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‘Casablanca’ piano auctioned for $600,000, less than expected – UPI.com

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

This screenshot shows Sydney Greenstreet and H...

NEW YORK, Dec. 15 (UPI) — A piano briefly seen in 1942’s “Casablanca” sold at auction for $602,500, about half of the highest estimates for the item, New York’s Sotheby’s said.

The winning bidder, whose name was not reported, bid $500,000 on the item Friday, though commissions added $102,000 to the total, The New York Times reported. Sotheby’s had estimated the piano would sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

The piano was one of two used in “Casablanca,” and was small, with 58 keys, 30 fewer than a conventional piano.

It was used in a flashback scene at a Paris cafe named “La Belle Aurore.” The piano was on camera for 1 minute and 10 seconds, and actor Dooley Wilson, who played Sam in the classic film, mimicked playing it while singing in the film, the Times reported.

Sotheby’s last auctioned the piano in 1988 for $155,000, the second-highest price for Hollywood memorabilia at the time, the newspaper said.

via ‘Casablanca’ piano auctioned for $600,000, less than expected – UPI.com.

Holy car auction Batman! Original Batmobile for sale – Nov. 29, 2012

December 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Bat Mobile. Special Presentation of Cars Used ...NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Batmobile used in the 1960s Batman TV series is expected to go up for auction in January, the Barrett Jackson auto auction house said Thursday.

The car could sell for millions, said Craig Jackson, chief executive of the auction firm.

Some particularly iconic TV and movie cars have gone for very high prices. For example, a highly modified 1964 Aston Martin DB5 used in James Bond films sold for $4.6 million in 2010.

But Hollywood cars don’t always command such high prices. Often there are multiple versions created for different types of shots and for promotional use, making it hard to to say that one car is definitively “the car.”

Unlike most TV show cars, the Batmobile really is a singular creation. While there have been many imitations, this really is the only original.

The Batmobile started life as the Ford Motor Co (F, Fortune 500).’s 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car which, itself, was based on a Lincoln Mark II. Besides its pearl white paint job, the Futura actually looked very much like the Batmobile it would become over a decade later.

Famed car customizer George Barris — also known for creating the Munster Koach for the The Munsters and the Beverly Hillbillies‘ car — was tasked with creating the Batmobile in 1966. With a tight deadline, he decided that modifying the Futura, rather than starting from scratch, was the way to go.

On television, the Batmobile’s technology allowed it to shoot flames, squirt oil and shoot tire slashers, but the car is not actually designed to do any of that.

via Holy car auction Batman! Original Batmobile for sale – Nov. 29, 2012.

Bram Stoker’s restored Dracula desk up for auction | Reuters

November 7, 2012 Leave a comment
English: Bram Stoker (1847-1912), novelist bor...(Reuters) – The desk where Bram Stoker wrote his famed 1897 book “Dracula” is going up for auction next month after having been restored and turned into a work of art, auction company Profiles in History said on Wednesday.

The desk, which will be auctioned off by the California company on December 15 and 16, has had a long history, which, over the past century, has left it battered, with missing drawers and legs sawn short.

The Irish-born Stoker, who died in 1912, initially gave the desk to his friend J.S.R. Phillips. The current owner commissioned British-based furniture maker and designer Mark Brazier-Jones to preserve the desk, but also make it a stand-alone art piece, the auction house said.

Brazier-Jones said in a statement that he wanted to preserve the desk’s scars and textures, but also pay homage to the man who introduced the vampire Count Dracula to today’s pop culture.

via Bram Stoker’s restored Dracula desk up for auction | Reuters.

Sotheby’s sale sets Miro record, others disappoint | Reuters

Reuters – Sotheby’s set a new auction record for Spanish artist Joan Miro on Tuesday when his 1927 painting “Peinture (Etoile Bleue)” fetched 23.6 million pounds ($36.9 million), but elsewhere the sale failed to meet expectations.

Overall, the auctioneer raised 75.0 million pounds ($117.7 million) at its impressionist and modern art evening sale in London, just beating the low estimate of 73 million pounds but falling short when buyer’s premium is taken into account.

The auction was the first in a busy season of sales of fine art in London which, if the highest expectations are met, could raise up to $1 billion.But it painted an uncertain picture, with the New York Times describing proceedings on the night as “lackluster” and “bumpy.”

Confidence in the art market has been sky high in 2012 despite broader economic concerns, with emerging collectors from Russia, China and the Middle East helping push values to record highs as they seek to snap up the most coveted works.

On offer at Sotheby’s was one of Miro’s most important paintings, and the previous auction record for the artist of 16.8 million pounds was comfortably eclipsed.

“His works from this period are supremely modern, timeless and of great universal appeal, making this precisely the type of painting that today’s international collectors are prepared to lock horns over, as they did this evening,” said Helena Newman, head of Sotheby’s impressionist and modern art in Europe.

via Sotheby’s sale sets Miro record, others disappoint | Reuters.

Strange Random Auction Quote:

“I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I’m going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box.” – James Lee Burke

Warhol could fetch $85 million at auction | WORLD News

An iconic portrait of Elvis Presley by pop artist Andy Warhol is poised to fetch as much as $70 million (NZD$85) million when it hits the auction block in May, Sotheby’s said today.

The life-size painting, Double Elvis (Ferus Type) from 1963, epitomises Warhol’s obsessions with fame, stardom and the public image, according to Sotheby’s.

Estimated to sell for $40 million to $70 million, it will be included in the auction house‘s May 9 sale of post-war and contemporary art.

“The silver background of Double Elvis (Ferus Type), along with the subtle variations in tone give the serial imagery a sense of rhythmic variation that recalls the artist’s masterpiece, 200 One Dollar Bills completed the previous year,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.

That work soared to nearly $53 million or four times its estimate in 2009, when the art market was reeling from the financial crisis that struck in 2008. It was the highlight of the season, and achieved the highest price of any work at the fall auctions.

In the Double Elvis work, Presley is dressed as a cowboy, shooting a gun. Sotheby’s described him in the work “a Hollywood icon of the sixties rather than the rebellious singer who shook the world of music in the sixties.”

The double in the title refers to a shadowy image of Presley in the same pose that appears next to him in the work.

via Warhol could fetch $85 million at auction | WORLD News.

Strange Random Andy Warhol Quote:

I read an article on me once that described my machine-method of silk-screen copying and painting:
‘What a bold and audacious solution, what depths of the man are revealed in this solution!’
What does that mean?

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Make your own Andy Warhol “Screen Test” for the MoMA

May 29, 2011 3 comments

In August 1962, Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987) began making silkscreen paintings of popular icons, including a series of images of Marilyn Monroe that he began a month after her death. He went on to experiment in portrait making with public photo booth machines, which automatically take four exposures several seconds apart and print them in a strip, like a sequence of film frames.

Combining the seriality of these silkscreen and photo booth portraits with the ephemeral quality of the filmed image, between 1964 and 1966 Warhol shot approximately 500 rolls of film: several-minute silent portraits of acquaintances, friends, and celebrities, including many of the artists musicians, poets, actors, models, playwrights, curators, collectors, critics, and gallerists who composed New York City’s avant-garde scene. Some subjects were invited to the artist’s East 47th Street studio, known as The Factory or The Silver Factory, to sit for their portraits; others were captured spontaneously.

Now it’s your turn. Switch on that webcam and make your own screen test, upload it to Flickr and become a part of the MoMA exhibition! You can find instructions for recreating the Warhol effect at the Project Home, under the Create Your Own Screen Test tab. Have fun and let us know if your video is chosen!

Strange Random Screen Test Quote:

“After my screen test, the director clapped his hands gleefully and yelled: “She can’t talk! She can’t act! She’s sensational!”” – Ava Gardner

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