Category Archives: Columns

Great Collections: The Collection of Steve Martin at Julien’s Auctions

Lot 740: Steve Martin Oscars poster signed by celebrity attendees at The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony

Emmy, Grammy, People’s Choice, and Academy Award Winner hardly begin to describe Steve Martin, who has entertained us for decades on radio and TV, in the movies, on music-hall stages, and in comedy clubs across the country and around the world. His brand of homespun and goofy humor and always charming and memorable characters are […]

Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Bill Traylor painting, $293,750, Christie’s

Bill Traylor painting, $293,750, Christie’s

Recent Auction Results from Near & Far By Ken Hall   A folk-art painting by Bill Traylor, titled Two Dogs Fighting: Man Chasing Dog (1939-1942) sold for $293,750 at an Outsider and Vernacular Art Sale held January 21st during Americana Week by Christie’s in New York City. Also, Martin Ramirez’s untitled work (Tunnels and Train), […]

Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Patriotic sand art bottle, $275,000, Skinner, Inc.

Patriotic sand art bottle, $275,000, Skinner, Inc.

Recent Auction Results from Near & Far By Ken Hall A patriotic presentation sand art bottle meticulously crafted circa 1885-1890 by Andrew Clemens (1857-1894), 7 1/4 inches tall, sold for a record $275,000 at an American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction held November 23rd by Skinner, Inc. in Boston. The bottle, one of a small […]

The Funny Side of Business: From vaudeville and slapstick comedy to standup, political satire, cartoons, sketch comedy, sitcoms, and inside jokes, comedy as an art form and business has been around since funny found a receptive, paying audience.

Every decade and generation are defined, in part, by the humor embraced by the zeitgeist of the times and the medium of the art form, especially in the early decades of the 20th century. This is a unique era in American comedy for its convergence of talent and technology fueled by a country craving entertainment […]

Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Wayne Gretzky 1979 rookie card, $1.29 million, Heritage Auctions

Wayne Gretzky 1979 rookie card, $1.29 million, Heritage Auctions

Recent Auction Results from Near & Far By Ken Hall   A Canadian version of a 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers rookie card, graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA, sold for $1.29 million at a four-day Fall Sports Collectibles Catalog auction held Dec. 11-14 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas, TX. Also, a green-shaded 1997 […]

Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Eddie Van Halen guitar, $231,250, Julien’s

Eddie Van Halen guitar, $231,250, Julien’s

Recent Auction Results from Near & Far By Ken Hall A guitar custom-made for rock legend Eddie Van Halen, built by Van Halen and his guitar tech Matt Bruck and later gifted to Van Halen friend and restaurant owner Bryan Cush, sold for $231,250 at an auction titled Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock ‘n’ Roll […]

Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Hermes leather handbag, $8,750, Crescent City

Hermes leather handbag, $8,750, Crescent City

Recent Auction Results from Near & Far By Ken Hall   A circa 1992 Hermes Kelly Sellier black box leather handbag sold for $8,750 at a Winter Couture Auction held December 5th by Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans, LA. Also, a platinum tennis bracelet containing 43 round diamonds hit $11,250; a pair of […]

The Parlor: An Island of Formality. You entered it only rarely, and you weren’t meant to be comfortable there. But every house had to have one, no matter how high the cost.

No room in the American home in the nineteenth century was more tenderly cared for, fussed over, or jealously protected than the parlor, especially during the Victorian era. It was a central part of social family life in middle and upper-class households; a room where guests were formally received, afternoon tea was held with friends, […]

Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Wells Fargo stock certificate, $2,875, Holabird Western Americana

Wells Fargo stock certificate, $2,875, Holabird Western Americana

Recent Auction Results from Near & Far By Ken Hall   A rare Wells Fargo and Company (NY) stock certificate from 1870, issued for 100 shares, sold for $2,875 at a 5-day Spooktacular Sale held Oct. 29-Nov. 2 by Holabird Western Americana Collections in Reno, NV. Also, a $1,000 banknote from the Federal Reserve Bank […]