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A trove of 2,000 delicate gold spirals that date back to the Bronze Age was recently discovered in Denmark -- and archaeologists are trying to figure out what the ancient coils were used for.

The 3,000-year-old spirals are made of thin, flattened gold wire and were found during an excavation in the town of Boeslunde, on the Danish island of Zealand.

Each tightly wound coil is about one inch long. All together, the gold spirals weigh more than half a pound.

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The Cleveland Museum of Art has boosted its smallish but choice pre-Columbian collection significantly by acquiring a dozen rare and important gold objects of a type that once lured Spanish conquistadors to the New World.

Bought in March in a private sale arranged by Sotheby's in New York for an undisclosed price, the gold pieces will go on view at the museum in a special exhibition starting Saturday May 16. The museum plans to install them in the pre-Columbian galleries by August, after making room by adjusting space in display cases.

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Al Farrow’s meticulously crafted sculptures are both haunting and mesmerizing. Using materials such as deconstructed guns, bullets, bone, glass, and steel, Farrow creates ornate religious structures, ritual objects, and reliquaries that are visually striking and emotionally confounding. Through these shockingly beautiful sculptures, Farrow examines the abiding relationships between religion and violence, peace and brutality, the sacred and the unholy.

This unique exploration began after a trip to Italy when Farrow was confronted with a reliquary containing the remains of an ancient Saint. Reliquaries, which are containers that store and display precious relics, were often crafted of or enrobed in opulent materials such as  gold, silver, ivory, enamel, and gems.

Visit to read more about "Al Farrow: Wrath and Reverence," now on view at Forum Gallery in New York.

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The Contemporary Art Evening auction at Phillips on February 12 features works by many art world heavyweights including Andy Warhol, Allen Jones, Julian Schnabel, and Antony Gormley, but the star that is likely to steal the show is undoubtedly Ai Weiwei's sculpture "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads." This group of 12 gold-plated sculptures, portraying the signs of the Chinese zodiac, is offered as Lot 8 with a pre-sale estimate of £2-£3m.

Created in 2010 the zodiac heads are inspired by those which once comprised a water clock-fountain at the Old Summer Palace, the complex of palaces and gardens in Beijing built between 1750 and 1764 by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty.

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Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction on December 9 achieved $44.2 million, buoyed by results for stones and jewels from prominent collections, such as those of Helen Hay Whitney, Estée Lauder, Evelyn H. Lauder, the Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia, and Marlene Dietrich.

The top lot was a platinum-topped gold and diamond necklace that was presented to Helen Hay, an American writer, socialite, and philanthropist, on the occasion of her marriage to Payne Whitney in 1902. Featuring four diamonds weighing 27.48, 15.53, 13.08 and 8.91 carats, the necklace sold for $3.2 million. Total sales from the seven jewels of the estate of Helen Hay Whitney were $4.8 million.

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Scottish officials announced on Monday that an amateur metal-detector scavenger literally struck gold, finding a large Viking treasure hoard dating to the 9th and 10th century, "Art Daily" has reported.

The haul was discovered in Dumfriesshire, southwest Scotland and included over 100 unique artifacts including jewelry such as silver ingots, brooches, armbands, and gold objects of Irish origin. A silver Christian cross and a silver Carolingian pot from Germany was also found.

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A painting by French Impressionist Edgar Degas valued at 6 million euros ($7.6 million) was stolen from a home in the Cypriot port city of Limassol, police said.

The painting, measuring 61 by 47 centimeters (24 by 19 inches) and entitled “Ballerina Adjusting Her Slipper,” was stolen yesterday along with items including gold watches and gold opera glasses worth a total of 157,000 euros, the Cypriot police said today in a statement on the force’s website.

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First, there was light. Then, a night sky filled with stars and a luminescent moon. Soon after? Art.

Since ancient times, communities have used art to relay stories and make sense of the world around them — particularly when interpreting the heavens and giving form to perceived deities ruling the forces of nature.

A new exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "African Cosmos: Stellar Arts," showcases 40 rare objects in gold, silver, bronze, stone, beads and wood that collectively illustrate the history of African cultural astronomy, from ancient Egypt to the present day.

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From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith features 26 pieces including silver and gold jewelry created by African American artist, Art Smith, as well as select pieces by his contemporaries. Inspired by surrealism, biomorphism, and primitivism, Smith was one of the leading modernist jewelers of the mid-twentieth century. His work is dynamic in both size and form.

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Wednesday, 09 October 2013 18:08

Forgotten Fabergé Found in Attic

An extremely rare Fabergé statuette depicting a royal Russian bodyguard was recently discovered in an attic in Rhinebeck, NY. The work, which was believed to have been lost, is one of 50 sculptures in semiprecious stones and gold produced by the Fabergé workshop.

 The statuette was acquired by a collector from the dealer and industrialist Armand Hammer in the 1930s and re-emerged this summer complete with original receipts when a descendant’s estate was emptied. The work depicts Nikolai N. Pustynnikov, bodyguard to Empress Alexandra, the wife of Nikolai II, Russia’s last Tsar.

 Stair Galleries in Hudson, NY will auction the work on October 26; it is expected to sell for $500,000 to $800,000.

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