Welcome to our July 2010 Newsletter!
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News from the world of art and antiques
Marilyn Monroe chest X-rays auctioned for $45,000
Assocated Press 6.22.2010 -- The apparently endless market for images of Marilyn Monroe now extends to inside the bombshell's body.
A set of three Monroe Chest X-rays from a 1954 hospital visit sold Sunday for $45,000 at the Hollywood Legends auction at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Julien's Auctions, which sold the X-rays, estmated that they would only fetch a total of about $3,000.
Other Monroe-abilia that sold included a chair from her last photo shoot that went for $35,000.
The auction included items from other actresses, including a pair of earrings worn by Kate Winslet in "Titanic" that sold for $25,000 and a dress Audrey Hepburn wore when she starred opposite Fred Astaire in the musical "Funny Face" that fetched $56,250.
Durand Art Glass Vase now as a Lamp, America, c.1920.
Gold aurene threading on iridescent gold Durand vase. I have not taken the lamp apart to see if it is signed. Perfect condition, with no damage or repair. The base is gold plated.
14 ½” tall with shade
We have recently added several items to the website. You can view them by clicking here: New Additions.
Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art until August 15, 2010
The Picasso exhibit will be a first for the museum. It will include The Actor, which underwent conservation after being accidentally damaged at the Met in January.
Custer's last flag: Banner carried at Little Bighorn to be sold
Custer led more than 200 other other soldiers into battle against thousands of Lakota and Northern Cheyenne warriors on June 25, 1876, at the Little Bighorn River in what is now Montana. None of the U.S. soldiers survived the battle.
The flag that will be sold in October is tattered and fragile, measures 27½ by 33 inches and may be stained with blood. It was found three days after the Battle of Little Bighorn -- or the Battle of Greasy Grass Creek, as the victors called it -- beneath the body of one of Custer's men killed in the battle.
Sgt. Ferdinand Culbertson, a member of the burial detail assigned to retrieve the remains of the 7th Cavalry, found the Cavalry guidon, or swallow-tail flag, that was used by cavalry companies. The design reduced wind drag as the soldiers advanced.
"It's not a piece of decoration," said Sotheby's vice chairman, David Redden. "It's a sacred relic. People died for this flag. This flag is really important as it symbolizes one of the great and mythological battles in American history."
Another flag from the battle site was found months later in an Indian village seized by U.S. troops and is now owned by the National Park Service, but Redden said it is in very poor condition.
Custer's last battle was part of the United States government's 1876-77 campaign to retake the Black Hills region, ceded in perpetuity by an 1868 treaty to the Lakota. But when gold was discovered in the area, the army was sent to push the aboriginal Americans to a reservation set up for them.
The 7th Cavalry surprised the Lakota and Cheyenne, camped on the river banks, but Custer vastly underestimated their number and was crushed.
Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were among the Lakota leaders who took part in the battle.
The Detroit Institute for the Arts acquired the flag in 1895 for $54 but has decided to part with it and use the proceeds for future art acquisitions.
The Institute's director, Graham Beal, says the flag won't be missed as it was often on loan to other institutions, most recently at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana.
"The sale will help with future acquisitions," said Beal. "With the proceeds we will get art for the collection. Even though we are in Detroit, we have one of the great universal collections including Baroque, African and early modern collections. We are right up there with Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia.
Author Nathaniel Philbrick, whose book "The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull and the Battle of the Little Big Horn" was released in May, said the significance of shabby flag is enormous.
"It's not only symbolic, but it's also just a terrific artifact," he said. "It's pretty intact and given what it went through, it's amazing."
John Doerner, chief historian at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, said he believes the flag is stained with the blood of a fallen soldier and that the banner belongs to the American people.
"It was an act of courage and bravery," said Doerner, a 20-year veteran of the National Parks Service.
"To lose the colors was really something that a soldier would give their lives [to prevent]," he said.
Doerner is helping oversee events for the battle's anniversary this weekend at the national monument, where visitors will hear symposiums and view re-enactments. He is hopeful that a benefactor will purchase the flag and loan it to a national museum.
Redden said expectations are good that the Custer flag sale price might exceed Sotheby's $2 million to $5 million estimate, but the hope is that the sale will come close to the $12.3 million paid for a Revolutionary Battle flag in 2006, a record for any military relic at auction.
The Care and Feeding of Antiques
by Dexter S. Augier
Purchasing oriental carpets for your home involves adding quite a bit to your data base…you’ll hear about geometric versus floral designs, about nomadic versus village patterns, about knots per square inch, about vegetable and aniline dyes, about warp and woof, about Giordes and Senneh knots, about new versus old…all this and more, before you ultimately ask “do I like this rug, and does the price correspond with its value?”
Many have learned the old adage “you get what you pay for” very much applies to oriental carpets. Good rugs hold their value, or increase in value….that should say a lot about the quality of rugs sold in tents or hotel auctions by traveling rug merchants at
Drastically Reduced Prices! !
After all, one of the big reasons we buy oriental carpets is because of their reputation for being so durable and lasting several lifetimes…. we don’t want to find out in a few years that the ‘bargain’ we got was because the wool was dry rotted, or the warp was too tight and it cracked, or that the pile was poorly sheared, leaving an uneven wear pattern, etc, etc.
When you buy from a reputable dealer, you can choose to forgo having to know all the details, and focus on the color and design that will be best for your home and lifestyle.
But now that you have that beautiful carpet, and patted yourself on the back for not only spending your money wisely, but greatly adding to the beauty of your home…..now, how do you take care of your rug (and your investment) so that it stays both beautiful and valuable?
So here then are some basic guidelines to help you do just that…. without worrying that you are doing too little or too much.
1. First you need a pad. Pads do several things, they protect the rug from wearing unevenly on uneven floors, like brick or tile, they keep the rug from sliding underfoot, and they help the rug “breath” and not mildew. The type and thickness of the pad depends on the floor. An uneven floor calls for a thicker pad, 1/8” or 1/4”. We prefer a dense rubber pad made specifically for oriental carpets that will not mold or mildew. Others prefer a jute/hair pad because it’s denser. We find that this type pad can trigger allergies, and the humidity of our climate often makes them smell. There is another type of rubber pad that looks like an open weave. These are thinner, and are great for flat floors because they don’t raise the height of the carpet. They’re also hypo-allergenic and mildew resistant.
2. Dirt is a major enemy, particularly sand. It filters down into the carpet pile, and minutely cuts the fibers with its sharp edges as you walk on the rug. We recommend a beater-type vacuuming on a regular basis…daily or weekly, depending on your particular lifestyle. It’s important to keep the beater head OFF the four edges of the rug, or you’ll wind up doing more harm than good! If yours is an old and or fragile carpet, then you should not use the beater type vacuum.
3. Routinely, again, according to your lifestyle, your rug should be professionally washed. If it gets a lot of traffic, especially from the outside, then it should be washed every 2-3 years. In the mean time, you can ‘freshen up’ your rug yourself. Dust, cooking particles, pollen, etc. settle on the surface of your carpet. Vacuuming keeps most of these from building up, but not the grease or oil laden particles. These will slowly give your beautiful rug a gray tinge. Not to worry! This is easily and safely removed. Take a bucket of room temperature water, add a cup of distilled white vinegar, (NOT apple cider, just the cheap white vinegar from the grocery store) mix it up, soak a terrycloth towel in it, wring it as dry as you can, then using a circular motion, systematically scrub the surface of the rug, leaving the pile standing up. You only want to wet the surface of the pile. This will cut the grease, and put life back into the rug.
4. Watch for moths…they would just as soon eat your rug as your cashmere jacket! Benjamin Franklin’s saying “Here Skugg lies snug as a bug in a rug” is catchy, but unfortunately, bugs refuse to stay snug, and begin to eat their way out! Any sign of moths in the house, and you should spray the underside of the carpet with something like Raid flying insect spray. Ideally, if the rug isn’t too large, take it outside on a hot summer day. Vacuum it on the back side (this will loosen a lot of dirt, too), then spray the back surface with the Raid. If you do this in the morning, then flip the carpet around noontime, you can let it bask in the hot sun for the rest of the day. Vacuum it once more, and then bring it in ‘till next year. The sun does something wonderful for the wool fibers, and this short exposure won’t cause fading.
5. If you see signs of raveling on any of the four sides, then call your dealer. This is not very expensive to correct if done right away, before the knots start coming out. Also, if an edge curls, and refuses to lay flat (this sometimes happens on tightly woven rugs) it will wear quickly on that curl. This can be professionally corrected by blocking.
6. If a rug gets regular traffic, then turn it 180° once a year. This can double the life of your rug!
7. If the rug gets wet to its core, there is a danger of mildew, and of the cotton foundation rotting. Both are very harmful, if not fatal, to rugs, and should be dealt with immediately. Spills, on the other hand, and accidents by children or pets are not catastrophic if handled at once. Blot as much as you can with a dry towel or paper towels. Keep blotting until you’ve removed as much of the liquid as possible. Dilute the spill with water. Use enough to wet the stain but not to soak the rug. I recommend a wet terry cloth towel. Continue blotting with a white cloth to remove as much of the diluted stain as possible. Use a solution of 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar per 1 cup of water to dilute pet urine stains. As with other stains, keep blotting until you remove as much of the liquid as possible. Place a fan to blow on the wet area until it dries. Consider taking your rug to a professional oriental rug cleaner as soon as you can if you just can't get the stain out yourself.
Your carpet can age well, becoming more beautiful than when you bought it….and you can continue that back patting!!
Did you know...?
by Dexter S. Augier
The motifs, or designs in an oriental carpet all mean something, for instance wealth, faith, paradise, abundance, etc. Each is associated with its motif, like a palm, a pomegranate, bird, camel, paisley, and so forth. But interestingly, even in the cultures as old as those that produce such treasures, some of the meanings of the motifs have been lost and are now only used because of tradition. Perhaps we should be careful lest we fall to the same apathy….is it possible that one day we’ll forget what the American Eagle stands for!
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