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With the Holiday season soon approaching, here is a question for all you collectors out there . . . Who gets credit for the first ever Christmas card ever sent via mail? If you said Sir Henry Cole, consider yourself the winner. Sir Henry Cole decided he was too busy to write all his friends and family separately to wish them Holiday greetings, so he commissioned John Calcott Horsley to illustrate some cards for him. In 1843, Sir Henry Cole sent out 1000 greeting cards and thus a tradition was born.
Mikey wanted to learn how to sky dive so he went to the local airfield and started taking lessons. On the morning of his first jump the instructor tells Mikey, “Ten seconds after you jump out of the airplane, pull this rip cord for the parachute.” He went on to explain that he would jump out right after him and they would go down together.
David Smith was an America sculptor born in Decatur, Indiana in 1906. He was largely known for his Abstract Expressionism art form and worked mainly on large steel and metal sculptures. Mr. Smith studied at both Ohio University and the University of Notre Dame and later he joined the Art Students League of New York. In 1940, he created the Terminal Iron Works studio in upstate New York.
The word stein comes from the German word, steinzeugkrug, which is a stoneware carafe or jug. Germany, the land where beer is more common than water, is also known for their elaborately decorated and hand painted beer steins. The difference between a beer stein and a mug is that the stein usually has a hinged lid. The lid was originally a sanitary measure taken after the times of the Bubonic Plague.
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Mr. Smith’s final sculpture, Cubi XXVIII, a stainless steel rectangular and square art form, brought in a record $23.8 million at a Sotheby’s auction this week. This was a series of 28 put together by the artist, 21 of which are at museums around the world. His past record brought in $4 million back in 1994. David Smith passed away in a car accident back in 1965.
In the early 1500’s many German municipalities had passed laws governing the covering of food and drink, thus the hinged lid on what was once a mug. In addition, German beer halls also began to flourish at about the same time and people began buying personal steins that they would take to these halls. The practice of keeping a stein at your local tavern is still done in certain parts of Germany. This brought about the ornate and beautiful steins we collect today.
Some of the earliest steins were a status symbol for many Germans and were made of stoneware and decorated with carved and applied shields and historical scenes. They were painted and glazed by hand and it took many hours to create a single stein. The most recent steins are still decorated in the same way and many can be seen with the cobalt blue and chocolate saltglaze that was first used back in the day.
Cole’s Christmas card was about 3.25” x 5.12” in size and depicted a family enjoying their Holiday meal and toasting their absent friends. Last year one of the original Christmas cards that Cole commissioned and Mr. Horsley illustrated was sold at auction for about $38,000. Other antique and vintage cards are selling for more affordable prices. The Victorian era Christmas card depicting Jolly Old Saint Nick, recently sold on eBay for about $37.
The Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, California is held the second Sunday of each month. This open air market attracts about 2200 vendors and 20,000 visitors each month. This eclectic market includes everything from used merchandise to arts and crafts and antiques and collectibles. This market is billed by R.G. Canning, the promoter, as “The Worlds Most Unusual Shopping Place,” as well as “The Shopping Place of the Stars.”
So up in the airplane they went and the instructor reminded Mikey to pull the rip cord after ten seconds. Mikey jumps out of the airplane and after ten seconds, he pulls the rip cord. The instructor then jumps out right after him and after ten seconds pulls his rip cord, but unfortunately, his chute does not open and he goes speeding past Mikey. Seeing this, Mikey yelled, as he undid the straps to his chute, “So, you wanna race eh?”
In another auction, the Thomson family of Canada paid $1.8 million for a multi-colored portrait mask at a Sotheby’s Auction. The mask, which was carved in the 19th century Tsimshian artist and broke the record for an Indian object selling at auction, was part of the Dundas Collection of Northwest Coast Indian art. It was reported that the Thomson family will donate the mask and other items purchased at the auction to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada.