• 23
    Jul

Q & A with Harry Rinker: Polar King Icebox, Howdy Doody Figurines, Sears Catalog

QUESTION: I own a Leonard’s Polar King icebox, probably made in the 1920s or 1930s. The outside and inside are in good shape. A label on the icebox reads: “LEONARD’S POLAR KING / trademark U. S. Patent Office / Grand Rapids, Michigan. Does it have value? – JA, via e-mail ANSWER: When Linda and I […]

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  • 23
    Jul

Collecting the Uncollectible: Items that are Taboo to Some Pique the Interest of Others

As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy approaches, one of the last available possessions associated with the event is up for sale. In Boston this October, Lee Harvey Oswald’s wedding band will be auctioned to the highest bidder. Experts estimate it will bring $30,000 to $50,000. When I first read an […]

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  • 22
    Jul

Hermann-Spielwaren Bears: 100 Years of Family Tradition

(This article first appeared in Teddy Bear & Friends magazine) Germany had a stellar reputation during the late 1800s and early 1900s for well-made, durable toys. So it’s no surprise that when the Teddy bear emerged on the toy scene, buyers from American department stores flooded the town of Sonneberg, known as the Toy Capital […]

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  • 22
    Jul

The Leaf Problem: Where to Put Table Extensions

Extension dining tables were a great invention. Going from slabs of boards laid across trestles to a fixed table that could be expanded at will was a giant step in human gastronomic history. But it also created a number of problems/opportunities for future diners. One of the problems is centered on the very thing that […]

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  • 22
    Jul

Christie’s Education Launches Six-Week Course on ‘Andy Warhol and the Business of Art’

NEW YORK – Christie’s Education New York will launch a unique new course this fall, “Andy Warhol and the Business of Art,” an introduction to the business of art from its conception to its creation to its sale on the auction block, through the lens of Andy Warhol’s legacy. From his days at the Factory […]

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  • 19
    Jul

Auction Report: Carved Jade Chariot Blows Past Estimates in South Florida Arts Sale

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A Chinese hand-carved white jade sculpture galloped past its pre-sale estimate and sold for nearly 100 times its expected price at an auction sponsored by Elite Decorative Arts. The sale, held July 13, featured Chinese works and fine decorative arts, but the jaw-dropper of the event came when the figure depicting […]

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  • 19
    Jul

Sundblom Painting, St. John Estate Headline Summer Sale

ATLANTA — An original oil painting by the renowned magazine and commercial illustrator Haddon “Sunny” Sundblom (1899-1976) is the expected top lot at the Summer Estates Auction planned for Aug. 4, by Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery. The 1963 painting, titled “1914 Kentucky Derby,” shows the horse “Old Rosebud” winning the derby by eight lengths, […]

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  • 19
    Jul

Giant Steiff ‘Petsy’ Bear Could Demand $50,000 at July 28 Theriault’s Auction

Here’s one auction all vintage doll, toy, Teddy bear and miniature enthusiasts cannot miss: Theriault’s “In the Company of the Gentleman Bespoken,” which features 450 lots of the finest, museum-quality collectible playthings, including items from the Estelle Johnson collection. The auction is scheduled for Sunday, July 28, 2013. The auction, which will be held at […]

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  • 18
    Jul

Collecting Outlaws: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Recently, gangsters were in the news in many ways. Jimmy Hoffa was “unearthed”—or wasn’t—again. Respected actor James Gandolfini, who portrayed mob boss Tony Soprano, died. Whitey Bulger is on trial after a lifetime of killing and criminal behavior. As one CNN headline read: “Mob Week: Why we can’t get enough of the gangster life.” It […]

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  • 18
    Jul

Chinese Export Silver Design is Firmly Footed in Chinese Mythology

中國出口銀器: 牢牢紮根於中國神話 All cultures have their own mythological hooved beasts. The Etruscans had their Minotaur, European mythology has its unicorn, in Hebrew mythology there is the Re’em and in Egyptian lore there is the Cerberus. In China there is the Qílín (pronounced “Chhi-lin”). Antique silver and furniture have long been made standing on hoofed feet; […]

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