Auction News: Winter 2012

DALLAS, TX.- A unique and historic 1792 Half Disme realized $1.41 million dollars on Jan. 10 as part of Heritage Auctions' U.S. Coin Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Signature® Auction in Orlando, FL. The price realized, which includes 17.5% Buyer's Premium, is a record for a Half Disme.

The coin, previously owned by Floyd Starr, is graded Specimen-67 PCGS. It was the lead lot of the Heritage rare coin auction at FUN, which realized more than $44.9 million, and is among the best of all surviving examples of the issue.

The mintage of these coins is variously estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 coins, based on documentary evidence left by Thomas Jefferson, though only an estimated 250 or so of them survive to this day, and none of them in better shape than the coin sold by Heritage Auctions on Jan. 10 in Orlando.

The results join the more than $13.4 million realized by the Heritage Currency Auction at FUN, Jan. 9-14, in Orlando, and the more than $14 million Heritage realized at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, where the company held its Jan. 6-7 Ancient & World Coin Signature® Auction, making for a $72+ million week overall for Heritage, the world's third largest auction house.

"Quality material continues to show up on the market and collectors continue to respond, across all areas of numismatics," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "This week in January normally sets the tone for the year and, if this is any indication of collector engagement, 2013 is going to be solid."

An 1803 $1 PR66 PCGS, one of just four known and also known as novodels to present-day collectors, realized $851,875 amongst spirited bidding, while an 1838-O Reeded Edge Half Dollar, PR64BM PCGS, among the most famous coins of all American coinage issues, was the subject of much collector buzz on its way to realizing $734,375.

Further highlights of Heritage's FUN auction include a 1792 Half Disme, MS64 PCGS, Ex: Liberty Collection, which realized $528,750, an 1880 $4 Flowing Hair, PR66 NGC — one of just 15-20 examples of this type of Stella known — brought $440,625 and a unique 1838 25C No Drapery PR63 PCGS, the Dupont-West PR63 Specimen, which proved quite popular with collectors to the tune of $381,975.  artdaily.org  http://artdaily.com/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=60306
 
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LONDON -- "The violin played by the bandmaster of the Titanic as the oceanliner sank has been unearthed, a British auction house said Friday. Survivors of the Titanic have said they remember the band, led by Wallace Hartley, playing on deck even as passengers boarded lifeboats after the ship hit an iceberg. Hartley's violin was believed lost in the 1912 disaster, but auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son say an instrument unearthed in 2006 and has undergone rigorous testing and proven to be Hartley's. "It's been a long haul," said auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, explaining the find had initially seemed "too good to be true." The auction house spent the past seven years and thousands of pounds determining the water-stained violin's origins, consulting numerous experts including government forensic scientists and Oxford University. The auction house said the rose wood instrument has two long cracks on its body, but is "incredibly well-preserved" despite its age and exposure to the sea. It estimated the violin is worth six figures. Hartley was one of the 1,517 people who perished when the Titanic struck an iceberg 350 miles (565 kilometers) south of Newfoundland on April 15, 1912.
Some reports at the time suggested Hartley's corpse was found fully dressed with his instrument strapped to his body, though there was also speculation the violin floated off and was lost at sea.
Henry Aldridge and Son said it researched the violin's story with a Hartley biographer as the instrument underwent forensic testing, uncovering documents that showed Hartley was found with a large leather valise strapped to him and the violin inside. The violin apparently was returned to Hartley's grieving fiancée, the auction house said, and later ended up in the hands of the Salvation Army before being given to a violin teacher and ultimately Henry Aldridge & Son. Testing by the U.K. Forensic Science Service showed corrosion deposits were considered "compatible with immersion in sea water," while a silver expert studied a plate on the violin's neck to determine if it fit the time profile. Henry Aldridge & Son said the violin will go on public display at the end of the month at Belfast City Hall, less than a mile from where Titanic was built. " Associated Press
 


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From the New York Times Archives
Why the Future Lies in Art Fairs
The annual European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht offers a striking contrast to the big-city auction circuit.
March 9, 2013, Saturday


Art-Shopping for Stars, So They Don’t Have To
Art-Shopping for Stars, So They Don’t Have To
For Maria Brito, a luxury lifestyle consultant, checking out the Armory art show is just a part of the job.
March 7, 2013, Thursday


Lawyers Go to Cambodia Over Statue
Lawyers Go to Cambodia Over Statue
Two United States attorneys traveled to Cambodia this week to see firsthand a temple tied to a 10th-century statue, whose ownership is under contention.
March 2, 2013, Saturday
MORE ON ART AUCTIONS AND: Looting, Cambodia, Art, Sotheby's, Archaeology


    Borough Searches for Missing Boy, Last Seen on Wall
    Borough Searches for Missing Boy, Last Seen on Wall
    A work by the graffiti artist Banksy that appeared on a wall in Haringey, a borough of London, was ripped out, appearing next in an art auction in Miami.
    March 1, 2013, Friday
    MORE ON ART AUCTIONS AND: Murals, London (England), Auctions, England, Banksy, Art, Graffiti


      Give Us Our Mural Back, Londoners Say
      Give Us Our Mural Back, Londoners Say
      A work by the graffiti artist Banksy that appeared on a wall in Haringey, a borough of London, was ripped out, appearing next in an art auction in Miami.
      March 1, 2013, Friday
      MORE ON ART AUCTIONS AND: Murals, London (England), Auctions, England, Banksy, Art, Graffiti


        A DNA Lesson, From the Expert’s Pen
        A DNA Lesson, From the Expert’s Pen
        A letter from Francis Crick to his son, Michael, two weeks after solving the DNA puzzle in 1953, is the first written description of the code and is being put up for auction.
        February 26, 2013, Tuesday


          Dance of the Estimates
          Dance of the Estimates
          How one auction house got them right and another did not.
          February 16, 2013, Saturday
          MORE ON ART AUCTIONS AND: Richter, Gerhard, Auctions, Art, Freud, Lucian


            Cambodia Sees Ethical Conflict in Import Panel
            Cambodia Sees Ethical Conflict in Import Panel
            Cambodia has asked that Jane A. Levine, who sits on a State Department panel on cultural property issues, recuse herself because her employer, Sotheby’s, is named in a lawsuit over an ancient Khmer statue it seeks to sell.
            February 16, 2013, Saturday


              Cambodia Sees Ethical Conflict in Import Panel
              Cambodia Sees Ethical Conflict in Import Panel
              Cambodia has asked that Jane A. Levine, who sits on a State Department panel on cultural property issues, recuse herself because her employer, Sotheby’s, is named in a lawsuit over an ancient Khmer statue it seeks to sell.
              February 16, 2013, Saturday
              MORE ON ART AUCTIONS AND: Sotheby's, Art, Cambodia


                Dispersing Steichens Across the Country
                Dispersing Steichens Across the Country
                More than 140 vintage photographs by Edward Steichen are being donated to museums in New York, Los Angeles and Evanston, Ill.; the Queens Museum is undergoing a $68 million renovation.
                February 15, 2013, Friday

                Multimedia
                We’re Related. So?

                We’re Related. So?
                These four scions figure real estate is in their genes, but none assumed that taking the reins of a family business was a career endgame.

                Tiny Piano, Grand Romance
                Pianist Michael Feinstein tests out a piano from 'Casablanca,' to be auctioned at Sotheby's.