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Home > News, Articles & Multimedia > Worth Points > Weekly News Roundup: April 20- April 24, 2009

Weekly News Roundup: April 20- April 24, 2009

by Elizabeth Hendley (04/20/09).

Wrapping up this week’s art, antiques and collectibles news is an update on the use of antiques in contemporary interior design, a WWII bravery medal awarded to a dog and Jean Cocteau memorabilia slated for auction next week.

From The New York Times:
Well on in Years, But Never Out of Date

The Times’ weekly antiques section discusses the growing popularity of antiques in the latest interior designs. Their timelessness appeals to designers of both eclectic and more modern interiors.

From Bloomberg:
Medal For Dog Rip, Who Saved 100 People, Fetches 24,250 Pounds

The Dickin Award given to a dog named Rip for his bravery during World War II sold for £24,250 ($35,600), more than double its presale estimate of £10,000 ($14,700). Rip’s heroic acts during the London blitz—he saved more than 100 people from the bombing rubble—inspired military authorities to train more dogs to perform similar missions.

From Reuters:
Cocteau memorabilia up for auction in Paris

Perhaps one of France’s most beloved creative visionaries of the 20th century, Jean Cocteau wore many different caps. A playwright, artist, designer, poet and filmmaker—just to name a few—Cocteau’s relationship with partner and actor Jean Marais is the center of an upcoming Paris auction. Letters between the two, along with other Cocteau memorabilia like sketches Cocteau drew of Marais, will go under the hammer on Monday. It is expected to rake in an estimated €600,000 ($795,000).

From Auction Central News:
$100,000 baseball card ad poster discovered at estate sale

A one-of-a-kind baseball-card ad poster from 1889 was discovered at an estate sale last month near Albany, N.Y. The poster advertises a card album and features early baseball greats and Hall of Famers Charles Comiskey, Cap Anson, John Ward, Roger Connor and Mike “King” Kelly. Lelands auction house will sell the poster next month. Estimates put the rare, unrestored piece at about $100,000.

From BBC News:
Hitler paintings sold for £95,000

Thirteen paintings thought to be the work of Adolf Hitler during his years as an artist sold in England for £95,589 ($141,000) this week. The paintings, discovered stashed in the garage of an art collector, were reportedly found in Germany in 1945 by a British soldier. The auction’s results exceeded presale expectations—with one painting selling for £10,000 ($14,700).

From The Guardian (UK):
Picasso’s portrait of daughter on show

The portrait that Pablo Picasso painted of his daughter, Maya, when she was a child is on show at Sotheby’s in London. The painting, “La fille de l’artiste a deux ans et demi avec un bateau” (“The painter’s daughter at two and a half with a boat”), will go under the hammer at the auction house’s New York branch and is expected to fetch as much as $23,550,000.

From Bloomberg:
Billionaires Disappear From Russian Art Auction at Sotheby’s

For some time now, the art market has hung its hopes on Russia as an emerging market, but at Sotheby’s recent Russian art auction in Moscow, results weren’t as high as the auction house had hoped. The economic crisis hasn’t been kind to Russia’s billionaires, but collectors still spent a total of $13.8 million at the sale, snapping up items like a silver-and-enamel punch bowl and ladle ($482,500—more than double its original estimate), an 1892 Ivan Aivazovsky painting ($1.6 million) and a 1920 Nicholas Roerich painting ($530,500).

From Auction Central News:
$100,000 baseball card ad poster discovered at estate sale

A one-of-a-kind baseball-card ad poster from 1889 was discovered at an estate sale last month near Albany, N.Y. The poster advertises a card album and features early baseball greats and Hall of Famers Charles Comiskey, Cap Anson, John Ward, Roger Connor and Mike “King” Kelly. Lelands auction house will sell the poster next month. Estimates put the rare, unrestored piece at about $100,000.

From BBC News:
Hitler paintings sold for £95,000

Thirteen paintings thought to be the work of Adolf Hitler during his years as an artist sold in England for £95,589 ($141,000) this week. The paintings, discovered stashed in the garage of an art collector, were reportedly found in Germany in 1945 by a British soldier. The auction’s results exceeded presale expectations—with one painting selling for £10,000 ($14,700).

From The Guardian (UK):
Picasso’s portrait of daughter on show

The portrait that Pablo Picasso painted of his daughter, Maya, when she was a child is on show at Sotheby’s in London. The painting, “La fille de l’artiste a deux ans et demi avec un bateau” (“The painter’s daughter at two and a half with a boat”), will go under the hammer at the auction house’s New York branch and is expected to fetch as much as $23,550,000.

From Bloomberg:
Billionaires Disappear From Russian Art Auction at Sotheby’s

For some time now, the art market has hung its hopes on Russia as an emerging market, but at Sotheby’s recent Russian art auction in Moscow, results weren’t as high as the auction house had hoped. The economic crisis hasn’t been kind to Russia’s billionaires, but collectors still spent a total of $13.8 million at the sale, snapping up items like a silver-and-enamel punch bowl and ladle ($482,500—more than double its original estimate), an 1892 Ivan Aivazovsky painting ($1.6 million) and a 1920 Nicholas Roerich painting ($530,500).

From BBC News:
Scrapyard Spitfire fetches £1.7 million

In a much-anticipated sale, a 1944 Spitfire airplane used during World War II sold for £1,739,500 ($2,550,000) at a Bonhams auction on Monday. The two-seater plane was found in a Cape Town, South Africa, scrap yard in the 1970s. Five years’ worth of restoration work made it auction-ready. The Spitfire’s new owner is no one new to aviation headlines—in 2005, Steve Brooks became the first man to fly from the North Pole to the South Pole in a helicopter.

From The Guardian (UK):
Auction fever: the art of safe investing

Britain’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that antique prices have risen over the past months, proving that collectors’ decision to invest in jewelry, paintings and antiques has, indeed, affected the market. Items sold at auction for £1,000 ($1,500) or less—particularly jewelry and silverware—had the sharpest rise in prices.

From Bloomberg:
U.S. Seizes Old Master Lost in Nazi-era Forced Sale

The Old Master painting that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials seized from a Manhattan gallery earlier this month will be returned to its rightful owners . The 1632 Dutch painting was on sale at Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts,. Its proprietor, Larry Steigrad, found out just days before the seize that the painting’s provenance was questionable.

In fact, the painting had belonged to a Jewish art collector in Germany who sold the work under duress from the Nazis before fleeing the country prior to World War II. Steigrad expressed shock when he learned the truth but was thankful that he hadn’t yet sold the painting. U.S. officials are returning the painting to the collector’s heirs.

From Fox Sports:
113-year-old bat used by England great WG Grace to be auctioned

Cricket may not be the most popular sport in the U.S., but in Britain and its former colonies, there is nothing more important. WG Grace was one of the best to ever play the game, and the bat he used during his illustrious career in the latter part of the 19th century will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in London next month. Presale estimates peg the price at £30,000 ($44,000) for the bat that Grace used while playing for England in an epic match against Australia in 1896.

From The New York Times:
Lincoln Stamps Bring Nearly $2 Million at a New York Auction

A Roswell, Ga., man’s Abraham Lincoln stamp collection brought in $2 million at New York’s Spink Shreves Galleries last week. Featuring rare stamps, proofs, test printings, tax stamps, private issues and other Lincoln stamp-related material, William Ainsworth’s collection was made up partly of a stamp collection he inherited from his father and the rest the fruit of Ainsworth’s own years of collecting. Experts on hand praised the collection’s depth and rarity, including the first stamp issued with Lincoln’s face in 1866, a block of six 1869 stamps featuring the president’s mug ($149,600) and a letter with two 5-cent Lincoln stamps ($77,725).

From BBC News:
Rare Potter drawings go on sale

Cliff Wright’s preparatory drawings for his illustrations on the cover of J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” will be on sale at the annual Glasgow Art Fair. The two pen-and-pencil-on-paper drawings are expected to net five figures each.

From Forbes:
Inside Michael Jackson’s Personal Collection

Ah, a look at what might have been. Forbes examines the hypothetically highest-selling lots in the canceled Michael Jackson auction. Topping the list: a custom Rolls-Royce limo—its interior encrusted with gold, natch (estimate upward of $140,000)—and the famous Swarovski crystal-covered white glove (estimate $200,000).

From BBC News:
Rare guns hanging on wall of home

A rare pair of privately owned Thuraine and le Hollandois pistols could sell for at least £5,000 ($7,300) when they are auctioned at Halls auctioneers in England. The 17th-century dueling pistols, made by Louis XIV’s gunsmiths, have been hanging on the wall in a Shropshire, England, home for the last 50 years, their owner unaware of the guns’ value. One expert believes the pistols made their way to England after a British soldier took them from a French chateau during World War II.

From The Boston Globe:
Public library trimming holdings

Following bimonthly meetings that review the Boston Public Library’s special collection, the library is considering selling several items from said collection. A Crehore piano is scheduled to go under the hammer later this year at Skinner Auctioneers & Appraisers, and its proceeds will fund the restoration of the library’s Steinway piano. Also up for sale are a series of Audubon prints—in the library’s collection since the mid-1800s—and a group of Tichnor glass printing plates, which may be given away.

Elizabeth Hendley is a WorthPoint writer based in Seattle.

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