Archive for September, 2013

Former Gettysburg Chief Curator Michael L. Vice Appointed Firearms and Militaria Expert at Morphy Auctions

September 23rd, 2013 by

DENVER, Pa. – Dan Morphy, CEO of Morphy Auctions, has announced the appointment of Michael L. Vice as expert consultant in firearms and militaria. In his new position, Vice, who is based in Gettysburg, Pa., will appraise and catalog guns, rifles and military-related artifacts for all Morphy Firearms sales, starting with a January 11 auction that features a major Colt collection.

Michael L. Vice, newly appointed Firearms & Militaria expert at Morphy Auctions

Michael Vice is a Texas native who obtained his B.A. in history from Mississippi State University, and a Master of Arts degree in museum science from Texas Tech University. He undertook further postgraduate studies in military history at Kansas State University and was an honorary research associate at the University of Birmingham’s World I History Centre in Birmingham, England.

Additionally, Vice is a graduate of the Seminar for Historical Administration, a nationally recognized museum management and leadership training course sponsored by AAM, AASLH, The Smithsonian, and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In 2009, Vice co-authored a major work about surviving Crimean War British artifacts that are held in UK museums and private collections. Titled “Crimean Memories: Artefacts of the Crimean War,” it won the Independent Publishers Association’s Silver Medal for Best Reference Book for 2010.

Vice is a Vietnam veteran and retired major in the US Army Reserve, and has spent the past 30+ years in the museum field. Most recently, he served as museum curator at the US Army Medical Museum at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. During the decade between 1993 and 2003, he was chief museum curator at Gettysburg National Military Park, overseeing a world-famous collection of 42,000 historical artifacts, a vast park archive, and a collection of 700,000 archaeological specimens. His distinguished work history also includes curatorial positions with the US Army Corps of Engineers Office of History, the US Army Center of Military History, the National Park Service, and the United States Cavalry Museum.

An active member of many state and national organizations devoted to antique firearms and military history, Vice enjoys collecting, researching, restoring and shooting American military longarms made between 1835 and 1890. He is considered a leading expert on the American Civil War and American Indian Wars (1866-1890).

“We feel extremely honored that Michael agreed to join Morphy’s as head of our Firearms and Militaria department,” said Dan Morphy. “His qualifications are superb, and his expertise and reputation will play a major role in the further development of what has become one of our strongest and most active departments at Morphy’s.”


**To contact Michael Vice regarding consignments to future Firearms sales at Morphy’s, call 717-335-3435 or email

Coca-Cola beauties, Mr. Peanut among American icons in Morphy’s Oct. 4-5 Premier Advertising & Coin-op Auction

September 16th, 2013 by
Caille Puck 5-cent upright slot machine with music, pre-1900, stocked with great American tunes, plays well. Estimate: $18,000-$22,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Caille Puck 5-cent upright slot machine with music, pre-1900, stocked with great American tunes, plays well. Estimate: $18,000-$22,000.

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s Oct. 4-5 Premier Advertising & Coin-Op auction contains more than 1,100 top-quality lots from several major collections. There are dozens of early coin-op, slot, penny arcade and pinball machines in the sale; as well as 60+ lots of superb tobacco tins from the David Hirsch collection, and one of the most comprehensive Moxie collections ever amassed, that of the late Jan Miller Bacci of Boston.

The Hirsch collection includes many of the finest known tobacco tins. “All of them are in beautiful condition, and some are believed to be the only ones of their type in existence,” said Dan Morphy, CEO of Morphy Auctions.

Lot 8, a Century Tobacco flat pocket tin is estimated at $1,000-$1,500; while Lot 11, a pre-1900 Old Abe Chewing Tobacco flat tin is estimated at $1,200-$1,600. Images of American Indian chiefs adorn Lot 7, a Prairie Flower Chewing Tobacco tin, $1,000-$2,000; and Lot 12, an extremely rare Kipawa Cigar tin, $2,000-$4,000. Perhaps the star of the collection is Lot 13, an Alcazar round cigar tin picturing a world famous racehorse from which the brand took its name. Near mint, it is expected to make $6,000-$8,000.

Over 150 lots of soda pop advertising will be available, including many coveted, early pieces promoting Coca-Cola and its little-known offspring – Coca-Cola Chewing Gum.  Launched around the turn of the 20th century, Coca-Cola Chewing Gum wasn’t a commercial success for the Atlanta-based company.

1914-1916 Coca-Cola Gum cardboard cutout with Dutch boy image

1914-1916 Coca-Cola Gum cardboard cutout with Dutch boy image, Estimate: $15,000-$25,000.

Lot 459, a 1914-1916 cardboard cutout sign depicting a Dutch boy running in his clogs and clutching an oversize pack of Coca-Cola Peppermint Pepsin Gum is another Petretti book example. Vibrant and colorful, the 29 by 22in sign is described in Morphy’s catalog as “important and rare.” It is expected to make $15,000-$25,000 on auction day.

Saturday’s session opens with the third offering of occupational shaving mugs from the collection of the late Ray Jones and his wife, Theresa. Ray Jones’ navy career is reflected in many of the mugs he acquired, including Lot 641, shipbuilder, $800-$1,200; Lot 702, deep sea diver, $2,000-$3,000; and Lot 736, USS Philadelphia warship, $1,200-$1,500.

Coin-op and arcade machines will follow, with top entries including two prized Caille machines: Lot 795, a pre-1900 Puck 5-cent upright slot, $18,000-$22,000; and Lot 760, a 5-cent Bullfrog upright slot, $25,000-$30,000. The selection also includes many arcade games of skill and 15+ pinballs from the 1950s/60s. A Pace FOK slot machine is actually new/old stock and retains its original shipping crate. The coinage for this machine is the French franc, which is the same size as a US quarter. The machine left Chicago in the late 1930s, bound for Shanghai. It made it as far as Paris, but the outbreak of World War II prevented it from ever making it to China. It is estimated at $7,000-$8,000.

Several vintage jukeboxes stand ready to create lively mood music for the auction. Lot 838, a Wurlitzer Model 81 on “Mae West” stand, is estimated at $12,000-$15,000. It will be followed by a Wurlitzer Model 800, $7,000-$9,000.

Rare Planter’s point-of-purchase copper and steel peanut roaster topped with papier-mache figure of Mr. Peanut, design introduced in 1920. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Rare Planter’s point-of-purchase copper and steel peanut roaster topped with papier-mache figure of Mr. Peanut, design introduced in 1920.

Mr. Peanut will take his turn in the auction spotlight, as well, with Lot 825B, a 1920s peanut roaster topped by a papier-mache figure of the iconic dancing goober, leading the Planters selection. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Lot 825A, a fully functional Hamilton stand-on scale, 44½in tall, with a fantastic painted iron figure of Mr. Peanut, could weigh in at $7,000-$10,000.

Within the 100+ general store lots are numerous hunting and fishing-related advertising signs. Lot 922, a 1907 Winchester paper-on-linen poster realistically depicts four hunting dogs, $3,500-$5,000. Lot 920, a 1910 cardboard cut-out sign with the image of a shell dog and two quail, could realize $2,500-$4,000.

Morphy’s Oct. 4-5 Premier Advertising & Coin-Op Auction will commence at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on both days. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live, Artfact and LiveAuctioneers.

Morphy Auctions is located at 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517. Tel. 717-335-3435 or e-mail View the auction catalog online at, or

Waverly Rare Books Auction Will Take Place on September 19th

September 11th, 2013 by

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries in suburban Washington DC, will deliver a wealth of local nostalgia to the auction block on Thursday, September 19th. The centerpiece of the sale is a remarkable selection of gelatin silver photographic prints by Theodor Horydczak (Polish/American, 1890-1971), whose specialty was documenting in black and white the architecture and social activities in our nation’s capital primarily during the first half of the 20th century.

Elvis Presley inscription and autograph on record-album sleeve. Est. $300-$500.

Horydczak was especially adept at capturing attractive angles of government buildings and landmarks, both inside and out. He enjoyed being in the heart of the action and was there with his camera for such events as the 1933 World Series and Washington’s World War II preparedness campaigns. The vast majority of Horydczak’s work – more than 14,000 photos in all – became part of the permanent collection at The Library of Congress after his family donated the extensive archive.

“Theodor Horydczak was an accomplished commercial photographer whose photos were turned into postcards, calendars and other printed ephemera. In our research, we came across a rare Mount Vernon souvenir postcard featuring one of Horydczak’s photos, which leads us to believe he also sold his photos to museums and cultural institutions,” said Monika Schiavo, director of Waverly Rare Books.

There are 35 large-format Horydczak photographs in the September 19th auction, some of them measuring over 6 feet. Three are pencil-signed and some are stamped on verso with Horydczak’s studio name and reproduction notice.

“The consignor of the Horydczak photographs purchased them years ago as a box lot at a country auction in Virginia, then stored them away,” Schiavo said. Estimates range from $300-$500 for a gelatin silver print of the National Cathedral Sanctuary, to $1,500-$2,500 for a dramatic after-dark image of the US Capitol and Reflecting Pool, pencil-signed by Horydczak. Beautiful photos of the Washington Monument and Mount Vernon are also among the signed lots.

The auction will recall America’s days as a new nation in the form of an archive of historical documents pertaining to Fries Rebellion. The 1798 uprising of German-American farmers near Philadelphia, led by John Fries (circa 1750-1818), protested a federal real property tax enacted by President John Adams to finance an anticipated war with France. In July of 1798 Fries led the group of dissenters to a jail in Bethlehem, Pa., demanding the release of prisoners who had been arrested for resisting the tax.

U.S. District Judge Richard Peters issued warrants for the tax protestors and sent U.S. Marshall William Nichols to Northampton County in February of 1798. Nichols arrested 20 violators and held them in the Sun Tavern in Bethlehem prior to their removal to court in Philadelphia. Fries led a company of men to the tavern and negotiated with Nichols, who eventually released the prisoners; whereupon Fries and his company dispersed. Later, Fries was captured and tried twice. Both times he was convicted of treason and sentenced to hang, but in 1800 he was pardoned by President Adams.

Group Lot 436 contains 31 documents pertaining to Fries Rebellion, including the written appointment of Capt. William Rodman of the Bucks County Troop of Light Dragoons to the post of Deputy Marshall, troop rolls, lists of equipment, payments to soldiers, and correspondence requesting payment for expenses for forage and stores. The archive is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

A compelling slice of 20th-century British history is encapsulated in Lot 371, a set of three custom-cased, blue cloth albums originally belonging to Edward the Prince of Wales (briefly King Edward VIII until his abdication; later Duke of Windsor). The albums contain 117 photographs relating to Edward’s British Army service in Egypt and Sudan during March and April of 1916. The photos include such subjects as British military personnel in a rowboat crossing the Suez Canal, Indian military men on camels, two photos of a monkey on board the ship that transported Edward to Sudan, two photos of trains, and many pictures of the prince on horseback, with honor guards and other officers. Additionally, there are photos from the palace of the Governor-General of Sudan, and images of Sudanese commoners, some with livestock. The bound albums are embossed in gold: “Windsor Photographs Vol. 159/160/161.” Estimate: $400-$700.

Edward isn’t the only royalty represented in Waverly’s September 19 auction. Memories of America’s own “king” – Elvis Presley – are captured in Lot 434, a record-album sleeve personally inscribed “To Sue/Thanks./Elvis Presley.” In very good condition, the autographed sleeve is expected to make $300-$500.

Among the top entries in the Art & Illustrations section is Lot 192, a cased 1898 folio of Pierre Bonnard lithographs titled La Lithographie Originale en Couleurs (Paris: Andrew Mellerio). Two original lithographs by Bonnard are among those included. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Also, Lot 203, a set of six French art and literary journals, features original lithos by Chagall, Calder and Tapies. The six issues of Derriere Le Miroir (Paris: Maeght) are from as early as 1966, the period during which Calder’s star rose to prominence worldwide. Estimate: $200-$300. Lot 276, The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein – A Catalogue Raisonne 1948-1993 by Mary Lee Corlett, is estimated at $150-$200.

A boxed set designed by Jasper Johns as a tribute to Gertrude Stein is cataloged as Lot 53. The compartmented set was created for a 1971 museum exhibition in Germany and includes paper rolls that introduce and list the contents of the exhibit; as well as an advertisement for Johns’ “lightbulb” works, and a red plastic rose. The lot is affordably estimated at $80-$120.

Waverly Rare Books’ September 19 auction will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern time. The preview is on from September 14 through and including auction day (see website for hours). The gallery is closed on Sundays.

All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee or live via the Internet through For information on any lot in the sale, call 703-532-5632 or e-mail Visit Waverly Rare Books online at

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at

Footsteps of the Buddha: Masterworks from Across the Buddhist World

September 6th, 2013 by

A Gilt Copper Alloy Figure Depicting Vajradhara

Sotheby’s is looking to present a special selling exhibition, Footsteps of the Buddha: Masterworks from Across the Buddhist World, tracing the historical development of Buddhist art as it traveled and transformed throughout Asia from the 2nd century through the 18th century. This curated multimedia exhibition features an intimate selection of the finest pan-Asian Buddhist painting and sculpture from the ancient region of Gandhara, Nepal, Tibet, China, Japan and Korea, as well as contemporary works of art by Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso and Chinese artist Cai Xiaosong. On exhibition from 3 – 23 September 2013, Footsteps of the Buddha will coincide with the auctions, exhibitions and special events of Asia Week in September.

To learn more, please visit the Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art and Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art department pages.