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Weekly News Roundup: October 12 to October 16

by WorthPoint Staff (10/12/09).

In art, antiques and collectibles news, a renowned toy collector dies, a drawing turns out to be a da Vinci and soprano Beverly Sills’ personal items are sold.

From Auction News Central:
Antique toy collector, KB Toys co-founder Donald Kaufman, 79

Some sad news. Donald Kaufman, a founder of KB Toys, has died. In the past few months, Mr. Kaufman was auctioning his incredible toy collection that took him 60 years to amass. He explained that he was disposing of his antiques “Because it’s time. I want to have as much fun selling the collection as I had in building it.”

From Bloomberg:
$147 Million Da Vinci Work Found, Says Antiques Trade Gazette

Talk about a Big Find. Back in 1998, a drawing that Christie’s described as “German, early-19th century” sold for $19,000 to a New York art dealer. The dealer turned around and sold it to a Canadian collector. Well, it looks like the piece that “may have been made by a German artist studying in Italy, based on paintings by Leonardo da Vinci” is a genuine da Vinci worth almost $150 million.

From The Associated Press:
Soprano Sills’ estate sells for more than $500K

Nicknamed Bubbles, Beverly Sills was the toast of the Metropolitan Opera and best friend of Barbara Walters. When Sills gave up singing, the soprano became the general manager of the New York City Opera. She moved on to the chairmanship of Lincoln Center from 1994 to 2002 and then served in the same capacity at the Met until she stepped down in 2005. Sills died in 2007. An auction last week that included costume sketches, opera scores and sable coats brought in more than $500,000, about twice the low presale estimate.

From WLTX.com:
A Lock of Elvis’s Hair – for $100,000?

Just in time for the revival of the Broadway musical, “Bye Bye Birdie,” a lock of Elvis Presley’s hair snipped when he entered the army in 1958 is going on the auction block. “Bye Bye Birdie” was based loosely on the King’s being shipped off to Germany. The hair was given to a Presley friend who suffers from cerebral palsy.

From Bloomberg:
Chinese Buying Drives Sotheby’s Hong Kong Sale to $170 Million

At a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong last week, Chinese buyers bid as if there was no recession.
Records were set for furniture and Chateau Pétrus, a red Bordeaux that is one of, if not the most expensive wine in the world. A 1982 liter went for $94,000. Wonder what that works out per sip.

From The Associated Press:
King Kong figurine used in 1930s movie up for sale

Audiences gasped as King Kong scaled the Empire State Building clutching Fay Wray. They might not have been so enthralled had they seen the 22-inch steel skeletons used to simulate the climb. One is up for sale in a Christie’s auction and could go for $240,000.

From The Chicago Tribune:
Pieces of Lenny Bruce are going on sale

Lenny Bruce, who blazed the way for later comedians with his scathing routines, died of an overdose at age 40 when his daughter was a small child. Now 54, Kitty is selling many of her father’s items. Elizabeth Taylor, Hugh Hefner, Chris Rock and others will add pieces to the auction.

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