Paintings Discovered In Convent

Seven paintings once owned by Hitler have been discovered in a convent in the Czech Republic just north of Prague by an Art Historian.  The convent was unaware of the dark history surrounding the paintings and had no idea of their  value.  The Hitler Collection of 16 paintings were en route to a monastery in Bohemia but plans changed when the Americans intercepted them.  They ordered all the paintings be sent to a central point but somehow these seven made it to a convent.  Hitler was trying to stash as much of the art he had seized during wartime.  The whereabouts of the nine other paintings is not known but it is likely that wherever they are the owner will not want to admit he/she has them.  The issue of who owns the seized paintings will be raised but the convent is adamant it is going to keep their seven.

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Grab Yourself An Oscar!

Yes you can have your very own Oscar as long as you are prepared to pay the price!  Fifteen of the statuettes are to be auctioned next Tuesday by Sanders Auctions, California, even though the motion picture academy is against the sale.  The Oscars were won pre-1950 before any agreement was in place between the Academy and Oscar winners.  It is expected that the sale will make in excess of £600,000 and the Oscars are for famous films such as Citizen Kane, Wuthering Heights, Little Women.  The view of the Academy is that the Oscars should not be sold, they are to be won and not purchased.  However, it was not able to ban the sale and surely the 15 Oscars will be a memorabilia antique of the future.

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Vintage Clothing

Vintage clothing is becoming more popular in many auctions especially if it is associated with a somebody famous.  A recent Antiques Roadshow that aired showed how one lady, who won a hat owned by Michael Jackson in a competition, was amazed to hear it was now worth £25000.  Perhaps the fashion museum at Newbridge Silver, Naas, Co. Kildare highlights how valuable items associated with famous people really are.  They house items owned by Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Sammy Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Audrey Hepburn and Vivien Leigh, to name a few.  Items vary from clothes from classic films like Gone With The Wind, The Ten Commandments, Breakfast At Tiffanys to address books owned by Cecil B DeMille and Sammy Davis Junior, autographs, fashion accessories and items associated with concerts e.g. Michael Jackson jacket from the “Bad” tour.  That jacket has its original Christies lot number and valuation of 2 to 3 thousand pounds, far less than what it is worth today.  Hang on to your memorabilia it may be worth money in years to come!

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Lord Lucan Surfaces

An antique dealer in England has come forward with a watch he believes to have been owned by Lord Lucan.  Inscribed with “Presented to Lord “Lucky” Lucan – the old fossil- by his friends at the Clermont Club Mayfair 18 December 1967″ the dealer believes it is further proof that Lucan fled to South Africa after the family Nanny was found bludgeoned to death in the house.  The watch came from South Africa and DNA and photographs of Lucan wearing the watch will be used to prove its provenance. The English antique dealer believes it could be worth a lot of money if it goes to auction.  Lucan was declared dead in 1999 but the discovery of the antique watch may throw fresh light on his mysterious disappearance in 1974.

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Paintings Donated To State

Jack B Yeats, William Orpen, Roderic O’Connor, William Leech, Paul Henry and Tony O’Malley are among the artists whose works have been “donated” to the State by AIB.  However, only 39 of the 3000 paintings have been handed over by the state-owned bank and only 12 are to be given immediately.  While it is great to get the paintings it is disappointing that the State cannot take control of all the works which are valued between €10 and €40 million.  The 12 paintings will be on view in The Crawford Gallery in Cork from next month.

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Edvard Munch Painting

One of the most iconic and well-known painting will be sold by Sothebys in New York next May.  “The Scream” by Edvard Munch, painted in 1895, is difficult to value because of its rarity but experts expect it to make over $80 million.  It is one of four versions of the painting but the only one to still be in private ownership.  Owned by a Norwegian businessman whose father was a friend of the artist the forthcoming sale is causing a great stir in the Art world.  He hopes to build a new museum, an art gallery and hotel with the proceeds.

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1920s Art Deco Luxury

Lalique glass panels, art deco marquetry, wood burning stoves!  It can only be the 1920s luxury found on board the Venice-Semplon Orient Express.  It is a step back in time to the wondrous splendour of life on board the famous train.  Each carriage is tastefully decorated to bring to life the 1920s with its lavish interior.  Fine dining, cocktails before dinner, breakfast in bed as you watch the countryside unfold from your bedroom window, the life on board has little to do with some of the poorer areas the train passes through.  One man’s dream, James B Sherwood a rail enthusiast, allowed anyone a chance to step back in time when he purchased 32 carriages at enormous expense and restored them to their former glory.  He had the pieces commissioned by the original makers e.g. glass by Lalique.  There is a strict dress code in place during the day and formal dress for dinner.  Kings, Queens, famous personalities  from all walks of life including the infamous Mata Hari, Isadora Duncan, celebrities trying not to be themselves, celebrities being themselves were frequent travellers on board the original train.  Today you will find a mix of wealthy and once in a life time voyagers but all are in awe of the interior and quality of the restored carriages which are as true to the originals as they could possibly be.  The Orient Express is a true icon of the Art-Deco era and a reminder of a more elegant age of travel.

 

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Monet Paintings at Sothebys

Sothebys had a successful auction on the 8th of February with three Monets selling for well above the guide estimates.  His painting “L’Entrée de Giverny en hiver” selling for £8,217,250 setting a record for a Monet with 4 keen bidders seeking to own it.  In total the auction made £78,893,650.00 for 41 works with global bidding ensuring collectors from all over the world were able to bid for the pieces they desired.  Sculpture by Henry Moore sold well but did not bring the prices paid for his work in Christies auction the previous evening.

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Christie’s Sale New Records

New records were seen in Christie’s Impressionist Evening Sale on 7th of February.  All eyes were on the Vincent Van Gogh painting owned by the late Elizabeth Taylor and the painting did not disappoint selling for way above the estimate price of £5-£7 million.  The hammer price was £10,121,250 but the highest price on the evening was for a Henry Moore sculpture entitled “Festival” which made £19,081,250 with a second piece by him making over £5 million.  The list from the sale was impressive with works by Van Gogh, Pissarro, Picasso, Degas, Chagall, Klee, Monet and Cézanne.  It was a veritable Who’s Who of the art world and the sale brought in £97,814,150.  What happened to the recession!!

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Silver Tankard Sells In New York

An Irish silver tankard sold in New York for $31,250 last week.  The record price was 30 times the top estimate but potential dealers and bidders recognised that the hallmarks were for Cork and therefore more valuable.  The tankard is from the Queen Anne/George I period and the maker was Robert Goble who made the mace of the Trade Guilds of Cork City in 1696 and is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  Goble is buried in the Huguenot cemetery in Cork City.  This is a good example where the value of the piece of silver far exceeded what would be paid in scrap value and highlights why one needs to be so careful of selling Irish silver for scrap.

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