Weekly News Roundup: March 30- April 3, 2009

Wrapping up this week’s art, antiques and collectibles news is a Jimi Hendrix home recording, a David Hockney sketch, Cecil Beaton photographs and Baltimore burglars.

From Reuters:
Hendrix home tape for sale, shows ‘softer’ side

A Jimi Hendrix home recording is expected to fetch between $70,000 and $140,000 when it goes up for auction later this month. The tape was made in 1968 in New York and made its way to London when the legendary guitarist moved across the pond for several years. It includes tracks from “Electric Ladyland” and a Bob Dylan cover. The tape’s owner says that the tape is a departure from Hendrix’s electric bluesy sound and has a folky, acoustic feel.

From The Guardian (UK):
David Hockney portrait resurfaces

A sketch of Peter Schlesinger that David Hockney made about 30 years ago has resurfaced and will go under the hammer. It’s expected to sell for at least £15,000 ($22,000). Hockney featured Schlesinger prominently in several of his paintings from the 1960s. Other lots in the auction include a Matisse pencil drawing and etchings by Picasso and Lucian Freud.

From Bloomberg:
Smiling Marilyn to Tempt Collectors at London Show

For late photographer Cecil Beaton’s first public selling show in more than 20 years, Sotheby’s is presenting 64 portraits by the Academy Award-winning costume designer. Photographs of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Pablo Picasso and Queen Elizabeth II will all be in the show at Chris Beetles Gallery in London. Prices range from £3,500–£8,500 ($5,200–$12,600).

From The Baltimore Sun:
Burglars taking the best stuff from a fine old house

A circa-1850 home in Baltimore has been broken into three times so far, and its owner expects more break-ins in the future. To date, two marble fireplaces and an antique cast-iron pipe have been taken from the Thomas Carey House, and owner Jerry Dadds believes they were all stolen by the same thieves. Dadds is combing area antiques stores in search of the missing pieces.

From The New York Times:
Daguerreotype of New York in 1840s sells for $62,500

On Monday, Sotheby’s sold what is believed to be the oldest photograph of New York City for $62,500 to a Nashville, Tenn., collector. The 1840s daguerreotype shows what is now Manhattan’s Upper West Side and what was then a pasture with a white fence. The sum Billy and Jennifer Frist paid for the photo was squarely within the high and low presale estimates of $50,000-$70,000. Frist is the nephew of former Republican Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee.

From The Guardian (UK):
Titanic museum to open in Southampton by 2012

Almost a full century after sinking in the icy Atlantic—and more than a decade after the hit movie based on its demise—the Titanic is getting its own museum in Southampton, England, where the ship embarked on its maiden, and only, voyage. Many of the 4,000 artifacts from the ship will be displayed at the interactive museum, which is slated to open in 2012, along with recordings from Titanic survivors.

From The Art Newspaper:
Rockefeller rooms find homes

Two museums—the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Va., and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art—will be the new homes of two rooms from John D. Rockefeller’s 54th Street townhouse that have been in the collection of the Museum of the City New York for more than 70 years. MCNY decided to deaccession the rooms when it recently renovated its exhibition floors, and the three museums came to an arrangement concerning the Aesthetic Movement interiors.

From BBC News:
James Bond museum to open doors

In more museum news, a new Bond Museum is opening in Keswick, England, that will feature the massive collection of Bond enthusiast Peter Nelson. Among the items exhibited are the convertible Triumph Stag, which had its moment in “Diamonds Are Forever (Bond: Sean Connery); the Lotus Esprit Turbo from “The Spy Who Loved Me” (Bond: Roger Moore); a Russian T55 tank from “GoldenEye” (Bond: Pierce Brosnan); and a Colibri from “The Man with the Golden Gun” (Bond: Roger Moore).

From Bloomberg:
Islamic Glass Bucket Fetches More Than 20 Times Its 2000 Price

The “Rothschild Bucket,” a medieval Islamic glass vessel, sold at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday for $2.3 million. The 8-inch-high bucket brought in more than 20 times as much as it did at Christie’s nine years ago, partly because it was declared to be a fake by an expert. The bucket is thought to have been made in Syria or Egypt in the mid-14th century.

From The Associated Press via Auction Central News:
Important painting found in Minnesota church closet

A painting by Dutch-born, French-trained painter Christus Consolator was recently discovered in the janitor’s closet at a church in Dassel, Minn. The church’s reverend brought the painting to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for advice on how to restore the painting after it was found in 2007—he didn’t know it was the work of one of the pre-eminent Romantic painters in 19th-century Paris. Its estimated value clocks in at $35,000, and the church has since donated the painting to the MIA, where it’s one of the highlights of the museum’s 19th-century paintings gallery.

From The New York Times:
Museum is to Show the Human Side of a Cartoon Titan

Another new museum, this time in San Francisco. Walt Disney’s heirs have announced plans to open a museum dedicated to the man who brought Mickey Mouse and his merry band of characters to children the world over. The Walt Disney Family Museum will be a $112-million project to emphasize Disney’s artistic achievements and home life. Somewhat of a reaction to several books that painted Disney in negative light, the museum will feature home movies, Steamboat Willie animation cels, an Academy Award, a screening space and chronological exhibits.

From BBC News:
Tate extension gets green light

London’s Tate Modern was recently approved for a revised planned expansion. Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron will create an 11-story, brick-and-glass building that will lead into the gallery’s existing structure on London’s South Bank. Seventy-four million pounds ($108,850,000)—a third of the construction cost—has already been raised, and completion is slated for 2012—just in time for the city’s Olympic hosting duties.

From The Associated Press via The Boston Globe:
Man says he’ll press claim over Van Gogh painting

Pierre Konowaloff, descendant of a famous Russian art collector, is carrying on in his quest to regain possession of Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Night Café” from Yale University. Yale filed a pre-emptive suit last week claiming that the institution is the painting’s legal owner, but Konowaloff believes it was acquired through illegal means when the Soviet Union nationalized its citizens’ art collections.

From BBC News:
Burns and Wilde possessions sold

A razor that belonged to Robert Burns and Oscar Wilde’s walking cane were sold during the same sale at Lyon and Turnbull auctioneers in Edinburgh, Scotland. Burns’ razor went for £1,350 ($1,931) while Wilde’s ivory-handled cane sold for £7,275 ($10,409), 14 times its presale estimate of £300–500 ($430–715). The cane features Wilde’s initials and cell-location number from his stint in jail on charges of homosexuality.

From Auction Central News:
Earliest known Mantle jersey in Grey Flannel sale

The 1952 Yankees home jersey thought to be the earliest worn by baseball legend Mickey Mantle will go under the hammer in April at Grey Flannel auction house. The famous flannel-pinstripe uniform features Mantle’s number 7, as well as the slugger’s signature on the front. Other lots in Grey Flannel’s auction include a 1920s bat used by Babe Ruth (complete with the Babe’s home-run notches), a “Pistol” Pete Maravich game-worn jersey, Jackie Robinson’s 1949 MVP award and Michael Jordan’s game-worn jersey from the 1992 Olympics.

From The Irish Times:
A Knight’s Sale

Irish furniture expert and Knight of Glin titleholder Desmond FitzGerald has seen many collectors sell off their prized belongings during his tenure at Christie’s, but until now, he’s never been among them. With the current economic crisis, FitzGerald plans to put paintings, silver and furniture from his estate at Glin Castle up for auction at Christie’s London in May.

From Bloomberg:
War Medal for Dog Rip, Who Saved 100 People, May Fetch $14,400

Rip, a stray dog whose keen nose saved more than 100 lives during the World War II blitz in London, will be honored at an auction next month when his Dickin medal goes under the hammer. Rip received the medal, the animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross for bravery, for finding casualties under the rubble after bombings. The medal is expected to being in at least $14,400.

From The Guardian (UK):
Forsooth, restorers botched up bald bard William Shakespeare

The much-talked-about portrait of Shakespeare unveiled earlier this month was apparently altered during the Bard’s lifetime to reflect changes in his appearance. Experts previously thought that the painting, now referred to as the “Cobbe portrait,” was changed after Shakespeare died, but new evidence suggests otherwise. The painting will be on display at an exhibition in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, starting April 23.

From The Associated Press via Auction Central News:
Circa-1900 Paris Metro rail guard auctioned for $27,500

An Art Nouveau-style cast-iron gate that once greeted passengers at the entrance of the Paris Metro sold in New York last week for $27,500. The iconic gates—a similar piece can be found at the Museum of Modern Art—sold for over three times its presale estimate of $9,000. It was designed by renowned architect Hector Guimard.

Elizabeth Hendley is a WorthPoint writer based in Seattle.

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