Stories for May '19

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Dealer Gary Hendershott Files for Bankruptcy
by Kay Manning

A Florida collectibles dealer charged a year ago with larceny and theft by taking in connection with historical guns and memorabilia belonging to a Georgia collector has filed for personal bankruptcy, claiming liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million and assets of between $0 and $50,000. The Chapter 13 filing ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Sally Clayton Pennington (1931-2019)
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Sally Clayton Pennington, 87, cofounder of Maine Antique Digest, died peacefully on March 21 at Riverside at Chase Point in Damariscotta, Maine, after a period of failing health. She was born on July 5, 1931, in West Columbia, Texas, to Max L. and Mary Lucile Clayton. She grew up in ... (Read More)

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Lost Model Plane
by M.A.D. staff

In December 2018, this model was shipped by UPS. It was tracked to a distribution center in New Jersey, and then it was lost. If anyone has seen this model for sale on the Internet or at an auction house or antiques show, please call (212) 517-2100; a reward will ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Pook Sells Mahantongo Painted Urn for $128,100
by Lita Solis-Cohen

The Mahantongo Valley, Pennsylvania, turned and painted urn-shaped sugar bowl or spice cup and cover, dated 1861 and inscribed “Jared Stiely" [sic], illustrated on the cover of Pook and Pook’s May 4 catalog sold on the phone for $128,100 (with buyer’s premium) to Edwin Hild, partner with Patrick Bell of Olde ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

The Bradford Family Potteries in Massachusetts
by Justin W. Thomas

American redware has been a type of utilitarian production sought after by collectors and museums for well over a century. The Pennsylvania German sgraffito wares were some of the earliest styles in demand. Understandably, many of the best examples disappeared from the American marketplace when they were acquired by such ... (Read More)

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Stolen First Nations Art
by M.A.D. staff

The Nanaimo Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a significant piece of First Nations art that was stolen in late March. The art piece, known as a spindle whorl, created and designed by local carver Joel Good, was last seen on Thursday, March ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Made in New York City: The Business of Folk Art
by Lita Solis-Cohen

American Folk Art Museum, New York City Elizabeth V. Warren, guest curator and a trustee of the American Folk Art Museum, has been thinking about New York City urban folk art for more than two decades. “Folk art is not just rural. Folk art was made in the cities too,” she ... (Read More)

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New Show in Massachusetts
by M.A.D. staff

Joshua and Rachel Gurley of Gurley Antique Shows will open a new show, The Fancy Flea at Edaville—Vintage and Antiques Fair, at the Edaville Family Theme Park in Carver, Massachusetts, on Saturday, June 22. The focus of The Fancy Flea will be vintage goods and antiques. By running it at the Edaville Family Theme Park, the ... (Read More)

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J. Levine Files Bankruptcy
by M.A.D. staff

On March 15 J. Levine Auction & Appraisal LLC, Phoenix, Arizona, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Court documents show the estimated number of creditors as 200 to 999. The company, established in 2009, has assets of $100,001 to $500,000 and liabilities of $1,000,001 to $10,000,000. The 20 largest unsecured claims total ... (Read More)

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Where Have All the Portraits Gone?
by Bettina A. Norton

Peter, Paul, and Mary’s plaintive song strikes a chord in the ongoing search for some missing portraits by 18th-century Salem, Massachusetts, artist Benjamin Blyth (1746-1811). He was an enigmatic man about whom little is known, despite that many of his portraits, primarily pastels, have been used in numerous publications over ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Tom Swope Gallery, Hudson, New York
by Frank Donegan

In the Trade Perhaps it’s not entirely surprising that Tom Swope should end up selling archaeological stuff. As a kid, he lived for a time on a Navajo reservation and in a Hopi pueblo. “Growing up on an Indian reservation, you’d just see potsherds lying around on the ground,” he said. Tom ... (Read More)

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Richmond Furniture
by M.A.D. staff

The first-ever exhibition dedicated to Richmond furniture, Classical Richmond Furniture: Early American History & Craftsmanship in Virginia’s Capital, is open through May 31 at the John Marshall House, Richmond, Virginia. The exhibition was curated by Michael S. Phillips. There are 20 Richmond-attributed pieces at the John Marshall House, and Phillips brought ... (Read More)

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Art Deals Lead to Lawsuits
by Clayton Pennington

Deals to buy three pieces of art—two contemporary and one Impressionist—have led to a lawsuit and a countersuit, with both parties claiming the other didn’t hold up their side of the bargain. The money involved is substantial— $645,000. Art dealer Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim, who runs art galleries under the name HG Contemporary ... (Read More)

(Computer Article)

Books in the Internet Age
by John P. Reid,

Computer Column #364 Books are old-fashioned but still important. They provide information that may have been long forgotten. No one library could hold a minute fraction of the books of the world. Searching for specific books is a necessary skill for a researcher. Antiquers may need book references to trace the provenance ... (Read More)

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Stacy Hollander Departs American Folk Art Museum
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Collectors and the museum world were shocked to hear that Stacy C. Hollander, deputy director for curatorial affairs, chief curator, and director of exhibitions at the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) in New York City, is leaving on June 30 the museum where she has worked for 34 years. Hollander said ... (Read More)

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Supreme Court Decision Changes Sales Tax Policies at Auction Houses
by Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo

In an e-mail sent on March 26, Josh Eldred, president of Robert C. Eldred, Inc., East Dennis, Massachusetts, notified clients of recent changes in sales tax laws that will require the imposition of sales tax on all objects shipped to New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The 2018 Supreme Court’s ruling in ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Letter from London, May 2019
by Ian McKay,

There are Impressionists and Post-Impressionists and moderns contributing to the pictorial content of this month’s “Letter,” but in terms of sheer numbers it is an exceptional collection of Lalique wares that leads the illustration count. Elsewhere there are dummy boards and walking sticks, something for those who like to row, and, ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Silhouettes “Cut Without Hands...”: A Rare Broadside for Miss Martha Ann Honeywell
by Marius B. Péladeau

The discovery of a previously unknown printed advertisement for Martha Ann Honeywell, a silhouette artist born without arms, caused this author to reexamine the young lady’s life and see if anything had surfaced in recent years that might cast new light on her unusual career. For someone to forge ahead in ... (Read More)

(Young Collectors)

A Fundamental Question
by Hollie Davis and Andrew Richmond

The Young Collector Is there anything more exhausting than a small child who wants to know the why of everything? And to answer is just a trap! We all know that nothing good comes of answering “Why?” because it’s just followed by another one. It is unending. Kid questions are unending ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Exhibitions, May 2019
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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 website for ... (Read More)

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Two Houdon Portrait Busts Bring $1.475 Million
by Lita Solis-Cohen

On July 2, 1778, the night of Jean Jacques Rousseau’s death at Ermenonville, the manor of Marquis Rene-Louis de Girardin near Paris, the marquis sent a letter to Jean Antoine Houdon asking the sculptor to come to Ermenonville and make a mask of the dead man’s face to preserve his ... (Read More)

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Alaska Dealer Indicted
by M.A.D. staff

On March 21 Lee John Screnock, 58, of Anchorage, Alaska, was charged with one count of misrepresentation of Indian-produced goods and products and two counts alleging violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. According to the indictment, Screnock allegedly offered goods and falsely suggested that they were Indian produced, an Indian ... (Read More)

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Record Broken for Sculthorpe Painting
by M.A.D. staff

On March 20 at Alderfer Auction, Hatfield, Pennsylvania, a watercolor by Chester County, Pennsylvania, artist Peter Sculthorpe (b. 1948), Winter in Berks County, sold to an absentee bidder for a record-breaking $33,000 (includes buyer’s premium). The 32" x 62" painting was estimated at $5000/8000. The previous record for a Sculthorpe work ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Auction Updates: Skinner and Fortuna
by Mary Ann Brown

Antique Jewelry & Gemology Photos courtesy Skinner and Fortuna Two jewelry auctions in one week in March, one online-only at Skinner in Boston and the other at Fortuna in New York City in a newly established monthly live auction format, represent the ways auction houses are tailoring sales to satisfy the needs ... (Read More)

(Auction)

American Art
by Julie Schlenger Adell

Sotheby’s, New York City Photos courtesy Sotheby’s A $3.34 million sale of American art took place at Sotheby’s on March 6, a few days after the close of the Art Dealers Association of America Art Show. Not a dealer was in sight at the start of the 10 a.m. sale, but several had ... (Read More)

(Show)

The Art Show
by Julie Schlenger Adell

New York City The Art Show, an annual event that features 72 member dealers whose proposals are reviewed and selected by their peers, offers its audience a more curatorial approach than other art fairs. The show, which is hosted by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), was held February 27 ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Thomaston Place Late Winter Auction
by Mark Sisco

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, Thomaston, Maine At the three-day auction at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries in Thomaston Maine, March 1-3, nearly 1300 lots came on the block. The top estimates in the catalog showed nothing over $20,000, but a handful of items rose from relative obscurity, including one rock star that ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Skinner Americana
by Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo

Boston, Massachusetts Photos courtesy Skinner Skinner’s Americana sale on March 2 celebrated the historical with objects as documents. Material relating to George Washington, for example, was highly desirable, and buyers bid accordingly. It wasn’t just the portraits and documents for sale; two porcelain objects were also historical. This portrait by Sheldon Peck (1797-1868) ... (Read More)

(Show)

Buyers Spell Success for Country Spirit Show
by Don Johnson

Country Spirit Antique Show, Arcola, Illinois In 1886 Alonzo Smith, a carpenter and pattern maker from Milwaukee, patented an educational toy he referred to as simply a spelling board. The device consisted of a wooden surface with letters that traveled freely around two concentric ovals that intersected a horizontal row. The ... (Read More)

(Show)

Americana Abounds at Rural Life Show
by Don Johnson

Rural Life Antique Show, Tuscola, Illinois Two months before the spring edition of the Rural Life Antique Show, held March 1 and 2 in Tuscola, Illinois, promoter Donna Kidwell did something that shouldn’t surprise the people who know her. She bought a building in town. It wasn’t just any structure. The cinder-block ... (Read More)

(Show)

A Family Gathering
by Don Johnson

A Gathering on the Prairie, Arthur, Illinois Shortly after dawn outside of Arthur, Illinois, on March 2, a small flock of red-winged blackbirds perched in a dormant tree isolated in a field. From a distance, they could more readily be heard than seen, silhouetted against the morning sky like black leaves ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Family Record by the Virginia Record Book Artist Sells in Ohio
by Charles Muller

Mike Clum Auctions, Inc., Rushville, Ohio Mike Clum of Rushville, Ohio, has been auctioneering for 50 years. He started as a teenager and has called thousands of sales, specializing in antiques and collectibles. Sometimes the sales include hundreds of toothpick holders or thousands of salt and pepper shakers. Or, as on the ... (Read More)

(Auction)

American Empire Chest Surprises at Hilliard
by Walter C. Newman

Hilliard & Co. Auctioneers, Madison, Virginia Photos courtesy Hilliard & Co. Auctioneers Nine months ago we visited our first Hilliard & Co. auction at its salesrooms in Madison, Virginia. We visited again for Hilliard’s February 23 sale. Over the intervening time, there has been positive growth at the firm. My only significant ... (Read More)

(Show)

A Great Little Americana Show in Georgia
by Marty Steiner

Madison Antiques Show and Sale, Madison, Georgia The 18th annual Madison Antiques Show and Sale at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, Madison, Georgia, was held February 21 through 23. Since it is always a good Americana sale, one might wonder, “Can Madison get any better?” It did. The show continues to stay true ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Photography Sale: “The Whole World in Our Heads”
by Jeanne Schinto

Swann Auction Galleries, New York City Photos courtesy Swann Auction Galleries A literal panoply of photographic objects was on offer in the New York City auction rooms of Swann Auction Galleries on February 21. They ranged from single works by masters such as Dorothea Lange to vernacular photography, i.e., from such classic ... (Read More)

(Show)

The Marin Show 2019
by Alice Kaufman

American Indian Art Show/Marin, San Rafael, California The February 16 and 17 American Indian Art Show/Marin was a first for producer Kim Martindale—he wasn't there. Felled by pneumonia, he spent the show in the hotel across the footbridge, in bed. How did the show do without him? “Fantastic,” he said. “Perhaps ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Decoy Hunting Brings $2.4 Million at Copley’s Winter Sale
by Susan Emerson Nutter

Copley Fine Art Auctions, Charleston, South Carolina Photos courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions “Everybody loves a beautifully carved and painted bird,” stated Stephen O’Brien, owner and auctioneer of Copley Fine Art Auctions LLC, Boston, Massachusetts. This was in response to the question “Why?” Why with all the genres of collecting that exist, ... (Read More)

(Show)

Antiques Lovers Gather on Valentine’s Day
by Karla Klein Albertson

Heart of Tennessee Antique Show, Lebanon, Tennessee The business of selling antiques is equal parts acquisition and presentation, and closing the deal is the satisfying bow on top. These days, dealers have access to more avenues of presentation. They may run a virtual store online as well as a brick-and-mortar shop, ... (Read More)

(Auction)

The Sale of the L.D. Brinkman Western Art Collection
by Alice Kaufman

Bonhams, Los Angeles, California Photos courtesy Bonhams To L.D. “Brink” Brinkman (1929-2015), the Western artists he collected and promoted strove “to perpetuate the memory and culture of the Old West…and to ensure authentic representation of the life of the West as it was and is.” He called his collection “a sample of ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Ancient Corn Mummy Leads at Potomack
by Walter C. Newman

The Potomack Company, Alexandria, Virginia Photos courtesy The Potomack Company The Potomack Company opened its 2019 auction schedule with three days of sales, February 2, 5, and 6, at its galleries in Alexandria, Virginia. The February 2 sale was live, and the sales on February 5 and 6 were online only. During ... (Read More)

(Show)

The Original Semi-annual York Antiques Show and Sale
by Lita Solis-Cohen

York, Pennsylvania The Original Semi-annual York Antiques Show and Sale There was a lot of Americana for sale at the 172nd Original Semi-annual York Antiques Show and Sale in York, Pennsylvania. A surprise snowstorm didn’t keep a corps of regulars from coming to the York Fairgrounds on Friday, February 1. Some arrived ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Manuscript and Printed Americana
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Sotheby’s, New York City Photos courtesy Sotheby’s The only known privately held copy of a William J. Stone facsimile of the Declaration of Independence with a provenance that can be traced back to the direct ancestor who received it in 1824 sold with buyer’s premium for $975,000 (est. $600,000/800,000) at Sotheby’s fine ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Rago Brings in $4.8 Million
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Rago Arts & Auction Center, Lambertville, New Jersey Lita Solis-Cohen Photos courtesy Rago Arts & Auction Center Rago’s design sales in Lambertville, New Jersey, on Saturday and Sunday, January 19 and 20, were at the same time as the Americana sales at Sotheby’s, and, like the sales in New York City, they had ... (Read More)

(Auction)

20th-Century Design in New York City
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Bonhams, Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s, New York City Photos courtesy Bonhams, Christie’s Images Ltd., Phillips, and Sotheby’s Mid-December is the time when prewar and postwar European and American design is offered at four major auction houses in New York City. In December 2018 there were a number of successes, topped by a ... (Read More)

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Box Lot Buy Yields Explosive Device
by M.A.D. staff

On March 27 troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Bomb Squad were called to examine a suspected explosive found inside an antique coffee jar. The jar was found by a citizen in a box lot purchased at an auction. Upon finding the suspicious device, the citizen notified members of the ... (Read More)
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