Weekly Arts, Antiques & Collectibles News Roundup: Dec.5-9, 2011

In this week’s roundup of arts, antiques and collectibles, we learn that early photographs—and their rights—of Marilyn Monroe brought a pretty, as did a rather regular-looking red alligator bag. . .

Haute Living
Marilyn Monroe Images Sold for More than $300,000 at Auction

Copyrights and images from Marilyn Monroe’s first photo shoot have just sold for an impressive $352,000 at an auction known as “Icons & Idols” last Sunday. In addition to the images of Marilyn Monroe, the Beverly Hills auction included items from Lady Gaga and John Lennon. Julien’s Auctions spokeswoman, Caroline Galloway, said that the Monroe photos were taken in 1946 when she was still Norma Jeane Dougherty.

Houston Chronicle
Red Alligator handbag sells for $203,000

To the untutored eye, it looks a red alligator handbag. Ah, that is where a Dallas auction house says you missed your mark. Heritage Auctions announced that it has sold an Hermes Diamond Birkin handbag for $203,150 in bidding that ended Tuesday. Heritage spokesman Matthew Rubinger said the bag went to a collector who wished to remain anonymous. Rubinger says the bag is made of crocodile hide and features 18-karat white gold, diamond-encrusted hardware. He says a similar bag without the jewels and in lesser condition was sold for $77,000 at auction in England a year ago.

The Scoop on Today
Michael Jackson’s Household Items Set for Auction

Michael Jackson spent his final days in a beautifully appointed private home that was not his own. But the fact that they were his final days now potentially can turn into a financial bonanza for the house’s actual owners, who are selling off over 600 items the late singer and his children used and lived with while he rehearsed for his comeback “This Is It” tour in 2009. The auction will be conducted by Julien’s Auctions on Dec. 17; a free exhibit of items from the 100 North Carolwood Drive house will be open as of Dec. 12.

Encino Patch
Lou Woolf and His Amazing Collectible Ray Guns

I recently sat down with my good buddy Lou Woolf and discussed his amazing collection of vintage 1950s space-age ray guns, valued at over $100,000. Lou has been a real estate agent in Encino for over 25 years. Our friendship is based primarily on a shared love of the 1950s and 1960s, which we both maintain was the last era of innocence in this country.

Pueblo Chieftain
Joyful houseful: Christmas Collectibles Color Her World

She’s a one-woman Christmas-decorating machine. Except that Rhoada Stahle’s holiday trees and tables, her wreath-adorned doors and evergreen-festooned corners show far too much artistry to have been done by machine. The Pueblo West retiree has spent 40 years collecting decorations, haunting garage sales and flea markets, studying books and magazines, refining her hobby until it’s become gallery-worthy. And though there’s potential for such a houseful of Christmas to resemble a hoarder’s nightmare, Stahle exercises restraint along with her enthusiasm and the decorating seems nearly perfect.

Hollywood Reporter
Morgan Spurlock’s Comic-Con Doc Picked Up for Distribution

Newbie distribution outfit Wrekin Hill has teamed up with the National Entertainment Collectibles Association to pick up the distribution rights to Morgan Spurlock’s fanboy documentary “Comic-Con Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope.” The plan is to release the film in Spring 2012 at the same time with a multi-city tour of the movie incorporating events, including fandom gatherings, across the country.

Los Angeles Times
Hand-Blown Antiques and Machine-Made Trash at ‘Bottle Tree Ranch’

To see the forest for the trees, drive north from Victorville, Calif., on old Route 66 into the desert, past the cement factory where Elmer Long toiled for decades, to a grove of metal and glass that is more than the sum of its parts. Long’s Bottle Tree Ranch is a folk art forest—two-plus acres crowded with hundreds of metal sculptures adorned with colored bottles and topped with just about anything one could imagine.

Litchfield County Times
Small, Unique Antiques for Seasonal Giving Are Plentiful in Region

Tired of battling the crowds at the mall or giving the same old tired gift to family and loved ones year after year? Sick of never again seeing the tie you bought for Uncle Bill or having the sweater you dropped good money on disappear into your mother’s closet? Well, when it comes to buying something meaningful, a gift that will last a lifetime and beyond, many Christmas shoppers are turning to antiques.

Louisville Courier-Journal
Collector’s Holiday Antiques Highlight German History

Although no one camped out overnight to buy electronics or ordered presents online on cyber-Monday in late 19th- and early 20th-century Germany, holiday commerce was critical. Artisans were toiling away to pump up the German economy by making Santas, reindeer candy containers, toys, stockings, angel decorations and other holiday items to sell in their country and in Victorian England and the United States. Then, as now, merchants were depending on “Santa Claus” and Christmas gift-giving and celebrating to save the economy, said Kit Carter-Weilage of the Lexington Road Preservation Area, a longtime collector of antique German holiday items.

Montreal Gazette
New Rules Breathing Life into Cuba’s Living Museum of Antique Cars

Come 3,310 cars have been sold among individuals in Cuba since authorities eased a 50-year-old ban on such sales in early October, the official Granma daily reported Tuesday. And 994 vehicles have been donated during the same period in the communist-ruled island known as a living museum of vintage cars. Since the new regulations came into force, authorities have issued 14,630 registration certificates required for car transfers, acknowledging that the process is “still young” and that a few hitches still need to be ironed out, the official communist party organ Granma reported.

New Jersey Herald
Boyhood Train Hobby Grows into Local Business

In the winter of 1963 one Blairstown boy’s fascination with collectible trains was ignited with one spectacular Christmas present: A Lionel train set beneath the tree. From there, the 5-year-old’s enchantment with trains grew into a 200-piece collection and a Blairstown business. Jetstream Collectibles, which opened in February, is the innovation of Tony Zaremba and business partner Josette Zube. Jetstream Collectibles on Main Street specializes in custom and museum quality military, space, commercial and marine desk top display models, collectible trains, accessories, villages, antiques, and children’s games and toys.

Abilene Reporter-News
This Man’s Junk is Another Person’s Junk; Good, Bad or In-Between

There are three kinds of junk. “Some people get insulted when you call it junk, but I call it ‘good junk,’ ‘in-between junk’ and ‘bad junk,’” Rex Dodds said. “You get the good, the bad and the ugly.” Dodds, 59, is the owner of Deja Vu, an antique store at 105 W. Walker Street that opened near the end of October 2001. “At the time, I was dating a girl named Cindy and we’d go hunting junk on Saturdays,” he said. “We finally got so much stuff that we thought we were either going to have to have an auction or open up a store.”

WBRC-TV Birmingham, Ala.
Pre-1982 Pennies Now Worth More Than a Penny

It is good news for those of you that hang onto your spare change; your pennies may be actually worth more than a penny. Pennies minted before 1982 have a copper content of 95 percent. With a sharp increase in copper prices, the weight of that copper in a pre-1982 penny is up 236 percent in value, making that penny worth almost two and a half cents. Southern Coin and Collectibles in Hoover (Ala.) says they have been saving those pre-’82 pennies for several years now. Before you go digging through your piggy bank, federal law bans melting down currency.

Irish Independent
Yeats Painting Among 2-Million-Euro Haul Sold at Auction

An auction of rare Irish art and collectibles—including four recently discovered paintings by Jack B Yeats—sold for a total of more than 2 million Euros last night. A pocket watch immortalized by James Joyce in his masterpiece “Ulysses” sold for six times the guide price during frantic bidding at Adam’s auction house in Dublin. A rare self-portrait of renowned painter Jack B Yeats called “Jazz Babies”—which was last seen in public more than 40 years ago —sold for the guide price of €480,000.


WorthPoint—Discover Your Hidden Wealth