From Pocket Change to Work of Art: Trompe l’oeil and Paper Money

Collectors of American paper money have long appreciated the artistry involved in the carefully engraved and printed designs of U.S. currency. What some collectors may not be as familiar with, however, is the tradition of artists painting paper money as part of their work. Artists such as William Harnett, Victor Dubreuil, Alfred Meurer, and John […]

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Gold Fever: Cataloger Picks

When I was a child, one of my favorite action movies was the James Bond classic Goldfinger. The movie’s plot centers on the corrupt businessman Auric Goldfinger and his plan to steal the gold from the bullion depository at Fort Knox. However, the villain’s obsession with precious metal is ended when his plan is foiled […]

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Artistry and Coin Designs

From the earliest beginnings of the U.S. Mint in the 1790s until the early 1900s, designs for American coinage were not typically produced by outside artists. Instead, the images displayed on our nickels, cents, gold coins, and more tended to be produced in a relatively insular manner by a small group of in-house designers at […]

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Nature’s Art: The Science Behind Petrified Wood

As a student of Environmental Studies, I cannot stress enough the importance and utility of understanding Earth’s natural processes. Whether noticing striated cirrus clouds (a tell-tale sign of impending rain) or feeling the shift in the wind from the south to the north as summer turns to fall, possessing and seeking out knowledge of how […]

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8 Types of Leading Men in Hollywood: American Edition

The price of success in show business is not always hubris.  Often it is being too closely identified with an onscreen persona.  In the bygone days of studio contract players, typecasting was the order of the day.  Like a deck of cards, every studio had one of each kind in the suit.  This was particularly […]

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Challenges and Coinage in Early America

With the ease of today’s credit or debit cards and a seemingly endless supply of change collecting in our desk drawers and back pockets, it can be difficult to imagine that early Americans once did not have enough coins in circulation to complete the simplest of transactions. However, the lack of circulating coinage in early […]

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Barbecue Guns

For as long as humankind has been carrying weapons, people have been decorating them. Early designs were attempts to add a magical power to the piece. Later efforts were intended to beautify, and to show off the wealth and status of the owner. Elaborately embellished weaponry became a form of male jewelry while the ladies […]

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A Wedgwood Partial Service: The Thrill of the Hunt

If you flip to the mid-section of our upcoming Fine & Decorative Arts Sale, you will find this quite peculiar moth-centric dining service.  Here at Heritage’s Art Annex we have a special fondness for the moth, as we often pull our tired bodies to the Meddlesome Moth to fix our palates with beers and zucchini […]

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To Hold the World in your Hand

The upcoming Fine and Decorative Art Auction #5218, slated for sale on the Heritage auction block from June 19-21, reveals an interesting visual and decorative thread. Three of the pieces offered in this sale jump out as exceptional examples of the use of natural form as decoration. Even more intriguing, these examples all play with […]

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Frank Reaugh: Dean of Texas Artists

Often referred to as the “Dean of Texas Artists,” Frank Reaugh became a pillar in the foundation of Texas art, developing and influencing the art communities in Dallas and Fort Worth as both painter and teacher. If you have ever seen a Frank Reaugh, you might find it difficult to believe he was not a […]

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