Ticketing Procedure
by M.A.D. staff

Attendance at Antique City Fun Fair in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, increased by 63% last April. The line at the box office was an eighth of a mile long, according to promoter Norman Schaut, and two hours after the doors opened, the line still wrapped around the Lehigh University field house. Schaut said, ... (Read More)

(Book Review)

Books Received
by M.A.D. Staff

These are brief reviews of books recently sent to us. We have included ordering information for publishers that accept mail, phone, or on-line orders. For other publishers, your local bookstore or mail-order house is the place to look.   The Coast & the Sea: Marine and Maritime Art in America by Linda ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Letter from London
by Ian McKay

Ian McKay, ianmckay1@btinternet.com Few sales had taken place in London by the time this report had to be written and sent off for editorial scrutiny, so I have taken the opportunity to sweep away the last remnants of my 2013 files. The resulting cull did, however, leave me with an early ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Robert C. Eldred Jr. Retires
by M.A.D. staff

  Eldred at a July 2013 sale. Jackie Sideli photo. Robert C. Eldred Jr., CEO of Robert C. Eldred Co., the auction house in East Dennis, Massachusetts, has retired after a career of more than 45 years. Eldred joined the firm in 1969, after serving in Vietnam and working as a sales professional ... (Read More)

(Computer Article)

Tablets
by John P. Reid

A tablet computer can browse Web sites of auction houses such as Christie’s. Details and pictures are available at a touch. Computer Column #303 John P. Reid, jreid@dca.net Tablet computers have received favorable comments in this column in the past year. They can do many of the things antiquers do on desktop computers. ... (Read More)

(The Art of Marketing)

The Art of Marketing
by Al Kenney

Last month I began to cover the topic of utilizing social media. It’s obviously a very broad topic, which I’m sure I will write more about in a future issue. This month I’d like to change gears and move on to another topic—branching out into new lines of business. I’ve received ... (Read More)

(Auction Law and Ethics)

Subjective Compass, Objective Reading
by Steve Proffitt

Auction Law & Ethics You’re about to bid for a lot you want at an auction. The auctioneer introduces the piece and commences the chant for the offering: “I’m bid five hundred…now a quarter…I’m bid five hundred here, now a quarter, five ana quarter, five ana quarter…now a half…five ana half, five ... (Read More)

(Book Review)

The Charm of 19th-Century Domescapes--Reality as a Vehicle for the Imagination
by Ed Polk Douglas

A Book Review   Under Glass: A Victorian Obsession by John Whitenight Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2013, 288 pages, hardbound, $89.50 from (www.underglassvictorianobsession.com). Let’s go back in time to, say, London, on a mid-September afternoon in 1858. We’re in the front parlor (on the second floor) of a row house in a prosperous upper-middle-class neighborhood. ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Gratz Joins Alderfer's
by M.A.D. Staff

Sanford Alderfer Companies, Hatfield, Pennsylvania, has expanded its fine art division and has added to the staff Paul Gratz, owner and head conservator of the Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio, located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Gratz said in a statement, “Over the years Alderfer’s has set records for many New Hope school ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

After the Hunt: The Trompe L'Oeil Art of David Brega
by Jeanne Schinto

David Brega with his elderly Shetland sheepdog, Rudy. The barn is at Worthington Pond Farm in Somers, Connecticut. The property is owned by Dan Roulier, a longtime friend of Brega and collector of both his and Douglas Brega’s work. Photo credit: David Butler. Glimpse of the studio/gallery. Schinto photo. The wooden cart ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

George Champion, Woodbury, Connecticut
by Frank Donegan

George Champion. Godzilla is not for sale; he’s the shop mascot. George Champion’s shop on Main Street South in Woodbury, Connecticut. He said, “People are convinced it’s an old schoolhouse, but it’s a total fabrication.” It was a cheese shop for years, and the previous owner, a metal sculptor, gave it ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

A Collector Speaks Up
by George Bulanda

Opinion I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say we collectors are a breed apart. We’re not like most people, and that’s fine. If everyone else shared our passion, there would be nothing left to collect. But that’s no excuse for non-collectors to disparage us by calling us insane, ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

U.S. Bans Commercial Trade of Elephant Ivory
by M.A.D. Staff

On February 11, the United States announced a ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory, prohibiting the import, export, or resale within the United States of elephant ivory “except in a very limited number of circumstances.” The new ban will: • Prohibit commercial import of African elephant ivory: All commercial imports ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Staffers Leave Troubled Auction House, Form New Company
by M.A.D. Staff

Two senior staffers at Ivey-Selkirk, the St. Louis, Missouri, auction house, gave their notice on January 27, resigning from the firm in order to start a new St. Louis auction company. Five other former Ivey-Selkirk employees also resigned. Susan Kime and Terry Beye have founded Link Auction Galleries, named after architect ... (Read More)

(Auction)

The Ralph Esmerian Sale
by Lita Solis-Cohen

This 11½" x 9" needlework sampler has been given the title from the worked words “Adam and Eve in Paradice” [sic] and was made by Lydia Hart in Boston in 1744. The stitched inscription reads, “Adam and Eve in Paradice That Was The/ir Pedigree They Had A Grant Never To/ ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Americana Week
by Lita Solis-Cohen

This scalloped-top Philadelphia tea table from the Eric M. Wunsch estate, probably made in the shop of Benjamin Randolph, with carving attributed to Richard Butts, brought $905,000. Christie’s photo. This eider drake decoy from the legendary McCleery collection, from a rig probably made by an unidentified maker on Monhegan Island, Maine, ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Vermonter Charged with Library/Historical Society Theft, Again!
by David Hewett

Patrick Rooney, 55, of Colchester was arraigned in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington on January 21 on charges of petty larceny and sale of stolen property. He pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to return to court on February 19. Rooney holds an unusual place in recent Vermont history. He’s the ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Signed "Sgt. Pepper's" Album Sells for $175,698
by M.A.D. staff

  A copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, signed by all the Beatles, sold on line for $175,698 (includes buyer’s premium) on January 15 at RR Auction, based in Amherst, New Hampshire. The first issue mono pressing of the album by U.K. Parlophone Records was signed on the full-color gatefold ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Mesda Launches On-Line Craftsman Database
by M.A.D. staff

On January 1, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) at Old Salem Museums & Gardens in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, launched its full-text, on-line Craftsman Database, a powerful resource for historians, collectors, and those researching their family histories. MESDA’s database contains information about artisans gathered through primary research in public ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Historical Documents of "Distinguished American Collector"
by Jeanne Schinto

The sale’s top lot, a huge archive (nearly 140 letters) of George III correspondence addressed to the 2nd Earl of Shelburne, sold for $159,900 (est. $40,000/60,000) to an American bidding on the Internet. This two-page letter signed big and bold by John Hancock as president of the Continental Congress sold for ... (Read More)

(Auction)

20th-Century Decorative Arts at Bonhams
by Lita Solis-Cohen

William Morris (b. 1957), Artifact: Shard with Bone Pins, 1995, cast glass, 17" x 24" x 2", together with iron mount, sold on the phone for $62,500 (est. $20,000/30,000). William Morris produced several series of glass sculptures that have come to be regarded as iconic examples of his work, including Artifact: ... (Read More)

(Auction)

American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Fairfield Porter (1907-1975), Morning after a Storm, signed and dated “Fairfield Porter ’73” bottom left, also signed and inscribed with title, medium, dates, and dimensions on the back, oil on board, 18" x 22", sold on the phone for $158,500 (est. $80,000/120,000). William Trost Richards (1833-1905), A Long Island Beach, signed ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Maine Primitives and Southern History
by Mark Sisco

“The finest example of cooperage we have ever seen. As tight as the day it was crafted,” was how Gould’s listing described this blue-gray-painted firkin with a double ring of locking bands on the upper rim, a single ring at the 9" diameter bottom, and square side buttons attaching the ... (Read More)

(Show)

The Greenwich Winter Antiques Show
by Julie Schlenger Adell

This silver-gilt royal presentation racing trophy was offered by Robert Lloyd, New York City, for $85,000. It is the Brighton Gold Cup from 1833 with a maker’s mark of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. On the wall behind the cup are some of the original oils painted for Guinness advertisements in ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Dylan Goes Electric to the Tune of $965,000
by Jeanne Schinto

On display at Christie’s were Dylan’s Fender Stratocaster, its case, and some of his lyrics. The guitar, which is dated May 2, 1964, still has its original flat-wound strings. On the wall is a photo of Dylan holding the guitar at a concert at Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York, ... (Read More)

(Auction)

William Morris's Press Goes to a Museum, and Newton's Principia Sets a Record
by Jeanne Schinto

William Morris, when contemplating “what should be the thing most to be longed for” in life, said he thought it should be, first, “a beautiful House” and then “a beautiful Book.” “To enjoy good houses and good books in self-respect and decent comfort seems to me to be the pleasurable ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Steam Locomotive Photography Leads Ephemera Sale
by Jeanne Schinto

A gargantuan archive of photographs and related material documenting the era of American steam locomotives was the top lot of the sale, selling to a dealer for $40,000. The lot included several thousand vintage photographs of locomotives in various formats, thousands of pages of meticulously detailed and organized typed notes, ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Arts of the American West
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Rare Meskwaki bear claw necklace and turban. The necklace is composed of 31 grizzly bear claws on an otter neck ring, each pierced through the center and joined together with a hide strip strung with an alternating series of large white and pale green glass trade beads, a long tapering ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Annual Thanksgiving Holiday Auction
by David Hewett

The ornate Art Nouveau enameled gold pin, set with 2.9 carats of European-cut diamonds and seed pearls, brought $15,400. Pictured are three separate lots of jewelry. The Art Deco platinum brooch set with pointed rubies and diamonds, plus other diamonds, in a filigree setting sold for $1925. The Art Deco diamond ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Americana Auction at Garth's
by Don Johnson

This Federal Pembroke table, attributed to the Goddard family of Newport, Rhode Island, circa 1810, is mahogany with urn and bellflower inlay. It may have been refinished and has some surface wear. It brought $36,000. Chippendale chest of drawers in cherry, Massachusetts or Connecticut, circa 1780, period brasses and old finish, ... (Read More)

(Auction)

California Paintings
by Alice Kaufman

Under Surveillance, 24" x 30", oil on board, 1971, by Frank McCarthy (1924-2002) sold for $112,500 (est. $30,000/50,000) to a private collector from Texas, who had bought a Bierstadt at the Bonhams spring 2013 sale. Catalog notes said, “A porcelain plate was produced on behalf of Wells Fargo & Co. ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Hi-Yo Silver at Moore's
by Mark Sisco

The company of Samuel Kirk & Son, founded in 1815 or 1817, once billed itself as America’s oldest silversmith and operated under various Kirk family names until 1979 when it was bought out and renamed the Kirk Stieff Corporation. The intricately decorated matched pair of Kirk serving dishes sold for ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Wall Art Tops Vocal Art at Saco River
by Mark Sisco

Two early wax cylinder Edison recordings by the black singing group Unique Quartette sold for $2070 and $1265. Saco River photos. Robert Wesley Amick (1879-1969), oil on canvas, The Rainmaker, early 1940’s, $5175. This panoramic shoreline seascape by Caroline Melissa Nettleton Thurber sold for $16,675. Circa 1862 tintype of Abraham Lincoln, $575. This large ... (Read More)

(Show)

The Pier Antique Show
by Julie Schlenger Adell

This mixed-media work, The New York City Marathon, was displayed by Antique Elements, Roslyn, New York. The painting and the frame were made by Loren Munk (b. 1951) in the 1970’s. The dealers asked $12,500 for it. Glen Leroux of Westport, Connecticut, had the first booth as one entered the “modern” ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Julia Toy, Doll, and Advertising Auction
by Mark Sisco

This 29" tall Izannah Walker doll, once discarded in a trash heap, brought $14,220. Julia photos. This American Outline locomotive and tender by the German toy maker Märklin was adapted for the American market with the addition of a front headlamp, bell, and cowcatcher. The tender was missing its load ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Louisiana Purchase Auction Total Driven by Strong Regional Art Sales
by Karla Klein Albertson

Director of paintings Rachel Weathers stands by the star of this year’s Louisiana Purchase Auction, a portrait of Major General James Wilkinson (1757-1825) by Jose Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (c. 1750-1802). The work established a world record for the sought-after Spanish colonial artist when it sold for $591,000 ... (Read More)

(Show)

Stories of Rediscovery at the Boston International Fine Art Show
by Jeanne Schinto

Ecstatica II by Meghan Howland (b. 1985) is a 48" x 60" oil on panel. Finished within 24 hours prior to the show’s opening, it was offered at $15,000 by Bowersock Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Mount Dora, Florida, and sold. The large painting in the center is Night Fishing under ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Country Americana
by Jackie Sideli

This early redware pot, 7½" x 3 5/8", with a strong globular shape, coggle lines at the shoulder, and outstanding yellow-green with manganese brushed striping and splatters and fitted lid, was made in Bristol County, Massachusetts. It sold to dealer and artist John Sideli of Wiscasset, Maine, for $11,328. This nicely ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Mt. Crawford Marathon of Americana
by Walter C. Newman

Andrew Coffman is considered one of the pioneers of Shenandoah Valley stoneware. Although his name is less well known than other makers, examples of his work are prized by collectors. This 13¼" x 7¾" (rim diameter) ovoid salt-glazed storage jar dates from the second quarter of the 19th century. It ... (Read More)

(Show)

The Salon: Art + Design
by Julie Schlenger Adell

Moderne Gallery, Philadelphia, had a very good show, said owner Robert Aibel, who featured furniture by George Nakashima and ceramics by Toshiko Takaezu. The “Greenrock” American black walnut side table by George Nakashima (left), 1983, 26" high x 49" wide x 35" deep, was $35,000. The salt-glazed stoneware Tea Stack ... (Read More)

(Auction)

American History
by Don Johnson

Mary Ann Moorman’s Polaroid photograph of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, also with a Polaroid photo of a motorcycle officer, sold to a private collector after the auction for $45,000. “We wanted them to go to an institution, but no institution was interested,” said Wes Cowan. “Part of the ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Men's Historical Clothing Sells Big Time
by Richard de Thuin

Thomas McDonough was appointed the first British consul to New England (Boston) in 1790. He owned this British consul’s coat and breeches (and there is a portrait of him wearing them). The red wool broadcloth cutaway coat has blue facings, a high stand collar, gold bullion embroidery, and gold etched ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Holiday Sale 2013
by Don Johnson

Russell Crook stoneware vase, school of fish contrasting with an indigo ground, unmarked, 11½" high, restoration to two rim chips and a base chip, $36,800. Rookwood Sea Green vase, Matt Daly, 1899, lightly carved, three black cranes on a cloud-like green ground, 13" high, fine overall crazing, minor scratch or two, ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Million-Dollar Folk Art Sale
by Marty Steiner

Every Slotin sale has a number of Howard Finster works. This Finster, Vision of Mary’s Angel, 6000.908, October 14, 1987, enamel on wood, 48" x 48", ex-Phyllis Kind Gallery, was the highest-priced piece in the sale, bringing $51,600. Sister Gertrude Morgan, The Rising of Lazarus (Triptych): Christ the Multitude, Christ at ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Two Decades of Southern Pottery Society Sales
by Marty Steiner

“Huge” is the first impression of this 15-gallon storage jar with four lug handles and signed “J C M.” Known to be the work of Daniel Seagle, for resale by John Conrad Michal’s mercantile business, it is only the third known pot with this marking. It topped the prices realized ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Remington Drawings Tower over Thomaston Sale
by Mark Sisco

Thomas Hart Benton lithograph, Wreck of the Ol’ 97, Associated American Artists 1944 edition, $11,500. Thomaston Place photo. Two Frederic Remington ink drawings were the high lots of the sale. Shown is Sun Fisher, which brought $166,750. Not shown, A Running Bucker, which finished at $184,000. This original 11" x 8½" unframed ... (Read More)

(Auction)

"Christmas Wishes" Auction Exceeds Expectations
by Dick Friz

Märklin 2nd Series Cincinnati battleship, 1912-15, enameled, electric-driven, 34" long, $77,880. Märklin George Washington ocean liner, 1909-15, enameled, clockwork mechanism, 37" long, $77,880. Possibly unique C.K. (Japan) lithographed tin key-wind Santa open roadster with lively festive graphics and internal bellows, late 1930’s, 7" long, $37,760. Tipp & Co. (Germany) Minnie and Mickey Mouse ... (Read More)

(Feature)

Romanian Painting Sparks Lawsuit Two Years after Sale
by Clayton Pennington

More than two years after winning a painting at an auction, a buyer is suing the auction house, claiming that the Association of Art Critics of Romania has concluded that the painting is not authentic. A suit filed on November 7, 2013, in the Supreme Court of New York, County of ... (Read More)

(Show)

East Coast Toy Soldier Show Draws Record Crowd
by Henry L. Kurtz

Carolyn Kurkowski, a dealer from Peabody, Massachusetts, featured toy soldiers by Marlborough and Ducal. Sets ran from $90 to $120; individual figures from $15 to $35. Collectors inspect miniature soldiers that ranged from $50 to $250. Figures by King & Country formed the mainstay of this diorama of a World War II ... (Read More)

(Show)

"Were You There?"
by Cathy Aldrich

Some pondered if dealers Kris and Dick Kirby of the Farmer’s Daughter, Snoqualmie, Washington,  really wanted anyone in their booth as they had so many signs that indicated to stay away: “No Admittance,” “Private Property,” and “Please Keep Off.” The dealers setting up gave them a hard time, but one ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Fred Thompson Hand-Colored Photo Brings Thousands
by M.A.D. Staff

$3520. Photo courtesy Michael Ivankovich. At Michael Ivankovich’s October 11, 2013, auction in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a Fred Thompson hand-colored photo sold for $3520 (includes buyer’s premium). Fred Thompson was a photographer from Portland, Maine, who, like his contemporary Wallace Nutting, sold hand-colored photos during the early 20th century. Thompson visited Nutting’s Southbury, ... (Read More)

(Fragment)

Bankruptcy of Lender for Pledged Art and Antiques Leads to Arrests
by David Hewett

A grand jury in the San Jose Division of U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, indicted Anthony Barreiro and Ernest Ray Parker, alias Ray Parker Gaylord and Ray Gaylord, on September 25, 2013, for a total of 12 counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and the actual ... (Read More)
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