Collectibles

Had James Bond been vanquishing villains in the 19th century, surely he would have found a use for this Russian strongbox. The circa-1815 safe, which is on offer for $815,000 from New York City...
On October 15 in New York, the U.S. Cavalry’s sole survivor from the 1876 battle known as Custer’s Last Stand will be auctioned during a Sotheby’s sale titled Custer’s Last Flag: The Culbertson...
Longtime friends Andrew Butterfield, a lauded art dealer, and Fabrizio Moretti, owner of Moretti Fine Art , share the desire to bring Italian sculpture to the public’s attention. The two have teamed...
In the midst of the economic conflagration of 2008, financial-services giant Lehman Brothers filed the largest bankruptcy in United States history. However, as is often the case, one’s loss can be...
One of the highlights of the Kunsthaus Zürich museum’s centenary year is “Picasso” (October 15, 2010–January 31, 2011), an homage to the museum’s groundbreaking 1932 Picasso exhibition, which was the...
Trevor Barton loved to talk about his pipes. The British appliance salesman, who died in 2008 at the age of 88, amassed over the years one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of the smoking...
Part of Christie’s New York Asian Art Week, the Sze Yuan Tang Archaic Bronzes from the Anthony Hardy Collection sale ( www.christies.com ) will include ritualistic vessels employed by the Shang...
To commemorate its centennial on June 24, 2010, Italian carmaker Alfa Romeo commissioned Montegrappa for Alfa Romeo ( www.montegrappa.com ), a collection of writing instruments crafted by the Italian...
Paintings from some of the greatest Impressionist and Modernist masters, including Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Jackson Pollock, will be on display at the Masters of Impressionism and Modernism...
While the gs and other BMW motorcycles enjoy a large and loyal following, two-wheel enthusiasts are less familiar with the German vehicle maker’s nonmotorized bikes. The BMW M Bike , which debuted in...
Colorado’s Ecosse Moto Works ( www.ecossemoto.com ) builds its new X-9 Titanium 29er bicycle the same way it makes its motorcycles: tailor-made to each buyer’s bodily proportions. The mountain bike—...
Though it lacks the brute power of its 503 hp automotive namesake, the Ferrari Surfboard Scuderia Spider is sure to deliver enough thrills to satisfy fans of the prancing horse. At 7 feet 2 inches,...
Graf von Faber-Castell fashioned its Pen of the Year 2010 ( www.graf-von-faber-castell.com ) using the techniques of craftsmen who made hunting rifles in the 19th century. The production of case-...
On December 31, 1914, the social pages of The New York Times cheerfully informed readers that Robert Goelet would host New Year’s Day trotting races on Glenmere Lake, part of his estate "near the...
Montblanc is perpetuating its 19-year-old Patron of Art series with handcrafted writing instruments celebrating England’s Queen Elizabeth I. Released earlier this year, the Elizabeth I fountain pens...
Sotheby’s London just may lay claim to the art market’s next big sale: An auction of Old Master and British paintings on July 7 will feature British darling Joseph Mallord William Turner’s stunning...
On June 28, Sotheby’s will launch its Contemporary Art Evening Sale in London with Yves Klein’s striking work, RE 49, Relief Eponge Bleu . Klein’s paradigmatic blue sponge reliefs have generated...
It is a telling commentary on the state of our culture that the only words by George Santayana, author of The Life of Reason , with which the public is still acquainted are these: "Those who cannot...
On June 23, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation will make its second attempt to sell Pablo Picasso’s illustrious masterpiece Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto . The painting, originally scheduled to...
The American painter Jasper Johns is known for his shockingly bright versions of the American flag, the most elusive of which will be auctioned at Christie’s New York Postwar and Contemporary Art...
The 16th-century French artist Valentin Bousch completed some of his most daring work for Prior Wary de Lucy. One such commission, installed in the church of Saint-Firmin at Flavigny-sur-Moselle in...
On May 30 in Los Angeles, Bonhams & Butterfields will present the Paul Bloomfield collection of North American coins at the company’s Rare Coins and Bank Notes auction ( www.bonhams.com ). The...
Istanbul-born, Paris-based painter Mubin Orhon, whose untitled work from 1960 set a record price for the artist at a Christie’s auction in 2008 ($374,500), is a central figure in Sotheby’s upcoming...
Among the items available for sale this spring at Bonhams & Butterfields Fine European Furniture and Decorative Arts auction ( www.bonhams.com ) in Los Angeles are a Régence-style regulateur...
In the early 1880s, while his personal railway car was parked on a siding in Michigan City, Ind., William Henry Vanderbilt, who was traveling with two of his sons, consented to a brief interview with...
Loiminchay , the pen company known for its modern interpretation of ancient Asian culture, has introduced a new design in its Chinese calligraphy-themed writing instruments. Loiminchay’s Calligraphy...
A brutally realistic rendition of the results following an altercation between Lucien Freud and a cab driver, the relatively unknown Self-Portrait with a Black Eye, will be offered at Sotheby’s...
On October 26, 1886, a note arrived at London’s Albemarle Hotel addressed to Mrs. John L. Gardner. The sender was novelist Henry James, who informed his correspondent that he was "writing to Sargent...
Hercules’ stepmother Hera drove him mad—mad enough to commit several atrocious murders. To atone for his sins, the son of Zeus had to complete the Labors of Hercules, a series of 12 seemingly...
American expatriate painter John Singer Sargent once humbly quipped, "Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend." However, long before the social elite of the early 20th century began to climb...

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