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Weekly News Roundup: May 30 to June 3

by WorthPoint Staff (06/01/11).

Looking at this week’s art, antiques and collectibles headlines, we see a schematic of a doomed ship, an unusual pair of pistols and a new reality show.

From The Sacramento Bee:
Large-scale plan of Titanic sells for $363,000

If a luxury liner goes down on its maiden voyage taking 1,500 people with it, you can be sure there will be an inquiry. Such it was with the Titanic, with the inquiry lasting three months. For the proceedings, a 32.5-foot cross-section of the ship was drawn. That plan sold at auction for more than $150,000 above its low estimate.

From Bloomberg:
Christie’s $5.8 Million Singing-Bird Pistols Lift Watch Sale

Two deep-pocketed collectors got into an “epic bidding war” that lasted 10 minutes with the winner walking away with a pair of singing-bird pistols for close to $6 million. The pistols may be the only matching pair in existence and added nicely to the Christie’s Hong Kong tally of $21.2 million.

From Entertainment Weekly:
Fox greenlights high-stakes antiques reality show

Just what the world needs, another reality show. At least this time, it’s not about who loses more weight or which faded sitcom star can dance better than a retired football player. It’s about antiques and collectibles. Leigh and Leslie Keno, dealers seen on “Antiques Roadshow,” will be scrounging around the country in “Buried Treasure” looking for great finds in people’s living rooms, attics and basements.

From Bloomberg:
Jewish Heir Fights Restitution, Wants Museum to Keep Art

It’s a twist on the story. Usually, heirs battle for the return of art and property taken by the Nazis or bought by them under duress. In this case, the heir is battling the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which is trying to wrest a collection of artifacts from Leipzig University. It was 1937, and Georg Steindorff had to leave Germany. So he sold 163 pieces that included a 4,000-year-old bowl, Greek and Roman items and Islamic ceramics to the university where he had been chairman of the Egyptology department. Steindorff’’s grandson wants the collection to remain in the school’s Egyptian Museum Georg Steindorff because having it taken away would “destroy an institute that my grandfather cherished.”

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