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Kate Moss, Latin Art, a Gold Rush Coin, & Insuring Collectibles

by Mary Brenneman (07/07/08).

In eccentric collectibles, model Kate Moss drops a hair extension in Berlin that results in bids on eBay and in fine art, a contested painting sets a new record for a Latin work. Iowan floods that brought the heartbreaking loss of a baseball legend’s memorabilia prompts an article on sports collectibles insurance, a Gold Rush-era coin is put on display, and a doll hits the big screen.

Hair Today, On eBay Tomorrow

A paparazzo hit collectibles gold when Kate Moss dropped her blonde hair extension in Berlin fleeing from prying cameras. An item on Yahoo! News reported that photographer John Farr picked it up and posted it on German eBay to benefit the anti-drug charity, Keine Macht den Drogen (No Power to Drugs). Considering the supermodel’s documented problems with addictions, not a bad choice by Farr. According to Monsters and Critics someone actually paid £637 (that’s more than $1,200) for the item. As experienced eBay watchers know, high sale prices on similar celebrity items have, on more than one occasion, turned out to be bogus bids.

Endowment or the Art

If the students and alumnae of Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va., had their way, Rufino Tamayo’s painting, “Trovador,” would not have gone to auction. But it did, and the Latin work of art set a striking new record for Latin American art. According to The New York Times, Tamayo’s masterpiece was set to hit the auction block in November but was withdrawn after a group of students, donors and alumnae got an injunction forcing a halt of the sale. The painting was put back in Christie’s catalog for its Latin American Evening Sale May 28. As reported by ArtDaily, “Trovador” sold for $7,209,000, surpassing the previous record set by Frida Kahlo’s “Roots,” which went for $5,616,000 in May 2006. The Christie’s sale also set the highest total for an auction of Latin American art: $26,632,850.

Gold Rush Gold Coin

A $20 gold piece known as the Kellogg Twenty goes on public exhibit after 28 years. The blog CoinLink reports that the 154-year-old coin is the only one of its kind with a “specimen strike” and, adding to its value, carries the provenance of historic California Gold Rush figures. The coin was manufactured by John Glover Kellogg, who gave it to a friend, August Humbert. Both men worked in the San Francisco U.S. Assay Office during the Gold Rush. The coin will be a highlight of the American Numismatic Association’s World Fair of Money in Baltimore running from July 30 to August 1.

Phenomenal Dolls

American Girl Doll collectibles have been a phenomenon for some time, but AG fever is expected to hit a new high with the successful release of “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.” A New York Times article explores the culture of collecting American Girl Dolls and its ramifications on young collectors.

Lessons from a Sports Memorabilia Tragedy

A Wall Street Journal article offers advice to collectors in the event that their beloved sports collectibles are lost or stolen. A lost piece of memorabilia can’t be replaced but it can be insured. This awareness would have softened the blow to Negro League star Art Pennington. According the blog, Sports Collectors Daily, the 85-year-old is reeling after Iowa floods saturated his homegrown baseball museum and destroyed almost all physical evidence of his life’s work. For more details on Pennington, check out this CNN report.

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