Weekly News Roundup: December 14 to December 18

Topping art, antiques and collectibles news is a card company standing by Tiger Woods, a toothpick selling high and bad news on the auction front.

From The Associated Press:
Upper Deck says it sticks by Woods

Not everyone is jumping the sinking Tiger Woods ship. Upper Deck says it will continue its relationship with the golfer. It will continue to offer Tiger cards, Tiger autographed shoes and $1,000 Tiger autographed pictures.

From the BBC:
Dickens toothpick fetches $9,000 in New York auction

Let us be quick to point out that this is no ordinary wooden toothpick. No, it is an ivory-and-gold one with a retractable hook and the author’s engraved initials. The presale estimate was between $3,000 and $5,000. For some reason, the buyer wishes to remain anonymous.

From Bloomberg:
Sotheby’s, Christie’s Contemporary-Art Sales Total Drops 75%

There has been some good news items on the auction front. This isn’t one of them. After Sotheby’s and Christie’s stopped offering guaranteed prices, sellers turned to private sales for their top-quality pieces. The two houses evening sales of contemporary art brought in $1.97 billion last year as opposed to $482.3 million in 2009.

From The Associated Press:
Eiffel Tower’s first stairs sold at Paris auction

An auction of Parisian memorabilia brought in double the low estimate for 40 steps from the Eiffel Tower—$154,380. So let’s see, that’s about $3,860 a step. A couple of 100-year-old Metro benches hammered down at more than $32,000. Sure enough. Yesterday’s trash is today’s treasures.

From The Telegraph (UK):
Michael Jackson’s loafers go on show

After Elvis Presley died, the Elvis sightings began and may never cease. It’s beginning to feel that way with Michael Jackson auctions. There is yet another one. The big item at Bonhams this week is a pair of loafers he wore with “Rock My World Billie Jean” written on the soles. Estimate? Almost $20,000. Talk about rocking one’s world.

From The Associated Press via Auction Central News:
Italian police recover hoard of looted artifacts

With help from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Italian police were able to track down 1,700 pre-Roman and Roman pieces that had been looted from tombs near Venice and Naples. This is part of an ongoing crackdown by the Italian government that targets antiquities sellers and seeks return from museum buyers.

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