Weekly News Roundup: Aug. 24-28, 2009

In art, antiques and collectibles news, we find an infamous fedora, some expensive antique cars not roaring off the auction block, someone else nabbed in a relics sting and found Tsar Nicholas II family jewelry.

From The Dallas Morning News:
Hat worn by Jack Ruby during Oswald shooting to be auctioned in Dallas

Jack Ruby was a Dallas nightclub owner, who possibly skirted the edge of the city’s underworld. It was probably because he lavished liquor on Dallas cops that he was allowed to carry a handgun into police headquarters. Two days after the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Ruby used his gun to kill Oswald during a transfer to the county jail. A photo of the shooting became one of the most famous of that infamous time. Ruby was wearing a stylish fedora, and that hat is being auctioned for the second time in a year.

From The Detroit News:
Calif. car auction nets $14M from collectors

It had been predicted that the Bonhams & Butterfields auction would bring in $35 million, but $14 million isn’t to be sneezed at. It didn’t help that a 1939 Auto Union racer, estimated at $10 million, didn’t sell. Nor did a 1937 Bugatti (high estimate of $6 million). On the other hand, a 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster brought in $804,500, more than $200,000 above its high estimate.

From Auction Central News:
Colorado man indicted in artifacts looting case, new details emerge

Some people just can’t accept that the federal government frowns on looting American Indian artifacts. The latest to be indicted is a 66-year-old Colorado man who is accused of selling some relics taken from federal land on the Internet. He is the 26th person charged in a sting operation.

From Bloomberg:
Sotheby’s Sells Tsar Family Jewelry Found in Swedish Archive

Tsar Nicholas II’s aunt wisely took some family jewels to the Swedish embassy in St. Petersburg after the Russian Revolution for safe keeping. The collection, which included 100 cigarette boxes, was put into the Swedish Foreign Ministry archives—where it sat for 91 years. And it could have sat for another 91 years if the ministry hadn’t moved the archives. It’s thought that the pieces will bring in $1.6 million at a Sotheby’s auction in November. There is no mention of who will take home the proceeds.

From The Los Angeles Times:
Police: Denver meth ring bought collector comic books to launder millions in cash

Police say a pair of meth-dealing brothers were planning to launder their ill-gotten gains by buying and selling collectible comic books.

From The Los Angeles Times:
Which of today’s clunkers will become tomorrow’s classic cars?

Cash for Clunkers has been a great success. People have rushed to get rid of gas-guzzling cars to buy more environmentally friendly ones. So who could lose? Apparently, collectors. Take the 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with its 402-cubic-inch V8 engine and four-barrel carburetor. This would have been a prime- candidate clunker. But wait, it recently sold for $60,500. Who’s to say how many of today’s clunkers would have been tomorrow’s collectibles?

From Bloomberg:
Scrushy’s Antiques, Silverware Sought by Investors

There are those who feel crime shouldn’t pay. In this case, it’s investors who lost $2 billion in an accounting fraud masterminded by HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy. Scrushy was convicted of the fraud and is now serving time in a Texas federal prison. Scrushy’s wife allegedly cleared out their Alabama home of antiques, art and furniture that was supposed to be auctioned to pay back investors. Mrs. Scrushy’s attorney maintains what was taken was her personal property.

From The Washington Post:
A True Financial Instrument?

A guitar can make beautiful money music especially if it happens to be a Les Paul. Paul developed solid-body electric guitars and was considered a guitar guru by rock legends, including Paul McCartney.

More headlines:

From Auction Central News:
Lennon-signed magazine with controversial quote to be auctioned

From Bloomberg:
Madoff Investor’s Art Dealer Got $26.5 Million in Rothko Sale

Polaroid Asks Sotheby’s to Auction Off Famed Photo Collection

From The Art Newspaper:

Forthcoming Frida Kahlo book denounced as fake

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