Monday, 26 October 2015

Cool Cars at Barrett-Jackson

Lot 42: 1989 Jaguar XJS Convertible - $9900
The Barrett-Jackson auto auction produces large prices but there are still some good buys to be had. These cars may not have been the cream of the crop, but they're cool machines.
Lot 205: 1965 Ford Mustang - $11,000
Lot 39.1: 1969 Buick Custom Sport Wagon - $14,850

A 400 cubic inch "big block" with 350 Turbo transmission was found in the GS series.
Lot 461: 1991 Chevrolet Corvette Callaway ZR1 - $30,800.

The fourth-generation Corvette isn’t remembered fondly but in the hands of noted Corvette tuner Calloway, this ZR1 makes 550hp through a six-speed manual. It’s a very rare find.
Lot 519: 1981 Chevrolet Camaro - $6050.

Second-generation Camaros are quickly rising in value. This particular example has Z/28 trim, T-tops, and a 350 cubic-inch V8. The buyer got a bargain.
Lot 807: 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible - $22,000

Impalas were all over, but one of the best buys was this all original 1967 SS. This car has all the right parts, including the 275hp 327 cubic-inch V8 mated to a four-speed manual transmission.
Lot 7000: 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Custom Coupe - $34,650

Similar Camaros in both stock and custom trim sell closer to $100,000. This one slipped through. It’s a keeper with a 475hp V8, Muncie four-speed manual transmission, front disc brakes and a complete restoration.




Friday, 23 October 2015

The Malagana Treasure

In 1992 a sugarcane farm employee was working the fields at the Hacienda Malagana located in Colombia‘s Cauca Valley. The ground gave way, and both man and machine tumbled into the hole. The worker noticed shiny, golden objects in the dirt. Upon closer inspection he realized he’d found treasure, ancient gold artifacts from burial tombs of a previously-unknown indigenous culture of Colombia.
Jaguar lime flask with nose ornament, Calima Malagana, 200 BC
His secret didn’t last long. Word spread like wildfire, and a looting frenzy began. Between October and December 1992, approximately 5000 people are said to have descended upon Hacienda Malagana in what was called the “Malagana Gold Rush”.

Almost four tons of pre-Columbian artifacts were removed from the site to be melted down or sold to collectors in what was described as the “grandest haul since the Conquistadores.”
By 1994 the treasure hunters had given up as the cemetery site had been destroyed, and archaeologists were finally able to learn more about the mysterious culture. Research indicated that the habitation site dated to between 300 BC and 300 AD.




Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Jewel Collection of the Romanovs

In 1613 Michael Romanov, the first Tsar of the Romanov Dynasty was crowned.

In 1719, Tsar Peter the Great founded the earliest version of what is now known as the Russian Federation's State Diamond Fund. He placed all of the regalia in this fund and declared that the state holdings were inviolate, and could not be altered, sold, or given away. The Romanovs had one of the most impressive jewellery collections ever assembled. None of the current Houses, not even the British, can match the former splendor of the Romanov Court.
The House of Romanov was the second imperial dynasty, after the Rurik dynasty, to rule over Russia, reigning from 1613 until the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II on March 15, 1917, as a result of the Revolution.

Photograph of the Romanov treasures taken by the Bolsheviks.
The Empress Maria Feodorovna. is depicted wearing a parure in the famous portrait by Konstantin Makovsky.

Emperor Nicholas II and many members of his extended family were executed by Bolsheviks in 1918 and it is believed that no member survived, ending the main line definitively.
The Soviets looted the Romanov collections of art, jewelry, furniture and books. In the 1920s and ’30s foreigners could browse and buy the treasures from the Communist government.

Much of the Romanov legacy (including Faberge eggs and other cultural treasures) were broken up, melted down and sold for scrap – with the proceeds disappearing.
Curators are now tracking down scattered imperial possessions. More material has recently surfaced from palaces and even the Romanov family’s assassination site at Yekaterinburg, Russia. A pearl-and-diamond earring rescued in 1918 from the crime scene. It belonged to Czarina Alexandra. It was long kept at the Russian Orthodox Church on Park Avenue at 93rd Street, New York.

Just one earring was retrieved from the evidence trail of carnage in the woods.
The family’s former possessions regularly turn up on the auction market. In November 2013 at a sale of Romanov books and memorabilia at Christie’s in London, a heartbreaking batch of 1910s postcards that Nicholas and Alexandra’s four daughters sent to a friend brought $30,000.

See ------->
See ------->