• 29
    Sep

The Collector’s Minute: The Laughing Buddha Figure

[caption id="attachment_2486441" align="alignright" width="258" caption="A modern Chinese example of a laughing Buddha."][/caption] "Laughing Buddha" is the common English name for the Buddhist figure variously known as Budai or Hotei. He is the interpretation of the Bodhisattva Maitreya (translated as Mílè Fó in Chinese), the predicted Buddha who would succeed Gautama Buddha in the future. This Buddha is based...

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  • 29
    Sep

Living with Country Antiques: Fixing a Table with a Sticky Top

[caption id="attachment_2486484" align="alignright" width="350" caption="When trying to clean a country farm table, if simple soap and warm water doesn’t work, don’t despair, there are other options."][/caption] I received a letter from a reader, asking about a country farm table with a particular problem: “We found it at an outdoor antiques show last fall. It sat in our garage...

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  • 28
    Sep

Harry Rinker’s Hypothetical New Book: Not Appropriate for ‘The Big House’

I am addicted to the cable channel Turner Classic Movies (TCM), much to the chagrin of my wife Linda who finds many of the movies dated and boring. Robert Osborne, TCM’s host, quotes Lauren Bacall as saying, “every movie is a new movie if you haven’t seen it before.” I agree. Further, once is not enough. “Casablanca” and...

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  • 28
    Sep

Thomas Brooks Rosewood Cylinder Desk Tops All at Kirkwood Mansion Auction

[caption id="attachment_2486396" align="alignright" width="360" caption="This rosewood cylinder desk, made in the 1860s by Thomas Brooks, was the top lot at the Kirkwood Mansion Auction, held Sept. 5, bringing in $49,450. As it turns out, the desk will not be moved at all, as the new owners of the mansion won the desk and will keep it where it...

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  • 28
    Sep

Housing Works to Host ‘Early American Prints’ Charity Auction

[caption id="attachment_2486256" align="alignright" width="336" caption="A 19th-century print of George Washington."][/caption] NEW YORK – Housing Works Auctions announced today that on Wednesday, Oct. 7, it will host “Early American Prints,” a live charity auction of more than 60 fine prints from 19th-century America, including dozens by legendary engravers Currier & Ives. Longtime Housing Works volunteer and celebrity appraiser Kathleen...

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  • 28
    Sep

18th Cent. Pennsylvania Chippendale Tiger Maple Desk Highlights Multi-Estate Sale

[caption id="attachment_2486411" align="alignright" width="314" caption="This late-18th-century Pennsylvania Chippendale tiger maple desk garnered $41,400, making it the top lot at the multi-estate Historic Hillsborough Auction held Sept. 19."][/caption] HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – A gorgeous late-18th century Pennsylvania Chippendale tiger maple desk—probably Lancaster County and crafted from strikingly figured tiger maple with poplar secondary—sold for $41,400 against a pre-sale estimate of...

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  • 23
    Sep

This Week in Geek 9/23/09

[caption id="attachment_2486391" align="alignright" width="197" caption=" Blackest Night"][/caption] The DC December solicitations are up and, as always, they give away just enough plot to keep us salivating. The most shocking of which seems to deal with the fate of one of my favorite members of the Green Lantern Corps. I'm not going into it because this is not a...

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  • 23
    Sep

Tells Give Away ‘Not Quite Authentic’ Antique Scrimshaw

I recently acquired a scrimshawed whale tooth, knowing full-well that it was NOT an antique, despite the scribed date of 1859. I made my original assessment based solely on “tells” visible in the seller-provided photographs, which are included with this article. Once in hand, loupe-inspection confirmed my suspicions. But first, here are the historic references I found about...

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  • 23
    Sep

Q & A with Harry Rinker: Marwal Bull, Reed and Barton Bells, Heisey Syrup Pitcher

QUESTION: I own a large plaster of Paris sculpture of a bull that is painted dark brown. An impressed oval-stamp with “MARWAL / IND / INC” in its border is located near the right rear leg of the bull. When was this sculpture made? What is its value? – LR, Titusville, FL ANSWER: An Internet search revealed that...

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  • 22
    Sep

Currier & Ives Prints: Ways to Tell Originals form Reproductions

[caption id="attachment_2486345" align="alignright" width="400" caption="Currier & Ives lithograph “Attacking a Right Whale.”"][/caption] From 1834 to 1907 the firm of Currier & Ives provided for the American people a window on their country’s development from a rural society to an industrialized one. Highly detailed and colorful, these are prime examples of the work of “America’s printmakers.” For nearly three...

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