Queries: American musical clocks

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The first musical clocks were invented in the Netherlands in the fourteenth century. Two hundred years later European royalty and aristocracy were commissioning them. At the palace of Versailles Marie Antoinette possessed a musical clock that played ten of her favorite tunes. (It was discovered at the palace in June 1914, two weeks before the start of World War I.) …

Collecting Zsolnay art pottery, a conversation with Dr. László Gyugyi

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Dr. László Gyugyi, a Hungarian-born retired research engineer now living in Pittsburgh, has assembled the finest private collection of Zsolnay art pottery, numbering nearly six hundred pieces. A portion of his collection is now on view at the Forbes Galleries in New York City, before it will be donated to a new cultural center being built in Pécs, Hungary, in …

Maastricht and beyond

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The European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht has become the show of all antiques shows, attracting art and antiques world luminaries from around the globe. For those wishing to counterbalance the excitement and the throngs with more tranquil pleasures, a host of venues of superlative historical and aesthetic interest lies just a short distance away. The Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht is showing …

Art at all costs

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A series of recently announced budget cutting measures by a number of museums raises tricky questions about the value of the arts, the responsibilities of museums to the public and expectations for their profitability, and even the prospects of a degree in the humanities. Just last week, the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced its decision to close …

Dealer Profile: James Elkind

Art

In 1979 a Barnard College student named Grace Gold was walking down Broadway on Manhattan’s Upper West Side when she was struck and killed by a falling piece of a terracotta window lintel that had broken loose from the Regnor, a sixty-seven-year-old apartment house. The next year, in reaction to Gold’s death, New York City passed Local Law 10 requiring …

Yeshiva University Museum Appoints Wisse as New Director

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Following the retirement of Sylvia A. Herskowitz, who served in the post for 33 years, Dr. Jacob Wisse has been appointed director of the Yeshiva University Museum in New York City, whose permanent collection includes more than 9,000 objects spanning over 3,000 years of Jewish history. A Montreal native, Wisse earned his B.A. from McGill University before going on to …

The Persistence of Memory

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In her new book, Scrapbooks: An American History (Yale, 2008), Jessica Helfand suggests that in times of uncertainty people turn to the hobby. Scrapbooking and memory keeping is now a major industry in the United States and represents the largest segment of the nearly $30 billion craft industry. Memory keeping is certainly nothing new, particular in the world of antiques …

Washington alive and well

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Despite the ongoing difficulties in the United States economy, to judge by a President’s Day weekend sale at Skinner Auction in Boston, Americans continue to place a lot of faith in the Founding Fathers. In lively bidding in the room and on the phone, a portrait miniature of George Washington brought $336,000-the second highest price ever paid for an American …

The lure of provenance

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February 2009 | There may never be another event to match this month’s seven hundred lot sale of the collection of Pierre Bergé and the late Yves Saint Laurent. What could well be one of the greatest private collections of the twentieth century, the result of fifty years of passionate and informed acquisition, is estimated to bring between 200 and …