Weekly News Roundup: February 28 to March 4

In art, antiques and collectibles news, the Chinese go on a buying spree, a Mao poem stamp and no payment for a pricey Chinese vase.

From ABC News:
Chinese Antique Boom Lucrative Business for Japanese

Apparently, long ago, many Chinese antiques were given to Japanese nobles. Now with the state of Japan’s economy being what it is—not great—Japanese collectors are unloading the antiques on eager Chinese collectors. Entrepreneurial tour guides are even escorting Chinese buyers to such places as Tokyo’s Antique Mall. It’s history traveling in circles. When the economy was booming in Japan, Japanese collectors scoured antique markets for their cultural artwork.

From The Wall Street Journal:
Cultural Revolution Stamps Set Record

Staying in the Far East, Chinese stamps have become very hot commodities. One set of stamps that never went into circulation went for more than $1 million recently. What made the stamps so coveted was the poem on them, “Mao’s Inscription to Japanese Worker Friends.” “If Marxism can be integrated into the Japanese movement, then there is no doubt that Japan will prevail.” Probably lost something in the translation.

From Bloomberg:
Seller of $69 Million Qing Vase May Not Have Been Paid, FT Says

In more things Asian, you’ve probably heard something to the effect that it’s not a done deal until the check clears the bank. In the case of the owner of a rare Chinese vase that sold for a record price last year, he never even got the check. People involved are being mum, but apparently the Chinese buyer hasn’t ponied up.

From DNAinfo:
Lena Horne Auction Fetches $316,000

Halle Berry gave a beautiful tribute to the beautiful Lena Horne at this year’s Oscars. As reported last week, the contents of Ms. Horne’s New York apartment were put up for auction. The amount realized from the sale was two times the estimate. Choreographer Geoffrey Holder’s portrait of the elegant performer sold for $10,000, $6,500 higher than expected. Oh, and that Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo-designed mink coat, you didn’t really think it would go for $500? Some lucky person got it for $8,000.

From The Associated Press via Auction Central News:
Auction nets $841,000 for Carter Center

Jimmy Carter—state senator, governor, president of the United States, Nobel Peace Prize winner, founder of Habitat for Humanity. To the long list of Carter’s accomplishment, be sure to add artist. A painting by the former president fetched $150,000 at a recent auction that raised money for the Carter Center, a not-for-profit that works internationally on peace and health issues.

From The Associated Press via The Boston Herald:
Antiques dealer punished for importing sperm whale teeth
Don’t mess with Moby Dick—or his teeth. A Nantucket antiques dealer learned that lesson the hard way. He’s been convicted of trading in sperm whale teeth and narwhal whale tusks. Sperm whales are on the endangered list, narwhal whales are deemed as threatened. The dealer was sentenced to three years in jail.

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