Posted on 07 July 2012 by Journal
Ken’s Korner Web Extra: The Liberty Bell - The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles – July 2012
The iconic Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, an enduring symbol of American freedom dating to the colonial era, is getting a wax job. A group of preservation experts is coating the inside of the artifact to protect it from environmental pollutants and tourists’ fingerprints. A layer of microcrystalline wax was applied to the bell’s interior (which is more prone to damage than the outside, because of trapped airborne contaminants and stagnant air). Still, the outside has gotten coated over the years, too. The Liberty Bell weighs 2,080 pounds.
Posted on 04 July 2012 by Journal
Ken’s Korner Web Extra: ‘Door of Paradise’ bound for museum – The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles – July 2012
The ‘Door of Paradise’ – the nickname given by Michelangelo to an 8-ton gilded bronze door beautifully crafted in the15th century by Italian artist Lorenzo Ghiberti – has been unveiled to the public after a 27-year restoration, but it won’t be headed back to the baptistery of Florence, Italy’s duomo (or cathedral), its original home. Instead, starting in September, it will go on display in a case at Florence’s Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. The idea is to protect the door from the ravages that necessitated the restoration.
During World War II, the “Door of Paradise” was removed from the baptistery, to spare it from damage. But it was nearly destroyed twenty years later, in 1966, when the Arno River flooded, devastating much of Florence. Six of the door’s ten panels were torn away in the flood, but they were reattached, only to suffer more damage caused by pollution. The baptistery’s north door, also created by Ghiberti, and the south door, the work of sculptor Andrea Pisano, are also nearing completion on restorations that weren’t as urgent.
Posted on 02 July 2012 by Journal
Ken’s Korner Web Extra: Washington’s copy of Constitution sold - The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles – July 2012
George Washington’s personal copies of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, housed in a book saying President of the United States on the cover and made just for the president in his first year of office, sold at Christie’s for $9.8 million. It was a new record for an American book or historical document. The old record was $3.4 million, paid in 2009 for an autographed copy of Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 election victory speech. The Washington book was purchased by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union.
Posted on 29 June 2012 by Journal
Ancient Roman ships found in deep water
Two ancient Roman vessels dating to the third century have been found almost a mile deep off the coast of a small Greek island, an intriguing find because it challenges an accepted theory that ships from that time tended to hug coastal routes rather than risk the open sea. Also, wrecks found in deep water are almost always more intact than those found in shallow water, so they contain far more archaeological and historical information than other sites. The ships were found during a survey for a Greek-Italian gas pipeline.