August 2018

Walt Disney's Hand-Drawn Sketch of Donald Duck Sells For $12,000

Sanders-D Duck.jpegLos Angeles - A signed hand-drawn Walt Disney sketch of Donald Duck was auctioned tonight by Nate D. Sanders Auctions for $11,949.

In the early 1930’s, Disney created Donald Duck to be Mickey Mouse’s companion. Disney signed his name at the bottom of his pencil drawing of the beloved duck character. The sketch measures 5.5 by 8.5 inches. 

Nate D. Sanders auction manager Michael Kirk remarked, “It's rare to find a Donald Duck illustration hand drawn and signed by Walt Disney himself. Disney famously delegated almost all animation work to his team of talented animators, making this piece very unique and collectible."  

Additional information on the Sketch can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Walt_Disney_Hand_Drawn_Sketch_of_Donald_Duck__Sign-LOT50054.aspx

About Nate D. Sanders Auctions

An industry leader in documents and autographs, Nate D. Sanders Auctions has conducted auctions in Los Angeles since 1990 and now holds major auctions on a monthly basis. Owner Nate Sanders is recognized for his knowledge of sports, historical and Hollywood memorabilia. To learn more visit natedsanders.com

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National Book Festival Summer Writing Contest Winners Announced

The Library of Congress today announced the winners of its “A Book That Shaped Me”: Summer Writing Contest, a program that asks rising fifth- and sixth-graders to reflect on a book that has made a personal impact in their lives.

More than 300 young readers submitted essays to participating public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region in this seventh year of the contest. Launched in 2012 with the DC Public Library, “A Book That Shaped Me” expanded with the help of public libraries in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The local libraries offered the contest as part of their summer-reading programs.

Thirty finalists total, from the states that received entries, were chosen in an initial round of judging. The finalists each will receive a $50 gift-card prize.

Judging was conducted by members of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The AASL works to ensure all elementary- and secondary-school librarians participate as collaborative partners in the teaching and learning process.

The grand-prize judging round, which selected state and grand-prize winners from the pool of state finalists, was conducted by a panel assembled by the Library of Congress that included educators, children’s authors and Library of Congress staff.

Each state winner will receive another $50 gift-card prize. The first-, second- and third-place grand-prize winners will be awarded additional gift-card prizes in the amounts of $200, $150 and $100 respectively.

Grand-prize winners will read their essays during the “A Book That Shaped Me” awards presentation at the Library of Congress National Book Festival. The contest presentation will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at 11:50 a.m. at the Children’s Green Stage and will be emceed by Eun Yang, NBC4 Washington television anchor. 

Grand Prize & State Winners

1st Place Grand Prize & Pennsylvania State Winner
Tyler Williams, Spring City Free Library - Chester County Library System, who wrote about the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

2nd Place Grand Prize Winner & Virginia State Winner
Aria Patnaik, Reston Regional Library - Fairfax County Public Library, who wrote about “One for the Murphys” by Lynda Mullay Hunt.

3rd Place Grand Prize & Washington, D.C. Winner
Zuri Kenyatte, Anacostia Neighborhood Library - DC Public Library, who wrote about “Lucky Broken Girl” by Ruth Behar.

Delaware State Winner
Sarah Jane McMann, Hockessin Library - New Castle County Libraries, who wrote about “Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling.

Maryland State Winner
Alyssa Yu, Germantown Library - Montgomery County Public Libraries, who wrote about “Amina’s Voice” by Hena Kahn.

State Finalists (winners indicated by asterisks)

District of Columbia Finalists
Safya Biswal, Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library - DC Public Library
Raphael Fox, Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library - DC Public Library
*Zuri Kenyatte, Anacostia Neighborhood Library - DC Public Library
Ben Smith, Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library - DC Public Library
Brooke Talbott, Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Neighborhood Library - DC Public Library
Miles Walters, Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library - DC Public Library

Maryland Finalists
Brea Ampaw, Montgomery County Public Libraries
Ellyce Butuyan, Connie Morella (Bethesda) Library - Montgomery County Public Libraries
Grace Hollenbach, White Oak Library - Montgomery County Public Libraries
Julliette Mamalian, Potomac Library - Montgomery County Public Libraries
Joseph K. Mathew, Germantown Library - Montgomery County Public Libraries
*Alyssa Yu, Germantown Library - Montgomery County Public Libraries

Virginia Finalists
Bella DeFilippi, Central Library - Arlington Public Library
Deven Hagen, Arlington Public Library
Eleanor G. Hoopengardner, Central Library - Arlington Public Library
Julienne Lim, Montclair Community Library - Prince William County Public Library
*Aria Patnaik, Reston Regional Library - Fairfax County Public Library
Landon Pollard, Bedford Central Library - Bedford Public Library

Delaware Finalists
Maggie Clarke-Fields, Brandywine Hundred Library - New Castle County
Reese Corbett, Dover Public Library
Tianyu Mao, Hockessin Library - New Castle County Libraries
*Sarah Jane McMann, Hockessin Library - New Castle County Libraries
Amrita Rai, Kirkwood Library - New Castle County Libraries
Michelle Ratanraj, Hockessin Library - New Castle County Libraries

Pennsylvania Finalists
Sienna Camlin, Perkasie Branch Library - Bucks County Free Library
Michaela Clement-St. Louis
Brayden Samuelsen, Oley Valley Community Library - Berks County Public Library
Hannah Strawhecker, Avon Grove Library - Chester County Library
Annabelle Troup, Quakertown Library - Bucks County Free Library
*Tyler Williams, Spring City Free Library - Chester County Library

The detailed list of current and previous winners, along with more information about the "A Book That Shaped Me" program, is available at loc.gov/bookfest/kids-teachers/booksthatshape/. For further details, contact booksshapecontest@loc.gov.

The 18th National Book Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 1 from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m.) at the Washington Convention Center. The event is free and open to everyone.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States - and extensive materials from around the world -both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

 

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Washington Antiquarian Book Fair Offers Opportunity to Own History

Betty Crocker copy.jpgWashington, D.C. - Visitors have the rare chance to flip through and purchase a piece of history at the 43rd annual Washington Antiquarian Book Fair: September 28­-29, 2018 at Holiday Inn Rosslyn. 

WABF is the D.C. region’s only curated festival of rare and collectible books, manuscripts, autographs, maps, drawings and other fine ephemera. 

Among this year’s highlights:

­

  • 1st edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897): bound in publisher’s original cloth
  • ­ Limited­ edition copy of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book: signed by the author
  • ­ 1st edition of Thunderball (1961): Ian Fleming’s first novel featuring notorious James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld
  • ­ 1st printing of Thomas Pynchon’s 1973 novel, Gravity’s Rainbow 

You needn’t be a veteran collector - or a gazillionaire - to enjoy WABF. More than 60 exhibitors will offer items for all budgets and interests. 

WABF director Beth Campbell says the personal nature of WABF is something worth celebrating, especially “with the advent of doing business online.” She calls WABF “an active museum, a forum to access diverse knowledge gathered in one place.”

WABF is “about connectedness and discovery,” Campbell says. “The exhibitors are connected to their collections, each other and the fairgoers. The fairgoers are connected to a particular genre, author or time. We all discover more when we connect and converse with one another.”

Special features at the 43rd annual WABF include personalized impromptu haikus from “wordsmith minimalists” Haiku Gals, and the chance to make bookmarks and bind pamphlets with renowned bookbinder and conservator Jill Deiss of Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding.

What: 43rd Annual Washington Antiquarian Book Fair (www.wabf.com) 

When: Friday, September 28, 2017: 5pm - 9pm; Saturday, September 29, 2017: 10am - 5pm

Where: Holiday Inn Rosslyn: 1900 Fort Myer Dr., Arlington, VA, 22209

Tickets: Fri. + Sat.: $15. Sat. only: $10 ($5 for students & librarians w/valid ID). Children 12 & under free. Purchase tickets at wabf.com or at the door. 

Find Us: Twitter: @theWABF (#WABF18) / Facebook: facebook.com/thewabf 

Contact: Beth Campbell: bcampbell@wabf.com / (202) 363­4999

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Books of Hours in Quebec Collections to go on View in Montreal

20180829094534.jpgMontreal - The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is presenting, for the first time, remarkable Books of Hours conserved in seven Quebec collections. The result of extensive research, the exhibition Resplendent Illuminations is a unique opportunity to admire some fifty works primarily from illuminated manuscripts - in this priceless legacy of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Europe. 

Books of Hours were works of private devotion that first appeared in the thirteenth century. They were the most popular prayer books made for the laity and were used as primers for learning to read. Often given as wedding gifts, they were “bestsellers” until the sixteenth century. Over time, they evolved in a variety of ways both textually and iconographically, adapting to the regional differences in devotions, languages and artistic styles of European Christianity.

The 59 artefacts presented here for the first time belong to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, McGill University, the arts library of the Université du Québec à Montréal, the Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice, the Archives of the Jesuits in Canada, to Concordia University and the Musée de l’Amérique francophone in Quebec City. 

Three curators present new findings

“My hope is that the public can appreciate the singular beauty of these artefacts, which come from across medieval and Renaissance Europe and enrich our collective heritage. Perhaps they will be spurred to delve deeper into the past by leafing through the new Catalogue raisonné des livres d’Heures conservés au Québec,” said Brenda Dunn-Lardeau, associate professor, department of literary studies, UQAM, who edited the scholarly work. 

“One of the remarkable aspects of this exhibition is that we have assembled entirely from publicly accessible collections in Quebec such a breathtaking range of Books of Hours, some independent leaves but most of them still bound, with exquisitely beautiful illuminations.  These works bring vividly to life both the evolving internal religious experiences and their outward expressions over the course of four centuries. Our evocative installation is intended to permit the visitor to appreciate each work intimately,” added Hilliard T. Goldfarb, Senior Curator - Collections, and Curator of Old Masters, MMFA.

“The most surprising discovery in this exhibition is how many Books of Hours have been in Quebec for more than two hundred years. Unlike most collections of Books of Hours in North America, which have been assembled in the late 19th and 20th centuries, here there are books that are truly part of Quebec's religious and cultural heritage. The other remarkable feature of this exhibition is the successful identification of artists and schools that link these manuscripts to others held around the world,” concluded Richard Virr, chief curator (retired), Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University. 

Priceless treasures from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

The works on display show the exquisite elegance of some Gothic and Renaissance illuminations from France, the Southern Netherlands, Italy and Southern Germany, as well as other contemporaneous expressions of popular piety. These small images, carved into wood or hastily painted, were probably produced for clients of more modest means and feature decorations similar to decorative folk art. Seven books come from the early days of printing, an innovation that made it possible to reach a much wider readership than did manuscripts. These books illustrate the development of woodcuts and metal cuts that gradually replaced the art of illumination.

Little-known contribution by women

Contrary to popular belief, women were more than just pious readers of Books of Hours. As the works in the exhibition eloquently demonstrate, women contributed their expertise at various stages of production. Thus, in the Rhodes Hours, the patron is painted kneeling right in the middle of the Annunciation, combining the sacred and the profane. The Heures de Nostre Dame of Pierre Gringore, published in 1525, were dedicated to Renée de Bourbon, Duchess of Lorraine, who commissioned the French translation. Lastly, a pocket-sized manuscript Book of Hours, was illuminated around 1500 to 1510 by Cornelia van Wulfscherchke, a Carmelite nun in Bruges.

An outstanding heritage conserved in Quebec

In comparison with other collections of early books in North America, what is special about the Books of Hours held in Quebec is the fact that they were first and foremost devotional works of New France. This is evidenced in the Jesuit Relations as of 1653 and in requests made by the Hospitalières (nursing sisters in Quebec) between 1664 and 1668 to their benefactors in France. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, these devotional books found a new vocation, becoming collectible artefacts. Whether complete or fragmentary, Books of Hours came into Quebec by way of inheritances or purchases in Europe.

Over time, a number of Books of Hours entered public institutions following private donations and also thanks to purchasing policies that encouraged public education. Thus, in the 1920s and 1930s Gerhard R. Lomer, one of McGill University’s earliest librarians, launched an original project, creating a small Museum of Books inside the university library open to the general public. In his purchasing trips, especially to London, Lomer was helped by F. Cleveland Morgan, the great patron who also acquired works for the Art Association, later to become the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The detached folios in Quebec collections are among the most representative specimens of the early history of both manuscripts and printed books down through the centuries.

Credits and curatorial 

The exhibition is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration avec Université du Québec à Montréal and McGill University. Its curators are Brenda Dunn-Lardeau, associate professor, department of literary studies, UQAM, Hilliard T. Goldfarb, Senior Curator - Collections and Curator of Old masters, MMFA, and Richard Virr, chief curator (retired), Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University.

Publication

The exhibition is accompanied by the Catalogue raisonné des livres d’Heures conservés au Québec, published by Presses de l’Université du Québec and edited by Brenda Dunn-Lardeau. The Books of Hours, manuscripts for the most part, are remarkable for their textual and iconographic diversity. The catalogue presents this priceless European heritage from 1225 to 1583 and conserved in North America. Special attention was paid to their complex history and to identifying the artists who created them, since these miniatures elevate Books of Hours to the ranks of unique, high-quality works of art. 

Available at the Museum Boutique and Bookstore. In French.

Softcover $48, ISBN: 978-2-7605-4975-3; hardcover, $55, ISBN: 978-2-7605-4978-4.

Activities in connection with the exhibition 

September 27, 2 to 5 p.m.

Workshop-masterclass: 

Le nombre d’or et la recherche des harmoniques du sens caché du texte with Jean-Luc Leguay

Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace, Studio 11, 2075 Bishop St.

 One of the last master illuminators, Jean-Luc Leguay spent 10 years under the tutelage of an Italian Franciscan. For this workshop, participants will need to bring a set square, compass, paper and pencil to apply the teachings, which are based on the study of geometry, and prepare a parchment for illumination. Space is limited. 

September 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Symposium: Discovering Books of Hours held in Quebec Collections

Maxwell Cummings Auditorium, 1379-A Sherbrooke Street West

The aim of this symposium is to present diverse facets of Books of Hours - pigments, decorated manuscripts and prints, original bindings and unique elements of particular works (e.g. sheet music inserts) - to gain an appreciation of the production and aesthetics underlying Books of Hours from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century in Europe. The experts at the symposium, organized by the MMFA, in collaboration with the Groupe multidisciplinaire de Montréal sur les livres anciens (XVe-XVIIIe siècles), include Geneviève Bazinet (University of Ottawa), Sarah Cameron-Pesant (Université de Montréal), Brenda Dunn-Lardeau (UQAM), Madeleine Jeay (McMaster University), Helena Kogen (Université du Québec à Montréal), Sylvie Poirier (Université de Sherbrooke), Geneviève Samson (Library and Archives Canada and Richard Virr (McGill University).

Information and reservations: mbam.qc.ca/calendrier

Acknowledgements 

The Museum acknowledges the vital contribution of Air Canada to the presentation of this exhibition and extends its thanks to Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Conseil des arts de Montréal for their ongoing support. Research for the preparation of the exhibition was made possible with financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Images (from left to right): Workshop of the Master of the ?chevinage of Rouen, The Annunciation to the Shepherds, Hours of Pellegrin de Remicourt and Madeleine Symier, about 1470-1475, Rouen. Université du Québec à Montréal, arts library, special collections, Montreal School of Fine Arts Bequest, 1969. Photo Gilles Saint-Pierre. | Simon Bening (1483-1561), Saint Sebald of Nuremberg, about 1515-1525, Flanders, Southern Netherlands, manuscript leaf from a Book of Hours, a prayer book or a breviary. MMFA, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest. | A late follower of Robert Boyvin, The Adoration of the Magi, about 1500 (1495-1505), Rouen, leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours in Latin for the use of Rouen. McGill University Library, Rare Books and Special Collections, Catherine Rhodes Tudor-Hart Bequest, 1972. Photo Gregory Houston.

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Potter & Potter Auctions' Magic Memorabilia Sale Makes $360,000

166 .jpgChicago -- Potter and Potter's signature summer magic auction caught the attention of collectors worldwide and delivered exceptional results. After a long day of spirited bidding, 29 lots realized between $1,000-1,999; 29 lots made between $2,000-$9,999; and six lots broke the five-figure mark. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium. 

Rarities associated with legendary people or places in the magic community took the top spots in this sale. Lot #282, a 1916 three sheet color litho featuring Howard Thurston as Thurston the Great rose to $22,800. This spectacularly illustrated poster featured Thurston, assisted by imps, levitating an assistant, with Kellar’s endorsement quoted in the lower margin. Lot #455, Bob Swadling’s Magic Kettle more than doubled its low estimate and changed hands at $21,600. This mechanically complex vessel was used by Paul Daniels on British TV in 1979. This kettle is one of the items that was sold to help defray the costs of Sebastian Midtvaage's care. And lot #166, Chicago Magic Roundtable 1946 scrapbook - featuring the autographs of about 500 magicians as well as brochures, business cards, signed photographs, letters, promotional materials, and clippings from the club - made an astonishing $19,200 on its original $2,000-3,000 estimate. This treasure-trove generated 43 bids, the most of any lot in this sale. 

The results of this auction confirm Potter & Potter’s solid reputation as the first choice for buying and selling fine magic-related archives and collections. Lot #209, a Servais LeRoy & Co. illusion instruction archive from 1912 almost doubled its low estimate to make $11,400. This collection included typed and manuscript instructions and advertisements for illusions, gimmicks, pocket, and parlor tricks sold and manufactured by this short-lived but important London-based magic company. Buyers were also focused on lot #255, a collection of more than 200 photographs of magicians from the 1940's through the 1990's including Doug Henning, Ali Bongo, Paul Daniels, Lance Burton, Jack Gwynne, Blackstone Jr, and others. This comprehensive grouping was estimated at $400-800 and sold for $3,000. And lot #173, a Loring Campbell scrapbook, owned and kept by the lyceum and Chautauqua magician, turned the page for $720 on its $50-100 estimate. 

Ephemera related to the great Dutch magician Okito (1875-1963) clearly captured the imagination of bidders at this event. Okito was the stage name of Tobias Bamberg, a sixth-generation magician who performed his Asian themed act entirely in pantomime. Lot #221, a 1929 photo postcard of a costumed Okito signed and inscribed to his best customer and friend Victor Barbour, sold for $2,400 - four times its high estimate!  A number of letters from Okito to Barbour also delivered strong results in this sale. Of note is lot #222, a letter from Okito to Barbour dated April 29, 1920 addressing a variety of personal and professional topics, and lot #233, three Okito letters to Barbour spanning the 1918-1924 time frame. Each of these lots was estimated at $400-600 and sold for $2,160. 

This event's offering of over 150 rare and important magic books, with titles from the 1600's onward, was truly breathtaking. Surprise best sellers in this category include lot #70, Professor Hoffmann’s signed copy of Robert-Houdin and Jean Eugène’s Les Tricheries Des Grecs Devoilees, published by J. Hetzel in Paris in 1863.  Estimated at $300-500, it made $2,750. And lot #120, a manuscript copy of Tetragramaton, published by the author Tony Andruzzi (Tom Palmer) in Chicago in the 1970’s sold for $4,080 on its $1,200-1,800 estimate.  This absolutely exquisite book doubled as a piece of art, and was detailed with pebbled black hardcovers, brass studs, a color lenticular illustration of a wizard, border decorations, and original illustrations.

This spotlight sale rounded out with top-tier offerings of magic related ephemera, stage worn costumes, apparatus, artwork, and other rarities. Lot #366, a c. 1940’s deco style Devil’s mailbox made by the F.G. Thayer & Co. burned through its $250-300 estimate to realize $3,600.  Lot #328, an early 20th century French wind up bisque-headed child conjuror performed well, making $4,250 on her $300-500 estimate.  Lot #187, a 1924 typed, signed letter from Ottokar Fischer to Dr. Samuel Cox Hooker on dramatic, three color letterhead made $2,640 - more than ten times its high estimate! And wrapping things up here, lot #177 - two 1920’s-era costume robes from the Carter Illusion Show - brought $1,440 on their $250-350 estimate. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, “It's gratifying to see strong demand for the rare and unusual magic memorabilia we featured in this sale. As is often the case, the unique or truly scarce and attractive items we offer performed exceptionally well. This bodes well for the future - both short-term and long-term - as we have some spectacular and historically significant magic memorabilia on deck for the coming year." 

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, its annual Coin-Op & Advertising Auction, will be held on September 29, 2018.  For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: Chicago Magic Roundtable 1946 Scrapbook, sold for $19,200.

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Rare Campaign Flag Led Heritage Auctions' Americana & Political Auction

Dallas, TX - A rare Polk & Dallas: Highly Significant Large 1844 Campaign Flag Banner sold for $81,250 and a Pocket Watch Owned by One of the Passengers on the R.M.S. Titanic drew $57,500, to lead Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political auction Aug. 25-26 in Dallas, Texas. Sales from the event totaled $1,459,448.

“This auction featured items that really captured the fascination of collectors of all levels,” Heritage Auctions Americana Auctions Director Tom Slater said. “The 1844 campaign flag and the watch from the Titanic are lots that tell important stories, and will be key pieces in their new owners’ collections.”

Polk campaign items, especially display pieces, are rare, and the Polk & Dallas flag is one of the largest political flags ever made, measuring 49-1/2 by 30-1/2 inches, or 57 by 38 inches with the frame. This flag is one of perhaps six known. It formerly resided in the legendary U.I. “Chick” Harris Collection, and achieved the highest price of any object when that collection was sold in a series of eight auctions nearly 20 years ago. Intended for horizontal display, it still has the original fabric loops for suspension across the top, and fine stitching around the perimeter.

The pocket watch was salvaged from Sinai Kantor, a Russian immigrant who was one of victims when the Titanic collided with an iceberg April 15, 1912. Kantor’s belongings, including the watch, were returned to his widow, Miriam, who was spared when “women and children first” protocol earned her a seat on the final lifeboat to reach the rescue ship R.M.S. Carpathia.

Numerous bidders pursued Revolutionary War: “Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression” Prohibitively Rare Copper Engraved Cartoon Celebrating the Boston Tea Party until it brought $37,500. The rare political cartoon was published after Dec. 23, 1773 and before April 1774, mere months after the Sons of Liberty, disguised as Mohawk Indians, took to Boston Harbor and destroyed more than 92,000 pounds of tea. Just six copies of the copper engraved cartoon are known to exist in institutional holdings.

One of the premier political banners surviving from the era, Henry Clay: A Spectacular Hand-Painted Banner from the 1844 Campaign drew multiple bids before closing at $35,000, nearly double its pre-auction estimate. Reflecting the Nativist and Protectionist viewpoint of many of Clay’s supporters, the banner features a portrait of Clay over text that reads: “AMERICA THOU ART OUR COUNTRY AND THEE WILL WE SUPPORT / We are labourers and would not that our children’s bread should be cast to the dogs of foreign nations.”

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West Show: “He-Nu-Kaw” Richly Colored Lithographed Poster Depicting “The Handsomest Indian Maiden in the World” led a group of 84 lots related to the legendary American scout, bison hunter and showman when multiple bidders drove its final price to $32,500 - more than six times its pre-auction estimate. A rare and early poster issued around 1878 to promote Cody’s New York stage play, this example is one of only a handful known to remain in existence, according to former longtime Buffalo Bill Historical Center curator Paul Fees. Printed by Cleveland, Ohio-based lithographers W.J. Morgan & Co., this example comes from the collection of the late, renowned collector Edward C. Gillette of Kansas City. Gillette amassed one of the finest collections of items related to Buffalo Bill, many of which appeared in the Aug. 25 Heritage Auctions sale.

Other top lots included but were not limited to:

·       George Washington: Portrait Dated 1791 After Gilbert Stuart: $27,500

·       Dwight D. Eisenhower & John F. Kennedy: Official White House Presidential Flag: $27,500

·       Mexican-American War: South Carolina Palmetto Regiment Gold Medal with Ribbon: $27,500

·       Cox & Roosevelt: The “Holy Grail” Jugate Button for These 1920 Running Mates: $22,500

·       Lyndon B. Johnson: Signed Iconic Air Force One Swearing-In Photograph: $21,250

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Walt Disney's Hand-Drawn Sketch of Donald Duck to be Auctioned

55036a_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A signed hand-drawn Walt Disney sketch of Donald Duck will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on August 30, 2018.

In the early 1930’s, Disney created Donald Duck to be Mickey Mouse’s companion. Disney signed his name at the bottom of his pencil drawing of the beloved duck character. The sketch measures 5.5 by 8.5 inches.

Nate D. Sanders auction manager Michael Kirk remarked, “It's rare to find a Donald Duck illustration hand drawn and signed by Walt Disney himself. Disney famously delegated almost all animation work to his team of talented animators, making this piece very unique and collectible."  

Bidding for the drawing begins at $7,900.

Additional information on the manuscript can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Walt_Disney_Hand_Drawn_Sketch_of_Donald_Duck__Sign-LOT50054.aspx

 

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Unseen Mandela Letter from Robben Island Offered at Bonhams

blobid6_1535450110996.pngA reflective and tender letter written by Nelson Mandela from his prison cell on Robben Island to the daughter of his friend and fellow anti-apartheid activist, Michael Harmel is to be offered at Bonhams South African Sale in London on 14 September.  It is estimated at £50,000-100,000.

The letter, which has never been published, is addressed to Barbara Lamb and sends condolences on the death of her father Michel Harmel, news of which had only recently reached Mandela. At the time - October 1974 - the future South African President (Prisoner 466/64) was ten years into a life sentence, following his conviction for sabotage at the Rivonia Trial in 1964. 

Mandela first met Harmel at a Communist Party meeting in the 1940s, and he writes movingly about his initial failure as a young college graduate to appreciate the older man’s gifts: “I was convinced that he did not deserve the honour of being placed amongst the elite. It was some years later that I came to accept his simplicity as a virtue on which one could model his own life...". 

Over time their friendship grew. Harmel’s wife Ray - a seamstress and ardent supporter of the anti-apartheid movement - made Winnie Mandela’s wedding dress at Nelson’s request and the famous post-wedding photograph of the newly married couple was taken at the Harmel’s house. 

Elsewhere in the letter Mandela reflects, “He was one of those men who fully understood the meaning of their life as part of mankind generally & as individuals. His peep into the future very often coincided with one's most intimate hopes & dreams. May he rest in peace for 'his work on earth is done'.”

The conditions under which Mandela lived when the letter was written were brutal. Although by 1974 he had progressed from a Grade D to a Grade A prisoner, and was able to maintain more contact with the outside world, he was still sleeping every night on a stone floor, breaking stones in the yard every day during the week, and was confined to his cell 23 hours a day at the weekends.

Despite the hardships and the sad circumstances that prompted him to write, Mandela maintains a sense of perspective and humour. Looking forward to his freedom he promises to take his European ‘sisters’ - close friends who had supported him in the days of struggle - to a feast and then to invite them to join in Umngqungpo, the Xhosa dance performed by elder women to celebrate girls who are coming of age.

The letter closes with a characteristically thoughtful interweaving of the personal and the philosophical. “It has been said that faith is like an oak tree, it grows steadily but, once established, it endures for centuries. Ever ridden a horse in your life, or seen a horse race? Hope is the horse on which you ride & travel to your destination, to reach the winning post. My only fortune in life is to have friends who taught me these things, amongst whom was your beloved Pa. Fondest regards & sincere good wishes to all. Sincerely, Nelson".

Bonhams Director of the South African Sale Giles Peppiatt said, “When Nelson Mandela wrote this letter he had endured 10 years of appalling treatment with no prospect of release, yet he retained his humanity, his sense of humour and his faith in the future. He writes with almost conversational grace and ease. It is a wonderful letter.”  

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The Getty Museum Presents "All that Glitters: Life at the Renaissance Court"

AllthatGlitters.jpgLos Angeles—Courtiers feasting at elaborately set tables, knights in gleaming armor, a richly clad monarch presiding over elegant festivities—these are the images often associated with the medieval and Renaissance courts of Europe. For rulers and members of the nobility at the center of these privileged spaces, the visual arts—illuminated manuscripts, paintings, drawings, enamels, and textiles—were central aspects of their political and cultural identities. All that Glitters: Life at the Renaissance Court, on view from August 28 to December 2, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, focuses on court culture during the transition between “late medieval” and “Renaissance” (or “early modern”) Europe.

“During this critical period, the court was often a place of leisure, entertainment, and display, where members of the aristocracy engaged in tournaments, hunting, feasting, and games such as chess,” explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “The settings for these pursuits were designed to impress—sumptuous and spectacular displays of art and pageantry that reaffirmed their status and prestige. The manuscripts that recorded such courtly pastimes were themselves valued as luxury goods and much sought after by the nobility.”

The objects featured in All that Glitters include a selection of luxury textiles and clothing, a drawing, a hand-colored print, and glass that complement the wide variety of lavishly illuminated manuscripts that found an enthusiastic audience in the palaces and châteaux of late medieval and Renaissance Europe.

In aristocratic households all over continental Europe, even expressions of religious faith took a luxurious material form. Court artists produced small illuminated prayer books that could be worn as fashionable accessories, decorated with elegant fabrics, precious metals, and glittering jewels that adorned the residences of Europe’s elite.

The adherence to chivalric code and the way it governed both belief and behavior at the Renaissance courts was established in the Middle Ages but emerged with renewed vigor during the late medieval period. A number of dazzling and complex objects including manuscripts and stained glass explore the display of heraldry at court, where rank and systems of social hierarchy were incredibly important. Objects produced for kings, queens, and courtiers enshrined ideals of chivalry, especially in the form of jousting that continued to guide official conduct into the sixteenth century.

“The incredible material luxury of the objects in the exhibition shows how ostentatious life at court could be, but when you dig a little deeper, the same objects can also be evidence of how courtiers were expected to behave and how they built their social hierarchies and identities,” says Larisa Grollemond, assistant curator of manuscripts and curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition concludes with a display of illuminated manuscript leaves from the court of King Louis XIV at Versailles, where the splendor of European court life reached its apex in the seventeenth-century. The display of heraldry, personal emblems, fine textiles, and luxury books continued to affirm social standing and good taste. Ultimately, the very trappings of magnificence that once cemented the king’s authority would also be what helped spark a revolution.

Related programming includes a performance of music from the period by the group Cappella Pratensis and An American Court: A Conversation with Former White House Curator William Allman, a discussion that will reveal the history of the White House collection and how various presidents have used art to help define their administrations and deliver cultural messages. Additional information can be found at getty.edu/360.

Image: A Tournament Contest, Augsburg (probably), Germany (Place created), about 1560-1570. Tempera colors and gold and silver paint on paper bound between original pasteboard covered with original brown calf. Leaf: 43 ? 28.9 cm (16 15/16 ? 11 3/8 in.). Ms. Ludwig XV 14, fol. 27v

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100 Years of Russian Print-Making & Etching at the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair

Alexander Vetro -Suzdal Evening-.jpgIt appears that revolutionary ideas in society and revolutionary ideas in art develop simultaneously, “observes OLesya Koenig, co-owner with her husband Jerry Koenig of the From Russia with Art gallery. “Political ideas emanating from the 1917 Russian Revolution quickly found their way into art movements such as Constructivism and Suprematism, producing startling new original works of enduring quality, while maintaining realism in art -an important vision of everyday life.

From Russia with Art will be featuring a curated collection of works on paper by leading artists from this important time period at the upcoming Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, (BABF), Sept. 8 & 9 at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint. The Cambridge, Mass art gallery will have on display and for sale, etchings and prints from such major artists as Stanislav Nikireev, Alexander Vetrov, and Vladimir Vorobyov, in the BABF’s new fair-within-a-fair section, “The Brooklyn Print & Photo Fair.  “Some of Russia’s best artists have focused their creative energy mastering printmaking, particularly etching - and the results are breathtaking, but hard to find in this country,” says Ms. Koenig.  From Russia With Art is helping to change that.  

Stanislav Nikiereev (1932-2007), known as the “People’s Artist of Russia,”  was one of the most remarkable Masters of modern Russian Fine Arts. Experts consider his incredibly detailed works as a unique phenomenon in current landscape art and etching technique, to be compared only with the legacy of old Masters, such as Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt van Rijn and especially Pieter Brueghel the Elder.  

Etchings, aquatints and dry points (an engraving or print made with a dry point needle), rarely seen in the United States, by “Honored Artists of Russia” - Aleander Vetrov, an outstanding colored-etching craftsman; Vladimir Vorobyov and Irina Makoveeva; will also be presented as part of the BABF exhibition. Vetrov, Vorobyov and Makoveeva have had exhibitions in America and Europe. From Russia with Art will also feature rarely seen original works on paper (pastels, mixed media, drawings) by an important Italian-American modernist August Mosca (1909-2002,) created by the artist in the 1940s-1970s,  as well as the rich color oil paintings by St. Petersburg artist, Grigory Samson, who explored a variety of styles throughout his life from Cubism to Surrealism.  

One hundred years ago, Russian art brought a revolutionary vision to the world and was eagerly grasped and appreciated by American and European artists working throughout the world.  It was a major contribution and endures today.  As Olesya Koenig says, “Art is organically interwoven into the fabric of life, whether in times of political change and uncertainty, or more stable eras in which we can contemplate how, so often, art shows the way.

Fair hours are:  Sat., September 8th, noon-7pm; Sun. September 9th, 11am-4pm; Admission:  Weekend pass:  $15 for adults; Sunday admission $10. Contact:  info@brooklynbookfair.com, 781-862-4039

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