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NEW YORK, September 13, 2018 (News Wires) — A painting by the British artist David Hockney is expected to sell for some $80 million at Christie's, easily breaking the record for a work by a living artist sold at auction.

Hockney's 1972 "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)," one of his famous "pool paintings," is considered one of his premier works and will come to auction in November. It has long been held by a private collector.

The previous record for a work by a living artist was set by Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog," which sold for $58.4 million in 2013.

Christie's has estimated the work at about $80 million, but experts there expect it to sell for more.

LOS ANGELES, August 28, 2018 (News Wires)  - An auction of Disneyland theme park vehicles, props and artefacts that turned into a Los Angeles attraction in its own right raised more than US$8.3 million, organisers said on Monday.

An original Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride car sold for $483,000 - more than four times the pre-sale estimate - while magician David Copperfield nabbed a neon letter D from the Disneyland hotel for $86,250, auctioneers Van Eaton Galleries said.

The 900-item collection was so vast that organisers and collector Richard Kraft staged a “That’s From Disneyland” public exhibit for the month of August in a former sporting goods store in suburban Los Angeles that was visited by tens of thousands of people. One couple even got married there.

Kraft, a Hollywood agent, began collecting 25 years ago spurred by nostalgia for his visits with his late brother to Disneyland in southern California. He kept many of the items, including the Dumbo car, in his own home.

“When I finally decided to let it go it became much more about throwing a grand Bon Voyage party to those magical artefacts than about making projections about their worth,” Kraft said in a statement after the two-day sale at the weekend.

“I’m still in a state of shock that Dumbo, Jose the talking parrot and trash cans from Disneyland could make me feel as if I won the lottery,” he added.

Jose, an animatronic bird from the Tiki Room, sold for $425,000 and the auction shattered several records for Disneyland posters and theme park signs. A Skyway gondola original vehicle from the 1950s, which sold for $621,000, set a new auction record for a Disneyland ride, Van Eaton Galleries said.

Kraft said he will donate a portion of the proceeds to two organisations benefiting children who, like his four-year-old daughter Daisy, suffer from the rare genetic disorder Coffin-Siris Syndrome, and other special needs.

PARIS, April 10, 2018 (AFP) — The skeletons of an allosaurus and a diplodocus are up for auction in Paris this week, marketed as hip interior design objects — for those with big enough living rooms.

“The fossil market is no longer just for scientists,” said Iacopo Briano of Binoche et Giquello, the auction house that is putting the two dinosaurs under the hammer tomorrow.

“Dinosaurs have become cool, trendy — real objects of decoration, like paintings,” the Italian expert told AFP, citing Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicolas Cage as fans of such outsize prehistoric ornaments.

Cage, however, did hand back the rare skull of a tyrannosaurus bataar, a close cousin of T. rex, that he bought in 2007 after it was found to have been stolen and illegally taken out of Mongolia.

Dinosaur bones are increasingly gracing collectors’ cabinets, with another huge skeleton, that of a theropod, expected to fetch up to €1.5 million when it goes up for auction in June.

 “For the last two or three years the Chinese have become interested in palaeontology and have been looking for big specimens of dinosaurs found on their soil, for their museums or even for individuals,” Briano said.

The new buyers are now bidding against multinational corporations as well as ultra-rich Europeans and Americans, the “traditional” buyers of dinosaur skeletons, Briano added.

In 1997, McDonald’s and Walt Disney were among donors stumping up $8.36 million to buy Sue — the most complete and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever found — for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

“Millions of people come to see it, it is incredible publicity for companies,” said Eric Mickeler, a natural history expert for the Aguttes auction house.

Palaeontologists acknowledge that many fossils that go on the block are of limited scientific interest, but important specimens do go up for auction and can, as in Sue’s case, be bought through acts of patronage.

The market remains small and “isn’t for everybody”, Mickeler said.

Only around five dinosaurs are put up for auction around the world every year.

The allosaurus which goes on sale tomorrow (On Wednesday), among 87 lots of natural artefacts, is considered “small” at 3.8 metres long.

It is expected to fetch up to €650,000, while the diplodocus — despite being bigger at 12 metres long from nose to tail — has a guide price of €450,000 to €500,000.


LOS ANGELES, April 4 (AFP) - Fans of Linkin Park On Wednesday will be keeping a close eye on the website Techno Empire

where instruments and equipment used by the rock band over the last 15 years will go on sale.

Website Reverb.com, which has joined forces with Techno Empire on the occasion of the sale, points out that part of the

proceeds from the auction will be donated to Music For Relief, a non-profit organisation founded by Linkin Park which provides

aid to the victims of natural disasters.

The lots up for sale include instrument cases covered in stickers, effects pedals, a Yamaha KX5 Keytar keyboard, and other

musical equipment used by Mike Shinoda and Brad Delson at several concerts.

Linkin Park lost its singer Chester Bennington, who died at age 41, in July 2017.

The American group rose to fame in 2000 with its first album Hybrid Theory, which sold more than ten million copies.

Last December, the members of Linkin Park paid homage to their friend with a video posted on YouTube.

TURIN, March 28 (AFP) — Symbols of the life and work of Stanley Kubrick went up for auction in Italy yesterday, with bidders splashing tens of thousands of euros for memorabilia from one of the 20th century’s leading filmmakers.

Termed “the most important collection of material relating to the life and work of Stanley Kubrick ever offered at auction”, the items began going under the hammer mid-afternoon and fetched nearly 90,000 euros.

Props, promotional materials and costume items from groundbreaking films such as Doctor Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and even Kubrick’s old shopping lists, were all up for grabs.

Some went for eye-catching sums at the Bolaffi auction house sale in the northern city of Turin.

The jacket worn by horror icon Jack Torrance, masterfully played by Jack Nicholson in The Shining as he descends into madness while snowbound with his family in the Overlook Hotel, fetched 19,000 euros — almost double the minimum list bid of 10,000 euros.

The surprise sale of the afternoon however was Kubrick’s Writers Guild of America membership card, which smashed its asking price of €1,000 and sold for 13,000 euros.

The Shining dominated the big sales, with key chains from the Overlook Hotel going for 2,800 euros — almost triple the asking price.

A long fragment from the film, in which Torrance’s stricken wife Wendy carries her son Danny, sold for more than double the starting price of 3,000 euros.

The cuts, which went for €6,500, are particularly rare because Kubrick would burn all leftover film after editing.

Two rugs from the hotel’s Colorado Lounge went for 13,000 euros and 4,600 euros respectively. Both were listed at 2,000 euros.

The collection was put up for auction by Emilio D’Alessandro, an Italian who emigrated to “the frenzy of Swinging London” in the early 1960s and worked with Kubrick from 1971 until the day the American director died in 1999, and his wife Janette.

Giant phallus

One buyer spent €750 on a yellow note from 1998 with a message for D’Alessandro, saying “have a good trip!”

But a price of €1,500 failed to attract bidders to lot 51, “Shopping with the Kubricks”: a series of notes about food shopping, one of which asks Emilio not to buy any more radishes “because there are so many in the garden.”

D’Alessandro, 76, started out as Kubrick’s driver, before in his own words becoming “Mr Fixit, finally confident and trusted friend of one of the great geniuses of the 20th century.”

His first job for Kubrick was to transport a “giant phallus” to the set of Clockwork Orange, making his way across the icy roads of wintery London with the prop sticking out of the window.

“I thought to myself, ‘this is shameful.’ There were people out there waiting for the bus!” D’Alessandro said in an interview carried out for Bolaffi.

Now back in his hometown of Cassino, around 73km from Rome, the Italian has kept storerooms full of Kubrick paraphernalia because if he or the film crew hadn’t taken it with them, he says, “they would have had to be destroyed.”

Some people are even using crates from Full Metal Jacket as rabbit hutches, none the wiser as to its origins.

Asked what Kubrick would say if he were still alive, D’Alessandro said, “He would say to me, ‘thank you for finding someone who will use these things.’”