Weekly News Roundup: Sept. 12-16, 2011

In this week’s roundup of arts, antiques and collectibles news, we see that some people will steal to get the good they want while others are simply shocked when they are discovered in an old shoebox. And over in England, more people are taking what they have and investing in art and antiques as a hedge against future economic instability.

Los Angeles Times
Police: Bookkeeper Stole $3 million from Restaurant; Bought Antiques with Cash

LA JOLLA, Ca. – Well, that’s one way to do it. San Diego Police a former bookkeeper at a trendy La Jolla restaurant embezzled more than $3 million, leading to the closing of Jack’s La Jolla and used some of the loot to buy $400,000 in antiques, furniture, paintings, exotic Italian silk curtains and other fancy furnishings.

Mail Online
Amazing Lost Sketches of Life Inside Japanese POW Camp Discovered in Shoe Box

Astonishing drawings of British soldiers in brutal Japanese Prisoner of War camps have turned up nearly 70 years later on TV’s “Antiques Roadshow.” The lost sketches, showing the appalling conditions the men endured, were drawn by artist soldier John Mennie, who gave them to fellow POW Eric Jennings. One of the drawings is a rare image of the “Selerang Square Squeeze”—a shocking atrocity meted out to 16,000 Allied prisoners of war in Changi, Singapore in 1942, where the Japanese corralled Allied soldiers in a cramped square for five days in unbearable heat to make them sign documents stating they would not try to escape.

New York Magazine
Touring David Copperfield’s Personal Museum of Antique Curiosities

NEW YORK – To enter David Copperfield’s lair is to have a “Willy Wonka” experience. At a party celebrating the magician’s September Fantastic Man spread, his 55th birthday and his new “King of Magic” title, bestowed by the Society of American Magicians. Instead of a world of candy, guests were given a tour of antique fortune-telling machines and other fascinating, turn-of-the-century gadgets and relics.

KCPQ Spokane, Wash.
Antique Shop Scammer is on a Road Trip Ripping off Unsuspecting Dealers

SPANAWAY, Wash. – William Meloy comes off as a mild-mannered senior citizen with an appreciation and knowledge of valuable antiques. But detectives said this harmless looking guy is actually an antique shop owner’s worst nightmare. Meloy is wanted for ripping off stores in Wyoming, Missouri, North Dakota, Minnesota—and now in Pierce County, Wash. where a woman in Spanaway said he scammed her, too.

The Economic Times
Britain Turning a Nation of Hoarders?

LONDON – Britain is becoming a nation of hoarders, a new research has found. With interest rates being low, people in Britain have started either to invest in art or antiques or hang on to heirlooms, Daily Express reported Friday. The average home now has £3,555 (about $5,600) worth of gold, 10 percent more than last year, a British price comparison website found.


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