Rosa Parks’ hats, James Brown’s curlers, a Nelson Mandela stamp and buying art on cruise ships

The antiques, collectibles and art news swung from singer James Brown’s hair curlers, a stamp honoring freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, civil-rights heroine Rosa Parks’ hats to the last in a series of U.S. coins saluting the judiciary and a warning about buying art on cruise ships.

Collectibles from the civil-rights pillar who would not move

She was that resolute little woman who refused to give up her seat on a segregated Montgomery, Ala., bus. Rosa Parks’ act of courage gave impetus to the civil-rights movement. The Associated Press reports that her personal items—including the Presidential Medal of Freedom she received from Bill Clinton and her hats —will be auctioned off to settle a feud among her heirs. The sale of these historical collectibles will be handled by Guernsey’s auction house in New York.

Collectibles coins salute Lady Justice

The United States Mint got around to announcing this week that it has been taking orders for the 2008 American Eagle Platinum Uncirculated Coin since July 1. This is the last in a three-year collectibles series honoring the judiciary. A 1/10-ounce coin can be purchased for $259.95. The complete four-coin set is being sold for $4,289.95.

Singer James Brown not the King of Christie’s

After much bickering among business administrators and heirs, James “The King of Soul” Brown’s 350 collectibles went on the block July 15 at Christie’s. This wide-ranging collection had such memorabilia as hair curlers and a green-vinyl couch. The New York Times placed the original estimate at between $1 million and $2 million. Reuters reports disappointing results of only $800,000.

Mandela’s birthday stamp

Nelson Mandela has been called the world’s only living secular saint for his battle against apartheid in South Africa and injustice throughout the world. According to , his native country is issuing a limited-run stamp honoring him on his 90th birthday.

Buyer beware when buying art on board

In a sobering caveat-emptor article, The New York Times examines the dangers of purchasing art on cruise ships. One unwitting buyer spent more than $24,000 on a Picasso print that Sotheby’s had sold a few year earlier for a little more than $6,000.

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